Nicki Minaj is in advanced negotiations to join Mariah Carey at the judges’ table on “American Idol” in January — a move that would be part of a show shake-up promised by a Fox honcho and exec producer Nigel Lythgoe.
“Is Nicki Minaj a star-maker?” the Associated Press wondered Monday afternoon when it joined the multitudes reporting that the hip-hop artist best known “for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics” — the AP’s music reporter did not list “singing” as being among those things for which she best known — would join the show.
But, of course, serious students of television know that the search for new judges on “Idol” has virtually nothing to do with the candidates’ ability to find star singers and everything to do with their ability to make noise and bag big ratings.
“Idol” finished the 2011-12 TV season as the country’s most popular non-football program — no small feat for a reality series in its 11th season. But it fell noticeably in the ratings last season — the first in which NBC’s “The Voice” and Fox’s own “X Factor” were added to the in-season prime-time mix — and it wound up with its smallest season-finale audience ever.