*It was an interesting “Detroit Night” on “American Idol” Wednesday, with contestants belting tunes released by artists from the Motor City, and Motown legend Smokey Robinson serving as the week’s mentor.
Aside from the performances and medleys, the tension between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey appeared at an all time high. Both were in red dresses, and the two appeared to be fighting over who loved Smokey the most, with each awkwardly forcing their admiration for the songwriter into their critiques – and Nicki taking her flattery into awkward territory for a family show.
“I would like to ask Smokey if he would like to be my sugar daddy,” Nicki said at one point.
It’s no secret that Nicki and Mariah can’t stand each other. They can’t even look at each other during critiques. (Nicki turns her entire body toward Keith; Mariah just stares straight ahead, blankly). In fact, the only time there is any acknowledgement between the two is when Mariah throws a passive aggressive dig at the rapper, and there were some choice ones last night.
The biggest one came courtesy of contestant Janelle. After Nicki said the blonde country singer was completely overshadowed in a duet with frontrunner Kree earlier in the show, Janelle redeemed herself in the judge’s eyes with a stripped down solo performance of The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Of the rendition, Mariah said pointedly: “Anything that anybody said earlier, she just proved them wrong.”
Mariah, who was celebrating her 43rd birthday with some kind of pink wand that she brandished the entire night, also made it known that producers “love” to cut off her comments. Perhaps that’s why last week the show began rotating who goes first.
Later, Mariah called Amber Holcomb’s performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately,” a “tour de force.” When her comment was met with crickets, she said something that was bleeped out and then asked if Amber or anyone else in the auditorium understood the term.
“Do you know what that means? Doesn’t anybody know what tour de force means?” she said.
The drama continues tonight in the live results show. Watch some highlights from last night below, including the horrific medley performance that made Nicki order the singers off the stage.
Below, Lazaro Arbos, Devin Velez and Burnell Taylor performed “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by the Four Tops., and it was a disaster. Nicki let ’em have it.
‘I don’t know what that was but I’m gonna act like I didn’t see it or hear it,” she said. “Lazaro, you fell as flat as a pancake. All three of you all go, get off the stage. Go, go.”