Nigel Lythgoe and the other folks behind the American Idol machine maintain the reason they produce hitmakers is they don’t focus on the judges as much as their competitors. You know how when someone tells you not to think about something, and then that’s all you can think about? You know where we’re going with that, right? It seems that the new panel of American Idol 2013 udges is the only thing anyone’s been talking about these days.

So just what does someone earn for eyerolls, hair tosses, and “NickiNames,” anyway? File that under “things that make you go hmmm,” so we did a little digging. If the online rumor mill has it all correct, this is how the salaries break down:

The Ultimate Diva and Mrs. Nick Cannon, Mariah Carey -- $18 million

She who doles out her “NickiNames” and lusts after all the boys, Nicki Minaj -- $12 million

American Idol’s resident hunk who is representing the Country folk, Keith Urban -- $4 million

And The Dawg, Randy Jackson -- ??? -- We don’t know for sure, but we know it’s a pretty penny, as he was ready to walk away from it all, but American Idol 2013 lured him back into the fold. Let’s not forget that he also pockets a portion of Mariah’s sizable earnings.

Keith’s bounty seems a mere pittance compared to the others but, of course, it’s nothing to sniff at either. And now that Idol has become the “Nicki Minaj Show,” you can guess her number will be much higher should the rapper-turned-judge return for another season.

What’s also interesting is that, before Mariah secured the position yet, her husband, Nick Cannon, was aiming high when it came to what she’d have to earn. As he told TMZ, “American Idol would need to show Carey some big bucks to get her to sign on. I don’t know if they can afford Mariah Carey,” going on to brag, “That’s a lot of money. If they gave J.Lo $20 million, they might have to double that.” Talk about a reality check. Ouch.

Salaries aside, no one can discount the tremendous exposure each of these judges get for their own brand. American Idol is all-powerful when it comes to influence and that, my friends, is priceless.

Sources: Huffington Post, Yahoo! Music