(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
How hard is it to be a contestant on American Idol? It's hard enough that one of the show's judges, Keith Urban, admits he doesn't think he could do it. "The very first thing you are going to do on this show is walk into a room, see the four of us and have to sing with no band, no microphone, no nothing," Urban told People magazine. "No other show does that. That has got to be tough. I don't know that I could do it." He added that the Top 10's mentor Jimmy Iovine might be a little tougher (OK, a lot tougher) on the contestants because they are just coming from different places. "We're artists talking to a young artist on camera in front of millions of people, trying to give constructive criticism in a way that doesn't humiliate them. I don't ever want to humiliate somebody," Urban said, maybe alluding to the fact that the place Iovine is coming from is the cutthroat real world of the music business. And it sounds like Urban keeps his eye on every contestant before he dishes out any devastating news. "Sometimes they are in a particularly fragile state," he said. "You can just see it. They are not ready for [criticism] to be delivered to them, and I am going to defer in that situation."