After several weeks of rumors, Fox has finally announced rapper Nicki Minaj and Australian country music singer and songwriter Keith Urban will officially join the 'American Idol' judges' panel. The panel is now complete with Fox confirming the name of new judges for the twelfth season of 'American Idol' which is about to start in January 2013. The Fox network has made the official announcement on Sunday that the duo will join pop diva Mariah Carey and returning judge Randy Jackson in the judges' panel. The panel now expanded to four members from its previous three.
The confirmation included months of speculation, rumors and behind-the-scenes reports about the show's judging panel that saw popular singers like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Adam Lambert and Nick Jonas as possible judges. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who served as judges of the show for the tenth and eleventh season alongside Randy Jackson, left the show at the end of July. Jackson's arrival was made official, following months of speculation and rumors that Jackson would return not as a judge, but as a mentor. Ryan Seacrest will remain serving as the host for the 12th season of the popular talent show.
The 29-year old American rapper, singer and songwriter Nicki Minaj has been making mixtape tracks since 2004 and she also won the award for 'Female Artist of the Year' in 2008 at the Underground Music Awards. She also became the first female rapper to have seven songs listed in the Billboard Hot 100, in 2010. The 44-year old, four-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban has 14 No.1 hits, and was also awarded with 'Male Vocal Artist of the Year' three times. The Australian singer and songwriter is married to film star Nicole Kidman.
Though American Idol remains the top entertainment TV series, the show has seen its viewership erode in last season. One of the problems behind the declining rating is that marketplace has become more crowded with shows like Fox's 'X Factor' and NBC's 'The Voice'. With new faces on board, Idol is looking forward to supercharge the show to boost the ratings of the aging series or at least to stabilize its declining figures. The judges immediately got into action, taking auditions of singers at New York's Lincoln Center.