American Idol’s squad of newcomers — Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — have now joined the judging table with long-timer Randy Jackson for Season 12, and the foursome began auditions for the show in New York this week.
The Insider caught up with the gang as they tackled their first rounds of singers, and each of the new judges shared how they plan to handle their judging duties.
“What I want to be is honest,” Mariah said. “Someone the contestants can go to for guidance as opposed to being the mean one [or] the nice one... I'm a producer, I've made a lot of records, I've toured all over the world ... It's about them and what I can bring to them to help guide them in the right direction."
Keith added that he knows first-hand what it’s like to be flayed by a critic, so he’ll be choosing his words wisely. “I was crucified by a judge so I don't know if I'll ever be that guy, but we all want to truthfully know what we're doing right and wrong,” he explained. Meanwhile, Nicki set her sights set on finding a “superstar,” which she thinks is “something that can't be described in words. It's a thing you can feel. It's a presence.”
So, how did this all work out for their first turn at auditions?
According to MJsBigBlog, the judges made good on their promises not to be mean and issued rejections nicely.
Mariah was reportedly “quiet” but captured the admiration of many of the would-be Idols, while Nicki was a bit louder and had a “quirky” approach to speaking with hopefuls. Meanwhile, Keith was “down to earth” and Randy led the team and encouraged his co-judges to share their opinions.
Despite their denials of any early feuding, Mariah and Nicki apparently had some catty exchanges and quarreled over two auditioners.