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A new season of American Idol premieres Wednesday with a revamped judging panel and a few new rules. But what many fans will be watching for is the feud between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj that has come to light over the past few months.
News of the dispute between the ladies of Idol surfaced back in September, when the show started filming its auditions in New York City. Shortly after, a cell phone video surfaced from the North Carolina auditions that featured Minaj cursing at Carey and Carey responding with sarcastic quips.
And while Minaj might have been the only one to come into the show with a “rough around the edges” persona, there might be a reason for Carey to turn from her wholesome, R&B queen image. As The Hollywood Reporter‘s cover story reported, multiple sources have said Carey was promised top billing as Idol‘s queen bee, with a J.Lo-style focus on her pedigree as a vocalist, songwriter and producer.
When news of Minaj’s hiring came about, it was only a matter of time before the two would butt heads.
On Wednesday, longtime Idol host Ryan Seacrest appeared on NBC’s Today and shared what fans should expect from this season in terms of Nicki-Mariah drama. Specifically on Wednesday’s premiere episode, Seacrest says fans get to see the two divas hash out a fight on camera.
“These are two very, very spirited, strong individual performers who have had a lot of success that aren’t shy about their opinion, regardless of what it might be about,” Seacrest told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
“This season, I think you’re going to see headlines about the contestants and the judges as well,” Seacrest added. “It’s going to be a two-parter.”
For now, the divas are attempting to put their differences aside for the sake of the show, their male counterparts on the judging panel — Randy Jackson and Keith Urban — and, most importantly, the contestants.
“This is American Idol; it’s bigger than some stupid trumped-up thing; it’s about the next superstar who will come from this show,” Carey said last week at the TCA winter press tour.
Season 12 of American Idol premieres Wednesday on Fox, kicking off with auditions from New York City.
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