Trouble was definitely brewing.
Tonight's American Idol featured The Fight, the infamous showdown in Charlotte, N.C., between Nicki and Mariah that instantly went viral and provoked talk of a greater feud being waged behind the scenes.
"That's a wrap for today!" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is seen proclaiming in footage captured on that fateful day.
But it turns out that Nicki was mad at everybody, not just Mariah, when she walked off the panel, announcing, "I'm done!"
Nicki had taken exception to her fellow judges' handling of aspiring "soulful country" artist Summer Cunningham (who made it to Hollywood, BTW). "Why are we taking her apart?" she wondered aloud as Mariah, Keith Urban and Randy Jacksoninsisted that Summer shouldn't deny that her voice is best suited for country music, despite her comment that she had already done "the country thing."
"That's like saying, 'I did the brain-surgeon thing,'" retorted Keith (as much as the cheery crooner can possibly retort to something).
"Thirty years, a little help, insight," Randy deadpanned, touting his own resume in response to Nicki's concerns.
"Oh, you're right," Nicki said, "maybe I should just get off the f--king panel."
"That was my move," Mariah lamented as the rapper left the room. "I was going to do that the next time she ragged on me." Insisted Randy: "I was gonna walk out!"
"Shut the f--k up," Nicki can be heard saying off-camera as her fellow judges carried on.
"Now I totally understand why she got mad," tweeted @number1barb, one of the many opinions retweeted by Nicki Minaj tonight as the drama unfolded on TV at last.
Flash to day two, when even auditioner Brandy Hamilton is nervous about what sort of mood the judges are going to be in post-dustup.
Well, the talented Brandy had no need to worry—but the emotional 25-year-old Navy reservist still said, "Please don't fight, it makes me sad" as she was dashing out the door to share the good news.
And, after all that hype, Charlotte ended on a high note (on TV, anyway), with Seretha Guinn offering up LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" and the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to score herself a ticket to Hollywood.
"Incredible," praised Nicki, who must have been pretty glad that, after walking away, she decided to come back.