One month after Simon Cowell appointed record exec Antonio “L.A.” Reid to The X Factor‘s judging panel, there’s another A-list star joining the fray.
Although Mariah Carey has long been rumored to sit alongside Reid as a judge, Cowell told radio host Jackie Brown the eight-months-pregnant singer will join the series when it premieres in September — but not in the role fans had expected.
“I think Mariah will have a role on the live shows,” Cowell told Spokane, Washington disc jockey Brown on Friday during her 92.9ZZU radio show. “I met her recently and she was on great form.”
Citing Carey’s pregnancy, Cowell confirmed she has been taken out of the running as a judge, but he revealed that the singer had a better idea in mind that would allow her to still take part.
“Her idea was to be the judge of the judges, which only Mariah could come up with,” Cowell told Brown. “She’ll be involved in some form. I literally adore her. I love her to bits.”
In the meantime, Cowell and Co. are holding open auditions for the Fox series nationwide. Solo artists and vocal groups over the age of 12 can audition for the show in Seattle, Chicago and Dallas this spring. The winner of the series will pocket a $5 million recording contract from Cowell’s Syco/SonyMusic imprint.
Additional judges and the show two hosts will be announced at a later date.