Idoloonies Premiere: Idol Addicts Talk Precocious Youngsters, New Judges; Plus, Matt Giraud Performs!

Week one of American Idol‘s tenth season is in the books, but here at TVLine, we’re still obsessing about every last detail of the two-night, three-hour premiere. And that’s why we’re launching a brand new Web series, Idoloonies, hosted by yours truly, along with a rotating panel of readers, Idol alumni, and other special guests. For the Idoloonies world premiere, I caught up with crazy-talented season 8 finalist Matt Giraud, plus TVLine superfans Marta Diehm, Peter Marra, and Adam Baranker, and got their takes on the best and worst Golden Ticket recipients from the New Jersey and New Orleans auditions (Matt likes “Times Square waitress girl”); Idol‘s sudden onslaught of teenage contestants; the show’s spankin’ new judges panel of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson; and the producers’ tweaked approach to contestants’ sob stories.

Along the way, we manage to work in references to Melinda Doolittle, Adam Lambert, Jesse Langseth, and long lost season 9 auditioner Jermaine Purifory (because, honestly, when have I ever let anything go?). We also tackle Sir Tyler’s flirtation with young female contestants, and take a Twitter Question of the Week about those “controversial” opening credits. Plus, I help Mr. Giraud get in touch with his evil side, and he repays me with an absolutely gorgeous rendition of his ballad “I Miss You Tonight” (with a chunk of Allison Iraheta’s “No One Else” thrown in for good measure) and a jaunty interview, to boot.

So what are you waiting for? Press play below, and to get all my Idol news and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV! And if you’d like to cohost a future episode of Idoloonies, send your conspiracy theories, pet peeves, rants, and raves to me at

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  1. Drew says:

    Love the Jesse Langseth mention! I still say she and Ricky Braddy/Von Smith should’ve gotten in over Jasmine and Megan…bitter bitter…

  2. Krista says:

    I loved Matt’s performance. It reminded me how good/ great the talent was on that season of Idol minus a few people (like Megan for instance).

  3. meghan says:

    Bravo Michael! Great video!!! and i love how u r trying to promote former idols u like. adam will always be welcome:)
    and, i am team jordan dorsey myself. he has great potential for all the reasons u mentioned plus — it looks like he can actually dance.
    last– steven tyler exceeds all my expectations! what a king!!!!!!!

  4. Aiden says:

    So nice to have Mike and Jason Everett back in the Idol video commentary world again. Different site, same old quality recap. Hilarious intro and very insightful comments once again. I’m liking this format of you talking with former contestants and other viewers putting their 2 cents in. Idol year isn’t complete without these. Kudos Slezak!
    p.s. great to see Matt singing I Miss You Tonight! Bye Idolatry, hello Idoloonies.

  5. Eolra says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you’ve decided to continue doing an Idol webcast, Michael. I don’t always agree with your favorites, but the season wouldn’t be the same without your weekly video. My fave so far is Brett Loewenstren (I think that’s his last name…?). He reminds me of the weird, quirky people that I was friends with in high school.

  6. Nicole says:

    Wouldn’t have been the same without you, Michael. Great recap.

  7. MEL31602 says:

    Jermaine Purifory!!! Biggest snub of season 9! And I agree with Matt G. that that hyper 16-yr old should not have gotten through to Hollywood. She has a decent voice but is so obnoxious that no one will vote for her. But while one of your correspondents said that the weird Broadway girl reminded her of Tatiana, I think the real “new Tatiana” is Tiffany the Jersey Shore girl. Great voice, but so over-the-top that she makes it impossible to notice that she really is talented

  8. Rebecca says:

    So glad you’re doing these recaps again; Idol wouldn’t be the same without you here to remind us all that we’re a little too invested in this ridiculous show. And, if I may say, you’re looking really nice, and although I didn’t think you need to lose weight, it certainly seems that you have~good for you! Weight loss blog next on your agenda after idol? ;)

  9. Alison says:

    Glad to have you and Jason back, Michael! “Idoloonies” is going to be a hit : )

  10. mai says:

    Yay, Slezak is back? Could Kristen Baldwin come visit? I miss her snark.

  11. AprilD says:

    Loved it! It had everything I thought I’d miss. I’m also glad to see Matt. He was one of my favorites in S9 and glad to see he’s still got the wheels turning. I’m still waiting for his EP or album so I can buy it. As for the video, tone down the lighting on you! ;) Also, I’d love to see you sitting at your desk again talking to the person you’re skyping with, but that’s my only feedback for the video. Great job!

  12. Robert says:

    Hey Michael, happy that you’re still recapping Idol.

  13. Vetle says:

    It feels so weird when they add swedish footage, since being Norwegian, I can understand what they’re actually saying. Kinda ruins it. xD

    Also, I got goosebumps when Matt started singing No One Else. Such a great song!

    I think I would love to discuss American Idol with Idoloonies via Skype/etc. but since I’m Norwegian, and pretty much several hours ahead it might get difficult… Even though I got an A in english, I tend to get self-conscious about my pronunciation. =P

    Did y’all know that Allison is not a red-head anymore, btw?

    • Vetle says:

      Also, my favorite is Sarah Sellers. She’s a far and away favorite for me.

      But how come you didn’t mention Brent Loewenstern or Paris?

      I like Jordan Dorsey’s voice, but I fear (judging from his celebration) he might be Big Mike attitude 2.0. He seem kinda… I don’t know – he might think he’s better than he is. But I appreciate that he took liberties with the song.

  14. Margaux says:

    Two thumbs up for the first Idoloonie webcast.

    I vote for Matt as a semi-regular Idoloonie correspondent. His comments about the contestants were spot on. Not many people, including 90% of current and former Idol judges can talk intelligently about WHY a musical performance is good.

    • Mark says:

      It’s funny how few people related to Idol can talk about music as, well, music. It’s often lost in a “yo, dawg, that was pitchy” comment, or maybe a spectacularly clumsy comparison.

  15. M says:

    I’m so glad you guys are doing this!!! LOVE the idea of older Idols as co-hosts, they have a unique perspective on the show and it gives us a chance to hear what they’re up to! Your commentary is spot-on, as always.

  16. jambajim says:

    It would not be “Idol” without Slezak. Lovin’ Idoloonies. Congrats!!

  17. Lisa, Brooklyn says:

    I was so nervous when you left that we weren’t going to have Idolatry anymore :(. But, Idoloonies is even better! Totally agree with your favorite being Sarah Sellers. I think she is going to go far! Love that you got Matt Giraud for week one (can’t wait to see what idol you will have next week)…and that Adam could be a keeper!

  18. debby kemp says:

    I have to admit that I was looking forward to your recaps more than the new season. My daughter just sent me this link for Idoloonies and that makes me even happier!! I think Steven and Jennifer are great (so far) and I hope they keep it up. I was totally shocked by this!! It makes the show seem more dignified or …something. I am now actually looking forward to the show!
    So glad you’re back, Michael!

  19. Nat says:

    So good to see this up Slezak & Averett…loved the foreign language intro, got me settled back in nicely!
    I missed you guys, and Idol wouldn’t be the same without you!

    • forrest says:

      Idoloonies my new Idol Central. my new entertainment homepage! I can thank the commenters from EW for promoting the link to here.

  20. Marta Diehm says:

    So awesome to be part of the first one, Slezak! I’ve nervously been awaiting the finished product! Looking forward to the rest of the season- especially with a web series as grand as this helping feed my Idol appetite!

    • Adam Baranker says:

      I agree Marta! This was such a cool experience to be a part of and I can’t believe how amazing the finished product is! Can’t wait for the rest of the season as well.

  21. PFitz says:

    Glad to see Idoloonies as a successor to Idolatry… Do miss your back-and-forth with other EW staffers (especially when they make you break up), but am looking forward to continuing to tune in!

  22. Angela says:

    Slezak!! So glad you guys are doing this Web Series! Loved the show and love seeing Matt Giraud! He’s so talented and I can’t wait for the live ep. Thanks for doing the interview with Matt.

    Look forward to next week’s show!

  23. susan says:

    Ahhhhhhh, everything is right with the world. Idoloonies will replace Idolatry for me. Happy, happy.

    If I had to pick a favorite right now, it would probably be Jordan Dorsey.

    So glad you had Matt on your first Idoloonie video. He’s one of my favorite Idols!

    Looking forward to the season of Idol and Idoloonies.

  24. Carrie says:

    So glad you’re back, Michael! Loving Idoloonies so far. It’s great to hear all the commentary again, and it’s getting me excited for this season.

  25. Just Jules says:

    Nice to have you back… Idolatry… Idoloonies? doesn’t matter.. you are my go to guy for all things Idol… :)

  26. Camden says:

    I miss Annie.

  27. Jordan says:

    MATT GIRAUD! You didn’t show enough of him!! Who are these other people?!?!

  28. MatterofTime says:

    Now I’m really excited about Season 10! Thanks for Idoloonie! Idolotry what?

  29. matt says:

    no one else by allison iraheta is one of my favorite songs of all time =D his version was great but i wish she would have released it as a single =/

  30. oriharakaoru says:

    lol omg you used my twitter question! XD I may have flailed a bit. For the record, I loved the addition of Adam, Chris, and Jennifer. I think you’re exactly right that Idol should be celebrating all it’s big successes. :D

    So happy you’re doing this series! It means I can save my sanity and not have to watch the horrid audition episodes myself! The best Idol web series is back!!

    Also: SEASON 8 FTMFW

    • I agree. There haven’t been that many superstars so to add them to the opening credits makes sense. I agree with the fan in the video who said that it was smart they didn’t include them in the audition room. I do feel that it does need to be emphasized that the goal is winning, not just coming in 3rd or 4th or even 5th, even though Jennifer Hudson or Chris Daughtry have had tremondous success, the goal of the show is to win.

  31. Adam says:

    Thanks for replacing Idolatry Slezak and having Jason produce makes it all that much better.
    I suppose the EW writers can’t be invited and that’s too bad but having the fans come and give their opinions is the next best thing.

  32. sherimoonzombie says:

    Thank jeebus the tacky Japanese sci-fi clips made their way over with Slezak. All is right in the idol universe once again.

  33. mt-expat says:

    Idoloonies AND Drag Race recaps?!
    I’m in heaven!
    Though I 2nd the preference for a return to the classic at-your-desk filming:-)

  34. jenna says:

    Loved your first episode especially since you had Matt Giraud as a guest star! He as always sounded incredible! Can’t wait to buy everything Matt puts out!

  35. Gen of Montreal says:

    All is right in the world now, Slezak is back on Idol watch. Now go back to EW and get evil Kristen to join you.

  36. rosie's mom says:

    Thank you!!! I love Idoloonies! Michael you are looking gorgeous. Although I miss the pink hair. Loved Matt Giraud. I feel like all is right with the world again, at least for a few minutes. Idol grads I’d love to see: Mindy Doo, Crystal, Alison and of course, Adam. Yay!!!

  37. Becky says:

    Wooo Hoooo!! So excited to see Idoloonies! I think you need to bring Kristen Baldwin over from the dark side to join you on tvline!! You guys were HILARIOUS on idolatry. :)

  38. mccliza says:

    So glad to find you, Slezak! Love the old and the new. If I’m being honest, for me, for you, though, I’m not sure I LOVED Matt’s performance, but he’s adorable and I’m happy for his success. Keep up the great work; it makes the Idol season (which I’m thinking is going to be great!) so much more fun! And you do look HOT in this new format!

  39. Marly says:

    Love the first episode of Idoloonies. I have to admit your recaps and your web series is my favorite part of the Idol season. I would love to be one of your co-host but in my country Idol it´s broadcast a week later. Already waiting for next week episode.

  40. Dani C says:

    YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy to have you back Slezak; AI would never be the same w/out you…i think i was actually going through withdrawal! Keep up the great work…and crossing my fingers for some more s9 idols!! P.S. My fav was Sarah Sellers by far…and i want to punch the 16 (and 3/4) yr old in the face!

  41. maureen says:

    hey Michael,glad to see you back I enjoyed the interview with Crystal Bowersox last year!! BOWERSOX! loved it! any chance you are going to have her on your show, you two make a good show, and her voice is amazing. Keep us the good work
    Thanks for all you do

  42. LR says:

    Matt Giraud is my favorite Idol ever! I love that song he played. Could you keep his as a regular commentator please?

  43. Gabriel Oak says:

    I think this is a great start and I’m so glad you’re back doing videos about Idol. I can’t watch the series regularly this year because of time commitments so I’m depending on your recaps. And I liked hearing comments from fans of the show

    It was great hearing Matt, too. Hope you can bring back past Idol favorites like Bo Bice, Elliott Yamin, Brooke White, Vonzell Solomon, Melinda Doolittle, Michael Johns and others.

    I think that red-haired teen Brent has a lot of potential. He has a great voice for his age.
    I agree that Sarah Sellers is special. I worry about her age, though, in terms of finding fans.

    I am posting a message for the second time on Safari. I haven’t had any luck with Firebox.

  44. cristina c. co says:

    congrats mr slezak, and thank you so much for featuring matt giraud on your ist episode. for me, matt g. is my american idol. He’s great on every level. pls keep him regularly.

  45. Cindy says:

    So nice to hear from you again Michael. Absolutely, love Matt’s performance, and song “Miss You Tonight”. He must include this on EP. It is my favorite. He is also by far my favorite idol ever, and hope to see his success continue to grow. Thanks so much! CindyT.

  46. Shar says:

    Like everyone else, so great to see the Idoloonies Mike and Jason back! And, knocking on all sorts of wooden surfaces, this TV-Line comment section is an absolute oasis of well-written, sometimes positive, sometimes critique-y dialogue. I’ll be visiting weekly! Cheers!

  47. Sue says:

    It’s so nice to know that I can still get my Slezak video fix. Absolutely LOVE that you have fans on to talk about Idol. Total win. Sarah Sellers is one of my favorites. She has a voice that I put in the Carly Smithson/Allison Iraheta/Crystal Bowersox league. Speaking of Carly Smithson she would be an awesome guest on Idoloonies.:)

  48. Jane says:

    So glad to see you’re still covering idol! 2 shows in, and I think it’s going good. Love Steven and J. Lo and so awesome that they don’t seem to give much screen time the the Dawg’s comments. I thought so too that they toned down the sob stories. Glad to see that so far my biggest pet peeve hasn’t shown up, the dreaded PLANT. I hope that scandal with Joanna Pacitti put an end to it for good. I feel for these artists whose careers never really took off, but they had their chance and if they had been good enough the first time they should have become successful. And it irritates me that they fake cry in their auditions (Carly, Joanna) like there was any doubt that they weren’t going to make it to Hollywood. At least with the younger kids it will be someone less known. I never got this thing with “knowing what kind of artist you are” before being on idol. Every time Simon mentioned it, I had to roll my eyes. I like it more watching the contestants grow in to their own a bit. The “package” ready to go artist made for a boring season last year with people who couldn’t/ wouldn’t step out of their singer/ songwriter mode and try something new. Except for Mama Sox, she ruled and was totally robbed of the title. Getting rid of the guitar for 1 song, doesn’t count as trying something new.

  49. Tuzo says:

    Welcome back Team Idoloonie! Great start to the season (I mean the Idoloonie season — Idol only exists so we can see these shows :) ). The show looked super so congrats to Jason. And nice to see some Dragon Tattoo clips in there. It would be great if we could get some of the Idolatry regulars in there but I understand that this might not be possible. Maybe if you shoot them in shadow and disguise their voices like on 60 Minutes or something? I’m a bit wary of the seeming focus on the teens. I know I’m not in the target demographic but they almost always seem lacking in substance and emotional depth*. That said, I’m willing to go for the ride and have been impressed with the first two shows.

    *Does not apply to Allison Iraheta.

  50. JBanana says:

    Hooray, hooray! I can’t even express how excited I was to see this. Even as the opening credits were rolling.. I just had this feeling, like it was all going to be okay again… great episode, and I can’t wait for the rest of the season now. Yay for Michael and Jason! Idol’s not worth watching without you! (I do miss Kristen, though.)