This week’s onscreen tension between American Idol contestant Quentin Alexander and judge Harry Connick Jr. made for great television on the Fox singing competition, but it was not the first time tempers flared in front of the camera.
‘American Idol’: Quentin Alexander and Harry Connick Jr. Clash Over ‘This Is Wack’ Comment
While Alexander is making headlines this week after calling out the elimination of his best friend, Joey Cook as “wack”-prompting a verbal smack down from judge, Connick, who deemed the outburst “disrespectful,”-other feuds caused just as much controversy back in the day.
Talking back to the judges, disagreements between the judges, and the occasional side-eye have all made its way onto our television screens in one way or another. Who made some waves? Who needed a time-out? Billboard takes a look back.
‘American Idol’: All of Our Coverage
Justin Guarini Vs. The Judges
When it comes to talking back to the judges, Justin Guarini was the Original Gangsta. He most famously voiced his opposition his first harsh critique of the season by dismissing judge Simon Cowell’s harsh commentary and seeking love from the audience by saying: “I respect your opinion, but what did you guys think?” We all know who won that season.
Elise Testone Vs. Jennifer Lopez
When it comes to female singers, Lopez always dishes out her fair share of critiques, but not everyone bites their lip and says “thank you.” Case in point: season 11 competitor Elise Testone. After her performance of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” Lopez admonished the New Jersey native for not connecting with the lyrics, Testone shot back that she felt she did.
Paula Abdul Vs. Simon
Oh, the verbal spats with these two became something to be expected-especially over contestants. But these two always hugged it out. Poor Randy Jackson got in the middle of this particular fight over the “colors” in Danny Noriega’s voice. “What color was that?” a bemused Cowell asked, who attacked Noriega’s Elvis Presley cover as “hideous.”
Simon Cowell Throws Down With Paula Abdul in Auditions
Yep, these two again. But this battle during auditions was just so much fun, Idol re-ran this clip a zillion times of Abdul screaming, “Simon, I don’t have a problem saying anything in front of your face.” The argument was getting so out of control, then executive producer Nigel Lythgoe was summoned to mediate. It was all good, though, when the judges hugged it out at the end.
Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey
It was the fight that set the whole tone for Season 12, when divas Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey just couldn’t play nice at the table. Again, it all started over a contestant auditioning in North Carolina, culminating in Minaj screaming, “I told them, I’m not f–ing putting up with her f–ing highness over there.” The beef between the two judges just got worse, simmering in front of viewers in all its side-eyed glory for the entire season. Relive the glorious interaction below:>