After months of speculation, rumors, hype and insanity, American Idol has finally settled on a new judging panel for season 12. Returning is veteran Randy Jackson (who many thought might transition to a mentor role but didn’t), plus Grammy nominated rapper/headline maker Nicki Minaj, multiple Grammy winning country superstar Keith Urban and iconic Grammy winning pop superstar Mariah Carey. The first picture of the judges along with Emmy nominated host Ryan Seacrest is below. They already started working together this past Sunday with the taping of the first open auditions. I have no doubt it will be a juicy fun season. Here’s why…
Randy Jackson: is the veteran who will represent stability on the panel and grew as a type of moderator on the panel last year. It will also be fun to see how he works with Carey who he also manages and has been friends with forever.
Mariah Carey: she clearly knows music with more # 1 singles than anyone in history except The Beatles, has sold over 200 million records worldwide and has an incredible voice. She actually knows how to sing (hello Paula and J Lo!) and she’s a great songwriter, so she has the background and the insight needed for critical judgement. She’s also a little loopy so that will be fun.
Keith Urban: he’s an accomplished singer and songwriter and brings the country fan base that the show has been riding high on for the past few years. (Hello, Carrie Underwood is a huge star while Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington, Casey James and Kellie Pickler have all found post-Idol success on the country charts.) Urban also seems like the most “sane” and intelligent of the judges and that’s a good thing.
Nicki Minaj: this firecracker is a wild card. She’s all kinds of fun and crazy and she brings the youth vote. Most importantly, the girl is very honest and outspoken. She’s surely gonna read a girl if need be.
So, there are your new judges. I’m actually very excited for this panel. It’s fresh and fun and should continue Idol‘s success as the best and foremost singing competition show and the ONLY show to actually and continually produce multiple viable pop stars. (Yes, Phillip Phillips‘ is the latest and his song “Home” is an undeniable smash selling over 1.5 million copies and a hit in four different airplay formats: Pop, Hot AC, AC and AAA)…. So, what do you think of the new judges? Are you excited for the new American Idol? Let me hear it below.