American Idol Season 12 returns with a special two-night premiere on January 16-17 at 8pm ET on FOX. The judges, including Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, along with host Ryan Seacrest spoke at TCA 2013, giving hints about what fans can expect in the new season
Here is what we know from the panel:
Country music will continue to make a strong appearance in the new season. On the subject, Jackson said, "I think we've always embraced [country music," and that the show embraces "all art forms."
The fights aren't only with the girls. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said, "Whatever feuds there have been, it hasn't just been with Nicki and Mariah."
Jackson added, "We've always, every season, had passionate people," citing "heated moments" between him and Simon Fuller on past seasons. He described their group as a "wild, dysfunctional family," to which Carey responded by saying that they "put the fun in dysfunctional."
As for the ladies, Carey said they had a "very passionate panel," and that "there are a lot of strong personalities." She spoke about how it was "great is that there is such a diverse group of people."
It's not all fighting behind the scenes. "I say nice things about Mariah all the time," Minaj said about her co-judge Carey, adding that "she's really shaped a generation of singers." Carey agreed that they didn't only fight all the time, saying that all the talk of nothing but fights was "a distraction from the show and from the contestants." The ladies actually got along throughout the panel, acting overly polite to each other but still joking around and keeping the crowd very well entertained.
Saying "no" is hard. When asked what the hardest part of their jobs was, most of the judges agree that it was saying "no" and having to reject contestants. Minaj, however, said that aspect of being a judge wasn't so hard as she felt like they were there to do a job and she had no problem telling someone the truth. She added, "I don't feel the need to send someone through just because of a good story."
Girls will be strong contestants this year. Asked about the strength of the contestants this year, Lythgoe said "the girls are pretty strong this year, stronger than the boys." He said the change was a breath of fresh as "we've had a long run of what we call 'white boys with guitars'."
Who goes to Hollywood is not about percentages. When asked about the numbers of people that are sent to Hollywood after the first auditions, we were told that the number of people who go through is not about percentages, but about how much talent they see in each city.
What do you think of the news that the judges revealed about the upcoming season? Are you looking forward to more fighting or do you think it's a distraction from the show?
American Idol Season 12 returns on January 16-17 at 8pm ET on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)