Keith Urban on what it takes to win ‘American Idol’

Keith Urban shares the judging panel with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. in the thirteenth season of American Idol.  Credit: 2014 FOX Broadcasting.
Keith Urban shares the judging panel with Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. in “American Idol” Season 13. 
Credit: 2014 FOX Broadcasting 

As a musician, Keith Urban has had his fair share of experiences in the spotlight. Now as a judge on “American Idol,” he is able to share the advice he picked up along the way.

“The most important thing I wanted to be able to do was help them, because a lot of the times I see artists struggling with something that is very simple to fix,” Urban says. “In my case, it’s things that I’ve had to figure out how to do, how to perform properly, how to choose songs properly and I think a lot of that can be taught.”

Of course, it takes more than a few lessons with a mentor for these “Idol” hopefuls to come out on top. Raw talent is a huge factor when trying to break out into the music industry, and Urban, along with fellow judges Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez, are looking for a certain drive in the contestants.

“It’s not just about having the talent, it’s about having the passion for it,” Urban says. “Winning ‘Idol’ doesn’t automatically catapult you into the stratosphere. You have to then set about finding the songs and making a record, then you’ve got to go out and do all the interviews. You’ve got to be able to do all the work.”

Now in his second season on the show, Australian native has learned that his advice doesn’t always apply:  As artists, the contestants must be able to figure out what exactly works for them. “We can be offering all this advice,” he explains, “but they also have individualism and originality about them, which can defy every single thing we are saying. They could go against every single thing and create something extraordinary.”

Everything but country 

With all of the different types of music genres represented on the show, country has had a strong presence in this season. As a country singer himself, Urban is most familiar with this type of music — but he doesn’t let that affect his judgment.

“I just respond to a feeling. It’s not even about genre. It’s got everything to do with the sense of believability and authenticity,” Urban says.

The top eight finalists of “American Idol” will perform songs from the 1980s Wednesday, at 8 p.m. on FOX.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…