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.
Married country stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert reigned supreme at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday night (06Nov13) after picking up Male and Female Vocalist of the Year awards. Shelton also took home Album of the Year for Based on a True Story.
Florida Georgia Line were another winning duo - they claimed Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year for their crossover hit, Cruise.
'King of Country' George Strait was honoured with the biggest prize of the night, Entertainer of the Year, marking his third win in the category, but his first since 1990.
He remembered his late father, who died in June (13), in his acceptance speech, saying, "My dad's been having some pretty good conversations up there."
Country music sweetheart Taylor Swift became only the second artist ever to be presented with the Pinnacle Award, and she was left speechless when Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and Keith Urban all took the stage to salute her. Swift opened for each of the acts earlier in her career.
The Love Story singer eventually said, "They told me this was going to happen, but I didn't know it was going to be all this. My parents aren't just crying, they're bawling at this point."
She then honoured the country artists who have helped her throughout her career, stating George Strait, "taught me to play the songs your fans want to hear" and McGraw and Hill, "have a style that is a pinnacle I will never reach."
The evening was also filled with a plethora of performances, including sets from Luke Bryan, who opened the show, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Tim McGraw, and co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Paisley.
In addition, some of country's biggest names teamed up for special collaborations - Lambert joined Urban; Swift hit the stage with Alison Krauss and Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and Jason Mraz teamed up and and the Zac Brown Band performed with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
Alan Jackson and George Strait also came together for a tribute to the late George Jones, while Kenny Rogers was feted for his tremendous career by Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts.
The full list of winners at the 2013 Country Music Association Awards is:
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Album of the Year: Based on a True Story by Blake Shelton
Single of the Year: Cruise by Florida Georgia Line
Song of the Year: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice
Musical Event of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Music Video of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
New Artist of the Year: Kacey Musgraves
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally
Pinnacle Award: Taylor Swift
Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenny Rogers
Florida Georgia Line became the first big winners at the Country Music Associations Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday night (06Nov13) when their hit song Cruise was named Single of the Year. The duo, who helped Luke Bryan open the show from the Bridgestone Arena, beat out Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw and Kasey Musgraves to win the night's first honour.
Lee Brice was also an early winner - his I Drive Your Truck was named Song of the Year.
McGraw's collaboration with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, Highway Don't Care, might have lost out in the Single of the Year category, but the trio was a pre-ceremony winner, picking up Music Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year awards hours before the prizegiving.
Swift was also an early winner when she was named only the second artist ever to be presented with the Pinnacle Award, which recognises musicians who have made a significant impact on the industry.
Meanwhile, Musgraves, who was one of the first performers at the 2013 CMAs, had censors on the alert as she sang about same-sex kissing and smoking weed at the ceremony.
The live telecast sound was cut and cameras pulled away from the pretty singer's face as she sang "When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint, I would" in her hit song Follow Your Arrow.
Miranda Lambert's duet with Keith Urban at the Country Music Association Awards in Tennessee on Wednesday night (06Nov13) will be a full circle moment for the singer - she once supported the Australian star at the beginning of her career in 2005. The two singers will team up to perform We Were Us at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and Lambert admits the set will be extra special for her - because it wasn't too long ago Urban helped her break into showbusiness.
She says, "I learned a lot from him (Urban). Watching him and sort of coming in not knowing what to do, coming straight out of the clubs and going, 'OK, that's what a concert is supposed to look like'."
And she's thrilled to become Urban's first ever duet partner, adding, "I actually didn't realise this was his first duet ever so I'm pretty honoured, actually."
Lambert and Urban will make up one of many collaborations at the CMAs - Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl will rock with the Zac Brown Band, George Strait and Alan Jackson will perform a tribute to the late George Jones, and Taylor Swift will perform alongside Vince Gill and Alison Krauss.
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will co-host the ceremony for the sixth time.
Tim Mcgraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban will already be winners when they arrive at the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday evening (06Nov13) - their song, Highway Don't Care has earned them trophies for Music Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year. The musicians' big wins were announced during a live telecast on TV show Good Morning America early on Wednesday, hours before the launch of the show, which will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
This is the second early award for Swift - on Monday (04Nov13), she became the second artist ever to be presented with the Pinnacle Award, which recognises musicians who have made a significant impact on the industry.
There was a time, children, when the American people would anxiously await the start of a new American Idol seasons. A time when they would hold finale parties. A time when spending an hour trying to get through to vote for Clay Aiken seemed anything but a waste of life. That time has passed, though until now, Fox has been treating the behemoth it used to be.
But for this upcoming season, the network has decided to cut the American Idol results show down from 60 to 30 minutes. That's 30 minutes less scripted fighting on the judging panel; 30 minutes less shilling for Coke products; 30 minutes less Seacrest banter; or a combination of all three. The second episode of the week isn't the platform it once was for other artists to come by and perform their new singles, so Fox would do better to lend that time to another series. This choice makes sense.
So You Think You Can Dance had its results episode cut entirely; after some growing pains with the elimination process, it became a leaner and meaner show. The major loss there was the opportunity for the series to showcase dance companies from around the world and expose them to a new audience. Fortunately, they've found a spot for that in the performance show.
It's unlikely that American Idol will recapture the magic formula of simplicity, corniness, and Simon Cowell v-necks that made it into the number one show in the country, but at least its producers will learn that bigger isn't always better.
Nicole Kidman has described the attention surrounding her marriage to Tom Cruise as "intoxicating", but insists he wasn't the love of her life. The pair shocked Hollywood by splitting in 2001 after 11 years of marriage, a union which was the subject of huge press scrutiny.
The Hours actress has now explained how being at the centre of the storm with her former partner was exhilarating, likening their situation to the current interest in superstars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's relationship.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, she says, "There is something about that sort of existence that, if you really focus on each other and you're in that bubble, it's very intoxicating, because it's just the two of you.
"And there is only one other person that's going through it. So it brings you very close, and it's deeply romantic. I'm sure Brad and Angelina have that - because there's nobody else that understands it except that person who's sleeping right next to you."
Kidman also admits that while she found times in her marriage to Cruise thrilling, her current partner Keith Urban is the one for her.
She adds, "With no disrespect to what I had with Tom, I've met my great love now. And I really did not know if that was going to happen. I wanted it, but I didn't want it for a while, because I didn't want to jump from one relationship to another. I had a lot of time alone, which was really, really good, because I was a child, really, when I got married (to Cruise). And I needed to grow up."
The actress wed country music star Urban in 2006 and they have two daughters, Sunday and Faith. Kidman is also mum to her adopted children Isabella and Connor Cruise.
Actress Nicole Kidman and country star Keith Urban like to spice up their relationship by sending each other saucy text messages. The singer is currently juggling his tour commitments with filming for reality TV show American Idol, on which he is a judge, while his movie star wife is shooting on location in London.
The couple has imposed strict rules about keeping in touch while they're apart, but Urban admits they have both broken their own rules as they try to find new ways to keep the spark in their romance alive after seven years of marriage.
During a taped interview with U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, which will air on Monday (28Oct13), Urban said, "We just make it work. We never text, we never email. Phone calls only, which I really love that."
However, the Without You hitmaker then grew embarrassed as he confessed, "Maybe one text. Maybe one cool kind of, you know... Nice sex texting. I'm a little red right now."
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!'"