If you think the girls seem a bit stronger than the guys on American Idol 2013 this sesason, you’re not alone! In fact, Season 12 judge Keith Urban tells Wetpaint Entertainment that he’s noticed the same thing.

“[I]t’s absolutely a girl’s year to win, in my opinion,” Keith said during a Fox conference call on February 20. “That’s not to say the guys aren’t strong because they really are. It’s really more a testament to how strong the girls are this year.”

Could that be due to the fact that an iconic female vocalist like
Mariah Carey has joined the judges’ table? Keith certainly thinks that helps.

Keith points out that Mariah is “inarguably one of the world’s great vocalists period,” and that any girl “would love the opportunity to sing for Mariah and get feedback from her and get direction from her.” No argument here!

Speaking of the American Idol judges, Keith might not seem to have much in common with Nicki Minaj, but he says he “clicked with Nicki right from the get-go.” Who knew!

Even since the first day he met her, “what I really liked about Nicki was just her straight-shooting directism,” Keith explains. “For me, growing up in Australia, I like being around people that are just absolutely raw and straight and tell it like it is.”

That’s funny, considering what we love about Keith is how much of a sweetheart he is!