The “American Idol” body count mounts. Both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj tweeted their exits at show judges on Thursday.

Judge Randy Jackson had tweeted his departure a while ago. And late last week, Fox reality TV programming chief announced he was calling it quits.

That leaves just judge Keith Urban, and host Ryan Seacrest.

Carey went first on Thursday, re-tweeting her public relations firm’s tweet:

“W/ global success of “#Beautiful” (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol.”

About two hours later, Minaj tweeted: “Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!”

In response, Fox network and the show’s producers pulled stastements out of their back pockets:


Nicki Minaj (Chris Pizzello/INVISION/AP)

“Mariah Carey is a true global icon — one of the most accomplished artists on the planet — and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the “American Idol” contestants this season.”

And then:

After Minaj’s, they went with: “Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to ‘American Idol’ and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best.”

Word is, the producers have abandoned the “polarizing celebrity judges” school of judge-table staffing, and are now hoping to populate it with “Idol”-produced stars — Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert, and Kelly Clarkson. This will also serve to remind us weekly that “Idol” is the only singing competition that actually has produced stars.