‘American Idol’ Recap: Nicki Minaj Curses Out Mariah Carey & Walks Out

Wed, January 23, 2013 11:07pm EDT by 17 Comments
American Idol Charlotte Auditions
Courtesy of FOX

Just when we thought Nicki and Mariah were finally starting to get along, the two divas proved there’s only room for one Queen Bee on this show! Read on for all the juicy Nicki/Mariah drama — and, oh yeah, did I mention there were contestants?

We all know Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj aren’t ones to shy away from confrontation, but we never thought it would go this far! Aside from the typical battling egos, raised voices and fabulously big hair, there were some major threats made on the Jan. 23 episode. Hey Nicki and Mariah, why can’t we all just get along?

They say that third time is the charm, but after night three of American Idol Season 12 auditions, I’m not so sure! The Idol judges headed to the South and had high hopes for Charlotte, N.C. Yes, there were some major hits, but there was also some major drama among the judges. Let’s take a look at some of the memorable moments!

Who Missed The Note

Pink eye shadow, a gold studded bra and major cleavage — no, I’m not talking about Nicki. This is 28-year-old contestant Naomi Morris. Naomi, who designs and makes her own clothes, sang Aretha Franklin‘s classic song “Respect.” Sure, she got the judges attention, but unfortunately it wasn’t for her voice.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but singers typically perform standing upright, correct? Well, not according to 20-year-old Joel Nemoyer. In order to get a different and stronger sound from his voice, Joel proceeded to lay down and perform “Feeling Good” for the judges. Let’s just say they were not feelin’ so good after his wailing — I mean singing.

Apparently, not all cowboys are cool. We learned that the hard way tonight. Cowboy hat-wearing Matthew Muse shared that he practiced his craft by singing karaoke. Although he claimed he sounded like Brad Paisley and that he would do anything to get the golden ticket, apparently singing well wasn’t what he had in mind. His performance was full of hand gestures, intense eyes and gangly dancing. I was personally just shocked to learn that “Howdy Doody” was still around.

I knew there was trouble when contestant Brad Harris came in front of the judges. The 28 year old assured us there was no damage done to his head after his high school days of banging his head into locker doors. However, I knew that unfortunately not the case. My suspicions were confirmed when Brad shared that he used to rap under the name “Bakon.” Clearly, there was some damage done in high school. And to make matters worse, Brad sang “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin. Who could have ever thought you could make a Disney song look bad. But after seeing that, I can assure you, you can.

Who Hit A High Note

The first one to get a golden ticket to Hollywood was teddy bear Brian Rittenberry. With a touching story of how he almost lost his wife to cancer, Brian clearly stole everyone’s hearts. His talent didn’t disappoint either! His boisterous, beautiful voice brought a big smile to Keith Urban‘s face and got cheers from all four judges. Needless to say this was one golden ticket that was well deserved.

When Jimmy Smith, 25, started singing Rascal Flatts, for a brief moment I thought I was in small-town Missouri listening to the country band from the back of a pick up truck. His smooth, classic country voice got a huge reaction from not just the obvious choice of Keith Urban, but also Nicki Minaj. “You poppin’,” Nicki said to Jimmy. I’m not quite sure what she means by that, but I think I agree. See you in Hollywood, Jimmy!

What do you get when you mix Camilla Belle, Selena Gomez and Norah Jones? The answer is Isabel GonzalezPrior to auditions, Randy Jackson made a special trip to Isabel’s high school to surprise her with the news that she was nominated by her aunt to sing in front of the Idol judges. And boy did she live up to her hype. “I’m head over heels in love with you,” said Nicki Minaj. And so were the other judges. She got four “yeses” and a ticket to Hollywood.

I’ve heard it a million times, but tonight I learned my lesson: never judge a book by its cover. When Ashley Smith stepped out with a bull nose ring, blonde wig, thick glasses, and pale pink lip stick, I thought to myself “this has to be a joke.” But thank goodness it was not. The quirky 22 year old had an amazing voice. Period. She surprised the judges by singing a Carrie Underwood song and doing it almost as good as Carrie herself.

She was cut in Las Vegas on Season 11 of Idol, but that didn’t stop Candice Glover. She came back new, improved and ready to show the judges she learned who she truly was as a performer. After her astounding audition, she received a standing ovation and was told she was the best they have seen all season. “If you don’t go to the last round of this competition, then something is wrong,” Nicki told Candice. I agree 100 percent.

Last but not least was the lovely Seretha Guinn. Seretha didn’t just bring her adorable daughter, London, to her audition, but she also brought her amazing voice. Her tragic story of how her boyfriend was in a terrible accident, was in critical condition and went through eight surgeries just this year almost brought tears to my eyes — almost. But what really threw me over the edge was when Seretha opened her mouth to sing. Just like the judges, I was skeptical when she said she was going to perform “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” but the second she started singing, I knew this was one special woman. Her smooth, jazzy voice simply skatted through the Will Smith classic. There’s no doubt that nineties kids everywhere heard their favorite childhood song sung in a new light tonight.

The Battle Of Nicki & Mariah

Let’s be honest, we were all waiting for Nicki and Mariah to duke it out, and tonight they did not disappoint. After news broke in Oct. 2012 that Nicki cursed out Mariah on camera and reportedly said, “If I had a gun, I would shoot the b**ch,” off camera, fans everywhere were waiting for the night when they would get to see the drama unfold for themselves. Well ladies and gentlemen, tonight the fuse was lite.

The major trouble started on day two of auditions when contestant Summer Cunningham sang a brilliant country version of “Lean on Me.” Her big voice was sure to warrant a “yes” from all four judges. But it wasn’t that simple. Keith asked Summer what kind of music she saw herself singing. She simply replied by saying, “I’ve done the country thing.” From there the normally uber calm Keith Urban got a little feisty. This only provoked Randy and Mariah to jump in and criticize Summer for not knowing what type of music she would like to pursue.

Now, here’s where it gets really fun. Nicki watched her fellow judges with a stone cold stare the whole time. She finally interrupted and called everyone out for picking the contestants apart — namely Summer. Mariah fired back saying, “I’m trying to help her.” This prompted raised voices, bickering and many, many F bombs from Nicki.

As Nicki and Mariah went back and forth arguing about whether they are actually helping the contestants or if they are “forcing them to lie,” as Nicki suggested, poor Summer just stood there with a confused but pleasant smile on her face. After all, she did make it through to Hollywood!

The battle of the divas culminated when Nicki cursed out Mariah and said, “I’m sorry I can’t help her,” as she proceeded to get up and leave for the day. “Finish the show. I’m done,” Nicki said as she stormed off set.

Reportedly, producers and hairdressers heard Nicki say,  “If I had a gun, I would shoot the b**ch.” Now, Idol didn’t show this on camera, but tensions were definitely high on tonight’s episode, that’s for sure!

Although production was shut down for the rest of the second day due to the Nicki and Mariah diva-off, 37 amazing voices still got golden tickets, and I’m personally extremely excited to see what these contestants have for us in Hollywood.

WATCH: American Idol – Baton Rouge Auditions Recap!

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— Caitlin Miller

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