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American Idol Considered Replacing Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj Midseason; Jennifer Lopez Might Return

Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez Jason Merritt/Getty Images

How many divas can one panel handle?!

American Idol is trying to figure that out. A source tells E! News exclusively that the show's producers considered replacing both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj midseason. "They considered everything," explains the source. "Including replacing just one and replacing both."

According to one source, Jennifer Lopez was considered as a possible Mariah placement until Mariah's team "went ballistic." The Hollywood Reporter (who was first to report this potential prime time shake-up) reports that this idea was squashed when Mariah's people responded with a "threat of litigation."

NEWS: Are Nicki and Mariah really "secret friends?"

But a source tells E! News J.Lo "is not coming back as a judge." She will, however, hopefully be back for the finale as a performer. (Mariah is said to be "not pleased" with this possibility.)

"Everyone has been sorely missing [Jennifer]," says a source. And while her people are "in talks" with producers for a finale performance, no deal has been reached just yet.

As for what's next in the Idol world? "There will definitely be changes to the judging panel for next season," says a source. "Fox thought the Nicki-Mariah contrast would make for ratings, but there is concern it is like nails on [a] chalkboard for middle-America viewers."

NEWS: Who from Idol is trying to get on Glee?

And while show producers "love Nicki," her seat at the panel next season isn't guaranteed. "She isn't likely to go," says a source. "But it depends on who else gets the other spots."

A spokesperson for American Idol, however, tells E! News not to pay any attention to the casting chatter, saying, "This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale."

Hm. Barbs? Lambs? J.Lovers? What do you wanna see?

PHOTOS: American Idol alums—see where they are now!

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