News That “Idol” and Nicki Minaj Are Close to a Deal Misses the Point

There has been a treasure trove of rumors and unsubstantiated reports that claim Nicki Minaj has reached an agreement with “Idol” to take her seat at the judges table next to Mariah Carey for the singing contest’s upcoming season. Surrounding these reports are also rumors naming “Diddy,” “Kenya West,” and a host of other celebs reportedly being considered for the “Idol” job. What boggles the mind, however, is that most of these reports are simply frivolous gossip absent of any reliable source, and thus useless to those who enjoy reading real news.

If we were to take the three names mentioned here; Minaj, Diddy, and West, the only way one could be able to spot some sense of validity would be to read them all. In other words, one might have to read through all the multiple stories; and that would only allow them to draw a conclusion of probability as opposed to fact. A useful tool is available however, for those truly interested in getting real news. What is that tool? If you find a reference to an AP report (Associate Press), chances for validity increase significantly. Though all media outlets make mistakes, AP, has a reputation for meeting high standards of verifications before they release an article.  If “American Idol” execs are listening to the blogosphere, then they have heard the controversial rumors swirling about suggesting that Mariah Carey is presently throwing a hissy fit over the idea that Nicki Minaj might be joining her at the judges table on “Idol.” In addition, some of those reports are also saying that having only African American’s seated as judges will drive “Idol’s” rating down. While these reports may be valid, one in particular appears to have a strong foundation. That’s the report published on Aug. 14, 2012 by AP. It reads: “A source close to Minaj said the singer-rapper has been in talks to judge “American Idol” and that a deal is in the works. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details and spoke on condition of anonymity.” Given AP’s track record and high standards, the probability that a deal is in the works is very high.

But there are two other arguments surrounding Minaj that seem quite questionable and premature at present. First there is the notion that Carey is livid over Minaj’s suppored deal and the rumor suggesting that idol might go with an all-African-American group of judges this season. We need to also remember that no official word confirming Minaj has been reported; and Randy Jackson’s role as either a judge or mentor is also an unconfirmed rumor.

Reports indicating Minaj has an agreement in place may not be exactly correct. While “Idol” executives are perhaps in talks with the hip hop artist, they probably are simultaneously negotiating with others. The fact that Carey was under the impression she would be the only female judge may be true if the popular singing contest planned to employ three judges. However, it appears company decision makers are considering a model that calls for four judges to shake things up a bit and potentially enable the show to recapture the dominating prestige it once had before “The Voice” and “The X Factor” joined the ratings fray.

If “Idol” decides to go with a four judge platform, and also move Jackson to a mentorship role, most of the controversy that has spun out of control of late will rapidly become old news because Carey and Minaj would only represent one half of the panel of judges. This would leave the other half for “Idol” to likely employ a Hispanic and Caucasian male.

In all probability, Fox and FremantleMedia seem to be leaning in the direction described in this article, especially when you take into account that some of the rumors have mentioned interest in  a country star (the leading candidate is Keith Urban, says an insider) and a Latin artist Enrique Iglesias (who is believed to be the No. 1 choice).

Hence, if Carey was under the impression that there would only be three judges seated for the show, her apprehension might be understandable. However, a move to four judges makes sense at this point, considering “The X Factor” and “The Voice,” the latter of which could end up being serious competition for “Idol,” both use a four-judge panel. Therefore, having two female judges would not provide balance; it would be viewed as fair.

This scenario would significantly diminish the strength of the claim that Carey hung up the phone when she was informed that Nicki was this close to parking her enviable bottom right next to Mariah on “Idol.”

Reports indicating Carey may be perturbed simply because Minaj is younger might be better classified as gossip, though Mariah is 13-years-older.

There is more than enough room for both of these divas. While Carey is a musical legend and invokes an attractive nostalgia, Nicki’s music is current especially among America’s youth right now, making her a perfect candidate to draw in that coveted demographic.

There should be no reason why these two Divas can’t put aside their issues and happily sit next to each other.

There would also be no need to address the all black judging panel if the argument articulated in this article proves to be correct. It would nullify, TMZ’s report that points out “Middle America might not tune in to [an all-black-judging-panel] if it ends up being Minaj, Carey and Randy Jackson.”

The last bone of contention that may very well be holding up any official announcement introducing Minaj as a judge is the decades old feud between Pepsi and Coke.

Minaj has recently entered in to a new endorsement deal with Pepsi, which includes commercials, touring and album promo. It is reasonable for “Idol” sponsor Coke not to be thrilled at the prospect. The leading soda company has been an “Idol” partner since season one, at a cost of $26 million per year, according to reports. Though the show was able to solve a similar problem when longtime sponsor Ford got wind of Judge Jennifer Lopez’s commercial deal with Fiat, the Coke/Pepsi feud has much deeper roots and either party is not likely to acquiesce.

The reason Coke may not want to accommodate the addition of Minaj to the judges table is because Pepsi has cast her as the face of their product. Hence, Coke would then be fueling the star power Pepsi would depend on to make bank from the deal with the MC, and that’s the last thing Coke would want. So if there is a holdup with announcing a Minaj deal, here is the best and first place to look.


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