There really is proof that your wildest dreams can come true against all the odds. If you need any proof, look no further than American Idol. On Wednesday and Thursday night the show will return for premieres of its twelfth season. This time, returning host Ryan Seacrest and judge Randy Jackson will be joined by new hosts Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban.
To give you a little background on the folks you'll be seeing throughout the season, here are the five American Idol faces you need to know.
1) Ryan Seacrest
Seacrest is a celebrated Hollywood entrepreneur, involved in everything from the E! News red carpet coverage to the Emmy Awards. He is also the producer of reality TV staples such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and spin-offs Khloe and Lamar, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. His banner is also currently producing Married to Jonas and Shahs of Sunset. Seacrest is also behind The Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF), a not-for-profit that attempts to enhance the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children through multimedia programs and interactive platforms.
2) Randy Jackson
Jackson has been with the show since the very start and is the only judge to feature in all 12 seasons. He is a Grammy Award-winning producer, has served as vice president for A&R at Columbia Records, manages the band Paper Tongues and has played bass guitar for Journey, Tracy Chapman, and Bruce Springsteen.
3) Mariah Carey
Carey is a modern legend, winner of multiple Grammy Awards, the first female artist in history to have a song debut at number one, and is the best-selling female recording artist of all time. One of the greatest mysteries in the universe is how the affable but considerably less successful Nick Cannon managed to woo her into marrying him.
4) Nicki Minaj
Minaj is a Trinidadian born American rapper and singer. She is the first female artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time and her single “Super Bass” has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, selling over four million copies. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2012, and also won this year’s People's Choice Award for Favorite Hip Hop Artist.
5) Keith Urban
Urban is a four-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist and responsible for 28 top five hits, 14 of which were number one. His latest CD, Get Closer, follows five consecutive platinum or multi-platinum releases and has produced three consecutive number one singles in "You Gonna Fly," "Long Hot Summer," and "Without You."
In the eleventh season of the show, singer Philip Phillips came to international prominence after winning the contest, joining an elite panel of winners that includes Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, and Carrie Underwood.
Phillips' debut single, “Home,” sold over two million copies and was downloaded more times in its first week than any other coronation song. His album, The World from the Side of the Moon, was the 370th time an Idol alum had produced a number one debutant.
Auditions for the twelfth season were conducted in LA, Chicago, New York, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge, and Charlotte.
The season debuts tonight on FOX at 8/7c.