Details about the new, updated American Idol judges’ tables have been leaking out for months now (“MARIAH IS IN TALKS.” “SOURCES SAY NICKI MINAJ IS FINALIZING A DEAL.” “KANYE? MAYBE.” “PRODUCERS HAVE REACHED OUT TO A VERY COOL DOG NAMED VOLTRON.”), but this Sunday Fox confirmed what we’ve all pretty much expected for a while: the judges for the show’s 12th season will be Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj, country singer Keith Urban, and, uh, Randy Jackson, who is starting to get a “graduated three years ago but keeps showing up to parties in his letterman jacket and hitting on sophomores and it’s really weirding everyone out” feel to him. From Deadline:
As expected for the past week, Fox made the formal announcement this morning as all four judges get set to appear at American Idol auditions in New York today. Minaj’s contract is rumored to be in the $10 million to $12 million range. Urban, who quit his gig as a judge on the Australian version of The Voice late last week, is rumored to be earning about $3 million to $5 million next season. “With an unparalleled star like Mariah, fan-favorite Randy, chart-toppers like Nicki and Keith and our incomparable host Ryan, we’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around,” said Mike Darnell, Fox’s President of Alternative Entertainment today.
Well now that that’s settled, I suppose all we can do is sit back and see how things play out. With this many strong personalities in one room, I guess the real question is how they’ll all mesh once the cameras start rolling, and whether people will start trying to spin some narrative about bickering and bacstabbi-
[cameras whoosh, TMZ gong-gong sound effect]
Carey and Nicki Minaj went at it during the first “A.I.” taping Sunday in NYC. When Nicki started critiquing a contestant, Mariah would interrupt — not once, but many times. Each time Mariah interrupted, Nicki fought back by loudly talking over Mariah.
One “A.I.” spy said Mariah and Nicki tried to cover their disdain for each other but everyone saw through it, adding, “These girls just don’t like each other.”
That did not take long.