MARIAH Carey is reportedly now the highest earning judge on reality television.

It was announced that the mother-of-two will step into Jennifer Lopez’s shoes for the next season of American Idol. And now TMZ claims that the singing diva will rake in close to $18 million in her deal for the popular talent show. The contract is a lot more than Jenny From The Block received for her first year which was just $12 million.

Meanwhile, Britney Spears had just set the precedent when she signed a $15 million for The X Factor. But Mariah is now sitting at the top of the list, although she is already worth a reported $500 million.

Former Idol judge Simon Cowell said that he was ‘happy’ for Mariah in her new role.

‘I like Mariah,’ he told reporters at a critic’s session. ‘I think she’s going to find it difficult to say no. You’ve got to say no to people and she’s sweet. No, I think she’ll be great.’          –GN