Nicki Minaj sings about "Starships," but is she a star-maker? The singer-rapper could be joining the ranks of "American Idol" judges. A person close to Minaj said Monday the 29-year-old entertainer has been in talks to judge the Fox TV competition and that a deal is in the works. The Fox network said it had no comment. If Minaj signs on, she would join Mariah Carey as a new judge on "Idol," which returns in January. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits from the show last month. Minaj -- known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics -- is best known for hits like "Super Bass," "Starships" and "Turn Me On" with David Guetta.

Nyad advancing in attempt to set record

Diana Nyad slogged across the Straits of Florida for a third straight day Monday, advancing toward a swimming record on calm seas after enduring a night of stormy weather. Nyad, who turns 63 on Wednesday, is making her third attempt since last summer to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She also made a failed try with a cage in 1978. "She's doing well," said a spokeswoman for the swimmer, Alex Crotin. Nyad had been expected to arrive somewhere in the Florida Keys early Tuesday, though her team didn't say how much overnight storms Sunday might delay her. Her team tweeted that a storm had blown Nyad off course and that "all hell broke loose" in the squall. Monday appeared to be offering far more ideal conditions, with blue skies and level seas. Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam the Straits in 1997, but she used a cage.

RECOVERING: Rosie O'Donnell, 50, is recovering at home after suffering a heart attack last week. She credited her survival to Internet research on her symptoms and a Bayer aspirin she had seen recommended in ads. "Thank god/saved by a tv commercial/literally," she wrote Monday on her blog. She said she had a stent inserted after doctors found that her coronary artery was 99 percent blocked. Her rep Cindi Berger told People magazine: "She is very, very lucky."

FROM 'FACTS OF LIFE' TO REALITY TV: Get ready to see a new side of "Facts of Life" actress Lisa Whelchel. The actress who portrayed spoiled rich girl Blair Warner in the 1980s sitcom is set to compete for the $1 million prize in the CBS reality-TV show "Survivor: Philippines." Whelchel, 49, now is a Christian author and mother of three. Other familiar faces on the show will include former San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent and 2011 Miss Delaware USA Katie Hanson. The show premieres with a 90-minute episode on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

NEWS SERVICES