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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Comments (92)

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

    Comment by Drew – January 25, 2011 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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).

    Comment by Krista – January 25, 2011 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!!!!!!

    Comment by meghan – January 25, 2011 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Aiden – January 25, 2011 01:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Eolra – January 25, 2011 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wouldn’t have been the same without you, Michael. Great recap.

    Comment by Nicole – January 25, 2011 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I second this!

      Comment by forrest – January 26, 2011 02:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by MEL31602 – January 25, 2011 02:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She made me think of Michaela Gordon!

      Comment by Cate – January 25, 2011 03:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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? ;)

    Comment by Rebecca – January 25, 2011 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Glad to have you and Jason back, Michael! “Idoloonies” is going to be a hit : )

    Comment by Alison – January 25, 2011 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yay, Slezak is back? Could Kristen Baldwin come visit? I miss her snark.

    Comment by mai – January 25, 2011 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I second that!!!!

      Comment by tma6469 – January 25, 2011 03:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Count me too! I agree.

        Comment by forrest – January 26, 2011 02:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Me too. Loved Kristen’s baad attitude. Miss her.

        Comment by Kristi – February 27, 2011 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t! But good job, Michael! Loved seeing Matt again! So glad he’s surviving well!

      Comment by Nancy – January 25, 2011 04:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by AprilD – January 25, 2011 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hey Michael, happy that you’re still recapping Idol.

    Comment by Robert – January 25, 2011 02:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?

    Comment by Vetle – January 25, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Vetle – January 25, 2011 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Margaux – January 25, 2011 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Mark – January 25, 2011 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by M – January 25, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It would not be “Idol” without Slezak. Lovin’ Idoloonies. Congrats!!

    Comment by jambajim – January 25, 2011 02:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Lisa, Brooklyn – January 25, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed! Slezak you and Adam could be idolatry brothers!

      Comment by irahetafan2009 – January 25, 2011 06:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by debby kemp – January 25, 2011 03:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Nat – January 25, 2011 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Idoloonies my new Idol Central. my new entertainment homepage! I can thank the commenters from EW for promoting the link to here.

      Comment by forrest – January 26, 2011 02:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Marta Diehm – January 25, 2011 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Adam Baranker – January 25, 2011 05:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by PFitz – January 25, 2011 03:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Angela – January 25, 2011 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by susan – January 25, 2011 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Carrie – January 25, 2011 03:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nice to have you back… Idolatry… Idoloonies? doesn’t matter.. you are my go to guy for all things Idol… :)

    Comment by Just Jules – January 25, 2011 03:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I miss Annie.

    Comment by Camden – January 25, 2011 03:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • MATT GIRAUD! You didn’t show enough of him!! Who are these other people?!?!

    Comment by Jordan – January 25, 2011 04:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now I’m really excited about Season 10! Thanks for Idoloonie! Idolotry what?

    Comment by MatterofTime – January 25, 2011 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes. Everything is right again for another season of idol.

      Comment by forrest – January 26, 2011 02:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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 =/

    Comment by matt – January 25, 2011 04:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by oriharakaoru – January 25, 2011 04:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by – January 25, 2011 05:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Adam – January 25, 2011 04:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank jeebus the tacky Japanese sci-fi clips made their way over with Slezak. All is right in the idol universe once again.

    Comment by sherimoonzombie – January 25, 2011 05:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Idoloonies AND Drag Race recaps?!
    I’m in heaven!
    Though I 2nd the preference for a return to the classic at-your-desk filming:-)

    Comment by mt-expat – January 25, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by jenna – January 25, 2011 05:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Gen of Montreal – January 25, 2011 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!!

    Comment by rosie's mom – January 25, 2011 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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. :)

    Comment by Becky – January 25, 2011 05:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by mccliza – January 25, 2011 05:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Marly – January 25, 2011 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Dani C – January 25, 2011 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by maureen – January 25, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matt Giraud is my favorite Idol ever! I love that song he played. Could you keep his as a regular commentator please?

    Comment by LR – January 25, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Gabriel Oak – January 25, 2011 06:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by cristina c. co – January 25, 2011 06:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Cindy – January 25, 2011 06:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Shar – January 25, 2011 06:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.:)

    Comment by Sue – January 25, 2011 07:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Jane – January 25, 2011 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Tuzo – January 25, 2011 08:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.)

    Comment by JBanana – January 25, 2011 09:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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