This morning, FOX officially announced the American Idol judges for Season 12, after Katie Couric spilled the beans earlier this week in an interview with Jennifer Lopez. The judges are Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and returning, Randy Jackson. Auditions begin in New York City today where hopefuls will meet host Ryan Seacrest and the four-person panel. The other audition cities include Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City.

Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company said, “I am thrilled about this year’s judges’ panel! We’ve got global icon Mariah Carey and IDOL’s heart and soul Randy Jackson, who will be joined by Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. Nicki’s an unbelievably captivating international phenomenon who has made an indelible mark on rap and pop. And Keith is another great addition to IDOL – he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him… With an unparalleled star like Mariah, fan-favorite Randy, chart-toppers like Nicki and Keith and our incomparable host Ryan, we’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around.”

Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia said, “We’re ecstatic to welcome Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban to the American Idol family, joining Mariah and Randy at the judges’ table. Nicki is someone who represents a different side of the music industry, who has now crossed into mainstream culture with her unique artistry, style and flair. Keith is one of country music’s true stars who brings with him charm, wit and knowledge about the industry.”

Executive producer Simon Fuller added, “With the exciting addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, alongside Randy Jackson, American Idol’s star power has never been so great. For this we have to thank the ongoing commitment and belief of FOX and the dedication and focus of the Idol production team. We have all been together since the very beginning and we are focused on making IDOL Season 12 the best ever.”

What do you think about the new panel? Who’s your favorite? Do you think they’ll jive together well?