Carey, Minaj dismiss recent spat as 'trumped up'

The divas and fellow "American Idol" judges said their fight was nothing more than a passionate disagreement over some of the show’s contestants.

LOS ANGELES -- New "American Idol" judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj shrugged off their widely publicized feud on Tuesday as a "trumped-up thing" that was merely a passionate difference of opinion over the TV talent show's contestants.

In their first big media appearance ahead of the hit show's return to Fox television on Jan. 16, the two pop stars showered each other with praise while barely looking at each other.

A day after the airing of an ABC TV interview in which Carey said she hired extra security following threats reportedly made against her by Minaj last year, the "Hero" singer told reporters it was time to focus on the aspiring "Idol" stars.

"This is a very passionate panel. There are a lot of strong personalities," said Carey, who is reportedly being paid $18 million to be an "American Idol" judge.

"The fighting is what it is. This is 'American Idol.' It is bigger than some stupid trumped-up thing. It's about the next superstar ... The whole thing is convoluted. It's a distraction from the show and the contestants," Carey said.

Minaj, an outspoken 30-year-old rapper, called Carey one of her "favorite artists of all time."

"She has really shaped a generation of singers and to be on a panel with her where (contestants) all aspire to be Mariah Carey ... I feel excited to see them, see someone they look up to so much," Minaj said.

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