Season 12 of "American Idol" will debut on Wednesday, Jan.16, and two of the show's judges shared their predictions for a likely winner this year.
Nicki Minaj strongly believes that the winner will be female. The "Starships" rapper said the female contestants were "exceptional" and were more "more seasoned, more poised, more professional." The Queens, N.Y., native found the women to be more mature than their male counterparts.
"The girls are exceptional. I mean, a girl will definitely win this year, I think," Minaj, 30, told People.
Randy Jackson also agreed.
"Girls, do not disappoint the Dawg. I think it's the girls' year," he told People. "There are some talented boys, but I must say, I think the girls could really win one. We haven't had a girl winner in so long."
Jackson referred to previous female "Idol" winners who have had much success since their win, including Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino and Kelly Clarkson.
To the disappointment of FOX, the debut of season 12 has been trumped by a feud with two of the new judges - Mariah Carey and Minaj.
Enstars reported in October that Carey had beefed up her security team after Minaj reportedly made threats to her life. It seems the tipping point came when Minaj reportedly said, "If I had a gun, I would shoot the b-tch," according to a statement Carey gave to "The View" co-host Barbara Walters. Walters discussed her private conversation with Carey on the air and discussed some things about the feud.
Walters aired an interview with Carey on Monday and they addressed the hot topic that has made headlines for months. Carey told Walters that she had hired extra security because Minaj made their show tapings feel like "an unsafe work environment."
"Anytime somebody's reeling threats at somebody, you know, it's not appropriate," Carey told Walters. "I've got two babies ... I'm not going to take any chances. I did hire more security. I felt it was the appropriate thing to do."
TMZ provided proof: a video of a spat between the new judges.
Minaj has denied all of the reports, calling them a "fabrication."
Season 12 of "American Idol" premieres Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Watch a preview trailer below titled "Shut Your Mouth."