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Lo and behold, it's already Hollywood Week (my favorite!) in American Idol time!

Considering the exhaustingly long search for judges and the drama that ensued once they were finally chosen, I'm shocked we didn't hear more about the American Idol auditions. I'm not complaining – just saying! Now that Ryan Seacrest and the American Idol judges aren't on the road, they're dishing about the mood at the judges' table thus far.

Despite the big egos personalities, Ryan manages to describe the American Idol judges with one word: Randy Jackson - huggable, Mariah Carey - soothing, Nicki MInaj - pizzazz, and Keith Urban - whiskery. What does "whiskery" mean? Eh, who cares, Keith is delicious.

According to Randy, we can look forward to lot of "funny" this season. He says, "Nicki is mad funny, and Mariah is mad funny, and Keith is very quick-witted and funny." Randy adds that he wants to be Simon Cowell when he grows up, "We're all kind of silly, but I guess maybe I'm the harsh one. I'm the quickest to say no."

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Mariah, the self-proclaimed American Idol fairy godmother, reveals, "I try to speak as frankly as possible, as kindly as possible – not like sugar-coating the whole thing because that does nobody any good. And I think it would be boring for people to watch."

Mariah boasts, "I feel like my experience as a recording artist and a producer and a writer has helped me get to a point where I can sit there and say, 'I'm not sure if you hit this part correctly because maybe the modulation took you by surprise,' or 'You weren't quite prepared to blend that harmony with this person who was singing way louder than you.'"

Mariah takes this opportunity to poke fun at Randy's use of the word "pitchy," adding, "No one really knows what it means, do we?"

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When asked about the group as a whole, Mariah says, "I think this panel is great because of the diversity." She goes on to sing the praises of her long-time friend Randy and compliments Keith's country music expertise. Hmm, doesn't Mariah have anything to say about Nicki? With a smile, she answers, "You know, I wouldn't feel comfortable commenting on that, but thank you for the question." 

Nicki shares, "We've jellied really, really well as a group. We have a great chemistry. We have a great rhythm now together, and we really are taking it serious. We really are rooting for the contestants and we want to find a great American Idol."

When asked about her judging style, Nicki refers to herself as "kooky" and says, "I try to never plan what I'm going to say or how I'm going to feel. I just try to stay in the moment and allow some craziness to come. It's the entertainment business. We're artists. If we don't have some craziness and kookiness, then it wouldn't really be real. You know what I mean? We can't really sit there and be stiff and say the same things. So I try to get the contestants out of their comfort zones of hearing the same things over and over."

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Due to his unfortunate placement between the drama queens Nicki and Mariah, Keith has been dubbed the "referee" of the group. However, he suggests the title has been blown out of proportion. Keith says he simply attempts to keep the group focused on the task at hand.

Keith's goal is to be "fair" and "authentic." Keith tells us that he participated in a competition similar to American Idol when he was younger, adding, "I was really, really crucified by one of the judges, and it was devastating. So, I try to not absolutely destroy somebody in front of millions of people, but at the same time, if someone's not really on, and everyone at home knows it, that's the difficult part too." 

Ryan concludes, "Individually, each one of those judges has a very specific point of view and a very specific opinion. And often they'll argue for the contestants that they believe in. And often they don't agree. They have to come to a consensus at some point. But I think that you'll see throughout this season really strong, individual, spirited opinions across the board."

AMERICAN IDOL RETURNS JANUARY 16 – WILL YOU BE WATCHING?

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Photo credit: Fox

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