Nicki Minaj Talks Return to American Idol

YMCMB's First Lady says it’s been a "dream" despite feuds.

Posted: 03/27/2013 05:00 PM EDT
Nicki Minaj, American Idol

While many rappers have had a contentious or, at least, strained relationship with Fox Broadcasting Company (particularly it’s news network), Nicki Minaj says her time with the channel as a judge on American Idol has been a "dream."

"I always say this — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart — the people behind the scenes at Idol have been a dream to work with and I really, really honestly mean that," she said on a media conference call

"[FOX exec] Mike Darnell took a chance on me. Nobody else understood it. They were like, 'Nicki who?' and he took a chance on me. He believed in me. His daughter and his wife believed in me, and so I'm just super grateful to have been given the opportunity."

Despite a highly publicized feud with co-judge Mariah Carey, a Twitter blow-up, and a noticeable late arrival to a live taping, the YMCMB first lady said every moment has been her moment for life.

"My best and worst Idol moments? I don't have a worst Idol moment ... I’ve been spectacular. Yes, I am going to toot my own horn. And then my best moment is every single moment. I’ll toot it again!"

More humbly, however, she admits that some of those moments were nerve-wracking. "I didn't know what to expect going in to the show. I was so nervous. I had a lot of anxiety. I felt like, ‘Okay, I know everybody’s just going to hate me ... There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, ‘I can’t do this anymore. If everyone is going to give a good critique and I’m going to be the only one being honest, then America is going to hate me. I’m going to be seen as mean.’ And the producers said, ‘Nicki, trust us, America is going to appreciate the honesty.’ And that’s all I had to go on."

She also keeps it honest with herself, she said. "When I’m laughing on the show, I’m genuinely laughing. I can’t come up there and pretend. I just can’t do it. I can’t be someone I'm not. I can’t sit there with a phony smile on my face; I can’t do it. I’m happy that people are responding well to it. I mean, if I’m polarizing, I’m polarizing! I don't know. But I definitely didn’t have a preconceived notion of who I was going to be on that panel."

Reportedly earning $8 million for her efforts, Nicki is one of the highest paid celebrity judges on the reality talent search circuit.

Will she return for American Idol season 13? "I like to save the mystery and the drama," she said. "I never give that away ..."

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 (Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

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