Nicki Minaj is as fearless on stage as she is on the red carpet. But when it comes to the season premiere of “American Idol” on Jan. 16, the new judge isn’t quite so brave.

“I’m scared,” she told Idol host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Monday morning.

What’s she worried about? “Maybe I shouldn’t have been so like … ” she says, before adding, “It’s hard for me to not say how I really feel.”

When Seacrest asks the singer, who performed Sunday on the American Music Awards, if she’s nervous about how honest she was with the contestants, she answers, “Yes.”

“Everyone else is so nice,” she says. “I was just thinking back about some things and I was like, ‘I wonder if that was not so nice.’

But Minaj, 29, says she takes a tough-love approach only to help out season 11’s singers.

“As an artist I’ve always grown more from the tougher criticism,” she says, “and so I would like to be that person and to try to help people get that thick skin and to really give it their all, because it is a competition.”

And though Minaj won’t likely be hosting a viewing party with popcorn and friends, she does think Idol fans will enjoy the new lineup.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to watch it. I’m going to be so nervous,” she says of the premiere. “But I know people are going to love it. I think it’s a great dynamic.”

Despite the on-set feud with costar Mariah Carey, Minaj says, “The chemistry of the judges, I feel it while I’m there. I think it’s really different from anything we’ve seen before on Idol and people are going to like it.”

Does that mean things have cooled off between the judges? Maybe. When asked if she’ll perform with the singer, Minaj says, “If she’ll have me, I’ll be there waiting.”