Star Gazing
Judges Take Center Stage!
By Rose Quintiliano
Jan 13, 2013 - 7:00:15 PM

HOLLYWOOD—Once again we have turned our eyes to the twelfth season of "American Idol." The show is set to premiere on January 16, with new judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson with host Ryan Seacrest. All eyes will be on the judges.

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Nicki Minaj will be terrific. She's smart, funny, and while many viewers will be admiring her outfits, it will be her character and personality that will shine. Despite the decline in viewers the show still remains a hit, even though Simon Cowell has been gone since 2010. Mariah Carey, certainly knows what she is talking about in the music industry. She was once married to the legendary music-industry veteran Tommy Mottola.

Keith Urban, truth be told, will do justice to any country singers, since they seem to dominate the winner's platform of competition shows lately. The winner of the second season of the "X Factor" Tate Stevens performed a rendition of Keith Urban's "Somebody Like You," during Number Ones-themed Top 8 night. Stevens, rendition of the Garth Brooks song "If Tomorrow Never Comes," I believe made him the winner. That's why Keith Urban will be an asset to "American Idol."

What can I say about Randy Jackson, he's like a fixture on "Idol." He will continue to use street slang in his critiques, including his infamous "dawg." Randy Jackson does have some real-music industry credentials as a record producer. The judges will try to make the show work. Who wouldn't with their salaries? According to published reports, Mariah Carey is earning a reported $18 million. Nicki Minaj is in second place, with a reported $12 million, and Keith Urban is running in third place with a measly $5 million. "American Idol" is still in the running, it will make you laugh and cry. Expect to see the usual sad stories of some contestants and their auditions.

The other entertaining show "The X Factor," despite a 20 percent drop in ratings still wants Britney Spears as a judge, according to reports. Britney-reportedly took home $15 million as her salary. She was criticized by many for her facial expressions, which often appeared to be dazed and confused, leaning forward in her seat and muttering "Very good," into the microphone, with generic critiques and never becoming the main attraction the show badly needed.

With the departure of fellow judge L.A. Reid, reports immediately began to surface last month that fellow judge Britney Spears, 31, would not return back in September. Executive producer Simon Cowell is always looking to improve the show and speculation has it that it may be revamped. Interestingly enough, at the end of Season 1-when the show had 2 million more viewers-judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger along with host Steve Jones were all fired abruptly.

Rose's Scoop: After a second inquest into the death of 27-year-old soul singer Amy Winehouse, it was confirmed she "died as a result of alcohol toxicity," and recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. The Grammy-winning singer was found dead at her London home on July 23, 2011. I bumped into her dad Mitch Winehouse last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, when he was there to attend the premiere of Tony Bennett's film the "Zen of Bennett."

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