Keith Urban Addresses American Idol Judges’ Rumors

Keith Urban confirms that American Idol honchos reached out to him regarding joining the judges’ panel:

Keith Urban has finally addressed the rumors about being asked to judge American Idol.  Speaking on an Australian radio show, Keith confirmed he has been asked, “They did reach out to us. But they have been reaching out to a lot of people, so I think they are just figuring out which way they are going to go too.”  If he was offered the job, would he take it?  Keith had this to say, “All I can say right now is that I’m trying to make an album and it’s strange how these opportunities all come in one big fell swoop. But my priority right now is to just make a record and that really has to lead the charge for me.”

He’s my number 1 country guy, but it sounds like he’s focused on his career and isn’t interested in the commitment.

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mj santilli

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • Prime_Minister

    Sad, it doesn’t sound likely.  He was one of the few on the rumored list that I was actually excited for!

    Keith and Nicole are known to be Idol fans and to have watched throughout the years – can’t say the same about actual judges i.e. Steven.

  • vdawg

    I would love to see Keith as a judge but I never felt he would be one.  Its sad because I think for him it would all be about the contestants and not about him being a judge and what that could do for his career.  He is a big Idol fan so it would have been fun seeing him as a judege for me.

  • Mateja Praznik

    So, Brad Paisley? Or someone else? I would prefer if they scrapped the country judge idea. I wouldn’t mind Miranda Lambert or Shania Twain, but reportedly Mariah wants to be the only lady on the panel. 

  • windmills

    Good interview, thanks for posting MJ.

    I think it’s interesting how cagey Keith is being about Idol. My read on what he said is his 1st commitment is to The Voice: Australia IF he thinks he’ll be able to finish his album this year. He doesn’t want to be the guy who jumped ship from The Voice Australia to AI just because his first commitment was The Voice Australia and there’s a possible PR issue that comes out of that. The Voice Australia gave him a BIG boost in Australia so he wouldn’t want to give that back if possible.

    But, if he can’t do The Voice Australia, I think he wants to keep the Idol possibility in hand because it’ll let him continue to work/record/promote in the US. He mentioned he’ll know within a week whether he’ll be able to do The Voice Australia, so it’ll probably be at least that long before we’ll know whether he’s still considering Idol. 

    Keith or Brad would be great for AI but neither of them is going to be an easy get because of everything they have going on.

  • luvadamlambert


  • Larc

    Too bad Keith apparently isn’t available.  He would make an excellent judge, IMO.

    I hope the picture I’m getting of Idol still somewhat stumbling around in the dark trying to fill the judges roster is a wrong one.  But this thing seems to be taking an overly long time.  The Savannah judges’ audition round had already taken place by this time last year, and Galveston was only a week away.  With any luck, the hubbub going on now is all for show and the lineup is already complete.

  • Leandro

    Like I said. He told about it, he’s out, just like Jonas and Adam.

  • windmills

    Leandro: Like I said. He told about it, he’s out, just like Jonas and Adam.

    I think Keith went out of his way not to talk about AI and had to be asked twice, the 2nd time point blank to actually discuss it.

    Like I said I don’t think it’s all that likely he’ll do AI at this time. But, I see his situation as different from the others you mentioned.

  • BonnieDee

    I still would like to see Garth Brooks on there.

  • No Thanks

     I don’t buy your logic AT ALL.  The only person who went out of their way to talk about it AND lobby for themselves is Nick Jonas.

    Keith was asked about it point blank.  So was Adam – MANY times.  What do you expect them to say?  The only way to stay totally silent is to avoid the media.  And as they are doing press they can’t avoid the question.

  • Stavros

     That’s interesting though, because all these online news sites are confirming Nicki as a judge, and Nicki hasn’t said a single word about it. I’m sure she’s been bombarded with questions more than anyone else. She hasn’t denied it though, so maybe if she’s onboard she was told to keep quiet until the deal was done or until they announced it.

  • Leandro

    they can say “I can’t talk about it”.

  • Miz

    It doesn’t sound like Keith could/would do it at this time. Of all the contenders so far, he’s the only one I’d actually tune in to see. 

  • ptebwwong

    I actually think the rumored judges with a very good chance of signing are the ones that have kept quiet about the rumors. That means Brad Paisley & Nicki Minaj could be judges since they really haven’t said anything about the rumors.

    IMO the ones that have a strong consideration as judges have been told to keep quiet by Idol. Which is why I don’t buy Nick Jonas & others who have talked about it a lot as strong contenders.

  • SullyD

    Keith was adorable on The Voice Australia, too bad he can’t AI judge. Now I just hope Brad is still onboard.

  • No Thanks

     She’s been lying low lately though because of her vocal problems.  She’s on vocal rest.  The only thing she’s been doing is cussing people out on Twitter. 

  • Max

    Your No.1 Country singer is down with The Voice & The Voice only. Deal with it MJ.

  • Max

    K.Urban is more likely to consider an offer from Mark Burnett to take over B.Shelton’s chair for the fourth installment of The US Voice than AI.

  • No Thanks

    That’s still equal to admitting you’re in talks.  They can’t win.  None of them have gone into details.  Except Jonas, who’s practically begging for the job.

  • dante

    I would love for Keith Urban to be a judge – my top Country pick too – but it doesn’t sound likely sadly.

  • girlygirltoo

    I think Keith would make a great judge, but it sounds like he can’t do it, either because of him working on his album and/or because of his commitment to The Voice: Australia

  • Tess

    We are a week shy of September…it seems silly to me to think that Idol hasn’t already filled their roster since most “famous” people aren’t sitting on their hands without filling their calendar for the fall.  No one of any merit is going to keep their slate clean in the “hopes” they may be the chosen one…that would be career suicide (out of the loop for 4 or 6 weeks for them is like us taking a year sabbatical from work for us minions).  

    All of this maybe/maybe not that is being generated is ALL about keeping AI front and center in the media just as the names being bandied about is helping keep some people in the media loop.  I am sure it is a nice when an interviewer asks someone about their name being thrown into the ring…keeps blogs and online gossip sites very very happy and publicists don’t have to work so hard to keep someone’s name in the news cycle.

    This are they/are they not has been a big boon for lots of people and the show itself.  Choosing new judges has been very helpful in keeping AI even with The Voice and X-Factor even though it will air in the spring rather than the fall.  This kind of media circus is why some people (who keep the ball rolling) make lots of dollars.

  • irockhard

    Kinda bummed too that he obviously can’t do it because of his ties to TV, he was also my top pick for a country judge, well hopefully they can get Brad.

  • GinaBallerina

    I love me some Keith!  Hubby and I had our first dance to his song “Making Memories of us” at our wedding.  Plus, my work partner and I were just saying how we have never had an eye-candy judge (for the ladies) so Keith would definitely fill that void!  (I didn’t want to admit to her that I thought Simon was cute.  I still don’t think he counts as eye-candy.)

  • fantoo1

    I don’t think doing The Voice in another country would prevent him from getting hired. Remember, Simon did XFUK and Britains Got Talent when he was still doing idol. Now if Keith was doing The Voice US, then I can see it being a problem.

  • yksask

     My top choice as well. Would watch just to look at his smile every week.

  • OffLeash

    This is so disappointing. I really wanted him on the panel. Meh. I don’t like the only confirmed judge so far, so not good Idol! :( They shouldn’t have gotten me excited at the prospect of Nicki, Kanye and Keith on Idol. Boo. 

  • judes

    This is the problem when speculation mounts for who is going to be a judge- people get their hopes up too much. 
    The thing with Keith is -both he & Nicole are from Australia & they always come back here regularly to see family[ they have a house in the Southern highlands south of Sydney – out of prying media lenses!!] 
    Keith definitely enjoyed his time here doing the Voice & of course Australia grew to love him again .I don’t think he would give this up lightly but if he is unable to do this -it would seem he would be unable to commit to any other show either. 
    My husband & I saw Keith recently & he was born to be a performer -so I can understand that getting his record out so he can get out there & show the world – would be his number one priority!!

  • OffLeash

    The successful ones have better things to do unfortunately, and they don’t desperately need the exposure. Meh.

  • hillstreetblooz

     Hot damn,  he’s someone I could be shallow about all day – what a hottie, what a singer, what a heckuva man all around!! Mmm, mmm, mmmmmm! Gimme his kind of sexy all day, everyday – all natural man, lol.. Come on Idol – throw some serious dollars at this man to entice him to come on over!

  • Pietro Matos

    Keith is a little boring, too nice to be a judge. I didnt like him as a coach on the voice Australia.

  • Jazz_11

    I like Keith better than Brad. If Fox exects can focus at one candidate at a time and make up their mind fast, I think Keith will take the job. I think he doesn’t like the idea of Fox exect shopping around, “But they have been reaching out to a lot of people, so I think they are just figuring out which way they are going to go too.” .  The fact that he’s going to make his next album, IMO it gives him a very good reason and makes it easy for him to say NO.

  • judes

    Ha ha Pietro -you would be one of the few. The difference with the Voice is that it was part mentoring part judging . The mentoring is where Keith  came into his own. He is such a great musician & performer [ Kris Allen learnt a lot from him] that he was able to really help his team. That’s why I think he is ideal for The Voice but not so much for Idol as the judges on AI seem to have little interaction with the idols apart from official tapings.I think Keith would get too frustrated with this lack of interaction.

  • Kariann Hart

    It would be nice if Keith could mentor a session on Idol – if his contract says it it OK.