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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 12

Keith Urban reportedly close to signing 'American Idol' judging deal

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/27/2012 

Nicki Minaj is apparently not the only singer close to signing a deal to join American Idol.

In addition to Minaj -- who was reported to be finalizing an American Idol deal last week -- country star Keith Urban is also reportedly close to inking an agreement to join Mariah Carey on American Idol's twelfth-season judging panel, The Hollywood Reporter reported Friday.

Urban recently told an Australian radio station he had been in talks with Idol producers for weeks and is reportedly expected to receive around $3 to $4 million to serve as a judge. The payday would be only about half of the $8 million salary Minaj -- who, according to a source, may formally sign her contract any day now -- is expected to earn for judging the show. 

American Idol was reportedly also in negotiations with Brad Paisley to fill the "country seat" on the judging panel instead of Urban, but Paisley dropped out of the conversation because he wanted to match Minaj's salary.

Both Urban and Minaj's alleged salaries would be dwarfed by Carey's payday, as she will reportedly receive $18 million for American Idol's twelfth season. 

Unlike Minaj and Carey, Urban has previous experience as a reality singing competition judge. The country singer served as a judge on the first season of Australia's edition of The Voice this spring. A second season of Australia's The Voice, which was renewed shortly after the first season's April premiere, is set to air next year.

While Randy Jackson's twelfth-season judging panel status remain undetermined,  Idol will reportedly have four judges no matter what, according to The Reporter.

Recent reports have suggested Jackson may be moved to a mentoring role, but according to The Reporter, he is likely to have a major role on the show even if it's not as a judge.

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