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(CNN) — There won’t just be a new winner next season on “American Idol.” Most everything about the show may be new.

Weeks after Randy Jackson announced his departure from Fox’s long-running music talent show, two of his fellow judges — Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — followed him out the door Thursday.

MariahCareyThat leaves only one “Idol” judge left in crooner Keith Urban — for now.

News of Carey’s departure came out first Thursday, in the form of a tweet posted on her official account that stated she was saying “goodbye 2 idol” (and, simultaneously, announced a new world tour). Players behind “American Idol” — namely Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment — confirmed her departure in a statement.

“Mariah Carey is a true global icon — one of the most accomplished artists on the planet — and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the ‘American Idol’ contestants this season,” they said. “We know she will remain an inspiration to ‘Idol’ hopefuls for many seasons to come.”

Minaj followed up a short time later with a tweet of her own, making her exit official, also after a lone season.

“Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world!” the rapper wrote. “Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!”

After this tweet, Fox, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment issued another statement saying they “understand and respect her decision” in light of “her extremely busy career.”

“Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to ‘American Idol’ and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season,” they said.

The two performers had been brought on following the exits of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, hoping to bolster the show’s ratings.

“Idol” had topped the Nielsen charts as America’s most watched program for eight years running. But that streak ended in 2012, and since then the show’s producers have made several changes. This season’s finale was earlier this month.

Carey and Minaj, though, ended up generating headlines more for their reported tiff than they did for bringing in more viewers.

Both of them join Jackson, who had been the only judge remaining from the program’s 2002 debut. Earlier this month, he announced he had voted himself off the show.

“It’s been a life-changing opportunity, but I am looking forward to focusing on my company, Dream Merchant 21, and other business ventures,” the musician and producer said.

SAN DIEGO – With Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez gone from “American Idol,” Amber Holcomb had to win over three new judges on the panel, and she did it.

amber houston

“American Idol” contestant Amber Houston

The 19-year-old from Houston, Texas almost made last year’s “Idol” top 10. After missing the cut last year, Holcomb returned home to work on a few things.

“My look and personality,” said Holcomb.  “I had to find who I was.  There’s a big change from last year to this year.”

She got a standing ovation from all four judges on the first live episode of the season.

Judge Nicki Minaj even dubbed her the young Whitney Houston.  Although, she said one of her greatest inspirations is Karen Carpenter.

“I think I was listening to Pandora one day and her song came up.  I typed in her name and watched all of her songs – hers and the Carpenters, and I fell in love,” said Holcomb.

As for her personal life, she didn’t talk too much about her rumored boyfriend back home, but apparently he revealed something about her.

Q:  If you came with a warning label, what would your ex say is written on that label?

“Warning: loud and random!  Yeah, loud and random.  You never know what’s going to come out of my mouth,” she said.  “And if I get too excited, I just get loud!”

Q:  Let’s say you make to the finals.  You’re sitting there in the finale with someone next to you.  Who’s there with you?

“Gosh, That’s so hard.  If I had to pick one because it’s going to be a girl winner this year,”  she laughed.  “So it’ll probably be Candice.  Candice will be sitting right next to me.”

ESCONDIDO, Calif. –  You may have seen Morgan Leigh Boberg of Valley Center perform on “American Idol” Wednesday night.

Just hours before the show aired, the country singer talked about what it’s like to be a contestant on “Idol.”

bobergOn the show, Boberg made singing look easy but she said Hollywood week was anything but easy.

“I was expecting to sleep a lot more during Hollywood week and that was definitely a surprise,”  said Boberg.  “I got two hours of sleep one night, and another night I got maybe three.”

The actress, dancer and professionally trained vocalist started taking voice lessons eight years ago.  But she says she began doing musical theatre when she was seven.

“I loved being on stage, I loved music and I started evolving into a country singer when I was 15-years old,” said Boberg.  “Since then, it has been a huge dream of mine to be on stage.”

Prior to Idol, the pretty blonde worked as a Disney princess by day.

“I worked for children’s birthday parties,” said Boberg.  “I’d sing for them, and pretty much just let their dream come true.”

By night she was a part of a six member country group called the Morgan Leigh Band.  The group started to play together last April at the San Diego Fair.

‘My band is everything (to me)” said Boberg.  “They make me be the artist I want to be.”

Members of the band say they are excited for Boberg and they  hope that American Idol can parlay Boberg to the next level.

When asked if they would stay together as a band if she wins, Paul Coughlin, one of the members of band joked, “I’m sure we’ll be  available if she needs a backup band.”

Boberg said the experience changed her.

“I’m more of an artist now and I know exactly what I want to do,” said Boberg. “I’m trying my best to become better known and to do more shows tha reflect me.”

If you’d like to learn more about Boberg and the Morgan Leigh Boberg Band go to ttps://

SAN DIEGO – San Diego native Marvin Calderon Jr. is moving on in the Hollywood round of American Idol.

Screen%20Shot%202013-02-06%20at%209.09.04%20PMWednesday night, he performed in a group with three other singers. All four are moving on.

“I was so happy that I happened to be in a group with very talented singers,” said Calderon Jr. “And we all did very well.”

The group received praise from judge Randy Jackson.

“Very, very nicely done,” said Jackson. “You’re all going through.”

But Calderon Jr. is not ashamed to admit it’s been a long journey to Hollywood.

“I’m proud to say that I tried out five times,” said Calderon Jr. “I didn’t make it through the initial cattle call round the past four times. This season I made it through and lucky enough I made it to Hollywood.”

The San Diego State student grew up in a very musical family. He said his siblings were typically the singers and he played piano. These days he sings R&B and soul music and performs publicly.

“I’ve been singing a lot of local shows,” said Calderon Jr. “Performing with Pasacat, my Philippine performing arts company. They kind of built me up to be the performer that I am now.”

Calderon Jr. is already getting a lot of support from the San Diego community.

“I’m so blessed and even more lucky,” said Calderon Jr. “That I have family. I have the community. I have San Diego State supporting me. I just want to do my best for them.”

Calderon Jr. can’t reveal what’s to come on the show, but he can talk about the experience of performing on the American Idol stage.

“People crumble. People succeed,” said Calderon Jr. “Hollywood is basically the ultimate test and it was crazy.”

Calderon said, despite being in a competition, the contestants want to see each other succeed.

“They’re so nice and they’re just as passionate as you with singing,” said Calderon Jr. “So I really enjoyed it. We kind of helped each other. We supported each other and even though we were competing we rooted for each other.  I think that’s why everybody got to shine, because everybody was so supportive.”

No matter how the show turns out, Calderon Jr. said he’s just grateful for the opportunity.

“American Idol gave me a chance to step on their stage,” said Calderon Jr. “American Idol is kind of described as the gold standard. It’s the top TV show and to be able to put my name out there and be associated with the show, there’s so many exciting things ahead.”

American Idol is back and it’s all about the new judges. Jagger and Kristi from Magic 92.5 weigh in on the season premiere 12 and talk about what Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj add to the show.

“American Idol” judges welcomed thousands of sings to audition for Season 12 in Long Beach.