Wednesday, April 24, 2024

American Idol Returns: No Fights Between Mariah and Nicki, But Lots of Talent


“American Idol” returned last night with a lot of fanfare. The pretaped two hour episode showed the audition process in New York. Considering all the hype that’s been created, you’d think this was the Thrilla in Manila– Mariah Carey v. Nicki Minaj, 15 rounds, or that an armed camp of security guards would be separating the famed songbird from the hip hop star. Alas, in two hours there was barely a squawk between the two women. Everyone was on their best behavior.

The judges– Mariah, Minaj, Randy Jackson, and Keith Urban– were kind and sympathetic to the many naked souls who appeared before them. All in all they approved 41 different people, many of whom seemed pretty talented singers. Mariah and Nicki were separated in the seating by Urban. But they acted like old girlfriends. There was barely a spark. A friend of mine who watching in Miami kept emailing me during the show to say it was all “boring.” Well, I thought the singers were interesting.

If you remember what happened, the gang moved auditions from New York to Philadelphia. That’s when the “trouble” started. Guards were called in, there were threats and a lot of headlines. Suddenly this peaceful group was having a civil war. We will see all that tonight. Clearly, someone (hmmm, could it have been someone at Fox?) obviously said some kind of attention making friction was needed. Really, last night Nikki Minaj was incredibly courteous. Tonight we’ll see how she was transformed into Idol-Zilla.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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