*The Hollywood Reporter is quoting a “high-ranking” insider at “American Idol” who says the whole  Mariah Carey – Nicki Minaj diva battle is a joke that both ladies are in on.

“It’s exactly what Fox executives wanted all along,” says the source. “No one’s really worried. They know the parts they’re supposed to play.”

Meanwhile, “American Idol’s” in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine continued to stir the pot in his interview with THR.

“Let me tell you, neither of these girls are shy,” offers the Interscope chairman, who has crossed paths with the singers professionally and socially. “I was very bullish on Mariah. She gets songs and the process of producing. She really knows the studio. She has that experience, and let’s remember that most people going on these shows want to be Mariah Carey.”

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As for Minaj, says Iovine: “Nicki is coming from a different place and another generation with her own incredibly legitimate opinions — some things that are important to Mariah will not be to Nicki. But if they each bring their truth, you could see an incredible dynamic because they’re both smart as hell.”

THR continues…

The concerns, it seems, are whether the fireworks can be “managed” and will it make for good TV? Worth noting: On season one of NBC’s “The Voice,” most of the cast wasn’t talking to fellow coach Christina Aguilera. According to host Carson Daly, who discussed this very topic on his L.A. radio show (97.1 AMP Radio) Wednesday morning, producers eventually intervened and told them to cut it out.

To that end, the well-placed insider says “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is “well-equipped” to manage the Minaj-Carey relationship (in addition to handling judges Randy Jackson and Keith Urban). Indeed, in the grainy video (which another observer suggests was leaked by the Minaj camp), the British executive producer looks only the slightest bit rattled, and reportedly, he had the good sense to stop the day’s taping following the altercation.

Meanwhile, Carey shared her side of this so-called story with ABC’s Barbara Walters, who relayed excerpts of the interview this morning on “The View.”

Carey said that she was worried because when “Nicki walked off the set, multiple people heard Nicki say, ‘If I had a gun I would shoot the bitch,’ ” Walters told viewers.

“Nicki is unpredictable,” Walters said, quoting Carey.

“Mariah says she can’t take a chance and she has hired extra security,” Walters said. “Nicki has not apologized, but they have since been at meetings with producers and judges.”

After a meeting Wednesday, Minaj said she loved Carey but warned they might fight again, Walters reported.

“Mariah responded, ‘No, we will not,’ ” Walters said. The ABC newswoman said Carey was especially concerned because the singer has her young twins with her.

Carey vowed to continue with “American Idol” because she loves mentoring the contestants, Walters said.

Walters then invited Minaj to call “The View” and share her side.