The legendary diva, aged 42, is claimed by Deadline to be negotiating a deal worth £10.8m to appear on the panel of the reality show, which would eclipse Britney Spears' £9.6 pay packet for appearing on The X Factor USA.
Mariah's was one of the first names in the frame after both Tyler and Lopez announced their departures last week - although Charlie Sheen and Aretha Franklin both later threw their hats in the ring too.
But Mariah's hubby Nick Cannon later told TMZ: "I don't know if they can afford Mariah Carey, that's a lot of money."
If Mimi is officially onboard, one big question remains: Who will sit next to her? There's been no word so far about whether lone remaining judge Randy Jackson will stick around for season 12, but Us Weekly reported last week that he is considering a lateral move from judge to mentor on the show.
Everyone from Nicki Minaj to Katy Perry has been proposed as Carey's possible seatmates - so watch this space.
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