Mariah Carey Vs. Nicki Minaj: ‘American Idol’ Season 12 Premieres


The much-ballyhooed 12th season of American Idol premiered on Fox last night and by pretty much all accounts, it was all about new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. New judge Keith Urban chimed in a few times, veteran judge Randy Jackson was loud and annoying but … for me (and many others, I’m sure) I was only watching for Mimi and Nicki. To be honest, I was surprised how much I loved Nicki on the show … she took charge more than any other judge, Mimi included, and I thought makes a great addition to the show. I enjoyed watching American Idol for the first time in many, many years.

It’s back – and the catfights have begun. American Idol kicked off its twelfth season on Wednesday night with a whole new judge line-up. Superstar Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj and country music sensation Keith Urban joined up with long-term judge Randy Jackson. And it didn’t take long for the much-hyped feud between Carey and Minaj to begin to simmer, with Minaj dubbing her a ‘bitch’. ‘History has shown that an Idol can do anything,’ said host Ryan Seacrest, detailing the 200 million records sold and 371 number one hits racked up by former contestants. ‘Together we have created a phenomenon,’ Seacrest added. ‘It’s the dawn of a brand new season. A new generation will carry the torch.’ And with thousands of people lining up to audition in New York City they were hopeful the process would get off to a winning start. ‘How could you not find someone good?’ asked Mariah Carey. The judges gathered at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan to hear the hopefuls – and from the off, Carey and Minaj began to fight. ‘I wanted to bring my dog,’ said Carey when she saw Minaj’s white, fluffy drum major’s hat sitting on the judges’ desk. ‘We can have accessories? I didn’t know that was allowed. But that’s the last thing I’m going to say.’ ‘Play nice,’ said Minaj. ‘I actually love the hat,’ said Carey. ‘But why’d you have to reference the hat?’ asked Minaj. ‘In the elevator you said, “Stop looking me up and down, Mariah.” ‘I wasn’t. I was admiring the hat,’ said Carey. ‘It’s going to be wild,’ said Jackson.

Here is video of the first audition of the show, which shows just how Mimi and Nicki started bickering from the start:

I think I’ll tune in to watch Idol at least thru the auditions … maybe further along. Honestly, I’m only interested in watching the judges interact and I really enjoyed watching them last night. But, it was only the first ep so we’ll see if my interest remains. Did any of y’all watch American Idol last night? Did you enjoy? Were you Team Mariah or Team Nicki? Team Neither?


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  • ClaireMichelle

    I am on both of their sides. I went in Team Mariah because, well, she’s Mariah. But Nicki proved to be a pretty great judge in this one episode. I especially liked the moments where she was really sweet with some of the contestants. I really didn’t expect that from her for some reason. I’ll watch for a little longer, but I can’t see myself sticking around for the whole season. I found Keith to be a nice, lighthearted addition as well.

  • Samantha

    Team Neither.

    • @Samantha — LOL

  • Matthew

    I think NIcki definitely took charge. She was the most entertaining, had the most to say, got the most screen time– as several media outlets put it, it was pretty much the Nicki Minaj show, with some input here and there from Mariah, Keith and Randy.

    So clearly this is a victory for Nicki Minaj, right? You would think so. But after going through Facebook and the AI forums, public opinion seems to be that they don’t want the Nicki Minaj show. Most people feel like she hogged the camera and cut off a couple of the judges (especially Carey).

    So I’m not sure what’s going on here. The bloggers, who mostly live in the media capitals of NYC and LA, overwhelming love Nicki Minaj and everything she brings to the show, namely entertainment and multiple personalities. The Idol audience on the other hand, who mostly live in middle America, overwhelming disliked the Nicki Minaj 2 hour special. They want more of the contestants singing, more of Keith being insightful and Mariah sharing her music expertise.

    I’m not sure what is going on with this disconnect. Many bloggers have hailed Nicki as the breakout star of the show, but you’d be hard pressed to find any kind of positive feedback on the AI forums for her.

    It will definitely be interesting to see how the live shows go. Nicki is entertaining. She gives great face and great soundbites. She changes her accents constantly. When you can edit all of it, that is magic. But I wonder how it all translates live. Mariah was clearly nauseated with having to sit there through it all. At one point she even asked Nicki to quit with the fake British accent because she felt she was going to start talking like that if she didn’t quit it. LOL

    I’ll keep watching though, if only to see the diva blow-out in HD. I’ll be torn. I’m definitely a lamb for life, but Nicki is owning this. Whether that is still a good thing 9 episodes in, remains to be seen.

    • Shannon

      Matthew, I love this, I love YOU! I actually kinda enjoyed the episode (don’t think I’ve ever watched an entire AI episode before) and I thought Nicki was fun and really passionate about the contestants. I can see why people would call it “The Nicki Show” but I also thought the whole panel was good together. Anyway, look at her hair! It’s always gonna be the Nicki show with all that in the building.

      While I did sense tension between Mariah and Nicki, I also thought that played off well. When Mimi started doing her own British accent and Nicki was doing hers, I was like okay. This is fun! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the rest of the season :)

    • Matthew

      Thanks Shannon. I remember at one point thinking, you know, this show is perfect for Shannon’s top Hell Naw moments. LOL.

      Mariah: “If she just called me something that starts with a b and ends with a itch, then i rebuke that.”

      Nicki: “You have a better vocal range than Mariah.”

      Keith (under the table): “It’s not safe out here.”

      Randy (in response to a contestant explaining his dream): “Yeah, well I wanted to be a NASCAR driver but that didn’t work out.”

      Mariah: “Have you ever considered becoming a DJ? No, but I’m really serious about the DJ thing.”

  • Dezden

    I’ve been watching Idol since the first episode of the first season… I used to be nutty about it. The past few seasons haven’t been all that good to me, but I’ve stuck with it. So far this season is better than those (at this point at least). The Mariah-Nicki back and forth is getting annoying REAL QUICK though. However, I crack up every time Mariah has to turn around/cover her face… she just can’t handle all the non-sense. Love it. We’ll see.