American Idol‘s season 12 judges have been officially announced — Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj are joining Randy Jackson. Jackson was thought to have his foot out the door, but he remains an Idol staple. Urban and Minaj had been rumored to be in the mix, but now it’s definite. See the new Idol family photo left!
The payday for Minaj is reported to be $12 million for a one-year deal. Urban’s camp wouldn’t state the Aussie’s compensation.
These three will join Mariah Carey on the panel now expanded to four members from its previous three. Carey is receiving just shy of $18 million for a one-year contract with a renewal option.
At Lincoln Center auditions Urban said he plans to be an authentic but not cruel to the contestants. ”I did similar shows when I was very young in Australia and I was sort of crucified by one judge. So I don’t know that I’ll ever be THAT guy.” Minaj said she’s looking for “a superstar, something that can’t be defined in words.” Jackson called Minaj and Urban “fresh, fresh, fresh!” At least he didn’t call them “dawg”!
Minaj, he said, “brings a whole other cool vibe we’ve never had on the show, and Keith Urban? My God, he’s unbelievably talented!”
Carey said she didn’t know what kind of judge she would be. ”Am I the mean one? Am I the nice one? … It’s not about me, me, me, it’s about them (the contestants) and what I can bring to them to help guide them in the right direction.”
The 12th season premieres in January.