Mariah Carey has come under fire for describing her time on American Idol as "abusive".

While promoting her upcoming docuseries Mariah's World at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour last week, the former Idol judge said it was "an abusive experience" and that being asked about it had driven her "to drink".

Celebrating with the 'Canes
The Warrior and the dancer

But one of the contestants who worked with her on the show is shocked by her claim.


Idol alum Lazaro Arbos told Billboard: "I'm honestly shocked she said that, because of all the times we were on the set filming and even when we got to the live shows she was always treated with respect and courtesy from the producers".

"I think Nigel [Lythgoe - the show's producer] really admired her talent and always treated her like the queen and the legend that she is."

He added that he thought Carey was more likely to be referring to her well-publicised feud with rapper and fellow Idol judge Nicki Minaj, in which the pair had a spat during auditions and continued to pick at each other throughout the rest of the 2011 season.

"But honestly there was no need for all that...I don't get why she felt that way because as far as I'm concerned she never really had to deal with Miss Minaj. She wasn't even required to talk to her at all, whatsoever.

"Her only job was to come in, sit down in a panel and give her comments to the singers and go home and get paid $18 million.

"If that's abusive, then I really want to be abused by Idol."