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American Idol is returning to a three judge format. The singing competition's 13th season will have a diminished panel for the first time in five years in a bid to combat the Fox show's declining ratings.
Kevin Reilly, Fox's entertainment chairman, also revealed current judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj had been invited back, despite veteran mentor Randy Jackson deciding to leave the panel. "The format will have fresh twists for next season," the TV boss said. Kevin went on to hint the expanded middle rounds were likely to be revamped since he believes they are responsible for dwindling viewing figures.
Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Pink and Diddy are being lined up for the new season of American Idol.
Producers on the show are reportedly desperate to sign up the quartet to replace current judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Keith Urban after ratings fell dramatically this year.
"It's been a lackluster season for Idol and everyone involved with the show is well aware of it so that's why producers are franticly working on lining up big name stars for season 14. There's more drama going on behind the scenes of the show than on the stage, and that's why there's a major overhaul in the works. A telling sign was that the highlight of the season was Mariah and Nicki's explosive feud that was leaked on the web - and that was before the season even aired. Producers have been trying to recreate that buzz ever since and it hasn't worked - the public isn't buying it. The judges don't have real chemistry, and there's no real standout contestant," a source said.
The source additionally explained the choice in choosing the rumored new judges:
American Idol producers secretly plotted to replace Mariah Carey with Jennifer Lopez. Bosses were keen to see the return of "On the Floor" singer Jennifer midway through the show's current season but, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, once they were threatened with legal action by Mariah's team they backed off.
The insiders added a search has already begun to replace Mariah, Nicki Minaj and possibly even the entire judge's panel - which also includes Randy Jackson and Keith Urban - for the next season.
Mariah was a huge signing for the show, but has proved less popular with viewers on the show than Jennifer, who appeared in the previous two seasons, was. Mariah's comments and criticism have been criticized as passive and disengaged, and she has been overshadowed by Nicki on the show.
However, another source says research has shown Nicki's performance on the show has not been as popular as expected, adding, "The core viewer is a Midwestern, Southern, older woman who is threatened by Nicki's aggressiveness."
Nicki Minaj threatened to quit American Idol after her favorite act was voted off the show. The "Starships" rapper - who sits on the singing competition's judging panel with Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson - was left fuming after singer Curtis Finch Jr. landed in the bottom two and was sent home Thursday night.
After host Ryan Seacrest announced that Curtis and fellow contestant Devin Velez had garnered the least viewer votes, an angry Nicki pleaded, "I definitely think Curtis should not be in the bottom two. I mean, I love Devin but I think that Curtis, if you look at every one of his performances, I mean - come on, America, are you kidding me? Curtis, if you go home, I go home."
The 30-year-old musician stayed true to her words, jumping out of her judge's seat and attempting to storm off set as Curtis was eliminated, but she was instructed to return to her chair by fellow judge Randy Jackson.
Nicki Minaj was late for American Idol last night because she was stuck in traffic. The judge appeared to miss the evening's first performance by Curtis Finch Jr., but while she wasn't in her seat to give him her thoughts on his singing, he claims she heard him.
"During the performance, she was backstage," Curtis - who performed Fantasia's "Believe" - told E! News. He added the star almost ran into her as he stepped off stage, adding, "It was literally like, 'Step, step, step, curtain, Nicki. And she was like, 'Good job today.' To see her backstage was comforting."
Some of the other contestants noted Nicki has fallen foul of Los Angeles' notoriously bad traffic before. "It's not the first time and probably not the last. But I'm OK with it. I love Nicki," Paul Jolley said.
Burnell Taylor, who sang Westlife's "Flying Without Wings" on the show feels Nicki has earned the right to be late if she chooses: "I mean, when you look that good, you have to be late."
Keith Urban's all-female household prepared him well for American Idol.
The 45-year-old singer - who sits in between warring pop divas Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey on the panel of the singing competition - revealed that living in a "literal oestrogen nest" with wife Nicole Kidman and their two daughters, Sunday Rose, four, and Faith, two, helped him handle the on-set antics between his fellow judges.
When asked how he copes with Mariah and Nicki while on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, his Hollywood starlet wife quipped, "A four year old and a two year old and a wife, a lot of girls in our household."
Keith added, "A literal estrogen nest is where I live."
Nicki Minaj wants male contestants to flash her on American Idol. The fiery judge insists she will remember those who show off their bodies and was impressed when one eager contestant removed his shirt during the audition stage.
"[The best thing a contestant can do to impress me is] flash me. That would make me remember a person. One boy in particular took off his shirt and was trying to be all sexy," she said.
Nicki also credited her own dysfunctional childhood with giving her the drive to become a star. The "Starships" singer explained, "I dealt with a little bit of a dysfunctional household and my inspiration was if I can just make it out of this, I could help my family and that was my driving force and I've said it for my entire career, but it's the truth. Sometimes, if you attach your dreams to something bigger than you it's like it's impossible for you to ever stop, so my thing was always I've got to get my family out of this kind of life and at times when I thought about giving up, that's what kept me going."
American Idol premieres next week on Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.
Mariah Carey's husband convinced her to join the American Idol panel.
The "Hero" singer admitted she was initially wary of taking a role on the judging panel of the pop star search show but America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon talked her into it.
"He really wanted me to do this. I had my own kind of reservations about it because I didn't know how I would adapt to the situation. It's a huge deal," she said.
However, Mariah admitted she would have hated to be a contestant on the show when she was first starting out: "I get really attached to certain people for different reasons whether it's their story or what it mainly is is talent. Sometimes I see myself in some of the contestants when I first started and I'm glad I didn't have to do a show like this. I would have hated it! It's been really fun. We're still in the beginning stages but I've learned a lot. I want to continue to be the best I can be in order to help contestants. It's that for me. I don't know if I have a judging style. I try to speak as frankly as possible, but as kindly as possible not sugar coating the whole thing because that does nobody any good and that's boring to watch."
Dolly Parton has turned down American Idol and The X Factor. The legendary singer was approached to join both shows as a judge over the years but admitted the only TV talent search she would ever consider appearing on is The Voice because it is more nurturing to its contestants.
"I've been asked to do American Idol and The X Factor almost every time there's a new season. [On The Voice] you don't have to judge that much and I hesitate to judge people," she said.
Dolly previously revealed she will always be grateful to Whitney Houston for making her song "I Will Always Love You" famous and credits her friends and God with preventing her from going down the same road as the tragic singer, who drowned following an accidental overdose in a hotel bathtub in February: "I thank God every day for that song - and Whitney made it popular worldwide. It's a very simple song, really, as simple as anything I've ever written. I've always had good and close friends, and a spiritual faith. God will take the wrong people and things out, and teach me to have the right people and the right things. Some people don't have that, and that's where it can go wrong."
Steven Tyler has hit back at Nicki Minaj for calling him a "racist."
The American Idol judge lashed out at the Aerosmith rocker - whom she replaced on the panel of the talent show - after he questioned her suitability and claimed she would've passed on legendary musician Bob Dylan if he auditioned, but Steven was shocked when Nicki took it as a racist insult. "It was a moment, I'm sorry if it was taken wrong. But I'm the furthest from a racist. I'm not sure how she got that from me saying 'I'm not sure she would have judged Bob Dylan.' I was just saying if Bob Dylan came on the show he would have been thrown off. Maybe I spoke out of turn but a racist I'm not," he said.
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