Hollywood's worst kept secret is finally confirmed. FOX has officially announced on Sunday, September 16 that Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will join previously-confirmed judge Mariah Carey and original judge Randy Jackson in the judging panel in the 12th season of "American Idol".
"With the exciting addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, alongside Randy Jackson, American Idol's star power has never been so great," executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement. "For this we have to thank the ongoing commitment and belief of FOX and the dedication and focus of the Idol production team. We have all been together since the very beginning and we are focused on making Idol Season 12 the best ever."
On the same day of the announcement, the four judges were scheduled to attend the first audition session in New York. This means that the show is going back to the four-judges format that it abandoned two seasons ago. Speaking of confidence for the new additions, FOX's reality programming chief Mike Darnell said, "Nicki's an unbelievably captivating international phenomenon who has made an indelible mark on rap and pop. And Keith is another great addition to Idol - he's one of the biggest stars in country music."
"American Idol" returns in January.