Idology: Report Card for Idol's Week 1 Singers! Plus: Nicki's Side-Eye, Keith's Best Body Part

Week 1 of American Idol‘s 12th season was a judge-centric affair, focusing on tension between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, Keith Urban’s bemusement/terror at sitting between the two divas and the virus-like resilience of that fourth guy who likes to refer to himself in the third person.

And that’s exactly why the season premiere of Idology kicks off with a discussion of the best and worst contestants from the Chicago and New York auditions. Hey, somebody’s got to pay attention to the critical battle to inherit Phillip Phillips’ crown and sash.

My cohost Melinda Doolittle and I weigh in on the magic of Kez Ban and the miracle of Lazaro Arbos, but when it comes to who should have their Golden Tickets revoked, the conversation gets a little more contentious. (Yes, it’s just like Mariah vs. Nicki, but without the British accents, rampant imperiousness and aggressive side-eye.) Plus, Melinda weighs in on the Keith Urban body part that impresses her most, we both express outrage over the lack of footage of a certain Season 11 comebacker, and our executive producer Jason Averett spices things up with Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess, a Doctor Who fave and Nicki’s most important quote ever.

So press play below for the Idology season premiere, and for all my Idol news, recaps, interviews and photo galleries, 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. noa says:

    1. YAY!!! Idology is back! your tweets had me super worried. don’t go away. you make everything better (esp. Jason…)
    2. i have some hope for Shira. her dad wrote some of the best Israeli music. i grew up on his songs. so maybe she’ll get better? also, i thought they edited her audition. like it was cut in a weird way and it was part of the problem.

  2. Annie says:

    Great show, a perfect compliment to American Idol.

  3. TB says:

    Yes! Idology! I’m glad you guys are liking the judging, I’m with you. Watching Mariah swan about and Nicki roll her cartoon eyes has been a wonderful distraction from the pointless waiting period that is auditions. And they’ve all been really astute about their critiques!

  4. eDDIe87 says:

    Nicki is an alpha dog (or b-tch, if you will). I don’t like that. Keith is nice. Mariah is a hopeless diva (but kinda sweet) and Randy, well, he’s… there.

    • eDDIe87 says:

      Oh, and wlecome back Idology!. Love ya guys!.

    • Natalie says:

      Haha on point! And I’m tired of Idol being all about the judges. We used to talk about the singers and have favorites now it’s all about what the judges did or said. Failing

      • Phyllis says:

        I agree wholeheartedly about the judges…is this show about contestants vying to move on or the judges who take up most of the time with their ridiculous patter? I could definitely do without Nicki Minaj’s drama. It’s hard for me to stay with the show, as I have to change channels frequently.

  5. raftrap says:

    “Nothing”, my favorite part of last week too! And I also didn’t like Amy Winehouse girl, just didn’t work for me, ok enough with the negative, love seeing Idology again, can’t wait for next week.

  6. Yay! Welcome back. Michael and Melinda make Idol enjoyable for me.
    I’m loving Kez Ban and I want her to go very very far. I don’t know if I want her to win because they will try to steal her soul.

  7. Everlost says:

    So happy to see Idology again. I’m glad you like the judges too as it seems that many people do not like the group. It is the 1st time I have really enjoyed the judging panel since Simon left.

  8. I had very low expectations for Idol this season, but I liked the first two episodes. Is it just me or is Carey the one who picks on Minaj to antagonize her into a fight?

  9. Scott says:

    Welcome back. What a great thing to see on a Monday! Idology is awesome.

  10. Meghan says:

    SO glad to see Idology back! Great first episode. It never disappoints. I am also enjoying the new judges and how thoughtful their critiques are. I hope it continues into the live shows.

  11. reen says:

    Yay, yay, yay! Idology and the voices of reason! I, too, like the judging panel–and I was not looking forward to it at all. Nicki is hilarious. Nice mix. For me, the best part of the audition rounds are the judges. Looking forward to the next couple of months!

  12. Marianne says:

    Hahaha – – “I wish they’d show a little less of the bickering . . . and a little more of the side-eye.” Can I please hashtag #SideEye ?

  13. RD says:

    Kez Ban’s Peggy Lee inspired voice is great but i’m predicting she’ll bail before the season goes too far past hollywood week,if she doesn’t already prove too problematic for the show by then. Nicki was the judge idea I was most adverse to,but she happily has proved me wrong.She’s exactly what this show needed.Keith Urban is great too.Two out of four good judges is pretty good odds,I think.

  14. Sg. Grant says:

    I can’t really stand Nicki Minaj. I especially hate the stupid British accent crap she does.

  15. jalahyacinth says:

    I don’t even bother to watch Idol anymore, I just watch you guys :) A WHOLE lot less frustrating and a ton more entertaining :)

    • Kim R says:

      That’s what I do. And anyone who gets mentioned for standing out, I YouTube them. :) So much more enjoyable than having to sit through 2 hours of Idol. :)

    • Babybop says:

      I do the same thing! Ha ha.

    • amy says:

      Same here, I can see it in 10 minutes on Idology. Gave up watching the actual show a few years ago. I got hooked on Micheal’s commentary back when it was Idoloonies and there was a ‘my little pony’ or some such nonsense.

  16. Alienate says:

    Welcome back! I enjoy the new judge’s panel and that even includes Randy. I do hope Kez Ban is around awhile, I love her. A few others have promise, but nobody else so far blows me away. If we can just get past this week’s “blow-up” with out turning too many people off…. It could be the best season since before Simon stopped caring.

  17. Karen O says:

    Idol is a silly tv show, and having three new judges who love and appreciate its silliness is wonderful. It’s the same reason we love you Slezak!

    It’s the opposite of X-Factor, which still tries to treat reality tv eliminations as life or death. The X-Factor judges are either scripted or prompted to insult each other for no reason, it’s just bad tv.

    Let’s hope Nikki and Mariah and Keith work as well together on live tv as they do in the auditions.

    • ash q says:

      Yep. X Factor takes itself waaaay to seriously. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant watching the judging panel most of the time.

  18. ash q says:

    I think I’m liking the judges so far, but as we’ve learned from past shows, editing does a lot. Remember when we though Britney and Steven Tyler were good judges in the auditions? (Yeah, me neither.) I’ll wait until the live shows roll around first.

  19. Idology is always the best part of Idol season! Welcome back!

  20. deedee says:

    Welcome back, Michael, Melinda and Jason! Now the Idol season has officially started for me!

  21. marygrace says:

    YEAH! Idology is back! Loved this week as I always do. I agree the judges are listening and making meaningful comments but was kinda hard to hear that above the bickering. Hope it tones down in the weeks ahead and the focus goes back to the contestants.

  22. emmuzka says:

    Yes, Idology is back! :D Btw, did you notice the scaled back amount of joke contestants? There were a few of them, so far but now-one was set to look like a mentally retarded with parents who are cousins or anything. Also no joke contestants who relied on props (costumes, kids, dogs…)

    My favorite moments were the new little moments where they showed a glipse of the “reality” of making reality; The parents commenting that the camera guys were kinda hot, Kez Ban asking Ryan what she should do know, and my favorite moment, the mom saying something like “this is reality tv, somebody oughta be cheesy!”

  23. Ashly says:

    Woohoo, Idology is back! Love this show. Like Melinda, I came in not ready to like Nicki but she definitely won me over as did Keith Urban.

  24. MB says:

    So excited about Idolology! Idol is not Idol without it. After listening to Michael and Melinda I want to re-watch last weeks shows and look at them with a different perspective.

  25. Alan Dvorkis says:

    Great show. Glad you have returned. Monday just got better. Thought Johnny Keyser was terrific. Picture the same song less complicate and you have a potential winner.

  26. Sheila says:

    Nicki’s mouth freaks me out. It’s like her teeth are too big, like dentures that are the wrong size.

  27. Amber says:

    I like Idology better than American Idol!! please don’t stop!

  28. KK says:

    Ahhh SOOOO HAPPY to have Idol, and MORE IMPORTANTLY IDOLOGY!! Great premiere Michael and season 6 standout Melinda Doolittle!

    I agree with your assessment of the judges. I think they have just been top notch so far. Interesting, engaging, and thoughtful. I know we have the big fight episode this week, but I hope after that Nicki and Mariah continue to playfully tease each other and not be down right nasty (even though I absolutley think the edge in their relationship is real and not faux like some believe).

    My favorites this week were Brandy Neelly, Mackenzie, Christina Isabelle, and Angela Miller.

  29. SS says:

    Oh, it’s just going to be you and Melinda again throughout the entire season? Could you give us at least one special guest co-host for one episode? Nothing against Melinda personally, but for the sake of the show can you please change it up some? I always enjoyed your shows much more in the years past back when you had a different co-host every week.

  30. donna says:

    also love idology and also loving the panel. i thought all 3 of them were great although nicky tired me a bit with her bickering and cheap language. i did love it though when she didnt allow randy (or was it keith) to pigeonhole one of the contestants in one genre (the famous: “i dont know who u r” critique).

  31. Teeny Bikini says:

    Yay! You’re back! Love Sle-Little like nobody’s business. Welcome back :) Um… the judges are growing on me. I only really like Keith Urban right now. He gives great feedback and is real. I feel like the women are shrill, annoying, and over-the-top.

  32. dj says:

    I guess I’m in the minority, but I’m not loving the new judges. I do like Keith, but that’s about it. I feel like it’s more about the judges than the contestants so far. I’m kind of with J-Hud that Idol should just bow out gracefully after this season.

    I didn’t really like the fact that Randy went and got that girl and brought her to audition and then she didn’t make it through. I think that would be a humiliating experience.

    I always love to watch Idology, and I will still watch you guys even if I don’t stick with the show.

  33. I have not watched yet — but I’ve now accepted, sorta, that we will never get on a regular basis the awesome 4 and 5 part versions. Too much of an awesome thing is still not enough!

  34. Shari says:

    I am so happy to see you guys back again. As usual you were right on.

  35. Q says:

    We Will NEVER forget KRISTY LEE COOK from Season 7. All hail Kristy Lee!!

  36. JustMe says:

    Cannot stand Minaj, so don’t have much opinion of other judges right now. Watched the premiere and was totally turned off by her antics. Didn’t watch #2, and won’t watch #3 tonight. I think I’m done with Idol until down to the final few contestants..

  37. darcy's evil twin says:

    Hooray! Idology is back! Welcome back, Mr. Slezak and Melinda Doolittle!

    I totally agree with Melinda about rescinding Anorexia Girl’s golden ticket.

    It’s good to see so many regulars back here – this is part of what makes “Idol” for me.

  38. Nat says:

    Love you guys! Watched and literally felt like I was having a conversation with you, nodding along and agreeing with everything – stellar as usual! Looking forward to even more fab Averett edits :)

  39. marie says:

    Oh wow, my bad, I JUST remembered to watch Idology! I won’t forget THAT again! I am with the majority about the judges: so far, so good, but let’s see what the live shows bring.

  40. nodak says:

    I’m not going to watch Idol anymore, but I’ll check into idology every week.

  41. Kaycee says:

    I cannot watch Idol anymore with Nicki monopolizing the entire talk time. WHY is she being given the role of “leader of the panel”. I can’t stand Nicki or Mariah so knew that last season would more than likely be my last to watch…now I know for certain it is. I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this and as painful as it is to say….Mariah has been the one to come out more likeable than Nicki which is NOT saying I like Mariah.
    Keith and Randy can stay but the two females can go….that is IF Nicki is really a female….in any case Nicki needs to go regardless of her gender. I’m so sorry that the “old Idol” left the building when Simon left. There is not a singing competition worth watching now. Soooooo sad!!

    • HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

      She has taken it over a bit, BUT it does sort of work so….
      and would really rather have Randy leading it all again???

  42. HitTheGroundRunningWonderlandHaleyOhMy says:

    Not a bad episode at all (but you do have to attempt to temp your seeming odd hatred for girls in hot pants thing just a bit lest you become one of the very types of judge that you go on about hating all the time, just saying, don’t turn all JLo or Kara in that regard please).

  43. Paula says:

    So glad to see Idology back again, you are awesome together. Also, THANK YOU for your comments about the hyping of the competition between Nicki and Mariah. I hate that sort of thing.