It didn’t take long for former “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler’s words about the contentious atmosphere that supposedly currently exists on the Season 12 judges panel to get to one of those judges. Of course, when the one it got to was Nicki Minaj, one of the supposed contentious parties, you knew something would be said. (When is Minaj ever quiet about anything?) But Tyler made a comparison about the way Minaj and the new panel would foster talent like, say, a Bob Dylan, and the way he and Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson would have handled it — and got called a “racist” for his trouble.
Tyler, who left the popular reality show back in July, was asked by MTV his thoughts concerning the judges panel.
“I know that they’ve got something going on on the judges’ panel, [and] it shouldn’t be that, it should be just the opposite: They should have something going on, which is called ‘camaraderie,’ ” he said in the interview. “They should have something going on so thick and beautiful that they can lay it over the new talent that’s trying to birth itself. It needs to be birthed, not judged by ‘entertainment’ factors, it needs to be judged by people that [are] honest, true, that have the ‘it’ factor. Not the ‘it’ factor because they can fight. The f*** is that all about?”
Tyler continued: “”These kids, they just got out of a car from the Midwest somewhere and they’re in New York City, they’re scared to death; you’re not going to get the best [out of them].. … If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just sayin.’”
He was “just sayin.'” But “just sayin'” or not, Minaj had something to say about it. She took to Twitter (much like she did when the Mariah Carey feud heated up), writing:
“Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield??? Steven, you haven’t seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet! I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers. I haven’t done anything to you. That’s a racist comment. You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what? go f*** yourself and worry about yourself babe.”
Later, she returned for another go-round, “LOL lets make him a shirt that says ‘No Coloreds Allowed’ then escort him down 2 Barbara Walters so he can tell how he was threatened w/guns.” [This is an apparent reference to the part of her feud with Mariah Carey when Barbara Walters got involved on “The View” by repeating Carey’s claim that Minaj threatened her and she would be hiring extra security.] “When Steven 1st went on Idol he was ridiculed by his peers & fans alike. Called a sell out. So what does he do? Ridicule the next judge.”
To be fair, Minaj had a point with questioning Tyler’s remarks about her judging methods. He hasn’t seen her judge a contestant, so how would he know. But then to somehow confuse his words as “racist?” Where did she get that? She then proceeded to carry out some subjectively constructed scenario conflating Tyler’s comments with those Carey reportedly said? Why?
Sure, Tyler’s comments were a little out there, but then a lot of Tyler’s comments are just that — out there. But nowhere do you find anything racist in submitting the idea that Nicki Minaj might miss someone with the creative talent of Bob Dylan and send him to “the cornfield.” In fact, if that’s even where she got the idea, “the cornfield” was a callback to Tyler’s earlier statement of the scared kids from the Midwest arriving in New York City. (Incidentally, Bob Dylan did come from the Midwest — Minnesota, to be exact.)
So where did Minaj get that the comment was racist?
But this isn’t the first time Steven Tyler has had something to say about the new “Idol” judges. When asked by TMZ back in October about the headline-making confrontation between Minaj and Carey where the “Right Thru Me” singer derisively referred to the “Touch My Body” singer as “her highness,” Tyler said it was all for the camera. When the reporter asked if he was calling the “b.s.” the Aerosmith frontman returned, “Of course. You kiddin’?”
It appears that he’s changed his view in that regard…
“American Idol” returns to the air on Fox Television for Season 12 on January 16. We will see then if Nicki Minaj will be there to nurture talent or opt for self-absorption and send the wannabe stars packing back to the cornfields of America.