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Keith Urban Jumps in the Fray on "American Idol" Judges Panel

Image courtesy of Fox (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Fox (via ABC News Radio)

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj may be getting all the press for their run-ins on the American Idol set, but their fellow judge Keith Urban is jumping in the fray as well.  Judges Mariah, Nicki, Keith and Randy Jackson were on hand for the American Idol panel at the Televisions Critics Association press tour Tuesday, and Keith admitted he and Randy have gone at it on the judges panel too.

Mariah joked, "They fight constantly. I find it offensive."

Executive producer Ken Warwick tells ABC News Radio the show didn't deliberately try to create drama on the panel. He says, "There are some pretty great arguments there. But did I look to create any kind of friction so that we would get better television to the production of that? Under no circumstances." He adds that he was not pleased that the feud made headlines.

The on-set arguments are a byproduct of the passion the judges feel about the young contestants in the competition though.  Overall, Keith is proud to be the first Idol judge from the country music world.

"It's always had a big country viewership," Keith said.  "So, I feel really honored to be a part of the panel now."

Randy pointed to former Idol champ Carrie Underwood to prove how important country music is in the show's history too.

He said, "I mean, she is truly a superstar and will have a great career until the end of her career when she decides to stop."

Fans in 11 cities nationwide will get an advance peek at the new season's premiere episode Wednesday night in select theaters.  It will be followed followed by a live Q&A at 8:30 p.m. ET with all the judges and Ryan Seacrest on AmericanIdol.com and LiveStream.com. 

"I think it was a good [decision] for us to do it like a big Hollywood premiere and get a chance to show it off," Ryan tells ABC News Radio. "You know, they do it all the time with movies.  Why can't we do it for TV?"

American Idol 's new season premieres Wednesday, January 16 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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