“American Idol” has seen its most tumultuous week ever with actual talk of gun threats on the set between the judges, all over an overblown talent contest. Mariah Carey channeled Barbara Walters Thursday to tell her tale of woe over an alleged threat Nicki Minaj made towards her. Now “American Idol” judges have come forward to maintain order and show their support for the judging staff, according to Us Weekly yesterday. According to entertainment lawyers, dramas like these aren’t typically spelled out, but rather are hidden between the lines in the reality shows stars’ contracts. However in this case, indications are the bad blood between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj isn’t a put-on for ratings.
The alleged threat arose Tuesday when the judges were hosting open auditions in Charlotte, N.C.. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were sparring over the talent of a contestant when according to Walters, “She said that when Nicki walked off the set, multiple people heard Nicki say, ‘If I had a gun I would shoot the b**ch’”.
Video shows some of the commotion, with Minaj waiving her hands in the air and yelling, “I told them I’m not f***in’ putting up with her f***ing highness over there. Figure it the f**k out. Figure it out”.
More drama ensued later when Minaj took to Twitter to further escalate with taunts directed at Carey. Mariah capped it all off when she showed up Friday in Baton Rouge for the next audition round with a posse of extra security that included a police officer.
Meanwhile yesterday, producers of “American Idol” stepped forward to take it all down a notch, according to Us Weekly. They released a statement saying, “This is one of the best, most passionate, dynamic and invested judging panels we’ve ever had….We love and support all of the judges and the fantastic work they are doing, and we can’t imagine a better group to find the next American Idol”.
Fans and insiders alike have been weighing in all week as to the validity of the situation, but perhaps the most insightful take on it came from entertainment attorney Brian Sullivan. He told E! News it’s not typical for a reality show talent contract to require specific behaviors and actions in order to get paid, and it’s “incredibly” unlikely that the tiff between Carey and Minaj is any exception to that.
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean because it isn’t inked in black and white that this fight is real either. Contracts can be drawn up using language that gives producers broad discretion over the judges’, (or other reality show participants’), actions.
Another attorney, Chad Fitzgerald of Kinsella Weitzman says, “Oftentimes the contracts are very broad and open-ended”, regarding talent behavior. “The language usually says that the talent will go along with producers’ reasonable instructions, and their direction”.
E! News is indicating however, that sources tell them in this case – the nastiness between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj is more real than fake.