No one has ever accused Nicki Minaj of being humble. During a conference call with reporters March 25, the first-time American Idol judge was asked to rate her performance thus far -- and, as expected, she gave herself a glowing review.
"My best and worst Idol moments? I don't have a worst Idol moment," the 30-year-old rapper said. "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!"
Minaj, who showed up 13 minutes late for the first live show of season 12, explained that she's stayed true to herself since auditions began in September 2012. She also acknowledged that her candid commentary doesn't always sit well with contestants, viewers or even her fellow judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
"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,'" she recalled. "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 added, "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."
When asked if she'd return for the FOX show's thirteenth season, the "Pound the Alarm" rapper refused to give a direct answer. "I like to save the mystery and the drama. I never give that away, but you know what? 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. [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."