What feud? Carey and Minaj play nice before ‘Idol’ premiere

From left: Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson are the Season 12 judges on "American Idol." The season premieres tonight at 8 on Fox.

You might have heard that new “American Idol” judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj haven’t exactly been getting along. That they’ve been “feuding,” even. Well, Carey and Minaj have heard it, too, and they’re bored by the reports.

“This is a very passionate panel. I think there are a lot of strong personalities,” Carey says. “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, Carey explains. “The whole thing is convoluted,” she says. “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.”

But how are the two — who will be joined by fellow new judge Keith Urban and the returning Randy Jackson — getting along now? Carey insists that “time heals all wounds” and that the whole disagreement “was sort of one-sided,” a contention with which Minaj begs to differ. When asked what they did to put an end to any bickering, Minaj goes for a joking response, saying, “I put out a sex tape.” But Carey is much more blunt: “I did nothing, and here we are.”

Never would’ve been an ‘Idol’

Feud or no feud, the new judges can at least agree on one thing: Neither of them would’ve tried out for “Idol” themselves had it been an option. “I personally would never have wanted to do this type of show — no offense to the show at all, but I’ve said that since I first heard about the show,” Carey says. “I had to learn in front of the world how to just be and be on TV and sing. It’s sort of like what these kids do, only at that time it was like ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’ and that would be like, ‘Here I am!’ It was very tough.”

For Minaj, her reticence to be a contestant goes beyond just herself. “I definitely don’t think a rapper should be in this competition. Rap and hip-hop are completely different from ‘American Idol,’” she explains. “With singing, people do not care what you’ve necessarily gone through. If it’s a great song they’re going to love it. I would never go on a show like this as a rapper, and I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to come on as a rapper. I don’t think it’s authentic, and I think if you really look for people to believe you and see you as an authentic rapper, you wouldn’t do it. It’s definitely not a rap competition.”


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