Mariah Carey, she could not be moved. When former judge Jennifer Lopez delivered an energetic 10-minute performance on the season finale of American Idol on May 16, Carey kept a fixed smile on her face but refused to join the other three judges in giving Lopez a standing ovation. She played with the streamers and grinned straight ahead instead.
Earlier in the night, Carey took to the stage with a pre-recorded medley of her greatest hits, including “Vision of Love,” “Make It Happen,” “My All,” “Hero,” “We Belong Together,” and “#Beautiful,” but it was Lopez’s dance-infused performance that had the audience pumped.
To add fuel to the fire, rumors that the judge had lip-synched her performance began to circulate online shortly after her stiff performance in a feathered, beaded white gown.
“There are two type of artists Vocalists & performers,” one fan tweeted. “If you’re a vocalist, you should NOT lip-sync. Especially on the caliber of Mariah.”
Lopez’s own performance, on the other hand, was a rousing rendition of her dance hit “Live It Up,” which involved plenty of high-energy moves and an appearance by rapper Pitbull.
The pair have a history of controversy together that dates back to a time when Carey’s ex-husband Tommy Mottola gave material she’d selected for her Glitter soundtrack to Lopez after she’d left his label. Lopez, 43, was previously a judge on the hit Fox singing competition, and has been rumored to be returning to the judge’s table in an upcoming season as the Fox series struggles in the ratings.
“I don’t know!” Lopez said in response to TV Guide’s question about whether or not she was looking to return. “When I say, ‘I don’t know,’ people think, ‘Oh, she’s playing a game.’ I’m not. If it became really real where I had to make a decision, I would have to sit down and really weigh out the options of what my life looks like in the next year to see if I would sign.”
“Because it does take up a lot of time, and I do have a lot of other things going on that I’m super excited about,” she continued. “So we’ll see.”
If Lopez does decide to return, however, there’s one current judge who would be more than happy for the change.
“All dem #1s but Jlo phone ringin?” Nicki Minaj tweeted on May 2, in a nod to Carey’s diss that the “Roman Holiday” rapper had never had a No.1 Billboard hit. “I guess having a personality, being a secure woman, and giving genuine critique still trumps that.”