It’s no secret.
American Idol is looking for new judges for Season 12 and at least one of them has to sing country.
Ever since rock star Steven Tyler and pop diva Jennifer Lopez said goodbye to their Idol followers after two years of serving as judges in the famed singing competition, American Idol has been on the lookout for its new set of judges to join Grammy winner Mariah Carey and the show’s veteran judge, record producer and former Journey bassist Randy Jackson.
Many names have already come up including those of Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Celine Dion and Mary J. Blige.
Interestingly, out of the 8 on the list, 3 of them are country stars.
Looking back at past Idol winners and contestants who made it big in the country arena including Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Diana DeGarmo, Bucky Covington, Phil Stacey, Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler and original winner Kelly Clarkson, it’s not surprising for American Idol to hunt for a country singer as one of the judges to represent the genre that’s quite popular among its audience voters.
According to some insiders, Toby Keith had already turned down the offer to judge in the show and Brad Paisley is not considering joining the panel because he was not satisfied with AI’s offer.
Just recently, Keith Urban’s name surfaced in the news as the country singer to have landed the job.
Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban to close deals with ‘American Idol’
According to reports, the New Zealander-Australian country singer, who was a “coach” in the Australian edition of ‘The Voice’ that debuted last April, had already met with the show’s executives and is very close to signing a deal with American Idol along with rapper Nicki Minaj.
Urban is said to be set on receiving between $3-4 million for his salary as judge while Minaj will get $8 million.
When asked about Urban’s possible role as judge on American Idol, former AI and Grammy winner Carrie Underwood gave her thumbs up. According to the country superstar whose best selling hits include number one singles such as “Before He Cheats”, “Wasted” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel”, a country singer would be the “wise” choice given the show’s audience who has constantly been voting for contestants that were leaning more towards the country genre.
Carrie Underwood thinks ‘Idol’ needs Keith Urban
If Keith Urban inks the deal with American Idol, he could be the show’s answer to one of its rivals, TV reality singing competition ‘The Voice’, who has famous country singer Blake Shelton as one of its judges.
With 9 albums on his belt, 14 singles that reached number one on the US country charts, Grammy, Teen Choice, CMA and CMT awards among others, and a huge fan base, Keith Urban deserves a seat on the American Idol panel of judges.
With American Idol’s fans’ seeming infatuation with country music, it would be interesting to see who would take home the prize next season.
After all, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are two strong forces that will provide their own brand of music in the mix.
It seems like American Idol, after 10 years of lording it over on primetime TV, is working very hard to stay fresh and relevant.
In the world of ratings and audience shares, who it will have as its new set of judges will definitely take the show where it deserves to be.
At least, up until another vocal powerhouse like Kelly Clarkson, a country princess like Carrie Underwood or a global favorite like Jessica Sanchez shows up in the audition rooms.