Skip to content

Keith Urban Last ‘Idol’ Judge Standing as Nicki and Mariah Bid Adieu

Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, 'American Idol,' "Up Out My Face," video

For at least one couple, last week’s American Idol season finale resulted in a drunken mutual stabbing. Thankfully, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey found a more graceful way to cap a season in which the show’s ratings hit an all-time low: They’re leaving it, hasta la vista.

In a tweet yesterday, Minaj officially confirmed her previously reported departure. She wrote: “Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!” Earlier this week, Her Pinkness had told Hot 97 radio host Pete Rosenberg, in a beef-quashing interview, “I agree that Nicki Minaj should focus on rap.” Idol‘s loss could be hip-hop heads’ gain.

Carey also confirmed her exit via tweet thanks to her PR firm, PMK-BNC. They wrote, “W/ global success of “#Beautiful” (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol.” A rep told the Hollywood Reporter that Mimi is slammed with, among other scheduled activities, “putting the finishing touches on her much anticipated forthcoming album, headlining the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, and appearing in Lee Daniel’s The Butler, opening in August.” Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lenny Kravitz also appear in that film.

Minaj and Carey’s departures from Idol were hardly unexpected, and they follow original Idol judge Randy Jackson’s own long-speculated adieu. Which, of course, leaves Keith Urban holding the bag. The show hasn’t announced who will fill all these empty seats. Former finalist Jennifer Hudson is in talks for one the openings, unnamed sources told THR.

Nicki still said it best in her verse on the remix of “Up Out My Face,” from Carey’s 2009 Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel: “LOL, smiley face, have a nice-uh day.”