When FOX first revealed who the judges would be for the twelfth season of American Idol, we were very intrigued. They’d have Mariah Carey, best-selling female artist of all time; Nicki Minaj, quadruple-platinum singer, songwriter, rapper and fashion icon; Randy Jackson, Grammy Award-winning producer who’s been with Idol since the beginning; and Keith Urban, that Australian country singer who’s been around for a while, we guess.
By the time January came around and Idol was set to premiere, we had completely forgotten about Urban. The Internet had been buzzing with news of Nicki and Mariah feuding: First, TMZ released a video of Nicki cussing out Mariah on set, and then Mariah told The View‘s Barbara Walters that Nicki had threatened to shoot her. So when the show premiered, we tuned in with hopes of watching the two divas devour each other. Unfortunately, the feuding turned out to be quite underwhelming. But much to our surprise, Keith Urban proved to be the most endearing and entertaining Idol judge of all.
Keith especially won us over during the auditions in Baton Rouge, LA — but also a bit in Charlotte, NC. Here are the five reasons why Keith Urban is the best Idol judge of season 12.
1. Keith Urban is surprisingly sexy.
There hasn’t been recurring male eye candy on the Idol judges’ table since season 9, Simon Cowell’s last season. But luckily for us, Keith has filled that void. We’re not sure whether it’s his Australian accent, poorly concealed tattoos, or long, wispy blonde hair, but something about Keith is just extremely sexy.
2. Keith Urban isn’t afraid to have some fun.
While Nicki babbles about vocal terms that she probably knows nothing about, Mariah sits stiff as a board and comments minimally, and Randy just does his same old thing, Keith keeps the energy up. He dances with contestants while they’re singing, pokes fun at the other judges, and even got so excited one time that he spilled a drink on Nicki.
3. Keith Urban takes his job seriously and gives great criticism.
Yes, Keith can goof off and have fun, but at the end of the day, this is his job. And even though he reportedly makes significantly less than his Idol counterparts, Keith gets down to business better than the rest of them.
4. If you bite Keith Urban, Keith Urban will bite back.
One time, in Charlotte, a contestant thought it would be okay to say that she “did the country thing” but was now onto other kinds of music. This did not sit well with Keith. “I always get thrown when people say ‘I did the country thing,'” he responded. “It’s like saying, ‘I did the brain surgeon thing.’ It’s like, either you’re a brain surgeon, or you’re not.” Ouch.
5. Finally, Keith Urban won’t hesitate to remind you who he’s married to.
Female contestants love to flirt with Keith, but if they cross the line, he just points to the ring. Who is Keith married to again? Oh, that’s right: Academy Award-winning actress and all-around all-star Nicole Kidman. Bam.
Nicki and Mariah, who? Keith Urban is the best judge on season 12 of American Idol.