Idology: Advice for Colton & Hollie, a Vote-Getting Idea for Joshua, and a Warning for Jermaine

On paper, Top 13 week on American Idol had all the makings of a disaster: Inexperienced contestants tackling the Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston songbooks, those twin, towering hurdles that have led to the ruination of so many Idol wannabes. But a funny thing happened on the way to “I Will Always Love You”: The singers of Season 11 stepped up, sang (mostly) in tune, and delivered one of the best overall live shows we’ve seen in recent memory.

Which isn’t to say that every performance was perfect. And thus, on this week’s Idology, Season 6 star Melinda Doolittle and I discuss which contestant needs to develop a bromance (or something like it), who deserves a ticket out of “the Thia Megia ghetto,” and why one finalist needs an attitude adjustment. Plus, we dish which contestants may be getting the “Haley Reinhart Treatment” from the judges and Jimmy Iovine.

So press play below for this week’s Idology, and then hit the comments with your thoughts on Top 13 week. And for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, 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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  1. Rocky says:

    Love Colton’s jeans. Those who can’t fit into skinny jeans shouldn’t cast the first stone.

    • wendeeloo says:

      Last time I saw legs like Colton’s – there was a message attached.

    • TheBeach says:

      Oh Michael, Michael. You criticize Colton’s jeans but darlin’, that blood-splattered shirt you’re wearing lookes like it came from Friday the 13th.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I stopped criticizing men’s fashions when those goofy plaid western shirts came back in style. I’d finally managed to get all of them out of my husband’s closet.

  2. Alan says:

    Oh Michael!… I love how your favourite is never “the favourite”… On a serious note though, I’ve never liked so many contestants at this stage. I’d be content with any of Joshua, Skylar, Deandre, Colton, Jessica, Hollie, Elise, Phillip or Erika winning!… If Jermaine, Shannon and Heejun are the next to be eliminated I’m in for a treat this season. Heejun is likely to derail that fantasy unfortunately though! Shame!

    • Joseph says:

      I think what Slezak is missing is that for many we only start to really watch Idol come Hollywood and don’t get to really know the singers until the numbers are down to about a dozen.

      So when Joshua and Deandre are putting a lot of energy into performance it distracts from their vocal. Both of these singers could gain a lot of voter attention if they did something tender and vulnerable and once we get to know them they can ramp it up a little.

      • Tarc says:

        I agree. I liked both Joshua and Deandre’s performance, but both were a touch aggressive. I’d have picked (hands-down) Jessica and Phillip for the top 2, with Joshua, Hollie, Skylar and Deandre in the next tier.

    • w says:

      I agree with you that I have never had so many favorites. Mine are Skylar-Hollie-Deandre and Phillip. I do NOT agree with you on Heejun. There is nothing wrong with this show having comic relief – There has been no contestant in all the years of watching this crazy show that has made me laugh. It would be a travesty if he did not make top 10 because he would be missed. People want to say ‘but it’s a singing competition’. He’s a decent singer. He may improve. But he’s there because of his humor. At least it’s not because he’s just cute, or he’s just 15 years old. THAT I would have a problem with. Let Heejun be at least #10!

      • Ben says:

        I find it frustrating that people say ‘Heejun is there for his humour’. He is partly there for his humour. But if he sang like Will Hung (or even Sanjaya or Paige Miles) his humour wouldn’t be enough. The fact is that he can really really sing.

        • w says:

          You’re right, Ben. I should not have said “he’s there because of his humor.” In fact, if the singing coaches can fix some bad habits, like dropping consonants and bring out some volume -(maybe using the mic wrong?) I think he will really shine. Hey, I’m in his corner – I want him to place higher than 10. I just meant he definitely should make the tour.

        • Paramour says:

          I could not agree more Ben. Heejun is talented. Just because he did not screech at the top of his lungs like Phillip or feel the holy ghost like Joshua, does not mean his performance was any less stellar. He can truly sing.

          • Tarc says:

            You say that like Phil’s growl (he didn’t screech) wasn’t perfectly acceptable, if not emotional and perfect. Like Casey’s blues growls and tics, good singing encompasses a lot of others sounds. Plus, Heejun sounded like a depressed Michael Bolton on a bad day. Booooring.

      • Ana Muti says:

        HeeJun has a beautiful tone to his vocals that I could listen to on any CD. I don’t get why you think he’s that bad, but I’m chalking it up to difference in taste.
        I think also it’s not that he may improve–he is improving, and I hope he goes all the way at least to top 5.

  3. Marko says:

    Please show some love for Erika. She’s my season 11’s Allison.

  4. Idoling in NJ says:

    Melinda’s critiques (esp. about Colton) are dead on!

  5. Emily says:

    well the only hope I have is that Elise was the ‘bottom girl’ which technically means she could have placed as high as sixth when you think about it :D

    • Gia says:

      or she could have been the one who should have really gone home because she had to lowest number of votes… when you think about it.

    • idolfan44 says:

      i actually loved elise’s performance, and seeing the clips from it on ‘idology’ only reminded me of how much i enjoyed it. her version has been in my head all week, actually. i think i’m gonna get it on itunes now… and how cute was it she posted a pic of herself smiling on twitter?!

  6. Ken says:

    I love Melinda’s takes on Colton and Jermaine. Spot on.

    • notthatmary says:

      I just love Melinda! Please come back and duet with HeeJun on My Funny Valentine. Or, just come back and sing My Funny Valentine to HeeJun.

  7. Bill says:

    Apparently the name change this year has ushered in a brand new show all together. You get 10 minutes, and 10 minutes only, of Michael and Melinda. No more Twitter questions to answer. No more viewers giving their thoughts, just Michael doing 10 minutes.

    I guess when you are also covering every other reality show, you only have so much time for Idology. Bad move, IMO.

    • Kevin says:

      The shorter run-time does make it feel rushed, and considering I mainly watch Idol to watch this companion piece later, I am contemplating giving up both shows.

      10 minutes is not enough to discuss each finalist, each conspiracy theory, and any funny tangents. Plus, I feel there’s such time crunch that Jason doesn’t barely has any room to put in his clips and commentary that always takes this show from good to stellar. And while Melinda is the perfect cohost for this show, having two people with great opinions just cuts down on the time available even more.

      How about instead of capping it at 10 minutes, you do two or three installments that you release on consecutive days? You know we’d be clicking back each day, which would be good for the site.

      • Lunakit says:

        ^ 100% THIS ^
        (so well put that I don’t even need to do my usual weekly rant on this teeth gnashing issue)

      • Lana says:

        I have seen mention Jason on comments concerning Idololgy but I have not seen him. Jason who? and why when I click on Idology I only see Michael and Melinda?

        • Joy says:

          Lana, Jason is (or was?) the editor of these videos — i.e., the guy responsible for splicing in the great video clips, adding the hilarious captions, and so on.

    • Idoloonies Junkie says:

      I really appreciate Michael and Melinda’s critiques but I completely agree with you. Maybe its ENTV, and they will only allow 10 minutes, either way, this IS NOT GOOD, 10 minutes is NOT enough to cover everything that happened, really annoyed with the new format

    • Holly says:

      I’d rather have 10 minutes of undiluted Michael and the very smart, funny and classy Melinda Doolittle than anything else. My only complaint is the show is too short. More Michael! More Melinda!

      • Eli says:

        Have you seen the old Idolatry stuff on the EntertainmentWeekly site? It was a lot better than this current quite boring format. There were like 5-6 other EW writers who would join slezak and not just to give their thoughts but also to do some very funny comedy bits at times.
        I’ll never forget Evil Kristen Baldwin getting slapped by Good Kristen Baldwin.

        Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with Miss Doolittle, she’s great, just that I would like to hear someone else’s view once in a while, especially cause all they do is tend to agree with each other, meaning there’s never really any debate.

    • Tuzo says:

      I have to say I love me some Idolatry/Idoloonies/Idology. But, I do feel the current show could be better. It’s just been sort of an unexpressed feeling over the last weeks since I still love Mondays for Idology. OK, that’s a lie — I love Idology (on Mondays) but not Monday so much. :) Anyway, Idology is still the best Idol companion piece out there so I can’t complain too much but I did go back to watch an Idoloonies episode and it was totally brilliant!

      If they could expand the length which might allow more time for the inspired creativity of Jason/Michael to shine through that would be awesome! The current format feels almost like a “just the facts” which is good but I think it was all of the other touches that took the show to the top of content produced for the web.

      • Brigette says:

        Thank you for reposting the link to that episode. Oh, how I loved last year’s Idoloonies. I almost want to rewatch the whole season! You know, on second thought, maybe it’s a good thing the new show is only 10 minutes. Otherwise, I would obviously get nothing done…

        • toastyred says:

          I just watched that episode you posted. Amazing stuff and a great reminder why the show needs to be longer!. As you say the current show is almost just the facts. How can you fit any ‘slayer’ like analogies in in 10 minutes? I really hope that you reconsider this move for the show!

      • GDV says:

        That just really made me miss Buffy.

    • Louie says:

      I just wish Michael would just explain to us (even briefly) why it’s only 10 minutes each week so we can stop hypothesizing and theorizing every week. That’s all…

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        Agreed. I can make peace with the new format, but an explanation would be very nice. Just talk about it very briefly in the next episode, or mention it in a recap. Pweeze?

      • Lunakit says:

        Seriously!!! Is it too much to ask??!!!

        Dear Michael, if you are being held hostage and gag ordered, please just give a nod and side faced wink at the start of next week’s Idology and we will completely understand….and take appropriate action…. Maybe enTV will accept a hostage trade… say, the top of Michael Ausiello’s little lobotomized skull (i still hate that on the top of every page!) in exchange for your release.

        Awaiting instructions…

      • Gorm says:

        Ut is most likely be by agreement between Youtube and the Deadline/TVline snydicate. Youtube/Google spent big money last year to secure the rights original and digestible content that they can also push out in the post-cable world through googleTV, android apps and integrate into google+. A 40 minute multi-segment interview in the old Idoloonies format isnt as easily “viewable”. We now have a faster and crisper with no more random bad-audio skype people rambling on. Essentially, its become more professional than the old shows and a huge part of that is editing things down and establishing a strong look and feel. Would a 3 minute faux subtitled opening segment from an old japanese movie really help the cause at this point? Its not about appealing to just us Mikey Sleez diehard fans anymore, its about grabbing a share of the 15+ million viewers that have smartphones and want just a taste more of Idol goodness. Its lucky for us and a credit to Slezak that the content within that 10 minutes is still spot on, its not a bad thing to be left wanting more.

  8. Gorm says:

    Love Idology so much. Thank you for another week.

  9. fullyCOOKed says:

    Colton’s style & personality has been the same for a few years. It is not “put on” for this show. Do your research and check out the utubes of his pre Idol stuff.

  10. Owen says:

    Okay, if Elise is thought to have a stank attitude and is being punished for it, we HAVE to get Gentle Giantess Shannon off the show. She comes off like an entitled brat who has been forever told by her rich Mumsy and Popsicle that she is perfect cause she’s so pretty. Isn’t she pretty, Mother? Yes, Honey we have a beautiful daughter who is perfect. She’s perfect, isn’t she? Yes, Mother, she’s perfect. You are perfect, Shannon and you will win everything. Forever. You’re so pretty. And tall.

    Wow, I didn’t realize how much I must hate this poor sixteen year old girl…

    • Ben says:

      Wow! Actually I just see her as kinda sweet. But definitely the most likely to go home this week.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I agree, Ben. There sure are a lot of people here that are angry because she comes from what appears to be a wealthy family. Good grief, people, give it up. Please judge her on her performances. This is American Idol, not Queen for a Day. (Now I’m REALLY showing my age).

        • Paramour says:

          LOL darcy!

          I still hope Shannon’s days are numbered sooner than later. Too much other talent in the competition that tops her.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Paramour – I agree. I hope her days are numbered but NOT because her parents have money. I haven’t enjoyed any of her performances and I’m still a bit perplexed as to why she made the Top 24. I wish she and Jeremy had waited a couple of years to try out. She seems like a very nice girl and I wish her well. Same for Jeremy.

        • Justin says:

          I’m not mad she comes from a rich family. I’m mad she can suck it up and still get enough Southern fundie pity votes to put her above the clearly superior Elise. I have a bad feeling Shannon’s gonna last longer than other more deserving singers with a string of dull, safe pageanty ballads every single week from here on out.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Do people in the south really vote more? I’m going to have to ask my relatives in Alabama. Anyway, Justin, take heart – Pia was voted out when she was in the 9th spot last year thanks to dull, pageanty ballads (and one renditon of “River Deep, Mountain High”) and she was a considerably better vocalist than Shannon, IMO.

  11. Volcfom says:

    I do not agree with your love for Joshua’s dance moves, but at least he’s not stiff and awkward.
    P.S. Thanks for the Skylar and Elise love. They are great!

    • TheBeach says:

      Yep, I was so glad to hear Michael and Melinda call out the judges for ripping Elise on what was actually a pretty nice performance.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Yes! This^
        When the judges were giving Elise their opininon I was thinking, “Did we just hear the same performance?”
        Granted, it’s a crappy song, but I thought she did a good job with the material.

  12. Miss O. Ginny says:

    Thanks for the early Idology guys….Really thought that Joshua should’ve gotten a standing O for “I wish” but they gave it to Jessica 2 weeks in a row. The pippin’ has started….oh and thanks Rocky (1st comment) for laugh of the day!

  13. Meishack says:

    Why are these not longer? These used to come in 3 part segments!!!!

    • Rachel says:

      It takes work to make these things and arrange times with guests- why don’t you step up and talk about Idol in an interesting manner for twenty additional minutes? No? Then don’t complain.
      These segments are awesome. Nice job.

      • Meishack says:

        Hey don’t get me wrong no one loves Idology more than me. It is one of the highlights of my week, but you can’t tell me you dont miss the extented half hour play by play insights! I mean they didnt even cover the result show!

  14. Ana says:

    Michael, I usually agree with you and Melinda on almost everything, but not this time. Yes Joshua was great, but I still don’t love Deandre. What I truly though is Idology!

  15. Mik says:

    Awesome! Looooove Idology!

  16. Tim says:

    Yes, I Will Always Love You is a tough song to do in 90 seconds. That’s exactly why Jessica was so great.

    • ejones says:

      But there were duff notes and then a search for the right ones. Its a song she would have performed many times before Idol so it should be reasonable. Wait till she has to perform songs with just a few days preparation.

  17. Ben says:

    Love that you defended Heejun. His vocal was absolutely beautiful this week, it really moved me. I think some people are hesitant to let Heejun connect with them because they already think he is just there to be a comedian and not taking things seriously, but man that performance was absolutely amazing for me. It was in my top 3, for sure.

    • Ana Muti says:

      I’m glad there are others who hear what I’m hearing in HJ :^)

    • Lana says:

      I agree about Heejun, I too love his voice and feel that it will get better the longer he stays in the competition. His being funny is just a wonderful bonus. I must say that I really love the singers this year which makes the show very enjoyable, as of yet I don’t have a favorite but I thought Deandre and Joshua were kickass and Skyler sure knows her way around a song. But I could say that about almost every performer last week. I was shocked at Jermaine’s attitude and must say it made him less attractive this week, and I tend to love the lower voices (Scotty was my favorite last year) but with Jermaine’s attitude I’m not as excited about his voice.

  18. john t. says:

    they should’ve used syesha’s cut of IWALY (the cut, music arrangement). at least her version had the full first verse. regardless, jessica’s version was still fantastic. the thing about hollie is that she’s just pure class and charm. you can’t help but root for her.

  19. Betsy says:

    I sure do hope the contestants watch “Idology” because you guys give PERFECT advice, every single time!!

  20. Holeigh says:

    Ugh, do not want the Elise/Haley comparisons, as there is none. Haley will always win, haha.

    Love Idology!

  21. jake says:

    Colton is my favorite — along with jessica, Hollie and Erika and philip

    I can’t wait for jermaine and deandre to leave.

  22. Stafford says:

    Michael, would it help if I volunteered to help you around your house so you could extend Idology? I know you must be crazy busy but we miss your extended coverage of Idol. As a reader posted above I only watch Idol so I can watch Idology. To be honest the only reason I have bookmarked TVline is because of your insight and talent. You and Melinda are so good we want more!

  23. wendeeloo says:

    Michael, You’ve got to address the length of Idology question soon. There are too many folks commenting on the same thing. Everyone wants more but it may not be possible for some reason that only you can answer.

    • xanilas says:

      This! I’m sure we’ll all come to accept the new format and get used to the shortness of it all (even if we still wish it was longer) once we know for sure that 10 minutes/week is all we’ll get from now on. Idology is still one of the best parts about watching Idol, I’d just like to know for certain so I don’t get my hopes up for longer videos.

  24. Ana Muti says:

    Heejun is the dark horse of this season methinks. He’s got a beautiful tone to his vocals that shouldn’t be underestimated. If he can get himself to emote more (which might be having a problem with culturally) I think he’d be in the running for top 4 or 5.
    Also, I get the feeling that HJ is improving and will surprise us all this week.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Huh. I actually don’t think Heejun has a problem emoting. I thought his performance last week was very tender and surprisingly moving, possibly the most emotional number of the night with the possible exception of Jessica’s. I think his problem is that, compared to the rest of contestants, his voice isn’t very well-trained; it just doesn’t have a lot of power or versatility. That can be fixed, but probably not within the time available to him. I hope he’s around for a few more weeks, but unless he improves really fast I don’t expect or really want him to make it into the top 5. But ‘cha never know.

      I’d say the dark horses of the year are Deandre and Erika. Or Skyler and Hollie. Hm. Maybe it’s a little soon to call the dark horse. All I know for sure right now is that Jessica is the front-runner.

      • Namira says:

        I agree, I think that Heejun’s voice isn’t that well-trained yet.He hasn’t explored his voice enough to know exactly what he can (or can’t) do with it. And there’s that little problem with his enunciation too (but to be honest, sometimes I understand more of what Heejun is saying than Phillip, Deandre when he’s on falsetto mode, or even Colton) I hope the vocal coaches are giving him some good input, because if it’s just down to vocals alone, I think Heejun has one of the best (if not THE best) voice among the boys. His tone is ridiculously good, it’s just that all the other boys seem to know their own voices and what to do with them better, how to work around their flaws and show the better sides of their vocals.

        I hope he does stay around for a bit and improves himself as much as he can during that time. He has a mighty fine instrument, he just needs to learn how to play it better.

  25. Tina says:

    I loved Deandre, Joshua and Erika and Skylar but my all time fav was deandre he had me up and moving, I listen to his studio version and it was awesome. You guys are right on. Thank you

  26. Ash says:

    I do not like elise jermaine or shannon I do not like any of their voices everyone else I love but it is unlikely any of them are going to win.

  27. Forwarddad says:

    I don’t think Michael S. reads the comments. I suggest everyone use the contact us link and perhaps we will get a response.


      ^ Excellent call to action! ^
      Here is the letter I sent. Feel free to copy/paste or write your own.

      Dear TVLine,

      There is a riot brewing in the comments section of Idology each week. A full 30-40% of this week’s discussion so far has revolved around the noticeably truncated Idology. It is arguably the best thing going on the TVLINE website, yet it has been marginalized to a mere 10 minutes. Slezakians and Idologists from around the globe are now demanding answers. An explanation is expected forthwith. We are awaiting your reply.

      (Please note: this comment was originally censored so I am posting it again.)

  28. Tim says:

    Joshua danced well and looked stylish? Michael, this isn’t Project Runway :).

  29. Helen Burns says:

    Nigel as Brocklehurst! I love it. The editing on this show is FABULOUS.

  30. Zach says:

    I definitely agree with you on song choices for Hollie, she is my favorite, rooting for her all the way

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      As do I. I don’t want to see her get the Pia treatment.

      • Ben says:

        I don’t think there is anything about Hollie that would lead her to get the Pia treatment. There isn’t anyone on this season that has that same lack of charisma that Pia had (except maybe Jermaine, but he has something else – and Jeremy, who is already gone because of it).

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          If anyone’s going to get the Pia treatment, it’ll be Hollie. I agree with you that she has more charisma than Pia, but compared to the rest of this year’s gang she remains a bit stiff. This is especially problematic when you compare you her to Jessica, who’s singing the same types of songs but appears more at ease on stage and has better control over her voice. Slezak is right; Hollie needs to loosen up a bit and set herself apart or she might be a surprise bump.

          Slezak’s suggestion that she sing Toxic is AWESOME. Then again, maybe I just love that song. I could actually hear a bunch of the contestants putting a good spin on that. Phillip would probably have fun with it.

  31. darcy's evil twin says:

    Love Idology, love Michael and Melinda! I agree with both of you – I loved Deandre’s performance but I couldn’t understand a word he was singing.
    I also didn’t think Elise’s performance was as bad as the judges did.
    We have some very good contestants but Jermaine or Shannon should be leaving us this week.

  32. Gata says:

    Lyrics to Master Blaster – by Stevie Wonder.

    This is the song that Deandre sung last week on AI, now all that don’t know what he was saying may have a clue…
    Everyone’s feeling pretty
    It’s hotter than July
    Though the world’s full of problems
    They couldn’t touch us even if they tried
    From the park I hear rhythms
    Marley’s hot on the box
    Tonight there will be a party
    On the corner at the end of the block

    Didn’t know you would be jammin’
    Until the break of dawn
    I bet you nobody ever told you
    That you would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    You would be jammin’ and jammin’ and jammin’ jam oh

    They want us to join their fighting
    But our answer today
    Is to let all our worries
    Like the breeze through our fingers slip away
    Peace has come to Zimbabwe
    Third World’s right on the one
    Now’s the time for celebration
    Cause we’ve only just begun

    Didn’t know you would be jammin’
    Until the break of dawn
    Bet you nobody ever told you
    That you would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    Bet you nobody ever told you that you
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    I know nobody told you that you
    You would be jammin’ and jammin’ and jammin’ jam oh
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    We’re jammin, jammin, jammin’ jam oh

    You ask me am I happy
    Well as matter of fact
    I can say that I’m ecstatic
    Cause we all just made a pact
    We’;ve agreed to get together
    Joined as children in Jah
    When you’re moving in the positive
    Your destination is the brightest star

    You didn’t know you
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    Don’t you stop the music oh no
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Oh, oh , oh you
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Would be jammin’ until the break of dawn

    I bet if someone approached you yesterday
    To tell you that you would be jammin’
    You would not believe it because
    You never thought that you would be jammin’
    Oh, oh, oh, oh
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    Jammin ’til the break of dawn
    OH, oh, oh you may as well believe what you are feeling
    Because you feel your body jammin’
    Oh oh you would be jammin’ until the break of dawn
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)
    (We’re in the middle of the makin’s
    Of the master blaster jammin’)

    • lol says:

      If you were alive during the 70s, you knew this song, It was that popular. I had no trouble understanding Deandre because I know the song well, but also because the song is supposed to be song with an accent, not only because it’s a reggae song, but also because it’s about rhodesia acquiring freedom as zimbabwe.

    • McJagger says:

      To be fair, I could never decipher all the lyrics on the original version… You don’t always need to understand every lyric to enjoy a performance.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I’m in that camp of people who understood only every other word but enjoyed the Hell out of the performance anyway. With the possible exception of Joshua’s I Wish, it was the most purely fun performance of the night.

      And I thiiiiiiink the lyric is “jam on” rather than “jam oh.”

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I was alive in the 70s and I remembered the song had something to do with Zimbabwe. I even caught the word “Zimbabwe” the other night during Deandre’s performance. I think at one time I knew the lyrics to Master Blaster (Jammin’). thanks for posting, Gata.
      Miscellaneopolan – I think “jam oh” is actually “jam on” in Jamaican, mon. ;-)

  33. Shana says:

    The theme this week is Songs from the year you were born.
    8 of them were born in the 90s. Guess we’ll only be hearing 4 throwbacks this time around…

  34. Brigette says:

    Loved everything you guys said as usual, except no one should EVER sing Brittney Spears’s toxic, Michael. Are you kidding me? That’s not a singer’s song. She talk-sings! Hollie, yes, please be less of a robot and get out of the Thia Megia ghetto, but please never ever sing Brittney Spears.

  35. erika! says:

    Michael & Melinda,

    What – not a single word about Erika?
    OK you didn’t talk Jeremy either, but at least he was booted.
    Erika’s awesome contralto is a thing of beauty.
    Why not a mention of her (other than to say that Elise didn’t clap for her).
    Is she that forgettable to you?

    Worried for Erika

  36. Mary says:

    Michael I agree with Joshua being near the top, but sorry not feeling the love for Deandre. I would liked to have more of Jessica song, but she made it worked with just the 90 seconds, that song is to iconic to change it up. I thought the judges were
    Right with Elsie critique it wasn’t good, and here demeanor sucked even worst. My top three were Jessica, Holly and Joshua. Skylar was good but I can’t get past the country sound in her voice. Heejun was better, but his voice needs a lot work.
    Jermaine can go anytime then Shannon behind.

  37. karenb says:

    Jimmy’s arrogance is disturbing.

  38. Sandi says:

    Slezak – I think you mean Elise needs to be more camera-ready. I don’t think you’re actually saying that she’s arrogant. Because – putting myself in her situation – I know I’d be freaking out thinking my dream was about to come crashing down around me as I sit on the stool of doom. There’s an excellent chance I would forgot to be gracious and charming and clap for someone sent to safety as I sit and wait to be crushed. I don’t think too much can be read into her sad face other than this means absolutely everything to her and she can’t control her emotions at that moment. I don’t think it makes her arrogant or a beeatch or ungracious. I think it makes her human.
    Also: Colton, Colton, Colton! Skinny jeans, funky hair, rock star vibe, end all! Half of the guys show up looking like they’re dressed to clean out their garage. I appreciate his effort to look the part.

    • Tusk says:

      Re: Elise
      Perhaps you are right, but you must also know that in this show, “Perception is Reality”. Many AI viewers don’t internalise and wonder, they see, form an opinion then react.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Half of the guys show up looking like they’re dressed to clean out their garage”.
      you get a Made Me Laugh! :-)

  39. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Okay, guys, according to, this is how the rest of the season will play out if all goes according to plan now that Jeremy is gone. How would we feel about this?
    Next to go home: Jermaine Jones
    Eliminated after that: Shannon Magrane
    10th place: Elise Testone (it actually wouldn’t surprise me if she were a shock elimination at some point)
    9th place: Heejun Han
    8th place: Deandre Brackensick
    7th place: Erika Van Pelt
    6th place: Joshua Ledet
    5th place: Colton Dixon
    4th place: Skylar Laine
    3rd place: Phillip Phillips
    Runner-up: Hollie Cavanaugh
    Winner: Jessica Sanchez

    • RodMod says:

      This seems very likely.

    • JJ says:

      Not a chance. Jessica is going to burn out very quickly.

    • Ben says:

      No, you have read votefair wrong. In order to read correctly how votefair predicts things will turn out, you need to understand that they use an STV system to demonstrate overall popularity, but also provide a “first choice” comparison which is the actual voting system idol uses. It’s really important to understand how to read those results in presenting them. Votefair is actually predicting that Joshua/Erika are likely to go home before HeeJun/Elise. In fact its order looks more like this:

      12 Jermaine
      11 Joshua
      10 Shannon
      9 Erika
      8 Elise
      7 Deandre
      6 Heejun
      5 Skylar
      4 Colton
      3 Philip
      2 Hollie
      1 Jessica

      Jessica and Hollie are ridiculously far ahead, I can’t recall votefair having such a clear top two before. But it’s important that you are understand what votefair is saying. It’s saying that although Joshua is the 6th most popular contestant, he could be a surprise elimination around 11 unless those who like him motivate thmselves to vote for him. Votefair’s intent is to predict “shocking” eliminations or deep runs for contestants that are less popular overall.

      By the way @JJ – your predictions that Jessica will flame out are not backed up by polls from anywhere – frankly her popularity to date based on combined internet polls very closely mirrors that of Scotty McCreery from last year. Many continually predicted he would flame out too. It’s pointless predicting demises against actual evidence.

    • Kevin C. says:

      It’s also worth remembering that Votefair is a self selected survey, and there’s a pretty big chasm between the average viewer of Idol and the sort of Idol viewer who participates in it (in terms of age, casualness, free time…)

      In other words, the person leading Votefair is in no way shape or form the person who is “supposed” to win, nor is it the person who would win if Idol suddenly switched to a one viewer/one vote format.

  40. McJagger says:

    I don’t understand all the love for Philip x2. Sure he’s a nice kid, but I can only stand so much intense guitar strumming and growling. (and I loved The Clash and Tom Waits when I was younger…) The kid needs to bring something different and show us he can actually sing.

  41. Cindy says:

    Erika will be a creepin’ through this competition. Just you wait. :)

  42. Tahoe Mike says:

    Count me among the chorus, er “Ensemble,” who think that the new show is too short and just not the same. I can’t put a finger on just what’s different, but if I had to guess I’d say that someone is now trying to make money off of something that was originally done just for fun, and much more tongue and cheek.
    We need Kristen With Glasses to come in and bitchslap whoever is responsible for messing with success.

  43. amber says:

    Hollie is so one dimensional and stiff. I feel like I am at a morman tabernacle choir listening to her. Boring. Phillip is a disgrace to all white guys with guitars. I though Scotty McCreery was bad. This dude is terrible. There goes Elise’s chance for pimp spot again. I would have stuck with the song I chose and not waiver to what ppl said.

  44. Debby says:

    Ok, here is my take on the contestants:
    Shannon – far too sugary sweet to go far in this competition and may get a record deal for a Christian based label..
    Jermaine – he has the potential to do something amazing with his great vocals, but unfortunately I am seeing a bit of an attitude and the fact that the thinks he knows better than seasoned artists, then, his downfall will be his arrogance.
    Colton – sorry just don’t get him. He reminds me of a Jarred Leto wanna-be…it won’t work. He is good, but he needs to tone down a bit and try and be someone unique not someone we’ve seen before.
    Erika – someone needs to tell her to stop dressing like a frump and be her own person. She sings with a powerful voice, but looks like a prom queen…if she doesn’t find out who she is as an artist, then bye-bye.
    Hollie – I actually like her. I do agree that she is a bit stiff, but as time goes on, she will loosen up. She will be in the top 5.
    Heejun – I have never liked him. Yes he has great vocals, but I just don’t get him. Sorry.
    Deandre – he has an amazing vocal range and I was glad that he pinned his hair back, but I do agree he needs to sing more and peform less until he gets the right balance, then go for it. Don’t see him in the top 5.
    Elise – she has a great voice, but unless her attitude changes, I don’t see her going far.
    Joshua – I think he might be dark horse (pardon the pun) as I think with time, he could up the anti and pull something out of the bag…
    Skyler – I don’t really like country music that much, but she rocks it. I do like her voice and energy and she will be in the top 5. If she peaks at the right time, she could go further.
    Jessica – I agree totally with Jimmy, she is peaking at the wrong time. While it is hers to loose, she must realise that as the competition moves forward, others will gain more confidence, experience and she could slip further. She will get a record contract. It is hers to loose.
    Philip – he will be in the top 5. I love his take on songs and it will be interesting to see what he does with all the different themes. He is very original and will be in the top 5 and could win it if he plays his choices of songs right and peak when needed.

    That’s my take….

    • Ben says:

      Possibly the most disingenuous comment I’ve repeatedly heard this idol season. “I don’t get HeeJun. Sorry.”. Whats to get? Either you like his singing or you don’t, same as all the other idol contestants. No need to apologise for that. It seems like people this season feel like they should be apologetic for not finding Heejun funny or something.

      Putting words in Debby’s mouth, which apply to most who say this but may not to her, I think this statement really means “I have determined that I do not like Heejun/find Heejun irritating, and no matter how good of a singer he is, it is overshadowed by my opinion of his personality.” If thats your opinion, fine. But own it! You don’t need to apologise to the HeeJun fans.

    • Ben says:

      But other than the fact I ‘get’ Heejun, or at least that he doesn’t irritate me enough to distract from the fact he sings beautifully, I agree with Debby almost 100%

    • Justin says:

      I get so sick of that “don’t know who he / she is” parroting. They said it about Allison, Haley and others and it’s a load of nonsense that basically equates to “We cannot criticize their singing but we don’t want them to do too well, so we’ll undermine them by questioning their authenticity.” Erika is a pop-rock singer and doesn’t – and never has – pretended otherwise.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I have to agree with Justin – Erika has TONS of confidence when she sings and appears to know exactly what type of artist she is.
        I remember the night Hallie Day sang “Feeling Good” and Randy was giving her the old “what kind of artist do you want to be” rake over the coals. I though, “Really? After hearing her sing that song there’s any doubt in your mind?”

        • Ben says:

          I have to admit I’m with Debby on this one. I don’t think Erika comes across as having a musical identity. I don’t say this because I want her to go home – I’d be quite happy to see Erika in for the long haul. I say it because I think the reality is she is in for an early exit. (And I agree with Darcy on Hallie).

  45. Justin says:

    – Glad I wasn’t the only one who really liked Elise’s performance. I was like “What the h… ?” with the judge’s nonsense. I really would have been ticked if she went home, but thankfully she managed to skirt that… at least for this week. She needs to really bring it next time or she’s in trouble.
    – Agree that Joshua and Deandre were great fun. Thanks fellas for actually ENTERTAINING us.
    – Hollie is doing absolutely nothing for me. Just another of those technical singers with zero pizazz or emotative ability. She’s the embodiment of “Stepford Wife” at this point and I’m not the least bit interested.
    – Colton is emo cliche with a dash of Christian “rock.” Blah x 100. He’s locked down a chunk of tween girl vote so he ain’t going anywhere for awhile.
    – Idolotry needs to discuss the underrated Erika Van Pelt. Have you HEARD her studio track? I listened to all of them and hers is by far the best.
    – The show tried desperately to create a “moment” for lil Jessica Sanchez. The the big song, the lighting and fog, the extreme over-the-top pimp-fest… Sorry, ain’t buying it. Everyone else’s stage ambience looked like county fair by comparison to this eye-roll-provoking tongue bath.
    – Phillip needs to quiet it down and prove he has nuance, soul and a touch of subtlety or else his act is gonna get monotonous. As far as I can tell, he and Colton are battling for the same spot in the finals. I personally prefer Phillip, but he’s going to need to show more diversity.
    – Heejun sounds fine, but sad to say he’s an absolute bore to watch perform. He needs to bring some of his personality to the stage, though I have a bad feeling that ALL he can do are ballads. Zzzzz.
    – Shannon and Jermaine need to go pronto.

  46. karenb says:

    @Eli-Loved Kristen with Glasses/Put the Go-in-Gokey! Good times!

  47. phil says:

    I agree with you about Joshua. He was definitely the best of the week.

  48. Danny says:

    Someone asked Jermaine Jones on twitter who his best friend on idol is. He said Jesus.

    (what do you think Jesus will sing this week? It will be hard, because I’m not sure what songs came out in 0 A.D.)

  49. markstudy says:

    Wow! Lots of Haley content in this weeks report… just what I need to hold me over while this batch of new kids comes up to speed. Thanks for my weekly Haley Fix, you guys are the best!

    I’ve heard Haley might be a guest on a up-coming AI?
    Anyone know what week she might show up?

    PS.. Hope Holly doesn’t become the next Pia. Here’s to hoping she changes it up next week and sings something different.

    • Tusk says:

      Rumour has it she will be performing on AI March 22nd, Top 10 results, I think, after her release of “Free” on the 20th. Not officially confirmed… (Album out in May)

      She will also be playing herself on March 27th on “90210”, has a couple of lines in it. The plot has something to do with a cast member playing in her band. There was a TVLine article about that.

      • My Alter Ego says:

        Haley’s Idol appearance is no longer a rumor. It’s been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter and a tweet from the Lady Reinhart herself.

  50. Rome says:

    What is wrong with you? Deandre is literally the worst finalist they’ve ever had. ever. and hollie cavanaugh is amazing. her performance this week was second only to jessica sanchez.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Rome – oh no. There was a girl a couple of seasons ago – she was also a “Hayley” and played the guitar. She had Deandre and everyone else from this season beat by a mile.

    • xanilas says:

      You obviously weren’t around for season 9…

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        And you get a Made Me Laugh. :-)
        I think that Haeley chick with the guitar was in season 9.

        • Joy says:

          Haeley Vaughn? She was only a semifinalist, not a finalist, thankfully… I actually think this week proved that Jimmy was right, and Deandre can benefit a lot from good coaching. I thought he was awful in both his semifinal and wild card performances (and hadn’t cared for the few clips we’d seen before then, either), but I did think “Master Blaster” was pretty good. So yeah, definitely not the worst we’ve ever seen.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            You’re right, Haeley Vaughn was a semifinalist. There was another black female singer that should have been sent through instead of Haeyley.

    • Sandi says:

      That’s quite the hyperbolic statement considering Idols past of including Sanjaya, Haley Scarnato, Scott Savol, and John Stevens. (Yes, I’ve been watching for a long time.) If you actually assess Deandre’s vocal ability, it’s quite impressive. He has tons of talent. Does he need to work on articulation? Perhaps. But I can’t imagine anyone who knows anything about music agreeing with your statement that he’s the worst finalist ever. Not by a mile.

      • Ben says:

        Add Camile Velasco, Kevin Covais, Kristy Lee Cook, Paige Miles, Aaron Kelly… the list goes on. But not John Stevens… he was admittedly genre challenged but he was actually pretty good in his lane. Frankly though, Deandre doesn’t come anywhere close to making that list.

      • Jaycee says:

        I so agree with you Sandi. For someone (@Rome) to label Deandre as the worst finalist ever just proves an unfounded bias against him. Is it the hair, the looks or what? He obviously isn’t perfect, he has some improvements to make with stage presence and delivery, but he is still a talented singer who is obviously trying his best and doing a very good job. Why try to tear him down like that? He’s 17 years old and beat a lot of competition to justify a deserved place on AI this season. @Rome, you weren’t judging his singing talent at all, now were you? Admit it.

    • w says:

      Why would you say “What’s wrong with you?” if people like Deandre?! Plenty of people like Deandre – including an accomplished music industry professional – Jimmy. Like what you like and let others have their own opinion. When you say “literally” deandre is “the worst finalist they’ve ever had” – indicates you have final say over everyone else’s opinion. Wow, pretty impressive.