Why Nicki Minaj is Good for American Idol (But I’m Better)

This year the revolving door of American Idol admitted Nicki Minaj to the judging table and, apparently, people are still pissed off about this. Since this show hasn’t given us anything of cultural worth since Carrie Underwood won (and, as far as I’m concerned, since Kelly Clarkson won in season one), I’m not sure why people are still getting upset about anything Idol-related. Normally I’d say I’d be a terrible person to argue for why Nicki Minaj is actually a great judge for American Idol because I refuse to watch that show unless I’m being paid for my time but, based on what I’ve seen other people say, I’d like to address some of the most common complaints:

  1. Nicki Minaj doesn’t know good music: This was sort of kicked off by outgoing judge Steven Tyler speculating that Nicki Minaj would reject Bob Dylan if he showed up to American Idol auditions. Ms. Minaj responded that OF COURSE she knew who Bob Dylan was, which was kind of beside the point. Bob Dylan should be rejected from American Idol auditions: It’s a singing competition, he’s a fucking terrible singer. Everyone looks dumb here.
  2. Nicki Minaj is too inexperienced: And everything she’s touched in that short, inexperienced career has turned to gold. She might not have a long career, but it’s been a pretty damn successful one. Her instincts are good and, if you read some interviews with her, it’s clear that she has a very good understanding of what she wants out of her career and how to get it. That kind of expertise is exactly what new artists need in a music industry that expects artists to be business-oriented.
  3. Seriously, people, it’s American Idol: I’m pretty certain we can stop pretending that there’s fame and fortune awaiting most of these contestants since 90% of them aren’t ever seen outside of state fairs after their victory tours.

Frankly, no matter who the judges are, the winner comes down to the voters at home and the voters at home know even less than Nicki Minaj or any of the other judges. They vote based on a whole list of things, and musical talent clearly isn’t anywhere near the top. Sob stories, looks, personality; all of them have more to do with who wins Idol than actual ability or talent. In the end, it doesn’t matter who the judges are because they don’t actually decide anything and their advice doesn’t have much impact on who wins or their eventual careers. Let Nicki Minaj be a judge. Hell, let me be a judge. No, seriously, I sort of need a better job. Let me be a judge on American Idol. I’d probably be better at it than those yahoos trying to revive their dead careers who are currently shuffling through.

You can contact Genevieve, the author of this post, at genevieve@nottheitgirls.com.

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