Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson at the New York auditions. (Michael Becker /Fox)

“American Idol” is going to bring us it’s A game this season because it took a licking in the ratings last spring.

History has shown us that an American Idol can do anything, show host Ryan Seacrest says, by way of reminding us “Idol” churns out star — well some seasons anyway — while the other singing shows have yet to cough up a single one.

To prove his point, we see pawn-shop staffer Phil Phillips perform his hit “Home,” and Carrie Underwood winning things, and Carrie Underwood thanking fans, and Kelly Clarkson winning stuff too.

You know who else Can Do Anything? Jennifer Hudson! Except, of course, win an “American Idol” competition, which “Idol” is too polite to point out.

This season we’ve got all new judges – except Randy, who got to stick around when some better idea fell through.

Keith Urban is the competition’s first country judge – about time. And Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey can fight anywhere – even in the elevator, on the way to the first day of auditions, over a drum majorette hat. Mariah doesn’t think Nicki should be allowed to put her plumed hat on the judges’ desk unless Mariah gets to bring her dog to work.

Nicki, conversely, doesn’t think Mariah should be allowed to give her hat nasty looks in the elevator.

They also have a strong disagreement over the finer points of the flick “Mean Girls.” And they’re miles apart on the relative importance of “All I Want for Christmas.”

Mariah finally warns Nicki that if she calls her anything that “starts with a ‘B’ and ends with an ‘itch’ — I rebuke it!”

“It’s the dawn of a brand new season — together we’ll take the journey that defines a nation,” Seacrest explains.

When not busy catterwauling, the judges audition some wannabe Idolettes.

In addition to the virtually all-new judge panel, “American Idol” unveils another new feature: American Idol Ambush, in which someone who had no intention of auditioning for the show is dragged out of a bar in which they were happily performing, given an “Idol” audition number, slapped in front of the judges and then….rejected!

DisclaimerThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.