Mariah Carey’s ‘American Idol’ Debut: Review Revue

What’s new on American Idol, you ask? Well, quite a lot! There’s new judges in the form of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj and Kelly Clarkson circa 2002 (oh wait, that’s Keith Urban! Sorry, our bad), and everyone’s chattering about how they fared. (Mostly Carey and Minaj because, y’know.)

And while Minaj divided opinions with her loud personality and aggressive steering of the Idol judging ship, Carey made less of an impact, considering her monster salary and notoriously diva-style mien; critics seemed surprise to find that she was a much cooler presence on the judging panel than Minaj. But even if Carey’s legendary vocal talents and unparalleled commercial successes don’t match up to Minaj’s zaniness, everyone agrees that the show has gotten pretty watchable. Head below to see highlights from the reviews.

:: Vulture described Carey as “sighing [and] imperious,” saying that the diva shtick wears thin pretty quickly: “But when Mariah asks a production assistant: ‘Would it befrightfully tiresome for someone to bring me a bit of ice?’ it all gets deeply off-putting. And — this is a thing that we have to take the time to specify now — not deeply off-putting in a fun way.

:: While The Hollywood Reporter raved about Nicki Minaj, they were a little more ginger when it came to Carey, although they still complimented her technical knowledge: “As for Carey, she gave salient advice to delusional auditioners (‘you can do this as a hobby’) while offering astute observations on vocal tone and delivery. Finally, we have a judge that can speak with conviction about the craft of singing. Hallelujah!”

:: FOX News noted that Nicki Minaj stole the show, and Carey clearly got on her “nerves right from the start.” But, as they wrote: “For her part, Carey, who host Ryan Seacrest described as ‘the definition of diva,’ didn’t put up too much of a fight. At times, Carey seemed simply bewildered by Minaj’s borderline-rude behavior.”

:: The Huffington Post considered their respective paychecks, noting that Carey didn’t necessarily deliver given her high salary: “Whether the clash is real, Minaj’s scrappiness came off as far more entertaining than Carey’s demure, even queenly, manner. Carey is getting a truly royal paycheck: $18 million, to Minaj’s $12 million.”

:: USA Today highlighted Minaj’s accomplishments as well, explaining that Carey’s fears about having to share the stage with another talent may be well-deserved and opening their review with the ominous line: “If Mariah Carey was concerned that Nicki Minaj might show her up, she was right.”

:: Gawker thought that Carey’s odd behavior was captivating: “Mariah simply could not restrain the type of eccentricity that comes from being a global superstar for almost a quarter of a century. Even at her most normal, she is a delightful weirdo. This show is, in a word, riveting.”

What did you think of Mariah’s big premiere? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Ziggy

    Mariah get a haircut or a better stylist you hairs is dragging down your look!

  • tahoegeminii

    MeMe is NOT a delightful weirdo made eccentric from being too fabulous-she is cheap and common self centered insecure nasty passive aggressive blow hard egomaniac -basically shows of all the common nasty traits of an old fat has been stripper which is basically what she is -if MeMe was as wonderful as she tells everyone she is-she would not be threatened by Minaj a newby rapper and say nasty back stabbing vicious hore things like “I didn’t know she sang” or have a bee-yotch “i so smarter than you” competition about who said what in mean girls-competitive much there MeMe?? what is truly hilarious is when they do the intro and have the little promo shot of the judges-your like-who is that in gold?? did they forget and leave JLo’s promo in there?? but it’s JLo on a bad day then right?? who the heck is that??? MeMe is literally unrecognizable to her lead in promo-I mean who does the cow think she is fooling-her actually presence in no way measures up to the caricature they use for her marketing it’s like she is using a cartoon version of JLo for her marketing-then you she her and go-oh my god-who is that hag

  • IJH

    OMG. Mariah Care ( MeMe) . I loved you before you came to AI and I really learn a little more about your personality and can see who you are without a stript. PLEASE I beg you to learn a new word beside UH, as a matter of fact learn how to express your thought without a script or GO HOME. I really do not look forward to hearing you judge on AI. I hope AI is smart next season and can get someone to replace you and Randy who only repeat what Nikki and Keith have to say. Nikki and Keith are the REAL, TRUE Judges on American Idol this seaon!!!!!!