While it would have been gauche for Fox head Kevin Reilly to show off the sticker on his just-purchased, vintage Mariah Carey (used, some alignment issues), TMZ reveals that the price of singing competition bragging rights now hovers at $18 million—the amount that it will take to keep Carey on or at least near a judge's chair for one full season of American Idol. The deal makes Carey TV's highest-paid pop star pretending to mentor the far younger women angling to replace her, dwarfing the exiting Jennifer Lopez's $12 million, and similarly outpacing both Christina Aguilera ($10 million) and Britney Spears ($16 million). Of course, Carey's fee was calculated at the going rate of $10,000 per every version of "Vision Of Love" she'll be asked to listen to without having a nervous breakdown or hurling her oversized Coca-Cola cup at the nearest production assistant, so maybe it's fair after all. Nevertheless, the season hasn't even started filming yet, and already rumors are starting of Carey behaving like a rude, entitled diva while guesting on the show in the past, but surely this very generous gift will have a humbling effect.

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