'American Idol' season 12 premiere, Nicki and Mariah spar in New York
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj share a pleasant conversation on the season 12 premiere of "American Idol." (FOX / January 17, 2013)
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And then the first freak of the season. Clad in a James Brown wig, a red rubber Michael Jackson circa "Thriller" suit with a Tom Jones pelvic thrust, it's Benjamin. Benjamin sang three ballads. One was to Mariah (we could see her throw up in her mouth a little bit) and two were to Nicki, who seemed to really enjoy the Tom Jones pelvic thrusts. Good-bye weird dude.
Here's our very first, huge parental support audition. If you've watched "Idol," you know if the segment starts with parents declaring how amazing their kid sings, that they are the absolute best singer EVER and definitely there to be the "next American Idol" this kid can't hold a tune in a Wal-Mart shopping cart. It's true tonight. Bad, bad, bad. Note: Parental support = can't sing.
Another lesson learned: There are farms in New Jersey. Blueberry farms and little country girls that sing country songs. 17-year old Sarah came down from the farm and sang a Carrie Underwood song and blew our judges away. And if that wasn't enough, after belting the ballad, this little country superstar channeled her inner city hood chick and rocked out Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass!" We love Sarah.
Weirdo number two: Mr. Chin. Watching and listening to Mr. Chin felt like a prank. Surely we're being punked -- where's Ashton Kutcher to rescue us from this torture? Mr. Chin sang a "Phantom of the Opera" number and bombed badly. Jab No. 3 -- Nicky said that Mr. Chin's range was better than Mariah's. Nicki laughed. Mariah? Not so much.
Then the most bizarre thing of the evening occurred. Suddenly Nicki Minaj, the rapper from New York, was gone and some prim and proper lady -- perhaps royalty, with a very distinct English accent -- appeared in Nicki's place.
Nicki began to speak like a cross between Mary Poppins and Queen Elizabeth. It irritated Mariah, but not before Mariah noticed that she too had picked up the accent. These two are really going to make for a very interesting season. How many personalities live within Ms. Minaj? I'll count all season.
Unanimous decision and a ticket to Hollywood was given to a deaf chick. She surprised us all with her angelic voice and is now packing her bags and headed to tinsel town.
Freddie Mercury would be proud -- another rendition of "We Will Rock You." Bad singer. Gone.
America got to meet the self-proclaimed Turbanator, who got everyone's vote but Keith Urban's, yet still enough for his Golden Ticket. I personally like the Turbanator and was quite pleased to see and hear this Indian fella go from a hip pop song and into a traditional Indian song and sound great singing both. I'm thinking America will love him, but wondering what exactly will they do to him during the makeover week -- bedazzle the Turban?
And finally the last Golden Ticket of the premier episode goes to the oldest daughter of a family that adopts and fosters special needs children, making her the best big sister in the world born to the best parents in the world. I'm not making this up -- this is what they said -- but boy could she sing. I love that Corinne Bailey Rae song "Put Your Records On," and she did an awesome job deserving of her Golden Ticket.
There you have it. New York fared well for night one of season 12. Tomorrow night, hold on to your hat, "Idol's" headed to the Windy City. See ya there! It's "Idol," baby!