"She was being hotly pursued," the source explains. "They really wanted her."
Ultimately, Perry turned them down, and execs have continued their search to replace Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson (who will vacate his seat on the panel and instead serve as a mentor during the upcoming season). A number of other names have been bandied about as possible Idol additions, including Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, Keith Urban and Nick Jonas, though none at this point have been confirmed.
In late July, Mariah Carey officially signed on to judge, accepting an $18 million payday -- making her the highest-paid judge on any music competition show.
Carey's show predecessor Lopez, pulled in about $12 million per Idol season; Christina Aguilera negotiated a reported $10 million for the third season of The Voice, while Britney Spears will rake in an approximate $16 million for her stint on The X Factor.