Rap-Up TV: Fantasia Makes ‘American Idol’ Return, Talks Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey

Fantasia will make her return to the “American Idol” stage tonight, nine years after winning the title. She will perform her new single “Lose to Win,” but she’s not sweating it.

“This is the very first time that I’m not really, really nervous,” says the 28-year-old singer, whose fourth album Side Effects of You is due April 23. “Going back always reminds me of where it all started, which is a good thing. It’s a humbling thing for me.”

But instead of singing in front of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, she will face new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.

So what does Fantasia think of Nicki as a judge? “Whatever floats their boat. I always believe in change. Everything can’t stay the same,” she tells Rap-Up TV. “The fact that they changed it up, brought somebody else in, a little younger that can relate to the younger crowd and a whole ‘nother different type of music, hey do it.”

As for Mariah, “I would have to say that that was a perfect choice as well. Mariah is a legend. She is music.”

Fantasia has been watching the latest season. “I think that they have some very, very good talent on this year. I will always say that my season was the best season,” she says of Season 3, which produced stars including Jennifer Hudson.

While she wouldn’t name her favorite on Season 12, she is partial to one particular contestant from South Carolina.

Look for more from our interview with Fantasia in the coming days.