‘American Idol’ notes: Jessica Sanchez, Nicki Minaj, Phillip Phillips

American IdolWe’re going to start out our Thursday edition of “American Idol” notes with something that definitely drew a number of headlines on Wednesday night: the show holding a live screening of the premiere episode in several cities around the country. We’re not really interested yet in spoiling any of the contestants that are in the first episode yet, but there is one message that we do very much want to pass along: Nicki Minaj is going to be the star of this show.

In a way, we already understand why Mariah Carey is so peeved by Nicki: she thought that she was going to be the only female member of the panel, and along comes someone who is not only more current than her, but she’s also a better judge. While she could come across as overbearing to some, we’re totally loving Minaj’s honesty, wit, humor, and even her facial expressions that put Britney Spears on “The X Factor” to shame. If she can keep this up during the live shows, her presence alone could keep the competition as a whole from becoming just a compliment-fest like it was last year.

We also want to give a little bit of credit to Keith Urban, who also did a pretty tremendous job on the show of being honest without getting so much attention. He just seems like an easygoing, likable, guy, which is saying something considering that we are looking at someone here who is married to a major Hollywood star in Nicole Kidman.

The premiere – In case you didn’t hear, there was also a premiere part for this season that featured a number of the show’s past stars, including Jessica Sanchez and Colton Dixon from this past season. Jessica has been hard at work as of late on her deubt album (coming early this year), while Colton’s “A Messenger” drops this month.

Phillip’s new gigs – Finally, we thought that you would want to know that reigning champ Phillip Phillips has a slew of performances lined up for the “American Idol” premiere day. Not only will he be featured on the show itself, but he will stop by “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in order to perform new single “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

Want to read some more scoop on “American Idol” season 12? If so, you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: Fox

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