Last week the music and entertainment world was buzzing with the news of Mariah Carey being introduced as a judge for next season’s American Idol show. Count me as one who thought she would never accept the offer, but here we are now trying to guess who will be the third judge. When asked, most with knowledge of the inner workings of the show seem to applaud the decision of bringing Mariah aboard. She is by far the biggest star to judge any of the reality talent shows to date. Perhaps this is the reason no one flinched when news of her $18 million dollar contract became public. Yes, that’s huge money but it was necessary to bring in a mega star like Mariah Carey. Ryan Seacrest, American Idol host, believes that Mariah’s presence will be great for American Idol and all the potential singing stars to appear as contestants. Seacrest reported Carey told him, “You know how I am. I’m very honest. I say what I’m thinking,” to which Seacrest replied, “Great, you’re gonna fit right in.” Certainly her credentials in the business are indisputable: net worth over $500 million dollars, two decade career with over 200 million records sold worldwide, and a list of awards a mile long. Mariah Carey will surely command respect from contestants’ right from the start of the season. Although, my thoughts shift to the previous judges on the show, not just Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, but going back before them to Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. They all were at the very least worthy of respect from upcoming artist on the cusp of success. However, they have all moved on, voluntarily or not, leaving only Randy Jackson as an original judge. The overall problem with bringing in celebrity judges and active music executives is they still desire to follow their creative paths. The appeal of the large sums of television money is enough to possibly keep some folks in the judges’ seats a few seasons, but the mega stars have the ability to duplicate or even make more dollars than the AI contract might bring. Steven Tyler may have appeared to be “retired” but he and super group Aerosmith are back in the studio and set to tour again, perhaps pulling in more than his $10 million dollar AI contract. Jennifer Lopez also may be able to earn more from entertaining and acting than judging young talent. I’m sure all the judges took their American Idol responsibility seriously as will Mariah Carey. Nevertheless, I still wonder if the appeal of recording, touring and/or movie roles will pull her from the judges’ seat after only one year. Remember though, Mariah now is a mother of twins and wife to a husband with health concerns which may influence all her career decisions at this time. For now, many young singers will listen and learn from the wisdom of a real American Idol……judge.