Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
April 06, 2010 12:00 AM

Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell are always bickering on American Idol, poking fun at each other and throwing insults around, usually about the other’s lack of talent. But apparently it’s true what they say: You only hurt the ones you love.

“We’re actually friendly,” the Idol host says in an interview airing Tuesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “We don’t hold a grudge. We have a very competitive spirit and attitude on the show, but we’re friends.” He adds, jokingly: “I would be there for him if he needed a loan or something … because he’s really hurting.”

Seacrest, 35, says a small change to the set design has allowed him to badger Cowell, 50, more effectively this season. “They built this great little bridge,” he says. “It used to be like a moat between the stage and the judges’ table, but now there is this bridge.” That lets Seacrest get closer to the notoriously surly judge, “which makes him really uncomfortable. Which makes me happy.”

DeGeneres, 52, a new judge this season, says she gets uncomfortable, too — but it’s mostly when the show goes to commercial and she feels pressure to join her fellow judges as they all head outside for a break.

“They all just get up and walk out. So, I’m like, ‘I’m not just going to sit here,’ so I get up,” she says. “Simon goes out to smoke a cigarette, and Kara’s doing something, and Randy, and I’m just kind of out there because I don’t want to be by myself.”

Tuesday on Idol (8 p.m. EST), the remaining contestants will perform songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.–Tim Nudd

Tell us: Which singers will do well tonight?Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

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