After plenty of speculation and rumor, today Ryan Seacrest confirmed with a photo on Twitter that Nicki Minaj will join Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, and Mariah Carey behind the judges’ table on American Idol, filling the spots left vacant by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. With both Mimi and Nicki as judges, Idol has doubled up on divas just as The X Factor did for this season.
American Idol waited until the last minute to make the big announcement, considering that auditions are happening today in New York in anticipation of the show’s 12th season.
But these are moves that Idol perhaps needed to make: the additions mean that show will return to the four-judge dynamic that powered its troubled ninth season, when Ellen DeGeneres joined the panel following Paula Abdul‘s exit. (That’s four, as in the number of panelists on both of Idol’s two big rivals.) The addition of Urban also means that Idol — which crowned country superstar Carrie Underwood and could-be star Philip Phillips, for Pete’s sake — is finally and fully acknowledging the enormous drawing power of country music. (Which, certainly, The Voice leveraged from the very start with Blake Shelton.