American Idol Spoilers: Avoid or Embrace?

I was never that kid who tried to sneak a look at his presents before Christmas morning, so I guess it’s no surprise that when it comes to American Idol spoilers, I’m the grown man with his eyes clamped shut and his fingers in his ears, belting “This Is My Now” at the top of his lungs. How else to drown out the widespread reports (easily accessible at JoesPlaceBlog, MJsBigBlog, and other Idol-obsessed sites) about which season 10 Golden Ticket holders have impressed the judges in the already taped middle rounds and reportedly advanced to this year’s Top 40?

I know my stance is positively old-school, perhaps even a tad Pollyanna-ish, especially for someone who works at a brand-new site that’s turning the TV spoiler into an art form. But while we are indeed living in an era where it’s unavoidable to get advance word about casting and plot developments on our favorite scripted dramas, I still think of reality TV competition as the one genre where ignorance remains bliss.

To that end, I regard every step of the Idol discovery process as something to be savored. Watching a David Cook or a Melinda Doolittle walk into an audition room and wondering: Can they actually sing? Gritting my teeth through Hollywood Week and the Green Mile, praying my early favorites will soar, not self-destruct. Why would I want to kill that delicious suspense before the season even begins? Sure, not reading spoilers opens me up to the white-hot rage of seeing a Leneshe Young or a Deanna Brown get booted without warning or explanation, but it’s all part of the process.

Maybe that’s just me, though. I’m curious how you feel about American Idol spoilers. Do you put on your virtual blindfold and ear muffs every January in an effort to dodge unwanted Idol news leaks? Or do you actively seek out advance word about which wide-eyed hopefuls are destined to reach the voting portion of the competition? Regardless of which side of the spoiler debate you’re on, share your stance — and your reasoning — in the comments below! And for all my Idol recaps, news, and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Shosh says:

    I’m with you! I like to stay spoiler-free!

    • @spunkybean says:

      Will miss you at your other site, but I’m glad I found you here. But I swear, if ever your recaps dip below 8,000 words, I’m calling you a sell-out. Woo hoo! Let’s get it started and all sorts of other Black Eyed Peas expressions.

  2. Pia says:

    hate them, what’s the point in knowing who already went through? completely ruins that exhilarating feeling when you get to know who it is.
    Being from Malta I watch the shows hours later so I basically have to avoid every site until I watch it.

  3. Sharon says:

    I love spoilers.

  4. tracy says:

    i like to check the spoilers. i HATE getting attached to someone early on only to find out that they’ll be dumped on day 3 of hollywood. I’M FRAGILE, OKAY SLEZAK? :(

  5. Bobbi says:

    I’m with you. I like the surprise of the process. MJ runs a fantastic site and I read there daily. But, I never read her spoiler posts. I really like the fact that she separates them and allows you to avoid them if you choose to.

    Why bother watching a competition if you know the result?

  6. Tek says:

    I don’t seek spoilers and usually avoid them. Occassionally I will come across one, but I’m not going to spontaneously combust into a million pieces splattered on my screen by seeing it. Aren’t the tv promos spoilers themselves?

    I love the overlooked, unfilmed talent that explodes on the show like Kris Allen did with his MJ cover on his round of the semis! I loved him from that night, even in spite of the naysayers in my house, and would love to see it happen again. )

  7. HannaB says:

    I avoid spoilers as much as possible, which isn’t easy w a Twitter addiction. :) I don’t need anyone else’s opinion or speculation, and like to start fresh and be either amazed or repulsed. I have to admit, though, as an Adam Lambert fan it’s going to take a LOT to impress me. I’m curious about all the changes, though, so will tune in and hope for an entertaining season!

    • CarolH says:

      I hate American Idol spoilers…while I love spoilers about other shows just hate them for all Reality Shows…I have to agree about Adam Lambert…love him and this is from a 58 year old woman…Adam kept things so exciting and last season was terrible because there was no one like him on…I am hoping this season there will be.

  8. Quinn says:

    Sad to say I don’t even care enough to be able to give an opinion. Used to be I’d avoid spoilers like the plague. Then last season I’d do song spoilers to see if it was even worth it to watch the DVR recording. Now I kinda just want to know what Steven Tyler thought of Scream On.

    • Sheri says:

      I really don’t consider seeing Song Choices as spoilers, because then you know whats coming and anything special to look for or delete.

  9. Saracen Riggins says:

    I used to avoid spoilers at all costs, then I discovered Michael Ausiello. Now they are kind of addicting. As far as Idol is concerned, I don’t mind the spoilers of the early rounds (i.e. the top 40 or even 20), but once it really gets into the season, I definitely like to keep the suspense going.

  10. TwizzlerP says:

    Here’s the thing with it. I have always had a love it / hate it with AI about audition rounds. I personally would rather be told here’s the top 12 – and here is how they got there (similar to like a Lost) so that way everyone gets equal air time and the Audition shows should be shown WITHOUT any of the current contestants. Kinda like an old school bloopers special. The only reason why I am watching the auditions this time around is because I want to see how they deal with the crap the show started but we have no judges situation.

  11. dj says:

    I don’t like spoilers. I think they are aptly named. Who wants to know everything ahead of time? It ruins the enjoyment for me.

  12. Andie says:

    I try to avoid spoilers as well! This year was a little different for me, because a boy who I went to HS with made the top 40 (don’t worry I won’t say who!) and he kept popping up in local papers, but other than that I am spoiler-free.

  13. Tracy says:

    I embrace spoilers! If it wasn’t for spoilers, the Angela Martin cut last season would have completely devastated me!

  14. Sheri says:

    I never read American Idol spoilers. The only thing I have read about and it was just because I was curious was the changed that they had done during Hollywood Week, because I really don’t know if I want to watch due to Simon leaving. But since I did allow myself to see the changes I decided to give it a chance. But Reality Spoilers are bad unless we are talking about Big Brother but that’s a whole other story.

  15. Here American Idol will air 10 days behind the US, so spoilers will be unavoidable. The only option is to download the episodes a day after they air in the US to watch them nine days before they air here. Even then there’s no guarantee of avoiding spoilers (other than renouncing the Internet altogether…)

  16. laneti says:

    But Reality Spoilers are bad unless we are talking about Big Brother but that’s a whole other story….No age gap is too wide if you both feel so right.We don’t care about the social “norm” but chemistry. Many couples with age gap work out fine and get alone splendidly. We celebrate the age gap love and May-December romance. Check out AgeGapLove.c“om if you are interested in ageless relationships..

  17. brandon says:

    Okay, here’s what I do. I read the spoilers, but then convince myself that nothing is 100% confirmed or certain, so anything still COULD happen. It at least still keeps it exciting for me.

  18. CarolLeslie says:

    I don’t live for Idol spoilers, but I’ll read them when I see them pop up. Audition episodes are agony for me. I wish they would give us fewer auditions and more Hollywood week coverage. I have the impression that we don’t see a great deal of what happens in H’wood that impacts the final roster. BTW, nice to see my fellow Lambert fans speaking up here. No matter who/what Idol comes up with, Adam will never be topped.

  19. dona says:

    don’t mind the spoilers but oh man— i just can’t wait to see steven tyler!!! he is the real deal== a legendary singer, articulate, crazy, open minded, articulate, not afraid of showing his emotions, and— he had already admitted that it took him a few auditions to understand how to do things which for me means– that is self aware and knows that he has room for improvement (when he needs to improve.) yey!!

  20. Tamara says:

    I used to avidly search out episode recaps of favorite shows like Gossip Girl. I remember thinking that season 2 and 3 weren’t nearly as good as the first and then I realized why: in season 1, I didn’t read spoilers and loved, LOVED the jaw-dropping momemts. I don’t mind minor spoilers, but now that I’ve stopped looking up any and every plot detail, I’m enjoying my shows so much more. I plan to stay that way for Idol. I love the suspense of seeing who will fly come Hollywood week and who melts down. It’s what makes the show so much fun!

  21. Tuzo says:

    Another vote against spoilers. For me (for you?), it really takes away from the show. Even if I have some doubts about the veracity of the spoiler, it still sits there in the back of my brain gnawing away a bit.

    Also: Michael, I’m looking forward to another year of dynamic Idol dissection and dissertation, albeit at a new location. If there is any way to get Jason Averett over here and make Idolatry happen that would be totally awesome.

  22. Nat says:

    I’ll look at song choice spoilers on the afternoon of the live show, but it’s no fun if you know who goes through – so much of the joy in the early stages is the suspense and seeing who will go on an upward vs downward trajectory. Living in the UK, I additionally avoid entertainment websites like the plague the day after it’s aired (we get it a day late) until I’ve seen it for myself – I always like to approach Idol with fresh eyes and ears and not have my judgement affected.

  23. Eleanor says:

    I avoid spoilers at all costs. I’m all about the process, and the feelings of excitement and hope. I could do without all the disappointment, but there’s two sides to every coin I know.

  24. Ehjay says:

    I don’t want to know who is in and who is out. Song choices, only if I have a vested interest in a candidate — every week I would make sure to see what David Cook was singing because I was so paranoid about him losing.

    I don’t want spoilers for any of my shows though — Lost wouldn’t have had the same punch if its mysteries were revealed, and I desperately avoided the internet in the week leading up to the Battlestar finale because I didn’t want to know who lived/died/what happened at all.

  25. Patricia says:

    I do not actively seek them out, but cannot resist Idol spoilers when they pop up! It’s kind of like knowing where the Christmas gift is hidden and sneaking a peek.

  26. kali says:

    I used to peak at presents too :D

  27. dipookie says:

    I agree completely! I feel the same way about Survivor, the Bachelor, etc. Reality Steve ruined the Bachelor for me a couple of seasons ago, and I now avoid him like the plague! I also hate the way they show “coming up” scenes repeatedly on these shows. Why do I need to watch the same scene 5 times???

  28. Marly says:

    I agree with you, I don’t like to be spoiled at least not on AI.
    I got a question is Idolatry coming back? Please tell me it is, for me it’s one of the best part of the Idol process.

  29. susan says:

    Gosh, I’ve always liked the spoilers, but I think you just talked me out of them, MS. Song spoilers I love though!


    Will you be posting Idolatry videos?


    Oh, and hate spoilers.

  32. stacy says:

    I like spoilers, they help me focus during the audition rounds. I’m looking for names I recognize and it helps me not get attached to singers that don’t get very far.

  33. Joyce says:

    I’m glad I found you Michael Slezak! Sorry, that sounded stalkerish. I just found out you left and was dismayed! But here you are! YAY! Yes, please give me as many spoilers as possible. I am one of those viewers that will scour the net to find out who won or who lost before the show. I don’t know why. I’m just drawn that way! But I am looking forward to reading your reviews. You rock.

  34. sbwm says:

    No spoilers. Cannot wait for tonight -and your recap! And your new version of Idolatry which must happen. Pretty please.

  35. underthepiano says:

    Ah Ha! There you are Slezak! You are one of my favorite parts of the Idol esperience. Glad I found your new location just in time for season 10.

  36. John Berggren says:

    “Reality” spoilers are lame. I try to keep my TV and movie spoilers to minor casting notices, but I could never enjoy AI or Survivor if I knew the outcome in advance – much as I know I can if I search enough.

  37. hannah says:

    Apparently I was the last one to know that you had left EW and came here, Mr. Slezak, but I’m so happy to find you once again! Congratulations on the new site and the new job. Can’t wait for the season to kick off tonight. Hope its as much fun as usual :)

  38. Leslie says:

    Gotta agree with a lot of people and say that spoilers + reality tv = a bad time.

    For scripted shows, the outcome is not the biggest thing, it’s still fun to watch how it all happens, I mean who didn’t know Ross & Rachel were going to end up together on Friends… it didn’t make watching it all unfold any less enjoyable.

    But for reality tv – the point is the end, the cuts, the vote offs, the rooting for your favorite that is destined to be thrown to the waste-side for no reason.

  39. Leslie says:

    Oh & please put us all our of our misery and say that Idolatry has moved here with you… pretty please. As my husband says “I like Idolatry more than the show itself”

    PS: Not happy with self-admitted non-Idol expert Annie Barrett taking up the recap on TSTSNBN – thank goodness you’re here to keep us all happy on this new season of Idol.

  40. AD says:

    I’m only came to this website because I miss Michael Slezak and all I get is this one column? I couldn’t stand Michael Ausiello’s column and didn’t even realize he was gone from the other website until I saw MS was gone and tracked him here. I am really disappointed in this site. Who needs all this Michael A?

  41. JL says:

    So happy to see you Michael — your column (and Idolatry) are the best part of watching Idol.

    (And, I hate spoilers)

  42. Mari says:

    I guess for me it depends on which reality show it is…But either way is fine for me…