Mariah Carey joins 'American Idol' as judge

Mariah Carey will join Fox's "American Idol" as a judge next season, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly confirmed Monday.

And Jennifer Lopez is definitely gone.

Reilly led off his semiannual meeting with the Television Critics Association by saying that he couldn't say much about changes at "Idol" -- except for one thing.

The deal with a star judge -- who'll replace either J.Lo or the already departing Steven Tyler -- had been done so recently that Carey, whose name he hadn't yet uttered, wasn't able to be at the Beverly Hilton for the press conference, so Reilly, in a Fox-like touch, pulled out his cellphone and punched in her number.

And waited. And waited.

“I've now typed the wrong code into my phone,” he said. Then punched in some more numbers.

“Be funny if I get the machine, won't it?"

“Hi, Mariah. How are you, Kevin. .. we do have a deal, don't we?”

He then put Carey on speaker to say all the usual things.

Earlier Monday morning, "Idol" exec producer Nigel Lythgoe had seemed to be clinging to hope that Lopez wouldn't be following Tyler out the door, noting that she'd said she was only "99 percent" sure.

"I think I can say 100 percent that Jennifer won't be coming back," Reilly said.

That means Fox is still shopping for another judge.

"Once again we have the biggest names in the business, like Mariah Carey, interested in doing this job," said Reilly.

One of the first people to have the job, Simon Cowell, said later Monday that he was happy for Carey, though he thinks she'll have trouble saying no to "Idol" contestants.

"She's sweet," said Cowell, who's now producing and judging Fox's "The X Factor."