‘Idol’ judges official
After months of speculation and a rotating roster of bold-faced names, “American Idol” has finally made its decision. Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will be joining Mariah Carey at the judges table for season 12, and veteran host Randy Jackson will fill out the fourth slot, Fox announced Sunday. Minaj, 29, and Urban, 44, will be taking over the seats vacated by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler from previous seasons, a decision that The Hollywood Reporter calls an attempt to shake things up for the singing competition show. “It’s official, your new #IdolJudges are @MariahCarey, @NickiMinaj, @KeithUrban & @Yo_RandyJackson!” host Ryan Seacrest tweeted early Sunday morning. Just last month, rumors that Minaj would take a spot at the judges table began to circulate, accompanied by claims that Carey, 42, was unhappy with the decision because she wanted to be the only woman on the panel. TMZ reported that Carey hung up on a phone call with producers after news that Minaj was negotiating with producers broke. Carey shot down the reports, retorting to paparazzi, “Tension? What tension?” when asked about reports there were problems between the two. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Carey will still be paid the highest salary of all the judges, snagging close to $18 million for her one-year gig, making her the highest-paid judge on a singing competition show. Her predecessor, Jennifer Lopez, raked in $15 million for her second season. Minaj will take home $8 million for her contributions, and Urban will take home just $4 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jackson, the last of the remaining original judges, was originally rumored to be stepping down as a judge and moving into a mentoring role, but a source close to the show confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter last week that he would indeed be returning as a judge. Auditions for the show’s 12th season will kick off Sunday in New York.