Idoloonies: Praise for James, a Split Vote for Casey, and Advice for Scotty and Haley

With only five weeks remaining in American Idol‘s tenth season, hard questions still outnumber firm answers: Are the show’s producers putting their weight behind James Durbin? What could possibly stop season-long front-runners Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina from advancing to the final three? Is Casey Abrams a versatile and risk-taking performer, or a growling ham who doesn’t know enough to stick to what he does best? What can Haley Reinhart do to avoid her weekly flirtation with elimination? What is the deal with Jacob Lusk’s on-the-brink-of-crying performance style? And am I really wearing a #SignPiaToscano t-shirt? (Yes.)

American Idol All-Time Greatest Performance Tourney
Begins With Adam, Elliott, Ruben!

On this week’s Idoloonies, my cohosts (including Season 9 graduate Didi Benami) and I ponder these topics, weigh in on the effect that Jimmy Iovine and his team have had on the season’s performance quality, and bid a fond farewell to Stefano Langone. And if our three-part episode doesn’t contain enough Idol goodness for you, then stick around for a bonus acoustic performance of Didi’s new song “Your Heart Knows Best.” When you’re done watching, hit the comments and let us know what you think. And for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. s-k-s says:

    Any chance you could make these in a format that works on iphones?

    • victoria says:

      Agreed. That would be awesome.

      • Ericalee says:

        Agreed x3! I’m always on iPhone or iPad at home. Hook us up!!! :)

      • amy.. says:

        No tech difficulties here.
        DIDI was my fav of that season! So many talented girls that season, I think it split their voting block. Katelynn & Lily too. What a sad season.
        So wish I could download a full version of terrified by Didi. I’m still waiting as Katherine McPhee doesn’t sing it like Didi, although I do have her “Somewhere over the Rainbow”
        Go Didi!!!!

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      Or, one that works on a PC? I had at least three stops and restarts per segment. It has happened the last few weeks.

      • Templar says:

        Site needs to upgrade to a better server. It also helps to have a Mac instead.

        • Owen says:

          I have no trouble loading this on my Dell Studio. No need for a Mac.

          • Rick says:

            The issues you are likely having are internet band width related. I’ve never had an issue with my Win7 laptop but I do have a 12M DSL line. If it was their server it would happen for everyone. Most PC’s built in the last 5 years should have enough hardware (memory and video power) to run these videos.

          • Billy says:

            It’s your IP’s band width/latency.

      • Kate says:

        This!!!!!! I’m still trying to watch the first part. I’ve tried 4x today and I love Idoloonies but its getting so I’m gritting my teeth through the whole process of TRYING to watch it. If we could just pause it and allow it to load that would be a great help.

        • AtoZ says:

          Have to say, I’d love it on my iPhone… but my very ancient home PC, with often troublesome Internet connections and normally insufficient memory, loads these and plays these just fine – no stops and starts at all!

        • Gilby says:

          YES! If we could just pause it so it can load that would be fantastic! I rarely am ever able to get through these videos because they start and stop so much…

          • Billy says:

            Any fluctuation(s) below 1.5mps down will result in this. My own connection speed is typically .04 – .38mps down, and it takes about an hour or so to watch 5 minutes of video. That’s the tradeoff to living in a VERY rural area, I guess.

    • John Berggren says:

      I would honestly be thrilled with a transcript. I know it’s a video series, but I can read@ work – can’t watch at work. At home I’m primarily on my ipad.

    • karenb says:

      I know, right?! I’m viewing the article now at a restaurant but now I have to go home and turn on the lap top to view the videos! Buzz kill! :)

      • Tekkie says:

        I’ve experienced the stop and restarts on several different pc’s of varying age and power…high end or low end makes little difference. Plus I’ve been asking for iOS friendly links. Michael tweeted back that he heard me, but that’s the only acknowledgement so far. I bet viewership would go up significantly with iOS friendly viewing! Please, guys! It’s not that difficult, is it?????

        • JJ says:

          Ditto! I never had this problem with Idolatry. Now, it’s not much fun watching Idoloonies when it takes FOREVER to load and watch. I have *almost* stopped trying and I really don’t want to! Please fix it!!

    • It would be nice, for those of us who have slower internet, if there was some sort of format that we could wait to load before playing it. These “streaming” formats start and stop constantly and that’s the only option we have. Quite annoying.

  2. Daniella says:

    I don’t see what the appeal is with Casey? I feel the judges wasted the save on him. Pia or Stefano were much more worthy of the save. The judges are pushing him down or throats. We must all wonder why?

    Scotty and James should be the top two if folks do it right.

    The third should have been Pia or Stefano based on singing ability but this has become nothing short of a popularity contest.

    • Krista says:

      I totally agree.

    • Templar says:

      IMO Casey sounds like a defective whoopee cushion. The judges are trying to justify their save. The save should be abolished. Didn’t work for Matt Giraud or Big Mike either.

    • forrest says:

      It’s been said by people who have watched Idol much longer than me that the whole thing has been a popularity contest for serveral seasons now. Accept It for what it is with the power dialers, however misdirected, and see this for the TV SHOW that this is. Pia’s ouster proved once again that this is more than a singing contest. It’s a popularity contest from the start. There aint no getting there because we’ve been there from the start. IMHO.

      • Ablo says:

        Uhh, so you’re saying Pia wasn’t popular? Why? Too cutting edge? Too artistic? :) A relatively good looking not terrible singer wasn’t popular, but you guys can’t say that. You have to say that there’s some conspiracy, or whatever. Look, she was ok. Perhaps she will be a star (though I don’t recommend investing your life savings in that prediction). But there wasn’t that much to her. I admit there isn’t much to any of the contestants this year, but don’t elevate her into super stardom. Michael has made her his pet project — but for no musical reason.

        • Templar says:

          She just sucked royally on DWTS.

          • Cheryl says:

            R u kidding me? I guess it’s true that art is in the eye and ear of the beholder. Pia was just too good and maybe too old for AI. The only one left worth listening to is James. He really knows how to entertain.

          • Suncatcher says:

            Wow, Templar. Someone’s taste is only in his mouth.

            (Must be alllllllllll the huge, compliments flying alllllllll over the web today about Pia’s performance last night are just a fluke)?

          • Can't Sleep says:

            Pia was wonderful on DWTS. She wasn’t asked to “move around” but she brought tears to my eyes AGAIN with that performance. When she’s had as much stage experience as Celine, we’re all gonna go WOW. Right now, I would love to purchase her record, ‘cuz I don’t need to watch her sing to know how great she is.

        • Erin says:

          i thought Pia was a shoo in for the final, but i think it was because of the ho hum competition. Surrounded with Caseys and Jacobs she seemed really great, but using planted feet and the pageant arm on DWTS, it was just meh.

        • charlie says:

          It seemed to me that one of Pia’s problems was that she was sort of a “Jamie one note”– great vocal ability but low performance or stagecraft skills. Her voice may have been as good, or nearly so as
          Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke on UK’s X factor, but she didn’t seem to have the rest of the qualities that they have.

          IMO, this years contestants are on average way more talented than the contestants of the past three or four years, but many of them have not grown during the competition, i.e. they have not developed the kind of nuances of vocalization that great singers have. For example, based on Jacob’s God Bless the Child performance during Hollywood Week, I was expecting great things from him, but he stayed in a narrow groove of performance that didn’t go anywhere interesting. Stephano– the same. He had a great opportunity to really shine with some vocal nuance and emotional song connection on “Hello” but he blew it. I was hoping the contestants would get better coaching this year, and it seemed early on that they were getting some good coaching from Jimmy and others. Then after a few weeks, there seemed to be no growth from most of the contestants, with exceptions like Haley, and some actually seemed to slide backwards. I also wonder if some of the contestants didn’t get totally confused by the varying feedback they got from the judges and the coaches/producers. Seems to me that the X factor and THE VOICE approach with judges as coaches would work better if the judges were as talented as the X factor judges are. The X factor production values are also much stronger with the dance accompaniment to some of the numbers. I’m looking forward to see how X Factor US comes off this fall. IT MIGHT PUT IDOL OUT OF BUSINESS NEXT YEAR, ESPECIALLY IF A DESERVING WOMAN LIKE HALEY DOESN’T WIN IDOL THIS YEAR

    • JOHN says:

      I agree completely….Casey is just getting more and more wierd…stay with being the ‘jazzer’ Casey.
      Yes, I see Scotty and James in the finals and third should have been Pia or Stefano. With thoughts of ‘giving us that big moment’…I blame the producers whos main job seems to be to crank out that i-tunes recording pronto…..backing any creativity coming from the contestants into a corner. With Ioving and crew, I fear we never would have heard the brilliance of Lambert, Cook, Allen, etc.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think Pia is going to be absolutely fine. She’s beautiful and talented.
      I’m making a prediction that Stephano and Robbie Rosen will turn up in a production of “Jersey Boys”.

    • Tarc says:

      And I’d say the best decision in the entire year’s production was saving Casey. He’s genius. Pia did nothing for me at all, and Stefano needed a couple years of voice lessons before he tried Idol because his phrasing and diction were distractingly awful.(though I like both of them, I have no interest in BUYING anything by them – and we can add Lauren and Scotty to that list as well). I guess that’s what makes the world go ’round, right?

      • Lizbeth says:

        I really like Casey too.
        IF a contestant gives the same kind of performance every week –they are called boring and unwilling to leave their comfort zone.
        If a contestant changes it up from week to week than they are not being true to themselves.
        Can’t win.
        However, I appreciate someone who does stretch themselves to a degree throughout the idol process.
        Casey has done more of that than any other contestant. I know the Nirvana one didnt’ work for him–but at least he committed to it. (He didn’t even want to do that song–thanks Iovine–LOL)
        If Casey came out with the bass every week and did jazz–he wouldn’t last on the show. Sorry. I might have loved it–some idoloonies might like it–but America wouldn’t go for it for long. He is doing what he has to do.
        Plus, he is multi-talented, interesting and fun to watch. I always look forward to seeing him on the show.
        Michael–I have noticed that all your idol guests like Casey. But, you obviously can’t stand him–LOL Oh well.
        It’s a shame that the contestants aren’t allowed to do more arranging of songs because I know he would be quite good at that.
        As far as his faces and stuff go–he does need to tone it down some for tv. But, in concert setting that stuff wouldn’t matter.
        I would love to see a Casey/Haley finale. I vote for both of them

        • nene leakes says:

          Haley/Casey finale would be the ultimate snoozefest. Dump Casey and it would be exciting.

        • Helena says:

          Lizbeth: I totally agree with you. Casey is doing what he needs to do to stay in the competition. He does not get much credit for being creative and versatile. BTW, he did not do as much face pulling last week as he has done on previous shows.

          I also agree with Slezak about Scotty. He is lacking soul and so is Lauren. I am always confused about Lauren because she looks like she 20 yrs old, but acts like she is 13. Also her mother in the background irritates me.

          Lauren/Scotty finale would be a snooze fest. Top 3: Scotty/Casey/James

        • charlie says:

          I agree that a Casey + Haley finale would have been great and I was voting in that direction, but alas. I just hope that Haley is in the finale as she certainly deserves to be. A Haley + Scotty finale would be interesting and I think Haley would wipe the floor with him, as Crystal did to Lee, but when it’s a popularity contest, the best contestant often doesn’t win, a la Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert and even David Archaleta. It might actually be better for Haley not to win as she would then probably have more artistic freedom outside the idol box. If she is in the finale, and does win, I hope she has the fortitude and the good counsel from her parents to do the kind of music that is true to who she is. GO HALEY! LOVE YA!

    • charlie says:

      Casey is a true artist with amazingly versatile musical abilities, both instrumentally and vocally. As Randy said when he was chosen for top 24, he is the most talented artist they have had on idol. Listen to his Georgia on my Mind and other performances during Vegas week. If he had stuck to that type of performance, as he did a few times on the live show, he would have gone much further on the show.
      I hope he will get a record deal with producers to work with and channel him toward his artistic strengths. He could then be as amazingly successful as artists like Ray Charles and Norah Jones. I love Casey… and by the way, he and Haley would make a really cute baby… ha ha.. I mean really a really great record!!!!

  3. sharona says:

    I totally GET Casey! Unfortunately, we’ll get stuck with Scotty and Lauren in the Finale and that will be about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

    • Speaking of paint drying, Slezak wasted good money on that Cafe Press shirt since it was confirmed that Pia has already signed with Jimmy Iovine’s company. Of course, Idoloonies tapes on Friday and the confirmation didn’t come until yesterday, but it had been rumored for some time. How about a sign Siobhan Magnus shirt, or a “Free Allison Iraheta” shirt?

    • Tarc says:

      Exactly. I’m not sure it’s possible for Scotty to do anything that would make me want to see or hear him ever again.

  4. Jaded says:

    I agreed with Didi about Casey. I might not always like his performances (and actively hate a few of them!) but I love that you always get something interesting. I look forward to finding out what he’s going to sing. I don’t really care what any of the others sing because they always do the same things.

    • Logistics says:

      Casey is atrocious. You should be ashamed.

    • Yves says:

      He’s not the strongest vocal and he defaults to angry rocker which I dont like at all but he is capable of greatness and we’ve seen it so I’d love to keep him around. He’s exciting and fun and when he gets it right, it’s effin amazing! So fingers crossed, this week he’ll tone it down…

    • Linda says:

      I agree with Sharona. I look forward to Casey because he’s fun. I like that he tried the rocker lane, and I thought he did pretty well with it.

  5. Georgia says:

    pretty good… wish you’d lay off jacob but i guess you hate him. it’s okay. not as exciting as previous weeks but a solid recap. I do miss Stefano.

    • darclyte says:

      I have to disagree with him and his “F-U” to Steven Tyler. Look, Steven was great during the auditions. If he now feels that the contestants don’t need his critiques and he just wants to sit there and do nothing he can…because he’s Steven Frickin Tyler, a living music legend. How many legends do we have? Whereas Ellen was useless because she had NO credibility and offered NOTHING, by Steven NOT saying anything, he is speaking VOLUMES. We may not understand it or agree, but I would imagine if someone did something so heinous that he felt the need to call them out he would. The Top 13 this season was probably the most talented vocally as a group of 13 ever, and nobody has ever really embarrassed themselves (although some have failed pretty hard) so perhaps Steven just doesn’t feel that he needs to add anything. It’s disappointing and it ultimately detracts from all the great stuff he did prior to the Top 24, but at the end of the day he’s STILL Steven Frickin Tyler, living music legend, and if he doesn’t feel the need to make a critique, then that’s his prerogative whether we like it or not, or if it’s right or wrong. I do sincerely wish he would go back to the way he was during the auditions, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Oh, darclyte, I just wish we had “funny, engaging Steven” back from the audition shows. He’s turned into Ozzy Osborne’s twin brother!

      • Templar says:

        Lucky for us that he survived his own stupidity. Pretty much a miracle.

        • Billy says:

          Yes, and on that note…a “living legend”? You mean the lead singer of a mediocre hard rock band that was a media darling due to drugs and soap opera shenanigans. Aerosmith was not (and never will be) on a par with any great bands like Jethro Tull or REM, to give just two examples.

            Jethro Tull?!
            REM is a SHELL of their former selves these days, but Jethro Tull?

      • Lunakit says:

        Oh, darclyte, if the Frickin Living Music Legend “doesn’t feel he needs to add anything” then he is welcome to move over a few seats into the audience and just watch. He is not doing the contestants — or his well earned legend status– any service by taking up space in a judge’s chair.

      • Eolra says:

        It’s like walking out onto the stage at a sold out show and just sitting there on stage scratching your @ss, not playing any music – nobody’s stopping you, and since you’re such a “living legend” you can probably even get away with it without people beating the crap out of you. You might even get some people defending that you should be able to rip people off because you’re such a “living legend”, but you can’t seriously expect the majority of people to be happy about it. Being a “living music legend” doesn’t excuse you from doing a job that you are being paid to do, just like it doesn’t excuse you from common decency, or from the law. This show is important to some people, and ST was hired to provide an integral part of the show’s entertainment, that is, to provide critiques for the performances. He has failed to do so, and has therefore detracted from the entertainment value of this season. Shame on him for collecting a hefty paycheque for doing nothing. At least Ellen knew she sucked.

  6. Logistics says:

    I’m so over James, it’s insane

    • Zoe says:

      He’s dead to me for butchering Muse too.

      • Ablo says:

        Yea, I don’t get it. I mean I’ve heard worse. But I get the feeling that people on this board don’t go out and hear live music very often. Seriously guys — go downtown just about anywhere in this land of ours. Lots of singers. Lots of good singers doing the kind of thing he does.

      • bev says:

        Muse ! didn’t think he butchered it. I love it and I HOPE HE WINS THIS SHOW AND PISSES EVERYONE OFF! THAT HATES HIM. JAMES DURBIN FOR THE WIN.

  7. trev says:

    Can you guys please promote this show to “Whedonesque”? I guarantee more viewers. Fantastic job again btw.

  8. Buggu says:

    I sincerely hope Haley goes further than Lauren and James .Hate the producers pimping certain contestants .

    • Katherine says:

      More like manipulating the audience. UGH. I hate being treated like an impressionable 3 year old every season. K

  9. Holly says:

    Great to see Didi! Hopefully Haley is watching Idoolonies and taking notes, Mike!

    • Cup of Joe says:

      I just tweeted Haley so that she could be led to Slezak’s twitter. Hope it works!

      • RTW says:

        RIGHT ON ‘Cup of Joe’ and Michael! Haley, whatever fight is left in you, BRING IT ON! If you make it through to next week, go all out because you have nothing, AND I MEAN NOTHING to lose! There’s an idol moment in there – you’ve got the talent and the voice! Be smart about your song choice and just go for it! Get PO’d that you were sent to the bottom three week after week. Be Buffy and slay the tweens!

  10. Samantha says:

    I found your comments about the effect of Iovine and his producers and Warwick’s response to your question most interesting. I’ve been feeling for a couple weeks that this group of producers is doing to the show – and definitely the download singles – what they’ve often done to the first albums from AI alum. It’s not a good thing. It is producing more competent but less compelling performances. I think the contestants have more say over their performances on the show than on the recordings, but I’m sure it’s not easy to reject the advice of someone who asks if you think he got to where he is by accident. (I’d say, no, but most of that getting was a couple decades ago and it’s not clear that you’ve ever even watched AI, much less understand what it takes to succeed on it.)

  11. WTF? says:

    So much truth in what Slezak said about Haley having to prove her worth on her own. She’s gotta pull a Heartless-type performance/moment to have a prayer of cracking the top 4, even BETTER than Heartless, because she has been getting the cannon fodder bus treatment for basically the entire finals. Ain’t nobody TPTB-related gonna help her out, so she’s got to do for herself. What does she have to lose, really? To that end, I really, REALLY hate the way the producers “tell” us who we should be rooting for through the editing and performance order and critiques. Especially when the contestants they are pushing are so damn mundane. Grr.

    • Steph says:

      Agree 10000000%… luckily Haley has a leg up on the competition this week because the theme is most suited towards her style. Hopefully she can make the most of it and pull out a performance that will knock everyone’s socks off.

  12. buffy522 says:

    Buffy and Adam Lambert in the same episode.Bliss. I hear so much buzz about Haley on the internet, but not on the votes. Vote people! It’s easy online.

    • Lisa says:

      how weird… you hear so much buzz about her on the internet, but not on the votes… HMMMMM… how does no one get it? VOTES DON’T COUNT!!!

  13. Paul says:

    I agree with Daniella. Casey hasn’t genuinely wowed me since his ‘Georgia’ in Hollywood. I do think he did ‘fine’ on “Your Song” and “Ever Seen The Rain”, but I think it was dumb of the judges to use the save so early.

    People can say that maybe Pia was boring, but you could always count on her for a vocal masterclass.

    I still don’t have a ‘favorite’ which is really weird, because I always have one by the time we reach the finals. I did like Pia, but now that she’s gone, I’m on team Haley. I want to see her do well.

    • kathy says:

      Masterclass? Please!

    • Tarc says:

      Pia’s hardly ready for a masterclass – if she could muster some emotion (or a whole lot more), then maybe. Dull 1970’s power ballads are still dull even if they are sung to robotic perfection.

      • Templar says:

        JMO Pia is my idea of a typical trophy wife. Shallow, stylish and groomed within an inch of her life. As I stated on another site: There’s no engine in that Lexus.

        • ohreli says:

          Pia is indeed a ‘vocal masterclass’….the anti-Pia people are turned off by her stiffness on stage. Close your eyes and listen to the notes, the power, the range…it is masterclass. No one else on Idol matches that perfection.

      • ohreli says:

        Ummm..when did the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” become a “1970’s power ballad”-???

  14. Karrie says:

    Great Idoloonies! I’m ready for ‘Cheesey’ Scotty to go home and take his Karaoke machine with him along with Jacob. Casey needs to go if he can’t stick to what works for him, think Hollywood week, Casey! Lauren has a consistently good voice but is still needing her ‘wow’ moment. With that said, I’m still loving James & Haley! James is so entertaining and I’m in love with Haley’s smokey sounding voice!

    • Brittany says:

      I agree with everything you say. I think with all the cr*p that the producers have been doing with Lauren, they are setting her up to have a “moment”. She is this girl who “doesn’t know how good she is” and hasn’t had any stand out performance yet really, and then next week she will come out and blow everyone away and seal her spot in the finale. They have the audience exactly where they want them to be.

      • Bat Country says:

        Maybe if Lauren took a few pounds of makeup off, she can actually see who she is in the mirror. That might help her find herself….

    • Blair says:

      …were you reading my mind, Karrie? Those are the exact thoughts I’ve had running through my mind for weeks now. Well said!

  15. BJ says:

    I really love your uses of “Buffy” and “Citizen Kane” this week! Keep up the amazing work!

  16. IdolFan says:

    Or as a Podcast?

  17. Malcolm says:

    I think what this show needs is for Lauren Alaina to hit some smoking vocal this week and win the show. I think she’d have the best chance at big success. I’m a James fan, but I think as a fan of the show that’s what’s needed. I’m rooting for a James-Lauren final. Not a big Haley fan but it has to do with taste, yet I still think she should outlast Casey and Jacob…and Scotty..>_>

  18. linda says:

    i agree. love haley but no one should ever sing adele. she has so much voice and emotion that u should be either god or insawne to try and outsing her.
    and, agree with everything else as well. i feel like this season had an amazing potential but has become super boring now.

    • Amy says:

      You are right. On paper this season should be wonderful. There is so much talent and the contestants are all around likable, but I tend to feel mostly bored by the time performance night is over. The only thing keeping it engaging is the constant frustration of watching the Idol machine continually damage this show and the contestants. I swear it feels like the Idol producers think we are idiots and have no appreciation for actual talent and outside of the box performances.

  19. Rebecca Parker says:

    So disappointed you didn’t address the extremely negative package they gave Haley and Stefano’s attitude towards her.

  20. Meghan says:

    Wow, Didi’s song and performance were truly beautiful! I wish this song was available for purchase on iTunes.

    • Zoe says:

      I’m totally with ya on that one – underrated performer of season 9’s top twelve, y/y?

    • djm says:

      Agreed. She was my favorite last year – I wish she was on this season, but I guess it wouldn’t have mattered – she’d have gotten the boot early just like last season.

      • Amelia says:

        Didi was my favourite from last year, too. She’s my style of singer & I loved the song choices and performances that she did on Idol.

    • Blair says:

      Yes definitely! Didi was to me last season similar to what Kendra Chantelle was this season. One top notch talent overlooked and unconsidered way to soon from the get-go. At least I had a chance to vote for Didi. I didn’t w/Kendra.

    • Rhama says:

      She was not ready last year. Although, as Simon sad, when she is good – she’s REALLY good.

    • Bat Country says:

      This is absolutely not my kind of music, but I can say as a musician this song was ten times better than David Cook’s paint-by-numbers pop-rock vehicle.

  21. Gabrielle says:

    I guess all I have to saw is that,
    My dad hates country and he adores scotty, same thing with my boyfriend both country haters but they love what scotty does. He might need to amp it up sometimes but he’s 17 he sang a song he’d probably been dreaming about singing on the show.
    Same thing with lauren, she sang a song she had probably been waiting to do for ages. (and thats all I’m going to say about her, love her but she has pipes and needed to start using them like two weeks ago)
    As for Casey, arguable the second best vocal next to Haley. You might think I’m crazy but My dad is always out of the room so he can listen to he vocal and not focus on flashy antics (*cough*JAMES*cough*) and he was like “who is that? this is amazing!” seriously!
    As for Haley, my mom and I liked her song better than adele. Gasp I know, but hear me out, she might not have outsang adele but she did make the song the slightest bit up tempo which is another reason all three judges are point blank, bug shagging, crazy. (ha see I can throw in a Buffy reference too!)

    • claudia says:

      I liked Haley’s song better than Adele’s too. I bought the itunes of hers & haven’t bought any Adele. She’s ok but I’m not gaga over her like a lot of people. Some people act like she’s the 2nd coming or something.

    • Can't Sleep says:

      Every Thursday, the folks I work with compare notes about the performances. We didn’t get Haley’s cover, didn’t get the Red Polka Dot dress, didn’t get the red lights, didn’t get any of it. That’s why she’s constantly in the B3. While she has some passionate followers here, there are a lot of people she has never connected with. So Michael is right. She has to take more ownership for creating an Idol moment. Her best performance of the season was the duet with Casey. She needs to figure out how to do that on Wednesday’s, not Thursdays.
      On the other hand, we are always curious about what James is going to do next. He creates buzz because he has great vision and imagination. I’m not always fond of Casey’s facial expressions, but his musical choices are nearly always spot on. I can’t say I’ve ever felt that way about Haley’s performances. And Lauren is simply too young to know what to do with her talent. Jacob is too much of a drama queen, and Scotty is simply Scotty. He’s never great, but he’s also never awful.

  22. Leslie says:

    Personally, I don’t see how anyone can be blind to Casey’s talent and charm. I love Casey, I have all this songs from iTunes and they are even more brilliant that this live versions I loved his performance this week, I thought he did the song well. I do not feel the save was wasted one iota.

    • Cathy says:

      He sends my creep-o-meter on full throttle. He may be a very nice guy in person but his stage persona is off-putting for some (although apparently charming to others.) That kiss was the final straw for me.

      • Linda says:

        I have to admit I’m mystified by people finding Casey scary or creepy. This is the opposite of a scary person. When he plays at fierce, I find it cute. And the kiss…for heaven’s sake, it was a peck on the cheek! It was a harmless, amusing little flirtation. I don’t get the shocking part. Society is safe.

        • Tarc says:

          LOL! Casey’s about a menacing (or creepy) as a Build-A-Bear. Intense and a tendency to minor modulations does not make him ‘creepy’ – though minor chords are the basis for horror movie music.

      • Ronnie says:

        I like his recording much more than his performances. I must admit I find him very very creepy. I cringed at that last moment with the kiss… Jennifer wasn’t giving him her cheek to kiss, she was turning her head away from him because he had invaded her personal space. And he seems so frighteningly stalker-killer-angry with his odd expressions.
        – that said, I don’t think he personally is creepy…. it is just his performances come off as creepy. I think he is sweet otherwise.

  23. Zoe says:

    I missed Didi! She was my favorite of season 9 and I actually stopped watching when she was (unfairly) voted out in tenth place. I totally agree that Haley is getting the short end of the stick this season – she sings well and is an intriguing vocalist but she’s not really given a fair chance when the judges and production seem to have it out for her. However, I will never forgive James for replacing Matt Bellamy’s rich vocal on “Uprising” with his catastrophic, screamy mess. James is dead to me, especially after stealing one of Adam Lambert’s pimpcanes and jackets from the Glam Nation Tour.

  24. Li-Li says:

    Thanks for sticking up for Haley – SOMEONE has to! I agree that she has the most uniquely solid talent, and she also happens to be beautiful and seems funny and charming. The producers have never given her much of a chance, and keep focusing on Lauren, which is a mystery to me. Yes, Lauren is good, but she doesn’t remotely connect with the songs she sings. Because the Idol audience is notorious for being sheep-like, they will like whoever the judges or the producers shove in our face. It has made me very uncomfortable and disappointed this year – I never thought I’d say that I miss Simon. I don’t care how huge Jimmy Iovine’s career is, I haven’t seen any interesting or creative suggestions coming from him.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Wow, you summed it up about perfectly.

      I have NO clue why they appear to push for Lauren while passing over Haley.

      I’m not sure the Idol audience is completely sheep-like – or Kris Allen wouldn’t have had a chance. But clearly Haley keeps being sent to the Stools of Doom and Lauren hasn’t seen them yet, so perhaps there’s something to your observation.

  25. Cathy says:

    I sadly absolutely agree that Iovine has probably killed any chance of true Idol moments. Casey is CREEPY! And that, poor wittle Wauren crap… ugh. I think they are going to start slamming Scotty to promote Lauren and have either a James/Lauren or Casey/Lauren finale. I think they would even take a Jacob/Lauren finale. Both Scotty and Haley fill part of her “niche” so I doubt that is desired. Keep in mind only three people have actually gotten negative comments of late – Pia, Haley, and just now Scotty.

  26. Deb says:

    Looks like Haley is getting the bus they tried to send for Kris in season 8. The problem was that Kris just kept doing creative things with songs and the bus ran over the contestants they wanted to keep,and I think that’s the point of the music producers this season. They want to keep contestants from having a moment that keeps them from being bused on time, or at least keeping the audience voting because they can differentiate based on creativity.
    The thing with this season is that there have been some good,or even great, vocal moments but there hasn’t been a true idol moment, and at this point I really have stop expecting there to be one.
    Clearly music producers aren’t artists and the producers are using them to control the outcome and get the winner they want.
    (Disclaimer: Kris is an example but you can insert the contestant of your choice from the season of your choice because they’ve being trying to bus people since season 2)

    • Lizbeth says:

      I think you have an excellent point. Jimmy I has the power to prevent the contestants from doing interesting arrangements if he is so inclined (or told to do so) There could have been a lot of great ideas that got nixed. I am not talking about a marching band or a flaming piano etc. I am talking about re-working a song. This does make it so much easier to roll the bus over someone who might have done well if given the chance to have a moment.

      I have been bitching about Iovine on here since the beginning. I think it’s hurting the show big time. I really miss those water-cooler moments.

  27. Annoula says:

    First, thank you for the Community clips!

    Second, I think that AI always tries to push the underdog story. Ideally, that would give me hope for Haley, but now it looks like they’re trying to make Lauren that underdog. It makes me sad that there are people out there that will fall for that.

    Finally, though I am fully aware it’s impossible, Idoloonies should be required watching for every American Idol fan.

  28. sarah says:

    I LOVE ALL THE BUFFY!!! It just fits so dang well with the critiques, and makes me infinitely happy. thank you!!

  29. Owen says:

    Why do you think the other singers Slezak has on ALWAYS love Casey? Think about it.

  30. Donna says:

    MJ just posted that the contestants will be doing duets on Wednesday night!

  31. sunny says:

    Haley needs a Heartless, I don’t think the producers will allow an acoustuc arrangement this year though!

  32. Amy says:

    Everyone keeps saying how they don’t get Casey and blah, blah, blah, well I don’t get James. Seriously, what’s so wonderful about him? He screams his way through almost every song. I don’t understand how that makes him talented. I can screech like a chimpanzee too.

    • Billy says:

      He sounds to me like Axel Rose, only not quite so bad as G&R’s lead singer. Still, it is the stuff of nightmares…

  33. bs says:

    Why have you stopped interviewing booted constestants? I’d like to hear Stefano speak about his experience?

  34. Tahoe Mike says:

    I read somewhere this week that Crystal is singing on the result show this week. I just want to hear Haley sing tomorrow, and then get to Thursday.
    Idoloonies needs to be out on Friday, or at least over the weekend while last week is still relevant. The vibe of these shows is just somehow different from Idolatry; and not for the better I’m sorry to say. Like Idol this year, it all feels a bit over-produced. I liked the quick and dirty feel of the old shows.

    • Tuzo says:

      Tahoe Mike, I don’t remember Idolatry being any less produced. Maybe you are misremembering? Or maybe the difference was that the conversations happened between live people in an office?

      Also, Idol is on a day later this year so I don’t think it’s realistic to record and produce a show in a few hours. So maybe we can cut them some slack?

      I’m just happy that we have Idoloonies this year!

    • Top Cat says:

      I totally agree. I really miss Idolatry which was far superior to Idoloonies for a good # of reasons- the main reason being the hilarious banter and snarkiness between him and his co-workers. I felt like I was in the office with them discussing the events of the previous night’s episode. And why does my instinct tell me that Slezak would not have jumped on the Pia bandwagon if he were still writing for ET Weekly?? Something tells me that he would have freely admitted to what so many others have said: she was boring both off and on stage and really couldn’t connect to her audience. The t-shirt is a bit much…

  35. JVC says:

    Good Idoloonies,

    I’m with you Slezak on Randy Jackson saying “I think it’s important to critique” and it’s like WHY HAVE YOU NOT DONE THIS FOR THE LAST 2 WEEKS. Pia might still be w/ us if you judged the contestants at least as you did during top 7. But part of me feels like it was a put on so I refuse to fully trust the panel unless they do even better top 6 week. Would it be too cruel to attach lie detectors to the judges and give them a little volt if they lie? I hope haley steps it up cause she needs to kill it this week to have a chance at cracking the top 4. But the biggest jerk move if she makes it to the final 3 is they sabotage her like they did Syesha Mercado in season 7 or even Casey James last season. I don’t think Lauren is given enough credit, I actually liked her performance. The one thing she is not guilty of is over singing, but she too needs to step it up as well.

  36. L says:

    Great Idoloonies, as usual. I agree about Haley, unfortunately, I think it is too late for her though. I haven’t watched since Pia was booted (although I watched David Cook’s performance). I don’t have any hope for this season but, am looking forward to The Voice tonight.

    Idoloonies is my only link to AI now. At least that’s never disappointing.

  37. Bee says:

    Jacob is SO unlikeable and I can’t stand his voice.
    Casey is a hot mess and he’s too egotistical to stand a chance at winning.
    James is “meh” for me.
    Scotty’s eyebrows are an entity and he may (unfortunately) win the whole thing.
    Lauren is super boring and too young & graceless to win.

    Haley is a breath of fresh air and has powerful pipes! Plus, she’s stunning.

    • meester says:

      sorry jacob can’t help being “SO unlikeable” because by being black, he is “SO unlikeable” by you and your ilk. It’s ok, not to like his voice, but “SO unlikeable”?

      • Cup of Joe says:

        He’s unlikable because after that comment he made a couple of weeks ago about looking in the mirror, he came across as condescending and entitled. It doesn’t help that he’s labeled as a “diva” and he seems like he actually lives that word.

        Right now, he seems like a dejected, somber, pouty diva.

      • Billy says:

        Being black has nothing to do with it.
        He doesn’t sing a song, he shreds it (Bridge Over Troubled Water).
        He thinks we put him twice now in the B3 because “we don’t like what we see in the mirror”? Please…his “gift to the world” is no longer wanted by us.

      • Bat Country says:

        It’s getting to where you can’t even offer constructive criticism of a black person anymore (in other words, treat them like everyone else) without being accused as racist. I know it’s hard to believe that there are folks out there that have taken MLK’s words to heart, but it’s true.

  38. Raven_Moon says:

    Great Idoloonies! I’m hoping for James to be in the finale. I didn’t care what anyone said, I’ve loved him since his audition.) I don’t know who I want in the 2nd spot. I actually really liked Haley’s performance better that Adele’s. *gasp* I know! Also, I’m ready for Lauren to step it up. I know she is capable of bringing it, as you showed. I’m not sure what deal is with her. Are they trying to set her up for a “look how she has grown as an artist Idol moment”? I don’t know. If Idol returns for a season 11, I hope they do not use Jimmy & his team of producers. It seems like they are sucking all the creativity out of most of the contestants.

  39. scorpo says:

    Could anyone help me understand the meaning behind the #signPiaToscano? I assume it means she should get signed to a record deal but I don’t understand why there is a pound sign at the beginning of it. Maybe there is a whole other meaning to it that I am missing. Thanks!

  40. Isabela says:

    I’m hating the way Lauren is presenting herself.. she first came in to the show with an almost Mcphee level of confidence and now she’s playing scared? What?! Common.. we’re not stupid.. and no way i’m buying that fake ‘I’m a humble country girl’..

    I love it to see Didi Benami.. she was my favorite last season.. this song is absolutely sweet.. and I just love her voice.

    • Templar says:

      The first few weeks Lauren got a lot of flak for acting inappropriately toward the male judges. My guess is that avoiding the behavior that has served her well in the past has left her confused and uncertain.

  41. Jonathan says:

    It drives me crazy that Michael loved James’ horrible screeching while he thought that Casey was unmusical, but then people’s musical tastes are such an intensely personal thing. Normally it wouldn’t be divisive to me (these days I can tolerate/enjoy an awful lot, except for contemporary aggro-metal stuff) but since this is a contest it brings out my youthful bitterness.

  42. Chmarin says:

    Hahaha, I LOVE that the screenshot for the 2nd video has “#SlezakFail” on it. :D

  43. Chmarin says:

    And Slezak? We’re in the twenty FIRST century. :D

    This so reminds me of the Celeb Apprentice episode where the chicks had no idea what century it is.

  44. agrimesy says:

    I lost a lot of passion for this show over the past couple weeks, but this Idoloonies has fanned the flame! I’ve come to a new decision. I had been trying to save both Haley and Lauren since Pia went home, but no more. I actually believe this show is damaging Lauren emotionally. Just seeing that clip of her in Nashville so full of confidence and ability compared to the package clip where she looks grayish and haggard, well, it’s alarming. I know it will break her heart not to win, but in the long run, I think it’s best. She needs to go home and re-group, get her mojo back on. This Idol environment is destroying her.
    I am voting HALEY HALEY HALEY from now on! I don’t give a tinker’s d@mn about any of the boys! So growl on Casey! Bleat on Jacob! Scream on James! And, twang on Scotty! The judges have made me dislike all four of them with an intensity I’m truly ashamed of.
    I want Haley to win to shove it in the judges’ faces.
    I want Haley to win to shut Jimmy Iovine the f**k up!
    I want Haley to win to worry the he.l.l out of Uncle Nigel.
    I want Haley to win because she’s the only one who’s doing this show the RIGHT way: sings her song well, takes her criticisms with grace, faces her silver chair with humor, and shows personality in the packages. She’s my Idol this season for all those reasons, and I can’t for the life of me understand why the powers that be won’t claim her for their girl.
    Haley could totally have an Idol moment this week with Carole King. She just might swing enough votes to stay on a little longer.

  45. wendeeloo says:

    Michael – It’s funny how all your performer guests have been totally Team Casey – Melinda D – Alexis G – Didi when you are… not so much… I do hear you about him not getting rid of bad habits but I think it’s because he’s 19 and people have to get Real Specific with the critiques to him – like you were on Idoloonies last week – I even tweeted him to watch that installment but he probably gets a zillion tweets. I am moving my voting from him to Haley because she is the one who has shown the most…everything…and she needs to get out of the bottom. I was depressed about that because she is so much better than the rest.

  46. Vetle says:

    Ok. Am I the only one that got GOOOOOOOOSEBUMPS when Slezak was talking about Haley during the end of the 3rd video with the Buffy music playing? :D


  47. Alex says:

    DIDI! I loved Didi, good to see her!

    Also, the Buffy clips just keep on being awesome.

    And a Mishavonna shoutout! Slezak!!

  48. Tsauro says:

    Love the song from DiDi. I want. (Haley to win) (although, Durbin is the only one fully using the tools provided, so far)

  49. jef says:

    There is nothing authentic about James. He just throws every bit of rock schtick on the stage. What happened to people just going out there and singing without all the props? I’ve accepted that Idol has gone downhill but this season is even more disappointing because of the promising start.

    • Bev says:

      Well, if your so diappointed , Why are you still watching ? James Durbin for the WIN!!!!

    • Jeff says:

      he has to have the schtick because if he didn’t everyone would notice that he does not have that great of a voice. Just because he can scream doesn’t mean he can sing. Most of the time he cracks anyway.

      This year they all have to have the FLASH BOOM props and hollywood because they have to pretend like this year there is so much more TALENT. No, this year they don’t have a Simon to tell it like it is.

      This season is very disappointing. And I’m not watching, Bev, so there.

  50. SpyKi says:

    Every time they do a Haley/Buffy thing on this show I love it more and more.