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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 12


'American Idol' premieres with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj butting heads

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/17/2013 

American Idol's twelfth season debuted with a Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj clash.

Following months of reports new judges Carey and Minaj didn't get along on the panel while critiquing Idol auditioners, viewers finally got to see for themselves why and when the two divas went at it.

Towards the beginning of Idol's Wednesday night premiere, Minaj carried her drum major hat complete with a giant white feather into the room and placed it on the judges' table beside her soda. Carey immediately glared at the hat and seemed put off by its presence.

"I was going to bring my dog. They said we can't have accessories. I didn't know that was allowed," Carey said. "That's the last thing I'm gonna say."

"Ugh, don't, don't -- we're going to play nice," Minaj suggested.

"I actually love the hat, no I do," Carey insisted.

"Thank you, but why do you have to reference my hat. You know what? Okay," Minaj said with a forced smile.

"Because in the elevator, you were acting like I was looking at the hat in a way..." Carey began.

"No, I didn't say you were looking at the hat," Minaj interjected.

The pair continued to bicker and talk over one another until an auditioneer finally walked in the room singing and unintentionally interrupted their exchange.

After the auditioneer finished his performance and failed to receive a ticket to Hollywood, he walked out of the room and let Carey know "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is still "the best modern day Christmas song." Carey thanked him and bragged to the panel the song is still No. 1 around the holidays after it was released about 17 years ago.

"How does that happen?!" Carey exclaimed sarcastically.

"Grrr. She's a b-tch. She's a b-tch. She's a b-tch," Minaj repeated while grinding her teeth. 

"If she called me something that begins with a 'B' and ends with an 'itch,' I rebuke it," Carey noted.

In addition to Minaj making faces behind Carey's back throughout the premiere, she also joked that one contestant's "range is better than Mariah's."

Minaj was clearly teasing Carey, as the auditioner had attempted to sing opera but failed to hit any of the right notes and impress the judges. 

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