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AMERICAN IDOL
January 23, 2013  | By David Bianculli

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

 
Ratings are down, substantially, for this series for the second year in a row, as its game of musical judges’ chairs does nothing to stop the bleeding. But the 2013 version does offer two small pleasures. One is that new judges Nicky Minaj and Mariah Carey clearly get on each other’s nerves – it’s no ratings-hungry act, more of an oil-and-vinegar attention-hungry mini-competition. What I enjoy most this year, though, is watching all the Carey-obsessed fans who audition by singing a dozen notes where one would have done just nicely, a modern malady foisted upon the modern generation by the diva herself. She has to sit there and listen, a truly fitting punishment. It’s an ill wind that has blown across the pop culture landscape for decades – and they call the wind Mariah.
 
 
 
 
 
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