Why Nicki Minaj is a Genius Selection for American Idol Judge

“I done put the pressure to every thug I knew. Quack quack to a duck and a chicken too.”

–  Nicki Minaj, “Roman Holiday”


Don’t get me wrong: it’s fine if you like Nicki Minaj. Hey, that’s cool. There’s a lot to love about her, I’m sure, though I’ve never been curious enough to look.

When I heard she was the newest judge on American Idol, I was as shocked as…well, pretty much everyone. Her selection to the program inspired one word, and one word only, blaring at the front of my mind.


Yes, music is subjective, just as art and writing are. But when someone sings a song with a refrain such as “I beez in the trap, be-beez in the trap,” one or two red flags should be going up in the brains of Idol’s producers. Are we seriously supposed to believe that not a single executive manager of the show raised their hands and said, “Hm, maybe we should find someone else”?

This afternoon, I realized there must be a reason why. There has to be some secret behind Idol’s production team, some master plan of theirs that I’m failing to see. With a head cold and a surprising amount of time, I had the chance to go looking for the answer. I started by analyzing some of the highlights of Miss Minaj’s hits.

And here’s what I had to work with.

  • “They said I got five in a pasta bowl but don’t go against Nicki; impossible.”
  • “Your favorite rapper prolly suck. As for me? Icy; hockey puck.”
  • “Im chillin at the top, I got ample time. Bite me…Apple sign. Ha.”
  • “And the ad is global; your ad is local. When we shot it was a lot of different agricultures.”
  • “When I’m sitting with Anna, I’m really sitting with Anna. Ain’t a metaphor punchline, I’m really sitting with Anna.”
  • “Chimpanzees is hatin but I take it all in stride. Put her in a jungle with bananas on the side.”     
  • “You bad, but Nicki is badder. Step ya cookies up, go get you a ladder.”
  • “I’m startin’ to feel like a dungeon dragon. Raah, raah, like a dungeon dragon.”

Step aside, Thoreau. We have a new poet in the house.


And so, then, my epiphany. In one flash of a moment, while swallowing the last spoonful of my vegetable soup, I realized how brilliant American Idol will become tonight. Why the producers are wizards of cable programming.  Why, unbeknownst to many if not all of us, Nicki Minaj is going to save this show like a wise healer.

Let me explain my logic. What is everyone’s favorite part of American Idol? Is it watching people achieve their dreams? Seeing ordinary singers become superstars? Discovering the new talent of the next generation?

Yeah, nice try. Admit it: you watch it to laugh at all the abysmal singers who trip over their own voices.

Not a crime! So do I, more or less. Okay, so I’m not really laughing at the bad singers—I at least respect them for pursuing an impossible goal, and I admit my own writing is probably just as horrid as the amateur attempts on this program—but let’s all agree: like it or not, half of the Idol entertainment stems from humiliation.

And so, my dear reader, I’ll end this blog post now. Why, indeed, is this singer a genius choice as judge?

Allow me to answer your question by asking you a question in turn:

What could be more humiliating to a prospective singer than being told ‘no’ by Nicki Minaj?