We’re less than 48 hours away from the 12th season of America Idol and it’s a season of new beginnings- new judges, new contestants and we’re hoping for maybe a new theme song (probably unlikely). If you haven’t been keeping up-to-date on your Idol gossip, keep tuning in. We’ll have everything Idol you want to know all season long so you won’t miss one sing-your-heart-out detail or judge cat fight.

How well do you know your judges?
Bid farewell to Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler and roll out the welcome mat for Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. Randy Jackson remains the only original Idol judge. With these four judging up and coming talent- you bet this will be an explosive season.

Randy Jackson is a Grammy-winning producer and an extremely talented bass player (we didn’t know he once played with Journey)! Jackson is also a television producer- he developed MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” that ran seven seasons. Oh and did we mention Randy is a family man and author with two books in the bag?

Make room for Carey and her high-pitch, power-house vocals. This diva was once known for her high-profile relationships, but we give Carey props for keeping her family out of the limelight. Judging qualifications: Carey has been a house hold name for 23 years- her recording debut was in 1990. So, she just may know a thing or two about budding talent. Let’s not forget her accolades: five Grammy Awards, 17 World Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards and 31 Billboard Music Awards. Wow!

Jackson and Carey are not the only judges touting Grammy awards; Urban won four. Okay, we’re impressed. Not only is this hunky 44-year-old married to Nicole Kidman- we’re not jealous- he is the first country star in Idol’s history to be a judge. Urban has reality show judging experience under his belt; he coached one season of the Aussie’s The Voice. We think Urban just may steal the show.

The one and only 29-year-old Minaj touts herself as a rapper, singer, songwriter, voice actress and record producer. We know her as the Trinidadian-born diva who dons colorful outfits and entertains with crazy antics.  But, she’s also a chart-topper and with a record-setting talent in her own right. Minaj holds the title for the first female solo artist with seven singles ranked concurrently on Billboards Hot 100. Idol isn’t known to spotlight hip hop or rap so, viewers could be in for a format  change.

Do you like the new judging panel? Think they’ll have a better shot of encouraging the next up and comer? What’s your bet on who may fight, like Paula and Simon did way back when?