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Nicki Minaj Talks American Idol Finalists, Pressures of Being a Judge & Her Hot Tip on Who Will Win the Final

By on March 26, 2013
AMERICAN IDOL: Nicki Minaj. CR: Michael Becker / FOX

AMERICAN IDOL: Nicki Minaj. CR: Michael Becker / FOX

I’m holding on the line with about 20 other journalists waiting for American Idol’s Nicki Minaj to pick up. We’ve all been given strict instructions not to ask personal questions of the Grammy award nominee and to keep our discussion strictly to Idol and its remaining finalists who will compete for a shot at the top this Wednesday March 27 on FOX – the day before the show’s 450th episode.

However when Minaj arrives over thirty minutes late, expressing concerns over the quality of the line and the tone of the operator’s voice, avoiding discussion of her larger than life personality becomes somewhat of an elephant in the room for some of us.

“I’m going to pass on that question,” she promptly tells one journalist when the subject of a recent on-show late arrival is broached. Whether intentional or not, Minaj reveals a vein of iron that shows she is focused, driven and more than capable of dealing with the pressures of her high-profile position on the show, despite her assertion that she was scared to death at the prospect of becoming an American Idol judge.

“I didn’t know what to expect going in to the show. I was so nervous. I had a lot of anxiety,” Minaj confesses. “I felt like, Okay. I know everybody’s just going to hate me. Oh well!  There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, I can’t do this anymore because if everyone is going to give good critic and I’m going to be the only one being honest then America is going to hate me. I’m going to be seen as mean. And the producers said, Nicki, trust me America is going to appreciate the honesty! And that’s all I had to go on.”

However Minaj is anything but uncertain when it comes to choosing frontrunners for Idol’s final leg.

“I would say Kree, Angie and Candice are our front runners,” she says. “I think that outside of their voices they’ve just sort of won people over already, which I think is evident in just what I see on Twitter with my fans.  You know those three singers have really, really made an impact not only with just a great voice that sounds like it should already be making albums but for some reason their personality seems to appeal to a lot of fans.”

“No, absolutely not,” she responds in definitive tones when asked if there’s a possibility a guy may  win this season.

With Minaj pinning her hopes on Kree, Angie or Candice, is there anyone she feels left the show too soon? “I was like gutted when Curtis left,” she confides. “Because I feel like Curtis—his voice—I mean I feel like Curtis had the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting.  I couldn’t wait to see him perform, and looking back now I wish we would have given him the save.  I really do.”

“We’re down to the very best of the best,” she says of the remaining contestants. “I’ve definitely been trying to say things in a way that won’t discourage them because I want them to continue shining.  I mean I know this is their moment and that one of these people will be the next American Idol.”

Tune in Wednesday, March 27 from 8:00 to 10:00 PM on FOX with the remaining eight finalists singing songs from Motor City.  And on Thursday another contestant will be eliminated as Idol celebrates its 450th episode.