Nicki Minaj threatened to quit her duties as a judge on "American Idol" when gospel-singing contestant Curtis Finch Jr. did not receive enough votes from the public to make it to the next round of the singing competition.
- (Photograph: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
"Are you kidding me," Minaj exclaimed on the show.
The 30-year-old rapper and "American Idol" judge left her seat at the judge's table before threatening to leave the show along with Finch after weeks of singing his praises
"Curtis, if you go home, I go home," Minaj told him on Thursday night's episode of "American Idol." I definitely think Curtis should not be in the bottom two ... I mean-- come on, America, are you kidding me?"
While fellow judge Keith Urban seemed to agree with Minaj's sentiments, he did not express his feelings in the same manner. Finch said he was shocked to hear about Minaj's reaction to him being the first contestant eliminated from the singing competition during season 12.
"That's mind-blowing to me! When she said it, I was like, 'whoa! Make your coins! Get your check,'" 24-year-old Finch told Zap2it.com. "See, that will make me tune in, because I have really transitioned now from a contestant to an American person that's watching the show. So I want to see her when I turn on 'American Idol.' So I'm glad she didn't walk off. "
One week before his elimination, Finch stunned the judges with his rendition of R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."
Keith Urban, an "American Idol" judge and country music singer-songwriter, told the Christian contestant from St. Louis that he brought something godly to the competition after his performance.
"You ooze everything good and light and godly and whole and positive and ... you just have so much hope in you, and we need so much of that man," Urban told Finch last week.
However, he was not the only judge to recognize that a higher power may be involved in Finch's musical journey. With tears in her eyes, Minaj told Finch to never abandon gospel music.
"This is bigger than 'American Idol' to me ... It was given to you by someone else, given to you by somebody else, a higher power … you have a calling on your life to bless people and to do so much good," Minaj told Finch during his performance last week. "That's what people need, there are people hurting out there. I really really hope and pray that you make that kind of an album. I'm telling you on some Donnie McClurkin … that's what we need from you."
For Finch, that moment was the greatest during his stint on season 12 of the singing competition.
"I remember getting done with 'I Believe I Can Fly,' and I remember how extremely overwhelmed I felt inside of myself. And so to open my eyes and kind of come back, if you will, to see the judges standing and applauding," he told Zap2it.com. "And to hear the roars from the crowd, saying 'Oh my God, Curtis -- I believe as well!' Speechless."