Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY DAR­REN DEV­LYN

AMER­I­CAN Idol needed a shake-up. The jury may be out on whether the changes to the for­mat have worked, but most agree some­thing had to be done as the show en­tered its 12th sea­son.

Nicki Mi­naj was one of the ad­di­tions to the show that pro­duc­ers hoped would res­onate with fans. What have been your best and worst mo­ments on Idol? My best and worst Idol mo­ments . . . I don’t have a worst moment. I’ve been spec­tac­u­lar. Yes, I’m go­ing to toot my own horn. My best moment is ev­ery sin­gle moment. I’ll toot it again. Alot of peo­ple have said, ‘When I started watch­ing Idol with Nicki Mi­naj, I wasn’t really fa­mil­iar with who she was’. Do you feel you’ve won new fans? I feel like my en­tire ca­reer and life I’ve been judged by peo­ple who really did not know me. They prob­a­bly were right to as­sume what they had as­sumed about me be­cause there was such lit­tle to go on. I’m just happy pro­duc­ers gave me a shot to be able to show who I really was be­cause I feel like I’m ev­ery sin­gle woman. I really don’t think, out­side of some pink wigs, that there’s any­thing that sep­a­rates me from ev­ery other woman in

Amer­ica. I am ab­so­lutely just be­ing me (on Idol). I didn’t know what to ex­pect go­ing into the show. I was so ner­vous. I had a lot of anx­i­ety. I felt like, ‘OK, I know ev­ery­body’s just go­ing to hate me. Oh well’. There were mo­ments in the au­di­tion process that I would say to the pro­duc­ers, ‘I can’t do this any­more be­cause if ev­ery­one is go­ing to give 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 pro­ducer said, ‘Nicki, trust me, Amer­ica is go­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate the hon­esty’ and that’s all I had to go on. If I’m po­lar­is­ing, I’m po­lar­is­ing. One of the things you seem to fo­cus on with the con­tes­tants is not just their per­for­mance, but their look. Is that just as im­por­tant as the per­for­mance? When you go out into the real world as an artist you may want to think about it. I don’t think there’s any­thing wrong with think­ing about how you want to look. I also think that they need to hear crit­i­cism on their look on the show be­cause that’s what they’re go­ing to be crit­i­cised on in the real world. They’re go­ing to see them­selves on the worst-dressed list or best-dressed list. If asked to re­turn next sea­son to Idol, would you? I like to save the mys­tery and the drama. I never give that away, but I say from the bot­tom ofmy heart that the peo­ple be­hind the scenes at Idol have been like a dream to work with. Amer­i­can Idol, Chan­nel 10, Fri­day, 8.30pm

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