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AUTHOR: Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Eric Ditzian, MTV.com

This week, viewers finally got to see some of the Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj drama unfold onscreen.

American Idol” season 12 debuted this past Wednesday, and the tension is already in the air, complete with a number of fitting references to the Lindsay Lohan comedy “Mean Girls.”

And whether you loved it or want to put this season in your Burn Book, one “Idol” alum thinks the show’s execs know exactly what they’re doing with their latest show shake-up.

“It’s television, and ‘Idol’ is very good at what the machine does,” she told MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival while promoting her film “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.”

And for anyone wondering what an OG idol like Hudson thinks about the latest judging panel, the season-three contestant said she still kind of misses the classic combo of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.

“I haven’t really watched this season. Although I am in the wings, and I always try to peek in and check it out,” she continued. “I am curious to see the judges on the show, from Mariah to Nicki, and I’m not too familiar with anyone else, but I think the public is so used to seeing the faces of Simon, Paula and Randy. it’s kind of hard to adjust to new characters. So whatever they’re doing, it’s probably a good thing.”

Fans have been treated to two episodes featuring the new panel, which also includes Keith Urban and “Idol” vet Jackson. The divas have taken their attitude to New York and Chicago. Next week, viewers might want to tune in as the judges will hit up Charlotte, North Carolina — the site of the now-infamous verbal brawl that took place between Carey and Minaj last October.

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