James Hibberd
July 27, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mariah Carey is joining Fox’s American Idol, but she’d better not get too comfortable. Fox announced that the Grammy winner will have a seat on the judges’ panel next year, effectively replacing Jennifer Lopez (and earning a paycheck that sources say is between $15 million and $18 million a year). ”[She’s] the biggest recording artist that any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. Veteran Idol judge Randy Jackson and an as-yet-undecided male vocalist (Adam Lambert?) are expected to fill the remaining seats. Yet Reilly made it clear that fans can expect the show’s judges to change nearly as often as the contestants. ”Change is going to be a part of the show going forward,” he says. ”We’re 12 years old, we’ve got to keep it fresh.”

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