NEW YORK – Angie Martinez, the newest judge on American Idol, had never seen the hit reality show -- until last week.
Martinez, a hip-hop artist and nighttime DJ on radio station Hot 97, said yesterday that she was too busy working on the radio and recording her new album, Animal House, last summer.
"So when I got this gig, they gave me some tapes and that's when I got into it," she said.
Martinez and her new colleagues, Simon "Mr. Nasty" Cowell, producer Randy Jackson and '80s icon Paula Abdul, were in midtown yesterday for the New York portion of the three-week American Idol 2 talent search.
Cowell, who's famous for his frank and often insulting assessments of American Idol contestants and fellow judges, wasted no time welcoming Martinez to the fold.
"What's good about Angie is that she's subservient," he said. And, turning to Martinez, quipped: "Didn't you clean our shoes when we were in Detroit?"
With the addition of Martinez, the rules of the game have changed slightly. If the four judges come up with a split decision, Cowell gets the final say.
"I think they've recognized that I'm probably the only one who should have a final vote," he said.