At least it didn’t remain a mystery for too long. Seacrest was still behind the table when he pointed out that Minaj was stuck in traffic and would be in the studio as soon as possible. There was some confusion as to whether the traffic jam was on federal highway 101 or on Interstate 405. Not that it matters — both highways are notoriously bad in the hours surrounding rush hour in Los Angeles.
If you’re sitting there thinking, “Shouldn’t Nicki Minaj be able to allow for traffic conditions?” don’t get too cocky. Even people who have lived in LA for years can judge their driving times wrong. The whole thing is that unpredictable and insane.
It’s not like Nicki was gone for too much of the show. While she did miss the first performance (by Curtis Finch, Jr.), Seacrest was able to announce her impending arrival just before the first commercial break.
And she was there for the second performance (by Janelle Arthur). Minaj may have been there in a hood and wearing giant sunglasses, but at least she was there.