Idoloonies: Making Sense of Pia's Exit, Producer Tricks, Voting Flaws, and Judges' Guilt on Idol

It was the shock boot heard ’round the world: When Pia Toscano was sent to a ninth place finish on season 10 of American Idol, the bulk of the Idoloonie Nation — David Cook, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, and even Tom Hanks included — shook their fists and shouted “Why the Face?”

In the wake of the New York-based balladeer’s exit, my cohost (Season 8 Idol finalist Alexis Grace) and I sat down to do a post-mortem on the sad, surprising, and sometimes rage-inducing proceedings during Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week. On our agenda? Assigning blame to the show’s pass-the-buck panel of judges, manipulative producers, and possibly broken voting system. We also dish which singers should’ve been at risk to make Pia safe, whether or not season 10 is still worth tuning in for, and which male contenders have gotten a leg up from Nigel Lythgoe & Co. Plus, there are special guest appearances by the Power Puff Girls, Buffy & Friends, and even some key NBC sitcom characters.

Press play below on all three parts of our latest episode, head to the comments to share your own thoughts and theories on Pia’s exit, and for all my Idol ridiculata — including an instant alert the minute my exit interview with Pia goes live — follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Vetle says:

    This season has certainly caught interest in Norway. We’ve had articles about both Pia Toscano and Chris Medina. Chris Medina is actually coming to a festival in Norway, to perform.

    • Rock Golf says:

      (Pun intended.)

    • the real wendy says:

      I agree that the judges are rendering themselves obsolete this year. Mr. Slezak, what happened to that cool sunnyside up vase from last week? It had me mesmerized. Candle o-so-boring.

  2. Vetle says:

    Also, I loved the use of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just started watching it from scratch a few days ago!

    • G says:

      Yes, I LOVED your use of Buffy’s musical episode, “Once more with feeling.” One of the best episodes ever. Thanks, Slezak.

      I hope that Casey and Hayely keep this season interesting.
      I liked Stephano A LOT from his wild card performance. He really wowed us, but has yet to do it again at that level since. His song choices have been poor and where’s his fire now?

      Jacob Lusk is talented, but I don’t think he’ll win, and his attitude needs an adjustment.

      I like James a lot, but the comparisons to Adam Lambert are hurting him, and he is not at that professional caliber, but he has a ton of energy, and I could see him front his own Gun & Roses- esque band.
      To me, he sounds more like Axl Rose than Adam. He needs to stay true to his rock roots and he could still be successful, but I don’t think he’ll win this either.

      Casey is popular, and musical, but I don’t think he has the voice to really win, either… but we could have a few really interesting and awesome performances from him— His studio version of “Your song” was amazing…. he brings you back to a jazzy era– he reminded me of Van Morrison singing Moondance… When he plays rock, it comes across as inauthentic.

      Hayley is growing in popularity, but her performances are still kinda sloppy and she has the voice, but her growling is still too much, and her musical genre style are still too vague for me to really see her successful. Is she

      Lauren is clearly a country/pop singer, and she is uber talented, but is she too immature and annoying?

      Scotty is young also, but speaks and sings like he’s much older. His cocky side crooked neck though is grating on me, as well…, but his last performance of that Elvis songs was amazing. If he steps up his performances and chooses relatable songs, he could stay in the running.

      I hope it’s a Hayley, Lauren, Scotty for final 3.

    • Valerie says:

      I miss Buffy… and Pia !

      • kellybelly says:

        I soooo miss Buffy. I’m pulling out the dvd’s tomorrow to watch again. And listen to the musical on my ipod. Ahhhh, buffy soothes the soul, when tv had good stuff to watch.

  3. Valentin says:

    It isn’t teenage girls Slezak, its their mother.

    Ratings show that the young people have deserted idol, when they were massive amount of youn girls, they votes for the people they identified with (Carrie, Kelly, Jordin), it’s not the case with older women

    • Catherine says:

      I doubt that teens would vote for Pia, on the contrary, her diva style is the likely to appeal to older women the most.

      • Owen says:

        Pia being voted off isn’t the problem. Really. She’s just a sympton. There are so many theories as to why, but the real problem is that there are only two girls left. Same thing as last year. Girls can’t make it on Idol anymore, Nigel has said Pia wasn’t even a frontrunner. Look, I’m sure even the Idol producers are concerned about this. They would love another Kelly or Carrie. They sell records and that recharges the Idol franchise. But this is an odd, democratic problem that might just be unfixable. It’ll happen on X Factor (the last two Brit versions have been won by guys) and I’m not sure changing voting strategies will work. An “all girl” edition? The way people seem to vote, it appears that would be a ratings disaster. Maybe all we can hope for is for six girls to get exposure on national TV before they’re voted off for the lesser eventual male winner.

        • nich says:

          I have to agree. I’m mad Pia is gone because I’m a Pia fan but I’m even madder because it’s been girl after girl after girl. Yes some of those girls weren’t good and some of them weren’t going to win but the same could be said for half the guys and yet none of the guys went anywhere and when one should have, he was saved. For what? For him to not take the competition seriously? Even Matt Giraurd and Big Mike (two other guys that were saved hmmm) took their second chance a little more seriously where as Casey seems to be treating it as lark.

          Naima wasn’t going to win sure but she gave interesting and entertaining performances, the same as supposedly Paul and Casey do and yet she just *had* to go because she was “awful”.

          I do feel like while everyone gets the same “you’re great/beautiful” from the judges they are much harder on the stronger females than they are on the worst guys.

          The girls have been decimated on this show and there are always “good” reasons for why, supposedly. But you mean to tell me that Haley and Lauren are the one females worth holding their own against all the guys?

        • Anna says:

          A male was voted out. The judges saved him. If they had done the right thing and let him go; only one girl would have ben voted off the following week. The girl who stayed might still be with us, or she might have gone home instead of Pia. Perhaps the judges would then use the svae on either Naimia or Pia.

          • Faz says:

            Maybe if Pia had been a little better, and Naima had been a lot better . . .

          • RTW says:

            Not sure I totally agree. As a reminder, it’s called the “Judge’s Save” and not “America’s Save”; it’s the panel’s right to save or boot whomever, not us. But the problem lies before the save as Michael pointed out. If the judges did their job and pointed out the obvious flaws in the men’s earlier performances, I GUARANTEE Idol would have been a completely different show. Somewhere, Simon is laughing (that somewhere is probably on The X-factor set).

        • Christina says:

          Idol’s big problem is the girl problem. For the past three seasons have been dominated by guys in the finals. If Pia had of been on pre season 7 she would not have gone home before the top 6, no way. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Haley or Lauren got cut this week. The voting has changed its trends. Who knows if its teenage girls or housewives doing this, it doesn’t matter cause whoever it is isn’t voting for the girls. It’s kind of ironic though since the itunes chart has been dominated by females for most of the past year.

          • Fernando says:

            What’s with all the hate toward “housewives”? I don’t think I even know any “housewives.” Where do people get the idea that middle-aged women are voting based on crushes on teenage boys? Pia was a dull performer, despite her lovely voice. Also, people might have thought she was safe, and focused their votes on other contestants. Commenters are saying the show is sexist, then turning around and blaming women for that — even though no one has seen a demographic breakdown of the votes. Not to sound like Jacob, but look in the mirror, people.

        • flower says:

          Kelly had style from the beginning. She had spunk. You remembered her from her initial audition. And when she made it to the studio (top 30, I think), it got noticed by everyone. I remember Simon (who did not like her at that stage) said he got phone calls from people asking about her. There was a spark in her singing that made you root for her. There is something missing from Pia’s singing. As she was singing that Tina Turner song, I just kept on thinking about how that song was so much more fun to listen to on Glee. That song has a manic energy that Pia’s version was missing. That song needed attitude and movement. Pia’s version was just vocal olympics. I didn’t “feel” the song. Can you imagine what Kelly would have done with that song? Imagine how much spunk (and fun) she would have put into that song and you realize why Pia went home.

          • Karen says:

            Kelly definitely HAD it. The problem is these AI producers seems bias toward the male contestants and the sob story and all that sh*t this year. How can you possibly relate to Pia whose audition wasn’t even shown compare that to Lauren deemed as “the ONE” and even Chris Medina and his fiance. Considering Pia flew under the radar she must have been GREAT. Instead of getting the attention through hype and sob background stories she made her singing the center of attention. Her “I’ll Stand By You” performance is what catapulted her into the top 13. NOT one of those contestants made a testament with their vocal abilities NOT ONE.

          • mrclean says:

            I agree…except that we never saw Kelly’s audition until the finale.

      • allie says:

        I’m 42 with kids. I have voted for Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Ruben, Bo, Cookie, Lambert, & Bowersox. This season I do not have a favorite so I vote based on my fav performance. Casey, Naima, Pia and Paul have gotten my votes. I no longer really enjoy Paul or Casey so I am not sure who I will vote for again. Pretty sure I won’t buy anyone’s CD. I have a life so I don’t vote more than a few times for anyone and I do not know a single woman who votes anymore than I do – in fact, most of my friends who used to watch the show don’t anymore.

        • Me Too says:

          To Allie, I’m the same age with kids and voted for the same people you listed. This year I don’t have a favorite and when I’ve voted it’s been soley for performance that week. I liked Jacob the week he sang You’re All I Need to Get By. His other performances have been a turn off for me. Now with his diva ‘tude I doubt I will vote for him. I can’t see myself rooting for any of the remaining candidates. I wasn’t a Pia fan, but no way did she deserve to get booted so soon. I think it’s going to be baby lock them doors Scotty and 16 year old Lauren in the finals with Scotty winning.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Check out VFTW. They are taking credit for getting Pia voted off by throwing votes to Paul. They are also highlighting a YouTube video of a teenage girl and her younger sister sobbing because Pia was voted off.
        I think teen girls would vote for a female singer they liked. I also think they need to see that a women with talent can succeed.

    • sneakin says:

      So who do you think the teenage girls’ mothers are voting for?

      • Valentin says:

        No idea, I’m just saying that it’s dumb to accuse teenagers when the show was crowning women after women when they represented a much bigger part of the audience.

        • Rh says:

          The key word in your sentence is “was” meaning past tense. S1-4 seemed to be about talent, who deserved to be the winner based on singing ability. After Taylor Hicks, it seems who makes better tv is getting the votes, and now for the past 3 seasons, it’s who is cute and good tv. Who is more likely to vote online via a socail networking site? Who is more likely to have 3 hours to waste dialing?

          Some stats: in the past 3 years, women have been outnumbered by men in the top 10 and only 1 girl has made top 4 (s8-s9 only 1 girl made top 2), and s80s9 the first voted off was female.

      • Michelle says:

        Well, I am the “mom” of teenage boys and this season, I don’t see anything closely resembling cougar-bait, let me tell you. Paul sucks – sorry. I had been voting for Pia, Haley, and Naima in the beginning, and threw a few votes to Casey and Jacob when I liked their performances. But the power voting by others overwhelms me – I don’t have the time to keep texting for 2 straight hours. So, I’ve given up!

      • karenb says:

        Show me the stats! Pure speculation on who is voting for who! Show me the proof already. How the HE&%^% does any one know who I’m voting for??
        And for the record-I don’t believe for a second any of Ryan’s claims as to how many million, gazillion votes come in on any given week. Again, more producer manipulation.

      • Serena says:

        We moms are too busy stanning Adam Lambert to vote or have any interest in the newbies. Adam’s a full time job, a great, fun job, but wow, the boy can keep you busy. My teens aren’t voting this year, they like James, but know he’s no Adam, their words, not mine, so just listen, don’t vote. They liked Pia but thought she was a little boring. They’re not Haley fans but think she has a good voice. Paul confuses them, Stefano and Jacob don’t have the hook they need, and Casey they just don’t like. Did I forget anyone?
        We are a household of women, poor dad, who compare everyone to Adam, which means they will all come out on the short end.

    • Fjóla says:

      what exactly do you consider to be “older” women? I’m no teenager, but I don’t consider myself anywhere near the definition of an older woman.

      But I agree with Slezak, the voting system needs to change. The percentage of votes a contestant gets does in no way reflect how their album will sell once Idol is over. If a 14yr old girl votes 3,000 times for a contestant she’s still only going to buy one copy of their CD.

      • dp says:

        older women in this case are the 40+ year old bored housewives….
        the ones that are at every concert, appearance, etc

        • Alicia says:

          Ah, maybe I missed a change in music industry — But isn’t selling cd and concert tickets kinda the whole POINT of being a performer?

          I also apparenlty missed the newly issued age limitations for enjoying music. Apparently women over 40 are not supposed to buy CDs and go to concerts? Will ITunes soon be checking to make sure that buys are “age appropirate”? Will tickmaster soon refuse to sell tickets to those deemed to be “too old” to enjoy pop music?

          Of course the older fan is more likely to pay for music as opposed to stealing it, excuse me, sharing it, with other fans so I can certainly see why the record labels want a younger fan base. And certainly, older fans aren’t as fickle as younger fans and don’t move on to the next big thing in six months so I can see why performers want to cultivate the younger fan base. Who needs all those old folks actually PAYING for music and continuing to buy concert tickets!

          After all, it’s much, much better to have a short-lived career that caters to the 14 year old because goodness knows, they never change their interests at the drop of a hat!

          • Michelle says:

            Thank you so much, Alicia, for saying this. I am an “older” female and it irks me that I am called “cougar” because I am an older woman and therefore, if I like a performer, it must be because I’m a bored housewife, sexually frustrated, and therefore not a legitimate music fan. And really, what is a cougar. Isn’t it the female version of the Dirty Old Man? Not simply an older woman. Samantha on Sex in the City would be considered a “cougar”. For all those men and younger people who pejoratively label us woman over a certain age “cougar” and deride us as if we should know our place (obviously not in the current music culture), don’t forget, you too will be this age someday. And I doubt that you will want to be placed in a box and made fun of because you refuse to act like your grandmother did in earlier centuries. This is the 21st century and woman have been known to drive, have jobs, be bosses, be mothers, and enjoy music from that same 21st century all at the same time!!

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Hey, DP, watch who you’re calling bored! I am so busy cleaning my house and doing other “housewifely” duties, chasing young guys (don’t tell the husband!), throwing darts at pictures of beautiful young woemn, and going to concerts that I have NO time for boredom.

          Why here it is, the middle of the night, and I’m busy on the computer. I guess I got bored sleeping and just woke right up!

    • Plato says:

      Why aren’t voters allowed to vote for whom they want? Because they didn’t vote for PIA, they’re wrong? This blame of teen girls and older women is ridiculous. People can vote for THEIR choices, not the consensus favorite smh.

      • Snsetblaze says:

        My sentiments exactly. Some of these comments, including Slezak’s comments, are just annoying the heck out of me. I am an older woman in my 40s and while I thought Pia had a very nice voice, it did not move me or interest me. Her song choice included cliched, treackly, boring music (except the Tina Turner song and she just did not do that song justice – the two actresses on Glee did it better). Her performance style was too pagenty and she did not listen to the judge’s advice. I would buy her album based on the song choices she made because it is likely there would be the same type of songs on the album. So I did not vote for her. I also do not listen to the judges as Steven Tyler says nothing and Randy makes no sense most of the time and very rarely offers anything insightful. JLO’s not a great singer herself so I take what she says about singing with a grain of salt (where would she be without Autotune?) when she actually offers a real critique. Most of the time, she fails to offer a critique. I also do not spend 2 hours voting. I also do not care for Lauren although Haley is growing on me (since she stopped trying to overemote and headed towards blues rock) though I haven’t voted for her yet. Most of the prior female contestants this season were just outright bad and uninteresting. There is nothing different or exciting – whereas each of the guys is different – even the ones I do not care for. I have my own mind and make my own decisions just like many in the audience. I will say, I did vote for Alexis during her season as well as some of the other females. I voted for Crystal last year. Until the herd was culled, I voted for Katherine McPhee and for Allison Iraheta. I probably would have voted for the rocker chick who was cut to put Thia Meglia in the top 24. I would have voted for Lauren Turner, Rachel Zevita or Kendra Chantelle. I would have voted for the larger African American woman who was in a trio with Jacob and Naima during Hollywood week. I guess I am more annoyed than usual because I don’t usually do long posts.

        • Lindsey says:

          I agree wholeheartedly!! I am so sick of everyone bashing the voters because Pia went home! Obviously she wasn’t America’s favorite, so what?!?! I would be highly irritated if the voting format changed. I hate the format on SYTYCD where the judges decide which of the bottom three go home! They say on that show that they are looking for “America’s Favorite Dancer” so why on earth do the judges get to have a say?? As far as I’m concerned, when the top 12 idol contestants have been chosen out of millions based totally on their singing voices then any one of them should be WORTHY of winning the show and it should be up to voters to pick a favorite. Who cares what the reason is? If people want to vote for a cute guy, or a likeable guy, or a cute/likable girl, then so be it! I vote based on whose cd I would buy, and that definitely wouldn’t have been Pia! I listen to groups like Plain White T’s, One Republic, and the like, NOT Celine or Whitney… Sorry Pia!

      • karenb says:

        Exactly. Are we women to vote for a woman on AI because people think we SHOULD?! or should we vote for the people we actually LIKE and would buy their music?! I’m sorry-just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I need to vote for one! I’m all for girl-power, but this is ridiculous!!

      • GingerSnap says:

        So why don’t we switch our political voting system to a similar system? If I can afford unlimited text-messaging, and am savy enough to set my cell phone to fire off a SMS every second for two hours, then why shouldn’t I have the ability to do that for presidential elections? Anyone think there wouldn’t be a stink raised about that?
        I know that I can send about 7200 text messages in two hours automatically. I don’t even have to watch the show – just read some online posts to find out what order they sang in and program my cell phone to do the work. As Michael said, his 20 votes each is powerless against that and his voice is not heard. WIth 7200 votes, I don’t even think I’m making an impact, just trying to make sure that my vote matters.
        BTW, I started watching DWTS again last night. I got 9 votes. But I have an online account a GSM modem on my Netbook. That gave me 27 votes. I could divy them up any way I wanted. Somehow, it felt like my voted counted, and I wasn’t preventing someone else from having their vote count.

        • Plato says:

          Are you serious? Are you comparing entertainment preferences to the seriousness of a Presidential Election? Look, despite EVERYONE’S speculation there is NO real data on who power votes, which contestants are recipients of the most power votes, and just how many ppl utilize power voting. For all we know, each contestant could be averaging around 10 votes a person and only scotty and lauren have ppl power voting for them. Unlikely, but again how does anyone know whether or not it’s true? The fact is older women and young girls are being flat out blamed and disrespected for NOT voting for someone they clearly didn’t want to and/or didn’t really like. Who are YOU or ANYONE to judge their favorites? I have no issue with the outrage, if someone was a fan of Pia, they have every right to be upset but this is getting out of hand.

          • Plato says:

            At the end of the day Pia didn’t have enough votes. She’s not the first and won’t be the last…tough sh*t

          • GingerSnap says:

            Of course I’m not serious. The voting system on Idol is ludricous. Why should one group of determined voters dictate the outcome of the show? Ryan has reported numbers as high as 55 million votes. 7200 votes is nothing. 20 votes is virtually meaningless. The ratings suggest that there aren’t. 55 million people watching. And people feel that it doesn’t matter if they vote.

    • idoloonie addict says:

      The writing has been on the wall for a few years now. If Crystal couldn’t win last year, what woman can? Season 9 women were so much more talented than the men, but with the exception of the always brilliant Crystal, did not make it very far. I do think the contestants this year are very talented, but after the debacle of Crystal not winning last year, I’ve lost my penchant for voting. I don’t blame the judges. I think they just need to go to a sytycd format.

    • Cy says:

      I agree with Valentin– the middle-aged women who make up a very solid, loyal chunk of the Idol viewership are just as much to blame for this boy-crazy voting as the teens (possibly more, since I can imagine a lot of teenaged girls looking up to a beautiful, talented young woman like Pia, while older women might find her threatening or of no interest).

      It’s DEFINITELY time to change the voting system on Idol.

    • Bailey says:

      Yeah I kind of resent the whole, “teenage girls have 3 hours to text vote for the guys”. Sure that may be true for some girls, but some of us, such as myself don’t have 3 free hours after idol to text, because we have homework, projects, essays, ect. High school classes, especially A.P. classes require a lot of work outside of school, so thanks Slezak for generalizing teenagers. And really whatsherface? “go find a boyfriend”? you sound so mature assuming that girls like me live for scotty or stefano…

      As for the Pia nonsense, she didn’t deserve to go home this early, but definitely shouldn’t have won. she was as plain as a paper bag, good voice, no personality.

      • GIngerSnap says:

        You don’t need 3 hours. You just need to program your cell phone to do it automatically. Which is why this voting system is cracked.

        • Suncatcher says:

          Why don’t we just have 1 vote per phone number or email address and level the playing field. Just because, technically, you can vote a million times a second – doesn’t make it right.

        • karenb says:

          Really? I had no idea!I better figure out how my phone can do this by tonight’s show. So I can give you all some more ammunition for the whine-fest.

    • singster says:

      I voted for Pia and I’m in my 50s. Women aren’t as catty as society makes them out to be. We can support each other too.

      • pamela says:

        I also am a woman in her 50’s. I voted for Pia each week because she had the voice and style that I enjoyed listening to. I find the other contestants either sing in a style that I’m I’m not so much a fan of (country, jazz), and some of the others do or say iratating things. I am not going to watch Idol anymore because there’s no one on there that I’m that interested in listening to anymore.

    • GM says:

      Can Michael PLEASE stop wearing so much makeup?! I’m assuming, of course, that his cheeks aren’t that naturally rosy.

    • Shawn says:

      You know, I kind of agree with this comment. I can give you that maybe teenage girls vote for the cute boy – a Kris Allen or a Stefano or a David Archuleta or what have you, but I don’t think that can be entirely used to explain the male dominance on the show. I’m pretty sure these same teenage girls are the ones who voted for Kelly and Carrie and Jordan. Obviously I’m making generalizations here, but I would think the typical teenage girl either votes for someone they can relate to (Lauren Alaina) or the cute boy (maybe).

      If this show was entirely dominated by teenage girls, that leaves us with a lot of situations that need explaining. Like David Cook over David Archuleta. Or how Syesha Mercado managed to make it the top 3 that season. Or even Lee DeWyze winning, because despite what everyone seems to think, I’m not sure I see all that many teenage girls finding him hot.

      I think it’s really just come down people voting according to whose album they would want to buy rather than pure vocal talent. And I think the reason that results in so many boys with guitars winning (or musicians in general doing better) is because it’s easier for them to show what kind of artist they want to be. The reason this show hasn’t had a viable pop artist in so long is because it’s tricky for contestants to differentiate themselves in that genre of music. It’s easy to take a pop song and change it up with the singer/songwriter vibe; it’s not so easy to take a pop song, change it up and have it remain in that genre. You do a pop song and it sounds karaoke. A contestant may want to be a singer in the vein of Katy Perry or Rihanna, but unless they’re given their own pop song with it’s own catchy hook, it’s not going to work.

  4. Jf says:

    Not “everyone ” is in shock because Pia got voted off Idol. It seems to mostly be men. She had a nice voice but would I buy a ticket to see her in concert? No and I suspect that more voters felt that way than not. But it’s nice hype for the show which I think is the point of all this.

    • Brittany says:

      I totally agree! Think about it, winners of the past seasons haven’t done well and part of that is because their albums come out in Oct/Nov when the Idol momentum has somewhat warn off. Now, we have a (controversial) contestant voted off Idol, a lot of Americans freak out and talk about it obsessively, Pia gets to go on lots of talk shows and gets a ton of publicity, they get her in the studio to release an album ASAP, and people buy it while the emotion and sympathy is high. Sounds like $$$$ for Idol to me!

    • Amy says:

      Regardless, she deserved and earned better than a 9th place finish. Would most people really buy albums for half of the people who make it to the finals?

      • nich says:

        All the comments from the Idol PTB about how Pia wasn’t going to win anyway was just crap. Who cares if she was going to win or not? I was hoping she’d make top 4. The messed up part is that she went out 9 before a lot of other people who should have gone. And if that’s the reaction from TPTB then why are we even having a competition? They know who they want to win, just pick them.

      • Lindsey says:

        I would buy albums by James, Paul, Scotty, Lauren and Haley (more than half). Definitely not Stefano, Jacob or Pia… Possibly Casey depending on the growling quotient.

    • Amy says:

      Regardless, Pia deserved and earned better than a 9th place finish. Honestly, most of us would not actually buy the majority of the finalists’ albums.

      • Suncatcher says:

        Demographics released last week following the Pia issue show that younger voters vote the most – but then they do NOT buy the Idol winner’s (nor even the top 5’s) CDs.

    • cindy says:

      I am not male. I am a straight female and I am shocked she went home. Yes, she needs to work on overcoming her nerves and moving around a bit on stage, but I will most definitely be buying a Pia Toscano album.

    • Yo says:

      I also have noticed that an inordinate number of men seem upset over Pia’s departure. It must be the Dirty Old Man vote.

      • karenb says:

        Baahaa!! Good one!!

      • JDM says:

        Kiss my backside!!!! I loved Pia for her fantastic voice, and yes, she is very pretty, but I’ve been married 44 yrs. and never cheated on my wife. It’s not all about sex and all that other crap, it’s all about who appeals to you in the voice department. If you’re having an uptight day, it would be very nice to put a Pia CD on and “Chil out”.

    • Cy says:

      I’m a woman and I’m shocked. Pissed to incoherence, actually (and that’s an understatement of how angry I was on results night last week. Couldn’t even comment on Slezak’s recap the next day, I was so mad–right, Slezak?).

      I may not want to take Pia to bed, but I loved her singing and looked forward to seeing her perform every week. And just from the standpoint of someone who likes to see justice done, as the far-and-away best singer on this season, PIA DESERVED TO WIN.

      So all you boy-crazy people who vote for eye candy (lol, what eye candy this season?) rather than the talented, don’t you DARE piss at us for being justly shocked and furious over Pia’s elimination. Have the grace to quietly be thankful her ouster gave your favorite guy contestant one more week for you to ogle him and let us rage.

      • sherimoonzombie says:

        You need to seriously get over yourself.

      • Lana says:

        To be honest the best eye candy was Adam and he is gay, so what am I, as an older female, going to do? Oh I know I’ll vote for the one who sings the way I like and the songs I like. Wait, that didn’t include Pia, damn it I knew being an older female was going to screw up Idol. However I did appreciate her beauty, just not her singing so I guess I don’t vote for eye candy after all. My conclusion is I vote for who I enjoyed the most. Sometimes it’s Lauren, Haley, James and so on, but mostly its Scotty because he sings the way I like even though it hurts my neck to watch him sing with his head to the side. Luckily I can enjoy his CD without a crick in my neck.

  5. Catherine says:

    Pia was overrated. She has a good voice, but she doesn’t know how to use it because she doesn’t have any artistic intuition.
    She was voted out and she deserved to.

    • dp says:

      wait, stephano has artistic intuition? lauren? (she does what she’s told). Scotty? Jacob’s caterwauling? what a stupid comment.

    • Joe says:

      Pia was leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the singers. That’s why she has a record deal instantly after getting booted. Name another Idol who finished this low and had that happen. What’s sad was that if she broke a heel on stage, thrown up on stage and had a lighting fixture fall from the sky and hit her, it would have compelled the drones at home to vote and she would have been safe. That’s how depressing America is. You no longer win a singing competition for being talented and great week after week. You win it for making all the morons at home feel you’re just like them. This isn’t a singing competition. It’s a popularity contest that rewards underdog mediocrity over talent.

      • Aunt Sassy says:

        Interesting – the same thing can be said about politicians. Much like I know I can’t sing so I wouldn’t buy a CD of me singing, I know I am not smart enough to run out country. However, there are millions of people out there that would vote for Sarah Palin because she’s “folksy” and people “relate” to her. This isn’t meant to be a slam against Palin – it’s just my opinion.

        • Aunt Sassy says:

          Ooops – that should read “our” country.

        • DURBINMEDIC says:

          And Obama is qualified to run a country based on what executive experience exactly? The morons who voted for O based on hope and change voted for fluff and air. Worse the man is running the country into the ground. Woman / conservative bashing Palin, who has actually run a town then a state kills me. Obama ran nothing prior to being elected president and is the most unqualified man for the job ever elected to that office. Heck, even Carter ran a farm before he was elected to the White House.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            HOORAY! Someone with a brain.

            Okay, off of politics and back to American Idol.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Actually, President Obama was a US Senator for a short time frame.

          • N says:

            Senators don’t run anything; the Senate is the negotiating, compromising branch of the government, even moreso than the House.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            @N – no argument here!

          • delightfuldi says:

            To Durbinmedic – Right — Bush had 8 years experience and still hadn’t mastered the pronunciation of the word “Nu cu lar” for nuclear. And, Obana ran the country into the ground? Wasn’t that the way he received it when he took office? Obama has brains and common sense. He’s not the one who unequivocally told us that Iraq had ‘weopans of mass destruction.’ As for Palin, sure was gov. of Alaska, DO YOU REMEMBER THAT SHE QUIT HALF WAY THROUGH HER APPOINTMENT. She was busy looking out her door to see what Russia was doing.
            Don’t use Idol as a platform to bash our President. Try a political venue for that.

    • thevisitor967 says:

      I agree. What a stupid comment. Catherine actually thinks Stefano, Paul and Jacob has more “artistic intuition” than Pia? Get real.

    • mtee says:

      Not a stupid comment at all. From the first week, Pia was not a favorite. Too many times, singers scream vs sing. She hit those notes, yes, but I feel, if you really listen, it’s more screaming than belting out the notes. There IS a difference. It’s just too many singers yell nowadays, we don’t know the difference any longer.

      I would not go to a Celine Dion concert, so I certainly wouldn’t go to Pia’s. That’s a niche I’m not into, so I never voted for her.

      I also felt, she did not show any personality while on stage. She stood there and sang.

      I was a little shocked though, since even Stefano believes he will be voted off ahead of these people. Oh, and I’m the over 40 female demographic. I don’t vote just for looks, and I’m open to all musical genres. Too bad, many “sophisticated” reviewers and fans believe country singers are too beneath them and are “one trick ponies”.

    • Jay says:

      Yeah, the more people make of Pia’s “shock boot” the more I have to roll my eyes.

      Her voice was no better than Thia’s, her stage presence was no better than Thia’s, and her song choices were marginally better at best. I recall no gasps at Thia’s elimination…that Pia’s boot is causing mass vapors is hard to take seriously.

  6. Harold Hopkins says:

    Michael, when pia was voted off – I cried. It was so emotional and so shocking to see a person with that much talent get voted off. I’m still not sure I can watch another show. I can’t sit there and vote for someone 50 times. Let’s face it – voters haven’t picked people who will go on to become great stars. Pia’s leaving is proof-positive.

    • Trish says:

      I disagree. I hated that Pia was voted off but when I listen to itunes Pia’s recordings were not my favorite. I actually loved Thia’s. I love James itunes as well. I love his performances on Idol. He might be the perfect singer but he sure entertains me and sometimes that is what America wants. No doubt Pia out sang everyone, but that is all she had. I believe everyone is allowed their opinions and btw I am NOT a teeny bopper……I am old enough to choose who I like……and I did!

  7. Midori says:

    I like how there is talk of the changing it’s rules because someone the show’s creators wanted to win didn’t. That’s lame. This isn’t Judges Idols, it’s American Idol and America has spoken!

    • Fjóla says:

      I don’t agree with that America has spoken. There is no limit on how often you can vote. This just means that the contestants who are left have a small number of fans who have three hours to spare to power vote, while talented people like Pia may have a ton of fans who only vote 1-5 times and leave it at that. Just because there are some crazy obsessive people out there who vote hundreds of times it doesn’t mean that America has spoken.
      I agree that the voting system should be changed cause the number of votes does in NOWAY reflect how successful a contestant is going to be once the competition is over.

      • nich says:

        Idol stopped caring about “America has spoken” when they created the Judges Save.

      • Midori says:

        Do you work in politics? I don’t like the voting that has happened for 10 years! Let’s change it so who I want to win wins!

        Pia’s fans can call 10000 times too, they don’t, she lost, most on.

        • Fjóla says:

          I’m not a Pia fan, even though I don’t think she deserved to be voted off this early. I just think the votes should be limited to a few votes per phone number, that way every one gets to vote for their favorite at least once and the outcome will reflect the public opinion.

          And no I’m not in politics, I’m just a poor music student from a far away country who has never known a voting system this stupid.

          • Midori says:

            I would be fine with capping the voting limit to 10 per number or something like that, but what they are talking about is having a “So you think you can dance?” system where the judges pick who is to go.

          • Fjóla says:

            I think the SYTYCD system might be good for the semi-finals but once it gets to the top 12-13 the results would depend solely on the public vote which would be limited to X number of votes per phone number.

  8. MNCyn says:

    @dizzyfeet Clearly girls can’t get thru the process. Ever think about splitting the comp? End up with girl winner & boy winner ending with final sing off?

  9. WhiteLady says:

    What can I say… I think Pia was definitely top 5 talent wise, but she didn’t connect with me emotionally. Funnily enough I connect more to growly lipstick-smeared Haley and clumsy untrained (media wise) Lauren. I never really thought Pia let us see her, her answers seemed so prepackaged!

    • WhiteLady says:

      Thanks Slezak for bringing Alexis back. What’s she up to now? And that bit of Katelyn’s goodbye almost made me choke again!

      Now going back to the present, I really liked a quote from Lauren’s package last week that I haven’t seen you comment: “I’m gaining back my confidence week by week and once I get that down my personality will come out full force”. I’m sure you read DAlton Ross over at EW saying she was his favourite girl personality-wise, we’re probably just not seeing it!

      Anyone else thinking “9 to 5” would be the perfect choice for Lauren this week?

    • dp says:

      I don’t think Pia’s answers were pre-packaged. She’s mature, confident, and composed, something that haley and lauren lack. She shouldn’t be punished for speaking like the adult that she is….

  10. boss says:

    Pia was not the winner for sure, but she should have stayed longer than the “man in the mirror” and “donald duck on helium” and not so “sexy bass”.

  11. MNCyn says:

    @dizzyfeet …. Clearly girls can’t get thru the process. Ever think about splitting the competition? End up with girl winner & boy winner leading to a final sing off? Not ideal but it IS a possible solution to the teeny bopper girls having taken over the voting process.

    • wendeeloo says:

      I like this idea. Because I think – while the younger sets votes weekly – all others who may not vote regularly tend to vote on the finale – (like I do – I voted like a tween for David Cook)

  12. GMAN says:

    The NEW rule will be called the “PIA RULE” :D

  13. Justin says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting Jacob’s irony of not singing Let’s Get It On but hip thrusting like a maniac in Man in the Mirror (inappropriate)

    • sneakin says:

      And also about Jacob: the producers edited his package. They let that comment go on air. Are they ready for him to go?
      (I know I am and have been for about four weeks!)

    • Teena says:

      Jacob reminds me of Nathan Marshall in season 8. Remember him? He always had a bandana or headband in and thought that he had all the moves. The judges stopped his group in Hollywood just as he had thrown his hand up in some wonky move. Jacob obviously thinks he has the moves and probably doesn’t think of them as sexualized, a la Michael Jackson’s crotch grabbing or something. Beyond the hip thrusting, he turned back to the stage with a sashay that would have made Tyra Banks proud. I actually like his voice, he had a very pretty face, but the moves just don’t work or sync with this preppy, pudgy, gospel singer.

  14. MNCyn says:

    YES YES YES … I said that about the fashion flaw! You’re the first one who agreed, Michael! That was a TINA song for crying out loud – on national TV – not a local talent competition. The song and the fashion just did not line up! THank you!

  15. lethargic says:

    Oh good lord. Enough about Pia. Have you EVER seen this show before? “Favorites” get booted off every year. And at this point in the season somebody’s favorite is going to get booted every week. Sorry, the person you like can’t win every single year. Get over it. Enough with the bellyaching. This broad was nothing but a second rate Celin Dion ripoff and you’re acting like The Beatles just got kicked off.

    • dp says:

      have you EVER watched idoloonies/idolatry before? because then you would know that favourites are always given some sort of a tribute on this show. You should get over yourself.

  16. Adam says:

    Get over it! I am so tired of hearing about how unfair it was that Pia got voted out! Yes, she had a great voice, but she was one of the most boring singers of the season because all she did was stand in the middle of the stage and sing ballads. To be a real entertainer you need more than a good voice. You need to be able to work the stage and engage the audience. She did neither of these things. Even when she finally did an upbeat song, she seemed so awkward as she walked slowly around the stage.

    I was actually more annoyed at Naima getting the boot because while her vocals weren’t the best, and her arrangements of some of the songs she did were train wrecks, I was legitimately interested in what she was going to do next. She experimented with arrangements and it was refreshing.

    I do agree that the boys are getting pimped more, but to be frank, they really are a lot more interesting this year anyway. Each guy is crazily different from the others and has his own style. Pia just came off as a really good Celine Dion imitator. She had great potential, she just needs to work on some things.

    The bottom line is only one person can win American Idol anyway, and Pia was never going to win (nor did she deserve to) so it really doesn’t matter. She’ll tour with everyone over the summer and make good money from that. Then, if she is as good as you guys think she is, she’ll pull a Jennifer Hudson or Chris Daughtry and succeed on her talents anyway and it won’t matter where she placed in AI.

    • MNCyn says:

      I actually agree with you about Naima, Adam. It was interesting to see what she was going to do next but part of that has to do with the TOTAL package …. the look … the style … the dance. She had flavor and stuff that supersedes just voice. There are a lot of good voices out there but very few stars. I would have loved to see a less conservative look on Pia … clothes and hair and a look that might have freed her from the operatic perfection she’d been showing. Maybe Idol should have retained Naima as a fashion consultant! :-) They ALL need improvement in various areas! How about unleashing the judges to (off camera) dig in with legitimate mentoring ideas – for all of them! OR — how about giving the celebs who are weighing in on Twitter a chance to pair up with their favorite contestant?!! EG — an Usher/Bieber relationship?! Take a look at what a professional mentor (partner) does for the celebs on DWTS!!
      Back to the bottom line on Pia — get real — she just had a million dollar ad campaign and all she had to do to get it was to be voted off too early!

    • dp says:

      I think it’s unfair to say Pia was a celine dion-imitator. why are the others not held to the same standard? I mean you could just as easily say Scotty comes across like a randy travis imitator, paul like rod stewart and james like adam, even lauren like kelly (Slezak you should have shown clips of kelly singing Natural Woman!)

      • Realist says:

        You’ve hit on the precise reason that female contestants are the first to go. Because middle-aged female voters will find any reason to justify NOT voting for them. The male contestant flaws are overlooked because they seem “interesting” (translation: someone I’d like to obsess over on Twitter/Facebook and stalk in multiple cities on the Idol tour.)

        • momwithkids says:

          Why aren’t we allowed to vote for who we want? I could be considered close to middle-aged but I love people with cool voices, and find that my favorite is a boy with easily one of the most ‘interesting’ voices and I will buy his music post-Idol. I voted for Crystal last season and Alison before that (both with ‘interesting’ voices). I found Pia to be a good singer but terribly boring and offered nothing to make me look forward to listening to her post-Idol. Moms of tweens do not have hours to vote. I only vote a few times and then actually have a life.

        • karenb says:


    • Jennine says:


      I see what u are saying about Pia and yes, she DID need to work the stage a bit more. Here is my issue with this show.

      Whay about Scotty doing more uptempo and working the stage? He only did BOTH LAST WEEK as well, and as usual he the greatest thing since Elvis. And Lauren A singing Natual Woman? She’s 16 for goodness sake and a KID!

      AND for the record, I could have done without seeing Jacob thrusts. That’s not dancing to me.

      The most ironic thing about Pia, I researched on YouTube for some more original tune from her and the sound is a current R & B sound NOT what she was singing on IDOL.

      ONly time will tell what Pia’s record will be like, but one thing for sure, I will buy it because its all about how a person cn sing for me first. The “working the stage” can come in time. Pia wasnt given much of a chance to make herself GROW as a performer. Gone too soon but Im over it. Will I vote? NEVER again unless there is an overhaul.

      • GingerSnap says:

        I’m watching Jennifer Hudson sing on DWTS right now. She hasn’t done a whole lot of moving around the stage tonight (she’s sang twice so far), but I don’t think anyone would deny her vocal talents.
        She’s sounded fantastic tonight.
        Carrie Underwood was criticized for being “wooden” during her Idol run.
        That hasn’t stopped them from having great post-Idol careers.

    • davey says:

      If a singer sings fantastic songs and has a great voice, it is totally unnecessary for them to work the stage. I just heard Judy Collins sing for an hour and half and she was totally mesmerizing because 1) her voice was beautiful and 2) her songs were all gems. And she didn’t need flimsy costumes, smoke and mirrors or autotune.

  17. LissaB says:

    Alexis Grace sounds bitter and angry. Bring back Melinda Doolittle, Slezak!

  18. Titina says:

    I am totally over Pia. Plus apparently they are going to make her record power ballads.
    Good luck selling it.

    Anyways.. RIght now CAsey is my only hope for this season. I agree with you guys he needs to bring it this week do something jazzy, I know he wants it maybe he was playing it safe with the CCR performance but he has to know it´s getting to the wire there. I personally loved it.

    Jazzy Casey we love you! Bring it tomorrow! I hope his fans continue to vote tons, if Casey leaves I am gonna cry a river.
    But I really think this competition still means a lot to him. He was just playing it a bit safe.But I have faith he will bring it tomorrow.

    • Krista says:

      Can you honestly seeing yourself buying his music NO MATTER what though?? That’s the problem with Idol now, people LOVE a contestant on Idol but they can never back it up off the show. That’s why the past couple winners haven’t done well. It’s all, “I love this contestant. They’re great!’, then the record comes out and they could care less. They just want their favorite to make it to the finale and then they abandon them. I can honestly see myself buying Pia’s music NO MATTER what, other contestants not so much.

      • nich says:

        What’s entertaining and good for ratings and whatnot on the show (Taylor) doesn’t translate into a best selling artist (Taylor).

        What Idol needs is somehow to straddle the part of Idol that’s all about entertain people on TV and getting high reactions with what will translate into a viable contemporary artist that can then go out and compete with other artists on the radio. Too often they cast the show for the first part forgetting that in the end Idol also needs to find a real artist.

      • RTW says:

        Seeing as how I bought all of Casey and Haley’s iTunes, yup, I definitely would. What can I say, I’m a fan of his renditions of old school music. However, I will say I passed on Nirvana; that’s pretty unforgivable and it kills me to admit that…there’s always one album track that people skip over! BTW, Taylor Hicks’ album was certified platinum.

      • Lizbeth says:

        I would buy a cd from Casey in a heartbeat. I am not sure I would buy any other contestant’s music Maybe Haley–will have to see what kind of music she does. I think if Lauren Turner or the tall blond girl (blanking on her name–Chantelle?)I would look into their music.
        Pia–I would not be interested it in buying.

  19. SaraK says:

    Great commentary, Mike! Love Idoloonies

  20. Skitty says:

    Another great Idoloonies Michael and Alexis too. I spread the blame for Pia to include viewers, judges, producers and Pia herself. I watched CMT Next Superstar on Friday; stellar judging. Which is funny because it is an Idol related production. Nigel’s son I think.

  21. The Wheeze says:

    P.S. Bite Me, Randy. ROFLMAO! Slezak gotta love you! =)

  22. Stephanie says:

    This season is great! I love the fact that no one is safe–talk about exciting TV! It’s almost a week later, and we’re still talking about Pia. Heck, we’re still talking about Casey’s save. I also believe that all the contestants are pretty great, so it’s definitely worth watching the season. Unlike last year, this year’s contestants are all so stylistically different and charismatic. Who’s going home next week? Who knows?! So unlike past seasons when it was so easy to guess the next elimination. Pia’s elimination made for some great TV. And now she’s getting a record deal. A win-win, if you ask me.

    • Lindsey says:

      Totally agree!! I was kind of resigned to the fact that Pia was going to win, and pretty bummed about the predictability of it! Now that she is gone I feel reenergized, like anyone could win now! Definitely makes for great tv! And she will be a big star regardless!

      • karenb says:

        I totally agee! Pia getting voted off was possibly the shot in the arm that Idol needed! $10 says the ratings are higher this week with her gone! I think things could really interesting now!!

        • Suncatcher says:

          Only reason ratings might be high this week is because people will tune in to see what Nigel and Idol do for damage control. What changes he makes this week, will determine the steep decline, or not, of viewers in the following weeks…

          People are mad. The system is broke. Fix it.

  23. Jillian says:

    The problem with blaming it on teenage girls is that this show airs on a school night. You have adults with free time as well, where’s the blame on them.

  24. Cindy says:

    You nailed it Michael. Seeing the clips of how the guys were pimped and the ladies were shown in unflattering ways makes it very clear what happened. I’d love to hear Allison’s take on this. Save the rocker chick!

    Looking forward to your interview with Pia.

  25. AngelTash says:

    Of the people left in the competition, there are only a couple I would be interested in following after Idol. I don’t expect my favorites to win, but I will keep trying to make my vote count. Alexis is right that fans need to continue their support even after the Idol journey is over.

    P.S. Love, love, LOVE the Buffy clips!!

  26. nich says:

    I wish people would stop buying into the idea that it’s teenage girls who are voting in the cute (and not so cute) guys and screwing over the ladies. It’s not. It’s their moms and their grandmas who just love those nice sweet boys and who aren’t going to vote for any women, not because they hate them out right but you know somehow all the women are boring or slutty or too much or not enough or basically not a dude.

    Also your Hayley love makes me sad. She’s outlived her time but she can’t go just yet because then there will be only one woman. She was awful this week.

    I also would love to see Melinda Doolittle come back.

    The judges aren’t needed to tell me who to vote for. They are needed to give the contestants some on-screen advice, to give voice to the things that the audience notices and want the contestants to know also (like hey Jacob don’t lecture the people who might vote for you).

    • cindy says:

      I agree with what you say that it is the mothers voting for the men. Well, I also think it could be the teenies, but the mothers (or ‘cougars’) play a very big role, I am sure.

      • nich says:

        I’ve been to a few Idol concerts (the main tour and otherwise), let me tell you, the majority is moms.

      • Yo says:

        If the mothers are so bored they are fantasizing about Idol men, then the fathers should buy a new outfit and some make-up to rekindle interest.

    • Lambkin says:

      Season 8’s older women viewers voted for Adam & Alison, and continued to support them on the Idol Tour & Adam’s GlamNation Tour. Sort of negates your premise. Nice and sweet? That’s not how we want them!

      • B.Rich says:

        Actually Adam fell into the “too much” category for most middle American house-moms, which is the least offensive way to say “gay.”

  27. ebayrae says:

    I have to disagree with Valentin. Clearly the moms of tweens are watching and voting but if we were to sit down and compare the amount of calls/texts/online votes from young girls to the votes from their moms, I am positive the tweens would come out on top. I think Alexis made a good point about the fact that tweens have more time to sit and obsessively vote for their crush while maybe college kids or twenty-somethings watch the show, maybe have a favorite but have to get back to homework, a real job or their actual significant other (yes, a real person who isn’t on TV!).

    I love how you’ve started to back up Haley. I’m liking Lauren more and more because I think she has so much potential. She might be only 16 and shows her age in her interviews but there’s something endearing to me about a girl who can fall down the stairs and laugh about it :)

  28. Reese Mitchell says:

    I’ve heard some bloggers suggesting Pia’s lose was due to some girl voters being jealous of her because she has the looks, the talent and the personality to go large. I don’t know about that, but if it’s true it won’t stop her. Look a Jennifer Hudson she was kicked to the curb and if I remember correctly Simon told her she was fat. Losing (or not winning) AI didn’t hurt Miss I got an Academy Award what chu got.
    Time will tell, but I suspect some big dog is gonna grab a hold of this little puppy while the gravy train is still running.

    • B.Rich says:

      Katharine McPhee had the most hate I’ve ever seen from women, so as soon as I saw Pia I called her as this years shock elimination. But 9th place is still probably the most absurd early elimination the show has ever had.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Idoloonies and Buffy together. Epic.

  30. Emme says:

    I know there probably are a ton of teens out there speed dialing for their favorite boy, but on the other hand, remember that it’s teenage girls that have made girls like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus into the mega stars they are. I don’t think it’s that they hate girls in general, I think it has more to do with the specific girls that are on idol and the pimping the guys get (as you mentioned in your video).

    I’ve seen so so many comments here (and on the other website ;-) that say the same thing – “Pia was fantastic, she was robbed..I mean she wasn’t my favorite but she shouldn’t have gone!” Even your co-host said Pia wasn’t her favorite and I doubt she voted for her. So, how can people (including Alexis) be upset about this? It’s like we all knew we “should” like her (bc she was excellent), but no one really did like her enough to vote. Pia didn’t connect well with viewers and somehow, even though some of the boys are awful, they really connect. I guess in the end it’s style over substance. I have no idea why Jacob is still there though, bizarre.

    Thanks for the video Slezak, I look forward to it all week! Haley for the win!!

    • Jennine says:

      OK. How can you connect with any of the guys if they’re awful? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

      • betsy says:

        I think she meant, even though they’re awful SINGERS. Paul, for example, can’t sing his way out of a paper bag, but he’s one of the favorites.

  31. buffy522 says:

    Oh Loved the Buffy musical snippets. So Alexis starts out by saying she loves Casey. So…there you have it. All your guests love one of the guys! Why do I even listen to her? But Alexis was screwed on S8 by the judges. Period. She was really good that night, but all the judges gave her bad comments. You are so right about the judges being hard on the girls this year while letting the boys (except Stefano maybe) get away with the same stuff. I have been voting for Haley on-line. On=line is way easier and less frustrating than phone.

  32. Robyn says:

    michael, are you sure jacob has the most egotistical comment ever? have you already forgotten big mike from last year? “check me out on itunes” barf.

    • ebayrae says:

      I think Jacob’s comment was worse. Questioning the integrity of the entire viewing audience who wouldn’t vote for him? Really?!

  33. Em says:

    How could I love Idoloonies even more? Buffy references! Brings a bit of sentimental joy in spite of the unjustified early elimination.

    Well done for addressing the factors that went into the elimination. Also great advice for both Lauren (whom I think is lost in the producer’s web. Please guide her to sing a age appropriate songs!) and Haley (needs some humanizing edits). Good call on the styling. It did none of the girls ANY FAVORS.

    If either girls go home this week… there will be simply no hope for a female winner.

  34. Irie says:

    Yes, Mike! You totally understand. I am so frustrated with the voting system on Idol that I don’t even do it anymore. Really, is there any reason to do it anymore? What’s my one measly vote against the power texting of thousands of hysterical teenage girls who could care less about true artistry and talent, let alone understand what they are? It’s pointless… so completely, utterly pointless to vote. And… it doesn’t reflect public opinion at all. At the end of the day, it’s the number of votes that pass a contestant through, not the number of people who voted for her/him. Pia could have gotten millions of people to vote for her, but she still would have lost to the thousand or so idiots who voted a thousand times each for the likes of James Durbin and Scotty McCreery. And no, as much as I love my contestants, I am not going to sit there for 2 hours and power vote them to the top. That is just insane and absurd. Idol need to change that voting system NOW. They need to think about what’s more important to them, giving the impression that tens of millions of voters cast their votes, or accurately representing the voice of the public.

  35. Tahoe Mike says:

    I have said in seasons past that I think they ought to charge $.25 per vote, donate the cash to Idol gives back; and spare us the telethon episode. You want to vote a hundred times for Stefanjaya, that will be $25. Oh, you only want to vote $1 worth? Ok, fine.

    • stevenjaba says:

      That is also an excellent idea.

    • Leslie says:

      That’s actually a really good idea–they should implement something like that.

    • thevisitor967 says:

      Or better yet–why don’t they just base the votes on the number of itunes that were sold by that contestant for that week. I say put your money were your mouth is. Not only will this give a more accurate assessment of how well the contestants are doing on the show, but it’ll also give a pretty good assessment how well the contestants will do in the recording studio.

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        Well, because I hate Apple. I have not, and never will support them or their control freak business practices.

        I do think that having to pay a token price to vote would be a way to “Put our money where our mouths are.” After all is said and done, the real winners are the ones who sell the most albums anyway.

        • GingerSnap says:

          Because they’re singing songs that are at least 20 years old – some are 50 years old. How is that relevant to the current market of auto-tuned music?
          Idol isn’t really meant to produce stars. It’s meant to generate advertising $$$ for Fox. As long as it does that it will remain successful.

      • stevenjaba says:

        while I like that idea, it’s inherently flawed for a few reasons. There are some people who don’t own iTunes. Even more though – so many of the performances don’t translate into a recording well. I know I’ve not bought performances before because I listened to a sample and they didn’t translate well. Or, the producer just made a mess of it.

  36. Amy says:

    Hopefully now that there are only two girls left lots of people will vote actively and get behind the girls (provided they do well). I think they could benefit from the Pia backlash like Casey has done with his save. Thanks for Idoloonies! No matter what happens the week before, Idoloonies always makes this IdolScoobie smile. The addition of Annie and Anya’s bunny-phobia doesn’t hurt!

  37. Jo says:

    Teen girls are voting for the cute guys. In season 8, my daughter wanted to vote for Kris because she thought he was cute but she didn’t appreciate his singing. I made her vote for Adam instead. I think this kind of stuff is happening alot. Look at Paul…he can barely sing…Scotty…on trick pony…Stephano…cruise liner singer…James…can only sing when he’s screaming. None of the guys are that great but you can rest assured that an average cute guy will once again take the title.

  38. nich says:

    I forgot to mention that I agreed with the statement that people who don’t powervote, who isn’t sitting there for two hours straight hitting redial, texting, or voting on Facebook have a feeling of what’s the point in my throwing two or three votes here or there? I voted for Pia and yet Idol keeps telling me I didn’t vote enough since she’s gone. I’m sorry but I can’t and I won’t dedicate my night to that sort of thing so I won’t get Randy (STFU!!) or Ryan yelling at me that I need to vote for my favorites. Clearly everyone already does that…it’s just that some of them are voting more.

  39. David Key says:


    I’d have liked to have seen you address Pia’s share of the responsibility for this: namely, her limp song choices. You called her out on this yourself many times: “She constantly breaks every rule I have for a contestant on Idol.” Yes, she did, and I believed she paid the price for it. Should she have been eliminated at 9th? Of course not. Is it super shocking that she was? I argue again that it was not.

    • dkw says:

      Likewise, he also mentioned a while back that there might be a “subtle genius” to her song choices, seemingly keeping her cards close to her vest. The audience likes to see growth in contestants. She had several weeks to show real growth and either waited too long or didn’t have anything to show, either way, it bit her in the butt.

      • Realist says:

        If you believe the latest editorial at What Not To Sing, Pia’s song choice was anything BUT genius. She continually picked songs that had been performed to death on Idol, with arragements that were too close to the originals. In fact, only two contestants in the TEN YEAR HISTORY OF THE FRANCHISE chose more repeat songs. Her spot-on vocals were the only thing keeping her from getting saddled with the dreaded “karaoke” albatross. This wasn’t the only reason that voters didn’t connect to her. But the middle-aged female power voters are much less forgiving of the female contestants flaws than the males.

      • Realist says:

        And let me pull a Lil Rounds here… can I just also say this… Pia was too Season 1-3. This show has evolved. Popular music has evolved. Voters didn’t have the appetite for that style of performing. And I would surmise that after a small sympathy swell of support, the buying public won’t have an appetite for that kind of music either.

        • thevisitor967 says:

          “the buying public won’t have an appetite for that kind of music either.”

          Tell that to Susan Boyle.

          • Suncatcher says:

            “SUSAN BOYLE has become the first female artist to to ever simultaneously hold both the US and UK No1 spots twice in less than 12 months.

            With her albums – last year’s I Dreamed A Dream and follow-up The Gift, SuBo is one of only three acts to have EVER achieved this feat – the others being THE MONKEES in 1967 and THE BEATLES two years later.

            What’s more, The Gift has also been named the fastest-selling holiday album on both sides of the Atlantic since records began.

            Last year, the singer’s debut collection I Dreamed A Dream became the biggest and fastest-selling album in the world with sales in excess of 10 million.”

            – The Sun, Nov 17 2010

        • Rh says:

          Under this theory, the past two winners would be more current musically and thus selling hugely. And yet they’re not. No one even remember who Kris Allen is xcept perhaps faintly as the guy who lost to Glambert (even if he had one hit from his otherwise poor selling album) and no one knows Lee exists period. The music buy public is not voting here, or rather, the voting audience is not as a whole voting for whose album they would buy. Some people are, and I commend them for that, but the sales of the past two winners would be much higher if that was true for a majority of the audience.

          • Realist says:

            If you’re referring to the repeated song theory… it doesn’t say anything about post-Idol success. It only sheds some light on what COULD have been the reason Pia didn’t connect to those who vote on Idol. I do agree that the people voting on Idol are only a small subset of the music-buying public.

          • Rh says:

            @Realist I have no idea what you mean by repeated song theory.I was simply stating that the past two years, the winners have been down so so much in terms of sales, and their runner-ups doing so much better sales-wise, that to claim that people are basing their votes on who they’ll buy is kind of crap. Kris would be outselling Glambert, Lee would be outselling Crystal. Even with album sales down overall in the music industry, they should have a greater draw since more people voted for them, right? I’m not even making any claims Pia would be marketable or relevant to today’s music, but based on your original comment, winners (the ones most voted for) should be the most successful, and we know this has not been the case for most of the last several seasons and definitely not true for the last two.

      • Suncatcher says:

        However, I recall hearing every week that there were only 20 songs each week to choose from. If true, that makes it a little tough for anyone to “change it up” a lot.

  40. Donna says:

    The thing is, Idol contestants do not get voted off. They get voted to stay on, and it’s not even that unusual for someone who seems like a favorite to get passed up because fans put their votes into someone they think is at risk. I wonder how voting would change if it was transparent. If they knew Pia was going down, would voters be more likely to keep her in play? I don’t see this type of transparency happening (it would ruin result nights), as I’m sure producers are loving this drama. It is, after all, a TV show rather than a real talent contest. Every season I see comments from disappointed fans who say they’ll never watch Idol again because their favorite didn’t get enough votes to stay. You’d think people didn’t realize that could even happen. And the shouts of “No Fair!” are just stupid. These are all talented kids who require a lot of guts to put themselves out there every week. They all deserve a break. Pia will get a gig on the summer tour and a recording contract, and the rest of us will be just as entertained by the drama to come, either this season on the next.

    • thevisitor967 says:

      Well, the ratings have gone down for AI this season so I guess a lot of people who said they weren’t going to watch AI again–are actually not watching it.

      • Suncatcher says:

        That would be very true, Visitor.

        Next week, not this week, but next week will really show how much damage was done.

  41. Tahoe Mike says:

    Here is a little game we can play using last weeks bottom three…
    Imagine that you are stuck in one of three elevators.
    One is playing only Jacob.
    One is playing only Stefanjaya.
    One is playing only Pia.
    In which elevator would you shoot yourself first??

  42. Mike M says:

    I’m going to tell everyone once and for all why Pia was eliminated. It was me. Well, not me exactly, but a whole lot of people just like me. Here’s the deal: I like Pia, I really do. She’s a beautiful girl with a beautiful voice and I genuinely enjoyed her performances. But, I never got excited about her and never voted for her. When I tune in to Idol, I’m excited every week to see what Lauren, Haley, James, Casey and, to a lesser extent, even Paul will do. I’m even mildly interested in seeing whether Jacob will finally sing instead of doing a set of vocal exercises. But, I never once tuned in wondering or anticipating what Pia might do. I knew she would do a ballad and do it very well (even the Tina Turner song this week felt like ballad that was just going a bit faster). Nothing wrong with her performances ever. I was just never moved to vote for her even though she was without doubt the most consistent performer of the bunch. Like I said, it’s my fault she went home so early.

  43. adele says:

    It’s not about who wins, it’s about what they do afterwards – case in point, Adam Lambert! Pia will be on the tour and a lot of people will see her.

    • Jo says:

      The problem is that going out that low means little chance of success. JHud, I believe, went out 7th place and she’s mostly successful for her oscar more so than sales of her music. Michael Johns was a shocker at 8th place and hasn’t been able to do much. I see little hope for Pia, but who knows for sure.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Except there seems to be support for Pia by people who matter in the entertainment industry. She’s already been signed by Jimmy Iovine’s group. Doors are wide open. If she is well-managed, she will do well.
        And I hardly think that JHud’s career died after Idol.

        • Suncatcher says:

          And Michael Johns was picked up by the great David Foster.

          There’s hope – BUT – the Idol contestants are compensated on tour by WHERE THEY FINISHED. The winner gets 6 figures – and it goes down from there. 9th place gets very little. I think Pia deserved much better.

          When people vote, maybe they should remember they are voting for someone’s FUTURE CAREER.

  44. Buggys says:

    I enjoyed seeing Alexis Grace hosting with you. I am a big fan of hers!
    I think the blame (if any) for sending Pia home at this stage has to rest mostly on Pia’s shoulders. No one denies that she has crazy singing talent but in the end, it was up to her to sell herself to the voting public.
    I refuse to “blame” the judges for Pia’s early departure. I will gladly, however, blame all 3 judges for not doing their job. J-lo periodically tosses out a bit of advice, occasionally Randy inserts a comment that could be construed as helpful but by and large they could all stay home and nothing would change. Maybe that’s what they have been told to do now that Jimmy Iovine and co. are working with the contestants so much.

  45. Ronnie says:

    Buffy and Bunnies oh my! Thanks so much for letting the scoobies sing us our lament. Seeing Haley as Buffy … you made my day!

  46. Kathy says:

    Love the use of the Powderpuff girls! Your editing is superb and I enjoy coming here to Idoloonies as much as I do the show.
    I agree that it is time to get over the shock and outrage over Pia receiving the fewest votes. I believe America knows what it likes and votes accordingly. While it may be true that it is young women and their Moms and Grandmas who vote, I think it may also be true that those women are also the ones to download songs, buy CD’s, and attend concerts! I voted for Adam and have supported his career with my money. The idea that it is women who are ruining the show by voting for the cute guys is just an urban myth!

  47. ohbabs says:

    I am confused. Who are the biggest pop stars right now? Lady gaga, Katie Perry, Ke$ha, Rhiannna, Britney? ALL GIRLS. Who buys their music and merchandise? I would bet mostly teenage girls. Maybe the right girl has not been on idol in a while. I am sorry but pia does not have that pop appeal at all. lounge, xmas carols, and natl anthems is what she i envision her as. Country singers are always the exception on idol. Maybe pia should have put boots on and a little twang. or had some attitude.

    • Rh says:

      Just because teenage girls are more likely to buy female pop stars albums doesn’t mean they are voting on whose album they are going to buy post-show. The last 2 winners are proof of this. Pia has as much potential to be a pop star as any other out right now, she was only on the show for a few weeks. Everyone is always saying the great thing about Idol is being able to see people evolve and get better, yet they cut Pia off before she has the chance. Would Kelly be given the chance today? Not likely. I doubt she’s get a positive edit enough to have fans rally behind her.

      • Suncatcher says:

        “For many in the music industry Susan Boyle’s sales are a reminder of a large and often forgotten audience: older listeners who, whether they are less tech-savvy than younger consumers or they simply prefer to hold purchases in their hands, favor CDs over downloads.”

        “Only 6 percent of the sales for “I Dreamed a Dream” were digital downloads, far below the industry’s overall ratio of physical to digital sales. As recently as three years ago CDs — which are more profitable for record labels than downloads are — accounted for 94 percent of the market. But by the middle of this year that share had slipped to about 77 percent.”

        – New York Times, Dec 2 2009

        BOTTOMLINE: The Idol voters just shot the CD industry in the foot – big time. The remaining contestants are more likely to be ITune down loaders.

        PS – Jimmy Iovine is not idiot – this is why he grabbed Pia as fast as he did. She’s all about CD sales.

        • ladyhelix says:

          I don’t think most idol voters care one bit about the CD Industry. I would actually bet money it never once enters their minds.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Rh comments “…doesn’t mean they are voting on whose album they are going to buy”

        To follow on the teenage comment – my 86 year old mother hasn’t bought a CD in YEARS (and she’ll NEVER go to a concert). BUT she and her friends watch Idol, and they all voted for “that nice boy Kris/Lee” – rather than the “interesting but edgier Adam/Crystal”. Those nice boys could just as easily be nice wholesome girls (they voted for Jordan) but the point still holds; Anyone in America can vote as many times as they want, for whoever they want, for whatever reason, even though they never plan to spend a dime.

        And as with most things – there’s no accounting for taste!!

  48. chrissy says:

    I agree with so much of this EXCEPT for the “praise” of Haley and the criticsm of James.

  49. karrie says:

    I’m a middle aged woman and I loved Pia and voted for her since day one although I do not power vote for anyone! I’m also admittedly a fan of James and not because I have a crush on him but I happen to think he is talented and he sings the kind of music that I prefer. However, I do agree that this weeks performance was not his best but Pia, by far, has the best vocals. Her song choices could have been better (I hated the constant ballads); she will do well as a Leona Lewis type of artist and I would rush out to buy her CD regardless of when it comes out! Haley has really grown on me the last few weeks too and while Lauren had a great audition in Nashville and was my early favorite, she has yet to WOW me since. Jacob is the one that should have went home; he’s good but not as good as HE thinks he is!

  50. Keith says:

    Is there a way to view past episodes of this endeavor? I know it is content that was produced at EW, but I want to review some past episodes.

    I want to thank you, you produce every week a very high quality entertaining show of about half and hour, much better than most broadcast tv shows. Not sure you could get away with some of the stuff you do on the E network for example, but I wish you could try.

    Keep up the great work, I really appreciate it.