Idology Series Premiere: White (Guy) Power, Anti-Education Vibes and Fewer Sob Stories (!)

Week 1 of American Idol‘s 11th Season was chock full of talent, but if you’re laying early bets on who’s going to be the last contestant standing, one Golden Ticket recipient fits the mold that’s been hammered out over the last four seasons: Phillip Phillips, who like prior champs David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, and Scotty McCreery, just so happens to be a caucasian gentleman in possession of a guitar.

Still, is it fair to lump David, Kris, Lee, and Scotty in the same category? And even if you’d answer “yes” to that question, does that mean Phillip isn’t a worthy contender? For the season premiere of Idology (aka The Artist Formerly Known as Idoloonies), Idol‘s Season 6 standout Melinda Doolittle and I sit down to discuss this conundrum in depth, applaud the reduced number of “point and jeer” auditions, and weigh in on the treatment of a certain NBA dancer and her enviable abs. (Spoiler alert: One of us admits to siding with Team J.Lo.) Not only that, Melinda and I give our picks for Best Auditions of the Week — hint: one of ‘em come groovin’ up slowly — debate which Hollywood-bound contestants shouldn’t be quitting their day jobs, and offer a very stern warning to the Idol styling team regarding a certain sexy contestant. (“Put down the wax and back away from the plaid!”)

So check out Idology below — keep in mind Melinda and I only cover the Wednesday-Thursday shows, as we taped prior to Sunday’s special edition — and for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, do follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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108 Comments
  1. Jason says:

    Imagine that. Another WGWG likely to win. As much of a beating as The Voice and X-Factor took in the ratings war, I much prefer them now. I miss the days of Idol that produced a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. They’d never win on Idol now.

    • Toto says:

      That’s entirely the fault of the voting policy. Girls with unlimited text voting will give us WGWG from now on. Either put pressure on TPTB to change things or just resolve to support the real talents after Idol is over. Adam Lambert is proof that winning isn’t everything. Kris who?

      • charlie says:

        Agree. Would love to see AI adopt a different voting policy, limiting the number of votes from any one telephone.

        I’m so happy to see that lots of non-winners are having great careers, and sure hope Haley Reinhart will be in that category. So looking forward to hearing what’s on her record out soon. And Casey as well. Hoping his record will be great and sell well. Wouldn’t it be great if Haley and Casey did a record tour together, and also if they dueted on each other’s records.

      • Tess says:

        You can blame the voting policy all you want, but X-Factor allowed for unlimited voting too (and also Twitter voting on top of the standard voting methods) and they still managed to get a female winner. If I recall correctly, the ratings figures on X-Factor showed them to have a higher percentage of younger viewers than Idol now gets…so the constant blaming of young female power voters is inaccurate. I still find it funny that this is always the excuse used for someone not winning, especially Adam – he didn’t win because not enough people were motivated to vote for him that night – not because teen girls mobilized to power vote for Kris. And so what at this point anyway, Adam has a career in spite of not winning; get over it already.

    • Frances says:

      For the last time, SCOTTY IS NOT A WGWG. HE IS NOT LIKE DAVID COOK!

    • forrest says:

      Finally! IDOLOGY is back = far more entertaining than that Fox highly rated program. I am so happy Idol is merely fodder for Slezak. Bravo! Great addition and input from our beloved guest commentator.

    • cookie love says:

      BUT remember…….a girl won XFactor! And she deserved to?

  2. marie says:

    “Idology.” Has a nice ring to it. Anyway, yay, it’s back!

  3. Carrie says:

    I AM SO GLAD THIS IS BACK.

  4. Eliz says:

    I love the use of Downton Abbey. Hilarious! Great Idology this week!

  5. Mark says:

    Nice review from both of you! Thanks, always very funny.

    Thanks for the Haley clip. Two seconds of that ever week will help me get through this season.

    Comment about J-Lo’s fake Fiat ad was priceless!

    Loved the girl who walked in, walked past the judges and pulled Nigel out of the corner and showed that he is in the room watching ever move.

    J-Lo’s face looked happy again… watching the last 6 show last season she had a sour look on her face.

  6. Steve says:

    Welcome back, Michael and Jason! My Idol week is just not complete without your wrap-ups. (P.S. And thanks for using YouTube this season.)

  7. Rebecca Parker says:

    So short!

  8. Juan says:

    liking the name change

  9. Kristen says:

    Idology is the BEST part of American Idol! So glad it’s back! Thanks Michael, Jason, and Melinda!

  10. Sean D says:

    So happy to have you back in my life Michael and Jason!

  11. Tahoe Mike says:

    Nice to see the gang back together again!
    ~
    So far, Amy the tent girl is my favorite. They seem to be just giving the golden tickets away, Hollywood week is going to be brutal.

  12. Karen O says:

    Yay we’re back!

    All those ads, were they jokes or actual corporate sponsors? NBC I see. Just curious.

  13. Pat says:

    Loved the Reinhart interlude.

    Slezak – WHY U NO TALK ABOUT AARON SANDERS?

  14. Tom says:

    Now I can sleep happy. So happy that IDOL/OOGY/OONIES is back! Love seeing Melinda again – she would be the perfect weekly co-host.

    Love the use of the Dowager Countess. You guys can use her acerbic snark against Randy anytime.

  15. Lunakit says:

    Oh it’s a good day!!
    Welcome back Michael and Jason! Wonder twin powers, activate! Please, PLEASE tell us that you will keep Melinda on the show each week… and maybe a surprise guest appearance from Kristin Baldwin too??!…(manage that and I won’t ask for anything else all season…promise!)

    Looking forward to the weekly fun of Idology (great name!)
    And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky this year and there won’t be a single contestant named “Casey” for you to NOT interview!* ;-)

    (*cue incriminating music: Casey James NOT interviewed; Casey Abrams’ interview was “lost”)

  16. asherlev1 says:

    Jesus Christ, I forgot how AWESOME this was. Wonderful use of clips and OH SLEZAK. How I’ve missed your wit. And Melinda was lovely too. I got such a kick out of seeing you two laugh over Randy at the end.

  17. Name That Tune says:

    Thank you. Only thing I care about Idol anymore.
    Top 24 sans 3 guys already leaked. Won’t be watching the real thing until then. But White Guy will win again, and really, who cares?

  18. Shelplan says:

    WGWG? Really? I don’t think idol places that kind of ideology high on their totem pole at all. Remember in the end it comes down to the voters. All of those guys you have mentioned have been no where near as successful as the non WGWG anyway. In my personal opinion I don’t think PP will make it to the top spot let alone be the last man standing…

  19. Max from Australia says:

    Love me some Idologyoonies! I’d just like to point out that when I was on the show for Top 10 Part 2 last season, I predicted a Scotty victory. Hopefully I’ll be brought back to do it again. ;)

  20. Manola says:

    I liked the Korean guy. I was surely expecting him to bomb, the way they were setting up the footage, so I was nicely surprised. He seemed genuinely surprised, which was refreshing

  21. The Constant Gardner says:

    Watch back the Creighton Fraker audition and you’ll see that J.Lo was constantly looking over to Nigel and actually at one point was making some eye talk almost as if asking whether she should say Yes or No. She should have gone with her gut and said no…he was awful.

    • The Constant Gardner says:

      P.S. Maggie Smith is awesome… I hope we’re going to see more of her and Downton Abbey on idology. It’s like her lines were written.. and delivered just to be quoted out of context.

  22. Annie says:

    What?! I loved Reed Grimm and Creighton!! Them two and Phillip Phillips are my favourites so far

  23. Charles says:

    So happy to have Idology back. Always interesting, funny and relevant. Love it :)

  24. raftrap says:

    Loved seeing Ashlee Altise in “Idology” (cool name), up to now, she is my favorite, she really is. Regarding White Guy Power, I completely agree with you, David Cook and Kris Allen deserved their Idol wins, there is nothing unfair about them winning, and who are we to say that the loving teens voting block does not deserve their right to vote on Idol?, so if it comes to this again this season, may the best WGWG win.

  25. kt says:

    Dowager Countess of Grantham FTW! haha. Although your line about being “less authentic than J Lo driving a Fiat through the Bronx” was definitely the best–so kudos considering you’re going up against Dame Maggie Smith! SOOO glad this is back Slezak!

  26. Stanislava says:

    And Michael and Jason are BACK!!!!!!!!Thank you so much for what you do guys,it’s deeply appreciated I promise :)))

  27. marie says:

    Watching this episode helped me identify something about the shows so far that had been nagging at me. While I love it that the emphasis so far has been on talent vs. on cruel jokes at the expense of deluded auditioners, I wish the producers would also move in the direction of not encouraging / showcasing questionable, bad-example life choices like quitting your job to audition with a baby on the way and dropping out of high school. Obviously the producers found the backstory of young man who dropped out airworthy – I’m sure they couldn’t resist – but, just as major league baseball won’t show fans who intrude on the field during a game onscreen, Idol should not reward poor life choices with airtime, implicitly endorsing them and suggesting to others that they, too, can get a shot at Idol with the same poor choices.

  28. whatever says:

    Gotta say, this whole WGWG thing is so overused. You know there’s roughly a 50% chance the winner’s gonna be a dude. And let’s face it, there is a higher percentage of white anybodys in the USA than minorities (hence, MINORITY). Finally, this… c’mon, how rare is it really that a singer also plays guitar. So enough with the WGWG meme. Overplayed and over it. May the competition commence, without discrimination against gender, race, or musical aptitude, k?

    Oh, and good job Michael and Melinda.

  29. downton abbey says:

    nice props to my (2nd) favorite show on tv, Downton Abbey!
    thanks for bringing back my favorite web show without a single change to it except its name!

  30. Erin says:

    Oh how I missed this… I wish that you all would have addressed the Idol ratings this season though. I would love to hear some predictions about the future of the season with regards to ratings, Seacrest leaving, if the judges are ever going do anything, future seasons?, etc.

  31. Nicole says:

    Just as great as it was last year! Slezak’s videos always make me laugh, and I love having Melinda on too. Laughed hysterically when he brought up Randy and his “great Michael Jackson” comment from last year.

    Oh, and bonus points for adding in Haley Reinhart singing. Love love love!!

  32. Volcfom says:

    I love the Maggie Smith clips! Especially the one considering the assassination of Randy Jackson. Idology I’m so happy to have you back in my life!

  33. MJM2 says:

    Idol keeps picking the same “winner” over and over again. There’s not enough diversity. I don’t even watch any more. They had a chance in Season 8 to choose a winner who was not only extraordinarily talented but brought something new and different to the show.

    Who’s voting for these boring WGWG guys to win? It’s not like the voters are even invested in them. They don’t buy their music after the show is over that’s quite obvious. I just don’t get it.

    I’m looking forward to The Voice. I really enjoyed the first season.

    • JJ says:

      Apparently you haven’t picked up on what is obvious to the rest of us. Voting is dominated by teen and pre-teen girls with cell phones. They gather every phone in the house, Mom”s, Dad’s, sib’s, and text up to a thousand votes for their favorite. The last 4 years we’ve had a cute white guy winner. Unless they change the voting policy, that’s all we’ll ever get.

    • Sharon says:

      “idol keeps picking the same “winner” over and over again.”

      Too bad Scotty and David Cook couldn’t be anymore different, like Melinda said. My God.

  34. Sg.Grant says:

    Just go ahead and give Philip Phillips, Reed Grim, and Huujin Han record deals and crown one of them the winner.

  35. lee says:

    i like creighton, but this is based on youtube videos, not his audition. i thought his audition was a hot mess, but look him up on youtube singing whats going on by four non blondes. when he has the right material, hes amazing.

  36. Jo says:

    Voters proved in season 8 that they don’t want talent, they want a good role model. All four of the last 4 winners are WGWG but they are also very safe white boys with 2 being “christians”. I’m betting now that Philip will win based on what those southern women like.

    • marcy says:

      ALL of the winners are very talented. Just because they aren’t someone’s personal favorite doesn’t mean they aren’t talented or didn’t deserve to win.

      In the 10 seasons of this show, my favorite has won 4 times. But I don’t get why anyone wastes their time complaining if their favorite doesn’t win. Just move on and support your favorite by buying their music and going to their concerts. Nobody is saying you have to support the winner’s career if you don’t like them, but neither should anyone insult them when it’s clear that they are talented and have worked hard to try and have a career in music. What is so hard about just leaving them alone instead of insulting them?

      • Billy says:

        ALL of the winners are very talented? Do you even watch the show?
        Well, if you consider pandering to the extreme right/southern voters a special talent, then you just may be right. I equate “talented” with actual performance/vocal skills, of which several past winners (especially last season’s mugging-for-the-camera-I’m-an-animated-dummy comedian) have been sadly lacking.

    • Me says:

      Kris is very talented. He was the Da Vinci to Adam’s Jackson Pollack.

  37. Jasmine says:

    Does this mean that Melinda is now a permanent part of the show? Cuz that would be AWESOME!!!!

  38. Winnie says:

    Who runs the world? WHITE GUYS! Loved that part.

    Can we have the Dowager Countess as official co-host one of these weeks? I’m sure you can find more than enough lines from her that can be integrated into the show.

  39. Renda says:

    After watching the various idol incarnations, idol still remains my favorite. I’ll watch the voice because it has its own fresh take on the singing competition, but I thought X Factor was the worst! Idol has already found more talent in its first round of auditions than the entirety of the X Factor finalists. J Lo seems to be less annoying this season, which is promising, so long as she doesn’t flip her crazy switch again 6 weeks into the live shows. We’ll see, but so far I’m excited about this season and so happy to have “Idology” back in my life! #butidomisshaleyreinhart

    • mark says:

      I agree, J Lo is calm,fresh,happy… just like the start of last season. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of switch gets flip 6 weeks into the live show that makes her turn to such a prissy sour face.

      • Billy says:

        It’s called the *there’s a far more talented female than I am up on the stage that gets more applause and respect than I do* switch.

        • Sharon says:

          Oh shut up, she criticized Scotty and the other boys all at one point too, does that mean she is jealous of the boys too? My god. She pimped Pia to the high heavens every week. And telling her “I’m going to keep pushing you” doesn’t mean she is “jealous” and was NOT the reason why Pia was sent home. In that same critique, she could her “spectacular” and the next night looked like she was about to crap her pants when Pia was sent home. Stop acting like Jennifer hates the girls. That was Paula, who used to pick two boys every season to pimp.

          • Billy says:

            Who said anything about J-Lo hating the girls?
            The *far more talented female* referred to in my post above wasn’t Pia, LOL.

  40. julesmn says:

    Anyone else having a problem watching this? I just get a white box when I came to this page. . . and I’m in the US.

    • julesmn says:

      Never mind. It’s there now. Weird.

    • Lana says:

      Its also called my marriage is breaking up and I’m a little stressed from it, come on give the girl a break, she was having marriage problems during that time and had to act like nothing was happening. Take it from someone who went through a divorce it is an emotional roller coaster. They seperated too soon after AI, that you know it was going on during the show.

  41. Tusk says:

    Good to see Jason can’t let go of Last season either :)

    For some reason the video is gone after watching it once….anyone else?

  42. Tracey says:

    Yay — Idology is back!!! Love the use of the Downton Abbey clips! Hope Melinda is a regular contributor — love her.

    I don’t have a favorite contestant yet. Nobody’s audition has blown me away. Philip does has a little bit of not only the past 4 winners in him, and some Taylor Hicks, as well. But like Michael and Melinda said, it’s not fair to lump those guys all together, because, in my opinion, none of them are very much alike in terms of musical style. Got soul/blues (Hicks), mainstream/alt rock (Cook), soul/pop-rock (Allen), folk rock (DeWyze)and country (McCreery). Not quite sure yet what Philip would be classified as.

  43. Jacob says:

    You just made my day. Well done.

  44. Raymi says:

    Why is that when men sing and twitch oddly, it is called “passion”? You can be passionate without looking like you’re trying to ride a bull while constipated.

  45. charlie says:

    Who cares if the WGWG has won for so many seasons? I don’t cause I can ignore them and focus on the talent that I care about and be happy that Idol brought them to my attention. And let’s face it– lots of non-winners do very well, and some better than the winners. I hope Haley will be one of the non-winner, great career group and Casey Abrams as well! Glad to see that the auditions are not wasting a lot of time on bad singers. Always look forward to the Slezak take on the show, even if I don’t agree with him on some things.

    I like watching the show on computer, sans ads, because I can skip the stuff I don’t want to see, like most of the backstory junk. And when the competition starts, I can skip the judge’s comments and just focus on the singing. Less of a waste of time that way.

    Should be interesting to see how Idol does when bumping up against The Voice.

    • Crystal says:

      The Voice is no threat to idol, they couldn’t produce any legit recording artists last season. Only 10K was sold from Javier and Dia’s albums.

  46. Teresa says:

    So glad to see the show back (although I mourn the loss of the name “Idoloonies”). I hope Melinda is now a regular co-host. She has insider knowledge of the show, musical knowledge, and a terrific sense of humor.

    I can’t remember when it was, but I noticed during one audition that Randy Jackson referred to someone as the “the great so-and-so” and DIDN’T do the quotes. Instead, he made a kind of a robot move. So, maybe he’s listening to you. :)

  47. Brigette says:

    I’m so happy this web series is back, whatever it’s called! Can Mindy Doo PLEASE be a regular co-host?! You two have the wittiest banter! And Slezak, if you’re cynical about the whole Travis Orlando story, don’t feel evil, because so am I. Not only is it cringe-worthy that they didn’t seem to think it was bad that he dropped out of school, but I couldn’t help but wonder why his clothes and glasses looked so nice for being homeless. Everything about Travis seems affected. I’m not saying the kid is lying about his story, I just feel like something isn’t right.

  48. Lindsay says:

    Yay, Idology! Amazing epi to start it off. (Love you for sticking Nick&Nora in there and also the Hugo clip was perfection.)
    I am a huge football fan, so prior to the game I was kind of giggling at fellow AI fans who are not FB fans having to wait, but gosh. That game was agonizing and grueling, and I ended up being just an AI fan eager for the show to start already.
    I’m a bit sad you didn’t talk about HeeJun as he’s still my favorite. There’s just something about him that I love. But anyhow, mostly agreed and fully enjoyed and looking forward to Idology <3

  49. Zoey says:

    IA with ya, Michael, when you say that Scotty and David couldn’t be more different in style. Yes, each WGWG had a different approach to their craft, and yes Kris and David did deserve their wins (and I’m a Lambert stan, mind ya, although his win would have been worthy for obvious reasons), but the fact is other people with more talent have gotten shunned in the voting process in favor of the WGWG during the last two seasons (especially season 10) and that’s becoming a big problem.

    Otherwise, happy to see IdolooniesIdology back! It’s my favorite part of American Idol as a whole. :)

  50. Reade says:

    The greatest show on television??? MAAAAAAAAYYYYBE it was…. YEARS BACK… til it jumped the shark about two years ago…. now it’s just a steaming pile of crappy desperation. And Slezak is not even that great of an Idol commentator. I have long since thought he was a hack in pathetic need of 15 minutes of fame, and with no visible skill set, clings to this sinking ship like it is going out of style. And IT HAS!!! Time to realize Idol is fading…