American Idol season 12 premieres Wednesday, Jan. 16, and though new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are said to have put their differences behind them, Carey still stands by her original statement that she had some fears after their heated argument this past October.
Following an altercation caught on camera, Carey, 42, released a statement to Barbara Walters that claimed Minaj was overheard saying, "If I had a gun, I would shoot that b****." Minaj has since denied this accusation.
Months later, the mother-of-twins recalls the feud to Walters in a Good Morning America interview, saying, "It felt like an unsafe work environment. Anytime anybody's reeling threats at somebody, you know, it's not appropriate. I'm a professional. I'm not used to that type of environment."
Further explaining why she hired additional security, she tells Walters, "I just felt it was the appropriate thing to do. Sitting there on the road with two babies, I'm not going to take any chances."
Regardless of their differences, Carey hopes the spat will help the success of Idol. "For all the drama, I hope it helps the show. I think it's a classic, classy show and it didn't need this."
Another shocking reveal during Walters' chat with Carey was the singer's paycheck for joining the judges' table. When asked if the rumors of her being paid $18 million a season were true, Carey responds, "I think we're in the ballpark, [but] I can't even talk about those things."
The singer adds, "For me, ultimately, this is about the kids, the contestants. I've been blessed to live my dream more than half my life, so I want help give that back to someone else."