Idoloonies: Is It Time to Revamp the American Idol Audition Rounds?

Week Three of American Idol‘s tenth season was about as appealing as a Heidi Montag opera album. The Los Angeles audition telecast, in particular, failed to yield a single Top 20-level contestant, and the Austin, TX tryouts were only marginally better. On our latest episode of Idoloonies, I gather a panel of hardcore Idol fans — including season 8 finalist Alexis Grace — to discuss some potential format changes that could help freshen the show’s early rounds. We also discuss the best (Casey Abrams) and worst (Hollie Cavanagh) Golden Ticket recipients, the pros and cons of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe’s Twitter feeds, and the show’s renewed effort to cram its early favorites just a little further down our throats. All that, plus individual references to both Miley and Noah Cyrus, and the latest on Alexis’ post-Idol fortunes. How can you not press play and watch our latest episode below!

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  1. Casey Abrams could turn into Taylor Hicks very quickly. He is kind of an awkward kind of guy with a semi-interesting voice. I definetly can see that AI wants Janelle Arthur to be Carrie Underwood, that’s for sure. I don’t see it. At least not yet. She’s pretty but hasn’t shown me anything earth shattering. I totally agree about trembling Holly Cavanaugh, she was really not ready to move on.

    Also, I wholeheartedly agree about American Idol trying to pull a fast one on us. They actually think that the audience believes that the judges see everyone. But they also believe that we the audience don’t notice that when Ryan says it’s the “last contestant” at that city, that it really isn’t. If you notice the clothing and hair of the judges you could tell that it was from the day before. This has happened at least two or three times. I know they want to save these people for the pimp slot but don’t try to make us believe that they are really the last contestant. It’s BS. Idol always tries to dumb down their audience.

    • Micaela says:

      I know.. It’s getting annoying.. I’m still mad about all the pimping.. Specially cause they’re not pimpin’ my favorite, Scott Dangerfield! I think he’s the best we’ve seen this season. Scott Dangerfield FTW!

      • kesia Monteith says:

        Yeah, he certainly had one of the better auditions so far, but I fear they may not want him. Y’all have to prepare yourselves, because a latin pop, R&B and southern country takeover is about to begin. Say goodbye to singer-songwriters and “rawk” gods and goddesses, and old school soul tenors, ’cause they have no chance this season.

    • Robert says:

      Agree about Casey Abrams being only semi-intersting. Also I saw that he had a guitar with him in the waiting area and Nigel will absolutely not let anything resembling a “whiteguywithguitar” anywhere near the voting rounds.

  2. Tek says:

    1. Need iPhone friendly streaming. managed it. Duh!

    2. Need a link to the full version of the site from the mobile site for smartphones. Again…Duh!

    3. Michael Slezak And the idoloonies series is great. I still miss the chemistry and snark with his idolatry partners, though.

    4 & 5. See 1 & 2….it really needs to happen…smartphones and tablets are idoloonie deficient and that is a travesty of epic proportions. Like I’m gonna pull out my laptop at this time of night….sorry Your Looniest, Mr. Slezak!

  3. Street23 says:

    Wow – great catch on the Tyler shirt editing snafu. Oops! Nice to see Alexis Grace contribute to this week — I hope you’ll bring her back another time or two this season, as I really enjoyed hearing her two cents.

  4. Titina says:

    I just LOVE Casey Abrams. That guy is something special. He actually reminds me of the lead singer of the Black Keys.

    I know he won´t win or anything but I just hope he lasts a very long time and keep surprising people.
    So talented! Some of my votes will go to him definitely!
    Go Casey!

  5. Tpfan says:

    Cool to hear about Alexis, another of a long line of robbed female contestants, can’t wait to the final rounds when dudes like John Wayne will get far based on squeeing fangirls.

  6. NanCeE* says:

    Awwww, Alexis Grace – she was one of my faves her season and she definitely went home too soon! Nice to hear she’s doing so well. Would definitely be interested in hearing her new music.

  7. James says:

    Damn Alexis looks good! Good episode as always Slezak…Though it would be nice if you could get a co-host who was always on the show like kristen back at EW!

  8. kesia Monteith says:

    is anybody else having problems playing the second video? i’m on my macbook…

  9. john t. says:

    i effen LOVE alexis grace. i think it’s great that you’re bringing back former contestants in your videos :)

  10. Sean D says:

    Umm, can Alexis Grace please replace Randy Jackson as the third judge on Idol?

    I mean, I know that would never happen….BUT THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOME. She seems like she’d be superb as a judge.

  11. K says:

    So basically, Michael falls in love at first sight with the female growler every year. Personally, Sarah Sellers had way too many affections for me. Fake edgy. Yeah, I said it.

  12. Ashley says:

    I was at the LA audtions, they let go of a lot of really good singers. ME included, but there were some singer that were fantastic and they didn’t get anywhere near the judges.

  13. Tuzo says:

    Michael, I loved the “Idolatry(tm)” slip up. Too funny. Just be careful you don’t get sued by EW. ;)

  14. Jeff says:

    Still love all the commentary on IDOL…it actually makes it much more interesting to watch the actual show knowing that others are thinking the same thing as I am…haha

    and 2 mistakes I picked up on…cause you know, I like to be that guy..haha….y’all spelled Quincy wrong (added an “e” into it) and at the end of Part 1 Slezack called the show Idolatry…lol…

  15. Soda Float says:

    Who’s that weird-looking Idol contestant with the glasses in the picture? He’s super thin.

  16. Donn says:

    Michael said Idolatry. Heh.

  17. sherimoonzombie says:

    *Sigh* Alexis Grace. Another contestant sent home wayyyy too soon. And **doublesigh** a video dose of idolat…er, idoloonies.

  18. Daina says:

    Hey Jen, hey!!! Look at one of my besties all famous on Idoloonies <3

  19. Nessa says:

    Dear god and baby Jesus, YES! I am so sick of fast-forwarding through the horrifying schtick and lousy auditions. I fast forward until I see a golden ticket, and then I rewind to watch just that audition. I agree with your interviewee. Take all the crappy auditions, and make them into a blooper reel style of thing that we watch during the finale or something, when some comic relief, (if you can call the public humiliation of a whole bunch of folks comic relief), might ease the tension of waiting to see who freaking won.

  20. darclyte says:

    I wish that they had 2 special episodes. A “best of the rest” where we get to see some previously unseen people, especially any in the group that gets to be voted on. Yes, they have had something like this the past few seasons, but they’ve also aired unseen bad people. That leads me to number 2, like Slezak said, have an “all bad” episode, and take them out of the regular auditions. Maybe each Saturday have back to back episodes of the “good but unshown,” followed by all the bad from the audition cities.

  21. susela says:

    Two weeks (four episodes) of auditions would be more than sufficient. When I realized they’re STILL not in Hollywood this week, I decided not to watch ’till next week. Enough!

  22. Janet B says:

    Great episode.

    Your guests were terrific.

  23. sadie says:

    100% bored with sappy backstories. C’mon, we all have overcome a challenge or has a relative that has. I’d rather see what a contestant has done vocally to reach Idol auditions. I will ONLY vote for people like David Cook, who have a quality voice in their genre and don’t pimp their relatives.

  24. Vetle says:

    I saw Sarah Sellers’ golden ticket interview. She said this is the FIFTH time she auditioned. That’s crazy!

  25. annabelle4876 says:

    the videos won’t load for me. Is it just me?

  26. Cy says:

    Ahh, I love Idolatry–err, that is, Idoloonies! So glad you got to bring your awesome video editor (he of the snarky text comments~) with you when you moved to TV Line. I really love that “silent” extra commentator, so to speak, tossing in a few extra opinions here and there. LoL! (now if only Kristen Baldwin were here too)

    Keep up the great work, Slezak!!

  27. JBanana says:

    Love Idoloonies! But pleeease, could you get a video player that allows me to hit pause and load the entire video so I can watch it for more than 5 seconds at a time before it pauses and I’m stuck watching a little “loading dial” spinning round and round? It’s kind of driving me crazy.

    • Philip, Tallahassee says:

      Yes… Ditto…. what.. JBanana … said.. Your…. Vlog sounds… like … this… message… reads… :( …

  28. Angelo Barovier says:

    Make them IDOLOONIES workings now, pleases?

    (The vids aren’t loading for me. Haven’t been able to get ’em started in the last 24 hours. I want my Slezak/Averett fix, dammit!)

    (See, you brought out the Jack Bauer in me. Get it done, Chloe!)

  29. Hooch says:

    Yay! Was so happy to see Alexis Grace! She was my biggest disappointment in all of Idol History, in terms of people being unfairly booted before their time, followed (faaaar behind) by Didi Benami.
    Was very disturbed by the old angry crazy guy in LA, that was just uncomfortable and not at all funny.

  30. t.t says:

    can I just say Alexis looks HOT!

  31. Teece says:

    I would like to see more good audtions and NO MORE back stories in the audition rounds. It is not fair to other contestants when they hit the Top 24 or 20 or whatever and no one knows them. Some contestants already have a huge following. I would rather see an episode introducing the Top 24 that includes a one minute story on each. Oh, and I do not want to see any armadillos, cars, or costume clad auditioners.

  32. Pfitz says:

    Let me echo some of the comments about the technical problems with videos on your site. I had no problems with the first week of Idoloonies–now anything (Idoloonies + other videos) stops every 15-30 seconds to buffer…it’s damn annoying–and it’s not happening to me on or other sites, so it’s not my browser. Can you guys figure out what’s going wrong?