Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on ‘American Idol’: Is it All About the Judges’ Now?

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Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on ‘American Idol’: Is it All About the Judges’ Now?
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Will Nicki Minaj join the cast of "Idol"?

"American Idol's" quest to find new judges for Season 12 is winding down, with reports that rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban are both close to finalizing deals to join the top rated reality show. If the deal comes to fruition, the two big name stars would join pop diva Mariah Carey, who has already signed on to the show for a reported $18 million.

But with three superstars on yet another judges' panel, it's seems that when it comes to singing competitions, it's becoming more about the judges and less about the contestants.

Where in the World is Philip Phillips?

"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips enamored fans last season on the show, but since the Season 11 finale in May the chatter has been more about the judges' table than Phillips' post-"Idol" endeavors. The exits of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have made bigger news than Phillips' record sales, even though downloads of his single, "Home," skyrocketed after it was used by NBC during coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Musical Judges

Remember the good ol' days before "American Idol" competitors like "The Voice" and "The X Factor?" Back then, the "Idol" judges were well known in the music industry, but not necessarily by home viewers. (Believe it or not, Simon Cowell was not always a household name!)

Things took a weird turn in Season 9, when the non-musical Ellen DeGeneres was hired to be an "Idol" judge. That was our first hint that something was awry and that perhaps the names of the judges were more important than the names of the finalists.

A judges' table makeover the following year had even bigger name artists Steven Tyler and J-Lo signed on-and now there seems to be no turning back.

With "The Voice" boasting Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton coupled with the "The X Factor's' addition of Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, could "Idol" even think of going back to someone like, say, the highly-qualified-but-not-superstarry Kara DioGuardi?

Missed A-List

Even those who've rejected "Idol" are A-list.

Country Weekly reported that Toby Keith passed on an offer from " Idol," while pop superstar Katy Perry reportedly turned down a $20 million offer to star on the show. But can you imagine if they had said yes? There wouldn't be any room on the show for the contestants!

Hopefully the judges' hoopla will soon be over and the show will get back to the mission of finding new musical talent. But with an almost-certain judges' lineup of Carey, Minaj and Urban, it could be a tad too much ego for one show -- and that's before even one contestant sets foot on the "Idol" stage.

"American Idol" Season 12 will premiere in January on Fox.

More From This Contributor:

5 Bizarre Pop Star Alter Egos

Can Mariah Carey Save 'America Idol?'

Top Steven Tyler Quotes From 'Oprah's Next Chapter' Interview

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