Nicki Minaj Joins American Idol Judging Panel as NYC Auditions Kick Off

The panel of judges for the twelfth season of American Idol has been confirmed with the colorful Nicki Minaj, country star Keith Urban, “Idol” veteran Randy Jackson, and Mariah Carey.

Yesterday (Sept 16), was the first day of auditions in New York City. The judges spoke with press and posed for photos before beginning their judging duties.

After months of speculation and negotiations, an insider told the Associated Press that Nicki is getting a cool $12 million for a one-season deal. The Young Money star says she won’t mind hearing her songs as song choices from those auditioning. “I’ll probably start cracking up laughing just cause I’m mentally unstable sometimes, but they shouldn’t be afraid at all. We’ll have fun.”

About the talent pool, Mariah tweeted “NY auditions – several classic moments so far lol.” She says she doesn’t have a judging style yet, but vows to do her best in helping the hopefuls. “What I think I wanna be is honest and someone that the contestants can look to for guidance,” she said.