Get ready to see a few new faces for American Idol Season 12′s debut. Joining the only returning judge, Randy Jackson, is superstar judge, Mariah Carey – the best-selling female recording artist of all time, four-time Grammy Award winner, Keith Urban and quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon, Nicki Minaj.
Auditions began last night in New York City where hopeful contests met host Ryan Seacrest and the new four-person panel of Carey, Jackson, Minaj and Urban. Other cities to host auditions include Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City.
“I am thrilled about this year’s judges’ panel! We’ve got global icon Mariah Carey and Idol’s heart and soul Randy Jackson who will be joined with Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. 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 wit him,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“We’re ecstatic to welcome Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban to the American Idol family, joining Mariah and Randy at the judges’ table,” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FrementleMedia. “Nicki is someone who represents a different side of the industry, who has now crossed into mainstream culture with her unique artistry, style and flair. Kieth is one of country music’s true stars who brings with him charm, with and knowledge about the industry.”
Executive producer Simon Fuller noted, “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.”
“Idol has truly never looked better,” said Marc Graboff, President of CORE Media Group (owner, 19 Entertainment). “We couldn’t be more pleased about this new team of judges, and, along with our partners at FOX and Fremantle, look forward to a terrific Season 12.”
American Idol Season 12 kicks off in January 2013 on Fox. For more info, visit americanidol.com.