“We can have accessories?” Mariah asked, casting a dubious glance at Nicki’s feathered band-leader hat and adding that she would’ve brought her dog, had she known it was allowed.
“We were gonna play nice,” Nicki quickly retorted. “Why did you have to reference my hat?” The conversation then devolved into a she said-she said over whether or not Mariah had crossed a line by sizing up Nicki’s outfit in the elevator a few minutes earlier.
“‘All I Want for Christmas’ is the best modern-day Christmas song,” rejected contestant Michael Bunopane told a delighted Mariah as he exited the audition room. To which Nicki replied, “It sure was, wasn’t it, Mike?”
The use of past-tense wasn’t lost on Mariah. “Still is, dahhhling!” she said with a finger snap. “No. 1 last year. Seventeen years later, it’s still No. 1. Oh my goodness.”
When Nicki began to chant “she’s a bitch, she’s a bitch, she’s a bitch,” Mariah weighed in again: “If she called me something that begins with ‘B’ and ends in an ‘itch,’ I rebuke it!” she shouted, while baring an icy smile.
Try this exchange on for size…
Mariah: I wanna lose three pounds.
Nicki: I know how you can…
Mariah: It’s a quote from Mean Girls. If you knew Mean Girls, you’d know.
Nicki: I do know Mean Girls.
Mariah: Okay, who says “I wanna lose three pounds”? Which character?
Nicki: Uh, not Lindsay. The other one with the blonde hair.
Mariah: What’s her name?
Nicki: You know something, Mariah?
Mariah: I just wanna know. Broken promises!
“Would it be frightfully tiresome if somebody brought me some ice?” asked Mariah, in a faux British accent, as Nicki grimaced and bared her nails like talons.
When Mariah wondered aloud which judge should go first in giving feedback to a contestant, an exasperated Nicki insisted, “Go. Go. Go! I appoint you. Go.”
Mimi, eyebrow raised in surprise, shot back, “Thank you, darling. I’ve been appointed? Oh. It’s like a knighting.”
This was Nicki’s facial expression as Mariah insisted her rival loved her more than “a sunny day.”
After contestant Tenna Torres brought in childhood photos from Camp Mariah to show to her personal idol, Randy Jackson tried to move the process along but got shot down. “I’d rather look at pictures of myself,” laughed Ms. Carey, before asking Tenna if she could keep the snapshots for herself. That audacious request drew a side-eye of disbelief from Ms. Minaj.
“Great tradition, great school,” said Randy, after Berklee College of Music student Christina “Isabelle” got a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.
“I didn’t go to no school,” snapped Mariah, in response. “I went to the school of f*****g life, okay?”
Another side-eye and forced smile from Nicki after Mariah greeted Israeli contestant Shira Gavrielov with a “shalom” and a “L’shanah tovah!”
Nicki got particularly heated when Keith Urban and Randy Jackson questioned the musical identity of teenager Sarah Restuccio after she auditioned with tracks by Carrie Underwood and Minaj herself. “She’s every little girl! There are so many girls that identify with her — that came from where she does, maybe live on a farm, and sing ‘Super Bass,'” Nicki shouted. “Hello, Taylor Swift made ‘Super Bass’ hot! Boys are gonna love her ’cause she’s pretty and girls are gonna identify with her!” By the time she finished ranting, Keith was hiding behind his Coke cup.
“Your range is better than Mariah’s,” Nicki exclaimed to a particularly abysmal vocalist. “Do you know her range is the best range in the world?”
“Wow,” said Mariah with a faint-hearted chuckle, as Keith and Randy howled with laughter. But Nicki wasn’t done. Did you know that you were singing in front of the best range in the world?” she asked again, with mock excitement.
“Nicki!” snapped the “We Belong Together” singer, finally putting an end to the joke.
This is Mariah, seeking inner calm, as Nicki speaks in her heightened British accent.
When Mariah threatened to match Nicki’s British accent with one of her own, the candy-haired rapper was not amused. “If every time I do it, you do it, we’re going to have a complete problem, darling!” Nicki huffed. To which Mariah sighed back (in her best London-ese), “Oh I cahhhn’t. I cahhhn’t!”
“That’s a lavender moment that I really like,” Mariah said of Gurpreet Singh Sarin’s dapper turban.
How did you feel about the Nicki-Mariah feuding? Was there a “winner”? Sound off in the comments!