Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban Confirmed as ‘American Idol’ Judges
After rumors circulating over the summer, first with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler departing and then regarding who would take their places, the judges panel for American Idol was finalized today. Joining Mariah Carey – the only constant up until this point – are Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. Randy Jackson is also returning to the show, after rumors of departure.
Without a moment to settle into their new roles, the judges get to work today, with auditions starting in New York City. Episodes start to air in January 2013. About the choice Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment at Fox, stated: "I am thrilled about this year’s judges’ panel. Nicki’s an unbelievably captivating international phenomenon who has made an indelible mark on rap and pop. And Keith is another great addition to ‘Idol’ – he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him."
What do you think about the choice of judges? Is the shift from behind-the-scenes to music industry execs to semi has-been performers to current chart-toppers a move to compete with NBC’s The Voice? Who else should have been included?
Aside from rumors about Minaj and Urban, Nick Jonas and Pharrell Williams were both considered at one point. Carey, at one point, fumed over the potential decision to include Nicki Minaj and, instead, preferred Lenny Kravitz. At the end of August, as well, Jackson was reportedly leaving the show, but this week, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the long-time judge is still on the panel.
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