Oh no she didn’t!
Nicki Minaj called Mariah Carey a “b*tch” — not once, but three times — during the premiere episode of the new season of American Idol Wednesday night, and RadarOnline.com has the heated clip, plus other highlights from the show.
Throughout the episode, set at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center in New York City, the tension between the superstar singers was evident, but it boiled over when a contestant complimented Carey on her holiday mega-hit All I Want For Christmas, saying it was the best Christmas song ever. When Carey remarked that the song is still number one 17 years later, Nicki fumed, “She’s a b*tch, she’s a b*tch, she’s a b*tch.”
In response, Carey said, “If she called me something that begins with a ‘b’ and ends with an ‘itch,’ I rebuke it.”
Host Ryan Seacrest said that “right away, we knew it was going to be an interesting couple of days” in seeing the chemistry develop between the new judges (Carey, Minaj and Keith Urban) and the returning Randy Jackson, the show’s elder statesman.
In another scene during the premiere episode, the divas seemed to enjoy getting under each other’s skin by speaking in English accents. Early on, Carey annoyed Minaj in referencing her garish drum major hat, saying, “We can have accessories? I didn’t know that was allowed … that’s all I’m gonna say.”
Minaj asked Carey, “Why’d you have to reference my hat?”
Still, Minaj said she felt the new panel — replacing outgoing judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler — jelled “well in a weird, crazy way,” to which Carey said, “I agree.”
Elsewhere, the show’s 12th season premiere provided the usual fireworks and fanfare, with 41 hopefuls getting a ticket to Hollywood. Last year’s victor, Phillip Phillips, opened the program performing the song Home.
Standout contestants on Wednesday included:
Angela Miller, an 18-year-old who suffers from hearing loss (40 percent in one ear, 20 percent in the other) but didn’t let it impact her singing, impressing the judges singing Jessie J’s Mamma Knows Best.
After her performance, Minaj declared, “I haven’t felt that for the whole day — that thing that makes me feel something in my soul.”
Carey told Miller, “We haven’t had tone all day long,” before the teen was unanimously sent to Hollywood.
Brooklyn native Frankie Ford — who’s perfected his craft singing for change on the New York subway system — sang the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. While he had to stop halfway, he got back on the horse and impressed the judges with the salvaged performance.
Carey told him he has “an inner glow,” while Minaj said, “There’s something about you; you have this story to tell.”
Said the Hollywood-bound Ford: “This time last week I was singing on the train trying to get quarters from people. This is my moment. I don’t want to squander it.”
Evan Ruggiero didn’t advance in the competition, but made his impact all the same, as the former dancer — who lost a leg at 19 during a battle with bone cancer — showed the heart of a lion in his quest to impress the panel.
“Just because you have a disability,” the New Jersey native said, “doesn’t mean you can’t be the next American Idol.”
While his renditions of Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive and Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours didn’t get him the berth to Tinseltown, the panel was inspired by Ruggiero’s will to win.
Said Nicki: “You don’t understand how many people you will touch just from being here,” while Mariah encouraged him to stick with his musical aspirations.
Watch the video on RadarOnline.com
As far as Nicki and Mariah go, Wednesday was just the beginning, as more hysterics come during the show’s North Carolina auditions, where the Super Bass singer reportedly shouts of Mariah: “I’m not f***ing putting up with her highness over there — figure it the f*** out, figure it out.”
American Idol‘s 12th season continues in Chicago Thursday on Fox at 8/7c.