News Column

Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban Join 'American Idol' as Judges

Sept. 18, 2012

Rita Sherrow

Nicki Minaj

It's official: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban have joined Mariah Carey on the judging panel for "American Idol," and longtime judge Randy Jackson is staying despite reports to the contrary.

Fox made the announcement Sunday after months of speculation over who would take the places of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. The show's 12th season launches in January.

Country music star Urban, a four-time Grammy winner, recently completed a gig as mentor/musician coach on the Australian version of "The Voice." He is a native of New Zealand and was raised in Australia.

"Super Bass" singer Minaj, a singer, rapper and songwriter, has been the subject of rumor about being a potential judge since last month.

Among those also reportedly considered for inclusion at the judges' table were Nick Jonas and Enrique Iglesias.

Show host Ryan Seacrest confirmed the news Sunday via Twitter, and Fox's publicity department issued a press release and posted a photo of the season 12 judges at the table on Sunday.

"Hopefuls will meet host Ryan Seacrest and the new four-person panel of Carey, Jackson, Minaj and Urban today, when the auditions begin in New York City," the press release says.

$35 donation to charity earns chance to Skype with Chenoweth Fans of Kristin Chenoweth who, like the Broken Arrow native, love helping others have a chance to do just that.

Those who make a $35.35 donation through midnight Sept. 30 to Dogs for the Deaf will be entered in a contest to win a 10-minute Skype call with the Emmy and Tony Award winner. Each $35.35 donation given individually is an additional entry to the contest.

A winner will be chosen at random and will be announced in October.

The winner, who must have the ability to use Skype and be familiar with its use, will be notified that month, and arrangements will be made for the call. The call is subject to Chenoweth's schedule.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is "to rescue and professionally train dogs to help people and enhance lives, maintaining a lifelong commitment to all dogs we rescue and all people we serve."

Go to for more information.

Hader does spoof of Eastwood's chair interview during 'SNL' Did you miss actor/director Clint Eastwood's interview with a chair during the Republican National Convention?

Never fear, Tulsa's Bill Hader did a spot-on spoof of the event on last weekend's "Saturday Night Live." The show kicked off its 38th season with "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane as its host.

Hader dons a pair of high-waisted pants in a parody promo advertising "Eastwood and Chair," with the 82-year-old and a chair who are taking their comedy show on the road. "It's the show audiences are giving a sitting ovation," the promo advises.

Source: (c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services

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