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New 'American Idol' Promos Slam Competition; Play Up Nicki Minaj

The Fox series leaned heavy on its legacy with a look to the future with two new promos this week.

American Idol Judges Square - P 2012

American Idol throws down the gauntlet in two new promos this week with a bold statement: “Others Dream, Idol  Delivers!”

The first spot, which highlights all four judges—Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson—spotlights the growing excitement of the new season with images of past finalists—Kelly Clarkson, Phillip Phillips, Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery—and a strong claim that the show “turns unknowns into superstars.” The mania is captured with glimpses of host Ryan Seacrest whipping crowds of hopefuls into a frenzy.

Also notable in the first commercial is a quip from Minaj, informing a contestant that her “hair is edible,” which leads to the even more entertaining second clip starring the flamboyant rapper and her hit, “Pound The Alarm.”

The promo offers a few hints about what kind of judge Minaj promises to be, and in each frame she is funny, quick, fun, and, quite honestly, on point.

“Obviously I’m not judging you because of your hair,” she tells one singer, while coaching another in dance moves with a “snap, snap, work!” command.

She seems moved by one girl, sighing, “you just excited me,” and in the funniest moment, she has an interaction with Jackson, who asks if she enjoyed “the singing,” to which she emphatically declares, “no, no, no, no.”

Honestly, the judges table seems a lot more colorful, and most importantly, youthful with Minaj in the mix. At least one former Idol contestant, season six finalist Chris Richardson, knows exactly what Minaj will bring to the show. Richardson is labelmates with Minaj at Cash Money Records, and said her expertise is needed at the panel.

"I think Nicki will bring charisma to the show with a combination of originality, personality, a beautiful face and talent," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "She is a mega-talent for a mega-show."

American Idol returns Jan. 16. 

Watch the clips below: