American Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, has revealed that he considers the feuding between show judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj bad publicity and that the relationship between the judges in general is irrelevant!
Reports of a feud between US singing sensations Carey and Minaj have been rife since October when a heated row between them at an audition resulted in Minaj allegedly threatening to shoot Mariah.
Since then both have denied that there is still an issue, though not particularly convincingly as Maria came out only this week and said that she had upped her security following the dispute, despite claiming that all was now rosy.
However it seems that show bosses couldn’t care less who is in the wrong or wright, or whether they like each other or not, but do feel that the publicity this situation has created, which many think was the main purpose of the feud in the first place, is not what execs at the hit US talent show want!
Speaking to reporters about the situation Lythgoe, who jokingly suggested that Mariah and Nicki watch a sex tape together to resolve matters, commented:
“I don’t think it’s been a bonus in any way, shape or form, to be frank,” he said with regards to the fight generating media attention.
“It’s not publicity that I welcomed. I’ve said all the way since we began this show – it’s about the contestants.
“The judges are always going to be interesting because they are who they are, but the show is about the contestants. I don’t really want to know that there’s been a huge blow up between [the judges] or anything like that, have it all taken out of proportion of what actually goes on during the long days that we do and the amount of kids that came along and the wonderfully talented ones that came along.”
Lythgoe went on to say how he is “not into that sort of publicity”, explaining: “What I do think we’ve got though is going to, I guess, get people to watch to see if they blow up on television, so everybody tells me I should be grateful for that. I would much prefer that they watched because these judges are excellent.”
On the subject of his judging panel, Lythgoe exclaimed that Minaj is “one of the best judges” he’s ever worked with, whilst Keith Urban is “such a lovely man”:
“He is the scratching post between Mariah and Nicki,” he joked. “He sometimes looks like he’s watching a tennis match, with his head bobbing between the two girls, but when it’s his turn to speak he gives his mind and he won’t put up with anybody else knocking a kid down.
“He’s had rows with Mariah, Randy [Jackskon] and Nicki – a big one with Nicki, in truth. So they’re very passionate. He’s passionate.”
Lythgoe went on to say how the judges are all looking for different things from the contestants, adding: “They know they’ve got a big job on their hands because Jennifer [Lopez], Steven [Tyler] and Randy did very well with Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.
“So they also have got to live up to that and they’re very competitive people. These are human beings that have experienced an incredible success in their own lives – they don’t want to be put down in any way, shape or form, so they’re going for the best they can get.”
The new season of American Idol starts next Wednesday and Thursday (January 16 and 17) on Fox.
UK viewers will be able to watch the new season on 5* when the first episode debuts at 8pm on Thursday, January 17.
Watch the original fight between Care and Minaj in the clip below: