'American Idol' Chicago Auditions Prove It's All About Nicki And Mariah

What contestants? On Thursday night's episode, the two feuding divas were the center of attention.

Mariah and Nicki. Nicki and Mariah. Sure, Randy Jackson's back on the panel, Keith Urban is hiding out somewhere too, and supposedly there are some contestants who are trying to make the show about them and their journeys. (Good luck.) Let's face it, though: This season, "American Idol" is all about Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

The two divas were the centerpiece of this week's two-night "Idol" premiere, which covered the show's New York and Chicago auditions. And whether they were feuding or making nice, all eyes (and ears) were on them, and their sometimes-British accents.

Some highlights (lowlights?) of the Mariah and Nicki Experience thus far:

"Slow Down, Relax"

On Thursday's episode, Minaj turned down contestant Stephanie Schimel for a chance to go to Hollywood, later joking it was because she and Schimel were both wearing the same color of eye shadow, leading to their "rivalry." This interaction, which did not directly involve Mariah, perturbed Mariah (perhaps because it did not directly involve her). "This is what I deal with when I come into my 'job,' " she said, tossing air quotes around the word "job." (She later explained "Idol" is the first "real" job she's ever had.) This led to both Nicki and Mariah talking at each other a mile a minute, with Nicki taking offense to Mariah's comment and Mariah taking offense that Nicki took offense.

"Slow down, relax!" Mariah told Nicki, and then dismissingly flipped her hair in Nicki's direction. This led to a montage of clips of the two taking snipes at one another, with poor Keith Urban in the center. "I swear, I feel like a scratching post!" the Aussie moaned.

You're Dismissed!

After the audition of former Hollywood Week-er Johnny Keyser during Thursday's episode, Nicki was asking her fellow judges their opinions, and before she could get to Mariah, Mariah jumped the gun and got annoyed that Nicki hadn't yet asked for her comments. "I was about to say, 'Carey,'" Nicki explained. "I was about to say, 'Beep!'," Carey replied, implying she was readying to call Nicki a nasty name. Carey weighed in with her comments and when she was finished Nicki told her, "Thank you, Carey," to which Mariah replied, "You're welcome, Name I Won't Say In Case There's Little Kids Watching the Show." "Oh sit down. You're dismissed!" Nicki snipped back, waving a hand in Mariah's direction. "Such a sweet girl," Mariah said, looking upward, in her own world.

Common Ground

Nicki earned Mariah's respect on Thursday's episode the best way she knew how: By bowing down to the supreme Miss Mimi. After Curtis Finch Jr. won a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, he brought a friend into the studio so she could meet Carey and fulfill her lifelong dream. The moment seemed to take Nicki back to the first time she met Mariah, and she deferred to the diva. "Do you know what it's like the first time to meet Mariah Carey?" she asked, and when Carey took it as a swipe — "you did not like me when you met me," Carey told her — Nicki kept it sincere. "It's so monumental," Nicki told her, to which a taken aback Mariah replied, "Thank you, Nicki." This moment is Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the Mariah-Nicki Peace Accord.

"Mean Girls"

On Wednesday's "Idol" premiere there was major drama surrounding Lindsay Lohan, but for once Lohan had nothing to do with it. It happened when Mariah and Nicki got into a spat about who was the bigger fan of Lohan's 2004 comedy "Mean Girls," after Carey quoted one of the film's lines ("I want to lose three pounds") and asked Nicki which character in the movie said it. "Um, not Lindsay [Lohan], the other one, with the blond hair," Nicki responded. "What's her name?" asked Carey, just to taunt her co-star. Nicki didn't know, and Carey continued to mock her ("I just want to know!"), proving these two will fight about anything. Is it too late to sit the pair down for a screening of "Liz and Dick"?


Mariah and Nicki didn't wait long to start going at each other; on Wednesday's premiere, they were taking jabs before cameras even started rolling. Nicki, it seems, is a fan of outrageous headwear; in addition to her collection of wigs, she was also seen on both episodes wearing large, loud hats. On Wednesday's episode she plopped down a drum major's helmet on the desk in front of her, which rubbed Carey the wrong way — apparently she did not get the memo that she was allowed to bring stuff with her to the shoot. "I was gonna bring my dog. We can have accessories? I didn't know that was allowed," said a miffed Mariah. "But that's the last thing I'm gonna say." The last thing she's gonna say? Yeah right.

What were your favorite Mariah and Nicki moments from this week's "American Idol"? Let us know in the comments!

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