Pop Culture

Mariah Carey: 'American Idol' was like being 'in hell with Satan'

Mariah Carey judged "American Idol" for only one season, and in a new interview, she made it pretty clear as to why she didn't stick around for a second.

While promoting her new song "The Art of Letting Go" on New York radio station Hot 97 this week, the superstar said of her tenure on the singing competition, "Honestly, I hated it. ... It was like hell. Going to work every day in hell with Satan."

Carey famously feuded throughout the season with fellow judge Nicki Minaj, though she never mentioned the quirky performer by name during the interview. Both women quit on the same day after the show wrapped in May. 

"I thought it was going to be a three-person panel," Carey said about signing on to do the show. "They gave me a nice dangling monetary moment, and I was just like, 'OK! ... This isn't a big deal This will be nothing!'" 

She also added that with Randy Jackson, the show's original judge, still on the panel, she thought things might be just fine. After all, she'd known him for years, and he used to play bass for her. (Shortly before the new "Idol" winner was crowned, Jackson announced that he was leaving the show after 12 years.)

Beyond that, Carey said she was "disappointed" by the experience, though she loved the contestants.

"Some of them were so good, and really good people," Carey said. "It was disappointing when (producers) would, for political reasons, not put people through. I'm like, 'I don't have to sit here and do this!'" She added that she would've preferred to just go ahead and work with some of the hopefuls in the studios or point them out to other producers. 

With that experience behind her, Carey said she's going back to doing what she really loves.

"I liked being in the studio better and going on my own tours," she said. "So we're going back to that."

"American Idol" returns on Jan. 15, but has not yet unveiled its new panel. Keith Urban, who joined the show in season 12, is the only confirmed judge.