Idoloonies: Jacob Gets Booted, James Gets a Pass, Lauren Gets a Rewrite, Haley Gets Squat

American Idol is a harsh, frustrating, and inconsistent mistress, but to paraphrase one of the ditties covered during Top 5 week, I can’t live…if livin’ is without Fox’s ubiquitous ratings behemoth. Yes, folks, Season 10 has been filled with maddening moments, like the judges conveniently overlooking James Durbin’s pitch problems on “Closer to the Edge,” or the producers rewriting Idol history to create an “underdog rising” story arc for Lauren Alaina, or Haley Reinhart never getting the respect that she’s entitled to.

On this week’s Idoloonies, my cohosts and I discuss all those topics, bid an overdue farewell to Jacob Lusk (and his bump-and-grind moves), take a deep dive into who should (and probably will) crack the final three, provide a PSA for fans of The Growler, and look at which of the likely winners (aka the guys) would be better for the franchise from a TV perspective vs. an album sales perspective.

Kris Allen Vs. Chris Daughtry! Clay Vs. Archie!
Vote Now in Idol’s Best Performance Tourney!

Press play on our latest three-part episode below, then hit the comments to share your own thoughts on the week in Idol. And for all my recaps and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Collio says:

    Is this another episode for picking apart the show?

    • Emy says:

      Have you ever watched the show before? Idolatry/Idoloonies is always about pointing out what the show did wrong or right in th eyes fo the reviewer.

      • the reason says:

        The reason the show workers love Lauren is because she reminds them of Miley Cyrus. They want her to get them more rich…pathetic young singers get all the little fans.

        • Mark says:

          Well that’s clearly why they are hoping for big things from Country Bieber. And I’ve no doubt they are right about him, win or lose. Lauren, I’m not sure. If she doesn’t win, she might never be heard from again.

          • r says:

            Scotty is not bieber. Scotty is the only one that Simon Cowell liked. Scotty is actually very talented.

          • Jay says:

            Let’s leave Simon out of this. He gave his comment about Scotty at the beginning of the show. Who knows what he thinks now. For all we know, he may have jumped on the Haley bandwagon as a lot of viewers have.

          • takakupo says:

            Simon never “liked Scotty”, he just knew of him.

          • Kayl says:

            Haley’s already had 2 pimp spot performances and almost back to back performances second to last. She’s also been given the privilege to sing a very popular and current song.

            I love how Slezak lies and make it look like Haley’s some kind of a victim just to get Lauren booted out.


          • janice says:

            I use to like Michael Slezak, but now you’ve just become a pathetic spin doctor who try to spin the facts.

            You complain about lies, lies, lies, yet you perpetrate lies by showing innuedos and spreading lies yourself.

            HYPOCRITE MUCH?

          • janice says:

            I use to like Michael Slezak, but now you’ve just become a pathetic spin doctor who try to spin the facts and always running conspiracy bullcrap the entire time.

            You complain about lies, lies, lies, yet you perpetrate lies by showing innuedos and spreading lies yourself.

            HYPOCRITE MUCH?

            I don’t think your hypocrisy will be appreciated in the long run.

          • Lunakit says:

            OK, venom spewing Janice….Uncovering lies is not the same as “perpetrating them yourself”. It is very compelling evidence to hear what the judges are being prompted to say. We heard Steven say last week “I don’t know if I can agree with that” as Jennifer shows him a paper and says it is his turn to go first, and now we have Randy’s comments from this week. It was all unintended for the microphone, which to my mind, makes it all the more convincing that “something is up.” Major props to Michael and Jason for blowing the whistle on this.

      • Joseph says:

        Can we just agree that this is in many ways the weakest season of American Idol since the creation of the US show. This is really a problem shared equally with the producers and a band that for the most part lacks an ability to easily tailor covers so they suit each performer. James is a nice guy but he has an ability to sing in tune once the band kicks in, not sure if this is because of the ear piece or not. Lauren, Scotty & Haley all have strengths but I do not think they are currently in an environment that helps to foster growth rather it is about creating an entertaining drama. All 3 of them could so really well depending on how they are allowed to grow, but leaving off James since he has not yet learned how to sing with a band yet.

    • Arthur says:

      Slezak and Averett have become even more adept of the editing manipulations than the idol producers.

      The way they cut what is around 100 hours of show to serve their own little storylines is diabolical.

      Queue the violins and angelical sounds when Haley is on screen and the diabolical laughs and the screenshots of Nigel Lithgoe when Lauren appears.

      • amie says:

        Did you even watch? They play buffy music when Haley is on the screen. Get your head out of your ass and don’t comment on something you don’t know. And if Lauren started to live up to her hype I’m sure slezak would be rooting just as hard for her.

        • unique says:

          Haley is the most unique!!

        • Arthur says:

          I don’t need to watch to know the fanboys Slezak and Averett are going to pimp the hell out of their favorite and edit their show to fit their own storylines (surprise I was right). Averett is obviously a dork who loved Buffy and now loves Alison Brie from Community and he wants to associate them to his favorite.

          They have very long memories about editing and Slezak forget that on his own recap 2 days before they filmed the show he gave Lauren an A- and B.
          Lol at the forget the pimp spot standing ovation critic (muted praise? I’m always amazed at how AI fans can put the blinders on).

          The clear sign of fanboys is when they interpret the same event in different ways depending on the contestants.
          When Haley is criticized = they are depimping her, when another contestant is criticized = they are mobilizing their fanbase (so in short pimping them).

          Ultimately, they live by criticizing the show, the producers, the judges, etc. and selling the underdog stories year after year.

          • Owen says:

            Wow..Yay, Arthur!

          • Yo says:

            Bullfeathers, Arthur. Everyone is entitled to their own preference, and those that are paid to write about it, do. There are contestants on AI this year who simply do not get criticism. There is injustice on this show and happily, professional critics (not just Michael Slezak) have noticed and commented, as is their right.

          • DDEE says:

            WOW! Slezak!!! the AI spin team has visited your blog… cool! You must be doing something right. Shame they aren’t paying them to WATCH your vids before they comment, though ;)

          • Yo says:

            For the record, MS was not always a big Haley fan. I loved Blue; he didn’t, nor did the majority of the posters here. It’s okay to come to Jesus late, as long as you come :-).

          • Eolra says:

            Arthur, I seriously don’t even know why you are on this page in the first place. Idoloonies is a opinion piece, it is not supposed to be based in indisputable fact, as are all reviews for art such as television, literature, film, fine art, theater, music etc. By nature, the program is meant to be subjective. If you don’t like the opinions expressed during the show I can’t fathom why you would bother watching it. I’m sure there are a zillion bloggers that you share closer opinions with about the show, why not find one of them instead of wasting your time complaining? Find something that makes you happy man.

          • Michael says:

            Eolra…he’s a pseudo-intellectual blowhard who has nothing better to do than state the obvious.

          • Karen says:

            Does anybody here deny that the judges are 100% useless? And yes, this is the weakest season of Idol EVER! And for that, I blame the judges….not the contestants. They have been given NO opportunity to grow, to test their limits.
            Honestly, if these judges are there next year, I won’t be. Listening to their “critiques” is more maddening and frustrating than listening to Jacob sing…..and I despise Jacob!!

          • Miguel says:

            You open your mouth and offer a critique without actually watching the performance. You have the makings of an Idol judge.

      • julie says:

        @Arthur: But Slezak’s show is commentary — it’s SUPPOSED to be opinionated. AI is supposed to be a fair contest. It USED to be a place where viewers could hear the nuances of a performance, good and bad, ARTICULATED by a panel of judges, and often hear their own perceptions articulated by at least one of them. Averett’s manipulations of footage are overt, in your face, over the top and fun. The idol producers manipulations are covert and sleazy, and as little about “art” as the music biz itself.

    • derby says:

      LOL, are you new here?

    • Name That Tune says:

      Idoloonies has always been about criticizing the injustices of the show for those of us who don’t agree with TPTB. This Haley thing is more than annoying, and I’ve never gotten the whole Lauren thing from day one. Sanity says she goes home this week, but I agree with Michael. They are going to pull some stunt to try to convince us that she is better than she is.

    • stevenjaba says:

      what do you think reviews and critiques are for?

    • rconway says:


      Did you happen to notice the twin blonde back up singers on “Rolling in the Deep”? You may decide you like one of them when you notice how she seems to be totally jazzed up in Hailey’s second verse…..LOVE YOU and LOVE that we’ve had the same taste in contestants for the three years I’ve been following you!!

    • trev says:

      LOL! Hi Nygel!

    • glambert-jo says:

      Pick apart what show, the show is a joke anyway. If you see the amount of these sort of blog’s you will understand that.
      Crawl back under your rock.

  2. Me says:

    Michael you praise and talk about Haley so much that you made me dislike her.

    • Dot says:

      I agree with this. Enough already! She’s good but she ain’t THAT good! And she certainly isn’t being bussed

      • mark says:

        Disagree, she is that good!, in fact one of the best ever.

      • karenb says:

        Haley IS that freakin good! She is the best that this season has to offer!

        • julie says:

          She’s good. She’s not great. She’s good. And at this point she IS the best this season has to offer.

          You and I was only so-so, yet it was certainly better than the “judges” would have us think, and on par or better than the other performances that evening.
          House of the Rising Sun was indeed the best this season of AI has gotten.

      • DennyS says:

        It’s all relative. She isn’t that good, but she’s one of, if not, the best idol has right now for this season.

      • JULES says:

        Sorry, but in my opinion, watching the show you really are wrong. The critics on Haley are completely different than the other contestants. especially by JLo and Randy. They should be embarrassed. Match them up against the Voice “Coaches” and it’s no wonder people are flocking to the new show. props to Idol because without this show there would be no voice. It’s just that the judging has gotten ridiculous on IDOL.

    • AC says:

      The judges praise James and Lauren so much that it makes me dislike them so there? :)

    • clo says:

      The problem, Me, is that Michael is working against the entire AI machine, which really seems to be throwing Haley under the bus week after week. This injustice REQUIRES passionate endorsement to counteract the idiocy coming out of the AI production team.

      Seriously, whether you think this girl is the best singer on the show or not, there is no denying her talent. And the consistent F-You being doled out by the judges is enough to make anyone feel like defending her.

      BTW, she IS the most talented IMHO, and deserves to face Scotty in the top two.

      • Jason McD says:

        Go clo!!!

      • Owen says:

        Why is your’s and Slezak’s (and mine, I guess) the ONLY opinion. Why can’t we be wrong. Why can’t people hear different things? Why can’t J-Lo not like Haley? For whatever reason. Slezak talks in definitives, as if he KNOWS Haley is the best singer. I THINK Haley is the best singer, but I’m willing to believe other people honestly don’t.

        • Mark says:

          It’s one thing to prefer, say, Scotty because you are into the male country singer thing. He’s an exemplar of the genre (I’d love more range, but I know the genre and it’s pretty narrow >most< of the time). It's another thing to prefer James Durbin as a singer who, quite frankly, is rarely on key when not screaming. Now, if you prefer James as a showman, fine. But is there really enough Autotune to make James into a recording artist? For what it's worth, in studio, with enough work, Lauren could certainly record music. Whether she could perform live and carry her own show anytime soon is another matter. But that didn't stop Mariah (who wouldn't work live for her early years) from becoming one of the most successful artists ever. Of course, when Mariah broke in, CDs used to sell in much, much bigger numbers. And Mariah quite honestly, was a hot young thing. Lauren is cute, but, dare I say it, not an object of desire.

          • GinaBallerina says:

            Interesting argument, but I have to say that, under no circumstances, should Lauren be compared to the incomparable Mariah. Yes, Mariah was nervous as a performer early on, as in she didn’t have world tours. But she still was able to perform comfortably on television, unlike Lauren. Just Youtube her Arsenio Hall “Vision of Love” performance from 1990, right when she first appeared on the scene. Her “VOL” is better than everything Lauren has done this whole season, combined. I will admit that Mariah was 20 there, while Lauren is 16. Still.

        • SpyKi says:

          Because she is the best singer. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. It’s fine to prefer one of the others but to say they’re better is wrong.

        • joy2011 says:

          Other people can believe she is not a good musician but not impartial judges who are supposed to be just that, impartial. They are there to give professional critiques on each singers performance, not tell us who they like. If they where there to do anything else you might as well have unknown judges with no musical experience sit and comment on how great their favorite is. Really how relevent would that be?

        • db says:

          because J-LO believes on the floo, on the floor on the floor so repetitive that it makes my head hurt is a good lyric…lol

      • mark says:

        I could not agree with you more, it’s just that a sing off between Scottie and Haley would be laughable, she would sing circles around him, and still face a good chance of losing due the nature of Scotties sizable fan base.

      • Myk says:

        Yeah. A Scotty-Haley finale would be nice.

    • Jason McD says:

      This is one of the weakest reasons out there. Really? Because someone sees and points out the inconsistency that are the American Idol Judges this season, you don’t like her anymore?

      All I can say is Lame!

    • Idolhead Ed says:

      Well first off if you ever liked Haley those words would never exit your mouth……or keyboard. Slezak is not the only one out there on the Haley train. Just troll net. There are Haleyloonies everywhere. I agree with Him that they just weren’t looking for Haley to be a part of the show at this point.The Scotty/Lauren final was an early dream if theirs. And anyone who is honest with themselves knows that James’s, Lauren’s and Scotty’s performance/vocal weren’t in the same zip code as Haley’s and rearely are.

      It is kind of embarrassing what the judges are doing to Haley right now. This girl has more talent in her pinky than the rest have all together. She understands the intracasies of the music she sings. And when you can have that ability you can add little nuances effectively. None of the others can do that nearly as effective.

      I just did a piece on Haley’s unbelieveable rise to the top 4. You guys that don’t like her should read it.(Click name to read it) She has already accomplished somehting no other Idol in her postion has. And her recorded stuff is ready for prime time now. I would love for her to be in the final but I’m not so sure I want her to win.

      • Yo says:

        I have heard excellent performances from both Scot and James, although I find Scot more consistent. James has been on and off, throughout, but when he is on, he is really on! I like both of them, though I lean toward Scotty. Lauren Alaina sounded much better in her audition, hitting notes she hasn’t attempted since. She simply wasn’t ready for a competition like this: Haley is. And
        Haley has been consistently excellent; she and Scottie have earned a place in the final and they would put on a great show.

        • mhj says:

          I have five bucks that says Lauren performs Wednesday in full high note glory, because she was scared s*itless from being in the bottom two? Wrong! It will be because that is the way the script was written. I believe they scripted her to be this shy little thing, who has a great voice but holds back, (whom they believe to be “the ONE”)It is like a judges save, when it seems as if she is getting outdone by someone else (haley) bring out the big guns and sing to your potential and all America will go YAY! OMG! etc. It is all part of “The Plan” Who wants to see my $5?

    • Templar says:

      Michael: You praise and talk about Haley so much that you made me dislike YOU.

      • jon says:

        same here

      • Cup of Joe says:

        W*nker, much?

      • True Confessions says:

        Michael: I love you – Haley FTW :)

      • agrimesy says:

        I think you’ve missed the point. Slezak is highlighting the failure of the show as a whole. Haley is the only one they are criticizing, so he uses her clips to show bias. Also, I don’t care what anyone says on these boards, Haley is an amazing singer. She deserves the recognition. If she isn’t going to get it on the show, then professional bloggers have my total support. If you don’t like it . . . see ya!

    • Karen says:

      Haley is the best of the four remaining.

    • Bat Country says:

      You seem to have difficulty making quality assessments of musicality. It’s a common disorder for most unfortunately…most people aren’t musicians or singing instructors either, as both I can say Slezak is actually quite a good music critic.

    • areyoufreakinkiddingme? says:

      Have you listened to her? The recording of “You and I” is absolufreakinglutely fabulous. Give it a listen then tell me you dislike her.

  3. Donna says:

    I start to get a little itchy every Tuesday waiting for my dose of Idoloonies! My question is this though–if you really believe the whole show is 100% rigged by producers and judges, doesn’t that make it, um, not fun to watch anymore? None of us are naive enough to think they don’t have huge influence, but the thought that they are manipulating the show SO much, makes me not want to watch at all.

    • sara says:

      I really don’t get how someone could watch this show and NOT see how completely manipulated by the producers it is. They couldn’t make it any more obvious if they tried.

      Yes – those girls who rush the stage every time Scotty sings is COMPLETELY spontaneous!

      • Donna says:

        I guess I’m trying to say is I think there is a line they seem to have crossed this year and it is so over the top it is making me not want to watch the show at all. In the past I’ve enjoyed the show in spite of the cheesy packages and emotional back stories for preferred contestants. But this year it is just too much–and is sucking the fun out of the show.

        • Kari G says:

          Donna, I completely agree with your opinion here. Yes, we can all agree that manipulation has definitely occurred over the previous nine seasons of idol… but this season just seems like that line has been crossed, as you said. I too question whether I will continue watching this show come next season.

          • Snsetblaze says:

            I found that the show was not fun to watch this year – so after Casey was voted out – I stopped watching. I watched The Voice instead which I’m looking forward to tonight. I do find Slezak’s Idoloonies and columns fun so I read them anyway. I am debating whether to watch tomorrow night or not – part of me wants to vote for Haley – not because she was my favorite – but because I can’t stand being told who to vote for and who to like – and I believe she really is being thrown under the bus.

    • Dick Whitman says:

      I don’t think they believe the show is rigged (that would mean the votes don’t count and they make whoever they want the winner, right?).

      The show definitely manipulates the people who vote by doing all these things you see in they mention in the Idoloonies episodes, and one would be a fool not to notice them.

      • Owen says:

        No, Slezak goes further. He accuses these people of lying. Looking at these young people, up on the stage, and just lying to them, hurting them JUST because Nigel tells them to. I refuse to believe this. I think Randy is crazy, I do. I think he’s an ass. But I have enough faith in his humanity to not believe he would go against his own beliefs and kill the dream of a hopeful star-to-be just cause the exec producer told him to. Now, if he truly believes James is better than Haley, if he legitimately thinks James should win,and sabotages her so his favorite can…then by all means, that might be what he is doing. And more power to him. He’s the music professional (I know, I know, but he really is) and he can manipulate his TV show to do that. If you don’t want to watch him do that, get a new job blogging about some other show. But don’t dare to call someone you don’t know a liar just because they don’t agree with you.

        • Tusk says:

          Are you not watching the bits in Idoloonies, in which they isolate the sounds? Steven, after a Haley performance, “No, I don’t think I can agree with that?” (Sometimes I wonder if Steven’s weird remarks are a way of saying something against what he was supposed to say)

          Or Randy’s isolated remarks?

          Girls rushing at Scotty at Nigel’s behest?

          James with a drumline and burning piano? Zakk Wilde with a 20 sec guitar solo in a minute and a half song during a SINGING competition?

          If it walks like a duck and sound like a duck, then….

        • algalhi says:

          At first I tried to make excuses for the judges’ uneven critiques, but really, what other reason could there be for the things that J. Lo. and Randy say to Jacob, James and Haley, in particular? (I give Steven a pass as he is uniformly nice to everyone, so he’s the Paula of the season and is showing no bias.) How could they not notice Jacob’s screeching and James being off key? We expect the judges to give us their IMPARTIAL opinions — they are industry professionals whom we count on to tell us who performed well and who didn’t and why. When week after week, in our living rooms, we look at each other after their pronouncements and say, “Huh?”, then something is wrong. And since J. Lo. and Randy seem to agree on their off-the-mark critiques, it’s not a stretch to envision that they are deciding ahead of time or perhaps being given talking points. The judges have become a major problem for American Idol this year. Once the credibility of the judges is questioned, there goes the show.

          • Lola4 says:

            BEST COMMENT I’ve read thus far. You very eloquently stated what my colleagues and I think about this season, and we’ve been Idol fans across the years. Even someone who doesn’t watch Idoloonies can tell just how blatant the cheerleading vs. judging has been this year. It’s ridiculous.

          • Donna says:

            I agree and these are the times I miss Simon. Say what you will about the man but I don’t ever recall him praising someone (except he really had a soft spot for Lee) when they were warbling horribly off key or screaming a series of sharp and flat notes into the homes of America. That has happened so many times this season it is laughable.

            I feel like these kids are going to be in for a HUGE rude awakening when the tour is done and they finally realize that they aren’t all going to become huge stars (ahem, Jacob).

        • SajiNoKami says:

          But the judges telling James he is doing well, when he did not, is not helping him. It is hindering him. The boy needs an honest critique. Even if they want him to win, this is not the way to do it. Sometimes I wonder if they even want him to get better. I really hope he looks to other sources than what the judges say..

    • Jenny says:

      Honestly for years I feel like I am being told who I should like. This year it seems a bit more forceful than other years. Other years the over the top judges comments where there, but at least I felt like we had Simon there as a voice of reason. Even if I didn’t agree with Simon I felt like I got an honest opinion of him. I don’t know how they can sit there with a straight face and say how great Jacob was week after week. If Simon was on the panel still there is no way that would be going on. It is very hard for me to watch this show and I feel like the only reason I do is to see how Idoloonies is going to cover it.

      • Teresa says:

        I felt like I got an honest opinion out of all the judges up until Season 9. Paula was always honest (even if she was using notes). If she didn’t like the singing, then she’d talk about how pretty the singer looked. But she didn’t say the singing was good if it wasn’t.

        Okay, yeah, there was Danny Gokey, but his voice was good. It was just his technique that wasn’t.

        Season 9, the judging went to hell. Simon was bored until he decided to screw the show by pimping Lee. Ellen was useless. Did Randy ever say anything? The only one even trying to give real criticism was Kara. And a couple of mentors.

      • Joe Strummer says:

        Totally agree Jenny. There is no voice of reason this season so the judges are trying to con us into thinking that they are all great singers. Jacob was never the second coming of Luthor Vandross. They didn’t critique Lauren when she didn’t go for the high note on Unchained Melody. Totally missing the pitchiness of both of Surbins performances. It goes on and on.

        This show really misses Simon.

        I think that Steven Tyler just took the job because he knew he had a book coming out. He all of a sudden changes from a “bad boy” to a “sweetheart” so now all the middle aged housewives will buy his book.

        X-Factor will blow Idol out of the water when that gets going.

      • lesfull says:

        I was just talking to my husband about this. I remember in season 7 when they did the Beatles redo and Simon flat out said that it was a bad idea. He had no problem criticizing the production, disagreeing about people who were producer favorites, etc. That is a huge hole this season. Someone needs to just listen to what is going on up on the stage and forget about who makes better television, who might sell more records. Give a constructive critique of what is going on up on the stage. It’s your job!

    • Owen says:

      Thank you. Slezak is so into his conspiracy theories, he’s now wondering…is Jimmy a covert agent…? Is he lying to make people think he’s lying when he’s really telling the truth, or was it the truth last week when we all thought he was lying to tell the truth…

  4. Holly says:

    Aw! Game of Thrones. Love it, Averett!

  5. Dani C says:

    Brilliant as always!! As much as an all male finale bums me out, I’m afraid we might not ba able to avoid it. Doesn’t mean I won’t be voting my fingers off Wednesday night for Haley!
    Save the Growler, Save the Season!

  6. May says:

    Y’know, I love Haley to death and think she is a great singer, but even if I didn’t the Buffy edit would make me root for her anyway. A+

  7. Bobby says:

    I love that Michael makes it clearly obvious he does not care that he’s biased in favor of Haley. He clearly knows he’s favoring her & doesn’t care. I love that. Frankly his pimping would be more annoying if 1- I disagreed with him or 2- He acted like he wasn’t biased, but Haley deserves the praise he’s giving her. She’s one of the best Idols ever. Do I think Idol is in favor of her? No. Do I think Idol as actively working as hard as possible to get her to leave? No. So I disagree with Michael about how much idol doesn’t care about her, but they definitely her less about her then the other 3

    • Jason McD says:

      Hi Bobby,

      I don’t think they are pushing super hard to make her specifically leave, no matter who it would have been left, it would have been that person. I do think they have a final three in mind that “they” want, and like Michael and many others point out, they manipulate to get that outcome. So indirectly, you could say he is right. I don’t think they felt she would be here as long as she is.

      • Name That Tune says:

        But they can only manipulate so far. Remember the year David Cook won? Simon practically guaranteed that Archie woiuld win during the finale, then had to apologize the next night.
        If we refuse to vote the way they want, they don’t get the final 3 they want. My cell phone is set to go tomorrow night. I will not be voting for Lauren A, no matter how hard they try to get me to change. I’ve decided who I want to see in the final 2. They will be the only ones getting my votes.

    • lking says:

      Tend to agree and disagree with you. Think Michael is biased for Haley…but someone has to be. To say they have thrown her under the bus is an oxymoron. If a train was handy she could not be saved by Dudley Do Right. I have never seen such obvious pimping, nor worse judging in the entire ten years of Idol. Quit watching weeks back as the judging makes me angry and why bother. Jlo is the worse, she can’t seem to say anything that does sound contrived and a catch phrase. Randy has sold his soul, and Tyler is so spacy I wonder if he will ever land. Cannot wait for XFactor, or for that matter The Voice is so much more entertaining and talk about talent. This show has it all. I am hoping that Haley wins, at least top 2 her and Scotty would be a great final. I might even watch.

  8. Kim R says:

    I remember when this season started & how pleasantly surprised I was with the new judges. At that time I didn’t mind Simon’s absence so much. But something has changed. I was watching Crystal Bowersox on YouTube the other day (the longer versions that included the judges comments) & I really missed Simon’s concise critiques of the contestants. I feel like the current judges have sold out. How could they laud Jacob’s performances & trounce on Hayley’s? They are supposed to be the experts but even I could hear the sour notes, the missed keys etc. So disappointing. I’m a little discouraged. :(

    • Kari G says:

      I agree 100% with you. I felt the same exact way and was just thinking the same thought while watching Idoloonies. I thought this season was going to be so great based on how it started out. But the judges unwillingness to step up and do their joba once we got down to the top 13 has completely derailed the season. It has turned out to be quite disappointing indeed.

    • zaza says:

      I feel the same way. I felt pleasantly surprised by the judges during the audition rounds and felt like this season, the judges would actually be helpful. But I think Lopez and Tyler didn’t realize what they were signing up for…that is, having to totally submit to Nigel’s will. I will be very surprised if Steven Tyler comes back for another season.

      • Joe Strummer says:

        He won’t because he just wanted to pimp his book.

        • Tusk says:

          After some of the audio reveals, like the one where Steven said something like “I don’t agree with that”, I am wondering if some of the nonsensical things he says are what he could come up at the moment because he refuses to say what’s on the script.

          Like on You and I. After Jen and Randy’s off mark response, gallant Steven does what he can to bolster Haley a bit. You could see his look of encouragement when he told her she was one great song away, that he was trying to tell her, I know you don’t deserve that crap from them, you’re THAT good.

          I would think as a long time true artist, if these judges are being told what to think, Steven could only do this for one year. Expect him to say something about it after he leaves AI?

    • julie says:

      Yes, exactly. The new judges surprised me in the beginning with their great critiques, on the mark criticisms coming from musicians and performers who really knew their stuff. Then some time during or right after Hollywood rounds, once the viewing public started voting… the judges just turned off their brains and began slathering on this sickening praise no matter what atrocity had just gone down on live television for all to see. It’s Orwellian — to witness one thing with your own eyes and ears and then listen to the “authorities” telling you you saw and heard something completely different. It does NOT make for good television! That’s what I don’t understand. Having a panel that insightfully articulates the nuances of a performance, indeed who disagree with each other because of picking up on different aspects of it — made for GREAT television (past tense). One fascinating thing about Idol was how it helped clarify where that line was between good and great, between amateur and professional — this made it entertaining because even watching a bad performances had an instructive purpose in the end. Now it is just depressing to hear bad singing, and see the erstwhile singers being misled rather than helped.

  9. S says:

    I went to high school with Haley. Let me assure you that it’s not her being grateful, but maintaining dignity as you guessed. She’s a genuine sweetheart and crazy talented.
    It has REALLY sucked watching Idol judges and producers do the same crap over and over each week, especially since our whole town has been rooting for her since her initial audition.
    It’s like, she has pulled out mostly phenomenal (and I’ll be honest, a few performances fell shy of excellent, but not many) that consistently outdo the other contestants only to receive backhanded compliments and ‘muted’ praise.
    I will definitely be texting my fingers off tomorrow night!

    • S says:

      Sorry, meant *ungrateful

    • AC says:

      Awesome! I hope she knows how many people love her!

    • LOMS says:

      Wheeling represent!! See you at the parade on Saturday! LOL

      I’ve heard from various people who know Haley and her family the same thing (frustration, anger, etc). She knows whats going on and where they want her to be. It’s ok though because it just fires her up & makes her do better, and fires up her fans to vote.

    • djm says:

      Thank you for posting this – because frankly, I know absolutely NOTHING about her. I am not her biggest fan – not by a mile – BUT, she is the best singer left on the show and she (to me) is far more compelling than Scotty & Lauren & James combined. I have only voted maybe 5 times one night all season long but I will be voting for Haley tomorrow night – regardless of how she sings or what those LAME “celebrities” (NO, they are NOT judges) say.

    • Yo says:

      Hey, I even picked up the phone for some votes last week and I don’t vote! Gonna do the same this week!

  10. Donna says:

    Also, we really need an edit of one of the Game of Thrones direwolves throttling Randy! Or maybe Ned Stark doing to Randy what he did to Lady?

  11. Mikaylah says:

    It is completely fair to voice his opinion on which performer he prefers. I personally really like Haley’s voice and stage presence and the rest of the singers just don’t sound like anything new. That is what I crave most from Idol after so many seasons, something DIFFERENT.

  12. buffy522 says:

    LET IT BURN!!! Love the recap! Thanks so much Michael for calling it all out. I sit at home and just think, “how do they say James is great and Haley horrible”? Is the sound live so different than on my TV?
    James would make for a fun finale, but I don’t see him doing much afterward. Did you see him “mouthing” the words on Ryan’s teleprompter on the results show? A couple words might be funny, but the whole thing? He is a loose cannon emotionally and vocally. Not good.He would be a nightmare to manage.
    We knew Scotty was in it to win it. He has not had to stretch at all and is the favorite, so we just have to deal.
    Lauren is not moving and is a mess. She will get a recording deal and then settle down. She or James should go home, but probably won’t.
    Haley is mature emotionally and vocally. She is gorgeous and I could see her being a radio ready artist. No baby sitting needed.The judges are so obvious that it does make me sick. I just don’t know how much of this show I can take.

    • SajiNoKami says:

      Sometimes when James does stuff like that, it is just subconscious, I don’t think he did it to be malicious. Lauren even shook his leg ‘jokingly’ to try get him to stop. I do see other certain contestants doing similar things when they don’t realize the camera is watching.

      It made me so angry they were not honest with james about his vocals.

  13. Amanda says:

    I’ll eat my cowboy hat if Scotty goes platinum, or even gold, with his debut album.

    • Rico says:

      You better start scouring the internet for some good recipes…

    • Posey says:

      What? You mean teenage girls won’t want to listen to Randy Travis sing about trucks?

    • NedPepper says:

      Yeah, I agree with you, Amanda. Those teen girls didn’t buy Lee Dewyze’s album. Country music fans do not buy into this. They don’t want a male Taylor Swift. And they certainly do not want a “Country Bieber”. The only way Scotty will ever really get the support of Nashville is if he actually makes a true “country” album. 19 is going to make a pop country mess and I’m not sold on him being this automatic cash cow. I know fans of country music. They think he’s lame and cheesy. It’s karoake, really. You can hear Scottys at any country bar anywhere in the South. It’s true. There’s nothing really special there….

      • Tim says:

        I agree, Scotty has a good voice but he just isn’t as “country” as he thinks.
        His stage behaviour with all the eyebrow wiggling and sexy-glances-into-the-camera stuff is totally anti country. He is running on little girl votes.
        Somehow I can’t imagine him doing well live in front of a big crowd of real country fans.

  14. chrissyz says:

    I love Idoloonies and I love Michael and I agree with just about everything expressed here this week but my focus is now on something else…I need to get some Buffy DVDs. I never watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and i think it looks pretty awesome

    • BP says:

      You gotta watch BUFFY!

    • Michelle R. says:

      It is … pretty awesome. :)

      • Teresa says:

        Heh. I was just thinking I ought to check out this Game of Thrones show.

        • Michelle R. says:

          Love Game of Thrones too — I just got 2 kittens yesterday and named them Jon Snow and Arya after GOT characters. Arya is the little stabby girl in the clips.

    • WhiteLady says:

      chrissyz I’m thinking about getting some Buffy DVDs as well…

    • ladyhelix says:

      You can stream Buffy live on NETFLIX – all 7 seasons.

    • tamara says:

      yeees!! you should.
      Season 1 is pretty normal, s2 and 3 are the best. The rest have ups and downs (worst for me is s4) but they have pretty amazing episodes.

      You should also watch Angel. I prefer it to Buffy. And Angel&Cordelia’s characters are so much better, nothing like how they were on Buffy.

      Ok, now the rant ends. Can you tell I love the show? :S

      • Michelle R. says:

        Season 7 is my least favorite and — I know this is unpopular — season 6 is my favorite, followed by season 3. The first season the show was okay, but just finding itself.

    • econruth says:

      You can watch Buffy for free on Hulu

  15. Ang says:

    LOST references! Love Idoloonies! :D

  16. tykismom says:

    It might seem impossible to some how you can “pick apart” a show and still have feelings for it. That’s the kind of show AI is, you can hate it and love it at the same time. This season seems to be definitely more manipulated by producers than in past seasons, or perhaps I’m just naive. I will continue to vote for the growler and I have to say that due to Nigel’s manipulations this season I will have a hard time watching his SYTYCD without wondering what’s going on back stage.

  17. Zach says:

    All of you bashing Haley can cram it! She is the most talented person left and if Haley does not make the top 3 I will not be watching Idol next year!!!!

    • Dot says:

      I didn’t see anyone bashing her. People have just said that the are sick of hearing about her all of the time from Michael. It’s definitely his right to support who he wants but it’s also our right to say that we are sick of it. Haley and the others are all inoffensive but none of the people this season really do anything for me

      • Jason McD says:

        But if he doesn’t support her Dot, nobody else in the public eye will. The judges aren’t (I loved Jennifer and Steven during the beginning. After that I still liked Jennifer, now I don’t like any of them…so disappointing).

        You know Michael is going to try to right a wrong that he sees, so I hate to say this, it is time to stop reading his reviews and watching his videos. This is who he is, who he always has been…We all should know this by now. I thought that was one of the main reasons we all love him.

      • LindaT says:

        Michael is clearly a fan of Haley. This is his blog, and like all bloggers, he is paid to have a point of view about the show. If you don’t agree with his opinions, that’s fine, but whining about them is ridiculous. Maybe you should try another blogger whose opinions are more in line with your own.

  18. PB says:

    I love Idoloonies… the Shining girls and Paul McDonald?!! funnyfunny
    It’s also funny how JLo has a gaga-penned song on her album, yet has no problem with that!
    The judges like their paychecks too much to go out on a limb for a contestant at the risk of standing up to Nigel.

    • Liz says:

      Aren’t we seeing Gaga AND Jordin Sparks this week? They’ve both been slighted on AI in recent weeks, so I’d love to see them throw around a little attitude!

  19. Wendi says:

    I would love to see captioning on the videos — I’m a deaf individual hearing through cochlear implants, and these episodes look very entertaining! :)

  20. Emy says:

    I don’t know why anyone comes here to complain about the content of the show. Slezak is a reviewer, he’s supposed to review Idol and give his opinions. His. And he’s had the same opinions for a few weeks now, so why do you come expecting something different or complain? Don’t watch if his opinion is so differing from your own.

    • Jason McD says:

      I agree with you Emy!

    • Teresa says:

      I agree. Michael has strong opinions about the show, and yet clearly loves it. That’s why I come here. Actually, it may be the main reason I even watch Idol at all. :)

      I did a retrospect of the Idoloonies show and Michael didn’t even like Haley the first few weeks. Didn’t like the growl, the weird movements, and he was still smarting over Kendra.

      But that’s one of the great things about Michael. At any time, he’s willing to change his mind about a contestant — based on what they are doing on the stage. He was unwavering about Crystal last year, but he still gave her crap when he thought she deserved it (i.e., for talking back to the judges).

      He loathed James early in the season, slowly came to like him, and is only now souring on him because James gave two really bad performances this week.

      So, go Michael! Thank you for being honest and passionate. It’s a great and very rare combination.

  21. Carla888 says:

    Could some one please vote for me? Hailey Reinhart, I am buying that album whether you win or not.

    PS> Thank you Jason, now I can never watch watch Buffy without thinking of Hailey.

    • WhiteLady says:

      I wish someone could vote for Haley for me as well, I can’t do it from Spain… :(

      • tamara says:

        hahha!! me neither. I’m in Spain too.
        Though last week I was so furious that I searched for a US proxy IP and voted online for Haley. I spent 1 hour and could only vote 4 times cause apparently the site was overloaded.
        I probably won’t waste my time like that again, but I was sooo mad last week I had to do something.

        • Mark says:

          My wife was our lone voter in the house last week. This week, we both promise to wear out the speed dial for a while.

  22. genie says:

    +1000 Save the Growler points for the entire Idoloonies team. Go Haley! Her praise from Michael is more than deserved, especially because she is not recieving the respect she deserves on the actual show. But it doesn’t matter what they try to tell us, we know Haley is awesome! And deserves to win, but I will be happy with a top 2 finish. Keep bringing it Haley, and America will hopefully keep voting.

  23. Karen says:

    LOST clips? Love you Slezak! Now I’m not mad I had to wait so long for Idoloonies. Scotty, Lauren, and Haley for the top 3!

  24. markstudy says:

    Haley is amazing. To borrow a joke from Jerry Sienfield “The judges are living in “Opposite World”

    Vote for the best 3 singers Wednesday night…. and vote hard and vote often.

  25. aby says:

    First off I have to say to Michael Slezak I am loving the arglye and stripes combination. You are looking sharp.
    For the first time this season I voted like a madwoman for Haley and I will continue to do so this week. She is far and away the most talented person in this season and I do not understand why they continue to throw her under the bus. I am thrilled to see her standing tall and getting her revenge by killing it when she sings.
    For the person who said they need to watch Buffy, yes get thee to Amazon or Netflix and get yourself some DVD’s. I think I am having the same reaction to Community. I haven’t ever seen an episode, but it looks hilarious.

    • Kari G says:

      You definitely need to watch Community!!! :)

    • Amie says:

      Yes! Watch Community, I only started a month ago but I watch all the episodes in two days! Sadly its my fix for the Office lull that has happened

    • Blair says:

      By all means watch COMMUNITY …it is arguably one of the best, if not THE best and smartest, hippest of the recent comedies to come around in a long time!

    • NedPepper says:

      While we’re talking about the wonderful taste of Averitt, also check out Deadwood, which he’s used. Buffy, Deadwood, and Community all in Idoloonies? It’s like a TV fan’s nirvana. For the record, Buffy is one of the great shows….ever. Just superb, superb writing. I came in right when the show was going off the air. A friend of my just raved about it, so I finally bought Season 1 and I was just floored. How could a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer be this smart and awesome? But it is. Particularly Season 3.

  26. wendeeloo says:

    HOW is it possible that an episode of Idoloonies has me almost in tears?! Michael and Jason – this is your finest work and I’m sure you are not paid enough! I will be sitting Wednesday night – 9pm central time so I use my unlimited TMobile minutes – Ipad on lap voting at and redialing while waiting for the last vote to be registered – It’s all for you, Haley girl!

    • Steph says:

      Same here! I feel like Idoloonies has become my own therapy session before my bad break up with Idol… There was anger, tears, and even a light-at-the-end-of the-tunnel/rally-together moment at the end. This week was especially excruciating waiting for Tuesday but Michael + Co did not disappoint.

      (Bonus points for whipping out the Game of Thrones clips this week!)

      • wendeeloo says:

        Perfect. Your “Bad-breakup”reference describes me too. Plus – I’m not at all familiar with Buffy – and because of these clips – I want to rent the show –

    • JBanana says:

      yes!! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Thank you Michael and Jason!

    • Colin says:

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

  27. Kari G says:

    I literally gasped out loud when you played the audio of Randy saying “I’m not rooting for her” regarding Haley… because wow… that just pretty much sums it all up doesn’t it? It took me a very long time to get on Haley’s bandwagon due to her excessive growling. Quite frankly it didn’t happen completely until this past week. That being said, not only did she kill her two songs, but she completely annihilated them unlike the other four contestants.

    As a side note, I recently watched Lady Gaga’s concert on HBO and saw in the credits that Jimmy Iovine was an executive producer. I had been curious as to whether his intentions for Haley were good or not in his recommendation of Gaga but after seeing his involvement had to somewhat assume he meant what he said. Oddly enough, his clips shown on results night got me on Jimmy’s bandwagon, which I had not been up until that point. I agree that his conclusions could have easily been made by perusing message boards but at least he was willing to actually voice them to America!

    I say next season we start over with the ‘judges’ and get back to having at least one person like Simon that is actually willing to give critiques. All three of the current ‘judges’ need to get the boot because they are completely WORTHLESS!

    P.S. Thank you for the Arrested Development clip!!!

    • Tusk says:

      Because I wasn’t a fan of Haley’s early on, I have been finding what I can from this year to catch me up to what I missed and I was reminded of Haley’s audition in Milwaukee when she said was turned down last year, and that Randy was there to turn her down.

      JLo and Steven gave Randy a bunch of crap (“She’s holding a grudge”). Randy, said something like, I think you got so much better, and earlier didn’t even look like he recognised her at all. Could it be then that Randy had a target put on Haley for calling him out?

    • Blair says:

      Someone on the board had suggested some time ago the idea of having three different judges come in each week to judge. Now, while this idea is hardly feasible (only in fantasy idol-land), that aside, if it really were possible, think of how much more of an actual critique we could get from them …hmm, just imagine…

  28. matt says:

    obligatory “please use a different video player because if buffers at a glacial speed/doesn’t load” comment.

    that said. tuesdays are the highlight of my week before idol. i love idoolonies. i want lauren to have a moment this week, but not at the expense of haley. i want them two plus scotty in the top 3!

    • MQ says:

      And again this week I second your petition for a different video player.

      Slezak I just love Idoloonies and agree with you 100%.

      • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

        I third that petition — it took me almost 40 minutes to watch all three segments this AM. Very frustrating to have the video freeze every 2 or so minutest, especially in the middle of one of Michael’s key statements.

        • Mark says:

          If we’re bitching, the sound effects at the end over the TV Line logo are painful with headphones on. Turn them down about 15db. Please.

    • sarah says:


  29. C says:

    Again, I totally agree with Michael. Many of Haley’s performances have been among the best of the season, and yet she gets absolutely no credit. Has anyone checked iTunes? Her singles have more high ratings that any other contestant. The girl’s a star and it is infuriating that everyone at Idol refuses to recognize that. I voted like a crazy person last Wednesday, and will do so again tomorrow night.

    • agrimesy says:

      I bought Haley’s iTunes recordings too. I haven’t done that since Adam Lambert season 8. She’s just THAT good! I’ll be voting with you the full two hours! Go Haley go!

      • Petra says:

        Lambert, Siobhan, Haley – had the best iTunes of their seasons. Worth a purchase to hear Haley kill “Beautiful” without the Band problems of the live performance night.
        Have Siobhans HOTRS, now I want to get Haley’s and play them side -by -side.

  30. Jason S. says:

    I’m saying this as a huge Haley fan!!! Don’t you think it’s slightly possible that the reason the producers prop up James, Scotty and LAuren is because all season long they have gotten the most votes!!! So if they are getting the most votes they are praising them because they know they are going to win no matter what they do!! So they have to praise them to give some legitimacy. I saw Randy on a talk show the day before last week’s show and he said “Haley is coming on strong!” If you’re saying that their critique of LAuren is to create a comeback story wouldn’t it be just as likely that they’re critique of Haley’s first song was to create her comeback story this week. Especially since both Randy and Steven’s comments hinted that “…she still has another song.” and “… you’re just one perfect song away from being an American Idol.” I think the producers have switched gears and want Haley to be in the finale. Jimmy’s comments were pointed at all three other contestants and nothing but praise for Haley. And you’re insane if you read Jimmy’s comments as “they’re trying to make Haley’s fans not vote for her and become complacent” because that would be saying that she is the frontrunner. I think you have a bit of OCD with you trying to say every little thing is this big conspiracy. Another conspiracy could be that hey maybe JAmes is beating Scotty so they are trying to make him unlikeable (which he was in the last couple episodes). If youy’re going to try to find something in everything you’re going to go insane.

    • evs says:

      that’s a really interesting theory. I thought of it for a sec but then I dismissed it. Although, come to think of it the above (aka nailing Lee every week up until top 3 and 4) strategy “paid off” last year. (Go indie Crystal). I hope Haley rocks this week. Sidenote> I never saw Buffy but you make me want to. Con> How many shows do I really want to watch where David Boreanaz possibly, but not really, gets the girl?

  31. Deb says:

    Love you, love Idoloonies, but you are now doing a little cheerleading yourself. Any objective analysis out there?
    That said, if she keeps putting out great vocals, Haley could be the Kris Allen of Season 10. Casual viewers who base there’s on the performances and a likability factor, aren’t really phased by the judges’ comments and frequently vote against the judges’ ridiculous contestant PR statements.

  32. Justtrollingaround says:

    I think Slezak is a closet James fan.

  33. Kevin says:

    Excellent first two parts. I especially loved your James vs. Scotty coverage. Now, let’s discuss that last part, hm? First of all, Slezak, you dismissed duets last week in your recap as being hastily put together and barely even discussed them in Idoloonies, so we can all agree that the meat of Top 6 Week was the solo performances–therefore, it can still be said that Haley got the pimp spot. And even if you insist she didn’t, she got second-to-last, which is almost never followed up by a pimp spot the next week.

    Next, and I hate to be the one to say this, but “Yoü and I” was not a great vocal. This week I’d rank both “Flat On the Floor” and “Gone” ahead of it. Her start was kind of weak and while the call-and-response was certainly quite good, her final notes were slightly off once again. It wasn’t her best. And again, of course, “House of the Rising Sun” was gorgeous, which is why the judges gave it a standing ovation (their only ovation of the night) and called it the best of the night. Complaining that their praise isn’t effusive enough is ridiculous. Averett hit closer to the truth in his editing: it’s not that the praise for Haley is too minimal, it’s that the praise for the others is too hyperbolic. And I think it’s pretty clear that Jimmy Iovine isn’t a producer puppet: I think his declaration that Haley was a 10 and won the night was his own.

    Watching this show the past couple of weeks but especially today has made me realize: Slezak, you need a consistent co-host. You need an Annie Barrett or a Kristen Baldwin who can keep you in check so you don’t get too conspiratorial. The fans who get to participate are lovely but they come from the exact same House of Conspiracy, Rocking and Growling that you do. You need someone else to say, “No, Slezak, ‘Yoü and I’ wasn’t that great. She should have acted independently of Jimmy and chosen her own song.” (Which, by the way, is something you’ve admonished contestants like Jordan Dorsey for complaining about before!) You need them to say, “No, Slezak, Lauren is clearly not being that pimped considering they’ve given her the final spot once all season as opposed to thrice for Haley and twice for James.” (About that, guess which member of the final four hasn’t received it at all? Scotty’s doing pretty well for himself despite never having that opportunity.)

    Stop feeding the conspiracy theories. Don’t blame this on the production. You risk sounding like a madman. Any of the four can go this week. It’s truly up for grabs. Whoever gets eliminated, it won’t be because of the production. It will be because America favored the other three.

    • justtrollingaround says:

      *high fives* to Kevin! You need to be an AI blogger. Great analysis!

    • sara says:

      You don’t actually believe that “who America is favoring” isn’t influenced by the show itself? There is an absolutely massive amount of money behind this production and there are many many jobs on the line, plus Idol takes a lot of pride in being “the biggest show on tv” – these people aren’t taking any risks and leaving it to the people. They have their (often very flat) narratives and their dream scenarios and they will try their very damn best down that route to reach the point where the KA-CHING! is the loudest. There is no end to what editing skills, behind and on stage dynamics and of course the producers’ script can do to steer people’s impression a certain way – especially the vast majority, who are more casual viewers and not insane enough to analyze this stupid show and devote as much time to it as we all here do.

      I agree with you on a couple of points though, especially regarding the pimp spots – but even that ties into the idea that the makers of this show are pulling the strings the best they can. I am pretty sure that they wanted to get rid of Jacob, who hardly is of any commercial value to them (at least I am under that impression, looking at the current music market and Jacob as a performer), and seeing that Haley was gaining respect and support both from fellow musicians and Idol fans, they sort of used her as the broom to sweep him out. And Scotty must be miles ahead of everyone else in rankings, I’m sure they wouldn’t put him in riskier spots if he wasn’t.

      You are mistaken though if you really think that it’s anybody’s game now. Idol simply doesn’t work that way, a horrible or a great performance doesn’t reboot anything, especially not at this stage. Contestants have been pimped, stereotypes have been sold, points have been made – the show could have ended weeks or months ago and Scotty would have won it, just as he will in about two weeks. (Which is cool with me, I like him) I have absolutely no problem when the contestant with the most fans goes further than others, of course not. It’s a reality tv show and this is how it works. But it damn well frustrates and angers me to see anybody getting a lot of crap and being treated unfairly, and whether you like her or not, that is what has been happening with Haley over the past weeks/months. As somebody else mentioned, a line has been crossed with her, she has more often than gotten poor treatment against herself as a person, and not as a contestant in a goddamn singing competition.

      • Kevin says:

        You raise plenty of great points, Sara, and I admit when this was happening to Allison Iraheta two years ago I was just as angry. In fact, I notice a lot of parallels to that season (with Haley as Allison, James as Adam, Lauren as Danny and Scotty as…Kris, sort of, it’s not a perfect corollary).

        I completely agree that the producers have done a number on Haley at a couple different points, and they’re definitely pulling the strings, but it’s hard for me to swallow that they’re bussing her as hard as Slezak seems to think they are when she’s gotten the pimp spot three times to Lauren’s one and Scotty’s *zero*. But frankly, this is the producers’ show, and they’re really under no obligation to not create storylines and edit the show a certain way. (The producers of Top Chef, Project Runway, America’s Next Top Model and others certainly do, and at least one of those shows is Emmy-winning and the other Peabody-winning, so they’re valid examples.) Does it suck for Haley? Sure. I wish she’d had more of a chance than they’ve given her. But she’s gotten her own advantages, like three pimp spots, a sit-down chat this week, getting to perform an unreleased Lady Gaga song, etc. She’s not getting the best treatment, but it’s hardly Allison Iraheta-level of bad.

        I love Haley, she’s my current favorite and her covers of “Rolling In the Deep,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “House of the Rising Sun” are all in the double-digit play counts on my iTunes. I’m similarly a fan of Scotty who has, to me, really broken out of his tired country mold to give some pretty interesting, energetic performances (“Gone” and “You’ve Got a Friend” especially). James is interesting and gave at least one great performance all season (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”), while Lauren’s a solid performer who hasn’t really bombed yet (plus “Flat On the Floor” was really quite good). Whoever wins is worthy, with Haley and Scotty slightly more worthy than the other two. But the reason I said it was totally up for grabs is because they’re all good and at the end of the day, the public can do crazy things (Kris Allen, anyone?). This is still anyone’s game, no matter how much manipulation there is.

        • Lily says:

          The way I read the ‘pimp spot’ is that it’s where the producers place the memorable performance they think will end the show on a high note. Slezak pointed out that when Haley got the pimp spot for “Bennie and the Jets,” she had chosen the only upbeat number among a bunch of ballads. So it’s interesting that despite continual negatives from the judges, those who have to actually think about putting together a good show with a rollicking finish keep selecting Haley. To me, this makes perfect sense. I still can’t remember a single one of Scotty’s songs, so why would the people tasked with putting together a ‘big finish’ select one of the interchangeable Scotty songs for the ‘pimp spot’? If he would actually do something different and interesting, then sure, I could see it. But as far as who’s doing rollicking big-finish songs to end the show, right now that seems to be James and Haley as the only ones taking those sorts of big risks.

          • Mark says:

            Scotty’s one memorable moment all season for me was “Gone”, the Montgomery Gentry song. Would’ve closed a show fantastically well, for what it’s worth. His “You’ve Got a Friend” was also pretty solid. I’m not particularly a fan of Country Bieber, but I get that he’s going to sell a lot of tickets and downloads. And more power to him.

      • Davey says:

        Word. Anyone who doesn’t get how insanely manipulated reality TV is needs to check out Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe. He did a few different episodes on reality TV and competition shows and how incredibly manipulated they are. But Haley has been especially maligned this season and given the shaft and treated unfairly, and it is just so frustrating.

    • The Lady Reinhart says:

      I’d rather have Michael sounding like a madman than seeing Haley Reinhart being thrown under the bus like that. You’d have to be toone-deaf to think Lauren’s FOTF had a better vocal than You & I. There weren’t any flat notes at all, she just sang it the way Haley would, it was unique and passionate and had me in tears as well. Lauren singing Carrie’s song was lovely but I recommend you take a listen to the original and you’ll find yourself wondering why they never rolled out that proverbial oxygen tank. Lauren’s been struggling with breathing problems all season long and the only purpose that fast-paced Carrie song did was highlight said weakness. Taking in too much air resulted in her failing to sustain the high notes hence the breathless sound at the end. You’d either have to be Carrie Underwood or unaerobic to pull off that song and our baby just doesn’t have the chops. Unless I’m mistaken Adam Lambert was given the pimp spot several weeks in a row so I guess it’s safe to say that you don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s obvious that you’re favoring another contestant but Haley’s the real thing. Her vocals possess a sort of distortd clarity that commands attention whether or not she is softly caressing a word or belting out a growly flourish. She can clearly generate stunning volume, but her power derives from the definition and authority of her emotive phrasing and virtuosic shading (THOTRS – ‘and it’s BEEN’) as she shifts effortlessly from a soft whisper (Yes Michael, you know what line I am referring to)to an unbridled, heartfelt wail, from melancholy reserve to joyful abandon, from anguished insecurity to bold resolve. Her vocals possess a texture that colors each word so differently, that rare confidence to accentuate every phrase, whether it be straight or melismatic. Contrary to popular opinion, she can produce more volume than the three remaining singers combined (*sigh* Pia had that innate ability as well), but it is her range that gives her a unique soul and ability. Her notes range from a gentle reed-like breeze or scat to a rich, full-bodied high-octave cry, each serving a purpose in her interpretation, be it distraught anxiety or pleasant impulse. Her growly tone highlights this astonishing range with a timbre that so sharply contrasts to her young age (20 years of age?!?!?!), but accompanies and blends better than a bird and wings. ;-)) I know I know epic fail at trying my hand at poetry but it still needd to be said as everybody else is falling short of praising the awesomeness that is the Lady Reinhart. Oh and one more think Michael – please do NOT use the score from the final scene from The Gift ‘Sacrifice’! Not even if Haley gets eliminated or you’ll be reducing me to baby-like state bawling uncontrollably. ;-) Haley is epic and her peerless ability to define a song (here’s something I never thought I’d say going into the tenth season) will eventually result in her getting her vindication. Haley & Buffy FTW. You’re right those manipulative skunks INDEDD have NO clue what a slayer is. :) Thank you for this incredible installment of Idoloonies Michael it made me cry and that’s something that hasn’t happened since The Adam & Allison tribute on Idolatry roughly two years ago. Save the GROWLER and get some Buffy DVDs y’all. :)

      • Mark says:

        Your post is amazing actually. For what it’s worth, one of Haley’s most amazing qualities is that half the time she seems to be doing it all effortlessly. It’s not that you don’t feel like she’s not working. It’s that while she’s doing some run or some ridiculously fast-paced verse or whatnot, she’s just going and you can see the ease on her face. As if to say, “Hey, guys, just wait, when the big finish comes, I’ve got something left in the tank.” Lauren, who is a doll by the way, lacks that. She can sing almost anything, but she has none of Haley’s ease. She has none of Haley’s second, third and fourth gear. Watch “You and I” again (of course, stop before the judges open their useless yaps) and just see her build to the end. Never in doubt. I know some of you don’t love her, but those of us that do see a star on the rise. Not just “some American Idol contestant” but one of those special talents coming out of nowhere. You may really like >your< favorites more and that's fine. I'm really doubting you find them as special as we find Haley.

    • Jen says:

      IMO,You and I WAS a great vocal and performance! I admit I didn’t know the song, but after Haley was done with it I loved it! Then I watched GaGa on Oprah and loved the song even more. Haley did the song justice and performed it with the interpretation that was meant. I thought it was an A+ performance and it seemed Haley was confident with it and felt she did it well and the judges like had to pull the plug on it and p*ss all over it because they knew she just blew their beloved Lauren out of the water and they can’t have anyone foiling their plan. The poster above says with such conviction that it was not a good vocal as if it were a fact, the fact is that it is just ones opinion and should be worded as such!

      • Kevin says:

        Hey, Jen, can you tell me exactly what about Haley’s performance of “Yoü and I” you liked so much? Or exactly how she performed with the interpretation that was meant? What was that interpretation, exactly?

        You’re right, I should have stated that what I said about Haley’s vocal was my opinion, but I also pointed out specific parts of her performance that just didn’t work for me in specific terms. I made an error by not declaring it to be my opinion, but I backed it up.

    • ladyhelix says:

      “Lauren is clearly not being that pimped”? You have GOT to be kidding.

    • Blair says:

      …or because America didn’t look at themselves in the mirror? lol ..jk
      I couldn’t resist. :)

    • Deltasue says:

      FINALLY!!!! Someone with a voice of maturity and reasoning! STOP with the conspiracy stories already! GO LAUREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Rhama says:

    Save the growler! Only Haley can save this terrible season.

  35. Jon Y. says:

    How did you guys even notice that Randy made that “I’m not rooting for her” comment?! Amazing. It’s like CSI up in here, except the victim is Haley :(

  36. mgl says:

    I think Haley is great and deserves to be in the finale, but I think her growing contingent of die hard fans is going to drive me up the wall. Yes, she’s awesome and the show has crapped on her, but no, supporting her does not give you some sort of higher ground or bucking-the-system coolness cache.

  37. Tusk says:

    First Post, I’ve been a reader of Idoloonies since five weeks ago. And Michael has made me a fan.
    Coming right out and saying that Lauren was a favorite when the season started for the pureness of her vocal. Come the end, I am listening to Haley’s performances (including studio tracks) like I was listening to her album. Her studio tracks are top notch including “You and I”, which now is an earworm comfortably residing in my brain.

    I just have to say, I understand why some may annoyed by anti-Haley/Slezak comments but there are only 4 contestants left. Should he still talk about Stafano? Pia?

    The remaining three other Idols have been pimped beyond belief (more than thoroughly exposed by Idoloonies), and so what he should jump on their bandwagons?
    As favorites get voted off fans have to find new favorites, and Haley’s TRUE underdog status and her consistency and determination may have won over more “Idol-less” fans. To say she has had none or one “moment” is factually untrue. Bennie and the Jets, Moanin’, House of the Rising Sun and even “You and I”. I don’t care what anyone says, getting to do an unreleased GaGa song and doing it well is a “Moment”. (Funny Jennifer gives Haley that critique and days later it’s announced that La Lopez is also doing a GaGa song) Jealous much Jennifer?

    For Fans of the other contestants to squeal just as Haley finally gets some positive backing is incredibly disingenuous. Look back on the season and count the Scotty, James and Lauren Pimping. You are lying if you don’t see the uber coverage of those compared to Haley.

    Go Haley! (No matter what, this fan is buying her CD and seeing her when she comes by to hear that voice LIVE)

    • Tusk says:

      **”I just have to say, I understand why some may annoyed by anti-Haley/Slezak comments”
      **Meant to say “I understand why some may be annoyed by all the ” pro-Haley” Slezak comments ut there are only 4 contestants left. Should he still talk about Stafano? Pia?

    • RT says:

      I really liked “You and I” too – almost or, even as much as, “House of the Rising Sun.” It didn’t matter that I hadn’t heard it before. That particular critique of Haley was especially infuriating.

  38. EvilEdit says:

    After the “Beautiful” performance, someone transcribed this from Randy (talking underneath Steven): “This is so messed up because she was good.”
    The odd thing is that I don’t know we’ve heard these sotto-voiced comments during the reviews of others — is this a mistake, targeted at us, targeted at Haley? I’m fairly sure Haley heard them as well.

    • evs says:

      A lot of adrenaline goes into a performance, so coming down for critics probably isn’t slick. She might’ve missed it. And for the record, those who don’t believe in subtlety and make us remember they don’t probably wouldn’t go around sending subtle cues. I feel for Haley because it’s hard to give it your all and actually be pretty good and then have figures of alleged authority not acknowledge that. Especially if they had no trouble acknowledging and pumping up other contestants

  39. L says:

    Haley is the best remaining (I’m still not over the Pia ouster) and does get crappy treatment from the judges IMO. Last week, the day after she was called out for singing an unknown song by Lady GaGa, Lady GaGa sang THAT song on Oprah.

    I will vote for Haley this week, just to (hopefully) screw up the final three for the powers that be.

  40. Erica says:

    My take on Haley’s expression–she knows that whatever comes out of the judges’ (shouldn’t we just call them talking heads?) mouths is so bogus that she’s just like, “whatever…” They say people are beautiful, amazing when they sing poorly and they say negative things when they sing wonderfully–so why believe any of it or take it seriously? I feel she’s the only one of the contestants who hasn’t bought into the hype–she knows it’s all BS.

    Also, did you notice that when she sang Adele she was criticized for singing something TOO current, but the Lady Gaga song was too unknown. More inconsistency….

  41. justtrollingaround says:

    I miss the days of yodelling. Now, we have her to win. It is all about the fan bases now.

  42. jerri says:

    I agree Michael, I was so angry that I wanted to call you. LOL. I wanted to throw things at the TV. I’ll tell you one thing though. I voted and voted and voted for her after that!!! I read on line the next day that I was not the only one. I think with Lady Gaga mentoring this week she will be in her comfort zone. Adam Lambert has twitted time and again about how talented Haley is. I hope the Glamberts put their power to work and send her to the finals. Go Haley !!We have your back.

  43. Elena says:

    Great recap as always. I know Slezak is biased towards Hayley but I’ve known that since he jumped aboard the Hayley express several weeks ago. So why complain now? Anyway, she did two great performances although I felt Scotty’s “Gone” was a notch better than “You and I.” I have not voted all season but acutally put in a ton of votes for Scotty and Haley after last Wednesday night. I’m pulling for these two to be in the finale but we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow.

  44. Esther says:

    Ugh, too much Haley conspiracy theories in these videos. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’m still not buying into it. I still believe that TPTB gave Haley that unreleased song, which was a major bonus to her. This week she gets Lady Gaga as a mentor? Yet you didn’t mention that…

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Haley is great but I can’t place her in the current market.

    Love the Game of Thrones and the Buffy refs!

    I still believe it is a boy’s finale. Vote splitting will push Lauren out. James will be there for TV Theatrics. Scotty will win and TPTB will get their viable market winner.

    • LindaT says:

      How does Haley not fit into the current music market? I think she would appeal to same market as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, etc. I also think Lauren and Scotty have viable prospects in the country market. However, I’m still not sure about James — 19E and UMG aren’t going to let him make a heavy metal album, but will he really fit into the pop/rock HAC mold? I think James’ viability as a recording artist might be the weakest of the final four — it will be interesting to see what UMG does with him.

  45. ralphdietch says:

    You have made me never want to cast a vote for Haley.You and others all you do is complain and yet she is in the top 4 you and many others are just hurting Haley cause it is turning people like me off.

    • Jason McD says:

      As I stated above to someone else, still holds true for you:

      This is one of the weakest reasons out there. Really? Because someone sees and points out the inconsistency that are the American Idol Judges this season, you don’t like her anymore?

      All I can say is Lame!

      • justtrollingaround says:

        As everyone is drinking the Haley koolaid or smokin the Haley weed, I have to say a couple of things. So keep your minds open to other’s opinions as Michael has his, so do we. First of all, everyone started on the Haley bandwagon after Pia got voted off. If Pia was here, we wouldn’t even be talking about Haley. In fact, Haley would have probably been voted off around Paul McDonald’s place. If you close your eyes and listen to Haley, I can’t imagine her commercially being marketable. She is reaping the benefits of Pia, sorry folks, it is truth. Pia should be here if she didn’t have the cardboard personality on stage. As far as Scotty, he is the winner. Lauren should have tried out around 20 of years. I think she has potential to be an crossover artist like Carrie Underwood. James, yes James had some pitch problems last week, but he sounds good commercially, and he will ROCK and entertain in concert. That’s what makes money folks. If we were in American Idol Favorite Opera star then we would be worried more about pitch issues. Even past Idol performers/current artists are starting to sound pitchy on that Idol stage…maybe it is rigged. And Haley has pitch issues here and there as well (OH NO I SAID IT *runs and hides for cover*)

        • Aaron says:

          I honestly do not understand–AT ALL–the comparisons between Pia and Haley. I liked Pia fine, but I’ve been a Haley fan since “Blue”…I would almost bet my life that Pia’s ouster did not gain Haley many fans…maybe those who were simply voting to keep the females in, but to compare them is asinine. Pia is unabashedly Adult Contemporary Top 40…Haley is jazzy, blues rock. Not remotely in the same wheelhouse.

          And “I can’t imagine her being marketable”…I have to respectfully disagree…with the insurgence of Adele this year, coupled with commercially viable artists such as Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Estelle, and Joss Stone…I think there is a GREAT market for Haley. She could stand by any one of these artists and fit right in.

          And I have to agree with what someone said early regarding James…out of all the four, he probably is the least viable commercial option out of all of them. How many 30 Seconds to Mars albums do you know? How well do they actually sell? Is metal really a marketable genre right now? The resounding answer: NO!

          • justtrollingaround says:

            I have downloaded most of James songs from itunes. He has a wonderful Medolic quality to his voice. Maybe I am Amazed, is a prime example. I don’t think he will do hard core heavy metal. He might have one on his album, but that won’t be the majority of his music. I wasn’t comparing Pia to Haley. I just know from all my twitter peeps, that a lot of them jumped on the Haley wagon when Pia got dissed cuz they were infuriated about the girls getting voted off. And the majority of the peeps feel Haley is better than Lauren.

        • buzz says:

          “So do we” implies you are speaking for others. The “Pia should have won conspiracy” is another lame reason to rip on Haley. She had nothing to do with Pia leaving, but there is a tie in to Haley. Pia & Haley both have a beautiful package…looks, voice, style, etc. As a guy, they are easy to watch; however, it amazes me how threatening that is to many women. The Haley haters always seem to go for the personal attacks on her…inappropriate smile, conceited, body movements, trying to be sexy…instead of focusing on the voice. Itune ratings and downloads for Haley’s songs continue to impress me that she is totally viable as an artist. Just look at Top 7 week, Haley has over 3300 ratings and 38 pages of comments for Rolling in the Deep, compared to Scotty’s Swingin’ at 892 ratings & 16 pages of comments. James’s Uprising, which was supposedly beyond the stratosphere, had 2700 ratings & 31 pages of comments. Therefore, based on a site that actually is selling their music, we can see a strong marketability for Haley already. Furthermore, when Haley stood next to Scotty on results night to see who was safe. I was embarrassed for AI & Scotty to actually think that Haley’s Rolling in the Deep was being compared to Scotty’s Swingin’…she was so far superior to Scotty, and still is in my opinion!

    • brad says:

      Cool story, bro! I have a tear in my eye! Right! Just that you are saying that tells me you have not once had any intention on casting a vote her way but that you are scared at the sudden surge of Haley love, and afraid YOUR favorite is losing ground! It is only turning you off because the talk isn’t about who YOU think it should be about. Psychology 101 LOL!

  46. Mark says:

    Here’s what amazing about Haley. When she stepped on the stage to do “You and I” (a song I didn’t know), it was pretty amazing. Was that a product of low expectations being exceeded? Hard to know at first, right? Then, the time passes and like many Haley fans, I figure they’ve crushed her spirit and she’s finish. And “House…” is — for me — the closest thing to an Idol moment all season. But there are those darned expectations again. So now I know how great both performances are and I watch them back with a critical ear (and eye). They are perhaps even more amazing. Are they perfect? No J.Lo, no performance is “perfect in every way”, no performance has “nothing to judge there… (god, she gets paid millions for this?!?!) But they are amazing nevertheless.
    I don’t really want to waste my time or energy second-guessing Nigel Lythgoe. This show has produced virtually no stars. If the show had been manipulated more skillfully in earlier seasons, it might have produced more, who knows. We can say this in his favor, the top 13 this season had a lot of talent. We can see this to his detriment: Despite the presence of the estimable Mr. Iovine and some celeb mentors, many of the contestants have either not grown much (Scotty, Casey) or arguably gone in reverse (Jacob, Lauren, James). One of them has shown us an Idol Journey worthy of remembering from really good to truly special.
    I fear if Haley doesn’t finish better than the top 4, she might never really get her chance to shine, but perhaps that’s silly. Chris Daughtry certainly proved otherwise in a season where he was head and shoulders the best of the bunch. I get that there are people that don’t like Haley. There are people that don’t like Adele too. What’s odd for me, is that Randy does like Adele. Or at least he’s been knowledgeable enough about her to have mentioned her for several years now. I am not comparing Haley to Adele in the sense of appearance (no offense to Adele, here, but that’s not really a contest) or sound. But in terms of “uniqueness” the comparison is not terribly far off. They sound nothing alike, but they also sound like no one else. They both can do amazing things with their voices. And if Adele is any indication, then Haley would seem to have a shot at selling CDs and downloads. And if she could do that, she could certainly sell tickets at the kind of venues Adele performs in (e.g Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA).
    If you have gotten this far and you don’t like Haley like we do, I’m surprised, but let me tell you this: You’re being naive if you think there hasn’t been some systematic effort to do her in. Maybe not everyone is “in on it”. Maybe it’s “just a coincidence” that Randy lets himself be heard within range of a microphone say “I’m not rooting for her”. Maybe the fact that contestant after contestant delivers flawed performances and walks away with nearly no criticism while Haley’s often gets freight-trained by the judges for doing things like listening to Jimmy is “in our imagination”. But it sure doesn’t seem that way.

    • DW's Alter ego says:

      Recognizing how infuriating and vacuous the judges comments have been, does no one else see the flip side of the comment “nothing to judge there”? Jennifer always tries to be kind, and, perhaps kind was all she was doing.

      • Blair says:

        ..yeah, and remember when, at the beginning of the season, J-Lo broke down sobbing and saying that she “couldn’t do this” to the contestants, and now all of the sudden she can give harsh criticism (to Haley) or blissfully comment about there being “nothing to judge” without even batting an eye? I don’t know about you, but doesn’t it even remotely seem like somethin’ is up?

  47. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Allow me to offer an explanation as to why the judges won’t tell Haley (or anyone else) that they outperformed another contestant. It creates an unwanted backlash for everyone involved. Saying that Contestant X out-sang Contestant Y will fire up Contestant Y’s fan base and hurt Contestant X by making him or her look like the “judges’ pet” and cost him or her votes; meanwhile contestant Y sails through out of sympathy.
    It happened in Season 8 with Kris Allen and Danny Gokey’s duet of “Renegade.” Simon said Danny was better than Kris. Kris’ fans got pissed and voted like mad, and he was sent to the Top 3 without passing Go and collecting $200, while Danny wasn’t spared until the end, indicating that he was in deep voter waters (of course, that was also a a result of the Scream On.)
    So you see, saying that Haley outperformed the other four singers would be horrible because then you would have four enraged fan bases power voting against her.

    • Jason McD says:

      But Idolflash, can’t it be said the same thing happens when only ONE contestant is consistently told that they are not performing up to the others the same thing? That doesn’t make sense. Consistency is everything…this season two of the judges do not have a clue what that word means (The other seems to be in a different world all together, and it makes me sad because he was an idol for me growing up).

      • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

        Interesting point, Jason. Could you please provide an example?

        • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

          P.S. I don’t pay much attention to judges critiques, which may be why my theory is a bit off. Good or bad, the judges and their comments have always been irrelevant to me. I just like to watch Joe Citizen get his/her big break on national television. And there have been plenty of Joe Citizens that have made me forget this show even had judges.

  48. Aiden says:

    Love this week’s Haley-centric segment of Idoloonies. I know I can count on this show to give justice for the one contestant who’s been victimized so much by the manipulative Idol production this year. If not the show, at least she can get it from here. I think she deserves the effusive praise Michael gives her here because she never gets her due on the show.

    Huge supporter of Allison Iraheta’s Save the Rocker movement, and proud to be part of this year’s Save the Growler campaign for Haley.

  49. Sean D says:

    Michael and Jason, thank you so much for all your work this season. This is an excellent episode- those clips of Randy’s shocking “I’m not rooting for her” and the show’s season-long changing narratives for Lauren are eye-opening. And hahaha Annie made a good co-host.


  50. Mark says:

    A Haley/Scotty finale would be the most just. Those two are the most professional, least teary, most consistent with their vocals and have both shown growth (particularly our girl). Used to be a James fan and am not a hater, but fine if he drops this week, have had my fill.

    While I prefer Haley to Scotty for genre reasons (blues, rock & roll, soul, jazz), I think he’s shown himself to be a fine young man with his feet on the ground, and with “Gone” as well as the Elvis Presley number a few weeks ago he was very entertaining. On the Elvis tune he really captured the humor behind rock & roll, that touch of the audacious, and it was full-force in “Gone,” so bravo.

    However, I’ve been buying Haley singles off iTunes ever since she opened my eyes and ears with “Benny & the Jets,” the first of her four patented Moments on the show thus far (“Moanin’, “Rolling in the Deep” and the monumental “House of the Rising Sun” being the others thus far) and, like the poster Tusk above, I listen to her like I’m listening to the first Haley Reinhart album. What a find.

    And that rolling of the dice in “House”…well, hard to get enough of that. Replaying on YouTube again before hitting the hay ever night since last Wednesday.

    BTW, is there some conspiracy with Fremantle keeping on pulling down all the Haley YouTube videos with the high view counts?

    • nice call says:

      “BTW, is there some conspiracy with Fremantle keeping on pulling down all the Haley YouTube videos with the high view counts?”

      Nice call, Mark! and the conspiracy continues…

    • Steph says:

      I noticed that too! One video of Haley’s HOTRS had like 300,000 views a couple days after the performance and then it was taken down.

      • Alex says:

        I can’t seem to find any of videos from Quack Off Network. I think that was the user with the 300,000 view count of HOTRS. That’s a good observation! Kudos to you Mark! :)

    • Tusk says:

      If you think the Studio versions of her songs are good. I captured the audio from the live performances as well. Moanin’, with the sounds of the live bands and the audiences “Whoop and Whoa’s” and applause makes it sound very much like one of those old Live Jazz performances.

      As much as I am impressed by the studio versions, some of Haley’s live performances sound great just the audio…House of the Rising Sun, Rolling in the Deep, I Feel the Earth (Percussion is awesome on this and I like Casey’s Jazzy take better than the studio). I even have the Baby It’s You she did earlier in the season too. Like I have a Haley Live album too :)

      • Mark says:

        I’ve been doing the YouTube to mp3 conversions as well, Tusk! Love the live variations, and love “Moanin'” especially when the cheers from the Idol audience kick in, like, 4x for Haley!

      • RTW says:

        I also love the authentic and in-the-moment sound of her live performances, so I may be hopping on to YouTube to get the live audio as well.

        • Tusk says:

          Seriously, you need to listen to the percussion on the I Feel the Earth Move duet. It really drives Haley’s vocals at the beginning and really gets my adrenaline going.

          I didn’t notice it when “watching” maybe because I’m enjoying the visuals too much. ( Haley tapping her chest when she sings “I feel my Heart start a tremblin…), but just listening to it reveals so much more IMO.

          Also, Casey ends the song with a Jazzy touch better on the Live version than Studio (do do do do doooo), and his D-D-D-D-D Down is more convincingly sung than the studio version. I think singing live with Haley really brought up Casey’s game (don’t blame him).Definitely one of my favorite live performances.

          Sometimes, (and I know this is my bias talking), it sounds like the musicians really get into playing behind Casey and Haley maybe because they appear to really appreciate the musical process.

          • RTW says:

            I’d give you a high-five if that were possible because I totally know what you’re talking about in regards to I Feel the Earth Move duet. The live arrangement DOES make a world of a difference and it also reminds me of how they performed. I will get those live version some day, but I have a night of power voting to do for the growler tonight! :)

    • Bonnie A says:

      Well said, Mark! I love listening to her on ITunes