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Friday October 5, 2012

NEW YORK -- "Am erican Idol" season 12 tapings are just getting under way and Keith Ur ban has already be come more than just a judge: he’s also the pacifier on the newly-minted panel.

The country crooner likened his role on "Idol" to that of the United Nations Wednes day on the red carpet at the New York Film Festival gala honoring his wife, Nicole Kidman.

Rumors of drama between fellow judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Car ey have been swirling for weeks. A web video released Tues day by TMZ.com shows what appears to be an argument be tween the two (see story this page).

Urban said the judges are all simply "passionate people," but insisted the group, which includes veteran judge Randy Jackson, is "getting along."

Season 12 premieres in January.

-- Associated Press