Fantasia Barrino won the 'American Idol' crown at the close of the competition's third season, which aired nine years ago. She will return to her former stomping grounds tonight (April 18) to perform her brand new single 'Lose to Win' from the LP 'Side Effects of You' slated for arrival on April 23.

In preparation for the big gig, she spoke about the song, the new season's judges, the crop of contestants and more. She was incredibly candid and positive since, after all, 'Idol' represents her roots.

"This is the very first time that I’m not really, really nervous," the baby-voiced singer told Rap-Up TV about canvassing familiar environs.

She finds it to be a rewarding experience, saying, "Going back always reminds me of where it all started, which is a good thing. It’s a humbling thing for me…"

"I hope that people in the building and the people that are watching are blessed and inspired, through the song," she added.

When the chanteuse takes the stage, it'll be pretty clear how far she's come and how much has changed -- down to the judges' panel. Randy Jackson is the sole remaining judge from when she competed.

When asked about Nicki Minaj's selection as a judge, Fantasia supported the rap vixen, saying, "I always believe in change. Everything can’t stay the same. The fact that they changed it up, brought somebody else in, a little younger that can relate to the younger crowd and a whole ‘nother different type of music, hey do it."

She heaped love on new judge Mariah Carey, who's rumored to have famously battled with Minaj on set. "I would have to say that she was a perfect choice as well," the singer gushed. "Mariah is a legend. She is music. She has done so much. If she doesn't do anything else, she doesn’t have to, because she is a legend."

Fantasia also offered a little bit of commentary on the crop of Season 12 contestants. It's down to the Top 5 and only females remain. She admitted, "I haven't watched it as faithfully like I used to, because I've been so busy working on my baby... I think that they have some very, very good talent on this year."

But in her mind, Season 3 was tops. "I will always say that my season was the best season,” Barrino confessed, spouting off her fellow competitors, whom she labeled "so many greats."

She would not offer a prediction on who would win Season 12 – since she never answers that question. "Let's just say it's going to be tough," she responded.

Watch Fantasia's 'Lose to Win' Video