Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj Join ‘American Idol’ Judging Panel

Rapper Nicki Minaj and country superstar Keith Urban have been tapped as the newest judges on Fox TV’s hit show American Idol.

Fox officially announced the shows new judges on Sunday morning, only hours before judging for the new season was set to begin in New York City.

With two judges announced and Randy Jackson staying put as the only original American Idol judge, there will now be four people playing with the fate of contestants. Jackson, Minaj, and Urban join Mariah Carey on the four judge panel.

The search for American Idol judges heated up over the summer after both Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez of “the block” announced they would not return to the singing competition.

Judging for the show is now getting underway with a 12th season debut scheduled for January 2013.

With American Idol’s historical past of producing chart topping country singers, Keith Urban should be a welcomed addition to the team, marking the first time a country singer has played the role of judge on the show. The Urban move could also be seen as a direct attempt to counter the country superstar status of The Voice’s Blake Shelton.

American Idol is facing more competition than ever thanks to The Voice and X Factor; it will be interesting to see if yet another refreshed lineup can deliver the type of experience users are willing to tune in to watch.

Do you think the shows brand new judges were the right choice for American Idol?