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'American Idol': Rickey Minor Reveals Secrets of Judges' Fleetwood Mac Jam

"It's hard to get four leaders of four countries together to agree on something," he said.

Rickey Minor Sparkle Premiere - H 2013
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Week after week on American Idol, the judges always tell the contestants that their performance always comes down to song choice.

But what happens when the judges have to come up with a song choice for themselves?

“It’s hard  to get four leaders of four countries together to agree on something, so that’s why I come in as a neutralizer,” said American Idol band leader Rickey Minor, the mastermind behind the judge jam on Wednesday night’s Idol finale.

Early in the season, Minor was asked by producers to come up with a song for Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Randy Jackson to perform on the finale, and for him the choice was clear: Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.”

“That song came to mind, right away, because they can play, sing, it’s a three part harmony and the message is you can go your own way,” he said.

Of course, the judges had their own ideas, and came up with “random songs and medleys of other songs” to perform, but eventually they came along to Minor’s way of thinking.

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If someone else suggests an idea, he said they eventually “gravitate towards an idea that’s not your own.”

“That’s hard to do, but I think that the song resonated with them, and that was good,” he said.

Minor said the other challenges from the season was working with an incredibly young group of singers that were not used to performing with a band.

“The contestants I think probably didn’t have as much experience as the contestants in the past. They hadn’t played with a band before,” he said. “The only one that I thought had a lot of experience was Caleb (Johnson).  Alex (Preston) had experience but he only played at coffee shops.”

In the end, the bandleader thinks the kids adjusted.

“This is a big machine. So I think that this season they’ve had to grow fast, and I think they did,” he said. “I am really proud of their growth.”

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile, @Idol_Worship