Nicki Minaj Opens Up, Talks ‘Idol’ Criticism: ‘I Can’t Be Someone I’m Not’

Nicki Minaj is not willing to play nice, play a character or anything other than herself on "American Idol." Following criticism, including recommendations that 'Idol' producers fire her, Minaj says there have been some tough moments behind the scenes on the show, especially because she feels like all the other judges are being nice and even though she didn't say the word(s), perhaps a little fake or phony.

"I am absolutely just being me. I didn’t know what to expect. I had a lot of anxiety. I felt like, "I know everybody is just going to hate me. Oh well." There were moments in the audition process that I would say to the producers, "I can’t do this anymore, because if everyone is going to give good critique, and I’m going to be the only being honest, then America is going to hate me. I’m going to be seen as mean." And the producers said, "Nicki. Trust me, America is going to appreciate the honesty." And that’s all I had to go on," Minaj offered during a press conference Monday.

Adding a little more to that, Nicki said she gives the contestants nicknames because it makes the whole critiquing process less intense and more fun and friendly.

"When I’m laughing on the show, I’m genuinely laughing. I can’t come up there and pretend — I just can’t do it. I can’t be someone I’m not. I can’t sit there with a phony smile on my face. I can’t do it," she said. "I’m happy that people are responding well to it. I definitely didn’t have a preconceived notion of who I was going to be on that panel."

While Nicki seems to be content with her role on "American Idol," she does regret one thing and that is not saving Gospel singer Curtis Finch Jr.

"I felt like Curtis had the best male voice for the entire season, and he was exciting," she said. "Looking back now, I wish we had given him the save. I really do."