Host Ryan Seacrest hinted at "dissension in the ranks" during Thursday night's episode of the Fox singing competition, saying that half-way through the day it had descended into "Jennifer versus the boys' club".
Viewers then saw a montage of female singers, starting with Miss Houston 2011 Rachael Turner, who Lopez wanted to put through to Hollywood but Tyler and Jackson did not.
Choir teacher Reagan Wilson, 23, was next to cause tension among the judges when Lopez voiced her support but Jackson said he didn't think she was ready for the show. "Are you guys crazy?" said Lopez.
Student Cheyenne James, 17, was equally divisive, with Lopez looking visibly stunned when Tyler and Jackson admitted they hadn't been that impressed.
"You are joking, right?" said Lopez. "I thought you were amazing. Souful, rich, I just loved it... Anyone else in here think they are crazy right now?"
After the boys said no, Lopez told Cheyenne: "I would have said yes and if I had two people who were hearing correctly right now they would have said yes and we would have been putting you through to Hollywood and you might have made it very far, so I'm sorry."
She added to her fellow judges: "You guys are going to look at it and be like, 'What the heck was I thinking?' Some of the people you put through today against her…"
Finally it was bartender Linda Williams, 24, who prompted another disagreement. Tyler thought she was great, while Lopez muttered that she must be in The Twilight Zone because she personally couldn't connect with Linda's voice.
She added to Jackson, who enjoyed the performance: "Wake up, honestly, I feel like somebody slipped you something."
In the end, Tyler and Jackson sent Linda to Hollywood, but the overruled Lopez maintained that the audition was "awful".
She told Tyler: "Baby, you're going to watch it back, I promise you, and say 'it's awful'. There was one girl who came in here and blew me away like Janis Joplin and you sent her home! Somebody help me! What is happening right now, they are sending the good singers home and letting the bad singers through!"
Lopez added: "I was literally so angry I almost had an anxiety attack!"
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.
> Digital Spy liveblogs the American Idol auditions in Houston
> Read Digital Spy's full American Idol headlines
Watch Linda Williams's audition:
Browse a gallery of pictures from the Houston auditions below: