"We are coming to you live and on time … keep that energy going for three of your four judges who are here tonight," he said. "I hear she's seven minutes out and there's some congestion on the 405 … she should be here momentarily."
"Which one of you gave Nicki the wrong directions today?" Seacrest joked. "Which one of you drained the fuel from her car?"
The Super Bass singer finally appeared during Curtis Finch, Jr.'s set, clad in a hoodie and sunglasses. Things were back to normal by the time the night's second singer, Janelle Arthur, took the stage.
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While she didn't acknowledge her tardiness on the show, she tweeted: "Stuck in traffic *sighs* F*** u Malibu!!!!!!!!!! *moves to Beverly Hills*
American Idol's 12th season continues Thursday on Fox at 8/7c.