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'American Idol' fashion: Nicki Minaj fires stylists, talks fashion with guys

Nicki Minaj attends the

Nicki Minaj attends the "American Idol" premiere event at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles. (Jan. 9, 2013) Credit: AP

Unconfirmed rumors that Nicki Minaj has fired her hairdresser and makeup artist along with her stylist in the hope of being taken more seriously as an artist popped up everywhere this week. To date, the "American Idol" judge has looked more like a cartoon character than a pop diva but on Wednesday night’s show she appeared to be on the track of going for a more, well, normal veneer. She ditched the cotton candy hair, heavy theatrical makeup and kooky uniforms for an all blond wig with short bangs, natural colored glossy lipstick and eye makeup limited to graphic faux eyelashes. Her dress was a chic, honeycomb printed number .?.?. in all toned down and worthy of a thumbs up.

If Minaj went for a quieter look, she encouraged at least one contestant, Cortez Shaw, to amp up the fashion factor saying that he needed “sexier styling” and dissing his blue jean vest and khaki pants ensemble worn with a shirt she called “long johns,” and big white sneakers. Randy Jackson agreed throwing the suggestion of a leather vest into the mix.

The weirdest fashion moment on the show – and the saddest – was during poor Charlie Askew’s emotionally wrought and terrible performance of “Mama.” Askew, in an unflattering ponytail, long feather earring and tie-dye tank top looked strange and a little bonkers. Minaj was vocal asking, “where’s my little baby Charlie?” and telling the kid that she didn’t want to see the earring and his worked out arms. Off the fashion track for a moment, props to Ryan Seacrest, who exhibited talent and kindness in his off-the-cuff comforting of Askew who was having a melt down apparently due to the harsh criticism from all the judges. Seacrest tweeted moments after Askew left the stage, “Tough moment but @CharlieAI12 is a tough kid.”

Minaj told Lazaro Arbos that they had something in common when the contestant admitted that pink was his favorite color – he’s worn it before, this time that same pink shirt topped by a white jacket over too-tight jeans.

Though we liked Burnell Taylor’s performance of “I’m Here,” his outfit?  Not so much. Particularly bad was the patterned backward baseball cap and acid washed jean jacket topping a peachy shirt. Minaj applauded his weight loss – he’s shed 40 pounds since he’s been on the show.

It was a tad mean for Seacrest to probe Nick Boddington on why he always wears a hat .?.?. last night a feathered fedora. It’s obvious, that balding is the issue, and that didn’t need to be discussed on national TV. The contestant kept the rest of his look simple (and not very memorable) in a blue short sleeve chambray shirt unbuttoned pretty low.

Devin Velez looked like he stepped out of an Ivy League college a cappella group in his preppy ensemble – a red V-neck over a striped shirt with bow tie and white pants – his taste in clothes seems at odds with his vocal style. Speaking of white pants, Vincent Powell donned them too, worn with a silvery jacket and an abstract printed shirt. He looked swell, but nerves got him. Curtis Finch Jr. turned out nicely, too, in a grayish jacket with white sleeves over a white shirt – it fit well and he sounded great.

And Elijah Lui’s got the pop star fashion thing down pat – his military jacket with a patch at the shoulder worn over a white shirt was perfect for him as were the big white kicks.

Paul Jolley donned a black tuxedo shirt and jeans – only eh, but not a fashion crime.

A notable accessory? Minaj’s yellow lollipop which she ate as Seacrest was closing the show. Not sure she heard his final remarks, as she was busy texting.


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