With a new panel and a whole new dynamic, this season of American Idol is going strong so far.

It looks like the driving force behind the revival are mostly the ladies – after the obligatory fight/feud/general beef (what’s the trendy term these days?) Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj seem to have reconciled in their mission to let as many hot guys as possible through the qualifying round. Nicki is her usual larger-than-life self, complete with eye-popping colour palette, (mostly) witty banter, and a ready comment for every contestant. Maybe her energy is exactly what the talent competition needed to get back on its feet. But the reason that Miss Minaj’s whole persona works on the show, is that it works with the other judges.

Mariah balances out Nicki’s zany personality with her calm, serene appearance (seriously, does anyone know what they have in those cups?), while Keith Urban is the nice guy every judging panel needs, in order for the viewer not to hate them. Meanwhile, Randy Jackson is just there to stir up the occasional spat, by egging on contestants and judges alike. It’s always clear, however, that any drama is mainly for the cameras and in overall, they all just get along. Just like one big, mismatched, reality TV family.