After weeks and months of rumors and inside sources reporting on all the behind the scenes negotiations, the judging panel for American Idol
season 12 has not only been confirmed, but the newly unveiled foursome have already completed their first day on the job together.
Joining Randy Jackson, who was initially demoted to a mentor position before being reinstated
after Enrique Iglesias' deal fell through, and the previously announced
Mariah Carey is R&B/rap performer Nicki Minaj and country music singer Keith Urban.
Auditions for season 12 began on Sunday, and continue today, in New York City. (The remaining stops include Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City.)
Show creator Simon Fuller said in a press release
, "With the exciting addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, alongside Randy Jackson, American Idol
's star power has never been so great. For this we have to thank the ongoing commitment and belief of FOX and the dedication and focus of the Idol
production team. We have all been together since the very beginning and we are focused on making Idol
Season 12 the best ever."
Now that the judges have been confirmed, and more important, they've already started work, what will the new members to the Idol
family be like as judges? During yesterday's official announcement, Urban said he won't be mean
: "I was crucified by a judge so I don't know if I'll ever be that guy, but we all want to truthfully know what we're doing right and wrong." The country singer is not new to the singing competition scene. He was a coach on The Voice
in Australia, but quit last week
once his Idol
deal was being finalized.
And what about Mariah Carey? "I won't be judging," she says. "I don't like the word judging. I'll be guiding. What I want is to be honest, someone the contestants can go to for guidance as opposed to being the mean one [or] the nice one. I'm not about that. I am what I am. ... [American Idol
season 12] is not about 'Me! Me! Me!' It's about them and what I can bring to help guide them in the right direction." So it seems like she wants to be a mentor while still being honest.
It is unclear what kind of judge Minaj will be, but if she's anything like she is on Twitter, expect her to not be afraid to tell the truth. But as we've seen over the years on Idol
, only time will tell if they'll be anything like their persona off the show. And Randy? Since he was initially demoted, maybe having that close call will help him to improve his judging skills.
Now that the judges are confirmed, do you have high hopes for season 12? Will Carey, Minaj and Urban help the ratings? And more important, will they help bring in a high caliber of talent?
(Image courtesy of FOX)