Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban Talk American Idol Judging Style

What should contestants on “American Idol” Season 12 expect from the new panel of judges? With Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban joining returning judge Randy Jackson, the singing hopefuls will get plenty of honesty, support and maybe some “mentally unstable” moments.

The “Idol” judges spoke to the press on Sunday in New York City following the official announcement from FOX.

“I won’t be judging, I’ll be guiding,” Mariah explained.

The R&B superstar said she’s not worried about being dubbed the “nice” or “mean” one on the panel.

“What I want to be is honest and someone contestants can look to for guidance as opposed to… the mean one, the nice one. It’s not about that,” she continued. “I’m me. I am who I am, I’m a producer, I made a lot of records in my life, I know the studio, I live there. I performed all over the world, so it’s not about me, me, me it’s about them.”

And should contestants attempt to belt out a Mariah song?

“They can sing anything that moves them, as a songwriter I would be honored,” Mariah said.

As for Nicki – who is known for channeling numerous personas – “Idol” contestants should prepare for something a little crazy if they take a crack at one of her hits.

“I’ll probably crack up laughing sometimes because I’m mentally unstable sometimes,” the chart-topper said when asked about contestants performing her music. “But they shouldn’t be afraid — it’s gonna be fun and pumping!”

Keith added, “I’m just grateful I get to do it. I’m grateful that they asked me and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

Season 12 of “American Idol” will premiere this winter on FOX.

-- Jesse Spero

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