To mark the final season of "American Idol," which debuts on Fox on Jan. 6, 2016, Wonderwall.com is revisiting the most divalicious moments from the past 14 seasons. Starting with the time Quentin Alexander, a contestant on Season 14, wasn't too happy with the show after two of his friends ended up on the bottom two. So he let the world know. "This sucks," he said. "We have two of the best vocalists, my best friend is sitting over there, this whole thing is wack — and I'm going to shut up right now." Harry Connick Jr., though, wasn't about to listen to some diva contestant bash the show. "I was going to say, Quentin, if it's that wack, then you can always go home, because 'Idol' is paying a lot of money to give you this experience and for you to say that to this hand that is feeding you right now, I think is highly disrespectful."
If you come at Mariah Carey's catalog, you'd better come correct! As a contestant vied for a spot in Hollywood in 2013, he said, "'All I Want for Christmas' is the best modern-day Christmas song." Judge Nicki Minaj, who didn't like anyone complimenting her arch nemesis, said, "It sure was, wasn't it?" Mariah let chart play do the talking. "Still is, dahling!" she said. "No. 1 last year. Seventeen years later, it's still No. 1."
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Paula tells Simon how she feels
Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul often bickered throughout their years as judges. Things reached a boiling point during Season 2 when they fought over which contestant to eliminate. Things got so bad that Paula called over producer Nigel Lythgoe to explain the issue. "Don't talk about me, talk to my face," Simon furiously said. Paula faced her on-screen nemesis and retorted: "Simon, I don't have a problem saying anything in front of your face." She then looked at Nigel and said, "He can't stand someone." She then looked at Simon and said, "There, I said it in front of your face."
Dressing room blues
Not all the dramatic behavior occurred in front of the camera. Ellen DeGeneres, who has said that she hated being a judge on the show during Season 9 in 2010, reportedly went all diva backstage when she saw that her dressing room was smaller than Simon Cowell's digs.
Fun or nah?
After your first day on the job, you're supposed to say nice things about the job when the boss is around, right? Not Mariah Carey. Randy Jackson was making light of the day and he said, "Well that was fun, wasn't it?" Mariah fired back, "'Who said I had fun? I had a little fun.'" That pretty much set the tone for her entire "American Idol" tenure.
Nicki doesn't hold back
The panel couldn't decide on a certain contestant and judge Nicki Minaj's voice wasn't exactly being heard, or so she thought. "Oh, you're right. I'm sorry I can't help her. Maybe I should just get off the f—— panel," she replied.
Sweet and salty
Ryan Seacrest was always pretty even-keeled on "American Idol," but he had a bit of a diva moment during Season 6 when Simon Cowell called him "sweetheart." "Don't call me sweetheart," Ryan said in a tense tone. "I don't want that kind of relationship. We'll just work together — that's fine with me." Simon's reply? "You've made this very uncomfortable." Thank God for commercial breaks!
Producers knew that things could get frigid between judges when Mariah Carey came on board, and they were right! During the premiere of Season 12, Mariah and her fellow judges listened to a contestant who said he went to a fancy music school. Mariah told the other judges — but loud enough so the contestant could hear her — "I didn't go to no music school. I went to the school of f—— life."
The Kara/Katy showdown
Judge Kara DioGuardi (remember her?!) and guest judge Katy Perry just didn't see eye-to-eye during Season 9 in 2010. The two disagreed over several of the contestants and even had a little spat when Kara mocked Katy's hit song "I Kissed A Girl." "Please stop before I throw my Coke in your face," Katy told Kara. Later, they fought over another contestant. Kara liked him. Katy didn't. "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart," she said. "You have to have talent."
If Mariah Carey wasn't feeling a certain contestant, she didn't always let that person down softly. Quite the contrary, in fact. After Mimi was severely unimpressed with one hopeful, she basically told him that doing karaoke was about the closest he should get to a microphone. "Have you ever considered being a DJ?" she asked. "You can still deal with music but you don't necessarily have to be a singer."
Clash of the divas
So, in case you hadn't figured it out, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey did not like each other. The two hadn't been around each other for more than a couple of minutes during one audition day during Season 12 before Mariah upset Nicki, likely just because of her presence. Nicki said: "I told them I'm not f—— putting up with her f—— highness over there." Mariah then countered, "Oh why, WHYYYY do I have a 3-year-old sitting around me?" Poor Keith Urban had to sit in the middle and play referee.
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were mean girls, and, ironically, "Mean Girls" became a point of contention between them. Mariah recited a quote from the movie and Nicki responded in kind. "It's a quote from 'Mean Girls.' If you knew 'Mean Girls,' you'd know it," Mariah said, to which Nicki responded, "I do know 'Mean Girls.'" Then Mariah quizzed her hard. "Okay, who says, 'I wanna lose 3 pounds,' which character?" Mariah asked. Nicki: "Uh, not Lindsay [Lohan], the other one, with the blond hair." Mariah: "What's her name?" Nicki: "You know something? Mariah…" Mariah: "I just wanna know!" Trivial fights were the norm for these two.
Not so warm and fuzzy
The Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj battle made for must-see TV when the two faced off as judges on "American Idol." The duo bickered off-camera and on-camera. And nothing was off limits, even wardrobes. When Nicki showed up in a fur-covered hat, Mariah reportedly said, "We can have accessories? If I would have known that I would've brought my dog. Alright, that's the last thing I'm going to say."
Nepotism on "American Idol"? Ellen DeGeneres was apparently trying to keep it in the family and it did not sit well with others. Sources told Reality TV Magazine that almost immediately after signing on to be a judge, Ellen began insisting that her wife, Portia de Rossi, be a guest judge in a future episode. She also reportedly wanted the show to give her a new Mercedes as a signing bonus, even though she'd already finalized her contract.
She said what?
Sometimes there were eye rolls and intense body language, but other times the hatred between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey was vocalized. Nicki decided to call Mariah a b—- as she clenched her teeth. Mariah heard and it was weird. "If she called me something that begins with a 'B' and ends in an 'itch'," she said, "I rebuke it."