AMERICAN IDOL: SEASON 12: L-R: Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Ryan Seacrest, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban./USA TODAY
by Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY
Published: 03/25/2013 03:57pm
Nicki Minaj has her favorites on American Idol -- at least the singers she thinks coudl win. And those would be Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover.
"I would say Kree and Angie are the front-runners," the Idol judge said in a conference call Monday afternoon. "Kree, Angie and Candice. I think that, outside of their voices, they've won people over already, which I think is evident in just what I see on Twitter with my fans. Those three seem to have really made an impact."
Minaj is so confident that a woman -- most likely one of those three -- is so likely to win this season that she says that none of the three remaining guys stands a chance.
That said, Minaj felt "gutted" when Curtis Finch Jr. was eliminated two weeks ago. " I felt like Curtis had the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting," she says. "Looking back now, I wish we had given him the save. I really do."
And the finalist she'd most likely collaborate with? That'd be Burnell Taylor. "He has a John Legend thing."
Of her judging style, she says, "I'm absolutely just being me." Whether or not that appeals to viewers of the show, "at least they're getting to know who I really am."
Early on, Minaj was concerned that people would see her as being mean, because she sometimes felt she was the only judge offering frank criticism of the singers.
"There were moments in the audition process where I would say, 'I can't do this anymore,'" she says. The producers, however, assured her that America would appreciate her honesty.
"What people see me doing with the contestants is exactly what I do with my fans," she says. "Well, I don't critique my fans. I play with my fans and speak to my fans as if they're my friends. That's why I started giving the contestants nicknames."
Minaj also joked with reporters during the call. Asked to name her best and worst moments on the show, she replied in a completely deadpan voice: "I don't have a worst Idol moment. I've been spectacular. Yes, I'm going to toot my own horn.
"And my best moment is every single moment - I'm going to toot it again."
Would she return for a second season of judging Idol?
"I think people would rather be surprised," she says. "I like to save the mystery and the drama. I never give that away." However, she adds, "The people behind the scenes at Idol have been like a dream to work with."
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