In this corner, daaaahhhhling, we have five-time Grammy winner (and 34-time nominee, whoa) Mariah Carey: the best selling female artist of all time, the custodian of a famous five-octave range, a lovable nut who doesn’t really exercise while wearing five-inch heels but does really flip out if photographed or filmed from her “bad” left side.
And in this corner, speaking in a fake British accent for some reason, there’s brash young upstart Nicki Minaj: a rapper/singer who once boasted of earning $50,000 for a guest verse even before her album was released, a wearer of assorted ridiculata, and the winner of zero Grammys so far, though she’s racked up four nominations since 2011.
Both had their claws out as soon as American Idol‘s season premiere began last night. Mariah proved herself to be a master of passive aggression, sweet-sounding condescension, and well-timed eyerolls. Nicki, on the other hand, went with straight-up aggressive aggression, steamrollering Mariah (and the rest of the judges) whenever they tried to get a word in edgewise and at one point even muttering her new favorite litany — “She’s a bitch, she’s a bitch, she’s a bitch” — in Mariah’s direction.
Clearly, the feud between these two hasn’t actually been trumped up by the media; it seems obvious that they can’t stand each other, and that their sniping will only get nastier as season 12 progresses. So in light of this, let’s take a poll: Which judge came out on top last night? And no, “Randy Jackson” is not a valid answer.