Country star and newly appointed American Idol judge Keith Urban was a guest on the Ellen show this week, and right away, he got down to the business talking Idol.

“We’re putting the fun in dysfunction,” he says at the beginning of the conversation, in answer to Ellen’s question about whether he’s enjoying the Idol ride so far.

“It feels like I’ve joined this band,” he says. “We’ve got two girl singers, two guys in the band.” In a jovial mood, Keith is wearing an Ames Bros Smokey the Bear T-shirt and his familiar friendly smile.

Ellen brings up the much-publicized spat between fellow judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj–where Keith was stuck in the middle–and Keith doesn’t skirt the question too much. He reiterates what he’s said in the past about the group needing to find its “groove” and how, initially, toes will inevitably get stepped on. But he praises all four for being “passionate people.” And nowadays, he says, “we’ve got a really good flow going.”

Keith ends the chat with a quick acoustic version of his Golden Globe-nominated song “For You” (the song starts at about the three minute mark).

American Idol premieres Jan. 16 and 17 at 8pm ET on Fox.

– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local

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