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Interview with Nikki Minaj of "American
Idol" on FOX 3/25/13
FBC PUBLICITY: AMERICAN IDOL Conference Call
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
Jerry Sure. Hi, Nicki, itís Jerry Nun from Chicago. How are
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Debra Yeah. So how do you balance their emotions with honest
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 Hollywoodlife.com.
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
Nicki No absolutely not.
Russell Absolutely not, so girl all the way.
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 www.fox.com. At this time Iíll turn the time back
over to the moderator who will provide replay instructions.
Thanks so much.
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