PR Diva Death Match: Mariah Carey vs. Nicki Minaj

Today in TV Karaoke Competition News: The hottest gossip in the world of tee-vee at the moment appears to involve a battle of egos between new American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj (with a little BabaWa thrown in for good measure).

Excited yet? The “exclusive” TMZ video of the two arguing during Idol auditions resembles the beginning of history’s most tedious catfight. We can’t really understand any of it, but we get the general impression that Nicki is a little intimidated by Mariah’s seniority and that Ms. Carey is playing this year’s J.Lo by steadfastly refusing to be upstaged by anyone.

One thing is clear: Barbara Walters raised the stakes on Thursday’s episode of The View by repeating Mariah’s claim that Nicki threatened to “shoot the — b*tch” while walking offstage. Minaj then got a bit defensive (and slightly insane) on Twitter, mocking Carey for hiring more bodyguards while the show’s publicists loudly claimed that no one had made anything resembling a death threat.

Is this what passes for excitement in Seacrest-world? We’re already bored, but we guess we need to ask what the show’s producers and third-party stars think about all this deadly-serious drama.

Kiwi cowboy Keith Urban recently said that he “loves” the excitement that comes from working with “passionate, talented people”—and that Randy Jackson is the biggest diva of them all anyway.  See, now that’s kind of funny.

Today the show’s publicists released an official statement saying something about how well the new group is working together despite all the “inaccurate” rumors that just happen to be swirling around all media at the moment.

The most important fact to note in this ongoing pseudo-drama may be that the two women share a PR representative in Cindi Berger of PMK*BNC. Ah ha–we see a pattern developing here!

A couple of questions: If this were really a case of inside politics, wouldn’t the show’s producers want to resolve any problems internally? And who leaked the video in the first place? (We’re looking at you, Nigel Lythgoe!)

Most importantly: Who benefits most from this extended diva spat? That would be American Idol, Fox Television and PMK*BNC, of course. The whole incident may serve as a master class in manufacturing a crisis. Slow clap for all involved, but how are you going to keep all this excitement going, Fox? The show doesn’t even premiere until January!

And where’s Chris Brown when you need him?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.