"These are all very different individuals with different perspectives and different opinions that provide for interesting conversation and dialogue and feedback for the contestants," Seacrest reasoned during On Air With Ryan Seacrest of Minaj, Carey, fellow newbie Keith Urban and stalwart Randy Jackson.
"[There's] nothing wrong with disagreeing . . . That's gonna happen, and it's okay," he continued of the spat, in which Minaj and Carey had a difference of opinion over one would-be singer toward the very end of a long day of auditions.
"I told them I'm not f**kin' putting up with her f**king highness over there. Figure it the f**k out. Figure it out," the "Starships" rapper sniped.
"It got heated between Nicki and Mariah," admitted Seacrest, who was outside the auditorium during the dust-up. "It was intense! I'll be honest with you . .. It went far last night. It did get intense."
But Seacrest argued that passionate debate is exactly what Idol needs. "We want that! We want them to be on this panel together. This is a good team, a great team, to go out and look for the next American Idol . . . the feedback that they give is very good."