Steven Tyler thinks Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's bitter bust-up is a publicity stunt to boost ratings
The Aerosmith star - who announced he was leaving the reality show in July after a successful two season run on the judging panel - believes producers have orchestrated the women's outspoken rivalry to boost ratings.
The 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing' singer told US gossip website TMZ: ''Of course, are you kidding'' when asked if he thought their furious bust-up was designed to generate more publicity.
Filming of the new series was called to a halt earlier this week after the judges' disagreement over a contestant turned into a bitter screaming match as Nicki hurled insults at Mariah, calling her ''boring as f**k'' and threatening ''off with your head!''.
The 'Starships' rapper has continued to blast Mariah on her twitter page.
But 'American Idol' producers have insisted the show must go on despite the tension and pledged their support for the entire judging panel.
In a statement on Friday (05.10.12), 'American Idol' producers said: ''This is one of the best, most passionate, dynamic and invested judging panels we've ever had.
''We love and support all of the judges and the fantastic work they are doing, and we can't imagine a better group to find the next 'American Idol'.