PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 08: (L-R) Judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj of “American Idol” speak onstage during the FOX portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 8, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo/Getty Images)

Mariah Carey sends “American Idol” Tenna Torres straight to Hollywood

In one of the most highly anticipated-series premieres of the mid-winter season, “American Idol” gave fans of the show all the drama, laughs and off-kilter auditions they’ve been craving. And while Jennifer Lopez may have left the show, it looks like Latinas will continue to make the show ratings gold with the introduction of Queens native Tenna Torres.

During the premiere of the 12th season Wednesday night on Fox, Torres was one of the last contestants to take the stage during the first round of auditions in front of the an all-new judge’s panel including feuding divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, country crooner Keith Urban and returning music producer Randy Jackson.

Torres – a bubbly 28-year-old – was introduced to viewers at home as a long-time Carey fan.

“I’ve been listening to Mariah since I was five years old,” Torres confessed to show host Ryan Seacrest. Torres also went to Camp Mariah when she was 13, where she took vocal lessons and even performed for her idol.

“It was a crazy moment,” said Torres. “It still feels like yesterday to me.”

The promotional model, who was accompanied to the New York City auditions by her family, chose to sing “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King during her audition. Her rendition of the 1971 classic struck Carey the most, making the R&B diva tear up.

“If we could have somebody like this come out of this moment, of Idol 12, I would personally be very proud,” said Carey at the end of Torres’ audition. “I loved it.”

“We are all in awe of you, blown away,” said Minaj, while Urban and Jackson agreed. With that, Carey began the wave of “Yes” from all four of the judges, which will allow Torres to sing during the audition  rounds in Hollywood, California.

The show kicked off in a two-hour episode and on Thursday night, will move to Chicago for the next round of auditions.

Despite – or perhaps thanks to – massive publicity about a reputed feud between Carey (whose father is of mixed Afro-Venezuelan descent) and Minaj, “American Idol” seems to have kicked off its 12th season in emotional high gear. On a recent appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” rapper/singer Minaj confirmed the feud, telling Leno that the arguments between the two judges were real.

“A lot of it starts off like we’re joking,” Minaj told Leno. “We’re passionate and both crazy…and then sometimes it just goes, ‘roar,’ and you can’t really stop it.”

But if Torres is any indication of the talent fans can expect on the show, this season’s “American Idol” will be one of the most competitive ever.

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