Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey fight light Real Housewives of New Jersey on “American Idol” while Britney Spears and Demi Lovato are the meek sisters on “X-Factor.” Have the reality music shows veered too far off course?

The most radical lineup of judges in the history of the “American Idol” franchise is proving to be incendiary to say the least.

Minaj’s now infamous meltdown at co-judge Carey may be just what the producers hoped for to add spark to the show. But is her style and profanity-laced vocabulary ready for primetime?

“American Idol,” the oldest reality music show on the air, was showing its age for sure. It’s also being challenged on all sides by rivals like “The Voice,” “X-Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Celebrity Duets” and “The Next Great American Band.”

The show had to do something to spice up its format, especially with the departure of vitriolic Simon Cowell and a de-emphasis on airing bad singers merely to play to the bloodlust of viewers eager to watch contestants humiliated.

Cowell, who has a hand in both “American Idol” and Fox’s “X-Factor,” apparently decided to make the judges as much of the spectacle as the contestants. So, he went with meltdown queens.

So far Spears and Lovato have been just the opposite, more waterworks than fireworks. They can’t say enough nice things about even mediocre talent and seem to cry on cue. But Minaj and Carey appear to be sticking to the script.

They’ve been feuding since day one. Carey is constantly goading Minaj and treating her with thinly veiled disdain, while Minaj has become a loose cannon. Does the show have your attention now? Who cares about the constants? These shows are now about the judges.

Check out the rapper’s meltdown below, and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more reality television updates.