Mariah vs. Nicki: Diva Showdown Fails to Ignite Viewership for ‘Idol’ Premiere … but the Heck With That — Who Won the Fight?

Jan 17, 2013  •  Post A Comment

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%


  1. Did I miss something here. Isn’t this show supposed to highlight the talent of the people performing to become the next superstar? I guess if you win you can look forward to becoming as big a douche as the judges appear to be. Ahhh the sweet smell of suck-cess.

  2. Well, Toledo, Ohio missed this altogether. Since WUPW, “Fox Toledo” is not on Buckeye Cable, NW Ohio’s cable provider. Few even know what to do to get DTV over-the-air, so many missed this premiere. If it were not for the fighting between Buckeye and American Spirit Television (which also includes Raycom Toledo), Toledo could have seen this. We missed our (or their) Masengil moment! Thanks for the blocking of our local station! PS, no discounts given for our loss of 3 weeks now. We also lost WJBK “Fox2” Detroit in this mud slinging, per WUPW’s request.

  3. Get DirectTV

  4. It has the potential of happening regardless of what carrier you have so no sense in bouncing from one satellite or cable carrier to the next – every contract has an expiration date and the fight is on when that contract expires. Unless you get your locals over-the-air, you’re at risk of network black-outs and there is nothing you can do about it but wait for the greedy to duke it out. While they make money it’s the viewers who pay the price.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)