Last night (January 16), Nicki Minaj made her long-awaited American Idol debut. After all the feud nonsense leading up to it, it was a pretty
cordial passive-aggressive affair, with Nicki and Mariah Carey sniping at each other about various hard hitting issues like hats and British accents throughout the episode. (There was also the odd issue of them playing musical chairs.)
These first couple episodes try to cram so much in that’s it’s hard to get a feel for the judges (not to mention the contestants). But that won’t stop anyone from sharing their instant reactions on the matter! So let’s see what the web had to say about Nicki’s debut. (As for us? We thought the biggest takeaway, besides the hats, was that “Nicki is going to be a endless source of eye-rolling GIFs and giant gnashing teeth.) Read the roundup of reviews below.
:: E! also homed in on Nicki’s eye-rolling, and said that because of all the interrupting between the two divas, “Idol is going to resemble The View this season.”
:: USA Today sang Nicki’s praises: “The viewers who can see past her outrageous outfits and mood-ring hair color will find a woman who has a very clear vision of what she wants to find in a contestant — as well as a heart full of compassion for the socially awkward people the show attracts. She may take some getting used to, but Minaj has the potential to be the best judge Idol has seen since about two years before Simon Cowell jumped ship.”
:: The Hollywood Reporter enjoyed Minaj’s shtick. “She’s funny, unfiltered, and clearly on the hunt for more than just a passable vocalist. She also encourages the bad singers to continue their auditions, and afterwards, flirts with them as if to cushion the blow rejection.”
:: Rolling Stone was taken by Nicki’s nurturing behavior as well. “Nicki, however, stops [contestant James Bae] and makes him believe that even though he can’t sing, he is special. She holds his hand and makes him believe it. It’s strangely touching, and a hopeful sign of the mentoring process for the season to come.”
:: Fox News also highlighted Minaj’s suprising, softer side (collusion!): “She was exceptionally sweet and encouraging to all of the contestants – even while offering a blunt assessment on their lack of vocal talents.”
:: Vulture felt that the “frisky, tooth-baring” Nicki lobbed “a couple of half-decent zingers” throughout the ep.
:: EW said it was obvious Nicki was the panel’s alpha dog, and they were OK with that. “By the second hour of NYC auditions, Nicki had completely taken over the panel — shouting out directions to the contestants and always speaking first. You know, it’s generally fine if someone feels the need to do that. Compared to the autopilot judging on The X Factor and even Idol last season, I am thrilled to have someone in the driver’s seat.”