American Idol

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American Idol's newest judging panel, Mariah Carey, Nicki MinajKeith Urban, and Randy Jackson, debuted last week to 17.9 million viewers.

Impressive numbers, for sure, but also a 19% drop compared to season 11. 

American Idol's ratings fell another 10% Wednesday night – with a total of 16 million viewers – despite Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's feud being aired. If the footage of their showdown was leaked on purpose back in October (to create buzz) it certainly didn't pay off. 

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Season 12 of American Idol, featuring new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, premiered Wednesday night. While the new judges, namely Mariah and Nicki, gave us bloggers a lot to blog about over the past few months, they failed to increase ratings for the show. 

An average of 17.9 million total viewers tuned in to the premiere. That's down 19% compared with last season and a new low for the reality show. The decline among viewers age 18 to 49 – the most sought-after group – was also 19%. In fact, American Idol's ratings have been going down, down, down since 2009. 

Mike Darnell, the president of Fox's alternative programming, remains optimistic about American Idol's future. "We beat everybody last night, and we're way ahead of The Voice [season three debuted to 12.3 million viewers]. It’s by far the biggest reality show, [and] I feel like there's a real shot at closing that deficit over the next few weeks.” 

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It's hard to believe that American Idol has been on the air for over 10 years. Around season eight, the American Idol judges started to change, which, in my opinion, changed the focus of the show. Sadly. It became more about the judges and less about the contestants. 

Clay Aiken, the season two runner-up, recently shared his thoughts on the American Idol judges. When asked if he will return to the show to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his appearance on the show that gave him his big break, Clay said, "I don't know that I would commemorate it on the show. I don't know that they did it with Justin Guarini and all those folks." 

Clay added, "But Idol back in those days was about the contestants. Kelly [Clarkson] and Justin and Tamyra [Gray] and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben [Studdard] and myself and Kimberley Locke were the stars of the show." 

Definitely not shy about his opinion, Clay concluded, "Now Idol is about the judges. I don't even know if they remember there are contestants anymore."'

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Lo and behold, it's already Hollywood Week (my favorite!) in American Idol time!

Considering the exhaustingly long search for judges and the drama that ensued once they were finally chosen, I'm shocked we didn't hear more about the American Idol auditions. I'm not complaining – just saying! Now that Ryan Seacrest and the American Idol judges aren't on the road, they're dishing about the mood at the judges' table thus far.

Despite the big egos personalities, Ryan manages to describe the American Idol judges with one word: Randy Jackson – huggable, Mariah Carey – soothing, Nicki MInaj - pizzazz, and Keith Urban – whiskery. What does "whiskery" mean? Eh, who cares, Keith is delicious.

According to Randy, we can look forward to lot of "funny" this season. He says, "Nicki is mad funny, and Mariah is mad funny, and Keith is very quick-witted and funny." Randy adds that he wants to be Simon Cowell when he grows up, "We're all kind of silly, but I guess maybe I'm the harsh one. I'm the quickest to say no."

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Another day… American Idol begs for another ratings dollar.

Earlier this week, Nicki Minaj was "miraculously" caught on tape screaming at Mariah Carey during an American Idol audition, and the tape "somehow" ended up in TMZ's possession. Shocker.

On the video, Nicki screamed, “I told them, I’m not f***ing putting up with her f***ing highness over there.” Apparently, Nicki is tired of Mariah's self-involved attitude. TMZ's sources have said, "She [Mariah] keeps bringing up how many records she's sold, name dropping people she's worked with, how many tours she's done, and how many Grammys or awards she's won. Nicki is tired of it."

Also, Nicki has maintained… Mariah isn't innocent. Insiders have backed up Nicki's claim. Reportedly, Nicki walked away from the audition just before the outburst because Mariah was constantly talking down to her. As soon as Nicki returned, Mariah allegedly called her a bitch… cue the "secret" video camera… Nicki lost her temper.

"It was intense," Ryan Seacrest said. Early reports even claimed Nicki made a death threat against Mariah. Putting that rumor to rest, Nigel Lythgoe insisted, "The statement [that Nicki made a death threat] is absolute rubbish.  It's absolutely not true in any way, shape, or form." 

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Last week, a very married Jason Aldean was photographed kissing on a very not his wife Brittany Kerr at The Den in West Hollywood. 
 
Brittany is a cheerleader for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. Also an aspiring singer, Brittany tried out for American Idol in season 11. She was cut before the semi-finals.
 
After the photos surfaced on TMZ this weekend, the country music star issued a public apology for his cheating ways, calling it a drunken mistake. "The truth is that I screwed up," Jason said. "I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand, and acted inappropriately at a bar. I left alone, caught the bus to our next show, and that's the end of the story. I ultimately ended up embarrassing my family and myself." 
 
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Nicki Minaj has barely gotten her toes wet with her new stint on American Idol, but the singer is already considering her own reality show!

While interviewing Nicki at the launch of her new fragrance, she sort of admits to Perez Hilton that she is working on a new reality show and explained why it's something she's ready to explore.

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Bless your heart, American Idol.  Bless it.  In the wake of much more original and exciting talent reality shows, AI is desperately trying to stay remain once again become relevant.  After unveiling the new judges, tabloids immediately began speculating about a giant feud brewing between the original diva Mariah Carey and raspy rapper extraordinaire Nicki Minaj.  Here's what I know to be true:  Starships were meant to fly, Glitter will always be a horrible movie, and such obvious PR stunts can be spotted from a mile away.

I mean, yes, if you told me that Mariah Carey would be totally horrid to work with and she has a need to always be the HBIC (head b*tch in charge, duh), I would totally believe you.  If you also informed me that Nicki Minaj had an ego the size of her booty and annoyed everyone in her path, I certainly wouldn't call you a liar.  However, the whole situation is just too perfect.  The show needs publicity.  Shoving Keith Urban in America's face wasn't enough to create a giant buzz, so let's say these two talented, strong-willed, and notoriously diva-licious ladies can't stand one another.  Nice try.

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