American Idol 2013: Season premier recap – The war between Minaj and Carey begins whilst Ashlee Feliciano and Angela Miller shone through!

by Anna Howell

Nicki Minaj Mariah Carey American Idol

So, after months of reports about the judges fighting on American Idol, last night’s season premier could finally include something about those auditioning to be part of this year’s competition.

It has been widely reported of a feud between the two newest panel members, singing sensations Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj after a heated and violent row that erupted between the two during an audition back in October last year.

It was reported that after the row, which was captured on film and broadcast on YouTube, Mariah employed extra security for her time on the show saying that she wouldn’t take any chances with Minaj, who she claims threatened to shoot her, as she had two small children to think of.

So, with all that in mind, all eyes were on the two alpha-females who, we are sure, toned down their hatred of one another after this incident, but in the meantime the first televised auditions showed the pair before and leading up to the explosive dispute.

Show host Ryan Seacrest issued a tongue-in-cheek warning regarding the situation, commenting: “When you add three incredibly passionate performers to the panel, you know there’s going to be a bit of personality conflict!”

But, whilst there was much bickering and clashes of personality between the two mega stars, there were, apparently no guns or violence, sorry to disappoint you all.

Nicki Minaj Mariah Carey American Idol

Mariah lived up to her diva-ish reputation by demanding more ice in her coke, whilst Nicki lived up to eccentric reputation by wearing a drum-majorette hat, leaving Randy Jackson and Keith ‘scratching post’ Urban somewhat in their shade.

However, the girls, obviously pre-murder threats, did find the time to bicker about just about everything, as well as scoring points against each other and with Minaj even comparing Carey to Rachel McAdams’s character, Regina George in the film Mean Girls, which certainly seemed to tickle Mariah’s manager, fellow judge Randy Jackson.

Minaj also declared to all that Mariah was “something that starts with a B and ends with an itch,” before ending the show by saying: “I have to strangle one of the divas on the panel, but I won’t tell you who…”
Basically, it was pretty clear to see who the real bully was here, but was it as easy to see which of the hopefuls’ during last night’s premier would make it through to the live finals?

First up to perform for the panel was Michael Buonopane. Michael came into the room, clapping and shouting the lyrics to Queen’s We Will Rock You, obviously not what anyone was looking for, or wanted to hear, so it came as no surprise when he got no’s from Keith, Randy and Nicki. However when it came to Mariah she contrarily gave him a ‘yes’ before giving Minaj one of those looks.

Those contestants who did make it through to Hollywood on Wednesday are:

Tenna Torres – Tenna brought with her a 15-year-old picture of her meeting Mariah aged 13, which Maria looked uncomfortable lying about remembering. However when she sang her rendition of You’ve Got A Friend, it was a different story with Mariah praising her voice and for once all the judges completely in unison sending her through.

Christina “Isabelle” – Chrisitina sang Summertime, and her voice matched her girl-next-door Jessica Simpson style, with Nicki exclaiming: “Oh. Em. Gee!” and again all four judges gave her two thumbs up.
Shira Gaveilov – Apparently a number one singer in her native country of Israel once-upon-a-yesteryear, Shira performed a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie which, by all accounts, was by no means the bets of the evening. However, the judges would disagree; they all gave her the green light with Minaj even calling her a superstar.

Frankie Ford – Frankie is a subway busker who has lived with an adoptive mum from the age of two as his mother was a drug addict. His first attempt to audition saw nerves get the better of him, but the judges kindly let him start again when he sang a very impressive rendition of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics to which Keith commented (Yes he did have a mic all that time): “I liked your big voice; there’s a lot of musicality and tone.” “I like this kid. I believe in you, man,” added Randy. “You have an inner glow, which is always beautiful to see,” said Mariah. So it would seem that Frankie Goes To Hollywood after all!

Sarah Restuccio – 17-year-old Sarah performed a nice, but safe, version of Carrie Underwood’s Mama’s song. Nicki instantly loved it, but the other three judges weren’t so easily convinced at first but put her through anyway!

Angela Miller – Angela has had hearing problems throughout her life, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell when she blasted a cover of Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best, which Randy declared one of the best auditions of the day. Nicki added that Angela had “that thing that makes me feel something in my soul,” whilst Mariah exclaimed that she “adored” the natural tone and texture of Angela’s voice and Keith called her an “easy yes!”

Gupreett Singh Sarin – Fashion conscious Gupreett gained an instant fan in Nicki when he revealed that he had “40 to 50″ turbans, to coordinate with every outfit.” Gupreett, or “Turb” as Nicki nicknamed him sang Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning which was smooth and easy to listen to. The judges were divided though, with Keith claiming that his voice was “too light” when giving him a no. Randy and Mariah both gave yes’s leaving the casting vote to Nicki who, for once, put her point scoring against Mariah to one side and agreed with her.

Ashlee Feliciano – 20-year-old Ashlee was last to perform on the show and as per American Idol saved the best for last. She had a sob story to pitch before singing, of course, but when she sang her version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On the judges were left stunned with Nicki declaring: “I’m so inspired by you, and I think so many girls will be inspired by you,” whilst Mariah added: “Your potential is great,” And Keith: “Your low register has the most beautiful tone!” Of course she got four yes’s!

At the end of the show there seemed to be a truce line drawn in the sand when Nicki said of Mariah: “I feel like we gel well in a weird, freaky way,” to which Mariah replied: “I agree.”

However, the promo for Thursday night’s show suggests that this harmony did not last long with Mariah and Nicki shown at each other’s throats again. Oh well, nice while it lasted!

Watch Ashlee’s audition in the clip below: