Idology: A Hollow Win for the Season 12 Women? Plus: Candice & The Holy Spirit, Kree's Best Week

It’s no secret that American Idol‘s Season 12 men weren’t the strongest group in show history, but does that make the all-female Top 5 any less worthy of their successes?

On this week’s installment of Idology, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I refute what we think is a flawed line of logic that’s undermining a spectacular, highly creative group of contestants — and we’ve got plenty of evidence to back it up.

RELATED | Idol‘s Burnell Taylor Talks Trio Trainwreck, Motown ‘Mmms’ and His Almost Audition Song

Plus, we break down a transcendent Top 6 performance night for Candice Glover and Kree Harrison, debate which of the remaining ladies is best poised to break up the current Top 2, and bid an overdue goodbye to Lazaro Arbos.

RELATED | American Idol: 15 Worst Performances Ever

So press play below for the full Idology experience, and for all my Idol-related news, interviews, recaps and commentary, 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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Leela says:

    For me the producer manipulation is inexcusable, regardless the outcome. We all know reality TV is an oxymoron, but at least the machinations should be difficult to point out. Candice & Kree for the finale. Despite decent vocals/creativity Angie’s emotional connection is non-existent, Amber is too pageanty, and Janelle just doesn’t have the voice.

  2. Razz says:

    Step away from the Nigel Koolaid, Slezak. You have been officially cut off.

    You and I always agree with each other. But not this time!

  3. Bella says:

    Sure, it’s a strong Top 5. But it could have been a stronger and more diverse Top 5 if strong males had been put through. The manipulation this season has been so obvious and frustrating- there wouldn’t be any debate about a potential “hollow” win for a female if any male had any chance of winning, but we knew from the get-go at Top 24 that the judges had selected a bunch of men that would never win.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Yeah there would be no debate about a “hollow” female win because you can be darn sure there would not have been one. Sure manioulation is annoying but at least it brings something new this time so it’s not AS bad as say S10.

      • Bella says:

        Well, if fans can’t get behind a female winner unless every viable male is removed from the competition, then what kind of career is she going to have?

        • Libby says:

          I’m with you Bella. For me, anyway, I don’t see myself buying any of this season’s music. Maybe Candice, but I haven’t been moved to buy anything yet by her. I don’t do country, I think Angie is insincere (code for fake) and I’m not really down with the Whitney thing either.

          I’ve bought alot of Idol music-Kelly, Kris, Phillip, Hayley, Alison, etc. I just don’t see me going there this season. I think there may be many people who agree.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Who wknows. Maybe great, maybe not. The remaining American Idol audience hardly is the end and be all of music success in the greater world! Adele sold ten billion records the other year and I bet she would not have even beaten Scotty on AI.
          If the winners gets enough wider world promotion and puts out stuff that works then they might do well even without an Idol audience go crazy for them, although the latter can help since the first doesn’t always happen to a large enough degree.
          Anyway even plenty of the guys who the audience got behind didn’t take the world by storm either.

  4. Artemis says:

    Damn, Slezak. Was the Kool-Aid good? Was it worth it? Because I just sat through almost twelve minutes of butt kissing, the likes of which I have never heard from you or Melinda before, and I am highly disappointed. Congrats on getting what you want this season–more importantly, congrats on getting it at the expense of all semblance of integrity or fairness and refusing to acknowledge that. Hope it’s as good as you’re hoping!

    0/10. Would not recommend.

    • Brianne says:

      Ouch! So true though.

    • now you know says:

      @Artemis the last person that would be drinking Kool-Aid is Michael. Obviously you’ve missed all his recaps and critics since he started this gig. Get the history right before you start casting stones. Anyone who pays attention can see they’ve been pushing dudes for a win who don’t have half the talent their contestants do – girl or guy! Out of the past seasons there is NO WAY the best of the best were chosen out of thousands of contestants. What do you have personally invested here? If you don’t like the entertainment change the channel and change your web viewing habits.

  5. darcy's evil twin says:

    Loved Idology. I laughed out loud several times. Jason Averett (sp?), again, “You’re the MAN!”
    LOVED the “Pride and Prejudice” reference about Keith Urban.
    Thanks, Mr. Slezak and Melinda. I don’t necessarily agree the manipulation is a good thing but hey, what’s Idol without manipulation? When the name of the movie is “The Break-Up”, don’t get upset when the two main characters BREAK UP. It’s Idol. We’ve seen it before. And we’ll see it again.
    Loved the repeat of Mariah telling Lazaro you can’t change keys in a song and stay in the old key or whatever verbiage she used. Hysterical!

  6. Jamie says:

    I’ve finally figured out who Candace’s style reminds me of (after watching her Love Song about 10 times): Anita Baker.
    And I love Anita Baker. And Candace.

  7. Chris says:

    I haven’t heard any rumblings regarding a “hollow” win this season. You know the saying “opinions are like….” THIS —> “She is the kind of artist that I would just keep giving material to until SHE says, Jimmy the record is finished”. That isn’t very hollow in my opinion. Yes sir, Jimmy – YES sir! Get it Candice :)

    Kree was awesome, wasn’t she? Yes she was/is.

    Spectacular editing Jason!

    Best wishes to you Lazaro. I hope your god given talent strengthens each step of your way.

    I am really looking forward to the top 5 performances Wed night!

  8. MB says:

    My exact thoughts……….

    • MB says:

      This went in the wrong place. It was a reply to Dee Dee asking how people would, feel if there was all boy top 6. It would be outrage.
      What is some of you people’s problem with guys. Most of the winners that won were the right winners. Because it is not your choice it does not make it wrong.
      I am not saying this is right but Crystal did not win because she was an unwed mother and her bad teeth was very distracting. I don’t say this is right but it is feedback I’ve heard.
      Adam did not win because of the gay thing. Had nothing to do with the cuteness of the winner.
      Middle America could not accept Adam. BTW, I voted heavily for Adam.

      • deedee says:

        MB, I said I didn’t think stacking the deck against the guys was a good idea – so where do you get the notion that I somehow feel it’s justified to have an all-women top 5??
        I don’t have any problem with guys or with guy winners. I have a problem with unevenly matching the men and women to ensure a female winner outcome. But … that’s the hand we’ve been dealt this year, so might as well cheer on the best girls and get on with things. Let’s hope this kind of manipulation doesn’t become a habit with Nigel.

        • MB says:

          Dee Dee I was agreeing with you. I just went off on my own tangent about the subject. I wasn’t saying you we’re for the manipulation. I also agree that I don’t care if a guy or girl wins. It is the total manipulation that bothers me.

  9. Tara J. says:

    I just want to give mad props to Producer Jason. Dude….you are AMAZING!! You had me rolling while watching this week’s episode! Bravo, sir, on a job well done!

  10. Scott says:

    So my question is: Now that the guys are gone, who will the Producers throw under the bus. They’ve been big-time pimping Amber for weeks and putting Angie into a tiny piano-sized box. So I wonder if they got an anti-Janelle memo in their case of Coke products this week.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      For what it’s worth, Janelle is the new Vote For The Worst pick. My guess is she goes home this week and gets the Save, which they are required to use according to a press release I saw.

      • teatime says:

        They do not ‘have’ to use the save next week. For instance, someone suggested recently that they could take a cumulation of votes for 2 weeks, and keep everyone one week and send home only 1 person the next week. I am sure they could think of other twists, too, if they want to.

    • TheGirlsRock says:

      Much as I like Janelle’s personality she is not quite on par with the other girls vocally. I Think Angie is the next stop on the bus route. I think they don’t know what they would do with a Christian artist. Come to think of it Slezak has the same problem. Amber will be the last stop on the bus route cause they already have plans for her So that leaves us with Miss ho-hum and Miss angry face. The only possible fly in the ointment is Angie’s sizable and well deserved fan base.

      Fortunately for us …. all five can sing.

      • deedee says:

        For all Angie’s “sizable and well deserved fan base”, she was only mid-pack last week. This shocked the hell out of me because I thought she was more or less running away with the vote. Guess, at this late stage, things are a bit more fluid than that, so it’s anybody’s game still. Personally, I’m pulling for “Miss ho-hum and Miss angry face” myself.

        • TheGirlsRock says:

          Since Candice will probably pick up Amber’s votes and Kree should get Janelle’s I think the finale is all but set. It’s hard to stop a rolling bus. However, you can change it’s direction and Angie has proven she can inspire voters. Don’t think it’s going to happening though. I just don’t see a lot of upside to Candice and Kree…forgettable in my opinion but time will tell. Amber and Angie will have more memorable careers I think.

          I am enjoying all of them regardless who wins.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            It’a always interesting to think about, as people are voted off, who will pick up whose votes. I think you accurately summed up how it will play out when the two weakest girls are out of the picture. Here’s what I think has already happened in terms of who got the votes of the evictees.
            Curtis: He and Candice were tight; I think most of his votes went to her.
            Paul: He tried to court the country vote, so I think most of his votes went to Janelle and/or Kree.
            Devin: His fan base is very devoutly Christian; I would guess most of his votes went to Angie.
            Burnell: Most of his votes clearly went to Amber and/or Candice.
            Lazaro: Amber was his best friend on the show and he wants her to win, so his voters will now back her.
            Does anybody actually think this will have an affect on the outcome? Or did enough people who actually cared about these guys stop voting that it won’t make a difference?

    • deedee says:

      Jimmy is the one who wants Amber to be pimped because he wants to sign her and turn her into the next Rhianna. The more weeks she has on Idol, the more publicity and exposure, and the easier it will be for him to market her. Janelle is a bit weak (although I do like her), so I guess unless she pulls another “Keep Me Hanging On” *artist* moment this week, they’ll be backing up the Greyhound over her.
      I actually think they’ll be happy with any final 2 as long as either Kree or Candice is (at least) one of them.

  11. Mari says:

    Angie and Jenell are in my top 2.

  12. LeahKittyS says:

    I understand where the people in the “hollow victory” camp are coming from, and yes, the girls were stronger than the guys this year by miles. But I’m not disappointed with the male half of this year’s cast. Devin and Burnell always give me good vibes when I listen to them sing (and sometimes Paul, too), and Lazaro has a nice sounding voice; it just needs some Auto-tune. I know I’ve stuck up for the guys a lot, but I really don’t think they’re as bad as everyone is saying. Plus I kinda sorta have a tame fetish for effeminate men that has not really been satisfied in the last couple of seasons. This year makes up for it.
    I’d like to see, if they end up renewing the show, what “changes” they have in mind this time around. But honestly, as far as the ratings have fallen and as busy as my life is getting, there are only four major changes that could get me to stop watching altogether:
    1.) The show transfers networks, or FOX goes pay-per-view like it has recently threatened to do ( has a story about that)
    2.) They do away with the summer tour
    3.) They get rid of Ryan Seacrest
    4.) They turn it into a Voice/X Factor-esque judge-vs.-judges competition, rather than just singer-vs.-singers.
    In you opinions, what is the likelihood of each of these possibilities happening?

    • Jason says:

      It’s certainly a hollow Victory for the producers who have lost half their audience and deserve to be fired!!! there’s a really real chance that Nigel will be replaced this year!!! And a very real chance they may have ruined the franchise and be cancelled if they can’t right the ship next year!!

      • Ramification says:

        I think there is a definite sense of ‘these guys are bland’ when really what people are thinking is ‘these guys are effeminate’ and this is my main problem with the ‘guys suck’ meme this year. I personally thought that Paul had massive potential, Devin was great in Vegas and Top 20 week and had he carried on doing Spanglish songs he may have lasted a lot longer as his voice is brilliant but he decided not to go down that route, and Burnell could have cracked the top 5 or top 3 even had he not chose the Bon Jovi cover. Yes Lazaro was a miscalculation and Curtis had a likeability problem (but he can sing, and people DID vote him into the top 10) but to me this years guys aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Also, we have always had bad contestants up until top 6/7 week …. I had to suffer through top 5s that included Danny Gokey and Lee Dewyze in past years, so I am for one happy with this top 5, all amazing singers whose records I would buy and listen to.

  13. Jason says:

    I think it will be interesting to see if there are any male contestants next year who were cut in Hollywood round or judges round who are leaps and bounds better then this year’s male contestants!

  14. Guitar Blue says:

    Kree’s song choice this week is interesting “She Talks To Angels” by the Black Crowes.

    Kree was in the movie “chasing the white dragon”, the movie trailer is still on YouTube if you want to check it out……………………………………………

  15. Jason says:

    To me the show definitely shot itself in the foot by choosing 5 male contestants who were all bland and milquetoast that no one cared to watch the show. When half the contestants are awful who want’s to watch the show? About 10 million people compared to 18 million when there are more diverse contestants who are all at least credible at possibly having a career. So yes they have their female winner but they no longer have the number one singing competition as the Voice has trampled them in the ratings!! Did they forget who their audience was (Teen girls and older women)!! Did they forget they had their biggest ratings when they had hunks like Bo Bice, David Cook, Chris Daughtry!! DId they forget that the show had big ratings when rock was represented!!

    It didn’t help that they got the world’s second worst judge (Ellen Degeneres was the worst) on the show in Mariah, tried to put an inferior Blake clone on the show and worse yet held on to Randy Jackson!! How out of touch are the producers? Didn’t they at least think of trying MAriah Carey out to see if she was good at the job!! Can you imagine how boring this season would have been if not for Nikki Minaj!

    THey should keep her and clean house on the other three!

  16. Billie says:

    As always a nice and an awesome recap! Here is a shakeup of my rankings for Top 5:
    5. Janelle Arthur (down from no. 3)
    She seems to be an underdog showing continuous growth the previous week after a trifecta of performances – “I Will”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, and “You May Be Right”. But recent showings “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “The Dance” were so so. And with Amber hitting the latest Bottom 2, Janelle is the next vulnerable choice up for elimination.
    4. Amber Holcomb (up from no. 5)
    Well, thank you Amber for going to the non-ballad route even for just a week including a modern song “Love on Top”. Plus, both of the songs you did perform were actually good.
    3. Angie Miller (down from no. 1)
    She’s in my last week’s no. 1, but she’s not in America’s updated Top 2. Therefore, she’s no. 3.
    2. Kree Harrison (up from no. 4)
    Ballad. Ballad. Ballad. Ugh. Ballad.
    1. Candice Glover (up from no. 2)

  17. Young Matthew says:

    I don’t even watch American Idol, but I still love and watch Idology! Thanks!

  18. goodbyeAI says:

    While it’s true that there has always been manipulation, it has never been as blatantly obvious as it was this year. Couple that with the fact that these 5 girls really ain’t all that, and it’s no surprise that the ratings have taken a sharp nosedive this year.

  19. Mafs95 says:

    This is an amazing Top 5! I agree with Michael and Melinda: let’s not complain. People love to complain and sometimes I like to overreact a little bit but let’s be honest… was there ANY guy in this competition who was better than any of these 5 girls? I don’t think so. Devin and Burnell could become serious threats to the girls if they connected more with the audience and chose better songs. They have lovely voices, but when the live shows began they weren’t bringing their “A game”

    • I'm done wit it says:

      No, there wasn’t any guys this season who were even remotely decent, that’s the point! The manipulation went way too far over the deep end this year. Add to that the worst “judging” panel in idol history and that’s why viewers have left in droves.

  20. Amy says:

    I love Candice.
    I love Kree.
    Either win would be deserving. I do hope it’s those two for Top 2.
    However, I would have loved Idol better this year had it been, less skued and contrived toward a girl win, and had stronger guys (Burnell excluded. Still wondering how Nick Boddington would have faired. And some real “testosterone” injected into the mix.) It is Idol the show & competition that seemed hollow to me this year…and that’s saying something to a show that’s been pretty contrived for a while anyway…but this year…it was just a weird, weird show. I, personally, have never cared WGWG or whatever…just who I liked and who was great. No need to sku it for me. I think when all the pieces fit for a girl win, ie. popularity, relatability, talent, marketability, the most demographics etc, she wins. When I guy had more pieces fit the bill, a guy won. For the most part. “The fix” this year just made a bad Idol show to me, and one of THE weakest seasons, to date.
    Nothing against anyone who wins though.

  21. Amy says:

    oops, “when A guy had more pieces fit” (not “I guy”)…when do we get an edit button?! :-/

  22. Amy says:

    ..just reread the above…I meant “better if we’d had stronger guys”, than all but Burnell; didn’t mean “exclude him” …I liked him best of all top 10 guys. That said, really none of them were in the league of guys we’ve had in previous years. Anyhoo…point made. Not meaning to beat the dead horse anymore..
    On to Top 5!

  23. billh says:

    so is Michael saying that Kree is . . . “Kree-ative” . . . doh.

  24. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    1st round: gotta say Angie took it
    Angie was the only one who really got me excited through and through the first round.
    Amber it seemed sorta of low for her and such and the first half was only okish the second half was better, some of the stronger moments of the first songs by her there although a few issues too.
    Kree pretty good, maybe the second best overall (depending upon whether you focus on the best parts of the second half of Amber or not). Agree with Nicki that it had been the best of the night to that point, after the first three had gone, but also agree with Mariah about the losing yourself in it thing being needed even more. Pretty good, but as Jimmy said it didn’t quite make you go oh my god or anything.
    Candice I guess it was cool and she made it her own but being more of a pop/rock person re-making 80s pop into the R&B half of the rap/R&B/grunge in the mid-90s that ended 80s music probably sat less than well inside me somewhere. It was very well done, but didn’t wow me. The song was nostalgic but the style made it anti-nostalgic in the extreme.
    Janelle it did seem a bit boring and bland and very country country which is not my thing and probably makes me a bit biased. Never heard of song before, zero 80s nostalgic for me, but maybe if you are in the country world you’d have a different opinion. Agreed with Keith that it coulda used more feeling or something and maybe the guitar was not even needed.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Candice does better the second round, now she and Angie so far have best of the night.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Dang!! I was worried when she picked Beyonce! But damn Angie hit it outta da park with her second song too damn. Man I think she takes the night overall.
      This second round is awesome!

  25. Bo Peep says:

    Mad luv for Miss Kree, her voice and person. I’d go to her show, but Candice, my lord!

  26. cimi says:

    I just am not really on board with anyone since Adam Lambert season. he is to me and still is the most amazing person I’ve ever known, besides Jesus. He’s so intelligent and quick witted. uber entertaining. lovable, and dear to people. I just can’t stop singing his praises. And if you all want to order a book that was written about him by two college women it’s called, “What is it about Adam Lambert.” you can order it from their website. Just look up Zena and Juneau

  27. Rob says:

    Two things – one: Michael, you are *incredibly* sexy and two: Kree covered Susan (not Suzanne) Tedeschi (pronounced te-desh-ee). Cheers!