Mariah Carey is officially leaving "American Idol," the singer's publicists announced via Twitter on Thursday -- a message that the singer then retweeted.
In a statement, Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said of Carey's departure: “Mariah Carey is a true global icon -- one of the most accomplished artists on the planet -- and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the 'American Idol' contestants this season. We know she will remain an inspiration to 'Idol' hopefuls for many seasons to come.”
The news follows Randy Jackson's recent departure from Fox's reality juggernaut, with fellow judge Nicki Minaj announcing her "Idol" exit a few hours later. Keith Urban remains the last judge standing, but is not expected to return. Even before Carey's exit, there were rumblings that "Idol" producers planned to replace all four judges and start fresh for Season 13, potentially with a judging panel made up of "Idol" alums such as Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert. Don't hold your breath for Clarkson to be involved, though -- a rep for the first winner told The Hollywood Reporter that she will not be judging Season 13.
Despite Carey's vocal pedigree, she and fellow judging newcomers Minaj and Urban failed to reinvigorate the aging franchise, with "Idol" hitting an all-time ratings low for its recent Season 12 finale.
Many contend that Carey's highly publicized, season-long feud with Minaj soured viewers to the new panel and contributed to the ratings erosion, resulting in rumors that Fox executives and "Idol" producers attempted to replace Carey with former judge Jennifer Lopez to stem the flow of departing fans.
Are you sad to see Carey go?