American Idol Top 8 Recap: This Theme's a Mystery, Every Contestant Must Stand Alone

janelle-wheeler-idol-keep-me-hangin-onTonight’s installment of American Idol kicked off with chyrons promising “a story of innovators, a story of visionaries.” And then we jumped right into a theme that Idol has coughed up roughly 26 times over the course of 12 seasons: “Detroit: The Music of Motor City” (AKA Motown Night Plus a Random Madonna Track).

Randy Jackson shouted “in it to win it!” (the verbal equivalent of a pile of dusty horse bones getting worked over with a cat o’ nine tails). Mariah Carey did her impersonation of a butterfly (much flapping of the wings/gums; very little in the way of pointed critique). One singer used the “I wanted to have fun” card while trying to explain away a catastrophic mess of a performance. And while, thankfully, the majority of contestants chose uptempo tracks — thereby ending a run that gave us ballads for 17 of the last 19 performances — a sense of ennui prevailed for most of the episode, with a few jarring exceptions.

Nicki Minaj poured 100-proof honesty into the watered-down punch — at one point becoming so disgusted with the three remaining male contestants that she demanded they leave the stage immédiatement. (From what Devin and Burnell mumbled to Ryan Seacrest, though, it sounded like they thought the vitriol should’ve been heaped solely on Lazaro — and his failure to participate in choreography/learn his lyrics. Yikes!) Guest mentor Smokey Robinson used his keen ear to give the Top 8 some legitimately sound advice. And Janelle Arthur, who looked no better than a mid-pack player a couple weeks ago, played the David Cook card and changed up her Motown ditty in a way that was downright electrifying. (Three of Janelle’s fellow chicas weren’t too shabby, either.)

With that said, let’s cut to tonight’s set list — and celebrate another Nicki Minaj side eye — while assiging letter grades for every performance!

Nicki Minaj idol side eyeCandice Glover: Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” | I love that Candice took some chances with the tempo and melody of a song we’ve heard six times before on Idol — including renditions in Seasons 9, 10 and 11 (Andrew Garcia, Casey Abrams and Skylar Laine), but there was something a little underbaked about her funk-centric rendition. It didn’t help that the camera shot during Candice’s opening verse was almost entirely obscured by a glaring spotlight, nor that the show’s director spent half of the performance cutting to backup singers, the saxophonist, and pretty much anything other than a closeup of The Lady Glover herself. But I felt like Candice didn’t completely immerse herself in the groove, didn’t display 100 percent of the “I got this!” swagger that’s usually welded to her awesome vocals. That last growling run was fantastic — and yeah, the judges should’ve given Candice some points for creativity — but I couldn’t have disagreed more with Keith that this was her best work to date. Grade: B+

Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” | Speaking of creativity points, can I get a slow clap for Kree and Janelle for choosing the only track this week that took the “Detroit” theme past the Motownville and into less-traversed neighborhood of Madonnaland? Okay, with that praise on the record, let’s be honest: Kree and Janelle’s arrangement of “Like a Prayer” was about as authentically country as the Jersey Shore hottub (no matter what that lady from Duets has to say). I agreed with Nicki that — were this a battle — Kree got the edge over Janelle, but considering that both women got a tad steamrolled by that massive 10-person choir (unnecessary much?), it was a hollow win at best. Grade: B-

Lazaro Arbos: Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” | The judges seemed elated that Lazaro hit a much higher percentage of notes than he did on last week’s “In My Life.” But to put the performance in baking terms, dude went from starting a raging kitchen fire to merely dropping his pie face-down on the floor. “For Once in My Life” wasn’t irreparably damaged, but it still wasn’t very good. Part of the problem is that at this stage in his vocal development, Lazaro is nothing more than a solid karaoke singer: There’s no depth of emotion, there’s little creativity, and when he tries to riff on the melody it often goes awry. Add in details like that odd side-to-side dance step usually reserved for first graders who need to go pee-pee and what seemed to be an almost dismissive response to the judges’ feedback, and I think Lazaro is guaranteed for a Bottom 3 placing come Thursday. Grade: D+

Janelle Arthur: The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” | Janelle said she came up with her haunting arrangement of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” at the tender age of 14 — which makes me think girlfriend sat at the “dark and brooding kids” table when she was in high school. Seriously, the way she reimagined The Supremes’ upbeat hit as a minor-chord ballad breathed new and heartbreaking life into the lyrics — as Keith noted, she tapped into a well of angst — and yet also allowed her to work in some breathtaking ad libs on the final refrain that, to my ears, represented the most masterful vocal technique of the episode, too. Add that adorable little factoid about how Janelle’s uncle made her oversized guitar and, well, I’m calling 9-1-1 and reporting felony menacing if she’s sent anywhere near the Silver Stools of Doom (TM) on Thursday. Grade: A

Devin Velez: The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears” | Once again, Devin (sporting a red tux jacket with black lapels and a black shirt with white collar that made him look like a waiter on a dining car of an old-timey train) hit all his notes correctly this week, and that would put him at the top of the class — if this were a course in mathematics. Alas, though, great singers need to be able to set moods and conjure up emotions when they sing, and Devin’s “TToMT” was devoid of the central heartbreak and longing of a man who’s wept one too many times over lost love. Yeah, Nicki flipped her lid for it — saying she loved every single choice Devin made — but all that tells me is she’s never heard Adam Lambert’s rendition from Season 8. (Oh yeah, I went there.) Grade: B-

Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb: The Supremes’ “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” | I’m choosing to believe no stylists were consulted in the selection of this trio’s jarringly disparate outfits, and I’m choosing to ignore yet another instance of Mariah Carey trying to make “fetch” “Hashtag: Pow!” happen. That way, I can focus on the way Amber, Angie and especially Candice brought a raw 2013 energy to an arrangement that was comfortably chillaxing in the late ’60s. Make no mistake: These ladies can sang — even if Amber is the only one who really knows how to get her flirt on during a performance. Grade: A-

Burnell Taylor: Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” | What’s tone got to do, got to do with it?/ What’s tone, but one part of the equation?/ What’s tone got to do, got to do with it?/ I can’t get past this kid’s strange pronunciations… It may seem to you like I’m acting confused, but seriously, there were more “mmm” sounds at the end of Burnell’s phrases than in that Crash Test Dummies song from the early ’90s: “My cherie amourmm”? “Pretty little one that I adormm”? I’d have been less distracted if Burnell had been using Mariah’s idiotic wand as a mic. And while, yeah, Burnell did occasionally offer a little twist on the melody to keep things from sounding too totally karaoke, we also had to contend with his flitting hand gestures (half “shoo fly,” half “I’m like a bird”). And worst of all, while Burnell did complete a short walk from the back of the stage to the mic stand, it was essentially another case of the kid standing in one position at the center of the stage for almost the entire performance. I mean, there’s hitting your mark, and then there’s being glued to it.) Grade: B/B- (Burnell receives separate scores for technical merit and artistic impression; and the East German judge wasn’t having the “mm” effect.)

Angie Miller: The Miracles’ “Shop Around” | I knew Angie was in grave danger the second her rehearsal footage rolled and you could hear the inauthentic rock track that Jimmy and/or Smokey should never have allowed to escape the studio. I mean, the arrangement was so tinny and stilted it would’ve made Alice Cooper sound like Josh Grobin, so there really wasn’t much hope for a chipper teen who declared herself ready to show “my fun crazy side — with some attitude.” (Somehow — and maybe it makes me a bad person — but that clip made me think Angie’s idea of “crazy” is grabbing a second tong-full of croutons when she’s at the Ponderosa salad bar.) Deep down, though, I think Angie knew this wasn’t going to work — that it was a week she’d have to survive rather than thrive. She almost immediately seemed to misjudge the rhythm of the song — vocally stumbling about like a three-legged cat — and by the time she strolled over to engage the band’s guitar player, she wound up flubbing a line or two of her lyrics. Plus, as Keith pointed out, the usually technically solid vocalist hit a ton of sharp notes. Faced with a bad performance from an ordained front-runner, Mariah’s internal wiring went all CTRL+ALT+DEL; she tried to compliment Angie’s “risqué” dress, then pointed out how exciting it must’ve been for songwriter Angie to sit with a songwriter of Smokey’s caliber. Yes, folks, never before has a critique looked more like a trout flopping around on a dock. Grade: C-

Amber Holcomb: Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” | It’s a tricky job on a reality singing competition to find the right mix of power and restraint, but Amber handled it pretty perfectly on a rendition of “Lately” that went right up to the edge of the melisma cliff, peered down at the deathly drop into the canyon, and then backed away to the safety zone at just the right moment. Amber does need to be carefully not to let her tone get shrill when she’s in full on belting mode — on that note, my husband thinks I’ve graded her too generously — but I think her biggest challenge in the weeks ahead will be finding a way to advance beyond “fantastic Idol underdog” and into “viable chart-topper” territory. Amber needs to simultaneously be more daring, more current, and less reliant on ballads — not an easy task given Season 12’s theme nights thus far — but at least she’s crushing it in terms of fashion (that little black-and-white dress was amahhhz) and sound bites (“I really wasn’t gone! I felt like I was here last week, too!” she exclaimed with a giggle after another recitation of the “Amber is back!” theme). Grade: A-

Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” | I’m gonna defer to Nicki on this one: “I’ma act like I ain’t even see it or hear it!” Yep, that was like Hollywood Week Group Rounds — and not the good kind, either. We’ll discuss more on the Idology episode filming Friday and posting Sunday night/Monday morning — because really, this requires some Melinda Doolittle knowledge. But until then, I have to ask: Why did Lazaro think it was okay to forget his lyrics and not even bother with the simple choreographed dance moves? Yeah, Burnell’s “not to throw anyone under the bus…” and Devin’s “I learned my parts. I tried saving a couple people,” may not have been tactful, but it’s not like they could ignore Seacrest’s question — or what had just gone down in their performance just seconds prior. Grade: C- (maybe a D- for Lazaro)

Kree Harrison: Ben E. King’s “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” | Is it sacrilege for me to say that I’m just not a huge fan of Kree’s song choice? “Don’t Play That Song” like one of those giant snakes you see at the Science Center: It’s cool for a second, but then it just sits there and sits there, and nothing about it really changes no matter how long you stare at it. Kree brought her mesmerizing and very distinctive tone to the table, but I felt like a quieter arrangement would’ve been a better showcase for her emotions, which might’ve given me something more to latch onto. As it was, the band got a little overzealous — and those absurd heels of Kree’s seemed to limit her ability to fully engage physically in the week’s goings-on. And same as Candice, I don’t think this was Kree’s personal high water mark, but she’s still in my Top 4 contestants for the week, no matter which way you slice it. Grade: B+

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 8 performance night? What did you think of the judges’ comments? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? And what about the Lazaro-Burnell-Devin catastrophe? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, 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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575 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Janelle Wheeler? Haha

    • gregk says:

      Maybe a WGWG will win again: white girl with guitar. Hope another girl like Kree or Angie wins though.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Funny thing is, Janelle Wheeler was blond and played guitar, too. (I remember her from Season 9; she was gone the first week of the semis.) Janelle won the night hands down in the solo category. No elimination bear nipping at her heels! (The “elimination bear” is the cousin of the “cancellation bear.”) However, I think all three of those guys look pretty tasty to him right now.

      • Rick says:

        I don’t think Angie has a chance anymore after that bashing. That is the worst I’ve seen since Haley.

        • dj says:

          They are harder on the ones that they think are better, if they have an off night, than they are on the ones that are consistently not great, like Lazaro.

        • just saying says:

          wow. i wrote a detailed response to this that got denied. so i’ll be succinct if not as explanatory in this post. Angie was not good last night. Her notes were wrong, sharp on low notes, completely out in left field on others. Angie is like Taylor Swift. Decent but weak vocals and skates by because she has the singer-songwriter vibe. That’s what Swift’s fans always defend her with: “She’s amazing because she writes her own music”. (Shh. Don’t tell them that many people write their own music. If it’s not on their local top 40 radio, then it must not exist). Anyhow, the judges are correctly advising Angie to continue to channel her inner Taylor if she wants to go far in this competition. Smaller intimate songs will give her a better opportunity to hit her notes. Walking around the stage awkwardly does not help you hit notes well. But you know. she’s tall thin and pretty. So that’s 75% of her appeal right there. But just like a ballerina has a hard time relaxing her posture to do other forms of dance, Angie has a hard time doing grittier pop lyrics. Diction too clean and clinical. She can work on that but meanwhile needs to stick to things more in her wheelhouse…

          • tewence says:

            hm, i never would have compared her to taylor swift…since she has vocal range, power, and control unlike taylor.

          • just saying says:

            i wasnt saying she was nearly as bad vocally as swift, but i also don’t think she has nearly as much “power” as you think. i was saying that her appeal is along the lines of swift.

          • Lee says:

            You must’ve missed that week when Angie sang a Celine Dion song. She showed power in her vocals then.

          • Ben says:

            Comments don’t get moderated between pushing ‘post’ and them turning up (they may get deleted afterwards and it’s possible they won’t post if certain words are used I guess). Far more likely than it being ‘denied’ is that something went wrong with the posting, it can happen from time to time.

        • Lue says:

          Uh, no, you didn’t just say that. She had a bad week. But I know what kind of an artist lay behind those heels and tight blue dress. And just so you know, Haley was one of the best contestants American Idol has ever had. I feel bad that you can’t see that.

          • Molly says:

            I didn’t read it that way at all about Haley. I thought Rick meant the bashing was the worst he had seen since Haley. Which is probably true.

          • gatz says:

            right angie and haley were the ones that has the things to bag even before the competition. so as to the viewing public we expect them to go up . and that is very hard. a mistake will always come but the recovery is the most important thing. let see next week if angie will do good if he survive this week. as to taylor swift reference? far fetch. does it mean because they are singer-songwriter they’re the same? angie is not country. If it was me i like angie to be more on the projection of alicia keys. much similar, no?

          • Jenny says:

            And I feel bad that you’ve bought into Haley hype! Oh yeah I went there.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            nothing to buy into when you were there from day 1 is there??

          • just saying says:

            gatz, angie sounds nothing like alicia keys. and taylor swift isn’t country. she just capitalized on the nashville scene to get her start. but if you listen to her music she’s pure pop fluff. and if you’ve watched her trying to be more uptempo and poppy and dance musicy at her recent performances, you will understand why i compared (especially last nights performance) angie to taylor. i’m not saying they are carbon copies.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            While I could be wrong, I think they meant that it was as bad a bashing as any Haley got. Bashings not performances were being compared. at least that was my reading of it.
            (although I don’t actually think it was even close to as bad a bashing as they gave Haley, heck one of the nights she got a standing O that tool Randy shredded her and said of all the top six if he had to pick one who really stood out it’d have to be Haley for being so bad that she clearly deserved to go home WTF!?! Angie got a not your best but we WILL be seeing you next week.)

        • Luke says:

          I hope you mean that Haley was bashed by the judges – not that she herself was bad. Because she was one of the best all time Idol contestants

        • Ben says:

          The difference being, of course, that Haley really wasn’t that bad on that occasion, whereas Angie really was this week.

      • MB says:

        I thought exactly the something when Janelle started singing with the guitar. She was amazing. I haven’t voted since the top 20. That’s how unimpressed I am this year. I am at the point where between the girls I don’t care who wins. It’s scary that Angie did so poorly last night. She could be in trouble but if she goes home before Lazarro I am completely done with this show until they change the voting rules.

      • Choosyguy says:

        Hate country singers, too much in the music scene. Wanna see Amber and Burnell in the finals. Country music is so rampant now you wanna puke over hearing them a lot!!

      • Joan Rathe says:

        I love Kree. I think she is a powerful and versatile performer. I also favor Candace. Janelle still needs to keep doing what is her strongest suit and Amber could be a winner if she had more confidence. Angie is cute and has some ability but is not versatile in performance the way the past Idols have all been. She may do well in a theatre environment or writing songs. I will not attempt to say much about the males because I frankly think letting Curtis go was one of the biggest mistakes Idol ever did next to letting Jennifer Hudson out. Just saying (D)

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Recent Idol winners have been anything BUT versatile in performance so these days Angie isn’t in trouble from that at all. Perhaps at the beginning of Idol….

    • Kelly says:

      Oh I still remember her….she auditioned with “American Boy” and a guitar and it was sublime!

    • gatz says:

      disappointed much on this season. its obvious that they are really gearing with a female winner. not that i’m complaining. what worries/annoys me is that the male selection was upfront obvious the loosing end. hell as nicki commented on the boys group performance it was clear the 3 will fight the bottom contestants for the coming weeks until the five girl remains. this show is predictable enough they could have rounded it up to top 5 finalist and be done with the voice, i mean the boys since vegas round. sorry, the other show starts seeping through the many holes of A1’s format.

      Hell they could even make a girl group out of the five and proclaim 5 idols to cove up for the girl’s losses if they really want a girl to win. What i hate the most is they run the audition too long and cut short the final 20 to ten elimination in one performance. that is by far worst that the voice. as done before, AI has become a filler on my tube until the voice season’s starts. But yeah to nicki, a vocal and honest critique. She is the only one with the guts to pour all out. Randy is beyond errelivant. he should be sitting on the back and be an honorary guest. no disrespect but if idol wants a full revamp, ditch the old dawg and put someone like adam or blake. hell put justin timberlake if they really want creds.

      For now ill be at the voice and just wait for AI finale.

    • Choosyguy says:

      Don’t like Janelle. A three-timer trying hard contestant. She has mastered her trying hard singing country trash. It’s a disgrace for AI to let her win.

  2. Zach says:

    BEST TO WORST TONIGHT (in my opinion): 1. Candice 2. Kree 3. Devin 4. Janelle 5. Burnell 6. Amber 7. Angie 8. Lazaro

    • Amber delivered a lot better than 6th place in my opinion. I haven’t really been on the Amber train but tonight she did a really wonderful job, I’d say even higher than Kree and Candice. I think tonight was Amber’s night. Kree and Candice were up there as well, I just think that Amber replaced Angie as Top 3 with Janelle right there on the cusp. Janelle did amazing again.

      • JT says:

        so vote for her… everybody VOTE for AMBER!

        • dani n. says:

          I did! I did!

        • Wendy says:

          I still am!

        • Chrles. says:

          Amber is amazing, has an incredible voice and she herself is very very attractive, however her problem is that she doesn’t stands out that much! All the other girls overshadow her, even if her vocals are great, she needs to do something to be more noticeable.

          • MC says:

            I felt that way about Amber until tonight. I thought “Lately” was a game-changer for her.

          • white lancer says:

            Strange, I felt like “Lately” was just more of the same from Amber. Girl’s got pipes for sure, but she’s also got Pia Toscano syndrome (except I give Pia the edge in pure vocal ability)–she doesn’t sing anything other than ballads. I still think she’s got some weird phrasing issues and standing next to Candice in the trio didn’t do her any favors, which is going to keep her from being a top favorite of mine.
            .
            Still, no denying she can sing and shouldn’t be anywhere near that Bottom 3–I had her ranked 4th (5th if we include the trio) after Janelle, Candice, and Kree, in that order, and she’s probably around 4th overall for the season for me as well. As much as I love Angie (and screw what Slezak says–I thought she was lovely last week), she does deserve a Bottom 3 trip this week based solely on solo performances.

          • lemon says:

            Pia’s voice is big and powerful, but tonally dull and not unique. Amber’s voice, especially on the recorded versions, has a multitude of colors and textures. It’s one of the best voices ever to come out of the show, IMO.

          • white lancer says:

            I disagree. I don’t think Pia was especially unique, but there’s nothing unique about Amber either. She’s the pure power belter type we’ve seen on this show dozens of times before, the type that sings well but exactly the same as the original artist. Except she doesn’t always hit her notes cleanly.
            .
            I think there’s a lot of recency bias when it comes to Amber. She’s good, but she’s not a standout Idol contestant in the grand scheme of things. Candice is, Kree might be, Angie and Janelle could maybe reach that level if they focused on their artistry more, but Amber doesn’t have anything to offer that we haven’t seen before.

      • Laura says:

        I REALLY did not like Amber’s performance tonight. Perhaps the tempo was supposed to be that fast, but it just didn’t work for me.

        • gregk says:

          My wife and I did not either. Her key maybe too high? Whatever, voice was not pleasant.

          • Brendan says:

            I have never cared for Amber… and yet the judges sing her praises constantly. She is the judges (aka the producers) favorite contestant and they make that blatantly obvious week after week.

          • Sookie says:

            I also found her voice to sound maybe not unpleasant but definitely dischordant. And when you listen to her sing with Candice there is no comparison. Candice is smooth and mellow.

          • deedee says:

            What are you talking about, Brendan? Last week the judges were so negative about Amber, which helped land her in the bottom 3, and which is the only reason they went over the top with praise this week. Plus, Nicki can’t stop with her nonsense critiques of Amber’s fricking lipstick shades and absence of “twinkle” or whatever. If they pimped her at all this week, it was just to undo their previous damage and help keep her head above water.

        • Rac says:

          She’s another yelley singer

        • waterbug says:

          I feel this same way about Janelle

        • Name That Tune says:

          I’m beginning to believe that the problem is that her song choices are too old fashioned. The kind of artist she wants to be (Whitney/Mariah/Natalie Cole) is not popular. The result is that we hear her tone and technique but come away feeling “So What? “

          • deedee says:

            You’re right, and it’s a shame that there’s no real market for Amber’s brand of music these days. Also, she’s a bit shy and reserved, so I can’t see her getting tramped up and modernized into a Rhianna type of artist.

          • Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

            See I see Amber more as an Anita Baker / Sade type singer. Admittedly, that is at least as out of fashion as the old time divas, but it suits her personality far better. I really do think there is something there that record companies could work with though. To my eyes she’s stunning. She and Kree should have a Dimple-Off! ;-)

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            For most of pop music that style has been in though and I’m sure it will be back in soon enough so I don’t think her style is anythign to worry about.

          • Name That Tune says:

            HTGR, whether that style returns to favor or not, she’s been unable to get a strong, passionate fan base. She’s less popular than Burnell or Janelle which puts her at risk for an early exit.
            If we’re heading towards a Season 6 or even a Season 3 type of year, then she needs to pull a Jordin Sparks kind of moment. I don’t know if it is in her wheelhouse to come up with an “I Who Have Nothing” moment, but it is what she needs.
            Right now there are only 3 performances this season that I will remember for years to come. They were done by Janelle last night Candice 2 weeks ago and Angie during Hollywood week. She seems to be headed towards a Jennifer Hudson or Pia exit. I think the judges will save her but once that is gone, she’s on her own.

        • gailer says:

          Hated it

        • Choosyguy says:

          Check your ears guys, all 4 judges were totally impressed. Like i did. Amber has the best chance to make it. Not to mention her great voice and style, she is marketable for her young age, sense of fashion, pretty figure and face. I like her and burnell intge finals.

        • Choosyguy says:

          Well sorry for you. There is time limit so the song has to be fit in length. It was still impeccable as alwats.

      • MC says:

        I wish everyone watching tonight could understand that Amber slayed that song. “Lately” is one of my favorites, too. The reason Amber did so well is because she wasn’t faking familiarity with it or learning it at the last moment. I could tell it really is one of her favorite songs.

      • ThatBob says:

        For me, Amber is the most “pagent singer” (as they’ve accused Angie of being) stylisticly. Her performances sound pretty and all but she never engages me on a personal level. I become distracted and she fades into background music.

        • just saying says:

          Agree. I think it’s mainly her song choice that is the problem. She picks songs that are TOO known, TOO done, and doesn’t do enough to make them unique, so it comes across as a really great pageant contestant but not someone whose album you would actually buy. I think she could have a great career, still, but she needs guidance in that department and someone’s missing the memo on this…

          • Mary says:

            I am the opposite, I would buy her album today. Her I Tune songs are beautiful, especially last week. I agree she needs to work on her presentation, but for me the comes with time. I thought she did great and held her own the Trio – in fact I thought she was actually better than the other two with given off the sass that song needed. I also think she dresses the part. I usually don’t agree with Jimmy but she is a beautiful girl and I think one of the most marketable of the group.

          • Owen says:

            I have to reiterate. Check out her I-tunes songs. She is the most radio friendly of all the non-country voices (is it odd for me to think Candice is almost too good to be radio-friendly?).

          • Lunakit says:

            I agree as well! Amber’s iTunes are incredible!!

        • Choosyguy says:

          Come on, not a bit Amber’s performances pagent sounding. Check your eara!

      • brad says:

        i fell in love with amber ever since she sang “sweet love”. even if the producers and judges are over-pimping her, i still think she is an underdog because her personality doesn’t stand out so much- it’s laid back and chill, similar to aaliyah, in my opinion. and with that, i wish she sang an aaliyah song for detroit week! it would have brought a more contemporary feel to the show and her repertoire. if she wanted a ballad, she could have done “i care 4 u”; if she wanted a midtempo track, she could have done “if your girl only knew”; if she wanted something more upbeat, she could have done “back & forth”.

        • MC says:

          I do agree that Amber is consistently choosing stale songs, but I believed her when she said this Stevie song was one of her personal favorites. I bought into her increased conviction this week. I thought she caressed this song with more of her soul. It was very subtle and probably just sounded like the same old Amber to most folks out there.

          • brad says:

            oh, i still liked her ‘lately’ performance, i’m just saying i wish someone chose a song from the past two decades, and if anyone could do it, i felt amber would have been the one since she seems more fresh and contemporary. plus the fact that i have always wanted someone to take on an aaliyah song, and this would have been the perfect opportunity. but at the end of the day, she did a great job :)

      • tewence says:

        i thought amber did a nice job with the song…but as i was thinking about it, i feel like “lately” is one of those songs that starts to sound pageanty/karaoke-y when it is done on idol. i feel like we’ve seen it a lot in the past and it seems like a “i-am-taking-on-a-stevie-wonder-song-to-show-i-can-take-risks-and-am-talented” kind of choice. don’t get me wrong, i LOVE that song and i think stevie’s version is out of this world. for some reason her performance didn’t feel SPECIAL to me, although technically proficient. but that’s just my opinion. :)

      • scrutinizer says:

        you’re right…amber is the whole package, with the emphasis on GORGEOUS VOICE!

    • cherry says:

      Okay, so I know that Lazaro obviously messed up the group number but who else was at fault? Did the other two mess up their words too? Thanks.

      • sg54 says:

        I think it may have seemed like Burnell did once but I think it was because he was confused since he sang right after Lazaro was supposed to. And honestly, I’m not angry at Burnell or Devin for supposedly “throwing him under the bus.” It must be so frustrating when a guy like Devin or Burnell who know they’re really talented and are really passionate about the competition and future career has to deal with Lazaro, who is only there because of his speech impediment. Its not fair to them and they’re frustrated. If Devin goes home tonight it will be a travesty because hes the one who made up for Lazaro in that performance. Anyhoo, the boys know they’re just there for show this year.

        • Suzieq says:

          The guys have to know the deck was stacked against them , I think that’s why they are s competitive this year. So obvious when the girls helped each other out and the guys were not so gracious. The guys have to fight harder to win this year, it would serve the producers right for trying to play with America’s votes if a guy wins again this year.

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          To be honest, I’m done with Lazaro. Actually, I was done with him during top 40 week. It’s all very well and good to be “inspirational” on, say, The Glee Project or America’s Next Top Model, but on American Idol, which is (supposedly) a singing competition, it just doesn’t cut it.

          I don’t care if he has a speech impediment. Hate to be harsh, but I really don’t care. I listen to music because I like the sound, not because the person singing has an interesting and sad backstory. E.g. I like Ladyhawke, and I don’t listen to her because I feel some connection with her because we both happen to be autistic: I listen to her because I like her music.

          I absolutely loathe how certain contestants are given special treatment because people feel sorry for them and want to spare their feelings. It happened with Scott MacIntyre, it happened with James Durbin, and it’s happening again with Lazaro. He’s been the bottom of the pack every week, and it’s time to send him home. Nobody’s doing him any favours by mollycoddling him.

          • just saying says:

            And isn’t it interesting that he’s now sounding almost cocky or arrogant? Is this actual confidence he’s feeling because he’s being falsely buoyed up by his “fans”, or overcompensation because even he knows he doesn’t belong there. I was alright with him making it to hollywood. But then they kept keeping him round after round when there were singers whose tone, diction, and performance skills were much higher. I do think some of the ppl the judges keep going into the Top 20 are meant to be easily discarded chaff. But you’d think they’d learn. Every year, some well-meaning and sweet kid makes it through that has NO BUSINESS in the competition. They struggle, become a joke, and eventually we never hear from them again. I mean, did you ever buy a Sanjaya record?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Wow, just sayin’ – you just said that perfectly!

          • Alia says:

            The James Durbin bashing on here is ridiculous. He was the best vocalist Idol are produced. He never got special treatment because people felt sorry for him, he was actually fantastic. Some of his acoustic concert amazing. Stop bashing

          • Name That Tune says:

            Where I’m at with the Lazaro problem is this: There are 2 singers in this competition who heard the word “No” several times before they made it to top 20. Both of them (Candice and Janelle) had to go home, and work harder at developing their skills. We know they were both disappointed. But I think both of them are better artists because of it. What is ticking me off right now is that Lazaro has been babied throughout the competition. He gets votes just for standing up there. He screws up and somehow it is not his fault. I was on board with Jimmy last week for calling him out. I was glad that Nicki finally dropped the pity party last night. It is time for him to go home. But the travesty will be that better talents will leave while he continues on. Devin will go tonight after he tried to rescue the group performance. And that is wrong.

          • deedee says:

            Just Sayin’, I also noticed the cockiness coming out in Lazaro, but to me it doesn’t seem like overconfidence in his own greatness. His cockiness comes off as defensive to me – like he feels uncomfortable with the reason he’s still in the competition and needs to appear like it doesn’t bother him at all. Maybe a bit of bravado to protect his ego. But that’s just how I read it.

          • tewence says:

            i agree with the arrogance as well!! it also seems like he doesn’t care anymore…almost as if he is better than the competition.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            I’m sorry, how was anyone bashing James Durbin? He did get special treatment. The judges refused to criticise him; instead throwing out bulls**t terms like “emotionally perfect” and “I can’t judge what you just did”. And “best vocalist”? James is a good singer and an energetic performer, and he had some pretty good performances during his time on Idol. But he consistently struggled with pitch, and on a technical level, he’s not better than, say Kelly, or Adam, or Melinda, or Elise, or Joshua, or Jessica, or Allison, or a bunch of other Idol alumni. That’s not to say that he isn’t talented, but I most definitely wouldn’t go as far as to rank him higher than the singers I listed above (and you may not like those singers, but they do surpass James Durbin on a technical level).

            And finally, pointing out a flaw in the judging towards a contestant isn’t bashing a contestant. It’s criticism of the judges.

        • Tim says:

          Why don’t you blame America…they are the ones voting…if your kid was Lazaro, would you be saying the same things? Hardly!!! He is doing the best he can and is getting direction from many people; like Jimmy and the judges too…and that could be difficult…he has a very good voice, and may be not the best one in the competition…but Lazaro is trying to figure out “who” he should listen to in order to make adjustments…but America is doing the voting…so don’t blame Lazaro…when someone stutters or has a difficulty in life, like Lazaro, especially in comunicating…you will withdraw from your surroundings and will usually have trouble throughout your life dealing with others…becoming very shy…and I say “usually” that’s what happens…so get off Lazaro’s case…he is a good and caring young man…and if America keeps him going on…so be it….that’s the current procedure and there is nothing YOU can do about it…so quick complaining !!!

          • LeahKittyS says:

            “Like”
            Why is there no thumbs-up or up-vote option on this website?

          • Name That Tune says:

            Well I’m not voting for him. And I don’t think everyone is. I don’t get the option to vote “Send him home now. ” I can only push for someone not against and hope that is enough.

          • robinlemke says:

            Totally agree with Tim! Why bash him for America keeping him on? The judges have been tough, but America still votes for him. I’d far prefer to hear him one more week than Devin or Burnell. The music industry isn’t fair, and neither is Idol. I’m sure I listen to lots if singers that aren’t as “good” as others, but I like to hear them (like Taylor Swift). And I like to hear Lazaro. My guess is he makes it through…

          • Jessica says:

            There’s a big difference between being shy/difficulties/good/caring and work ethnic or talent. The kid needed some time to figure music/life out. He has had some recent weeks to improve and he hasn’t. This week he went for the cool as a cucumber/chip on his shoulder b/c he got it for crying last week. Both don’t work in the music business.

          • just saying says:

            If he were my kid i wouldn’t want him in the competition bc i would be very protective of him. I don’t believe in telling your kids how great they are all the time, either. I believe in being honest about your own capabilities, because that’s how you get better. Not thinking you are all that. I think Lazaro knows he shouldn’t be there and that’s probably defeating him as much as anything else. He’s out of gas and proved it with his group performance last night. He should never have made it past Hollywood. I agree it with Name That Tune that it would have been good for him to have taken the encouragement from getting that far home with him, practiced up for a year, and see if he could come back stronger next year. Sadly, now he’s just going to end up being this season’s punch line for years to come. Would you want THAT for your child? That being said, in today’s world of obsession with Reality Show contestants, he could parlay that into at least three guest tv spots, a reality show, and a SYFY movie.

          • 5talentgirl says:

            Totally agree. Lazaro is trying to do his best but is becoming a little defensive just to protect his own feelings, and that;s understandable human reaction. He hasn’t voted himself into the competition so he has every right to be there and make the most of the opportunity. Props to him. He wasn’t great yesterday, but he was mostly good. And I enjoyed his performance and seeing him enjoy what he loves to do most – sing.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            Actually, if Lazaro was my kid, I’d probably encourage him to wait two or three years to hone in his skills so he can surpass the level of “average karaoke singer”. Otherwise, we’re going to get a Charlie Askew-esque meltdown on stage, and nobody wants to see that.

        • Carla says:

          Yes. Yes. and YES!!!!

      • lemon says:

        If Nikki hadn’t said anything, many people wouldn’t even have noticed. I actually thought Devin and Burnell covered fairly well, considering.

        • gregk says:

          We all noticed but Nikki was unfair in telling all of them to get hooked off the stage.

          • Mary says:

            I laughed, she just said what everyone was thinking. Where is the giant hook when you need one. I actually appreciated what she said, not unfair at all. Maybe could of said it nicer, but come on the were really bad. I wouldn’t mind a triple elimination tonight and all three boys go.

      • Bill says:

        Even if you took out Lazaro and put someone in that was more up to the challenge, I don’t think that would have changed the outcome of the performance very much. I didn’t feel Burnell and Devin were that good together in this arrangement either. Granted they knew the lyrics and did their dance steps, but beyond Lazaro there was just something off about the whole thing.

      • Musica1 says:

        I felt SO sorry for Bernell and Devin! One awful, unprepared singer can make the whole trio sound terrible, which is what Lazaro did! I can’t believe the judges dismissed them all without calling Lazaro out on ruining it for everybody. He didn’t know the song. When he did sing, it was so off key, it was painful! And he couldn’t even do the step back and forth movement. When the producers saw how bad Lazaro was, they should’ve changed it to a duet. This just proves to me that they’re trying hard to sabotage all the guys this year. I say vote for Burnell or Devin just to shove it in the producers’ faces!

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Nah Amber was much better than Burnell tonight, Burnell was off an he added a weird M to like the end of every single word in the song?! I’d put Angie above him tonight too for sure even though it was her weakest night. And I’d bump Janelle higher.

      • MB says:

        I totally agree. Burrell was my least favorite tonight. His phrasing is awful and he makes every song sound the same.

        • Mary says:

          Yes he is dull, nice voice but dull. I want them to tie his hand behind his back and see if he can sing without the use of them.

      • Clementine says:

        The M’s were so distracting to me, that I didn’t really notice anything else. Found it odd that none of the judges mentioned it.

        • Deb says:

          I agree. I was wondering why not one judge called him on it. I really liked Burnell’s tone but those “m’s” were really taking away from his performance. “Adore-m”, “amour-m”, “for-m” (sounded like form). So distracting.

      • niamhcat says:

        Seriously, Burnell bores me to tears. Good voice but not any better than a lot of people and absolutely no stage presence.

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          IMO he’s an acquired taste. I personally love his tone though. (I appreciate his performances more if I close my eyes and pretend he’s not sculpting the head in the “Hello” video)

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I love Candace, but I thought tonight was definitely not her best. I thought Janelle was easily better than both Candace and Kree. Still love them though…

    • Chrles. says:

      I actually agree in most, I would rate them Candice > Kree > Janelle > Devin > Amber > Burnell > Angie > Lazaro

    • Tom22 says:

      I loved Burnel’s performance.. I might even buy it. Amber’s too.. maybe Janelles but its not quite there.. maybe the studio version will be better.

    • Musica1 says:

      I agree with your last two. Please let Lazaro go this week! He has a good voice on a song he’s had years to learn, but is REALLY not ready for prime time. He should’ve gone home last week. As far as the others, I would switch Janelle and Candice and Kree with Amber.

    • mamamitzvah says:

      bs’d
      Zach, I agree 100%

  3. Name That Tune says:

    Janell blew me away. Candice gave me a chill with her original take Grapevine. Amber gets better every week. Kree is stuck in second gear. I lived Burnell.
    Should go home Lazaro
    Will go home Devin.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Wow. I was so impressed with Janelle tonight. Not only the best of the night, but of all of her performances. Honestly, I thought she was dreadful every other week – but maybe she needed time to find her zone. Well done, J. Now, keep it there.

    • Katillac says:

      I loved Janelle’s solo tonight, and previously hadn’t really been a fan. Wasn’t crazy about the arrangement of Candace’s Grapevine. I would have liked Burnell except for the fact that the added the “m” sound at the end of each line (just as Slezak mentioned), and that really bugged me through the whole song. Made me wonder if he had a clue about the lyrics.

    • Name That Tune says:

      The problem with choosing Grapevine is not sounding karaoke. It’s been done to death. Candice made some smart choices by changing it up so much. It is why I enjoyed Janell so much. They are the only singers who took an old tired song and made it original. Candice pushed the bar pretty far and that’s risky because some people are not going to like it. But I learned a lot about her abilities as a singer.
      After those 2, everyone else felt like they were singing at a karaoke contest.

    • Chrles. says:

      I agree about Janelle! I remember after Top 10 week, I thought Janelle was the worst from the girls and had to improve A LOT to at least get near them, and well, she did have improved a lot since her Vegas performance! She was outstanding tonight, def one of my favourites performances!

      I really enjoyed Candice too, she, IMO, is the one to beat, every week she’s been killing it and doing amazingly, I agree that Heard it Through the Gravepine has been done a lot, but she made it sound fresh and new and different:)

      And having Kree ending the night was superb, love her voice, I was really really enjoying her performance, her voice is just amazing! She really made justice to the song, and IMO these three performances are the ones who deserved some Standing Ovations the judges gave to other people.

      Amber… she’s great! amazing voice, great vocals! But something felt off, i’m not sure what, but, even though she was really good vocally, it didn’t made me feel excited or makng me think that it was amazing… sure, it was good, she is really great, but she keeps getting overshadowed from the other girls… she needs to know how to stand out more!

      Burnell, tbh, I didn’t like him that much tonight, and I feel all his performances so far have been the same… sure, his voice is good, but I think he will get in trouble if he doesn’t step it up.

      Devin was great to! The best from the guys tonight IMO, I liked his performance and he saved his group performance with the other guys. Lazaro on the other hand, he did improved, but still it wasn’t as good as most of the other contestants…

      I would rate them tonight as:
      1.- Candice 2.- Kree 3.- Janelle 4.- Devin 5.- Amber 6.- Burnell 7.- Angela 8.- Lazaro.

      Bottom 3 & Eliminated
      I want to be: Burnell > Angela > Leaving: Lazaro
      Should be: Angela > Burnell > Leaving: Lazaro
      Will be: Lazaro > Burnell > Leaving: Devin

      Devin shouldn’t leave!

  4. Willow says:

    Hmmm which boy should I choose for the boot in my Idol pool…. Tough call tonight— it should absolutely be Lazaro…but I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a shock girl boot tomorrow. (With a save??)

    • sg54 says:

      Idk, maybe they’re setting Angie up for a boot-save-comeback situation like they did with Jessica last year. seems like thats what they do when an obvious frontrunner makes a tiny misstep worst exploiting.

      • Willow says:

        I could see that… I got shades of Colton Dixon attempting Bad Romance to bad reception. And I totally don’t doubt manipulation- like, “Oh yeah Angie..sure! You can TOTALLY do Shop Around! Yeah! And wear sky high heels and try to dance a bit!” It felt so put on tonight…had she been natural and fun, I’d be on board.

        • Joan Rathe says:

          Hey- Give the teen a break. This is so different from what she grew up doing. She is star struck. The problem is she is not ready or versatile enough for the big guns. Just saying (D)

      • Kim says:

        Big difference, Angie is no front runner. If anyone is the front runner, it’s Candice. It should be amber who is amazing every week. Angie is going the wrong way

        • sg54 says:

          Considering talent its definitely candice, but from whats alone it seems like angie is extremely popular.

          • Chrles. says:

            Agree, Talent/Performance/Voice wise, Candice would be the frontrunner, but it kinda feels Angela is the one having the support from everyone, besides, her fan base is really big thanks to her Hollywood Solo Round performance of her Original song… I have to say I really liked that song! But I don’t feel she should win… But probably will.

          • teatime says:

            On the contrary, I think Angie has been the front runner and Jessica never was.

        • Joan Rathe says:

          I agree dude- but this is not her fault. She grew up singing My Fair Lady and church songs. Her experience is so limited compared to the other females who are older and more savy to what they perform. Just saying (D)

      • Will says:

        I feel like she made up for her really out-of-whack Shop Around by being the star of the Trio. Granted, all three were amazing, but in that particular set, she stood out even over Candice. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her get the boot early, but not this week. I can’t ever imagine her supporters turning against her that terribly after having her be where she’s been and after seeing what she’s up against. Then again, I couldn’t ever imagine Jessica Sanchez getting sent home after any of her performances, and she got sent home after one of her best, so who knows?

      • davey says:

        Except Jessica never had a melt down like Angie had last night.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      What was up with Lazaro tonight?! Aside from being dreadful, I thought he was also a bit cocky. I rewound my DVR, and I could swear at the end of Randy’s critique, he said, “That’s okay, boo.” Boo?! Please say it ain’t so.. I am no Randy fan, but he is not some unknown wannabe singer’s boo… Totally weird.

      • Owen says:

        “Boo” is a street slang term of endearment. But odd he referred to Randy that way. But then again, he stutters…”boo” might have been the “b” sound for any number of words he couldn’t get out..

      • The Beach says:

        I thought he said “Bro” but maybe I heard wrong.

      • teatime says:

        I noticed an attitude with L tonight too. He had the look of a good/great performer who was putting up with being bussed. In truth he is out of his league at this point and is being treated with kid gloves.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I really think everyone is going out their way to be nice to him and not shatter his ego forever, which is fine – I guess. But he could be a little more grateful, the attitude just kinda turned me off. And I really don’t have anything against the kid (except that it really does take a lot of patience to get through one of his performances.)

      • rio says:

        I noticed it, too. My theory is that Lazaro detests Randy. Randay, after all, told Lazaro he was terrible and drove him to tears. (A short drive, I realize. )

  5. Adam Fachry says:

    Janelle Wheeler, Slezak? LMFAO. The “Like a Prayer” is so random, I thought it would foreshadow a different approach for the theme (a wish that maybe Motown wouldn’t be ubiquitous) but then it didn’t.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      It didn’t feel as overdone as I had feared, though. ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine’ and ‘Set Me Free’ have never sounded quite like that, and Devin did the straight-forward mid-tempo version of ‘Tracks of my Tears’ rather than Adam Lambert’s slow, quiet rendering. I wasn’t nearly as bored as I was afraid I was going to be.

  6. With basically everyone doing a solid Solo performance tonight it is possible that the judges’ save could be used. The men’s group performance was horrible, but I don’t know how much stock the audience will put into that. I don’t think the judges would utilize the save on Lazaro or Devin, but I think any of the other 6 the judges might. So that tells you how well those other contestants did tonight and have done in the past. Though Burnell should have kept his thoughts about Lazaro messing up to himself, that did not look good. Angie was a little off tonight but it doesn’t mean that she deserves to go home, they’d save her if for some reason she was kicked off. Could be an interesting night tomorrow.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I am really over Lazaro’s excuse where he always claims there was not enough time to learn the words. Everyone else has the same amount of time…

      • Juniper says:

        I’m not a fan of Lazaro at all and I find his excuses to be obnoxious, but English is his second language, so I can see how he is at a disadvantage compared to the other contestants.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Good point, Juniper. I totally forgot.

        • Carla says:

          True–however I’m annoyed how I see a lot of people say he “can’t handle another song” like he’s mentally incapable of doing what everyone else is doing every week just because he has a stutter. You would think after last week’s embarrassment he’d do everything possible to not act like the wounded little victim. And Mariah keeps calling him “courageous” each week is not helping. America is buying into that crap and voting for him for being brave. And the sad thing is Devin will go home tomorrow. I don’t think since Scotty McCreery have I see America use the backstory idol vote so far into the semifinals…it’s getting old. Rant done.

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          English was also Heejun Han’s second language, and he never made excuses.

          • Carla says:

            Whoops. I MEANT Scott McIntyre

          • Tom22 says:

            The excuses is really the unforgivable part for Lazaro. If it was a matter of nerves.. still bad but perhaps forgivable .. but this “I don’t know the song” means.. ” I don’t care enough to learn about this type of music and carry around flash cards and listen to it 15 t to 30 times a day (and other mo-town tunes a few times too. .. I know they’re busy but the songs are only 3 minutest they’re also on bus sometimes, and I’m sure waiting in a hall-way etc. i’m sure the other contestants are studying too)

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            @Tom22, I’ve noticed it with Lazaro probably since group round. He wasn’t willing to learn a song he didn’t know. The other people in his group were trying to help him. Yeah, that one guy wasn’t particularly nice to him, but at the same time, it wasn’t like Lazaro was making much of an effort either. People are going to get painted as “the villain” for being annoyed with him, or “throwing him under the bus”, but they’re all trying to have careers as performers, and they’re being sent home at the expense of someone who is performing poorly week in, week out, and they’re having to carry him on their shoulders to get through a group performance that, like it or not, everyone has to do.

            The fact that he doesn’t know these songs is his own fault for not doing his research when he’s trying to have a music career. The constant excuses are getting annoying. He’s an adult. He shouldn’t be given special treatment when he’s the one who chose to enter himself in the competition. If Angie Miller gets judged on the same level as everyone else despite being hearing-impaired, without making ANY excuses (even when Randy asks her if she could hear herself), then so should Lazaro. No one listens to a CD and says, “well, it’s so inspiring that this person was able to sing this considering [insert-backstory-here]“. Is he singing well? Is he performing at the same level as everyone else?

        • just saying says:

          who gives a crap if it’s your second or third language. If you’re going to be singing in a language then that’s your problem, not the audiences problem to “forgive” you for it. You don’t buy a record or go to a concert out of pity, do you? Saying, well considering x or y, it’s not that bad… Or maybe you do. Wow. Didn’t know people like that existed…

          • Juniper says:

            Well, I’ve said that I’m not a fan and I don’t think he should be excused, so I’m not sure why you think that I would go to his concert out of pity. I’m just pointing out that memorizing lyrics is more difficult in a second language. Still not an excuse and other contestants in the past have managed fine.

          • just saying says:

            No, it’s really not that hard to learn lyrics in another language. In high school chorus we did latin and italian and german songs all the time. You learned them phonetically whether you knew what they meant or not. And Lazaro at least speaks English. Actually, as someone pointed out on another board, in my HS French class we learned French songs in order to bolster our lesson plans. I can still sing La Marseillaise in its entirety although my conversational French sucks. Just saying. And I was being sarcastic in my comments about you going to a concert of his. I thought that was obvious.

        • Var says:

          English is Randy Jackson’s second language, too. Or so it seems.

          • dax says:

            have been waiting for someone to make me laugh……..cause its more than a little true….keep the comments comming var

      • scorpiosue1102 says:

        What is Lazaro going to do when they have to do two songs every week? Or if he were to go really far and he has three??? This is part of the competition. They knew this getting in. No more excuses. Buck up and learn the words. “I Can’t Help Myself” has been done a bajillion times. I probably know all the words just from watching Idol.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I know. Right? That song is a no-brainer at this point.

        • Tim says:

          Hey Scorpiosue1102…don’t ya know the young man is from Cuba and never heard the words of the song before…don’t ya have a brain and understand the English language…try working together with 2 other guys and learn a song in a few days that you never heard before…he may not be the best of the group, but he is doing the best he can with his speech issues…plus, it is America who is voting for the singers…not the judges..let me give you a popular song from Cuba and see if you could remember it and sing infront of a live audience and millions of people…hahaha…and let me say this to you now…learn how to give good and corrfect criticism and not just throw words out for the sake of criticising…

          • just saying says:

            I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that i doubt that if Scorpius is a singer from America and speaks only English, that he wouldn’t go to be a contestant on Cuban Idol…

          • idek says:

            “let me give you a popular song from Cub-” Stop. That’s a terrible excuse. Scorpiosue1102 didn’t audition for Cuban Idol. Lazaro did audition for American Idol. He knew what he was getting into. Learning the lyrics is the least he can do.

          • scorpiosue1102 says:

            I don’t buy this. Other contestants have had ESL, like Anthony Federov, and it has not hampered them in learning songs. I’m sorry, but if I am on this show to win a recording contract and lots of $$$ I am going to learn the song. I’m not saying it’s easy to do yet this is their JOB right now.

      • Tim says:

        well, I understand that’s your opinion, so be it!!! I don’t think Lazaro is making excuses…but telling the facts on his behalf…Cuz, it is extremely difficult to collaborate together in a few days with a new song that no one has ever worked on before…and not their choice!…and especially someone like Lazaro who has a speech problem and has difficulty communicating with others…I believe you have never tried that before…Lazaro is doing the best he can,but he is getting direction from too many people…such as Jimmy, and the four judges and that isn’t easy!! PLUS, America is doing the voting…no one else…it isn’t his fault…but you do have your own opinion anyways…but not a lot of thought went into that opinon…remember, some people learn at different rates…and I am sure you did too….kids learn at different rates as other classmates in school…and so Lazaro, Devin and Burrell came together to learn a new song…and remember Lazaro is from Cuba….not someone that would know much about Motown…and the other 2 guys didn’t sing that great either…but that’s what I am saying…trying to learn a song they didn’t “PICK” but was told they had to learn it to sing together…remember, it was not a song any of them might have chosen for their own song for this week. Think before you make these kinds of off the wall opinions…

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Well, that’s quite the Lazaro defense. Totally not needed by the way – I have admired his courage since the beginning. What he is doing is hard. But the show has always required singers to learn new songs in a very little time. That is the whole point of all of the those awful tests during Hollywood week. If he wants to be treated and respected like every other singer/contestant, then he has to also learn how comply with the same time constraints. His whining is starting to come off as entitled and self-absorbed.

        • BrazenSongBird says:

          I understand that you’re willing to cut Lazaro some slack because of the ESL thing, but consider this: Hundreds of opera students do the exact same thing every week. It’s called Music Survey class; think History class with a performance element thrown in. Homework is usually to learn an aria, appropriate for your voice, from the music era at hand. French, Italian, German are the most common, but Portuguese and Czech make their way in there and God help you on Russian week. And most arias are NOT a minute thirty long. Needless to say, I don’t have much sympathy for him on this point.

          • just saying says:

            Thank you! It is usually people who have never been in the entertainment/art industry that seem to be the most conciliatory in their defense of these contestants. But this is what they want to do for a living, supposedly. And perhaps this just highlights why it’s beneficial to actually go to SCHOOL and get TRAINING to do this stuff. As opposed to being catapulted into the situation before you are ready. You can tell the difference most times between people who have experience performing and those that have just sung in front of their tv at home.

        • Media Ho says:

          When exactly did he come over from Cuba? Ten years ago? More? Sorry, don’t buy the ESL defense. If you don’t know a song, PRACTICE IT until you do. Now I feel doubly bad for that first group he was in who had to spend all their time teaching him a very popular Beach Boys song, and then they were dumped and he was kept. Uncle Nigel does love himself a contestant with a pity factor.

          • teatime says:

            I forgot about that! In Hollywood week he was upset with his group that they chose a song he did not know but it was not clear if there were good options that he did know.

    • teatime says:

      If the judges use the save on Devin, I will be fine with that. He really does not deserve to go next. That might mean he just goes home next week instead, but so be it.

      • The save should only be used on people they think actually can win the show. That’s why last year it being used on Jessica Sanchez was perfect. It proved that her fans got complacent and they didn’t vote. I just would hate for Devin or Lazaro getting the save and then next week Kree or Candice’s fans get complacent and they are gone. That would be terrible.

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          Pretty sure they won’t use it on any of the guys. It’ll be Candice, Kree or Angie (God forbid that actually happens).

        • teatime says:

          I don’t think the save is for someone who can win. I think it is for someone who does not deserve to go based on their performances. I think they will save it for any of the girls, but I also think Devin does not deserve to go home yet. I just hope he does not end up in that bottom spot this week. I think he is the only one who both does not deserve to go and will not get the save. He saved that trio performance. Besides the obviously missed line I think there was another line where Devin picked it up and sang it when he realized his other group member was not going to sing it.

      • MB says:

        The save won’t be used on Devin. He was already in the bottom 3 twice. It would be a waste of a save even though I truly don’t believe he deserves to go.

        • teatime says:

          Good point. Even if they would consider it, it does not make sense to save anyone who has been in the bottom the previous 2 weeks.

  7. I never understand why they start throwing these group performances in. As they weed out contestants why not let the remaining contestants actually sing longer instead of sticking with these awful 90 second edited down versions of songs? Particularly when it gets down to 4 or 5 people I’d much rather hear them sing entire songs instead of meaningless duets.

    I think the edited songs is what causes some contestants to over sing or “Broadway” it up because they only get about 2 minutes to try to showcase what they can do instead of singing the whole song and building the story up organically.

    • Name That Tune says:

      We’re trying to choose the next American Idol. It’s a girls year. Having Angie Candice & Amber together helps you pick out the top singer and Candice stood out. Kree got the edge over Janell. And Lazaro needs to go home.

    • Christina says:

      They throw them in because they have 2 hours to fill

      • Name That Tune says:

        You can look at it that way or take the chance to do a side by side comparison like Hollywood week. I learned a lot about the strongest singers. Flat out Candice left Amber and Angie in the dust.

        • CAS says:

          Disagree. I think Angie was the strongest member of that trio. Amber was definitely the weakest.

          • Mary says:

            Disagree I thought Angie was the weakest. None of them did bad. I guess it depends on what you hear. I thought Amber played her part the best, Candice for me looked stiff not at ease as she usually does. Angie went through the motions but I feel fell flat.

      • Duh? I’m saying fill the time by letting the contestants sing full songs instead of half songs.

    • Jay says:

      The group numbers and duets are usually painful. I’m with Jason on wanting longer songs.

    • ejones says:

      But they aren’t duets/trios, they are 2 or 3 people singing solo one after the other with occasional harmonies. Idol has introduced these more and more because of the incredible success of Haley/Casey and Moaning which was a genuine duet. Unfortunately its been alternate solos ever since.

  8. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Well, that was certainly a livelier night than we’ve had in a while. Several people went uptempo! Burnell moved! Lazaro didn’t suck completely! Maybe these losers are hitting their stride.
    .
    Janelle was probably the highlight of the night: that was a very cool arrangement. Candice was vocally fascinating as always, but I feel like she pushed the song almost to the point where I didn’t recognize it anymore. Almost.
    .
    Devin finally going home, then?

    • Jay says:

      Burnell moved? That poor boy is so uptight. Feet ‘glued’ to the mark, top button done up, tight clothes, upper arms stuck to his sides. If I watch him, I can’t get into his songs – he makes me tense up too.

  9. Scott says:

    Janelle killed it tonight. She and Kree were hands down perfection. Now what was Lazaro doing during the critiques with his weird leg placement? He looked like he had to go to the bathroom or something. He is bottom three along with Tintin/Devin and Angie, in my book. When you say you want to have fun, Angie, that brings to mind Paige from — was it Season 9? — coloring hippos. *That’s not a good thing) I thought Amber was pretty good, but I think it’s a mistake to sing a song with the word Goodbye in it. And her song was kinda uninspired.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Heh, I didn’t think about Amber’s choice to sing the word ‘goodbye’ over and over potentially hurting her. I had wondered whether Candice chose to sing a song called ‘I’m Going Down’ when she knew no one would be voting afterward.
      .
      I agree about Amber. She was solid as a rock, but I didn’t think it deserved the standing ovation or an ‘A’ grade from Slezak. It was a bit safe; I liked her more last week on ‘She’s Leaving Home,’ which was beautiful, no matter what the judges said.

      • Lemon says:

        IMO, the standing O was an apology for their (everybody but Keith) wackadoo judging of Amber last week. They were way off, and that’s how they chose to apologize.

      • The Beach says:

        I agree with you that I enjoyed Amber last week more on “She’s Leaving Home” and I didn’t think tonight was a standing “O”. To me, she’s getting a little too predictable with ballad after ballad. I think Uncle Nigel prompted that standing “O” because he freaked when one of his girls landed in the bottom 3 last week.

        I was actually blown away by Janelle tonight…gorgeous arrangement, beautifully sung (and I haven’t always been her biggest fan)

        I just can’t jump on the Burnell train.

        Please send Lazaro home.

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          What’s especially depressing is that Amber may choose to avoid giving performances like the one she gave for ‘She’s Leaving Home’, which was both a cool, interesting song choice and featured a subtle, sophisticated vocal, because she landed in the bottom three after she sang it. Her ‘Lately’ was quite good, but felt more like a standard-issue Idol ballad. I almost hope she lands in the bottom three again, but doesn’t get sent home, so she gets that ‘I’ve-got-nothing-to-lose’ mentality going.

  10. kacky says:

    I voted for Angie because I so enjoyed Nicki’s green-eyed monster coming out over her.

    • Leno says:

      I don’t think Nicki is jealous. She a multi-platinum star – she’s trying to help Angie. I think Angie’s just young, inexperienced and doesn’t have the kind of voice (see Candice, Kree or Ambee) to take a song, sing it straight, and make it signature them.
      She’s gotta warp the song into a mutant-dwarf-who-gave-birth-to-hyenas version to make it truly Angie

      • kacky says:

        NM wasn’t jealous of her talent but her sexiness, IMO.Angie is a cool sensual 18 yr. old and NM is Bertha Butt.

        • Mary says:

          I didn’t find Angie sexy but trying to play the part of being sexy. I agree with Nicki – Her best performance was an original at the piano. Angie tends to over sing without it therefore coming off dramatic. I get what Nicki is saying, she is not being true to herself and style. I do not see Angie as pop but christian music, which isn’t a bad thing.

          • Name That Tune says:

            But that is a kind way of saying “Angie, you just aren’t good enough to get away from the piano. We’ve pigeon-holed you and we think you should just stay there.” It’s the same backhanded compliment they give when they tell someone “You look so pretty tonight”. She’s sinking and her weaknesses are starting to show. And she is up against 3 better singers in Candice, Kree, and Amber so that is not a good thing for them to say to her.

          • dj says:

            I agree. When they start out with how pretty the contestant looks, you know it’s going to be a meh critique.

          • Mary says:

            @name that tune: I do not think she is good without the piano but that is not a bad thing it just shows where her strengths are.

    • Leno says:

      As much as I love kree and amber – their performances are starting to blend together. Kree in her performance style and Amber in song choice. Kree needs to do something completely different – Tell Me Something Good.
      Amber something up-tempo Whitney/Patte Labelle

      • just saying says:

        No. Amber should never sing another Whitney song again. You call out the problem (song choice) and then pick something exactly the same. Which is what Amber is doing as well. Cause apparently her (and your) music songbook includes like 5 artists and that’s it. The point of the theme nights should be to stretch your musical knowledge and pick something that’s NOT expected of you. You do what’s expected? You’re going to sound boring and like you’re doing karaoke or a talent show. You do something unexpected and you have the chance to do something magical that is truly unique. Amber’s song choices have made her sound like she’s doing covers at a wedding, not that she’s an exciting new artist whose album i can’t wait to hear. It’s the difference between why some people who are really great singers have a national career, and some are relegated to doing local gigs or singing at their church. That IT Factor (i didn’t want to say X!)

    • Bruce Wayne says:

      I did the same thing. Let Nicki and her thug mentality “keep it real” by voting for the closest contestant to Kelly Clarkson ever in Angie!

  11. Oh, I hope Candice doesn’t go home. I’m afraid that going first is going to be a problem for her.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      You know they’d save her, but I don’t think it’ll come to that. Not yet.

    • teatime says:

      I don’t think Candice is in danger. That would be a real shocker. If anything, it is Kree that might shockingly end up in the bottom 3.

      • Mary says:

        I will be totally p.. off if the three boys are not in the bottom. I know Laranzo won’t be going home
        but he better be in the bottom three.

  12. Chris says:

    I don’t know what was going on at the judges table tonight… Nigel needs to reel that in.

    I thought four of the five girls did a really good job tonight, but I have to give the night to Janelle. Thank you for your artistry and making a classic song come to life in a way I’ve never heard before. Beautiful.

    • Jim Jackson says:

      Mariah seemed buzzed tonite and made some inappropriate comments and never gives a critique the contestants can utilize. Smokey Robinson probably helped the 8 do as well as they did. I like the back story of Lazaro but he needs some guidance in picking strong, knock them dead sons we weill remember. Think back…..Fantasia did Summertine and won the season right there. One of the women needs to pull a Fantasia and pull away. Devin needs to go back to his english/spanish presentation. What does Nicki bring to this?

      • Mich says:

        Thank you for noticing how not sober Mariah was. I thought I was the only one. I was hoping it would cause her to say something useful, but alas, no dice.

      • Kathryn says:

        I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who thought Mariah was buzzed/drunk. I usually fast forward thru her critiques because I find them useless, but tonight they were more out there than usual…and what was with waving the wand in front of Ryan at the top of the show when he was trying to introduce Candice? She wouldn’t stop…it was like a 4 year old.

        • waterbug says:

          i felt the same way about Mariah, she seems as if she had one too many cocktails in the back before coming to the judges’ table.

    • Robin says:

      Lets get a new panel…keep Keith…fire the rest…add Smokey and Stevie Nicks!

  13. Chuck says:

    Lazaro is really fortunate that there wasn’t time to single him out for that group performance, because he essentially forgot the entire song. Burnell and Devin did their parts acceptably, from what I could tell.

    Rankings:
    1.Janelle
    2. Kree
    3. Girls’ trio
    4. Candice
    5. Janelle & Kree
    6. Amber
    7. Angie
    8. Devin
    9. Burnell
    10. Lazaro
    11. William Hung’s collected works
    12. An asthmatic hyena
    13. The screams of the damned through all eternity
    14. Guys’ trio

    • jen says:

      Omg best comments ever!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I think Devin may have learned more than just his parts. He seemed to be singing way more often than the other two, or maybe that’s just because he didn’t forget any of his lyrics and the others did.
      .
      And there’s really no excuse for that, is there? I mean, how difficult are the lyrics to that song? If you forget, just make up something about love and kisses and say the word ‘baby’ or ‘honey’ a bunch of times and you’ve pretty much got it. C’mon!

      • just saying says:

        You mean he might actually know all the words to the entire song? Shocker! Seriously, is that how you think music or acting works? You just learn your lines and that’s it. The rest of the time, you put your hands over your ears and “nah nah nah nah nah” i can’t hear you! Well, actually, that might be what Lazaro does based on that performance, but not most people. And, yes, when you are on stage and someone misses their cue, as a good performer, you pick up the slack and jump in because you have an audience that you don’t want to notice that anything went wrong. Fault: Completely Lazaro, and he loses points for (seemingly) not acknowledging that it was his fault alone. That HE couldn’t remember his words and looked lost (i really paid attention the second time i watched it) the ENTIRE song from start to finish. Put him out of his misery and send him home, America. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

      • teatime says:

        Devin sang at least two of Lazaro’s lines. Devin sang “kissed it 1000 times” after he saning “leaving just your picture behind.” That was supposed to be Lazaro’s line. It should have started with “And I’ve…” but Lazaro didn’t sing anything. It might sound like Devin messed up and missed singing “I’ve” or “And I’ve” at the start of his line but in fact he picked up and sang most of Lazaro’s line for him. Devin also sang Lazaro’s line, “And there’s nothing that I can do” after he sang his own line of “tied to your apron strings.” There’s another section where Lazaro had the first line and nothing was sung. They all stood their swaying until the next line that they all sang together. I think there are even more spots where Lazaro was supposed to have a word or two where he was louder than the others, but instead you can barely hear him and it threw them all off.
        Rewatching the performance I also notice that Lazaro walked up to the mic about 6 paces in front of the other 2. He is really in over his head in this competition. It may be that the stuttering makes him much too self-conscious or overwhelmed. That doesn’t change the facts. He is over his head for what this competition requires. If he is in a group number next week they will have to do some cheesy thing where he is the center male performer with almost no words while girls sing around him.

        • Name That Tune says:

          I agree that he is in over his head. I think he’s capable of learning his lyrics, but a part of his stuttering is confounded by stress and anxiety. He complains that he needs longer to learn his songs. That’s almost certainly due to anxiety. He seems to perform best on songs he knows really well. Give him something new and he fails because he hasn’t had enough time to overlearn it. He has said that sometimes it’s easier for him not to speak rather than have it come out wrong. So he simply shut up during his parts last night.
          If Devin and Burnell were used to singing with him, they would have been quicker to pick up the dropped parts of the song. That said, he still needs to keep up with the rest of them. The demands of the show only get harder and his stress (thus the sweating and the botched lyrics) is only going to get worse.

    • Jaded says:

      Lmao! “The screams of the damned…” Love it!

    • Kathryn says:

      Where does Danny Gokey’s scream that lasted an eternity and shattered a lot of windows (and ears) rank in this list? After the Guys’ trio? Or maybe after the screams of those damned through all eternity (what could be worse than being damned through eternity except being damned to LISTEN to that scream through eternity?

    • LOL, that poor guys trio!

    • Petey says:

      omg i laughed for 10 minutes over this post :)

    • waterbug says:

      agree with all except your number 1 slot

  14. dani n. says:

    Best to worst : Amber Jenelle Kree Candice Devin Burnell Angie Lazaro

  15. Mel31602 says:

    Agree we could be in for a shock if Lazaro’s fans come thru and Devin gets props for a solid vocal. Agree w Slezaks top three tho don’t see why everyone’s saying the men’s performance was a train wreck. I thought they sounded okay when they remembered words. Also didn’t think Lazaro was worthy of a D tho he probably was the worst. Stinks that Angie took a risk and got hammered for it- I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as the judges said.

    • sg54 says:

      By top 3 I hope you mean top 4, cuz according to Slezak’s grades its Janelle, Amber, then Candice/Kree, which makes sense to me. Poor Angie had a misstep tonight, but I dont think that will matter much since shes been the front-runner for awhile now. I understand why things might be confusing for her: a) Shes still a teen, so she acts like one, b) The voting demographics are conservative middle aged women and tweens, but her post-idol dems would be a lot different, so she has to appeal to both somehow, c) she cant do the same thing every week cuz that gets boring fast and the judges shouldnt be advocating that.

      • Mel31602 says:

        He actually gave the Candice, amber, angie trio one of the top three grades of the night. That plus janelle and ambers solos were my top 3

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I agree with this whole post.

    • Ty says:

      If Devin gets 2 grades from Michael, so should Lazaro.

      Lazaro – Vocals C – Face A+.

      If I mute my screen and just looked at that shiny grey jacket framing that combination of cute/sexy face, it was all fine.

  16. Gina says:

    Have these guys (and Angie) ever watched AI before? There is a definite way you should behave. First, let’s get Angie out of the way. I could swear, when she went up to the guitarist (I think)…she completely flubbed her lines and was floundering trying to make them up. I think that messed her up quite a bit. But, even if I am wrong, the performance was not great. Own up to it and move on. Do not, under any circumstances, say “I just wanted to have fun.” This is not Karaoke night at the corner bar. This is a national stage and you darned well better want more than just to have a good old time. And, the guys? Oy. What an ugly, ugly moment. Putting aside the craptacular performance…by ALL of the guys…even if it was 100% Lazaro’s fault…show a little decorum. Yes, it is a competition, but let people make up their own minds about who the weak link was. Throw him under a bus? Really? ESPECIALLY since he has a disability. I don’t play that card in my voting. Never voted for him before and don’t plan to tonight, but…that’s just not cool. I don’t care if he would be the nastiest guy behind the scenes–you just don’t do that on AI. To anyone. Not done. Nuh-uh. Crap happens in showbiz and you better learn how to handle it. Not just smugly say, “not my fault,” and get all jackassy about it. Frankly, if Lazaro stays and one of them goes tomorrow, I’ll be totally fine with it.

    • Scott says:

      I agree that Angie had a major lyric malfunction when she went up to the guitarist. Thanks for reminding me. I just want to have fun (Angie) and This is my favorite song (Amber) are two phrases that should never be spoken on the Idol Stage. I’d be totally fine with Angie going home after that performance. But I think Devin is in the most danger. He sings beautifully, but that’s all that’s there.

    • sg54 says:

      Well in the spur of the moment I see why they might act that way and regret it in the long run. Im glad you dont cast sypmpathy votes for Lazaro, and I think that should apply here too. If Devin was the one making mistakes and they threw him under the bus, would you be ok with it because he doesnt have a disability? I bet their good friends with Lazaro by now and realize that he wants to be treated as completely normal, and that includes pointing out his mistakes. They were just defending themselves, cuz they know they have little chance of winning anyway with the producers waving the women flag all around. they need to stand out somehow.

      • Gina says:

        For the record, no bus throwing for anyone…disabled or not. Some people have been voting for Lazaro out of sympathy. Is pointing out his mistakes going to make them less sympathetic, or make Devin/Burnell LOOK like heartless bullies. That’s all I was saying. Appearances–not what they really are/really mean. But, yeah. If Devin screwed up royally and Lazaro threw him under the bus (or Candice or any of the girls)…it would be almost as ugly. I know it’s the heat of the moment but they should KNOW the … for lack of a better word…politics of the show. I mean, look at Curtis. The whole Charlie incident (pre-show) set the tone for his entire, very short run. Gotta learn how to play the game.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          No, Burnell and Devin would have been heartless bullies if they’d beaten the crap out of Lazaro, which, IMO, would have improved the program. Burnell and Devin just had the guts to say what the judges should have said about 40 contestants ago. Good grief, play the game? What politics? Gina, this is COMPETITION for the next American Idol! You know, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood. Lazaro simply doesn’t belong there.

          • Gina says:

            I know Lazaro doesn’t belong there. No argument from me. But, who put him there? The judges. He was their warm and fuzzy story. And, who is keeping him there? Voters. Who are feeling sympathy for him. You think they feel less sympathy for him when two seemingly annoyed people point-blank imply it’s all his fault? You think that will make them pick up the phone and vote for either of them? If that’s what you think, that’s fine. But, I don’t think that’s what will happen. Whatever happened on that stage should have been dealt with OFF-stage. On stage, in front of millions of people, is not the time to try and put the blame on a person who already has a large sympathy vote. Lazaro will be gone way before the end of the competition, IMO, but maybe not before Burnell or Devin. Fair? Nope. But, this show is not 100% fair and never has been. It’s just been lucky that, sometimes, they get a winner who is truly talented.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Well, Ryan felt the need to address Nikki’s comments. Apparently Ryan, although great at what he does, never took debate. And what’s the first rule of debate? “Never ask a question unless you already know the answer”.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      stuttering is a disability now? Really? It might limit him from being a 911 operator but otherwise it shouldn’t prevent him from working. No wonder everyone is collecting disability.
      .
      Sorry, but Lazaro deserved to be thrown under the bus, the train, and any other moving form of transportation. This is a competition!

      • justme says:

        I don’t get all these throwing Lazaro under the bus comments. All i saw was Burnell and Devin defending themselves. Neither one of them even mentioned his name did they?

      • Name That Tune says:

        DET, some people have a hard time watching people fail. Both Devin & Burnell carried their weight in that song and Devin tried to rescue the fiasco they were in. Burnell actually said he didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus. But Ryan did ask what happened. That’s not an easy position to be in. But I loved watching Nicki finally call Lazaro out on his excuses. Time for that man-child to grow5 up. The rest of them are not allowed to make excuses and neither should he.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Yes, I mentioned above Ryan violated the first rule of debate – “Never ask a question unless you already know the answer”. ;-) Ah, the joys of live TV!

      • Tim says:

        I believe you need to be thrown under the bus too…having a speech problem goes much further than what you think the issue is…maybe you should go thru life and try to deal with others by communicating with them and getting shunned by so many people for beng dfferent or not normal as others…then we shall see what you could do!! He is doing the best he can….it is not his fault the show has a built-in judging problem…and allows the American public to vote for their choice…he is also from Cuba…and his second language is English, so you try dealing with learning a new song in a few days with 2 other guys trying to learn the song too…and then I will send in a comment about you that you should be thrown under the bus too…

        • Mary says:

          Wow Tim are you his brother or relative? You are so defensive. I understand what you are saying in regards to the difficulty of learning a second language or a new song every week, but come on, did he not know this before going on the show. Everyone of the contestants are in the same position and it is not fair that people give him a pass or an excuse for him screwing up every week. I do blame the producers for even putting him on the show in the first place. Your right the idiots still voting for him are just as much to blame. In the long run they are hurting him not helping. But I am sorry it is his fault for going to a competition and not doing your research on the position. Lazaro has a speech impairment but he is not stupid. Every good applicant research the position before applying so that is not an excuse. You know the old saying if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

    • Trace says:

      I don’t think defending yourself is throwing someone else under the bus. They asked what happened and they both just said they did their part and knew their words. Lazaro is in waaaay over his head right now and needs to stop making excuses.

      • scorpiosue1102 says:

        Agreed. As someone just watching the show, not even listening, you could tell Lazaro completely messed up. There was the one point where the camera was on Lazaro and he’s swaying and NOT singing. The cameras are obviously synched with their performance so that right there was a queue to me that Lazaro just messed up. Being a professional is learning a song.

    • teatime says:

      No one threw Lazaro under the bus. Someone missed their lines and the others did what they could to cover. Who is it who missed the lines? It was someone. The judges and Ryan knew who it was. We all know who it was.
      @Gina It is interesting that in the same post you call Angie out for not admitting her mistake but then say the other guys threw Lazaro under the bus when he did not admit his much bigger mistake. They just defended themselves that the mistakes that were not made by them were, in fact, not made by them. What did Lazaro do?

  17. Lauren says:

    I am liking Angie less and less every week. She comes off as arrogant to me and what was with her wardrobe this week? She looked pretty trashy during the trio with Candace and Amber. Actually, I wish the three of them had looked more cohesive. Not matching, necessarily but they looked like they were singing 3 different songs from 3 different genres.

  18. Christina says:

    The Devin/Burnell/Lazaro trio was a train wreck. I loved the subtle throwing under the bus of Lazaro though!

    • MC says:

      Ryan loves to push a microphone in someone’s face and demand an answer to an uncomfortable question. “What really happened there, Devin (or Burnell)? What do you think was the problem?” Lol, it’s not like Devin and Burnell wanted to throw Lazaro under the bus. Ryan didn’t give them an alternative. Devin and, to a lesser extent, Burnell are hanging by a thread. Ryan really put them on the spot in that situation.

  19. NikkiQM says:

    For me the best performance of the night was Janelle. I appreciate the way she rearranged the song and she sang beautifully. Amber was a close second. After that everyone else was kinda just meh with the exception of Lazaro and Angie they were just horrible. Candace killed it during her group performance though.

    • MC says:

      It’s interesting that Janelle is now in the picture to possibly win the show. She might have the staying power some of the other girls don’t have. I expect her to outlast Angie, for example. Janelle, btw, was really crushed by the judge’s comments after her duet with Kree. She held back those tears until after she was done singing her solo song.

  20. Leigh says:

    Janelle had one of the best performances of the season IMO

  21. LeahKittyS says:

    Candice, Amber and Kree were at their usual level of fabulousness. Angie was underwhelming but I still love her. Welcome back to the game, Janelle! Best rendition of that song to ever grace the Idol stage, and by far best of the night. If she’s not safe something’s wrong with the universe. Burnell’s voice is still pretty, Devin still gives me good vibes, and Lazaro’s still cute. I’m not making any predictions.
    CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT! The boys’ trio was clearly an attempt to sabotage them all in one fell swoop. Give them a song none of them knew, knowing they would make a mess of it and have to throw each other under the bus. Those producers are so obsessed with crowning a girl winner it’s gross.

    • Eolra says:

      Oh please. Who *doesn’t* know “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”? Even if you live under a rock and have only listened to the “American Idol Songbook” your whole life, that song has been in heavy rotation on the show for years. These kids need a serious music education.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I’m familiar with that song, but I couldn’t sing it if you asked me to right now. If I were on the show I would be too immersed in perfecting my own solo than worrying about some stupid group number the producers were forcing on me.
        The throwing-under-the-bus was a surprise to me, considering how much these guys love each other. Maybe it was scripted, or they were joking, or the stress is overheating their heads. I think they’ll be okay at the end of the day, though.

        • teatime says:

          I really don’t think it is too much to ask them to learn 2 songs in a week. It used to be they would be kicked out of Hollywood week for not learning a song in less than a day. They are in the big time now, singing for millions of folks out in TV land.

        • MB says:

          No Lazaro tweeted how everyone loves to dump hate on him.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        To be fair, having heard of it and knowing a couple line from it is a lot different than knowing all of the lines to it. I bet most people couldn’t sing more the main phrase or two off the top of their head.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Okay, granted – I’m 55 years old but here goes…

          Sugar pie, honey bunch
          You know that I love you
          I can’t help myself – I love you and nobody else.

          In and out my life
          You come and you go
          Leaving just your picture behind – and I’ve kissed it a thousand times.

          When you snap your fingers, or wink your eye, I come running to you
          I’m tied to your apron strings
          And there’s nothing that I can do.

          Sugar pie, honey bunch
          I’m weaker than a man should be.
          I can’t help myself – I’m a fool in love you see.

          Wanna tell you I don’t love you
          Tell you that we’re through, and I’ve tried.
          But every time I see your face – I get all choked up inside.

          When I call your name
          Girl, it starts the flame
          Burning in my heart
          Tearing it all apart
          No matter how I try
          (oh crap, can’t remember this line) is it, “I’ll love you ’till I die”?

          Sugar pie, honey bunch
          You know that I’m weak for you
          Can’t help myself – I love you and nobody else.
          Sugar pie, honey bunch
          Do anything you ask me to!
          Can’t help myself I want you and nobody else.

          • The Beach says:

            Oh Darcy, I’m just picturing you in your living room with a Mr. Microphone right now :)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            i don’t have a Mr. Microphone but I do have a hairbrush, LOL.
            Hey, come to think of it, we belong to a club that has a PA system that can also be used for karaoke! I think it might be stored here at our house, LOL.

          • marie says:

            The missing line is “My love I cannot hide.”

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            thanks, marie!
            .
            .
            Okay, I’m old and I’ve been singing that song at slumber parties, in the shower, and in the car since about 1965; however, having typed (most of) the lyrics to “I Can’t Help Myself”, and having actually looked at them for the first time on paper, those are NOT easy lyrics. In fact, I think we all need to give new respect to “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” – and that includes YOU, Mr. Slezak.
            .
            The lyrics don’t repeat and there’s no catchy, repetitive chorus (like the horribly annoying “Call Me Maybe”). It’s really interesting that there are nearly no repeated lines in the lyrics especially since it’s not a “story song” (in those songs the verses are different although the chorus typically repeats, like “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”). I’m not making excuses for Lazaro at all but I would like to give props to Burnell and Devin for learing the lyrics. If you forget the lyrics it’s hard to just jump in there with something.
            .
            the other thing is the basic melody is quite simple (especially on the first four lines) but if you listen to the instrumental track the melody isn’t obvious – unless you know the song you can’t just easily spit out a melody. And it’s been way too long since I took music theory but the rhythm or beat of the lyrics doesn’t always quite fall on the beat of the melody – I can’t remember for the life of me what that’s called. It’s really obvious on lines like, “When you snap your fingers, or wink your eye, I come running to you…”. If you didn’t know the song to begin with you’re remembering (1) lyrics that aren’t repetitive, (2) a melody that’s not implicit, and (3) lyrics that don’t have a regular rhythm or beat – i don’t know how else to write that.
            the lyrics “Sugar pie, honey bunch” are easy enough but much of the rest of the song is not.

      • Blank Slate says:

        Clay owned this song for AI. You don’t mess with a Clay song!

        • just saying says:

          This is a joke, right?

          • Blank Slate says:

            Laugh if you feel like it. :) (But in all sincerity, I’m sick of the Motown theme or any of these themes that were fresh and new 10 seasons ago. Let these kids come into the next century and be relevant.)

            But not joking that every time an AI contestant goes to SUGAR PIE HONEY BUNCH, I am reminded that Clay did it first and best.

          • just saying says:

            Clay ended up where he belonged- in music theater. It is a mistake for him to ever try to sound pop and modern.

  22. randy fitzimmons says:

    Amber’s voice is not the problem. It’s the song choice. She picked a song very similar in feel to last week. Yes, she’s very skilled, but the melody of that song is all over the place, ergo, people will have a problem connecting with it.

    • Scott says:

      Amber needs to sing with confidence. I thought Nikki’s critique was spot on. Ignore that you’ve been bottom 3. Amber looks scared when she sings.

      • dani n. says:

        I’m not giving up on Amber. She slated me with My Funny Valentine. And she hasn’t found a song since that moved me that deeply. I wish she would.

      • deedee says:

        I think Amber only looks scared when Nicki is talking … commanding her to wear pink lipstick, and to start smiling, or stop smiling, or bring back the twinkle, or a bunch of other crap that poor Amber can’t make sense of.

        • Carla says:

          AGREED. I don’t get what her deal is with Amber and her confidence and makeup. She’s gorgeous and seemed pretty flawless at her performance tonight.

        • just saying says:

          Nicki is obsessed with looks. Considering that her entire career is based on style v. substance is that a surprise? What would nicki be without all the makeup, wigs, weaves, fake boobs, and tight clothes? A bad rapper, that’s what. So i’ve realized that’s why she always talks about how they look first, because that’s what she considers most important.

    • Name That Tune says:

      I have felt that all along. She has a world of potential but I don’t get a sense of connection. And maybe bit over baked in her choices in the way she sings. She needs to spend some time under Candice wings.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Does anyone remember when Stefano Langone sang “Lately”?

      • Robin says:

        I do. And I remember when Colton sang it too. I think it’s a song that sends contestants to the stools of doom. Colton went home the week he sang it. :(

        • LeahKittyS says:

          No, he didn’t. Jeremy Rosado went home that week. Colton’s death knell was the one-two punch of “Bad Romance” and “September.”

    • Robin says:

      Bingo. I appreciate her amazing pipes…but I can”t connect at all.

  23. Leno says:

    Amber – love the voice, needs better song choice. She needs to get grimier with her facial expressions (think Candice – mean it as a compliment) to really connect with audience. One week, she will kill “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK” and will take the Kelly Clarkson-lead.
    Janelle – amazing rendition on the song. When she eventually sings Landslide, the country folk will be a-votin.
    Kree – dead in the face, amazing voice.
    Angie – be gone, child. Screechy
    Candice – leads in voice and delivery. I think she connects with an older audience
    Burnell – Frank Ocean called, he wants his style back.
    Devin – great singer, the least dynamic singer in the world. Stephen Hawking would be more engaging and move around more
    Lazaro – He’d be excellent headlining a Carnival cruise show.

    • GumboJumbo says:

      Only if it was one of those stricken gulf coast breakdown sewage & starvation strewn cruises. Then Lil’ Liar Lazaro would look so spiffy with his shapely hips and hot pastel blazers.

  24. Pat says:

    My rankings:

    1. Devin – 8.5/10
    2. Candice – 8/10
    3. Janelle – 7.5/10
    4. Kree – 7/10
    5. Amber – 6.5/10
    6. Angie – 6/10
    7. Burnell – 5.5/10
    8. Lazaro – 4/10

    Lazaro needs to go home for his disaster in the group performance. Lazaro forgot his lyrics and his musical cues for the entire song. And instead of mumbling the melody, he went completely silent.

    And Devin tried to cover his parts while Burnell looked completely confused I think because he followed Lazaro during some parts of the song, but Lazaro wasn’t singing.

    In defense of Angie (who I am by no means a fan of):

    The sound mix was a total mess! Keith’s critique of her was the best by far, but the judges completely missed the mark. The band’s volume was at a 12 and her vocal’s volume was at a 6. She was fighting to not be drowned out the entire time, which caused her to strain and go off key. That’s not her fault though! Should she stood there and sang backing track vocals the entire song? Whoever mixed the song did a horrific job.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      That mix was god-awful. I could barely hear her. It doesn’t excuse her pitch problems, which were definitely there, but she had a lot of misfortune to contend with during that performance.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      yeah the mixing was awful, even Candice got overpowered.

  25. mikey says:

    Don’t understand the Burnell love tonight. I thought it was meh, at best. Very nasally and strained at parts. Keith needs to step up the judging. He’s turned into J Lo. (“I don’t know how to judge you, “). You’re not there to fawn over the contestants Keith. Give them critiques they can use!

    • Mel31602 says:

      Yeah I didn’t get the love for him either I thought he over enunciated too much. But his style isn’t really my thing anyway. I’d be fine w him going even tho he wont

      • MC says:

        Sometimes singers will attempt to cover for their lack of familairty with songs by overenunciating the lyrics. It’s a trick to make the audience think you’re really into it, but actually you’re just hoping to remember the words and get through it.

        • Carla says:

          Seriously? Not in my opinion. He always enunciates his song like that..

          • MC says:

            That’s what I’m trying to say. Burnell doesn’t know many of these songs until he rehearses them at the last minute. He didn’t know Let It Be at all, but still performed it decently. I think he only heard My Cherie Amour (the whole song) once or twice before going into rehearsals. Some singers are better than others at disguising their lack of musical knowledge. It’s a game that’s been played successfully (and also not so well) by AI singers since season one. These are generally inexperienced kids on AI who are literally forced into singing songs they wouldn’t otherwise touch.

        • Mary says:

          It amazes me how none of these kids claim to know any of the songs. These are classics for God sake. If they really are into music I am sure they must of heard them along the way. Maybe not perform them but heard of them. I am curious to know what in hell they listen too because I cannot see anyone of those guys singing current music so is it Frank and Perry or just gospel music what songs do they know.

    • Laura says:

      I love everything Burnell does. His voice hits me in all the right spots.

    • The Beach says:

      I think the vocal coaches have told him to hang on to the mic with one hand to minimize the annoying hand fluttering. The last two weeks he’s held on to it like a life raft.

  26. Phan says:

    Slezak, please plead with ex-IDOL contestants to rile up Nigel’s Twitter about the ancient or awful theme weeks we’ve gotten this year. I’m not sure if I can take both the dilution of the field and crappy theme weeks at the same time, especially when I can watch last year’s Top 9, Top 7, Top 6, and Top 4 weeks (Contestant choice, 2010+, Queen/Contestant Choice, California/Contestant Choice, noticing a theme here?) respectively. I’ve watched for 12 years and I’m debating waiting to watch again until a non-ipecac replicating theme occurs. Make it happen!

  27. Lindsey says:

    Janelle won the night hands down, her beautiful performance gave me the chills. She wasn’t my favorite a few weeks ago, but she’s quickly gaining points in my book! Love how she’s progressed. After tonight I can really see her doing well in Nashville, possibly even at Carrie Underwood’s level someday.

  28. Luann C. says:

    I am so glad I was not the only one who heard the “m’s” with Burnell. I was shocked that the judges never mentioned it. It was making me cringe during his performance. But when the judges all praised his performance, I was thinking it was my ears and I need a hearing aid. And regarding the theme, I recently voiced my opinion on a recent TVLine post, so I will be much briefer this time by saying they need to get rid of the themes and let the singers perform what they do best!! And if my opinion doesn’t matter, maybe someone will listen to Nicki, as she has been saying this over and over every week. Be who you are and do what you do best!! Not everyone can successfully crossover genres (exception Haley Reinhart), so why try to put a square peg into a round hole? Just saying. And one more sad but true note, Lazaro is not ready for the big time. Sorry to say, but he just isn’t. He really strugged with the trio. Hopefully he has time to improve for the tour.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Wow, thank god everyone else is mentioning the m thing too. When not a single judge mentioning it I was wondering if I was hearing things or what hah. What on Earth was that all about?

    • katillac says:

      Yep, I heard the “m” sound too. It drove me nuts through the entire song. Hard to believe not a single judge mentioned it.

    • just saying says:

      Yeah it was making me crazy too. Especially since other than that I liked the vocal. Not my favorite, but nice enough to stay for another week. But i kept trying to figure out where he was getting the “M” from? What could possibly cause it? All i could figure was that in trying to enunciate fully that he was pressing his lips together at the end of the words causing an M sound to occur. And that maybe caught up in the excitement of performing live, he couldn’t start once he started? I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t have called him out on it during practice if he was doing it then!

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        Maybe one came out by accident and then to rhyme the next one he had to add an m to that and then….

    • CAS says:

      I didn’t think I heard an “m” sound. I definitely heard SOMETHING distracting, but I thought he was just leaning into the “r” sound at the ends of words and cutting it off too hard.

  29. j says:

    Janelle was amazing tonight. Darkhorse for sure.

  30. jen says:

    Nikki is so rude. I am sick to death of her. She keeps her back turned to Mariah. It’s just rude! I hope she’s not asked back next year. The men’s trio was simply ghastly. Angie looks like Marie Osmonds long lost daughter. I’m sick of her and was not good tonight. Janelle wins the night.

  31. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    I actually liked Janelle again, liked her the past two weeks, not so much the few before that. Kinda of surprised myself.
    .
    Was I crazy or was Burnell singing about her cherie amorm who who constantly adormed and lots of lines about wohrms or something?? Very odd, he also seemed a bit off this week compared to last week where I thought he had been really good for the first time.
    .
    Wow two contestants giving the burn notice to Lazaro tonight. I guess Jimmy was the one telling the 100% truth and nothing but the truth then. Lazaro actually did a lot better on his solo this week though, the first time it wasn’t a mess since I can remember.

    • The Beach says:

      ITA..Janelle has redeemed herself in my eye the last two weeks. And I have no idea why Burnell never gets called-out for anything.

  32. Pati D says:

    I was appalled by Nicki and Mariah tonight. They kept throwing shade at each other the whole time. Usually it is not very noticable but tonight it was so obvious. They are there to critique the contestant, not to hate on each other.

    In regards to the three boys group performance, I don’t think Burnell and Devin were throwing Lazaro under the bus. Maybe the song selection was not their choice.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      It is funny that now that they got Mariah to stop looking and sitting way out to her left all the time now Nicki sits almost directly right and facing Keith!

    • Jen says:

      Completely agree. In the olden days, Paula, Randy and Simon would interact with each other or say things like, “I agree with Simon” or something. Now they don’t look at each other or talk to each other at all. Watch the Voice for comparison where the judges all seem to genuinely like each other. This year’s Idol judges just leave me cold. Nikki and Mariah’s loathing of each other is palpable. Nigel needs to say something to them both. They are getting paid millions of dollars. Please act like professionals.

    • DS says:

      This is my first comment ever on this site. I’ve been a huge fan of Slezak since he started, and of Idol since Season 1. In my view though, this season stinks. No one really excites me like in seasons past. Regarding last night’s vocals, I think the two boys had every right to “throw Lazaro under the bus.” He is awful. He should not be there in the first place, he seems to have a growing arrogance about him, and there is no way that he should outlast anybody. In many ways, the two boys have been thrown under the bus by this season and by having a guy like him to compete against.
      I love Devin’s voice. I understand why people dislike him or think he’s a bore, but I think there is no way he should be going home tonight.
      Burnell’s voice is interesting, but the way he sang last night drove me crazy. The “m” at the end of each word and the way he chose to sing a simple and gorgeous song…it was painful for me. I did greatly enjoy his “Ready for Love” so I’m not a hater.
      Angie, I get the hype, I just don’t personally connect. Nothing in her voice does anything for me.
      Kree, super talented but starting to be a bit bland in my view. Still should be a finalist or top 3, but needs to pick up the pace.
      Lazaro, awful.
      Janelle makes very interesting choices in her songs and has certainly come a long way since the live rounds began. I would have had her pegged for going home roughly now, but she could well be in the top 3.
      Amber has a nice voice but again, same with Angie, I just don’t connect. I don’t think she connects either to be honest. Talented but still raw. To me right now the weakest of the 5 girls, but not for lack of talent.
      Candice to me has to win. Just so far and away the most talented and powerful singer that the show has lacked from a winner for many years. Could have been Jessica last year, but Candice really does have the potential to win the whole thing, and really should. Not sure she has a viable recording voice, but she could easily be another J-Hud sort of character…I’ve listened to the studio recordings though and her voice doesn’t really stand out compared to some other contestants and that could be the major reason if she does not make it out of the season with the AI crown.

  33. Jess says:

    In what way is “Don’t Play That Song” a Detroit/Motown song?

    Anyway, I thought Mariah gave good advice. She is telling Candice to be even more original in her vocal, which she will have to do because she’s so consistently good. At some point that will bite her, so she needs to change it up to keep it fresh. She talked to Lazaro about his song being more in his wheelhouse and to use the criticism to help him. She also told Devin he was too restrained and should go for more, and that’s spot on; he never stands out because he’s good but never outstanding. She also picked out Amber’s upper register in the group performance and after her solo told her she’s better when she’s on the piano than an uptempo.

    And how was Nicki being honest considering she told Lazaro he did a great job, criticized Janelle, and told Devin he was amazing?

    • deedee says:

      Aretha Franklin is from Detroit.

    • teatime says:

      Nicki was honest when she pointed out that Kree owned that duet performance with Janelle. She was honest when she said Devin was amazing because he really did have a great performance. As for L, well, I guess he was graded on his own personal scale?

    • Rami says:

      Agreed Jess I think Mariah gave some decent advise tonight and I feel like she is not cushioning her critiques in niceties as much as before. But she needs to stop using the word courage when it comes to Lazaro that drives mr nuts. Also she told Angie she should go back to the piano and she should have sang I’ll Be There so I don’t get Slezak’s comment about her tonight

      • whosays says:

        The “I’ll Be There” @ piano suggestion from Mariah was 100% spot-on.

        I think the few times Mariah gives advice/critique and not praise, she tends to be both technical (talking about the contestants vocal range & technique) and spot-on.

  34. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    For all the little slights tossed her way, well how about that, Madonna actually sings Like A Prayer a lot better than either Janelle OR the fabled Kree could. Awesome song, glad to hear it even if it wasn’t quite up to the original.
    .
    Damn Angie was the hotness all night long. Sadly she didn’t have her best solo performance, although she did really well on the group song. Just didn’t give it the kinda punch it needed, not used to letting go quite enough to really pull that off. (even Kree and Candice don’t quite bring that aspect either though, although Angie was even weaker at it this time)

  35. Davey says:

    I can no longer watch this show. Why did they even bother having men in the competition this year? Nikki Minaj gives interviews and throws the men under the bus. Why should we watch the show when only about half the top 10 are even liked by the judges. This is why the Voice has no become the better show. At least the judges there seem to actually like the contestants they’ve chosen.

    • Kim says:

      Your comments make no sense given a white guy has won 6 years in a row. The voice is a game show and produces zero talent.

      • Rick says:

        Just last year I was such an Idol elitist and I was bashing the Voice and its terrible contestants after I watched that finale with Rae Lynn, but last season of the Voice and the start of this season combined with this self-inflicted implosion of Idol has changed my mind. I’m this close to quitting Idol.

        • MB says:

          My feelings exactly. Last season changed my feelings for the Voice (love it) and this season I am so disgusted with Idol I watched last night half heartedly. I am losing interest fast.

      • davey says:

        Did you even read my post? I’m not complaining about men not winning but I do object to Idol not even having men in the competition who have at least a chance of winning. Out of all the people they auditioned they chose these guys with the help of tone-deaf America? And then make it obvious that they just want a woman to win? Why not just make it American Idol Woman Winner?

  36. Dan says:

    They were smart not to let Lazaro have a solo in the group performance. Can you imagine how much worse it would have been?

    • sg54 says:

      He did have solos, he just forgot them, and no one knows why. Devin made up for them, which is why it will be a travesty if he goes home tomorrow. honestly, i dont understand why lazaro cant just learn his songs. last year phillip had kidney stones, which is a condition that could prevent him from practicing or even performing because of the . yet, phillip still delivered every week (with the exception of the god-awful time of the seasons). but lazaro has as little excuse as the rest of the contestants. hes on this show for a reason; its not his high school talent show anymore.

    • Dan says:

      Thank god he forgot his lyrics!

  37. Lue says:

    Although Angie’s performance was not that great… it was NOT as bad as the boys group round. At all. I could barely watch them.

  38. Daniel says:

    Devin = A-
    Janelle = B+
    Amber = B+
    Burnell = B+
    Angie, Candice, Amber = B+
    Candice = B+
    Angie = B
    Kree = B
    Kree, Janelle = B
    Lazaro = C+
    Lazaro, Burnell, Devin = C

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I always love it when people on here are nice to the contestants. I didn’t think some of these guys were as bad as Mike says, either. The boys’ group number didn’t bother me until somebody forgot the words.

  39. Laura says:

    Slezak, why haven’t you given out an F yet? That men’s trio deserved one for sure. Also I feel like your letter grade for Lazaro is a little harsh. I know you don’t like him, but I would have given him a solid C for tonight.

    • GumboJumbo says:

      Slezak tried to give Burnell an ‘F’ but it kept changing to an ‘M’, so he gave up and gve it the ‘B’, but i think we all know that really means Burnell put out a ‘BM’ on stage

  40. Billie says:

    MY ‘IDOL’ THOUGHTS
    Devin, you’re time is up. Since I’m always on the what could be the worst case scenario that will happen tomorrow in who will comprise the chopping block, my Bottom 3 are Burnell, Candice, and Devin. Forget Lazaro, we all knew he’s going far at the expense of the contestants superior than him but he’s not gonna win though of course.

    • JR says:

      Candice?? I don’t think so. Just because she was the first to perform, it doesn’t mean she’ll be in the bottom 3.

  41. JR says:

    Best to Worst:
    .
    Janelle
    .
    Amber
    Candice
    Kree
    .
    .
    Burnell
    Devin
    .
    Angie
    .
    .
    .
    Lazaro

    • whosays says:

      Candice (she was @ least as creative, artistic, original, emotive as janelle, plus more on-pitch)
      Janelle
      .
      Amber
      Kree
      .
      .
      Burnell
      Devin
      .
      Angie
      .
      .
      .
      Lazaro

  42. ali427 says:

    I thought for sure a female would FINALLY get praised for her “artistry” after Janelle’s beautiful arrangement–which she created when she was FOURTEEN! Guess only WGWGs can have “artistry.”

    Candice is simply in a whole different league; reminds me of Melinda in her season. Hope Amber doesn’t play the Jordin Sparks role and take her crown.

    • JR says:

      I wouldn’t really mind that last scenario, even thought that will never happen. I think one of them (Candice or Amber) will leave the competition before the Top 4. I think it will be latter, but I really wish they could both be part of the Top 3, at least.

    • themediaho says:

      Does no one remember Rod Stewart’s sexy, bluesy take on “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” from his Footloose and Fancy Free album? Give it a listen and then you’ll hear what Janelle was trying to do. However, she totally ignored Smokey F’in Robinson’s advice on how to start the song, resulting in a boring performance that only woke up during the final chorus, when she started playing around with the melody. Of the girls, Janelle has always ranked fourth or fifth for me (for you?), and was fourth (for me) last night only because of Angie’s spotty performance.

  43. Wendy says:

    Wow. Amber. To me she was far and away the best tonight and after reading the comments y’all still are putting her in the middle of the pack. She has no formal training. Imagine when she gets those small adjustments like getting into the mike at the low start of a song – improving a little diction thing? Oh my gosh. Her voice is more exceptional than any of the rest. Candice is right there too but she has to watch her energy – especially uptempo. Kree is losing me. There is a sameness to all her performances and her interpretation is really too simple. I would have little interest in this season without Amber …..ok, or Candice.

    • MC says:

      Wow. Great comments. I’m totally on the same page with you regarding those three singers. “Lately” is an old-fashioned ballad (yep, I said the “b” word) that really needs to breathe in a full-length rendition. Considering the restrictions of the AI format, Amber did an amazing job with it.

      • just saying says:

        That’s why Lately was a bad song choice. Instead of trying to fit it into the “AI restrictions”, you just DON’T DO a song like that. This is where Amber fails. She does not seem to get the difference between a song you like to hear, a song you like to sing, and a song that will perform well on the Idol stage. They are not one and the same!

        • MC says:

          I was referring to time restrictions, but I understand your pov. She needs to be more current, etc. I really think Amber loved this song. Why pass on “Lately” when it is in her wheelhouse because she personally loves it? She didn’t have to memorize the lyrics and she could just concentrate on her performance, which I thought was quite good. I’m personally glad that she didn’t overthink it, but she needs to realize that not everyone (like me, for example) loves the oldies. You have to give the younger audience what they want to hear, so I agree that she should try more modern songs going forward.

        • lemon says:

          She’s in the top two on Michael’s Poll here, and many polls elsewhere. “Bad” song choice? Ballads got her onto the show, and she does them brilliantly.

        • Luke says:

          You may want to take a look at Amber’s number again – At the end the house was going nuts and 4 judges – even ones in tight skirts and heels – were on their feet. For you to say she needs to pick songs that perform well on the stage – It did. Ask another of her big fans – Smokey Robinson. For some reason all the pros and people like me and MC are loving her…..

        • just saying says:

          I meant time restrictions as well. That song needs to build. It’s definitely a fave of mine. But rushing it does nothing for a beautiful song. It’s not that she needs more modern songs, just not ones that have been done at every talent show and pageant in america. (as someone who did these in my youth, i can tell you her song choice is pretty par for the course in that respect. Same with Pia Toscano and others in recent years.) If you do an older song, you have to find a way to flip it so that people aren’t comparing you to someone else all the time. Janelle did a great job of that last night and is the most recent example. Candace did a decent job of it too with her past two performances. (although, i’m totally getting a “Free Your Mind” En Vogue from her feel now, which is not a bad thing at all. Amber is pretty, she sings pretty, but if she wants to win she needs some OOMPH. And she hasn’t figured out how to do that yet. She appeals to a very specific crowd but doesn’t cross over. And you have to cross in order to win this thing.

      • JR says:

        I agree. Kree is actually my overall 4th place because I think that her performances are sounding quite the same, even though she really knows how to connect to a song and she puts lots of emotion. I loved her performance of “Evidence”, it’s one of my top 3 performances so far… it was so full of energy and the rhythm… I wish she would pursue that direction instead of choosing these type of songs she’s been singing for the last couple of weeks.

  44. Kay says:

    I’m surprised more people don’t like Burnell. IMHO he has the most distinct tone/unique voice out of the Top 8. I disagree with Michael about Burnell!s failure to show artistic interpretation. I think he makes smart choices.. He doesn’t oversing and puts all sorts of subtle nuances in his performances. Don’t get me wrong.. The ladies have huge voices but Burnell has a distinct voice.. It’s only my opinion but I’d much rather listen to the album of a distinct voice than a big one.. I dunno.

    • katillac says:

      But he added an “me” to the end of so many words in his song tonight! “My Cherie Amourm???” Argh!

    • The Beach says:

      I appreciate the fact that we all have opinions, likes and dislikes. It’s what makes the world go round and how boring would it be if everyone liked the same thing. That’s why these boards are so much fun. We can each express (hopefully in a civil manner) our opinions on singers, styles, performances, etc. I have heard the judges and others describe Burnell’s voice/tone as “distinctive”. To me, that word means “recognizable”, “unique”. The word doesn’t necessarily mean “good”. Probably the most distictive voice in the past 50 years is Bob Dylan. You could hear a million singers and you’d still be able to pick his out from the rest. But I doubt many would classify his as a good voice with a pretty tone. I love Dylan and consider him a master. Maybe Burnell will change my mind one day. JMO

    • Mich says:

      Burnell’s tone is not as new and original as the judges claim…he sounds exactly like John Legend.

    • deedee says:

      I agree. Tonight Burnell put some very nice nuances into his song and showed some subtle artistry. He needs to show a lot more of his unique musicality, and also get rid of some very bad habits (the hands and the “m” weirdness).

  45. GypsySonnetGirl says:

    I am so over Lazaro and his pity party. This is American Idol – learn the songs!

  46. After looking at your list, I realized that Janelle was my favorite performance of the night, but so many of the performances were just sleepy and boring to me.

    I’d rate them as follows:

    Candice: C (6/10)
    Janelle/Kree: B+ (8.5/10)
    Lazaro: D (4/10)
    Janelle: A (9/10)
    Devin: C- (5/10)
    Candice/Angie/Amber: C (5.5/10)
    Burnell: B (8/10)
    Angie: C+ (6/10)
    Amber: C+ (6/10)
    Burnell/Devin/Lazaro: D (3.5/10)
    Kree: C- (4.5/10)

    Candice: I just thought her performance was boring, and I thought she kind of ruined the song with that arrangment. I did not like it at all, but I gave her a C, because I really like her and think she sang well enough.

    Janelle/Kree: I thought this was adorable. I didn’t think Kree outsang Janelle in the way the judges said she did. I thought it was a good pairing and they seemed to enjoy it, which is more than I can say for the other performances. Also, I thought the arrangement might be a bit of a trainwreck, but I thought it worked. I liked it.

    Lazaro: I thought he sang better than he has in weeks, but he should have gone home weeks ago. I like Lazaro, but he’s starting to get annoying. Everyone has to learn songs quickly, everyone has to perform under less than ideal circumstances sometimes.

    Janelle: I’ve liked Janelle since the beginning, and I loved this performance. It was easily the best of the night for me. I’m not into country, but this performance came across as genuine and interesting and engaging. I thought she sang well, but then I like her voice.

    Devin: I am not a fan of Devin at all. I think his vocals are weak and boring and he’s always boring when he performs. I’d like to be surprised by him some week, but I don’t know if that will happen.

    Candice/Angie/Amber: I thought this would be fun and it wasn’t horrible, but they didn’t quite gel as a group.

    Burnell: I liked this performance, but, yes, his “mm” sound at the end of many words was distracting and annoying. Hopefully someone will point that out to him. Burnell is my favorite of the guys who are left, but I think he is not the greatest singer. This was a good song for him and Smokey’s advice was right on.

    Angie: This was not her best performance. I thought it was a very odd song choice for her, and I don’t think she was horrible, but the performance was disjointed and just not quite there. On the other hand, I love that she was brave enough to try something different. I hate that the judges keep trying to stick people into little boxes. I still think if this is Angie’s worst performance, she’s still better and more interesting than most of the remaining contestants. I’ll be heartbroken if she goes home before Lazaro or Devin, especially.

    Amber: I like Amber a lot and she ties with Janelle as my 2nd favorite from this season. But…but…but… This performance was extremely dull. Boring. I think she’s got one of the best voices of the season and I don’t understand why she was bottom 3 last week, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was at the bottom again this week. I really hope she does not go home.

    Burnell/Devin/Lazaro: Um…? I don’t even know what to say about this. It was not good.

    Kree: I liked Kree a lot early on, but I am liking her style of singing less and less and less as the competition goes on. This performance was dull and kind of grating to me. I think she’s very talented, but her style (so far)) is just not my thing.

  47. Slezak I usually agree with you, but you’ve underscored Kree and Devin again!

  48. Luann C. says:

    I think this Idol family this year is a little dysfunctional. What I’m missing are the personalities of previous seasons’ performers. This is especially true with the guys. I think the guys have been successful in past Idols not just for their talent, but often more because of their personalities like Casey, James, Hejun and Philip’s friendship was also fun to watch, etc. But even with the girls, I miss the energy in performances from Skylar, Haley, Naima, and so on. I think the girls are trying, but I don’t think any of them, although very talented, have that natural energy when performing.

    And it’s because of this that I find myself being drawn to the Voice, as with the Voice I think the draw is the friendly relationships of the judges and positive chemistry they have and genuine desire to give all the contestants a good chance to succeed no matter whose team they are on. It’s friendly competition between them, unlike the X-Factor. And with the Voice, the personalities of the contestants are not as relevant as are the judges’ personalities.

    With Idol, in the past I have enjoyed watching the contestants grow as artists on the show, but also their friendships grow as well. They have always been so supportive of each other in the past, but tonight unfortunately showed a different side of some of the contestants that normally we don’t see. Something is definitely missing this year from the contestants.

    • teatime says:

      The girls on this season have all been very supportive to each other. You could see how Kree kept trying to ignore that they were complementing her and giving Janelle a tough time. They both kept smiling and Kree and showing their support for each other. The girls have also shown a lot of support for each other in the past when they knew each other was safe. I don’t know, I think this group gets along well for the most part.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I think they get along just fine. They always have nice things to say about each other on Twitter. I loved that Kree wasn’t taking them putting down Janelle, and how Candice said she got help from the other two. As for the boys, the throwing-under-the-bus was a little strange. Maybe it was scripted, or they were joking, or the stress was overheating their heads and clouding their better judgment. I think they’ll hug and make up backstage and everything will be fine, though.

        • teatime says:

          I don’t think the throwing under the bus was scripted. I think they were as polite as possible. One of them completely missed a line and the rest of them just went on with the show. It is not their fault one of them missed a line. It is what it is. Elephant in the room.

          • teatime says:

            When I say it is not “their fault one of them missed a line” I mean it is not the fault of the other 2 that the third one missed a line. They kept smiling and singing and continued on. When all is said and done there is only 1 that Chef Ramsay should be kicking out of the kitchen for that performance.

    • The Beach says:

      I think you are spot-on with your comments about the personalities, especially the boys, this year. In years past, they showed spunk or humor or something else that made you gravitate to them. This year’s guys are just blah. Phillip last year was a polarizing contestant because of his singing but most everyone enjoyed his sly sense of humor and witty banter with Ryan…same goes for Heejun. I miss the spark from these guys.

  49. dj says:

    Angie needs to find some humility somewhere.

    • GumboJumbo says:

      Kind of hard to show humlity when she has a mind clouded enough that can believe she is entitled to an eternal life and that 3/4’s of the globe will burn in a pit of fire and torment for not sharing the same delusion.

      Its handy that the vengeful sky-dwelling punishment-dispenser she worships is ok with skin-tight dresses with broad slashes of fabric removed.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Now there’s no need to be mean. I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with Christians, but we’re not all Bible-thumping maniacs. You don’t know Angie in person, so you have no right to say things like that. Most reasonable Christians believe that as long as people live a good life they can get into Heaven, no matter what their faith background, and it’s only the most hardcore fundamentalists who would object to her outfit. Don’t criticize what you don’t know.

        • MC says:

          Well said. Christians are often stereotyped in very unkind ways. I don’t think Angie is going to win this show, but I think she’s a sweet person. I think the world would be a better place with more folks like her, but that’s jmo.

          • GumboJumbo says:

            Organized Christians are this morning going to wake up and head back to the supreme court to try and delegitimized Slezak’s own marriage to his oft-referenced husband and deny them basic rights afforded to other citizens. You cant apportion that down to fundamentalists or a skewed viewpoint. Your religion is intolerant, dressed up as “hate the sin, not the sinner or not”

            They are the unkind ones. Charity with the string attached of evanglism, done under the incentive reward of infinite life is not genuine good.

            Also, Angie sucks.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            I have scars all over my body from being assaulted by so-called Christians for being gay last year. According to them, and their (Christian) friends, this treatment was justified. A friend of mine, also gay, got harassed online by Colton Dixon fans, who called him a fa**ot and told him he was going to burn in hell.

            It’s hard for me to support Christian contestants because of this. Even though I was raised Catholic and went to a religious school, I can’t hear a contestant thanking God, or talking about their beliefs without wondering if they share the same mentality as the people who thought it was okay to burn cigarettes on me, knock my teeth out by punching me repeatedly in the face, and yell homophobic slurs at me.

            And I find it annoying when people say “don’t generalise us” or “we’re not all like that”. Yeah, you’re saying this, but the teachings of your religion has been interpreted by people as a message of hatred and bigotry, and it seems like you care more about how your religion is being perceived, than the damage that your religion has done. It doesn’t matter that “you’re not like that” or “your boyfriend is an atheist”.

            Instead of whining and telling us not to judge you, don’t give us a reason to think that you’re just as bigoted as the people who assaulted me, or harassed my friend online, or the parents who disowned their LGBTQIA child, or the boy who sexually assaulted a lesbian to “straighten her out”, or the protest group that attacked a girl for getting an abortion, or the tons of Christians who spew hate and bigotry under the guise of “following the Bible”.

            (and I realised I just posted a long rant here)

            (I’m bracing for hate mail)

          • mamamitzvah says:

            bs’d
            Listen, to each his own. I don’t particularly care what anyone’s sexual preference is as long as he or she does not shove it in my face. I can’t stand seeing people of any sexual pref being overtly sexual in entertainment or real life. Just be happy. Do your thing in privacy the way adults do. I don’t think it is any more acceptable to see a hetero couple “going at it like bunnies” than a gay couple. There should be no “hate mail” to you, but (and I am not a Christian) I think you are painting all religious people as haters.

        • marie says:

          Ugh. Diatribes like this give us atheists a bad name. Attacking someone’s beliefs does nothing at all to bolster your own (or my) lack of belief. It just makes you look ignorant and hateful. Doesn’t help a thing.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I’m not attacking anyone’s beliefs; it’s just that, as a Christian, I don’t like being told that I am haughty and arrogant and think the world is going to Hell, when that’s not how I am. I have total respect for atheists; my boyfriend is an atheist and we get along perfectly. But just like it bothers me to hear Bible-thumpers tell atheists they are going to Hell, it bothers me when decent Christians are slammed by blanket statements.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        GumboJumbo, please take your hatred of Christians elsewhere. this is a discussion about a music program. Feel free to criticize Angie without being disrespectful toward an entire religion.

  50. LeahKittyS says:

    Here’s another idea. The boys have known forever that the producers want a girl winner. The judges make that clear in every single interview. As a result, the guys feel defeated. They’ve given up trying to please and are giving their best in their solos just to stay alive. Their messy group number was their way of saying “We know you all think we suck so we’re not gonna bother to get this right. The machine is grinding against us, no point in fighting it.” It’s sad if that’s the case, but I don’t hold them entirely at fault.

    • Stacey says:

      Weather the guys know the show wants a female winner or not. Fight. Don’t let it get down to a all girl final three, four, five. Fight. Give a reason for people to change their minds. They aren’t. It’s been known for years that they wanted a female to win, but each year a guy like Phillip didn’t stop from wowing people. They are lying down and dying, and letting the females eat them up…

      • dj says:

        I agree, but I feel like there’s something else going on here for all three of them to do that poorly. It was almost like a bad group performance from Hollywood week.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        True that, Stacey. But perhaps that’s why the producers casted these guys, because they saw this coming. They picked guys who wouldn’t fight the machine, even if was grinding them alive. They picked guys who would be subordinate. (Someone once referred to them all as “bottoms,” alluding to the gay vibes they give off. Maybe that’s why they’re so effeminate, it has something to do with not being dominant in general? Maybe “girly” men have a harder time sticking up for themselves?) They kept the Davids, Kris’, Lees, Scottys and Phillips out of the voting rounds because they knew not only the votes would love them, but because they would fight the machine. They’re tired of being fought. So they casted people who would lie there and take it.

        • Adam Fachry says:

          Lol, I once referred to them as bottoms as well. Maybe it’s a “it takes one to know one” situation because I’m a bottom myself. But tbh, I kinda have to disagree with you a lil’ bit. Just because someone’s a bottom, doesn’t mean he can’t be dominant. Bottom and top are just a bunch of sex phrases imo, They’re positions you feel comfortable with in a gay relationship. I knew plenty of manly enough guys who position themselves as bottoms and vice versa. Not that Devin, Lazaro, or Burnell know which position they want to apply though lol.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Thanks for clarifying, Adam. I don’t talk about sex with my gay friends, so there’s a lot I don’t know. That’s why I asked. I try not to go with stereotypes off the bat. (But these guys are just giving off such gay vibes…I have some comments in mind but I don’t want to be too rude. I’m not like Nicki.)

          • teatime says:

            TMO?

          • LeahKittyS says:

            @teatime What does TMO stand for?

          • teatime says:

            heh, I meant TMI?

          • LeahKittyS says:

            @teatime This isn’t the first time the conversation has gone in this direction around here.

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