Idoloonies: Hollywood Week Hits (Casey) and Misses (Jordan)! Plus, Sarah Sellers Performs!

If American Idol was a theme park, then Hell Week would be its emotional roller coaster. With the combination of sudden-death a capella singing, mandatory group performances (with a variety of drama queens, layabouts, and control freaks), and additional solo performances backed by a full band, it’s no wonder the Hollywood rounds often feature more tears than triumphs, more disasters than delights.

This week on Idoloonies, my guest co-hosts and I discuss rounds two and three of season 10’s Hollywood Week, from the pure joy of The Minors’ rendition of “Somebody to Love” to the abject horror of Tiffany Rios’ wounded-animal choreography on “Irreplaceable.” We also discuss the pros and cons of the week’s breakout Idol stars (Casey Abrams and Jacob Lusk), put the smack-down on those who need it (Jordan Dorsey, James Durbin), give props to some under-the-radar favorites (hello, Kendra Chantelle!), and consider whether or not Nigel Lythgoe & Co.’s “chosen ones” are worth the excessive hype they’ve received over the last few weeks. Plus, we’ve got an interview and a performance of an original track from popular season 10 Golden Ticket recipient Sarah Sellers, footage of deep-voiced robots and Japanese horror flicks, and  an instructional video featuring classic Idol clips of Adam Lambert. How can you not press play on our five-part episode? I don’t know! You tell me! And for all my Idol-related ridiculata, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Michael B. says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE put an iOS friendly version up. :)

    • Suncatcher says:

      PUH-LEASE install user friendly anything but what you have now – it’s even making the entire page almost impossible to download.
      Friendly feedback!

    • Lunakit says:

      Sounds like a great segment of Idoloonies…. WISH I COULD SEE IT!!!

    • Kate says:

      I couldn’t agree more. As much as I love ya Slezak I’m about ready to give up on Idoloonies. Its just too dang frustrating try-y-y-ing to download and I just don’t have the time to wait for all 5 parts. Heck I haven’t been able to see part one yet and I’ve tried 3x already today. Thank God for Annie over @ EW, she’s keeping me laughing.

  2. y says:

    Please, please, please upload these videos on another player. They load so achingly slow for me.

  3. Tekkie says:

    Here I sit, iPhone in hand and I can’t watch idoloonies! What is up with that? Even EW got with the program and made the other series available for iOS devices. HELP! please……..

  4. Lo says:

    Thank you so much for getting Sarah on Idoloonies! How she didn’t make it past the first round, but people like Ashley Sullivan got through is beyond my comprehension.

  5. Andy G. says:

    Jason Castro poster girl (sorry didn’t catch your name) also had a Bernadette Peters/Elaine Stritch A Little Night Music windowcard, just giving a shout-out for good taste on that front!

  6. DJ says:

    James Durbin is a poor imitation of Adam Lambert. I agree Durbin is annoying too. I’m tired of Idol and their back stories. This season is the most annoying of all with all these sob stories. When is the X-Factor coming on? I can’t wait.

    That guy with the real deep voice and cowboy hat is annoying too.

    • Teena says:

      I am not sure that I am buying that James Durbin has Aspergers. Sioban Magnus from last year? Yes, this guy, no. I know a few people with Aspergers and have never seen such ego and emotion

      • Rob says:

        So I am a schoolteacher who has worked with Aspergers kids, and I wasn’t buying him and Aspergers at all. He even pronounced it wrong. I find it very off putting that they would point out this syndrome on him, but they take such joy in showing us these train-wreck auditions from kids who clearly are afflicted with this condition. The girl who died last year that had been shown twice in past seasons, even the guy in the suit that had Chaka Khan on his CD from this year. These folks more then likely were on the Autism spectrum, yet no mention.

        • Amy says:

          Well, it’s likely that those other contestants aren’t diagnosed with Asperger’s, even though they may have it. If they’re not diagnosed with it and/or haven’t disclosed it to the producers, then they wouldn’t mention it. If I recall correctly from his audition tape, James himself mentioned being diagnosed with Tourette’s and Asperger’s.

          I am by no means an expert on Asperger’s or Autism, but he seems extremely hihg-functioning to me if he is on the spectrum. I also find him annoying, but only part of it is his personality. The other part is his voice.

  7. Veruca Salt says:

    Thank you.

  8. Marisa says:

    Nice performance by Sarah. Very nice.

    • Howard Stern is on Twitter says:

      Waaay too much echo in her location. It didn’t sound good at all because of that, and her video chat also suffered from it as well. Maybe she needs more furniture to absorb the sound?

  9. kes says:

    These videos are not even microsoft friendly. I can’t see videos from both my mac and pc :(

    • KatyMay says:

      True, takes about one hour for each video to stop and start and stop and start…please, eliminated all the spyware cookies and upload a better video…’cause I love you dude…and wish I could see the videos! PS: It really pissed me off that they eliminated the tall girl with Lauren and Sophia. Shame Shame

  10. Eunice says:

    OMGAH to that song! I can’t even begin to describe the magnificence of that song. You guys are amazing for getting her on Idoloonies! :)

  11. Liz says:

    Sarah Sellers is incredible. How One Song Scotty McCreery made it over her is beyond me. I hope someone with power in the music industry watches this video and signs her immediately!!!!

  12. James says:

    Worth the wait…thanks as always Slezak!

    • forrest says:

      Agreed~! Thank you so very much Michael for the continuing Idol coverage. Good review of the highlights and lowlights. I understand you’re looking to others for a soundboard to play off of, but don’t let that limit your participation in the discussion. You’re more than a master of ceremony.

      • Louise says:

        Agreed! I was so relieved to find idoloonies after my sad discovery of Michael leaving EW – Idol isn’t very interesting without the awesome reviews. And I agree, like the new format, but love hearing from you too Michael – and showcasing old contestants and people eliminated way before they should have been!

  13. Adam says:

    Good job Slezak and the producer.
    So far I’m liking this season but I’ve already seen tons of backlash agains Lauren A, which is undeserved in my opinion.

  14. Micaela says:

    This is so frickin annoying.. It takes forever to download these videos! I miss Idolatry!

  15. Jill says:

    Hey Slezak: you might find this VERY interesting about Sophia Shorai.

    • Suncatcher says:

      @Jill – Wow! Thanks for sharing! Sophia is AMAZING. What a crystal clear voice – and I love her playing piano.

      Glad to see she is singing for commercials (and BIG ones, at that):
      Modern Music recruited her to sing a remake of the Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” for Target and “16, Going on 17” from “The Sound of Music” for State Farm Insurance.

      Will be watching for her tonight!

      • mada asin says:

        Really? Look up Sara Jane Olson, ( Sophia Shorai’s mother) and read her bio. Seems to me, AI will be giving her the boot as soon as her full back story gets out. Sophia’s mother, “member of SLA, allegedly kicked a pregnant woman in the abdomen while committing a bank robbery: was recently released from prison in 2009”, according to many news sources. I’m sorry but a former fugitives daughter is not the next American Idol.

    • Jonathan says:

      She’s playing tonight at the Dakota with Tommy Barbarella, formerly of Prince & The New Power Generation.

  16. BGW says:

    Was there an episode last week? Help!

  17. oriharakaoru says:

    lol omg “Not that Tim Gunn”. Dying!

  18. Julie says:

    For the love of Kradison, PLEASE get some kind of alternative for people who can’t use this player. I’d love to watch, but it’s impossible with this player!!!

  19. Timeline says:

    Ahhhhh. Adding to the chours requesting an iPad iPod touch version of idol loonies. Please!!!!

  20. Vetle says:

    Hmm! I loved this week’s edition of Idolatry. I have been looking at the spoilers list though, but I’m not going to say anything. :| I’m disappointed in myself for looking at it… I usually don’t do that.

    What will be the elimination song this year? I was listening to Crystal Bowersox’ album the other day. And I kinda felt like “Hold On” would make a good elimination song… I really dislike Chad Kroeger though. But, oh well. I’m kinda interested to see spesificly what will be the elimination song. A guy who reviews idol on youtube said that Adam Lambert’s aftermath was a possibility last year. Maybe this year? I kinda doubt it, but it’s not a bad choice.

  21. Karen says:

    I thought Sarah Sellars was terrific, I really liked her song. Loved her auditions, and it’s their loss that they didn’t put her through.

  22. Natalie says:

    I only watch Idol so Idoloonies will be even better. I think they need each other at this point.

  23. AmyW says:

    I am also having difficulty watching, it freezes every 30 seconds and it’s driving me crazy!

  24. Tricia says:

    I 100% agree about James Durbin being a rip-off of Adam Lambert. I remember during his audition, their in between commercial break voice-over would say something like “they found the best this season.” Uh… I don’t think so. In fact, I don’t think anyone agrees at all.

    • Marta says:

      A rip-off is right. There is no way that kid innately wails on notes and wears Steven Tyler scarves off his bum. And oh look- it appears 1 1/2 years is just enough time for him to see Adam on Season 8 and say, “Hmmm… I could do that. Now how can I look edgy….”

  25. Marta says:

    If they put James Durbin into the Top 24, I hope he makes a complete fool of himself, so there is no way anyone will think of voting for him. There, I said it.
    I haven’t been this frustrated about a polarizing contestant since Scott Savol. Thank goodness Crystal’s fantastic run last season put my home state of Ohio back in a happy place on Idol- cause Scott did no such thing.

  26. Allison says:

    Love the Sarah Sellers update! It would be great to see more of this kind of thing. Unrelated, but can we get an update on Alex Lambert? I loved him for a long time, but he seems a little douchy now…?

  27. rochelle says:

    fifteen year olds are not ready for the kind of attention and pressure being on idol will bring.

    and rarely do teenagers on competition shows ever get represented as anything but peppy and “adorable” (katie stevens) or naive and immature (david archuleta). luckily it worked a little better for archie.

    we don’t need a female justin bieber. we don’t need the freaking justin bieber we already have. a lot of people can get up on a stage and sing amazingly well. That’s not that rare. But in order to be a great performer you have to be able to relate to and feel the song you’re singing.

    i just can’t see that happening with lauren. she has a gift, for sure, a gift that would be much better put to use in 5 to 6 years.

    • I totally agree with the commentator this week about the producers pushing the 15 year olds really hard so it would justify the producers lowering the age limit. It is like what they did when they finally allowed instruments, I’m not saying Brooke White and ultimatley David Cook didn’t deserve to do very well, but him being able to play guitar and her being able to play piano and guitar really helped make the case for the instruments. But then last year kind of ruined that, because we were so inudated with instruments, so here’s hoping that American Idol proves once again that too much of a good thing ends up not being a good thing. They do it every year. Use it all up til there’s nothing left.

      • rochelle says:

        yes, i think the difference was that brook’s piano and cook’s guitar as well as kris’s guitar enhanced their performances. they weren’t hiding behind their instruments but using them to enhance the song.

        last year, the instruments were obviously a crutch and it made the season almost unwatchable.

        • Suncatcher says:

          @Rochelle – “…ALMOST unwatchable?!” How ’bout TOTALLY unwatchable? Season 9 should have been euthanized and put out of our misery! Kudos to whoever heard us tuning out – and put a lot of thought into repairing what was reeeeallly broken on Idol! This year is SO much better.

      • forrest says:

        I can already predict that Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber will be mentors this year for the 15 year olds….ugh. The idol agenda seems more forced this year than ever. Here’s hoping a more mature singer makes it through pushing past all that.

    • Amy says:

      Until idoloonies, I thought those girls were hired to sing with Lauren. Too bad they were real contestants that didn’t stand a chance, by merely choosing Lauren as their “group leader”.
      and Thanks to Michael for Idoloonies. Are you going to have any ‘My Little Ponies’ show up? Can’t remember why they were on your desk in the first place.

      • rochelle says:

        yes, i agree. those girls were completely screwed over by the idol machine just to let their chosen one shine a bit brighter.

        maybe i’m overreacting because i’m sure she’s a great kid, but the ridiculous pimping is making me want to vote against her on principle.

  28. claire says:

    Check out the full version of Caleb Hawley’s solo audition:

  29. Cuca says:

    What the hell were they thinking cutting Sarah Sellars?!

    • Snsetblaze says:

      My sentiments exactly (although the sound wasn’t great on this performance, it was a very good song. She should think about putting out her own album – plenty of singers do it now (and she’d get Slezack to promote it.)

  30. allie says:

    ugh. we got jacee and scotty but not her????

  31. wooster182 says:

    Perhaps Casey Abrams is still there because he is Steven Tyler’s “Janis Joplin.” He’s awkward, sweet, incredibly original, physically unique, young, intelligent, and sings the blues like he’s talking to the Lord at the gates of St. Peter. Would have loved to have seen Crystal and Casey in the same season. How great would that season finale duet have been?!!? Had these contestants been in season 9 rather than 10, what would have happened? I have a hard time believing paint salesman Lee would be our Idol winner. Crystal would have had a much harder time sticking out amongst the crowd, and quite possible Siobhan and James Durbin would have caused each other’s spontaneous combustion and exploded on Randy Jackson.

  32. Daisy says:

    Loved the videos, and so glad you had Sarah Sellers on. How about getting Sarah Ames (not sure how to spell her name since they never showed it on screen) next? I agree I thought she was great and was confused as to why she was cut. I’m still pulling for Stefano Langone, Molly Dewolf Swenson, and Hollie Cavanagh (I find myself loving the tone of her voice which is surprising to me after her awful audition). I’m definitely getting tired of all the 15 year olds, and won’t bother watching if the top 24 is teenager heavy (and I’m not even that old, I just like people to have some life experience and feel the music they sing).

  33. MsWrite says:

    Another great episode, Michael. I think I like your show more than the show. I can always rely on you to cut through the sound and fury and nail what’s going on. I had only passively seen Jordan and thought he was very good looking, but hadn’t seen some of his melodrama, so I’ll view a little more judiciously. I agree with all your other points, particularly Sarah – she is incredible. I thought that performance was beautiful and evocative. I’m an Adam stan, so thanks for setting the world straight on the difference of a trained rock wail and a random, forced screech (how anyone with one working ear can’t differentiate, is beyond me) . But it will fall on many deaf ears (no coincidence there). You rule, btw.

    Lauren: you’re right. Cute girl. Nice voice and personality, but I don’t get the “she’s god’s answer to the civil unrest in the Middle East meme.” And yeah, WTH with Scott McCreery? He makes it through??? Seriously. He’s like the extraneous fourth in a barber shop quartet. Yikes.

  34. chipp says:

    Srry Michael I dont share your w/e for Sarah sellers; she has a voice / accent a lot like yours!

  35. Dani C says:

    Love, thy name is idoloonies…i missed you last week Slezak! Loved the Audition reference this week….thats exactly how i was feeling about lauren a, but i didn’t know how to put it into words. I also love that you got sarah sellers on the show; god what a beautiful voice!! So i thought casey abrahms was awesome then you pointed out he was 17…and then his job said he works at film camp! i want to be this kids best friend….here’s hoping the top 20 was worth the wait!

  36. susan says:

    Sarah Sellers is awesome. So glad I’m not the only one annoyed by James Durbin. Loved the shout out to Stefano. Can’t wait to watch Casey this season (I hope.) Sure would like to have Sarah Sellers and Emily back in.

    LOVED this Idoloonies!

  37. sherimoonzombie says:

    Great stuff MS, but you MUST lose the atrocious tchotkes in the background. I can’t focus on the topic at hand with that gawdawful pink/aqua gewgaw (yes, it’s a word) staring over your right shoulder at me. **shudder**

  38. Emma says:

    Thanks for the reminder that James durbin isn’t really all that. Though to his behalf I can say that it was the producers that intentionally set him for the Adam comparison with the Adam clip at the start of the episode. We haven’t seen him (at least not yet) comparing himself to him. (But I see him as an asshat and if the producers only will get him on tape bragging to be better than Adam, they will with 100% certainity show it.)

    Also, I don’t get Stefano. Nice voice, but I can’t see him at all behind the italian sterotype.

  39. Rosa says:

    Sarah’s performance was lovely. Agree the other women in Lauren’s group should not have been cut.

    And Durbin, oh my God. He sounded like a tea kettle. When Adam screams, there’s a note there. Learning the difference might be a good thing. XD

  40. joseph vitug says:

    It would probably be nice if there is a youtube version of this as the player is indeed frustrating.

  41. Idol down under says:

    iPad compatible please!! It’s 2011 now!

  42. bobz yrunkle says:

    argh. player is horrid!

  43. Linda says:

    Michael, So glad I found you! I love your recaps and know I will enjoy Idoloonies! Keep you the good work!

  44. Linda says:

    Michael, So glad I found you! I love your recaps and know I will enjoy Idoloonies! Keep up the good work!

  45. Peteslat says:

    Please do something to allow these to download – too long to download and too many freezes in the middle. FWIW, I use windows.

    I love your programming but I’m about this close to never looking again because it is so annoying.

    If you’re gonna be online then make it happen.

  46. Jillian says:

    I thought Sarah was great. I loved that she didn’t try to come up with some cavalier reason why they didn’t move her forward … “there was a lot of talent” …

    • Amy says:

      Still we have to realize that people like Sarah, Devyn, Adrienne, and Lauren’s groupmates are casted out for something other than talent. Nigel and the powers that be have their reasons I’m sure, However I think Nigel & Co. are out of touch with what the viewers really want. A great story is fine, but at the end of the day I would like the singing to be better than the story.

  47. Jill says:

    sigh. Idoloonies never loads for me. I am disapointed. :(

  48. Presh says:

    Seriously, I think Adam Lambert and James Durbin are equally annoying and unlistenable.

    • Rosa says:

      Different tastes, and all, which is totally fine – the high note thing is not for everyone. But Adam at least holds a note there when he does it, whereas Durbin… tries.

  49. Scooter says:

    Videos all played fine for me on my PC. To all who complained…It’s not me, it’s you.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Hey Scooter – let’s see, 85 comments, 84 noted they could not easily get the video to download but you, Scooter, were the 1 who could and therefore the rest of us are idiots? Son, your ego is the size of Newark.

      • Erica says:

        It’s not just one, I don’t have a problem either, but I can certainly sympathize with those who do…I’ve been waiting impatiently for this week’s fix of Idoloonies!

        • Philip, Tallahassee says:

          Can any geeks out there explain why this player works well for some and not well for others. Love Idoloonies :) hate the player (my computer) :(

  50. wtf says:

    Slezak – please no more Sarah Sellers. And already had enough of Lauren and the way she always sucks up to Steven Tyler. Yech. She’s not that great.