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Nicki Minaj: Most hateable TV personality ever?

Why the 'Idol' judge has made us anti-Thursday night

By Kenny Herzog Feb 8, 2013 10:18AM
Thursday nights used to be a time when everybody on network television knew your name and provided friendly solace. Now, it's an environment where unproven pop stars cruelly emasculate delicate music-industry hopefuls. 

Thursday evening's installment of "American Idol" offered a new low in character development for rookie panelist Nicki Minaj. Except unlike, say, fellow Thursday-prime-time jerk Jim Halpert on "The Office," Minaj is an actual human being functioning in the real world. More precariously, she's been tasked with evaluating rising talent.

"American Idol" | Nicki Minaj

We'll be first in line to concede that the current "Idol" contestant pool is lacking for star wattage. Season 12 has somewhat transparently focused on keeping up with rival competition "The Voice" by plucking singers with surface quirk rather than generically theatrical chops. The only disconnect in their approach is that "The Voice" arrives at their idiosyncratic finalists through a purer trial of blind auditioning, resulting in a fairly happy medium of vocalists with moldable skills and singular panache. "Idol," contrarily, now finds themselves with a motley crew of lovable-but-raw outsiders. Which should mean Nicki Minaj would be the ideal individual to empathize with their performance and provide thoughtful feedback.

Instead, the heavily affected MC/singer has apparently dealt with the devils in "Idol" production, agreeing to play the token, muckraking villain and stir artificial buzz rather than trust the process. But as last night's episode narrowed down the guys to 28 survivors, Minaj embarrassed herself, humiliated sensitive men on national television and exposed "Idol" for the cynical, desperate headline-chaser it's become. 
After staggering through a truncated take on Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" (his first ever time singing with a full band), diminutive crooner Matheus Fernandes acknowledged his disappointment and awaited what would hopefully be a gentle put-down from the table of icons before him. What he received was an inarticulate, brutal bit of feedback from Minaj, who accused Fernandes of choosing songs on the basis of "wanting a pity party" in tribute to his disadvantaged height. Meanwhile, poor Paul Jolley got a stern lashing from Nicki to "give us one minute of professionalism" after he self-consciously struggled through Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away." In both instances, even diva Mariah blushed.

As we've seen with original "AI" bad boy Simon Cowell, being unkind on these programs can be both entertaining and constructive. On the flipside, Britney Spears' "X Factor" experiment proved that big-name casting doesn't always generate instructive or entertaining artist input. But as departing "Voice" of reason Cee Loo Green has demonstrated, the commercial imperative of these reality talent shows can co-exist with purposeful mentoring. 

What we get with Nicki, and what poor Matheus and Paul were at the blunt end of, is an ungrateful (and quite fortunate) celebrity lacking the experience, nuance or vocabulary to properly nurture aspiring misfits and encourage their strengths. As has been made quite clear, Nicki herself is the one who's insecure, and like most insecure people with a platform that arbitrarily suggests authority, she's actually just a bully. And even worse, one with a fake British accent. Where's Norm when you need him?

"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. 
Feb 11, 2013 12:44PM
This article is ridiculous.  I find it funny how so many people choose to post how they aren't watching this year.  How about watch the show and formulate a real opinion?
Feb 10, 2013 1:17PM
Exactly why I'm not watching this year.  
Feb 10, 2013 7:38AM

we watch idol every year and looking forward for this year but it was a big disappointment to have a Nicki because she is killing the show  my friends and I WONT BE WATCHING THE IDOL THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF HER.    

Feb 10, 2013 12:37AM
KingBaird, I'd say it to her face, provided I could find it underneath all the wigs and makeup.
Feb 9, 2013 2:48AM

I think Nicki is very immature, as is the case with a lot of child "stars". I am not going to watch the show, as she is like a bull in a china shop. She seems incapable of accepting the fact that words can hurt.

But someone made the call to hire her, & that is who should explain why you would hire a person as unstable as Ms. Minaj to be a judge for the show. I think Simon would put her in her place. Ask him what he thinks.

My take on this is she should be fired for being a bully. AI should have a zero tolerance policy for her behavior toward the contestants as well as the judges

Feb 9, 2013 12:50AM
maybe not hated but i certainly dislike her. she is also one ugly bitch lol lol
Feb 8, 2013 11:15PM

Minaj was not right for Idol and the show made a huge mistake involving her just like X Factor did involving Spears.

Should have been Mariah with Sean Combs and Keith.

Feb 8, 2013 7:12PM

Sorry, but the line between what you call "harsh" and cruel is  not a  fine one.   Ms Minja displays all the characteristics of a bully, and an extremely cruel one at that.  There is something very wrong with that rapper.  I saw it first hand in NYC when she was scraping gum off the sidewalk and proceeded to ingest it.  One would say a sow for certain.

Feb 8, 2013 11:46AM

The thing about blogs like this one is that one is able to post and say whatever they want without any true information. A judge is supposed to be harsh to make the contestants aware of their mistakes and become better especially on a huge show like Idol. Everyone has received tough criticism, and although it may have hurt our feelings it made each and every one of us better in the long run. So to call her an insecure bully is a little harsh and disrespectful. Ms. Minaj has worked very hard to become the entertainer that she is today. So unless you're able to say all of this to her face, which you probably can't Mr. Herzog, then you shouldn't say it at all. Have a great day:)

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