Mariah Carey

Even as its ratings continue to tumble, American Idol is still apparently ready and willing to pay big bucks for big name judges.

The latest to join the singing competition reality show is Mariah Carey, according to numerous reports. She will fill one of the slots left open by pop superstar Jennifer Lopez and rock legend Steven Tyler.

Carey has sold millions of records and has an amazing singing voice, for sure. What is not known, however, is how effective a judge she will be or if Mariah can help halt a 25 percent ratings slide for the program in recent years.

Mariah is expected to rake in $18 million for her first year, compared to “just” $12 million for J-LO in her first year.

Another question that could help answer the above is will Mariah Carey be a “nice” personality in the vain of her husband Nick Cannon, the terrific host of America’s Got Talent? Or will she try to be tough/edgy like a Simon Cowell or Piers Morgan?

If Carey comes off too nice, she might risk being seen as another Paula Abdul. If she’s too mean, it could appear to be an act or turn off viewers in other ways.

The only thing that seems certain, especially if Randy Jackson remains with the show as he has from the beginning, is that American Idol will need to undergo some formulaic changes if it’s to remain a top reality program.

Will Mariah Carey be sweet, sour, or in between?  A good judge or bad?

Leave your prediction in the comments section below.