Nicki/Mariah ‘American Idol’ Showdown: What We Know Vs. What We Saw

After hyping the fight all night, 'Idol' showed very little of the reportedly intense confrontation.

If you were to look up the phrase “bait-and-switch” in an online dictionary on Thursday morning (January 24), you might just see a picture of the “American Idol” logo.

That’s because after months of hype and nearly 60 minutes of teasing a MAJOR blow-out between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey on Wednesday night, “Idol” ended up showing just a fraction of what viewers already know happened at the October Charlotte, North Carolina, audition.

Here’s what we saw on “Idol”

From the opening scene, “Idol” wanted to make sure we knew this was the episode about the infamous beef. 
 A montage of TMZ and network reports from around the nation, and globe, flashed by in a blur amid dramatic images of confused, sad-looking contestants as Minaj and Carey went at it. At one point, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe runs onto the set and says, “that’s a wrap for today!”

Then, for nearly an hour, we saw the by-now-familiar catalog of eye rolls, exasperated huffing and playful sniping between the two divas before Minaj seemed to have just had it during an audition by 20-year-old country singer Summer Cunningham. After Keith Urban appeared to take offense at Cunningham saying she’d done the “country thing,” a vigorous debate took off among Urban, Carey and Randy Jackson about Summer’s musical identity.

Cameras cut repeatedly to Minaj looking bored, annoyed and otherwise over it. There was a brief, testy back-and-forth between Carey and Minaj and some snide comments from Mariah about Nicki’s facility with fashion advice. The lid really blew off when Jackson touted his 30 years in the business and his ability to offer a “little help [and] insight” to the singers.

That set Minaj off, and she stormed off the set, saying, “I’m done!”

Here’s what we saw on that leaked video

Back in October, 
 it seemed like things got way nastier. So, while producers seemed eager to fan the flames on Wednesday night, in the end they were careful to keep the on-air fight somewhat chaste.

In transcripts of the battle (which are difficult to decipher with 100 percent accuracy due to the poor audio quality), Minaj could be heard saying: “You think I’m playing. Think it’s a joke! Think this is a f—ing joke? Say one more disrespectful thing to me … say one more disrespectful thing to me. Off with your head! Off with your head! Off with your head!”

Carey’s response was inaudible, but Jackson jumped in and tried to settle things down, to no avail.

“Excuse me. I am not being disrespectful,” Mariah retorted.

“Don’t call me a bitch! Don’t call me inadequate. You’ve going to get set. Just fall back. You don’t know sh–. Don’t lose your head!” Minaj said. “Yes, don’t tell me I’m inadequate. Maybe you’re inadequate, you’re insecure running down your resume every five minutes. Every time you patronize me I’ma take it back and if you’ve got a f—ing problem, handle it.”

A seemingly exasperated Carey replied, “Oh why, why who do I have a three-year-old sitting around me?”

“I told them, I’m not f—ing putting up with her f—ing highness over there,” Minaj said in the clip obtained by TMZ but largely left out of Wednesday’s episode. “I’m not sitting here for 20 minutes and have her run down her resume every five minutes, every day.” The rapper repeatedly pleaded with producers to “figure it out” as she and Carey argued over each other without making eye contact.

“Oh, why, why, why?” Carey answered. In the midst of Minaj’s loud reactions, it sounded like Carey brought up the subject of her two children, whom she would like to be spending time with versus arguing. “I couldn’t see my kids because you decided to have a little baby fit and go all around the stage?” she asked.

“Good, well then go see them now. Go see them now! Go see them now. Go see them now. You’re boring as f—!” Minaj shot back.

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