American Idol fans lucky enough to live near 11 select cities have been invited to participate in a screening of the Season 12 premiere. Next week Wednesday, Jan. 9, beginning at 7 p.m. eastern, the premiere will be shown at various locations in New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, and Nashville. In order to RSVP for the event, those interested in attending can visit www.idolrsvp.com and provide their contact information. They will then receive an e-mail confirmation. It is important to note that while all seating is free, it is on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of whether or not you are on the guest list.
At 8:30 p.m. eastern, following the advanced showing of the premiere, a live question and answer session with the new judging panel, moderated by Ryan Seacrest, will be broadcast to all cities. (If you can't attend the event, it will also stream live on the show's official website). You can even submit questions for the judges by visiting the American Idol Facebook or Twitter pages.
With the show's official premiere date set for Jan. 16 at 8/7 p.m. central, anticipation is growing on what Season 12 will bring with a new set of judges. After the departure of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler this past summer, Randy Jackson is now joined by Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, who each bring their own talents and lists of credentials and come from various walks of life.
Randy Jackson has been the only judge to remain on the show for all 12 seasons. He started out early on by coining the term "dawg," which has stuck with him throughout the years. As his former judging panel departed, Randy took on the role left vacant after Simon Cowell's exit by moving his chair down the row and becoming more harsh on the contestants. He is also well-known for producing music and playing bass for the band Journey.
Randy has worked closely with Mariah Carey throughout the years, making it no surprise that Mariah was the first new judge to sign on for Season 12. She has garnered the most attention in recent years for marrying Nick Cannon, host of America's Got Talent, and giving birth to the couple's twin children. Professionally, Mariah has an incredibly unique voice that soars through five octaves and has won plenty of awards. She will be sure to intimidate contestants with her powerful, diva presence.
Keith Urban is the first country singer to join the show in any capacity, much less a judge. From Australia and married to Nicole Kidman, Keith has found success in the country world as he battled with alcoholism and fought his way to sobriety. He has joined Idol at an opportune time, as artists like Skylar Laine, Scotty McCreery, and Lauren Alaina have turned country music into a huge part of the show. After their success, it is clear that country artists on American Idol are here to stay.
Nicki Minaj is the youngest judge and also the newest to the music scene. She was born in Trinidad and released her first album, entitled "Pink Friday," in the United States in November of 2010. After her follow-up album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," was released in April of 2012, Nicki has established herself in the music industry as a rapper and is sure to make a statement on the show with her crazy outfits, wigs, and accents.
Don't forget to tune into the two-night premiere of American Idol Season 12, which will air for two hours each night on Jan. 16 and 17 beginning at 8/7 p.m. central. Will you watch this season? Are you excited about the new judges? Which judge is your favorite? Leave a comment below!