But the show's producers have denied there is a whiff of a publicity stunt in the diva-off between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
'Whatever feuds there have been - and this isn’t just between Nicki and Mariah but Keith (Urban) and Randy (Jackson) as well - are genuine,' executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told the press during Tuesday's TCA panel in Los Angeles.
It's real: Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj addressed their differences on the TCA American Idol panel on Tuesday
According to Deadline.com, one television critic told the room that the feud 'feels like a fake' - a sentiment swiftly denied by Lythgoe and Fox reality chief Mike Darnell.
'It’s authentic,' said Darnell. 'There is passion in this group. They disagree about the talent, and the ways to approach the talent.'
And after the press conference, Darnell denied that anyone involved in Idol had orchestrated the feud - a video of which was leaked to showbiz website TMZ.
Instead, he said 'a rogue crew member probably took the video and sent it to TMZ. We did not encourage it.'
Battle of the divas: Mariah and Nicki appeared on stage together alongside Keith Urban, confirming their feud is not an act
We're passionate: Mariah makes her point during Tuesday's panel discussion
'Personally, I'm not over the moon that it happened. But if you asked me, as a professional, is it good for the show? The answer would probably be yes,' he said, before reiterating that none of the production team were responsible for the leaking of the video.
'I don't think I wouldn't done it so far away from the beginning of the season,' he revealed. 'Plus, it was about the judges and not the contestants, and I'm totally against that. So no.'
On Tuesday, the two singers tried their best to play down the fight to concentrate focus on the contestants.
No stunt: Fox TV executives Nigel Lythgoe and Mike Darnell (right) say the drama between Mariah and Nicki is not fake
United front: The panel are all smiles despite simmering tensions between the girls
Team work: Nicki reaches out to high five fellow judge Randy Jackson before things turn sour with Mariah
'The whole thing is convoluted, and it’s a distraction from the show and the contestants, and I think it’s unfair to them really.'
According to the blog Vulture.com a journalist then asked the warring women to say something nice about each other.
Nicki, 30, went first and said: 'I say nice things about Mariah all the time. She is one of my favourite artists of all time.
'To be on a panel with her, it's kind of crazy. All the singers come in aspiring to be Mariah in terms of talent and in terms of career length.'
Her side of the story: The singer hit back when Mariah claimed that their feud was one sided. Nicki is sandwiched between Idol host Ryan Seacrest and fellow judge Keith Urban
Glam: Mariah was diva-tastic in her emerald dress and bling as she shared a joke with Randy Jackson
Mariah added: 'And I did feel like she was going to go very far and still have that feeling. I am grateful for anything nice that she or anyone has to say.'
The stars both agreed that their fighting - most sensationally seen on leaked footage from an audition last October - 'distracts' from the show so they decided to put in behind them.
Feisty: Since joining the Idol panel the 30-year-old rapper has always been happy to voice her opinions
Awkward: When Nicki was forced to complement her Mariah reportedly flinched
'It was sort of a one-sided thing,' Mariah said.
'No, it wasn’t!' Nicki snapped back. 'See? They don’t want a rising star, they want drama.'
Throughout the rest of the press conference the pair rolled their eyes at each other's comments, sneered or just stared daggers at each other, according to observers.
Separated by the other judges, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson who tried to keep the peace, Nicki and Mariah also seemed to be competing in the style and cleavage displaying stakes too.
Both were pouring out of their dresses - Mariah opted for a strapless, emerald green mini dress with strappy Louboutins while Nicki wore a short gold, grey and white number.
It's my party: Nicki Minaj later headed out to the FOX Winter TCA All-Star Party