Mariah Carey is the new "American Idol" judge, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced Monday.
Reilly made the announcement at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in an extraordinarily low-key way. In what at first felt like the setup for a joke about rampant "Idol" rumors, he said Fox had just closed a deal with "the biggest recording artist that any of these shows have ever had."
He then dialed the new judge on his cell phone.
"Hi, Mariah?" he said. "How are you? It's Kevin."
It wasn't a joke. Reilly put his phone on speaker, and Mariah Carey came on the line to address a few hundred reporters.
"I am so excited to be joining 'Idol,'" she said.
Carey had been widely considered a likely choice for the show because she is managed by "Idol" judge Randy Jackson.
Reilly also said Fox had come to a "mutual agreement" with "Idol" judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez that it was time for them to leave the show. They served as judges for two seasons.
Reilly's comments seemed to seal Lopez's fate. Although she has said she plans to leave the show, "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe said at a TCA panel before Reilly's on Monday that he hoped she could be lured back to the series.