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Nicki Minaj praises her 'wife' on 'American Idol' as top 10 girls perform


"American Idol" judge Nicki Minaj and contestant Kree Harrison.

“American Idol” has done so much cheerleading for its women this season, it’s a wonder that Ryan Seacrest doesn’t show up each week with pom-poms and a megaphone.

On Tuesday, the 10 remaining girls did a fine job of letting their performances do the talking, again making viewers wonder why only five of them can make the top 10 on Thursday’s results show (though Randy Jackson did drop a hint that he’d like a wild card, so stay tuned). In case the performances weren't enough to draw in the votes, Nicki Minaj and the judges got their chance to add their own ... creative praise.

Who did the panel love the most? Particularly for Nicki, the answer changed with every new singer.

Angie Miller gave another showstopping performance with her Colton Dixon cover. "The trumpets should sound when you walk in the room, little girl," Nicki said. “I love that you do not stray too far from what you are.”

Who knows how Angie handle disco night or whatever random themes make her step away from the piano, but she set the tone as the woman to beat right now.

Then again, Amber Holcolmb got even more raves when she followed Angie. “Your vocals are surpassing even this competition. Nothing that came before you is even on that level.” Nicki said as Angie sat backstage and likely thought, “How could you forget me so quickly? I’m sitting right here!”

But Amber, too, had to stand aside.

“You already know that you’re my wife,” Nicki said to Kree Harrison. (Which if true would be a rules violation.) Much like she would a spouse, Nicki covered Kree with praise, as did Keith Urban. “The first letters in 'Idol' are 'I' 'do,' and I do love to hear you sing,” he said.

Candice Glover got a standing ovation from Keith, a “that was ridiculous” from Randy, and a “goosebumps” from Mariah Carey. Plus she got to sing last, and it’s always good to go right before the phone lines open.

But Candice didn’t get anything funny or wacky from Nicki, so she can’t feel totally perfect about her performance.

All four sang in the final hour of the show, which made it tough for the girls who went earlier to be memorable. Janelle Arthur was the star of the early singers, now that she’s learned not to sing Lady Antebellum songs. “You are back! You are a little marshmallow that I want to eat,” Nicki said.

“I loved that, baby! I love how you have that classic country voice and blend it with modern vocal runs,” Keith added.

Aubrey Cleland didn’t get those kind of raves ... except from Mariah, who gushed, “You so obviously have multi-platinum potential.” It isn’t a bad quote to have on your resume.

On the other hand, it looks like the Zoanette Johnson experience may be coming to an end. “If we were giving the award for the most joyous, unbridled, free-spirited, confident girl, you would win it,” Keith told her. But they aren’t, so she won’t.

The judges also didn’t have nice things to say to Adriana Latonio, which was surprising considering her vocals were pretty good. "After Angie, Amber and Kree, I would suggest you work a little bit and come back next year," Nicki said.

Breanna Steer sang very well, but got mixed reviews. Keith predicted she’d make the next round, Nicki predicted she wouldn’t, and Randy and Mariah hedged their bets. Tepid praise for what seemed to be excellent vocals.

But it was Tenna Torres who got the strangest performance of the night from Nicki, which shouldn’t have been a surprise. Last week, the jduge focused on how she didn’t like Tenna's hair. Tuesday ... well, things were different.

“I liked your hair like that. Good job,” Nicki said, then added, “I liked your boobs too.” That made Torres smile uncomfortably and Randy giggle and stammer like a schoolboy.

Wednesday night, the boys take the stage for their own semifinal round, and Nicki gets to fall in love all over again.

Which performances were your favorite on Tuesday night? Tell us on our Facebook page!

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