The clock is ticking down to season 12 of “American Idol” and, well, it is going to be interesting.
Months after a leaked TMZ video provided visual proof that all is/was not well between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, Carey did nothing to tamp down the flames on Monday night during an ABC News interview with Barbara Walters about the October incident.
Saying she was not expecting there to be another female panelist behind the “Idol” judging table, Carey reiterated to Walters that she felt physically unsafe after the verbal spat.
“It felt like an unsafe work environment,” Carey told Walters about earlier reports that Nicki had made threats involving a gun after leaving the set; Minaj has vehemently denied those reports, calling them a “fabrication.”
“Anytime somebody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate,” Carey said. “I’ve got two babies… I’m not going to take any chances. I did hire more security. I felt it was the appropriate thing to do.”
A spokesperson for Minaj told Walters, “She’s said what she’s saying on this topic.”
Then, when Walters alluded to lyrics in the new Nicki song, “Hell Yeah,” in which the Young Money star raps, “I’ll take it, sign on the dotted line/ But I’m quick to check a bitch if she’s outta line… Why these bums so mad that the queen on Idol?” Carey made little attempt to smooth over any hurt feelings.
“Don’t know,” Carey said when Walters asked if she was the “bitch” Minaj was singing about. “Don’t know what she sang. Didn’t know she sang, I thought she rapped, or whatever,” Carey added, looking off distractedly, seemingly bored when discussing Minaj, who has scored hits with her rhymes as well as more pop-oriented tunes such as “Starships,” on which she sings. “I think [‘Idol’] is a classic classy show and it didn’t need this. I really think it was just a crass moment.”
Just last week, Carey was quoted in the Hollywood Reporter saying that, “Sometimes things get heated for their own reasons… I don’t think the panel has an issue.” While Minaj didn’t directly address the altercation in the cover story, she did note that when pushed “I am scary and intimidating. I definitely demand respect. I’m also a sweet person. I’m a loving person. But I don’t want to be f—ed with.”
Back in November, Minaj said that the cameras didn’t catch the moments leading up to the feud, where, she claimed, “20 minutes before that happened, she egged me on and I walked off — I stormed off the stage because didn’t wanna do that… So I left and when I came back it was another jab.”
She added that Carey admitted that she did not want another female on the show, “thinking somebody’s coming to steal her shine… And nitpicking, nitpicking, nitpicking — I don’t do well with that passive aggress sh–. I’m not gonna allow it no more. I can’t. I work and keep it moving, I don’t even f— with the people in this business.”
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