The Duel at ‘Idol’s’ Sunset: Mariah vs. Nicki

Though there are many headlines today about disappointing ratings for “American Idol’s” 12th season premiere Wednesday night, Fox knows that in this broadcast season, at a time when network executives are ready to declare that live viewership is largely irrelevant, a show that draws 18 million viewers in the 18-49 demo is still gold.

It also has a potential hook in the feud between judges in Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, if people don’t tire of it too quickly.

The premiere’s overnight 18-49 rating of 6.0 does represent a decline of 19% from last year’s debut. However, the ratings decline between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season openers was 24%.

For whatever reason, there is still a pretty big appetite for singing competitions on network TV, even after “The Voice” has propelled NBC to its first sustained primetime gains in nearly a decade.

On social media, the reaction to the obvious animosity between Carey and Minaj seemed divided.

— David B. Wilkerson

  1. Many of the show’s long-time observers were disappointed.
  2. Watched #AmericanIdol for the first time in years last has become a train wreck..Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey feud tired already
  3. I seriously don’t like how Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj keep fighting, on American Idol. #sodumb #notcool #noonelikesit
  4. I’m not even enjoying watching it because it’s all about Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey
  5. Others, however, found they couldn’t turn away.
  6. I’m only watching #americanidol for the feud between nicki minaj and mariah carey, the show died years ago when simon cowell left
  7. Im not even watching this for the singing I’m here for the drama #americanidol
  8. Freakin loving the Mariah / minaj hatred on #americanidol love love love!!!
  9. There was no shortage of highlights, if that is the term.
  10. Who cares if the @MariahCarey/@NICKIMINAJ American Idol feud is real? It’s hilarious.
  11. The best Nicki Minaj-Mariah Carey feud moment on @AmericanIdol‘s premiere. The claws came out.
  12. Mike Darnell, president of alternative programming at Fox, tells Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd that the bad feeling between Minaj and Carey is no joke, and will get worse as the season continues.

  13. Meanwhile, the new judges are showing their willingness to be brutal in their assessment of the contestants, no matter how much sympathy they may generate from the audience.
  14. As #AmericanIdol kicks off its 12th season, the new judges realize crushing dreams isn’t as easy as it seems: