The Word: Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey exit ‘American Idol’

Judge Mariah Carey poses at the party for the finalists of the television show
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj had clashed on the show.

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.”



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