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Keith Urban on New ‘American Idol’ Season: ‘I’m Interested in Finding Originals’

Keith Urban
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Keith Urban is set to return to his judging chair for the upcoming season of ‘American Idol,’ and the country superstar has a strong idea of what he’s looking for this year — and what he’s not.

“First of all, I never think of it in terms of finding the next anybody,” Urban told a group of reporters on a recent conference call. “We want to find the first of anyone, and that sort of individualism and uniqueness is what I’m always waiting for with ‘Idol.’ I want to find that person that is just extraordinarily original, because they are the ones. Adele was just very original. Taylor [Swift] was very original. The artists that have really solidified their careers and made significant albums; they’re the ones that everyone else then tries to copy. I’m interested in finding originals.”

Urban will have a little judging help on the home front this season; his wife, Nicole Kidman, and daughters will be watching the show.

“I love them watching because I like the way they respond to people. It’s very interesting,” he adds. “They watch like everybody else does and either respond to someone or they don’t, and I’m interested in that because we can get sort of myopic with it sometimes, being in the middle of it all. It’s great to get just a totally fresh perspective. I often ask Nic what she thinks of various people and who she likes and why — particularly why, that’s always interesting to me.”

Season 14 of ‘American Idol’ is slated to kick off with a special two-night event beginning Jan. 7, 2015.

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