She has always made news for things beyond music, but this time around Mariah Carey has become television’s favourite star as she judges reality TV show American Idol with Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. The bickering moments between the two ladies make for the juicy gossip for many, including actress Tina Fey who recently made a sardonic statement that Mariah should play the cool mom in the soon-to-be-developed Mean Girls musical. Excerpts from an email interview:
What prompted you to be on American Idol?
Initially, I had my reservations but my husband (Nick Cannon) really wanted me to do this because it’s on the top, it’s the cream of the crop. I didn’t know how would I adapt to this situation. It’s a huge deal. But then I said to myself ‘Just do the show. It has produced stars who have had major careers.’ It’s American Idol, this is the biggest show! It changed trends in music, it’s created massive superstars and people that are going to have timeless careers.
What do you have to say about each of your fellow judges?
We have to go against each other sometimes to say, ‘But wait, this person has something amazing! Maybe you’re not seeing it. It’s a little bit beyond your comprehension at this moment, but there’s something great about this person.’ We’re also unanimous about a lot of great people that are here! We’re excited about the people that are here right now. We all feel that they’re above average in talent and personality.
Catfights between you and Nicki Minaj are creating much buzz. What do you say to that?
This is a very passionate panel. There are a lot of strong personalities. The fighting is what it is. This is American Idol. It is bigger than some stupid trumped-up thing. It is about the next superstar. The whole thing is convoluted. It is a distraction from the show and the contestants.
How would you say motherhood has changed your professional and personal life?
Motherhood is an amazing thing. I never thought I’d experience it because my career was my life. It was super-difficult. It’s really exhausting, but with American Idol the best part is when everything runs smoothly and you come to work, do your job and go home like more of a normal person than someone who’s in a studio for 18 hours, which would be me.