American Idol Recap: The Goodbye Girl

In case you had any worries, Ryan Seacrest’s sadistic streak is not only alive and well, but “wonderfully” reinvigorated after a 10-month hibernation period. On Thursday night’s American Idol Top 13 results show telecast, our host played Road Runner to MySpace Contestant Karen Rodriguez’s Wile E. Coyote, lulling her into a false sense of security just to dangle her back out over the precipice of possible elimination. “You are all safe!” he gleefully announced to Karen and fellow contestants Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone at the midway point of the show, before taking a deep breath and adding this gut-kick of an addendum: “Except Karen, this evening.” Talk about dropping an anvil on top of a gal’s head!

Lucky for Karen, she’ll live to have her emotions toyed with again next week, as (to no one’s great shock) it was Ashthon Jones who was marked for Idol extinction after her tepid take on Diana Ross’ “When You Tell Me That You Love Me.” Ashthon, whose one-shouldered pink-ruffled blouse looked like the country-club cousin of the one Steven Tyler wore on last Thursday’s Wild Card episode, admitted that in hindsight, she wished she’d picked a song more familiar to the voting public; then, minutes later, season 10’s resident diva went and chose the same exact number for her Judges’ Save performance/funeral ritual. Granted, it’s not like there was a Tara Reid’s chance at the Oscars that J.Lo, Steven, and Randy were going to overturn the public referendum on Ashthon for a second straight week, but I still held out hope she’d break into a rendition of “Hit Em Up Style (Oops!),” the ear-candy Blu Cantrell track she tackled during Group Week in Hollywood. Oh, Ashthon, I’m gonna miss your on-stage swagger most of all!

Joining Ashthon and Karen in the bottom three this week was Haley Reinhart, who greeted the bad news (also presented by Ryan in cruel fake-out fashion) with a full-body slouch and a one-word response: “Cool.” (Somewhere in my brain, I could hear Modern Family‘s Cam asking, “Is it cool, Haley? Is it?”)

But I digress! Results were hardly the only thing on the agenda for the 60-minute telecast, as the top 13 received valuable lessons in hawking merchandise (spots for Ford and this weekend’s big-screen Red Riding Hood; lipsynching (a Michael Jackson medley that I’ve got to admit was significantly less painful than I’ve come to expect from these sorts of things); and maintaining their post-show popularity (a gorgeous live performance by Adam Lambert and a stellar new “exit track” from season 7 champ David Cook).

To be honest, this week’s Ford Music Video was edited so frantically that my old-man eyes pulled a control-alt-delete in order to avoid a potential seizure, while the red-carpet schmoozing among the Idol finalists ranged from innocuous to downright depressing. (I wonder if Naima drew the short straw for that “Anybody could’ve been the wolf!” exclamation. Then again, “the wolf” just makes me think of Molly DeWolf Swensen and how we never got to hear her sing this season after her riveting rendition of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”) But let’s move on to stuff that matters…

* Adam’s joyous, unplugged “Aftermath” was something of an oasis in the midst of the compulsory results-night activities. Looking particularly fresh-scrubbed in a simple black jacket, the season 8 runner-up took away so much of the overbearing production of the original “Aftermath” (from Adam’s For Your Entertainment set) and put the emphasis back on the song’s lovely melody and important lyrical message of self-acceptance and self-empowerment. Proceeds from Adam’s new dancefloor-driven “Aftermath” remix (available for download at his official site) will benefit The Trevor Project (which seeks to end suicides among LGBTQ youth). You know you’ve got to check it out, if for no other reason than to hear the “Aftermath” rendition that makes Seacrest do “The Dougie.” (Combined with Ryan’s rendition of “The Paul McDonald” on Wednesday, our guy is turning out to be quite the hoofer! How about a DWTS stint during Idol‘s off-season?)

* In other alumni news, Idol viewers finally got to hear a snippet of David Cook’s remake of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me,” which buoyed Ashthon’s exit reel. Who knows, maybe next week Ryan Seacrest & Co. can keep a closer eye on the clock and give us more than a minute of Cookie’s delectable rasp? Dude’s sophomore album release cannot get here quickly enough!

And now, let’s finish up with some special awards and titles:

Enthusiastic Dancer of the Week (Non-Seacrest Edition)
Um, has anyone ever seen an Idol contestant dig into his or her group-performance choreography with the insane gusto and undeniable infectiousness of Jacob Lusk? All he wants to do is…dance like there’s no tomorrow!

Contestant Who Seriously Needs to Cover Some Michael Jackson — Stat!
Ooh la la, did Stefano sound great belting “Rock With You” or what?

Contestant Who Needs to Get Healthy ‘Cause Season 10 Wouldn’t Be as Interesting Without Him
Casey Abrams, who missed the telecast with his second hospitalization of the season. Get well, shaggy sir!

Best Fashion (Men’s Edition)
Not exactly sure how Steven Tyler managed to successfully pair a blue leopard scarf with that snow-leopardy lining of his dramatic duster, but hey, if it were that easy, we’d all be rock stars.

That’s Not “Country,” It’s Just Hideous
Bad enough that Scotty McCreery brought back that heinoustry of a camouflage visor, but the fact that he wore it upside down during the Idol Mansion tour? Now he’s gone too far!

Comment About the Idol Mansion That Should Have Been Used by a Judge to Describe Jacob Lusk’s Wednesday Night Performance of “I Believe I Can Fly”
A tearful Haley declaring “this is too much!”

Way to Not to Get Too Caught Up in the Hollywood Scene
Paul McDonald asking “Is she a famous actress or something?” after meeting Nikki Reed at the Red Riding Hood premiere

Attempt to Rebuild Competitive Momentum With Possibly Overzealous Self-Critique
Lauren tearfully saying that after watching back her performance of “Any Man of Mine,” she realized “[The judges] were right. It wasn’t good. It was bad, and I’m sorry.” [From where does this fiction originate that Randy, J.Lo, and Steven somehow eviscerated Little Lauren’s performance in the first place? Kid, they offered some mild criticism, not the Full Simon!]

Attempt to Rebuild Competitive Momentum With Decidedly Downplayed Self-Critique
Jacob admitting he “definitely messed up,” then trying to convince Ryan and the audience that he pulled the performance back together by the time he’d finished. Not for these ears, dude!

That Performance Slot Could’ve/Should’ve Gone to Melinda Doolittle!
“Diddy Dirty Money” (Is that possibly a long-lost synonym for “Ke$ha”?)

And finally, an important rule for our Top 12…

Fist-Pumping in Front of Your “Bottom Three” Comrades Is Not Acceptable — No Matter How Much Ryan Seacrest Encourages It and No Matter How Psyched You Are to Advance One Step Closer to the Idol Summer Tour
This one goes out to Paul McDonald, James Durbin, and all their neophytes Idol buddies who came uncomfortably close to tap-dancing on Ashthon’s grave after Ryan told them all they were safe. Remember, like Santa Claus, our eyes are always upon you!

And now…what did you think of the Top 13 results show? Did the right person go home? Who dodged a bullet? 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. lunakits says:

    Wow! You posted early tonight, Michael! Do you have a hot date to get to with your hubby?!

    • the real wendy says:

      Hopefully, it was early because he still has to work on the Top Chef recap. Hellooooo…..

      • It might have been early because this recap could have been written right after Ashthon performed. It was pretty obvious she was the one going. I thought Karen had a shot at going, but thinking about how Ashthon wasn’t even originally chosen by the American public and her rendition on Wednesday, it makes total sense.

        I think the funniest part of the whole thing was that she admitted it was a bad song choice, and proceeded to sing that same song again. Really? I know she couldn’t sing “I’m Not Going”, like she did for the judges last week, but don’t sing the song that just got you voted out. I never understood why they did this for many years, I think last year was the first time they allowed the contestants to sing any song they ever sung, one that might have gotten them to the Top 10-13 originally. It just makes more sense.

  2. ohbabs says:

    loved your commentary. always good for a chuckle which is good for the soul. oh that Ryan.

    • darclyte says:

      I agree, great comments as usual Mr Slezak.

      It appears that the group sing had the leads sing live and the backups were all lip sync performances.

      Pretty clear choice for Ashthon to go as she was my pick. Kinda surprised that Haley was in the bottom the one time that I actually thought she was halfway decent.

      Karen shouldn’t make the Top 10 and the tour, and shouldn’t have made the Top 13 as far as I’m concerned (Kendra, Lauren Turner and Robbie all seem more talented overall.)

      I thought it was a jerky move the way Ryan told Karen she was in the bottom, but at least he later made her the first of the Bottom 3 to be safe.

      I liked that for the first time they didn’t bring everyone over to create the Bottom 3. They WISELY adjusted for time and only did 2 groups. I wonder if that is from the new director?

      I thought that it was ridiculous the way they coddled Lauren. They brought her over, like they’re supposed to do with EVERYONE, and Ryan asked what she thought of her performance after watching it back and after hearing the judges comments, and she said that she sucked and then started crying, so Ryan TOOK PITY on her and told her she was safe. If she’s old enough to be on the show, she’s old enough to go through the process like EVERYONE else.

      Steven didn’t seem to like Adam’s performance much, he seemed disinterested. Even J-Lo seemed to zone out. Randy was all into it. After Adam’s performance, Adam greeted the contestants and judges, and Steven “admired” his necklace (per an entertainment reporter’s on the scene report.) Nigel posted a pic of Adam with James online that I’m sure can be found with a simple search.

      Steven DID like Diddy Dirty Money and gave him a Standing O. The gal who played piano and sang is Skylar Grey and she also performed with Eminem and Dr Dre at the Grammy Awards last month.

      • Carla in Houston says:

        @darclyte – I agree with you 100% on the Lauren comment. The judges feedback on her was not even harsh, and she’s crying about it the next day? If she’s that delicate natured, she’s in the wrong business. She strikes me as way to immature, even for her age. At first I thought she was just channeling Kellie Pickler, but after those tears last night, I just think she is to emotionally young to be in a competition like this. They should’ve sent her home before the top 24 and told her to come back next year or the year after.

        • Suncatcher says:

          Folks, those were CROCODILE TEARS from little Lauren. She is dumb like a fox with acting lessons – and manipulative. She’s playing Ryan (“Peaches”) and the judges like a fiddle. Can’t believe they are that gullible.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Suncatcher, I’m 100% in agreement with you about Lauren. She can’t leave fast enough to suit me.

      • lukien says:

        Ewww don’t be that harsh on Lauren. Funny that everyone complaint about her attitude during judging, now the same people (including you Michael) complain again that she’s crying / apologizing. Lauren can’t win, huh. For me that’s normal. Just give her a break.
        At least Lauren isn’t stripteasing a song to try ( or fake) to show sincerity then persuading people to buy a full-blown diva queen version of it in a personal website. Ashton channeling Diana Ross should scream: Whor#! In the Name of Charity.
        Am I biopolar? I’m sorry (in Lauren’s tone).

    • djm says:

      To answer your question Michael, no, the right person did not go home. In what has become the single most annoying thing about watching Idol, once again a girl was thrown in the trash so that a boy could sing another week. Because honestly, let’s face it – had a girl performed like Paul McDonald she’d have been gone before the results show even aired. The singing – or lack of singing in his case, the dancing, all of it. Had that been the way a girl performed she’d have been slaughtered. Same with Scotty last week. Had a woman posed that way and done that whole affected wink wink performance she would have been called out on the carpet for being too “pagenty” and would have been sent packing in a hot second. And it happens ALL THE TIME. Every week of the past 4-5 seasons a cute boy had acted a complete fool or stunk up the Idol universe with a total cr@p performance and somehow a female contestant is ALWAYS the one punished for it. Yes, Ashton wasn’t very good, but was she the WORST of the night? Not by far. And just wait – now that Haley acted like such a twirp last night when sent to the bottom I am sure she’ll be the next to be punished, and yet despite what Paul does he’ll remain because he’s got a nice smile and tween-aged girls and cougars will do whatever it takes to punish another girl on the show.

      • ginaM says:

        It is what it is. Women are the ones doing the power voting. If guys want to see more women get higher in the rankings than they need to start voting. I’m shocked that Paul was not at least in the bottom three, because he really was bad. I think any three of the girls in the bottom three deserved to go because they either sang bad such as Karen and Ashthon or in Haley’s case over mugging to the camera is getting old real quick.

      • jinq says:

        Yes, in past seasons it seems like the ‘tween vote has skewed the results unfairly. On the other hand, using Sanjaya as an example, you had people like Howard Stern and various Internet groups advocating those who dislike the show to vote for him just to mess things up. So much goes on behind the scenes of this show that we don’t have a clue about.

        As for this season, well, any ‘tween girl *I’ve* ever known would sprain fingers voting for Stefano, or even James, WAY before they’d vote for Paul… in fact, most would be *horrified* by the strangeness of his voice and his spastic stage performance. And to say that “cougars will do whatever it takes to punish another girl on the show” … well, it’s really sad if these are the kind of middle-aged women you know. The women *I* know watch the show because they love the singing and the excitement ~ not to see good-looking men and hate on talented, attractive women. I think Paul is adorable, and also talented, but I thought his performance was awful this week and his song choice ill-advised, given that he had to change most of the lyrics to sing it on television, and I did not vote for him ~ or Jacob, who I think is amazingly talented.

        It seems to me the producers of the show have much more of an “agenda” than the ‘tweens and so-called “cougars” do. Otherwise, Ashthon and Naima wouldn’t have made the top 13 at all, when Lauren and Kendra were much more talented. Face it, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

      • Kanz says:

        I completely agree with you. I’m female who is so often disappointed that other women do not vote for singers of their own gender, even when they are probably the ones who listen to Rihanna, Gaga, Taylor Swift, likely even more so than any males do.

        I think the fact that the girls have it harder with regards to having to care about their look, image, and style do make them more prepared to succeed post Idol. You really have to be an exceptional girl to win over the voting American public.

        • Bat Country says:

          And yet, the women have ended up being more successful post-Idol than the men overall. Goes to show power voting doesn’t translate into power album-buying.

      • Cat says:

        I’ve said it over and over for years now–there must be a limit on the votes from a single number like DWTS and other shows do.

        • Suncatcher says:

          @Cat – I TOTALLY agree with you about FIXING THE IDOL VOTING “system”! Until they do, all the new judges and changes in the show mean nothing – the wrong person will continue to win. Oye.

      • Kaodai says:

        djm, I don’t completely agree with you. I don’t think that Ashthon was punished because she’s a girl, but because her performance was forgettable. Her “crime” was to have bored America. Even though Paul wasn’t good, I’m pretty sure everyone remembered him and his performance (mostly, his dancing).

  3. marc_d says:

    mickey sleeze! the group number haven’t gotten any better, it was so bad, rob pilatus rolled over in his grave. speaking of early 90s pop, color me badd just called and said they wanted their look back (reference your idoloonies banner pic) uh, LOSING!

    • NanCeE* says:

      Hey, I like Michael’s Idoloonies banner pic!

    • wendeeloo says:

      I’m always amazed at people who go to a site, read commentary they obviously don’t agree with and bother to make comments! If you are so negative about the writer – why do you hang out here?! There you go – move along now…..

      • marc_d says:

        maybe your amazed by the way he writes this blog. I am too, at times. that’s why i uh “hang out” here. but, like all edumacated folk’ i dont agree with everything he says, and so his criticisms fashion and musical is fair game. so hopefully this explanation will simmmer ur amazement with people that weren’t asleep when god was handing out wit and analytical prowess… uh, winning!

  4. Karin says:

    Enjoyed reading your review (as I always do) :) But I was under the impression that The Trevor Project is a benefactor, not the organiser, of the “It Gets Better” campaign? Nonetheless, The Trevor Project is a great cause that Adam Lambert has aligned himself with :)

  5. TinCan says:

    With guest “Diddy Dirty Money” are we going to get a rap theme week? Gawd, I hope not! I would like to see Melinda Doolittle as a guest. She sure was fun to listen to in your interview. Yuppers, give us some Doo!

  6. ReMMeZ says:

    Just as worse were:
    Paul [please go home – you CAN’T sing.. really not. You are like a male Megan C. it’s guys like Slezak that keep you in .. but that won’t last]
    Karen [get your hand out of J-Lo’s …]
    Jacob [shut up – just shut up.. You give me giant headaches]
    Lauren [country doll with 0.0 depth]
    DDirty Money [stroke the furry wall sean]

    • Paul's a Mess says:

      Paul is horrible.

      He is one of the worst singers in the competition, and that is why Vote For The Worst picked him. He sings like he is inhaling helium.

      • ReMMeZ says:

        Paul is – isn’t he. So that’s the tool vftw choose. Good for them, a shame for people who like to hear a contestant actually sing. Let’s be honoust. Paul sounds like a sesamestreet garbagecan filled with funky vapo rub!

      • wendeeloo says:

        I think that’s great VFTW is throwing votes Paul’s way!! He is one of the more interesting voices and the more help he gets to stick around, all the better! A lot of voices in rock aren’t technically perfect voices that emit smooth, dulcet tones. It’s time Idol produces a variety of types – not cookie-cutter voices like Pia or Karen.

    • Cheryl says:

      Love Paul and his pre-Idol music. Not everyone’s cup of tea but no one is, are they?

      • Raksha says:

        Couldnt agree more. I dont know why people hate him so much. He had a bad performance day…doesnt mean he cant sing!! He has such n Indie vibe..I love that about him!!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Adam Lambert is despicable James Durbin-wannabe. *throws up*

    • remmez says:

      Realitycheck in
      Adam Lambert is God, as far as Durbin is concerned. James wishes in his wildest dreams he had the control and nice tone adam has..
      Now he’s just a screaming nasal sounding troll [thanks for that word mister Sheen!]

    • agrimesy says:

      Wow . . . there are Lambert haters on these Idol recaps STILL! It’s been two years!! In spite of all the gold and platinum tracks from his debut album and a sold out international tour, I think the tirelessly aggressive naysayers alone stand as a testament to Adam’s success. Adam Lambert’s performance of Aftermath was simple, beautiful, and heartfelt. People stomping on philanthropic artists who are determined to share a little compassion in this world are the lowest of the low.

      @Cynthia I don’t think you realize that James sent a message on Twitter that he had met Adam and thanked him graciously for his kind words of encouragement. There were pictures taken of them together hamming it up for the cameras. If they support each other, why can’t you support them both? I feel sorry for you.

      • Cynthia says:

        “It’s been two years!! In spite of all the gold and platinum tracks from his debut album and a sold out international tour”

        Save your breath, grandma. It only takes 15,000 sales to go Platinum in New Zealand, and not much more in Australia or Canada. Thousands of singers get Grammy nominations. In fact, no one even remembers that Madam got one and if you try to imply otherwise, you live a pathetic life. Even Justin Bieber managed to score more nominations, so why don’t we use that as a yard-stick for Madam’s ‘greatness’? Yes, that means Madam isn’t as good as Justin Bieber even. And I’m sure Justin Bieber’s record company didn’t have to buy him his nominations either.

        • agrimesy says:

          “Thousands of singers get Grammy nominations. In fact, no one even remembers that Madam got one and if you try to imply otherwise, you live a pathetic life.”

          Evidently YOU remembered that Adam Lambert got a Grammy nom. I didn’t say anything about that at all. That’s hilarious! I can’t stop laughing! Have a nice day. :-D

          • Cynthia says:

            Uh… because a similar bitch just mentioned it below my post. The joke’s on you, trailer-trash.

          • agrimesy says:

            LOLOLOLOL . . . stop it . . . stop . . . it tickles . . . I’m gonna pee! :)

          • Cynthia says:

            Good to know I made you laugh. Must be lonely and depressing in that trailer. What I’m laughing at is that about two years ago, hundreds of you cows would rush to this transvestite’s defense. How many am I counting now? 2? Yep, Madam sure is popular.

          • Aunt Sassy says:

            No Cynthia – it’s just that we don’t need to defend him against haters like you. Hate away and keep drinking your hateraide. I am sure you have a positively lovely life.

    • lilly says:

      Yeah, I guess that is why James has gold and platinum singles and albums and sold out tours all over the world and a Grammy nomination. Oh, nevermind that is what that wannabe Adam Lambert has.

      Adam did a beautiful job last night. And he was very compimentary to JJames when they met. Too bad fans of James can’t see they are not helping him with their nonsense.

    • ChristineM says:

      Wow, you’re really good at spewing hate-filled insults and negativity at people you don’t even know. You must do it a lot in your everyday life, at school (I’m SURE you’re not an adult, at least I hope not) at home. Do you feel anything positive about anybody? It’s really a shame you can’t see the good-heartedness of Adam and understand his positive vibe.

      • Cynthia says:

        “It’s really a shame you can’t see the good-heartedness of Adam and understand his positive vibe.”
        Oh no, I must be REALLY missing out on life!

        Madam is still not going to let you in his pants, Christine, I think you’d realize that after two years.

      • Cynthia says:

        Sorry, it’s just that I’ve been pleasuring myself to thoughts of Adam for so long that i am now frustrated. I’ve gone to all of his concerts, traveled far and wide and he still wont give me the time of day. He says it’s because he’s gay, but deep down I know it’s because I’m ugly inside and out. So I take it out on others on the internet – lord knows my cats are sick of hearing it.

        • Bat Country says:

          Wow, do you have issues. I’ve heard therapy works wonders.

          • Cynthia says:

            If you think that’s me, then you folks are much dumber than I thought. Have you received NO education whatsoever? How did you even learn to use the computer?

            @The bitch using my name, presumably Christine: Did you just describe your life right there? Anyone with half a brain (that is, non-fans of Madam) can see through your act.

            “He says it’s because he’s gay, but deep down I know it’s because I’m ugly inside and out.”
            Uh no, it really IS because he’s gay. Wow, you people are still in denial about his sexuality.

          • agrimesy says:

            @Cynthia . . . and we’ve turned you defensive as easily as that . . . you are the lamest troll ever.

            Here’s a lesson for you:
            1) Don’t bring up information that the commentor left out. It just shows how much you actually do know about the celebrity you supposedly hate.

            2) Never ever trump in with the Justin Bieber card. Readers will automatically assume you are a kid because really, what kind of a threat is a child.

            3) Refrain from making sexual references. All of a sudden you lose credibility when you turn pervy. (stay focused)

            If anyone else is still following this ridiculous thread, I apologize, truly, for feeding this empty hole in the first place. I will not comment again.

          • Cynthia says:

            Yes, agrimesy shall return to lusting after Madam’s peen.

    • Kaodai says:

      Tell me Cynthia, how can Adam Lambert be a James Durbin wannabe?

      Adam was discovered BEFORE James. In my book, that makes James an Adam Lambert wannabe.

    • IdolGirl says:

      1.) I’m not that much of an Adam fan myself, but he has had more success than other singers who have WON American Idol. Just because he’s not you’re thing, doesn’t mean you should hate on him.
      2.) Adam Lambert was in season 8. James Durbin is in season 10. If anything, that makes James Durbin a copy of Adam. Can’t you respect that they’re both similar singers as long as they’re both talented?
      3.) Bringing up things that weren’t already in the argument is just harming your side. To be honest, you do have to be very talented to even get a grammy nomination, and again, it’s more than some winners have ever gotten. Also, trying to make fun of him with sex jokes just makes you seem like a perv.
      4.) If you don’t like someone’s style or talent or whatever – just don’t bring it up. It just makes you seem bitter or jealous or a hater, not the other people. You can respect that other people like him, without hating on Adam, even if you don’t. Even without that, Glamberts are very vocal and will defend him for ages, so nothing but harassment will come out of it for you.
      Just drop it.

    • Rosa says:

      How can you be a wannabe… of a person you are older than, have been in the public eye much longer than, and have more vocal control than?

  8. The Truth Bitchees says:

    So how many times is Casey going to be out…damn if you can’t handle the pressure…STAY HOME fatso.

  9. EddieIDOL says:

    To put it cute and simple:

    *Lambert (Lady Ga Glam): This is how you do it (James Durbin sitting on a corner taking notes).

    *Diddy Dirty Money (Ghost from Jlo’s past): Really nice, sating O from Stevie-T.

    *Ashthon (D- for disaster and perhaps Diva): Who turn into ashes. Bu-bye gurl.

    Thanks for reading THIS disaster :)

  10. Pop Vulture says:

    Have the producers ever explained why the group numbers are lip-synched rather than performed live? Do they realize how much every single person watching loathes that?

    • Owen says:

      They used to be live…up until, I believe, last year…

      • GinaBallerina says:

        It actually began in Season 8. I remember reading that the contestants loathed it as well and appointed Adam to confront the head honchos about it. I don’t remember if he was successful or not. I think maybe toward the end of the season they began to sing live again but I’m not positive.

        • ladyhelix says:

          If I remember correctly they danced and sang live through Season 7 (David Cook’s year). Poor Brooke White (on both counts).

          I remember hearing/reading interviews from various S8 contestants saying that they were shocked about the “new” lip syncing – that they hated it. And that they sent Adam to lobby with the producers on all of their behalf to get rid of the lip syncing. Toward the end of that season (S8) some of the “group sings” were indeed sung live.

          Michael – you should ask Adam about this!!

          Old documents that I’m embarrassed to admit I still have indicate that in S8….
          * TROUBLE – was lip synced
          * Motown – was Lip synced
          * Can’t get you out of my head – was LIVE singing
          * Manic (top 7) – was live singing

          Though I could be wrong on these (I don’t have links to the clips anymore to verify) – so feel free to comment. And I have no idea what happened S9.

      • PopVulture says:

        Yeah, I think they’ve been lip-synched for a few seasons now. But WHY? (cue Nancy Kerrigan) (cue me feeling old)

        • Teresa says:

          This would be a good topic for an article, since Michael has asked at least one Idol about it in previous interviews. I know we’d all like to have a detailed explanation.

          According to Crystal Bowersox, the contestants were told that it was too difficult to mix their voices live. As the number of voices gets smaller, that becomes less of an issue and, because she pushed for it, she was allowed to live sing towards the end of the season.

          The conclusion I’ve drawn is that it’s one less headache for the television crew and, unless it’s made an issue by the performers, the producers don’t feel like bother with live singing. I think it’s something worth putting some audience energy into. If we make it a big enough issue, then it will support the performers when they protest, and it may become worth it to the producers to work out the technical issues.

          Or maybe we should put our energy into sending get-well vibes to Casey. As a viewer, that’s my number 1 issue right now. I don’t think I could bear losing him this year to illness.

          • betsy says:

            why can’t they just get rid of the stupid group sing altogether!?!? It’s boring, stupid and takes up too much time.

    • Kim R says:

      I agree! I am so irritated by that. It is so obvious. If they can’t perform well enough on stage live, they shouldn’t be on stage! On another note (no pun intended) I am glad Ashton is gone. Her voice was an assault on my ears. I am surprised that Haley was in the bottom 3 because I think she has a great voice. Jacob should have been there instead. Yikes!

    • Jaime says:

      i thought it was because of Scott (the blind guy)?

    • Margie says:

      Or at least they shouldn’t be taking close-up shots of the bad lyp-synching.

  11. Teena says:

    The “everybody else is safe” moment was a bit odd. It didn’t feel like it went very smoothly. For once, they had a full results show that didn’t need to be painfully drawn out. But, it seemed like they could have done something a little more interesting with the safety calls. Felt like Nigel told Ryan right before airing that he had to cut the results short.

  12. kayk says:

    Like you, Slezak, I was uncomfortable and perplexed by the now-top 12 celebrating their victory in Ashthon’s presence. Felt a little bit like an example of bad sportsmanship…

    • anon says:

      I don’t really think Ashthon was that well liked.

    • AJM says:

      It seemed to me that no one was really celebrating until Ryan badgered them into it.

      • Suncatcher says:

        @ AJM – you are absolutely right – no one was saying a word (probably in shock) so Ryan went over to get them and told them to make some noise and cheer for being saved. The cruel side of Ryan strikes again!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        You’re correct – Ryan egged them on to “celebrate”, so they did.

        • indigo says:

          You’re correct but I saw James Durbim fist pumping before Ryan egged them, that James is getting on my nerves with his fist pumping, legs splitting ending every time with last note, and enough with the peace signs flashing and hogging camera shots. He is the most irritating contestant since Danny Goky.

  13. Hillary says:

    Michael, I really don’t get this total hatred of Lauren…is it because Nigel said that she’d win once? Do we really think there’s that much of a conspiracy behind Idol? Or is it because the girl’s 100% southern belle, complete with the minor ditzy act? Because I find that kind of endearing. Whatever the reason, I don’t think you can deny that she deserves to be in the top 12. And as far as her “overreaction” when telling everyone she was sorry for messing up, the girl’s 16. She’s probably been criticized a grand total of once in her entire life. Try and give her a break. I’d love to see 16 year old you stand in front of a huge audience, while on national television, and be told your writing’s just okay and not really kick-a**.

    • dctoronto says:

      Thia and Scotty are close to the same age as Lauren and we don’t see them acting like spoiled brats. Lauren comes off as having been coddled so much throughout her life that she doesn’t know how to accept criticism.

      • Holly says:

        Actually, I think Thia DOES come across like a spoiled, entitled little girl! Both Lauren and Thia are showing a great deal of emotion under pressure, and that is because they are just too young for this show.

        • St.Jon says:

          I agree that the majority of her grating behavior (and I am 100% a Southern Lady myself) is her age. It seems blatantly apparent that she is a people pleaser on steroids. It’s painful to watch someone with talent use it to garner approval rather than express herself artistically…something I don’t think you can do without the kind of self-awareness you don’t possess at that age. She reminds me of an over excited puppy, and while they can be annoying, you can’t hate them. They’re cute and aggravating at the same time. You have to invest in them and train them and love them. She’ll be a star some day. But is it now? I hope not. I would love it if she had a few years to get to know herself before her life becomes a toddlers and tiaras moment.
          Bash Paul all you want…he at least has a clear artistic vision and identity because he’s an adult.

          • lar says:

            amen to this!

          • djm says:

            I so agree. I wish the producers had made the minimum age 18 and then taken Lauren, Thia & Scotty and signed them to a deal to be part of a future season and mentored them along the way. I just think Lauren’s baby schtick is grating – almost as grating as her I’m a WOMAN and a skank vibe she throws around too. She can’t have it both ways – either be the skanky stripper performing for Steven Tyler or the baby who pouts and does the baby-speak, but you can’t be both.

          • Lunakit says:

            Excellent post, St. Jon.
            Incredibly astute observation of Lauren: It is very usable imagery to think of her as an overexcited, annoying puppy. That will help soften my ire for her each week. I do, however, firmly hope and believe that she will not come out on top this season. Precious pup needs a little more kennel training.

          • luke says:

            Toddlers and tiaras – that’s perfect!

    • chistosa says:

      Hillary, first of all criticism is not hatred. So I don’t interpret a criticism of Lauren as Lauren hate. Secondly, there are legitimate criticisms. She is always playing the cute card albeit inappropriately. age inappropriately flirting with Steven Tyler, weird nicknames for Ryan, tears at will. And she is not that good. She has a good voice that with training, experience could provide her a good living. But voice alone is not enough. If it were the only thing Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift would not be household names. It is performance and personality as well and hers is annoying to many people. But hatred is too strong a word.

      • marie says:

        “…criticism is not hatred. So I don’t interpret a criticism of Lauren as Lauren hate.”

        THANK YOU! I almost with the site’s filters would catch the words “hate” and “haters” as they do the cuss words! SOOOO overused, and so inappropriate. After all, we are all posting to give our honest OPINIONS, NOT to engage in a 100% love fest where everyone gets praised whether they deserve it or not, right? Thank you, chistosa!

    • Mary says:

      AMEN SISTER! You said it all, I wish everybody would just stop slamming Lauren! And you’re on the money about the Southern Belle comment, she’s adorable that’s not obnoxious, she’s only 16 after all. The girl felt so bad she even apologized!

      • jb says:

        I don’t find the southern belle schtick charming at all and she’s not all that adorable.

      • Bat Country says:

        You can still be a Southern Belle and have some since of artistry. Lauren fails to do so. At least she’s still not making the mistake of calculated oversinging as she did in her audition (which is what caused me to dislike her instantly).

        BTW, don’t expect to hear that word “artist” this season from the judges with Lauren in the pimp spot….

    • marie says:

      Two seasons ago, Allison Iraheta was just 16, and she got more than her share of criticism from the judges, as well as landing in the bottom 3 several times, and she never, ever sulked, pouted, or acted like an entitled brat, but always accepted the criticism graciously (if goofily) and with good cheer. What’s Lauren’s excuse? Her age is no excuse at all; she’s 16, not 6, and should have learned a little something about not acting like a spoiled little girl by now.

      • ginaM says:

        Good call. Allison and Archie were both young and class acts on the stage. I use to get so frustrated with all the negative feedback on her being too old in singing style yet they would rip her up for her funky young dress style. It seems the judges this year are giving a pass on constructive feedback to the youngsters in the way they dress- I’m looking at you Lauren and over praising their vocal efforts.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Thank you.
        For me – it’s a shame to see such talent and potential “crippled” in any way. You can call it whatever you like, and you can attribute it to any number of reasons (age, maturity, etc.).

        But the bottom line is – to some if us – this behavior is OFF PUTTING and it will affect how we vote. It’s not too late for Lauren. Yet.

        My personal opinion? – Where is Super-Nanny when we need her?

    • Sue says:

      And this is EXACTLY why the age requirement should not have been lowered.

  14. dctoronto says:

    I’d like to use this forum to express my ever growing disdain for self-indulgent/ over the top hip hop. In paqrticular when it comes from a multi-millionaire.
    According to another site. The audience couldn’t have cared less for whatever he is calling himself this week’s performance. And that is a good thing.

  15. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    Had to miss last night’s show, but based on this recap, I didn’t really miss anything. Not surprised to see Ashton go — I couldn’t see the AI voters connecting with her music and her faux diva personality. I’m predicting Thea goes next week…

  16. Stavros Davros says:

    Michael, any chance you can hunt down a replica of Scotty’s camouflage visor to wear in one of your Idoloonies videos? Perhaps the week after he is eliminated. Have your assistant get on to this post haste. This could make the world a better place.

  17. LiLa says:

    What was with Steven Tyler at the end of Adam’s performance? Randy and JLo applauded while Steven sat with his hands folded. Then when Diddy Dirty Money finished, he gave him a standing O. I like Steven but last night, his behavior was rude.

    • Sharon says:

      Yeah, he seemed totally out of it last night.

    • KathyCalculates says:

      I found the judges behavior toward Adam odd and Steven Tyler’s especially cold. It made me wonder if their reactions were edited in some way to make it look so bad. But it is a live performance, right???

    • Gale says:

      He was definitely off last night. He just stared forward and never said a word.

      • JLo's Lipstick says:

        In the past, fake judges were in the chairs during guest performances. Maybe that’s what was seen.??

    • Bat Country says:

      He wasn’t the only one who didn’t applaud Adam. Notice the contestants, at least one sat on their hands as well…

  18. Sophie says:

    A few observations:
    1. Might Stefano, Jacob and Lauren have been in places 8,9 and 10 since they were the only other contestants called to center stage? I can dream can’t I?
    2. There was no mention of The Trevor Project being associated with the LGBT community. Perhaps Nigel was afraid to offend Scotty and Lauren’s fan base?
    3. Who wants to bet that America bounces Haley next week as a major attitude correction, regardless of how well she sings? Girl, didn’t anyone ever tell you about the dangers of throwing gasoline on a raging fire? Bye- bye!
    4. Imagine if Paul and Megan Joy mated and produced a little entertainer…he/she could make a good living as a cartooon voice over artist.
    5. Does anyone else get a major chill running up and down your spine every time they scan the audience to find Lauren’s mommy? Imagine waking up next to that every morning. On second thought, don’t.

    • Teena says:

      I noticed that they didn’t elaborate on what the Trevor Project was, too. I found it offensive that they might have deliberately not let Adam say more..

      • marie says:

        Ditto, CAPITAL DITTO! VERY offensive. What’s up with that?

      • Lisa says:

        I noticed they didn’t mention what the Trevor Project is, and was at first a little ticked off, but then realized that it might get people to google it and learn something. They may have been deliberately vague.

      • Eternal Clementine says:

        I noticed that too and was disappointed but I wondered if maybe that was Adam’s decision not Idol’s. I know in interviews right after his season he said he really wanted to be known for his talent not for his sexual orientation.

        • brenda says:

          They did mention it is a charity behind the “It Gets Better” campaign, but like anything, if people don’t know and would like to know, they will google it.

    • Emma says:

      4. It wouldn’t do to say a word “gay” or “lesbian” in AI, wouldn’t it? Someone could get offended! How dare they to remind them that the man standing in front of them is gay, with gay issues!
      So it was only The Trevor Project that got mentioned, and no-one got associated with the gay gay gay. /sarcasm.

      5. I believe that it was Ms. Suddeth’s mother that came up with the “Peaches” joke and trained her daughter to tell it, and I resent the mother for that.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Are gay people the most sensitive people on the planet?

      Folks, condider the time slot of American Idol. It is still, or should be, one of the few shows families can watch together. My six year old niece loves the show. I don’t think we need details. Everyone has computers and phones with internet access. They can look it up.

  19. Beth T says:

    I’m going to give the 12 go-thrus a little pass on the “celebration”. To me it seemed that no one really wanted to do that. But Ryan kept pushing it – first repeatting they were all safe as if maybe they hadn’t realized it, and then with his cranky little “How about showing some enthusiasm?” comment. It wasn’t until then that James and Paul and I guess some of the others stood up, but it all seemed to me like they were thinking “oh yeah there are cameras on us and we might seem ungrateful if we don’t respond”. It was all very awkward.
    I HATE that the “Save” is back – it is such a farce anyway for at least the first 4 weeks. I have a hard time believing even Lauren A would be saved if the voters sent her packing that early.
    I definitely think Ashton was the right one to go – but then, I don’t think she should have gotten the wild card slot to start with.
    I guess there’s a good singer in thre somewhere, but she reminded me very much of Paige Miles last year – never pulled it together on the big stage.
    Enjoyed Adam’s perfromance last night, and liked hearing Cook’s song – the part they played gives a nicer send-off than some of the other boot songs. (And ftr – it didn’t seem any shorter to me than any other boot package – I don’t think much of the boot song ever gets played.)

    • Cheryl says:

      I totally agree that the remaining contestants weren’t in a celebratory mood. Ryan pushed that until they realized what was wanted from them. Ryan was a tool throughout last night.

    • Teresa says:

      It was very awkward. I think that was because it was so rushed. We’re all used to the eliminations being drawn out, and every finalist having a moment of suspense where Ryan asks them a question, or asks the judges to clarify a comment from the night before.

      So, when after two groups, the bottom three was set, I think it took the other finalists by surprise. That, added to the natural difficulty of rejoicing in your good fortune while you’re seeing someone you’ve bonded with suffering, makes it all the worse.

      But they were all good little puppets, weren’t they? “More enthusiasm!” Ryan barks, and they immediately jump all over themselves.

      Season 10. The year of the marionettes.

  20. Holly says:

    Ashton was not destined to last very long on Idol, but I would have rather seen Karen or Haley go first. At least Ashton had some upside potential. It might have been nice to give her one more chance to pick a song that works for her. Karen and Haley are mediocre at best and never should have made the Top 12.

    • anon says:

      Ashthon really doesn’t have much upside potential as she is only mediocre at best, too. Her entitled diva act was obnoxious since her vocals aren’t good enough to back it up.

    • snowyc says:

      Perhaps i’m alone here… but the “obscure” Diana Ross song is actually one of favourite from the great Ms Ross…. I personally don’t feel for her but if Ashthon had sung last night like she did tonight, she may not have gone. Oh well, who knows, these early weeks, one wrong rendition could be all it takes.

  21. Larry says:

    The group performance certainly looked ‘live’ to me! I watched those pretty little lips closely and would swear it was live.

    • Annie says:

      I actually thought it looked so much better than last year, I was trying to figure out the entire time if it was live. They looked to be in sync with the song and hitting the right notes…last year was cringe worthy to watch. Might not have been the best performance but definitely matched the music!

      • CMJ says:

        Maybe this year’s contestants were really better at lip syncing than last year….except for Jacob. Watching him sing was like watching a dubbed Gozilla movie.

  22. NanCeE* says:

    Lauren doesn’t bother me, and I think she’s going to be huge in country music regardless of how soon she exits the Idol stage. She’s got the voice. Can’t say the same for Scott McCreary – I didn’t think he was that good this week and I’m not buying what he’s selling (nuts of wonder?)! I don’t hate Haley either – she’s got a great voice. Paul and Jacob have got to step it up this week. I suspect Thia will will Tony’s someday, but she still seems too young for this competition (Charlie Chapman? Chapman?!). Still rooting for Naima, and Stephano has really grown on me! Love his voice! Overall a great group of contestants this year. They all seemed nervous this week – I think we’ll see great improvement next week.

  23. J-Star says:

    I wish I would see James Durbin singing any song of Guns n Roses on the stage of American Idol. It would be awesome!.

    • agrimesy says:

      Yes! I heard a lot of Axel Rose in James Durbin’s performance Wednesday night! He made “Baby I’m Amazed” sound very current! I think that’s the direction he should take. Maybe a little “Sweet Child of Mine” would do better than “Welcome to the Jungle” for the Idol audience. It’s going to be increasingly challenging for him to arrange these metal tracks into 90 second segments. I’m actually excited to see what he will do with the different theme weeks.

      • dctoronto says:

        Axl Rose/Guns and Roses and the word current could only be used near each other if this was 1991.

      • Lior says:

        MAYBE I’m Amazed. Maybe! :)

        • agrimesy says:

          Whoops, color me embarrassed! I got it wrong twice! LOL Guns n Roses aren’t really current (anymore), and the song says “Maybe” not Baby. I’m glad Slezak does these recaps for a living and not me. Facts are soooooo confining and limiting and stuff. :D

  24. melikey says:

    Enjoyable commentary as usual, Michael! To your question, it didn’t surprise me that Ashton was the one to leave. I had her, Karen and maybe Haley in my possible boot list. Hate the save which is another form of useless torture for the participants (and usually for the audience’s ears!), especially at this point in the competition.
    Re David Cook’s goodbye song, I must say it is great. It’s up for sale on iTunes and Amazon, if y’all want to check it out. Just look for David Cook – “Don’t You Forget About Me”. Growly, sexy version by Mr. Cook!

    • Kellie D. says:

      “Re David Cook’s goodbye song, I must say it is great. It’s up for sale on iTunes and Amazon, if y’all want to check it out. Just look for David Cook – “Don’t You Forget About Me”. Growly, sexy version by Mr. Cook!”

      I bought it! I needed more than that little clip heard on AI. The complete version is awesome! I agree with you, Michael, they need to play a little more than just a minute of it. Maybe they will in a few weeks when the contestants leaving have slightly longer vids.

      As for this season, I wasn’t surprised Ashton went. And I’m worried about Casey; he’s my favorite, so I hope his health problems don’t force him to quit.

  25. Michelle R. says:

    Me right after Adam sang: Oh, I really liked that. It was so “it gets better.”

    Proceeds to benefit the Trevor Project.

    Yes, I then felt smug for no real reason

    The judges didn’t eviscerate Lauren, but if you cut off the sound and just has her expression to go off, you’d think they had — while dangling a biscuit just out of the range of a starving puppy. I just really think this girl was blind-sided by anything that wasn’t a love-fest.

    Which is a good time to point out that that SAVE will probably be held in case she needs it. Possibly in Steven’s pocket. There are a couple other people they might be willing to save, but there was no way it was going Ashthon — not after the wild card, not this early, and not after that song. I admire the fact that she clearly knew that.

  26. ginaM says:

    Got a question for those that watched the group sing. Yes, it was hideous but it sounded live to me? The voices were all over the place. I wasn’t watching their lips closely. Last 2 years seemed really obvious with a lot of the group sings because they sounded too polished. Last night was a hot mess though?

    • Racine says:

      I noticed the same thing. I’m pretty sure at one point, I heard Thia take a deep breath mid word. If that was lipsyncing, Lord knows I don’t want to hear what “live” would have been.

    • joan_diva says:

      It was not L.I.V.E! Re-watch it again, and you will hear Casey’s voice singing, on the first part, right after Hailey sang, before they’ve cut to the second song in the medley. They’ve zoomed the camera on James, but he was not singing, hehe! It is clearly Casey’s voice..

  27. shelbar says:

    Lauren’s southern charm comes across as fake. She apologized for not singing well, well arighty then we forgive you and continue singing. I don’t understand why she apologized. It’s like a little kid did something wrong, apologized then everyone loves him again. If only life were that easy, I robbed a bank… oops I’m sorry, oh ok buddy since you said you were sorry no problems.

    Good for J Lo making sure Ashhton knew the judges save was a unaminous decision. All 3 of us thought you sucked.

    Adam was so good. He set the bar so high that everything after him is a letdown.

    • marie says:

      “Good for J Lo making sure Ashhton knew the judges save was a unaminous decision. All 3 of us thought you sucked.”

      Lol, thanks for reminding me of THAT total lapse of taste and judgment! J Lo, you idiot, you heartless, clueless tool. How cruel and just plain stupid of you to point that out to a contestant who may not have been all that talented, but who was nonetheless understandably upset at being cut. Fool!

  28. Kevin says:

    If the contestants were lipsynching, they did a horrible job in the recording studio. I didn’t think it was a bad group performance considering how brutal they usually are, but it didn’t sound nearly polished enough to accuse them of lipsynching.

    • betsy says:

      I don’t think they were lip-syncing – a nice change from the past couple of years but I wish they’d just do aaway with the group sing altogether.

    • Gale says:

      Yes, they were definitely lip-synching. Rewind to the end of Stefano’s sol and it is obvious.

    • John says:

      …heard a report from a woman who used to do reviews for the LA Times….she was in the audience, and believed that the performance was NOT lip-synced….but rather that the backup singers were front and center in the audio mix, thereby making the overall performance sound far better than in past years.

    • John says:

      I tried posting this a few minutes ago and the post disappeared…I’ll try again….I viewed a video report by Shirley Halepin (Sp?) former LA Times reviewer…who was in the audience and report that she believed there was NO lip syncing…but rather the backup singers were singing directly into the microphones and appeared to be prominent in the mix thereby making the overall sound much better than in past years.

  29. Eden Hall says:

    Question: when the Idols went to the premiere of Little Red Riding Hood, there seemed to be a crowd outside, but once indoors, they appeared to be the only people in the theater. What was that a faux premiere…Ameriucan Idol goes to the movies for a private screening?

    • Rosalie says:

      I thought that maybe they couldn’t get the footage from inside the movie theatre for some reason, so later they recorded that part at the mansion, possibly? I agree, though, it looked very, very strange.

  30. Ablo says:

    I didn’t like either guest performance last night — Dirty Money was just bad, but I didn’t think Adam was very good either. Michael called it gorgeous, but it didn’t sound right to me, and the scream at the end felt added in for old time’s sake. That probably isn’t a popular opinion around here.

    And then the whole voting off thing — I guess we can be glad it was only a one-hour show, but it felt like twice that.

    All that said — the right contestant went home, I think.

    • Kevin says:

      I had a feeling they would both be bad, so I fast forwarded through them :) I absolutely loath Adam Lambert. I hate the screaming. I therefore can’t stand James Durbin either. Please America, vote him out soon!

      • Lilly says:

        Sorry to disappoint you, fan of other idol, but Adam did a wonderful job. His fans loved it. The press loved it. Hopefully he can raise some money for a good cause. The envious and ugly do not count.

        • Ablo says:

          I don’t hate him, nor am I envious. He’s a good singer. I think he sometimes doesn’t understand when to do what where. He should be a mature enough of a musician to recognize that the song comes first. And last night I think the scream catered to the tweens and not the song. But, he can surely sing and I hope he has a long career.

        • Kevin says:

          Wow…I am definitely NOT envious of Lambert. I’m pretty sure I can even sing better than him ;)

    • wendeeloo says:

      I agree with you about the scream sounding all wrong for the song. I didn’t care for the melody of the song itself but since it was written for a worthy cause – good for him – I think he seems a nice guy. The reaction of all the judges seemed ‘meh’ for Adam – I think Stephen forgets the camera is on him sometimes.

      • agrimesy says:

        The lyrics do say, “Wanna SCREAM out, no more hiding . . .” So I don’t think ending the song on a wail is completely out of place. I realize it isn’t everybody’s thing, though, and that’s cool. I’m too big an Adam fan to be totally objective. I admit that. I love everything he sings including the Aftermath performance. I’m glad his appearance on Idol is over early in the season. I actually want to focus more on the new contestants. Adam’s career is a separate interest from Idol for me now.

    • Yo says:

      You were not the only one who thought Adam Lambert was not great: I was looking forward to him and was disappointed. The song was not good and seemed out of Adam’s range: however, Idol fan bases tend not to be rational and Adam’s is irrationally irrational. A columnist criticizes him at his own risk. I wondered what it is about the Idol stage that swallows singers.

      • Josie says:

        I suppose there’s a reason that apparently only negative reactions are “rational” where Adam’s concerned. There was a great deal of positive reaction to Adam’s performance, most of which was from *outside* the Idol bubble. And for what it’s worth, many of Adam’s detractors are every bit as biased and “irrational” as the more BSC contingent of his fans.

  31. John says:

    …as always Michael…great review. Let’s all hope and pray that Casey can get healthy enough to continue…we need him! The ‘group number’ was the best within my memory. What a treat to see/hear Adam in that stripped-down song version. I have only seen him once in concert, but (even though I was not a fan during his idol run)…he is THE REAL DEAL. Last Fall, I was walking down a street in London, and came upon a theatre with a listing of upcoming artist performances….and there was Adam Lambert…and the notice that his show was SOLD OUT. When people ‘pan’ AI, let’s remind them that AI ist the platform that gives artists like Adam a worldwide stage and the opportunity become a real ‘star.’

  32. Pam says:

    I was pretty sure that either Ashthon or Karen would go home last night. As much as I don’t care for Haley, I didn’t think she deserved to be in the bottom 3. I really liked the acoustic version of Adam’s song and I wish that was the version that benefits the Trevor Project. I can’t stand dance/club music.

  33. susan says:

    Michael, I should copy and paste your quote here about giving Melinda Doolittle Diddy’s spot. I would need to put your text in large font, bold, italicised, AND underlined.

    Why, oh why, won’t TPTB give these performance slots to the old Idols whom we all love? It would be so much better to showcase the Idol stars of past seasons than Diddy-type drivel. Those performances are the only things I ever fast-forward through — not all of them, but quite a few get the zip-through treatment.

    I don’t understand why…..

  34. betsy says:

    Adam’s song was a total snooze – it sounded exactly like what you could hear every night in every coffee shop across the land – very very average song. However, he sang it beautifully, but we were bored, disappointed and wished it would hurry up and be over. Nice that it’s for a good cause, though.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      This is not intended as criticism against Betsy, but there are sure a lot of people on this blog that hear singers in coffee houses. I have NEVER heard anyone singing in any coffee house I’ve ever been in – ever. Where do all you folks live where people are singing in coffee houses? Around here people sing in bars, but not coffee houses.

      • betsy says:

        Fayetteville, Arkansas – we have singer/songwriters performing in coffee shops around town every Friday and Saturday night. And in some restaurants, too. I thought everyone did. My point was that the melody/lyrics were very unoriginal and common sounding. Heck, if I were going to write a song, that’s probably what it would sound like, and I’m not a songwriter.

  35. Mary Ann says:

    I love David Cook’s boot song, perfect choice. He sounds great on it. Adam looked so handsome. Wasn’t crazy for the song he did though, even though he sounded great on it.

    And then there were 12. When they get down to 5, maybe I will remember their names better. I hate country & think it’s the Jerry Springer of music. Not sure if anyone besides Scotty can be a star. I think you will hear a lot about him in the next few years.

    Nice amount of talent this year, but a lot of “even Stevens” in the talent department.

  36. Tim Gunn says:

    That was a hard results show to watch. So awkward. Ryan’s starting to get on my nerves. Did you see Randy there? He’s already adopted J. Lo’s “find your lane” bon mot. I, too, was displeased with the fist-pumping, as well as Ryan leading Diddy over to the contestants for a “time with Diddy” speech so that all the kids could head-nod to it.

    Everything seemed awkward tonight, from the judges taking extra long pauses, to Ryan getting the timing wrong on things, to just abruptly throwing 3 people into the stools without much build-up or “after the break” drama.

    Adam was great. At least that was cool. He’s always reliable. I hope this isn’t his only token appearance of the season. He was a cool guest judge.

    Other issues from the Wednesday night singing portion: What was with all the complaining about there only being 1:40 of time? I hate it when they do that. If anything, that undersocres how much they need to get Iovine and his cronies away from this group. I kept thinking to myself throughout the telecast how much better some of the performances could have been had they been more stripped-down and less over-produced (Paul, Thia, Naima, Scotty, Stefano) – what they don’t seem to realize is that I fell in love listening to contestants like Paul and Casey because of the lack of over-production. I liked them singing over mandolins, double basses, and guitars. I mean the proof is in the pudding in how much better any Adam Lambert song has been when it’s been performed unplugged.

    I picked up some of the iTunes tracks. James’s track is pretty stellar. I think Paul’s going to be a great recording artist. Same for Pia.

    • Cheryl says:

      I picked up a bunch too. The best of the best is Paul’s. So different from the show version. Maybe it was because of no visuals, lol.

  37. cookie love says:

    Ok, Slezak, I love you and I’ve followed you here. But condemning Ryan for meanness after you made terrible fun of Lauren after Wed. night? Yes, she is a child…..HELLO?????? Mocking her for acting like one is not cool. You can’t imagine the pressure she’s under, without the maturity to help her deal with it. give her a break.

    • tekkie says:

      Mocking Lauren! :-O No never, someone get mocked because of what they did on television. The horrors! If you put yourself out there for human media consumption then you must deal with the good, the bad and the ugly of the fallout. I thought Michael’s comments were hysterical and nothing of the vitriol being dished out on a daily basis to other public figures.

      Lauren was right. It was bad. We all knew it was bad. But don’t let her doe eyes fool you. She is a savvy kid and knows how to do the sympathy ploy like a pro and most other teenaged girls in America. I didn’t buy into her pouting and think that was a well planned response to criticism coached by her mother after years of experience with talents shows I’m thinking.

      Some people have grace and some need to learn it. I think she has a lot of maturing and growing left to do.

  38. JayK says:

    Adam Lambert = best ever

    I agree that the group number was, for some reason, not as painful as it normally is. I think it was the full “yeah, it’s lame, whatever, let’s just kill it anyway” commitment from the contestants.
    And I hated the way Ryan revealed the results. Mean to Karen, mean to Haley, and a little mean to everyone who never got to leave the couches. Give them their “YEAH!” moment, Seacrest!

  39. jaime says:

    maybe this has already been addressed- but wonder what the status between Diddy and JLO is?

  40. pam says:

    I liked Adam’s less-than-dramatic look last night. I also liked the simplicity in which he delivered his song. He has a beautiful voice, and doesn’t need all the hoopla to get our attention. All he needs to do is sing, and he’s got us!

  41. Lizbeth says:

    First of all–I hope Casey can recover. Ulcerative Colitis flare up during idol (or anytime) is a tough thing to battle. All the best to him–he is so talented. If he is unable to continue it would really leave a big void in the line-up. He is one of the contestants I look forward to each week. Of course, he has to put his health first.

    As far as Haley and her “cool” comment and body language–that gave her points in my book. I guess she reminded me of myself at that age-LOL I really liked her performance of Blue and she did not deserve to be in the bottom three. (Paul, Thia or Jacob should have been there)

    Nice to see Adam again

    • RTW says:

      Casey sang, “I don’t need no doctor,” but apparently he does…twice. Please Casey, come back so you can at least make it to the top ten and then throw in the towel if you must, heal up and be ready for the Idol tour. Such a funny and talented guy who, for me, is making this season FUN to watch. Goodbye Ashthon, to me you were always like old talent from the earlier seasons.

  42. jazzy says:

    Did anyone notice Niki Reed flirting with Paul? She said she’s blushing and she think’s he’s awesome and he said he could hang out with her. Hmmmm. This does mean that Paul has a fan base which doesn’t surprise me. He doe seem polarizing, love or hate, not much in the middle. I LIKE him.

    Right person went home.

  43. racbec says:

    Loved Adam’s performance. Can he come back every week? Wish they would have played more of Cook’s song at the end. I would enjoy the group numbers so much more if they didn’t lip-synch.

  44. Sam says:

    Mr.Selzak, I always enjoy your reviews…Guess I’m not the only one who found Ryan’s head chopping offensive. Clean cut always. Not a fan of Adam Lambert’s music, but am a fan of his polite respectful , without being fawning manner. Class act. Can’t say the same for ditty dawgie,dirty whatever…People actually pay him? Liked his piano player.

  45. Melissa A says:

    Adam Lambert showed up, pwned them all, and left. That’s how you do it when you return to the Idol stage. Leave them all wondering how the hell they’ll ever get so good. Can someone put Haley Reinheart in front of video footage of that for, oh, twelve or sixteen days straight?

    Some of them might get there someday. But man, he is an effortless talent. A true find.

    • GinaBallerina says:

      I really heart your comment. So perfectly worded.

    • Teecie says:

      Well said Melissa. I thought he looked and acted perfectly!

    • Josie says:

      Nicely said, Melissa. One thing I respect so much about Adam is that behind that “effortless talent” lies years of formal training and years of experience in varied areas of music and theatre. “American Idol” was his breakthrough, but it was one he has more than earned. He worked his butt off before AI, he worked his butt off on the show, and he’s worked his butt off since then. So happy it’s all paying off for him now.

  46. Sam says:


  47. Cassie May says:

    The group numbers are lip synced; they began doing that a couple seasons ago, when TPTB determined that the choreography was difficult to do while singing live, something that the Britneys of the world discovered long ago. Bleah. I absolutely loathe the hour-long travesties that are the results shows. Bring back the half hour eliminations! That’s really all that is needed.

    Buh bye, Ashthon, we hardly knew ye. But that’s ok.

  48. Linda says:

    I, for one, would LOVE to see Ryan Seacrest on “Dancing With the Stars”!

  49. Linderella49 says:

    Love my DVR…55 minutes of fast forward followed by 5 minutes of results. After reading Michael’s recap I know I missed nothing. I think the right person went home to be followed by Paul, Thia, or Karen.

    • shelbar says:

      I have to admit, I love the show. I find it fun, silly at times and entertaining. I DVR the show, then sit down, put my feet up, relax and enjoy. I would like it to be 2 hours, 2 nights a week plus an hour or 2 of the contestants in the mansion.

      So go ahead and fastforward to the end, and I will fastforward the commercials and watch the entire show for pure entertainment.

      • Lana says:

        I totally agree with you shelbar. I do the exact same thing and love, love relaxing and watching. There may be bad singing during the show but there will always be great singing also! Of course for me all idol shows are a little boring after the awesome season Adam was on, however I know that a showman like Adam only comes around once in a blue moon, so I am learning not to expect that every year. I just try to enjoy without pining for Adam.

  50. Leigh says:

    Lambert was there – not to aggrandize himself – but to offer a message of love and kindness. He sang beautifully and simply – the words mean a lot to him. Yes – a great performer and a class act.

    • snowyc says:

      Glambert did sing beautifully — and not surprisingly — but he’s not the first to do something like this on idol and he will not be the last. Cook’s Permanence performed during Adam’s own season remains for me the best ever of these sort of “sing for a cause” segments on idol. Allen’s cover of Let It Be wasn’t too bad, either, last season. Just saying.

      His performance make me wonder even more why he is going the dance tune route. Yes, it sells but those electronic-heavy drivel really puts his natural talent to waste. Sigh.

      • Kay says:

        Adam was nominated for a Grammy for WWFM and that is not a dance toue. Soaked, Broken Open, Loaded Smile, Aftermath, Sleepwalker, Music Again are all on his album and they also are not dance tunes. And giving credit to Adam for this cause does not take away from Cook and Allen. Didn’t people talk about them when they did their charity work? Don’t understand they envy eveytime Adam does something.

      • Leigh says:

        Re: snowyc – Seems that one cannot congratulate Lambert on anything without people jumping in to say – well, so-and-so did great, too. Will never end apparently. (And Lambert’s music is so much more than simply dance tracks – if you had listened to his entire album or gone to one of his concerts, you would know this.) In addition, the remix by the French-Canadian whiz – Billboard – of Aftermath is a wonderful, joyous track with Lambert’s exceptional vocals out front. Have fun with it as Lambert did. (And hate that phony “sigh.”)

        • Mary says:

          “Re: snowyc – Seems that one cannot congratulate Lambert on anything without people jumping in to say – well, so-and-so did great, too.”

          You wonder why “people jump in to say – well, so-and-so did great, too”, it’s because Lambert fans always make it sound like he is the only one to ever do anything. Sorry folks, others have been doing exactly the same thing that he has forever and he sure won’t be the last to do it.

          I really like how Lambert fans throw the jealousy and envy card around every time someone brings up another Idol. Sad. You can have an opinion and it not be envy or jealousy. It is what it is AN OPNIONION. Get over yourself.

          • Shari says:

            Nothing in the original post suggested that Adam was the “only one” to sing beautifully or perform for an altruistic reason. Nothing whatsoever. So yes, it was annoying for snowyc to respond as if it had. Substitute the name of your own particular favorite Idol for Adam’s, and see how you’d feel about it.

      • Kellie D. says:

        “but he’s not the first to do something like this on idol and he will not be the last. Cook’s Permanence performed during Adam’s own season remains for me the best ever of these sort of “sing for a cause” segments on idol.
        *Just a little correction…David Cook’s song is called “Permanent”. It went on Itunes as a charity single with all proceeds going to ABC2, a brain cancer organization. It’s a beautiful song. People should check it out…it’ll give you chills! I think it’s wonderful that former winners/contestants give back in such a way and I love it when they come back on Idol.

      • Kellie D. says:

        “but he’s not the first to do something like this on idol and he will not be the last. Cook’s Permanence performed during Adam’s own season remains for me the best ever of these sort of “sing for a cause” segments on idol.”
        *Just a little correction: David Cook’s song is called “Permanent”. It’s absolutely beautiful. He put it on Itunes as a charity single after his AI performance of it, with all proceeds going to ABC2, an organization that fund-raises for a cure for brain cancer (which his brother died from). People should check out the song…it gives me chills. I think it’s wonderful that previous winners/contestants give back in such a way. I love seeing them do performances on Idol.