With Mariah Carey bringing the pop and R&B, will there be a splash of country added into the mix when American Idol returns for season 12 next year? According to Deadline, the show is “seriously considering” hiring country singer Brad Paisley to be a new judge. Considering Idol has had massive success with country music winners (Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery), this seems like it could be a good fit. (Hiring Carey was obviously done to one-up the big female stars on The Voice and The X Factor, and maybe they want Paisley on board to counter The Voice‘s Blake Shelton.)

Mariah Carey Announced as New American Idol Judge >>>

This wouldn’t be Paisley’s first time mingling with Idol. He recorded his single “Remind Me” with Underwood just over a year ago. And he brought McCreery with him on tour to be his opening act.

Deadline also mentions another interesting possibility: “FOX is also toying with the idea of a four-judge panel that was phased out when [Jennifer] Lopez and Steven Tyler were signed two years ago.” American Idol tried out a four-judge panel for two years, and viewers did not take kindly to it. While the other two singing competitions have four judges and it works for their formats, Idol has always worked best with just three judges.

Is Mariah Carey Worth $18 Million?

Speaking of Mariah Carey, People is reporting that the newly hired judge on American Idol will earn around $18 million … for just one year, making her “the highest paid judge on any reality show.” Her contract includes “an option to renew.” If this figure is accurate (or even close to it), then it pretty much confirms that Jennifer Lopez did not leave because she wanted more money.

And even though it still looks likely that Randy Jackson will return (since he was instrumental in Carey joining the show), FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly did mention at FOX’s TCA panel that the panel could be filled with all new judges. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe also said, “I would really like to see the judges change every year.” This would probably depend on the chemistry between the judges and reactions from viewers.

Jennifer Hudson’s Ex-Brother-in-Law Receives Sentence

The tragedy that beset Jennifer Hudson and her family in 2008 has received justice. William Balfour, Hudson’s ex-brother-in-law, who murdered the singer’s mother, brother and nephew, received three life sentences today. Judge Charles Burns, who announced the verdict, told Balfour that “You have the heart of an arctic night … Your soul is as barren as dark space.”

The defense requested a new trial prior to the sentencing, but Judge Burns denied that request.

Balfour said in a brief statement, “My deepest prayers goes out to Julian King. I loved him. I still love him. I’m innocent, your honor.” Burns replied by saying, “The fact that you can stand in court and tell us you love that child is an insult to all of us.”

Let’s hope the Hudson family can breathe easier knowing that justice has been served.

(Image courtesy of WENN)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.