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While all three of the judges — Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson — took to the American Idol stage for the Thursday night finale, Nicki Minaj remained a spectator, despite earlier reports that she would perform as well.
In a press conference with reporters, Minaj explained why: “I had already committed to the Billboard Awards for my single [‘High School’],” she explained with her signature smirk. “I wasn’t allowed to perform on Idol and Billboard.”
Or could it have been the top brass wanted to sideline the polarizing judge, who many speculate will not return next year? (When asked about judging season 13, Minaj ignored the question.)
“She’s a good judge, but bad for the brand,” said a well-placed source following the finale.
The “brand” — known for keeping things relatively wholesome for family viewing — also omitted Minaj’s “High School” video featuring Lil Wayne. Minaj said producers felt the clip was “too risqué” for the audience.
Minaj isn’t the only judge edited for primetime. Mariah Carey’s video, “#Beautiful” with the R&B star Miguel, was significantly tamer for broadcast, according to the singer herself, who tweeted after its May 9 airing, “What you just saw was a toned down version for Idol 🙂 my original cut coming to vevo momentarily!”
Minaj kept things positive in the press room, heaping praise on the freshly crowned winner, Candice Glover and her “Cinderella” story.
“I predicted that she would win, so someone owes me money,” she laughed. “Her voice surpassed everyone. America got it right.”
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