‘American Idol’ Judge Randy Jackson on Season 12: ‘I Think We May Find That Actual Pop Star Again’ (VIDEO)

By: Rachel Levy / September 17, 2012

Idol Selects New Judges
Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban joins American Idol judging panel.
Randy Returns to Idol
Randy Jackson confirmed as judge for Season 12.
How does veteran American Idol judge Randy Jackson feel about his new partners in crime?

“The panel is on fire. The show is on fire,” the 56-year-old gushed to Ryan Seacrest on Monday, following Sunday’s announcement that Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban have joined the judging panel. “I think we may find that actual pop star again — that has the look, the whole fashion vibe, that has the voice and the talent.”

What makes Jackson so confident about season 12 of Idol?

For one, it’s the first time the show has featured a country star like Urban, 44.

“I love him. He’s an amazing musician. He plays the guitar so well, it’s unbelievable,” Jackson said during On Air With Ryan Seacrest. “He’s amazingly talented, and his insight added a whole new meaning to the whole thing, because we never had anybody country.”

Jackson is similary excited about legendary diva Mariah Carey, the first of this season’s new judges to be announced.

“We got him and Mariah, who is the greatest singer in the world,” Jackson said. “You got Nicki Ninaj, who is doing her thing. She’s hot on the charts right now.”

As for Idol‘s competition — X Factor and The Voice — Jackson isn’t worried.

Said the judge: “Idol is the only show that I know of, that anyone knows of, that continuously has a lot of stars produced [by] the show.”

What do you think of American Idol‘s newest judges? Weigh in below, and listen to the audio clip above to hear more of Jackson’s thoughts on Idol.