Ryan Seacrest is fending off reports Mariah Carey has been ousted from the judging panel of American Idol to be replaced by former judge Jennifer Lopez.
The Hollywood Reporter claimed on Tuesday producers had planned to replace the diva with former judge Jennifer Lopez in a bid to save floundering ratings.
According to Ryan, who hosts the televised singing competition, there’s no truth to the gossip.
“I had not heard about that before that report. I saw Mariah that day and she was firmly planted in that seat, and I see her tonight and I think she was firmly planted in that seat, I don’t think she is going anywhere,” he told Extra.
Mariah is believed to have signed an $18 million contract to join the show this season. She judges alongside Randy Jackson, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.
The women on the panel have traded barbs on camera for months amid reports their ongoing feuds are distracting from Idol contestants.
Fellow judge Randy Jackson contends claims producers want Mariah out are ludicrous.
“You hear rumours about these shows all the time. This one was so ridiculous of an idea… Anyway, I think that would have hurt a lot of things,” he said.
Jennifer left the show after one season last year to focus on her music and acting careers.
She did hint she might return though.
"I'm telling the absolute truth in that I really have been torn," she told Ryan last July.
"It all kind of worked together for a while, but it just gets more complicated... And something has to give and that's, I think, where I am right now.
"You don't want to shut the door completely. But you know the time has come."
Network executives at Fox have dismissed the claims.
© Cover Media