Mariah Carey on ‘American Idol’: Ex-Judge Paula Abdul Weighs in on the Singer’s Hiring

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Mariah's 'Idol' Promo Pics
Mariah Carey stuns in first 'Idol' portrait.
Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul says  Mariah Careywill hit a high note when she joins the hit show as a new judge.

“She will do great,” the 50-year-old said at a UCLA event to motivate and empower high school and college students on Thursday.

So why does Abdul think Carey will be a solid judge?

“She is someone with such sustainability,” Abdul said, pointing to Carey’s hit-making status and staying power.

Carey, 42, was confirmed as the newest judge on the Idol panel on July 23 after the public exit of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

While Abdul told Celebuzzshe’s hesitant to talk about her days on Idol, she did tell the nearly 500 students in attendance that former co-judge Simon Cowell was an inspiration — and her worst nightmare.

“Simon did end up being one of my best teachers because I had to learn to dig deep inside and find a way to fight back with integrity,” said Abdul, who left the FOX show in 2009.

And while the singer/dancer admits to still getting a “nervous tick” every time she hears the name “Simon,” she says that the caustic Brit eventually learned to take her seriously after she consistently stayed true to herself.

Abdul spoke at UCLA on behalf of the LEAP Foundation, a motivational leadership program for high school and college students that teaches skills needed for success.

Aside from dishing on Idol, she gave advice to students looking to make it big and revealed how she learned to never give up — no matter how many times people told her “no.”

Her best advice for students afraid of failing: “There are no winners or losers; some have the winner mentality, and some give up a little too soon.”

Idol has yet to reveal who will sit beside Carey in the judge’s seat when the competition comes back to the Fox network in the fall.

Carey, meanwhile, dropped her brand-new single, “Triumphant,” on Thursday. The song — the first offering from her upcoming album — features rappers Meek Mill and Rick Ross.

Do you think Mariah will hit a high note on Idol?  Sound off below.

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