At a press conference this week, new American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj publicly addressed their October 2012 feud for the first time since Carey accused Minaj of threatening to kill her. Then the two divas made nice--sort of.
As you may recall, while taping American Idol auditions, Carey and Minaj exchanged curses in a fight caught on cell phone. Then Carey told Barbara Walters she was terrified because Minaj had been heard muttering, "If I had a gun I would shoot the bitch."
At the press event this week Carey complained that the news coverage of the feud was, "sort of a one sided."
Minaj disagreed and added, "This is what America wants. They want drama."
Maybe because the two Idol judges can't agree on anything, Carey disagreed, calling the event "a stupid, trumped-up feud" and all the drama "a distraction."
Mike Darnell, Fox’s reality TV executive, replied to Carey's "trumped-up" charge by insisting the argument hadn't been made-for-TV. "It’s authentic. There is passion on this crew, and they disagree about a lot of the talent and about the way to approach the talent, and, what the talent should be doing. It’s not just the girls. It’s everybody."
Darnell then asked Carey and Minaj to say something nice about each other.
"I say nice things about Mariah all the time," Minaj said. "And I even tell her all the time how much of a fan I am of her. She’s one of my favorite artists of all times, and I think she’s really shaped a generation of singers."
Minaj continued, "To be on a panel with her, it’s kind of crazy because all these singers that come in, they aspire to be a Mariah Carey in terms of their talent, and in terms of their career length. I feel excited to see them see someone who they look up to so much and to be given a chance to sing in front of her and hear her critique."
In light of that glowing endorsement, when it was Carey's time to say something nice about Minaj, the pop star floundered. Then she apologized, saying she had a sinus infection, and mumbled, “That was obviously a very sweet thing to say."
Carey went on to say, "Nicki and I worked together very early on in her career and did a song...called 'Up Out My Face'--ironically. It was one of my favorite videos and songs. And I did feel that she was going to go very far. [I] still have that feeling. And I’m grateful for anything nice that she or anyone were to say about me."
So, to recap, Minaj said something personal and deeply complimentary about Carey while Carey basically talked about her own career and then grudgingly admitted that Minaj has the potential to (but so far has yet to) "go far."
It seems that the two new American Idol judges will continue to butt heads, but that may make far more compelling television than if all the judges get along and agree with each other on the contestants.
When it comes to what kind of judge Minaj will be, she told the press, "I don’t feel the need to send a person through just because of a great story or because there’s something going on that may make people cry."
An Idol judge that really evaluates contestants for their singing talent alone? Now that would be refreshing.