American Idol Recap: Better Saved Than Sorry

If Haley Reinhart had an ounce of anxiety going into Thursday night’s American Idol results-show telecast, it must have dissipated as quickly and completely as constructive advice from Steven Tyler’s tongue by the time the first commercial break arrived. Indeed, right at the outset of the episode, stark messages blared across the screen (“No one is safe!” “Expect the unexpected!”) that all but guaranteed Haley — who’d been a bottom-three dweller for the first two weeks of the season 10 finals — wouldn’t be spending another night in the fantasy suite with her old suitor, the Silver Stool of Doom.

Moments later, host Ryan Seacrest seconded the motion by insinuating that the final vote tally for Motown Week would come as a shock to the Idoloonie Nation. As it would turn out, the eventual result — shaggy soulster Casey Abrams getting the lowest number of votes after landing in the bottom three along with a shellshocked Stefano Langone and “16-year-old Thia Megia” — was more a La Toya London-level surprise than The Full Daughtry. But what happened next was crazier than Haley’s side ponytail and Mr. Tyler’s psychedellic birthday portrait combined.

Right after Ryan (who had damn well better submit tonight’s show for his Emmy reel) broke the bad news to Casey, Fox broke out the seven-second delay and dropped the broadcast audio — though who was blurting what profanity (and at what kind of frequency) wasn’t entirely clear with Casey and Stefano’s heads buried in each other’s shoulders. When the sound returned, Ryan instructed Casey to sing for his life, the “doomed” contestant mouthed the word “wow,” and then launched into a growly rendition of “I Don’t Need No Doctor.” Seconds later, though, our host was back on stage, prematurely putting the brakes on Casey’s ditty while Randy dramatically waved his arms and shouted, “We know who you are, Casey! We don’t need to hear you sing anymore!” (Imagine how much different that statement would’ve sounded had it been applied to, say, season 9’s Andrew Garcia.) Cue Steven declaring the voting results as “crazy wrong” and telling Casey that the panel “made a decision here to keep you on.” And cue Casey, blurting the full expression of the abbreviation “OMFG” (again censored by Fox, though dude’s lips were totally readable), falling to his knees and clutching Ryan’s legs, staggering back to his feet, and grasping at his chest as if he might be experiencing the early signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction. (Seriously, I was worried for a minute there!) “Are you really?” Casey asked the judges. “I can’t believe it!”

Even better news for Casey and his fellow finalists? Because next week’s two-person elimination will leave season 10 with only nine contestants (not enough for the show’s summer tour), the good folks at 19 and Fremantle decided to break tradition and allow 11 singers to hit the road (and rake in healthy chunks of change) after the confetti is swept up from the Nokia. And while I’m not convinced that Casey has the goods to legitimately contend for Lee DeWyze’s crown and sash, his presence will certainly make for a more interesting tour experience, no?

What’s more, at least the guy is getting finally getting some pertinent feedback from the judges.”No more antics,” said J.Lo, gesturing to her own glowing visage in an effort to discourage Casey from turning into Scary McBeardyscowl on every one of his performances. “You don’t need to growl anymore,” added Randy, who 24 hours ago was telling Casey that his gruff reading of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was proof that “You can only do you, and that you is great!”

(I’ll pause here while y’all break out the side-eye.)

As for the night’s uninterrupted performances, let us recap:

Jennifer Hudson, “Where You At”: What else would we expect from season 3’s Oscar- and Grammy-winning diva other than a blistering, perfectly pitched vocal? J.Hud sounded tremendous on a ballad that I’m still not sure is catchy enough to be lead single material, but I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that our gal appeared to be treacherously teetering through the dry ice in a pair of absurdly steep heels. “Where you at?” Luckily for Jennifer, not flat on her face on the Idol stage! All that aside, though, this performance is Rated G…for Grrrrllll you sang it!

Sugarland, “Stuck Like Glue”: Cute little bug of a country ditty, sung with poise and good energy, even if Jennifer Nettles’ look appeared to be part of Chico’s Violently Garish Pastels collection.

Season 10 Top 11, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”: Once again, a group performance featuring at least some live vocals! Pia and James got a tad carried away with the holleration, but Jacob proved ludicrously entertaining by hurling himself wholeheartedly into the finalists’ tragic choreography. Anyone else notice how Stefano and Scotty got essentially muted on this number? Conspiracy theorists discuss!

Stevie Wonder and the Season 10 Top 11: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”: You could complain that Stevie’s surprise appearance — he emerged on a rolling piano platform from behind the stage — devolved into a series of melodic mumbles, or you could make like Jacob Lusk’s grandma and get your boogie on.

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

Best Possible Interpretation of the Ford Music Video
The Top 11 used their recycling to make a lovely tree sculpture.

Worst Possible Interpretation of the Ford Music Video
The Top 11 dumped their trash in a park.

Action That Should Never Again Follow the Words “This…is American Idol”
Violent Tearing and Removal of Speaker’s Shirt (Applies to Hogan, Hulk; Seacrest, Ryan)

None of Those Cats Dropped the F-Bomb, Right?
Was it my TV, or did the sound briefly drop out after Seacrest told Lauren, Pia, and Scotty they were safe — and heading out on the Idol Summer Tour?

Most Touching Response to Making the Idol Summer Tour
Naima’s barely audible “I can buy a house, baby!”

He’s Still Waiting for His Closeup, Idol!
Considering that it was charming George Huff providing backing vocals for the entirety of J.Hud’s performance, you’d think maybe someone in the control booth would’ve allowed us a single decent shot of the season 3 fifth-place finisher in action. #IdolFail

But Do They Get to Vote?
First thought that crossed my mind after seeing a “Guam Loves Thia” poster in the audience

Best Dressed (Insane Costume Division)
Jennifer Lopez as Cleopatra 2525

Best Accessory
J.Hud’s massive, sparkly teardrop earrings. J. Apostrophe. Adore.

Scariest Garment
Hulk Hogan’s “lightly worn yet mercilessly abused” t-shirt, gifted to James Durbin.

Proof That Wacky Hijinks Should Only Ensue Naturally, Not in the Petri Dish of the Idol Mansion
That whole interminable James-Paul-Stefano-Pia wrestling match.

Proof That There’s Great Entertainment Value in Watching a Grown Man Turn Into Adorable/Overwhelmed Fourth Grade Boy
James Durbin’s face when Hulk Hogan emerged from backstage to declare that he and Paul McDonald were safe

And now I turn it over to you: Did the right contestant face elimination tonight? Did the judges do the right thing in using the save? What about the performances by J.Hud and Sugarland? And what did you make of Marc Anthony’s tutoring session on the use of ear monitors? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. A Hit Dog Will Holler says:

    I was disappointed. I was hoping that our country’s long national nightmare of seeing Casey growl and scream into the microphone would finally be over.

    The judges ruined the save on someone who should’ve gone home by on. The reason Casey was in the bottom 3 is because people do.not.want.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      IMO it was probably a group decision, because Casey has an illness and that tour would help put some money in his pocket for medical expenses. Now watch next week, he’s going to be cut + someone else. But they’re all happy, because they get to tour. And to quote Naima, Now I can buy a house.

      • Ty says:

        casey will not be cut next week. I guarantee they out him either 10 or 11 and he sings with the upright bass. Along with votes for people who loved his reaction after the save he will not go home. Also, I still think this whole thing was somehow fixed by the producers in order to get all 11 on the tour. I love casey but even i thought he should have been in the bottom 3 last week after his nirvana performance, BUT he wasnt. I dont see how he would go all the way to being last this week when he was completely safe last week. thats just my rant but Im happy they are all on tour and mark my words casey will not be leaving anytime soon. If micheal lynch could make it a couple weeks past his save, im pretty sure casey can last a lot longer.

        • Ken says:

          We don’t know, he might have been 4th last week (just barely safe), but with the dead weight going, he dropped even more since supporters of Karen or Ashton may have moved to Pia or Naima.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Goodness, Sally, enough of the “Casey’s sick and needs the money for medical bills” line.

        Casey’s father taught or teaches at Idyllwild Arts Academy, a school for the performing arts. Both Casey and Julie Zorilla attended school there.

        Have you seen Casey’s parents? They are old enough to be his grandparents. They must be in their 60s. If they don’t have plenty of cash by now they need to hang it up. Casey is 19 and therefore probably covered on his parents’ medical insurance. Plus, he’s from California, land of government handouts, so he’s probably covered by the taxpayers if he’s not covered on a private policy.

        • Suncatcher says:

          Goodness, Darcy’s Evil Twin, enough of your knowledge of the health care industry! You obviously haven’t paid any medical or RX bills lately. Work for the state, do ya?

          You brought to mind Kris Allen’s big hit, “Heartless.”

        • MrsFitzDarcy says:

          Darcy’s Evil Twin, are you handsome as Mr. Darcy? Do you have the same deep voice? If you do, I wouldn’t care if you were evil or not! ha ha. If you are a girl … I’m so sorry. I’m assuming this is a Pride & Prejudice reference.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Although I’m a big Jane Austen fan, I’m female.

            My sister’s name is Darcy. She went to the insane asylum when Kaetlyn Epperle, Lilly Scott, Alex Lambert, and Todrick the Dancer got kicked off American Idol last season. I took her place. She’s never quite recovered. ;-)

    • Shannon says:

      I had a feeling that if the judges were going to use their save, that tonight would be the night. It just seemed appropriate with them celebrating Steven Tyler’s birthday and all. I’m ok with their decision. No one ever said that the save was for contestants who had any chance of winning. It’s for those who should’ve at least hung around a few more weeks, not fell from the grace of the Idol stage prematurely. As for whether Casey’s a strong enough singer to even warrant such a public booster shot, I thought he sounded better in those 25 seconds than he has during the whole competition (excluding his audition of course).
      Since it no longer matters who wins the crown (It seems that the winner’s pumped up tour salary is really the only highlight of winning these days) and since it’s just about anyone’s game at this point anyway, I’m glad Casey will be bringing his wild (though hopefully well-controlled) snarl and literal head of hair (though there’s no hope for controlling that) to the Idol stage next week.
      Casey’s not my favorite, though I do get a kick out of him. I’m aiming more toward James and his giant screech (yes, that was a Roald Dahl reference) and Haley’s bluesy floozy growl. I’m not betting that either will win, but in the event that James did, I’m just hoping that there won’t be too much backlash from the Glamberts. Adam, the Idol Glambassador never needed to win to make it and he’s proven that, so I’m hoping his fans don’t blow their glittery lids should his less-polished and more gritty twin actually take the crown.
      Jacob, Pia, and Stefano may have the most technically impressive voices in the competition, but I’m not exactly rallying for any of them. Jacob has the histrionics of 10 divas, Pia belts her way through Celine-y ballads, and Stefano sings his heart out with his eyes (and heart?) closed. Boring. I especially don’t want Jacob in the top 2. He gets carried away even when he’s holding back. It’s like he undermines his own vocal range by exaggerating it. Not even his lower notes sound natural. I’m not digging his over-the-top facial gestures either. “Getting ugly” with it, he may be, but it’s also getting old.

      • Brittany says:

        I love your analysis of James winning and how the Glamberts would react. It was very well said and witty- I also loved how you described James in comparison to Adam. I totally agree! Although I found Adam too over-the-top for me, albeit entertaining and talented, I am really a fan of James. Yes, he might not be as polished as Adam, but something about him has me rooting for him and I’m not a huge fan of the rock genre. His reaction to Hulk Hogan was priceless! I guess he just seems more real and humble to me than Adam ever did.

        • Shannon says:

          Thanks, Brittany!
          I think Adam’s a nice guy and very talented, but he’s a very strong personality (loud on a number of levels) and I think that’s why so many people had such strong reactions to him. The thing about James is that he’s several years younger than Adam and comes across as a jubilant, fun-loving, and, especially during that Hulk-sized Hulk surprise last night, child-like individual all around. It’s not that Adam was never any of these things, it’s just that he’s far more seasoned and brought his theater-honed professionalism (along with his tongue) wherever he went during his Idol stint. James’s voice has a lighter, softer tone than Adam’s, with his high-pitched power wail seeming to soar with the melody rather than swallow it whole. The Adam-isms are definitely there. These two even look a bit alike. But, James is in no way a Lambert clone, substitute, or factory-made knock-off. He’s got his own style, his own sound, and his own swag. I don’t know about that odd “tail” he insists on sporting, but the accessory, much like the singer has grown on me. (Um, that sounded a bit weird as I certainly and hopefully am not growing a tail, but you know what I mean…)

          • Brittany says:

            Haha! I totally agree about the tail. I don’t think James has perfect performances by any means (and really cannot be compared to Adam in that regard), but he definitely has a uniqueness to him. At times though, with certain phrasing/notes, he sounds so much like Adam. I also agree that it’s not that Adam is lacking the realness and humility, it’s just that James brings a certain rawness that cannot come across as being superficial or trained stage presence and media professionalism.

            “James’s voice has a lighter, softer tone than Adam’s, with his high-pitched power wail seeming to soar with the melody rather than swallow it whole.”

            above = perfect explanation!

          • Shannon says:

            Thanks so much again, Brittany!
            You’re exactly right. There are indeed times in James’s lower register where he channels Adam to the point where I almost do an auditory double-take. It’s like he’s got a teeny tiny Adam living inside his vocal chords (an either very cute or horrifying image depending on your point of view). Thank the rock gods that James is not polished, though, because as much as I’ve enjoyed many of his glammed-to-the-nines twin’s performances, I have no interest in seeing James march down the Idol stage’s grand staircase in a dashing white suit or performing ankle-deep in dry ice. Leave all of that to the mighty Glambassador, I say.
            “James brings a certain rawness that cannot come across as being superficial or trained stage presence and media professionalism.”
            ^That was an utterly perfect explanation as well!

        • Sandy says:

          I cannot believe that anyone would think James is humble. He is so into himself and totally arogant I cannot bear to watch him. I am not a Lambert fan but come on, James does not have the same talent that Lambert was blessed with. James acts like he already has the prize in his hand which is a huge turn off. He is already planning his set list for the finals. Woah! He just isn’t that good. Think he will ride along for awhile, not in the top 5 though.JMO

          • Brittany says:

            I had a feeling someone would call me out on associating James with humility. I honestly think a lot of it is lack of social skills from his disorder(s). He doesn’t seem cocky to me, he just seems really wrapped up in the moment and having fun. This is probably one of the first times he has been popular in his life, so it seems like this is just how he deals with it (even if it is a bit showy and immature). He may not be 100% humble, but I also don’t think he is cocky. I don’t think he would throw a tantrum if he was sent home or parade around like he was God’s gift and the world wronged him by not voting him to the top spot. I think he would be disappointed, as any of them would, but he would be grateful for the experience.

          • Shannon says:

            Yeah, I agree. James isn’t cocky. No, I wouldn’t say he’s Mr. Humility either, but the genre requires a bit of attitude. It’s kind of hard to spike your hair to the ceiling, scream to the heavens and then give an “Aw, shucks” and stare at the ground. It’s just not a common sight.
            We don’t want James “the Durbinator” to put that bizarre tail between his legs, now do we? (sigh. I know I’m just encouraging the James haters with a question like that.)

          • LiLa says:

            I think that Brittany is right about James demeanor. People with Asperger’s commonly struggle with their social skills. Having an autistic grandson, I know how hard these kids have to work to achieve some degree of normality in social situations.

    • Ian says:

      I’m glad Casey was saved. He deserved it. Not only can he sing, but he takes risks unlike some of the other contestants, such as Pia, Stefano, Scotty, and to a certain extent–Paul and Jacob. It’s too bad those guys weren’t in the Bottom Three instead of Thia and Casey. I know a lot of people think Thia is boring, but I like her smooth, silky voice. It reminds me of Norah Jones. And I like Casey because at least he’s not boring. By the way, Michael, I liked Lee DeWyze’s song and performance more than Jennifer Hudson’s. Not only is he a good singer, but he’s a fantastic songwriter. “Beautiful Like You” reminds me of something R.E.M. would’ve done 10-15 years ago. I think he’s going to become BIG and surprise all his naysayers.

      • Doug in Cheyenne says:

        I like Casey he’s fun to watch can sing but does he have a chance to win, no. Casey’s appeal is his visual performance. He is for a lack of better comparision Taylor Hicks. His appeal was visual, fun to watch, eyes closed not special to listen to. His dismal album sales vouch for this. He’s excelling now on Broadway, a visual medium. Casey is cut much from this same cloth. Sorry, but this is my opinion.

  2. Marc D says:

    always thought Casey was overrated.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      This is what I don’t buy: Jlo keeps telling the contestants, “you’re the whole package.” Well Casey isn’t. He’s rough looking and he doesn’t know how to walk with grace. He is not star material and I betcha my last dime, he doesn’t get a record contract.
      For many of these Idols there will be no contract (see Season 1-9). The record business is not taking chances on artists like they used to because there is no revenue.

      • Ablo says:

        You might be right Sally in Chicago — the problem is (at least at this point) none of this group shows any sign of being star material. One hopes for growth, but nothing yet.

        • lukien says:

          I beg to differ. my top 4 all have star materials and will respectively sell records … altho not in millions … if the so-called world superstar as simon claimed it back in season 8 only had one top-ten hit (exactly at no. 10) for one week and sold under 1 million album in US and virtually unknown in UK (no singles and album in top 40) was considered huge or capital H.U.G.E. … then yes my top 4 will definetely sell records, they will appeal to their respective market: scotty (country), naima (soul/r&b/hip-hop), paul (rock/folk/blues) and james (pop/rock).

    • Cyd says:

      I always thought America wouldn’t get him because he’s too much of a niche performer. But the truly overrated are Pia, Thia, Stefano, and Jacob. Casey’s Georgia with the upright bass was better than any performance by those four singers combined.

    • Dallas says:

      So is JHud, imo. And Michael, could you take another running stab at describing Nettle’s attire? It screamed out for a Slezak runway voiceover.

  3. CzarekM says:

    The more we are getting into the competition the more your opinion is becoming completely worthless Mr. Slezak.
    Thia is not in the competeition because of Guam, but because of middle aged people who want to listen to slow ballads featuring her incredible voice. She made a mistake this week by listening to the judges and picking a faster song, and that cost her the place in bottom 3. I hope she will return to her true fan base.
    Another thing: if her racial background bothers you, Slezak, then you are putting yourself into the white trash category.
    She doesn’t have to worry about her career. You do.

    • J says:

      I’d rather listen to Pia sing ballads.

      • CzarekM says:

        Pia is not singing ballads. She is a power diva. Thia is more delicate, softer and emotive, while Pia is more powerful.

        • allie says:

          you are both right. Pia is singing power ballads. And while she is lovely and sings very well, power ballads went out in 1985. I would LOVE to see her do something more current. She was great in Grenade – more of that, please!

          • funkycoldmedina says:

            Consider the fact that AI has theme weeks…consider the music that comes out of those theme weeks, and most of it is NOT on the pop charts. I love power ballads as much as other people love the Black Eyed Peas. Watching Pia soar is exhilerating when the alternative is singers who can rarely/barely stay in pitch. What is wrong with displaying vocal control? Pia sings circles around anyone else on that stage. Sorry, but if they can make those kids sing Barry Manilo w, I find NOTHING wrong with Pia’s power ballads. As for asking her to stomp the stage…the only person I’ve seen on AI who has been able to dance, move around, and still have enough breath to sound good in delivering an excellent vocal interpretation thus far, is Adam Lambert. IF the judges are looking for showmanship, they need to specifically say they want to see some showmanship rather than telling these kids they need to go uptempo and bust a move. I would vote (if I cared to vote) for Pia’s power ballad over a poorly sung current song ANY DAY.

            I felt the entire show last night was extrememly contrived. Casey’s shock and response to the save was the biggest case of OVERACTING I’ve ever witnessed on AI (other than Ryan Seacrest, who over acts at all times) Baloney. NOBODY can convince me that those who took the stage, and those at the judging table had no clue what was to transpire last night.

            Lest we all forget…this IS a reality show, with directors coaxing and manipulating for ultimate drama for the purpose of ratings, and advertising $$$

            Sing your power ballads, Pia! All she has to do to appease the judges is take the microphone from the stand, walk a few steps, bend her knees a couple of times and suddenly she is current and the total package (in their eyes). Such hogwash. Rarely do you see B. Stresisand break a sweat when she sings, and she is power ballad all the way. To each their own. I likey Pia’s power ballads.

          • Jurybox says:

            Oh really? Power ballads went out in 1985? Then what was it that Jennifer Hudson sang – perfectly and awesomely – on the show?

          • Mary says:

            Yeah, I was laughing at that comment too. Apparently no one told both the millions of folks who buy albums by singers and bands who include power ballards that power ballards are “out”.

        • Michael says:

          Emotive? She has one face for 500 emotions. I’m not sure that qualifies as emotive. That’s like saying Ben Stein is a ham.

          • GingerSnap says:

            Compare her to Stefano, since they are the same type of singer. The biggest complaint is that he closes his eyes & doesn’t connect to the audience. Her eyes are open. I feel that she is connected to the lyrics. I never feel she is over-the-top with the power notes. She delivers them at the right moment & never just to show off that she can. Stefano was in the bottom 3 because he didn’t understand the meaning of the lyrics he sang. “Hello” is a haunting love song. You have to dial back the tricks & sing it with restraint. It’s why we all remember David Cook’s version. It’s why I still love Lionel Ritchie’s version. I’m not sure Stefano knows how to do that but I think Pia does.

    • takakupo says:

      I’m having trouble trying to find where Slezak put a racial spin on his review of Thia. I mean, maybe the wittiness is lost on you and you don’t find it appealing or amusing but Slezak ain’t no racist. Take a breather.

      I agree that Thia made a mistake and that she should return to ballads (cause I for one really do appreciate ballads) but she needs to connect to them. The overwhelming theme of the season’s critiques has been a lack of connection to what a song means and Thia’s problems stem from the fact that she might be a bit sheltered, shy and a multitude of other things that are becoming obstacles that are keeping her from breaking out as a musical contender. So far, Thia has skidded by on her unique voice. Otherwise she would have been cut in the first round of Hollywood week. I really hope she steps it up :]

    • Katie says:

      Um, wow, you are reacting in a way that makes no sense. MS didn’t say that she was in the competition “because of Guam” (whatever that means) or say anything rude about her nationality. He merely mentioned that they probably don’t even get to vote over there. If Thia is going to win American Idol then she needs to know how to sing every kind of song, not just ballads for “middle-aged people.” And I’d say it’s pretty telling that she ended up in the bottom three on the week she tried something new. Because she just not that good.

      Just because you want to see racism doesn’t mean that it actually exists here.

      • CzarekM says:

        > And I’d say it’s pretty telling that she ended up in the bottom
        > three on the week she tried something new. Because she just not
        > that good.

        Not really true. Everybody is good at something. Celine Dion is not good at singing heavy metal or Norah Jones at singing country.
        Even here on Idol Justin is good only at screaming rock and Pia is good only at power-diva songs. And they should hold on to their styles, otherwise they will get lost and sent home. The main focus for each contestant is to define and connect to their own fan base. And stay true to it.
        Thia’s fan base are middle aged people. She doesn’t belong to rock and she should never try it. The more she is true to her fan base, the further she will get.
        And the more Randy calls her “boring”, the more she should stick to what she is doing.

        • J says:

          Not to get away from the subject, but you should check out Norah Jones doing country, she’s really good at it (as well as other genres)

        • Holly says:

          Hey, I’m a middle-aged female and I don’t care for Thia. Yes, she has a pretty voice, but she is way too young and lacking in any real life experience to emotionally connect with what she is singing. She needs a few years and a little pain and disappointment in her life to get to that point. Right now she is just a pretty performance-bot.

          • Laura says:

            I’m totally with you. Not my favorite. Too young. Too vanilla. However, she does have a pretty voice.

        • Sasha says:

          I notice you didn’t apologize for calling Michael Slezak a racist. You’re trying to back up Thia in multitudes of different posts but you can’t even say you’re sorry, that you might have misconstrued what MS said?

        • Pam says:

          Middle-aged people are NOT Thia’s fanbase. Many, many of us who are middle-aged grew up on the great rock music of the 70’s and 80’s. I would rather watch paint dry than listen to Thia. Yes, she has a beautiful voice, but she doesn’t know who she is or what to do. She’s too young. AI should have done her a favor by telling her to come back in a few years.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            What Pam Said!

          • Brittany says:

            DITTO! I personally was a big fan of the little blonde girl, Hollie… who the judges said was “not ready” and cut her before the top 24. She may have cried during her audition, but she stepped it up throughout Hollywood week and had a lot of potential, talent, and personality! I look at people like Thia (and Karen and Ashton) and I say really??? She (They) made it through and Hollie didn’t?

            Thia has moments of beautifulness, but overall her songs do nothing for me. I wish she would sing something that showcased the tone of her voice because she doesn’t always use it in her songs. In “Heatwave” for example, she could have added little riffs/runs or something unique to the song, but a good 20 seconds of her song was her lightly singing “oooooh” in the same note and getting drowned out by the back-up singers and band. She could have changed the melody of the ooh’s there or belted out “heatwave” a few times or something to show off her voice.

        • GingerSnap says:

          Hey, I’m a middle-aged female & I haven’t voted for Thia once. She’s got a lovely voice, but she’s about 2 or 3 years too young for this venue. She comes across as weak & spineless. And boring. But that comes from being barely 16. If she had been voted off tonight, they wouldn’t have been saved.
          BTW, Pia can do power ballads, but she also can sing. At some point, she’s gonna try something different, & we’re all gonna go WOW. Because, if you can sing, you can sing anything. I’d like to see her do a duet with James. I think it would be amazing.

      • Karen says:

        You know what strikes me kind of hypocritical about this is the meme that Thia HAS to break out and do something different when no one says this about one-note Scotty McChurchy. Just saying.

        Thia probably has the best, purest, prettiest voice of all of them BUT she lacks depth of experience, emotion, and soul. She is too naive and I really can’t see any of this changing anytime, ever. Perhaps some kind of studio, back-up vocal work might be a better career goal. Same probably applies to Pia, though on a lesser degree.

        • Chet says:

          I’ve thought the exact same thing about Scotty. They rarely say anything negative or constructive to him but to someone who actually likes and enjoys country he is just a decent country singer, nothing great. With that being said he doesn’t even remotely need to win this competition because now that he has a fan base he will have a career in country music (I mean even Bucky had 2 or 3 albums)

          • karenb says:

            For the love of all that is good and great in this world, can we please vote off Scotty?! I seriously would rather chew on razor blades than listen to another week of his Same Old Same Old. Please, can we send him off to country music land where I will never have to be subjected to him ever again?! Please?!

          • Jurybox says:

            Aw, come on. I’m not a country music fan, but even I can tell that Scotty has a pretty awesome voice. And I can’t see the point of making him go out of his genre (but it would sure make for interesting TV). It has to be better than making EVERYTHING he does on the show into a country song. The way the judges praised him for making that Stevie Wonder song into a country song made me cringe. That arrangement – sorry – JUST DID NOT WORK. But I knew he’d be safe because the people who love country music were going to be voting for him.

            And by the way – Bucky makes pretty good music, IMHO. No need to say “even”. The kid is talented.

        • Amy says:

          I think the difference is that the judges are telling Scotty to stick with what he’s been doing – which is staying in the country genre. Within that genre he’s been doing both uptempo and slower songs. They’re telling Thia to try something more uptempo, not telling her to suddenly start singing country music, opera, or something like that.

          But i totally agree with your comments about Thia’s lack of depth and being too naive.

          • karen says:

            I see what you mean, but,the more I think about the “down-tempo vs up-tempo” deal is that it doesn’t matter one iota. What she (Thia) and Pia and Stefano and Scotty are all missing is musicianship and creativity. They are all just basically imitating a song. Where the others (some more than others)…Casey, James, Jacob, Paul, Haley, Naima, and Lauren are actually musical by nature. It is an indelible art to them and they can interpret

        • dctoronto says:

          I don’t see anything hypocritical in the comment. Scotty knows what kind of singer he wants to be and is listening to the judges and producers ands is growing each week. Thia on the other hand doesn’t really have a clue. Age may have something to do with it. I think experience and exposure has something to do with it as well.

          • Jurybox says:

            Thia would do great on The Disney Channel.

          • Doug in Cheyenne says:

            Thia, Disney Channel, maybe, but can she act? So far her only to emotions have been the smile and wave, and deer in the headlights. I don’t think so. Miley was 11, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez were 5 when they both got their first gig on Barney and friends. Thia is a 15-16 yr old girl with a very, very pretty voice, but no stage presence, little charisma.

      • funkycoldmedina says:

        Ballads are for middle-aged people? I have to disagree with you and anyone else who assigns ballads to an age group. My feelings are hurt, hahaha! I’m 23 and I love a great power ballad. Not everyone is into the thump or buzz of electronics, or the coverup of autotune ie Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas etc…Middle aged people! HA Everyone thinks that everyone should automatically have the same musical tastes as one’s self. Wrong. My middle-aged mother loves Hard Metal Rock! No one can really dictate musical taste based on personal preference.

        • MamaKow says:

          Funkycoldmedina…I totally agree with you on the “middle-aged” vote! I am proud to be middle aged but ballads aren’t my style. I can’t wait for Haley to break out one of her Janis or Grace Slick homage songs. That was an area when a strong woman could belt out a tune!

          • Doug in Cheyenne says:

            I am a 56 yr old male who loves The Runaways, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Janice Jopplin, Adore Grace Slick (as the door mouse said, keep your head), Ann Wilson of Heart, and Mariska Veres (don’t know Mariska?) lead singer for 60s Dutch group, Shocking Blue only huge US hit was Venus. Note: while backpacking around Europe in early 70’s, Shocking Blue ruled the airwaves. Allison Iraheta is possibly the greatest hard rocker voice of of this generation, to bad her now former record label pissed her away in the corner, trying to produce a pop princess. Back to your roots Allison, be true to yourself and who you know you are!

            I digress , I like a good ballad like any middle aged old foggey, but my soul is heavy metal coated and hard rocking, amplifers cranked to 12! And oh yeah, living in Wyoming, Yeehaw!

      • Suncatcher says:

        Kudos to those correcting CZarekM for playing a race card on this site. This site has a great collection of commenters with great thoughts and observations. There is no room for anyone pulling race into the mix when it ain’t there! Thanks for keeping it upbeat and constructive, guys!

      • Crispin says:

        The reason why the “because of Guam” comment is listed is because there was a sign shown during the show from an audience member which said Guam loves Thia. He was making fun that Guam doesn’t get to vote…. so it’s kind of pointless that Guam loves Thia… it was funny!

    • lunakit says:

      CzarekM, I will growl louder than Casey/Cujo if you take another shot at Michael Slezak.

    • Marc D says:

      Thia is still in it because of Charice’s fans.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      Thia is the prodegy child. She’s been primed and programmed to sing the way she does, which is pageantry. That’s okay, because when the tour is over, nobody’s going to sign her to a record contract; oh, maybe Disney because I truly believe that’s what she’s aiming for. And she can go back to singing with David Foster on his tours.

    • DL says:

      Dude, it was just a joke. Lighten up. I thought it was pretty amusing.

    • Musica1 says:

      You’re the one who’s making this about race. Mr Slezak was just wondering if they can vote in Guam. I’ve wondered the same thing when I’ve seen signs like that

    • scarlet says:

      If you were watching closely last night, in the audience, there was a group of girls that held up signs that stated “GUAM Loves Thia!”…that is why Michael wondered if the people of Guam were allowed to vote. Nothing racist in that, after I saw the sign I wondered that myself!

      • gasagasagirl says:

        Since Guam is a U.S. territory, residents may be able to vote. Those in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Territories can for sure, and in the past an American Samoan newspaper seemed to encourage their readers to vote for a Samoan American contestant, so who knows? Either way, we are not talking about a lot of people. Most likely Thia’s family has ties to Guam.

      • blingedup.susan says:

        We wondered the same thing at my house.

      • pmickeyd says:

        GUAM = G.U.A.M. = Girls United Against Men. This is a group of teens — Thia’s age — who have bought into the fact that “face men” always get all the votes which is why girls never win! Girls like Scotty. Girls like James. Girls like Stefano. Girls like Paul. Obviously girls do not like Casey. The GUAM vote in blocks for all of the girls but especially Thia!

    • Nicole says:

      Thia will not have any kind of career as a singer, or “artist” as she labels herself. Mark my words.

      • natch says:

        Thia will have a huge singing & touring career in the Phillipines and Asia. And occasionally sing for a character in a Disney movie (ala Lea Salonga). Mark my words.

    • Chikflik says:

      Czarek – are you serious? man, you are way off base with your assumptions. You need to go back and re-read what what was written. where does it say anything negative about Thia or her racial background??

    • Teresa says:

      I thought Thia did really well with “Heatwave.” Was it the best performance of the evening? Not by a long shot, but it was considerably better sung than anyone else on Idol.

      However, she went early and other people sang better. Haley and Jacob both responded to their critics of last week and improved.

      This is this automatic assumption that Thia will outlast her appeal simply because she’s Asian. It’s based on the assumption that Jasmine Trias did just that because she’s Hawaiian. There’s nothing else to back it up and it’s beginning to piss me off that people are just assuming it.

      Jasmine was supported by her state, which has a mixed population. That doesn’t make it any more of a racial issue than Arkansas supporting Kris Allen. To assume that Thia is going to inherit Jasmine’s fans is biased and, IMO, wrong.

      Thia’s a good singer. She has a beautiful tone and she hits her notes. She’s trying to grow and I think that counts for something with the voters. She’s also pretty, young, and polite. These are the qualities that are keeping her in the competition.

      The minus are that she doesn’t really stand out and that everyone is good this year. That she was in the bottom three shows me that her fan base is not that large or fanatical. She’s going to pass or fail based on her performance. Not on her ethnicity.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Is Thia the first contestant to sing “Heatwave” that hasn’t been sent packing?

        Is that the song that got Jennifer Hudson sent home?

    • Joe says:

      You are way off base. I totally disagree with your harsh and ridiculous comments. I do not always agree with Michael, but he certainly knows a lot more than you do about who is good or who falls short in meeting the expectations of the voters. Michael does not have to worry about a job because he is one of the best writers and he has a huge following. Thia did not make a mistake by listening to the judges. She escaped from the bottom because she followed the advice of the judges. There is nothing that Michael Slezak said to warrent your comment about racial background or putting him in white trash category. Thia has a decent singing voice, but she will ultimately leave the competition because there are better entertainers than her in the competition.

    • amadeline says:

      Learn to read – he didn’t make a racist comment, he simply wondered if people in Guam are allowed to vote! You’re the one stereotyping people.
      I’m a middle aged person, and I like all kinds of music, especially rock and I vote based on the performance not the song type! For a song to be sung well the singer has to connect with the song. Thia doesn’t connect, she sings like a robot. It was so obvious she has no idea what a ‘heat wave’ is about. I’ll bet if Pia had sung the song it would have had real emotion.
      Thia would have done well to have waited a few years before trying out for AI so she could get that life experience, either that or substitute thoughts of her favorite teddy bear for the boy she so obviously hasn’t had the hots for yet! The same advice goes for some of the other contestants and fortunately the judges seem to be starting to tell them to connect and perform/act the song.

    • b says:

      Uh…. what?

      It’s a valid question – can people in Guam (which is an American territory but not a state) vote in American Idol? I don’t know! Do you know? I’m sure it says somewhere on the AI website, but I haven’t read that section, apparently. It wasn’t any kind of statement about Thia, just a natural question that the sign prompted.

    • Babblonia says:

      Seriously, dude, do not dis The Slezak, how rude.

      • lukien says:

        not sure whether the slezak you mentioned is a white thrash or not, one thing for sure he has been thrashing thia for weeks now, if all of you are regular readers of his recaps, you will know that. don’t go hiding behind the bushes when on yesterday’s recap slezak sarcastically said goodbye to thia. so we can’t dis on the slezak but the slezak can dis on thia, heh? tit for tat for me. we are entitled to our own opinions, like slezak, no?

        • ladyhelix says:

          Thia got a spot in the top 13. Kendra and Lauren didn’t and I really miss hearing them sing. Sometimes that gets the best of me too.

    • karenb says:

      All I keep thinking about is “Pia” and “Thia.” wth?!

    • Erica says:

      Don’t think he has to worry about his career when some of us watch Idol just so we can enjoy his recaps.

  4. takakupo says:

    I am nothing but disappointed and outraged at the “Judge’s Save” tonight. It is ridiculous to me that after two seasons of wasting the save on men who didn’t deserve it, and when not one but TWO guys were sent to the bottom three (the most correct bottom three in a very long time) that the judges used the save on a contestant who hasn’t lived up to his own hype.

    There are so many talented females in this competition this year yet they are being completely blasted for every flaw in their performance while the boys skate by without so much as a small cough at their boring or awful performances. It seems some gender bias has found its way all over the judging panel as well as the voting booth. I really hope that two TALENTED females such as Naima and Haley aren’t sent home next week as opposed to two boring and just as flawed contestants like Stefano, Paul and Casey.

    • CzarekM says:

      I absolutely agree. I am 100% certain they would never use the save on Naima who owned the entire night, on Thia who has probably the most amazing voice in the competition, or on Hayley who is for me the most interesting and intriquing singer. Yet, they wasted it on another mediocre male who, just like Matt Giraud last year, has no chance of selling more than ten copies of his CD.
      I am disgusted the way the girls are treated on this show. No matter how they perform they are constantly kicked in the teeth. Every year! I am wondering why they even bother to audition…

      • Carlaria says:

        Um…big Mike was saved last year, not Matt Giraud.

        • Eve says:

          I TOTALLY forgot about Big Mike until this comment. I was just thinking Matt Giraud when I thought of the judge’s save. I think I have mentally blocked last season. I can tell you more contestants from the past 4 or 5 than from last season. Besides Lee and Crystal I can’t remember any of the top 10!

          • Amy says:

            Wow…I had to think…Big Mike…Big Mike?….oh yEa!…that guy!
            Tells ya something about the Idol 15-min. fame thing I guess. Wow, I forgot all about him ’til now. …and now…I’ll forget all about him again. j’s sayin.

      • duranmom says:

        Matt Giraud was saved b/c it was the last week they could have done the save and all of his fellow contestants rallied for the judges’ to use the save. That was a great moment in Idol history — in my mind. Big Mike’s save last year was not as exciting or warranted. Then again, last year’s group was meh. Last night’s save was again exciting — As much as I think that Casey has been buying into his own hype I think this brush with elimination may be the wake up call he needs. I didn’t think he was the worst on Tuesday night, unfortunately, that went to Stefano, IMHO, and I think the judges would have saved Stefano too. Next week should be interesting…

      • MDEP says:

        The Matt Giraud save still bugs me! I do not think he deserved it, he was not going to win, plus I think it pushed Anoop out at least one week sonner than he should have gone.

        I acutaully do not agree with the idea of the save at all. Not one had gone on to win since they started it, so what is the point? It is not fair to the contestants that got the higher vote. The public votes, end of story.

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      If you’re going to save 11 and let them all go on tour; why not 12?

      • ty says:

        because they pay the contestants a lot of cash to go on tour and they dont want to pay twelve people, plus karen rodriguez sucks.

        • takakupo says:

          I think it’s more than just the cash. The time constraints during the concert must be mind boggling sometimes cause most of the less popular contestants don’t get solos or much time on stage (only group numbers or duets, etc;). They all however get paid the exact same amount I think (100k, I believe).

          • Susan in MD says:

            100K? Naima won’t be able to buy much of a house with that!

          • chistosa says:

            My understanding is that they are paid according to their finishing spot with the winner earning $200,000 for the tour and the runner-up earning 100,000. The one who comes in 10th making the least. I read that in an entertainment journal last year. I don’t know if it is true.

          • Chet says:

            Really? In this housing market you can buy a house with 100K cash in some parts of the country.

          • takakupo says:

            Susan, there are many places (namely states that don’t have high income brackets, as well as towns) where houses sell anywhere between $30-$100k. You can find houses like that anywhere actually, but in california, you need to be extremely lucky and it will be a crappy fixer-upper :D Naima could just be talking about putting a down payment on a house. Either way it was indeed the cutest comment of the night.

            Chistosa (best screename ever, lol), You may be right, I may be right. I don’t know, lol. But the last time I heard (which was season 7) the idols were doing behind the scenes video on the tour and the producers were talking about how much money the contestants make if they get on it which is indeed $100K, and the winner does in fact get $200K like you said :] Other than that, I don’t really know if you get less the worst you place (lol, that sounds like a bad way of putting it).

          • Sally says:

            “100K? Naima won’t be able to buy much of a house with that!

            Comment by Susan in MD – March 25, 2011 05:54 AM PDT”

            It’s not just the $100K, it’s a cut of the merchandise and download royalties. Plus they get paid for the commercials. It’s not a lot of money, but for people who were scrubbing toilets for a living, it’s a lot.

          • CMJ says:

            its called a “down payment”

          • ChristineM says:

            I agree, with most of these contestants, they know they won’t win so the real prize is to get on that tour to make as much money as possible. Also, Naima’s roots are in Chicago and Milwaukee. I doubt she would want to live in California.

          • JLo's Lipstick says:

            Collateral for a down payment. ;)

            BTW, Naima is growing on me. A regular chick with some talent going for the dream. Like it.

      • Abby says:

        Why not at 12? It’s all about arithmetic. If you save someone @ 12, the next week when you cut two, there are ten contestants left, giving you the top 10 for the tour. If you use the save @ 11, there are only 9 left the next week. There needs to be a Top Ten rule before competition starts for a situation like this. You can let the top 11 go, or when you let go of the bottom two, you have to reveal who was 11th and who was 10th in order to send 10th place on tour. That would involve revealing vote tallies. Idol doesn’t want to do that.

    • musica1 says:

      Naima was only “good” this week in comparison to her other performances. But she’s not a very good singer our dancer. Everyone was so impressed because “ooo look, African drums and African dancing and she’s part African American so this must be authentic and amazing!” It just wasn’t that good.

      And Haley sounds like a precocious 12 year old with the fake growly voice snd insincere delivery.

      • takakupo says:

        You’re pretentious. Now that that’s out of the way I’d just like to say that you’re also an idiot :D

        Naima is a very good singer in my opinion. If you go to her Summertime performance in the top 24 rounds you’ll see that she hits every single note and does a very complicated change a few times in her melody. Aside from that, she’s really just performed on the stage since then which is why I can see why you’ve come to your conclusion. Naima has chosen to concentrate on the visual aspect of singing (though this week she’s concentrated on the singing as well, hence the remark from Randy that she was genius) and performance. She doesn’t just dance. She incorporates (reggae, alternative instruments and musicians). So you can keep saying that she’s just “good” and throw out some half hearted proof but Naima is the real deal and she works hard on her performances every week which is probably why she consistently has the best Studio Track after every live show.

        • Chet says:

          When Naima just stands there and sings an old school R&B ballad she sounds wonderful but the girls always get criticized for doing too many slow songs. So she mixed it up and sang something upbeat and did a dance and still can’t please people. Meanwhile Scotty does the same thing every week and will probably win the whole thing

        • Buster Cretin says:

          I would like to second that musica1 is indeed pretentious. And an Idiot. But I’d also like to add Shallow, mean spirited, and foolish, if you don’t mind. Don’t tell me why I was impressed with Naima. While she was singing, I remember her hitting some low notes and I thought, wow, what a great tone. I always look forward to seeing what she’s going to do. Most of the other contestants bore me.

          Run and tell that, homeboy.

      • JeffNYC says:

        Totally agree with you about Haley…she growls WAY too much!! Next week when she’s singing, count how many times she growls. It gets annoying!!!

  5. Forwarddad says:

    Best show ever. Michael why no mention of Marc Anthony? He was great.
    I am a little over James. A little early to be do full of
    Himself. Did Lauren swear? Thought Sugarland was

    • darclyte says:

      Last night’s Idol results show was the craziest, and perhaps best, ever. I’m wondering if there was any “shenanigans” about Casey being on the bottom. The guy was an early fav, was never in the bottom, and did much better this week than last. Yes, he went first, but still. Also, he has a LOT more followers on Twitter than many of the others. Then they cut him off so soon, it was almost like the producers set it all up. Hmm. That said, he sounded great and THAT is the kind of music and singing that he needs to do. He needs to find those types of songs every week regardless of the “theme.”

      This is why, again, they need to do away with themes and just let the contestants pick songs each week that define what type of music they want to do. Why is that so tough to let them do at this point, when they’ve let them pick up until the Top 13?

      It’s so funny because I had predicted a Bottom 3 of Haley, Thia, and Stefano with Casey and Naima possibly at risk. I talked with my brother and Mom during the day, and told them that I thought if ANYONE was on the bottom other than Haley (and possibly Thia,) that they’d use the save. Once Ryan narrowed it to Stefano and Casey, I was positive they would. Poor Casey, he looked gray and was shaking. Like he said, he didn’t think there was any way they would save him as the tour cut was 10. Crazy, fun, exciting night.

      Slezak, I believe that Lauren swore again. This is at least the second time this 16 year old girl has been bleeped by Idol. Casey was in shock and I can write some of it off, although it did get to be a bit excessive it seemed, but why did she swear after being told she was safe? Right after I thought how cute she was jumping up and down from the news, she ruined it by getting bleeped. Also, I think it was Stefano who swore when told Casey was being cut and not him. Fox was smart to add the delay as it really got a workout last night.

      I’m glad that Marc Anthony helped them out with the ear pieces. Wednesday they showed Jimmy Iovine and the singers discussing their weaknesses and how to fix them, and last night they discussed the glitch and sound issues and how they fixed them. I’m SO glad that Idol doesn’t seem to be operating with their collective heads in the ground this season, and that they’re hearing about the problems and trying to resolve them. Awesome!

      Steven Tyler turns 63 on Saturday, and it was really nice how they did the whole birthday thing for him. You could tell that Steven appreciated it almost as much as just having Stevie there to start with.

      I would like to know though if Jen Nettles, the lead singer of Sugarland, was planning on going to an aerobics workout set only to Olivia Newton John’s song “Physical” last night after the show. WTF was that outfit?

      • karen says:

        I will never understand how someone would care at all if someone swears. Big deal. think there are a lot worse things – like hatred and shallowness to worry about.

        • Leah says:

          Well, for one, a lot of kids watch American Idol- and it does offend me when I hear people swearing on national television. It’s a matter of self-control and decency. And, to a lot of people, certain words express hatred and shallowness, and represent the worst insults that can be inflicted on one another our language and culture. There are certain things that are not appropriate.

          • karen says:

            totally disagree. It’s absurd, in my opinion, to censor such meaningless stuff. Like an insult to the intelligence of children these days. I have never understood this concept. You protect words from kids that they probably hear anyway everyday. It’s not ok for them to hear them and then BANG, at some point it’s ok – at some particular “Ok” age? Makes no sense.

        • Shanna says:

          Its is a big deal …Lauren should be instructed on how to act with some class. Her foul mouth and how she shimmies up to the male judges when she sings is inappropriate and someone should tell her so.

        • GingerSnap says:

          It matters because she’s establishing her image. She’s in the big leagues now. AI keeps pushing her on us as The Chosen One. Everything she says & does adds to this image. It sucks, but don’t you think JLo is very aware of all these things? Or any other big female star? Image matters, and she’s too young to get it.

        • darclyte says:

          I don’t care if people swear. I grew up doing construction with family starting at age 9, so unfortunately I have very colorful language from that environment. The thing is that AI is a “family show” that airs at 8pm. So, whenever anyone swears, it has to be bleeped. Steven Tyler is gonna be 63, so when he swears, they bleep it and move on. Casey is 19/20 and it was understandable that he was shocked, but he did swear quite a few times. Lauren is 16, and even if it’s old fashioned, it’s not considered “lady like.” But as pointed out in a comment below, they’re trying to be “Idols” and launch a career. While Casey’s cursing isn’t frowned upon by those who enjoy the type of music he’d likely be performing and where he’d be performing it, but Lauren is trying to be a country/pop star. A 16 year old country/pop singer who curses is NOT gonna win many fans. They’re trying to build a fan base and an identity, so she needs to watch what she says and does, as does Casey but to a lesser extent.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          When I was 16, if I used the “f” word on national TV I wouldn’t need to worry about the show anymore. My parents would pull me off for punishment!

  6. IdolIdol says:

    Yey Hailey!!!

    You made it girl, you deserve to be in the top 10 with your Bluesy voice and your unique personality

    Everyone else is BORING

    And to you conspiracy theorists. Casey really did receive the least amount of votes. So save your energy to vote!!

    • SpyKi says:

      I like you.

    • Suncatcher says:

      I like Haley BUT I wish someone would tell her to cut down on on that squatting move she does while singing. It’s really unattractive and takes away from her performance. I don’t even think she knows she’s doing it she does it so much.

  7. briguypdx says:

    For sheer drama and surprise, this results show will be difficult to top.

    I, too, have my doubts about Casey, but after the panel had lauded each and every performance of his in spite of the growling and Satanic eyes and disrespect for melody, it would have been very hypocritical of them not to toss him the save. JLo’s post-save critique was spot-on, but should have been delivered a couple of weeks ago, in which case it might have prevented his near-elimination.

    Casey and Stefano and Jacob have all been put on notice that they need to dial back some of their eccentricities and just SING, dammit. (I expect James and Paul to receive similar advice in the near future) On the women’s side, we’ll see if Pia will heed JLo’s advice and declare a moratorium on the Celine Dion ballads. I still think Thia and Haley are living on borrowed time. Naima appeared to benefit most from the Marc Anthony ear-piece lecture, but she remains two dance steps from “pitchy”. Lauren made great strides this week, but I doubt she’ll make it to Top 5.

    I think this week really opened up the competition to all kinds of possibilities (except, of course, for the fact that Scotty is a virtual lock for the crown).

    • forrest says:

      Marc Anthony must have done something right. For the 1st time in 9+ seasons, Randy didn’t say anyone was ‘pitchy’ on performance night. As far as the result show, 30 million people voted and we are nowhere near the top 5 yet. And they did NOT vote for Casey. Yes, he went 1st, but people were over him and his growl. For the contestant who told Jimmy L. that ‘he didn’t care’ and ‘wanted to take risks’, I don’t think he even heard J.Lo’s advice at the end. He should have gone home tonight. With the save wasted, he may very well go home next week. IMHO.

      • Ablo says:

        Just because Randy didn’t say it, didn’t mean they weren’t off pitch. Most were. It is true that the ear monitors help hearing — but they aren’t magic (clearly).

    • cathy says:

      Where oh where is Simon when we need him. The panel of judges suck

  8. JenD says:

    i thought the marc anthony segment was fascinating. i can’t remember another performance show before wednesday night’s where every contestant was more or less in tune, on key and NOT PITCHY! if this is really the reason, that no one had explained how to use the headphone thing-y, then can i get a Hallelujah for J Lo? it had to be her idea. and at the end of last week’s performance where everybody sucked (SFTYYWB)you can hear J Lo telling naima that it will ‘be okay b/c marc is going to come out and-‘. i just know that paige miles is somewhere seething and wondering where the hell was marc anthony when she was up there trying to hear herself sing.

    • Denise says:

      I really enjoyed that segment too. It made a tremendous difference. Did they really not teach the former seasons how to use the ear thing?

    • MDEP says:

      Can they get rid of Randy and make Marc Anthony the 3rd judge next year? I thought he was great!

    • allie says:

      I liked him too. It can’t be coincidental that the best night they have had vocally all season came when he helped them. I thought he was charming as well.

    • agrimesy says:

      I welcome the ear pieces and Marc Anthony! He was gruff and no nonsense. He didn’t show favoritism but stated simply he wanted each of them to do his/her best. How refreshing! The use of ear pieces isn’t new, though. The contestants have had the opportunity to use them in previous seasons, but evidently they have never gotten the full tutorial. Marc’s explanation of how they can personalize the background bringing forward one sound over another was truly fascinating. It does appear that the production team has decided to step in and actually instruct these contestants how to improve. I’m not sure why it took so long. I have more confidence now that what we will see from these singers from now one is the best they’ve got. No more excuses.

    • GinaBallerina says:

      Jen, I think I read somewhere that this is the first year they have used the in-ear monitors, so it hasn’t been a 9-seasons long problem that Jennifer solved. I could be wrong, though.

      • agrimesy says:

        This tweet is from Jason Castro season 7 to the blogger for Reality Rocks on Yahoo.

        @lyndseyparker our season we got them half way through… and then it was optional. alot of people didnt like them!

        I also think Adam Lambert used them in season 8. I don’t know, though.

        • donie says:

          Seems like I remember Adam pulling his earpiece out during a song when one of the backup singers was singing over him.

      • ShrinkRapt says:

        I read the same thing, but it’s not accurate. I recall Paula commenting that at least one Season 7 contestant (don’t recall who) was probably off pitch because they did NOT use the ear monitors. (And, IIRC, that person actually WAS using them that week.) I’m pretty certain that David Cook had one in on Final 2 performance night (you can see it on The World I Know), and I think many of the contestants that season used one. Kris Allen also did, for sure. (Don’t recall about Adam Lambert.) Didn’t pay enough attention last year to notice.

  9. Dr. J says:

    I’m doubtfull that this will be a wake-up call for Casey. The judge’s save; Tyler saying that the “vote was crazy wrong”; first words out of J.Lo mouth was that “this isn’t right”; after all the judge’s praising of his past 3 performances; all of this is just going to make him think that the voting public was wrong and he is on the right track of doing things “his way”. He blew off Jimmy Iovine’s recommendation saying that he will continue doing things “his way”. An unknown doesn’t tell the CEO of the record label he is trying to get signed by to “mind your own business” which was the gist of his comment to Jimmy.

    If you watch the portion of Casey’s “sing for your life” song, he was once again starting to make the growling and “toothy” mean faces, and the hoockey touching hands with stage-side audience members. His mind is made up, he is convinced that HE has transformed himself into a rock star, and no misguided voters are going to sway him otherwise. The judge’s were “enablers” with their glowing positive comments about his last 3 horrid performances.

    The unkept beard and hair is this 19 year old kid’s way of trying to look more mature, sophisticated, and to stand-out from the rest of the field as a rebel. At his age, a rebel isn’t about to give in to people who are telling him that his actions are misguided. He might cut out the anticts for one week, but he will likely go back to doing things “his way”. Therefore, the save was a waste.

    The 16 and 17 year old’s are too afraid to stand up to the producers, and this 19 year old is too self-absorbed to take advice that he doesn’t agree with. The pressure that the judges and producers put on these kids to “make songs your own” and to “be unique” can push an artist without enough maturity off the deep end. This is what happened to Casey. Unfortunately, sometimes a drowning man doesn’t have the sense to trust the people who are trying to save him.

    • Eurydice says:

      Oh, I don’t know, the kid practically had a near-death experience. And after JLo told him to stop with the antics and Randy told him to stop with the growling, Casey said “I’ll make you proud.” I think he got the message.

      • allie says:

        I agree- Jen made him listen to her instruction to stop the antics and just sing. He was clearly devastated. I think it was exactly the shock to his system that he needed to get over himself and get back to what got him on AI in the first place. I don’t think we’ll hear him say “I don’t care” anymore.

      • Sam says:

        I agree Euriydice…hope this doesn’t send the kid back to the hospital…he was just about to faint. TPTB were undoubtedly thilled with all the drama. I hate the “save” aspect…if a contestant is voted off, so be it..but I’m glad Casey will still be around next week. I think he got the message, too.

    • susela says:

      Well, I guess we’ll see next week! I think this is just the wake-up call that Casey needed, and he’ll use some restraint next week. That said, the growly thing is who he is; he doesn’t need to cut it out entirely, he just needs to remind us that he can actually sing melodically as well.

  10. CrimsonIdol says:

    Sweden Calling…:)

    Gotta agree with “CzarekM” somewhat..
    Slezaks`s “hipster comments” getting more and more irrelevant as we progress in the competition.
    At least his taste level is OFF….again with the :)

    • PopVulture says:

      Disagree! Many of us come here for his wit. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

      • Laura says:

        Totally agree with you!! There are plenty of sites. No need to be catty and rude about someone’s opinion.

      • karenb says:

        Sleazak is crazzzyyy witty! My idol experience would suck with out his recaps,Idoloonies shows and the interviews with the cast-offs each week.

  11. Rich says:

    I liked both shows this week a lot. The judge’s save was used to great effect, allowing all 11 into the summer tour.

    Slezak, you may have misunderstood. She was obviously going for an Aquaman / Peter Pan fusion, and she almost pulled it off.

    • Rich says:

      My blockquote of Michael Slezak got trimmed. (Silly blackboard shouldn’t say it is allowed when it isn’t.) What I quoted just before the final sentence was, “Jennifer Nettles’ look appeared to be part of Chico’s Violently Garish Pastels collection.”

  12. takakupo says:

    I would just like to add that on top of all this controversy and such that everyone looked absolutely amazing tonight! Especially the girls who were just stunning in their sparkling cocktails with brilliant hair and make-up :]

    • Teena says:

      I was really struck by that, too. The girls all looked lovely in dresses that were designed to each ones specific body type. The men in their custom suits were so handsome! I noticed that their was even a subtle country piping on Paul’s suit. My only complaint was Lauren’s boots. Yes, we get that you are the country girl. But they really stood out in a bad way. Poor thing might be hiding some serious cankles.

    • GingerSnap says:

      I agree, but I thought Lauren A ruined her look with the cowboy boots. I doubt you’d see a fashionista like JLo or Jennifer Anniston or Angelina J put together such sloppy look.

  13. Lali says:

    LOVED the save!!!

  14. Gami says:

    I loved seeing James turn into a “4th grade boy” when Hulk Hogan came out. It was so dang adorable and I can only root for him more because of it.

    As for the lowest vote getter? I understand why it was Casey, but it should have been either Thia or Stefano. Well, I wanted it to be Stefano. The look he gave the judges when they were telling him no gold star for you. Besides, David Cook owned that song in season 7. Dude, how could he NOT have EVER heard Hello?

    • Marketing Guru says:

      Agreed Gami. Forever, Hello will be David Cook’s song on Idol. Stefano oversang it. David made it tender. The comparison of David and Stefano made me think that Stefano is no David Cook!

      The judges aren’t doing these kids any favor by telling them how great they are when they don’t do well. They just keep doing things wrong and not changing. Stefano is one of them.

      • Leah Hoffman @galaga6846 says:

        Since I was a toddler, I emerged myself in music, from all eras and genres. A person whose desired occupation is to become a music superstar and has never heard Linoel Richie’s “Hello”, let alone David Cook’s rendition (which was a true Coca-Cola moment to be revered beyond Idol’s end) makes me scratch my head. I find it really irritating. I will never understand people who tend not to know anything about anything in popular culture except for what went on in the conscious years of their lifetime, especially those trying to break through into popular culture.

    • Katri says:

      The look on James’ face was priceless :D

    • ChristineM says:

      I think Stefano is the most over-rated singer this year. His voice is really weak in his middle and lower range. All he knows how to do is sing loud, high, and with his eyes closed. He along with Scotty are one-trick ponies. I’m tired of both of them already.

      • Elisa says:

        Sorry Christine I beg to differ. Stefanos voice is awesome !! He just picked the wrong song on Wednesday.Please tell me how he is overrated. The guy is always pitch perfect even with that cheesey Hello song.Give me a break his eyes aren’t always closed. I Love James but every time he hits certain notes his eyes are always closed. The same goes for Pia.

      • Amy says:

        I agree, especially on Stefano…much ado about not much, really. And didn’t seem to have a clue with what J-Lo was saying to him…to a certain degree you kinda can’t teach that sometimes…the “feel it to sing it.” Many singers up there are so busy with the vocal calisthenics, they’re just not tapped into the feeling and meaning of the words. I was afraid America was going to vote another “cute boy” through, but was pleasantly surprised when he ended up, rightly so, in bottom 3 last night.

      • karenb says:

        I totally agree with you on the One-Trick Pony comment. I’ve always felt that way about Scotty, I thought the same thing about Stefano this week. While we’re at it, tho, I think all of the contestants are One Trick Ponies at this point anyway. NO ONE is changing it up! It’s all getting a bit old already!

  15. starsweeper says:

    OMG, I thought Casey was going to have a heart attack on live TV. That was the craziest results show EVER!

    • Sharon says:

      I honestly thought he was going to throw up.

      • PopVulture says:

        I thought he was having a real health event.

        • Leah Hoffman says:

          So did I. I don’t think he understood what was going on, and I expected a real health crisis ensuing.

      • E says:

        Honestly, the thought of bleeding ulcer AND throwing up crossed my mind and I wondered if this was going to end really badly. Casey didn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would be so overcome so I was thinking more “medical emergency” rather than “wow I’m saved”.

  16. Peter L. says:

    America got it right. Casey deserved to be at the bottom. But Steven, J-LO, and Randy have a good deal of the blame to share in having Casey hit rock bottom in popularity by repeatedly praising and pimping him despite his horrendous performances these past couple of weeks.

    So it’s not only a wake-up call to Casey, but also a wake-up call to the judges that the voting public will see through their thinly veiled attempts to prop-up their personal favorites on the show.

    And now that the judges have used their one save of the season, Idol voters can cast their votes in confidence knowing that their voting can no longer be rendered moot by the judges’ save.

    And I agree with some earlier comments that it was a big mistake for Thia to get away from what she does best — singing ballads in a beautiful and exquisite manner. If she sung a tune like “Theme from ‘Mahogany'”, I doubt that she would have landed in the bottom three.

    But her loss was probably Haley’s, Lauren’s, and Pia’s gain, with those three receiving votes that probably had gone to Thia in the earlier weeks.

    And landing in the bottom three was the appropriate punishment for Stefano for selecting such a over-wrought, wretched, and dated song like “Hello” and singing it, more or less, straight-up.

    That’s where the creativity of past Idol winner David Cook becomes readily apparent. Cook knew to have success in singing “Hello” he needed to change it up completely. Stefano obviously didn’t have that same insight.

  17. Brian says:

    It seems obvious that Casey got the fewest votes because he went 1st that night.
    So the judges decided that it was probably the reason.
    So they decided to use the save as perhaps he got screwed by his starting spot.
    I figure that is why they have a save anyways, to save people who got screwed.

    As for Stefano and Thia, they change what they did the first 3 weeks because the judges and jimmy iovine say they should change things up, then they get screwed when they do.

    Meanwhile, Haley who shouldn’t have even made the top 13, gets a free pass to next week and the tour. She is horrible and should be kicked off this next week.

    • takakupo says:

      WHAT!? Since when has Haley gotten a free pass? She is constantly criticized no matter what she does (even this week she was given minimal praise while Randy still let her have it). Casey on the other hand is the opposite where he is told how great of an artist he is and how awesome he is when he performs. He didn’t get screwed over. He had three BAD performances in a row and never lived up to his hollywood round hype that he himself bought into. 1st is one of the best slots to go in. The more towards the middle you are the better chance you have of being forgotten.

      • Dan says:

        Completely agreed with takakupo, Brian you’re completely out of it. Haley has been consistenly getting stronger ever since we got to the finals and has shown presence and humility on that stage. Casey is praised for EVERYTHING he does, but Haley is called out for the littlest things.

        • funkycoldmedina says:

          Agree! Haley is criticized weekly no matter how she bends to appease the judges, kind of like Allison Iraheta was treated during her season. Not that Haley sings as well as Allison, but come on!! The judges went so far as to judge Allison’s CLOTHING CHOICE SUPPLIED BY AI STYLISTS while competing (hello, clothes don’t sing). I guess this happens when you run out of legitimate music oriented criticisms of a person who hits their notes weekly like Haley and like Allison Iraheta did. Haley is not my favorite, but she has a much better singing voice than some of the “golden boys” of this current season.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I’m right there with takakupo and Dan. I did not like Haley at all during Hollywood week (thought I would die during her rendition of God Bless the Child and I didn’t even recognize the song) but she has truly improved and has demonstrated she can sing, can sing IN KEY, and she’s lovely and interesting. I loved her rendition of “Blue” and I thought she did a great job on Motown night. Haley has NOT been given a “free pass”. She’s had to work for that spot, despite less than glowing judge’s comments while they didn’t clobber on people like Casey and Jacob nearly enough (and Lauren – Lauren isn’t fit to carry Haley’s suitcase!).

  18. NedPepper says:

    Wow, I called the bottom 3 in my post on Slezak’s Tuesday recap. Not surprised tonight. I hope Casey will listen and understand WHY he was going to go home tonight. Unlike some of you, I’m pretty sure if he doesn’t get it himself, the producers will make sure he does. They didn’t waste the save only to have him come out and growl some more. I think the kid has musical talent. He just needs to get back to where he was. Do I think he’ll win? No. But this show could get really boring fast with all these ballad singers and it showed by the other two lowest vote getters in the bottom 3.

    • Jason S. says:

      Casey said it best on Nirvana week. He said “I don’t Care!” and he doesn’t care. He is throwing the competition. You haven’t realized that yet. In the words of Steven Tyler “It is beautiful” His whole stchick tonight was an act!!! Priceless. Best contestant ever!!!!!!

      • Yo says:

        If Casey was acting, he is more talented than the last ten Oscar winners together: The color drained from his face, he trembled, he was unsteady on his feet, and his pants were so close to falling down the camera blushed and went elsewhere. People seem to forget that his guy has been sick and hospitalized: Athough Lauren Alaina got more attention for her “flu”, he has performed under incredibly difficult circumstances without comment or complaint. He very talented and his response last night indicates he has been in the competition to win, so cut him some slack already.

        • Jason s. says:

          I completely disagree! The constant faces and growling are him making fun of the competition! He’s trying to lose! Overacting last night! I couldn’t stop laughing!!did you see the look on j-Los face! She knew he was goofing off!

        • ladyhelix says:

          I always forget that Casey is only 19. Here’s hoping that he’s a fast learner!!

      • Sally in Chicago says:

        Casey = Jason Castro

        (so does Paul)

      • GingerSnap says:

        “I don’t care” in this context, doesn’t mean Casey doesn’t care about the outcome or his performance. Last night showed he does care. He meant he was willing to take some artistic risks. That risk didn’t pay off on the Nirvana song. But more than any other contestant, he isn’t just blindly following the producer’s advice. That is something most of the contestants haven’t shown they can do. He just can’t be Joe Cocker every week. But if he goes back to what he was doing 3 weeks ago, he’ll do fine.
        His problem this week was that every one else did so great, not that he did badly. He reined it in on”Grapevine” & it didn’t work. I wasn’t as shocked as the judges were with the vote. That said, I wouldn’t rank his performance below Haley’s.

  19. Tawny Cat says:

    Casey has been the favorite of my husband and me since the beginning. We think Casey, James, Jacob and Paul are people we’d definitely enjoy seeing in concert. Actually, every one of them sang well this time, and they’re all talented this season. I hope Casey in there until the end!

  20. Christina says:

    Last nights show was insane. Marc Anthony- Stevie Wonder- Steven’s birthday- Sugarland- Wrestling- Hulk Hogan- Jennifer Hudson- Casey being voted off- Casey being saved! Could there have been anymore happen in that hour! This was probably one of if not the best week Idol has had. Here’s hoping they keep it up next week. The theme is 80’s Week!

    • RT says:

      I agree! Normally I fast forward through most of the results show to get to the end. For some reason, I didn’t do that last night and watched all the way through. It was the best results show they’ve had in a long time, maybe ever.

    • Volcfom says:

      80’s week? Remember when that was basically what the “Year You Were Born” theme was all about? Now they’re all 90’s babies, so sad… Anyway, I’m pumped for some 80’s tunes!

  21. Jason S. says:

    Again you’re inplying that HAley should have gone home but if were going by last night alone Thia should have gone home. But of course Slezak hates Haley so he has to punch her in the gut one more time. Can’t even let her be happy about her deserved spot on the tour!!! Jerk-off!!! Ok you and America are very Gullible if you don’t think Casey’s grabiing his heart was an act. I’m sure he’s happy for the payday the tour will give him but he was joking when he was doing that, HE is the true contestant who doesn’t care about winning. He is making fun of the show and it is awesome. Not only does he not take the show and the competition seriously but he mocks it at every turn. His Nirvana fiasco was on purpose! It is Awesome!!!! He’s my hero.

  22. Teena says:

    I loved Steven’s reaction to Stevie Wonder being there. He looked truly knocked over by it!

    I thought it was really informative to hear how those ear thingies work. Marc Anthony obviously was a big help.

    James’ reaction to Hulk Hogan was priceless. Paul was thrilled, I think, but James’ joy in the moment was heartwarming and fun to watch.

    I couldn’t help thinking that Thia and Stephano looked so good standing there together in their finery. Thank God a stylist has entered the building!

    While I didn’t enjoy Sugarland’s performance or Jennifer Nettles’ outfit, they did prove that you don’t have to dress country to be country. Hello?

    When they stopped Casey during his “Sing for your life” song, I knew what they were doing, but they truly seemed to have scared the snot out of him. During auditions, they usually stop people to give them a big “NO.” Maybe that was where he was coming from. I had thought he would be laissez faire about it leaving, but he seemed to be truly overwelmed, and seemed to have been trying to give his song his best. I was kind of disappointed in the OMFG. But, I will put it down to shock. When he jumped into the crowd to hug his parents, I about lost it.

    I wondered how they would handle the tour with Ryan having really pushed, “YOU MADE THE TOUR” all night. I thought it was really the right thing to do. I don’t think the person who is saved has gone home the following week since they have started using it. Likely it will be two of the top 10. I bet it will make for a huge voting night.

    It was one of the most entertaining results night they have had for a while. Although the sound work should be better, I even liked the group numbers.

  23. jef says:

    I hate the save and I’m glad it was used early. I think the tour will be more enjoyable with Casey there.

  24. dctoronto says:

    Loved so much of last night’s show that I had completely forgotten just how bad the group number was by the time Stevie Wonder rolled out.
    Reflecting back afterwards it came to my mind that the overall dynamic of last night’s show was similar to So You Think You Can Dance where changing the rules as to how many dancers there are going to be and how many will make the tour is common place. That show has so much heart and emotion. It’s nice to see Nigel replacing some of Idol’s coldness with a dollop of Dance’s fun, frivolity and a genuine concern for its contestants.
    I agree Michael, apart from loving the earings too, I can’t see Jennifer Hudson’s new song doing well as a single but by God that woman’s delivery gave me goose bumps. I question whether that vibe will be there when I listen to the download.
    Loved Marc Anthony’s interaction with the Idols and his disagreement with his wife’s critique of Pia. Nigel should bring him out as a guest judge.

  25. takakupo says:

    Wow! With all this talk of last night’s results show being a “Ratings Stunt” and people thinking that Casey really wasn’t the bottom vote getter, I’m really starting to get this feeling of entitlement and denial from Casey-fans. He has seriously not lived up to the hype that he bought into.

    • Suncatcher says:

      Don’t think it was a “ratings stunt.” I looked at the voting results for a big (non-Idol) fan online poll late Wednesday – it had Casey squarely at the BOTTOM. I was shocked.

  26. Beth T says:

    I agree with just about everything Teena said (except I did kinda like the Sugarland song ;) ).
    I was so happy Naima and Haley made it through; I like Stefano, but did think he was bottom 3 this week. I thought Thia would end up there also – but I don’t think it has to do with changing to a different type of music. I really appreciated her doing something uptempo this week – she looked like she was enjoying herself more as well. I just think the fan bases are pretty even after the top 3 or 4, and (relatively) small numbers of votes are going to make the difference. I don’t imagine Ashton’s or Karen’s voters gravitated to Thia after those ladies were eliminated.
    I wasn’t surprised Casey was in the bottom 3 – though I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Haley there. I also was not surprised at the Save, and I do think it was worth it – especially coupled with J-Lo’s sound advice – because I still think Casey is interesting.
    I’m also glad the Save is out of the way early.
    I like all these 11 kids (well – Lauren not so much) and I’m glad they will all be on tour – I figured that’s what would happen when the Save was used.
    While I still think there are a solid 3 or 4 top contenders, I think the bottom three will for sure be a crap shoot for the next few weeks, and for once I will be disappointed for whoever is the next to go home.
    I think this is the first time I can actually agree that this is “The Best Top 10(11) Ever”.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t watch all of the results show – Must See TV on another network and all – but when I flipped over, I saw:
    • Hulk Hogan and James Durbin losing his ever-lovin’ mind (and JLo’s side-eye after this bit had gone on about 20 seconds too long)

    • Casey Abrams collapsing and his head in a geographically-precarious area to Seacrest’s nether-regions.

    So… other than Jennifer Hudson, I didn’t miss anything valuable, huh?

  28. Sharon says:

    Call it what you want – conspiracy theories, shenanigans, begging for ratings- last night’s results show blew last year’s finale out of the water. I wonder this though: Idol has been on how long, nine or ten years? How come they are just now getting around to teaching these kids how to use an ear monitor?? I don’t know much about Marc Anthony, but I liked him. I seriously thought Casey was going to power vom after he was saved.

  29. Mary says:

    I was not surprised that Casey was in the bottom three, I hoped he would be the one to go. The save made for good reality TV but I don’t want to watch another week of his singing. Lets be real, what kind of music is he going to make. JH voice is beautiful, but I didn’t care to much for the song, maybe it will grow on me. Sugarland was okay, but it sad to think that song might actually get radio time. Well it will be interesting to see what two goes next week, but at this point I guess it doesn’t matter, because they all made the tour and will get exposure.

  30. Bill says:

    The fact that Thia was not sent home was a travesty. She is a rank amateur compared with all the other contestants, who comprise the finest group of finalists in the history of the show. The only other second-rater is Haley, and I hope those two are cut next week. Everyone else–from Pia to James to Paul to Stefano and even to Lauren, whose personality I absolutely detest–is extraordinarily talented. Scotty bores me to tears, but there’s no denying he does his thing with extreme skill. That Casey was at the bottom was a total shock to me, even though I agree his recent performances have been monotonous and wrong-headed. He is a major talent based on his brilliant “Georgia on My Mind,” and the fact that he lost to someone as lame as Thia was a disgrace. Thanks to the judges!

    • Bill says:

      Forgot to mention that I agree with whoever said Naima would probably not have been given the save–and that would have been disgusting, because although she doesn’t have a great voice, she has a perfectly fine one, and her whole package makes her the biggest potential star of the whole group. She’s dynamite and a half. She and Pia should be the final two–but they won’t be, unfortunately.

      • Sharon says:

        There’s a video of Naima on YouTube of her singing with a Rasta band, and she’s great.

      • takakupo says:

        You are extremely handsome right now Bill. Extreeeeemely handsome ;D

        GO TEAM NAIMA!!!! :D

      • RT says:

        I am so glad to see Naima make the tour at least. She may not have the strongest voice, but she is still a good singer – much better than many of the autotuned “singers” so popular these days. She brings a uniqueness to the proceedings and has a lot of creativity (adding dancing, drums, rap) that seems to be lacking this year. She makes me miss the days when contestants would really change up the songs and have “idol moments.” I’m not sure she has had a true “moment” yet, but she has the potential. Plus, she seems to be genuinely happy and honored to be there with no sense of entitlement that I get from Lauren or even Casey.

    • essex says:

      Agree with everything you said. That Thia remains in the competition is both astonishing and vexing. She is an embarrassment. I don’t even believe a few more years and life experience will make a difference. She is lifeless and dead-eyed when interviewed and just the act of speaking appears to be a chore. Regardless of the my opinion of the other two teens, Scott and Lauren, they at least appear to have fully-formed personalities and a pulse between them. It matters not that Thia may technically be able to carry a tune, she has no business in entertainment. That is not to say, however, that she is without skill. She does seem well-suited for clerical work.

  31. Lilly says:

    I’m glad that all 11 are going out on tour, but I’m not so happy about Casey staying. Haley still doesn’t know what she’s doing on stage, but at least she’s made an effort over the last two weeks. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Casey. He’s been coasting, relying too much on “antics” instead of singing, and proudly taken the title of Taylor Hicks version 2.0. I don’t want to see him outlast anyone, that includes Thia and Haley, and he definitely shouldn’t go further than someone like Jacob.

    On the positive side, Casey’s scare should be a lesson for everyone that they can’t coast on one good performance, nobody is safe, they need a well rounded performance, and they need to lay it all out on the stage every week.

  32. CarolLeslie says:

    Reason #1 I’m glad they saved Casey because I’m hoping he’ll break out more of what we saw during the Hollywood rounds where his performances revealed a brilliant blues musician. I love Casey, but based on his performances during the voting rounds he deserved at least bottom 3 if not lowest votes. Reason #2 I’m glad they used the save so early in the competition that it’s impact may be meaningless and it won’t be hanging over our heads for weeks to come. Now it won’t be there to save Lauren or Jacob who currently top my list of most annoying contestants.

  33. Holly says:

    Was the judges save used appropriately? Based on Casey’s live performances, no. Based on keeping the tour interesting, yes. Some decisions are purely pragmatic. That being said, Casey needs a major turn-around. He needs to let the stylists work some magic on him (MAJOR magic), and he needs to start putting musicality back into his performances. Why the judges waited until last night to tell him to stop the performance antics is beyond me! As for the rest of last night, J. Hud – awesome! Hulk Hogan – awesome! Sugarland – is that lead singer trying to make herself look like a deluded soccer mom?! Stevie Wonder – He’s the man, it doesn’t matter if all he can still do is slur and growl. Marc Anthony – someone please give that man a sandwich!

  34. larkwoodgirl says:

    The best thing about last night’s show was Jennifer Hudson. She owned that stage and that song. A real star showing how it is done.
    I intend to buy her cd.

    I am glad they saved Casey. Not that I particularly agree with the judges critiques of his performances. However, the guy is interesting and I know based on what he showed in Hollywood week that he has more to offer than he has the last two performances.

  35. ginaM says:

    That is going to be one intersesting tour. Something for everyone. As far as shows go, that was good televsion last night. I was shocked that Casey was bottom vote getter, because I thought he had a good fanbase. I’m glad JLo finally spoke up and told Casey to stop growling. I wish a stylist would wrestle him in dressing room and shave that stupid beard off and make him look like the 19 year old he is.(Not sure if he turned 20 yet?)I think if he looked his age, he might appeal to younger voters. I don’t get how Jacob doesn’t land in the bottom though. I consider his singing to be more over the top than Casey and more annoying. I’m surprised Haley didn’t make the bottom this week again. She slurred her way through another aggresively sexualized performance. Not surprised Thia was in bottom. She just looks blank when she performs. I don’t see any connection to the songs she sings. I noticed a couple people are mad that they haven’t used the save on women. I don’t like the save option in first place. I think the producers have no clue how to cast women on Idol. This year all the guys have different vibes and different styles. The women not so much. The majority of the girls are singing boring ballads each week. They rarely cast a woman rocker, and I don’t see any of the girls breaking out instruments yet. Not sure if any of them play an instrument?

    • allie says:

      agree – well said. They should have put Kendra and the rocker/bluesy woman with the dark curly hair in and not Thia or Haley. Pia and Naima are the only interesting women, imo. I don’t love Naima’s vocals but she is a great performer and Pia is the exact opposite – great vocals but boring performer.

    • Templar says:

      I’m afraid if they shave Casey’s beard he’ll look like a bushel of elbows.

  36. adamfan says:

    Great show! Nigel & Co., have definitely learned from all the past seasons. They are making the result shows a bit more exciting.
    The wrestling bit, although I am really not a fan, was fun, light and really sweet (James). I think we all could see ourselves in him, I think if I were standing next to my idol, I would have difficulties holding myself together.
    It is great that every week they bring a former idol back to sing, they did that very sporadically in the past.
    I thought that there was an awkward transition from Jennifer Hudson to the people in the bottom three. It looked like Jennifer was just left on stage, I think that she even made a little surprised sound.
    The save was probably the right thing to do. Casey is talented, but just made some poor choices in the last couple of weeks. His reaction was sweet and it really made him look innocent. Those who are talking about his ego and seeing himself as a rock star are totally wrong. “A rock star” would not shake like that.
    Good show, if they could only do away with the group songs, they are beyond lame. Nigel, these singers lose credibility when you make them do silly songs with goofy steps a’la Disney park production. It is hard to buy a guy as the romantic one or the rocker if he has to do a coordinated dance to some old sugary song.

    • Sharon says:

      Not only was it fun to watch James lose it when Hulk Hogan appeared, but it was great to see Steven Tyler reduced to jelly when Stevie Wonder came onstage. Fun show all around.

      • karen says:

        no, not at all – unless he is in the wrong field and should be vying for an academy award. He was my fav too and I have been disappointed in his screaming jags. He is extraordinarily talented and I will give him a chance and hope he heeds the advice next week

  37. stevenjaba says:

    Did no one else think that Casey’s reaction was absolutely ridiculous and even farcical? It felt more like he was making fun of the whole thing. I started the season as a Casey fan – no more.

    • shelbar says:

      I agree. Casey’s reaction was ridiculous. It went on for to long, to the point I was embarressed for him. He lost points for his over the top reaction. He deserves a Razzie award.

  38. Holly says:

    How much money do they get for touring? Is it really enough for Naima to buy a house? That’s cool. I figured they would continue to not pay the talent on tour, too.

    • bena says:

      I saw something a couple of yrs ago from someone in the know that contestants #10-6 each got $100K, #5-3 got $150K, #2 got $175K and #1 got $200K for the tour. Not sure if/how much they get from merchandise sales. In addition, they all get union wage for every week they appear on camera, which amounted to quite a good bit for those who make it for several weeks. I’m not sure what the going rate is now, and if it’s just the time on camera, or if it includes rehearsals, studio time, etc. And I think they get a % of the itunes sales, too. So Naima could very well make enough money to buy a house! Good for her.

  39. CMP says:

    I knew the judges would save Casey if he landed in at the bottom. What really irked me was after being subjected to the 3 weeks of screeching and disregard for any semblance of what got Casey to the Finals, he returned to THAT guy we actually WANTED in the Finals when it came time to save his a$$. To me, it was a huge slap in the face to the viewers and voters proving what I said in my last post. He did what he had to do to get into the Finals then turned tail and did what HE wanted to do. Hope this near elimination humbled him enough to heed JLo and Randy’s advice, if he even heard it as it appeared he was about to barf and pass out.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      CMP, I think I’m inclined to give Casey a break. He’s 19 years old. NINETEEN. Ghandi was probably driving around drunk doing stupid stuff when he was 19 and he would have been texting and driving if he’d owned a cell phone.
      Tyler hit the nail on the head when he referenced Casey’s out of control ego (or whatever it was he said).
      I think Casey thinks of himself as a true artist and then tend to be very emotional and not always level-headed. Look at the singers that have a good thing going and then they totally go off the charts:
      Prince after the “Purple Rain” phase (guy started singing crap!)
      And then there’s Garth Brooks when he became another person and started singing crap (I can’t recall the character’s name – but he looked like a goth singer – hey Garth, you’re a chubby COWBOY!).
      I think Casey deserved a second chance. He has amazing talent although he admittedly has bad judgement.

      • Suncatcher says:

        Darcy – GREAT thoughts re Casey! I agree, he is a MUSICIAN with a lot of talent. But, he has to start listening to the people who have a lot more talent / experience. Glad he was saved!

  40. Kim R says:

    Well, Jacob sure got his “Carleton from Fresh Prince” on when he threw himself into the dance portion of the opening number! :) I thought Jennifer Hudson was fantastic, the reactions of S Tyler & James were infectious. I truly was concerned Casey was having an actual medical emergency for a few minutes there…then I had to look away because it was a little embarrassing. All in all, I was entertained. Great recap as usual, MS! :)

    • Kim R says:

      I meant to mention the Sugarland chick’s outfit. What was that??? It was like a 2 year old put it together? I didn’t get one thread of it…it was NOT good! :)

      • adamfan says:

        I totally agree. I laughed, it looked like me in high school, circa 1983. I am a much better dresser now.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Enough of the hate of Jennifer Nettle’s outfit! She’s been shopping at Prince’s garage sale along with Steven Tyler!

  41. Heather says:

    Lauren dropped the F-Bomb when she found out she was safe. Funny considering she’s only 16.

    • karen says:

      holy cow…you didn’t swear when you were 16? who cares

      • GingerSnap says:

        Not the F-bomb. She’s barely 16. She’s used to talking that way – probably at home & with her friends. It just adds to the things that people find annoying. It sounds like Ghetto skank.

  42. Karen says:

    I for one, was thrilled about Casey and the saved – mainly because I guessed it and went to the top of my AI fantasy league. My husband is so proud of me (NOT). As I danced around the living room – he just kept saying – can’t you put your talent toward something that means something..haha

    My theory with Idol is that the bottom person IS among a pool of actual low-vote bottom dwellers – but they decide which one of these to pick. This decision is based on ratings, fan following, tour entertainment value, drama, etc. This gives them room to fudge. If this was not true…they’d employ an independent firm to tally and publish results with transparency.

    Casey needed to be shook-up…his performances had devolved to sound like an audition tape for the Lion King. BUT…if you notice..he had heard that after Nirvana and did nothing to change. He must be one stubborn son-of-a-gun.

    In addition – his mentor is partially to blame. He told him to hold his scream in. This made things even worse – so he ended up percolating.

  43. shelbar says:

    Everyone was dressed up last night. All the girls wearing beautiful cocktail dresses with high heels EXCEPT lauren, she was wearing boots. So out of place and an eyesore to boot. Does she have ugly legs? Hmmmmmmm?

    • susela says:

      Nah, she’s just from someplace where they wear cowboy boots all the time. Nothin’ wrong with that.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Yea, but they make boots that fit that outfit. She’s in the big leagues now. They are trying to make these girls look like stars. If she showed up on the Red Carpet at, say the Grammy Awards dressed like that, she’d be show up on the worst dressed list. JLo would be talking to her about being “The Total Package.”. That’s not the package she means.

  44. sofia says:

    this is directed to michael, I mean no offense by this because I love your commentaries and your segment of idolloonies but I feel that you really have to eat your words because ever since the finals started you have been giving lauren a lot of flak saying that the saved would be used only on Wittle Wauren, (and it wasn’t) as you call her it wasn’t so give her a break! Although I like casey he does not have the best vocals especially this week, and it seems that the judges really didn’t want to save him but like you say it was the producer…thats all I have to say, I just find it funny you were way off. looking forward to the next segment of idolloonies!!

  45. Hillary says:

    I didn’t ever think that it would b Casey, but when Haley was saved I though it had better be. Casey is interesting but I’m over the scraggly bearded bear growler. I think they wasted the save too soon. What will they do if Wittle Wauren or Stanky Lasky get the boot next week (which I’m totally ok with). I actually didnt hear Niamia say that she could buy a house now, but what else should I expect from such a classy lady? :/

    Thought the J. Hud. performance was good, I also thought she was teetering a bit in those heals, but I like it a hell of a lot more than the ridiculous song from Sugarland. Her outfit was atrocious & it sounded like something that should b on Yo Gaba Gaba.

    I was impressed w/ Marc showing the contestants how 2 use the ear monitors, it was something I’ve wondered about.

  46. Robin says:

    Great show. Glad the save is gone. Time for everyone to iron out the problems and “get in it, to win it!” So a little advice-
    Paul-Keep the guitar with you at all times, no more dancing!
    Pia-Pick up the tempo and move around a little.
    Casey-No growling, we are over that, bottom 3 should be your wake up.
    James-Control the big notes. Take it easy on the crowd rally.
    Haley-Rewind JHud’s performance last night and take notes!
    Scotty-Tone down the facial expressions, it’s borderline hokey!
    Stephano-Open your eyes, girls vote, make the connection.
    Lauren-16 years old girls need to be charming, not whiny!
    Thia-You sing lovely, just can’t connect with you though.
    Jacob-Don’t be so dramatic, just sing, my ears have spoken.
    Niama-Really need to see you break out with a tender moment.
    And Judges…it’s time to start calling out these contestants on what they need to do to step it up. Viewers at home can see it and we aren’t being paid millions to judge, you are! Bring on the 80’s!

  47. Betsy says:

    I love reading all the comments, but I’m getting kind of sick of reading how people seem to think they know what the contestants are thinking, feeling, and their motivations. Like, “Casey has a beard because he thinks it makes him look older” and “James is cocky and thinks he’s entitled to….” Do you people realize how much you do this?! You do NOT KNOW what other people think or feel, and 9 times out of 10 when you say you do, you’re wrong. For all you know, Casey has a weak chin, or maybe he just LIKES his beard, and James is just exuberant and clueless. etc. etc. etc. Stop condemning people for what you THINK is motivating them to do something.

    I thought the show last night was fantastic, but what’s with the new trend of women wearing heels that are so high they can’t walk in them? It looks very graceless and dangerous.

  48. Karen says:

    Just listened to Jennifer Hudson again


    • Cyd says:

      No kidding. I don’t get the J Hud. Never did, never will. And people call Casey scary? That woman makes me dive for my remote every time she screeches Feeeeling GOOOOOOD…

  49. dj says:

    For a moment last night I thought Casey was going to cough up blood on camera. Poor guy, I hope he is healthy enough for the summer tour.

  50. RTW says:

    – Oh you Idol producers and that ace up your sleeve, you still know how to make TV interesting!
    – I think last night’s show was an all-around wake up call. To Casey in particular. When America…yes, that 50 states AMERICA, votes you off for the second elimination, it’s time to take a step back and seriously reevaluate what’s not working. Parody Casey was eliminated last night…I hope we saved Hollywood Casey.
    – It was a wake up call to the judges as well. The banal critiques, “Be you”, “It was beautiful” and “You’re an amazing singer” for example, make it impossible for contestants to deeply reflect and analyze and LEARN from their performance. I mean come on, my mom told me these things when I was four.
    – And then BAM! In walks Jennifer Hudson and school is in session! She was like, “Shut yo mouth. This is how it’s done and I didn’t even win! So pay attention!” Loved it.
    – I think this episode was a tide turner for what’s to come, and the Idol we’ve come to love will be right around the corner. At least I hope it is. :)