American Idol: Who's to Blame for This Week's Horrible, Horrible Results?

It’s been almost 24 hours since what I would argue was American Idol‘s all-time worst results-show telecast — hey, at least Chris Daughtry and Tamyra Gray made it all the way to fourth in their respective seasons! — and I’m still reeling. How did the season’s most consistent (and arguably most gifted) vocalist, Pia Toscano, get booted so prematurely?

Idol’s Pia Reveals Her Bottom 3 Prediction, Wonders Why She Didn’t Rock Enough Votes

Yeah, yeah, I know some of you are gonna say, “Slezak, get over it! Pia was boring/emotionally distant/predictable/uninventive/blah blah blah!” But even if we agree to disagree on those points (and disagree I do), let’s be really real for a second: There’s no way anyone anywhere is going to convince me Pia shouldn’t have received an express pass to Season 10′s Top 5. If nailing every note of every song — and being among the best two or three performers for six consecutive weeks — wasn’t enough to at least outlast Stefano Langone and Jacob Lusk, then something in the milk ain’t clean, as the expression goes.

American Idol Recap: Rocky Horror

Anyway, with all the rage and sadness collecting in the pit of my tumtee, there’s plenty of blame to go around: to Idol‘s judging panel (get my thoughts on their failures here); to Nigel Lythgoe and the Idol production team (for failing to demand better of the judges, and for gifting Scotty and James with “girl mob” and “Hulk Hogan” moments, but never throwing a similar humanizing spotlight on female singers); to Jimmy Iovine, Will.I.Am, and their ilk (always worthy of some scorn, no?); to America (for its general voting heinousness); and, well, check out the rest of my options in the poll below.

In the meantime, I’ll express my own personal assigning of blame in musical form — to the tune of a Michael Jackson ditty described by Steven Tyler as one of the greatest compositions ever. Feel free to sing along if you find it cathartic:

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to count his votes

Idol ladies they’re all disappearers
If you wanna send a girl to the Nokia
And avoid another case of the Gokey uh
You gotta dial and text
While you got the time
‘Cause 20 votes won’t do
With Pia’s dreams on the line!

No need for a Standing O, thanks. Those are reserved for Scotty McCreery and James Durbin only. Sound off in the poll below, share your thoughts/rants/rebukes/lyrics in the comments, and do please follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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Comments (382)

  • Michael, you forgot another pretty obvious option – hate groups such as Vote For The Worst (www.votefortheworst.com). They are the ones power-voting for the contestants who should and would have been eliminated way before anybody with actual talent! Don’t underestimate them. They are using all sorts of auto-dialing software, power-texting phone apps and email spambots to vote thousands of times each! Just a couple hundred of these people determined to ruin the show for everybody else are responsible for hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes each week. By keeping people like Paul McDonald (their current champion) in the competition they are contributing to the demise of talented singers like Pia!

    Comment by outraged – April 8, 2011 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @Outraged – thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention! First I heard of it. If true, they are contributing to the demise of American Idol itself, not just Pia!

      HEY SLEZAK – ANYTHING YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT THIS GROUP?

      PS – And another excellent reason why the voting “system” must be fixed!!! One phone number – one vote. Period.

      Comment by Suncatcher – April 8, 2011 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh pfffft. Paul received the most votes of being the favorite after his performance on this very website – I’m sure he got a multitude of votes, with or without VFTW’s support. VFTW may be responsible for some things, but Pia’s ouster is not one of them. Also, you are seriously over-estimating the amount of votes this group puts out lol. They may take credit for things like someone eliminated, or someone like Sanjaya staying, but that’s just puffery to get people interested, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Besides, their mission isn’t as evil as you make it out to be, they are just committed voting for people who aren’t terminally boring.

      Comment by Eolra – April 9, 2011 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • @Eolra – I am “seriously over estimating the amount of votes this group puts out lol.” I never gave an estimate – I JUST learned about them here. I prefaced my comments with “if true”.

        = Why I am asking Slezak if HE knows how powerful this group might be. Perhaps you are underestimating a group you know nothing of? Always err on the side of caution – and just the facts, maam.

        Comment by Suncatcher – April 10, 2011 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1. Don’t blame the other contestants or their fans. What’re they supposed to do, quit? Should they walk off the show and demand the producers give Pia their spot instead? They all want it, why would their aspirations be any less valid than Pia’s?

    2. Do blame the judges. By giving her a gold star every week, never telling her what she should do to improve, they gave her a green light to do the same thing week after week. They also blew through the save too early in the season, leaving the door wide open for this kind of thing.

    3. Her fans deserve some of the blame here too. It’s obvious that a lot of them assumed she’d be safe and just didn’t bother to vote. My sister for example, she was a fan of Pia’s and she was OUTRAGED at these results…But when I asked if she voted for her, she said she voted for Haley since she figured Pia would be sticking around anyway, and she didn’t want Haley to go yet. They got complacent, assuming Pia would make the top 3 no matter what. While at the same time, fans of Stefano, Haley, Paul, etc. don’t take things for granted, they realize they’re in danger every single week so they’re gonna be voting as many times as they can…The result: What happened last night.

    Comment by Derek – April 8, 2011 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Adam Lamber on Twitter today:
    “Sad to see Pia go. One of the best voices on this season. Makes me think Voters aren’t focusing enough on vocal/musical ability.”

    A few others in the know on Twitter today who “were mad as he!!” about Pia leaving and saw her as the Season 10 top 2 – or winner:
    - David Cook
    - Tom Hanks
    - Rita Wilson
    - Jennifer Hudson
    - Chris Daughtry
    - Jennifer Lopez
    - Ryan Seacrest
    - Paul McDonald
    - Stefano Langone

    That about sums it up.

    Comment by Suncatcher – April 8, 2011 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, if CELEBRITIES think so, then it MUST be true!

      Comment by Eolra – April 9, 2011 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • @Eolra – No. Not even close. If people in the entertainment / music industry feel this way about Pia, then maybe folks should be aware of this. It may help with decision making going forward. Never follow blindly.

        Comment by Suncatcher – April 10, 2011 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear Michael Slezak,

    I know that you probably won’t read my comment but I’m going to try once again:As someone who knows a little something about singing I have to tell you that Pia isn’t as great a singer as everybody is making her out to be. I repeatedly posted about her lack of technique and the damaging things she is doing to her vocal chords- in detail. You can already here the strain her uneven technical choices and lack of classically influenced training left on her chords. I sincerely hope that she is gonna do some work in these fields- otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she weren’t able to finish the tour due to problems with her voice…or if those things catch up with her later on…
    Besides that: I think it would be a really good idea to look at those contestants from a technical standpoint of view- all of them have major technical issues. I already see people shaking their heads while reading my comment :-) but I had to point it out once more: making music doesnt’ only consist of “great personality”, “looking good on stage”, “doing the shimmie”, “emotional connection” etc. it ALSO consists of two things that seem to be almost not existent in the “entertainment” sector (being contrary to the “serious” stuff- though I despise that differentiation)the technical abbility has to be exercised to perfection- it does not always have to be perfect…you can willingly insert imperfections…but the abbility to execute to the level of almost always being there HAS to exist- AND the musical understanding has to be a part of what you are doing. Why did he write it that way…why is there an accent…how does the rhythm changing affect my understanding of this piece? You have to ask yourself those questions. Otherwise, at least in my understanding, you can’t be taking serious as a musician. Sometimes it seems to me that people are just not seeing that making music is an art- it’s incredibly difficult to achieve pure, true music. It’s not just going up on stage, singing a song that you theoretically don’t understand quite well, looking good whilst doing so and putting your emotion into it. Don’t get me wrong- those things are all fine with me but it’s just not enough.
    It’s not supposed to be that easy.
    Now, please, throw stones, or more preferably comments at me and my english :-)
    goodnight from germany

    Comment by kate'shomesick – April 8, 2011 06:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Kate’shomesick, since you are from Germany, I assume English is not your first language so I won’t throw stones at your rendering of it. I think I completely agree with you. Pia definitely lacked an ability to interpret the songs. I suppose she had an OK tone to her voice, but not once did she sing anything that I would ever want to hear again. There has been only one artist in the history of Idol who’s been off the charts in all of the criteria you mention: Season 6′s Melinda Doolittle. Her interpretation of every single song was exquisite. She sang one of my favorite songs of all time, “My Funny Valentine,” and as soon as it was over, I thought to myself, “That’s the best version of that song I’ve ever heard.” Quite a feat.

      Comment by bobL – April 8, 2011 09:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I reread my comment this morning- god I was tired when I wrote this. I have no clue why I would write “abbility” instead of “ability” :D. Also I see quite a few grammatical errors here and there -shame on me for considering my english to be quite practicable.
        That said I think I second what you said about Melinda Doolittle, though I don’t know how far here knowledge of music theory goes but I at least felt that she did think about the structure of the songs and so on.

        Comment by kate'shomesick – April 9, 2011 05:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Melinda was about 6 years older than Pia & had performed as a backup singer for many well-known artists. You would expect her to be a more polished singer. Despite her professionalism, she couldn’t win either. She didn’t appeal to the teen voter that text-votes. While your comments are interesting, they are out of touch with the Idol voting system.

          Comment by GingerSnap – April 9, 2011 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Oh- I know that but it’s not what I was talking about. I don’t care about the idol voting system- I just wanted to point out why I think Pia was overrated and that I am generally disappointed with the lack of well-rounded musicality on these shows…I don’t even see people that seem to have the urge to reach that point.
            Agewise I can tell you – my professor is teaching students that are way younger than Pia and are not only on a vocally healthy path but also understand what they are doing musically and why. They- including me ;-)- are all incredibly hungry to make good music and we are also almost crazy passionate about what we do (ignore tylerism). I also wasn’t trying to point out that Pia isn’t a polished singer- her technique is dangerously risky to the point where she might ruin her possible career with it.
            I absolutely agree on the voting system though- people are definitely not looking for the most accomplished musician

            Comment by kate'shomesick13 – April 9, 2011 02:12 PM PDT  
  • All we should be really asking right now is….who voted for Jacob?!!!!

    Comment by Fan – April 8, 2011 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No kidding, eh? He doesn’t even belong on Broadway. Maybe church choir

      Comment by Karen – April 9, 2011 07:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here is my theory. Everywhere you look around the net, people say…”Pia wasn’t my favorite, but she definitely should have made it to the top 2.. or 3.. or whatever”. So, because of the stupid voting system, people can’t afford to split their votes. So not enough people were sitting there voting for her for 2 hours straight. And who would have thought they needed to?! Even Sleazak was all about Haley — he would have voted to keep her in. Most of the people spewing outrage over this, probably didn’t even vote for her one time themselves… They definitely need to limit the number of times you can vote for one contestant… then maybe you could spend time voting for two or three of your favorites… the outcome would be vastly different…

    Comment by Teri – April 8, 2011 07:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think this is very true. Dial idol had her as safe from the beginning of the vote. I voted for the contestants I felt were ‘at risk’ and not for the one’s I thought were great. Daughtry effect

      Comment by dejo – April 8, 2011 07:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HEY SLEZAK! I JUST TOOK THIS RIGHT OFF OF VFTW’S TWITTER:

    votefortheworst Vote For The Worst
    Vote for the Worst Flexes Our Muscle To Get Paul Into The Top 8 And Send Pia Home http://bit.ly/gOwvgL
    7 Apr Favorite Retweet Reply

    Are they for real? Did they actually skew the vote this week?

    Comment by Suncatcher – April 8, 2011 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Do you believe EVERYTHING you read on the web? My gosh. Look, all of these boards are FULL of people saying that the voting system is stupid etc., but look at it this way – with the current voting system, all VFTW could do is vote for Paul, they couldn’t vote for Pia to be eliminated. Even if they voted a ZILLION times for Paul and he was #1 in the votes by a large margin, that still doesn’t negate the fact that Pia got less votes than everybody else. Also, VFTW’s taking credit for things like that are just puffery to get people interested in the site, and piss off people like you who take the show so seriously. Relax. lol

      Comment by Eolra – April 9, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great voice, no charisma. Pia should have a promising career as a studio singer but, let’s face it, she lacks star power.

    Comment by lunaburning – April 8, 2011 07:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Simon L needs to pull anothor save or wildcard out of his a.. Umm, hat.

    Comment by Igloo – April 8, 2011 07:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • THIS is why The X Factor will be better; teeny bopper twits with cell phones and laptops won’t be able to keep their heart-throbs du jour in week after week defying all logic. Judges will choose between the bottom 2 vote-getters every week until the Finale, so the Pia’s won’t be sent home so ridiculously early. The way AI handles voting is the reason why I’m done. D.O.N.E.

    Excellent, Michael. Excellent. I feel your pain. ;)

    Comment by Sunny – April 8, 2011 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want to know — how the hell did Kathyrn MCPhee and Syesha make it to the finals? The crowds at their homecoming were small and the sales on i-tunes were very low for Syesha. I always thought the vote was ‘adjusted’ somehow. Did they suddenly stop? The audience hasn’t changed.

    Comment by dejo – April 8, 2011 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So just for fun, and for the sake of avoiding more important tasks, I went to the Youtube and watched videos of Kelly Clarkson during the first American Idol. You know what? She sang a lot of ballads. I think one week she sang “It’s Raining Men” (who could pull that off today?) and an upbeat song I don’t know for Big Band week (which they should totally bring back; who cares if it’s not current!). Kelly sang ballads, Pia sang ballads. There were two major differences though. First, Kelly’s voice was effortless. Even in the final rounds, her voice was going, and yet she still hit runs like nobody’s business. Pia has skills, yes, but even in her almost-effortlessness, her voice is not as pleasing as Kelly’s. Second, and more important, Kelly was likeable! She was bubbly! She gave people hugs! Most importantly, even though her performances were impregnable, she showed vulnerability. That’s what Pia didn’t show. She could have sang ballads every single week and won, if only she showed some vulnerability. What she should have done was followed the path of the great one, David Cook, and taken a non-ballad and turned it into a ballad. She could have sat on a stool, wore jeans and a t-shirt, sang a song in a simple, but flawless way, maybe shed some tears, and boom, she’s through for a couple more weeks. Hey, maybe it’s not her fault, maybe it’s the producers (I always blame the producers!).

    In the end, unless Pia showed some vulnerability, she didn’t have much of a chance at winning. No, it’s not fair that people like Jacob are still in the competition beyond her, but controversy is a staple of the show. Yes, the judges haven’t been doing their job. At this point, I’d give anything to hear someone say something mean on that show, even if it’s totally uncalled for. The love-fest is sickening. Michael, I vote for you for the new judge of American Idol. As long as you don’t drink the Coke, because God knows what they add to those cups.

    Comment by Annoula – April 8, 2011 07:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel that the Judges, and I use the term loosely, have been horrible this season.
    They seem more concerned with giving every contestant a pat on the bum and a participation trophy after each perfomance than an HONEST CRITIQUE of there work.

    Perhaps JLO and Steven are more concerned with being friendly because lets face it they are still in the “business” and may not want to p*ss anyone off.
    It could affect their DVD sales.

    And Nigel Lythgoe is out of mind if he thinks that the ” what the Judges say doesn’t influence the voters” . Of course it does.

    Comment by Laurel – April 8, 2011 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Since when is American Idol solely a singing competition? It’s also a popularity contest, and Pia did not get enough votes to make it past ninth. She didn’t connect with her audience enough to get them to vote for her.

    Is she beautiful? Yes. Did she have the best voice, sure. But that isn’t all it takes to become a star. Look at Madonna. On singing talent alone, she probably wouldn’t have made it to Hollywood week, but she’s a superstar. Look who has been voted off so far, Ashton, Thia Meghia, Karen Rodriquez, Pia … boring, boring, boring (Naima is the only exception, anything but boring). Say what you will about the men, but they have personality.

    That being said I hope Pia becomes one of the most successful American Idol “losers,” ever, because she clearly has talent.

    Comment by Dan – April 8, 2011 08:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Pia will only gain the following of this crowd when she buys a meat dress too like Lady Gaga.

      Comment by Suncatcher – April 9, 2011 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OK, my opinion may not be popular, but this is how I truly feel: Pia is a great SINGER, but she did not show that she was a great ARTIST. She also didn’t show that she was a great PERFORMER. Creativity, originality and innovation attract me. They keep me interested. They make me grin and giggle with delight. Pia did none of those things for me. After she finished each performance, I would think – yes, she sang well and hit all the notes – but I didn’t connect emotionally.

    The creative highlights for me so far this season were: Casey and his bass with “Georgia” – probably the absolutely BEST beginning of ANY song I have EVER heard on Idol; Jacob’s “House is not a Home” gave me chills and Haley’s “Bennie and the Jetssssss” had me giggling. Naima shocked me with the rap she wrote and threw into “Umbrella” – IMO, improving the original song.

    Performance-wise: Lauren surprised me with her stunning performance of “Candle in the Wind” and Scotty pulled out a great performance with Elvis’ “That’s Alright”. James KILLED Judas Priest … IMO his best performance.

    Then there’s Pia. The only time I went “Wow” was during Hollywood week when she sang “Grenade” with her group. Since then, it seems like she’s done the exact same performance with a different song. I was bored. She didn’t emotionally move me. I didn’t get chills. I didn’t giggle. Maybe she was more secure with the group of girls in Hollywood and it showed the kind of performer she COULD be if she relaxed and enjoyed herself. When she was alone on Idol, she never showed that side – instead, she was stiff and wooden.

    I think she’ll excel in an environment where everything’s planned out for her – such as performing on Broadway, or acting. But I don’t think she thinks on her feet quickly enough to create on the spot like Haley can with her runs and Casey can with his bass. She’ll have a career in music and acting … she’s stunningly beautiful … so she’ll be okay.

    Comment by Linda – April 8, 2011 08:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Great Artists don’t win Idol. Crystal Bowersox was an “artist”. The formula for success is Nonthreatening WGWG. Until some other singer wins it, that is the formula for success.

      Comment by GingeSnap – April 9, 2011 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Meh. You could totally argue that both David Cook and Kris Allen are “artists”. They won.

        Comment by Eolra – April 9, 2011 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • David Cook and Kris Allen were also nonthreatening WGWG.
          You could argue that Crystal was a White Girl With a Guitar.
          A female “artist” can’t win. Even if she plays the guitar.

          Comment by GingerSnap – April 9, 2011 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pia’s elimination doesn’t bother me at all. She probably wasn’t the worst, but she was definitely the most boring. Every week I would rant to my wife that she didn’t sing, she just strung a bunch of over-sung “glory notes” together. She never struck me as having any sense of melody or ability to make artistic choices while singing a song. The judges certainly didn’t “waste” their save. Casey is 100X the artist Pia will ever be. I can’t stand Celine Dion; I certainly don’t need Celine Dion lite.

    Comment by bobL – April 8, 2011 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well. There’s a lot to blame to throw around. I think all of the reasons you listed Slezak are correct. I’d add one more. Inability to relate to demographics. Why are young teens/ older women who make up the largest portion of the viewing audience so turned off by a beautiful talented female singer? Jealousy maybe. The dream of American Idol is anyone can audition and win. America wants the belief that they could do it too. But, the reality is most of us don’t have beautiful jet black hair, big boobs, and a size 2 body. That’s why people like Clay, Fantasia, even Kelly and Carrie did so well. We could see a bit of ourselves in them. Kelly had the girl next door charm, Carrie was the “farm girl” and average sized when she was on the show. Fantasia was a poor single mother. Clay was awkward looking. The last female to win, Jordan was it? She was young and not to be mean, wasn’t exactly petite. Maybe like you said if they had given a “Pia Story” and we found out that in second grade her cat died of cancer or something she might have done better. But it’s hard to stomach someone that looks perfect and sings well too and comes off like she knows it. Want a female to do well on A I. again? Find someone who can sing as good as Pia, but looks like Scotty’s less attractive sister and I guarantee she at least make it to the top 3.

    Comment by Jane – April 8, 2011 08:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Lauren is going to win this season, because she appeals to the largest section of the voting audience. She’s young, attractive, has a great voice, can do country, ballads, yet you can see her crossing over and doing pop music too. Scotty is another contender, but he appeals to one specific audience, the country music fans, and Lauren will split or at least take some of that vote if it comes down to the two of them. Haley has the growl, but she’ll need more to win, Stefano is in the bottom too much, Jacob is a bit off-putting with his overly dramatic facial expressions. I haven’t watched many of James Durbin’s performances, so I may be missing something there. I would say Paul McDonald has a shot too, because guys with guitars have won for the past two years, but I think he skews older. Oh, and Casey, but I think it will be hard to get past the memory of needing the save to stay in the competition.

    Of course, now that I’ve given Lauren my vote of confidence, the fates will punish me for my hubris and take her out of the competition at fourth.

    Comment by dan – April 8, 2011 09:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I looked at the vote totals on Dial Idol yesterday. Now I’m not a fan of the Dial Idol score, but the vote totals can give a lot insight into what’s going on. They nailed the B3 of Stefano, Jacob & Pia. I honestly didn’t want to believe Pia was in the B3, but there she sat. Guess where Lauren sat? Just a hair above Pia, with Haley just a hair above Lauren. The top 4? Paul, Scotty, James, & Casey. Very likely we’ll see Lauren make her first trip to the B3 this week. Haley may join her. Your girl isn’t going to make it to the top 4. Neither is Haley. But I’m okay with that. I think it needs to happen. ‘Cuz the voting system is a sham.

      Comment by GingerSnap – April 9, 2011 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just re-watched the last few minutes of the Rocky Horror Elimination show and noticed:

    1) Haley could not keep the snarky delight off of her face over Pia’s ouster

    2) James placed a comforting, big-brother arm around Stefano throughout Pia’s farewell song. Quite touching.

    3) I call BS on the “Shocked reactions” of the ‘judges.’ Actors they are not. They knew ahead of time that Pia was leaving.

    Comment by Kris Fan – April 8, 2011 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m no Haley fan, but I seriously doubt she was delighted at Pia’s ouster, unless she is a total moron. If I was a female in the competition, I would be shaking in my boots that another female was eliminated, even if she was a huge threat. All of America is talking about it; I find it really hard to believe that the contestants haven’t also noticed that only females are gong home.

      Comment by Eolra – April 8, 2011 11:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Regardless, I saw the same thing. At the same time that Lauren was sobbing.

        Comment by GingerSnap – April 9, 2011 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t care if she stayed or left, so I didn’t vote for her. I’m not about to spend my time voting for “deserving” contestants. I vote for The contestants who inspire me, whose performance and personality make me happy. I’m selfish and capricious like that.

    Comment by Abby – April 8, 2011 10:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While some responsibility for this absurd result can be pointed in the direction of all the parties in your list, Michael, it really comes down to a voting model at fault. It’s time to change how the voting is done. Nigel is plenty used to the “So You Think You Can Dance” formula, where the audience votes in the bottom three, but the judges get the final say-so in terms of which of the bottom three goes home. That’s the simplest solution to this turn of events that was so disappointing to so many.

    Comment by garrisonsf – April 8, 2011 10:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While some responsibility for this absurd result can be pointed in the direction of all the parties in your list, Michael, it really comes down to a voting model at fault. It’s time to change how the voting is done. Nigel is plenty used to the “So You Think You Can Dance” formula, where the audience votes in the bottom three, but the judges get the final say-so in terms of which of the bottom three goes home. That’s the simplest solution to this turn of events that was so disappointing to so many.

    Comment by garrisonsf – April 8, 2011 10:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She is technically excellent but for me she was the most boring of the contestants left in the competition.
    I am thrilled that she was the one voted off.

    Comment by catherine – April 8, 2011 11:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, I think that Pia probably was, and is, capable of a lot more – potential for some great performances to come. And yes, it’s a bit of a shame that we don’t get to see what else might be in her bag of tricks – but really, that’s the rub of the show isn’t it? You can’t wait too long to pull out those tricks, or your voters will get bored and complacent. She pigeon-holed herself by singing too similar songs and styles too early, and people tuned out; you’ve really got to bring your A-game each and every week. It’s a delicate balance – America may go for it 2, 3, 4 times in a row, then the next time BOOM, it’s boring and you’re out. You can’t wait for that moment before you change it up, you have to keep surprising people. There are some other contestants that could learn from this ouster before it’s too late for them too. The judges aren’t doing anyone any favors either – these kids need to be challenged to reach their full potential. Blowing sugar up their butts accomplishes nothing and makes for bad TV to boot.

    Comment by Eolra – April 8, 2011 11:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • good for you, slezak! is this what you call karma?! yur head is spinning so wild yur so confuse on whose to blame. you bet againts thia week after week and finally got your wish only to find your pia to be the next one out! lol. at least when thia/namia got the boot there were 55 million voters, they didnt even mentioned how many voted last night the numbers must have been horrible. and pia got voted off in a night that has 10% less rating from the week before!!

    Comment by H – April 8, 2011 11:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tell you the truth Slezak I was more shocked and dissapointed with the early oustings last year of Katelynn, Lilly, Didi, and Siobahn. And Carly Smithson in Season seven. All of which I found more likeable and more interesting than Pia. Sorry brother but America doesn’t have to love Sappy ballads just because you do. Yes she was better then Lusk and Stefano but ultimately she wasn’t competing with them. She was competing with Haley for the fans that like the female singers and Haley outshined her in personality, performance, and was vocally nearly as good and in my oipinion better then Pia. Plus Pia came off arrogant like there was no way she could be in the bottom three. Lusk survived because he is in a genre all his own. No one else is doing gospel. Stfano has the young girls and underdog status.

    But here’s a theory I have as well. Pia pissed off Nigel by breaking a cardinal rule. You can’t tell America what song you are going to sing a week in advance. I think it’s highly possible she was simply fired from the show because of it and really didn’t get the lowest votes. There’s a very interesting moment in one of her interviews where she is asked what song she is going to sing next week. She says the name of a song from West Side Story then quickly asks someone off camera “Am I allowed to say that?”. It seemed to me like she was told that saying what song she was yelled at by the producers. Not only that but she wasn’t listening to any of the producers which leads me to believe she had a Diva attitude back stage. ANd this may have led Nigel to stage a Shocking exit to garner interest. HE probably knew she was in the bottom four or five and had no chance of winning anyway. IT’s going to be either Scotty and James or Scotty and Casey in the finals.

    Comment by Jason S. – April 8, 2011 11:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Based on personality alone, Pia was one of my absolute favorites! Does everything on AI need to be loud to come across?

    Comment by Lali – April 9, 2011 01:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Pia is humble, which is a very attractive quality. Anyway, when I’m listening to my Ipod, I don’t much give a rip what the singer’s personality is like. Just their singing.

      Comment by Crystal Fan – April 9, 2011 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Personality?? What Personality?

      Comment by CMC – April 12, 2011 05:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • remind me again why they do not release how many votes a contestant receives? Thank you

    Comment by ER – April 9, 2011 01:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nigel is now saying Pia was never a frontrunner in terms of vote totals. There needs to be a connection between singer and audience and, as shallow as it sounds, being boring and wearing unflattering frocks don’t help. I personally did not find Pia boring, but apparently many viewr-voters do. I can admit that, although her vocals were superior, her performances were just not memorable enough for me to download/purchase and the song choices were just meh. The Celine Dion listeners probably aren’t the ones staying up late on Wednesday nights dialing/texting/moe-clicking. Pia just didn’t compete in the way one needs to in order to make it to the Top Five. Sorry.

    Comment by Paisley Q – April 9, 2011 02:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • EDIT: mouse-clicking

      Comment by Paisley Quinn – April 9, 2011 02:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • New conspiracy theory: does everyone notice that around this time every year as the results start to get more predictable and the ratings start to dip! (5% last week, 10% this week) there is always a shocking elimination! (Michael johns, Constantine, Didi Benami, Jennifer Hudson)! I don’t think she got lowest vote total but was the sacrificial lamb to stop ratings drop during this lull in the season! There will probably be another shocker in top 6 ( Carly, Siobahn)! if the ratings improve next week Nigel is an evil genius!

    Comment by Jason S. – April 9, 2011 02:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TO THE SCOTTY HATERS:

    While you all (including you, Slezoid) are hating on Scotty, he’s still the most popular contestant and will win this whole thing and there’s absolutely NOTHING your b!tching can do about it.

    *He often leads among the social networks for the most number of followers among the contestants. Casey only gains tons of followers when he’s hospitalized. Again. Pia has only gained because of her booting. Scotty has actually had to earn his followers.

    *He receives the most fan mail and attention.

    *His was the *only* performance this week that MTV gave an “EXCELLENT” score to.

    *HE IS YOUR NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!!!

    Yes he is White. Yes he plays guitar. Yes he is Christian. Yes he is country. There’s NOTHING negative about these things.

    And I am proud to call myself a fan of this fine young man.

    Comment by GucciClad – April 9, 2011 04:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There’s nothing wrong with liking Scotty because he’s White and plays a guitar and is Christian and country. Those aren’t bad things, but he will ultimately lose because of them, because he appeals to a specific audience, which for now is garnering him the most votes. But as the competition goes on and contestants drop out, the people who voted for them are going to vote for someone else, and it might not be Scotty. He has a specific appeal, and that isn’t necessarily going to pull the people who voted for Pia or Jacob or Stefano.

      The big question will be, when he finally has to perform something that isn’t country, will he be able to do it?

      Scotty will probably have an extremely successful career as a country recording artist. But his appeal is too specific to win Idol. Sorry.

      Comment by Dan – April 9, 2011 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t know if his appeal is all THAT specific honestly. I live in the middle of Canada, I don’t listen to country music, I’m not a tween or a sparkle cow, and I’m not religious, and I still find him very appealing. Though I can’t vote since I don’t live in the US, there must be others like me. Not convinced he’ll win, but I’m not convinced he won’t either.

        Comment by Eolra – April 9, 2011 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show really didn’t give viewers much when it came to Pia besides her pipes. i know she was a makeup artist and she’s very pretty but not much else. i know scotty can shoot a basketball, james loves wrestling, casey has stomach issues, lauren is clumsy, haley can’t apply lipstick, jacob loves him some mary j. blidge, paul loves crest whitestrips, and stefano..uh well.. yeah he should have gone home.. pia only got time to be pretty and sound beautiful and needed some kind of idol push to prove to the world she was also interesting and human. i’ve seen a lot of boring and robotic comments about her so i really think edit had a lot to do with it. i think she’ll do good regardless with that voice but she really should have outlasted jacob and stefano at the very least.

    Comment by nichole – April 9, 2011 04:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They let her roll around with James and Paul during that wrestling/pillow fight segment. That was Operation Pia: Look She Has Personality!

      Comment by Brittany – April 10, 2011 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t vote for Pia because I felt she was a lock for the top three. Instead, I used my vote to keep someone else in the competition that I felt was vulnerable. Perhaps a lot of others did the same thing and Pia ended up getting very few votes because of it.

    Comment by Scott – April 9, 2011 05:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t vote for Pia. Honestly I didn’t beieve I needed to. Her perforance rocked. Her mash potato suit (thanks Slezak for identifying what was going on with the outfit)/ and ultra high heels were uncomforable to watch her rock her performance in but she brought it home anyway; her song choice and performance were fantanstic. Afterwards, the judges, recognizing Pia’s talent gave her one of the few constructive critiques of the night. Once doens’t give that knd of critiique unless they sinecerly believe that and indiidual will take it to another level. For example, who could forget at all that crappy performances that received undeserved praise; the judges, perhaps its a part of the game, have to keep the show going on some level. This season’s Idol, it appears olny when one blows a peformancer will the judges provide ambigous praise because they havet nothing positive or constructive to say. (MAYBE THEY’RE JUST FOLLOWING THE MOTHER LITHGOW’S ADVICE: If you have nothing good to say then perhaps it’s best not saY IT ALL). Ultimately there have to be contestants that have alrady become the next AI spotlight start, please let it not be Scotty; kick him off American and send him to Nashville where he belongs) That said, I do believe all of the contestantts should start sporing crosses also to appeal to that special audience. Anyhow, how America responded to the judeges’ ciritique is anyone’s guess. But are they influenced by what the judges say. In a different contect, remmber, this this is still the country where a signifant portion of the population believes our President was born out of the country because of what someone said. (excuse the digression) I couldn’t expect this to be any differnent on Idol. Anyhow, the judeges, saw and recognized Pia’s talent and each wek they simply were offering her way in which she could improve her performances on what had been consistently outstanding performances week after week. This week was no different and in past idol days a very common practice. What is different, however, is that the judges at no time consistently offerend the sma type of crrituiqu to Paul, Jacob, Stefano, James, Luaren, the list goes on…and if you recall when they critiques our girl Haley everytime she was in the bottom three. (To be transparent here, I votd for Haley, as the long standing underdog, thus I beieve she need all the support she could get,) But Pia? It never enven crossedmy mind that Pia needed any support. Christian Slater’s doughter sign confirmed who here favorites were because every Weds. night Pia brought it home. . So what do I believe the problem is with Pia. Absolutely. She is hot. She threathen all the Idowans, wtith lack, style, pose, sophisication, and an amazing voice wih an overall sex appeal, that the double wide grocery shopping Americans will never feel comforttabl with; Talent, Looks, and incredible sex appeal are threaten to indivduals, who’s boyfriends sns aspocses also watch the show. She also doesn’t have the certain chromosone that maes her a boy. What this says about Idol, on th onehand, it is clear that the judges need to step ut their game. Secondly, that as the best talent is sent home for reasons that are based on immature voting sytles,t the peple votiing are not going to buy the albumes, and that the show’s credibilty is at a major crossroads. How the producers wish to proceed with the buring pianos, fire works and throngs of girls a the end fo a performance arel clearly predicaomge what road the Idol producers have choses to take, at this thime. I just hope they remember this is Show Business and not Show Fun and the the last several seasonls of Sun Fun Idol winners have been anything but a business success story. Ultimately hurting the Francise. Heck, mabeu they should drop American Idol and call it Aerocam Boy because that’s all they seem to be producig.

    Comment by Doug – April 9, 2011 05:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mr. Slezak,
    You should add the option to blame it on Gwen Stefani’s clothing. I mean, how the hell did anyone expect Pia to shine wearing THAT?

    Comment by Kiki – April 9, 2011 05:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree with you !
      What Gwen Stefani did to those girls was horrendous.
      Perfoming at the top of your game is hard enough but doing dressed like a circus clown is just horrible.
      Those outfits were ACTUALLY a DISTRACTION they were so bad.

      Comment by Laurel – April 9, 2011 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No kidding! When I got a load of that hideous outfit Pia was wearing, I thought, ‘They’re intentionally trying to sabotage Pia.’

      Comment by Sack-o-Spuds – April 9, 2011 06:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ok so the judges say at the end of the show to “vote for your favorite to make sure that they are back the following week”. Ummm well I guess America voted for their fave and it was not Pia. Pretty simple.

    Comment by misstaken – April 9, 2011 06:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hesitate to make a sports analogy here… but American Idol is similar to the BCS in college football… both of their jobs are to crown a champion, not make sure the rest of the top 12 go home in some deserved, proper order. Pia made the tour and got the $100K (or whatever prize goes along with it). If you believe most of the postings around the internet, she wasn’t going to take the confetti shower at the Nokia. So what travesty has really occurred here? Jacob and Stefano get two more weeks than Pia? So what? There’s only a handful of contestants who have the fanbases to go all the way and they’re all still in it. In fact those three have yet to be in the bottom 3, if that’s any indication.

    Comment by TV Exec – April 9, 2011 06:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What bugs me-and will continue to bug me- is the judges so called “constructive criticism” of Pia. NOBODY else did ANYTHING wrong that didn’t merit that same type of criticism? Everybody else was spot on in their performances? No way! Honestly- I never would have noticed that Stefano closed his eyes when he sang unless they pointed it out.

    Casey started off well this week and then lost steam halfway through, James was screaming (again), Lauren, at 16, should not have been singing about what a “Natural Woman” feels like (that’s just wrong)- but all they got was praise. I guess being a great technical singer is not good enough…..

    Comment by killercub618 – April 9, 2011 06:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t see how the judges can be blamed for Pia’s early dismissal. They consistently praised her and the advice they gave her to mix it up more was softened by their praise for her vocal talent. I think so many people thought she was clearly safe that didn’t bother to vote for her. I also don’t see how you can blame Pia. I’m in the Pia is boring camp but this week I thought she had the best vocal. No, I didn’t vote for her so I can only blame myself. I wonder if all the people who are crying foul voted for her. I’m guessing that they did not.

    Comment by Chris – April 9, 2011 06:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish the judges wouldn’t have overly praised so so singers. That’s really the doom right there. They had so much guts during pretaped auditions and Hollywood week. Now what would have been wrong with telling Lauren’t that “Natural Woman” was not her song? Why couldn’t you tell the deep voiced kid that you didn’t really switch it up, you just chose one of Elvis’ most countrified songs. Jacob, that was rude what you said about the fans not looking in the mirror, you needed to look before you wore all of that blaring white. LOL

    Comment by BJohnson – April 9, 2011 06:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • American Idol Singing Competition 2010 ended this week. The Idol “System” took the strongest singer in a singing competition who was also blessed with incredible looks and an unassuming personality and gave middle America and NYC (the #1 media market) the middle finger. Here’s hoping they reconsider or that middle America and NYC gives the finger right back in the form of lower ratings. I wish the remaining contestants all the best of luck as the Lee Dewyze Annual Texting Competition and Barbeque commences this Wednesday.

    Comment by golferguy – April 9, 2011 06:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @golferguy – still dabbing little tears from my eyes from laughing so hard.

      Comment by Suncatcher – April 9, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pia’s vocals were excellent, but let’s get real, she is not a superstar and was never going to win. She can have a great career as an on-pitch backup singer, but America is not looking for the next Celine Dion……because Pia is not anywhere near as good as Celine Dion in the first place. Her rendition of “…Mountain High” this week was good, but frankly, paled in comparison to Amber Riley’s version earlier this year on “Glee.” While I liked Pia, as I was hearing her sing on Wednesday night, all I could think was, “No where near as good as Mercedes on ‘Glee’.”

    Comment by Rob R – April 9, 2011 06:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the judges are going to be shocked that Pia went home and Paul stayed, we should have been able to know that in advance by their comments on the performances. They fell into the trap that is sweeping America…everything can’t be amazing and awesome.

    Comment by Ralph – April 9, 2011 06:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OK…maybe Pia’s presentation was boring/dull/predictable….whatever..BUT…one of the ideas behind Idol is to grow as an artist. NO ONE gives the contestants the appropriate feedback to improve or grow. If everything they do is “wonderful” “fabulous” “incredible” where’s the incentive to change?? Idol needs new judges or at least they need a HUGE push to actually JUDGE THE CONTESTANTS. So far..they are idiots.

    Comment by Karen – April 9, 2011 06:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nigel can say anything he wants because they never show us the votes. She has the 3rd biggest fanbase on idol only behind Scotty and James so maybe she wasnt THE top runner but I guarantee she was one of them each week and you dont go from that to last in one week especially at top 9. They will never convince me and a lot more than me that something didnt happen with the voting system. I text my votes and I could always get a text out in like 3 seconds. They were taking a full 10 to 15 seconds to be sent on Wednesday night. Where I usually get out close to 2000 votes a week I only got out 736. Another member of the Pia club was saying on every 5th call it was going to another contestant. There was major problems in the voting system and I think Nigel knows there were but now he doesnt know what to do so he comes out with this BS story on MJblog. Its obvious by the outcry on twitter that Pia had a large number of fans so dont hand me a line of BS. They had a similar problem in a past season but they caught it before the results and didnt eliminate anyone that night. I say bring Pia back and have a double elimination next week. Nigel knows the backlash the show is going to get next week with the numbers of people who are not going to turn it on to voice their opinion on this matter so hes coming out with any story he can dream up. Fix this and make it right by Pia Nigel cause the show is going to suffer next week you can take that to the bank. This is the most unfair thing thats ever been done to a contestant and you know it!!

    Comment by Ray – April 9, 2011 07:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am American Woman. I will not vote for black people, yellow people, brown people or any combination thereof with white people. I will not vote for ugly women, I will not vote for beautiful women. I will not vote for sexy women, or old women or women that are too young. I will not vote for stiff women or loose women, heavy women or too skinny women, big breasted or flat chested women; underdressed women or overdressed women, poorly dressed or too well-dressed woman,, rich women or poor women, overeducated women or undereducated women, accomplished women or undeserving women. I will not vote for old men, too young men, fat men or thin men, gay men or uptight straight men, short men or too tall men, ugly men or too handsome men, bald men or men with product, rocker men or balladeer men, sexy men or asexual me, overeducated or undereducated men, muscle bound men or men who don’t care for their bodies, crude men or too polite men. I will not vote for men with southern twangs or city dialects. I will not vote for religious men or irreligious men, men from bad families and too good families, men with guitars and men without guitars, men who wear flowers and men who won’t;okay, just about any men. As a matter or fact, I have the vaprs all the time, so I hope you don’t let me vote at all! Isn’t this silly?

    Comment by Americanwoman – April 9, 2011 07:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • American Idol is a reality show, and as such, relies on dramatic and humorous situations to gain ratings. Every season we have a “shocking result” featuring the seemingly premature ouster of a contestant. The humorous situations are contrived by the producers. Think the James Durbin wrestling bit this season and the Gokey/Allison cake episode from season eight.

    We shouldn’t be surprised by this “shocking result” any more than we were with the many that preceded it. I enjoy American Idol but take it for what it is – a cheesy reality show. I enjoy it for those “wow moments” such as Adam’s Mad World and Crystal’s Me and My Bobby McGee. The contrived drama, blatant commercialism, and usually horrible group numbers are something I suffer through to get to the good stuff.

    The producers rely on outrage and controversy to keep the show interesting. Yes, I find it annoying but am not shocked to see the supremely gifted Pia leave before a number of lesser contestants. If I had to guess, I’d bet the producers are hoping for a Scotty/James finale. This would be perfect for the reality show genre – rock ‘n roller versus sweet country boy. Just think about how they’d spin that into a dramatic conclusion to season 10.

    Comment by Cindy – April 9, 2011 07:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I get upset with these results because I keep thinking American Idol is a singing competition. Pia’s ouster was another reminder that singing isn’t why people vote. They vote for people they can relate to and they majority of voters, most of whom are female, didn’t relate to Pia. She was the best technical vocalist this season– she has a strong voice, excellent range and she hit more notes accurately than any of the other contestants. Many female voters don’t care so much about that. They want a cute guy they would want to date or a personable girl they can relate to. People didn’t know who Pia was, which was the producers fault. She also sang in a style that some people don’t appreciate, comparing her to Celine Dion like that is an insult. She was hands down my favorite because my biggest priority is “who is the best vocalist”. I loved her voice and she just blew me away. However in an age where “Glee” is the biggest act going– actors who cannot sing without auto-tune and studio production– image is everything and vocal talent is unnecessary.

    Comment by GSOgymrat – April 9, 2011 07:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the audience is young, if the majority of the voters are young, if the point is to bring out a performer who’s going to appeal to audiences in the future, then Pia wasn’t it. Everything about her was retro – from the hair, the outfits, the song choices, the style of performing – and it wasn’t the kind of retro that’s about a young person discovering the past and making it her own, Pia really looked stuck in the past. Every week I was hoping she’d bust out in some way – like cut her hair short or wear something new and edgy or old and grungy, something that would be a sharp contrast to her power ballads, something interesting, anything interesting.

    Comment by Eurydice – April 9, 2011 08:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry but I couldn’t vote in your poll because there were no answers that suited me. I personally wasn’t surprised or disappointed that Pia got voted off since out of all the contestants, she was by far the least interesting or dynamic on and off stage. Having a voice is one thing, connecting to the audience is another.

    Comment by mc – April 9, 2011 08:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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