American Idol auditions begin tonight in New York City so you would think the show would have its judging panel locked in before the weekend, but no. According to the New York Times' Bill Carter, the ink on the contracts with Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban is fresh.
Yeah, Fox didn't nail down Minaj and Urban until this weekend. And taping starts Sunday night. It's been the worst kept secret in America that Urban and Minaj were joining the show's judging panel, filling the holes left by Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. But rumors persisted about the judges all summer. At one point Nick Jonas was apparently considering the job. The panel of judges is getting a total overhaul for this season, with Randy Jackson being the only one remaining from the show's first season. At one point, Jackson wasn't even going to be on anymore. But then he was! Yay for Randy Jackson. Oh, and Mariah Carey is on the show now too.
Idol's adding so many people you actually know because it has to compete with Britney Spears on X-Factor (joined the face of orignal Idol, cranky ol' Simon Cowell) and Cee-Lo and X-Tina on The Voice. There are only so many people who can sing in America, but TV is determined to find all of them, and they will have every existing pop star judging you while they do it.