Judge Mariah Carey of “American Idol” speaks onstage during the FOX portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 8, 2013 in Pasadena,

*Well, tonight’s the night.

“American Idol” begins its 12th season at 8 p.m. amid anticipation fomented for months by reported bickering between new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.

Ever since the leaked video of Minaj yelling at Mariah during an audition taping in October and subsequent reports that they don’t get along, the two have done much to downplay any lingering animosity – with a wink, of course. After all, they’re trying to pump up a show that has seen its ratings cool off in recent years.

Producers appear willing to ride this beef train until the wheels fall off. On “Today” this morning, “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest said tonight’s premiere will show the two fighting in an elevator in one of the first scenes.

(L-R) Judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and host Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol” speak onstage during the FOX portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 8, 2013 in Pasadena

EURweb sat down with both Nicki and Mariah separately at the recent TCA Winter Press Tour to get the final word on the exact nature of their relationship. Nicki seemed eager to move beyond the subject. Asked if the whole media fixation on the feud is frustrating or disappointing, she said – it’s neither.

“I mean those are some big words to use for a situation that’s this ridiculous,” she told us. “It’s not a big deal. It’s not frustrating, it’s not disappointing, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just – it happened and of course the press are gonna talk about it. Why wouldn’t they?”

Mariah, on the other hand, used a general question about group dynamics to vent her frustration with those on the judging panel who are unable to move past an argument. (Gee, wonder who could she be talking about? Randy Jackson? Keith Urban?)

Asked if she plays well with others during times when the panel has to reach a consensus on a contestant – a question that had nothing to do with Nicki directly – Minaj appeared to be the lone person on Mariah’s mind in her answer.  She would neither confirm nor deny.

Listen to her response below and you be the judge (no pun intended).

Let’s just say, the live shows should be interesting with these two on the same panel. “American Idol” season 12 premieres tonight (Jan. 16) at 8 p.m. on FOX. Watch a promo below.