An endorsement from Mariah Carey in the singing game is like a Stephen Hawking putting in a good word for you in physics: it's big. So when the Carey lists her favourite American Idol auditions, you better sit up and take notice. Or not, that's up to you.

She didn't divulge any names whilst sitting on a panel to promote the Fox show's upcoming 12th season, which premieres Wednesday, but  some of singers she mentioned sang her songs, they shouldn't be too hard to spot. "There was this one time a girl sang one of my songs [and] I thought she was really good," Carey said. "I thought, 'This girl has a chance.' I was proud that I had written a song that she was inspired to sing." Elsewhere, it was those who showcased their talents in song writing as well as belting them out. "To me, that adds to them as an artist. Every time someone would [sing a good original song] I was really impressed because that is my thing," she said. "I love to write songs." (via People).

The final new judge, Nicki Minaj, had simpler advice for auditioning hopefuls, "Flash me!" Although all jokes aside, Minaj said she was looking for "an all around entertainer, someone who is going to captivate people with or without music."