Country superstar Keith Urban returns to American Idol on Wednesday night as a new judge in Las Vegas for the first phase of the Top 40 semifinal round.
On Wednesday night, American Idol moves to Las Vegas, where the Top 40 semifinalists will be split into guys and girls. Ten girls will perform before the guys on Thursday while Urban and the judges choose which five will remain on American Idol.
“I don’t feel it’s any harder,” Urban told The Deadbolt on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday ahead of the Vegas round. “Certainly the audience reactions to our critiquing or our opinions makes for a different kind of energy in the room. But for me, I’m just trying to stay in the moment and just really give my gut reaction. The way a performance hits me, I’m just trying to stay on track with that and give them the best advice I can possibly give them. Hopefully they get to go through to the next round.”
Although new American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey made heated headlines after their highly publicized feud, Keith Urban largely flew under the media radar while keeping an eye on the talent.
With the Top 40 about to be narrowed down in Las Vegas, Keith Urban has watched this year’s crop of singers gain newfound confidence in the competition each week.
“It’s tremendous,” added Urban about the the growth and evolution of the singers on American Idol. “I never forget the environment they’re working in, too. That’s an extraordinary thing, particularly when you’re young, 18, or whatever, and you’re standing there in front of us – there were 1700 people in the theater last night – and countless millions watching at home. There you are right in front of everybody and you’ve got limited time to do your thing. So I have a tremendous amount of empathy for the environment that they’re working in as well, and I do take that into account.”
Semifinalist Round, Part 1 – Girls Perform episode of American Idol airs Wednesday, February 20 at 8 PM ET/PT on Fox.
What do you think of Keith Urban as a judge this season on American Idol?