American Idol Semifinal Results Recap: Now That's What I Call a Top 13!

American Idol results show is kind of like a trip to the dentist’s chair: The faster you get through it, the better. But Thursday night’s two-hour extravaganza — in which the crop of 24 season 10 semifinalists was dramatically culled to a field of 13 — proved the exception to the rule. Okay, sure, that brief clip of Ta-Tynisa Wilson’s “Only Girl (In the World)” felt like the haunting touch of a dentist’s drill without the benefit of novocaine. But on the whole, the two hours zoomed right past, fueled by a laughing-gas giddiness that this year’s finalists, as a whole, are infinitely more appetizing than the curdled glass of milk Idol served up in season 9.

That said, the night was not without its frustrations: Kendra Chantelle was robbed of a Wild Card berth into the finals despite owning “Georgia on My Mind” harder than Steven Tyler did his pink ruffled lady-pirate shirt. Lauren Turner suffered the indignity of getting a group heave-ho alongside inferior beings like Julie Zorrilla and the aforementioned Ta-Ty-no-no Will-not. And Nigel Lythgoe missed an exciting opportunity to employ a jaunty trap door and unceremoniously swallow Clint Jun Gamboa and Jordan Dorsey in one giant gulp against d-baggery.

Most of the opening hour was spent recapping the Tuesday- and Wednesday-night performance shows, airing new (and artfully shot) interview footage with the Top 24, and watching Ryan call up the hopefuls in groups of two or three, then reveal whether or not the Idoloonie Nation had voted them through to finals. In announcement order, these five men and five women included: Scotty “Baby Lock Them Doors” McCreery; Lauren “Chosen One” Alaina; America’s Next Top Pia Toscano; Karen Rodriguez Brought To You By MySpace; Jacob “Don’t Listen to Randy!” Lusk; Casey “Slappin’ Da Bass” Abrams; Thia “Death Stare” Megia; Paul “Chicken Arm” McDonald; Haley “Wait! How’d She Get In Here?!” Reinhart; and James “Na’vi Tail” Durbin. (The three picks for Wild Cards would turn out to be Top American Designer Naima Adedapo; Stefano “Hot For J.Lo, Or Is It The Other Way Around?” Langone; and Ashthon “Respect the Hair” Jones.)

There wasn’t much suspense in the way Ryan paired the “yeses” and the “nos,” and to be honest, it’s not really worth anyone’s time and energy to turn this recap into a court transcript. Instead, before we get to our discussion of the Wild Card round, let’s hand out some lovely prizes to our various show participants. Without further ado…

Best Fashion (Women)
Ashthon Jones’ pink and black knit dress over black leggings (1-800-TOO-DANG-HOT)

Worst Fashion (Women)
Thia Megia’s not-so-amazing technicolor mallrat sweater

Best Fashion (Men)
Jovany’s dark gray buttonless Henley and Paul’s white, sparkly “rose” jacket (Yeah, I know the latter piece was shown briefly in Paul’s “sing for your life” round, but it’s still pretty spectacular, no?)

Worst Fashion (Men)
Scotty McCreery’s grotesque camouflage skull visor (no hair day is that bad)

Funniest Sound Bite (Women)
“If I get cut, America, I know where you live, and I’m gonna cut you!” –Lauren Turner, pondering the possibility of elimination

Funniest Sound Bite (Men)
“Why would I be in Country Living?” –James Durbin, recounting the strangest shout-out he’s gotten from a magazine photographer on the red carpet

“Fundamental Misunderstanding of What Went Wrong” Award
“I would’ve loved an opportunity to get up here and play that song with my guitar. That’s all I wanted to do.” –Julie Zorrilla, talking about her disastrous performance of “Breakaway,” a composition she should never, ever sing — or maybe even listen to — again

“Fundamental Misunderstanding of What I’m Supposed to Do With My Life” Award
“I made it this far, and I’m not gonna give up now.” –Ta-Tynisa Wilson

“If The Judges Won’t Say It, Ryan’s Recap Voiceover Will” Award
“The night got off to a screaming start with karaoke host Clint Jun Gamboa.” (Cue: Excessive holleration on Clint’s rendition of “Superstition”)

“When Someone Pays You a Compliment, Say ‘Thanks’ and Then Shut Your Pie Hole” Award
“I don’t know, I’m just Lauren.” –Lauren Alaina, asked what she thought about original Idol champ Kelly Clarkson comparing her to season 5 country gal Kellie Pickler, and judge Randy Jackson comparing her to Kelly and season 4 champ Carrie Underwood

“A Single Buzzcut Away From the Top 13?” Award
Robbie Rosen

The “Congratulations! You’re Already Being Used on the Idol Soundtrack” Award
Pia Toscano, whose soaring cover of “I’ll Stand By You” played in the background as Rachel Zevita, Lauren Turner, and Julie Zorrilla were shown begging for their Idol lives

Okay, so let’s talk Wild Card. I thought Idol voters did a pretty solid job choosing their five entries on the men’s side, but bellyflopped a little on the women. As I said in my recap last night, I was half-expecting either Karen Rodriguez or Haley Reinhart to sneak into the top 10 under Clause No. 387 of the American Idol Handbook: “Each season shall include one incredibly maddening member of the Top 12 who outlasts far more talented vocalists through the twin powers of good looks and unparalleled determination. (See: Cook, Kristy Lee.)” But seriously, Haley AND Karen, yet no love for Kendra Chantelle, Naima Adedapo, Lauren Turner, or Ashthon Jones. Phooey! Given the fact that there were only six performance slots available — and only three for the ladies — one of those women had to get shafted again, and the dubious distinction indiscriminately landed on Lauren T.

On the men’s side, Stefano Langone and Robbie Rosen seemed like obvious picks for encores, but I’m going to admit I wasn’t mad at the judges for giving the third spot to Jovany Barreto, who may give off a little old-school Anthony Fedorov-style flavor, but rarely misses a note.

What was great about the Wild Card — and what should serve as an important lesson to every member of the top 13 — is the fact that, faced with sudden-death elimination, all six vocalists esentially performed psychic surgery on themselves, hurled their hearts, souls, and other major organs onto the stage, and left no doubt about their desire to keep going where Haley Reinhart will be daring to tread in the coming months weeks days. To my ears, Kendra and Stefano delivered the night’s (maybe even the week’s) best vocals. The first couple lines of Kendra’s “Georgia on My Mind” sounded almost too low for her range, but she latched onto the chorus with such glorious gusto, and hit such mind-boggling notes in her upper register, that — I kid you not — I threw my right arm in the air, rocked my head back and forth, and began to testify — “Get it, Kendra! You get it!” — for the last 30 seconds of her performance. It was like I’d been transported from my living room couch to a Kendra Chantelle concert! And  even though our esteemed judges completely whiffed by failing to make her Lucky No. 13, I have no doubt in my mind that one day, my Kendra concert fantasy will become a reality. (Note to Kendra: That guy in the fifth row who looks like he’s having a seizure? Probably me.)

This isn’t to say I’m not a fan of either Naima or Ashthon, and I’m not going to hold it against these gals that the judges chose their bigger personalities over quiet, retiring Kendra. After ironing out some flat notes in the first verse (probably due to tears), Naima delivered a pretty top-notch rendition of “For All We Know” that she clearly felt all the way down to her guts. (Bonus points for the lyrics of this mournful ballad being very applicable to the Wild Card moment: “For all we know/ We may never meet again/ Before you go/ Make this moment sweet again.”) Ashthon brought a similarly singular conviction to “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” but her sheer force of will/voluminous hair could not mask the fact that she struggled to stay on pitch for at least half the number. Is it crazy that I still like the resident diva and her megawatt swagger anyway? She seems incredibly sweet in interviews, even if she knows how to strut and stank-eye with the best of her generation.

On the men’s side, Stefano was as explosive as Kendra on a stripped-down, piano-driven rendition of Smokie Norful’s religious ballad “I Need You Now.” I’m going to admit I’d never heard this song before tonight, but it only took a few sweet notes from Stefano to sell me on its merits. The handsomest fella in the competition gave one of those transcendent performances where you’re pretty sure the singer has left the building and the holy spirit or some such entity has taken over. J.Lo was left shaking. Dentists everywhere got a chance to examine Stefano’s molars. I was left convinced there wasn’t much Robbie or Jovany could do to top him. And it turned out to be true.

Jovany’s “Angel” showed power and poise and control, but lacked the emotional conviction of Stefano’s performance. J.Lo’s critique was the epitome of a “thanks for playing” sendoff: “You did a good job, baby. You did all you could do.” Robbie, for his part, hit just about every note of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” and did so in a way that sounded as pleasing as it did contemporary. But I’d be lying if I said my attention began to drift midway through his number — there was something about the rendition that felt ever so slightly disconnected. Maybe the boy needs a piano to show his true colors?

On that note, let’s get to tonight’s grades…
Kendra Chantelle: A
Stefano Langone: A
Naima Adedapo: B+
Jovany Barreto: B+
Robbie Rosen: B
Ashthon Jones: B-

Now, before we get to tonight’s questions, I’ve taken the liberty of embedding a duet between Kendra Chantelle and Paul McDonald called “Like You Loved Me Then.” (Hat tip to MJSBigBlog for the heads up!) Use it as evidence to curse your fellow Idol fans for failing to support The Lady Chantelle, or use the power of music to soothe your aching soul. Either way, it’s all good.

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And now…what did you think of the Wild Card performances? How are you feeling about the Top 13? How do they stack up compared to season 9’s finalists? Is there anyone whose ouster tonight still has you heartbroken? And what do you want to see from the judges and contestants next week? Sound off below! And for all my Idol coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

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  1. James says:

    Good as always Slezak!

    • forrest says:

      Yes! The snarkiness – insightful and accurate – has really shined with this recap and the review of the top 12 men and 12 women. The grading is back! Idol is in full swing now thanks to Michael! Great recap and I agree 100% Thanks again.

      • Texas Wave says:

        YES! I am so excited that I found Michael Slezak! That other place is just not the same without him and as an Idol aficionado I am now in Slezak heaven!!!!

        MOSTLY happy with the top 13 – wanted Lauren to get some Amy Winehouse on and I think she would have outshined both female wildcards choices…. their biggest mistake was Ashthon – the biatchiness drips off of her like the love she was singing about the other night. But that will make for good tv. Also can’t help but notice, no physically chubby/fat/really ugly people this year. My theory: being attractive was part of the criteria for making it.

        Again, love you Michael! So so happy to find you!!!!!

        • Steve says:

          “That other place” is doing just fine without Michael. Different kind of recap here…more snark, more bitchiness, more rudeness frankly (“shut your piehole?”, really?..Lauren’s response was perfect. She’s not Kellie Pickler or Kelly Clarkson…she’s herself and should be judged on that alone..but I agree that the show is over-produced and Nigel’s favorites get too much push).

          Having said that, I’m glad I have Annie’s recaps at that other place…and Master Slezak’s recaps here. Best of both worlds!

          • Ryan S says:

            The “When Slezak gives an awesome review just read it and shut YOUR piehole” award goes to Steve

          • Kendall says:

            I agree that the comment about Lauren Alainas response was totally off the wall. Some of the snarkiness is good, but overall Slezaks comments are just a bit too nasty. For those who disagree, if they were made about someone you like, you wouldn’t consider them funny.

          • Trish says:

            Steve if the “other place” were doing so well then how are you here? Yeah just what I thought……..LOL

        • Cathy says:

          Ahhhh, I agree! So happy to have found Michael here. Went to the other site and looked and looked and finally googled to see where Michael was writing. I didn’t read any of the other recaps… just needed my Michael Slezak fix.

          Anyway, I’m pleased with the top 13… so much different than the past couple of years. We have variety but they all can sing; what a concept!

          • Jader Rodriguez says:

            Same here. I had to google it. I just went to EW because of Idolatry and since it’s not there anymore I had to find were did it go.

      • Delirious says:

        I have to say I agree with the grades he gave, but I still don’t get certain things. Maybe it’s the “cultural clash” (I’m spanish)…

        Why, oh, why were Jun and Jordan not in the top 10? How could Durbin make it, if he’s only “screams and a touching story”? And am I weird for seeing a HUGE potential in Rachel despite her failed choice for the top 12 girls show? When I saw she wasn’t in the top 10 (as I imagined, sadly), I thought she’d be saved by the judges, at least to fight for a wildcard.

        • Li-Li says:

          I agree with the talent of Rachel Z. I was also very disappointed that she didn’t make even the wild card. I thought this year they were supposed to be looking for unique artists with a unique sound. But once again we have (mostly) a group of belters, barely indistinguishable from any other year. At least there’s Casey Abrams.

    • darclyte says:

      Yes, thanks as always Michael, but what IS IT with your stance that Robbie’s hair is, I dunno, too much? His hair is fine. All guys don’t need a buzzcut. Look at the kid who plays Tyler on V. He went from model good looking to short bus riding dork when they buzzed his hair.

      As for the top, I was a little surprised that NONE of the black gals got voted in by America. I thought Ashthon would pull it off, but at least she eventually made it (along with Naima.)

      I’m not surprised that Haley and Karen both made it, but yep, should have been Kendra and Lauren Turner based on vocal possibilities. Haley will just oversing everything, and Karen will continue to choreograph her performances from the Celine Dion guidebook. Ugh.

      I can’t argue with the Top 6 guys, but I’m surprised that neither of the potential “next Justin Bieber” candidates made it in as Robbie didn’t make the wild card cut, and Brett didn’t even make it that far. I guess the show will have to settle for trying to find the “next Miley Cyrus” with Thia and Lauren still around. And yes, we all know that is why they lowered the age to 15.

    • Tina says:

      Love Slezak adn can definitely see him “testifying” in front on his T.V. as Kendra sang. Love that visual!!

    • Lunakit says:

      Excellent recap, Michael! The tone was much more upbeat and optimistic about the season, while peppered with the perfect amount of snark! Yum…. BTW, Annie B. put it in my head that Lauren Alaina is D.J. Tanner from “Full House” and now that is all I see when I look at her. Ack!

    • Sally says:

      I was so disgusted with the wild card picks…..I erased all of previous idols and cancelled the season. This is obviously NOT about the most talented!!! To bad…..I’ve been a fan for 9 years.

    • Sarah Farley says:

      Lauren Turner was robbed. She showed more style, more top-notch phrasing then anyone!! Ashton over her??? Ashton has a weak voice and an obnoxious personality. I have like the judges decisions up to this point. Does a girl have to be drop-dead gorgeous or have a tiny figure to get a second look? Lauren, know how good you are.

    • Kristen says:

      Seriously Michael, you write exactly what I’m thinking! I watch Idol mainly for your commentary, guilty!

    • Kat says:

      MZ rules!

  2. Kevin says:

    I absolutely loved Kendra’s rendition. Switch Kendra and Ashton it would have been my ideal top 13.

    To me, Ashton’s version of “I am telling you” paled in comparison to Jennifer Hudson or anyone that sang that song in the past.

    • Trew says:

      ITA. I get the other picks they made sense, but after Kendra’s performance, I am totally miffed at why they chose Ashton. I know she has a better personality for TV but she wasn’t the better singer. Her “I am telling you” was good but not great, and Kendra got a standing ovation. It was obvious she was the better performer.

      • Lin says:

        Took me long enough, but I finally tracked you down, Slezak! I was flipping out thinking we wouldn’t have your witty and astute comments to get through the Idol season.

        It’s an Idol crime that Kendra didn’t make the cut and Karen and Ashton did. Sorry, but I’m just not feeling the love for Ashton and Karen should have been kindly directed to a Donald Trump beauty pageant.

      • Suncatcher says:

        Totally agree, Trew! I was also shocked that Karen Rodriguez and Haley Reinhart got through – and then Ashthon too? Yikes! That left favorites/better vocalists Naima, Kendra and Lauren out in the cold. I can see it happening to ONE of them – but ALL of them? Yeeshkah!

        Voters at least got the guys right. Breathe in. Breathe out.

      • kellybelly says:

        I agree Trew. Kendra was completely and utterly robbed. This was the first BIG mistake of the season.

        Slezak, I love ya, and I agree with you,except for Ashton. She did not bring it for her first performance on Wed, nor did she during the Wild Card round. She doesn’t have the range or “bottom” to her voice for that song, and it paled in comparison to J.Hud and Jennifer Holliday’s versions. I too think she’s got the looks and tude, but just because we will it, it just ain’t there. The real oomph.

        In fact, I was totally impressed with All of the Wild Card performances (except Ashton) and wouldn’t have been surprised if 5 of them made it thru. (And I’ve never been a Jovany or Robbie fan).

        AND Lauren Turner – not even letting her into the Wild Card round was just stupid.

        • Debbie New says:

          Amen…Given the chance to sing, Lauren would be in the 13. I soooo agree…stupid is the word. She has that something extra, that spunky, fun personality that would have made the show more fun. It will be a little dull without her.

      • pmet says:

        I agree. While Ashthon has attitude, she lacks the true vocal talent of a Jennifer Hudson. When she can no longer hold out a note, she simply cuts it off in mid-wail. The snippets from Hollywood week showed she has potential, but she does not have the vocal chops of a true talented diva. I thought Lauren Turner was robbed of the final spot. I would have chosen her to at least sing for her life over Ashthon or Kendra. Naima, who is very talented, I am afraid will not go far as she is not what the “voting demographic” is looking for. She is unique and dresses a bit out there, so she is not what people in this country think of as “the American Idol.” Still not sure how Haley (12 riffs for every note) Reinhart made it in. Ugh.

      • dawg says:!.!.!

        • dj says:

          They sound so good together (and look good together too!) Wish Kendra would have gotten in, but I’m looking forward to hearing more of Paul in the next weeks.

      • Frank says:

        Ashton’s diva attitude is a total turn-off to me. And I think she uses it to disguise that she can’t sing very well. I just can’t believe the judges fall for it. I hope Idol watchers votes her off ASAP.

        • JB says:

          You are so right, Frank. Her whole look and persona are smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that her vocals are weak.

        • djm says:

          I agree that Ashton’s vocals are super weak, but I don’t know that Kendra is the answer. I would have preferred Lauren to Kendra anyday. Although Paul was RIGHT in the video above – Kendra is the only good thing in that – he is just AWFUL. I hope he’s the first to go, but I know that wont happen because Slezak and all of the cougars out there will once again vote with all their might using something other than their ears.

          • seattlejohn says:

            liked Paul Beatle’s night but hated him doing Maggie May…his body language and mannerisms reminded me of a softened version of Joe Cocker…he would benefit from some corrective dancing lessons like Danny Gokie got to minimize efforts to trip the light fantastic…and to this gay cougar he seems wimpy and unattractive (much prefer Scottie in his black levies)

        • DonNY says:

          The judges didn’t fall for it. It was a command from Mr. Lithgoe.

    • ladyinsilver says:

      I totally agree! Ashton chose to sing a “Jennifer Hudson” song, but she is not nearly the singer that J Hud is! Personality aside, she did not belong in the top 13 at the expense of Kendra or Lauren T.

      • Jonathan says:

        I like to think of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as “The Norman Gentle Song.”

        Deeply disappointed that Kendra and Lauren T. didn’t make it in, but at least Casey and Paul did. I was pretty stunned that they picked Jovany to sing for his life, though. Robbie and Stefano, sure, but I really wanted to see more of Tim, even if he wasn’t so great this round.

        Sadly, with Stefano, Karen, Pia, and Thia we’re going to have to sit through a lot of dull Disney ballads this season which I am not looking forward to. At least they can all sing, which is more than I can say for some of their past counterparts (e.g. Katie Stevens).

    • J says:

      I’m with you, Kevin. Either Lauren Turner or Kendra would have been much better picks than Ashthon-the-ugliest-beautiful-girl-I’ve-ever-seen Jones. Ashthon is not only not good as a singer…She is aesthetically offensive on every level.

      • Yo says:

        Odd, I finally gave up on trying to like JHud’s songs and loved the Ashton version. Girl had b’s to sing out that song; I would have done as the judges did. She was plumb magnificent.

      • FazeCraze says:

        They really needed to add Ashton to create a more diverse cast. They are, after all, casting a TV show. They couldn’t add another cookie cutter blonde to the mix. The voters are the ones who got it wrong by not voting in Kendra and/or Lauren T.

        • Eve says:

          Exactly! When the announced the 3 girls who had a chance to get the wildcard I KNEW right then it wouldn’t be Kendra. They were not going to put the blonde white girl in. Notice the 3 wild card picks were all minorities. Randy and J. Lo had to represent. AI always has to have a certain number of each ethnicity and they cut better singers to get it. Kendra was totally robbed!

          • Sue says:

            So was Lauren Turner, a better singer but just not as pretty lookswise. Notice that all three chosen ones are also very “pretty”.

          • Janelle says:

            Stefano is Italian.

          • Gehr says:

            The producers had to have a hand in the final OKs on who goes or stays. The Idol tour has to appeal to a broad range and as the 13 stand now, it’s pretty diverse! But how many go on tour? Is it 10 or 12? The voters may have a hand in changing the “demographics” of the bunch. I just hope they don’t immediately vote off the 3 wild card choices. (I’m sure James Durbin is a sweet guy, but can’t he go do his “Lambert” somewhere else?)

      • Carol says:

        Wow — I think that’s unnecessary.

    • stevenjaba says:

      Switch Kendra and Haley and you have the ideal top 10!

      • Leila says:

        Maybe the voting public mixed them up because they have the same hair? Kendra was robbed!

      • duranmom says:

        I feel like Haley is gonna do that raspy growly thing to every song and it’s going to get old FAST. I would have rather seen Kendra or Lauren T. go on in the competition.

    • Ablo says:

      I won’t be missing Kendra — the last bit of her song was painful. I don’t doubt she has some talent, but seriously that wasn’t good. I guess I would rather have her in the top 13 than Ashton, but not sure that’s saying much.

      On the other hand — as a whole the singers in the top 13 are good enough to make a fun season.

    • Drew says:

      Ideal situation: Naima and Kendra voted into the top 10 instead of Haley and Karen. Lauren Turner getting the Wild Card. Stefano beating out James for top 10 (he deserved it), then both James and Robbie getting in on the Wild Card.

    • calgary says:

      ITA as far as Kendra is concerned. Not sure who I liked less – Karen or Ashthon but neither one can hold a candle to Kendra. I hope she tries again next year. I’d love to know the judges’ rationale.

      • kate'shomesick says:

        as far as my idol knowledge goes – you’re not allowed to return once you’ve been in the top 24, top 30 …whatever semifinal….

      • englewood says:

        The judges’ rationale for leaving Kendra off is one thing. Why the voting public left her off is even more disconcerting. Appears that the public is not as discriminating as they should be….easily duped by looks, body, false personas, etc.

  3. MK says:

    I would have given the wildcard spots to Stefano, Kendra and Robbie. I thought Naima was the worst of the 6 and already I can tell that Ashton will be getting on my nerves. She appears too over confident. There’s a word for that but if I type it it will probably be bleeped out even though the word is affilliated with a rooster and is not a bad word.

    • stevenjaba says:

      If you go back and re-watch the footage from last night to see the other contestants’ reaction to each person who got the wild card… their reaction to Ashton was decidedly chillier than any of the others. Perhaps she is not making friends among the other Idols?

    • djm says:

      Stefano was AMAZING last night. I am so not into religious music but I would download that performance in a hot second and listen to it over and over and over again. He so deserved to be there and I am THRILLED that he stepped up to the plate. I hope he does really well in the competition.

      • JenH says:

        I feel exactly the same way. I am not the least bit religious, had never heard that song before, and thought Stefano was forgettable cannon fodder after Tuesday night, but “I Need You Now” completely turned me around. I’d even go so far as to say it was my favorite performance of the whole week. He totally earned that wildcard spot based on that performance alone.

  4. bluedog says:

    If nothing else in this Idol journey so far, I’m trusting that future Idol hopefuls will take a lesson from the Clint/Jordan piece of the saga… to whit: If you show yourself to have an eerie resemblance to anyone who has ever shunned, excluded or dismissed us… & even tho’ you may have pipes… make no mistake about it, we will take power where we find it & we will be revenged. Or, in other words, “Boys, know this… ya did it to yourselves!”

    • Yo says:

      Fanned and faved!

    • Leila says:

      I don’t know if Clint and Jordan lost mainly because of Hollywood Week. Their performances weren’t that good, and Clint is not attractive. They wouldn’t make it to the Top 13 even if they were saints.

    • Mary says:

      There was no way Clint and Jordan were going through after Hollywood week. I wish the producers had realized that and allowed two other guys into the Top 24 instead. The producers basically threw away those two spots, and there were other singers who deserved them more.

      • Joslyn says:

        That is such a great point about Clint and Jordan. I was already iffy on Clint, but still liked Jordan’s original audition. But they both needed to be amazing vocally, *and* show some humility and/or charm in order to overcome the stank vibe left from Hollywood. That was never going happen. I wish the judges had put through the young kid with the amazing hair from The Minors instead.

  5. Autumn says:

    I was soooo bummed that Kendra didn’t get through! She is so much better than the rest of the girls! I like Naima, but I just thought Kendra was so much better. Paul got through though, so that made me very happy :)

  6. Carolina says:

    Stephano melted my heart with his performance. One of the best this year. I have watched it maybe 5 times now and still get emotional. He’s got such heart and unlimited potential.

  7. starsweeper says:

    Kendra was ROBBED!

    • darclyte says:

      Yep, she was better than Haley and Karen, but whaddayagonnado?

      The wild card portion showed what I’ve bee saying for years. They need to have the bottom 2 or 3 perform, and then the judges make the decision (isn’t that how they do it on X Factor?) All contestants gave better performances when it seemed like more was at stake. Remember Allison Iraheta’s performance AFTER she was voted off? She gave the judges the big f-u with that, and that’s what these all did. They gave America the big f-u for not voting them through and hte big HELLO to the judges. Having the bottom 2 or 3 perform and the judges pick who stays would eliminate the “need” for the “judges’ save,” and would prevent people like Tamyra Gray and Chris Daughtry from going home too soon, as well as preventing people like Tim Urban and Sanjaya from sticking around for too long.

      • Mel31602 says:

        Totally agree. I think this is the best way for reality shows to do eliminations- so you think you can dance does it this way too until it gets towardsvthe end, as does X Factor like you mentioned. It basically eliminates shocking eliminations, though perhaps producers want to keep those around because they always generate buzz for the show

  8. Glenn says:

    Great recap, Slezak…loved the Awards. Best was Ta-Ty’s win :) America definitely got it wrong with Haley. My theory is that some people liked her effort and they knew she was in jeopardy so they voted more.

    Other than Haley this was the exact group I wanted and expected to make it into the top 13. She stole Kendra’s spot. Lauren Turner was a lot better than some but unfortunately its a tough business.

    As for the wildcards my crazy theory is that it boiled down to one factor…swan song choices (and diversity may have played a little part). Naima, Stefano and Ashton all chose songs with the perfect lyrics. Slezak even makes reference to Naima’s in his column but if you listen to the lyrics of all three they couldn’t more perfectly encapsulate the moment and I’m sure that helped them connect to the songs and everyone listening to connect as well.

    Slezak mentions Ashton’s bumb notes but overlooked the pitch and problems in Kendra’s final song. Yeah she nailed those glory notes but it wasn’t as perfect all thru as he says. Regardless she shouldn’t even have been singing a swan song cause on Wednesday she did enough to deserve the top 10. Please be gone soon Haley!

    • Amy says:

      I think Haley also made it in, because that song by Alicia Keyes is AMAZING. People always connect with the haunting music behind the lyrics. I love that song and even though Haley did a bad job, the song helped her get remembered.
      Thanks Slezak for that duet. I love Paul & Kendra’s connection and I enjoyed listening. Maybe she can join his band post-idol. I’d buy their CD.

  9. Brian says:

    Of the top 10, I predicted 9 out of 10 correctly going into tonight.
    The only one I missed was Haley and I still don’t know how the heck she got in there, all I can think is that she looked good and didn’t sing horrifically.
    The final 6 wildcard songs should all have been done the night before, but they weren’t, so they all deserved to have to rely on the judges votes to make the next round.
    Of the 6 they had to choose from I would have picked Stefano, Kendra and Robbie, but I am really not that upset about the result. My only other major disappointment was that Lauren Turner got big time shafted by america and the judges. She deserved at least a wild card attempt.
    All in all the results show had no big surprises, but I didn’t expect any as 4 guys and 4 girls were shoeins to advance, So no real drama tonight.

    p.s. they hadn’t shown J.Lo’s video yet, so when they asked if the judges were ready, it was so stupid for them to say they needed more time when clearly they were just saying that to get to the video tha t part was just idiotic just throw to the video out of break and don’t treat us like morons.

    p.p.s. my biggest disappointment from the top 24 round was Julie Zorrilla. So much potential, She was very attractive, she had so many awesomely hot outfits on the horizon, and she completely bombed.

    • Ang says:

      I completely agree about the JLo video! She did some good acting when she looked up and said they just weren’t ready yet, but I, too, found it lame that they spun it like that. Just show the damn video.
      I know it’s a TV show and I have no delusions about the “reality” part…. Well, maybe I have because I’m feeling very disappointed this year knowing just how much they’ve edited and even reshot segments. I can see the Wizard now and I’d rather not.

      • Ang says:

        Also, did anyone else notice when Ryan asked the panel if they even knew how many they were putting through out of the wild cards? That right there told me that there was going to be a Top 13 rather than a Top 12. I’m sure they were hoping for that to come off as more of a surprise to the audience like with Anoop.

  10. Jen says:

    I agree with most comments that Kendra was robbed. I am also disappointed that Robbie didn’t get in. He is such a good piano player and has a beautiful voice. Oh well. It’s a brutal business.

  11. BR says:

    While I like the top 13 in general, I do wish America paid attention a little more during the audition rounds and voted on consistently good performances. Robbie had one bad night, it was just the night that most counted, and that’s a little heartbreaking. Durbin butchered every song he touched before top 24 night, and still makes it. Kendra got so little screentime, yet was in the top 3-5 performances every time we did see her (and I mean overall top, not just girls). Haley, as much as I like her, was all over the place in during every song and throughout the rounds. And poor Brett, he should have been given a chance to sing again. He’s one of the few kids who I think really knew who they were as a person. Thia is still very robotic, though technically good.

    If I could, I’d swap out Durbin for Robbie or Brett (Robbie moreso) and Thia or Haley or Kendra. I think Durbin needs a few more years to hone his upper register, Thia needs to learn to be more personale while performing, and Haley just needs to how to perform on a stage period.

    • Media Ho says:

      ITA with most of your post, BR, except for Brett. Who cares if he knows who he is as a person? It’s about the singing, and he wasn’t good enough. His fey performance of “Light My Fire” was so annoying that I’m sure Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris was shaking like a 8.9 on the Richter Scale due to Morrison’s reaction from the grave (if he truly IS in there!).

      Though I despised Durbin prior to his Judas Priest blowout, you can’t knock his control of the upper register. He’s got it. Even Steven Tyler is jealous!

      It’s a shame that Robbie won’t be able to return. He is an enormous talent and, like you said, just had a bad night (two if you count Tuesday and Thursday, which I do).

    • Bat Country says:

      Sorry, the “live” round is the only one that counts. Hollywood cuts are just cuts. You don’t see all the bum notes and missteps because they aren’t shown for the “favorites”, but in the semi’s, there’s nowhere to hide. I had big faves coming into this round (Rachel, Tim), but the slate was wiped clean at the start, as it should be.

  12. Princess Adora says:

    Replace Haley with Kendra!!!!

  13. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Unlike past seasons, no one here is my enemy (Haley comes closest to that.) I’m very pleased with this group, but I am just a little disappointed about Robbie and Kendra. Could you get them to guest on Idoloonies, please?

    • duranmom says:

      I would like to see as many of the “castoffs” as possible on Idoloonies. Please, Michael, that would be AWESOME!!!

  14. larkwoodgirl says:

    I love the video with Paul McDonald and Kendra. Paul McDonald is very unique and interesting. He is my favorite so far. He just seems to down to earth and comfortable wherever he is. I agree that Kendra got robbed.

    Scotty is very talented, but he reminds me of Alfred E. Neuman from Mad magazine days.
    Lauren Alaina is my least favorite of the bunch. I think she has a huge ego that will eventually turn people off.
    Jacob is tremendous.
    I love Pia

    The rest of them, meh.

    • Georgia says:

      The Paul and Kendra clip demonstrates that less really IS more when it comes to production. Two compatible voices and an acoustic guitar….VS the “Idol Big Band” that can drown out even the loudest, screechiest (is that a word?) solo performance.

      • Bat Country says:

        “Less is more”? Can someone tell that to Lauren Alaina? Did she go to the Tammy Fae Beauty Academy or what?

        I knew when I saw her on the stage Randy would compare her to Kelly Clarkson. (I’m sure had nothing to do with the size of her caboose…)

    • stepmom says:

      I also loved Kendra and was sad to see her go :( I love the video and was wondering when it was posted? Did they know each other and perform together before Idol? That would explain why Blackbird was so amazing!

    • JJ says:

      Oh my gosh!! I said the same thing to my husband about Alfred E. Newman!!! LOL!

  15. Teena says:

    Award for not passing out or throwing up on stage: Clint Jun Gamboa

  16. Ajax Jones says:

    Hey, very pleased to see Clint gone- to keep it short- It’s American Idol…NOT American A-Hole

  17. kayk says:

    I miss Brett already, bad timing for this to be his worst week.
    SO glad Naima made it thru as a wild card!
    Thia in the top 5 girls? I’m not feelin’ that one AT all.

  18. Matt says:

    I’m tired of this show’s need to “cast” versus putting the twelve best singers into the final group. They had no African-American females “casted”, so they took it upon themselves at the expense of better singers…it stinks…also, who the hell in America likes Haley?!

    • SmC says:

      I thought the same thing.

      • Leslie says:

        Totally! You knew once they announced the 3 girls that Kendra, the white blonde girl, was screwed. I just didn’t expect them to put both African-American girls in.

    • Li-Li says:

      I love Haley!! I think she has a unique sound to her voice and I look forward to hearing her sing next week, which is more than I can say for the majority of the other top girls.

  19. marie says:

    Agree completely re Haley and Karen – especially Haley. She is no doubt the one this year who way overstays her welcome (already is!). But have to admit, I am NOT getting the Kendra love at all; her sing-for-your-life was shrieky, nails-on-a-blackboard to me. Oh, well, a moot point now.

    I can live with this Top 13. The only one I was really interested in continuing who didn’t was Lauren Turner (although I was a bit taken aback by that sound bite – hope she doesn’t intend to make good on that, LOL!).

    Was pleased with the judges’ wild card picks. I like Ashthon, although I don’t think that was her finest performance last night. And I’m very pleased that they chose Naima and Stefano to continue. Good judging, judges!

    Very glad they gave the contestants THEIR CHOICE of what to sing for the wild card slots – SOOOO much better than making them repeat a song that had already got them cut! Very fair rule change, that.

    • Amy says:

      Lauren Turner had said she was sarcastic. I thought her “soundbite” was hilarious. She had the personality and the voice.
      Namia’s “sing for your life” was very well done. It was Ashton that struggled vocally. Wild Card would have been so much better as Stefano, Naima, and Kendra. Even Ashton wouldn’t have been shocked by the results.

      • marie says:

        Oh, I know Lauren was being sarcastic – that’s why I wrote LOL. Very sorry she didn’t make it – would much rather have had her than Haley.

  20. Sally in Chicago says:

    This group is more poppish and more reflective of the music scene today. Let’s face it, Lee Dewyze may be a good songwriter (as it seems he’s writing more) but he won’t sell out a concert stage.

  21. Kevin says:

    Why did America vote for James Durbin? The guy is a total d-bag. I really hope he’s voted out soon, or this is going to be a painful season to watch. Really James, do you have to hit the screaming high “notes” ala Adam Lambert on EVERY song? I cringed every time Lambert sang, and I’m just going to have to mute my tv every time Durbin does.

  22. Christina says:

    Kendra definitely deserved a spot in the top 13, but this is Idol, and as you wrote Slezak there’s usually somebody there that shouldn’t be ( Haley, Karen) over someone that should (Kendra). If it brings any comfort though I think the girls are going to drop like flies once the finals get going. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first 3-4 boots are girls.

    • kellybelly says:

      Overall,this season’s Top 13 are better than any season of Idol I can remember. Everyone can sing and perform. The judges are the best ever,and the rule changes are great. Finally!

      Stefano made a believer out of me, and I’ll say it again, it should have been Kendra, Naima, Stefano. OR why not have 4 go thru?

      America got it right on the guys, but goofed on the girls. Aw well, it’s Idol, so I can’t expect to be happy all the time. But in general, so far, so good.

      I hope that perhaps they’ll do the results night in a similar way. Take the bottom 3 (picked by the judges) and have them sing for their life, and then the judges decide who the person going home is.

      The way SYTYCD and Xfactor does.

  23. dctoronto says:

    What is it with AI voters and them (mostly) ignoring talented women of colour for blander contestants. This seems to be an ongoing trend of late.

    • JB says:

      Karen is a person of colour. I must have missed the night they had talented women of colour on. Is you are referring to Ashthon, she’s an over the top diva way less talented than she thinks she is. Her vocals are just average with a lot of swagger. That’s it. I don’t think any of the women this season are very good. Certainly not AI caliber.

      • DiMi says:

        If you don’t think Naima is talented, then you are just a racist. Maybe you should start a show called kkk idol. (Plus, I think Haley is biracial.)

        • Rick says:

          Funny comment, I met her dad tonight (small world) in a bar in Mundelein, Illinois as he is in a band and her mother sings too. He is a blonde white guy, her mother has dark curly hair and could be half spanish/ Puerto Rican or just Italian. Neither one is even close to black. They were both amazing singers, the dad plays for a living. They will be at the show Wednesday.

  24. Mary says:

    I think America did a good job for the top 13, the only surprise I felt
    was Karen, I thought Lauren T should of been there. I am not a big fan of Kendra, so I wasn’t upset she didn’t make it. You can tell this year they didn’t want any singer songwriter type in or cute guys. I was a upset that Ashton got in. Her stank attitude is already on my last nerve, hopefully America won’t keep her long. I like Thia, but I fear she is really not ready for the Idol machine, Her fear is showing. It should be interesting,now we can see what everyone is made up of – live shows.

  25. AJ says:

    I don’t get the Haley Hate. She’s not my fav but she a lot better than most of the girls from last year. She has potential and from what I’ve seen, she pulled off some nice vocals in Hollywood. Ashthon is the one I don’t get. He vocals were crap last night. I guess TPTB assumed they were low on “diva” and had to compensate.

    I agree that Kendra was robbed!

    • marie says:

      She’s not competing LAST year, she’s competing THIS year – she may be better than most last year (I’m not convinced), but that’s irrelevant – she sure as heck isn’t better than most this year!

    • CMJ says:

      She may be better than most of the girls LAST year, but definitely not THIS year, which, at this point, is all that matters.

  26. Lispill says:

    OH why America? Why?? Why would you put Hailey “Look what I can do to my voice!!” Reinhart in over Kendra or even Lauren … seriously … even the fact that you did a good job with the other spots couldn’t excuse this travesty!

    Slezak you got to get these girls on Idoloonies!!! Please, Sir!

  27. Sandi says:

    I was really disappointed that Robbie didn’t get it. I thought they should have found a spot for him. I had no doubt they find a way to get Naima in there but I felt that they picked more girls deliberately because they want a girl to win this year since one hasn’t in a while. It’s not that Ashton didn’t deliver a solid rendition of the song but if you actually compare it to Jennifer Hudson’s, it doesn’t stand up at all. Robbie, however, was nearly flawless. And I disagree with Slezak. My mind didn’t wander at all. He had my full attention and I was rooting for him.

  28. ladyinsilver says:

    The most heartbreaking loss for me is Lauren Turner. I think she is a real diamond in the rough. Please Slezak, get her on Idoloonies! She should be encouraged to continue in the music business.

  29. ButBrettTho says:

    Brett. Oh, Brett. My rainbow cookie messiah. :(

    Without Brett, there will be no sunshine, no glittery rainbows. Obviously America hates ginger Jewish gay kids who hit their Rs too hard but soar in their upper registers.

    I miss you already, Brett. The Idol machine is a darker place without your shining, spastic, socially awkward star.

    • Kevin says:

      Sooooooo glad he’s gone. His talent didn’t compensate for his awkwardness.

    • Amy says:

      Couldn’t Brett hug the judges during the after-party?!? They had to cut Kendra’s feedback short as it was. I think Brett is a nice kid, don’t like his voice. But “hugging” all the time up was over the top and annoying.

    • NJ says:

      Oh BRETT. He was such a ray of sunshine, seriously, I adored him. I knew even if he’d been in the top 13 he wouldn’t have won Idol, but I did wish he could stay for a little longer.

  30. Kevin says:

    Hey Slezak, is there any chance of getting Kristen Baldwin on an episode of Idoloonies? I know she’s with a different website, but you and her made such an awesome team. I would die laughing every time you two made a video. I miss that chemistry.

    • JJ says:

      I totally agree! I LOVED all of those videos. However…is anyone else having the trouble I’m having with viewing the videos on this site? I don’t have trouble streaming video anywhere else. Just here. It takes FOREVER to load (and sometimes never does), plays 5 or 10 seconds, and then times out again. I have tried every week to watch Idoloonies and it’s killing me that I can’t!! Please fix this so EVERYBODY can enjoy it!

  31. Marta says:

    Anyone else think they may have picked Wildcard singers based on who could deliver a dramatic ballad? (or attempt to?) Though the Jovany-choice appeared completely out of left field- I’m not sure Tim or Brett would have been able to bust out dramatic, pleading, big-vocal performances that (I admit) really did add to the drama and excitement of the Wildcard round.
    That and, of course, they knew who was going through long before they sang….:)

    • ladyhelix says:

      Maybe in the past… but this year? I really don’t think they did know who was going through until they sang.
      But perhaps they judges are better actors than I give them credit for.

  32. stevenjaba says:

    I’m confused – Paul and Kendra were in the same band before Idol?

  33. Janizzle says:

    The Top boys were spot on, but the girls…I voted for Lauren Turner and think she should’ve got in over Haley. Surprised Karen made it but I did give her props for her performance with a couple votes (sorry!). Will only Top 10 make it to the tour??

    • marie says:

      My guess is that if they decide the tour will still be the top 10 only, then it will be the top 10 AS IT IS WHEN WE GET TO THE TOP 10 – in other words, the first three eliminated from the top 13 will not go on the tour, but whatever 10 remain afterwards will. I think that’s what you were asking: it would be very unfair if they send the “original” top 10 on tour without giving the 3 wildcards a chance to make it to the tour. I can’t imagine them working it that way. Or who knows, maybe they’ll expand the tour to 13 this year (although that would surprise me).

  34. Sue says:

    I’m just wondering why the contestants could play instruments during this sudden death week. It sounded from Julie that next week they can start, but I’ll be honest, I’ll be a little ticked if they can’t use them. Sometimes a guitar can make a great performance i.e. David Cook’s “Little Sparrow”.

    Top 13…..I’m not hating it. I think the boys side is more diverse, music style wise so we’ll see.

    • seattlejohn says:

      I think I read that contestants can use an instrument once each this season because the producers want more performance value than some guy standing aroung hiding behind a guitar each week, but the one-time rule would at least give the viewers a taste of folk’s musicianship skills

  35. hooch says:

    Happy with the guys who made it through, but hugely disappointed Lauren T did not. Def she should be in there instead of Karen or Haley, but also Naima, who I think won’t make it far because there’s something about her i think america won’t like.
    Favorite quote of the night (for its comical insincerity): Haley saying “I just want you all to know [fans], you’re the reason I do this” LOL ! Please!

    • GinaBallerina says:

      Lol, I loved that, too! A little premature. I’m sure she was singing long before she had “fans,” if she even has them now…

      That quote is right up there with the text from Kelly Clarkson: “Actually she [Lauren A] reminds me of Kellie Pickler.” AKA: “She doesn’t sound anything like me!” HA! Kelly is forever my hero!

      • hooch says:

        Haha, I know! Slezak gave Lauren A that award that she should just say Thank you to Kelly’s “compliment”, but I do NOT think that’s how Kelly meant it! I do think Lauren A is better than Kelly Pickler though.

  36. Aly says:

    It is CRAZY to me that America could do such a good job picking the guys and suck as far as the girls go. Kendra was COMPLETELY ROBBED. She and Naima have been my two favorite girls for a bit now and while I am somewhat placated Naima got a wildcard spot, I do not know if I can watch Karen and Haley knowing they are just so inferior to Kendra.

  37. Rich says:

    I didn’t think Kendra did as well as some on her sounded(to me) a little screechy toward the end.I think the way the producers have set this season up is brillant.Not only do i feel well aquainted with the all the finalist and their singing style but also was sad some contestants(robbie,Lauren) had to leave..its a great group this year.
    …and I love Baby Ross(ashthon)shes got the “it” factor

  38. SpyKi says:

    Why’s everyone hating on Haley? I think she’s one of the better girls in the competition, I’ll take her over Karen, Ashton, Naima, Thia or any of the other boring girls.

    • Tom K says:

      I am with you in that I enjoy listening to Haley’s voice.
      The issue with a singer like Haley is that people are either going to love her style or loathe it. You aren’t going to hear many people say “She was OK” after one of her performances.
      But I’ve always liked females singers with her type of sound – it’s original, and the voice overall is fine. I absolutely have no issues with her being in the Top 13. Now we will see if she justifies it – I am one of those viewers who has no issue completely destroying one of my “favorites” if they go out there and bomb on a song.

      I also liked Kendra – but there definitely is a demographic thing going on. It is a TV show, after all.

      One thing I will say – usually at this point, there is already a contestant or two that I can do without. As of right now, I can’t really say that about this crop of contestants – sure, it would be nice if Kendra and/or Lauren T was still in…but I honestly can’t say “…instead of Competitor X”.

  39. Alina says:

    Switch Hailey and Karen with Kendra and Lauren T and we would’ve had the best Top 13 ever on Idol. Having said that, it’s relatively good that there are some contestants I don’t enjoy that much, someone needs to go home each week and I don’t want to be a mess everytime that happens.
    I’m looking forward to what these guys bring on stage… I’m rooting for Paul and Casey, although I guess Pia, Lauren and Scotty will be insanely popular with the general public.
    That clip above with Paul and Kendra is gold… we need maturity and a deeper understanding of music, not a good voice ready to be packaged by the mediocre producers that Idol works with.

    • Pam says:

      Switching Haley & Karen out for Kendra and Lauren T was my thought exactly! I was shocked that Lauren T didn’t even get a chance to sing for the judges last night. And as much as I thought I liked Ashthon before, this week her attitude has me wanting to push her off a cliff (which is what I think the other contestants are contemplating).

      Love, love, love Kendra and Paul together. In the immortal words of Steven Tyler – Beautiful!

  40. Bobbi says:

    I was not blown away by Kendra’s “Georgia”. I am livid that Lauren Turner didn’t even get an opportunity to try. To be likened to Bette Midler and then kicked off the next night? The thing that really infuriates me is that I don’t think it had a thing to do with her voice. It was her style, and looks that cost her. Heartbreaking. Instead, we get the robotic Thia, horrific Haley and diva wannabe Ashthon? What a waste!

    • Lyn says:

      Totally agree re Lauren Turner. I’d love to see a rising singer who’s more of a (sober) Amy Winehouse type rather than just another hypersexed warbler. She was the only one I bothered to vote for — worried that despite her talent, she would not fare well vs. all the glitzy little pageant cuties. Did not vote ENOUGH, obviously!

    • wendeeloo says:

      I hear ya on this topic of Lauren – I thought she’d get another chance. I voted for Kendra because i thought she needed the help but I wish I’d have thrown lauren some support.

  41. Jen says:

    I may me in the minority but I was really really sad to see Jovanni go! I know it can be Idol suicide to be “boring” this stage in the game, but I’m such a sucker for ballads and that boy’s voice was so smooth and beautiful. The modulation in “I’ll Be” was downright goosebump-inducing!! Bummed that he’s gone! But other than that, great top 13!!!!

  42. Dawn says:

    Thank God I finally found you!!! If I had to go too much more into this season without your re-caps….

    Lovin’ this season. I agree that Kendra was robbed. I guess my goosebumps weren’t big enough for the judges to see. But, that being said, time to move forward and take care of the real business at hand. FIND OUR AMERICAN IDOL!

    Thanks Slezak….you da best!

  43. Georgia says:

    I was disappointed that Kendra did not make it through the wild card round. I think she could be an artist whose music I would buy, but I’m afraid that she may be forgotten by the end of the season. I can’t argue that Stefano is talented, but am I the only one who is a little annoyed with his enunciation? I never thought that I would criticize proper enunciation, but he seems overly trained and unnatural. I’m sure that his music teacher loves him.

  44. Salome says:

    My one consolation last night, Slezak, was my burgeoning hope that you would bring Kendra on Idoloonies. I just can’t understand how the Idol machine missed her!

    Other than wishing that she and Lauren Turner could take the place of Haley and Karen, I’m not too mad at the top 13. The boys were spot on. Even though I’m not a fan of Durbin at all, he had one of the best performances on Tuesday. And while I love Robbie’s voice his performances both Tuesday and in the wildcard round just weren’t great. Stefano surprised me by outsinging the other guys. I didn’t realize he was that good! So he also deserves his spot.

    But Karen, really? The 90’s called, they want their hokey and insincere arm movements back! It feels like they took a former swaybot from the audience and put them onstage.

    Haley’s inclusion is one of those Idol mysteries I think we’ll never understand…

    Overall, the boys are fascinating and the girls are milquetoast. If it wasn’t for the last minute inclusion of Naima and Ashthon they’d be dead in the water.

  45. jen says:

    So sad that Kendra and Lauren T did not make it. There’s no depth on the girls side any more with perhaps the exception of Naima. Will I watch just for the boys? Is AI testing me?

  46. Fred says:

    Naimi and Ashthon are awful. Listen to them sing with your eyes closed and justify their selection, please. It is, after all, a singing competition.

  47. Kevin C. says:

    I’m a bit worried by all the nerves shown in the first live performances of the season.

    Naima, I know you can sing better than that opening to your song and I hope the nerves go away by next week. Ashthon, I really really hope you can sing better than your entire song was yesterday and that was just nerves instead of a recurring problem.

  48. ladyhelix says:

    Sing for your life was terrific! I love how it brought out the passion the flair and the power – and made it clear (with one exception) why each of these singers got through. And even those who didn’t go through gave inspired performances. THAT’s the kind of drama that feels “real” and inspires me.

    Hopefully it set the tone and they’ll ALL “sing for their lives” in every performance show.

    On SYTYCD the bottom 4/6 dance for their lives every week. I never would have thought that would work with idol, but it really might! What do you think?

  49. Mike Nguyen says:

    I wish this was a year where they went with the “Eliminate 4 people a week” semi-final format because a lot of the semi-finalists deserved a second or third week in the competition. I’m not sure the Top 12/13 outcome would’ve been any different, but I would’ve loved to hear many of these guys for another week or two. The talent this season definitely could’ve carried that format, unlike last year, which probably could’ve used the one-week format.

    • Li-Li says:

      I agree. They took so much time to pick these final contestants, then didn’t really give them much of a chance. I can’t even imagine how terrifying it would be to perform on that stage for the first time. It would have been nice to give some of them (namely Rachel Z., Robbie, Kendra) at least one more shot to mix it up. I (foolishly) thought that all 14 would get a chance to sing for a Wild Card slot, and it seemed pretty mean to just quickly dump some of the singers so unceremoniously.

  50. tkav3 says:

    Michael I don’t get your love for Ashton at all. She is nothing special if you close your eyes and listen. I preferred LaKisha Jones And I’m telling you 100 times more than Ashton’s. That said I am so bummed that Kendra and Lauren didn’t make the cut. I would gladly trade Thia, Karen and Haley out for those two and anyone else at all. I hope that they exit quickly. You are right though that is at least one maddening contestant every year. Not to mention, Dawg, it’s supposed to be a singing competiton. I feel like Lauren was slighted b/c of her looks and Kendra b/c of her laid back or quiet personality and less air time for them too. JUST PISSED is all! Thanks for the hilarious recap and you’re as great as ever.

    • My 2 Cents says:

      I was missing me some LaKisha Jones last night, tooooooo!

      And I agree with you @ Ashthon, This, Karen, and Haley. To the curb.

      Also agree with you @ reasons why Lauren T and Kendra did not make it.