Now, being in Britain- and being exceptionally lazy- I haven't had a chance to watch the premier of American Idol season 12. However, I have read my fair share of reviews of the show, and one thing is clear: Nicki Minaj is coming out on top in the battle of the Divas. Granted, it's only the first episode, but let's not let that stop us making wild judgements and alarmist statements on the repercussions this show may have on Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's respective careers.
Let's be honest, Mariah Carey was always going to be an iffy judge. Despite her exceptional talent and success, her sweet public persona (real or not) was bound to get in the way of any useful criticism or honest feedback she could offer. Just read what Mariah had to say about her role, back in September:
I'll say, 'you can try this, you can try this,' only in a constructive way, to sort of be a guide and someone to give them guidance rather than, like, judging somebody.
It's a comment that doesn't immediately inspire confidence in the singer's ability as a useful, or entertaining, judge. Hearing sound bites like this, it's unsurprising that the American Idol producers would choose to hedge their bets and shop around for a loud mouth, and somewhat unpredictable character to join the panel. At least that way there would be a counter balance to the "softly-softly" approach Mariah was planning on coming with. So enters Nicki Minaj!
American Idol seems like the perfect platform for a relative newcomer like Nicki- who is still on some iteration of her first album- to build, and widen her current fanbase. It's a format that, even on paper, should work in favour of the rapper's forthrightness and ability to relate to the "common man". After all it wasn't that long ago that she was hustling for her own big break. Whether or not Nicki should be commenting on a person's vocal ability is another thing altogether, but CBSNEWS.com has already spoken on the contrasting judging styles, putting Nicki on top at this point:
Whether the clash is real or not, Minaj's scrappiness came off as far more entertaining than Carey's demure, even queenly manner.Source:CBS New
It's not just the relatability and honesty that I foresee working in Nicki's favour. Factor those traits in with her status as the underdog of the panel, and her having nothing to lose by being on the show, and it already seems clear that the deck is stacked in Nicki Minaj's favour from the outset. And Nicki's gain is only going to work against Mariah as "teamNicki"/"teamMariah" hashtags start flying this year.
Sure, "Lambs" and "Barbs" aren't going to be switching sides any time soon, but they aren't who these Divas will be hoping to appeal to: it's the undecided and a new generation of potential fans who they want to target and convert into sales. I just have a feeling in this age of the "accessible star" one rapping Diva is going to come off better for their time on the show than another with a multi-octave voice...
But what do you guys think?
[A few clips for your viewing pleasure!]