Mariah Carey will not be returning to "American Idol" next season as a judge, she announced Thursday afternoon. Not to be outdone, her co-star (and occasional sparring partner) Nicki Minaj also announced her exit a few hours later.
Mariah and Nicki had some personality clashes early in the show, but seemed to get along better by the end — probably to the consternation of "Idol" producers, since the show has always seemed to benefit from a bit of friction between judges.
Nicki had nothing but kind words for her TV bosses. "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!" she tweeted.
Earlier, the two dismissed rumors of bad blood between them. “This is a very passionate panel. I think there are a lot of strong personalities,” Mariah said. “Starting this process, I felt like it was a possibility that there could be differences of opinions. The fighting is what it is. This is ‘American Idol.’ It’s bigger than all that. It’s bigger than some stupid, trumped-up thing.”
While talk of discord might make for good gossip reporting, it’s not good for the show itself, Mariah explained. “The whole thing is convoluted,” she said. “It’s a distraction from the show. It’s a distraction to the contestants, and I think it’s unfair to them. It should be about the contestants.”