American Idol Recap: Woman on the Verge of a Judging Breakdown

It was a tale of two telecasts tonight on American Idol. Act One found the sanctity of marriage getting punched in the kidney by a pair of craven fameosexuals (even worse than it sounds), a grizzled clairvoyant predicting the untimely death of a pair of wide-eyed teenage contestants (much funnier/more inspirational than it sounds), and Randy Jackson offering perhaps the worst advice of his 10-season Idol tenure (no small accomplishment, that). Act Two (aka The Jennifer Lopez Empathy Hour) was most notable for revealing five of the 24 season 10 semifinalists, ousting a contestant whose backstory was far more impressive than his singing voice, and ending with a rhetorical question disguised as a cliffhanger. “Will Jennifer find the strength to continue?” asked Ryan Seacrest in his enthusiastic-puppy-newscaster voice. Um, is the obscene pileup of diamonds on the lady’s ring finger worth more than your annual salary?

But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover before we get to J.Lo’s end-of-episode tears: A trip to Vegas featuring magnificent duets on “Something” and “Blackbird.” The fate of the White House intern! And “Chosen One” Lauren Alaina getting shoved so far down our throats that it might be time to call in a gastroenterologist and get the results of our Idoloscopy. Okay, okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite that extreme. Either way, let’s recap the action chronologically tonight — since there were too many moving parts to break it down any other way.

Ryan got the party started by telling us that of the 327 contestants who’d made it all the way to Hollywood, 61 would be on their way to Vegas as part of a lucrative corporate marriage with Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE show. None of this impressed “vocal coach from hell” Peggi Blu (pictured, right), who pointed her weapons at wispy young things Thia Megia and Melinda Ademi and shot them full of harsh truths. “If you’re still reading your lyrics, you’re not ready to do this gig!” “You’re gonna die on that stage!” “Sing, damnit!” “Bury her ass on that stage!” “Welcome to the jungle baby, you’re gonna diiiiiiiiiiie!” Wait, if Simon Cowell is still casting for U.S. X Factor judges, I think we’ve just found his woman.

It’s a shame Nigel Lythgoe didn’t have the good sense to foist Peggi on all the kids who thought it was perfectly okay that — despite harboring dreams of being singers — they could remain in blissful ignorance of the Beatles’ songbook. (That’d be kind of like calling yourself a horse racing aficionado without ever having heard the name Secretariat.) I mean, imagine Peggi at the front of a classroom, clutching her big knuckle-rapping ruler, schooling her lackadaisical pupils about John, Paul, George, and Ringo?

But Peggi wasn’t the only harsh critic stalking the contestants backstage. Interscope Records chief and Season 10 mentor Jimmy Iovine listened in on contestants’ rehearsals and wasn’t bothering with any Paula Abdul-style “you look lovely today” feedback. “You ain’t gonna win singing that song,” he barked at Lauren Alaina, Denise Jackson, and Scotty McCreary, as they performed “If I Fell.” Cut to Lauren getting more screentime sobbing in the bathroom. And then cut to her laughing with delight from the audience of The Beatles: LOVE, as Ryan tells us what a “whimsical dream” the stage has become to her.

And just like that, it was time for the various duos and trios to get their Beatles on. Stefano Langone and James Durbin kicked things off with “Get Back,” the former displaying some intriguing ability to riff off the beat, the latter clad in a goofy headband, double-breasted vest, and tail of trailing scarves. I can’t tell you how the end of their performance sounded, though, because a pair of alley cats somehow snuck in off the street, hid under my television, made a wretched racket, and then magically disappeared. Steven Tyler, however, sort of praised James for going “up to squeak-land” on the high notes, while Randy pulled off the impossible feat of earning a paycheck by telling Stefano “it started off a lil’ slow, like you a lil’ kind of timid there, you like ‘Awww man,’ and I was like ‘Yo, come on, kick in, man, kick in, I know you got it,’ and finally you got it together.”

Next up, Pia Toscano and Her Swinging Arm and Karen Rodriguez Sponsored By MySpace, delivered “Can’t Buy Me Love” with bland competence, decent harmonies, and (to quote J.Lo) “beautiful smiles.” “You jumped the fence and ran off into the field,” said Steven, inexplicably conjuring up the image for me of the cow jumping over the moon. I’d have been more interested in their story of being high-school buddies had it not been conducted inside what looked like the lobby of Coca-Cola’s HQ as designed by a nine-year-old girl.

Jacob Lusk, Naima Adedapo, and Haley Reinhart then got to star in one of those segments where Ryan’s voiceover tell you something that’s in direct opposition to everything you see and hear on screen. In their rehearsal of “The Long and Winding Road,” a spot-on Mr. Iovine told them the worst thing they could possibly do is oversing all the time. In fact, Bono would still be performing at cafes in Dublin if he didn’t learn how to harness his vocal power, Jimmy told Jacob. “But will the judges agree less is more?” asked Ryan, as the trio began to sing. Hold up just a second! THIS was supposed to signify LESS? Haley’s affected, slurred delivery included the made-up word “Beef-oh-oh-oh-oh” where a simple “before” would’ve sufficed. Jacob did everything short of swallowing the microphone so we could hear the notes erupting from their point of origin in his diaphragm. And Naima, while a bit shouty, was at least clean and direct in her delivery. Making matters worse, the trio ended by keeping their feet on the ground and (quite literally) reaching for the stars — as if under the cheesy spell of Casey Kasem.

And here’s where Randy proved unequivocally that Idol should’ve thrown The Dawg out with Ellen DeGeneres’ bathwater. “Don’t hold back, Jacob, ever. Go for it baby, you got the gas in the car, drive it and go, put the pedal down!” squawked the longest-running judge, likely erasing all the good Mr. Iovine had done the previous day. Jacob responded he’d been advised to be “extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely cautious” and that he “didn’t want to take it all the way to Ebenezer Baptist.” But Randy could not leave it alone. “Yo, baby, yo, hey, many people live in Ebenezer Baptist, baby, so whatevuh,” he declared. “Do you, always do you, when in doubt, do you!” Please tell me I wasn’t the only one screaming a stream of expletives at my TV screen.

Thankfully, Rachel Zevita appeared moments later (in a veil!) with a soulful snippet of “Eleanor Rigby,” followed closely by Lauren Turner belting “Let It Be” with perhaps more power than control. These interludes preceded what I’d say were probably the night’s three strongest Beatles performances.

Tim Halperin (the Idol version of The Office‘s Jim Halpert!) and Julie Zorrilla sat at dueling pianos to start a gentle, lilting rendition of “Something,” and not even Julie’s “Susanna Hoffs sexy side-eye” midway through the performance could distract from the restrained intimacy of it all. Here were two people gauging their delivery to add to the song’s emotional impact, out-harmonizing every other Beatles duo and trio, and not missing a note in the process. Outstanding!

Aside from a cacophonous final harmony, LaKeisha Lewis, Tatynisa Wilson, Jermone Bell showcased big vocals and plenty of energy on “I Saw Her Standing There.” I haven’t cared much for Jerome’s over-the-top style in previous performances, but I thought he was especially solid tonight — and I even liked the way the gold epaulets on his shirt matched his sneakers. Of all the performances Randy and J.Lo could’ve criticized, I’m not getting why these cats inspired their lukewarm response.

Still, for me, the Performance of the Night went to Kendra Chantelle and Paul McDonald’s “Blackbird.” I felt like the judges’ critiques were edited to heap more praise on Paul — and certainly the delicate beauty of his vocals warranted enthusiastic response — but I felt Kendra was every bit his equal, in particular that exquisite high note she hit toward the end of the song. Here’s hoping if she makes the top 24 along with Paul (who bears a strong resemblance to Alias-era Bradley Cooper), Nigel Lythgoe & Co. will allow both singers more of these tender moments, as opposed to jacking the band up to maximum volume and decimating any hope of recreating the quiet brilliance of “Blackbird.”

Because Idol is Idol, we were quickly brought back to (Middle) Earth by She Whose Wedding Must Not Be Discussed (except to point out the horrific comedy of our blushing bride threatening to kill her beleaguered groom in his sleep). The most nauseating televised wedding since Trista and Ryan’s Pepto-Bismol-colored Bachelorette extravaganza signaled a sudden and steady decline in performance quality, beginning with Thia and Melinda’s “Here Comes the Sun,” a performance so stiff that it had me looking for the marionette strings attached to the comely teenagers’ limbs. “Oh Lord,” said Peggi, sitting in the stands and ruing the day she ever laid eyes on her disappointing pupils. Inexplicably, Randy made it a point to praise Thia’s phrasing, which is quite possibly the very worst thing about her as a singer.

Next up, The Bride went down in a hail of botched notes and uncomfortable cadences during “We Can Work It Out,” and poor Sophia Shorai was caught in the crossfire.

And then there was a rendition of “Hello Goodbye” by Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreary, and Denise Jackson that began in a British phone box and ended somewhere in the close vicinity of hell. My eyes and ears were struggling to latch on to something — anything, really — during this audio-visual assault: Denise’s ill-advised hotpants and distracting arm tattoo, Scotty’s squat-and-release stance, Lauren’s lacy stockings, the way the lead vocal got passed around like a hot potato, Lauren’s cutesy “where’d they go?” face before sprinting after her mates, that damn voice of Scotty’s, the girls’ breathiness trying to run and sing “goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, hello!” If you saw it for yourself, then you know Steven’s “Marx Brothers putting out a fire” critique was strangely apt.

Side note: Did anyone else out there wish that Carson Higgins and Caleb Hawley had done a partner swap with Casey Abrams and Chris Medina? Because, frankly, Carson’s total lack of singing ability dragged the somewhat promising Caleb into the deadly Idol undertow, while Casey has never sounded anything like he did during the unfortunate harmonies with Chris on “A Hard Day’s Night.” (Out of respect for Casey’s awesome Hollywood Week solo on “Georgia on My Mind,” I shan’t mention the mattress shenanigans that occurred during the latter performance.)

The final Vegas group — Aaron Sanders, Robbie Rosen, and Jordan Dorsey singing “Got to Get You Into My Life” in front of a white neon cross — introduced Aaron as an intriguing contestant who’s received the Witness Protection edit for the past five weeks, confirmed Robbie as a definite season 10 front-runner, and exposed Jordan as merely the third-best guy in a three-guy formation (and not just because he was so unlikeable during the Hollywood group rounds). Aaron’s natural voice is as strong as any guy’s we’ve heard this season, while Robbie is perhaps just a good (short) haircut away from teen heartthrob status. (Seriously, the kid has major pipes, and unlike, say, a David Archuleta or an Aaron Kelly, he can actually move.)

At the end of Beatles round, we said adieu to roughly 20 singers, including Carson, Caleb, Denise, Sophia, Melinda, The Bride, and… Molly DeWolf Swensen??? Something’s rotten in Vegas, people, when the White House intern, so smolderingly good in her audition round cover of “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” is not allowed to sing a single additional note on screen before getting unceremoniously dumped right before the final judgment day. Perhaps she can get the Department of Reality Television to investigate? Or maybe not. As Molly so interestingly put it, perhaps singing will/should remain one of her side passions, and not her primary focus in life. (Chew on that, tearful Idol auditioners who reach for the smelling salts at the mere mention of having to do something other than singing for a living. Behold what the twin powers of education and ambition can do for you!)

The second half of tonight’s episode saw five singers advance to the semifinals, and five singers fall painfully short of their goal (which means, if my math is right, we’ll get 19 more “yeses” and 11 more “nos” on tomorrow’s telecast). Let’s review how the drama played out:

Naima Adedapo – YES: One of the season’s most likeable contestants walked the “Green Mile” in a dress Madonna might have worn in her “Take a Bow” video, had that video been shot in color, and had Madge ever favored aquamarine sparkles. We got to see Naima’s strong but slightly overwrought “Girl Put Your Records On” (her post-Beatles solo) and hear her tell J.Lo she once dreamed of being an In Living Color “Fly Girl.”

Hollie Cavanagh – NO: The kid with the disastrous, tearful audition showcased a lovely tone on her final solo, a muscular, straightforward rendition of “No One.” Alas, one of the season’s most interesting turnarounds was cut short, as J.Lo got outvoted by Randy and Steven.

Alex Ryan – NO: How do you advance to the top 40 without having one performance deemed worthy of airtime by the show’s producers? Let’s ask Alex. “Well, you see…” [Cue sound of an orchestra beginning “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).”] Aw, frak, the band is playing him off.

Lakeisha Lewis – NO: Well, at least they let us hear a few seconds of her vocals during Beatles round, right?

Clint Jun Gamboa – YES: Brought more of his showboating style to Lionel Richie’s “Hello” for his final solo performance, but once again, the producers reminded us that Clint didn’t play nice in the sandbox with cherubic Jacee Badeaux. The only way Clint can turn this ship around would be to team up with Lassie to rescue the little fella the next time he falls down a well (which he totally will).

Haley Reinhart – YES (GAH!): For her final solo, Haley chose to forgo the pedestrian combination of words and notes, and instead ran together a whole bunch of vowels and consonants while caterwauling like a woman with jumper cables attached to her pinky toes. Haley is far and away the front-runner for Season 10 Contestant I Do Not Get. She’s a “happy girl,” noted Steven. J.Lo’s ominous response? “Today, she is.” Wonder who Jennifer woulda swapped out for Hollie Cavanagh, eh?

Deandre Brackensick – NO: Apparently, awe-inspiring hair, a pretty voice, and the ability to play an instrument aren’t enough for a polite teenage boy to make it in the music business anymore. Unless your name is Justin Bieber, that is.

Paul McDonald – YES: More footage, please? There’s a hot solo of “Landslide” in Hollywood Week. And — whoa! — there’s Paul in a white sequined suit emblazoned with red roses singing an original track called “American Dreams” (thanks, Internet!). The guy has a voice that’s one part Van Morrison, one part Adam Levine, and one part Rod Stewart, but he needs to be cautious about pulling faces when he starts really feeling the music. That caveat aside, can I just say I’m glad I kept Paul on the Idol Leaderboard the last few weeks despite the fact that Uncle Nigel was keeping him locked in the basement?

Ashton Jones – YES: I’m gonna try not to be swayed by Ashton’s looks and spectacular fashion sense but Oh! Em! Gee! She! Is! So! Purdy! I’m a little scared that she chose the cursed Idol anthem “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” in the “sing for your life” segment, but Group Round choice of jaunty “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops)” cancels it out.

Chris Medina – NO: Can I get a slow clap for Steve, J.Lo, and Randy? Because as much as Idol played up the emotional backstory of the tragic accident that left Chris’s fiancée with a brain injury, the dude never exhibited the kind of vocal talent worthy of being one of the final 12 men in the competition. And his unfortunate choice of Coldplay’s “Fix You” made an underwhelming and vaguely creepy final impression. (Yeah, I know, the song probably held personal meaning for Chris, but at a certain point, contestants should be cognizant of the ways the Idol Machine will manipulate and exploit their backstories, and ought to select their songs accordingly, no?)

J.Lo broke the news to Chris gently, then had a tearful breakdown in which she muttered something about not wanting to go on with the final round of rejections. I’m sure she’ll get flak from viewers for turning on the waterworks for the cameras, but honestly, I almost got choked up just watching Chris’s ouster tonight — and I was rooting for his elimination — so I’m willing to cut some slack to a judge who’s actually been actively invested in the season 10 proceedings. After all, would we rather have Idol judges who care too much, or ones who don’t care at all?

What did you think of tonight’s show? Did J.Lo’s tears move you, or just make you roll your eyes? Were you shocked or delighted by any of the cuts? How are you feeling about the talent level of the folks who advanced to the top 24 so far? Sound off in the comments below!

What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the next episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or iChat (to tape on Friday afternoon). We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

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  1. L says:

    I’m on the “rolling my eyes” side with Jennifer Lopez, it didn’t seem genuine. I would have liked to hear more from Caleb Hawley, he had a great quality in his voice from the little snippet we heard last week. Can’t stand Clint and I’m sick of Lauren Alaina already, was glad to see Chris Medina wasn’t put through just because of the backstory. We’ll see.

    • Michael says:

      I’ve never been a J-Lo fan, but I didn’t find the tears to be fake or staged. A good many of us wanted to see Chris ousted. He didn’t deserve to be on stage with some of the other singers, but his story is a good one, an inspiring one. It takes a very good human being to stay with a woman ravaged physically and mentally by misfortune. I’m sure that they were all hoping that he’d make it. Those were real tears and much better than the alternative Cowell sneer which, heading into season 9, was getting old and, perhaps, staged.

    • Margie says:

      Yeah, I totally don’t believe her waterworks. Paula was every bit as vulnerable to the contestants, and she never sobbed. I see Uncle Nigel behind that sham.

    • Jill says:

      I didn’t find them to be fake either, but I was definitely on the “rolling my eyes” side of J. Lo’s tears. It’s all well and good that she got upset after every. single. contestant she kicked off, but it’s not about her, and I wish they’d spent a little more time showing contestants singing than watching her cry over something that will ultimaly impact her life in no way.

    • betsy says:

      Shame on all you cynical judgmental people. JLo has proven herself to be a really great judge – and remember when she was a mentor, how much she impressed everyone – you have no reason to doubt her sincerity. I think she really does care about the contestants and doesn’t want to hurt them. (and really, she’s a good actress, but not a great enough actress to have been faking that display of emotion).

      • Ruby says:

        I agree with all of this except the “good actress” part.

      • McFudge says:

        Plus, J-Lo was victim of the Idol edit. They must have talked about and shown a preview of her “dramatic breakdown” 55 times before they showed the actual scene. It was actually very brief, but the Idol build-up made it seem much worse than it really was.

    • Melly says:

      I actually think J.Lo is much more sympathetic than Paula. Paula always seemed a little distant to me and often disingenuine. So far, J.Lo’s been amazing, shelling out critique when necessary, and encouragement when needed. I thought her final words to Hollie were very touching, and I doubt any judges in the past would ever have the guts to do that. She treated these people like human beings and not just contestants on a reality show. I felt that she truly cared for them and because of that, it was difficult for her to tell them no when their time finally came.

      • Bill says:

        Agree completely with the positive assessment of J.Lo. I haven’t been a fan or a hater of Ms. Lopez, but I think her attitude as AI judge has been exemplary, and I find myself liking her more and more as the weeks go on. She and S.Ty are so far above Cowell that it’s hard to believe I ever liked the show when Simon was spewing his venom. Randy should learn learn learn from Jennifer and Steven. They are awesome; he is awful.

        • veronica says:

          Bill, you’ve really summed up my experience of watching Idol this season. I end up having a big grin on my face every time, mainly because of the wonderful two new judges, who bring a humanity that only adds to the entertainment factor.

    • Pam says:

      Not only did J Lo’s tear’s not seem genuine, they were invisible. If she had truly cried and we could see it, I might have believed it. As far as I could tell, however, it was nothing but crocodile tears and more proof of her inability to act. It was past time for Chris to go home, although I’m worried they’ll bring him back for the wild card round. Ugh.

    • Erica says:

      I would have been moved by J Lo’s tears if they hadn’t been shoved down my throat by the Idol machine, inc. Ryan’s voiceovers. My unfortunate reaction to any Idol attempt to manipulate my emotions is to turn into the world’s worst hard heart.

      • Shannon says:

        Agreed. And then there was the whole editing job on top of it.
        Leave it to Idol to make a genuine moment feel awkward and fabricated.

  2. Eli says:

    Another Slezakian Masterpiece!

    And no Mr. Slezak, you weren’t the only one shouting at Randy for his abysmal advice to Jacob Lusk. Never thought I’d say this, but where’s a Simon when you need one…

    • DL says:

      Agreed. However, I think Jimmy Iovine may be the Simon you’re looking for. First chance he gets, I foresee him knocking Randy’s stupid advice out of Jacob’s head with a ten ton baseball bat. And yeah, this was an awesome read. I cracked up at the “telephone booth” bit.

      • Eli says:

        Forgive me, but what exactly is Jimmy Iovine’s role going to be this Season? I wasn’t aware he’s a permanent part of the show?

      • RT says:

        I so hope you’re right. I like Jacob and think he has a great voice, but he really does need to learn that restraint and subtlety can go a long way toward making a singing performance special. Even with his all-out singing, I still prefer him to James Durbin who sounds screechier each time he sings.

      • jado says:

        I wish they could have gotten Jimmy Iovine to sit in Randy’s chair this year. Now that would be something….a harsh, but truthful music producer, who could guarantee to have more useful advice than Simon ever did. I guess the man is too busy for that level of time commitment.

        • McFudge says:

          What I like was how he was not just harsh for harsh’s sake, he was constructive in his criticism.

        • Joy says:

          It actually seems like Iovine’s time commitment will at least equal that of the judges, if he’s mentoring every week. I think the role they’ve given him will actually allow him to have more influence on the contestants than judging, since he’ll be involved in the process of choosing songs, arranging, rehearsing, etc. — not just giving them minute-long soundbites after the fact. As viewers we might not get to see as much of him, but hopefully his role will mean we get to see better performances!

    • Angela Bradley says:

      “Welcome to the jungle baby, you’re gonna diiiiiiiiiiie!”–bwaaaahahahaha!
      “Susanna Hoffs sexy side-eye” — another gem!
      And I totally thought of Bradley Cooper when I saw Paul McDonald.
      Michael Slezak is my secret Santa bff except he’s not a secret to me and it’s not Christmas but I get awesome little presents from him every Thursday and Friday morning!

    • JBanana says:

      Agreed!!! Brilliant, hilarious recap, Michael!

  3. B.Rich says:

    Did anyone else notice Katharine McPhee’s mom was one of the vocal coaches?

  4. Sincy says:

    Not sure I get the love for Kendra in the recap. I thought she was a bit painful in her duet. Jacob really over sung the song. I wanted the eye glass guy and Lauren to pack up and go.

    But, I think there are some worthy people in the group. I hope.

  5. Sue says:

    Randy officially became Mr. Irrelevant. Tonight’s episode showed how out of whack he is musically (as of right now). Jimmy Iovine’s pedigree is much more distinguished than Randy and he gave, IMHO, great advice to Jacob Lusk. You can’t ALWAYS take it to church. Jimmy Iovine may be the best addition to the American Idol crew.

    • Harmony says:

      Randy’s always irrelevant. A phonebook would do a better job than him.

      • Shannon says:

        lol, true. He couldn’t even judge a phone book.
        Um, but… I’m a little disappointed that Steven Tyler recycled one of Randy’s godawful “It was all right for me” lines last night. Oh well. At least he seemed emotionally connected when he said it.

    • McFudge says:

      I definitely wanted to throw something at Randy when he told Jacob to always bring everything he’s got. Not that I’m surprised; Randy always loves the singers who think doing an entire songful of runs means they’re “making it their own.” Nope.

  6. mikey says:

    Bravo Mr Slezak…

    I enjoy your roundups as much as Idol itself! You are a terrific writer

  7. Harmony says:

    Spot on Slezak. As always. :D

  8. Harmony says:

    Spot on review Slezak. As always. :D

  9. Kathgal says:

    Paul McDonald = Kenny Loggins. Tell me you didn’t think that when he was singing Blackbird!!

    • Laura says:

      I told my daughter the same thing last night!

    • jado says:

      Oh my god, you’re right. He does look like Kenny Loggins – albeit, a cool Kenny Loggins, but that’s a great observation.

      Randy frustrates the hell out of me. His advice is off the mark or non-existent, and he has no personality/charm to make up for that fact. Please let this be his last season. If he left, I don’t think there’s be even the smallest outcry.

    • zaza says:

      I thought Kenny Loggins too. Paul McDonald is sooo refreshing to listen to.

    • JenR says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

  10. no to randy says:

    You said it Michael! When Randy said to Jacob to go all the way and do whatever, erasing Jimmy Iovine’s much needed wisdom…well he has just ruined this guy’s career!

  11. J says:

    Always a treat to read your recap, Michael. Thank you for the energy and creativity. To answer your questions:

    1. Rolling of eyes: Jennifer Lopez would be on the verge of awesome AI addition if it weren’t for the relapses into shameless self-promotion.
    2. Ambivalent about the cuts: too little information (i.e. no more examples of DeWolf’s singing).
    3. Talent level of contestants: seems to be better than usual (could be a matter of relativity though as last season was so generally disappointing).
    4. Gratuitous opinion: am loving Steven Tyler as a judge!

  12. Jenny says:

    The “American Dreams” song is from Paul’s band, The Grand Magnolias, and it’s only just one of a bunch of good songs on the CD. It’s on iTunes still, and I totally adore “Please Believe Me”, which is the final song on the album. Definitely worth checking out. =)

    He’s currently my top pick right now, based on the album alone.

    • Dani C says:

      It’s true ya’ll! Just downloaded (thanks for the tip Jenny) and it kinda rocks. Between Paul and Casey Abrams, maybe this season still has a chance. I do hate the idol producers for making me hate a 15 year old girl; i swear to god, i wanna throw Lauren into a hole, silence of the lambs style. Also, why is she dressed liked a featured dancer at the ice capades? (got a glimpse last night and it ain’t pretty). Love you Slezak!

      • Joe says:

        Lauren is the Tonya Harding of this competition. If I were Julie Zorilla, I’d watch out for my knees.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Made me laugh. :-)

          Except, they aren’t in the same AI category – Lauren is “Cute blonde chick” (CBC) and Julie is “Pageant Queen”.

          Julie is the much better vocalist of the two. I’d been a bit lukewarm about her up until now (and not because she’s pretty – Sleazak, what do you have against pretty women?) but her peformance last night on “Something” convinced me she belongs there.

      • BR says:

        It’s ok to hate 15 year old Lauren. Between the oversinging, pandering to Steven Tyler, and horrible fashion sense, there is plenty to despise. I think Lauren’s mom gave her the leftovers she bought at Forever 21.

    • Scarlett says:

      Just downloaded the album. Great. I’ve never had a fave this early.

      • Ashley says:

        I just bought the album as well. I’m totally digging it. This guy is for real. He’s got raw talent. I’m really hoping a seasoned performer wins this year. No 15 year old winner please.

  13. MBR says:

    While I thought that Jennifer Lopez was a little over the top, it was nice to see the judges seem like they care about the contestants this year, as opposed to years past. I can’t believe that Idol tried to turn it into a cliffhanger, like she might not continue. PUHLEEZE!

  14. Scott says:

    The ONLY thing that matters in this show for me is whether or not we end up with a crop of potential female rockers…without them, um, we have nothing more than the same commonplace garb they’ve threw at us cosntantly for over two decades now…Chris should have went thru and Jennifer overacted, but none of this matters if all we get to choose from once again(yawn) are “little beyonces” and “timberfakes” with a country wannabee thrown in for good measure…So Steven tyler dude, shame on you if this doesn’t happen!

  15. stefanie says:

    I thought one of the big changes this year was that they were not having a top 24. Did I miss something? What prompted the reversal?

  16. Chris says:

    I thought Jlo was genuinely upset but I thought they showed way too much of her crying. She took it worse than Chris did. This season made its first real mistake with the mentoring/coaching. I was so glad that this year was going to have more support for the singers. Iovine’s sneering condescention and Peggi’s foul mouth were not what I was hoping for. It was especially awful to see such young contestants being subjected to it. Where were their mothers?

    • Melly says:

      Maybe Peggi was a bit over the top, but Iovine is one of the big hitters in the music industry and he really needs to whip these wannabes into shape. They’ll come back stronger because of it, hopefully.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Lovine gave excellent advice. Randy negated it. Peggi needs to be arrested for child abuse. She is EVIL.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Suncatcher – I agree. I was enjoying the “positive vibe” this season and Peggi the Vocal Coach from Hell just made me uncomfortable, particularly with those very young girls.

        There was also something annoying about Lovine sitting there with all of his “peeps”. Reminded me of a darned rap star with his “entourage” only not as nicely dressed and without the jewelry. What’s up with that? Hope it stops.

  17. A.D. says:

    Paul McDonald IS Kenny Loggins. He’s even more Kenny Loggins than Loggins’ own singer/songwriter son, Crosby, who won that “Rock the Cradle” show. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t bust out “Footloose” or “I’m Alright” for the inevitable ’80s theme week.

    • Amy says:

      Thank You. I can’t stand Rod Stewart, but Kenny Loggins is great. Glad I can hear Paul with less of Rod and more of Kenny.

  18. Larry says:

    If the J.Lo crying had just ended with her being sad she had to tell Chris no, then fine. But the fact that it ended with Randy and Steven reassuring her that SHE DID A GOOD JOB TELLING HIM NO made me seriously roll my eyes. I think it’s crappy of the producers to keep harping on the whole Clint/Jacee BS, and when Randy (for the second time) did the “didn’t something happen with you and someone else, was it, wait, Jacee?” I screamed at the TV. God bless Paul McDonald. He and Casey Abrams may be the saving grace of this show. But with AI allowing Facebook voting I think the show will swing toward the tween-friendly hearthrob again…

  19. Owen says:

    Found this from a Facebook friends posting trail:
    “If you are going to get married on American Idol, shouldn’t you wash your hair?”
    “Or plastic surgery. that girl looks like a big lots manager”

    • Yo says:

      That’s really mean. I liked her, even though she was not put together – or perhaps BECAUSE she was not put together. She had personality; it’s a curse.

    • J says:

      Wow – super mean. Soooo…to draw a parallel:

      If you are a human being, shouldn’t you have a heart? And…If you are going to post on a Facebook public forum, shouldn’t you have at least a little wit and/or tact?

    • Gary says:

      I think she looks like old Judy Garland.

  20. amanda says:

    Great recap!

    I think JLo’s tears were genuine. Even though I thought Chris wasn’t good enough to put through, his backstory is so touching and I was brought to tears. I can imagine it was really hard to tell him ‘No’ after knowing what he had been through with his fiance.

    I am loving Steven Tyler and JLo this season!! I don’t miss the old judges one bit!

    • RT says:

      I agree. I would rather have judges who genuinely seem to care about the contestants than some who don’t care at all. It’s not her fault that the producers decided to showcase her crying as much as they did. I think it was the right call to let Chris go, but he handled it with grace and class. I am a fan of him as a person and wish him the best in life.

  21. Owen says:

    Didn’t anyone find it weird that the person Randy and Stephen were having to seriously console was the million dollar singer/actress while the young man who’s dreams were just crushed had to get into that van all alone…?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      No – I think the producers played up the drama, though, for TV purposes. I’m sure J-Lo did want to see Chris suceed. Put yourself in her shoes – it’s a great fantasy to think of Chris making it big and taking care of his fiancee. But, J-Lo made it big through hard work and Chris can do it as well, even if it isn’t on American Idol.

  22. Kate says:

    STILL haven’t been able to get Idoloonies to load. At least one segment (Lambert) was posted on YouTube and I could see that. Could someone else post the rest of it there ’cause I’d love to see it :)

  23. Saracen Riggins says:

    J.Lo’s tears didn’t cause me to roll my eyes – just the producers choice to play it up so big. That’s what makes me roll my eyes. I do believe she was genuinely affected by that situation. But showing us just a touch of that would have sufficed.

    I was absolutely irritated with Randy for telling Jacob Lusk to over-do it every time. Annoying. Looking forward to the rest of the 24 being revealed tonight! Come on, Casey!

  24. Eli says:

    Am I the only one who thought Julie Zorrilla sounded very much like Brooke White in her Beatles duet?

  25. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    Kudos, Mr. Slezak, on another masterful recap of an overly long, overly dramatic episode. And double kudos for pointing out Paul Mcdonald’s resemblance to the studly Bradley Cooper! I’m pretty happy with three of the Top 20 selected last night, and can’t wait to see how long it takes for American to turn on Clint Jun Gamboa for his Hollywood week shennanigans. I’m hoping Haley makes it to the top 8 or so, for the entertainment value alone. That girl can sure massacre a song, can’t she?

    • darcy's evil twin says:


      Hey, Ghost – get a grip! You are seriously looking forward to several more weeks of that????

  26. JeffNYC says:

    I just didn’t get the judges’ love for Jacob. He totally oversang that song, and he was off key to boot!!! I don’t get that guy…he’s got a great set of pipes but his act is getting old very fast. And we’ve only seen him for 2 weeks!!!

  27. Amy says:

    Caleb H. did get thrown under the bus by his partner. Glad Chris was let go of gently.
    I’m mostly interested in tonight. Worried that Jacee & Screamer will be put through. I already know Lauren is a yes.
    Tim Halperin, Julie Zorilla, and Kendra should sail through based solely on their beatles duets. So Talented and beautiful singing.

    • Marta says:

      I felt for both Caleb AND Ashley Sullivan’s partner (Sophia I believe?) Interesting that they can spend so much time playing out the putting-together-groups drama in Hollywood, and yet we get no info as to how they are put together for the Beatles. My guess is contestant’s choice with some shades of producer-manipulation. In any case, Caleb and Sophia sure did draw the short end of the stick.

  28. donie says:

    Disappointed that Hollie didn’t make it through. In Hollywood, she had good performances. If Thia makes it tonight, it will be all the more disappointing.

  29. Allie says:

    Slezak, we are always on the same page! I am totally aghast at all the love for Haley – I cringe every time she comes on camera. I’m over the “Look at me, I’m so cute and Southern” Lauren, which is sad because I think I would actually enjoy her singing if she wasn’t continually shoved down the viewers throats. And I’ll admit that I actually got choked up at J. Lo’s tearful good-bye to Chris Medina. The difference with her is that whereas in the past the judges seemed to take sick pleasure in saying no to these wannabes, she seemed genuinely heartbroken. All in all, a good episode!

  30. Marta says:

    1. I continue to be impressed by Robbie Rosen. I’m sure he’ll get through- at which point we’ll see how he presents himself during the voting rounds. I really think he has the talent opportunity to carve out a new type of place for a 16-yr-old Idol boy. He’s certainly more prepared and ready than Aaron Kelly was- and I think he’s more naturally musical and less “staged” as Archuleta. (That’s coming from a gal who has quite a bit of respect for Archie)
    2. I believe Paul McDonald will THRIVE if he can manage die-hard DC fans on board. Lots of DC fans still rolling their eyes over the success of Allen and DeWyze. I think he is a refreshing change, while still clearly catering to that type of 20-50 female audience that watches the show.

  31. iva dj says:

    i was against jennifer for a judge, but I’m eating my words. She can be honest, she’s not a Victoria Beckham type of a judge (“Your shoes are epic (though you sound like a cat in February)”).. and she manages to still be human. I don’t hold the tears against her, after all they’ve said many more “no” replies then we heard. I’m starting the “give the girl a break” movement as long as she pulls it together tomorrow

    Randy is actually worse then Ellen. Makes me miss Kara, because as lost as she was, she had a voice. The dog may have ruined Journey for me more then Glee’s rendition of “Don’t stop believing”. Not to mention the “go all in” crap.. (you’ve covered that nicely)

    I’m really glad Naima went through. As for the rest I didn’t care. The thing I loathe about this season is, so far it didn’t have outstanding performances (nothing like Didi and Crystal last year) , and as engaging as the drama is, in the end I just want a clip I can replay over and over and remember why I like music so much.

    p.s. at least now that the crazy girl is married we know why we were watching her on our screens all along.

    • iva dj says:

      oh and thank you for making me remember horrific Aaron Kelly. Maybe they can get him to perform “dream on” on this season too

      & another thing . Lauren Allaina’s burden of perfection :D .. We all might be in a need of a colenoskopy

    • iva dj says:

      and Jim Halpert look-alike talk about smoking hot and good performer. (I’m scarred he’ll get the MAtt Giraud shaft otherwise known as “you think your coldplay but we think you should reinvent the sound of your voice”)

  32. coco says:

    I am having a hard time feeling sorry for JLO. She will get over it and continue to live her fabulous life. Poor dude has to go back to his sad life. She should write him a big fat check to help him pay the medical expenses for his fiance.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Sorry coco but I have to give J-Lo props – she worked hard to get where she is today (LOVED IT when Naima gave the “Fly Girl” compliment!). Her hard work ethic are why she has a fabulous life, and that’s what makes this a great country. She’s demonstrated she cares about these kids and I think she’s done a fine job. Hopefully Chris got some exposure and will be able to find something else in the entertainment field even if it isn’t American Idol. He wasn’t AI material but he IS talented.

      Like everyone else I was skeptical about Jennifer Lopez, but I’m a new fan. She is lovely and not at all what I expected.

    • idolfan44 says:

      @coco, have you seen how much money they’ve raised for Chris Medina’s fiance online as a result of his Idol appearance?! It was over $50K the first night, from what I heard…

  33. Mel31602 says:

    I think you were too hard on pia and Karen- I enjoyed them and pia is becoming one of my favorie females. And this will not be a popular opinion, but I don’t like Paul mcdonald. He’s talented but his voice isn’t my thing.

    I really like Clint and James but neither will last
    long on the live shows.

    I don’t read spoilers, but when I heard last night one finalist was in the hospital and might be disqualified i had to see if it wad one of my faves. It’s not, but I know a lot of people will be disappointed if this contestant had to leave the show

  34. Linda says:

    I thought J-Lo’s tears were genuine, and they made me get misty-eyed, too, even though I was hoping Chris Medina would get the boot after his lackluster performances. He just didn’t have much pizzazz. Medina sorta reminded me of Andrew Garcia from last season – but mercifully, we won’t have to suffer through weeks and weeks of him. Overall, I really enjoyed last night’s episode, and was highly entertained and surprised at the quality of the performances.

    • calliesmom says:

      I agree about Jennifer. I am sure that she will be happy when the voting is turned over to the public. I am sure that the producers played up the crying more than it actually went on. Also, how sweet is Steven Tyler to send a message to Chris’ fiance. Can’t imagine Simon doing any of this without a smirk on his face.

  35. AprilD says:

    If everything else about Chris Medina’s Idol experience didn’t seem manufactured in some way (With the exception of Tyler’s seemingly genuine moment with the fiance) then I’d probably give JLo’s tears a pass. But most of it has felt manufactured. It didn’t seem genuine and even JLo’s acting (or non acting if that was case) couldn’t save it. Props to Medina for going out with class while she had her breakdown.
    Things that excited me: Tim Halparin & Julie Zorrilla’s “Something”. Kendra & Paul’s “Blackbird” – So glad Paul made it through. Glad Naima made it.
    Things that didn’t excite me: Casey’s duet with Chris. WTF was that?! And I LOVE Casey. Clint making it through. Uhg. And most of the rest of the show… LOL
    HOWEVER, Even though Hello, Goodbye was a train wreck, I’m intrigued to hear Scotty sing some other stuff. We’ve only heard him sing the Josh Turner song successfully. Group round he flubbed the words. Even though he looked like he was constipated, he sounded descent enough. Here’s to tonight!

  36. Alicia says:

    I wanted Hollie to go through…her audition notwithstanding, I thought she was consistent and did show growth throughout the Hollywood process. I hope she takes JLo’s advice and returns in a year or two.
    Haley makes me want to throw things at my screen…ugh. Enough with the gravel-train already! There are actual words in songs…we should be able to understand them! Also worthy of projectiles at my television: Randy I’m-going-to-single-handedly-reverse-the-best-advice-ever-given-on-AI Jackson. As a previous commenter said, you don’t always need to take it to church…then it’s just screaming.
    Finally, a question for those more in-the-know than me: My DVR for next week says the Top 10 guys perform on Tuesday and the Top 10 girls perform on Wednesday…but they’re currently putting together the Top 24? What happened to the other 4?

  37. Yo says:

    For a while last night, I thought I had tuned in to the Lauren Alaina Hour, but I fell in love with the unpimped Loosiana Lauren. Blond, photogenic Lauren has been assassinated by the producers, as have the spawn of Satan: Clint and Jerome. Too bad all three can sing. Jacob Lusk is also disposable; I liked his over-the-top last week, but it doesn’t wear well – and, yes, I almost threw my shoe at the TV at Randy’s appraisal. The Tim Halperin duo was lovely, especially as a melisma break; so was Paul Macdonald. Overall, I thought the women were the strongest this year, but they may not catch a break anyway. This is a surfeit of talent. What say we just crown all of them now and give them contracts?

    • Lemon says:

      Yep, Lauren Turner has a freaking amazing voice that blows Lauren Suddeth out of the water. The fact that they have been hiding her in favor of endless Ashley Sullivan #$%! is so frustrating, but I guess every season needs it’s Tatiana.

      • T2 says:

        Lauren Turner is the ‘maid’ with all of the hair, right? I’m so glad she made it. THAT’S the only Lauren I’ll be voting for.

  38. Starr says:

    I have actually come to LIKE Jenny From The Block a lot. I thought her reaction was real and it actually came off as one of the less scripted moments of the season. Totally agree Fix You was kinda Grim Widowerish.

  39. dctoronto says:

    Michael..we need to come up with a trademarked word that conveys that Randy is the longest serving judge as I believe the Dawg is going to remind the audience of this distinction more times before this season is over.

    Jennifer has a directness about her that I really enjoy. Whether she is giving positive or negative critiques, she gives them in an impressively direct manner. Did anyone notice her stone-face when Steven and Randy were heaping the compliments on Haley? I believe as well that she is emotionally invested in these young people and therefore her tears brought on some of my own in particular when she questionned herself as to whether she had propperly delivered the no vote to Chris. I do wish the producers had not made such a deal of it thought. It was disrepectful to Jennifer as well as Chris.

    • Amy says:

      This could be because Haley won out over Hollie. Remember she was outvoted.

    • corwian says:

      Thank you dctoronto for your insightful post. The producers made the last part of the show a big deal. Sometimes they need to learn to scale back on the drama during the editing sessions. Otherwise – things like the backlash all over the internet today towards Jennifer happens. A real person showing real emotion gets lambasted for it. Chris Medina showed everyone how a real man takes bad news, with class and style. The producers played up his story – he did not.

  40. TankieGirlie says:

    I wanted Deandre Brackensick :( Boooo!

    • RT says:

      Me too! I was very disappointed by his elimination. I really hope he will try again. He seems to be a talented and grounded kid.

  41. swthompson says:

    I thought JLo in hour two of last night’s show could’ve easily been referenced as “19 Entertainment’s Nervous Breakdown.”

  42. Thaís says:

    Jennifer’s reaction was true and I think it was totally understandable giving Chris story. I’d be very upset as well if I had to say no to a person who had such a difficult and sad background. Jennifer’s reaction made me like her more.

    The directors shouldn’t have edited the thing the way they did, though. Someone here said: “J.Lo’s tears didn’t cause me to roll my eyes – just the producers choice to play it up so big (…) Showing us just a touch of that would have sufficed.”

    Thanks what I think, too!

  43. Joe says:

    Damn if the show isn’t better than it has been in awhile. Seriously, the Simon Cowell show was becoming a bloated state fair deep fried and dipped on chocolate.

    What I’d love for Slezak to find out is does Idol have holding deals with contestants they voted off last night? If not, I can see Simon cherry picking Hollie Cavanaugh and Deandre in a hot second for X Factor. I’m just curious if Idol anticipated that and locked these kids up. I almost felt like Idol was building a minor league team for next season with those 2 guaranteed shots to come back and make it on the show.

    I don’t think J Lo was putting on the waterworks last night. The way Randy and Steven reacted to her being upset convinced me. Randy not so much. The Dawg is about as real as E.T. Tyler though wouldn’t console someone who was faking it. He seemed genuine. We’ve seen enough shots of him looking distant when shenanigans are afoot that I think it was real.

    We lost Funky Chris Medina and this signaled to me we’re in for a different Idol experience this year. Seriously, you know he would have made it through with that kind of sob story in the past. The Producers were begging him to be good enough to put through so they could roll his fiance out on a live telecast and constantly cut to her.

    Instead, something strange happened. The show had an ounce of integrity and didn’t put through a singer who really couldn’t sing. And his choice of “Fix You” was so on the nose, I got a nosebleed. The good part is his “journey” raised some dough for his poor fiance and he should be happy about that.

    Now Slezak, how could you ignore Iovine allowing breathy 15yo barmaid’s group to pick a new song when everyone else got saddled with what they picked out the hat?

    I’m almost starting to think the producers are trying to make us hate Lauren. It’s one of the most bizarre edits I’ve seen.

    Clint “I don’t hate little fat kids” Gamboa is pure canon fodder. I expect them to introduce an opportunity for America to throw pies at him rather than not vote for him.

    Julie “I iron my yoga pants” Zorilla still leaves me colder than Katherine “close up on my cleavage please” McPhee. That said, we need one of those in the competition.

    Paul “Shhhh” McDonald is a very talented one trick pony. The quiet songwriter thing will get old after awhile. You heard it here first. That said, the guy is very talented and should be making records. But week after week of his take on songs will start to bore us. American Idol is the wrong venue for him, but it was the right place to get him noticed.

    Jacob “my diva” Lusk needs to take it to Ebeneezer Baptist every week. I agree with Randy. I want to see him come out in a glittery cape and have a small man servant attend to him on stage with towels & a mirror.

    Don’t have the love for the 1st chick who got in who wore the hideous blue dress. I seriously can’t remember her name. I can recall that tat on her back scared the snot out of me. I don’t think America will like her. She’s a bit scary.

    I still don’t know if Haley “A E I O U & sometimes Y” Reinhart can actually sing. She’s going to crash and burn on the stage in the next round. It’s gonna come off very cloying and trying too hard. That said, she’s a looker, but sadly 15yo boys don’t vote for Idol like 15yo girls do.

    Ashton “the total package” Jones is also sizzle hot. Who else got excited seeing her rock a different hair style in her final song?

    While I will miss Golum, I’m glad she got the ring back before it descended into the fire of Mt. Doom. Hopefully, she finds a nice pond full of fish to catch and eat while singing to herself for eternity. If I’m ever on a cruise ship and she’s the entertainment, I’m sinking the boat.

    • donie says:

      I also thought that was weird that we saw kids picking their songs from a hat, but then some of them got dinged for singing the wrong song.

  44. Julia says:

    I was amazed at CHris Medina’s ouster. I’ve been watching AI so long, I thought to myself (jaundiced view here) “Oh, they’ll let him through regardless of his lackluster voice. He’s ‘the backstory one.'” Sort of like they always cast “the hot girl” and “the sweet high school kid.”

    Kudos to AI for chucking “the backstory one” before we had to be subjected to him singing for weeks (as grannies everywhere voted madly for him to stay and torture us.)

    Dare I hope (due to Nigel’s influence?) the new AI will make casting decisions based on talent versus preconceived roles?

  45. Vilya says:

    I can’t take one more second of having Lauren Alaina pushed in my face. Last night, before her segment, Ryan threw to commercial by saying something like, “Coming up – your favorites take the stage…”

    Um, how do you know she’s our favorite?? We haven’t had a chance to vote or do anything else yet.

    The pimping has reached horrifying new levels this season. :(

  46. susan says:

    “Please tell me I wasn’t the only one screaming a stream of expletives at my TV screen.”

    RE: Jacob Lusk. THANK YOU!!! I was screaming at my TV too. Randy will do that to me. But I was watching with my kids and was met with, “Gosh, Mom. I think Randy Jackson knows more about it than you do.” Sometimes the disappointment in your children can actually break your heart.

    Thanks for a little reinforcement, Michael.

    • susan says:

      Susan, love the “disappoinment in your children” comment. I don’t always agree with my kids @ the singing either and I just don’t understand what they are hearing. Randy? What is up with the Lusk advice?????

  47. Carol says:

    Why is there BLATANT bending of the rules for Lauren Alaina????

    If you notice early in the episode, the contestants were assigned the Beatles songs that they sang, by randomly drawing a song from that box. In other words, you get what you get, so make it work.

    So Lauren’s group was rehearsing in front of Jimmy Iovine (and side note, do you think Jimmy watched and critiqued everyone, or do you think Uncle Nigel made sure he saw The Chosen One?). And of course, right there watching also was Nigel, cheering on his angel. Was Nigel seen watching anyone else? No.

    So Jimmy Iovine says Lauren’s group needs a different song (probably not knowing that they didn’t choose the songs, they were randomly assigned the songs), and Nigel is all too happy to let Lauren break the rules and pick a better song. After all, it was Jimmy’s suggestion!! (They so conveniently reminded the audience.) What about other groups that wanted a better song? Too bad!!

    This was SO blatant and really, really disturbed me.

    • Gary says:

      I froze the screen when one of the contestants showed what they picked out of the hat and it had three songs on it, not one. My guess is the they could pick one of the three songs, and that Lauren’s group just switched to one of the other two.

  48. Tim Gunn says:

    Paul and Kendra were awesome. Blackbird is one of my favorite songs. I thought Julie and Tim (TIM!!!) were great, too.

    If the final three are Casey, Robbie, and Lauren (shudder…) – would we get a week where Casey and the Dawg do a dueling basses duet, where Robbie and J. Lo sing a Marc Antony song while the girl from tha block tries to repress her Cougar bedroom eyes, and where Lauren And Steven belt out yet another cut from the Armageddon soundtrack? Maybe that’s why they’re keeping Lauren in it…

    For me, for y’all, for me, if the top six ended up being…

    1. Tim Halperin
    2. Kendra Chantelle
    3. Julie Zorilla
    4. Paul McDonald
    5. Casey Abrams
    6. Aaron Sanders

    …I’d be pretty happy…

  49. AJ says:

    What’s up with the lower case “l” for Jimmy lovine? Is that supposed to be his trademark? Cheesy.

  50. Sean D says:

    Yes Mike! Haley Reinhart, what on earth does anyone see in her? I was thrilled Naima Adedapo and Paul McDonald got through; fingers crossed for Casey Abrams and Kendra Chantelle!

    Also, I mean…come on, why is Scott McCreery still in the competition? That literally makes no sense to me. He has an appealing voice, but he has messed up not just one of his performances BUT ROUND AFTER ROUND!!!! Lauren Aliana too has been a very irritating presence. She’s going to get through; I’ve come to terms with that, but it’s about time the producers intervene and stop her from adding cutesy nonsense to her performances. Have we ever seen her just sing a song, with no additional help coming from anywhere?

    • ykw says:

      c’mon scotty mccreery is seriously gonna pwn statler brothers week.

      playin’ solitaire to dawn, with a deck of fifty-one…