Before resuming their task of finding the next American Idol (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Fox), the new judging panel - Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban - sat down for a lightning-round Q&A:
Q: What does each of you bring to the panel?
Urban: "An authenticity in my opinions on somebody. I'm probably a little harder on the country artists, because there's a lot of caricature-ish country people and I think country often gets a bit of a novelty persona unnecessarily. I love this genre. It's sort of my life, so I get protective of it."
Jackson: "Love, duty, glue. Daisies (pointing to the designs on his shoes)."
Carey: "I feel I bring experience, but also a certain kind of compassion that comes from a place of just as a little girl always feeling insecure, always feeling different, always feeling like I had to strive for this because I wasn't good enough as a regular human being because i had biracial parents, no money."
Q: Who's your favorite Idol singer?
Minaj: "I was obsessed with Jennifer Hudson and I remember specifically feeling Simon (Cowell) was way too hard on her and I kept on screaming at the TV, 'How are you not hearing this girl's amazing voice?' When she became Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson, I felt proud like I was a family member."
Jackson: "And that was a tough season for her, too, because the girl that won had probably one of the greatest performances ever on the show. That was Fantasia's season. That Summertime."
Urban: "How about Kelly (Clarkson)? We're talking about 12 years later and her career has never been as massive as it is right now."
Carey: "I love Fantasia. There's a heart in her."
Jackson: "Daughtry's great. Phillip Phillips is doing amazing."
Q: What change would you make to the show?
Minaj: "I would give them a bigger selection of songs to sing."
Jackson: "Yeah, dude. Those songs."
Carey: "And more time to learn them, if possible. I guess that's part of the challenge: Can you learn this in one day? You've never heard it. It's from 40 years before you were born and you've got to sing it with four people who don't sound anything like you. So, a little tough."
Urban: "This season has done what I would have done a little differently, which is have a little more diversity from the four of us, because we're all coming from such different places and I love seeing that extreme diversity from people who are actually doing this right now."
Q: How good are you at letting people down?
Jackson: "I'm excellent. Walk through the door. 'No. Don't even open the mouth. No.' "
Minaj: "You need that, though. If it's about changing their diapers and patting them on their bums and powdering them, then I mean ...."
Urban: "And that's just Ryan."
Carey: "They're definitely not going to get coddled by the public. That's the thing. If you enter this business, the public is not going to go, 'Baby, poor baby.' "
Minaj: "The public is going to be a billion times harder than we could ever be. That's not helping when we don't tell these people the truth."
Urban: "I find the hardest part is when someone, they walk on, they've got a great voice, they're photogenic, they sing in tune, you can't really fault them, but they're just completely forgettable. I don't know what to say."
Q: Do you have a favorite judge on another TV music show?
Minaj: "Oh, my God. Did you really just ask that? I didn't know you were that slick."
Jackson: "Are there other music shows on TV?"
Carey: "There's a lyric that says, 'Only God can judge me.' His name was Tupac."
Jackson: "I love that guy on Cake Boss."
Urban: "Donald Trump."
Minaj: "Listen, if it's not Judge Judy, I don't care."
Q: How do you think Idol will affect your career?
Carey: "Hopefully, it will be good."
Urban: "We'll get back to you on that."
Jackson: "When I drop my giant single with all of them on it, it's going to be hot."
Minaj: "I don't think I did this to help me in the hiphop world at all. I've been able to, thank God, create a brand that's bigger than the hiphop world, but I'm very proud of the hiphop world and I would hope it would be proud of me.
Q: Does anything about your fellow judges surprise you?
Urban: "How funny Nicki is."
Minaj: "It's weird because Keith and I wound up sitting together a lot. And we wound up having a really great bond because we get to have all our inside jokes together. It really, really helped."
Carey (to Jackson): "I thought we had inside jokes."
Jackson: "Well, we do. We do. I think we all have like inside jokes."
Carey: "We have inside jokes the way you guys have inside jokes. So, there's like different sets of the inside."