Keith Urban has chosen to be Switzerland – as in neutral – when it comes to the now-infamous feuding and disagreements between fellow American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Footage of the pair arguing, with Keith squarely in the middle, went viral, just as the auditions began. According to Keith, much of the early disagreeing came from the four judges being thrown together and sent to work.
“You’ve got four very passionate artists all sort of thrown onto a dance floor, and they’re saying, ‘OK, dance together in perfect synchronized movements,’ and we stepped on a few toes at the beginning while we were getting our groove on; because we had no direction,” Keith said. “We all met [for the first time] the night before [we started auditions] in New York for dinner, and that’s the first time I ever met Nicki and Mariah. I’d met Randy [Jackson] and Ryan [Seacrest] before.
“We all had dinner that night, and then the next day showed up on set and saw the set, and they led us up to the desk and we sat behind the desk, and the next thing we know, they’re like, ‘OK, and off we go,’” Keith continued. “And I thought, ‘Well, surely we’ll have some ‘fake’ contestants first, you know, coming through and then they’ll bring out the real artists.’ Nope! That was it. We were just diving into it.”
The new season of American Idol premieres Wednesday, January 16, at 8p|7c on FOX.