Why Nicki Minaj Is Scared to Watch Herself on 'American Idol'

The new judge admits she's been "not so nice" -- and a new Idol promo shows her in action!

"Others dream. Idol delivers." So says the latest of two new promos for American Idol, which begins its 12th season on January 16 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET). Watch out, Simon Cowell, those sound like fightin' words!

That message accompanies images of emotional contestants, so presumably it's referring to the dreams of the singers who'll take the Idol stage. But it could also apply to Idol rivals like The X Factor and The Voice, which lately have challenged Idol's singing contest supremacy. So far, though, neither show has produced a megastar like Idol's Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, or Adam Lambert. (Neither Javier Colon nor Jermaine Paul have had a wildly successful run since winning The Voice, and the first single from X Factor winner Melanie Amaro failed to break into Billboard's Top 100.) 


Idol's other new promo also makes a statement: The clip focuses in on just one of its new judges, rapper Nicki Minaj; while fellow newbies Mariah Carey (who was paid a reported $18 million for the season) and Keith Urban are nowhere to be seen. The outrageously coiffed hip hop artist is shown waving her arms, cracking up and spouting wacky comments during auditions. "Obviously I'm not judging you because of your hair," she tells one contestant, whose brown locks have nothing on her poofy, neon yellow and pink wig. "I like you Kevin," she tells another contestant. "You like the singing?" asks Randy Jackson. "No, no, no!" she says firmly.

Have Minaj's wild antics stolen the show? Or is there a Mariah-centric promo on its way? For the time being, it certainly appears that Idol producers plan to harness the publicity power of this new live wire as much as they can.

Ironically, when Minaj called into Ryan Seacrest's radio show on Monday morning, she sounded insecure about her place at the judging table. 

"I'm scared," she admitted. "Maybe I shouldn't have been so like…It's hard for me to not say how I really feel…Everyone else is so nice…I was just thinking back about some things and I was like 'I wonder if that was not so nice'." She added that she didn't plan to watch the premiere because "I'm going to be so nervous."

This was a far cry from the image Minaj has cultivated on the show so far. According to The New York Post, Carey beefed up her security detail after Minaj threatened to shoot her during auditions in North Carolina. 

But when Seacrest asked Minaj whether she and Carey might sing a duet on Idol, Minaj replied, "If she'll have me, I'll be there waiting." Presumably not with a weapon.

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