Michael Becker / FOX
Michael Becker / FOX
Nicki Minaj didn't seem to be a fan of American Idol's latest spin on Motown night.
During Wednesday's performance show, the chart-topping rapper didn't join fellow judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban as they greeted the week's mentor, Smokey Robinson, during a commercial break. (She waited to say hello until the Motown legend later came to her at the judges' table.)
And on-air, the always outspoken judge was especially harsh in her critiques, whether it was bluntly telling little marshmallow Janelle Arthur that duet partner Kree Harrison had majorly outshined her or ripping judges' darling Angie Miller for her rendition of the Miracles' "Shop Around." "Don't try to come out here and [show] us another side," Minaj said. "We ain't asked for another side yet!"
Backstage after the show, Miller admitted the criticism stung. "The most hurtful comment was that I wasn't being me, because I was," Miller said. "I would never go onstage not being me."
Maybe Minaj took Jimmy Iovine's advice to heart? After all, just last week, he scolded the judges for being too "complimentary across the board." Or maybe it was something else?
"She was probably upset that she was on time," cracked Devin Velez, before making a reference to the headline-grabbing tension between Minaj and birthday girl Carey. "Maybe she was a little upset that they were rocking the same color [dress] tonight."
Whatever the reason, Minaj seemed especially bothered by the remaining guys' disappointing performance of "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch," telling Velez, Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos that she was going to pretend she didn't even see it. In a surprise move, both Taylor and Velez then seemed to throw Arbos under the bus, saying that they'd done their jobs and known the lyrics.
Backstage, Taylor clarified his comments. "It's not about throwing nobody under the bus," he said. "It's just that we're brothers, so from a brother's perspective, I'm gonna tell you this wasn't our best. We all did bad."
He added: "I think all of us were disappointed because we knew what we could do, and we didn't live up to that...I was just disappointed. It's a lesson learned."
For his part, Arbos, who freely admitted he'd forgotten the words to the song, insisted he wouldn't be holding a grudge against his fellow guys. Still, he admits, "I would never say that, even if they messed up. But I love them all."