It’s no secret that “American Idol” has been struggling in the ratings department for a few seasons now and that the latest overhaul of the judjing panel, including the addition of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj was meant to remedy the situation. That hasn’t happened unfortunately, as viewer numbers continue to plummet. Currently, Idol is pulling in around 12-13 million viewers, about half of its viewership in the glory days. Adding Carey and Nicki Minaj to the mix was meant to stir up some drama, ignite a spark in the judging panel that would get the viewers interested again, but their half-hearted disagreements weren’t exactly what the viewers, and consequently Fox, were looking for.

This sparked rumours that Fox was gearing up to replace Carey mid-season, possibly with veteran panelist Jennifer Lopez. Lopez’s previous appointment as a judge did manage to boost ratings for her first season, before things returned to their disappointingly anemic average and Lopez was booted off. The rumour that Carey now faces the same fate – a termination of her $18 million contract, originated from a report by The Hollywood Reporter, which claimed that Fox execs were considering the switch back.

Fox Entertainment Chairman Keith Reily however, has denied that the network has any intention of firing Mariah and noted that even though Idol’s ratings are slipping, they are still higher than any other reality format. With that and with Mariah’s killer legal team, reportedly threatening legal action, according to New York Daily News, Carey’s judging gig is still looking pretty secure.

Mariah Carey, Fox American Idol Finalists PartyJennifer Lopez, Topman LA Opening
Carey or Lopez? Who will be on the jury next season?