While Minaj can often be seen turning her back to one-time rival Mariah Carey and rolling her eyes during Mimi's comments, there is none of the knock-down, drag-out screaming that occurred during audition rounds.
So, everything's cool, right?
"I don't know," Minaj sighed when asked if she felt that things were in a good place. "Listen, I just know that I have a lot of self-control on that panel. A lot of self-control," she added with a warm smile during a sit down with MTV News on Monday for the "MTV First: Nicki Minaj" special.
"That's all I'll say about that." As for whether it's gotten any better, her answer was succinct. "No."
Well, if bygones are not yet bygones, at least she feels like personal drama has been set aside and the focus in squarely on the show's finalists now. Right? Please say right.
"Sometimes, but last week it was some craziness going on. I didn't know what was going on," she said, seemingly referring to backlash for her Twitter comments about ousted singer Devin Velez's messy exit and backlash for her harsh comments about the men's off-key group performance.
"But listen: I focus on the contestants. I don't know about anybody else," she laughed. "And not trying to toot our horn, but these four judges, we have picked some amazing talent. The voices that are on this season? Unmatched." The talent is so strong, Minaj continued, saying it reminds her of the deep well of talent in season three, which included winner Fantasia Barrino, as well as runner-up Diana DeGarmo, LaToya London and seventh place finisher and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
"We picked some really great people and I'm really proud of that," she said. And while she often hears from friends and fans that her blunt criticisms and comments are exactly what they were thinking too, Nicki said sometimes she worries that she's being too honest.
"But afterwards I'm always like, 'Wait a minute, was that mean?'" she said. "Because it seems mean until they get the [camera shot] of me smiling and cracking up laughing. Then it's like, 'Wait a minute, is this girl crazy, or is does she love people's parents?' ... I never say it in a cruel way. It's always in fun."
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