American Idol Recap: Precious Mettle

No matter which contestant ended up going home, Thursday night’s American Idol Top 4 results show was destined to be a tough one. Not since Season 5 — when Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Elliott Yamin, and Chris Daughtry were the last singers standing — has an Idol competition boiled down to such a closely matched quartet. And that’s why there’s no shame in James Durbin’s somewhat surprising exit, especially considering Idol tallied some 72 million votes this week — a record for a Top 4 telecast.

Yes, to quote the Journey hit he performed on Wednesday’s performance show, “some will win, some will lose.” And yet, even those words don’t necessarily apply to James. Because as Daughtry’s career has shown us, it’s not where you finish that counts as much as what kind of music you make once you get out from under Idol‘s protective umbrella. (Now, the question becomes, will Jimmy Iovine and his team exercise their option to sign James to the Universal imprint? And more generally, aside from the automatic contracts for the Top 2, who else is likely to get a major-label deal? Pia? James? Casey?)

Anyhow, despite the tears that streaked his face after he got the bad news, James managed to maintain a positive outlook. “I did what I came here to do: Give metal a chance,” said the season’s resident rocker, who can look back with pride on a number of fine performances over the last few months: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Uprising,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Heavy Metal,” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” (which, incidentally, also served as James’ exit performance). Now here’s hoping he gets a duet with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler for the season 10 finale. Might I humbly suggest “Dream On,” a song that could use a little Idol TLC after getting thrown down the pit with Precious back in Season 8? I just wish J.Lo and Randy had been more willing to give constructive criticism to James about his weaker performances (“Without You,” “Closer to the Edge,” “Don’t Stop Believin'”); who knows how much more he could have grown as an artist over the last eleven weeks?

Whatever the case may be, James’ exit leaves us with three contestants — Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, and Scotty McCreery — heading into hometown visits. On results night, Ryan Seacrest started things off by announcing Lauren’s safety, a blow to members of the Save the Growler movement, many of whom fretted that only one woman could possibly advance to the final three. But then, with about 10 minutes to spare, Ryan started commenting about how media buzz this season had focused on the strength of the show’s male contestants, and I realized he was faking me out to reveal that Haley — who’s spent the last three weeks singing gorgeously while simultaneously serving as the guinea pig on which J.Lo and Randy have tested out their “douchebag judge” personas — had survived another cut. Suddenly, my living room ceiling opened up and a torrent of gold confetti came raining down onto my head. Shall we cue up the music to Jordin Sparks’ Season 6 victory anthem?

This is her now
And Haley’s on her way to hometowns
As I look around
I see Randy in a state of “Wow!”
A win for longshots,
J.Lo can only ask “How?”
Haley’s in
And this is her now

And with that out of the way, let’s review the evening’s musical performances, not counting Steve Tyler’s (strangely forgettable) music video, or Lady Gaga’s (admittedly fantastic) concert footage. (Hey, if it’s not happening live (or live-ish) on the Idol stage, it’s not really reviewable, is my motto):

Musical Performances
Scotty McCreery & James Durbin: “Start a Band”
More of an afterthought than a fully realized performance. The opening verse was pitched too low for James’ register, and the “walking through the audience” sequence felt interminable. I liked it better when the guys finally got to the stage and played their guitars side-by-side while also offering up some lovely harmonies. Grade: C

Haley Reinhart & Lauren Alaina: “Gunpowder and Lead”
It was all about the ladies this week, and the duets were no exception. Lauren’s black leather-fringe scarf thingamawhatsit was pretty spectacular, and fit her vibe well despite looking like something borrowed from James’ closet. Better yet, Haley and Lauren’s voices blended beautifully here, and while I wasn’t 100 percent certain about turning Miranda Lambert’s ode to fighting back against domestic violence into a duet, the hair-tossing, soul-igniting delivery was hard to deny. Grade: B+

Enrique Iglesias: “Dirty Dancer”/”I Like It”
Look, it’s Enrique dueting with Usher’s giant disembodied head! Now there he is surrounded by “ladies” and hitting falsetto notes that make him sound like a character on a PBS Kids’ special! Please, can anyone tell me why I’m suddenly nostalgic for Stefano Langone and Jovany Barreto (though still not Jordan Dorsey)?  Maybe because those dudes can actually sing live? Grade: C

Jordin Sparks: “I Am Woman”
Wait a second here. Season 6’s bright-eyed ingenue is shaking her moneymaker while wearing the kind of silver trench coat that’s just made for doffing? Well, just as I can’t prevent the backward retreat of my hairline, I guess we also can’t prevent Little Miss Sparks from growing up. It’s always tough performing a modern dance track on the live Idol stage — the music inevitably sound small and tinny, the backing tracks make people think “Is girlfriend lipsynching?” — but she performed it with the confidence, poise, and gams of a Beyoncé Jr. And the song is kinda hot. Grade: B

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

The Haley Has No Friends or Family Plan
How come Ms. Reinhart was almost entirely absent during the Windows 7 video chat segment featuring the contestants chatting with their loved ones? We got to see Lauren playing one of her tracks for her brother, James doing ABCs with his son, and Haley…blowing a kiss to her parents? We see you, producers, and we know what you’re up to!

The Voldemort Prize for Things That Should Never Come Out of Your Mouth on the Idol Stage
“I wanna go home!” –Lauren Alaina, not giving up on the competition, but rather talking about hometown visits

The Swaybots in Training Program?
What was up with those tiny tots sitting on the side of the stage during “Start a Band.”

The “Hey! Don’t Say That During the Family Hour!” Lyric Award
“No need to study! Start a band!”

Ugliest Stage Furnishings Prize
Could the Golden Stools of Advancement have been any cheaper?

Next Week’s Theme
Three songs – one selected by the judges, one selected by in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine, and one individual choice.

And now that you’ve got the scoop, I turn things over to you. How are you feeling about James’s ouster? What kind of future do you see him having? Can you imagine buying his post-Idol music? Sound off in our poll below, then hit the comments; and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. perfesser says:

    I don’t listen to country, am not particularly fond of Scotty or Lauren, but I will be voting for them the whole two hours next Wednesday, due Haley’s ghastly “Earth Song,” and Slezak and all of you and your irrational PR campaign on Haley’s behalf ticking me off.

    • 125 says:

      Slezak’s favoritism towards Haley is almost obsessive. It’s definitely misguided, as well! Haley should be booted for her attitude alone.

      • Tom K says:

        And I bet if Haley just stood there with a smile on her face, we’d get “Beauty Pageant” and “PHONY!” comments.

        How do you know she has a “bad attitude”? Because she talked back to Randy Jackson? The horrors! It’s not like he is her parent, and it isn’t like she threatened death to the guy.

        • Sue says:

          It’s called “interaction”. What is she supposed to do, stand there like a punching bag each week? Would you? And her replies have been very respectful. It’s those of us at home that would like to kick J.Lo and Randy and their ridiculous comments to Haley, week after week, out of this competition FOREVER!!

          • leena says:

            I’m not sure who taught you respect, but to me if you willingly sign up for Idol you are asking to be judged. If you don’t think you’ll like the feedback stay the heck home. Bottom line: her MJ song was shouty and not at all good. People complain that James over used his scream, Hailey would be a lot more pleasant if she stopped trying to be her idea of “sexy” and would actually sing. If she can’t take the criticism on stage how ill she make it in the industry? Jimmy has already questioned her work ethic, now she shoes major attitude? She better hope she gets first or secon, or else her behaviour may keep her from getting signed. Talent or no talent no one wants to deal with a girl with a crummy attitude.

          • aislinn says:

            If every one of the contestants were receiving critiques of their performances, I would agree with your belief that haley should just stand and take the criticism, but that hasn’t been the case this year. Everyone else is given a pass on their worst performances, no, not a pass, a huge gold star, while Haley has been driven over by the bus so many times she has permanent tire tracks all over her. It’s not surprising that she has gotten increasingly frustrated with this unbalanced and unfair “judging” – heck, even Lauren is able to see it, and said as much to the reporters. There is a difference between being a diva, and standing up for yourself in the face of blatant abuse.

          • leena says:

            I’m not necessarily saying she should just stand there and take it, but there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to criticism. Especially when you’re on a national stage, and if she does not place first or second then this is essentially a glorified job interview. The judges criticized Pia, too, remember, while praising most of the other contestants. I just think Haley isn’t doing herself any favors by acting like that. There is always going to be someone who ddoesnt like your music, your style, your voice, etch. But the way you act in response to negativity speaks for itself.

          • aislinn says:

            But the sum total of her “bad behavior” was a frustrated expression and saying “OK, I heard you” when Randy was repeating really harsh criticism for the third time in a row. Again, in context, it was a markedly restrained reaction in my opinion. Could she have acted like they weren’t abusing her? Sure, she’d done it the previous two weeks, but this time it hurt her feelings, as the song obviously meant a lot to her. I don’t blame her at all for that, and I doubt the potential producers out there would be so blind to the overall context of the show to see that she had ample reason for reacting that way.

        • djm says:

          What I don’t understand is why Haley is bearing the brunt of James being eliminated? Someone please explain to me how it is Haley’s fault that James got eliminated – SERIOUSLY. If you want to blame anyone blame Lauren because at least Haley had ONE stand-out performance this week which is ONE MORE than Lauren has had all season. No, Haley is not my favorite contestant, not even close. But she’s had THREE stand-out perfromances this season (the duet with Casey, House of the Rising Sun, and I Who Have Nothing – and some would even add Bennie and the Jets to this list) and I can’t honestly name ONE perfromance of Lauren (or Scottie for that matter) that has sttod out as a true Idol “MOMENT”. Yes, I get that American idol is a popularity contest in addition to a singing competition, but shouldn’t we celebrate good performances and good vocal abilities over personality – especially at this point in the competition?? Just sayin…

      • agrimesy says:

        I’m sick of hearing about Haley’s “attitude” when all she has done is stand up for herself. You must be used to wilting violets for role models. Perhaps if she had burst into tears like Lauren and James, you’d give her a pity party. I celebrate Haley’s determination. She has said on more than one occasion that she will not let them destroy her confidence. AND THANK GOODNESS!

        • Ashley says:

          No doubt! I don’t think she has an attitude problem, I just think she is aware of her pinata status and has decided their opinions don’t matter anymore. And good for her!!!

        • Lee says:

          This is a friggin’ audition…you don’t talk back to the people who are giving you feedback…period.

          • Oz says:

            It’s not an audition anymore. At least not for those judges. America is voting now. JLo, Randy, and STyler are supposed to provide constructive criticism to all contestants which they haven’t done.

          • KnicFP says:

            What a ignorant thing to say. They’re not even giving her feedback anymore – it was pretty obvious with Randy that it went from biased criticism to downright insults. A tie between Lauren, Scotty, and James for the first round? Give me a break. It’s obvious to anyone who doesn’t have a bias for the other contestants and any Haley fan that the judges are unneccessarily harder on her and harsh. It would be more acceptable for them to give constructive feedback to the other contestants – but they don’t. This has been happening for weeks now. A person can only handle so much. It’s not the fact that she disagreed with what they said about her “Earth Song,” but the fact that they shower praise on the others like a bunch of clueless dumbasses and come down hard on her. And let’s face it, Haley’s talent was only matched by Pia and James as far as singing goes. It’s ridiculous and I’m glad she stood up for herself.

          • Jess says:

            In what world can that be considered feedback? The judges were basically forcing her to stand up there and listen to them bash for mercilessly without any semblance of giving constructive criticism or advice. Since when does Randy yelling ‘you were screaming! you were screaming! I didn’t like it, i didn’t like that song!’ count as constructive criticism or anything other than a blatant attempt to hurt her feelings and crush her as much as possible in the eyes of the viewers? ESPECIALLY when you consider that just 10 minutes ago they were praising James for literally screeching and screaming … off-tune too. Good for Haley for standing up for herself instead of rolling over and taking it like you seem to expect her to do.

          • MFW says:

            Unbelieveable….Haley wasn’t getting feedback, she was getting bashed. And I don’t think she has a bad attitude at all. She’s simply had all she can take, and I don’t blame her. If these so-called ‘judges’ were doling out feedback on an equal basis, then you might say she has attitude, but that isn’t even close to what has happened. They ‘LOVE’ everyone else, even though they have had pitch problems and song choice issues, but only Haley received their wrath. I have lost all respect for these ‘tools’ they call judges, all except for Steven, who even though he doesn’t give much constructive criticism is at least not a puppet for Uncle Nigel!

          • sue says:

            Wrong…the auditons were last summer!! This is the competition. Haley is the human pinata and that is not acceptable. Judge everyone the same or don’t judge at all! I was a big Lauren fan early on, but she has gone downhill week after week. She has not used the big voice that the judges loved so much in her audition and I am so sick of her goody two shoes act. I’m paraphrasing here, but when she said “Oh I don’t want to sing the word “evil” cuz I’m not evil”. Give me a break. If she is a performer she needs to act like a performer. Just because you say a word doesn’t make you that word. Grow up…

          • Jason S. says:

            Ryan asks Randy who was best and his answer was basically “I don’t know. All I do know is that Haley’s the worst.” And all she did was laugh it off and realize the riddiculousness of it. And when Randy tried to repeat his criticism a third time after Steven Tyler got to call him out HAley only said “I know I heard what you said,” To me that is not speaking back. What she said was perfext. Respectful with a hidden F-you, you’re wrong!!!” Perfect!! America saw that and rewarded her. Pia who????

          • Name That Tune says:

            This isn’t the military or grade school where you are expected to take orders and not talk back. Haley was simply reminding Randy that her range was greater than that song required. If it’s a fact, then she’s correcting his misstatement. He could have been a bigger person & acknowledged that.
            BTW, do any of you think she made the choices she made during that song on her own? Don’t you think the AI vocal coaches encouraged her to bring out the anger? There have been times this season when Haley needed to bring that kind of rage (“Me & Bobby McGee”) and couldn’t pull it off. She’s grown that much as an artist on AI.
            Oh & let’s not forget that Jennifer’s idea of “art” is an auto-tuned repetition of the phrase “On The Floor”.

          • jojo says:

            “Audition” or no audition, repeating the same negative “feedback” three times (Randy) without any positive remarks and then being trashed by negative-only remarks from J-Lo when other contestants with less than perfect performances get a free ride is not professional. The judges (Randy and J-Lo) are the ones with no respect, no professionalism and inappropriate behavior. They told Haley they didn’t like it- they didn’t have to repeat it again and again. NO ONE ELSE has ever been subjected to such one-sided criticism, even when they perform well. Oh, and Haley is 20. How old is Randy? Yes, they should all expect critiques. When only ONE is getting critiqued, it is unfair and she should have stood up for herself even more. It is not HER bad attitude, but theirs.

        • Alice says:

          Haley kicks ass! She is tough and has shown she will not take the judges’ BS. Randy is a bafoon and a dufus, and JLo, with her reedy-thin voice and lack of song writing skills, she could sing back-up for Haley. (Friggin’ waste of 12 mil…happy Nigel????) I am certain both targeted Haley in jealousy of her superior voice and musical skills. (Steve just a non-entity judge!) JLo and Randy have no one to blame but themselves for getting James sent home b/c they refused to acknowledge his subpar performances and his many, many sharp notes. They gave him a HUGE EGO, and the audience rebelled. I agree that cry baby Lauren should have gone home or Scotty w/ his creepy faces on that last Elvis song. Go Haley!!!!!

          p.s. Mike Slezak rocks with his recaps…….

          • Lynne says:

            I agree Scotty’s second song was bad, creepy faces, a little funny, but if Simon were judging was Hotel lounge or cruise ship quality! My sister loves Scotty, but she hated that performance. Also, never heard that song before, but JLo didn’t tell him he needs to do songs people know. I’ve heard the Earth Song many times.

          • SallyinChicago says:

            @Alice – Wow! could you be a little less direct?

      • takakupo says:

        I’m really sick of goody twoshoes like you running around thinking that you know the best for the idol world and every person. “OMG! HALEY JUST TALKED BACK TO THE JUDGES! I’M TELLING MOM!!!” Get a life!

      • CAM says:

        Thank you for saying that. It has gotten ridiculous. Haley rubs the wrong way. While I will admit that at times her vocals sound great, at least half the time she is singing I can’t understand the words due to the raspy, breathy notes. There are also a lot of times the SCREECHING actually hurts my ears. No wonder Vote For The Worst is delighted with her. How I miss Simon!

        • Tom K says:

          Vote for the Worst? This was the first week she was the “chosen one” on that mostly irrelevant site.

          As for Simon, be careful for what you wish for – Haley has a lot of the things Simon seemed to LIKE in a female contestant. (Good looks, unique sound).

          • Nat says:

            I actually deliberately voted for her to be their pick – just so she’d get more votes (take that, manipulators!). Having said that, I think VftW’s votes count for much less than people usually assume – how many people really go out of their way to vote on a show they don’t even like?

          • Louie says:

            In the case of VFTW, I think the site doesn’t always necessarily promote the worst singer but rather the singer they think the producers certainly DO NOT WANT winning… a means to muck up the script.
            And that certainly sits well with me in this case.

        • Amie says:

          Vote for the Worst only elected her because Randy didn’t like her and because the polls said she was going home. I’m sorry for your loss of James, but his SCREECHING was worse.

          • not says:

            I agree. I actually liked James earlier on, but they never gave him constructive criticism and so he just stagnated. Plus, he got praised when he let his emotions go overboard, so he just got too over-the-top.

            In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that James was sent home last night and I’m surprised more people didn’t call it. We knew Lauren has a large fan base that would rally for her after she was in the bottom two, and we know Scotty has a huge fan base that has kept him out of the bottom two all season. So it was really down to Haley or James to go home, and even non-Haley voters seemed to be rallying for Haley b/c of all the bullying.

            Let people like perfesser vote for the homespun twins. In these last few weeks, people are going to start only voting for one favorite rather than several, and Lauren and Scotty are going to start splitting the south vote. In the meantime, dark horse Haley will get all the vote of people like me who are looking for a risk taker doing something original.

          • Jason S. says:

            HEre’s what someone should have said to JAmes. “You have to be careful when you hit that high note because when you sing that high if you don’t hit the note perfectly it sounds very unpleasant and that time it sounded very unpleasant.” Also they could have said. “Remember you have to pay as much attention to the low notes as the high notes, because you are consistently missing the low notes.” He’s too inconsistent for the finale. HE would have embarrassed American Idol if he went off key during the finale and there is a 50% chance he would have. Good job beating the teeny bop vote everybody!!!

        • april-ann says:

          Agreed, CAM, and lol. Too many are mistaking her special brand (read “ugh” here) of growling for singing. I do predict her winning, though, because Idol likes to mislead then think they shock. But along with certain other winners, she won’t sell because at the end of the day she just doesn’t have the talent. Janis Joplin she ain’t.

          • julie says:

            The contestants were not hearing the old “make it your own” mantra this season. In contrast, Haley was hearing, “We see you as a janis Joplin type”. So she did what she thought they wanted. I was disappointed with that particular performance — since she could never be as good as Joplin in the way Joplin is good, it was an obvious mistake to do such an outright imitation. However, Haley has other vocal qualities all her own, that she could have pulled into play to reinterpret Piece of my Heart (was it?) and make it Joplin-inspired yet still “her own”. I think she settled into her own voice again though in later episodes, as time went on. I think it is hard for these kids to define themselves in a forum like AI, and she’s only 20. I disagree. She definitely has talent. But you know, it’s 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

        • Joe Strummer says:

          What words didn’t you understand? Maybe it’s your TV set. I understood everything completely.

          Oh, and speaking of vocalists that you can’t understand, here is a list;

          Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Janis Joplin, John Fogerty, Michael Stipe, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy, Jim Morrison, Johnny Lydon, etc.

          And that’s just off the top of my head. I don’t think she’s in bad company.

          • SharonM says:

            Michael Stipe – Amen!! Go back to R.E.M.’s first few albums and figure out what he’s saying.

          • adamziggied says:

            Bob Dylan, undeniably one of the greatest of all time – have you ever tried to listen what he’s saying? It’s a big “huh”?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Yea, my husband absolutely cracked up when Jason Castro forgot the lyrics to a Bob Dylan song several seasons ago. My hubby said, “Heck, no one could ever understand what Dylan was saying! Castro should have just mumbled some words and faked it. He would have been fine”.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Oh, by the way, “There’s a bathroom on the right”.

          • Templar says:

            “scuse me while I kiss this guy”

          • darcy's evil twin says:


        • julie says:

          @cam: You make a good point about Haley’s poor enunciation at times (though she’s improved). Now THAT could have been a valid and constructive critique from the judges, had they bothered to think of it. Nonetheless, flawed as she still is, she is still more developed than the rest, who are also flawed, and also less interesting.

          • Lynne says:

            What about Lauren, she doesn’t end her sentances and drops the last words off.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Scotty does it as well but I don’t notice it as much because I typically know the words to the songs he’s singing.

        • Cup of Joe says:

          @CAM Perhaps the screeching you’re talking about is meant for James, no?

          Haley doesn’t rub me the wrong way, but YOU sure do, you sh!tface!

        • flower says:

          I miss Simon because he would have NAILED Lauren and James when they should have been. Lauren just makes me think of a child that is dressing up in Mommy’s clothes and singing “grown up” songs. Just not authentic at all and I don’t feel anything when I listen to her except “look she is soo cute!”. James has had songs where he just sounded bad and made the song sound bad too, but he was never ever called on them. You think Simon would have given him a pass like that? Although I think Scotty is pretty good (and will make tons of money afterwards), that last song he did was ridiculous! His eyebrows and his attitude! OMG! You think Simon would have just sucked that up too? I am not saying Haley is always good, but the way they ganged up on her (especially Randy) was like bullying. And much of it was unnecessary. Randy kept on repeating his message over and over and over and Haley had to say “I already heard your point!” because someone DID need to stop Randy. It was like watching a public lynching. It made me really really uncomfortable. It wasn’t like Simon with his quick witty comment (quick kill). It was Randy’s looong and painful comment over and over and over. Get it?

          • smbg says:

            The judges set up James to fail with their constant adolation of his skills and the excoriation of Haley’s skills. People probably thought that if James is so “wonderful” he’ll get in easy…and then didn’t bother to vote. Haley took the undeserved bashing, no tears, and got out there and performed again. Great poise and guts.

            All four contestants are very skilled and probably will find success in the music field. Remember, they’re KIDS.

        • pvrcbabe says:

          The only one that was screeching on Idol was James. Maybe if the judges had given him some advise, constructive criticism, instead of crowning him the winner, he would still be around. I liked all four finalists and respect them for their individuality, but the quality of Jame’s singing, got progressively worse the past two weeks. Haley has amazing control of her voice, spot on pitch and the ability to go high and low with every note. She has really grown as a performer, learning to put herself into the song she is singing. That is why is is in the top 3.

        • joy2011 says:

          Listen to the studio version of “I who have nothing.” There is no growling or screeching but a beautiful song sung beautifully. Just my opinion.

        • Hector Herrera says:

          I guess aside from being deaf, you can’t read either. The only reason vote for the worst is backing Haley is because the judges want her out. They actually think Scottie is the worst.

      • Nat says:

        Up until this week, Haley’s shown absolutely no sign of attitude – in fact one of the writers on EW compared to her to “that nice pretty girl at camp who you’re friends with”. She’s had the one of the most outgoing personalities the few seconds she’s been allowed to. This week however, the judges’ comments weren’t critical – they were just downright rude. Randy telling her she was ‘screaming’ and then naming the winners of the first round everyone but her – that blatant dislike of one contestant has never been seen on Idol. Even the nicest people in the world would snap after getting put down enough times, and I’m glad Haley stood up for herself. So if you’d really rather vote for immature teenagers who just sit and pout if they don’t get perfect critique, then that’s your problem.

        • TJ says:

          I couldn’t have said it better myself, Nat!!

        • Kari G says:

          Perfect response.

        • M says:

          Absolutely agree, I didn’t see Haley’s so called “attitude” until last week after they still unfairly criticized her You and I performance but for me that was not attitude. It was frustration, week in and week out could do no right.

          I can guarantee you, if Thia was still there and was receiving the same amount crap from J.Lo and (mostly) Randy she would have also said something by now.

        • Rosa says:

          EXACTLY. I was cheering her on as soon as she started to stick up for herself!

        • dj says:

          ITA! She held it together a lot longer than I could have.

        • Cara says:

          Actually, there has been another contestant that was treated the same way. His name was Kris Allen. The judges acted like he was just fortunate to be on the same stage as Danny and Adam. And after his duet with Danny, Simon said point blank “Danny was better”. Kris made the same kind of face Haley made when Randy pulled that crap on Wednesday night.
          And now that I’m thinking about it, at the finale of season 7, they treated David Cook like some loser who stumbled on stage to interrupt the coronation of Prince Archie. Simon called it a “knockout” victory for Archuleta.
          But everything worked out for both of them eventually, didn’t it? America loves an underdog.

          • Jo says:

            Kris was not successful and they knew he wouldn’t be so they were right in trying to bus him. Same with Haley. She’s not that good and probably won’t be successful either. They know the country singers will have more success afterwards. They’re just trying to get a successful winner this season to give idol credibility again.

          • Bret says:

            How can you compare Kris to Haley? Haley is the best vocalist left in the competition. Kris was not. Haley is sexy, sassy spunky with a huge stage presense. Kris has none of that. He is boring and vanilla. I am sick of his fans trying to rewrite history. Haley is not boring and vanilla so stop trying to turn her into a female Kris Allen. We don’t want her career to tank.

          • Cara says:

            I wasn’t necessarily comparing them talent-wise, or vocally. Just saying they all received the same kind of dismissive/disrespectful treatment by the judges. And it backfired on the judges.
            Whether someone is successful after the show is beside the point. Relax people!

          • Joe says:

            Kris Allen has a lot more talent than Haley. He is creative, writes
            and arranges songs, and he put out an excellent album. Record sales do not tell the whole story. He has been praised by many for putting on a great show. Besides, he is a nice guy. He is working on his next album, which he has more control over. It should also be pointed out that Kris Allen was a popular vote getter during and
            throughout the eighth season of idol. Haley does not have a good stage presence. The person with the stage presence this year was James, the best performer of the season. Many of you have clouded your judgement because of desire for revenge against the judges.
            Haley should have been gone long ago. Too bad we can’t trade her
            for Pia.

          • Cup of Joe says:


            Dude, I’d rather not compare Kris to Haley because their singing styles cater to different genres and they have unique strengths, though I agree that they’re both punching bags by the judges in their respective seasons.

            I disagree with you that Haley doesn’t have great stage presence. Case in point: “Bennie and the Jets,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You and I,” “House of the Rising Sun,” and “I (Who Have Nothing).” Need I say more?

            As for James, he was more of a performer than a singer, especially the past two weeks. Not bad per se, but later on, you can only compensate so much for the other.

            Like it or not, Haley had done much to get where’s she’s at. And with little to no help from people running the show. She’s ridden on talent more than anything else. That earns points from me.

        • umbrella says:

          I agree fully with this!!

        • Joel says:

          The point isn’t whether or not Haley was justified to talk back — of course she was. The point is: how did it make her look onstage. And there answer is: small, immature and whiny. Yes, she was being unfairly maligned, but the most strategic and winning thing to do is to sit there and take it. That’s the rules of the game. You can cry (and it might even earn you points), but you can’t talk back. This isn’t playground rules, this is prime-time television. And America does not want to see it. Every contestant who’s been consistently mouthy or eye-rolly has eventually gone home. When Bowersox did it, it didn’t have a loser’s defensiveness. It was a confident “This is what I do”, not a frustrated and sad “Please, geez, stop already, okay?”. Haley has had some strong moments, and though I’m not watching the show anymore post-James (Entertainment, Party of Three; anyone? anyone?) I think confidence and singing in her “lane” will help her get to the Top 2; desperation, whining, inappropriate growling and making dumb-ass song choices (“Earth Song”) will send her home after going home.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            The game has always been changing per season and without Simon, the system has changed.

            Without him, those judges resemble nothing more than a bunch of figureheads. For Haley to talk back at them doesn’t affect her negatively. In fact, it works for her b/c they are doing their jobs horribly.

            For all of you hating on her for that, go to:


            You’ll see, you w@nkers!

          • djm says:

            Thank you Joel for telling us what “America” does and does not like. I guess I am not an “American” because I was THRILLED when she talked back to him – he deserved it for spewing forth all of that non-sense. Sorry, but the “judges” this season are beyond LAME. After Lauren’s first performance I paused the show and said exactly word for word what Randy was going to say and guess what – he said it. Sorry, the millions he is being paid each season is the biggest waste of money I’ve ever seen. I could come up with 3 catch phrases for half what he’s being paid.

          • jess says:

            Haley showing her ‘attitude’ by defending herself was like watching Drew Barrymore punched her stepsister in the movie “Everafter”- a remake of the fairy tale Cinderella.

            Haley did what most of us wanted to see…Personally i was shouting at my TV asking Randy and Jennifer to stfu!!!

          • Pam says:

            I disagree that Haley looked “small, immature and whiny.” I think she looked larger than life with an ability to stand up for herself when she knew she was being unjustly criticized. I think America is the land of the free … that means free speech too. She wasn’t rude about it; she just disagreed and we all have that right.

          • j. says:

            Joel, For god sakes, she’s only 20. Why does everyone care so much about dissecting her response? I just don’t get it. She’s not paid to respond graciously. She’s paid to be there and be whoever she is. The judges are paid to judge appropriately. So who deserves criticism?

        • KB23 says:


          • KB23 says:

            I was agreeing with what Nat posted initially – not Joel. The difference between Crystal last year and Haley this year is the judging. With Simon and Kara still around last year the judging was at least equal for all contestants – if they did bad they heard it. This year the judging has been extremely inconsistent and they have coddle their favorites to the point of ridiculousness. Lauren has not grown as a performer because she is always told she is great and if there is a slight hint of criticism she bawls like a spoiled child. Scotty has not changed at all – his voice sounds the same as it has since the beginning of the season and to me that is just boring. James was uneven in his perfaormances – yes he tried to switch things up every week and I enjoyed many of his songs – but his vocals were not perfect yet he was never told that. The judges have bashed Haley all season and it just came to a head for her last night – totally don’t blame her for “talking back”. If that is what she did – sounded more like she was defending her choices – just like Bowersox did.

        • Amie says:

          She wasn’t even sticking up for herself, she was sticking up for MJ’s version of the song. Randy said she should have added riffs and stuff but she said “MJ’s” version was beautiful, not her version.

        • Lucy says:

          Exactly. She’s been repeatedly criticized at the end of her performances yet always managed to take the high road — til Wednesday night. She heard them – she got it and said so. She didn’t even say that much. Add insult to injury she gets blindsided right before her final performance with more lashing. That was absolutely intentional. They were trying to rattler her into giving a bad performance.Doesn’t matter who he was criticizing.. he went too far — you don’t do that to anyone. It goes against societal norms.

          This is the first year in Idol history I feel the judges have completely ruined some of the contestants chances. They are not giving accurate or appropriate feedback to everyone. It is the beginning of the end for them now and I was not expecting that. During the audition phase I thought they had the right new judges – it seemed to work and was entertaining. Since America started voting it’s been the complete opposite.

          The new judges are in it for self promotion and it pains me to think they signed contracts requiring them to promote the producer favorites. If that’s the case – that’s going to come back to bite then someday. Compromising your own integrity never works long term.

          Maybe someday we’ll get the real scoop on Idol and it becomes a Hollywood movie and everyone will finally learn about all the manipulating and scandals that has been going on for years. Like the 64,000 Question.

        • JamRock says:

          We’ve seen this before with Syeesha (sp?) Mercardo. They were determined to beat down her spirits to ensure an all David final (Cook v Archuleta). The final sabotage came in top 3 week when the producers saddled her with a song from “Happy Feet” as her songs from the movies selection.

        • Maggie says:

          Great response, Nat. Could not agree more.

        • AprilD says:


        • MsWrite says:

          Excellent point, and very well stated. Part of this torturous process is learning how to control your emotions. Human beings (particularly those under stress, extremely frustrated and under attack) are going to react – it’s fight or flight instinct. And if we’re comparing emotional composure, Haley has James beat by miles. She had far more provocation and managed to keep it in check much longer, but because she reacted with some visible frustration after being basically verbally abused, she’s considered a bitch. James had a complete emotional meltdown on several occasions and yet was continually given a free pass. And I agree, it was not much different than the side-eye Kris gave Simon. LOL.

        • SallyinChicago says:

          Agree, but don’t you think Seacrest can be blamed for that? Or the script writers. They do that sh**T to rile up the contestants….it’s like asking one singer to choose which bench to go to.

      • greglw3 says:

        Michael’s fanship of Haley is not misguided, she is clearly the best singer on the show as Lauren Alaina stated yesterday in an interview. And she is allowed to have a conversation with Randy, it’ snot talking back….she’s an adult and by the way, an adult with more musical talent than Randy. Randy and J Lo should be ashamed of themselves for even chancing ruining Haley’s dreams with criticism targeted at her at such a crucial point that was out of sync with comments they have been making to all the others, i.e “great, fantastic, blah blah blah. Haley is clearly the most talented contestant left and should win!

        • selena says:

          Lauren has no confidence in herself so of course she would say that. now as for Haley, I can’t see her saying that. I get the impression that she thinks her s*@t don’t stink

          • Name That Tune says:

            And Randy’s s*%t doesn’t? I’ve never seen a more blatant campaign against one contestant than Randy’s against Haley. He’d already decided it was James or Lauren for the win. And he obviously dislikes her. But this is typical of Idol. They start pimping one person towards the end. The best revenge for Haley is to win the damn thing. And I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen.

          • SharonM says:

            That’s funny, I don’t buy the whole idea that Lauren has no confidence in herself. From the very beginning her attitude has been one of deserving this, probably because she was never given any harsh criticism in her life. Go back and look at her reactions when she’s heard something even remotely negative about herself. I think the whole no confidence thing was started by Jimmy Iovine so that she would begin to look humble instead of egotistical.

          • meh says:

            I agree 100% She thinks her shizz smells like Adam Lamberts. She thinks she is the best singer. Well, if she was all that..why did she have to audition again? This is her second time in the process of Idol.I think she auditioned last year? I am telling you, everyone thinks she is all that on this blog for numerous reasons: 1) Females getting dissed especially Pia 2)Lauren dislike cuz she was “chosen one” 3)Wanting to go against the grain and have a female winner
            Well, if Haley finishes 3rd, it will suck for her cuz she will get no publicity. Finishing 3rd even tho you get a homecoming really is a disadvantage. Cuz they can’t go on shows until after finale and all the hype of the top 2 is before them. Scotty is the winner. HE IS THE JUSTIN BIEBER OF COUNTRY there is no stopping him.You guys think Haley will win. SHE WILL NOT!! There is not stopping the millions of tweenie votes. So, in my opinion, it would have been better for Haley to leave 4th.She may beat out Lauren for finale, but long shot. A lot of tweenies wanting the cute country Scotty/Lauren finale.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            @meh Prove it to me that she thinks that her s*%t smells like Adam Lambert’s. Show me a YouTube video. Give me an interview transcript.

            Unless you have proof, then you can’t opine that. It doesn’t even hold any water.

        • Joel says:

          Are we really making Lauren the ultimate judge of talent. Really? Really?? I’ve seen that quote a lot, and it doesn’t move me at all. The problem is, when Haley talks back, she does not come off as an adult, she comes off as a child. And that can create a fatal distaste in voters. Yes, she’s justified. No, it’s not a “conversation.” It’s someone being frustrated, whiny, defensive, and small. Being “right” is hardly the point.

          But like James going home last night, it’s really moot. James will get a contract, Wauren will enjoy her Junior Miss moments, the God and Gaga-fearing South will coronate Scotty. And I’m sorry to say that, with nowhere near the strength of voice, talent, or broad appeal of someone who can succeed in the music industry, Haley will become a Wikipedia footnote.

          • Amie says:

            Oh Joel, don’t worry, I refuse to let Haley fall back into the nothingness. I’ve fallen in love with her voice and mark my word she will always have a full wikipedia bio. Mark my word, Joel! See that is the thing with Haley fans, we love her whether she wins or loses.

          • BrazenSongBird says:

            Had to speak up here…

            The only thing I can come up with for your complete closed mindedness on this subject, is that for some reason you don’t see a 20-year old woman as an adult. Newsflash…she is. And I see nothing wrong with one adult telling another to lay off, especially if the other has made their point and is now being abusive. Even if that person is related to her, she has the right to stop a tirade against her. And what did she do? She simply said, “I got it”.

        • Pam says:

          Great comment and I so agree! If the judges had been as frank with the other contestants’ flaws, then maybe all could be justified. Most of Haley’s performances have been spot-on despite “song choice” mistakes once in a while. I haven’t heard a sharp or flat note from her, and she is by far the most interesting of the bunch. Her voice can really not be compared to anyone out there today, but you could compare the other 3 to already established artists. My vote is for Haley to win based on her vocal talent, stage presence and unique qualities that will set her apart from the mainstream. And … I don’t think she has a rude bone in her. I think she is talented and has been frustrated by the unequal commentary from the judges when clearly not warranted. I will go to see them on tour to see her! I will buy her album!!

      • marie says:

        Haley had held it in for weeks on end while the “judges” did nothing but sling mud at her while often gratuitously overlooking the weaknesses in other contestants’ performances. This week, that was not “attitude” on Haley’s part: that was her finally standing up to being incessantly, mercilessly bullied. Good for her, it was way overdue, IMO.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          ^What Marie Said.

        • Lucy says:

          Yes bullying. that’s an excellent assessment.

        • Brittany says:

          Just the fact that she was almost reduced to tears this week shows that she was frustrated and it wasn’t just an attitude problem. She’s strong and has been sh*t on most weeks, but she had finally had enough… especially when the “dawg” repeated the same thing over and over again but rephrased it 5 different ways. We all got it. I agree with those that say her defending herself was warranted!

          • Brittany says:

            Also, I love that when Haley gets upset after negativity has been thrown mostly at her (and her alone) each week, people claim she has attitude, yet when Lauren gets upset after ONE night of slight criticism and being in the bottom two, she gets the sympathy vote. WTF.

      • Mike says:

        Remember. Slezak also was obsessed with Allison Iraheta from Season 8, and we’ve seen how that worked out. Her record pretty much bombed (despite support from Adam Lambert) and Jive Records dropped her contract.

      • joy2011 says:

        You are intitled to your opinion. It doesn’t make it so, it just makes it your opinion!

      • Sallly says:

        Her attitude??? You sound like the boss I had after college who thought that women were supposed to be demure and speak only when spoken to. Haley was never rude, but her intelligence and sense of self showed through in her responses to the judges. These jerks are not her “elders”, but folks who would probably dis Ella Fitzgerald for not understanding herself “as an artist.” Haley understands her abilities very well; that’s why she wasn’t intimidated by the prospects of singing Adele’s number one tune. Good singing, good attitude. And I haven’t been drinking Michael’s kool-aid. I thought this up all by myself.

      • Claire says:

        She had not responded with any hint of an attitude until the last two weeks. By that time, it would have been obvious to a three year old that so-called constructive criticism was being meted out to her alone despite all the gaffs by the other performers. Not being a moron, she had to face the fact that there was some sort of campaign going, involving at least 2 of the judges and probably coming down from the top, to try to make her look bad and get voted out. I guess you think she should have just bent over meekly and said “Thank you, o high and mighty ones, may I please have another wallop?” Criticism to help a performer is one thing–and mostly the judges were pretty lame at that. Criticism to deliberately undermine them is not worthy of respect.

      • Wendy Pearce says:

        I don’t like Hayley’s cocky attitude either.Jame’s deserved a higher rating.Lauren wold be my choice to win now.

        • Cup of Joe says:

          Maybe you should watch her interview on MJ’s Big Blog to judge Haley. Cocky my @$$! And maybe you should, you know, judge their singing and performing abilities than her personality?

          Performances that are either sung off-pitch and off-key or have theatrics to cover up a weak vocal does not merit a higher rating.

          As for Lauren, I wonder what she’s done to get this far beyond coasting because while “Anyway” was a mini-moment for her, it was still a mini-moment. Hope I see her with Haley in the Finale.

      • Mary says:

        I really don’t think Haley has a bad attitude. I watched past episodes and saw how well she always took being in the bottom three. She was a trouper with a smile on her face, not like Lauren who cried her eyes out, not that I dislike her but it shows her level of immaturity. Haley wasn’t nasty to Randy, she was just defending herself and rightfully so. It was so obvious that they were picking on her and giving everyone else a free pass even though they deserved to have some flaws pointed out. I think out of all the contestants she has improved the most. I think a lot of people have been totally unfair and judgmental about her for no good reason. She has had some amazing moments on the show and deserves some credit where it is due. I give all the contestants a lot of credit giving their all each week with the threat of rejection always there. Most people would crack under much less stress than that. These are kids people, not seasoned performers!

    • lestat says:

      Really? No, what is “ghastly” is you camping out to be the first one to bash the writer and the posters here for actually saving their favorite. I now release the hounds on your vindictive soul.

    • Rupert says:

      You know, I wasnt a huge Haley fan initially and thought she should be out. But she is the one that has shown the most growth (possibly because she is the only one that has really gotten criticized). But I began rooting for her this past week when the judges were so obviously biased against her. At a basic music level – she was in key, James was in several. No one likes a bully and thats how Randy’s comments come across – especially after you see the clip where he says he’s not rooting for her.

      • Evan says:

        Absolutely. I really loathed Haley around the time of “Bennie and the Jets” but have become an absolute fan in the past 7-8 weeks (I even like “Bennie” now). The idea of Scotty or Lauren beating her is laughable. They’re rehashes of 1970s country and Carrie Underwood, respectively. Idol is about finding fresh talent.

    • marcasite says:

      haley has sold over 900 itunes–the others barely 200–nuff said.

      • dctoronto says:

        Really? That is very interesting? How did you find out the numbers?

        • Annoula says:

          I don’t know if those numbers indicate how many sold, but last week, Haley had over 900 reviews while others had under 250. Haley’s HOTRS had more stars than all the other songs that week as well.

      • Joel says:

        My suspicion — and I’ll use myself as an example — is that people on iTunes are buying songs and moments, not artists. For someone to become successful, they need to be loved broadly as an artist. And I don’t think she’s got it. if she’s lucky — and I mean REALLY lucky — she’ll get one hit and then be gone, like Allen and Archeleta. But notice how far those guys had to get first. I’ll repeat: I think Haley’s greatest long-lasting fame will be as a Wikipedia footnote.

        • Amie says:

          Oh Joel…how much you underestimate her fan base post idol.

          • Mike says:

            Ah Yes. Those mythical post idol fan bases that very rarely materialize. In 9 months, all the current Haley fans will have difficulty recalling her name. Clay Aiken is about the only one that held a fan base without any real chart hits. And even he ended up doing Spamalot on Broadway to make a living.

        • Ken Adams says:

          Only beloved artists reach fame and success? Please copy and past what you just said in an email to Chris Brown. People can’t stand him and he’s constantly on the charts. And I disagree wholeheartedly that she’ll fade away to the bowels of Wikipedia. That girl proved she can go head to head with Adele in a more than karaoke caliber performance (and when they start writing songs specifically geared for her rasp, fans of that sort of music will lap it up like heroin candy). I’m glad you’re an expert on the record industry as a whole, but please don’t make sweeping unsupportable statements.

        • Glass of Wine says:

          And what’s your legacy gonna be, Joel? A few stupid-@$$ comments on a talented singer?

          Go j@ck off on Wittle Wauwen, you piece of m0therf*cking trash!

          • Billy says:

            @Glass of Wine: I hope with time you will be able to express yourself without the need to hold back your true feelings, lol.
            GROWLER FTW!

          • rosa says:

            I laughed sooo hard when I just read your post reply.

            Its soooo clear that he cant stand women that speak up and stand up for themselves. But wittle wauwen follows the script and falls apart at the seams.

            I am dedicating my wednesday night to voting on every platform for haley to win. Because it is a giant sack of horse doo what these pathetic judges have been doing to her.

            I love steve tyler for telling her, they are wrong, dont listen to them. He was p’od. and I loved him again for that.

      • Max says:

        Not just that but she has more YouTube hits than any of the other contestants this season.

    • agrimesy says:

      Let’s see, spending two whole hours voting for two country artists you don’t even like just to STICK it to us Haley fans. What an incredibly productive thing to do with your time! And you’ve got the gall to call Slezak irrational? WOW . . . amazing.

    • A.W. Baimun says:

      There definitely has been a lot of diversity this season. I’ve often wondered how a huge block of voters can love contestant X while loathing contestant Y, but this year brings it into focus based on which elements are most important to a certain group of viewers.

      Thoughtful lyrics and quirky vocals only go so far on this show, limiting people like Paul who could otherwise be compared to artists like Colbie Callat or Brett Dennen. Rock showmanship like James is fun to watch and I’m sure sounded great in the loud idoldome even when the vocals might rattle the edge of unpleasant at times. Viewers into the backstory and family aspect of the singers have had plenty of story lines to consume with James’s medical conditions, and the young pair of “I love my family, Jesus, the Flag, and Golly Gee Shucks” of Lauren and Scotty. Neither have really dropped many notes or made huge missteps, but on the same token they’ve not really colored outside the lines or had any huge memorable moments.

      I believe the Haley appeals to the “iPod crowd” as her recordings have been the most listenable, interesting, and replayable. It’s been a roller coaster ride so far with the production and editing, but she’s also been willing to go further out on a limb than any other contestant this year even if it means enduring lashings from the inconsistant judges.

      • Haley's Comet says:

        I ventured over to itunes a few weeks ago to download Scotty’s That All Right Mama (back then I was a huge Scotty fan). But when I heard Haley’s songs on itunes, they blew my mind. I downloaded ALL of them. Her recording of Whitney Huston’s I’m your baby tonight is simply spectacular. Benny and the Jets is great the list goes on and on. THATS WHEN I BECAME A HUGE HALEY FAN. Her recordings outshine’s every AI artist that i have downloaded. I’ve been downing loading since the two Davids, Michel Johns and Carly Smithson few years back. Haley blows all of them out the water. She is seriously the best vocalist I have ever heard.

        So Yes I do agree, when you say Haley has a strong appeal with the ipod crew. She is on my favorites playlist on my ipod. Her Benny and the Jets is my ringtone. Even Lauren Alaina said that she loves Haley’s itune recordings and that Haley is the best singer on the show.

      • Jason McD says:

        WOW, I don’t think anybody has said it better! Thank you!

      • not says:

        Well said.

    • Selena says:

      I too am over Slezak’s obsession with Haley. I am done with his conspiracy theories that EVERYONE is against Haley! Maybe its the opposite! I am a teacher and I am HARDER on my students that I think are up for the challenge because I know they can take it. They are not hard on Lauren bc she doesn’t have any self-esteem as it is! Enough! You did the same thing with season 8. You mocked Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey, and pimped Adam, Kris and Alison all the time. It gets old! She has her problems just like everyone else. No one is perfect! I don’t really care for Haley, but will praise her when she is good. BUT she has a horrible attitude!

      • Tom K says:

        How about a challenge for the “horrible attitude” crowd: Tell me why you think she has a horrible attitude. She has been one of the perkiest contestants of the entire season – people were criticizing her for smiling too much. Now, her attitude sucks. Please make up your minds already so we can move on from the amateur psychobabble.

        • selena says:

          the other night was not the 1st time she rolled her eyes or had a stank look, like WTF am I doing in the bottom 3.

          • Amie says:

            Please…find me the youtube footage of her rolling her eyes. She’s always welcomed the bottom three spot. Which makes her much more likable than Lauren who began to cry the moment she was called to stand (not knowing she was in the bottom yet) How’s this for an eye-roll

          • Jason McD says:

            Please, how lame can someone really get? I’d be more than rolling my freaking eyes at how she was treated almost every week. There are only two weeks out of the entire season she didn’t get some kind of negative feedback…where as James has only received negative feedback three times (He needed more than that and I love the kid). They have all deserved some good constructive feedback all season, but nobody got it. Haley simply got negative feedback…again, I sure wouldn’t have been able to deal with it half as well as she did!

          • ben says:

            I have never seen Haley roll her eyes.

          • LadyBug979 says:


          • LadyBug979 says:

            I was trying to reply to your post Selena. Yes last night wasn’t the first time Haley rolled her eyes, huffed, gave evil looks, (as the old saying goes If looks could kill Randy and Jlo wouldn’t have survived the night. And I love how the Haley fans claim Lauren has never been criticised then insult her for crying. You can’t have it both ways people. Either she’s never been criticised or she cries when she is. Actually she hasn’t cried when criticised. She cries when someone says she may be voted out. But never gives attitude to the judges or Jimmy Iovine. But I would rather see them cry than get angry as if they are above criticism. Lauren, Scottie and James always have good attitudes when judged. And the three of them are more talented than Haley and more mature. Crying is less immature than a (forget you) attitude. Lauren, Scottie and James should have been the top three! Period!!!

          • Amie says:

            Again watch my vid above of Lauren rolling her eyes at the judges

          • HungryHyrax says:

            You must be joking! She has taken the bottom three again and again as graciously as anyone. And not once ever acted like she didn’t expect it. And she reacts in shock when not. She was perfectly sweet and charming about the bottom three chairs every single time!

            Your brain is mixed up if you think she did any eye rolls at bottom three! It’s factually incorrect and you can go re-watch the entire season and see for yourself.

        • leena says:

          Yes, her perkiness really shows well through the “stank face” that I’m getting used to. Guess her mama never told her Thatcher face can stick that way…. oops, it already has

          • Bretta says:

            We are sick of picking sainty and safe winners. How about someone who is alive and not a goody two shoes for a change. And she is talented too. Win Win.

          • leena says:

            I’m not asking for a saint, but this girl signed up to be JUDGED. I’m sure she knew how the show worked before she auditioned. Jimmy iovine already commented on her work ethic several weeks ago, and then she goes and asks like that? She better hope she gets first or second. Talent or no talent no ones going to want to sign a girl with a crummy attitude.

          • HungryHyrax says:

            Iovine said that WEEKS ago, as in at the very start of the main competition and it wasn’t entirely clear what the story was and he has never said such a thing since.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Tom K – there are a lot of readers here that apparently work for Miss Cleo’s Psychic Hotline and know that contestants (pick one) are conceited/full of themselves/arrogant/smug/etc.

      • Houston says:

        If you are under the impression that Haley has a horrible attitude then I would hate to be one of your students.

      • sara says:

        actually YOU’RE the one with the bad attitute. neener neener! (eyeroll)

        As for you being a teacher, I feel bery sorry for your students, you clearly have no problem with bullying.

        • selena says:

          Ha, ha. I find that hilarious you say that when you don’t know me. What I mean is that I hold HIGHER expectations for my students that I feel that can handle it and I challenge them to strive to do better. Bullying….that is funny since I don’t STAND for bullying in my class.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            It’s one thing to hold people to “higher” standards. However, it’s a different story to hold only ONE person to a different standard compared to everybody else.

            Come to think of it, if I were your boss, I would’ve fired your @$$ for thinking like that.

          • Mickey says:

            Handle what? Your abuse? What expectations? Their ability to handle it???

            Maybe you don’t stand for bullying in your class, but perhaps that’s because you don’t want the competition.

          • carla888 says:

            That’s crap. Raise the standard for all not just some. Her bad attitude shows a strong, independant woman sticking up for herself. Lauren’s tears and crying show an immature child, desperatly needing someone to hold her hand and tell her what to do.

            What kind of teacher wants her students to act like that in the real world?

            And btw; You are obviously one of those bullying teachers that cause students to take guns to school.

          • Selena says:

            Are you kidding me. Tell me what qualifies for a bullying teacher. I have all different levels of students in my classroom. Some students read at a 1st grade level, some at a 8th some at a 10th. There is a huge range. I do try to keep my standards the same, but its not that easy. I try to challenge them (their brains…) as much I feel that I can. If I assign a project to my students I will expect that my higher level thinkers to go above and beyond. Most welcome the challenge.
            Same with essays. I don’t expect my special education students to be able to write at the same level as one of my honors students. And if my honors student does turn me in something that I KNOW and they KNOW they did not up to their ability I tell them they did good, but they can do better.

          • HungryHyrax says:

            And what has your classroom situation to do with this?

            They are not being voted on, in part after people see how you treat them!

            And this IS a competition for the best.

            And EVERYONE here is here to grow and get better. If nobody else here is good enough to be given any criticism and only needs to be given fake praise WHY ARE THEY ON A SINGING COMPETITION and why do expect they should get a free pass to continue?

            Nothing you are saying makes any sense, it has no relevance to this.

      • Gigi says:

        Haley does need to change her attitude.
        I was one of the first to sing Haley’s praises, but this new attitude of Haley will only hurt her. Judges have a right to critique

        If Haley would have acted like that towards Simon or Kara she would have been told to take the critisim that is part of the show or leave

        She need to show politeness and let the judges look bad

        • sara says:

          Oh good grief! The judges have every right to critique so then WHY ARE THEY ONLY CRITIQUING HALEY??? James, Scotty and Lauren (and lord knows Jacob) deserved criticism just as well but receive NOTHING but utterly ridiculous amounts of praise upon praise. It has been a grotesque game of bash Haley by the judges and clearly there are some viewers out there who are not bright enough to see how unfair it has been. Haley has every right to roll here eyes. Seriously!

        • adamziggied says:

          Critique, yes; bully, no. Dragging her out for a second round of bashing and blatantly stating “anyone but Haley” is out and out bullying. Real nice conduct on a family show.

        • HungryHyrax says:

          At this point yes, she made her point, everyone with a brain who can be made aware of what is going on has been at this point and if she does it more she will only hurt herself for absolute sure, however correct she may be. Even if they totally brutalize her, and they may well be really bad to her hoping to trick her into imploding completely and get tossed off or they may go opposite and do a smary fake soft on her, and give her junk songs she is best served now to take it without hint of sarcasm or defense or anything but naturally, people will know what is up and hopefully support her. If they don’t she was doomed anyway by the sheep or more people being fans of country or the other style or whatnot.

          But give her a break for finally snapping especially when the judges, one at least and another likely, been caught saying they are not rooting for her!

      • j. says:

        @Selena: I am also a teacher so I understand the temptation to be harder on a student when you have higher expectations. But I would imagine (hope) that would be your approach in one-on-one settings, not in front the rest of the class. Would you put that student down in front of the whole school, as Randy was willing to embarrass Haley (and when there’s nothing constructive to be gained)? Also, since you are a teacher, it dismays me the way you misuse the word “pimp”. Look it up.

        • Selena says:

          No, we are not talking about calling out a kid in class. I mean that I don’t let them take the easy way out. If they turn in a paper that is okay but I think could be better I tell them to redo it.

          • HungryHyrax says:

            1. it is not right to do that only to the best students, if a weaker student does a job weak even for them why don’t they need to redo it? you are setting up your school for failure!

            2. and what does this have to do with a judged competition?? If people watched you make some students do papers again maybe they;d think they are weak and not vote for them even though they are they best!

        • s says:

          I do. But there best, may not be the best for a higher level thinker. Also, do you know how many times my special education teacher intial an assignment half done and tell me that that is all they can do. My hands are tied.

      • selena says:

        Listen, I think some of my comments got turned upside down. I actually think Haley has had a lot of good performance, but she also had her share of bad. Especially in the beginning. I hate when she overdoes the growling. When she was in the bottom 3 a bunch in the beginning to ME I thought she looked mad that she was there. Unlike Lauren who looked sad. It just rubbed me the wrong way. On tuesday I thought that when the judges were praising her after her second performance she looked like a spoiled brat. That bothered me more than when she was talking back.
        I am also annoyed that ppl think its a conspiracy to get Haley off of the competiton, bc J-lo was also hard Pia.

        • LadyBug979 says:

          Well said Selena! And everything you said is true.Haley has been acting this way all along. People lose their heads too easily over the contestants. And ignore or try to justify too much bad behaviour! Isn’t it something how the behaviour of the contestants always matches the behaviour of their fans? That is why Scottie, James and Lauren fans don’t comment so much on these boards. They are far more mature people.

          • Amie says:

            Ladybug aren’t you a Scotty or Lauren fan? BTW this is a haley friendly zone.

          • LadyBug979 says:

            @Amie DARE TO GO!!……… lol This is supposed to be an American Idol site.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Perhaps you’re better off going to another blog where people actually agree with you, like say, that loser Ken Barnes of USA Today. You risk getting ganged up on by 5 fans for every negative comment you post.


          • LadyBug979 says:

            Very Mature Cup of Joe. As I said once before on here. Like contestant like fan. Also as I said once before on here Haley fans don’t own this board. Good going Slezak.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Where exactly do you see whatsoever said judgment you have of Haley? Post me a YouTube video, prove it to me. I don’t buy into your horsecrud unless you have proof.

        • j. says:

          #selena, Ladaybug, and everyone else in this thread,
          Lighten up! I think some are tending to read much too much into an expression you think you see on someone’s face… was it an eye-roll, an angry look, utterly nonplused…? Who cares. A contestant has a right to feel whatever they were feeling, and what does that have to do with what they do? In Haley’s defense I have to say that Randy and JLo did not merely say, “that was not the right song for you, ‘baby’,” a point they eventually got around to clarifying, but went on endlessly bashing her for “not being in it to win it” or some such nonsense. Everyone else, What — you only want conversations with people who think exactly as you do? (There are places in the world like that.)

          • selena says:

            @ i What are you talking about? I don’t think you read all of my post. I don’t want people to think like me. To be honest, when we are discussing hot topic areas in my classroom I don’t tell them my feelings on it. I give them the facts on both, different viewpoints from others and I let them decide what they feel is right. My students are convinced they know who I voted for in the last election, when they actually have it completely wrong. Your assessment on me is COMPLETELY wrong.

            Secondly, all I was trying to say is that maybe they are harder on Haley because they don’t think she is living up to her potential. Case closed.

            Thirdly, the attitude comment. I completely understand why she was getting upset with the tongue lashing. Her talking back to Randy was actually okay in my book. I guess I could have pointed out exactly where I thought she had an attitude. After she sang her second song and they gave her a standing O. Haley could not even look at Randy or J-Lo. She looked like a brat at that point (in my OPINION).

            Lastly. I do think that the judges are being too easy on other people. Both Scotty and lauren’s 2 songs were bad, and the judges should have pointed that out. But I wouldn’t say that they are being too hard on Haley.

          • J. says:

            @Selena: You misunderstood me. THis part, “Everyone else, What — you only want conversations with people who think exactly as you do?” was NOT directed at you, but to “everyone else” who responded to you by absurdly telling you to go to an anti-Haley blog.

      • Pam says:

        Is standing up for the song you sing constitute a horrible attitude? Is it right to keep constructive criticism from some because they can’t take it? Is it right to be harder on students you feel are up to the challenge? It seems to me that all people have feelings and there is a breaking point for everyone. If you are a teacher, then you should know this. Gentle and consistent encouragement and praise work a whole lot better!!

        • really? says:

          Good grief. I teach teenagers, not kindergarden! I actually have two sections. Regular and honors. With my honors students I tend to hold them to higher expectations than I do for my special education students bc I know they are capable to do more. I also will not let them pass if they say they don’t know the answer, I will try to get them to think about it in another way. SO I would say i am harder on them.

          My point was maybe Randy and J-Lo are harder on her bc they know she is capable of more than she is giving. They don’t want her to settle for a c when she can get an A

          • oh really? says:

            I highly doubt that R and J were thinking that (you are giving them way too much credit – otherwise, perhaps they think that S, J and L have no room for growth? I highly doubt that S, J and L were performing at an A level).

            Also, you are holding your entire class of honors students to a higher standard, not just a single student in your honors class. In an ideal world, as judges, R, J, S should have equal standards for all the competitors – that is what a competition is about. They are not teachers, they are judges and should act like judges. To bad it is a tv show and not an ideal world…

            on another note, I feel sorry for S, L and J. They are all very talented singers – imagine how much more amazing they could have become with some truly effective constructive critisim? I think Haley, for all the beatings she has received, is really the only one that has gained anything from this competition.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Being in the top 4 or 5 or 6 on Idol is like being in honors class. They didn’t get this far because they are “regular” singers. So Haley is being held to a different standard than everyone else. There has been lots of room for improvement for James, Scotty, Lauren (especially), Jacob and Casey. Only one of these has received any criticism at all, and it wasn’t “constructive”.
            Say what you got to say in private. Or treat everyone the same & remind Lauren that more than half the time she is emotionally unconnected to her songs; that James has a tendency to screech, rely on the big notes, & has repeated the same basic stage show for about 3 weeks now; that Scotty is one-note wonder; that Casey needed to let go of the growling; that Jacob need to learn better control over his vocals.
            Funny, I didn’t hear any of that from our illustrious judges.

          • julie says:

            @ oh really?: You’ve made the best comment of the year: “To bad it’s a TV show and not an ideal world.” !

          • HungryHyrax says:

            And if they were really doing it because they wanted only the best for her and to help her grow then wow what a kick to the other contestants, just let them rot? And it may have backfired as James got off key a bunch lately and got booted!

            AND if they were doing it for her instead of to her then why did the show not even bother to prepare a preview of the hometown visit for her! They did for everyone else but hadn’t even bothered preparing a clip for her and they edited her almost totally out of home town PC video call because they thought they have gotten her out!

          • j says:

            @Really? So they are holding her to such a higher standard that they want her out of the competition? The theory, while even J-Lo has used it as justification, doesn’t hold water, because of how they were also making it clear they expected James, Scotty and Lauren in the final 3.

      • HungryHyrax says:

        Well tell me this teacher would you lean over to a colleague and tell that colleague that you were NOT rooting for one of your students and then laugh with the other colleague about it while the student was clearly within potential earshoot? (hint watch the video where Randy (to JLo) does this)

        Also there is no audience voting on which of your students is best. Although many might think for themselves surely a good number would mistakenly take your being rougher on the good one as a sign that one is the one with problems. (look at the posts on the net where people say it’s not fair that Haley made it to top three since she is the only one who has a bad performance each week and she is inconsistent, the judges are smart and know a lot more than us and this is what they say). Your situation is TOTALLY different!

        And finally you sure should be giving help and constructive criticism to the weaker students, if they are so delicate they can’t handle that they will not make it through life and they will stay behind and only fall farther behind.

        And again it is possible that Haley even heard Randy say he was NOT rooting for her so maybe you’d start getting more upset and eye-rolly too right after for these last two weeks. Granted she needs to be carefully since many people are sheep and get upset when people point out injustice and hate the messenger far more than the injustice as unfair as that may be.

    • sam says:

      Sounds like a good use of time, “perfesser”…

    • blondie says:

      Completely agree!!!! I liked Haley back in the Top-12 when everyone else was complaining she didn’t deserve to be there. She’s actually rubbed me the wrong way these past few weeks so I’m not a fan anymore. She’s not really an Idol-type – not attractive or appealing enough – her eyes are too close together and squinty!! She also growls way too much!!!

      • Amie says:

        Seriously? You’re going to comment on the Pro-Haley site about her eyes being to close together? I’m sure you’re not much better Blondie.

        • LadyBug979 says:

          Since when do Haley fans own this site?

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Well, you ARE in a website owned by a Haley supporter. And we don’t take fools lightly. Deal with it.

          • Joe says:

            Do you know who owns this site? Michael is on it, but I have not seen any indication that he owns this site. Everyone, even people who do not like Haley, have just as much right to write on this blog site. No one need your permission to be on this site. Your language is crude. You need to stop using such disrespectful language.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            @Joe He blogs on this site. Whatever he writes is his. He has a team of bloggers with him.

            By posting in this site, you do know that are setting yourself up to be ganged up on, right? I find that most non-Haley fans have no support to what they’re saying. That says much.

            And seriously, point it out to me where I used crude and disrespectful language, particularly the one you replied to?

      • marie says:

        (Well, now THAT’S a profound observation.)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Haley’s eyes are too close together? That is even more ridiculous than the complaints about Scotty and Lauren’s patriotism and religion.

      • Haley's Comet says:

        Wow, Blondie! What a totally shallow comment about Haley’s looks. She is a great singer, and she’s actually very beautiful. She has the pop idol look that simon always talked about. I think you’re jealous Blondie.

      • Joe Strummer says:

        Idol winners that are uglier than Haley;

        Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia Barrino, Lee DeWyze.

        Nuff Said.

      • Rosa says:

        What a ridiculously shallow comment. It invalidates everything else you just said.

      • Mickey says:

        I’m sure everyone that has ever won Idol will be so thrilled to know that their win was based on their attractiveness and appeal rather than their talent. Have you considered setting up your own website where you can spread your message of what it takes to succeed to the rest of the world?

      • HungryHyrax says:

        Wow so she deserves to be voted off because her eyes are too close together?? And SHE has a bad attitude??

        (for the record, most guys find her rather attractive)

      • Mary says:

        blondie, that was a horrible thing to say. Her eyes to close together? Really. First of all my first impression of Haley way back in the beginning was that she is a beautiful girl. Besides the fact, that has nothing whats so ever to do with her singing ability. Not all the idols are gorgeous. Far from it.

    • j. says:

      @perfesser, Here’s an idea: Vote next Wednesday based on the singing you hear next Wednesday, and leave Slezak and everyone else out of your decision. (Of course going by the judges’ behavior this season, nobody should listen to the actual singing.)

    • eden hall says:

      Amen to that!

    • sara says:

      Oh look – more Haley bashing – how DARE she stand up for herself! Doesn’t she know since she is a girl she should stand there and take all the venom and bullying thrust upon her?? Nothing irrational there!

      • LadyBug979 says:

        There is a right way and a childish way to stand up for yourself. Haley picks the childish way. It’s no wonder this country is such a mess. If you Haley fans hadn’t been justifying her childish behaviour all this time she might have grown up by now. But Lauren gets kicked in the teeth for crying when Jimmy says she will probably be voted out that week? Neither was bullied. They sign up for guidance in their careers. And that’s what they get even though it may seem harsh. It is irrational to expect less from the judges than criticisms AND they all get criticisms whether you Haley fans want to ignore that fact or not. It’s funny Lauren gets criticised for crying but accused of never getting criticisms. Review past shows. Lauren was told one week she picked the wrong song and no one had a problem with that. But the minute they tell Haley that IT’S A CONSPIRASY!!!!!

        • Cup of Joe says:

          If you are too mother f*cking blind to see how she’s being singled out with criticism while all others get free passes for mediocrity, then f*ck you, my friend.

          If you can’t see that the judges have no ounce of credibility whatsoever for not doing their jobs well yet you still listen to those figureheads, then go DIAF, my friend.

          Anyways, go F*CK yourself, you w@nker!

        • joy2011 says:

          Okay now I have to make a comment that I really didn’t want to do because facts are facts and I can’t let you get away with speaking untruths. I apologize for any grammatical errors now because i know this will be a long comment. Let’s start with Haley singing fallin(March 2), Randy made the comment Alicia sang it great it didn’t do anything for you, kareoke, I didn’t get it. Haley made some cute jester then had a big smile. Blue (3/9) Randy- last week Alicia now LeAnne you can do anything but this song was boring for me. At this point Haley has a back and forth relationship with all the judges. She tells them she will do more and even tries to agree with them, still smiling. I’m your baby tonight (3/16) Randy-Alicia, LeAnne now Whitney I’m confussed you’re not sure who you are the vocals were okay, not a great performance. Haley still smiling agreeing saying okay I will do that, I love that, responding to ST to do more blues. I don’t like you (3/23) Randy-it started off ruff but you came back and brought the Haley we first fell in love with. Still smiling and still having the back and forth comments with the judges. Benny and the jets (3/30)Amazing from the judges-Haley still smiling and talking with the judges. Need I go on. My point is Haley has been outgoing throughout the criticisms and always has conversation with the judges. The criticisms have been there for her since day 1 and gotten harsher in fact if the others received criticism it was then backed with but your great singer and we love you. Now I don’t expect them not to be critiqued in fact i think it is very good for them, they just all need to be treated with the same respect for their craft and that is were the difference lies. The other night she did the same thing she has always done which is to have dialouge with the judges but this time it was with an aching heart and how that came across to you depends on how you feel about her.

          • Mary says:

            Thank you. I went over all the past weeks and saw exactly the same thing. I was even looking for her being a brat rolling eyes and all and I couldn’t find it. If anything she had the best attitude of all. Always smiling. Even Ryan said to her one week you have such a good attitude. (referring to her being in the bottom three so much) The only time I’ve seen her speak back in anyway was last week and it wasn’t terrible. She didn’t tell him to go F himself or anything she was just expressing her feelings. They were saying it was a bad song choice but it was suppose to be a song the inspired her not them. It was obvious how much that song meant to her. I thought her choice was beautiful and told a lot about who she is as a person. Certainly not a self centered brat as she is being made to be.
            Also, I just want to say I think the judges stink this year. I liked them at the beginning but each week they got worse and worse. They are not about the contestants at all but all about themselves. Talk about being self centered. I am so completely disappointed in both Randy and Jlo. Steven is just there. The best thing he did all season was defend Haley. Randy is trying to be Simon and it isn’t working.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Well, perfessor, I’ll be your counter, ‘cuz I’ll be voting the entire 2 hours for Haley.
      Anybody but Lauren A in the top 2 for me.

    • Kevin C. says:

      Here’s some phrases used in IdolLoonies to describe how you could tell the producers were pimping a contestant:

      -“a rising from the ashes edit”
      -“A standing o from the judges”
      -“I would not be surprised if she gets a gospel chorus, or if she walks down the lit up steps, or all of the above”.
      -“triumph over adversity. ____ is back!”

      Who got the standing O from the judges, the gospel choir, and the triumph over adversity edit, anyways?

    • Jonathan says:

      So, perfesser, you’re going to vote out of spite? I hope you don’t use the same faulty logic when voting in elections.

    • Cup of Joe says:

      @perfesser Hmmm… I wonder what you’re a professor of? A low-level community college?

      Seriously, you voting against someone for hating on the fervent fans of that contestant makes me think that you’re a petty man-child. That’s one unnacceptable excuse and may I also ask you to grow the f*ck up!

    • G says:

      100% agree…this blog has become all about Haley …and the truth is she is not good!! I hope all of James’s votes go to Lauren just to piss off Haley fans…

      • Cup of Joe says:

        Hmmm… Let’s see now…

        Scotty and Lauren have flatlined for me while Haley has been nothing but upward bound. Who’s not that good?

        Also, I seriously doubt James’ fans are going to the likes of Lauren. Different demographic of voters therr.

        That being said, F*CK YOU!

      • joy2011 says:

        She is not good to you, which is okay because you have your own musical tastes, but to her fans she is awesome that is why they spent their time voting her into the top 3. It is really a shame to be so spiteful, it only hurts your soul not any one elses.

    • LadyBug979 says:

      Well said! lol Vote on!!! I’m with you!!!

    • Joe says:

      I have to agree with the comments by perfesser and 125. Finally, Michael wrote a decent article about James. I have in the past have had a lot of respect for Michael and I followed him to TV Line for that reason. But I have lost a lot of respect for Michael. I have checked out other blog sites and found better reviews for James than he got from Michael. Slezak’s has not, in my opionion, been fair to James. I think that his campaign for Haley blurred his judgements on James. James was not out of tune as much as Michael claims. On other blog sites, including EW where Michael came from, James received reviews that gave criticism of James, but also recognized the in tune quality of his recent performancces. More than one music teacher has pointed out that James was not off key as many of you on this blog site claim. Very few of you really know that much about music to know who is off key, who is screeching or screaming. Much of the problem is due to differencces in music style. Many of you just blindly, in my opionion, just followed Michael. The attacks on the judges, while they had some validity, were overblown. The judges did point out the times when James was off in his performances, but they also had the right to state their views that the performances
      were different and awesome. Haley is not as good or as consistent as
      many of you on this blog have claimed. The revenge factor against
      the judges resulted in James being eliminated when he should not
      have only made the top three but the top two. I too was upset with
      the fast elimination of females, but it has not clouded my
      judgement on male performers. It is amazing to me that so many
      used texting messages in the thousands to influence the results in
      favor of Haley. I say this because many of you have admitted it.
      One more thing, too many of you either had a bias or were ignorant
      about James’s handicap with autism. His facial expressions and some
      of his emotions occurred because of his autism. I am not a hard
      rock or metal enthusiast, but James did things no one on idol has
      done before and he is an awesome performer. The judges were right about that. James was sincere and honest in his comments, even if they did not come out as well as some expected.

      • Ben says:

        James was a lot of fun. I loved the flaming piano, and his performance of Heavy Metal. Many people appreciated him, for him to get this far.

        But he was also often off-key. His 30 seconds to Mars song was one of the worst by any contestant all year.

        Overall, I thought the order of elimination this year so far has been very fair, with the exception of Pia going too early, and Jacob too late.

        I hope to see a Haley Scotty final. Both are great singers and it would be an awesome show.

      • Not autism says:

        His facial expressions had nothing to do with his autism. They were his Tourette’s. Facial tics.

      • HungryHyrax says:

        Listen I liked James, but you can’t honestly say he has gotten LESS off key recently! He missed a TON of notes last week by a wide margin. He had a total of far more missed notes than the other three combined, by a wide margin. He missed some number this week too although by a vastly smaller margin and many might not have noticed so much so it wasn’t so big a deal for most.

        Even James himself admitted he was off the week before.

        All it takes is perfect pitch or even reasonable pitch to hear it.

        And why are you blaming Haley for James being gone? Haley has had the best of the week for a few weeks and she doesn’t deserve to be there?

        What about Scotty who got more votes than the rest combined? Why blame Haley voters (plenty of whom liked James too and more than Scotty for sure). What does Haley have to do with James? They didn’t cast negative votes for James, come on!

      • Name That Tune says:

        I’m trying to think when the judges pointed out that James was “off” in his performances. Can’t think of any. I heard a lot about being at Durbin concert, but not much criticism of his vocals. He’s had many performances when he sang out of key and his vocals were off.
        Bless him, Michael still sees this as a singing contest. So he notices when vocals are off. It’s part of his role as a critic of the show. But Idol no longer sees itself as a singing contest. Bad vocals are ignored in favor of bells & whistles. And a lot of James performances were just that.

        • Lisa says:

          I’d like to see some real judging and constructive criticism of ALL the contestants. Real judging is not what Jacob, Scotty, James and Lauren kept hearing every single time: “that was perfect in every way,” “beautiful,” “emotionally perfect,” “in it to win it,” etc. Nor is it bullying slaps like, “I didn’t like it.” What was great about Simon wasn’t meanness, but rather that he explained the reasons for his opinions, and those reasons contained actual advice for improvement (“too karaoke,” “a bit indulgent”). For an even better example of reality show judging, and I hate to say it, but check out Tyra Banks of ANTM. She reviews every contestant’s entire week’s film (for Idol, this could be judges viewing footage of the rehearsals) and then she gives a piece of very specific advice for improvement to every contestant, even the one who was best of the week. THAT is actual helpful judging, tell these singers something that was good that they did, plus tell them something that they could work on improving for their next performance.

    • Sue says:

      Irrational PR??? You don’t think that there is plenty of PR going on for Lauren??? Check out her Facebook Page and look at the extensive voter organizing going on over there. Haley’s fans don’t need anyone telling them to vote for her….they just do it! I sit in my living room every Wednesday night and cannot believe the blatant “throw Haley under the bus” that goes on week after week from Randy and J.Lo. You underestimate most viewers…we are capable of making up our own minds about the contestents and just happen to enjoy this writers re cap of the show. Geez…

    • If people aren’t country fans, and ALOT of people are not, all those votes could go to Haley next week. Scotty and Lauren might split the country vote, Haley would get the majority of the others. I don’t see the James or Jacob fans flocking to Scotty or Lauren. All 3 are different from James, but Scotty and Lauren are extreme opposites. If Haley has a good week, just as she has the past 2 weeks then I wouldn’t be suprised if she beats out the country duo.

    • Badjuggler says:

      This is a singing competition and Haley is (far and away) the best singer.

    • GS says:

      While I love Scotty and Lauren and have been voting for them and James all along, I’ll be voting extra hard next week! And Haley’s attitude does suck. If she had pulled that crap with Simon, everyone would be talking about her crap attitude. But b/c Randy said it, Haleybots are trying to say she was right. Never in the past 9 seasons would people have been ok with a contestant talking back. Usually when someone was dumb enough to do it, they got booted the same week. Haley does not deserve that Top 3 spot at all!

      • Cup of Joe says:

        Without Simon, those “judges” hold no credibility whatsoever. It doesn’t help that they’re doing a p*ss poor job at it as well. Hence, Haley earned her right to talk back to these figureheads.

        Like it or not, motherf*cker, she’s earned her right to be where she is. And she did it all without help from the people running the show. That’s admirable.

      • Well says:

        some former idol contestants and winners have been tweeting about the judging getting them mad too.

    • enterlaughing says:

      I actually read this Idoloonies regularly and generally feel nauseaous afterwards. I am NOT a Haley fan and everyone else here seems to not just be fans, but fanatics. For me, Haley was very much like a lounge singer on a cruise ship. Everything – her expressions, her movements, and yes, her voice, seemed forced and false. On top of that, she proved to be a brat with very little class or poise. I always want to clear my throat listening to her. That being said, as soon as Haley was safe I knew it would be James.

      It appears the VOTE FOR THE WORST has won this round!

      • Can of Soda says:

        Hmmm… I have an idea for ya…


        • enterlaughing says:

          LOL! And another highly educated and articulate fan is heard from!

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Not surprised that those angry with foul language from the poster they’re replying to are non-Haley fans.

            Hmmm… I wonder what that says about them? *scratches chin*

        • Joe says:

          Your language and comments should be deleted from this blog site.
          Those of you who insist on using such terms to respond to people should be thrown off of this blog site. Where are the monitors of this site?

    • JP728 says:

      Did you see Randy’s face when they announced Haley in the top three? Could he look any more pissed?? He literally looked downright angry and couldn’t even muster up enough professionalism to acknowledge her accomplishment and clap! He was never my favorite judge but this year, IMHO, he has become an absolute d-bag! I think the right three kids made it.

    • Sue says:

      And I’ll be doing the opposite – just voting the whole hour for Haley. While I like some of her performances, I don’t love all of them (and the Earth Song is just a cruddy song). She wasn’t my favorite but I don’t like the different standards for her. I can’t think of one performance of Lauren’s or Scotty’s that I liked and I wouldn’t buy their albums although I do like some country (mostly the alternative stuff where the music is not so cookie cutter or autotuned).

    • Tara says:

      Even after all these weeks I still think Kendra Chantelle should have made the top 13 instead of Haley. Heck, even Slezak preferred Kendra when the competition was at the top 24.

      • HungryHyrax says:

        So you honestly think Haley is the worst of the top 13??

        BTW I was mad Kendra Chantelle did not make it. SHe was the best countryish singer.

      • Lily says:

        I think Kendra Chantelle was deliberately kept out of a wild card spot, even though she clearly sang the best on the “sing for your life” round, because she would have been too much competition for Lauren “The Chosen One.” Kendra was the only blond, countryish female singer on the wildcard round. Haley is the other blond female singer, like Lauren, to get into the competition – and look how the production has been constantly biased against her from day one. I’m expecting to see Haley get the “Casey James” hometown visit edit in which it’s made to seem that nothing much happened and no one cared, followed by the “Syesha Mercado” song selection in which the judges and producer select awesome songs for Haley such as the theme from the penguin movie “Happy Feet.” Only one blond female singer, Lauren, was supposed to be allowed in this competition, and America voting for Haley wasn’t in the producers’ plans. We were supposed to just be sheeple on that…oops.

        • HungyrHyrax says:

          Yeah I couldn’t believe they picked Ashton over Kendra after Ashton totally messed up her sing for your life and Kendra blew it out of the park, it was soooooo obviously pre-determined and scripted! So maddening. Why even bother had they do the fake sing for your life since it clearly had ZERO bearing on the picks made!

    • Jay says:

      O please. That is the most dumbest reason to vote. You know who you should be annoyed at… the judges. They have absolutely praised James, Scotty, and Lauren despite flaws in their performances. Also, Scotty and Lauren have coasted this entire season. The funny thing is people voted for Haley more than ever, because they like her! Haley ghastly Earth Song? What about Lauren’s “Trouble?” And Scotty’s super cheesy “Youngblood?”

    • Bizarro7 says:

      Respectfully disagree. James didn’t get the critique he needed during the last few episodes, so he didn’t step up his game. Hint: Once or twice is okay, but you really have to *earn* the audience enthusiasm and participation on a performance, and Durban was demanding it before earning the right. I love Durban’s style and musical category more than Haley’s but I still felt that she sang better and deserved to stay in one week longer. And *when* are the Judges on these shows going to learn that pushing a bias for or against a particular contestant *never* works out the way they want it to, in the voting? Showing favoritism makes them just as angry as hammering away at one Idol hopeful, and the audience reacts by purposely voting contrary to what the Judges or the Producer wants.

    • Miguel says:

      The haters always have to make an excuse to hate on a pretty, confident girl with talent — and the experience and intelligence to know if the judges’ criticism is being meted out fairly.

  2. p-bo says:

    I’m only marginally a rock fan, I’m a sould and R&B man, but James’ songs were the only songs I downloaded all year.

  3. bite me randy #2 says:

    Great Job power voters – we saved Haley!! Sorry to James, he seems like a nice kid but Haley needed our help.

    • Tom K says:

      No need to apologize – I am sure there were plenty who power-voted for James too. Just not enough.

      Someone had to go home – and no matter who it was, you were going to see the venom. Idol can bring out the best, and worst, in people. Nobody truly “deserves” to go home – it’s just that one person *has* to go home.

      At the midpoint of the season, my favorite three performers were Pia, Haley, and Paul – I thought Pia’s voice was magical, that Haley had a bit of an “it” factor to her, and Paul was so quirky and different. As the season went on, James started to really grow on me – at first, I thought he was all performance; that the performances were overshadowing the actual vocals. But he improved as the season went on, in my opinion. Perhaps if the judges would have given a bit more criticism “early”, people would have seen the growth late.

      I really don’t care who wins – I could have lived with any of the Final Four winning. Given that the Top 2 get automatic contracts, however, I am rooting for Haley to get there – I don’t think Scotty or Lauren need the “automatic” contracts. They are likely to have their options picked up

      • Mike says:

        Thanks James, for the reasonable post. It’s amazing how obsessed people get. Haley is a good singer and deserves a shot in the business, but all this outrage over what was really pretty mild critics by the judges is just silly. Get a life folks.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Not to worry. I power voted for both James and Haley Wednesday night, ‘cuz I thought that would be the most interesting finale. Next week, it’s Haley and Scotty, ‘cuz I want no part of a Lauren in the finale. I’ll probably split my vote 2/1 for Haley just make it certain.

      • scotty says:

        Hasn’t Scotty had, at times, as many votes as all other contestants combined and always at least 50% more than second best?

  4. CindyofAngels says:

    Definitely the best final 4 since Season 5. No matter who went home, it was gonna be tough. I’m happy with the Final 3. I think the three most marketable voices are still there. Good to see two women in it. I would have hated to see Lauren get sent home just when she was finally seeming to get her confidence on. Haley is a solid vocalist with decent stage presence. Scotty is going to be a big star no matter what. I think Lauren could also put out a helluva record.

    • Kim R says:

      I totally agree with all you said. I’m happy with the final 3 as well. I felt for James but I do think he would have benefited greatly if the judges would have tried to give him some tough love & guidance when he needed it. He might still be there. All in all though, it will be good! :)

  5. Sandi says:

    Say what you will about technical ability but James brought showmanship and excitement to Idol that has otherwise been lacking this season. He came to the stage with energy and originality. If you think that doesn’t count for anything, you must have missed the Lady Gaga performance.

    I hope he succeeds in music and makes people give “metal a chance.” :)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree, Sandi. I liked James and enjoyed his performances but like so many Idol contestants before him (Siobahn Magnus immediately comes to mind) I think James could benefit from some formal vocal training. Lauren could certainly benefit from vocal training to get that phrasing and support under control.
      No one had ever done Judas Priest on the Idol stage before. James was definitely an attention-getter!

    • Liz says:

      I will definitely miss James next week. His vocal work had its flaws but I was continually astounded by how comfortably he took to the idol stage.

    • Lily says:

      Definitely will miss James. I was really hoping for a James/Haley finale, these are the two who really produced the most and best ‘moments’ this season.

      • HungryHyrax says:


        (although I supposed technically it might unfair to Lauren or Scotty to have James ahead since they didn’t miss 1/10th the notes, but then Scotty didn’t try to hit many notes ever and Lauren often held back too and Scotty was so silly and just dialing it in with Youngbloods so maybe Scotty deserved to go before James)

    • zaza says:

      I’m not one of those people who declares “if my favorite gets voted off, I’m done” but seriously, James was the only one who didn’t bore me, so why should I continue to watch the rest of the season? I might as well watch paint dry. I hope he does well in the future. I always thought he was a good kid.

  6. darclyte says:

    In the words of Darth Vader and so many others…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    I am glad that Haley made the Top 3, but I feel that it should have been Lauren. She hasn’t lived up to the hype or her potential, and I think if she loses the finale it may crush her, and if she wins I think it would ruin her life as she just isn’t mature enough.
    I had been hoping for a James/Haley finale for some time as I felt that they have been the best singers overall, and it would totally end Nigel’s plans for an all country teen finale. We can now only hope that Haley makes next week interesting, because the other 2 are pretty boring (although Scotty has tried to improve his performances…well, up until that wacky 2nd performance Wednesday night.) I think it’s pretty much going to be nearly impossible for Haley to advance any further, but I have seen a LOT of people who now say they’ll support her. Randy saying that it was James’ to lose and all the beat downs of Haley have once again backfired. Also, did anyone else notice how little airtime she had during the Skype to home segment? Thanks for the blogs and Idoloonies Michael, even if your hatred of Haley turned into adoration has taken you a bit off the deep end. Still a fan of yours though.

    • darclyte says:

      BTW, Mr Slezak, what about Season Eight’s Final Four? Although I wasn’t a fan of (put the go in) Gokey, that was the best Final Four since Season 5, so this would be the best Final Four since then. Kradison4eva!

    • Holly says:

      I’m not sure I agree with you that Haley is bound to finish third. James was extremely popular, having never been in the bottom 3 before being sent home last night. I think Haley got tons of votes because fans were so angry over the judge’s ridiculous “critiques,” whereas James’ fans were probably a little complacent, thinking he was a lock for the top 3. Going forward, all of James’ fans’ votes have to go somewhere, and I’m thinking those people won’t be voting for a “Country” Idol. My guess is many of James’ votes will now go to Haley, which frankly could carry her all the way to the winner’s circle. We can only hope!

      • zaza says:

        I can tell you right now, my “James votes” will not be going to Haley…or anyone for that matter. I was only throwing votes Haley’s way the last two weeks, to get rid of Lauren and Scotty. Sadly, it didn’t work. Now that James is gone, I have no interest in watching or voting, so all you Haley fans will have to get her there on your own.

        • Ken Adams says:

          As long as they don’t go to Wawen A. or Scotty “Snoozefest” McDreery, I’m a-ok with you burying those James votes.

      • Joe says:

        My James votes will NOT be going to Haley. Haley voters obsession
        against the judges got James eliminated. I will be voting for
        Scotty and Alaina.

        • Amie says:

          So Lauren’s pitty votes as result of last week didn’t get James eliminated? Haley did not have the most votes, Lauren did…so why are people blaming Haley?

        • HungryHyrax says:

          You do know that plenty of Haley people voted for James AND that Lauren and Scotty most likely got the most votes and thus took the most away from James!

          And the jacob votes probably went mostly to anybody but james.

      • HungryHyrax says:

        Mayne not as the James voters have been very spiteful and irrationally taking it out on Haley.

        not sure why Haley takes the blame, she only did best of the night last few weeks so why does James gone fall on her alone? it’s her fault as if she is the only one left??

        and what about Jacob voters probably all splitting to anyone but James? why no blame for the jacob voters? or why no blame for James voters who didn’t vote enough?

    • Steph says:

      I think the fact that Haley has had so little airtime and backstory is a testiment to how talented & likeable she is and shows that a lot of people really have her back. She’s gained voters week to week, so who knows maybe she can win the whole shabang :)

    • ben says:

      The time Haley got in the video chat segment was almost nothing. Just like hollywood week, and interviews/back-story all year. Also, unlike Scotty and Lauren, she was on with her parents instead of her sibling. I know people are tired of the conspiracy talk, but I think a call to her sister would have personalized her a lot more — after all everyone has parents.

  7. beth says:

    Who was that blonde in Steven Tyler’s video? Oh it must be his granddaughter. Snap!

  8. bite me producers says:

    Oh, and yeah — what’s up with Haley getting three total seconds on the chat video segment?? The other three got ten times the screen space? Thanks Michael, been waiting all morning for your update :)

    • meh says:

      Because she has no personality, and it was boring. EDIT.

      • Cup of Joe says:

        Compared to whom, exactly? Scotty, who has given me the creeps this week? Or Lauren, whose Idol run could be well described like anyone but Haley in the Top 4 as a flatline?

  9. t.t says:

    #savethegrowler bitchesssss

  10. CAT says:

    Well, now I have to listen to Haley screech her way through at least three more songs. Boo! Hiss! But maybe this will stop all the nonsensical conspiracy stuff. James would have been the most interesting contestant of the last 4. I was very diappointed in Jordin’s performance. Her vocals were fine, but I thought she was one person I could count on to not prance around the stage like a hooker. “Growing up” (as Slezak put it) has nothing to do with it. It’s a matter of sticking to principles that she has quite clearly proclaimed in the past. I’m sad to see her slide down the same road as so many others.

  11. Denise says:

    I wanted Lauren to go. I liked James and feel bad that I didn’t throw a vote or two his way.

    • SharonM says:

      Yeah I was hoping Lauren would go too.

    • Lyn says:

      Agree: I was disturbed when she was the first one named safe — I assume because the producers did not want her to stand there all quivery-lipped, teary and suffering for even one moment!

      • Selena says:

        Not at all. I was thrilled. There is just something I like about Lauren. She’s a diamond in the rough…She’ll be a star with the right songs and management.

        • julie says:

          Maybe, but she’s too too rough, too young. Maybe that’s why the producers want her though; they see her as malleable, moldable, and packageable. The fact that she needs the “right management” is the problem — she’ll be pre-packaged, just another comercial product.

          • Nael says:

            I agree, she should have waited another 2 years before going on Idol.
            How on earth is she supposed to cope with the pressure if she gets into the finale or even wins? She isn’t up to it (yet at least).

        • notmzbehavin says:

          The girl couldn’t sing the phrase “I am evil” in the Elvis song. She’s much too young emotionally. She’s not too bright if she couldn’t grasp the difference between singing a lyric and actually assuming people would think she was evil. There’s a difference between connecting with a song, and thinking you have to take on the personality of the song. Her “evil” comment actually made me wonder about her mental age.

          Either way, if she wins her parents best keep a close eye on her, or she’s going to be a victim for every predatory music mogul out there.

          • Lori says:

            She couldn’t sing “evil” but didn’t appear during the song to have an issue with singing about shooting someone or pointing her fingers in a gun fashion on multiple occasions.

            I think she’s either playing up the “dumb blond” act or she (sadly) really acts like that. When describing her choice for inspirational song it was like she was reading from a cue card, she had no emotional connection to what she was saying. Same with her comments after she was done singing and they were talking to her.

  12. Plugh says:

    It’s funny how I’ve seen some commenters on the web call James a “risk-taker.” It wasn’t just “Don’t Stop Believing” that shoots that down. ALL his songs had the same arc: slow or fast they ended up with the giant screech. Forget what the judges said. I saw no big growth from him over the weeks.

    Lauren may have gotten by this week because she *seemed* so much more confident on Wednesday. Love her or hate here, that persona-change helped.

    Scotty may be a one-note Johnny… but (and no offense to country music fans, I mean I listen to it sometimes myself), isn’t that really what most country music is? Variations on a similar theme. He may be boring (I personally don’t think so), but if he is: he does boring well.

    Haley had an off night (to me) on Wednesday but she was far and away the most interesting contestant left after Casey was booted… and the only true risk-taker of the final four. I think it’s REALLY interesting to see support for her blossom online, along with the growing outrage at the judges’ comments. It had to have some effect to help pass her through to now. How sweet was it to see Randy’s reaction and JLo’s tears at the end? Ha!

    Scotty has gotta be a shoe-in to make the final (I suspect he will win it), but the woman’s spot is really up for grabs next week. I think I can honestly say I’ll vote for whoever has the better performances. We’ll see if America follows suit.

    • blingedup.susan says:

      I agree with you that James showed almost no growth this year.

      Although this has already been thoroughly discussed, I have to say again that I think the judges did a real disservice to this group of contestants. They could have helped the Idols so much if they had provided some constructive CRITICISM along the way. Now James is being thrown out into the music world pretty much in the same place he was when he auditioned (although with a fan base now.) Just think how much he could have grown if he had experienced weeks of guidance through the judge’s honest and thoughtful criticism? It’s a shame, really. All of the Idols would have benefitted from this.

      • agrimesy says:

        “Now James is being thrown out into the music world pretty much in the same place he was when he auditioned (although with a fan base now.)”
        You are so right! I’m so angry with the judges because of young artists just like James who could have benefited greatly from some constructive criticism. Why did they handle him with kid gloves week after week? He deserved better. I am really concerned that Idol will hesitate to sign him for fear that he won’t reach a market beyond his fanbase. And let’s face it, even former winners have struggled with record sales once their fans are no longer voting.

        • Mike says:

          What do you think the Idol contestants do all week? They spend hours and hours with the music producers, vocal coaches and style consultants. You can bet they all get plenty of critics off camera because the support people have no public image to protect.

      • CAM says:

        You are SO right! There were about 5 comments sprinkled throughout the season that were in any way beneficial. The efusive priae was so ridiculous. Despite Slezak’s claims that poor Haley suffered the judges wrath, the things said to her the few times they said things that were not positive, they were VERY tame.

        • Max says:

          Yet, those comments allowed Haley to grow and become a million times better than she was when she came on the show. If only we could have seen such development with the others. In the long run, the others who have received no praise will suffer more then Haley (who has probably developed thicker skin). Everyone says they are being unfair to Haley (which they are, no doubt). I think they are more unfair to the others by letting them believe they are actually THAT good.

          • BrazenSongBird says:

            More unfair? No…but certainly, equally unfair.

          • Mike says:

            Again. What do you think the Idol contestants do all week? They spend hours and hours with the music producers, vocal coaches and style consultants. You can bet they all get plenty of critiques off camera because the support people have no public image to protect.

      • Nael says:

        Fully agree. The judges were horrible since the live shows began.
        While James is indeed a great performer, his singing isn’t anywhere near top AI standard.
        He needs to really work on his pitch problems and on how to “not ruin” a song just to showcase how high you can go.

        These are things the judges should have told him (repeatedly if needed). For his own good.
        Noone would have voted him out because of the critique, we have ears anyway and knew he was off-pitch many times.
        No biggie in the first live shows, noone is perfect (and some others who lasted a while were much worse).
        But the contestants got to work on these things. We want to see improvement, and getting constructive criticism and realizing what they need to actually work on is a big part of that.
        To a certain extent, I blame the judges for James’ exit.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      Alison Iraheta was also the most interesting and “risk-taker” last year, and see where she’s at now. I think this crop of singers are aided by having worked with top producers, who can sign them to their imprint, and also having Jimmy Iovine take a personal interest in their development — ala Clive Davis.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Allison released a wonderful CD – why radio won’t play it is beyond me. I guess they’re too busy playing all those other wonderful artists like Rhianna. Most of the music on Top 40 radio is crap. Truly talented singers just need a different business plan.

  13. Haley's Comet says:

    (Whispering) Uhmm, exuse me guys, I know this is a kind of crazy, cockamamie notion…but what if…what if the growler can pull this off and win this whole damn thing? And…and what if we can help her take the idol title through our POWER voting? I mean I know Scotty-d-body is an apple-pie force of nature, but I’m beginning to think we can do it. Why, I mean we got her this far. Why not go all the way!?? Yeah, I know, what am I thinking. Me and my crazy, ideas…

    • C says:

      THIS, my friends, is why we need to limit the votes per person!

      • Jane says:

        I’ve been hearing this all season. But, since every contestant had a block of voters at this stage, I don’t think it influenced the outcome that much. James just had less fans voting for him. Even with 1 person, 1 vote I think the outcome would be the same. Sure it would be better the other way. If teenyboppers can vote for a cute guy, why can’t adults vote for a girl with a great voice and a sassy attitude?

      • Haley's Comet says:

        WHY LIMIT THE VOTE?? I think voting as many times as your passion pursuade you for the person you consider to be the best singer is a great thing. It has worked on AI for ten seasons. why change that now? I really don’t understand the point your trying to make…

      • Name That Tune says:

        But everyone is free to play the game. Just learn a few tricks and you can be a power-voter, too. You don’t have to spend 2 hours of your life sitting by the phone. Just learn how to use the technology that is already available to you.

        • J. says:

          Well I don’t have the technology and I don’t need the technology and I certainly wouldn’t go out and buy it just to be able to vote on a reality show. I do, however, spend money on music I like. Get it?

          • Out Of Touch says:

            Then you won’t affect the outcome. I don’t have the tecchnology so I can vote for TV show. I have it because I like it. Being able to power vote is a side effect

      • HungryHyrax says:

        You think this happens only for Haley? I just saw a ton of articles from the South in the papers talking about how far their power voting has taken their boy and for all readers to keep it going.

        That said a few votes (phones can be shared by people and certainly IP addresses in a family) limit might be sensible.

    • collins says:

      two words: Syesha Mercado. That is all.

      • J. says:

        I’m sorry. No comparison.

      • B.Rich says:

        Wow Lauren is just like Syesha Mercado (or Jasmine Trias)

      • SallyinChicago says:

        Well you make a good point. Syesha came in 3rd too, and they were anti-Syesha and trying to tear her down. And gave her that lame penguin song to sing at the end. Haley, same thing. And she’s coming in 3rd, because I think Lauren and Scotty and the #1 and #2 singers.
        The 3rd singers are always the best, but their careers go nowhere: Syesha, Alison, Jasmine, and oh so many other female 3rd placers. I hope Haley breaks the spell. Not because she’s better than the others, but because that 3rd place female spell needs breaking.

    • leena says:

      Poor Haley. If she does win this thing (which I hope she doesn’t) she will go in to think she can sell millions of records because of all the votes she gets. When in reality she is getting “power votes” and is not as popular as she’ll think. You people who think you’re doing her a favor are setting her up for major disappointment. #bootthegrowler #haleymumbles!

      • Emma says:

        Everyone has power voters at this point. Also, as the previous two seasons show, it’s the Middle America voters who vote like mad but then won’t buy the record.

        • Cindy says:

          I live in Middle America. I don’t vote but I do buy records. Or even, believe it or not, download music. Middle America also has technology!

      • julie says:

        @leena: And that doesn’t go for the rest? Do you really think any of the others are ready to be “recording artists” or concert musicians either? JLo or Randy may SAY they feel they’re at a Scotty concert, but, I’m sorry, he’s not actually that level. (He probably could be, with work, but no one in Idoldom is encouraging him to do any.) I feel sorry for them ALL this season, because instead of getting doses of reality heaped on them by the likes of Simon, they’ve all gotten their heads blown up full of hot hair, and they’re all going to have reality burst their balloons soon.

        • Mike says:

          Again. What do you think the Idol contestants do all week? They spend hours and hours with the music producers, vocal coaches and style consultants. You can bet they all get plenty of critiques off camera because the support people have no public image to protect.

          Also. Who are these magical “recording artist” that are so much better than these contestants really. Ke$ha? Brittany Spears? Katy Perry? Rebecca Black? Owl City? Doesn’t take much (other than lots of luck) to the a successful recording artist.

          • Julie says:

            They spend hours with vocal coaches? What vocal coaches? Some of them sure need to. Would love to know if that’s true, but it’s hard to believe that any vocal coach would have let Jacob Lusk go back out on stage to do what he did. You’re sure right about not needing to have much to offer artistically to become a “recording artist” though, Still, very few who aspire make it, because you do have to have something package-able. The producers must see that in Lauren and Scotty. They’re still going to get hit by reality considering what they’re being led to believe about their current abilities.

          • Tuzo says:

            Mike, I can’t totally disagree with you since I don’t work on the show but my impression of the “behind the scenes” glimpses and interviews I’ve read is that these kids are pulled in a ton of directions (interviews, Ford video, public appearances, styling etc.) and actually don’t have that much time (relatively) to work on the songs.

    • stefanie says:

      As someone mentioned in an earlier post, wouldn’t it be great if everyone voted based on performance this coming week and not because they want to stick it to the judges? What a novel idea! Are you really doing any of the performers a favor if you vote just because you want to make a point? It seems like the push to power vote has gotten out of control and needs to be curbed.

      • marie says:

        Actually, if I vote, I tend to vote based on overall singing talent rather than on just that week’s performance, because even the best singer can have an off night. I think that basis for voting is more fair to the singers than just basing it on a single performance.
        But as to the power voting, which I’ll admit does annoy me sometimes (not that that stopped me from voting for Haley for about 45 minutes this week, though): as long as power voting enables the producers to boast that they got “72 million votes,” power voting will be permitted and encouraged. Do you think they’d be happy being able to state only that a few hundred thousand votes were cast (if that many)?

        • Lily says:

          Good point about the power voting, and I’ve also wondered if they get any kickback on the money generated from the telephone and text voting. If so, they’d definitely want lots and lots of calls and texts to generate more money.

    • Eurydice says:

      So what? She might get a zillion more votes but it won’t make her a zillion times more popular. She might win, but it won’t necessarily make her a star. And the power voters might feel like they’ve actually accomplished something, but they’ve been manipulated by the producers, just as they have been every year.

      • Ken Adams says:

        You’re right about votes not making her a huge star. You know what does make her a star? Outselling everyone else on iTunes and having THOUSANDS more views on youtube and tons more followers on Twitter– which she has. That’s called money in the bank for Lady Reinhart. Next question.

        • Eurydice says:

          Well, I didn’t ask any questions, but attention on iTunes and youtube and Twitter while she’s still a contestant on the #1 show on television only means she’s in the middle of her 15 minutes of fame – it doesn’t make her a star. We’ll see what happens once they turn out the lights and the audience moves its attention to season 11.

          Look, I like Haley. I think she’s bright and attractive and talented, but she’s not the second coming. None of them are. She’s got the same potential and the same limitations as the other contestants. When she picks a song that matches her style, she sounds great – when a song doesn’t match her style, she sounds screechy and growly. This is something she’ll have to work on if she wants to become a star and no amount of power voting is going to change that.

          • agrimesy says:

            Evidently Haley’s “style” is jazzyR&Bpopcountryrock because I have downloaded her iTunes tracks, and this young lady sounds great singing everything. However, even if you don’t like all the songs she has attempted on the show, what artist these days has to sing a variety of styles? Idol is an odd environment of themed covers week to week. None of the contestants will have to perform Motown or 80’s tracks or Carole King ever again after this season. If an Idol winner has to be able to sing mulitple styles in order to be successful, then Scotty is the one who’s in trouble. (And you and I both know Scotty isn’t any where near a danger zone for stardom.)

          • Eurydice says:

            @agrimesy I don’t think she sounds great singing everything, but that’s a matter of taste. However, I completely agree about the peculiarness of this competition. Making everybody sing every genre seems to go against what the judges say they want, which is an artist with a particular point of view. The only time I’d want somebody to be able to please everybody is if I’m hiring a wedding singer.

    • Mike says:

      Don’t fool yourself.

  14. SharonM says:

    It should be interesting to see the edit Haley gets next week. They can’t possibly do her as bad as they did Casey James last year. I loved Jordin Sparks’ performance.

    • Owen says:

      I don’t think it matters. I’m now seeing Haley in the finale. Two country singers are going to cancel each other out. There’s always the possibility that two girls will cancel each other out, but this new gender-neutral Idol voting gives me hope. I’m thinking Haley may envelope the largest portion of the James voting block as well.

      • not says:

        Interesting point about two country singers. I think the producers thought a rock v. country finale (with either Scotty or Lauren) would sell best and maximize ratings, so they’ve been pimping James. An all-country finale would likely lower ratings, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the “judges” change their tune completely next week and are all team-Haley. If they do that, this is the ultimate victory against the “judge’s” bullying.

        BUT, I don’t think all the power voting in the world by team-Haley will make a difference. As with Crystal Bowersox, interesting and original won’t prevail over mass appeal.

  15. OK says:

    I don’t think James should have gone home, but I’m really glad Haley is still there. I was hoping Scotty would have left. Also, is anyone thinking Haley is screwed next week like I am? The judges and Jimmy are going to pick a song for her to sing? Sabotage time!

    • MrSideEye says:

      Next week I think they may sabotage Haley by actually (over)-praising her to make her fan base feel complacent and secure a McLaina finale. While I do think that this is the best case scenario for Haley to crack the Top 2, I also think this is the best case for the producer pushed McLaina finale. James would have been a bigger threat to break this up. Nigey sure does know what he is doing…. #savethegrowler

      • Tracy says:

        Completely agree. The unfairness to Haley was too over the top for the producers not to realize there would be a backlash. I think we’ve all been faked out. It looked like they were throwing Haley under the bus, but when we were distracted they were pushing James into traffic.

        • Darian says:

          !!! That last sentence perfectly sums up what I was thinking. Maybe Slezak’s “conspiracy theorist” is rubbing off on me but I definitely felt like the producers wanted James out to cause Haley backlash so that he or she could not break up the Scotty/Lauren train. I would love to be proven wrong but that is what it is looking like.

        • susela says:

          Yes, this used to happen all the time when Simon was mean to people; they’d wind up getting voted through. With Sanjaya, he finally said one week,”I give up. That was…enjoyable.” And Sanjaya was out the next night.

      • Lyn says:

        And don’t forget: One of the judges (Randy?) will get to pick out an utterly crappy song for her to sing. =shudder=

        • dctoronto says:

          Yes, I figure Randy will end up picking her song and then telling her it was not current and/or not her style.

          • susela says:

            Yes!!! And that it doesn’t show what kind of an artist she’d like to be.

          • H H says:

            It seems to me that Randy just doesn’t want to be proven wrong. Haley was at the autiotions last season and didn’t go through. She is back this season very strong and that reflects bad on Randy since he fail to see her raw talent last year.

      • Eurydice says:

        Oh yes, of course. Because the judges have nothing better to do with their lives than plot against Haley, never mind that they’re the ones who put her on the show in the first place. Yes, indeed – they’ll pick out a terrible song for her and they’ll set her hair on fire so she’ll have to sing it with a bag over her head. And because she’s such a professional threat to all of them, they’ll overpraise her muffled performance while secretly texting a hit man to run over her dog.

        • MrSideEye says:

          While J.Lo and Steven still have semi-relevant careers, surely Randy has nothing better to do but plot with producers against Haley. So thanks for giving out all these great ideas they can use!

          • Eurydice says:

            Hey, I’m never happier than when I’m plotting something diabolical. Yeah, so maybe Randy doesn’t have much else to do but contemplate his toenails, but really, where’s the profit in bringing down Haley? AI is a business and everything the producers do is about money. If Haley is a break-out star with a rabid fan base, they’ll want to exploit that, not destroy it. The only way a “conspiracy” makes sense is if the producers want to manipulate the audience into thinking they have to fight for Haley. And it certainly seems they’ve suceeded because now Haley’s in the top 3 and people are still talking about her being unappreciated.

    • RCK says:

      I really believe they’re going to do some major sabotage. They’ll probably give her a horrible song, and say OMG THAT WAS HORRIBLZ WHY YOU CHOOSE THAT SONG. I have no doubt JLO and Randy would do that. Douchebags. T____T They’ll probably show 10 seconds of Haley arriving at her hometown, and cut there, since they seem to ENJOY editing her out of every little behind the scenes thing.

      • HungryHyrax says:

        unless they are afraid she might have a shot to win now, they won’t want to make a winner seem bad, they don’t want that at all.

        they’d have to be very sure they could get her kicked out to dump on her you’d think but who knows, who knows

        they might intermediate and hope she fades out but is not ruined if she does make it somehow

    • Li-Li says:

      At least they can’t criticize 2 of her 3 song choices. Oh wait, they DID criticize one of Jimmy Iovine’s choices in the past. She may be doomed.

  16. nikkiqmgirl says:

    James was all about over the top stage theatrics and yes it was entertaining but locally Don’t Stop Believin’ was 3rd rate karaoke at best. And last week while his performances were emotional and tear filled his voice was completely off. Like the guy but it was time to go.

  17. Frank O'File says:

    Is it me, or was nary a word heard from the judges last night?

    • Allie says:

      I noticed that too. I expected Randy or JLo to eat crow a little. When Simon felt like he might have miscalculated on judging night, he always corrected himself the following day to save face. For example, he proclaimed David A. the winner of that season on final performance night and then back-peddled when it looked like David Cook had more support online……It was interesting that none of the judges have corrected themselves this season at all. Even after the first performance of the finals when Ashton (was that her name?) brutalized that Rhianna song, I would have figured someone would say the next day, “you know, when I listened to it again later, it sounded AWFUL!” since the night of the performance they thought it was great…..oh judges……get with it…..the Idoldome has either impacted your hearing or you have absolutely no clue what sounds good.

  18. Lori says:

    Did anyone else find it interesting that both duet songs were country? Hmm.

    • bite me producers says:

      No – it’s not weird…it’s all part of the producers’ plan to showcase Scotty and Lauren!!

      • agrimesy says:

        It hurt James more than Haley. Remember her version of “Blue”? Haley can sing ANY genre. I thought she and Lauren sounded terrific together!

      • M says:

        Yet somehow James & Haley proved that they were the ones that can prove that can sing anything..

    • Dasha says:

      I noticed that too. They are setting up for the Scotty/Lauren finale.

    • takakupo says:

      YEAH! Why in the heck were both duets country? I mean really. I understand that Scotty doesn’t want to do anything else but does he really run the show? Are the all the producer’s really just Scotty’s bitches? Come on! It’s not just this duet either. All of his other duets have been with Lauren and they’ve been pure country folkel. Gimme a break. Throw a branch in this guy’s bike tires and see if he can land gracefully for once. I’m not asking for a pure train wreck, just a little something to keep myself from falling asleep everytime he comes on tv. Geezus!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I didn’t have a problem with both duets being country, as both songs fall more into “pop/country” (Brad Paisley’s “Start a Band”) or “rock/country” (Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”). I DID have a problem (as Slezak pointed out) in that “Start a Band” started in a key that was too low for James’ register, and I believe that was more detrimental than the fact the song was “country”. Surely they could have found a song where the guys could have played their guitars and would have suited both voices. Country has plenty of variety. There is no shortage of music that would have been better.
      The girls rocked the joint. Haley did very well.

      • marie says:

        Yes, the girls did sound very good together, but I still question the choice of that song; I was aghast at the lyrics, quite frankly. Loaded guns? Cigarettes? Getting beat up by your man? OK, that last IS a horrible outrage that needs to be addressed and combatted in society at large, but I still found that song very unsavory coming out of the mouths of two underage girls on a supposedly family-friendly show (albeit getting less family-friendly by the moment, I’ll admit).

        • GinaBallerina says:

          Yous said it, Marie. Between the girls’ song, Steven’s video and Lady Gaga performing in her underwear, I think we can safely say that Idol isn’t trying to be a family show anymore.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Marie, I’m right there with you on that song, but honestly, look at what we’ve witnessed from 16 year old Lauren and her song choices, not to mention the disastrous hair, makeup, and wardrobe that’s made her look 20 years older than her age. To quote a famous band, right, wrong, or indifferent, “I’ve become comfortably numb”. Lauren’t sung several songs that I didn’t think were age-appropriate. She finally had what I would call a performance that lived up to the hype so I’m forcing myself to overlook those questionable lyrics.

          If Lauren had sung a song about mom, the flag, apple pie, and Jesus we would be reading more liberal vitriolic complaints about THAT right now. Honestly, I prefer your decent, well-written, thoughtful complaints. They’re easier to stomach. Call me selfish. The “We Hate Country Music Crowd” seems to think country is all Christian, patriotic, flag-waving music. It is most assuredly NOT. Arguably, Jesus is usually in there someplace, even in songs about cheating, drinking, and prison.

          that’s one of the ironies of Idol. They want 15 and 16 year old kids on there but that does (or it SHOULD) limit their song choices. My all-time favorite “Idol Moment” was last season when the judges were merciless with Katie Stevens and Tim Urban and their song choices, and persisted in clobbering on them to sing something “young”. “We want you to be young!”. Then Ryan announces, “Next Week’s Theme – The Rolling Stones”. Oh yea – because nothing says “young” like spending the night together, housewives taking uppers to make it through the day, committing suicide right on stage, and the “masters” having sex with the young black slaves.
          Clearly there is a serious dichotomy here. they need to either raise the age limit or modify the song choices.

        • (!) says:

          Hmm..underage? Haley is 20

          But what bothers me more is how Lauren seemed all honky-dory singing a rough song like that after not being able to sing an Elvis song because is had “evil” in the lyrics.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Haley is 20 – so, she’s underage for some things but not for others. I think Marie may have been more concerned about the entire picture of two girls under the age of 21 singing about blowing their abusive man away with a shotgun. but hey, that’s country music, when they aren’t singing about the flag and Jesus. :-)

            And I agree with your comment about Lauren, (!) but again, I think singing with Haley gave her a shot of confidence. I don’t think it was the subject matter. Oddly, for once she seemed “connected” to the lyrics, LOL.

      • Eurydice says:

        The song started out too low for James and then became too high for Scotty – I think it evened out in the end.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Yea, now that I think about it, you’re right. IT just didn’t pack the punch like the girls’ song.

      • cmp says:

        Doesn’t really matter what they sing on results night, does it? The votes have already been cast by then. The decision has already been made. Somebody is already going home. Who gives a rip?

  19. quickiemiss says:

    James was the one of the four who had the most spotty vocal performances in the past few weeks. He really had trouble staying on pitch, esp in both of last week’s performances. He was a fun, exciting performer with a tug-at-your-heartstrings back story, but c’mon people, he did hit more bum notes than the other three lately. And so I feel OK that he went home tonight. And I don’t think he’s good enough to carve out his own career, at least not without lots of
    “we’ll manage you and back you and pay for your big splashy concert effects” support… and some auto-tune thrown in for good measure. Now, who should win… I’m thinking Haley just because Nigel and crew don’t want that.

    • Emma says:

      Agreed! James was great entertainment and probably a nice guy, a triumph for all people with Aspergers and Tourettes, but he really deserved to go because Idol couldn’t have handled another winner who would have had serious troubles in singing on key.

  20. Teena says:

    Both were good, but I liked Haley’s version of “You and I” better than Gaga’s.

    • marie says:

      Heaven help me, I hate to say this when the original artist is involved, but so did I.

      • p-bo says:

        I was thinking just the opposite. I’m no Gaga fan, but as I heard her sing I thought, “THERE’S the difference between a seasoned professional and an amateur.

        • Max says:

          And the difference is…..What? Singing the song in your underwear? Showing the audience that you can play the piano while bent at a 90 degree angle?
          Both of them sounded great on the song but I find it very funny that you find Gaga’s version more “professional”. (No offence to anybody, of course)

    • agrimesy says:

      Me too! I cannot stop listening to Haley’s “You and I”! She sounds amazing on that studio track. I have to wonder who’s idea it was to showcase that particular song for the Gaga spot. It made Haley look incredibly relevant as a current artist and the judges look ridiculous for dissing her choice (via Jimmy) to sing that song.

      • susela says:

        Maybe they thought it would make Haley look all the worse if we could compare her rendition with Gaga’s. If so, it backfired. Haley’s was as good as Gaga’s, if not better.

    • RCK says:

      I love Gaga, srsly. But Haley rocked that song more than Gaga did on her video.

    • Merry says:

      I agree!

  21. bite me judges says:

    I wonder what song the judges will pick for Haley to sing next week? I’ll bet it’s the most horrible song they can think of…like maybe the theme song from Barney or Teletubbies. Or else they’ll put poison ivy on her pillowcase.

    • Tracy says:

      LOL! But it will be incredibly interesting to see what they pick for her. Something reasonable-ish but definitely not too good.

    • takakupo says:

      Imagine if Steven Tyler picked Dream On for her :} :] :} ZOMG! I would love to hear it! LOVE!!!

      • (!) says:

        I’d love it too, and she’d probably rock, but you know people would call it shameless self promotion, and make it the next big stink :p

    • Amie says:

      Valerie by Amy Winehouse…PLEASE!!!! Or any Winehouse

  22. MEH says:

    Live in Haley’s area, will not support her. Did not like the picture of her smiling when James got eliminated..same smile when Pia was eliminated. I will save her growling music for my pitbulls.

    • Tom K says:

      She smiled during his performance – just like Scotty was.

    • A.W. Baimun says:

      Quoted from EW’s “What you didn’t see on TV” article about the elimination program – “After the Durbs got the bad news, he wandered around the stage as his Idol journey package played behind him; when it was over, he spun around, and there was a brief flash when he looked so utterly lost, it did break my heart a bit. Scotty kept his hands clasped tightly near his face. Haley quietly cried. Lauren seemed slightly stricken, and mostly stone faced.”

      Haley is usually capable of reigning her feelings in or at least putting on a smile when she’s nervous and/or upset. The naration of the show or the audiences inner monologue turns it into “attitude”.

    • indy says:

      I am not invested in any contestant this year.

      I would however like to point out the vidcap of Lauren and Haley at the top of this article. That was a mere 17sec. after they announced Scotty is in and James is out.
      Just sayin.

    • (!) says:

      So, you didn’t notice Scotty’s smile, on his face, which took up 3/4 of the screen? Ok.

      He was performing them and they were supporting James. People look too far into things and play armchair psychoanalyst

    • HungryHyrax says:

      Really before you toss someone under the bus and make snap judgements maybe give someone the benefit of the doubt?

      When Pia got tossed you can clearly see tears in her eyes and that the smile was NOT what you think.

      As for when James got eliminated she was just trying to keep Scotty and him happy and straight from a reporter who was right by them that not, UNLIKE, you:

      “James sang his final song, during which Haley turned to Scotty and said “I’m gonna cry.””

      yeah…. she is PURE evil there…. give her a break.

  23. blingedup.susan says:

    I’m back to loving this season of Idol. :)

    James was absolutely the right one to go home, imo.

    The Top 3 episode is always my favorite of the season. Hometown visits paired with producer pick, judges pick, and Idol pick for songs — it just can’t be beat. Plus, I’m happy with this Top 3.

    I have young kids who enjoy watching Idol with me, and I have to say, Lady Gaga’s video performance was a little much. But while I felt that way, the kids had much more reaction to Steven Tyler’s video, which I didn’t find offensive at all. They were laughing about Steven playing “patty-cake” on that girl’s bootie.

    Mostly, I want to say YAY HALEY!!!

  24. midtowngirl says:

    Did anyone notice how Ryan said to James – early in the show, sitting on the sofa together – “you’re crying already”..??? That totally clued me in to his departure.
    This is the first time Lauren showed some spunk in her performance; the duet with Hailey. Scotty bores me to tears, he sings so lazily and all his demeanors are so hokey I have to look away. Too bad, because he does have a nice voice and with real mentoring could improve quite a bit as a performer.
    This is the most obviously all-crowd-pleasing and dumbed down season of AI yet.

  25. Karen says:

    I don’t think James is going to go very far in the music industry. The voice is usually what sells…not showmanship ie Taylor Hicks.

    I was so thrilled that Haley stayed…the best voice of the 4.
    I think the country vote might get split next week….time will tell.

  26. Katie says:

    Not sad at all to see James go! Vocally he was not the strongest, yes he gave great performances but the rest our much better vocally. Haley for the win!

  27. Liz says:

    I went into last night’s episode not caring about who was eliminated as long as it wasn’t Haley. When James’ name was announced, I had a lightbulb moment: man, do I despise Scotty McCreery’s voice and performances. I was sorry to see James go and will miss him next week.

  28. Caroline says:

    I was actually really happy with the results. Despite James’ strong beginning and middle, the last two weeks have been awful. Next to Lusky Stank, James was the worst last week, and this week, he gave the weakest performances. As much as I don’t care for Lauren, she had a mini moment with “Anyway.”. Then, Scotty was a bit above average in his first song. James, on the other hand, had a really pitchy performance of “America’s favorite song” and a weird arrangement of another. Although Lauren and Scotty had weaker second songs, they were both no worse than either of James’ performances. Just curious though, was that the actual bottom two? Or were they just trying to show that the girls were safe?

  29. adamfan says:

    This has been a fascinating social experiment. Mr. Slezak and the people who comment here did not have this Haley craze until they started to feel “injustice”. I have to say that she is one smart cookie. She played everyone with her “oh, the judges hate” me facial expressions, she wore the victim cape really well. She has some talent but was propelled to the 3rd spot purely by power votes who felt sorry for her and hated the way the judges treated her. What if that was Nigel’s plan all along? Maybe he wanted you all to feel sorry for her and power vote? Maybe he knows that he will sign Scotty no matter what and this way can also benefit from Haley winning. Yes, I am a bitter James fan. Maybe he was just slightly more talented than Haley but deserved to stay simply because of his showmanship. Haley’s showmanship consists of her walking and bending at the knees. Also, I love reading Mr. Slezak and don’t expect him to be a Walter Cronkite but a bit more objectivity when reviewing a program would be good. Mr. Slezak turned his blog into a Haley platform.

    • Tom K says:

      In this day and age, who isn’t propelled to the next round of Idol with “power voting”? You think James got as far as he did without the help of power voting?

      She didn’t need to play the “victim card” – the judges did it for her. If she wanted to play the victim card, she wouldn’t have committed one of the biggest sins on Idol (talking back at the judges). She could have just stood there and cried for five minutes as J-Lo rambled on.

      • Amie says:

        Her talking back, which I whole heartly agree with, lost her so many potential fans…that was not a “oh judges hate me” tactic, that was a “I’m fed up with this injustice crap” tactic. I’m sad because I want her to do well and as I fan I know what she did was right (and she was defending MJ’s version of the song, not her own song)…but people who are not her fans just brutally hate her for no other reason than James went home.

    • haleyfan says:

      At least in my head, I would prefer Idol as a singing competition, not just a tv show.

      James had major, major pitch issues throughout his run. His theatricality sometimes made up for it, often distracted us from it, but at the end of the day, he wasn’t hitting his notes. Haley is not pitch-perfect, but her notes are more consistent and her musical choices are much more sophisticated.

      Unsophisticated doesn’t necessarily = bad, but a lack of musical artistry (taking something up an octave is just gimmickry) combined with pitch problems made me question James’ place in a singing competition and agree he deserved to go this week.

      James is certainly interesting, and made for fun tv. =)

      • algalhi says:

        @haleyfan – totally agree with this. If you’re a singer, the most important thing is that you sing well. Singing off-key just is not acceptable, no matter how creative and exciting a performer you are. But James was right, in this season when the show allowed the singers to go all out on the production, he brought a lot to the stage that was fun to watch. Unfortunately, folks like me who still think AI is a search to find the best singer (whether it turns out that way or not in the voting), James’ stage productions ‘way overshadowed his vocal ability. I wish him the best though!

    • Plugh says:

      Adamfan I’m more with TomK on this one. With unlimited voting they are all got by (to some extent) with power-voting. I just don’t think it was a fake-out simply because if you watch Idol closely enough from the very start… they like to build their storylines and drama around certain contestants, and Haley just always seemed to be that last-minute add to that baker’s dozen of finalists.
      As she moved on it seemed like they had no idea (and still don’t) how to package her. And could you blame her for reacting that way when NONE of the other contestants got ANY sort of criticism at all? I think it’s that, more than what they actually said to her, that galvanized her online support.
      Now, as someone who has voted for her over the past few weeks, I’m raising my own standard going into next week. I really want her to blow me away. If not, I may not vote — or vote for someone else. We’ll see.

    • marie says:

      *”Mr. Slezak and the people who comment here did not have this Haley craze until they started to feel “injustice”.”
      No, I disagree. Yes, Haley was often judged unfairly compared to the others, BUT that was NOT what made me *slowly* come around to appreciating her talent: it was a combination of the growth she showed over the season as a singer and performer – very much the most improved of all of them, along with her consistently upping her game and so being better able to showcase her natural vocal abilities. She started off just ok, I thought; she worked very hard AND very smart, she got better and better, and I began to appreciate her as a singer. My anger at her mistreatment is apart from my enjoyment of her as an artist.

    • Mama says:

      Walter Cronkite, objective? Bah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

      Slezak has NOT been saying that Haley doesn’t deserve criticism. He has been pointing out that she isn’t the ONLY contestant who deserves criticism. How is that not objective? Are you saying that no other contestant in the last several weeks has not deserved an onunce of criticism? Now how needs to find some objectivity?

    • Liz says:

      I think we also need to remember that Haley was not a wild-card pick–she was voted into the Top whateveritwas (13?) on her own. She had enough fans, or at least people who were intrigued enough to want to see more, voting for her from the start.

      I think the so-called “injustice” vote is an issue of critique-to-talent ratio. The injustice voting may have helped her the last couple of weeks, but I think that isn’t a legit argument because James, or anyone else with talent, would have gotten the injustice vote as well if he had been the one the judges were dogpiling upon. Blame the judges who singled her out for unnecessary nastiness, not the voters.

      That said, it is true that Michael was not immediately on board the Haley train. I was listening to early Idoloonies videos the other day and in the March 1 video he specifically said that her voice was “where melody goes to die.” Found it a bit funny. :)

    • Haley's Comet says:

      Adamfan the most interesting part of this sociology experiment is the fact that James’ fans have been absolutely brainwashed by the AI production team. James fans should be upset that Lauren and Scotty who have been given the best edit since day one, made it to the final three and will probably make it to the final two. You guys should not be upset at Haley (the underdog). Oh and by the way, I like Haley’s music, and that why I am a huge fan PERIOD.

      • adamfan says:

        I hear what you are saying but James had to climb up from the hole he dug up for himself with the “nasty” or misunderstood comments during Hollywood week. He started the competition in negatives, Lauren and Scotty were practically crowned from the get go. I really wonder if this entire Haley situation was not perfectly orchestrated. Does it not seem just too perfect the way it all went down? Jimmy being so rude to her at the beginning, the judges being so harsh? Maybe the evil American Idol machine saw something in the votes and felt that they can afford to push her more? Look at the story they have created if she wins. I wanted James to succeed for personal reasons but also because he moved me. I loved his vulnerability and innocence. Thank you all for nice comments even though you don’t agree, thanks for not calling me a wanker or telling me to f&*k off. Some people here are really rude.

    • Caroline says:

      Honestly, I started liking Haley when she sang “Blue.” Then she sealed it for me with “Bennie and the Jets” and continued to solidify my loyalty after she gave the strongest performances of the night week in and week out.

      • (!) says:

        I started liking her with Blue too; at first her performances were good, but forgettable to me. I was liking James and Casey a lot. But seeing what she could do with her voice in the song was a nice change – man, I’d like to see the other contestants try to yodel. Then after that, Bennie and the Jets sold me, and all similar performances.

    • Cup of Joe says:

      Dude, his blog, his rules. Get used to it.

  30. Ace says:

    Lauren’s clearly the weakest of the three, and I expected her to get the boot before James. That said, I expect Jimmy and the designated judge to give her stuff that’s in her wheelhouse while throwing Haley under the bus with unsingable drivel next week. I hope they prove me wrong and give all three a chance to shine. Notice I said hope, not expect.

    • Lyn says:

      They’ll probably pick on Lauren just a little bit so she can whimper and get a sympathy backlash! They obviously don’t want Haley in the final.

  31. Sasha says:

    I Just hope that Haley gets Steven Tyler as to the Judge to pick a song for her cause YOU KNOW Randy and maybe JLO will pick the biggest craptastic song for the poor girl to sing and thereby having her look stupid.

    *fingers crossed*

    • Steph says:

      Let’s be honest, though… Even though the individual “judges” are picking songs for the final 3, they really won’t be the ones picking the songs, it will be Uncle Nigel pulling the strings.

  32. Owen says:

    I have never been more happy to have been wrong!! Well, half wrong. Lauren was safe (and I’m still willing to bet Dial Idol was correct that she and Scotty were the highest vote-getters). I am very sorry to lose James, though I do have to agree he’s been going slightly downhill for the last couple of weeks (Peaking, J Lo? Really?). But once again, the tears in her eyes showed me she is NOT just following a script. She honestly prefers James to Haley. Why is that so hard to believe? A lot of people on here do as well. I do believe things sound different in that room (though you’d have to believe sometimes the judges do watch the TV playbacks) and that the judge are not fair to, or try to sabatoge the others because they want their favorite to win. Not Nigel’s favorite. THEIR favorite. And I am willing to bet by the vociferous fan clamoring I see on this site a lot of us would do the same thing.

  33. Sgamegig says:

    And Randy’s song choice for Miss Reinhart is Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”…

  34. nanat says:

    Did anyone else feel that Randy manipulated the results? He went over the line bashing Haley & declared once again that James would win. Any wonder people voted the way they did?

  35. Barbara says:

    Lauren is losing her voice. She’s either getting sick or just run ragged by the Idol schedule. I sympathize.

    • susela says:

      But I gotta say she looked great last night. Stylish and mature (not old). Hope the stylist who did that keeps it up.

  36. Tahoe Mike says:

    I got a text from a friend on the east coast that said, “I know who went home, call me after the show.” This friend is a James fan, but knows that I am Team Haley. That text had such a don’t do anything crazy after you get the bad news vibe that I was sure that Haley was in trouble. Then they start the results by declaring that Lauren is safe, and I was ready to puke. It wasn’t Lauren’s safety that did in my stomach, but the thought of what that probably meant for Haley. I LOVED it when I heard that Haley was safe!! You can go back and look in the comments of past reviews, I was one of the first to root for her here.
    James will be fine, though like Daughtry I see him more as a front man for a band than as a solo artist.
    Keep voting Team Haley, we can do it.
    Suck it Randy.

  37. Yo says:

    James was a fun contestant and quite lovable; his post-Idol future is concerning, because I can’t quite out what he will do. I hope he has a good goal and goes for it. The right contestants are in the top three: Lauren has the best natural voice, Haley sings the best overall, and Scot has been a ringer from day one. Scot would be the best winner; he stands the best chance at withstanding producer mutilations. Jordin Sparks’ performance reminded me why no one I like should be an AI winner. That and the other entertainment, except for GaGa, was GODAWFUL and makes me want to say the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but, of course, I won’t.

  38. Michelle R. says:

    Every season Michael Slezak has to get grief for having a favorite. Sure, he blogs this, but from the perspective of a fan. It would be boring if he were to be impartial. He, for the record, started the season dismissing Haley.

    I think the top 4 were all talented people, but I would have marginally preferred Scotty go or Lauren. These kids need to grow up and see some of the world, get some experiences. Scotty is going to be kept in a bubble and he’s a kid who’d still be singing his audition song every week if he could. Lauren’s duet with Haley is the first time I’ve really enjoyed her in weeks and not thought, “this kid is too emotionally young for this.”

  39. lisak says:

    Love love love Haley! I’m thrilled she’s in the top 3!

  40. Mom says:

    I think the audience has been manipulated by the producers. James was yet another WGWG. Women have not been doing well in the finals for the past couple of years with lots of press relating to that. The dissing of Haley a week ago proved successful. I believe it led to the ridiculous critique she received this week. The standing Os at the end of each of her second performances reassures us that she deserves our votes. We now have two females in the Finals; something Idol hasn’t had for some time. I think we fell for it; hok, line, and sinker. I like the Top 3. James was overrated, just like Lee was last year. I hope these three go crazy next week and give credance to this show that we love.

  41. your sisters mother in law says:

    Loved the outcome of the show.. The right three stayed . I am sorry for James but someone had to go and I think the fans got it right.
    Cant wait for next week.. Who goes next. All three will do just fine no matter how it turns out.

  42. Larry says:

    I am beginning to think that Uncle Nigel is some kind of evil genius. Evil because he hand-picked his top-two, scripted the entire season and hired infuriating judges. But genius because after last year’s yawn of a season we had the Pia outrage, the controversy surrounding all the female eliminations, the crazy ‘judges save’ episode and the outrage over Haley. Result? Record number of votes. Ratings are just fine without Simon, saw my wife vote for the first time ever…for Haley…because she was so enraged by the judges, I’ve been running to Slezak’s recaps when last year didn’t care. Folks, in an evil genius kind of way, that’s brilliant television.

    • Amie says:

      ^ LOVE THIS! And he even tweeted about Haley on Wednesday all the while knowing her fate and the results haha

    • Haley's Comet says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. I having been saying for years that uncle nigel manipulates this show. He left after the season with the two Davids, he’s now back after a two year break, and the show has more buzz than ever. I belive that he has hand picked his final two Lauren/Scotty, and the order in which the other contestants were elimnated has been for ratings and entertaiment value.

      Pia in week nine, the casey save in week 11 both were done for ratings. Jacob lusk also stay much longer than he should have, because AI always keeps a black contestant or two around till the top five at the VERY least.

      They only use the votes to gage how the audience is responding to their manipulations. UNCLE NIGEL IS A Reality TV GENIUS!!

    • Nael says:

      I fully agree, Larry.
      All the drama this season isn’t just coincidence. It’s just what the show needs.

  43. Elena says:

    James was entertaining, however, I never thought he could win. All along, I’ve thought Scotty would be the last guy standing and the likely winner. He has too many different groups voting for him: moms, grandmas, girls, country fans and hometown fans who are probably still ticked off that Clay Aiken didn’t win. I’m sure they’re bound and determined to see one of their own take the crown. I do see him as the eventual winner. The only thing to thwart that plan would be if the viewers were to vote massively for either girl to win. I just found him boring. Don’t get me wrong, he has always sung on key even when Jacob and James haven’t. He has just never challenged himself and lost my attention long ago. I’d love to see a Haley/Lauren finale. If Lauren continues to show the confidence she showed last night singing with Haley, I can see her taking this thing although I still think she’s just too young.

    • agrimesy says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said! Wouldn’t a Haley/Lauren finale be terrific! They sounded really good together in the duet, and they seem to be building a solid friendship. Haley has showcased her voice better than Lauren so far this season, but I do think Lauren has the potential to be great! When they walked onto the stage together, it was Lauren that made me go “WHOA!” She’s got superstar appeal when they dress her correctly. Also, I think Lauren always sounds better on the results nights when she isn’t competing. It must be the nerves. If Lauren can get her confidence back to the level of her audition, she could actually beat Scotty. I’m a Haley fan, so I will focus my votes on her alone as long as she is in the competition, but if she is next to leave, I’m Lauren all the way. #TEAMGIRLIDOL

      • Lily says:

        Definitely agree, agrimsey! Since Haley/James is sadly no longer possible, I’d much prefer Haley/Lauren in the finale. Scotty will be fine leaving in third place, he doesn’t need to win Idol to have a country music career, and Haley and Lauren as the top two would produce some really interesting singing and appeal to a wider range of fans. A lot of mainstream America are not interested in country music, and will switch off from a Lauren/Scotty all-country music finale.

  44. Haley's Comet says:

    THE VISUAL OF LADY GAGA’S performance of ‘You and I’ was soooooo unsettling. I know she goes for the shock factor, but the sight of her in her underware standing on a stool was too much. My six year old loves AI, but I was happy she fell asleep early because I would have had to change the channel during that crzy Gaga performance!

    It was also interesting to see Jordan Sparks go for the J-Hud, Carrie Underwood loose weight, amp-up the glam, and self confidence make over. Good for her. I loved her performance.

    Other thoughts…Wow, I am now convinced that JLo is totally fake. Her tears for James just seemed so theatrical. I am now conviced that her tears during Holloywood week for the guy who’s fiance was in a wheel chair was totally FAKE. JLO is cold hearted and calculating, Randy has no brain and no soul, and steven has been in a semi-comma since the live shows.

    I AM NOT SORRY TO SEE JAMES GO….I really like James during beattles week, and when he did MJ’s living in the city. I know that he’s a rocker, but I wasn’t into his heavy metal side. James has a great voice, but he needed to be a little more vocally consistent.


    • anon says:

      So Jordin simulating sex on stage wasn’t unsettling, only Gaga standing on a piano stool?

      • haley's comet says:

        Jordn was fully clothed. GAGA was half naked. Come on there is a huge difference. And I don’t call Jordan’s hip hop dancing simulating sex. Gaga is edgy because she pushes the boundaries of acceptabiltiy. I am just saying that last night I am happy my six year old was asleep and didn’t have to catch a glimpse of Gaga’s performance. What’s so wrong with that statement!!

  45. Babs says:

    I’m not trying to worry the Haley fans out there but on and twitter a lot of James voters dislike Haley and will not vote for her. That being said, as thrilled as I am about Haley being in the top 3, make sure you don’t rub it in the James’s fans face, we need their votes. I for one wished that Scotty went home only because I don’t believe he’s shown any growth but last night was going to be tough either way. #savethegrowler

  46. sixona says:

    At the end of the day, it will still be the southern so-called christians who will decide the winner. Talent ? Pheww.

    • nunnya says:

      I resent this. As I’m a Southern “so-called” Christian, I probably did not vote for who you think. I find this generalization aggravating.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Hey, if you think that’s bad try being a white conservative Christian from “middle America”.

  47. tomitweets says:

    Agreed Michael. James would have benefitted from real constructive criticism–and he would have taken it and run with it. He’s young and kinda naive, and needs work, but he could perform and make it exciting to watch. With Casey gone, he put all the FUN in the show every week! I am so looking forward to James and Casey on the tour, the only two who are PERFORMERS for me. I love Haley, and I hope she pulls it out, but I have no enthusiasm left for the next two episodes. No way should Lauren have advanced, but its up to the voters.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      To me, James acts desperate. I didn’t get that with Adam. Maybe because of his poverty level, James feels the need to overdo it to be the winner, but he needed to relax and enjoy, and I just didn’t get that vibe from him. It was desperation and wanting to win so bad he would shove somebody aside.
      Anyway, that’s water over the dam….I’m pulling for Haley to win, but I’m hesitant because she will be managed by Simon Fuller — booooo! if she does win….and he’s not very hands-on. I’d like to see Haley come in 2nd. Scotty will prob. win the whole thing, because he’s the real deal for country.

  48. Elle says:

    Although I knew it wouldn’t happen, I was so, so hoping that – to paraphrase Katy – “I kissed the cross and I liked it” would have been the one going home. He’s far too smarmy, pompous, self-righteous, and narrow minded for a kid his age. Not to mention, BORING.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      While you, Elle, strike me as a totally delightful and lovely individual. Oh, and did I mention insecure?

  49. Carol says:

    I can just imagine what kind of cr*p song the judges will try to foist on Haley next week. Homegirl can sing anything though, so that attempt at sabotage won’t work.

    After we #SaveTheGrowler all the way to victory, our next campaign should be #GetRidOfRandy or #GoodbyeRandyHelloBabyface.

  50. BevL says:

    I seriously don’t care enough about ANY of these kids this year (unlike Cook and Lambert) to bother to vote. However, because the “judges” (ahem) have been so blatently biased against Haley, I actually spent Tuesday night sending text after text vote for her. And I will probably do so again next week because I have a feeling it’s going to get even uglier.

    “Three songs – one selected by the judges, one selected by in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine, and one individual choice.”

    Wonder if they’ll pick BUS STOP by The Hollies for Haley. What about The Wheels on the Bus (go round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, until they roll on Haley.)

    • Name That Tune says:

      I don’t know, but I think Jimmy I will give her a great song, much like “You and I”. Jennifer and Randy will have closed minds and hate it. We’ll rant that they are crazy.
      Her problem will be if Randy chooses a song for her. I can’t see him doing anything but evil with that choice and he will hate her performance.
      Let’s hope Randy gets Scotty. My guess is Steven will get Lauren, leaving Jennifer with Haley. And that’s probably the lesser of two evils. Let’s see what Miss “On The Floor” can come up with.

      • Oh no says:

        Maybe she’ll let her have a go at “Jenny From the Block”!

      • SallyinChicago says:

        I hope Haley gets Steven, he knows her and what she’s capable of doing. Jlo can have Lauren and Scotty with Randy.

        I see Haley singing with a horn section, like Amy Winehouse.

    • Moedee says:

      @Bevl, same here. I haven’t even cared enough to watch Idol for the last 5 years, let alone vote! But last night, I voted online 20 or 30 times for Haley, largely because of the rampant injustice. But I do think she’s a fun and interesting singer and I love that she has just about hit her limit with the endless bashing! Save the Growler!!

      • SallyinChicago says:

        Haley has personality. That’s what sets her apart from Pia….Haley knows how to work that stage.
        I see great things for her.