Home Media American Idol: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban Would Miss Important Shows

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,

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
1 reply to this post
  1. To be honest, Keith’s main audience is NOT Australia – he has always been more popular in the US. This was one of the reasons why he was a judge on the Aussie version of The Voice – to try to raise his profile & support in Australia. In Australia, he was known mainly as Nicole’s husband. Many people just asked ‘Who is he?’. That stint on the View was a successful move for him – he then started to hit the charts with huge album sales. He came across really well on The Voice so I am not surprised that Idol grabbed him as a judge. If he were so worried about his Oz fans he would have stayed with The Voice. Idol is only shown here on cable which most Aussies don’t have. Wouldn’t be surprised if he re-schedules his Oz tour if he can book venues for other dates.

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