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Keith Urban Was Encouraged to ‘Get Out of Country Music’ as Reality Show Contestant

Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

Before he even considered judging the upcoming season of ‘American Idol’ or sat down in that big red chair on ‘The Voice’ Australia, Keith Urban had plenty of experience with singing competition shows. As a young boy, the ‘For You’ hitmaker appeared as a contestant on an Australian reality show that is similar to ‘Idol.’ However, he wasn’t as popular as he is now… by any means.

“I did a show when I was 9,” Urban revealed during a press conference recently, according to MTV. “I actually did a show in Australia, one of these kinds of shows with three judges, and one of them just completely crucified me.”

Apparently, the judge wasn’t even a little bit kind to the pre-teen Urban. “He also said to me, ‘I encourage you to get out of country music, just get rid of that of that nonsense get into some real music,'” the singer explained. “I obviously took it to heart.”

Hopefully, Urban will remember that experience and try to be especially kind to contestants on the 12th season of ‘American Idol.’ After several weeks of speculation about who would join the show, the popular country star confirmed that he will appear on the upcoming season. He will join new additions Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, as well as returning judge Randy Jackson, at the judges’ panel.

“Keith is another great addition to Idol — he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him,” Fox’s Mike Darnell told Entertainment Weekly.

Tune in to Fox on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting in January 2013 to see the new ‘American Idol’ judges in action.

Next: Country 'American Idol' Stars - Then and Now


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