"We haven't had a girl winner in so long," added Jackson.
Newbie judge Nicki Minaj also insisted the talented women this year will be the ones to beat.
"The girls are exceptional. I mean, a girl will definitely win this year, I think," the rapper told People, suggesting the ladies are more mature and experienced than the male singers. "[The females are] more seasoned, more poised, more professional."
Fellow new judge Keith Urban told the magazine the level of talent in general this season is overwhelming, which forced the panel to make some very difficult decisions during the rounds of auditions.
"All four of us had the conversation, 'What are we looking for?'" the country artist explained. "Because we can't send two million people to Hollywood."
American Idol's twelfth-season debut tonight will air on Fox at 8PM ET/PT and mark the beginning of the show's regular Wednesday/Thursday broadcast schedule. The edition will kick off with six episodes covering last summer's audition tour.
(Photo credit Fox)
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