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Nicki Minaj Incorporates Her Quirkiness Into “American Idol”

Kathy Zerbib |
January 26, 2013 | 5:27 p.m. PST

Associate Entertainment Editor

Nicki Minaj is a new contribution to the “American Idol” judge’s panel for season 12.
Nicki Minaj is a new contribution to the “American Idol” judge’s panel for season 12.
Though season 12 of “American Idol” is still in its auditions phase, the show is already overloading with drama, hilarious performances, and Nicki Minaj’s (mostly) insane antics. The singer is new to the reality competition show, but has already dominated the judge’s panel with her random questions and unique look.

The singer uses her larger-than-life personality, colorful clothes, and eccentric behavior to stand out on the panel. Her weird questions and tendency to give nicknames to hopeful contestants (Check out #Nickinames on Twitter!) elicit several “WHAT? and “Uh…” responses from everyone in the room. 

In addition to standing out for being so expressive, Nicki also stands out for being the outcast among the other judges. Watching the show, it seems Nicki is always up against one of her fellow judges (Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, and Mariah Carey) and having open disagreements with them. She criticizes their decisions, rolls her eyes, and generally gives off the impression that she is not very amiable with them.

Watching her body language, a viewer can easily pick up on the tension in the auditions room. The way she sits far from the other judges, barely engages in conversation with them, and gets odd looks from them when she makes awkward statements like “My hair is edible” is evidence enough that she is having a hard time fitting in. 

During the auditions process in Charlotte, North Carolina, the panel became so divided that Nicki even walked out of the first day of tryouts, leaving the producers exasperated and the media to revel in the excitement. However, by the end of episode 3, it appeared that their issues had settled down and the hosts were ready to accept Nicki for her craziness, as she clearly was put on the judge’s panel for. 

She does not contribute too much to the show, as the other three judges put in much more thoughtful, useful feedback in their talks with the contestants. She, on the other hand, compliments their dancing and clothing choices. 

Yes, Nicki has a silly, carefree personality that contrasts the other judges, especially Mariah Carey. Yes, her eccentricity is her basic purpose on the show and whether or not she has an eye for talent does not matter. Yet this is who she is, which we already know from her songs and interviews, so we and the show’s producers naturally expect her to be herself on “Idol” and be strange.

Is she a good fit for a show like “American Idol”? That is debatable. Nicki has her own unique ways that clash with the other judges, though she serves as an inspiration to individualized singers like her. She is an interesting choice for the show, but she is here to stay and the viewing public has the opportunity to see Nicki Minaj in her full-blown, personalized quirkiness. 

Reach Kathy Zerbib here; Follow her on Twitter here.



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