The speculation now is that Randy Jackson–who seems to have survived a brutal internal tug of war — and Mariah Carey–whom Jackson manages–will be joined at the “American Idol” judges’s desk by country star Keith Urban and hip hop R&B creation Nicki Minaj. (I’m actually enjoying her music, especially “Starships.”) But there are issues: Minaj has a tour set for the entire fall outside the US. She’s gone from October 21 to December 8. Gone, as in Australia, New Zealand, the UK. If she’s a judge she’ll miss the audition shows, but be ready for the new season when it starts in January.
On the other hand, Urban has gigs in Australia from January 25th to February 3rd. That may not seem like much, but “Idol” will be live with February sweeps that week. Everyone has to be at the desk. Urban would have to cancel those shows. It could be done, but he’s Australian, after all, and he’s married Aussie Nicole Kidman. That’s his main audience. They love him. From the looks of the Australian ticket site, the shows look sold out and in hot demand. That’s a problem.
In the end, though, Keith will be a great judge. And he’s just resigned from judging on Australia’s “The Voice,” presumably to join “American Idol.”
As for Mariah, I have no doubt her judging time will be memorable. She’ll be the Judge Judy of “Idol.”
And then there’s Randy. I said months ago he was the heart and soul of “Idol.” I’m sure that Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe see that now that the “X Factor” ratings are a disaster. Getting rid of Paula Abdul, replacing her with Twinkie Demi Lovato and basket case Britney Spears may not have been the solution after all. “Idol” should see this as a lesson: Randy is a stabilizing force.
And Nicki Minaj: I am really enjoying her music. She’s the X rated Lene Lovich,