“American Idol" 8 tonight, Fox
PASADENA, Calif. — Country superstar Keith Urban had no problem saying “yes" when “American Idol" producers approached him to be one of the judges on the latest edition of the music competition series.
After all, Urban and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, are huge fans of the program. Plus, he had done similar work as one of the judges on the Australian version of “The Voice."
It was saying “no" after he was selected that was difficult.
“It’s tricky because saying no to anyone is an awful thing," Urban said. “But I think it got easier. The other way I looked at it is that people come into this knowing being told no is just part of it."
Urban won’t be alone making or breaking dreams as a first-time judge on “American Idol." He’s joined by Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, with veteran Idol judge Randy Jackson rounding out the panel. You can see their judging styles when “American Idol" debuts with a two-part opener kicking off tonight. Auditions and eliminations will be held until the top 10 finalists are announced March 5-7.
Carey, too, had trouble in the early auditions telling some of the singers that they would not advance.
“I used to duck my head, like, ‘No, thank you,’" Carey said, dropping her head to illustrate her point. “I had a very tough time with it because, as a kid, you get turned down a lot. And I was very young when I first started in this business.
“And it’s tough to get that rejection. And we’ve all felt it, and I see some of these people who I know are talented but maybe not in the way that ‘American Idol,’ the biggest show of its kind, is going to be able to take them to their fullest."
Urban also faced rejection in the early days of his career. He says that instead of letting it get him down, he used it as fuel to make him work harder.
For Minaj, saying no came a lot easier. She says when she watches music competition shows, it bothers her when a person who isn’t talented gets a “yes" vote.
“I want to jump through the TV, because I feel like for the people who are talented there, it kind of minimizes or takes away from how talented they really are. So when I came on, I didn’t really have a problem with saying ‘no’ because I kind of felt like we’re looking for the best of the best," Minaj said.
“I don’t feel the need to send a person through just because of a great story or because there’s something going on that may make people cry, because I feel like even the great singers have stories that may make us cry, but that shouldn’t change our decision because it’s kind of unfair to the ones who really are great."