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Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj join ‘Idol’ panel

Fox finishes makeover of judge's table as auditions begin

Country singer Keith Urban and rapper Nicki Minaj will officially join Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson at the judge’s table on ”American Idol.”

Fox confirmed the long-rumored appointments of Urban and Minaj early Sunday, just as ”Idol” begins its auditions tour in Gotham in preparation for the show’s January debut.

The panel makeover for ”Idol’s” 12th season comes after the talent competish took a ratings hit this year. Other than Jackson, a mainstay since the show’s U.S. debut, the judges for 2013 are all new. The hope is that new stars will give viewers a reason to tune in, after two consecutive years of a panel consisting of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Jackson.

Urban, an Aussie who is married to Nicole Kidman, comes to the gig with experience on the TV bench. This year he served as a judge and mentor on the Oz version of ”The Voice.”

”We’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around,” said Mike Darnell, Fox’s prexy of alternative entertainment.

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