American Idol Executive Admits Nicki Minaj And Keith Urban Had 'Big' Row

But says that publicity over Mariah Carey and Nicki feud is not what he wanted

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Whilst all eyes have been on Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj following their controversial feud last year, American Idol executive Nigel Lythgoe has admitted that Nicki and her fellow new AI judge, Keith Urban had a "big" fight.

Speaking about Keith's place on the panel between Mariah and Nicki, Digital Spy reported the executive producer confessing:

"He is the scratching post between Mariah and Nicki. He sometimes looks like he's watching a tennis match, with his head bobbing between the two girls, but when it's his turn to speak he gives his mind and he won't put up with anybody else knocking a kid down.

"He's had rows with Mariah, Randy [Jackson] and Nicki - a big one with Nicki, in truth. So they're very passionate. He's passionate."

Keith and Nicki have reportedly had a "big" row (WENN)

Explaining that the attention that has come since footage of Nicki and Mariah feuding leaked in October, was not what he wanted. Nigel went on to say:

"I don't think it's been a bonus in any way, shape or form, to be frank. It's not publicity that I welcomed. I've said all the way since we began this show - it's about the contestants. The judges are always going to be interesting because they are who they are, but the show is about the contestants.

"I don't really want to know that there's been a huge blow up between [the judges] or anything like that, have it all taken out of proportion of what actually goes on during the long days that we do and the amount of kids that came along and the wonderfully talented ones that came along."

Nicki and Mariah are said to have made up now (WENN)

He added: "What I do think we've got though is going to, I guess, get people to watch to see if they blow up on television, so everybody tells me I should be grateful for that. I would much prefer that they watched because these judges are excellent."

Revealing that Keith, Nicki and Mariah know they have to live up to the standards set by former judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, Nigel continued: "So they also have got to live up to that and they're very competitive people. These are human beings that have experienced an incredible success in their own lives - they don't want to be put down in any way, shape or form, so they're going for the best they can get."

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