Interview with Nicki Minaj of "American Idol" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Nikki Minaj

Interview with Nikki Minaj of "American Idol" on FOX 3/25/13

Final Transcript
March 25, 2013/12:00 p.m. PDT


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for holding. We have Nicki Minaj on the line now so just one moment and weíll be ready for the first question.

Moderator All right. We have Jerry Nunn with Windy City Times.

Jerry Sure. Hi, Nicki, itís Jerry Nun from Chicago. How are you?

Nicki Iím good. How are you?

Jerry Great. Happy Pink Monday to you.

Nicki Thank you.

Jerry Weíre a gay publication in Chicago. I wanted to know if you had a favorite gay contestant that tried out or any of the people that have been in the competition like from Bang Boy to Papa Peachez, did you have a favorite gay one?

Nicki I definitely think Papa Peachez is the one that was probably the dearest to my heart only because I felt that he was such a super star, but I donít think he really knew that yet. Whenever I meet someone where I feel like they donít really know their own worth it kind of bothers me. I just thought he was so exciting like I wanted to just see him perform his original music every week, but unfortunately as soon as he didnít perform the original music he kind of got overshadowed by all the other big singers. I guess it would be Papa Peachez.

Jerry Great. Well, I look forward to seeing you in Chicago. I saw you at the Chicago Theatre opening for Britney and youíre just an awesome performer.

Nicki Oh, thank you.

Moderator Next we have Joey Guerra with the Houston Chronicle.

Joey Nicki, just first and foremost Iím a huge fan of everything you do. Itís so great to see you on the show. I wanted to ask you specifically about our local girl Amber Holcomb. I know youíve been a fan of hers. Tell me what you like about her and what you think she needs to do to really surge and make it to that finale.

Nicki What I loved about her is that she got hardly any air time prior to like Vegas. I feel like America didnít even know she existed until Vegas showed. She already had something kind of going against her, and then when she sang ďMy Funny ValentineĒ and itís like she just became a young Whitney Houston. I think everyone was just kind of like blown away, and so I think that itís really exciting that we sort of got to see her become a super star as opposed to already figuring out she was one of the contenders that was already in everyoneís minds.

In terms of what she needs to do I think that she just needs to come on stage and treat it like sheís fighting for her life every single night because last week she, for whatever reason, probably was resting on her laurels thinking, ďEverybody loves me now. I donít have to have such a dynamic performance,Ē and then she was in the bottom three. If she comes out there and keeps that sparkle in her eye every single week and keeps on making it feel like it could be her possible last time on stage I think that she will be fine because I think her voice is out of this world.

Moderator The next question is from Hal Boedeker with the Orlando Sentinel.

Hal Hi, Nicki; thanks for doing the call. Iím wondering if you would review yourself what have been your best and worst moments on IDOL.

Nicki My best and worst IDOL moments, I donít have a worst IDOL moment. Iíve been spectacular. Yes, Iím going to toot my own horn. And then, my best moment is every single moment, Iíll toot it again.

Hal Thank you so much.

Moderator Weíll go to Tiffany Wan with Wet Paint.

Tiffany Hey, Nicki; thank you so much for joining us today. My question for you is in your opinion who do you see right now as the front runner for Season 12?

Nicki I would say Kree and Angie I think are our front runners. I mean Kree, Angie, and Candice.

Tiffany Okay. Any reason for those three?

Nicki I think that outside of their voices theyíve 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 Ö a lot of fans.

Tiffany Okay. Great. Thank you.

Moderator We have Andrea Dresdale with ABC News Radio.

Andrea Hey, Nicki. I wonder how you feel about the fact that a lot of people have said you know, ďWhen I started watching IDOL with Nicki Minaj I wasnít really familiar with who she was or maybe I had some idea about her but now I think sheís the best thing that ever happened to this show. I love her judging style.Ē How do you feel about winning new fans over just by being on the show like that?

Nicki I think God is good. I feel like my entire career and life Iíve been judged by people who really did not know me, but I donít think that theyóI definitely think that they probably were right to assume what they had assumed about me because there was such little to go on, you know, out there. If you only see videos and me being crazy and hearing little things here and there then obviously youíre not going to have any idea who I really am.

Iím just happy that IDOL producers gave me a shot on the show for me to be able to show who I really was because I feel like Iím every single women. I really, really donít think outside of maybe some pink wigs that thereís anything that separates me from every other women in America, so Iím just happy that I was given the opportunity. Some people donít get an opportunity to show the world who they really are. Some people come out and put an album out and people just never talk about them again, but I was given an opportunity to show who I was as a human being and I really appreciate that.

Andrea And one of the things that you always seem to focus on with the constantans is not just their performance but their whole look, their package, their clothing right down to their belt or their lipstick. Do you feel in this day and age that is just as important as the performance?

Nicki I think so. I mean I donít think that ultimately it will have anything to do with them winning IDOL because I feel like the IDOL viewer is really not bias when it comes to the look. But I think that when you go out in to the real world as an artist you may want to think about it. I donít think thereís anything wrong with thinking about how you want to look, how you want to present yourself to the world.

I also think that they need to hear criticism on their look on the show because thatís what theyíre going to be criticized on in the real world. Theyíre going to go on Ö every single day and see themselves on the worst dressed list or best dressed list or saying they look bad or whatever so they need to start getting an idea of the real world.

Andrea Okay. Great. Thank you.

Moderator Weíll go to Morrie Sherman with Kiss FM.

Morrie Nicki Minaj, how are you?

Nicki Iím good. How are you?

Morrie My fiancť Mathew and I dance around to your music all the time and we think youíre the best thing since sliced bread.

Nicki Thank you. Give him my love. Thank you.

Morrie I absolutely will. Iím so freaking nervous right now. I have to ask you if you were asked to return next season to AMERICAN IDOL óby the way, if you can sort of compare me to a food when weíre doneóif you were asked to return to AMERICAN IDOL next season would you do so? Have you had that much fun?

Nicki Would I come back next season? I think people would rather be surprised. I like to save the mystery and the drama. I never give that away, but you know what I always say this and I mean this from the bottom of my heart that just the people behind the scenes at IDOL have been just like a dream to work with and I really, really honestly mean that. Mike Darnell took a chance on me. Nobody else understood it. They were like, ďNicki who?Ē and he took a chance on me. He believed in me. His daughter and his wife believed in me and so Iím just super grateful to have been given the opportunity.

Nicki In terms of what kind of food you would be, do you wear glasses?

Morrie Oh, my god how did you know?

Nicki Because you sound like you wear glasses.

Morrie Oh, is there such a thing as sounding like you wear glasses?

Nicki Yeah. I would call you a string bean.

Morrie Wow! Itís like youíre in the room with me. You are so awesome. Thanks, girl.

Nicki Thank you. Bye.

Moderator Our next question is from Jane Stevenson with the Toronto Sun.

Jane Hi, Nicki. How are you doing?

Nicki Iím good. How are you?

Jane Good. I just wanted to knowóthe girl whose question you wouldnít answerójust generally about making a splash. It does seem like youíve really livened up the proceedings, if I can say that. Youíre kind of a polarizing person on that judging panel. How do you feel about that as an image and are you just being you and people are just reacting to you?

Nicki I am absolutely just being me. I didnít know what to expect going in to the show. I was so nervous. I had a lot of anxiety. I felt like, ďOkay. I know everybodyís just going to hate me. Oh well.Ē There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, ďI canít do this anymore because if everyone is going to give good critic and Iím going to be the only one being honest then America is going to hate me. Iím going to be seen as mean.Ē And the producers said, ďNicki, trust me America is going to appreciate the honestyĒ and thatís all I had to go on.

I had Mike Darnell, Trish and Nigel telling me that, you know, take their work and thatís what I did. I took their word, and I came in every day and I was myself. What people see me doing with the constants is exactly what I do with my fans. Well, I donít critic my fans but I definitely play with my fans and speak to my fans as if theyíre my friends, and thatís why I started giving the contestants nicknames.

When Iím laughing on the show Iím genuinely laughing. I canít come up there and pretend. I just canít do it. I canít be someone Iím not. I canít sit there with a phony smile on my face; I canít do it. Iím happy that people are responding well to it. I mean if Iím polarizing Iím polarizing. I donít know, but I definitely didnít have a preconceived notion of who I was going to be on that panel.

Jane So has the reality of it been what you thought it would be going in?

Nicki I didnít have a real idea because it was so farfetched from my reality. Like Iíve never done anything even remotely close to this so I had no idea, and I think thatís why I was so afraid. I didnít know what to expect. I really didnít. I just didnít know but Iím happy about the way it ended up turning out because itís a fun thing. Itís a once in a lifetime experience, and, again, I feel like people have gotten to know the real me and thatís all I can ask for. Whether they like it or not at least theyíre getting to know who I really am.

Jane Great. Thank you.

Moderator We have Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness.

Kristyn Hi, Nicki. Thank you so much for speaking with us. Iím curious to know is there anything in particular that youíve been surprised to learn about yourself as a person through judging a show like AMERICAN IDOL?

Nicki Iíve been more surprised about the way people have reacted to me like because it almost seems like people werenít expecting artists to come up there as judges and be completely real, and thatís the only thing that puzzled me. I just thought, ďHmm isnít that what we should be doing? Why is that so shocking to people?Ē

I mean I guess the other thing was I didnít realize that maybe I am a bit strange because like the way people react to what I say to the contestants itís like thatís really how I act but people think itís kind of strange. Like when I asked Kree to marry me I didnít think that was strange but I guess looking back at it now maybe no IDOL judge has ever asked a contestant to marry them on live TV. I donít know. I guess in general Iím just surprised at the way people react to things that I see as very normal.

Kristyn Absolutely. You seem very emotionally connected to the contestants. Is it hard for you with that connection when someone is eliminated?

Nicki Yeah. I mean I was like gutted when Curtis left because I feel like Curtisóhis voiceóI mean I feel like Curtis has the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting. I couldnít wait to see him perform, and looking back now I wish we would have given him the save. I really do.

Kristyn Great. Thank you so much.

Moderator Next we have Sean Plummer with MSN Canada.

Sean Hi, Ms. Minaj, good to talk to you. A question for you, do you have any interestóobviously youíre a busy person with a very busy schedule do you have any interest in doing a second season of AMERICAN IDOL and if not why not?

Nicki Well, Iíd rather not speak about that at this time. I feel like Iíve kind of already answered that but I would rather not even give any insight because I kind of feel like itís exciting for people to not know who the next season judges will be.

Sean No problem. Just as a quick follow up then Iíll just ask, how is your experience being a judge on AMERICAN IDOL compare to how you thought it might be?

Nicki Okay. Well, I definitely did not have an idea of what it would be because I had never done anything close to AMERICAN IDOL Iíve never had to sit in front of you know 15 million to 18 million people every week and speak so I did not have an idea of what it would be. I think one of the things that I probably was shocked about was how interested the world is in AMERICAN IDOL and how people, you know writers they write about IDOL all the time. I guess I didnít expect that; maybe that was the only thing but for the most part I just didnít have any idea on what to expect.

Sean Fair enough. Thank you very much.

Moderator We have Tiffany Wan with Wet Paint.

Tiffany Hey, Nicki. So you have loved giving a lot of the contestants like little nicknames that have been really fun. If you had the opportunity to give yourself a nickname what would you call yourself?

Nicki Young Hold.

Tiffany Any explanation behind that?

Nicki I donít know itís just Young Hold meaning like the youngówell, no I donít want to explain it. Either you understand it or you donít and if you donít understand it it makes it even weirder.

Tiffany All right. Thank you very much.

Moderator Next we have Rebecca Lamarche with Entertainista.

Rebecca Hi, Nicki. Out of the contestants that youíve had on this show, who would you most likely, if ever, collaborate with and why?

Nicki Thatís a great question. I would love to collaborate with probably Burnell. He has a genre legend thing that I could definitely see myself collaborating with.

Rebecca Okay. Thank you.

Moderator Next we have Debra Gold with Hypable.

Debra Hi, Nicki. Thank you very much for doing this. Itís an honor to speak with you. My question is about kind of Lazaro and the criticism that you have to give as a judge. Fans love you because youíre being honest as well as nurturing. How do you make that balance in making sure that youíre being yourself and youíre giving the contestants honest advice without perhaps upsetting them?

Nicki Okay. So what is the question exactly? How do I make the balance?

Debra Yeah. So how do you balance their emotions with honest criticism?

Nicki I donít really think about balancing anything. I just react on my real emotion. This last week I felt like you know I sympathized with Lazaro and thatís just where my heart went. With Paul Jolley I felt like youíre time is up. But you know even when Iím saying, ďYour time is upĒ or ďThat was a bad performanceĒ I still care about these people. I mean these people are sweet. Theyíre loving. Theyíre chasing their dream. Their families are there. Iím always in my heart carrying about them. I never try to hurt them at all, but I just say what I really, really feel.

I have been finding lately that Iíve been probablyósince weíre down to the very best of the best Iíve definitely been trying to say things in a way that wonít 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 so whereas maybe in the beginning I would say it in a blunt way, sometimes now because weíve gotten so close to them I say it in a way that I just want them to fix it for next week so that they can actually stay in the competition and get votes you know as opposed to me speaking to them as if Iím writing them off and I have 100 more people to see, if that makes sense.

Debra Thank you very much.

Moderator Next is Russell Weakland with

Russell Hi, Nicki. With the show seemingly to really want a girl to win and like you said one of the favorites Curtis has left is there even a chance for a guy to win this season?

Nicki No absolutely not.

Russell Absolutely not, so girl all the way.

Nicki Yes.

Russell All right. Thank you so much.

Moderator That has concluded our Q&A session.

Jill Thanks, everyone.

Jill Thank you for joining us today. As a reminder AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesday, March 27 from 8:00 to 10:00 PM on FOX with the remaining eight finalists singing songs from the Motor City. Also, on Thursday another contestant will be eliminated and IDOL celebrates its 450th episode. Should you need photos or additional materials please visit our media website at At this time Iíll turn the time back over to the moderator who will provide replay instructions. Thanks so much.

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