Mariah Carey Says 'American Idol' Was 'Abusive,' Producer Nigel Lythgoe Responds

Mariah Carey for 'Mariah's World' Upfront, 2016
Brad Barket/Getty Images

Mariah Carey attends the NBCUniversal 2016 Upfront Presentation for her E! show Mariah's World on May 16, 2016 in New York City. 

"Now we've got bad blood. You know it used to be mad love."

Taylor Swift sang about having "bad blood" that "used to be mad love" but Mariah Carey and the producers of American Idol are living those words. 

Speaking to journalists at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour on Wednesday (Aug. 3), where Carey was promoting her eight-part upcoming E! docuseries, Mariah’s World, the singer threw a major jab at the once formidable Fox show -- for which she was a judge alongside rapper Nicki Minaj, country star Keith Urban and producer Randy Jackson during season 12 -- calling it "an abusive experience" and cracking that talking about it would drive her "to drink."

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Certainly, the moment elicited uncomfortable laughs in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but what did her American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe think? 

"I'm looking forward to Mariah's new series and wondering if Nicki Minaj may guest," the ex-executive producer tells Billboard, in what's a not-at-all-veiled reference to the on-air disaster that was the singers' infamous verbal spat during auditions in 2011 (covered thoroughly here, here and here) and subsequent bad vibes that lasted all season long. 

The Brit does speak the truth, however: Mariah's World, unveiled for the first time via a newly released trailer, is about as titillating as reality television gets.

More to come, undoubtedly.