Mariah Carey has opened up about her stint as a judge on American Idol, joking that sitting beside pop rival Nicki Minaj was like "working with Satan". The Hero hitmaker joined the popular U.S. talent show last year (12) and served as a judge and mentor to young hopefuls alongside Minaj, Keith Urban and producer Randy Jackson.
She admits she went into the show thinking it would be a lot of fun, but it quickly became a disaster when she fell out with the Starships hitmaker during the auditions.
Detailing the nightmare experience for the first time since her departure from the show in June (13) during a radio chat with New York's Hot 97 on Wednesday (13Nov13), she said, "Honestly, I hated it. I thought it was going to be a three-person panel. They gave me a nice dangling monetary moment, and I was just like, 'OK, Randy Jackson will be there; I've known him forever. He used to play bass for me. Like, this isn't a big deal. This will be nothing'.
"But it wasn't that. It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan."
Carey was quick to cover her tracks and added, "I'm just playing. It didn't affect me that much (but) I was disappointed."
She insists her time on the show wasn't completely wasted, because did enjoy watching Idol's young hopefuls blossom.
She added,"You know what I loved? I loved the contestants. And some of them that were so good - and also really good people, you could tell - it was disappointing when the judges would, for political reasons, not put people through."
While Carey is busy promoting her new single, The Art of Letting Go, Urban is returning to the judges' table with Harry Connick, Jr. and Jennifer Lopez for the upcoming 14th season of American Idol.
Nicki Minaj has confessed she was terrified she wouldn't live up to fans' expectations during her stint as a judge on American Idol. The Superbass hitmaker joined the U.S. singing competition last year (12) but only kept her spot at the panel for one season before deciding to depart from the show in May (13).
She's now back in the studio focusing on music, but she admits she felt like she was at "the bottom of the totem pole" during her time on the panel alongside fierce rival Mariah Carey, and fellow judges Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
Speaking to Queen Latifah on her U.S. talk show on Tuesday (22Oct13), she said, "Idol was scary. And just as a black woman and a part of hip hop, I felt like I was at the bottom of the totem pole, in terms of proving yourself and showing that you're intelligent and you can carry on a conversation and speak about many different topics.
"So I felt like I was kind of representing for so many different kind of people. Rap, black women and women in general. I didn't want it to come across as a caricature of Nicki Minaj. I wanted it to be the human being, who nobody ever really speaks to. And that's what I found. People would come up to me and be like, 'You're a real person!'"
Music and reality TV mogul Simon Cowell left his pregnant girlfriend Lauren Silverman at home on Monday (07Oct13) as he celebrated his 54th birthday with his ex Terri Seymour and a group of pals. The X Factor boss, who will become a first-time father early next year (14), enjoyed a night out at West Hollywood hotspot Sur and was joined by his fellow former American Idol judge Randy Jackson and TV presenter Seymour as he marked his big day.
As the party left the venue in a waiting car, Seymour was photographed appearing to sit on the birthday boy's lap to make room for another friend, with Cowell leaning back and covering his eyes.
Seymour and Cowell dated for six years until 2008 and have remained close.
Meanwhile, Cowell's birthday started with a big clean up - his new girl group Fifth Harmony wished the mogul a happy birthday by attacking his house with toilet paper. They also surprised him by hanging up a huge banner which read: 'Happy 87th Birthday Simon!'.
Superstar Mariah Carey has recruited her longtime collaborator and close friend Jermaine Dupri as her new manager following the departure of Randy Jackson earlier this year (13). The Hero hitmaker worked under the guidance of producer Jackson for two years before parting ways with him in March (13), and now she has turned to Janet Jackson's ex-boyfriend, Dupri, to help her build on her outstanding career success.
Carey says, "We have a bond that surpasses music. I am super excited about our merger because we have so many innovative ideas that I know will come to fruition."
In a statement, Dupri adds: "A multi-talented artist of Mariah's caliber should be doing everything imaginable. I'm sure others have said this but not the way I intend to do it. For me, it's about the execution."
Carey and Dupri, who hit the studio together for her forthcoming album The Art of Letting Go, have already tasted huge success together over the years - they teamed up for her 1996 classic Always Be My Baby, in addition to tracks including We Belong Together and Don't Forget About Us.
Michael Jackson's mother Katherine is set to return to the witness stand next week (begs16Sep13) as her wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live draws to an end. Defence lawyer Marvin Putnam plans to call the Jackson family matriarch to give evidence in Los Angeles County Superior Court for a second time as he wants to question her about the "absurdity of the damages" she is demanding from AEG amid claims company bosses were responsible for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray as the King of Pop's physician. The medic is currently serving time behind bars after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol which caused the superstar's death in 2009 - weeks before he was due to make his live comeback with a string of concerts in London.
Katherine Jackson, who is suing along with the singer's three children, is seeking more than $40 billion for loss of future earnings and other damages.
She previously testified in July (13), when she broke down on the stand and admitted she had no idea who Murray was when she first heard his name. She also told the court that she did not believe her son had any responsibility for his own death.
AEG Live executives maintain Jackson had prescription drug and addiction problems, and that they're not to blame for the King of Pop's demise. Two bosses, Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware, were excused from the trial earlier this week (09Sep13), after Judge Yvette Palazuelos insisted there was not enough evidence to hold them personally accountable.
Defence lawyers are expected to rest their case following the 83 year old's testimony on Monday (16Sep13).
Two AEG Live executives have been dismissed from the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial after the judge overseeing the case ruled there was not enough evidence to suggest they had negligently hired convicted doctor Conrad Murray as the King of Pop's physician. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos excused Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware from the trial, which has now been running for four moths.
But that doesn't mean Katherine Jackson's case against AEG Live has been dropped - her attorneys still insist the company bosses hired Murray, who is currently behind bars after he was convicted of administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol which claimed the Thriller star's life in 2009, as he was preparing for a series of comeback concerts in London.
AEG Live executives maintain Jackson had prescription drug and addiction problems, and that they're not to blame for the King of Pop's demise.
Both Phillips and Gongaware denied any wrongdoing during testimony in the trial.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
What's old is new on American Idol, it seems. Jennifer Lopez, who left the Fox singing competition after Season 11 will be back for Season 13, and this time she's being joined by new judge Harry Connick, Jr. Aussie country star Keith Urban will round out the judges table in the third spot, with Randy Jackson shifting over to his new role as a "mentor" to the contestants. Idol returns in January but begins auditions today, Sept. 3, in Boston, with subsequent stops scheduled in Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Whether the new judges panel will stop Idol's ratings slide is another matter
“American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom, and personality to do just that,” said Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly in a statement. “Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves Idol and whom Idol fans love; Harry Connick, Jr., a bonafide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team – the heart and soul of Idol – Ryan Seacrest returning as host.”
Connick released his own statement following up an Fox's announcement, saying, “I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show. And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”
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Singer/actor Harry Connick, Jr. is set to be unveiled as the latest addition to the American Idol line-up after reportedly signing on to join Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on the judging panel. Show producers have been scrambling to fill the seats left vacant following the departure of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and veteran producer Randy Jackson earlier this year (13), and have recently been in talks with producer Dr. Luke and Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun to help find the next singing star.
However, those negotiations fell through and executives at Fox, the network which airs the programme in the U.S., are said to have asked Connick, Jr. to return following a number of successful guest appearances on the series throughout the years.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the jazz star made the deal official by attending a private party hosted by Idol producer Simon Fuller in Los Angeles on Thursday (29Aug13), where Urban and Lopez were also on hand to toast the imminent announcement.
Urban is the only star returning as a judge from the 12th season of Idol - Lopez stepped down from the panel of experts last year (12) after two seasons.
Connick, Jr. has been a longtime fan of American Idol and previously admitted he had been approached to take on a role as a talent judge years before - but the timing has never been right.
He said, "The last time I was here, I was so flattered, that they (producers) were kind of talking about it, and it didn't work out. There were a lot of things going on on their side and a lot of things going on on my side with just stuff. It's hard to make a commitment like that... What I've done thus far on the show has been really fun, so I've had a great time... Who knows what'll happen in the future."
Michael Jackson's brother Randy has called for the late superstar's daughter Paris to be released from psychiatric care as he fears the teenager has been held by doctors for too long. The King of Pop's only daughter was hospitalised in Los Angeles on 5 June (13) and spent several weeks at the UCLA Medical Center after she allegedly attempted to take her own life.
She was discharged in July (13), but was moved to a residential treatment centre instead of returning to the Jackson family compound in California.
Paris' uncle, Jackson 5 star Randy, has now voiced his concerns for the 15 year old's wellbeing, as he is afraid such a long stay in hospital will actually worsen her mental health.
He tweets, "I don't like that Paris is still in this facility. It's not right. She's been there much too long. She is not psychotic. There is no reason for her to be in a psychiatric hospital this long away from her family. I just hate the fact that you will probably still be there on my brother's birthday (29Aug13). This is not good. There's something more to this, there's something going on I don't like it I'm afraid for her.
"Psychiatric hospitals often... make you feel as though you're psychotic when you're not. Sometimes they make matters worse. I'm going to look into this. Stay tuned."
Jennifer Lopez is heading back to the American Idol judges table, according to her boyfriend. Casper Smart let the big news slip while promoting his new TV show A Step Away on E! News on Friday (16Aug13).
When asked if his girlfriend would be joining Keith Urban for the 13th season of the show, he simply said, "yes".
Reports suggest the dancer was under the impression the news item had already been released by the talent show's producers.
Last month (Jul13), Fox Network President Kevin Reilly revealed Idol bosses had been in negotiations with Lopez, who served as a judge alongside Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler for two seasons on the show before stepping aside to concentrate on touring and acting last year (12).
Tyler also stepped down and their spots were filled by Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Jackson, Carey and Minaj all quit the show at the beginning of the summer (13). Urban announced he would be returning in July (13).