Nicki Minaj – American Idol Judge Candidate at Center of Cola Wars
According to THR, Fox executives are dead set on Minaj being a part of the season 12 judging team, but Minaj’s gig as a spokesperson for Pepsi might throw a wrench in the works. Seems long time Idol sponsor Coke is none to happy about the idea of having the new face of Pepsi on the judging panel.
The article also alleges that the exec’s ideal panel is currently Mariah, Nicki, a country star (Keith Urban being the current front runner) and a latin star (Enrique Iglesias being the top choice for that spot), with Randy’s role being reduced to that of a mentor.
That would certainly be an interesting panel. Minaj would fulfill both the need for a “current” star and replace (and probably exceed) the cray cray that left the panel with Steven Tyler. Adding a country and a Latin performer would add some welcome diversity to the panel. I’m not a huge Nicki Minaj fan, but I think I actually like the direction they are headed with this, assuming the rumors are true anyway, or maybe I’m just that desperate to see the end of the Randy Jackson era….
According to a source with close ties to the show, longtime rivals Coke and Pepsi are at war again, but not about market share, rather over hitmaker Nicki Minaj. The rapper and singer, whose colorful, cartoon-like style has made her among the most successful new acts of the last three years, is at the top of the list for the open seat on season 12 of Idol, but as the new face of Pepsi, an endorsement deal which includes commercials along with touring and album promo, Idol sponsor Coke is none too thrilled at the prospect. The leading soda company has been an Idolpartner since season one, at a cost of $26 million per year, according to reports. The show ran into a similar problem when longtime sponsor Ford got wind of judge Jennifer Lopez‘s commerical deal with Fiat.
If Fox and FremantleMedia execs have their way, this year’s panel would consist of Minaj, previously announced judge Mariah Carey, a country star (the leading candidate is Keith Urban, says an insider) and a Latin artist (Enrique Iglesias is believed to be the No. 1 choice). In March, Minaj showed genuine empathy towards those who compete on Idol, telling THR special correspondent and Idol alum Didi Benami, “It’s very difficult to be picked apart. That rejection thing is heavy.”
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