T

he twelfth season of American Idol premiered on January 16, 2013, as part of the mid-season of the 2012–13 network television season. Three new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, signed on to replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez who left after two seasons of judging on the show. On May 9, 2013, Randy Jackson announced that this would be his final season as judge due to him wanting to focus on other business ventures.

The season was the third to have four judges, after the eighth and ninth seasons. It was also the first season in the show's history where all of one gender's finalists were eliminated before any of the opposite gender's finalists, therefore making it the first to not only have an all-female top 5, but also the first season since the sixth season to produce a female winner, as well as the first season since the third season to have a finale consisting of two females. It was also the first season where the judges did not use the "Judges' Save" since its introduction in the eighth season. This was the third season where both finalists were in the bottom three or two at some point in the competition, following the third and eighth seasons.

Overview from themoviedb.org
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