If you ask Ryan Seacrest, the upcoming season of American Idol will have its share of fireworks—much of that thanks to the feud that's erupted between new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
Appearing on the Today show Wednesday morning, the Idol emcee dished on what viewers can expect from the budding rivalry at the judges' table and how that will play out in evaluating the latest crop of wannabe popsters.
After Today played an audition clip from the talent show at the top of the segment, Seacrest revealed that before the tryout got underway, Mariah and Nicki had a pretty heated exchange.
"There was a bit of difference in opinion between Nicki and Mariah on the elevator ride up to our first day of shooting," said Seacrest. "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."
Quizzed by Today cohost Savannah Guthrie as to whether the so-called feud is real, the 38-year-old media mogul was up-front about the tension.
"Yes, it is. It's not manufactured," Seacrest replied. "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."
When asked by Matt Lauer whether Idol is all about the judges now, Ryan demurred, pointing to past winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
"This season I think you're gonna see headlines about the contestants and the judges as well. It's gonna be a two-parter," he said.
(Both E! and Today are part of the NBCUniversal family)