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"American Idol" Judge Nicki Minaj: Giving Contestants Crazy Nicknames "Makes Them Feel Special"

Image courtesy of Michael Becker/Fox (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Michael Becker/Fox (via ABC News Radio)

If you've been watching American Idol this season, you know that in addition to sporting a series of crazy wigs, judge Nicki Minaj has also been doling out crazy nicknames to the contestants.  Among some of her gems: "Secret Squirrel," "Top Hat," "Gumby," "Frog Killer" and "Purple Boy."  And according to Nicki, she just can't help herself.

"I just love renaming people," she says in a new promo for the show. "I have this weird desire.  I can't control it!"

But it serves a purpose as well. "It makes me remember them a lot, and even if I don't remember them, it makes them feel special," claims Nicki. 

In addition, says Nicki, "It breaks up the monotony of them coming into a judge panel and having everything be serious."

The contestants don't seem to mind.  In the promo, we see one contestant actually begging the rapper to give him a nickname, and she finally comes up with "Mushroom."

American Idol continues Thursday night on Fox.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio