American Idol Top 4 Performance Night Recap: I Don't Think That I Can Take It [Updated]

American Idol Top 4 Candice GloverWelcome to Miss American Idol, an exciting new reality series from Fox where gorgeous, talented women take the stage and sing for your votes — and then the ones with the skinniest legs advance to the finale.

Wait, that’s not an actual show? Then please someone tell me what I spent two hours watching tonight as a white-hot rage percolated through my circulatory system and turned me into the kind of cussing, fork-throwing (yes, I may have slammed cutlery into the hard wood floor), definitely-not-enjoying-myself monster you’d typically see on a show like Bad Girls Club or The Real Housewives of the Ninth Circle.

Yes, yes, I know…Idol has always been the kind of show that wears its agenda on its sleeve — usually spelled out in the blood of the contestants it hasn’t pre-selected as its Chosen Ones (TM) — but tonight, the commentary from Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson was so despicably biased against Candice Glover and Kree Harrison that I half-expected exec producer Nigel Lythgoe to send a marching band across the stage to drown out their voting numbers as they were read. You know, just in case you hadn’t gotten the message.

RELATED | Idol Exclusive: Season 12 Judges’ Save Expired; ‘Contingency’ Plan Will Prevent Premature End

Add to that the Ringling Bros.-esque parade of dancing ladies, cartwheeling elephants and tightrope-walkers to herald THE OFFICIAL SEASON 12 ARRIVAL OF AMBER HOLCOMB (hinky upper register, occasional flat notes and coma-inducing song choices not included), and you had a recipe for one of Idol‘s most blatantly manipulated, blood-pressure raising, franchise-destroying nights of all time ever.

And if you think I’m being melodramatic, please bear in mind that Candice’s second performance critique was hijacked by Nicki & Co. defending Amber’s cover “Macarthur Park” against Jimmy Iovine’s completely legitimate critique. But then again, Amber can put on a white pantsuit and perform an ancient Celine Dion ballad completely stationary atop a set of glowing fuchsia stairs and be called “current,” “2013” and “amazingly perfect.”

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Oh. Mah. GAH. I better get to tonight’s set list and letter grades before all my anger causes the internet to implode. (I’ll be back overnight to update this post with full reviews of every performance, so do bookmark, refresh and enjoy!)

But first…a pox on Nigel Lythgoe & Co. for RUINING what should’ve been an incredible One Hits Wonder theme with what you know had to be a shortlist of halfhearted, unimaginative, brutally enforced “suggestions” for the Top 4 ladies. Imagine how much fun it would’ve been if Duffy, Estelle, Concrete Blonde, Dionne Farris, The Verve, Gnarls Barkley, New Radicals, Everything But the Girl, Lucy Pearl, When in Rome, Blind Melon and Everlast were on the “cleared songs” list? Oh man…

Amber Holcomb: Laura Branigan/Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” | Remember those innocent early days of Idol when Paula Abdul would tell a female contestant she looked beautiful — only because she couldn’t think of something nice to say about the singing? Now we’ve got Nicki Minaj asking for a moment of silence to contemplate Amber’s undeniable gorgeousness — as if aesthetic considerations are the only (or at least the most important) point of the Idol experience. Disgraceful. Anyhow, Amber started out strong with a nearly a capella intro, but by the midway point, her voice was straining to hit the high notes, and the end result was not entirely pleasing to the ear. Even worse, though, Amber’s delivery lacked the appropriate amount of fire to fully sell such a fusty old ballad. It was the equivalent of trying to cook a thick steak with a lit match. I mean, if you’re going to belt a line as schmaltzy as “I’M YOUR LAY-DAY! AND YOU ARE MY MAHHHNNNN!” at the top of your lungs, you’d better feel it all the way to the tips of your Manolos. In Amber’s case, though, this felt like more of a vocal exercise — “Look, ma, I can do what Celine does!” — more than a deeply felt interpretation. Good thing we had Jimmy on hand to acknowledge the vocal strain, then insist the perfomance would be “very difficult to beat.” (See how much easier “judging” is when you write out your script before the performances?) Grade: B-

Candice Glover: Drake’s “Find Your Love” | First, can we have a moment of silence to acknowledge the immense creativity and risk-taking spirit of Candice’s extremely current “contestant’s choice” selection? (If you don’t know Drake’s 2010 original, then click here and give it a listen — just so can appreciate the audacity of what Candice brought to the Idol stage tonight.) Okay, with that out of the way, I’ve got to admit it wasn’t Ms. Glover’s finest performance of Season 12 — mainly because she tried a little too hard to bring “vocal moments” to a song that calls for a certain level of sing-song simplicity. Nevertheless, I appreciated the sophistication of Candice’s phrasing, the way she personalized every single word as if she was speaking to a special someone. She drew me in from the proud-yet-vulnerable intensity of the opening line (“I’m more than just an option”) to the world-weary surrender of the bridge (“Too many times I’ve been wrong/ I guess being right it just takes too long”). What Candice rarely gets credit for is the fact that she’s a first-rate actress. Whatever mood she’s called on to deliver — romance, heartbreak, yearning, anger, flirtatiousness — she brrrrrrrings it. (And yes, in her case, “bring” has seven r’s and is most definitely italicized.) And instead, she gets RANDY *&#^%@ HACKSON telling Candice she doesn’t need to put runs into every phrase (something she’s never done before!) and that he doesn’t want people to think of her as “THAT CHURCH GIRL” (something no one has said about her at all this season). I mean, why not just say “We don’t want anyone to look at you and think that you stab kittens, Candice!” It’d have the same ludicruous effect of calling into question all the facts we know about Candice, but at least it would clearly be comedy, yknow? And as for Nicki calling a Drake cover “old-fashioned” — on a night where she praised “The Power of Love” for being current — well, let’s just say her pre-judgment was as visible as her thong was during last week’s results-show deliberation. Grade: B+

Kree Harrison: Susan Tedeschi’s “It Hurt So Bad” | I understood to a small degree Mariah’s critique that she still to see Kree “get lost in song,” only because there wasn’t a big crescendo of pain and longing over the course of the performance; instead, it all percolated in that laid back, just-below-the-surface way that Kree seems to dig, without ever coming to a boil. And on Top 4 night, she might have been better off burying herself alive in the blues, rather than riding sidecar alongside the blues. Nevertheless, you’d think that the judges would’ve given some consolation points for the fact that Kree didn’t miss a single note or — if vocals don’t count for anything anymore — at least for her relaxed, joyous stage presence (a definite upgrade from last week’s occasional awkwardness). Instead, though, we had Nicki claiming Kree had given us a performance that wasn’t even worthy of her Top 4 slot! Um, why? Because she’s over 18? Because she’s the type of artist who’s not going to go sans pants in her music videos? Or because Nigel Lythgoe whispered into Nicki’s ear monitor that Kree is no longer the ladybug of choice? Well, Nicki gurrrl, none of those reasons pass the validity test. You are dismissed — do not pass go and do not pass the microwave to pick up your waffles on the way out, either. Grade: B+

Angie Miller: Jessie J’s “Who You Are” | I could quibble that Angie had already covered Jessie J in her audition, in Hollywood Week and in the Vegas round, but so what? The end product here was one of Angie’s best efforts all season — and the sense of earnestness she brought to the rambling piano ditty felt absolutely genuine, both within the moment and within Angie’s “Type-A Girl Learns to Break Free and Embrace Her Imperfections” Idol Edit. I didn’t even mind the breathlessness on the fast-and-furious bridge, or even the furrowed brow during the closeup* before “that’s my home.” Both presumed negatives became positives within the framework of “Who You Are.” I would’ve stopped short of giving the performance a standing O — as all the judges did, except for Mariah, whose train was caught under her chair — but it was probably enough on its own to guarantee Angie a Top 3 finish. But just to be sure, Uncle Nigel had Seacrest call Angie’s adorable, emotionally overcome grandmother onto the stage for a hug**, because Angie loves her Grandma, and grandmas love to vote for Angie. Grade: A-

*one of 147 exquisitely framed closeups she got during the first performance alone
**RIP: Subtlety (Dawn of Time-2013).

Amber Holcomb: Richard Harris’ “MacArthur Park” | To quote Amber’s big, crapastrophically held note — “Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo!” I mean, come on now. For starters, how is it that none of the judges pointed out Amber’s cluelessness in choosing a track that’s more square than a White Castle hamburger, and then for doing absolutely not a damn thing to bring it anywhere near the vicinity of 2013? And if not the song choice/arrangement, perhaps they could’ve pinged her on her poor diction, which rendered the entire bridge utterly incomprehensible? (Not that the song makes a lot of sense anyway, but I’d have liked to have known if Amber was correctly reciting the lyrics, or just randomly dropping a syllable salad of “la la la mrmmm macarth cake mmm la la.”) And lastly, there was the small matter of Amber’s pitch, which veered to and fro like Mariah trying to make her way to her judging chair in a pair of sadistic heels and a dress with a runaway train. But nope! Why talk about that when we have Nicki Minaj on hand to say that of all the girls in the competition, Amber (whom she mistakenly identified as Angie — way to be invested here) is the one she’d most want to be friends with? UM, THIS ISN’T THE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL STORE, NICKI, IT’S A SINGING COMPETITION WITH A MAJOR-LABEL RECORD DEAL AT STAKE. JESUS! Keith, almost equal in his ridiculousness, waxed poetic to Amber that “Summer has set in for you and it’s here to stay.” Bloody hell, please someone tell me Nigel Lythgoe wrote those words down on a cocktail napkin and paid Mr. Urban to recite them, because it those fell out of his mouth organically, he has much explaining to do. Okay, I’m gonna stop this paragraph here because I’m getting furious all over again and it’s not good for my mental/physical health. Grade: C+

Candice Glover: Samantha Sang’s “Emotion” | This won’t rank as my favorite Candice song choice all season, but honestly, she’s got such incredible vocal prowess, she could sell me on just about anything (except maybe those dreadful sparkly face pins Randy Jackson always has on his lapel) (okay, maybe even those). I loved the run she executed on the repetition of “in the words of a broken heart,” the low notes she struck on “come home to me darlin’,” the little added jazz inflections she tossed off to differentiate her rendition from the many (including Destiny’s Child’s) that came before it. My sole complaint, alas, was that the background singers sounded like they were straining from the beginning of the performance to the end — adding a sort of “hyena giving birth” undertone to the proceedings that I definitely could’ve lived without. Keith, of course, decided to weigh in on how old the song choices were for One-Hit Wonder theme — rather than waiting till after Angie had performed her 1953 composition — but at least Mariah took a moment to point out Candice was struggling with a bad cold (not that I’d have noticed). Then, of course, Nicki had to drill home her “TeamAmber” talking points by — in an incredibly disrespectful twist — using Candice’s critique to get on Jimmy’s case for his post-ad break put-down of  “MacArthur Park.” Somehow it ended with Jimmy coming back out on stage and insisting the judges acknowledge that Candice was superior to Amber in Round 2, while still somehow everyone made it all about Amber. Amber, Amber, Amber! Actually, Candice, Candice, Candice! (I feel a little better now.) Grade: A-

Kree Harrison: Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” | I’m going to stop talking about the judges’ critiques for a paragraph because, in the end, they’re just a lot of words, pre-written in the Idol writer’s room (most likely) and brought to life by folks who aren’t nearly skilled-enough actors to really make ’em stick. (Plus, I’ll rain more fury down on them when Melinda Doolittle and I shoot Idology on Friday.) So I’m just going to focus on the delicate oasis Kree created with her heartfelt cover of “Whiter Shade of Pale” and the way it brought back memories of my 11-year-old self blasting The Big Chill soundtrack on our family’s record player back in the day. Good music — and good singing — can do that: Calm your frazzled nerves, make you feel nostalgic, transport you to another time, another place. And as Kree belted out that big ole “and so it wah-ah-ah-ahhs,” all those things happened at once. She was up there on that stage, lost in the enigmatic words of a band I never realized only had one hit (they weren’t, exactly), mercifully unincumbered by the trappings and manipulations of a reality TV competition. And that, Kree Harrison, was everything I needed in my life today. So thank you. Grade: A

Angie Miller: Julie London’s “Cry Me a River” | This was a pretty good performance of a pretty song by a girl with a pretty voice. There was a lot of fog on the stage, and a crescent moon hanging in the background. Did I really believe at any point that Angie had truly “cried a river” over the object of her affections? No, I cannot say that I did. Was there much gusto behind the performance aside from that of a teenage girl thinking “if I can just get through this, maybe I can do another Jessie J jam next week”? If so, I didn’t hear it. Did the performance give off a hint of Eau de 1987 Telethon? Yeah, but there are worse perfumes you could find in grandma’s dresser drawer. And yet it inspired Keith to call Angie “mystical and celestially powerful,” and Nicki to accuse Angie of snatching her rivals’ wigs right off their heads. And I’m not going to pretend I know what to say to/about that. Can I plead the fifth, on the grounds that it’s really, really late and I want to go night-night? Grade: B+

Amber & Kree: Adele’s “Rumour Has It” | I’m not sure why Nicki dumped all the blame for the failings of this duet on Kree, but why veer off script on the duets when there’s an agenda to enforce? To my ears, Amber never really settled into the beat of the song, whereas the usually languid Kree actually was hitting her marks with more authority. Frankly, this isn’t a song either of these ladies should ever cover again, but any person with a shred of musicality could’ve told you that before the performance even happened, no? Grade: B-

Candice & Angie: Rihanna’s “Stay” | I loved all the stank Candice put on this usually delicate Rihanna number, and I loved how Angie uglied up her vocals just a bit to match Ms. Glover’s intensity level. The harder-edged arrangement was perhaps a wee bit odd, but I warmed to it mostly because Candice and Angie proved so compelling. The only thing that could’ve made this epic duet better would’ve been if the ladies had dropped their mics to the floor at the end of the performance and walked off the stage before the judges had had a chance to speak. Grade: A

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 4 performance night? What did you think of the judges’ comments? Do Candice and Kree have bus tracks on their backs? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? And will the “special twist” Ryan Seacrest hinted at mean there’s no elimination this week? 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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  1. twnkltoze says:

    I am so glad you brought up the horrible job the back up singers did on Candice’s “Emotion.” Totally uncharacteristic for them. Somebody fell down on the job with that arrangement. Also, since I muted the whole “Jimmy taking the stage” bit I missed him praising Candice’s song over Amber. And rightly so. Amber needs to be knocked down a few pegs.

  2. syb says:

    Thank you Michael Slezak for giving voice to my outrage.
    LOL. You are at your best when you’re livid.
    Agree with all of what set your hair on fire 100%.

    • Lyn says:

      I agree as well; too tired last night to be as outraged as the occasion called for, but Slezak managed enough outrage for both of us! I want to add: Remember when being “pageanty” was a drawback on this show? Now it seems to be what they want. That’s evident not only in the adoration for Angie and Amber (admittedly, both very pretty) but in the way Kree has been glamorized and had all her edge sanded away. However, as Keith keeps saying, song choice is key — and my faves Kree and Candice have made some really poor ones.

  3. Lois Benton says:

    It doesn’t matter what the theme is, the songs are always from the same, old, tired list that been floating around the Idol offices since 2001. the show should have just ended after the duets and been done with it. The second half of the show stunk. Angie’s voice is just not as rich and dark as the others, plus, she’s a little affected, so I like her voice the least. I liked Kree’s first song better than her first. In fact, Kree’s first was probably my favorite song of the night. But she is oddly disconnected from the songs she sings. She needs to take some training in stage presence or something. Amber’s song choices are killing me, but, to be fair, who knows what lists the producers are making these people choose from? MacArthur Park sounded like garbage on my TV. Maybe it was better live. Cry Me a River was a stinky choice and it stunk; you’d better be real with that or the goods are staying on the shelf. Nothing for me today, thanks. And in what crazy producer’s head is that a one-hit wonder for anybody? I like Angie well enough, but the producers better stop making/letting these kids sing these awful songs.

  4. Carla says:

    Amber sang flipping “love on top” last week. Come on give the girl a break. Everyone’s been giving her the “cute, commercial, marketable” critique and she probably just wants to prove that she’s more than a cute face and long legs. Were her vocals tonight perfectly flawless? No but she definitely deserves to be here and in my opinion has an amazing beautiful tone to her voice that i love. #dontkillme for having an opinion plz!

  5. Guitar Blue says:

    Grading the singing is becoming less of a factor every week. Popularity, entertainment value, genre partiality by the voters, identification with a personality and anti-somebody; is becoming a stronger factor as each domino falls……………

    Could PP have sung better than Jessica last season, on a Diva ballad that the show loves to use? Not even remotely close — but the voters liked PP’s style and type of music delivery better, even though he struggled through some weeks.

  6. Jo says:

    Can I just say how comical that Michael and others seem to keep thinking that “TPTB” are out to get Candice and Kree?! That’s ridiculous. There is no way in hell that Nicki Minaj would say ANYTHING that “producers” told her to say. She’s simply saying what she thinks. I find it hard to believe that Keith would do it either (Randy? That’s another story.) I honestly believe that the judges are stating their own opinions and doing their own thing. I don’t think they are forced to say things by the producers. That’s ridiculous to even think. I do agree that Amber did not deserve the praise she got tonight, but I don’t think that’s because of the producers…it’s just bad judging. Stop bitching about “TPTB” (that’s a ridiculous term, by the way) and just vote for your favorites.

    • Seeloma says:


    • now you know says:

      @Jo apparently you don’t understand the difference between “volunteering” to judge and being “contracted” to judge.

    • deedee says:

      Jo, Nicki and Keith aren’t given millions of dollars to provide us with their honest personal opinions – just like you weren’t hired at your job to do whatever makes you personally happy all day. They’re paid to work for a company who tells them what the company’s objectives are, and if they want to stay on payroll, they’d better comply with the big picture.

    • waterbug says:

      Double ditto!

    • late to the table says:

      If the judges are speaking independently how do you explain that Amber got 4 (well 3 and a verbal confirmation) standing Os for both performances, while no one else did. If the “judges” were not influenced or compelled by someone I would expect 1,2,3 OR 4 standing Os, but always 4 does not indicate independent thinking IMO. As the show approaches the finale the judges are given less and less latitude in voicing their own opinions. The producers and UMG each have their own separate motivations for being involved in the show. AI wants ratings which=advertising which=profit. UMG wants marketable new talent which is their bread and butter, and they would never let the public make a naive choice about who UMG will invest in. It is a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” relationship that has nothing to do with a real singing competition. TPTB are setting up the viewers to compete with each other in order to fuel their machine.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Even one of the judges directly used the term TPTB twice ;) so it’s not THAT ridiculous of a term. That said I’m uncertain what TPTB may or may not be pushing on the judges at this point. It’s all pretty confusing. I’m a bti confused myself how I feel about all four contestants this season both just individually and comparatively, which is unusual. TPTB sure as heck seemed to be telling the judges stuff two seasons ago at the very least since the comments were 100% in step with all editing and production decisions going on.

    • Jess says:

      Amber was actually praised by most of the judges for her songs and was called current, but she sang a Celine ballad and a 70s disco song. Angie’s second song is from the 50s and was praised. Candice, meanwhile, was called “old-fashioned” when she’s the only one who did a song from the past 10 years!!

      Nicki will do whatever she needs to do to get attention.

  7. Rivky says:

    Here’s the thing. If they use the save tomorrow night, then they will have to do four hometown galas. If Amber or Angie are the ones in the bottom two and Amber gets the boot, they will use the save and there will be four hometown parades. I am not so sure they will do the same for the other three, but they might because if they don’t there will be an extra week in the balance. So…..we may be looking at four hometown galas. I do not think Amber “is all that”. I agree that she needs a couple of years to grow & I think the disgraceful display after Candice’s second song will backfire on the judges. So tomorrow night should be interesting, to say the least. BTW, I agree with Michael’s recap 100%. :)

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Couldn’t they just repeat top four again and then cut to top three home town the next week and then the finale the following? Or they could cut to three now and do two weeks of extended home town.

      • Rivky says:

        I don’t know. All the rules seem to have gone out the window. I think that display after Candice’s second song was about as unprofessional as Randy Jackson’s faux military bling. Nicki was absolutely insane. I did not understand a thing Keith said about any of the girls. If Amber or Angie (yawn and bigger yawn)is the lowest vote getter, they will use the save. If Kree or Candice is, I fear they are a goner. I used my votes for Kree and Candice. I hope everyone else did, as well. I would love to see them as the top two just to exasperate TPTB. This season is breaking my heart and frustrating me no end. A giant GRRRRRRRRRRRR. :)

  8. Eric says:

    Why is it the bash Amber night? Yeah so what she had one bad performance to night, she’s still a good singer and nice girl. Stop sitting on your computers and bashing this girl for what the judges comments,it’s their opinion so let it be. If you look at her whole body of work, this girls is the one who has grown the most, and is getting the notice. Please stop bashing her personally MICHAEL SLEZAK, because she really doesn’t deserve all this backlash.
    P.S. Candice will never be a true star, she’s t mean, she’s nothing really diffrent, and she try’s to hard for her own good. She’s like a Jasmin Sullivan a few big songs, then nothing.

  9. Rosalerfhan says:

    Too much Amber hate perhaps? Chill down a little Mike! HAHA Let’s not forget What RU Doing The Rest of your Life lat week HAHA

  10. Alan Dvorkis says:

    The show has lost its way. That has been hammered home already. How were any of the songs, one hit wonders? To say Whiter Shade of Pale is Procol Harum’s only hit is an insult to one of the great rock groups and incredibly inaccurate. Also, Kree muffed the words on Whiter Shade. I looked forward to this final four battle. Now, I am thoroughly disgusted.

  11. forwarddad says:

    And the bussing of Amber continues by Slezak.

  12. Seeloma says:

    Look the thing I object to here is the villainization of the contestant. Said anger is misplaced. it should be directed at the judging panel and producers, and not the contestant. The way everyone is making it sound, Amber is a terrible singer who doesn’t even deserve to be in this contest. And that is patently absurd. Did she have her best night? No of course not. Neither did the other girls for the most part. The competition is long and grueling, and the effects on all of their voices was apparent tonight. Everyone knows that Amber can sing and everyone knows that she is one of the most attractive contestant left. But I don’t believe it is fair to punish her for the purported biases of the powers that be. Some of the rhetoric on the web is way over-the-top tonight.

    • waterbug says:

      I was also shocked at how they villian-ized Amber. She is remarkably talented just like Kree and Candice and the vemon towards her is really ugly. She did not perform her own standing O, the judges did.

  13. Tahoe Mike says:

    Who cares how “Old” a song is??? Why does it matter? “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” A song, like a great photograph is a self contained work of art. If it makes you laugh, or cry, or horny, or dance, or remember a loved one, why would it ever have an expiration date??
    Quality NEVER goes out of style.

    • kaba says:

      Doesn’t mean quality can’t be damn boring

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      What does a “Modern” song sound like? Is it old fashioned if nobody (c)raps on it? If you take Tony Bennett and run him through an auto-tuner will he sound “Modern?” What in the world does “Bring it in to 2013,” mean??

      • deedee says:

        Well, to me, sometimes it’s about instrumentation and the overall sound. For example, although it’s a great song, I didn’t like Kree’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ last night because they used an organ and kept the same feel of the original. They could have modernized it by taking out the organ and doing a fresher arrangement. But I do agree that a great song is a great song forever.

        • Adam Fachry says:

          I personally don’t believe in modernity as much as I do in quality and authenticity. That’s why I hate to use the c word (not see you next tuesday, obviously, but “current” lol). I do think it’s wrong to say Amber current because she sang an old song, it was completely out of character and out of place on Nicki’s part. But the thing is, that was never the problem, the performance was so mediocre, whether she sang an old or modern song it doesn’t matter anymore. But nothing describes how furious I was when Nicki said Candice old-fashioned when it was downright clear she sang a 2010 song. Aesthetic-wise, Candice’s rendition wasn’t that pre-21st century either. She added a quiet storm feel to the song, the kind of arrangement that’s still pretty much all the rage in today’s r&b scene (2000s releases of The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Miguel, Maxxwell, D’angelo, Sade, Justin Timberlake have all applied this kind of sonic trajectory).

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      certainly a great point. It just might be interesting to mix things up a bit more across all eras/styles.

  14. as says:

    American Idol has for the last time has lost all credibility. Scripted reality TV needs to appear spontaneous Nigel. I obviously don’t know who Idol’s viewer demographic is anymore…..but if it was little girls who voted for little boys, then I guess now it’s little girls who they want to vote for ‘LITTLE’ skinny-legged girls. The “A” girls Amber and Angie have no musical identity, but Nigel must be planning for their guess appearances on “So You Think You Can Dance” Bad TV and now the judges will have to go as well…even Keith Urban who held so much promise at the beginning cause he’s Nigel’s puppet too.

  15. Jenny says:

    I remember a couple of weeks ago on Idology Michael basically telling us we shouldn’t be upset at a great Top Five. He and Melinda were trying to squash ideas that it was set up for a girl to win and how it olden”t be a hollow win. Wonder if he will change his mind that this season is more manipulative that he has even accused it in he past.

    This season has been planned out from day 1. It was manipulated to get a female winner and now they need that SHOCKING elimination of the season. Wouldn’t put it past them overly praising on girl to see them get eliminated to create either that hocking moment or the amazing “Guess what, it is a non elimination week.”

    On a different topic, I don’t see an issue with using an older song. A good song is a good song whether it was written last year or 20 years ago. The problem is that they can’t take these songs and make them modern. They sing I the exact way it was 20 years ago, which just this a karaoke competition.

  16. Train says:

    At this point,I can only sit back,cross my legs,and wait for it all to end.bcos every week this season,AI has given me something to be mad about it and I refuse to allow the emotional bullying continue.heck at this point I don’t care if they bring Lazaro back and he wins the whole thing.

  17. janet says:

    If this has become nothing more than a scripted reality show with results pre-determined, then what’s the point of having them singing, what’s the point of having us watching or voting? What’s the point of having the judges if they aren’t going to have a single original thought and are reading off a telepromter? Why even pay the judges if they’re not judging?

    I guess I didn’t quite see the judge’s blatent agenda because I was too busy channel surfing, watching Survivor. But I don’t get all the love for Amber. She has no personality at all, she’s a robot, she never says anything. Why do the judges want her to win? I think we could have another Lee Dwyze or Taylor HIcks situation upon us where the Idol winner is a complete flop. I can live with Candace or Angie winning but not anyone else.

  18. JP says:

    But isn’t Kree inexplicably disconnected facially from her performances? Just because the judges are pimping Angie and Amber doesn’t mean that Kree is amazing. Underappreciated perhaps, but she does not have “it.” And that’s fine. But it’s also true.

    Candice is my favorite, but even she is close to “it”-less. She’d be amazing to see live in a jazz club, but we’re not talking chart-topping global superstar here. Angie is Kelly Clarkson. Candice and Kree are Allison Iraheta.

    • jacob86 says:


    • kaba says:

      Uh no. Lets just stop you right now. Angie is no where near worth comparing or associating with Kelly Clarkson at all. Especially since they have different styles.
      To compare anyone to kelly means they have seldom had a lacking performance. Look at every performance you can find that kelly gave on idol. Almost all were phenomenal.
      Do not dare compare angie to her.
      Or any of these girls to allison.

    • GS says:

      I only watched one episode this season last week and I posted on FB that Angie could be the next Kelly/Carrie for the show. Carrie was a freaking robot on AI and I wanted Bo to win. I’ve since become a big fan and seen her concert…she is awesome live now! Angie just has “it”. Candice can sing but she’s nothing more than a Melinda Dolittle or Mandisa. Big voice but not current at all. Amber is good but she’s not current. Kree could be good if she connected more to the songs. But I totally agree about Angie. Although Idol is a joke now and if she wins, they will destroy her before she can be a success.

  19. jacob86 says:


    • kaba says:

      Turn off your caps nobody gives a damn.
      Angie is certainly not the “smartest” girl or even the strongest.
      Having two strong weeks doesn’t make you the bestm Candice has been performing better and stronger than Angie since day one but the moment she slacks its such a problem.
      No angie is never better overall than candice

      • jacob86 says:

        hey man, cool down. im just posting my opinion. candice is a great singer! she may be the best singer in the whole contest. and if she wins then i have no problem with that! but for me i just feel angie has more star quality and i hope she wins! we all have our favorites! and honestly i wouldn’t mind angie, kree or candice winning this whole competition! chill!!!!!!

        • TalkSensibly says:

          Good post. I am laughing at people who are obsessed at people who are narrowminded just to push their idol to win. Anybody can win at this point. Express your mind without trashing the others. They are not in the top 4 for nothing.

          • TalkSensibly says:

            that is… Obsessed and narriwminded” sorry keep getting mistakes in this iphone keypad

      • Jasmine says:

        First of all, Angie only had one bad performance, “Shop Around” and I didn’t even think that one was as bad as Randy made it out to be. She might not have gotten oh so perfect reviews every single week, but all of Angela’s performances have been good. I loved “You Set Me Free,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” “Never Gone,” “I Was Here” (emotional but still good), “I Surrender,” “Yesterday,” the trio performance “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Bring Me To Life,” “Love Came Down,” “Halo,” and this week’s performances. You mean to tell me Angela is not talented with performances like these? Please, kaba. Stop hating!

  20. Mary says:

    I don’t think any of the girls stood out but here goes:
    Amber: I actually liked her first song, sorry Michael. I cannot critique the second song because I hate it – I can’t believe it was a one hit wonder let alone a remake.
    Kree- I think she has a beautiful voice but I can see what the judges are saying she is stiff up there and she has not progress in that area. Would I buy her records in a heartbeat but probably wouldn’t go see her in concert. Maybe there is a reason why she never made it only as a demo singer.
    Candice- Loved her first song but she also needs to move around a little. I did not care for her second song. One of my favorites and I thought her translation lost some of the essence of it.
    Angie: Didn’t care so much for her first song seem shouty at time but I liked her Second.
    Amber/Kree: I actually liked this duet. Couple spots were off but all in all I thought pretty good. I did think Amber had some sass in her performance but Kree not so much.
    Candice/Angie: Maybe I am in the minority but I did not like this performance at all. I thought their arrangement took away the nuance of the song. It is such a pretty soft ballard with alot of emotion and I did not feel it from them. This is one case I feel the different arrangement took away from the song.
    I think all the girls could sell records but I only think a couple of girls could give a good show.

  21. krh240 says:

    Lol, Michael. I know idol definitely wants Angie in the finale. I actually think the idol machine wants Amber out, though. They’ve always thought she was boring. They didn’t give her much screen-time before the semis (unlike the remaining three). They put her first tonight. They had Jimmy blast the judges. The judges were not parroting Nigel last night. I highly doubt anybody tells Nicki (or Keith) what to say. I think the judges were probably giving Amber too much credit for her growth, but whatever.

    I think your own agenda is more blatant. Candice Glover is your preordained diva of the year, and it’s kind of amusing how whenever the judges disagree with you it must be because big bad Nigel is manipulating things again.

    I love reading your reviews though, so this isn’t a criticism. Just an observation.

    • krh240 says:

      I also think it’s hard to argue with the judges that — obnoxious diva ballads notwithstanding — Amber is more current and marketable to a pop audience than Candice or Kree. They are way more creative and artistic, no question. But as we’ve seen many times, the creative and artistic idol females don’t go very far in the real world.

  22. Gale says:

    Thank you Michael for articulating my thoughts exactly. I was so annoyed that I turned it off 2/3 of the way through.

  23. Kim R says:

    A shout out to The Big Chill album! :) First, I so hate McArthur Park I can’t even tell you so whoever sung it would be bottom of my list. Second, Angie, who is technically so good but I never really believe what she is singing, did great on her first song but when she was singing next to Candice, for me, it was like a study in genuine emotion vs. performed “emotion”. I thought it stood out like a sore thumb in favor of Candice. Thirdly, Kree is understated, that is who she is. I don’t want to see her “Angie” it up because it would ruin it for me. I would never believe her. And lastly, I had no idea what the judges were listening to last night. Keith, who I think I have agreed with more than any of the others, let me down man. :(

  24. Deanne says:

    I have no real favorite, although I do prefer Candice’s song choices over the weeks. However, Amber has virtually no personality and McArthur Park was not a terrific song back in the day. Candice was good as usual and that is a problem. For her to receive raves, she has to be OTT spectacular becuse she is already realllly good. Kree sings with a bit of a personality deficit or at least did last night. I love Procol Harem (my era) and the song was sung well. Angie is current and upbeat and my husband loves her. I do find it hard to udnerstand the Amber love because Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, and Adam Lambert (among others) were personalities personified. Amber is a blank slate with a beautiful voice and dead eyes. Oh well, the public has overruled the judges before. Who knows?

  25. In it to win it, dawg! says:

    After Candice’s second performance and critique I turned it off. Having Jimmy walk out to discuss Amber’s performance during Candice’s time was rude. The fix is in, AI certainly wants at least Amber or Angie in the finale. I hope they are both in the bottom two tonight.

    • deedee says:

      Yeah, but at least Jimmy was on Candice’s side and pointed out her superiority over Amber. Still, it was awful of Nicki to even bring up Amber during Candice’s moment. By the end of the segment, she kind of got lost in the mix.

  26. Kim says:

    A lot of people are reminded of the judges bussing Hailey. I was thinking more about how they treated Kris Allen – giving Danny all the props he didn’t deserve. I’m hoping this works out just as well for the judges.

  27. Becky says:

    Look at the results of this poll – Amber holds the bottom three spots. So either those taking the poll are striking back at the in-your-face bias the judges had for Amber tonight, or those taking the poll appreciate good singing from bad and recognize the difference.

    • Aly says:

      Or third option: they read this blog and concur with its author!

      • Mary says:

        Or they can’t think for themselves and follow the author. Plus they are trying to pay TPTB back and Amber is getting hurt in the process.

        • Aly says:

          It’s not because one agrees with Michael that one cannot think for themselves. Agreed that Amber shouldn’t get blasted all the same but she *was* overpraised last night. And others didn’t deserve the stabs. Just like Haley back in the day…

  28. JLC says:

    I love Kree but she’s losing this competition because she sings every song exactly the same way. Her vocals are always spot on, but her performances are boring. There is no versatility there, no excitement, no passion AT ALL. I think the judges were right to be hard on her last night. I agree that Amber is not nearly as good as the judges are praising her for. She has so many flat notes and was totally straining on the high notes last night. Perhaps the judges didn’t hear it that way live, but I’m sure they’ll hear it if they watch it replayed. Candice is excellent vocally but I was bored by her last night too. Angie is the only one last night who captivated me with all of her performances. My opinion . . . #1 Angie, #2 Candice, #3 Kree, #4 Amber.

    And what’s this “big twist” in the competition that Ryan mentioned last night? I’ll bet its that the Save is still usable even though we passed the top 5 mark. So I’ll bet all 4 ladies will be back next week to sing again. (This only makes sense because there are only 2 weeks left prior to the finale, so they need to save someone to make it to the finale with 2 people left to compete).

  29. Atlgal2013 says:

    They are trying to sabotage my Candice! All of a sudden she is ” taking us to church” with every song. Really? If she takes me to church it’s because I have an outer body experience when listening to her but don’t try to put the ” Jacob Lusk” stamp on her. They also called her ” urban” and ” old fashioned”. Ugh!!!!!!!! Someone please tell me how the hell Amber does some paint in the lines rendition of a Celine song and is deemed current? I have two words for the judges to describe Candice and it is American Idol! Damn fools ( except Mariah who shows Miss Glover the respect she deserves)

  30. In it to win it, dawg! says:

    Michael is right on the over the top manipulation all the way down to the youtube views. I like to check who has the most views to get a feel of what viewers enjoyed the most. For the first time I can ever remember all of the performances have “301 +” views, so we do not know what the + is.
    No one is going home tonight if Amber or Angie is the lowest vote getter because it is apparent that AI wants one of them to win.

  31. Venus says:

    This show and Nigel need to realize they have passed their expiration date. Who even takes this show seriously anymore? Great vocalists get thrown under the bus when it gets to nearing the finals. So the next 2 going home will probably be Candice or Kree. Haley got sent home cuz of the nasty comments by the judges. The only fair judge last night was Mariah.
    So if Amber wins because Nigel rigged the judges comments–worse yet she has no vocal superiority over the other three, I will happily kiss this tired show adios. Michael I feel your pain but at least you get paid to watch this trainwreck. Thank GOD for The Voice and Sarah Simmons.

  32. Li-Li says:

    I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one who was seriously disappointed with all that is American Idol, though I did not resort to throwing forks. I really felt as thought Idol really went off the rails for good tonight. Screechy, off-key performances praised by the inane judges, Jimmy Iovine invited onstage to goof around and joke about his critiques, it’s all so ridiculous. I have felt bad for this year’s vocalists ever since the early rounds, when I realized that Nikki Minaj was the epitomy of self-centered insanity. There is nothing remotely interesting about Amber or Angie, and when I closed my eyes and just listened, all their performances were strained and made me grimace. Amber looked so bored (and sounded so mediocre) singing “McArthur’s Park”, I was totally floored when the judges praised the performance. Beautiful Kree has an extraordinary, glistening vocal quality – consistently strong- but has so little emotion or connection to the song that she is just frustrating to watch. Candace is a fierce force of nature. Would have been more fun to see her compete in an earlier season when the judges weren’t so annoying. All the slanted shenanigans are a brutal reminder of the unfair treatment given Haley Reinhart, who has so much more star quality than any of these girls. (could you imagine a Candace/Haley finale?)

    • Aly says:

      I miss Haley

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      “(could you imagine a Candace/Haley finale?)”
      I can and it’s good.
      And I can imagine a three person Haley/Elise/Candice finale if we are going for a season of the girls thing. (I’d put them in that order at the end too). Damn that would be some finale.

      • Jasmine says:

        Well, my top three would be Haley Reinhart, Angela Miller, an Elise Testone! They are all great! Now, that would be a sick finale! They’re voices are all so different, but they all sound great! Oooohhh, that would be some good music right there!

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I’d be totally down with that too.
          I think I actually like Angie better than Candice, although to this point, I probably have to admit that Candice has sung a little better overall, at least from a certain perspective. But Angie has been coming on like a madwoman the last couple weeks…. Four performances in a row where she tried to bring that extra top 5 something that I didn’t always quite feel from the others even if they often did very well too and that is important. And her vocals have been really good. And for all the talk of her fake emotions, I kinda felt more connection from her than from the others over the lat two weeks and since I’m not crazy about the non-stop R&B runs thing I sorta have to say I prefer her (Candice is really good though). I don’t think it is fair to say that Candice always has mad connection and Angie doesn’t, not one tiny hint of a bit do I agree.
          And it is a bit annoying that Angela gets like zero credit for her vocals or connection from some, even though they really have been quite good, just (seemingly) because she looks a certain way (good :) ) or maybe still has some drama club girl mannerisms or has a happy happiness all the time (does EVERYTHING have to be all grungy & greasy and flat and depressed???? why can’t she be super happy and even rock some big hair hah?) or whatever that seems to annoy some (and in the end what does any of that have to do with the vocals?). Like I don’t get how Halo was given nearly the lowest grade of last week on this site??? OK, maybe she isn’t your style of singing or you are not mad about her voice, but nearly worst and poor performance??

          • Jasmine says:

            @HitTheGroundRunning — Preach it! These people need to accept the fact that Angela is not going anywhere! She is the best! I love everything about her, her voice, her looks, her personality, her drama club mannerisms, the way she moves, love it all! I’m a believer and have been since the beginning!

  33. Jongirl says:

    1. Amber – Absolutely gorgeous. Didn’t want it to end.
    2. Candice – Didn’t seem as pitch-perfect as usual. Song seemed to wander around with no tune to it. Very distracted by the chandeliers in her ears.
    3. Angie – I don’t think the passion she brings to her songs is fake. My daughter, whose favorite is Amber, nonetheless said she felt like she was watching a seasoned professional when Angie was finished.
    4. Kree – I used to love her, but now she leaves me cold. Her vocals are stellar, but her facial expressions are all wrong for the songs she sings.
    1. Amber – This is a stupid song with no comprehensible message. And, you can’t cut this long a song down to a minute or two.
    2. Candice – The back up group was AWFUL! I didn’t think this was a good song choice for her. It doesn’t go well with melisma and a big voice.
    3. Kree – See “Amber”.
    4. Angie – Terrific song choice. Very beautiful, very moving.
    1. Kree and Amber – Seemed tense and not well rehearsed.
    2. Candice and Angie – Voices worked together beautifully and gave me chills.

    If anyone was going home tonight, I think it would be Kree. But I think it’s fairly obvious, from Seacrest’s closing comments that no one is going tonight.

  34. Jessica says:

    I only read very little from Michael (seems like we are on page) and no comments (will go back to do so :)) but I was so mad!I was bored, disgusted and seriously angry. This has been my least liked AI show i have ever seen. It makes me hate music in the 2000’s (also 70’s)! I’m not here voting on outfits or who can dance (because no one can this season!) I can not stand the pimping that Amber got (or her smug attitude). These girls are who they are and this month is going to suck until AI gets their Angie and Amber finale. Celine Dion has pure talent. They talk about the divas of it all and guess what they didn’t shake their little behinds-they sang and made you remember their voice. Candice does that for me. Kree in “Rumor has it” was brilliant and stole that performance with her voice! I am fed up…

    • Jessica says:

      To add I did agree with Keith when he mentioned the boring -very boring and old song choices for One Hit Wonders -shame on all the girls on that one. I also agreed that Kree did have boring song choices but her voice is still amazing.

  35. Ok, I agree that the Amber praise was overkill, but am I the only one that heard Candice go off key several times in her first song (second was better) and duet? She even admitted to having a cold, which explains it. But don’t do exactly what the judges do, Michael, and over praise Candice with B+ and A- grades, when she was FAR from being anywhere close to Angie’s level. Angie should be the ONLY A grade(s) of the night. She SLAYED it! And I think you’re just trying to disguise the star of the night with your angry ranting.

    // end rant

    • Lola says:

      Her performance wsa better than anyone else’s. Her VOICE did not slay.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Normally she is so pitch perfect I figured I must be hearing things but yeah I thought I heard some of that and it sounded like Angie slid her pitch at one point to match in but Candice has been so good technically I was trying to convince myself it was the other way around.

  36. Lola says:

    Idol’s need to engineer results is so tranparent that even the contestants saw it. Did you notice the grimmace on Candice’s face at the end? They threw Candice and Kree under the bus.

    The theatrics were cheap. First, I wasn’t happy last week when Angie invoked the tragedy in Boston at the beginning of her song. Had this been a performance in a theater, it would have been beautiful (it was beautiful) .. however, this is a competition and when she sat down at the piano she her goal was to win votes and money. I thought it was in very poor taste to use invoke a tragedy in that scenario. I was equally irked tonight when Ryan introduced her as “our Massachusetts girl.” She got some press for her remarks last week and Idol is capitalizing on that. Shame on them!!

    Angie’s perforance’s were great. Her voice is not as good as the other 3’s. She shouts and her vibrato is hit and miss, which I find disturbing as I listen to her music. I’m waiting waiting for something that Amber and Candice and Kree could deliver, but Angie can’t make it happen.

    MacArthur Park is as bad today as it was when Richard Harris recorded it in the 60s. How they could possible heap all praise on Amber for that lame performance is beyond me.

    Even at her worst (and Candice obviously had problems last night) she sings better than Angie.

    I have loved Amber from the beginning, but this shameless promotion of her and Angie, with the simultaneous bold and blatant effort to sabotoge Kree and Candice is a new low for American Idol. I am thoroughly disgusted.

  37. Jess says:

    I agree with you about Candice being a good actress, and even if Mariah didn’t use that word, last night she did say Candice matches her vocal to whatever is needed for the song.

    Mariah did praise Kree’s stage performance on the first song, no? She noted Kree connecting to the audience more than she has been.

  38. ChrissieK says:

    I’m begging for: The judges to shut up. Nigel to get back to dancing. A white guy with guitar…I never, ever thought I’d say that but we sure need some testosterone to shake up this last few weeks of Idol 2013. Girl against girl against girl against girl makes for a dull cake after you bake it (and it should be left out in the rain.)

    Both Candice and Kree have heaviness issues in the tushie and thigh tops and I wish they would stop dressing them in leggings and short tops…it just magnifies the body issue.

    Three judges, three is all we need and shouldn’t we be down to a 90 minute show now? TWO whole hours of mostly listening to the ineptness of Randy, Minaj and Mariah…Keith is kinda not with us anymore, just leaves me out in the cold. I am not connecting for the first time in all these years I, like so much of America, is not feeling it with Idol.

    Talk about jumping the shark…last night with all the throwing under the damm TRAIN they totally flew over the whale.

    • Jessica says:

      I actually was thinking of and missed Kris Allen “Falling Slowly” last night. That says a lot seeing as i was only a Adam fan.

  39. Karen says:

    I thought Kree and Angie were the two best performers of the night. Kree was clearly superior to Amber on Rumour Has It, and totally convinced me. Amber’s MacArthur Park was a big ol’ mess. How does such a screechy mess ever get a standing ovation from 3 of 4 judges! I’m just as mad as Mr. Slezak, thank you very much

    • Anybody'sGame says:

      I agree on Angie but not on Kree. When we say performer, that includes the way you use the stage. Kree looks she cannot carry her body onstage. But vocally, no doubt everyone of the four has it.

  40. Lily says:

    All I am asking is to understand the words someone is singing. I am not even convinced Amber was singing in english for a large portion of MacArthur Park (not that the words make much sense with that song). I have had that problem with her all season and they keep using the term ‘smooth’ to cover that up. She can sing, but the words are always so jumbled together, it ruins songs that I actually like and it drives me crazy!

  41. reen says:

    I actually liked Amber’s first song. Usually the first slot is the kiss of death, but I agreed with Jimmy that she would be tough to follow. I think anybody who has watched Idol over the years knows that lamenting song choice is a waste of breath and time. The contestants have limited choices, limited time to choose, and limited time to change it up. Candice has been my favorite from the beginning, and I thought she did a great job of making the songs her own. Kree has been right there with Candice, but I do understand what Keith was saying about her connecting with the audience. When you close your eyes, her voice is sublime. When you watch her perform, it sometimes feels like she isn’t totally in the moment, and it takes away from the beauty of that fabulous gift she has. All four of these ladies are talented, and all four are striking to look at. I don’t get the hate on a specific girl/girls just because the judges want to push their “favorite”. I would venture that most of America can see past that, and will vote for who they want to win. Hopefully, anyway!

    • Venus says:

      Keith has lost a fan with his Nigel produced comments, so I won”t be buying his new Cd when it comes out. Hard to believe he was a “coach” on The Voice Australia. How far he”s fallen since.

      • Mary says:

        Wow how old are you? You can’t be much of a fan if his statements on a reality show sway you.
        He is 1000% correct on Kree, and I love her voice. Her songs do not portray the emotion of the song. He made a statement once and I agree – there are a lot of good singers but on few good entertainers. I think that is what he is looking for. All four girls can sing but her can go the furthest and entertain.

  42. Aly says:

    My two cents:

    Song selection (because the girls clearly do NOT have a choice) = soporific
    Judges = mouthpieces for the producer’s clear agenda (except Mariah who did her best judging of the season)
    Candice = best of all, original, amazing voice, makes me think of Mary J. Blige sometimes… the only reason I still watch the show despite all the irritants this year
    Kree = I don’t get all the fuss but she’s adorable
    Angie = I find she screams too much and she is too earnest, don’t like her personality
    Amber = a sweet puppy dog with an amazing voice they are trying to change into a sexy fox – too much

    • Jasmine says:

      Angela has a wonderful personality. She is so sweet! How can you not see that?!?! She’s not mean, she’s passionate. She’s hungry. She wants it!

  43. ChrissieK says:

    I think the majority says a OneHitWonder is just that…”Don’t Worry Be Happy”, “It’s Raining Men”, “I’m Telling You Now”…I don’t want all this mumbo jumbo about it didn’t go over #25 and blah blah blah. Everything angered me about last night…arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

  44. LeahKittyS says:

    Everyone has something bad to say about this season. It’s bad. It’s boring. It’s desperate. But the word I think sums it up? UNFAIR.
    It wasn’t fair to Mariah for putting Nicki on the panel when she was promised to be the only female. It wasn’t fair to Nicki for Mariah and her people to villain-ize her in the press. It wasn’t fair to Keith for sticking him in the middle of the women’s feuding. It wasn’t fair to the male contestants for being put up against a female cast way above their level. It wasn’t fair to the female contestants for rigging it that way so that no matter which woman won, the public would put an asterisk next to her title for not fully “earning” it. And it wasn’t fair to the audience for giving them the same tired songs yet again, and for making the manipulation that has been going on for years so plainly obvious that longtime lovers of the show like me are disillusioned.
    I feel betrayed. And ultimately, that’s not the fault of either the judges or the contestants. The blame lies entirely with the swells who run this show.

  45. Name That Tune says:

    It won’t happen, but all 4 judges owe Candice an apology for that ridiculous debate with Jimmy following her song. Especially Nicki. Disrespectful.
    Uncle Nigel, you a have to get better control of Nicki. Even if it means your voice booming over the stage telling her to sit down and shut up. This Saturday is not the Nicki Minaj show. Get rid of her and replace her with Jimmy!

  46. Dario says:

    Mr. Slezak talks about the judges being biased, but honestly though, ever since Candice got cut from last year, he has been rooting for her to win American Idol and that’s fine! (everybody deserves to have their personal favorite). My problem with this comes when he loses objectivity when it comes to his love for Candice and Kree. On top of this all, he constantly diminishes Angie’s vocal prowess and talent…he talks about it as if they were not up to part with those of the former ladies. On the latest idology, he was talking about Angie “zooming up” to were Kree is, when Kree has already been on the bottom two.

    He didn’t like “yesterday” (an amazing vibrato sounds to him like a goat lolz), he didn’t like “halo” and he said she was yelling in the end (now everyone should be questioning his musical knowledge), he didn’t like “I’ll stand by you”, and he is never excited about none of her amazing performances, even when he admits it might have been the best of the night like when she sung “Bring me to Life”, he never makes a buzz (like he only does with Candice or Kree) or leaves it at that: “she was best that night”. He is always adding some stupidly biased comment about how even being the best, it wasn’t all that… He is talking about Angie having to be on point with her vocals because she doesn’t have the youthful spirit of Amber (WHATZ??) nor the soulfulness of Candice (we can agree on that…). But American Idol is also about finding a commercial international superstar, and Candice’s soul might not be it (does anyone has more soul than Fantasia? she is amazing…now, how famous is she? how many records? how much money can producers make out of her?). Angie has more of a Kelly Clarkson air to her, and we…all know how that story’s been for her. KELLY ftw!

    Now “Emotions” was better than “Cry me a River”? It deserves a higher grade? Listen, I can understand that your musical preferences and maybe your hopes of getting back a lost dream (like an AI finale with Candice) have clouded your judgement, but when it comes to the performance grade, please keep it real! I mean, I think a little objectivity could hurt nobody, and if at the end of the day Candice is as good as you say and proves it on the next weeks, she won’t need for you to lie to your readers…

    Now he is saying Candice doesn’t do RUNS on every song?? That’s basically what her talent consists of!! She has had amazing weeks, such as Top 6, but Angie has always been a top contender this season, not just a “hard working hungry contestant who could win if Kree or Candice leave the window open” as he referred to her on his Idology series. On the contrary, she is probably the one to beat right now…she is for sure the most popular one… maybe Slezak should go on the internet and research for polls, ballot results, and sources like to complement his critiques, because at this point it really sounds like he is not watching the same show as everyone else in America.

    • Jongirl says:

      ^^THIS!!!!!^^ A THOUSAND TIMES OVER (although I’ll never stop reading you, Michael).

    • :::slow clap::: Spot on, sir. Spot on.

    • deedee says:

      Nonsense. Candice’s talent is not runs-dependent, Michael Slezak is not lying to his readers(!!), and “everyone else in America” is not in love with your snowflake. Wow, all this fuss because Michael gave Candice an A- and Angie a B+. What’s that — 1/4 of a grade? That’s a fair amount to account for personal taste differences, wouldn’t you agree?

    • Jasmine says:

      I agree with every…single…word….you said! Especially with the Angela parts. Angela has always been the one to beat from the beginning! Her talent is undeniable. She’s just as good as the others, (and way better than boring Kree)! Angela for the crown! YEP! YEP! WOOP! WOOP! WE LOVE YOU ANGIE MILLER! (starts to cry) I just love her so much…(sighs)…heaven..

  47. marie says:

    Wow, look at all these comments! Ratings for Idol may be way down this year, but they’ve certainly managed to stir up controversy on this board, anyway!
    I’m just going to add something that’s been on my mind. You know what really gets me most angry about last night’s judging shenanigans, and the generally manufactured / manipulated nature of the whole damn thing? Just this: that hopeful young singers audition for the show in good faith, hoping to get a break, dreaming of having the chance to prove they’ve got the talent to win – only to be played like pawns by the producers who really don’t give a damn about anything but lining their own pockets however they think will work best for themselves. Sure, there probably are a number of contestants who realize they’re stepping into a situation that is definitely not on the up-and-up, who realize that winning is less a matter of talent than it is at the favor of TPTB, but who still want to get on the show to get exposure and just get their name out there. But I’d bet most of these young singers are following a pure and honest personal dream; they want to excel, they want to be judged on their abilities, and they want to win, only to find themselves in a situation where being the best doesn’t matter as much as being marketable in the eyes of the powers behind the scenes. These kids are USED, plain and simple; their dreams are cast aside by TPTB – spat on, really.
    And that sucks. Big time.

    • deedee says:

      Yes. That has always been the slimiest part of the show. By now, most of the contestants who audition understand how the game goes, but it still must hurt so much when the shenanigans are being played out, in the moment, at their expense. Candice looked a bit like “hey, remember me?” when Ryan finally read out her numbers after her critique was derailed by the Amber/Jimmy incident.
      Despite all the unfairness, though, I love how the show still has the ability to get us outraged, lol. Sadly, I’m not that invested this year, so my outrage is somewhat blunted. But I do love reading Mr. Slezak when he’s angry enough to throw utensils on his hardwood floor. :)

    • Jessica says:

      Marie I 100% agree. I think that is what infuriated me most about last night.

  48. Luckeemisspiggy says:

    I understand being upset that Nigel and Co. appear to be trying to sabotage Kree and Candice, but you don’t have to dislike the other two in order to like Kree and Candice. Listen, I disagree with the vast majority of what they said, but Candice did make Drake’s song sound old…and this is coming from someone who loved her rendition of Straight Up.

  49. Michele says:

    Look, everybody has an opinion which they’re entitled to. I love the tone of Amber’s voice. I wish she would put a little more verve into her performances and make it look a little harder. Her voice is so effortless. I think all 4 deserve to be the winner which has hardly ever happened in a top 4. Amber needs to loosen up and get a little more of what Angie has and she could win.

    • Anybody'sGame says:

      Agree, Amber should find a song which can make her apply her vocal exhibits as in My Funny Valentine. That song for me is her best.

  50. Michele says:

    One Hit Wonder…really????