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‘American Idol’ divas steal the show

LOS ANGELES – “American Idol” has barely gotten under way and a purported feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj – they’ve both denied the beef – has become a full-blown diva showdown, as seen in video leaked by TMZ on Tuesday evening.

In the clip, Minaj and Carey are in a heated argument that reportedly derailed auditions in Charlotte, N.C.

There’s plenty of swearing and shouting in the clip, so it’s hard to fully decipher the argument. However, Minaj called the pop diva “disrespectful” and the pop diva replied by calling her a word that rhymes with “itch.”

Reports claim that the fight was over a contestant’s performance and that Minaj threatened she was going to “knock out” Carey. All while poor Keith Urban, who is seated between the two, Randy Jackson and “Idol” producers tried to calm the situation.

“I don’t feel inadequate. You’re the insecure one sittin’ up there running down her résumé every five minutes,” Minaj yells at one point. “If you gotta … problem then handle it. I told them, I’m not … putting up with your … highness over there ... figure it the … out. Figure it out.”

On “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest’s radio show Wednesday morning, he confirmed the spat.

“There was a very heated, intense argument towards the end of the day after a contestant did a little bit of a performance in the room … It did go too far, to the point where the producers said with just a few more contestants left, ‘Let’s call it a day,’ ” he said.

Rumors that the two were clashing surfaced the second the ink dried on Minaj’s contract.

It was reported that Carey hung up on “Idol” producers after they told her that Minaj was in negotiations to join the show, bringing the panel back to a four-person one.

“Tension? What tension?” Carey joked with photographers when asked about the report of animosity between the two.

While the Internet is busy reacting – tweets, petitions to remove Minaj, etc. – the brass at Fox (and Seacrest) must be high-fiving one another and hoping the ratings-pumping drama continues. It’s more fun to watch celebrity judges fight than contestants (just ask Paula Abdul and Kara Dioguardi).

“Idol,” which is going into its 12th season in January, continues to stay a part of the conversation despite rival shows currently on the air.

An episode of “The Voice” aired Tuesday as news of the fight broke online. The high-quality Carey/Minaj video suspiciously surfaced soon after.

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