This is “American Idol”! And, come Wednesday, fans will finally get to see what really went down between new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey as “AI” taped auditions late last year. With reports of on-set cat fighting and verbal hair-pulling at the judges’ table, “Idol” viewers are surely wondering what will make the final cut when the 12th season kicks off.
In case you missed all the drama — we’re not sure how you could have — MTV News is taking a look back at all of it before Wednesday night’s premiere.
February 2010: Long before they were competing for screen time on Fox, Carey and Minaj collaborated on Mariah’s “Up Out My Face.” Carey recruited the then up-and-coming MC to drop a verse on the track and the now frenemies both appeared to play nice in the Nick Cannon-directed clip.
July 2012: Mariah Carey is confirmed as one of the show’s judges replacing Jennifer Lopez and joining longtime pal Randy Jackson.
September 2012: After making the rumored shortlist alongside Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, it is announced that Minaj, along with Keith Urban , would both replace the kooky Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez for the show’s newest season and lineup.
And just as Nicki was confirmed, there were already rumors that Carey and Minaj weren’t playing nice. However, Carey shot the beef talk down at the judges’ first official press conference in New York City. “How are we gonna feud in two days? A feud takes a little longer to spread out [than that],” she said.
October 2012: “A little longer” turned out to be only two weeks later, when the women were videotaped arguing during an audition round in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 2. The headline-making spat escalated to a curse-filled war of words where Minaj told the room, “I told them, I’m not f—ing putting up with her f—ing highness over there.”
One day later (October 3), Ryan Seacrest noted that the war of words went “too far” but that same day the two performers played nice when they judged talent in North Carolina without any further incidents and continued along to Louisiana that same week, also keeping their cool in front of “Idol” cameras.
But, on October 4, Carey called Barbara Walters and addressed the incident . Walters recalled her conversation with the chart-topper, sharing on “The View,” “Mariah says she can’t take a chance and she has hired extra security. Nicki has not apologized, but they have since been at meetings with producers and judges.”
Hours later, Minaj took to Twitter to comment on allegations that she had threatened Carey with a gun . “Hey yAll. Lets just say nicki said smthn about a gun. ppl will believe it cuz she’s a black rapper. Lmao. I’ll then hit up Barbara n milk it,” she wrote.
November 2012: Once the dust eventually settled, or at least appeared to, Nicki opened up a bit about the beef during her TV special, “My Truth.” She gave some insight into what spurred the fight, “[Carey’s] admitted that she did not want another female doing the show, thinking somebody’s coming to steal her shine.”
Days after the special aired, she talked to MTV News about the verbal brawl , noting that in the handful weeks since the video leaked “we’ve been fine.”
January 2013: While Minaj remained tight-lipped about the incident in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carey did have something to say about it. “Sometimes things get heated for their own reasons,” Carey said. “I don’t think the panel has an issue.”
But, with only days until the show premieres, they seemed to (sort of) make peace last week , during the 2013 Winter TCA tour, where they were separated by just one seat filled by Urban.
“Time heals all wounds,” Carey said. Minaj, who reportedly had a blank look on her face for much of the event, jokingly added, “And we watched my [sex] tape,” referencing to the reported video that has been rumored to exist for several years. “We’re professionals. Have you ever had an argument with someone you work with?”
And, the rapper even had a compliment or two for Carey. “She’s one of my favorite artists of all times,” Minaj later added. “She’s really shaped a generation of singers. To be on a panel with her, it’s kind of crazy … All the singers come in aspiring to be Mariah, in terms of talent and in terms of career length.”
In an episode of her talk show airing Tuesday (January 15), Nicki talked to former “Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres about the rumors that spread before she even started taping the show.
“I was just like sitting there, and I guess before I went in there I heard all the stuff that was being said, but I didn’t believe it. I heard them saying ‘Mariah doesn’t want you on the panel’ but I was like, ‘No. I am friends with Mariah.’ I was like arguing people down. Like, ‘Don’t believe everything you read, you’re crazy.’ And so I went there and I started to feel a bit of the shade. And I just kind of overcompensated by being crazier.”
“Idol” returns on Wednesday, January 15, at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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