OFFSTAGE: Keith Urban Likes the America in American Idol

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Keith Urban always seems like he loves everything about his native Australia. But when it comes to making music, it sounds like he’d rather be here in the States. Which is part of the reason he left The Voice in Australia. “I told the people at The Voice that I needed a few months in the studio before I could give them an answer about season two,” Urban said. “It then became apparent that there was no way the record was going to be done by Christmas, so I couldn’t do it. When they asked if there was anything they could do to change my mind, I said, ‘Yeah, tell me you’re going to film in L.A. or Nashville, where I can keep working on my record!’” Obviously, you can’t tape an Australian reality talent series outside of Australia, so Urban had to leave the show. But when one door closes, another one opens. And now Urban will be sitting at the American Idol judges table starting Jan. 16. So he gets to hang out in America, and America gets to hang out with Urban — at least a couple of nights a week. Everybody wins.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.