Nicki: I think the contestants are coming into a business that's very different from 50 years ago. With social media, things are so different and can also be so very angry, judgmental and negative. I feel like I've gone through so much of that and I'd love to be able to tell the contestants honestly and truthfully what they can expect.
Sometimes you got to tell people, "hey you might really not want to be in this". There's a reason why it's called "the business" - it takes a lot of tenacity and all those things that some people might not have. So that's a part of what I bring, just being a part of the now moment in pop culture and being able to share it with people who want to do it now and realise that sometimes you're going to be ripped apart, and you got to take it and prove who you really are and how bad you really want it.
Randy: If you're going to take this shot, the whole idea is that you want to have a career and not just one hit, for just one year. We've produced some career artistes like what you have up here with the judges.
Keith: At the end of the day everybody is going to have to learn what they have to do. Some have a lot of experience, some not at all. What I love about the show is hearing or seeing people perform who have such a natural artistry about them, who maybe haven't perform before but they look incredibly comfortable up there and confident, and all they're needing is that break and the show gives them that.
What made you say yes to being a judge?
Nicki: I'm just a big fan of the brand. You don't even have to live in America to respect AI. I remember watching the first season and feeling inspired. This is such a credible brand, the real deal in looking for talent and I'm down with it. Keith: It's such a legendary show. What I like about it is that it's the American dream. And that's why I moved here. The fact that I could come from nothing, a small tiny town in Australia called Caboolture, with this deep love for American country music and be able to move here and have the career I've got, really is the American dream. With the show it could give someone from the middle of nowhere that opportunity as well.
Mariah: I've never been a fan of this type of thing but I realise that this show has given talented singers wonderful careers and created superstars who'll have lasting careers. Then there's that certain panache that goes along with the brand and name.