‘American Idol’ season 12: New cast photo with Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj

Even there is still some tension behind the scenes on the set of “American Idol,” Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are doing a pretty great job of hiding it. As a matter of fact, you see nothing but smiles in the latest image that was just released from Fox.

If there is one thing that actually surprises us here more than anything else about this image, it’s that every member of the panel looks surprisingly normal. While Nicki’s left hand makes Keith Urban look incredibly skinny, everyone looks casual and relaxed. Randy Jackson’s actually got on a suit that is indicative of a normal human being, and Nicki has traded in some of her crazy costumes for a more laid-back look that suits her well. Ryan Seacrest and Mariah easily win the award for dressing up the most; then again, it’s also possible that they may be smiling thanks to the millions of dollars that they are taking home thanks to this.

It was recently announced that the show would be returning to TV starting on Wednesday, January 16 with a two-hour premiere, and the show will air on Wednesdays and Thursdays all season long without interruption. (Unlike “The X Factor,” there is no concern about baseball coming in and spoiling the part for everyone.) As for the much-discussed discontent between the two judges, we still do not know if any of there long-discussed fighting is actually going to make it to air.

What do you think about this photo, and what’s your overall take on it: a nice look at the panel, or smiles hiding something sinister?

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