Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj; one is a standout on American Idol.

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj; one is a standout on American Idol.

Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have turned out to be more hype than hot mess on “American Idol.” Producers hinted at sensational cat fights before the season started, but they largely haven’t materialized. One of Idol judges, though, is killing it, and it may shock you.

With just seven weeks left in the show, and the real heavy work still to come before a new American Idol is crowned, Minaj has emerged as the more likable and more knowledgeable judge, according to one report.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Minaj and Carey were billed last summer as the incendiary twins. A widely circulated video of Minaj melting down was “leaked,” clearly giving the appearance that she was going off on Carey. The back story claimed the two divas were jealous of each other and feuding over contestants.

But when the full episode aired, it suggested that the confrontation was way over hyped, if not totally faked. Judge Randy Jackson was the target of Minaj’s animus, rather than Carey.

Carey and Minaj sniped at each other on the show’s premiere, but since then they have both provided some solid commentary.

Despite some occasional atmospherics, Minaj has shown she can be tough on the singers without the sugar coating like “X Factor” judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, according to

The website gives the rapper an “A” for mentoring and truthfulness and an overall A- for her performance. She pulled a B+ for entertainment value, but she’s really the only judge keeping it interesting. And, her criticisms are not only warranted but on target.

In contrast, if it were up to Carey, nearly every contestant would be crowned “American Idol.” It’s great to be nice, but is that really what she’s there for? She may be trying to add some balance to Nicki’s sometimes barbed comments, but it’s taking a toll on her credibility.

Carey, who is nothing if not a virtuoso of technique, isn’t sharing much of her wisdom with the contestants. With a near pitch-perfect, five-octave mezzo-soprano voice, maybe it all comes naturally to her. She gets an overall C+ rating from and only a B for mentoring.

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