Nicki Minaj (Getty Images)
"Which one of you gave Nicki the wrong directions today? Which one of you drained the fuel from her car?" host Ryan Seacrest joked, trying to stall and make the best of the situation.
While fellow judges Keith Urban and Randy Jackson tried their best to make light of her tardiness (for the cameras, at least … Urban jokingly sniffed her Coca Cola cup for booze), Mariah Carey did not look amused.
Maybe that's because anyone that spends time in L.A. knows you always avoid the 405 freeway! Or maybe that's because the "Super Bass" rapper has been notoriously late before.
On the three part November 2012 E! special "Nicki Minaj: My Truth" one fact stood out: punctuality is not the singer's strong suit.
After berating her stylist for what seemed like hours, Minaj delayed production after showing up late to her first day of "American Idol" auditions because she hated her wardrobe options.
The next morning the singer missed her appearance on "The View" because she didn't think it was taped live. “I did think it was a taping,” she explained on the E! special. “So we could be 50 minutes late. It’s nothing.”
Somehow, that excuse just isn't flying with Idol viewers.
— Billy Bush (@billybush) March 14, 2013
nicki minaj is late to idol that is airing live right now. very unprofessional dahhhhling.
— Jonathan Morton S. (@jonny_morton_s) March 14, 2013
Nicki Minaj is so indiscipline. Being late for American Idol. Reason is because of traffic jam. If traffic jam, why wasn't Mariah late? — André Yapp (@AndreeYapp) March 14, 2013
Who shows up to American Idol late? No one more than Miss. Class Act, Nicki Minaj...
— Juliee ✝∞♡ (@HeyItsJulie391) March 14, 2013
Perhaps the reactions that matter most are those of the "Idol" contestants, and many were very diplomatic when asked what they thought.
"I'm not sure what happened," Burnell Taylor told Us Weekly. "But I feel like we're all going to be late at some point in our lives, you know, I'm not gonna judge her."
"I had faith that she would get there," Kree Harrison said. "LA traffic is bad! I'm not gonna say the other word, but it's bad!
Perhaps the opinion that matters most is that of Curtis Finch Jr., since his was the performance Minaj missed.
"Nicki wasn't there! I was like 'Where are you Nicki I need you NOW NOW NOW!' I always look forward to what she's going to say, so I feel that there was a missing piece of the puzzle," he said.
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