Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban Joining American Idol

After three months of speculation, Fox announced that Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban are joining the judges panel for this upcoming American Idol season. Other two already confirmed judges are Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson, replacing J-Lo and Steven Tyler who departed at the end of last season.

Host Ryan Seacrest remains, while Jimmy Iovine is expected to give his commentaries as always.

Carey’s contract with the show is worth close to $18 million while Minaj will pocket $8 million for her part and Urban will get half the price. Ryan Seacrest earns $15 million a year and his commitment is for two more years, while the new judges are in for one year.

Hopefully the new judges will bring more public after years of declining ratings.

Auditions for Idol kicked off in New York City Sunday and other cities as Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte and San Antonio are next. Mariah shared this pictureof the judges and Ryan on Instagram

American Idol returns in January 2013.

Noe I. for Windows of the World

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