Fox’s “American Idol” premiered Wednesday night to viewer numbers that were well below last year’s premiere — 19% below in the key 18-49 demo, based on Nielsen overnights — despite the hotly anticipated clash of the divas between judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
See our separate ratings report for all the numbers. But meanwhile, what matters to many viewers is who won what’s being called the “Great ‘American Idol’ Diva-Off.”
EW.com is conducting a reader poll to determine a winner. The website reports: “Both had their claws out as soon as ‘American Idol‘s’ season premiere began last night. Mariah proved herself to be a master of passive aggression, sweet-sounding condescension, and well-timed eyerolls. Nicki, on the other hand, went with straight-up aggressive aggression, steamrollering Mariah (and the rest of the judges) whenever they tried to get a word in edgewise and at one point even muttering her new favorite litany — “She’s a bitch, she’s a bitch, she’s a bitch” — in Mariah’s direction.”
The report adds: “Clearly, the feud between these two hasn’t actually been trumped up by the media; it seems obvious that they can’t stand each other, and that their sniping will only get nastier as season 12 progresses.”
So who was ahead after round one in EW’s reader poll? Oddly, at the time we last checked in around midday today, it was the forgotten judge in all this, Keith Urban!
But Carey was a close second, with Minaj clearly falling well short of the level of support for Carey.
Here are the numbers from EW as of our last check before publishing:
“Who won last night’s ‘American Idol’ diva-off?”
— Poor, poor Keith Urban: 30.91%
— Mariah Carey: 29.3%
— I’m not sure, but I think the audience lost it: 26.13%
— Nicki Minaj: 13.65%