“American Idol’s” Playbook for Season 12, Won’t look Like last Season’s

Now everyone should be happy. Most of the cat fighting rumored last week between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey has contracted terminal illness that thus is no more. Now I know you’re waiting for officials on Minaj and others but here is exactly what’s going to happen and why for the season 12 on “American Idol.”

First, 27-year-old, Nicki Minaj will sign an agreement to judge the singing competition worth around $8 million. It will be announced early next week; so be prepared.

Second, Keith Urban will officially become the third “Idol” judge, however, he will won’t be the last judge that “Idol” will bring aboard for the new season

Now, let’s dig into the more interesting news and reasons behind some of the unusual moves “Idol” has planned for its 12th season.

Fox and FremantleMedia are reportedly dishing out $12 to $17 million to Carey for her to dutifully judge their singing competition.

“Idol” faces some very real challenges this season as execs are scramble to turn around a 23 percent drop in last year’s ratings. So don’t let the treasure trove of rumors and unsubstantiated reports have you uncertain about “Idol’s” season this year. And forget about Diddy and Kenya West, they’re simply not going to join the singing contest this year.

Mariah Carey’s disappointment that Minaj is close to a deal because she thought her deal prevented Fox and FremantleMedia execs from negotiating or hiring another female judge to join the join the show this year, “listen to how crazy that sounds.” They’re not going to give anybody that much power. It simply doesn’t work like that.

In addition, some of the other reports suggesting that having only African American’s seated as judges will drive “Idol’s” rating down. OK, look, were so far off; as I alluded to, “Idol is definitely going to have to go with four judges this season.

Randy Jackson’s role as either a judge or mentor is also an unconfirmed rumor.

Reports indicating Minaj has an agreement in place is strong enough to put money on it. While it appears Fox and FremantleMedia’s decision makers are considering a new format that calls for four judges to shake things up a bit and potentially enable the show to recapture the dominating prestige it once enjoyed before “The Voice” and “The X Factor” joined the ratings fray; know this, they have to make some significant changes in order to maximize their potential for increased ratings.

If “Idol” decides to go with a four judge platform, and also move Jackson to a mentorship role, most of the controversy that has spun out of control of late will rapidly become old news because Carey and Minaj would only represent one half of the panel of judges. This would leave the other half for “Idol” to likely employ a Hispanic and Caucasian male.

In all probability, Fox and FremantleMedia seem to be leaning in the direction described in this article, especially when you take into account that some of the rumors have mentioned interest in  a country star (the leading candidate is Keith Urban, says an insider) and a Latin artist Enrique Iglesias (who is believed to be the No. 1 choice).

Hence, if Carey was under the impression that there would only be three judges seated for the show, her apprehension might be understandable. However, a move to four judges makes sense at this point, considering “The X Factor” and “The Voice,” the latter of which could end up being serious competition for “Idol,” both use a four-judge panel. Therefore, having two female judges would not provide balance; it would be viewed as fair.

This scenario would significantly diminish the strength of the claim that Carey hung up the phone when she was informed that Nicki was this close to parking her enviable bottom right next to Mariah on “Idol.”

Reports indicating Carey may be perturbed simply because Minaj is younger might be better classified as gossip, though Mariah is 13-years-older.

There is more than enough room for both of these divas. While Carey is a musical legend and invokes an attractive nostalgia, Nicki’s music is current especially among America’s youth right now, making her a perfect candidate to draw in that coveted demographic.

There should be no reason why these two Divas can’t put aside their issues and happily sit next to each other.

There would also be no need to address the all black judging panel if the argument articulated in this article proves to be correct. It would nullify, TMZ’s report that points out “Middle America might not tune in to [an all-black-judging-panel] if it ends up being Minaj, Carey and Randy Jackson.”

The last bone of contention that may very well be holding up any official announcement introducing Minaj as a judge is the decades old feud between Pepsi and Coke.

Minaj has recently entered in to a new endorsement deal with Pepsi, which includes commercials, touring and album promo. It is reasonable for “Idol” sponsor Coke not to be thrilled at the prospect. The leading soda company has been an “Idol” partner since season one, at a cost of $26 million per year, according to reports. Though the show was able to solve a similar problem when longtime sponsor Ford got wind of Judge Jennifer Lopez’s commercial deal with Fiat, the Coke/Pepsi feud has much deeper roots nevertheless; sources close to those negotiations are reporting that the two soft drink giants have work out a compromise.

Finally, Keith Urban – who recently confirmed in the Australian media that he is speaking with American Idol bosses – is apparently close to a deal worth $3-4 million to join Minaj and Mariah Carey on the panel.

The only issue left is where Randy Jackson might be headed and the hiring of one more judge. That’s going to happen because as I mention earlier, “Idol” has to compete. They can’t sit back idol anymore.

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