Every time the judging panel for Season 12 of ‘American Idol‘ starts to come into focus, a new rumor comes along to shake things up. The latest piece of gossip? Hip-hop king Kanye West is in talks to join Mariah Carey on the show, according to sources at TMZ.

Insiders “close to the production” of the show revealed that producers reached out to West, who “is on the fence” but hasn’t ruled out joining the singing competition show. If Kanye does decide to move forward, he would be paid a figure that would “at least match Mariah’s salary” of $18 million.

Would West be a good judge of vocal talent? The rapper tends to use Auto-Tune when he sings, but in songs like ‘Hey Mama,’ he proved he could carry a tune.

Carey is the only judge confirmed for next season, and she’s reportedly upset that Nicki Minaj is in negotiations as well. Carey was reportedly assured she would be the only female judge, and she’s not happy about the idea of the talented rapper signing on. In fact, Mariah hung up the phone when she was told Minaj is in the running.

Randy Jackson could still retain his spot, although some have speculated that he might shift to more of a mentor role and leave his chair for a new judge. There’s also a chance ‘Idol’ could go with four judges, even though that arrangement during the Kara DioGuardi years was never particularly popular with viewers. Enrique Iglesias, Adam Lambert, and country stars Brad Paisley and Keith Urban are among the top male candidates to join ‘Idol’ for Season 12, which starts in early 2013.

Watch the Kanye West ‘Mercy’ Video

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