"None of this was easy because not only are we attached, but they are people who are very talented so of course its tough," says judge Nicki Minaj.
"After the girl's performances, the bar was extremely high," says Mariah Carey. "Let's face it, almost every single one of them could go into the studio tomorrow and make a record. So the guys had so much to live up to."
For executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick season 12 is once again full of surprises.
"For a two hour show, just coming into a theater that you've not been in before plus doing live eliminations in front of an audience," says Lythgoe.
And with some still new to performing in front of an audience, stage presence is key.
"I just think the guys need to calm down the theatrics and the over performing because I think we have some really good singers in there and i just like to hear a great singer," says Keith Urban. That's not to say they shouldn't perform, I just think sometimes within the vocal range, they can get a little theatrical and over the top, unnecessarily."