'American Idol' season 12 premiere, Nicki and Mariah spar in New York
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj share a pleasant conversation on the season 12 premiere of "American Idol." (FOX / January 17, 2013)
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Enter the judges: Randy Jackson, country heartthrob Keith Urban and the two "ladies" that could barely contain themselves right out of the gate -- Mariah and Nicki Minaj.
Nicki immediately gave us what we wanted, proclaiming "this is so Barbilicious." How many Barbie references we will be subjected to this season? All hail Barbie.
The very first audition was an epic fail. When will these people learn that you cannot perform an original song or change the lyrics to a masterpiece like "We Will Rock You" and expect to make it through?
We need to hear a song we can relate to, sing along with, and associate with. When you come out singing some song that no one knows, it's a sure fire way to not get through to Hollywood, and the first contestant high-tailed it back to whatever rock he crawled out from under.
Immediately after the first performance, Nicki and Mariah go at it, with Mariah saying "If she (Nicky) calls me anything that begins with a B and ends with an itch, I'll rebuke it." Thus, we have our first threatened exorcism. Behave ladies; the show has only been on for 10 minutes.
Before another aspiring singer gets a chance to enter, these two start it up again, this time fighting over a "Mean Girls" quote. Why do Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj even watch "Mean Girls?"
Enter Teena Torres, a 28-year-old Mariah fanatic that yes, as a teenager, attended "Mariah Camp. Am I the only person on the planet that didn't know such a place existed? Teena brought memories and pictures to prove it. She was an authentic singer, and our very first four-judge "yes" and Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Teena gave an awesome rendition of Carol King's "You've Got a Friend."
Teena began the winning streak for New York City. Many followed to Hollywood with their very own Golden Tickets. Seems we're off to a good start.
And I spoke to soon. He raps, he pop-locks, he sings in his bedroom and pretends to be in concert, his dream of being the next Justin Bieber looks to be on the brink of coming true, and then he opens his mouth. James, the 15-year-old would-be pop star can't sing a lick and leaves in tears. Well, almost leaves, until he becomes the recipient of the very first "judges aren't all bad and I didn't know it would be this hard to crush a kid's dream" speech, delivered by Nicki.
After the "you're a great person, follow your dream, I'll always remember you , blah, blah, blah" speech, Nicki plants a wet one on James' cheek. Suddenly he could care less about being kicked off the show. Way to go, Nicki!
It wouldn't be "American Idol" if someone didn't sing "Summertime." Christina from Boston belted out this baby and yes, another golden ticket. But not until the show tugged on our heart strings, allowing Christina some camera time to tell America all about her weight struggles and once being 200 lbs and how difficult her high school years were. Thank you, "American Idol." We get it, didn't need it because Christina could actually sing.
"Idol" is on a roll. Next we meet Daniel, 21, who had been dancing since he was three, aspired to be a Broadway dancer, and whose career was on the up-swing when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. I don't know about anyone else, but after the footage and having the camera zoom in on his leg, which, after 18 months of chemo had to be amputated to save his life, I needed a box of Kleenexes.
I regained my composure just in time to hear his God-awful vocals and I yelled "No sympathy votes!" We've got a long way to go and lots of bad singing to hear and we haven't even heard a story about a homeless person that walked 100 miles to make it to the auditions yet.
The judges heard me and sided with me -- it's "no" for Daniel. Come back next year. All is fair in cheesy pop songs, R&B riffs and country ballads done well.
Hello Jessica! She was nominated by her mom. The producers received the nomination and had Randy fly in and surprise Jessica at work with a personal invitation to come to New York and audition for the show. Super Duper surprise factor, awesome way to get us a revved up and ready to go. This girl must be amazing for the show to pull out all of the stops so early, right?
Jessica enters for her audition; the judges spot her guitar (that she is totally not planning to use, just carrying it) and ask her to sing a song while playing the guitar. She starts in the wrong key. Apologizes. Starts again. Wrong key again. Apologizes again. Starts again. Wrong key again and yes, apologizes again all while -- you guessed it, singing an original song she wrote.
We've already determined that the chances of getting thru to Hollywood while singing a song we don't know is slim-to-none, so yes. No golden ticket for Jessica. Hope you enjoyed your trip to the Big Apple, sure wish you could have stayed with us a little longer. (Not really.)
Shalom (in my Mariah Carey voice). I'd love to know what everyone else thought about our pop singer with the No. 1 song in Israel. I wasn't impressed and couldn't quite figure out what impressed the judges that allowed them all to give her a "yes" and ultimately a golden ticket to Hollywood. My guess is, she won't last long. Which is one of my problems with "Idol" -- we know there are going to be some amazing singers and some not-so-good ones. Why not just get the amazing ones in the beginning and save the maybes for last. Good TV?