updated 03/25/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/25/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET
But the country superstar says being an artist critiquing artists is harder than it looks.
“He is right,” says Urban, who sits on the panel alongside Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson. “It is not easy for us a lot of the time because we are just coming from a different place. 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 – who’s going on tour this July – takes his toughness cues from the contestants themselves.
“Sometimes they are in a particularly fragile state,” he says. “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. Someone else, it might look like they are listening … Then let’s talk about why [the performance] wasn’t so good and they’re receptive to that. I am trying to find balance always.”
Urban, 45, participated in televised singing competitions as a kid in Australia and says Idol’s format is the toughest out there. “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,” he says. “No other show does that. That has got to be tough. I don’t know that I could do it.”