On Sunday, September 16, the revamped American Idol judging panel made its official debut in New York. Country artist Keith Urban and pop/hip hop artist Nicki Minaj joined previously confirmed judges pop diva Mariah Carey and music producer Randy Jackson to begin the process of sending season 12's Idol hopefuls to Hollywood.
Well, I must say that the new panel is definitely an eclectic bunch. I think, well, more so, I hope that they each serve their new roles roles well.
Mariah Carey knows what great singing is supposed to sound like. She's Mariah Carey. In the same token, I don't think we're ever going to hear her tell the contestants that they've had the best vocal performance she's ever heard, because again, she's Mariah Carey.
My hope for Mariah on the panel is that she'll weed out the mediocre singers to make room the ones with legitimate talent.
I am all for having Keith Urban on the panel. I watched him as one of the coaches on The Voice Austrailia, and I feel like he'll be that motivator for the contestants to do their best, but he'll also not be afraid to share constructive feedback. I feel like he's exactly the type of judge that Idol's been missing during the last few seasons.
Plus, with the influx of country singers trying to make it on the show, he should be able to pinpoint which ones are the real deal and would be able to shine doing country music past their run on the show.
The addition of Nicki Minaj on paper makes it seem like she's only there to boost ratings. However, I think it actually behooves Idol to have a legit, modern-day pop artist on their panel.