It got a little tense on the set of "American Idol" this past week in Charlotte. The next day, Barbara Walters went on "The View" and said that she had talked with "Idol" judge Mariah Carey and that the pop singer said Minaj had threatened to shoot her -- in front of witnesses. Minaj would later scoff via Twitter and say that there was no truth to Carey's claims made to Walters but if that's the way Carey wanted to play it, so be it. And even though a lot was said about and between the two contentious judges, a relative quiet has descended on the "Idol" set. But will it last?
And until then -- what happened?
According to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, nothing. Lythgoe told TMZ: "The statement [that Nicki made a death threat] is absolute rubbish. It's absolutely not true in any way, shape or form." He added that it was Carey's people that told her Minaj made the comment: "If I had a gun, I would shoot her." Carey confronted Minaj the day after the meltdown and Minaj told Carey she never mentioned a gun or threatened Carey.
Minaj supposedly threatened Carey moments before the now infamous Minaj f-bomb rant, which was captured on video, began. TMZ obtained the video of the Minaj meltdown and the ongoing rumors of the Minaj-Carey feud were quickly bestowed truth status and the story went viral.
According to TMZ, peace reigned on the set the next day, lasting through the rest of the Charlotte auditions. In fact, their sources said the judges all seemed to get along better than usual and that there was a sense of embarrassment that what had occurred the day before had gone public.
Still, that was on Wednesday, the day after Minaj cussed Carey and referred to her as "her f****** highness." The Walters revelations came on Thursday. On "The View," Walters relayed the story from Carey, who said that Minaj's words and actions had forced her to hire extra security.
As for the gun reference, Minaj, once she discovered that Carey had spoken to Walters the following day, took to Twitter to defend herself. "Hey yAll," she tweeted. "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 quickly followed with: "Ironically," she wrote, "no camera or mic heard the gun comment tho. Lol @ the struggle. Not even the producers believed u. Say no to violence barbz." ("barbz," by the way, is a Minaj reference to her followers, not a reference to Walters.)
Minaj later tweeted she didn't need to reach out to media outlets like TMZ and Barbara Walters, insinuating that Carey was insecure. She also tweeted that Carey hadn't liked the fact that she'd been told that Minaj was the best judge since Simon. She also wrote: "Keep them lies cmn". This was followed by: "I thought we resolved it yesterday but I see u want ur pity party to continue. So I'm bout to po dot tea."
Minaj also had an opinion on Carey's media machinations. "All I do is compliment u," she posted to Twitter. "That's not enuff? Ur a legend, cheer up. U don't have to run down ur resume or feel intimidated. Shady McGrady..."
For those unfamiliar with the term "Shady McGrady," it is a slang term, according to the Urban Dictionary, referring to a "person, persons, or object that appears or behaves in a suspiscious or insconsistent manner."
And yet, despite all the melodrama via "The View" and Twitter, ABC News reported that the feud remained rather dormant during auditions in New Orleans on Friday.
But what started the entire mess? Again, according to TMZ, Minaj claimed that it was Carey referring to her as a "b****" several times during the day's auditions that finally got to her and she simply exploded. The gossip website's sources also said that Minaj feels that Carey was being far too egotistical, constantly self-referencing and name-dropping in her reviews, and basically wasting everyone's time.
Minaj also says she won't be anyone's puppet and the next time Carey starts something, she was simply going to walk off the set. Sources told TMZ that Minaj believes the "American Idol" producers were instigating friction between her and the "I'll Be There" singer.
So is that what's actually going on? Producers of the show working on the already existing tensions between the two new female judges just to get some drama on the set? But did they get more than they bargained for, especially with the video of Minaj's rant? And what about Carey's claims via Barbara Walters after the two women supposedly talked it out the day before? Why do that after things were settled, unless others are orchestrating things -- or Carey truly is that insecure?
Or could Minaj's suspicions about the producers be the result of simple paranoia?
Some are even going so far as to suggest that the entire incident was staged for publicity.
Conspiracy theories aside, it is a television show -- that depends on ratings for its survival and its advertising dollars. Anything -- and all of the above -- could be possible.
"American Idol" begins airing episodes of Season 12 beginning in January.
(photo credit: Philip Nelson, Creative Commons)