*Nicki Minaj is taking her “American Idol’ gig very seriously.

The rapper/singer, who last month  released “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up,” has been on the road with her fellow judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson filming audition rounds for season 12, which premieres Jan. 16 on FOX.

The artist told us exactly what she’s wants to see in contestants before agreeing to pass them through to Hollywood.

“Someone that walks in and is sure of themselves when they’re performing,” she said. “It’s okay to be shy, you know, because some people are shy and they just burst into singing, but when they sing it’s just like magic and it kind of makes you feel like wait a minute, you don’t already have a record deal? A lot of America is going to feel like that too. We’re looking for someone that is going to be remembered, you know? I want it to be someone that is really, really special.”

Below, Minaj says she’s working for the show that set the bar for televised singing competitions.