Former American Idol contestants have fired back at Mariah Carey after the singer claimed her time on the show was “abusive”.
The 46-year-old singer was promoting her upcoming eight-part E! reality series Mariah’s World on Wednesday (04Aug16) when she made the controversial comments about her time as judge on the U.S. talent programme back in 2013.
When asked by a reporter what she learned from her season on Idol, Mariah replied, “Ugh. It was the most abusive experience.” Then taking a large swig of champagne, she quipped, “And by the way, you’ve just driven me to drink.”
The Fantasy hitmaker appeared on season 12 of the Fox show, alongside fellow judges Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson, and had a bitter fall-out and subsequent feud with Nicki during her time on the show. The pair bickered constantly during the auditions, with a huge fall-out over a country singer leading to Nicki and Mariah arguing before the Anaconda hitmaker stormed out.
Now, former American Idol contestants have defended the reality series, with Lazaro Arbos, who took part in season 12, saying he was shocked by Mariah’s candid comments.
“I’m honestly shocked she said that, because of all the times we were on the set filming and even when we got to the live shows she was always treated with respect and courtesy from the producers,” he told The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday (06Aug16). “I think Nigel Lythgoe (producer of Idol) really admired her talent and always treated her like the queen and the legend that she is.”
He added, “I think that Mariah made those comments of Idol being abusive in regards to her arguments and disagreements with Nicki Minaj, but honestly there was no need for all that.”
“I don’t get why she felt that way because as far as I’m concerned she never really had to deal with Miss Minaj! She wasn’t even required to talk to her at all, whatsoever!” Arbos laughed.
Devin Velez, who also competed in season 12, said maybe the mother-of-two was too distracted by the fall-out with Nicki to fully concentrate on her judging. “I think Mariah definitely cared about her position as a judge… She wanted to do her job and smile for the cameras, but it’s hard to do that when her fellow judges aren’t doing their jobs.”
“Her only job was to come in, sit down in a panel and give her comments to the singers and go home and get paid 18 million dollars. If that’s abusive, then I really want to be abused by Idol!” Velez joked.
After Mariah made her comments about her short-lived time as a judge on the show, former American Idol producer Lythgoe made a thinly-veiled reference to her feud with Minaj.
“I’m looking forward to Mariah’s new series and wondering if Nicki Minaj may guest,” he told Billboard.