‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 1 Recap: Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj Feud Begins
Although we should be looking forward to what new talent will show up on the Season 12 opener of ‘American Idol,’ it was the Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj feud that will likely keep audiences attention this season.
Before the first person could even enter the audition room, the verbal sparring match already started. And unless you DVR-ed the show or had closed captioning on, one wasn’t too sure what sparked the initial bickering. However, once the first contestant was unfortunately rejected, it was clear that Nicki was not afraid to tell everyone what she thought of her co-judge when she started singing “Mariah is a bitch” on camera.
Meanwhile, Mariah kept her cool during the show by revealing her knowledge of ‘Mean Girls’ and telling Nicki, “You love me more than you love sunny summer days.”
The feud seemed to heat up when 28-year-old Teena Torres from Queens, N.Y., showed up to the audition with photos of herself with Mariah during her time at Camp Mariah. Giving a strong rendition of ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ by Carole King, Carey looked like a proud mama while Minaj rolled her eyes. Either way, Torres impressed all the judges (Did we forget to mention that new judge Keith Urban and ‘Idol’ veteran Randy Jackson were present, too?) and unanimously sent her to Hollywood.
Christina “Isabelle,” who went to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, also made an impression on the judges when she sang ‘Summertime’ from ‘Porgy and Bess’ — a song that Carey admitted to singing since she was a baby. Aside from Christina’s vocal quality, she was impressed by the fact she went to Berklee, which Mariah responded with “I didn’t go to no school. I went to the school of f—ing life.”
Shira Gavrielov, a 23-year-old Israeli singer, wowed Minaj with Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie,’ causing the ‘Starships’ rapper to simply say, “Superstar, you gave it me! I just want to say that I love you.”
But it wasn’t until 17-year-old Sarah Restuccio, who admitted to being a country girl who worked part-time at a blueberry farm, blew the panel away with her version of ‘Superbass.’ Considering she started her audition with Carrie Underwood’s ‘Mama’s Song,’ this was a big surprise to everyone, especially Minaj who then vouched for her and pleaded with Jackson to give the green light to go to Hollywood. “I don’t think her doing ‘Superbass’ doesn’t mean she can’t do country songs,” Minaj explained. And surprisingly Carey agreed.
Despite the bickering between contestants, the two managed to agree, especially on Angela Miller, who has partial deafness in both ears but managed to give a strong performance of Jessie J’s ‘Mama Knows Best.’ “I haven’t felt that for the whole day — that thing that made me feel something in my soul,” Minaj expressed.
Meanwhile, Carey believes Miller has something that’s missing in music today. “That’s what we need in the music industry today — that tone, that kind of texture,” she said.
Obviously ‘American Idol’ wouldn’t be as entertaining as it is without its own share of performance flops, and there were a few that stood out.
James Bae, a 15-year-old self-proclaimed pop and rap artist from Long Island, N.Y., did a heartfelt rendition of Justin Bieber’s ‘One Less Lonely Girl.’ Although he dressed the part (or tried to), his performance fell flat. And after being rejected, his tears managed to get him a hug from Minaj and a kiss on the cheek, which seemed to make everything much better. Unfortunately, Benjamin Gaisey didn’t get the same love for his Babyface-Boyz II Men mashup or cover of Mario’s ‘Let Me Love You.’ But to be honest, his plastic, red Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ outfit was so sad, nothing could really save him at that point.
Then there was Albert Chang of Queens, N.Y., who gave an ear-piercing version of ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ which inspired Minaj to say, ““You’re range is better than Mariah. Did you know you were singing better than one of the highest ranges in the world?”
Whether you’re into ‘American Idol’ for great talent or to watch the Carey-Minaj feud heat up, this season looks like a promising one.
Watch Benjamin Gaisey’s Audition on ‘American Idol’