The new panel of American Idol judges for the 12th season was announced on Sunday after much anticipation and will add Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj while keeping fan favorite Randy Jackson, TMZ reported.
Joined with host Ryan Seacrest, the new Idol judges arrived at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York City for the first day of auditions.
With what seems like a crashing popularity wave, it makes sense to seek out judges who are already famous to help bolster ratings.
The addition of Mariah Carey came as no surprise; reports had come out in July that the pop star had signed a $17-18 million contract for one year with an option for renewal.
Adding some very contemporary panache to the panel, rumors of Nicki Minaj joining the judges started circulating over a month ago. Reportedly, she will be earning around $12 million for her work on the show. Major Idol fans are saying her addition is vital to help keep ratings up, although other fans have scoffed at what some consider her inability to sing, MTV reported:
“Of course, as Yaneza noted, Minaj’s hiring has left some “Idol” fanatics hollering. But as the show enters its 12th season, perhaps that’s a good thing. After all, if ever there was a show in need of a shot in the arm, it’s “American Idol.”"
The interactions between the new Idol judges should be particularly interesting this season, seeing as Mariah has allegedly said she “hates” Minaj.
Possibly in hopes to appeal to the country demographic of American viewers, country superstar Keith Urban will also be joining the panel for a contract worth somewhere between $3-4 million.
The show is set to air in January.