Ryan Seacrest insists the 'American Idol' feud between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey isn't faked for the cameras.

The show has been making the headlines recently thanks to the stars' fiery relationship, and Ryan, 38, says the rivalry is completely real.

Talking to the 'Today' show, he said: ''Yes, it is. It's not manufactured.

''These are two very, very spirited, strong individual performers who've had a lot of success that aren't shy about their opinion regardless of what they may be about.''

Promises of their heated exchanges will get the viewers to tune in, and the 'American Idol' host reveals it began before the auditions even started.

He said: ''There was a bit of difference in opinion between Nicki and Mariah on the elevator ride up to our first day of shooting.

''And before that contestant came in they settled it, but on camera, so you'll get to see some of the sparks right out of the gate this season.''

His thoughts come after Nicki Minaj, 30, was quizzed about the feud on 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' in a chat that was aired yesterday (15.01.13).

The 'Beauty and a Beat' hitmaker said: ''It was just two big old divas, I guess.

''I was just like sitting there, and I guess before I went in there I heard all the stuff that was being said, but I didn't believe it.

''And so I went there and I started to feel a bit of the shade. And I just kind of overcompensated by being crazier.''

While Nicki says she's moved on, the 'Starships' singer hopes her fellow judge has too - but she's still worried about the live shows.

She admitted: ''I don't know if she's gotten over it but I have ... I just want [the shows] to go well. It's about the contestants. We have a lot of great talent, and I don't want anyone on the panel to say something too crazy because then I don't want to look like a crazy psycho again.''