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Last week was a shocking one for American Idol fans, with popular new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler both announcing their departure from the show. With only Randy Jackson left at the judge's table, who's going to fill the remaining two seats?
As rumored last week, the lead contender seems to be Mariah Carey. On Sunday, Huffington Post gossip columnist Rob Shuter tweeted that Carey was a sure thing, pointing out that "Randy Jackson is her manager and show is tied to Universal - her label." People claims that Mimi is in "serious talks," and we know she's been considering TV for a long time; last year, Simon Cowell was trying to woo her to join X Factor.
Speaking of X Factor, Miley Cyrus is reportedly trying to decide which talent competition she'd like to judge. According to E! News, she's in talks with Idol, as well as X Factor UK and X Factor Australia. (We get the Australian thing, seeing as she's marrying Liam Hemsworth -- but why the British version? Maybe she wants to raise her future children with posh accents.)
Adam Lambert is another young talent who's reportedly in consideration for American Idol -- and he's a former competitor, to boot. The singer said last week that he'd "love the job," but claimed he hadn't been asked.
American Idol alums Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson have also been speculated as potential judge replacements.
Other artists who have reportedly been named as possibilites include Katy Perry, Nicky Minaj, Fergie, will.i.am, Mary J. Blige and Celine Dion. And on Saturday, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin threw her own hat in the ring, telling the press that she'd be interested in judging American Idol.
As for that third seat occupied by Randy Jackson, it's unclear whether he'll stay put. E! News reports that if Mariah Carey joins the show as a judge, Jackson may step down and become a mentor for contestants instead. Then again, there's also the possibility that he'll want to leave the show, too.
"He's been there for 11 years. That's a long time," a source told E! News of Jackson, saying that he might not want "to be the last man standing."
On July 12, Steven Tyler released a statement saying that it was "time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol" and go back to "my first love, Aerosmith." The next day, J-Lo announced that she was leaving on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. The 12th season of American Idol is expected to premiere in January 2013.