THE live semi-final rounds of American Idol started this week and the competition is heating up.
Airing on Channel 10 just seven hours behind the US, the remaining singers are battling for a spot in the Top 10 male and female groups.
It only took one series of The Voice Australia for Keith Urban to show his star quality as a judge.
The country music chart-topper was quickly snapped up by the Idol producers and has injected some much-needed humour and laidback attitude to the diva-heavy panel.
In a recent interactive Q&A, the Queensland native talked about why he joined the show and the challenges of being a reality TV judge.
Q: Why did you join the show?
A: I've watched Idol for a lot of years and I love singers, I love musicians, I love creative people and I love what this show can do for people who otherwise are trying to find a way in.
Q: What is the key to longevity?
A: Making art that stays relevant and changes with the times and yet not losing yourself in the process. There are certain artists who keep doing the same thing and that's actually what their audiences love about them. They don't want them to change, but there are other artists who always change. We don't want to hear the same thing. You've just got to be authentic.
Q: How hard is it to tell the contestant no?
A: First of all I think it depends on the contestant. Everybody handles criticism or "no" differently. I think if you walk on to American Idol and you're wearing some wacky costume and you look just legitimately crazy then I think it's easy to say no. I find it harder once we start making connections with people.
Q: What part of the entire Idol experience has been the most fun?
A: I don't find that it's one thing. It's the dysfunctional family that you see before you. I love the unpredictability of every day on the set. The whole thing is fun.
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