American Idol Recap: Woe Is Mija

A disappointing week of American Idol ended Thursday night with all the suspense of watching an episode of Martha Bakes and wondering if the domestic diva’s cookies might catch on fire.  There wasn’t a single genuine surprise over the course of the longest hour of Idol‘s 10th season. Well, unless you count Thia Megia declaring herself an “artist.” (These kids today!) Or Pia Toscano getting bleeped for language that would’ve been appropriate on Sesame Street. Or Lee DeWyze wondering what kind of God won’t let him be on the radio but allows the Black Eyed Peas to have a hit with that collection of notes and words they coughed up on the Idol stage tonight. (Little does Lee know, God hasn’t turned on the radio since Scotty McCreery was in diapers.)

Of course, the centerpiece of Top 12 results night was the debut of Nigel Lythgoe’s rigidly choreographed new piece called “Journey to the Bottom Three,” in which Haley Reinhart, Naima Adedapo, and Karen Rodriguez skittered away from their more popular/talented/hyped counterparts and onto the silver stools of doom. Naima (in character as a funky robot) stutter-stepped her way back to safety, followed by Haley’s slouchy shuffle into the Top 11. (I really thought Jacob Lusk or maybe Thia should’ve been called off the bench to take over Haley’s bottom-dweller role, but I’m not sure The Lady Reinhart’s “I’m over it!” brand of possibly sarcastic grinning won her any new fans. As Jimmy Iovine warned her in her performance-night package: YOU ARE FOREVER BEING WATCHED!)

And that left Karen standing center stage like a guest of honor at a surprise party who’s known about the big event for weeks, but goes through the motions when people pop up from behind her couch because, well, it’s what she’s expected to do.

I had to roll my eyes when Ryan announced Karen was “the person in danger of leaving us,” as if the Idol overlords would ever allow the judges to “waste” their one-time-only veto power so early in the season (or on anyone other than Wittle Wauwen). And so, before Randy told Karen the save was off the table (but tried to hint that her Latina comrade J.Lo might’ve voted to save her), she took one last bilingual swing at Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” the strawberry soda-float-scented ballad that launched her into the top 13. There was a whirlwind of vibrato, a smattering of tears, and then a very strange post-performance monologue from Karen that was one part “Save me, J.Lo, you’re my only hope!” and one part “There just ain’t no way.” Here’s how it went: “It just felt great to at least have that one chance. It just felt so great. And I know I can do so much better, and I know you guys believe in me. And my mom! My mom believes in me. And I know it’s about the votes, but I’ve done my best to represent for everybody, for my family, for everyone.” In other words, judges, she represents hard for the money so you better treat her right. All right?

Oh, actually, would somebody please silence Karen already and cue David Cook’s “Don’t You Forget About Me”? And if you’re not going to roll related footage of the season 7 champ, then at least cut to Karen’s adios package. Thank you!

As for the night’s other performances — or in some cases I should probably say “performances” — let us recap:

Lee DeWyze, “Beautiful Like You”: A heartfelt and actually rather pretty vocal from the season 9 champ on a dead-end street of a song. Oh sure, there’s a lot worse on your radio right this very second, but there’s just not a lot of urgency to Lee’s new single, certainly not enough to get him over the “he’s finished before he started” label he’s been slapped with outside the Idol bubble. I will never understand why his label didn’t kick things off with the infinitely catchier “Me and My Jealousy.” But then again, if I ran a label, season 4’s Aloha Mi’sho would be a big star, too!

The Season 10 Top 12, “Born to Be Wild”/”Born This Way” mashup: I began to suspect this was live (or live with a healthy dose of backing track) when Jacob Lusk’s mic malfunctioned. And that suspicion was confirmed when said mic kicked back in and the decidedly un-Auto-Tuned “Lusky Stank” leapt out of my television and popped me in the chin. (Fox needs to consider adding a TV-LS warning to the telecast.) But in all seriousness, I’m just glad there was actual singing going on, as opposed to overprocessed crap in a can. Better still, Team Season 10 tackled two songs that were better than pretty much anything else we heard on the Idol stage on Wednesday. (Barring that masterpiece “Colors of the Wind,” obvs.)

Ford Music Video: I have absolutely no recollection of what went down in this segment — musically or visually — except a fleeting image of Lauren tied to a chair, and repeated rom-com hugs between Haley and Stefano. And to be honest, the notes I took a few hours ago aren’t really much help. So, um…I’m just gonna keep chugging along. You don’t expect me to go back and watch this messerie on my DVR, right?

Black Eyed Peas, “Just Can’t Get Enough”: “Why would you sing that live?” asked my husband, without the slightest hint of irony.

And now, on to our awards ceremony for the evening!

The Call a Doctor (or an Exorcist) Prize
I know Karen’s had a tough night, but did anyone else notice the way her eyes roll into the back of the head when she’s laying down too much vibrato?

“But You Can Do That on Television” Award
Pia Toscano, who got bleeped (comically, I guess) when relaying the information that her singing dog is a Shih Tzu.

The “Show, Don’t Tell” Prize
“As an artist, I’m pretty much me,” said Thia, explaining how her musical point of view extends beyond Disney princess themes. This message was not approved by Fantasia’s “I’m Doin’ Me.” That’s all I’m sayin.

The “Aren’t You a Little Young to Be Giving Up On Your Intellectual Future?” Prize
Scotty McReery, 16, telling us he’d already determined that his brain is “not astronaut material.”

Least Suspenseful Results-Show Pairing Ever
Um, really Ryan, you didn’t even need to dim the lights when you told us either Naima Adedapo or Stefano Langone was bottom-three bound.

J’enough With the Alternating Flirty/Menacing Act!
Casey Abrams making scaryface/sexyface during “Born to Be Wild.” Dude, sometimes we just want you to, like, sing.

Sadly Prescient Sound Bite
“I can make funny noises with my throat.” –a pre-elimination Karen Rodriguez (Oh girl, you don’t need to tell us. We heard your rendition of “I Could Fall in Love” just last week!)

Most Random Shout-Out of the Night
“Congratulations on everything!” Ryan Seacrest to Pitbull

Oh, and finally, in a stunning reversal of Idol Editing Code No. 457: Parents With Accents Must Always Be Subtitled, we got to see clips of Karen’s sweet, adorable mom — without a chyron in sight! Who says you can’t teach an Old Nigel new tricks?

Okay, now here’s where I hand things over to you.Did the right contestant go home? How did you feel about Karen’s sing-out/”save me!” performance of “Hero”? What about the performances by Lee and the BEPs? And who do you think is most likely to be at risk next week? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Gami says:

    Personally speaking, the BEP’s should never perform live. Better yet, they should never perform.

    As for the rest. Yes, the right person went home. I just wish there could have been more than one going home, maybe the whole bottom three. That would have been interesting in an otherwise very uninteresting show.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      @Gami – You realize that America voted for these 14 contestants don’t you?

      @Slezak – Jacob is gospel and that’s probably where he’s headed. And I’m with you, he screams and screeches and I was totally against them choosing him over a couple of other black males. I think the judges/Idol has a quota on the number of black males and females (and Latinos) they let through. Honestly, it’s always “one” black male and a couple of black females that get through each year. But maybe the “best” BM and BF are bypassing Idol auditions and instead are going straight to the recording companies?

      Did anyone notice that Jimmy Iovine seemed to lecture Hailey on laziness – “work ethic” – which indicates that she’s not putting in the hard work?

    • adamfan says:

      I agree. Every one of their songs sounds as if they had pieces of 4 or 5 songs written, said “oh what the hell” and put them all together to create one huge mess. Why are these people making money in this business I will never know. I watch the BEP’S with my kids just for entertainment, and not the kind that the group intended. Their performances are a long SNL skit. Yes, Karen was the correct person to go but it was sad to see how defeated Haley was. She is not a super talent but is not getting any respect there.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Totally agree with you, Gami! With some other thoughts:
      – How did the BEPs ever become so popular? They couldn’t even win Idol. Same for P Diddy.
      – Lee DeWyze seems like a great guy, but, to quote the judges, he was “pitchy” all over the place last night! Season 9 flashbacks!
      – Haley! Slezak! Good call – She was rolling her eyes and acting like a jerk last night and last week too. Lost MY vote! Who elses?
      – Ditch Iovine – Casey did; he only drops in for about 5 mins for each contestant, each week; how much they paying that man?
      – Ditch the producers; they’re wrecking the raw talent and causing the judges not to judge, fearing insulting them / industry retribution!
      – Ditch the group sing each week; painful to watch! My eyebrows fell out last night.

      Can’t wait for the next exciting installment of the Lauren Idol Show.

      • forrest says:

        Yes! Are the producers really hampering the originality, the creativity of turning a song around, doing a new version of an old classic? Would David Cook have given us a game changing “Billie Jean” had the producers participated that season? Are they helping or just retreading the same ole, same ole?

      • Michael says:

        Why do we pretend we know what these kids are thinking when they are facing elimination and then criticize them for the faces they make? For all we know, Haley may have been holding in a fart at the time when she made the face.

        Naima stomped in celebration when she got back to the seats. Should we criticize her for that or just deal with the fact that, for these kids, the results are high stakes and might prompt responses we don’t necessarily like but that DON’T reflect their characters. They all seem to be good kids who are in very stressful situations.

  2. Rh says:

    I would make a bet with anyone that the next (possibly two) eliminations will be girls. Not because they are worse perormers than the guys, but because that’s just how America seems to roll lately.

    Both Casey and Jacob (who are actually my two favorite guys) has B3 worthy performances, yet only the ladies seemed to be singled out for being bad (and I say bad lightly – no one very good this week, so it’s like trying to find which performance is the least bad).

    Has anyone noticed that for the last 3 seasons the top 10 has mostly consisted of men? 3/4 to 6. I think only 4 girls will make tour this year as well, though only because there were more girls to choose to eliminate.

    • Harmony says:

      “Both Casey and Jacob (who are actually my two favorite guys) has B3 worthy performances, yet only the ladies seemed to be singled out for being bad (and I say bad lightly – no one very good this week, so it’s like trying to find which performance is the least bad).”
      So so true.

    • chistosa says:

      rh, I agree that Casey and Jacob (and Paul) have not been very good the last two weeks. But I don’t think it is beause they are male that they are making it through. They built up a fan base during Hollywood week when they all had breakout performances. In the early stages a contestant can have a bad performance and ride on the tails of the earlier successes. Sadly, the women you have mentioned have (except Pia) have all had failures and successes during Hollywood week and as such did not build up the fan base. It is logical that a lackluster although competent performance could send them home early. Once they are down to the top ten, one bad performance cpould send anyone home but until then, the fan favorites from Hollywood will probably overcome bad performances.

      • Rh says:

        But why are the boys building bigger fanbases than the girl? Haley technically had more screentime and the same through “breakthrough” performance in Hollywood week as Jacob and/or Paul. And truth of the matter is, Haley was better both this week and last than Jacob and Paul, and better than Casey this week. Hell, I think Naima was better than Jacob, Pauul, and Casey. We never really saw (except in a mini clip that didn’t actually show the performance, just the judges reactions to it) any bad performances of Haley’s or Naima’s prior to top 24. Again, the boys are building larger fanbases because the main voting audience for this show is female and we girls tend to vote for a guy over a girl.

        And I seriously think you need only look at the past 3 winners and makeup of the top 10 for the past 4 season to see that America is voting more through more often than girls. Why

        • ginaM says:

          I think I saw somewhere in an article that women whether they are teens or older are the ones that vote for all the reality shows. I can see that. Women are more invested in reality shows and more likely to pick up the phone and vote. I don’t see guys doing that, yet they will complain if their favorite doesn’t make it. Speaking from female perspective, I like guy voices better than females. If Idol would put someone through more like a Kelly Clarkson I would vote for her. She never had airs like many of the women Idol choose last few seasons. She was original and she of course had singing chops. She was spunky but she was never annoying like some of the female teenagers they are putting through. Also the girls overall are picking CRAPPY songs. Colors of the Wind? Really? Two Whitney songs? Majority of girl songs have been boring outdated diva ballads. Casey might have been screaming his way through Smells Like Teen Spirit, but at least he picked a new song on Idol and you remember his performance over a forgettable ballad. BTW anyone else think that it would have been better if Casey picked a diffrent Nirvana song, like Come as you are and stripped it down with his electric bass? Just me? lol

          • Sandy says:

            GinaM I certainly agree with you. It is time for Casey to give us a mix of his talents and let the masses see all sides of his talent. He is taking a gamble with his song selections and putting himself into a limited bucket. He will get through on his adorable charm only so far then goodbye Casey. That would be such tragic because he is is so very talented and the majority of the people getting sent through are a wasteland of kids that my mind could not figure out just how anyone would by their music. Paul McDonald, what the heck is that he is throwing out for us…can enyone get beyond that mess of performance. Every week same song, same dance…is that really a dance?He looks like a rubber chicken. I wlll fast forward him in the upcoming weeks. He will slink by until Thia and Haley are gone, next should be Paul the the HORRENDOUS Jacob who is all over the place. I’m sorry people, God did give him a beautiful voice but he does not know how to use it and his performances stink also. James lost me with his egocentric comments about his greatness and Lauren, poor little Lauren wants to send me shrieking out the door. She is no longer cute, just annoying. She has shot herself in the foot. It’s very clear who is rising to the top and Jimmy is certainly not guiding them along or they wouldn’t continue with such bad choices.

        • Musica1 says:

          I know I just like like voices more, and I think many women are the same. My earliest memory of being 5 years old and listening to music is enjoying theguys singing more. Even if I like a girl’s voice (i liked the lauren that didn’t make top13) I usually don’t like their song choices.

        • Owen says:

          Each season, Idol fandom vomits up conspiracy theories. They seem ludicrous but who knows? Case in point: Casting less talented girls to make Lauren shine brighter. They know girls tend to be voted out two to one to the guys anyway, PLUS they know how hard it is to get a girl to the Nokia or Kodak (the power and uber-talent of the Bowersox got her there but scandalously not all the way to the win). So…why not guild the lily with a bunch of obviously non-to-midling talented females just to more securely secure her spot in the final?

        • Teresa says:

          I’m female and I don’t think that I like male singers more than female, but I want the singer to be interesting, musically and personality-wise.

          I think maybe what happens (to a certain extent), is that Idols fans tend to vote hard until they find “their” idol. If you are a big Kelly fan, you might not be motivated to vote for Lauren, because she’s just going to seem like a less mature Kelly. Most of the Claymates stuck with Clay since his run. And we haven’t had a male big ballad singer win since.

          I feel like I got my Idol in Adam. So, I don’t need another wailer. James is terrific, but I don’t need him. At best, Paul is a quirkier Cook or Kris, and I don’t need him either. Jacob and Scotty are both good at music I don’t really listen to. Stephano is good at music that puts me to sleep. I like Casey because he’s mixing it up. He can stay as long as he entertains me. I’ll probably buy his album, too, because I do like jazz (as long as it’s fun and not too esoteric).

          The producers keep casting pageant girls, but if you were going to vote strictly on youth and beauty, well, we got the country version with Carrie and the pop version with Jordin.

          Naima may have hit the B3, but she’s the one girl I can really get behind right now, because I know she’s got a reason to be onstage beyond liking the attention. I think Pia’s got the goods to do more than just be pretty and sing the glory notes. But I’m not seeing it yet with her.

          • marie says:

            Very interesting take on things, Teresa. Really enjoyed reading this post. Not sure whether or not I agree re people “finding their Idol” and then losing interest, but maybe – certainly an interesting idea. (Happens that I pretty much agree with most of your takes on the contestants, too.)

          • Estee says:

            Nice post with good thought behind it! You expressed many of the reasons I have not been excited AT ALL by Idol this year–reasons your post helped me understand.
            Also, the extreme youth of many of the contestants this year does not allow them to truly emotionally connect with the music–or, in effect, with much of the audience.
            This year so far, for me for me, the show has become a bore to watch–almost a burden.

          • The Ween says:

            Estee- That’s exactly it! The young ones don’t connect at all. When “Widdle Wauwen” (sorry, it’s hilarious) was singing her song and then asked for the audience to clap along(!), it was more obvious than ever that she just doesn’t get it. She is beyond annoying, and unfortunately doesn’t seem very bright. Her parents don’t seem like they have too much going on upstairs either.

          • Sharleen says:

            Nice post Teresa – I agree with just about everything you’ve said.
            My two favorite performers on Idol have been Fantasia & Adam.
            To me they both have outstanding voices, sang with passion and were interesting…. each to their own I suppose!
            Like many people this season I’m not particularly invested in one performer, James Durbin annoyed the hell out of me up until his brilliant rendition of Maybe I’m Amazed and then he became flavor of the week. Jacob moved me with his God Bless the Child and has irritated me with every song since then. Kendra should have definitely got Ashthons spot.
            Like you, I’m trying to really hard to get behind Naima but hope that her pitch and vocals improve.
            Top 3 at this stage? Pia – beautiful, great voice, boring.
            Scotty – excellent country singer. If you like that kind of music.
            Lauren – good singer, but I can’t stomach the cutesy factor.

        • daisyj says:

          I suspect that it mostly has to do with the voting base being heavily biased towards 11-15 year old females. Certainly, plenty of other people watch the show, but those are the ones that dial and text obsessively, and anyone who’s been following pop culture since pretty much ever knows that that is a group that tends to focus a lot of attention on boys, particularly young, non-threatening boys. This year, with the age limit lowered (itself an obv. Beiber-inspired decision) I think the effect is going to be more pronounced than ever.

          • ladyhelix says:

            I have heard the 11-15 year old girl theories – and they make sense. But this week it was Casey, Paul, and Jacob that were protected, and somehow I just don’t think those 3 would be on the 11-15 year old’s radar. But I could be wrong!

            The 3 of them are passionate interesting individuals, they sing like they know/believe the words and they are all entertainers. And they’ve all had spectacular performances already this year. I think that might buy them some slack when they have a bad night.

    • gin and tonic says:

      I like your take on this Rh. The AI judges from the past always said “this is a singing talent contest”. One wouldn’t know that from the top 12. Too much emphasis this year on the prepackaged look, attitude and politically correct ethnicity rather than on pure singing talent.
      The idols falling from No.’s 24 on down to probably No. 8 are prime examples of what I’m talking about. Most of the girls who make it this far seem to be spending more time on looking like a star and even acting like one, rather than just singing. What America likes along with great singing, is humility. That’s why these guys are making it, more than the girls. They possess it.

    • heynow says:

      I disagree for the most part. Yes, I do think that America is more lenient to the men -but I don’t think that is the reason why the bottom 3 were who they were.
      Jacob and Casey both have lots of personality -and personality plays a key role in the voting. Besides, both seem to have fairly strong fanbases.

      Idk why, but I never cared for Karen. And I don’t care for her personality either. I didn’t like her english/spanish mix-up in her singing because I truly believe that if say a chinese person made it to idol and sang half of it in cantonese -people would have been more confused than impressed.

    • Sandi says:

      I know everyone seems to love Casey, B U T there seems to something off with his appearance. Doesn’t anyone else think (I know I sound mean)he looks like he would smell Musty? I know he sings well, but for me he is a little off putting.

  3. BR says:

    I’d like to see less producer involvement when it comes to song arrangements. We have no real idea as an audience whther the complete lack of originality and overall bland performances are really the contestants’ fault.

    • Sharon says:

      I agree. So far I haven’t been impressed by any of the arrangements. They’re certainly not going to get more “famouser” than they are now with the music they’re dishing out.

    • The Wheeze says:

      I agree. I think while the producers involvement probably has been a great learning tool for the contestants when recording the tune for download. They seem to forget a band has to try and reproduce the same thing live as a performance first. I feel like it always sounds better in the snippets we hear in the package. What sounds good on recorded track does not always translate as well in a live performance. Also, I wonder if a contestant feels like they have to do what the producer (who is tried and true)wants to do and not what they feel comfortable with. Am I rambling? I feel like I am.

      @Michael — un-Auto-Tuned “Lusky Stank” (LMAO!)

    • stevenjaba says:

      I agree as well. I’m starting to think the producers are arranging more for itunes than for live performances. I think these must be the same people who produce for the BEPs. Anyway, say what you will about last season, but it felt fresher than this season is feeling.

    • SybilT says:

      I’ve been very unhappy with the results of Jimmy Iovine’s “mentoring.” The arrangements have been pedestrian — right off Simon’s proverbial cruise ship — and I think he’s not so much “helping” them with song choice as much as sandbagging them with it.

      Re: Lauren, I have a daughter just a year older than she is. DD likes Lauren and tells me that I am judging her annoying traits too harshly and should cut her some slack in light of her age. Yet, when I hear DD talk about the bratty, entitled, self-absorbed girls at school who really annoy her, she sounds like she’s talking about Lauren. Go figure.

      • Suncatcher says:

        Little Lauren is dumb like a fox. She is the manipulating CHAMP. I had a southern fried college roomate, “Tricky Vicki”, who pales by comparison – and she was the best!

        Watch how Lauren tries to roll guys around her little painted fingernails with her play acting pouting/sadness/sniffles/whatever. Her mom showed her the ropes early on. This is a true southern belle. The new “Magnolia Mouth!” Just ask “Peaches”…

      • zaza says:

        I have a daughter who is just one year older than Lauren, but my daughter (who is light years more mature than Lauren) can not stand her. She finds Lauren’s toddler-like behavior hugely annoying.

    • Tuzo says:

      I was thinking something similar yesterday. In previous recent seasons the judges placed value on being able to create an interesting arrangement and perform it well. These contestants tended to do well (David Cooke, Adam, Crystal, etc.). It seems that the AI producers have decided that these are not the qualities that they are looking for in a post-Idol recording artist. What they think they really need is someone who can work with the music producers, take direction and do as they’re told. That’s what this new approach with the record producers seems like it’s screening for. Plus now all the contestants are “equal” since, in a sense, they can’t use all of their abilities. So that singer/songwriter with the great musical ideas is potentially brought down to the same level as the precocious 16 year old who can only sing. [Now to go all conspiracy theory (I don’t actually believe this) but the producers now have even more power to influence the outcome in the sense that they could give favored contestants better arrangements than contestants who they don’t really want to see win.] I guess you could argue that the contestants are free to fight for their ideas or vision but is that really realistic? Does anyone expect most of these people to go toe to toe against an idea they really don’t like and push for something totally different? I don’t. Who wants to make enemies of people who could help your career (even if you don’t win)?

      • Lizbeth says:

        I agree. We are not going to see the all around talent or artistry of the kids this year. I don’t think we are going to hear cool arrangements of any song. The producers are arranging it and the contestants go into the studio and record the download for itunes. Then, a shortened version of that is performed on Wed. Nobody is going to be able to argue with Jimmy I and his crew. It is all about the money.
        Given, some contestants are musicians (like Casey) and have an advantage if they were allowed to arrange their songs. This year, it is more of an even playing field. I have read that people say this is not “song arrangement idol”– it is a singing competition. And, that is definitely a viable argument. Is it really fair to pit most of the top 12 against a guy like Casey who is so multi-talented and plays like 10 instruments? He could bring out a different instrument every week if he wanted. Paul is in a band and playing on the road and recording for some time–so he is at an advantage as well.
        However, without at least seeing the creativity of the idols–the show itself is going to be the worse for it. We won’t be seeing many of those cool-water cooler moments anymore. For instance, when Adam did that total revamp of Ring of Fire–he got it from an artist he knew about or saw on you tube. If he had brought that arrangement to Jimmy I-would Adam have been permitted to perform it. I doubt it. Those producers are going to want to do it their way.
        So, I am afraid we are in for a boring season of canned arrangements and nothing exciting. Too bad

        • marie says:

          “would Adam have been permitted to perform it. I doubt it. Those producers are going to want to do it their way.”

          Depressing, but I fear you may be right about this.

        • adamfan says:

          Agree, get rid of that stupid Jimmy, I am 60 but have cool headphones, Iovine. I don’t remember the producers so heavily involved in the song arrangement in the previous seasons. The judges have no right to talk about the arrangement being boring if they know very well the singer had really nothing to do with it.

      • EL says:

        I agree that the producers are having way too much influence and stifling the contestants own potential creativity. I also think that the fact that they jumped from 24 right to 13 contestants means that the contestants have had less time to develop. They are just getting comfortable on stage right now, and normally they would be at the top 16 after two performances in front of an audience but instead they are already at the top 11.

  4. lunakit says:

    And do we actually believe Wittle Wauwen can actually speak a word of Spanish?? [Late night snarkfest: Maybe she can take on a few bilingual verses now that Myspace contestant Karen is gonzo. (Does that word qualify as Spanish in Georgia?) / I don’t think being able to ask for “extra queso” on your burrito at Taco Bell qualifies as a second language / How do you say “The Chosen One” in Spanish?]

    • Hooch says:

      She was obviously joking when she said that. Pretty sure her 1 language is ENGLISH.

      • marie says:

        You think so? Funny, I took it a completely different way: I thought she had perhaps studied Spanish in school, and so may have felt justified in saying she knew “one language”…COMPLETELY missing the fact that ENGLISH is ALSO a “language,” rather than just what I suspect she sees it as, “just the way people talk”…if you see what I mean. (Sorry to say it about such a young kid, but shall we say, I would not enjoy seeing her and Kellie Pickler as contestants on Jeopardy…!)

    • tkav3 says:

      I think you missed the point. She was being facetious. Didn’t you pick up on them pointing out her accent? She was poking fun at herself.

      • lunakit says:

        I think you are giving her WAAAY too much credit to think she was being facetious. And they were poking fun at the accent of her “2nd language”, English. Marie had it right…

  5. ohbabs says:

    all i can say i am listening to adam lambert’s glamnation live cd right now-amazing. the best thing idol gave america imo. I am ok that karen went home. disappointed but not surprised to see Naima in the bottom three. she may not be the best singer but she is the most entertaining and interesting to watch. i think she will only get better vocally with the right song. next week haley or thia. lee was ok. BEP??!!! i kept referencing the snl skit lol.

  6. Dawn says:

    Personally I could not stand the bilingual singing from Karen. It was J Lo (& voter?) pandering from day 1. Luis Miguel me & sing a song in Spanish, I love it! But sing a song in English & change to a little Spanish sometimes? Annoying! Plus Karen’s singing got weaker each week, so this cut was right on, & 1-D Jacob should be next.

  7. Adam says:

    The hate over Lauren is not funny for me. Slezak can’t get over one recap without bashing the girl.

    Yes great let’s celebrate another saussage fest and hate on women. That’s the way to do it on American Idol.
    Great to see the worse product of the show on last night, just proves how untalented guys can coast to the victory

    • RLA says:

      I don’t agree that anyone’s hating on women in general, but I DO agree that Slezak’s hatred of Lauren is getting a bit… unseemly and particularly nasty considering the girl’s just 16 years old. I get that the show is pushing her as a frontrunner and that’s annoying to people and yes, she’s a bit immature… but not any less mature than most girls her age. I just don’t get why Slezak has to poke fun at this girl in EVERY SINGLE COLUMN. Please give it a rest!

      • Bill says:

        Do not listen to this crap, Michael. Lauren deserves every bit of criticism she gets. She practically defines the word “princess” in its worst connotations. She has been overpraised from the jump and she believes every word of the hype. She’s not horrible on stage, just thuddeningly mediocre and not worthy to clean Naima’s shoes, just for starters, no matter how much more consistently on pitch she remains.

        • Holly says:

          I totally agree with you! Miss “Toddlers and Tiaras” has had more camera time than any other contestant (due to the over-hype) and she comes across every time as bratty and entitled. Not to mention inappropriately flirty with both Steven and Ryan. I don’t mind immaturity – of course a girl her age is going to be immature. Just look back two seasons ago to Allison Ireheta. She came across as goofy and un-polished, due to her age, but NEVER annoying or bratty.

          • stevenjaba says:

            Agreed! Preach it! Alison Iraheta is a perfect example. She was immature but not spoiled. And she was probably Michael’s favorite AI contestant of all times. When I watch Lauren, I think, this is a girl who has been given gold stars for everything she does, whether it’s worthy or not.

          • Delon says:

            Couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing appealing about that girl’s persona. Insufferable. Besides, there’s nothing wrong about wanting to see 16 year olds who are class acts. They do exist! But, then look at the girl’s mother in her interview footage. She herself is a major case of arrested development dressed like a over-enthusiastic teenager.
            When you have a mother like that as your example what else to do but become an entitled bratty princess. Teenage pregnancy is ruining the future American generations.

        • Hooch says:

          Um, I totally do Not agree. Not worthy to clean Naima’s shoes? What does that even mean? I agree with RLA that she’s not any less mature than most girls her age. She’s a brat, but to me it seems like this is the majority of teen girls today. The one difference with her and other teens is that she is SO outgoing that she’s not nervous up there at all, which is not normal, so she doesn’t keep it in. She WILL grow out of it, and hopefully sooner rather than later, because the girl’s got major talent. If she had not been so overpimped by the judges early on, and could tone down the “Me and my cheerleading coach Ryan are soooooo close!” shtick, no one would be on her back.

          • stevenjaba says:

            Uhm, I hope she grows out of it, but sadly, many people do not grow out of bad attitudes. Depends on what their parents teach them. Let me point out as well that Scotty is the same age but we’ve not seen any hint of a bad attitude from him… (not that I’m a fan of his singing).

          • Hooch says:

            True, but last I checked Scotty was not a teenage girl.
            Thia would be a more apt comparison, but she has shown no personality whatsoever, so not sure that’s any better. (To be clear, I assume Thia HAS a personality, I just think she’s probably scared to death up there, as any normal person would be on the biggest show in the world).
            And anyway – finding another teen who is not obnoxious does not disprove that a lot of them still are.

          • stevenjaba says:

            @Hooch… being a girl vs a boy is no excuse for Lauren. I was a teenage girl once too, my parents would not have stood for such shenanigans – thank goodness. I learned respect.

        • Sue says:

          I thought during the Idol montage she came off as extremely bratty. AI has her as “the winner” yet their editing is not going to help her get votes. Nope. People, like me, decide to NOT vote for her because of her princess, bratty attitude.

        • marie says:

          Agree! (Except about Naima, whom I thought had potential but who has not, IMO, lived up to it.) Princess Lauren is getting on my last nerve.

          • Kiddo says:

            I’ll bet she had a motion activated applause track on her potty chair when she was a toddler.

      • @RLA says:

        Agree. Listen up, Slezak. Give it a rest. It’s mean-spirited, not constructive criticism.

    • Monks says:

      How mature is ANYONE at 16 ….. Michael?

      • ginaM says:

        My daughter is 16 and yeah she is immature as heck: but she would never throw herself on Steven Tyler’s lap, never hang all over Ryan and call him Peaches, never roll her eyes during critiques, and never wear clothing that is so inappropriate for a teenager(talking about the too short skirts and the tight tops showing way too much cleavage)

        • dj says:

          I so, so agree with you ginaM! It’s sad that people think Lauren’s behavior is the rule and not the exception.

    • @Adam says:

      Okay, who (besides an eighth grade boy) uses the term sausage fest??? Nobody is “hating on women”. The women so far have give inferior performances to the men. That is no one’s fault but theirs. And the thing that’s not funny is for Lauren to be shoved down everyone’s throat by the producers. She’s an average singer with an average voice…certainly not the best thing Idol’s ever seen like the producers want everyone to think. That whole little girl act she’s putting on is getting old. If she’s going to sound and look like she’s 25, than it’s kind of hard to pull off acting like she’s 4.

      • OK says:

        Ok, you can’t tell me that there isn’t blantant favoritism for men on this show and for most of reality shows. I agree that some men are better than some of the women on idol, but Jacob and Paul, but especially Jacob have been worse than most of these women. Jacob has a decent voice sometimes, but he has sounded horrible for weeks now. I’ve heard gospel music and they can be so much better than him. It’s not because that’s the type of music he’s singing. He is not doing well at all. It reminds of the Taylor Hicks days when everyone was like “you’re so good” and the judges loved him and he won! And I was screaming at my tv “are you kidding me right now?! He’s awful and will never make it” And he didn’t make it and was dropped. I think men get the most votes because girls are calling in for attractive ones. It also doesn’t help that the judges don’t critique them as harshly and they have an influence on the public. They praised Jacob, they barely said anything about Casey, they “liked Paul’s perfomance”? In the meantime they’re telling haley “pick your genre, but do something daring and different.” That’s confusing. And the reason people are pointing out the favoritism to the men, because it’s obvious. The girls were no way inferior, especially last night.

        • @Adam says:

          Well, the nature of the show lends itself to “favoritism” because it encourages the public to vote for their FAVORITES. If you don’t like that, then maybe you’re watching the wrong show.

      • ChrissieK says:

        Adam…Spot on! Summed it up perfectly! Thank you!

    • amy.. says:

      Regardless of your age, when you try out for a TV reality show, you may get criticism from the public. Lauren wasn’t forced to audition. She chose to come as a 16 year old.
      On another note…Michael mentioned Scotty’s “I’m not good enough to be an astronaut” that self-depracation was sad.
      Thia had her “Mom” on here posting yesterday. Uncomfortable to say the least.
      I would LOVE for the age to be moved to 17. That way someone who would be 18 soon could still try out and we wouldn’t have any Freshmans or Juniors in High School trying out. We also wouldn’t have people commenting on the inappropriateness of “wittle wauren”.

      • stevenjaba says:

        curious how you know Thia’s Mom was here?

        • Hooch says:

          It might not have been her mom, which I assume is why amy put it in quotes, but it had to be someone who is personally close to her, because she was really campaigning hard for her and was getting way too personally invested in their arguments to be a complete stranger.

    • Jen says:

      Pa-leez!! Nigel and the judges have been declaring this girl “The One” since before the show even started. So much of the show has a focus around her, now. I have a feeling that if the votes don’t give them the outcome they want, they will “fix” it so that she is “The ONE”! I don’t know why they aren’t calling the show this year “Lauren Alaina, Your American Idol!” Doesn’t matter how talented she may be, people don’t like a rigged contest.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Remember though – how well that DIDN’T work for little David Archuletta and Danny Gokey. Being hyped early and then not delivering sorts itself out (and note – they were GUYS). When I look at the past female winners – it pretty much answers the question about why these girls aren’t getting votes. Singing aside – they were classy, passionate, respectful/humble, creative – and they knew who they were.

        As for the producers – Nigel tweeted after top 24 (3/6) that neither of his favorites made it through – LAUREN & KENDRA. And if we think of past female winners… I’m thinking I wish they were still here too!!

        • @ladyhelix says:

          ….hhmmm….Archuleta DID deliver. All the judges said he outsang Cook in the finale, and even though I voted for Cook, I have to agree.

        • jen says:

          Nigel may have tweeted that after results, however, his earlier tweet indicated that they found may have found “The ONE” who was only 15. (or something like that) Kendra and the other Lauren were NOT 15. So I think Nigel was just backpedaling because it is HIS show and he will make happen whatever he wants to happen. I believe Lauren is going to win and it won’t have anything to do with America’s vote! How would anyone ever really know the REAL voting results anyway? We are gullible to a fault. He wants Lauren to win therefore she will.

    • Mike says:

      I tend to agree with you. But Slezak does this every season of Idol. He makes early judgments about contestants from the brief audition and Hollywood clips, and then goes on and on about it all season (no matter what they actually do). He obviously has trouble filling his column in less than one day with new material so he falls back on snarky comments to fill space based on his perceived contestant profiles. I think if Slezak and other commenter here just stepped back and got some perspective, they’d realize their seeing what they want to see, not reality. None of them have met Lauren or seen her in person and are only basing their opinions on extremely short takes from an (un) reality show.

      • DonNY says:

        Impressions are formed based on the material/clips provided to us by AI producers. The reality is that Lauren has been edited as a self-centered, spoiled brat because that was how she was acting when being filmed. Plus her onstage cozying up to Ryan and Steven just gave us more ammo. But I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree because the clip of her mom really helped explain why Lauren is the way she is.

      • Derek says:

        Huge round of applause to you for speaking the truth. Slezak hones in on one contestant every season and finds some excuse not to like them and parks there. It doesn’t matter what they say or do he hates them forever & his little cult of commentators follow suit. They see & hear only what they want to see & hear. It permanently taints that contestant in their eyes. On the other hand, their favorite can do no wrong…ever.

  8. Jeff says:

    Oddly enough, I’m finding these elimination shows much more watchable this season. I actually like the packages they seem to be putting together and the group numbers are shockingly decent (at least as decent as the productions can be).

    I also thought it was kinda nice tonight that we got to see Randy, Ms. Lopez, and the glittery Steven Tyler up on stage at the end. I’m pretty sure that J. Lo stated that her husband was gonna come in and help the kids learn how to deal with feedback/reverb in their earpieces. Even though I’m not a fan of the lack of criticism from Tyler, I genuinely feel that (shockingly) Randy (who had been painful for at least the past four seasons) and Jennifer are genuinely interested in the contestants this year.

  9. Errol Flimsy says:

    For those of us who haven’t seen the ep yet but who do subscribe to your RSS feed, Would you PLEASE not put evictees’ names in the hed?

    Thank you.

  10. Connie says:

    As politically incorrect as it may seem, Karen annoyed a lot of people. I polled several people as to who they wanted to be booted and they all said Karen because of the bilingual singing. “AMERICAN Idol, duh!” was the response I got. I guess Idol Arrangement Code #066 (OFF) should be ONLY SING IN ENGLISH.

    That being said, in what language were Casey, Paul and Jacob singing Wednesday night? With performances like that, any one of the three could have basked in the glow of David Cook’s DYFAM and it would have made my night. Heck, just eliminate all three at once so we can hear the whole song!

    Oh, and BEP? Never frickin’ do that again! ‘Nuff said.

    • stevenjaba says:

      I don’t think the problem was that she sang in Spanish. I think the problem was that she pushed the Latina thing at every turn. Plus she was boring.

      • ginM says:

        Could it have been Karen’s outfit? She looked like a cross between a go go dancer and a Sci-Fi Space Vixen. And the big hoop earrings and huge bun smack dab on top of head was just so in your face. It took away from me trying to listen seriously to her performance. But maybe that was the objective? lol

        • ladyhelix says:

          Remember – we don’t vote for who we want to go home – we vote for who DID get our attention (or pity). Karen didn’t do anything wrong – Hence the saying – it’s better to be bad than forgettable.

      • Teresa says:

        TBH, for me the problem wasn’t that Karen sang in Spanish. The problem was that she didn’t go all the way with it. If she had sung “Como La Flor” in Spanish, instead of an English language Selena song, I might have voted my fingers off for her for weeks.

    • marie says:

      I agree re the BEPs, but not re Karen (whom I felt had a pleasant but weak / unremarkable voice). The best thing about her leaving the show is that now we won’t have to hear from the intolerant minority who were offended by her singing in Spanish! May I gently suggest that intolerance itself is more genuinely un-American than having two native languages you’re comfortable with.

      • donie says:

        Amen. Also, being Latina and speaking Spanish is as American as the holiday yesterday.

        • marie says:

          You’re absolutely right, Donie – good analogy! Sometimes I wonder if people who are quick to call themselves “real Americans” remember that, except for the Native Americans, this is a country built by immigrant peoples.

      • smidget says:

        I HATED it when she switched to Spanish, but it’s not intolerance or hatred, it was annoyance.

        See, if she had sang an entire song in Spanish, that would have been fine. Actually, it would have been fresh, original, and completely awesome. But that’s not what happened. What happened was that millions of people were enjoying perfectly nice (albeit slightly boring) renditions of diva ballads when all of a sudden the singer either forgot the words, went sharp/flat, or the TV audio screwed up. “WTF?” we thought as we pondered the problem, only to find seconds later that what we thought was a total screw up was actually an unexpected, and frankly unwelcome, venture into another language, one that most of us don’t speak and are not prepared to hear in the middle of a song we can usually attempt to sing along with.

        So, yeah. Sing Spanish all you want. I encourage it. But don’t do it to Whitney Houston, please, and ffs, don’t take a wild hair and decide to do it in the middle of the effing song.

    • Jill says:

      I thought the bilingual singing was nice in Hero. Then it became overkill, especially right after she said she didn’t just want to be known as the Spanish singer. But I wanted her gone because she didn’t have the great a voice. That being said, I would have preferred to see Haley go home last night (or Naima… the bottom three was perfect to me).

    • cookie love says:

      YEP! Listen to Cook’s DYFAM on itunes and then buy it. IT’S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! So much better than anything this season. Or last.

  11. PBR says:

    I look forward to Slezak’s columns each week. He’s right on point about the performances of all the contestants and alleged pros. (Steven Tyler should have told the Black Eyed Peas they were a gooey gop of garbage. And really, Lee. Are you trying to prove that your song choices are as interesting as watching the paint dry in your former life– a life I worry you may return to sooner than later if you and your people can’t figure out a way to turn your career around.)

    About the Lauren commentary: I think one of the worst memes ever created in internet message board lingo has been “Oh The Haters Are Here!” crowd. No one’s hating on her. Let the judging begin. The contestants are here for a competition, not your dog biscuits and a pat on the head. AGE, or the lack thereof, is NOT a FACTOR in her defense or opposition. The producers framed the issue. This is the age they’ve allowed into the program. Telling any critique writer to lay off her because of her age is a false argument. She’s got to measured equally with the other remaining vocalists.

    I do find Lauren’s trouty-mouth, pouty-face, blank stare faces hysterical. When she has no idea the camera is catching her, she looks as involved in the proceedings as a dead doorknob. But when the lightbulb goes on and she realizes she’s ON THE TELLLLLYVISION, she breaks into the weirdest, most inauthentic, robotic-Idolic camera face I’ve seen. Katherine McPhee was known to do this back in the day. Lauren Whatever Her Real Last Name Is Again has spent too many years of her life having been told she is THE BESTEST OF THE BEST OF THE BESTEST OH MY BABY DARLIN YOU’RE SO GOSH DARN TALENTED. Baby turn those lights on high and recognize you’re not in Kansas anymore. Welcome to Hollywood. Sing out, Louise!

    • agrimesy says:

      I agree. I’ve been opposed to Idol lowering the age requirement from the beginning. No doubt there are talented fifteen year olds, but they simply aren’t mature enough to handle a career. If they can’t take creative criticism from the judges without tears and apologies, how in the world are they going to face the obligatory media stigma toward Idol winners should they be lucky enought to finish with a recording contract? The critics and the commenters MUST be allowed to respond honestly about every contestant equally. Afterall, there really is no age limit on pouty and privileged.

    • Sam says:

      Yowza!!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself,PBR! Sleazak is spot on with his take on “Wittle Wauwen”. She’s average at best, but has been told one too many times how exceptional she is. She’s not.

    • marie says:

      “About the Lauren commentary: I think one of the worst memes ever created in internet message board lingo has been “Oh The Haters Are Here!” crowd. No one’s hating on her. Let the judging begin. The contestants are here for a competition, not your dog biscuits and a pat on the head. AGE, or the lack thereof, is NOT a FACTOR in her defense or opposition. The producers framed the issue. This is the age they’ve allowed into the program. Telling any critique writer to lay off her because of her age is a false argument.”
      PBR, you hit the nail on the head. Agree re the mis-use of the terms “hate” and “haters,” which is a mis-conception of what, except in a scant handful of cases, people are doing, i.e., stating their opinions, good or bad, on what is after all a CONTEST with winners and losers. Agree (as I’ve posted many times) re the age thing, totally. Well said!

    • Brenda Russell says:

      Lee’s album is great and that song was condensed-it is 5 minutes long so that the BEP could sing like crap. It is called Beautiful Like You It sounds great on his cd maybe you should listeb before you criticize.have you heard Live It Up or his previous cd’s-Slumberland or So I’m Told-he has a distinctive voice and is a great singer/songer writer. Are you a music producer? I don’t think so- but you are very rude and misinformed. He is great live- I have seen him and fans who have seen him love him-he can perform with just his guitar and sound great- he won’t be going to the paint shop. You are sadly misinformed.

  12. Rinehart says:

    Lauren still reminds me of one of those girl on Toddlers & Tiaras. She even has the pink cowboy Barbie dress.

    • JenZen says:

      So does her mom.

    • ginaM says:

      Someone mentioned something about that before and I actually tried to research and see if Lauren was on one of those Toddler and Tiars shows. lol I’ve watched those shows(guilty pleasure)and most of the contestants come from southern states like GA and FL. What’s funny is some of the grumpy and bratty looks that Lauren has shown on camera looks like an older version of some of the bratty girls on that show having a melt down.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Lauren reminds me of my conniving college roomate from the South. If Lauren nicknamed Ryan “Peaches”, let’s nickname Lauren
      “Magnolia Mouth.”

    • Sharleen says:

      I think you’ll find Miss Piggy wore a sparkly cowboy outfit that was very similar…..

  13. Tricia says:

    Did the right contestant go home? YES.

    How did you feel about Karen’s sing-out/”save me!” performance of “Hero”? ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS STOP BILINGUAL PERFORMANCES. ONCE IS ENOUGH.

    What about the performances by Lee and the BEPs? UGH!

    And who do you think is most likely to be at risk next week? HALEY REINHART. SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE HAS NO APPEAL, WHICH IS BIASED AND SAD, I KNOW. BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT IS.

    • Tricia says:

      Btw, I suddenly miss contestants like Kris Allen, Adam L, Allison, David Cook, and some others who actually sing good songs and make them their own.

      • Sharon says:

        David Cook broke AI after he won. Hasn’t been the same since.

        • Scarlett says:

          Yup. He sure did. And on another note, I never want to see BEP live again. And props to Slezak for making me look up a word… chyron. See, reading Idol recaps in the workplace IS educational!

      • agrimesy says:

        Heartless . . . If I Can’t Have You . . . Billie Jean . . . sigh, those were “moments” on Idol that have been lacking ever since. I don’t see that kind of potential in any of the contestants in season 10. I hope someone comes forward and surprises me! Unfortunately, the producers are steamrolling the creative juices right out of these kids. The music come off as business not artistry. Naima and Casey are taking risks, but their singing suffers because of it. I want an Idol winner who has both a gut instinct AND the vocal chops to support it. Is that too much to ask?

        • Volcfom says:

          Billie Jean was not an original arrangement! It was Chris Cornell’s cover version. Look it up because it’s awesome. The judges gave him such undeserved credit that night.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Producers must go, indeed. Imagine if they got their paws on
      David Cook, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, or Crystal Bowersox, and others? I shudder to think…

      • ginaM says:

        I think would have hated not being able to pull out his guitar when he wanted to on any given song, but he is stubborn musically and I think he would have fought for musical style. One thing David said was good about theme nights was that it gave him peramaters and that’s how he got creative. If you let the Idol contestants sing what ever they want you get all these boring personal song choices so far. Cool thing about Kris, David, and Adam is that they overall picked good songs and did it in their own style even on a country night, Mariah Carry night, or Michael Jackson night.

      • ladyhelix says:

        You ask “Imagine if they got their paws on David Cook, Adam Lambert, “… (and I’ll add Kris Allen – remember Heartless & Sunshine).

        I believe they would have held their own – had a blast – and come out even stronger. In addition to being smart enough (and experienced enough) to take advantage of this opportunity – they were musicians who knew who they were and who wouldn’t compromise.

        Do you think maybe they signed up Jimmy Iovine and his henchmen to help BECAUSE those mature musicians had an unfair advantage over the other kiddies?

      • ladyhelix says:

        You ask “Imagine if they got their paws on David Cook, Adam Lambert, “… (and I’ll add Kris Allen – remember Heartless & Sunshine).

        I believe they would have held their own – had a blast – and come out even stronger. In addition to being smart enough (and experienced enough) to take advantage of this opportunity – they were musicians who knew who they were and who wouldn’t compromise.

        Actually I think they signed up Jimmy Iovine and his henchmen to help BECAUSE those mature musicians had an unfair advantage over the other kiddies. But that’s just my opinion.

  14. PBR says:

    If Karen did not want to be known as the Spanish Girl Singer, why did she infuse Spanish into all of her performances? What a puzzle!

  15. Delon says:

    Fergie, botox much? She also looked like she got her lips pumped. Black Eyed Peas, where music goes to die.

    Lee Dwayze is the worst AI winner ever.As soon as the first weak notes came out of his mouth i fast forwarded. Dwayze, you make Hicks looks like a vocal giant.

    As long as all these dumbass teenage girls who don’t know what to do with the tingling in their nether regions keep speed dialing for these dishwater males whom i won’t even let to touch my feet there’s no chance a girl will ever win!

  16. Delon says:

    Fergie, botox much? She also looked like she got her lips pumped. Black Eyed Peas, where music goes to die.

    Lee Dwayze is the worst AI winner ever.As soon as the first weak notes came out of his mouth i fast forwarded. Dwayze, you make Hicks looks like a vocal giant.

    As long as all these dumb teenage girls who don’t know what to do with the tingling in their nether regions keep speed dialing for these dishwater males whom i won’t even let to touch my feet there’s no chance a girl will ever win!

    • Teena says:

      I had to look twice to make sure that it was Fergie! Botox or not her face has lost some of the hard look across the eyes that she has always had. I kind of thought she looked better.

      • Delon says:

        Yea, i know. I had to rewind, too. I thought Fergie was out sick and that was a young girl filling in for her.

      • MFW says:

        The change in Fergie was more that she changed her make-up and had on very minimal eye make-up and a bright lip. Botox is certainly possible, but the lack of heavy eyeliner and dark eyeshadow is what we were seeing last night. I thought she looked better.

      • zaza says:

        I thought she looked pregnant.

    • Sharon says:

      Hah, that’s funny. My daughter said, “Who’s singing with them? What happened to Fergie?”

    • Bob says:

      I STILL don’t think that was Fergie on stage. Looked nothing like her, sang sort of like her. Wow, what a mess. What are the Black Eyed Peas going to do when the electronic voice nonsense goes by the wayside, like so many other music gimmicks?

  17. Christina says:

    Karen didn’t have a chance to stay, her begging to stay way amusing. The next couple of results shows are probably going to be just as predictable. Haley and Naima are the next ones out, no doubt.

    Rumor flying around is that next weeks theme is: “THE BEST OF MOTOWN”
    Lets see how country boy does with that!

    As a side note did anyone hear JLo tell Naima at the end that she is going to get Mark to help her with her pitch problems?

    • Ward says:

      Maybe Scotty will do a reverse Adam Lambert on country night. Take a Motown song and but in a country mode. Think “Papa was a Rolling Stone” a la Baby turn the lights down low.

  18. aunt_deen says:

    Michael, I can’t believe there was no discussion of the hilarious explanation of “pitchy” from Randy, where he helpfully informed the TV audience that coming either beneath or above the right note is how a singer earns the “pitchy” label and if a singer wants to avoid that, he/she must KNOW the right note and then HIT it.

    I have never missed Simon Cowell more than at that moment. Seriously.

    • Hooch says:

      Is that not what pitchy means? How would you explain what it means better?

      The problem was he didn’t really answer how a contestant can actually work on being less pitchy, which was the actual question Ryan asked. Although I personally have no idea how myself. Sounds like Randy doesn’t either.

    • dawg says:

      Yes, yes, yes, yes!!! Such.An.Idiot.

    • marie says:

      Thanks for bringing that up. Randy offered NO help at all re correcting pitch problems, which I found both amusing and pathetic. You would think a supposed professional musician / producer would at least know that there are things a singer can do to correct pitch inaccuracies, working with a vocal coach to learn to breathe properly to support the voice being one of them, as breath problems are one factor in causing pitch problems. Randy sometimes showcases his remarkably shallow knowledge of music and singing.
      On another note (no pun), I fondly remember Harry Connick Jr.’s turn as a guest mentor, when he expressed his disdain for the non-word “pitchy,” which is NOT a technical singing term but was invented on Idol, I think most likely by Paula Abdul. It irks me every time someone uses it, but I grudgingly admit that it seems we’re stuck with it. (The real terms are off-key, off-pitch, flat and sharp.) Sorry, I just had to say it.

      • Ben says:

        I think Randy invented the word, as a less offensive way to say off pitch. Kind of like saying, “you know dog, it was just all right for me” instead of saying “train wreck”.

        • marie says:

          Could well have been Randy, and I guess he might well have had good intentions by inventing it. (I still don’t like it, though, grumble, grumble!)

  19. leo says:

    vaya con dios, myspace mija. me no gusto you anyways.

  20. Bill says:

    I think the right person went home, but I was disappointed not to see Jacob in the bottom three. Talented as he is, his last two performances have been shockingly awful. I am hoping and praying that Naima puts it all together now that she has the chance. She is a star in the making but she simply has to get the vocals on par with the rest of the package. As it stands, the only people who have been consistently crown-worthy are Pia and Stefano, but Casey is amazingly gifted and could do it if he tries. I am totally meh about Scotty. He is so one-note thatzzzzzzzzz…….

    • Beth T says:

      Bill – you pretty much said everything I was thinking!

      Just want to add – I thought Lee sang better than he ever did on Idol, and I thought the song was kinda intersting…but I’m still not compelled to get the song, his CD or see him on tour.

      I have no idea what the BEPs were doing. That song got weirder by the minute – and there sure seemed to be a lot of minutes! Surely that can’t be intended for radio?

      I kinda liked the Born to Be Wild/Born This Way mash-up, but you culd tell it was live becasue some of the vocals…hmm.

      • Connie says:

        Funny you should use the term “not compelled to get the song”, nothing I have heard from the contestants OR the guests thus far has compelled be to even come close to pulling the trigger on a download. Well, I must admit, I have bought one AI song this season and only heard less than a minute of it. Thank you, David Cook.

  21. Michelle R. says:

    I felt sorry for Karen. I still thought she needed to go, but I was moved at how badly she wanted to be there and how much pain she was in, and then the judges trying to talk her off the ledge. It was the compulsion to do the bilingual thing every time that did her in — one time early on and then once again when you’re one of the last people standing would be plenty. Combined with the Selena thing…//I can’t believe that was Fergie — that’s all.//I knew Lauren would not be going home no matter what, but I was just hoping for bottom three for my own personal amusement. I realize this detracts from any “nice person” points I may have gained by my sympathy for Karen, but entitlement and baby talk makes me want to see a reality check.

  22. Teena says:

    I can’t believe that Michael let Haley in shorts go by without a Haley Scarnato reference!

  23. Samantha F says:

    Slezak, hilarious as always. his reviews of Lauren are spot on, the horrendous personality takes away from her talent. toddlers and tiaras, indeed!

    @ Teena – I had the same thought.

  24. Sharon says:

    A “rather pretty” vocal from Lee Dewyze?

    I was probably the only Lee Dewyze fan last season, and I just might be the only one who liked most of his album (including ‘Beautiful Like You’), but last night’s performance was B.A.D. I thought maybe his vocals would have gained strength and experience after touring, but that didn’t seem to be the case last night. It was disappointing.

    • Holly says:

      Obvs, you weren’t his ONLY fan, since he won! I still can’t fathom how he beat Crystal Bowersox last season. Her album rocks!

    • Jill says:

      I liked Crystal better, but I loved Lee too(my favorite finale so far), and I love his album (though “Beautiful Like You” is probably my least favorite song). I think a better first single for him would have been “Sweet Serendipity” or “Stay Here.”

  25. CarolLeslie says:

    Did the right person go home? Well, yes and no. Karen was definitely on my short list of people we need to get rid of early in the competition, so I’m not crying that she went. However my #1 candidate for elimination this week was Jacob Lusk. Listening to another few weeks of boring and cheesy from singers like Karen, Haley and Thia seems far more tolerable than having my ears tortured by more of Jacoh’s off pitch gospel caterwauling.

  26. CJ says:

    First, Michael’s recaps are more half the reason I watch the show. Great writing, sharp sense of humor. Second, this producer thing is not working out – they lose what’s interesting about many of the contestants. At least you used to get some performances that were bad in a fun, love-to-hate way, but now they are just boring bad. And I miss the guest mentors. And the sooner Thia and – please America – Lauren get tossed the better. I’d love to see a woman win but I think the men are way better this year as a group.

  27. Victoria's not so secret says:

    I was expecting to see Paul in the bottom 3. He is a big disgrace and horrible. Those tight skinny jeans look tacky on him…and interestingly he has NOTHING to show for them, if you know what I mean. He is a terrible singer and should GTFO.

    • agrimesy says:

      LOL! Bring back Adam Lambert in those striped jeans he wore for the “Slow Ride” duet with Allison or even better the zipper pants on Ring of Fire. Now, HE is a . . . well-rounded artist. ;)

  28. Deb says:

    Confidence with some humility will take you a long way in this competition, but desperation and ego will kill your ride. The problem is that most of these young women are coming off desperate.
    Not sorry to see Karen go as I did not think she merited a spot in the top 13 to begin with (although she wasn’t the only one I thought that about.) Hilarious that Shih Tzu is on the censor list.

  29. allie says:

    Sigh. This is the 2nd results show I have DVR’d and mostly fast forwarded. Last night I did the same during the competition show – too painful to watch. My problem, besides the fact that the vast majority of these kids cannot sing in tune, is that these people are not relevant. The most relevant to his genre is Scotty – he isn’t my cup of tea but he could easily record in Nashville tomorrow. He is the only one that I can easily say – “ok, that is how he’ll sound in the studio & I can see country fans really liking him”. When I think back to past winners, for the most part we knew what type of music they would record. I suppose it wouldn’t matter as much if they sang every song well but when they don’t I am left wondering what they can do currently if they are so bad with older songs.

  30. Lori says:

    I finally realized Results night why this group has failed to ignite. They have NO heart. Over the last 3 weeks there have been few random heartfelt performances but on the whole, they are robotic “I have a good voice, listen to what I can do with it” instead of artists taking us into their world through voice and lyrics. And for all the shtick he takes, it was Lee’s very heartfelt performance that turned the proverbial light on for me about this group. They are all so into the “look” of the performance rather than the “soul” of the performance. Way to go Jimmy!

    • stevenjaba says:

      I agree, and I blame the Nigel and the producer involvement. They are working so hard to polish these contestants that there is no sense of freshness left. Also, I think the song arrangements are better for recording, versus live performances.

    • allie says:

      I agree to a certain extent but I do not solely blame the producers. As JLo has said repeatedly, the singers themselves have to feel the song. That is why it is so hard for the really young ones like Thia to sound anything less than dull – they have no life experience to back up, well, anything. Producers are heavily involved in every musicians career so this is going to be a constant if they make it. They need to learn how to deliver and most of them do not have a clue.

      • ginaM says:

        I think Archie and Allison were the rare teenagers that had a lot of heart and soul when they performed on stage.

    • jen says:

      To be fair, these contestants are all relatively very young. To really feel a song, for the most part, it has to be relevant to your life. So how many of these kids grew up with any of the material TPTB are giving them to sing? It is 2011, give the kids some songs to work with say from the last 10-15 years, at least, and I am sure there would be more heart in performances!

  31. S. Lee Stack says:

    its not Karen’s fault that all the minutes ran out on her voting block’s pre-paid calling cards! I was hoping she would last a coupla more weeks so I could hear her do “Rico Suave”

  32. shelbar says:

    I haven’t followed Lee’s career post idol and I was surprised how much I liked his voice last night. Enough to go buy his CD {I just bought Adeles and I love it}.

    I have a bad habit of comparing everyone to Adam Lambert and obviously there just is no comparison. Every performance and I mean every one he put his heart and soul in it. I’m going to be in a nursing home and still be reminising about Adam, the good ole days.

    Lauren bugs the heck out of me. I don’t care for her entitled behavior. Even her saying her dog is smarter than the other 2.{Her dog is probably smarter than she is} To my chagrin, lauren will be on the show for a while. I did notice that she sits like a dummy not interacting UNTIL she is aware a camera is on her.

    I don’t understand how they say Thia is boring but Scotty gets away with singing the same sounding song every week, he is boring. He need to change up the rhythm or do something other then a song that puts me to sleep.

    Casey is very talented but he needs to stop the anger and shouthing.

    I’m starting to like James and I still Like Paul.

    Karen was the right choice to go. I was embarrassed for her when she started to beg.

    Stephano is good, but to “boy band” style for my taste.

    Hey guys remember when Adam and Cook gave electrifying performances? oops there I go again… oh for the good old days.

    • stevenjaba says:

      And, in my opinion – Kris Allen (remember Heartless?)

    • Eurydice says:

      I think the difference between Scotty and Thia is that Scotty actually likes the songs he’s singing, so the songs become part of who he is – that’s what the judges mean when they ask “who are you as an artist?” Thia’s songs seem to be more like a homework assignment to show off her voice in this way or that – they might sound OK but they don’t feel OK.

  33. Marianne says:

    The right one went home, for sure. You ask us who do we think will go home next week ~ aren’t we supposed to base that on how they do? Hmmm. .. maybe not? Let’s just pick them now. My ideal bottom 3 next week would be Thia, Naima, and Jacob, with Jacob saying bye-bye. Wouldn’t that be refreshing to have a guy go home?! Well – I’d really like Thia gone too. I’m tired of yawing through her performances. ;)

  34. Hooch says:

    “I know Karen’s had a tough night, but did anyone else notice the way her eyes roll into the back of the head when she’s laying down too much vibrato?”
    Yes! Yikes! Me watching : “Is she having a seizure?? That is not attractive”.
    I wish Thia went home, because she’s just dull. And I can’t enjoy mocking her because she just seems so sad and scared up there. At least with Karen I had a strong (negative) reaction each week.

  35. Debbie M says:

    I couldn’t believe the Peas dedicated that song to Japan…. lyrics like “I love you long-time.” Really??

  36. Lusky Phank says:

    Lusky Stank.

    • marie says:

      LOL!!! Had to read that twice; everyone uses “sucked” nowadays, but “stank” is the more “traditional” term!

  37. lucy95 says:

    Really disappointed in Lee. I did like some of his pre-idol stuff, but not this album. Someone needs to give him some advice – wear something other than a black T once in awhile, get rid of the beanies and the ridiculous hoodies and shave that crap under your chin. Smile once in awhile & learn to promote yourself. Do we need to know what your favorite color is on twitter or how much you love your fans? RCA did throw him under the bus, but he sure isn’t helping himself.

  38. Leila says:

    Lots of racist and ignorant comments around here. Yes, Karen was not that good, but the bilingual singing would have been great had she been a better performer. I’m not hispanic but I’d have enjoyed it.

    • Teena says:

      The way I see it is that if Karen wants to be a Latin-esque singer it is no different than Scotty going country, James going rock or Naima going reggae. Karen appealing to Jennifer is no different than James appealing to Steven.

    • Michelle R. says:

      I was one of the people who said it help send her packing and it wasn’t a racist thing — it was about her pulling it out every time and making it more a gimmick than a sincere expression. It was lovely and it was moving and even smart the first couple times, and then it became a thing that was as reliable as the sun rising in the east. That combined with making it clear her idol was the woman that one of the judges played in a movie… It seemed both calculated and safe.

      It’s like, what’s-her-face, the glass-blower from last year always going for the scream or James Durbin for the first few weeks trying to imitate Adam Lambert.

    • marie says:

      Amen, Leila! Absolutely. Glad you posted that – I was beginning to feel very much alone in my take on this. As I posted somewhere above, the best thing about Karen leaving is that we’ll no longer have to hear intolerant people complaining about being offended by her singing in Spanish. Good riddance to that!

      • stevenjaba says:

        Not fair to play the intolerance card. See what Michelle R said just above. She put it well. Same thing would happen if the 16 year olds tried to use their age to get other teens to vote for them – it leaves everyone else out, hence they don’t get those votes.

  39. BTGS says:

    “Lady Reinhart’s “I’m over it!” brand of possibly sarcastic grinning won her any new fans” – AGREED!!!

    My husband & I both said, as Ryan called different groups up to see who was safe and who was in the bottom, to any of them that acted like “Duh, it’s me and whatever” we both screamed at the TV “BOOT ‘EM! Send them home right now!” because if they are either that smug or do not think they are good enough to be safe (then why should we) then they aren’t going to make it.

    Naima & Haley both had that attitude sooooo bad it was off-putting. Karen, although she didn’t seem terribly surprised to be in the bottom, didn’t give us the same feeling, so of the 3 it was sad that it was her.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I’m not thrilled by those who are OVERLY confident such as Casey (and not he is not alone but was the one that it may have affected the most this week). Do not get me wrong, I like him but it almost feels like he thinks that he can do, say and sing whatever he wants however he wants but because he’s sooooo beloved that it won’t matter. I’m thinking that after a while it just might. Being a little to full of yourself can also be off-putting.

    Swagger and confidence are great (and needed to survive) but they need to be tempered with some humble pie. Thankfully the judges gave out a little bit of it this to some of the contestants this week but actually giving some actual critique. Fingers crossed that it will be taken to heart and used.

    • Suncatcher says:

      I give POINTS TO CASEY for telling Jimmy and the producers, “I don’t care.” And went ahead and did what he wanted to do and knew he was capable of doing – not what some stranger THOUGHT would be cute for him. Go Casey! ALL the contestants should do the same and maybe then, we’d see some performances like Adam’s and David’s and Allison’s and the rest – and we’d also see some honest judging.

    • Val says:

      Sorry, the thing with Haley is a Chicago thing. We tell it like it is. Haley’s not going to stand up there with a little Lauwen pouty face and go “Oh noes, how did I get here!” She knows the producers put little subtle digs on her to sway the voting public, who already hate girls. So she’s down on the floor with a cute guy, and she’s thinking, “Oh duh, I wonder who’s going home. Let me guess.” It’s not because she *thinks* she should be in the bottom 3, it’s because she’s not stupid and knows how the system works. The cheesy fake f-u grin she gave the cameras made me like her all the more.

      Same thing with Naima. She’s from Milwaukee, which is close enough to Chicago to have the same vibe. It’s a no BS thing. We’re not going to pretend we’re surprised when we’re not.

      • Volcfom says:

        I completely agree! Haley is smart enough to know that they’ve stacked the deck against her. It’s a shame when we know how messed up the system is, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

        Personally, my 50 online votes will continue to be for Haley.

  40. Pam says:

    Obviously, the right person went home. Karen seems like a very sweet girl, but just doesn’t know how to pick a song. I don’t think it’s America’s dislike of female singers that is the problem with this show. The producers don’t have any idea how to market a woman to the masses. As a woman, I would like to see one win this year, but I don’t think it will happen. Naima’s the only one willing to work outside the box when it comes to the women/girls, but I’m not sure her voice is completely up to it. If TPTB truly want to see a woman win (which I highly doubt), they should be pushing them to grow. The men, for the most part, are willing to take risks, and that’s what guides America’s votes. We like someone who’s willing to throw down and give it all they’ve got, whether they can sing well or not.

    Oh, and last night was further proof that Lee should never have won – he was off-key in the beginning, and the song was a big snooze-fest. Maybe that was the plan, because after all, performance night was also a big snooze-fest. Ugh. All I can say is everyone better bring it next week for Motown.

  41. lar says:

    There could have been an eight-way tie for the bottom three, IMHO. Did the right person go home? I thought it should have been someone that wasn’t even in the actual bottom three. I think Karen sang Hero beautifully– too bad her last two performances weren’t as heartfelt. Could it be because they had the forced arrangements? Whatever the reason, the embracing of her Latina heritage did not bother me (and no, I am not of Hispanic descent). She seemed like a nice person, she has an undeniably nice voice, and I hope that she is able to capitalize on this exposure.

  42. Brandon says:

    I don’t like Thia too much, and I’m a long-time fan of yours, but I think you’re being overly harsh on the kid. There are far worse singers there and far more annoying personalities. Why is she getting so much crap? She’s sixteen and she’s trying to follow her dreams. Why are you so jaded?

    • josiepup says:

      Because she’s on AI, not in her hometown talent show! I’m all for nurturing and applauding kids’ efforts to follow their dreams. But as others have said: when they CHOOSE to do so on the big stage, they have to be prepared to play by the big-stage rules.

  43. Vetle says:

    Usually I hate it when the girls go one after one after one. Last season, I thought it was really annoying. Though she didn’t not earn the top 12 spot, Lacey Brown (whooo?) did not deserve to go home first from the top 12. Paige deserved it on top 11 night, but prior to that horrible performance, I think she deserved to crack the tour — and Tim Urban not (even though he became quite likeable in the end). Didi Benami, Katelyn Epperly, Lilly Scott. America did a horrible job voting through the girls.

    It says a lot that only three girls have cracked the top FOUR the last three season. Syesha, Allison and Crystal — Syesha who was a bottom three regular. Allison hit the bottom three a few times too (she also was one out of only THREE girls joining the tour – with Lil Rounds and Megan Joy… what did you do to ALEXIS GRACE?!), even though Allison performed way better than some people during those weeks. Thank God for Crystal Bowersox. She “Saved” (no pun intended”) season 9 for me. So sad that Siobhan only reached SIXTH place. Big Mike should never have gotten the save. The Sinatra week was sooooo boring.

    THIS SEASON HOWEVER, I think four out of seven girls are BAD. It will certainly be 6 guys and 4 girls on the tour. Also, only one girl will crack the top 4 this year, I bet. I think it will be Pia Toscano. If there is another girl in the top 4, it will most likely be Lauren Alaina — I just wish she would do a ballad. A gut-wrenching one (like Paula put it, when Allison slayed “I Can’t Make You Love Me”).

  44. Sebastian says:

    I thouh the right contestant did go home even though it shouldve been jacob but he got the pimp spot so i didnt expect him to go home. I thought Karen’s save me performance was nice but not save-worthy. I really enjoyed Lee’s performance and the BEP’S performance was not that bad in my opinion and i thought fergie sang well. The most likely to be at risk next week i think is either jacob or haley. Maybe even naima if she doesn’t keep her vocals in check.

  45. betsy says:

    re: Lee Dwyze – I think Michael’s review of his performance was perfectly right on. Good singing, nothing song. I don’t think he was pitchy at all, but maybe the people who say that are the ones who think Karen sang worse than Paul, Jacob, Naima, and/or Casey (sorry, dude, but that was not good). This isn’t a singing contest, it’s a popularity contest.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Sorry, Betsy, but Lee DeWyze couldn’t hit a note last night if his career depended on it – and it just might have.

      PS – Nobody sang worse than Paul this week. There’s almost 100% agreement on that.

  46. Joshtinpowers says:

    If Scotty is only 16, then why was he allowed to sing a song from 1993 (his supposed birth year)?

  47. susela says:

    Watch carefully next week, Slezak—it’s pretty clear both Seacrest and Steven Tyler are over Little Lauren and her cutesy act. The short list for the save is Casey, Stefano, or Pia, should any of them falter before the Final Five. Oh, they might save Durbin, too, but that would be a travesty.

    • marie says:

      Re Lauren: YES! Seacrest seems downright DISGUSTED with her dopey rambling when she insisted he don that silly face mask of hers. He was NOT charmed or amused one bit!

  48. susela says:

    I agree that Casey needs to starting singing—and soon! He hasn’t done anything so far that compares with what he did for his audition or in Hollywood. I’m rooting for him, but this “fearless” stuff might get him sent packing.

    • marie says:

      I am completely with you on that, Susela! He showed SO much promise in his audition and in Hollywood week. Get back to that, Casey, please!

  49. cmj says:

    Anyone of the bottom 3 would have been the “right” person to go home. Jacob, Paul and Thia would also have been the “right” person to go home.

    Put me on the list of those fed up with Widdle Wauwen.

    Looking for Casey not to scream a song. Looking for Stefano to sing something quieter and softer, I’m thinking he could pull off a good ballad.

  50. Just Sayin says:

    I think the girls don’t build the big fan bases because they are forgettable. People don’t enjoy listening to the power ballads. I don’t care how good their voice is. The power ballad is boring. We had to endure 2 Whitney Houston songs this week. Naima is at least interesting and Haley does at least try to sing some songs with character. To be honest I didn’t care for Stefano this week because he did the same thing. I care more about the melody than holding one note for the entire time they are allotted to sing. I only liked one performance this week and that was Scotty. I am not a country fan, but he picked a good song and sang it well. As for the rest, the interesting songs were off pitch and screechy (Naima, Paul, and Casey) or forgettable or in the case of Jacob Lusk just downright awful. The goal is not to go up there and yell as loudly as possible into the microphone. Uggggh who is voting for this guy?

    As for Lee Dewyze. Buy his album(s). They are good. I think people are confusing “pitchy” with the tone of his voice. The best recording artists don’t always have the best voices. No one can hit the notes Bono does because he has such a unique voice. Same goes with Steven Tyler.