American Idol: Mariah Carey Avoids Answering Nicki Minaj Question

“American Idol” returns to FOX in a few weeks, but judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj don’t appear to have become best buds just yet.

When Access Hollywood asked Mariah on Wednesday afternoon if the two were getting along and had buried the hatchet, the singing superstar completely avoided addressing the question.

“Christmas time is in here again,” she said. “Have you heard ‘All I Want For Christmas’? My song… I heard something really good about it today.”

Nicki took a different approach when Access asked her a similar question.

“We’re great. Thank you. We’re great,” she said.

As for her experience on the show as a judge of new talent, Nicki – in a British accent – told Access things were going well.

“The gig’s working out. I didn’t know if I’d like it, but it’s working out. [I] can’t complain,” she said, with an English inflection.

However, being a part of the FOX show has been tougher than the pint-sized pop star realized it would be.

“Just how much of an involved job it is,” Nicki said when Access asked what surprised her most about the job. “It’s your whole day… You wake up at 8 in the morning, you gotta get glammed up, you gotta head here. We leave, maybe 11 o’clock at night, get home at midnight, do it again in the morning. That’s probably the only thing that was that surprising. I didn’t expect it to be such long days, but I also didn’t expect to have so much fun on set either.”

Tough and emotional, Nicki hinted the season might have several tearful moments.

“I’m like completely invested [in] everything that’s going on and into the contestants. Some of these stories this year are going to touch so many people. [There are some] really, really inspiring stories this year,” she said.

As for Mariah, she said the toughest part has been getting used to judging.

“This is something that I’ve obviously never done before. I’ve been learning as I ‘ve been going, but I think I bring something to the table as someone who really, really struggled as a kid, just even with like my identity with what I wanted — my dream, which was so huge and I knew that I would never give up and that’s a quality that’s essential when you’re doing this,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s like you see these kids, or these contestants and it’s like they have a great voice or a good voice, but they don’t have ‘that,’ so it’s a fine line, it’s a delicate balance and it’s interesting. I’m enjoying it.”

“American Idol” returns for its twelfth season on FOX on January 16 at 8 PM ET/PT.

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