American Idol

Nicki Minaj: Is It Even Cool to Be a Judge on American Idol?

UPDATED 01/03/2013 at 04:45 PM EST Originally published 01/03/2013 at 04:15 PM EST

American Idol: Nicki Minaj Wasn't Sure About Being a Judge
Nicki Minaj
Jonathan Leibson/WireImage
Nicki Minaj wasn't always sure about becoming a judge on American Idol.

Addressing "a judgmental culture in hip-hop," the rapper recently told The Hollywood Reporter, "Sometimes you are afraid of being too famous because it's almost, like, is that even cool? Being that accessible, someone you see on TV every week? I never pictured myself as that type of person. I'm still surprised that I decided to do it."

Equally shocked at her own decision to join the show is Minaj's one-time rival Mariah Carey.

"I was on the fence about the whole thing," Carey says. "I got approached by all the shows. [My husband Nick Cannon] said I should do it because it's the top. It's the cream of the crop. And I felt like, 'Do the show that's produced massive stars who have had major careers.' "

Adds Carey, "I know everyone's like, 'We can't have schmaltzy answers.' Well guess what? Some people still want to be inspired. Some people need to have that kind of validation and to feel like, if this person did it, then I can. And I do have one of those stories."

Their hesitation about joining the show isn't the only thing they have in common. Apparently, both judges are rocking some skimpy attire.

When asked if she has to tone down her look to fit the Idol mold, Minaj – who was caught screaming at Carey on camera in October – said simply, "I could think of at least one other person [who] shows more cleavage and skin than me."

Nicki Minaj: Is It Even Cool to Be a Judge on American Idol?| American Idol, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj

From left: Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson

Michael Becker / FOX

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