Did Nicki Minaj Cause Plummeting Ratings for American Idol 2013?

Nicki Minaj on American Idol

It’s been widely reported that American Idol is planning to start next season with a clean slate of judges. In addition to Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey, it is now being reported that Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj will also not be returning next season.

It seems the show has become more about the judges and their antics than the talent of the contestants and it’s never been more apparent than in Season 12. It began with the well publicized feuds between Mariah and Nicki and led to Mariah being fired and Randy resigning.

Now there are reports beginning to emerge saying that Nicki was actually the cause of the drastic drop in ratings Idol saw this season and the other judges were only guilty by association. American Idol 2013 has seen a loss in ratings over the last few seasons but still held on to the No. 1. Since the start of Season 12 there has been an additional 25% drop in the ratings.

Nicki’s behavior while Mariah was making a comment was usually disrespectful and rude. Nicki frequently interrupted Mariah to contradict her opinion and the constant eye rolling by Nicki during Mariah’s comments was having a negative effect on Mariah, and understandably so. This disrespectful behavior by Nicki is in stark contrast to the demure sensibilities that Mariah displays and it is bound to cause her stress and affect what she says. She may have been so concerned that Nicki would seize on some aspect of her comment intending to start an argument, that Mariah exercised an abundance of caution and said almost nothing at all. The content and quality of Mariah’s critiques improved noticeably towards the end of this season, possibly due to her decision to simply ignore Nicki although the occasional spat would still break out, but usually initiated by Nicki Minaj.

Facebook and Twitter has recently been humming with comments stating that Nicki should be the one to leave and Keith and Mariah should remain and possibly even Randy if he can be lured back with the promise of a new dynamic in place for Season 13.

Most tweets and Facebook comments cite Nicki’s lack of credentials, questionable talent, and poor image as the main reasons she should have never been at the judge’s table in the first place. The core demographic for American Idol is not an ideal match for Nicki’s genre or style of entertainment.

The general consensus is that Keith, Mariah and Randy have the credentials to be good judges and their critiques and personalities would make American Idol fit for family viewing once again. Do you agree that American Idol can reclaim its’ former status by replacing Nicki Minaj and keeping Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson at the 2014 judge’s table?




  1. Randy, keith and return of J Lo would b great. Im from uk and love this series bit minaj and carey absolutely ruined this season. I cdnt bear watching the way they carried on. They were an embarrassment and a disgrace. Keith was fabulous.

    • Keith is fabulous, yes. But J-Lo and Mariah together? Hmmmm… maybe not. Two proper divas in situ? I too am from the UK, absolutely love A.I., but definitely spoilt this year by brat Nicki.

  2. Minaj is to blame in part, Plus the fact the show was not fair to the guys who could sing. Face it sending Johnny Keyser home (They sent Johnny Keyser home again?) was a bad move because he really should have stayed. I think the producers felt he’d win and didn’t want another guy winning this year. It’s just not right!

  3. Keith was a terrific judge. He was warm, articulate and funny. He was upstaged by Nicki’s behavior. The sad part was that she made some good points, but went on far too long and made everything about her. I actually think Keith, Randy and either Mariah or JLo would have made a good threesome. They definitely don’t need four judges. It never worked in the past. They aren’t the voice – they aren’t mentors – it’s easier to judge with an odd number and fewer people trying to say the same thing.

      • I agree. Keith is the reason I watched this year. I taped the show and zipped through Nikki and Mariah most of the time. The show definitely needs an overhaul, the voting has to be weighted with the judges. People have devised methods of voting thousands of times! It’s ridiculous! Look at the sympathy votes this year. It’s hardly a measure of talent. But, KEITH IS THE BEST.

  4. Nikki you need to grow up and lose weight that is for sure I would tell you where but that would not matter anyway, can’t stand your attitude about anything, and you are a fake! You just got out there in the “Entertainment Word” any way and I don’t know why they picked you to be a judge you don’t know crap and I mean crap…

  5. Nicki is great. She is fearless in her comments, creative (“Creedom”) and sensitve to the awkward performers who in the past were callously made fun of by Idol judges. There have been a few times she’s disappointed me with her cattiness toward Mariah, but I find Ms. Carey’s diva-like behavior more annoying – especially given that she rarely has anything to offer in her comments.

  6. I can’t stand Niki’s voice..so I would record it and that way I could fast forward thru the judges comments! That’s the reason I like the voice..they cut up with each other but no snarkiness.. Doesn’t Niki realize Mariah is a true talent and a goddesss in the voice department..no synthesizer needed!

    • And you forgot the pig is full of herself she thinks she’s god, sorry to burst your bubble but she is not yea she may be an amazing singer but Mooriah is not humble at all, she needs to take lessons from beyonce nuff said

  7. I totally agreed in this statement. Ive been thinking the exact point since the begining. Still a Fan, though nome of my favorite have won. However, this year its very surprising that Angie has gone. WOW! Well well well ….Candice and Kree are my favorite, so this season isnt so bad. GOOD contestants Bad judge (Ms.Nicki to be exact).

  8. For me, it was neither Nikki Minaj nor Mariah Carey’s fault. I honestly think Idol has just reached the end of it’s line. There’s really nothing exciting about the show anymore. They tried to spice things up by putting in some characters like Minaj and Carey to somehow give the people something to watch but the attempt to do so is futile. Why do you think Simon and the others left already? Let’s face it. Too many better singing competitions have sprouted which leaves AI as a mere shadow in the background. The show has already run its course. They should really rethink doing a 14th season. Major hohum….

    • Lol just look at the finalists from the X Factor USA. The only good one was Carly Rose Sonenclar lol The rest was just.. too common, aside from that girl Cece Frey who was such a shame to be singing lol

  9. Nicki Minaj is a grandstander, she tries to make the show all about her and her antics. The show was, and should return to, being about the contestants. Nicki Minaj is the primary reason, IMHO, of the impending failure of AI. I’ve watched, all in all, 1 episode, Nicki turned me off from the beginning of this season, but the lack of proper focus due to this is the main reason I stopped watching.

  10. Yes I too think Nicki should be taken off american idol. She is rude and disrespectful. I wish Steve and Jennifer were still on, they made it fun to watch and it wasn’t about them! I am only watching it now to see if Kree wins, great country voice!

  11. This is an incredibly biased article. The truth of the matter is that AI’s decrease in ratings has to do with so much more than just the judges. AI just isn’t what it used to be.

  12. Yes… Since the beginning of the season i didnt like her attitude toward anything the other judges said, and according too the comments on facebook there was a lot people that felt the same way I did , and she was worse toward the end they all seemed to be afraid they were going to say something and she would go off on them….

  13. Nikki and Mariah have been awful during the whole season. I can’t believe FOX network allowed this for an entire season. I’m looking for a better panel of judges.

  14. Nicki has got to go, a very poor role model for the young.After watching her vidio….so disguting. Bring on Carrie Underwood, Randy J is awesome<3 If you read most comments, people won't watch anymore because of Nicki. American Idol is wonderful <3

  15. Nicki has made the show inappropriate for family viewing! Obviously this would contribute to the drop in ratings. Anyone with any ethics has to see this!!!

    • True she may have but mariah is the same way she may not say anything inappropriate like miss minaj but she sure likes to show them boobs do you think that appropriate for kids to be watching?!?! Next time think before you write something

  16. Minajis no good judge, she is not part of the team, no longer in the show. Would keep to Randy Keith and Mariah.

  17. I didn’t care for Nikki’s behavior with Mariah who has proven herself in the music world. Sorry Nikki you might think you’re in Mariah’s status but you’re not! Then some of the pet names and things Nikki said about the contestants was idiotic. Put someone from old school…What about Gladys Knight, or someone in that era?

    • It’s funny how y’all think mariah is Jesus or something y’all don’t see all these other divas behaving how she behaves she is always throwing shade at other women in the industry, NO class and yea you may say nicki is disrespectful but if I were in her shoes I would be the same way mariah thinks she is the queen and deserves all respect she is so full of herself and everybody knows that

  18. Takes all kinds to make the world go round, nicki is just nicki and all the other judges are who they are, would be a pretty boring world if we were all the same…..

  19. I will never watch again if Mariah was truly fired, Nicki is not qualified to judge nor say a word to Mariah, Nicki is just jealous because Mariah has had and will continue to have more success than Nicki will ever see. Nicki has taken the enjoyment out of the show and stolen the contestants shine. She is so rude and I don’t know how she acted after the first few episodes because I stopped watching until they make her go!

    • WOW!!! Don’t know where all you people come from -but Nikki sure can get the best of you. Can’t imagine you being on Facebook – someone would be deleting you every day.

    • Lady, mariah may be more qualified than nicki but guess what at least nicki tells it how it is and doesnt sugarcoat things like mooriah, she basically was paid $18 million to sit there and blabber cause thats all she does she only joined to the panel to revive her declining career and if you don’t believe me look up her recent album sales! They are nothing to brag about nuff said

  20. At the beginning of this season I couldn’t stand to look at or listen to nicki. I thought Mariah Carey was poised and gracious. They had such amazing talent this year that not a lot of critiquing was needed. To bad the show became about the judges and not the contestants. Sad really. I doubt if they make it another season.

  21. I’ve been reading the ccomments from veiwers of the show but the truth still remains they were not fair to the guys. Does AI not know how big Keyser’s fan base is??? 🙂 I figure they do that’s what got him sent home. The ratings have spoke, Shame!

  22. I concur with your statements that Keith, Miriah and Randy are good judges and should stay. However, I feel that Nicki is the reason that at least had to leave that a save might have changed the outcome of the show as it stands. I STILL THINK THAT THE SAVE SHOULD ONLY BE MADE BY JIMMY.

  23. I think a big reason ratings are down is that many of us tape the show so we can fast forward through the judges’ part. Nicki and Mariah are a joke…but I still really enjoy the show.

  24. First of all this is one sided journalism

    Second most of the people that sit here and complain about nicki are old people who have nothing else to do

    And finally it’s funny how some of y’all say nicki makes it all about her when in reality everytime mariah critiques one of the contestants she has to mention herself

    One more thing y’all can sit here and waste your time blaming the judges and contestants but have you ever stopped to think about that this show has been on for 12 YEARS!!!

  25. I think Mariah Carey was OK, but I cannot stand Nikki Minaj, her voice, her comments, her stupidity made me quit watching. She totally grated on my nerves. I like some of her music but I don’t like her as a person or as an Idol judge at all! Be gone with her!

  26. nicky is the reason i stoped watching american idol, she is not i mutch more like Mariah, hope nicky will not be a judge next year, if she is i will never watch AI anymore, better the voice

  27. Keep Randy, Mariah and Keith, let Nicki go. Nicki has been a real distraction and her antics are not in concert with the chemistry of the show or the other judges.
    devoted fan who enjoys the show. The talent has been as good as ever.

  28. Wow, last year and the year before these messages boards were full big time….. I’m not putting all the blame on the judges, I figure they were told what to do, people have been bickering about a WGWG finish for years well you (AI) gave them what they wanted and it cost you in the ratings.

  29. For me, the contestants was also a factor. Season 11 had been more exciting to watch since it had better finalists than this season. We shouldn’t just be blaming it on the judges. Like for this season, I was sad when Amber was taken out, not because of the judges obviously, but because of the votes. Then, later, it was Angie. The judges can only be very honest with themselves as to who should stay or leave, but it is still America’s votes that will say if the show is worth watching or not.

    • But how much does America listen to the judges? One of the reasons people did not vote for Amber was because the judges constantly gave her standing ovations and excessive praise. Many viewers thought they were showing favoritism. Did the judges ruin if for Amber? Possibly. If the judges come across too strong for a contestant, America will vote the other way to level the playing field.

  30. I have to say that Nikki is only partially responsible for the decline in ratings. The producers seriously wanting a female winner and stacking the top ten with guys who range from medicore to terrible, instead of looking at the broken voting system and trying to fix it, but that’s right they like saying that they got 70 million votes. I am sure there a some fans out there that wanted to see a female winner, but completely rejected the manipulation that was put in place this season to ensure one instead of looking at the reasons why guys kept winning the show.

    • Yes I agree. Of course 70 million votes doesnt equal 70 million viewers, but it sounds great right? The viewers arent stupid and we dont appreciate being treated like we are. I for one tune in to Idol to see the talented performers that I probably wouldnt otherwise see, not to be subjected to the blatant manipulation youve described.

  31. All you ppl on here passing judgement on Nikki Manaji and none of you know the first thing about her.you gave probably never even heard her music, if yyou did you’d know she is the #1 female rap artist. To sit back and try to make one single person responsible because the contestant you voted for is not getting the votes and getting voted off. If you who are so judgemental were in the static as Nikki or better, you wouldn’t be the one writting all this slander, you’d be in the judges seat or better.stop being petty and bitter. Nikki is engaging, forthright and entertaining. None of the judges are responsible for the ratings. AI has been going down the tubes since Simon left.

  32. I don’t think everything that happened between Nicki and Mariah was Nicki’s fault. In the auditions, Mariah made some catty comments to Nicki. Nicki was not always the first to initiate the fights. She just didn’t allow Mariah to put her down. Mariah’s condescending tone toward Nicki and her annoying “dahling” all the time became tiresome. Keith was great in the beginning. He praised Kree and others, and then something changed. He began to put Kree down constantly toward the end, and he seemed to join the other judges in false praise. The concept of Idol is still good, but the show needs have some rules for the judges, better rules for voting, and be fair in the approach to all contestants. Neither the judges nor the mentor should be commenting on who won anything or how America should vote. If Jimmy Iovine wants to judge, put him on the panel and get another mentor!

      • Hey Giselle, just wanted to let you know I watched that youtube video of Kree on the Rosie O’Donnell show. I am astonished at the difference in her demeanor and the emotion she put into her performances then vs now. Anyone who is a fan should see it. She was a prodigy imo. Thanks for bringing it to everyone’s attention.

  33. I believe Keith was okay as a Judge. Nikki should be removed since she lacks the credentials to be a judge. Idol can survive without Randy, honestly i grew tired of his comments and criticisms, But Mariah? She should stay 100% although sometimes she can be less articulate with her comments at the first part of the show it got better towards the end and she is the only female artist in the world in my opinion worthy to be called a “judge” due to her long list of accomplishments, her voice, and her legacy.

    • it will also be great if they add a great male voice like getting Steven Tyler back to be a judge or maybe R. Kelly, or Brian McKnight.

  34. Mariah had gotten better at the end and had great comments but her diva attitude needs to be addressed. After all the show should be about the contestants not the judges. Keith was great, Randy okay and Nicki has to go. Horrible voice, attitude, and very disrespectful to Mariah. This year American Idol was hard to watch. Contestants deserve better!

  35. Nikki’s disrespect for mariah was not good for her career. It’s ok not to like someone but to do it before the world was a bad choice. You do not talk bad about other people that are loved by millions of people, any of the great stars . I would love to see Keith back! I enjoyed Steven Tyler . Nikki was starting trouble with him also. Does nikki always start problems with everyone? Maybe picking on other people makes her feel better about her self. I don’t think it would be good to use past singers that we’re on the show to take the place of the judges. Someone in the music business with a lot of hard work and experience would be better

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