We are just weeks away from the premiere of the new season of American Idol and, as you should be well aware, we will finally get to see new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban in action. Today we get to see the entire judging panel of Idol plus host Ryan Seacrest on the cover of the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter. The Reporter interviews everyone at once and, at least as far as I can tell, they all seemed to behave properly … but, who really knows. Click below to see the Idol judges on the cover of the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter and read excerpts from their collective interview.
Nicki vs. Mariah: Nicki Minaj responds to whether she would have to tone down her outre look to fit the Idol mold: “I could think of at least one other person that shows more cleavage and skin than me,” jabs Minaj, clearly insulted by the insinuation and rolling her inch long false lashes in the direction of the dressing room two doors down: Carey’s. (But it must be said that, according to Idol staffers, Minaj has been late to the set every day.) Asked whether he’s seen Minaj and Carey interact at all, executive producer Ken Warwick answers, “Not a great deal, no.”
Why Mariah was on the fence about committing to Idol and how Nick Cannon sold her on the show: “I was on the fence about the whole thing,” she tells THR. “I got approached by all the shows.” Ultimately, she said yes to Idol with the urging of her husband, America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon on rival network NBC. “He said I should do it because it’s the top, it’s the cream of the crop. And I felt like, ‘Do the show that’s produced massive stars who have had major careers.’ ” On the panel, Carey serves as the music industry lifer but says she generally focuses on vocal chops. “I know everyone’s like, ‘We can’t have schmaltzy answers,’ ” she says. “Well guess what? Some people still want to be inspired. Some people need to have that kind of validation and to feel like, if this person did it, then I can. And I do have one of those stories.”
Nicki Minaj admits she had fears that the show could make her “too famous”. Among Minaj’s concerns: her cred in the rap world, for one. As an artist signed to Cash Money Records — home to her mentor Lil Wayne, Drake, Jay Sean and DJ Khaled and a label that has sold more than 78 million albums since its founding in 1991 — she points to “a judgmental culture in hip-hop,” where “sometimes you are afraid of being too famous because it’s almost, like, is that even cool? Being that accessible, someone you see on TV every week? I never pictured myself as that type of person. I’m still surprised that I decided to do it.”
Randy Jackson: “Whenever you put different personalities together, it takes a while to jell. Now, we got it — it’s working, it’s jelling, it’s cool.”
LOL. Let’s face it, the new season of American Idol is going to be the Mariah and Nicki Show. Randy will try to hang as much as he can and Keith, poor Keith, he will probably be completely overshadowed and ignored. The Idol producers describe Keith Urban thusly: the voice of “sanity” on the panel. That sounds all kinds of boring. I am not an Idol fan … not at all. Not even the addition of Jennifer Lopez as judge could get me to tune in. I’ll be tuning in for the new Mariah vs. Nicki season, you can bet on that. Click HERE to read the entire online version of the Hollywood Reporter feature … it should tide you over until Idol premieres later this month.