'American Idol' makes power play, signs Minaj, Urban

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LOS ANGELES — After weeks of speculation, Fox made it official: Pop star Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban will join Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson as “American Idol” judges.

The move came as “Idol” got ready to start auditions in New York on Sunday for Season 12, which will premiere in January.

With competition intensifying and ratings falling, “Idol” is attempting a major makeover. Former judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced this year that they would leave the No. 1-rated show after two seasons apiece.

“Idol” saw double-digit ratings declines last season, partly because of competition from NBC’s “The Voice.” “Idol” producers now seem to be angling to match the dynamics of “The Voice,” with a diverse judging table stacked with hit-makers. It will be the first time four judges sit at the “Idol” table since the 2010 edition.

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