Urban relishes peacemaker role on 'Idol'
FILE - ThisSept. 17, 2012 file image released by Fox shows the new judges for the singing competition series, "American Idol," from left, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj and during a news conference in New York. Host Ryan Seacrest said Wednesday, Oct. 3, that things got intense between new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey during a tryout taping in Charlotte, N.C., the day before. In the midst of a dispute over a contestant, Minaj announced that she was no longer putting up with "her ... highness," a reference to Carey with a few expletives added in. Another new judge, Keith Urban, was in the unenviable position of sitting between them. (AP Photo/FOX, Michael Becker)
NEW YORK (AP) — "American Idol" season 12 tapings are just getting under way and Keith Urban has already become more than just a judge: He's also the pacifier on the newly minted panel.
"We're all passionate people and we're learning a new dance and we're all a work in progress," said Urban on Wednesday at the New York Film Festival gala honoring his wife, Nicole Kidman. He likened his role on "Idol" to that of the United Nations.
Rumors of drama between fellow judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey began to swirl as soon as the new panel was announced. A blurry web video released Tuesday by TMZ.com shows what appears to be an argument between Minaj and Carey, spurring on gossip of discontent.
This image released by Starpix shows actress and honoree Nicole Kidman, left, and her husband Keith Urban at a gala by The Film Society of Lincoln Center following by the premiere of her film, "The Paperboy" at the 2012 New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 in New York. Urban, a judge on the singing competition series "American Idol," has become more than just a judge: he's also the pacifier on the newly-minted panel. A blurry web video released Tuesday by TMZ.com shows an argument between fellow judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey and Urban seated between them. "We're all passionate people and we're learning a new dance and we're all a work in progress,” Urban said Wednesday at the New York Film Festival gala honoring his wife. When asked what it feels like to be stationed between the dueling divas , Urban said, “Best seat in the house." (AP Photo/Starpix, Marion Curtis)
But Urban insisted the group, which also includes veteran judge Randy Jackson, is "getting along." The new season of the Fox singing competition premieres in January.
In the web video Urban is seen raising his hands in defeat next to a seemingly furious Minaj, who is shouting obscenities. A composed Carey is heard saying, "Why do I have a 3-year-old sitting around me?"
When asked what it feels like to be stationed between the dueling divas Urban cracked a wry smile.
"Best seat in the house," he said.
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