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TMZ now reporting that Keith Urban is the newest 'American Idol' judge

Sheesh, what is the hold up?

Last week it had been reported by The Country Vibe that Keith Urban had signed the papers and was officially joining 'American Idol' as a judge. Now TMZ has chimed in and says that Keith is in fact joining the show but hasn't quite finished crossing those T's and dotting those I's just yet 

TMZ says

"Idol" sources tell us, the country singer is in the final negotiation stages with producers to take the third judging spot on the show -- alongside Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, who replaced Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Keith will be replacing Randy Jackson -- but he hasn't officially signed the dotted line just yet. He's still working out a few contract kinks, but it's pretty much a lock.

He'll be receiving roughly $3-4 million for his hard work -- about half what Nicki Minaj is expected to make ... and a paltry fraction of Mariah's $18 million paycheck.

As we previously reported, there will be a 4th judge this season, but we're told no one has been picked for that spot.  But here's what we do know ... "Idol" honchos want a man for the 4th spot, because they don 't think this show will work with 2 women and a man.

One of those contract kinks may have been that 'American Idol' needed to get the Randy Jackson situation taken care of first before finishing contract negotiations with Keith and Nicki Minaj. Today TMZ reports that Jackson has officially quit the show as a full-time judge but will still serve as a mentor on the show. Hopefully that means things can get rocking and rolling and we'll finally have confirmation from the show what most of us already assume is true....that Keith is the newest 'American Idol' judge. 

An early congrats to Keith Urban!

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