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Keith Urban Calls Final ‘American Idol’ Season ‘Bittersweet’

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The final season of American Idol kicked off this week, and from the sound of it, at least one of its celebrity judges wishes it didn’t have to end.

Keith Urban watched the premiere episode of Season 15 at home with his wife, Nicole Kidman, and their kids on Wednesday night (Jan. 6), and he tells Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper that the occasion was “bittersweet.”

“Nic was like, ‘You’ve got some good singers.’ And I was like, ‘We do,’ ” Urban says. “It was two hours, and we watched the whole show and Nic said, ‘So how come it’s ending?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know.’ ”

Urban is back for the final season alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., and host Ryan Seacrest is also back to bring the show full circle. The auditions so far have represented country music well, with contestants covering songs from LeAnn Rimes, the Band Perry, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Urban says despite the massive attention surrounding the iconic singing competition’s last hurrah, the task remains the same for him and his fellow judges.

“You get to work, and you’re in the zone,” he observes. “People are coming in and they’re singing. You’re critiquing. You’re doing all the things we’ve done every season. It would only be sporadically when someone mentioned it that I would be reminded that this is the last season. For me, it’s just going at it like it was the last three seasons.”

He tells the Tennessean the show’s “authentic nature” sets it apart from other programs.

“Having two kids 7 and 5, I’m going to miss that kind of show,” he says. “They are into it. It’s good.”

American Idol Country Singers … Where Are They Now?

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