01/03/2013 03:59 pm ET Updated Jan 03, 2013

'American Idol' Season 12: Why Nicki Minaj And Mariah Carey Said Yes

After Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler backed out of "American Idol" for Season 12, Fox went into full-fledged search mode as they looked for the next big judges.

They ended up with Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, but according to THR the latter two singers didn't initially jump at the opportunity.

"I was on the fence about the whole thing ... I got approached by all the [singing competition] shows," Carey said, adding that she chose "Idol" thanks to advice from her husband Nick Cannon. "He said I should do it because it's the top, it's the cream of the crop. And I felt like, 'Do the show that's produced massive stars who have had major careers.'"

Minaj was similarly hesitant saying, "Sometimes you are afraid of being too famous because it's almost, like, is that even cool? Being that accessible, someone you see on TV every week? I never pictured myself as that type of person."

But thanks to Fox's Mike Darnell, Minaj took the leap. "He was so lovable and made me feel so comfortable and confident. He kept saying, 'I promise we're going to protect you; you're going to love it, we're a big family," she said.

Minaj and Carey famously engaged in a feud earlier this year, with Minaj saying, "I told them, I'm not f---in' putting up with her f---ing highness over there, figure it the f--- out," about Carey.

According to host Ryan Seacrest, however, all's well that ends well.

"There are not too many dull moments between the two of them, but at the end of the day, we all hug and laugh and go home and get ready for another day," Seacrest told "Today" in September. "They get along fine, but they're strong and candid in their opinion."

Season 12 of "American Idol" premieres on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

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