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New 'American Idol' judges announced: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban

Season 12 of "American Idol" will soon be here and decisions have been made regarding the newest judges to join the panel after the departure of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. What some may call the most influential woman in hip hop music, Nicki Minaj and country music crooner and husband of Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, joins "American Idol" judges. The panel is formed just in time to meet the newest round of hopefully at the upcoming New York auditions.

Nicki Minaj attends the 'American Idol' Judges And Host Photo Call at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 16, 2012 in New York City.
(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Minaj and Urban join the previously announced judge Mariah Carey. The Hollywood Gossip reports “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 with him,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment for Fox.

“With an unparalleled star like Mariah, fan-favorite Randy, chart-toppers like Nicki and Keith and our incomparable host Ryan [Seacrest], we’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around.”

Reality television shows have been making singer/songwriter/performer big money. The Guardian (UK) reports that Carey will receive almost $18m (£11m) for her appearance on American Idol, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Minaj's contract is reportedly worth $12m (£7.4m), while Urban receives $6m (£3.6m). American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has committed to two more seasons for $15m (£9.2m) each.

Who else was on the wish list? Rumor has it that Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, alum Adam Lambert, were interested or "American Idol" was interested in them.

Judge Randy Jackson will be the only last season judge to return to the "Idol."

What do you think? Are these good choices? Could be just the shaking up that "American Idol" needs after losing a good portion of it's audience during the last season and it's definitely a more musically representative panel.


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