The Word: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban join ‘American Idol’ team

Nicki Minaj

The new judges panel for the 12th season of “American Idol” was announced yesterday in a press release from Fox. Joining confirmed judges Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson will be the new additions of Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.

“With the exciting addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, alongside Randy Jackson, ‘American Idol”s star power has never been so great,” said “Idol” executive producer Simon Fuller in a boilerplate quote.

Judging by other quotes in the release — “we’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company — you can tell the honchos at the network are feeling the heat from other all-star panels at rival singing competitions such as “The Voice” and “The X Factor,” where Britney Spears is killing it as a judge.

What do you think of these new additions? As always, feel free to write in to let your opinion known. As for me, I just hope Nicki Minaj’s multiple personalities can make up for Urban’s lack of one.

Royal lawyers: Block those nips!

Will the publisher of Italian media group Mondadori lose their shirts for publishing photos of Kate Middleton without hers on?

It certainly looks that way, with lawyers for the royal family going to court today in France in order to try to stop further publication of topless photos of Kate there. The palace is also seeking damages from Mondadori, which is owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Meanwhile, YouPorn.com — a site that usually doesn’t need publicity — has generated some by offering an “open checkbook” to procure the snaps.

It might just be me, but it’s hard to find any sympathy for Middleton. When you know you are going to become the next Queen of England, it’s time to put your topless sunbathing days behind you. Seems like a fair swap, right?

Duff Goldman: Buddy’s not my buddy

We chatted up “Ace of Cakes” star Duff Goldman at the launch of his cake-inspired truffles collection for Godiva last week, and he wasn’t too happy when asked about his friendship with Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss” fame.

“We don’t have one,” he told Metro. “He’s not the other cake guy. It’s insulting to even be compared with that guy. It’s terrible. I hate it, I really hate it.” He then launched into an off-the-record rant about the Cake Boss’s subpar skills before walking off, leaving us to munch on his tasty truffles solo.

Guess there’s no amount of sugar that could sweeten up that relationship.

— With additional reporting by Meredith Engel


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