News: Wiz Khalifa Shocked Over Nicki Minaj's $12 Million 'American Idol' Gig

Monday, Sep 17, 2012 9:07AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa is one of the first hip-hop artists to publicly applaud Nicki Minaj for landing a $12 million deal to judge on the upcoming season of "American Idol."

Shocked by the popular reality show's move, Khalifa admitted it surprised even himself.

"Sky's the limit," Wiz Khalifa told MTV News on Saturday night when we asked for his reaction to the all-but-confirmed buzz. "I could end up judging 'America's Got Talent,' and I smoke pot, freely." Wiz, who was rocking New York City as a part of the Heineken Red Star Access Tour, laughed at the thought that he might have a shot at being a celebrity judge. But he was clearly impressed by Nicki's latest endeavor. "That's crazy because I heard a lot of the rumors and stuff like that, but for that to be reality that's insane, man," the Taylor Gang captain said. "I don't think anybody could ever imagine or see that going that way. Not in any negative purpose, but it's like, 'Wow.'" (MTV)

Details of the new reality show gig hit the Internet late Sunday (September 16) evening.

The "American Idol" judges' panel is now complete with the naming of singer-rapper Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban. The Fox network officially tapped the pair with an announcement Sunday, confirming rumors surrounding them both just hours before the first round of auditions for next season was due to begin in New York. Minaj is getting $12 million for a one-year deal on the hit Fox singing series, a person in the music industry with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the deal. (Wall Street Journal)

An "American Idol" executive also confirmed the move and explained why Nicki fit the bill.

Not long after last season's "Idol" finale, with its traditional crowning of the Cute Scruffy White Guy with Guitar (Phil Phillips), attracted the smallest wrapup audience in the show's history, Fox execs promised investors and TV critics the show would undergo a shakeup. And "shakeup" has come to mean bringing in a new crop of celebrity judges. "Nicki is someone who represents a different side of the music industry, who has now crossed into mainstream culture with her unique artistry, style and flair. Keith is one of country music's true stars who brings with him charm, wit and knowledge about the industry," said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, the chief executive of "Idol"-producing FremantleMedia, by way of explaining the new judges. (Washington Post)

While impressive overall, the series saw a drop in ratings for its finale last season.

"American Idol" ended the 2011-12 season as the leading entertainment show and No. 2 overall, just behind NBC's top-rated "Sunday Night Football." But the show aired its least-watched finale ever and the advertiser-favored young adult audience has been steadily shrinking. The show's cachet hasn't been helped by a run of champions who have failed to achieve the career sizzle of past competitors Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. (Associated Press)

Check out Nicki Minaj landing her new spot below:

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