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It's On! Between Steven Tyler and Nicki Minaj


has shifted her focus from beefing with CURRENT "American Idol" judges, to going after FORMER "Idol" judges.  Her new target is:  STEVEN TYLER.  It started with Steven telling MTV News that he is NOT optimistic about the new judges on "Idol", because he's heard about all the drama between Nicki and MARIAH CAREY and thinks the show needs COMPASSIONATE judges, not contentious ones.

He explained, "These kids, they just got out of a car from the Midwest somewhere and they're in New York City, they're scared to death, you're not going to get the best [out of them].  If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield!  Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would've brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips."

Without naming names, he also said that "some people" have a hard time knowing when it's time to, "shut the [eff] up, and just give [the contestants] your opinion."  (Here's audio of his comments.)  Well, Nicki was INCENSED when she heard this, and lit into Steven on Twitter.

She said, "Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield???  Steven, you haven't seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet!  I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers.  I haven't done anything to you.  That's a racist comment.   You assume that I wouldn't have liked Bob Dylan???  Why?  Black?  Rapper?  What?  Go [eff] yourself and worry about yourself babe.   LOL.  Let's make him a shirt that says 'No Coloreds Allowed' then escort him down to Barbara Walters so he can tell how he was threatened [with] guns.  When Steven first went on 'Idol' he was ridiculed by his peers and fans alike.  [He was] called a sell out.  So what does he do?  Ridicule the next judge."