In one corner, it’s Jimmy Iovine. In the other, the judges of season 12. After Jimmy’s scathing lecture to the judges, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson are hitting back hard. Also in today’s Roundup, the music video for Jessica Sanchez’s single “Tonight” has been released (and listen to a preview of her album), and Phillip Phillips saw an increase in sales of his album and single after his appearance on Idol.

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Nicki Minaj: Jimmy Iovine Should “Zip His Lips”

At the start of Thursday’s Top 9 results show, Jimmy Iovine did a run-through of all the contestants’ performance from the previous night and provided his comments, praising some and heavily criticizing others. But it wasn’t his criticisms of the singers that got everyone’s attention. Instead, it’s what Jimmy said about the judges; he said they were being too soft on everyone and not giving the right feedback to help them. (Mariah Carey, take note.)

It turns out the judges didn’t like what he had to say, and they’re returning the favor with claws out, especially Nicki Minaj. “I wish he would just zip his lips and let America make their own decisions,” she told TV Guide. “Because he comes down very hard on Lazaro, America keeps voting for him. You don’t want to force a decision down [viewers’] throats because they’re going to feel compelled to rebel.” Wait, but isn’t Nicki the honest judge on the panel? So why is she coming down hard on Jimmy for doing the same exact thing?

Randy Jackson agrees. He doesn’t want as much separation between the in-house mentor and the judges. “They’ve got to open up our mics so we can come back at him,” he said. “And we should judge Jimmy!” That would be epic; it would be hilarious to see the judges come back with reactions after Jimmy’s video every week, and would certainly make for great TV.

Jimmy’s attack on the judges didn’t faze Keith Urban, who said, “I think he’s pretty accurate. But I agree with Jimmy when he agrees with me, otherwise I don’t agree!”

Whose side are you on, Jimmy Iovine or the judges? And do you think Jimmy being tough on someone like Lazaro is only fueling his fans to vote more? Maybe Jimmy should lighten up and then the weakest singer this season will finally be voted off.

Jessica Sanchez’s “Tonight” Music Video and Album Preview

After she premiered the song on Ryan Seacrest‘s radio show and American Idol this week, the music video for Jessica Sanchez’s debut single “Tonight” featuring Ne-Yo has now been released. It’s a different music style than we’re used to from the season 11 runner-up, who usually performed ballads when she was competing on Idol. But this new sound is very current and will give Jessica the best chance she has at a successful career.

“Tonight,” now available to download, is one of the tracks on Jessica’s upcoming debut album, Me, You and the Music, which drops April 30. If you’re not sure yet if you’re going to buy it, then here is a 15-minute album preview featuring every track:

The Top Idol Album Sales

Ratings may be down for American Idol this season, but it still reaches a big enough audience to impact album sales for guest performers. Phillip Phillips’ recent appearance did wonders for his new single “Gone Gone Gone,” which increased 257%, and his album The World from the Side of the Moon, which jumped 90%, according to USA Today. (Expect Colton Dixon to receive another boost following his return to the Idol stage on March 28.) Besides Phillip and Colton, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are still holding strong on the Billboard 200. Check out the latest Idol album sales:

Phillip Phillips’ The World from the Side of the Moon at #18, selling 22,000 units (Total Sales: 771,000)

Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits — Chapter One at #52, selling 10,000 units (Total: 331,000)

Carrie Underwood‘s Blown Away at #55, selling 10,000 units (Total: 1.356 million)

Colton Dixon’s A Messenger at #120, selling 4,000 units (Total: 58,000)

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(Images courtesy of WENN)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.