.

Nicki Minaj's Excellent Judgment

She's the best of Simon and Paula in one candy-colored package

February 14, 2013 9:00 AM ET
Nicki Minaj american idol
Nicki Minaj
Michael Becker / FOX.

Why is Nicki Minaj the best judge American Idol has ever had? It's deceptively simple: She is the only judge in Idol history who ever had the chance to see the show before she got famous. So she knows what it's like to watch Idol as a fan. Minaj comes off as sincere and devoid of bullshit, zeroing in on the right contestants. She seems like the smartest person in the room, even though she's a nonstop cartoon montage of candy-colored wigs, space-hooker costumes and ridiculous accents.

Minaj is the main reason Idol is kicking off its freshest season in years. She brings a whole new level of gung-ho dementia to the latest makeover. Mariah Carey looks like a stiff sitting near Minaj, which can only add to Mimi's misery, since the job requires her to talk to normal people, not exactly her specialty – she has no idea what it's like to see people yawn and walk away while she's droning on. Keith Urban tries hard, but he realizes nobody notices he's even there. (And that goes triple for poor Randy Jackson.) It's Minaj who deserves all the credit for firing up the singers and revitalizing the format. She combines the best judging attributes of both Simon (sensible, hard to con, immune to sob stories) and Paula (unpredictable, silly voices). If she can keep it up for the next few months, this might turn out to be Idol's finest hour.

This story is from the February 28th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Movies Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

 
www.expandtheroom.com