American Idol San Francisco/Austin Recap: They Live for the Guitars, Guitars, Guitars [Updated]

american-idol-recap-nikki-mckibbin-sonDear Santa,

I have been a very good boy for the first two weeks of this year. But I’ve got to be honest, as someone who recaps American Idol for a living, I’m kinda freaking out. Thus far, the Season 13 judges (especially the new guy) are proving to be articulate, super funny and playful — and they’re willing to go all Peter, Paul & Mary and bring out the “Hammer of Justice” when necessary. Trouble is how am I supposed to get my snark on?

PHOTOS | Winter TV Spoiler-palooza! Your Scoop-Filled Guide to 31 Returning Favorites

There’s no Mariah Carey word salad to ridicule, no desperate “look at me!” antics from Nicki Minaj to jeer. Heck, not even Jennifer Lopez’s baffling button-up denim half-shirt — possibly the result of an unfortunate dry-cleaning snafu — is anywhere near as funny as Randy Jackson’s cacophonous collection of loud argyle sweaters and hideous pins.

So here’s what I need, Santa — and note, I’m not asking for much:

1. Keep the ridiculous hashtags coming. Producer Per Blankens has reduced the amount of cheese from the Idol recipe by at least two-thirds, but doozies like #IdolJourney and #ThisIsReal are the kinds of presents with which I can work. Frankly, the contestants’ hand-scrawled posters are comedy gold, too. Someone walked around with a “PUMPED” placard all day, for serious real?

2. I’m stoked that the show has almost completely eliminated joke auditions — Harry’s smack-down of that shirtless “actor” dude was “yes!” on top of “yes!” — but maybe next year you can take the few remaining outliers back up the chimney? That fella who wanted to cure world hunger and end war (in a tatty tank top? come ON!) and the tragic cowboy trying to prove a point to his ex-fiancée just aren’t where it’s at anymore.

3. Never let them try to trim the budget by losing Ryan Seacrest. Whether he’s gingerly touching the neck of a Tuvan throat singer or getting manhandled by successful contestants’ jubilant families, the pocket-sized host is the epitome of the phrase “good things come in small packages.”

3a. Hey, is it too much for me to make a quick side request for a 2014 Emmy for Ryan? Dude makes his job look way too easy to ever get recognition from people who check the Amazing Race box on their ballots out of sheer habit every year.

4. Are you out of guitars? I’m pretty sure I saw 1,467 contestants tonight with an axe slung over the shoulder. So I’m just not gonna ask for one. I don’t want the elves’ hands to cramp up or anything.

5. Finally, can you get me some kind of age-defying skin cream? I’m too lazy to go to Macy’s and have some gorgeous creature assess my fortysomething situation, but after seeing Season 1’s third-place finisher come into the audition room with her 15-year-old son (who wasn’t half bad, BTW!), I’ve got a sudden onset of Cryptkeeperitis. Anything to prevent me from turning to dust and disappearing when I shoot the latest installment of Reality Check with Melinda Doolittle on Friday morning would be much appreesh.

Anyhow, Santa, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hear you’re dropping Randy back off at The House That Kelly Clarkson Built sometime after Hollywood Week, but honestly, feel free to keep him in your sleigh. I’m sure J.Lo will soon dance with the devil and sink her talons into a future Haley Reinhart or the producers will incentivize Keith into ignoring a Candice Glover-level talent. Something will drive me into a white-hot rage soon enough, Santa! I’ve just got to believe it!

Enjoy the cookies and Sauv Blanc,

And on that note, let’s get to the part of the recap that really counts…

The 10 Best Auditions from Night 2 of Season 13 (from Austin, Texas and San Francisco)
Just missing the cut: Marlon Lindsey; Caitlin Johnson; and Selena Moreno (who, yeah, was better than her twin sister — but damn that was hard to watch!)

10. Spencer Lloyd, “Never Gone” | You’ve got to appreciate any Idol hopeful who covers an Idol alum — especially one who’d not a presence on pop radio. Harry kind of gave him a backhanded compliment by giving him a “yes” paired with the phrase “It’s an image thing,” but the kid didn’t miss a note — even if he’s not blessed with the most distinctive tone.

9. Rachel Rolleri, Sugarland’s “Stay” | Like the judges, I enjoyed Rachel’s quiet confidence — and even her goofy winces in the instances where she lost touch with her pitch. The kid’s got a lot of depth to her voice, and she phrased the Sugarland jam in a way that really made me pay attention to the lyrics.

8. Emmanuel Zidor. “Sweet Dreams”/”I Believe in You and Me” | OK, the histrionics and crying were a little 1-800-Pull-It-Together. But anyone who crawls into his audition singing Yoncé, then makes Harry get a little marshmallow-y — telling the kid that, despite his 7th-grade instructor’s put downs, that “three music teachers” on the panel are giving him yeses — has to crack my Top 10.

7. Aranesa Turner, “Pure Imagination” | I loved the butterfly delicacy of Aranesa’s delivery — at least in the brief snippet we heard during her montage. Also, it has to be said, the girl is so ridiculously stunning that she rivals even J.Lo in the beauty department. [Cue a “mirror, mirror” moment and the production of a poisoned apple somewhere on Jenny’s high-priced block. Too mean? Not after how she treated Haley Reinhart! #NeverForget]

6. John Fox, “To Make You Feel My Love” | Worship leader who looked a little like a burlier Jesse Tyler Ferguson opened the episode with a rich, caramel-y tone and a pretty falsetto, but is he unique enough to separate from the pack in Hollywood Week?

5. Briana Oakley, Sara Bareilles’ “Stay” | A victim of Season 12 Hollywood Week, Briana returned with a refreshing confidence and sticktoitiveness that felt more engaging than last season’s overplayed bullying backstory. I wish Harry (or anybody) had warned her against using too much vibrato, but in terms of vocal horsepower and charisma, the gal’s got it goin’ on.

4. Tristen Langley, “Santeria” | Harry said this audition wouldn’t have worked had everyone not known the 15-year-old’s mom was Season 1’s Nikki McKibbin, but I heard a brightness and soulful quality in the kid’s voice that made my ears perk up instantaneously. Yeah, it’s a little jarring that Nikki would allow her son to audition at such a tender age when she herself endured a lot of brutal feedback (and some subsequent addiction struggles) via her stint on the show. But I find myself rooting for him anyhow.

3. Megan Miller, “Last Name” | Remember when she auditioned on crutches last year? Of course you do! Harry was worried this beauty’s big, bold, belting style could damage her voice, but come on — you don’t approach a saucy Carrie Underwood jam like a mouse! I loved that Megan infused her number with a hint of rhythm, and looked like she was having a blast while she did it.

2. David Luning, “I Lost My Mind in Texas” (original song) | The judges’ chuckled about the dark intensity of David’s self-penned ditty, but the blues and the grit and the way-down-in-it intensity of the performance was mesmerizing. “For Idol, it’s interesting,” hmmm’d J.Lo. Indeed, and that should always be the point of the exercise, shouldn’t it?

1. Jesse Roach, “Do Ya” | Raven-haired, black-guitared beauty made it to Austin on her neighbor’s generosity, and didn’t disappoint with a silk-and-grime tone that reminded me a little of Shelby Lynne. As Harry noted, she had a nifty rasp, but didn’t make it wear out its welcome, either.

Episode’s Best Zingers
“Sorry, 64-B is out of place.” –Keith, after a stylist working on his hair delayed the next audition

“Oil worker!” J.Lo, excitedly responding to Eric Wood’s profession and probably fantasizing about how much mileage the producers could wring from it

“You’ve disrespected the process!” –Harry, dismissing a jokester contestant

“Enough with the practical jokes: You’re 32 years old, you’re from New York City, and your name is Beth Goodwin.” –Harry, expressing his disbelief that gorgeous Caitlin Johnson was only 15

With that, let me turn things over to you: What did you think of Episode 2 of Season 13? What did you think of the judges tonight? And who was your favorite Golden Ticket recipient? 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. Another really solid episode. I am getting a little tired of Jennifer’s inability to say the word “No”. She really only says it if there is a consesus. She doesn’t want to be seen as the bad guy so she leans to the side of sending them to Hollywood even if they aren’t ready. I remember this was a chief complaint of mine of her back in Season 10 and 11, and it looks to be the same in Season 13. Tonight my favorites were John Fox and Briana Oakley.

  2. Kaba says:

    I kinda felt like it was going back to old idol every once in a while. It felt too…fixated on joke performances and just exploiting the weirds. Another thing that I sense will be an issue for the rest of the audition round is how much time they’re going to focus on Harry being as blunt as humanly possible, to the point where it’s just going to be misunderstood.

    • marie says:

      You and I were posting substantially the same thing simultaneously. Please, PLEASE, Idol, can the joke auditions!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Oh no. I had high hopes that the “joke auditions” were a thing of the past.

        • Amy says:

          Yea, my thoughts with the first joke audition last night was…ok..day2-the nuts are back! And with that guy who was going to “save the planet with world peace!!!!” pre-audition and then looked suicidal post…I thought we might have had our very first ever “bi-polar guy with guitar.” Well…at least they didn’t put him through for kicks…as crazy Nigel might have in previous years…recall the crying girl? (forgot her name), bikini girl (did she have a name?), and what’s his name-couldn’t sing last year? At any rate….it did smack last night of old Idol, more than night 1. I DO hope it doesn’t go full blown. Keep it fresh new producers! At this point…still enjoying Idol…and having hope for Season 13! ..ever the optimistic loonie…

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Okay, I watched it and it wasn’t AS bad as I expected. Granted, it was worse than the first night but still better than previous seasons. I do hope they keep the joke auditions to a minimum. Like Zero.

        • CatLover04 says:

          OKay, someone at EW sent me here to check out this recap…funny stuff. Enjoyed reading it. My comment to you about that one joke audition is..I thought it was a set up for Idol to make a point about how they are not going to allow anyone to diss the audition process….maybe not. It just seemed set up to me with Ryan hanging out in the little shuttle thing with him getting him to talk about his plan…then him going out acting stupid…with the missing “dawg” comments and all. That was my take anyway. I think, overall, they’ve weeded the majority of the joke auditions out.

          • Stormy says:

            This re-capper used to be at EW and jumped here. Yayyyyy! Welcome CatLover04.

          • CatLover04 says:

            Thank you, Stormy….I saw your comment on the other side too. Thanks for the warm welcome. :-}}

          • Amy says:

            Great point CatLover~I think you are right on that. I had originally thought that too because of all the show preview blurbs showing Harry saying he was “disrespecting the process”, so I think you’re right about them using it to prove that point. All in all, it does seem like they’ve weeded them down and are definitely focusing more on the talent. …and…um also…the guitars. (am I the only person in America that doesn’t play the guitar?!) I have another theory on that one but will get into that later!

    • ben says:

      Harry isn’t anywhere near as blunt as Simon used to be. He is more constructive.

      • Kaba says:

        I constitute him as blunt in the most constructive sense. Simon’s blunt consisted on more rudeness rather than useful feedback.

        • marie says:

          Spot on.

          • Stormy says:

            ITA Simon is a bully, Harry is just direct. And may I say that I’m a bit dazzled by the beauty of the judges? Three gorgeous people who like each other has to be a good thing, right?

          • CatLover04 says:

            Harry is blunt, constructive, and very funny. Terrific choice to judge this thing, if you ask me, and a breath of fresh air after the last few seasons of blah judging panels.

          • deedee says:

            You’re right, Stormy – they are all beautiful! Amazingly, I didn’t realize that until just now. I think it’s because I’ve been focused on the fact that they’re fun and make each other laugh. Plus, they seem to be doing their job as judges (so far). But, yeah, lots of high quality genes on that panel.

          • Amy says:

            Another shout out to “the beautiful panel”, was going to comment on that last night, but got side-tracked. Was going to say, not only do I love Keith and Harry’s personalities, but we get adorable eye-candy. They’re a lot of fun to watch. That’s gotta make anything that comes our way, (hopefully), go down smoother! :)
            My favorite line/schtick last night was “Hatchet Harry’s”(or whatever they called him) “Bro, you know you can’t sing.”…dismiss.. “Nahh, I don’t wanna hear it.”…followed by his “Word!”-Snap!

        • Ben says:

          Yeah. I think/hope the fact he is constructive means he won’t be misunderstood.

    • Mary says:

      I don’t know if it will be misunderstood, but it will be repetitive. Part of last night I felt like I was watching the Harry hour. I actually like some joke performances because quite frankly it was getting a little mundane. I know realize why I usually do not watch the whole audition process.

      • scooby says:

        The thing is, unless the joke performer is deliberately pulling crap, they’re either tone deaf and were put through anyway or crazy and put through anyway (often both). They don’t know they were put through to the judges as a joke contestant, we do. It’s rather mean. Think about it, if it really is your dream and you don’t know any better, you’ll think ‘great, I made it to the next round! I must be awesome!’ but producers are just putting you on so people can point and laugh. I can handle it when people need to be told that their 7 years of vocal lessons are a waste of money because someone needs to make it clear on a national platform like Idol that there are leeches out there taking someone’s hard earned money and putting in ear plugs to “train” these people & promise they’re gonna be a star. What I can’t handle is the snickering at the table at the same time the contestant realizes they’re being made fun of and you just see the hurt–delusional is a great safety net I guess, but we don’t need many of those. Given how many get put through to Hollywood week, it just doesn’t make sense to not show them to us in favor of people we’ll never see again. Enough with the schadenfreude. The Voice puts mostly yeses on tv and the ones they say no to aren’t terrible joke contestants–they’re good but not good enoughs. I wanna guess who’s good enough to make it to the voting rounds.

        • marie says:

          Well said, scooby.

        • Stormy says:

          I’ve always wondered if the really pathetically bad ones didn’t come from central casting to liven things up.

        • Amy says:

          Good points, Scooby.

        • catlover04 says:

          I agree with your point for the most part, Scooby…very eloquently said. But, in my opinion, you can’t really compare AI with The Voice because the Voice invites working musicians or those with true talent only to audition so they don’t allow any crazies to even get in the mix. The free for all audition that AI and The X Factor uses makes it harder to control who shows up to participate. But, you are right, the joke/crazy/delusional ones are just hard to sit through and very uncomfortable, especially when they truly seem to think they are the gifted one. It’s just sad when a person seems to be made a fool of on a show like this. It’s one of the reasons why I appreciate the Voice to much. But so far this season, AI is off the a great start and for the first time in a while, I’m really looking forward to watching it unfold. I love that they are keeping the joke auditions to a real minimum. :-}}

    • claudia says:

      If every audition was a YES the process would get predictable & boring. They have to mix it up a little. They showed very few people who had no talent at all. (I haven’t finished watched night #2 but I only have 1/2 hour left.

    • JM says:

      Hey, Kaba. I love Harry, and he’s the main reason why I’m back watching the show. (Refused to watch it last year). Maybe it’s a sign of my age, but I was shocked that so many people didn’t know who he was.

  3. Kaba says:

    Briana Oakley just took me away. Oh my

  4. My standout for the night was David Luning: LOVED that original song and the rasp in his voice. My other favorites were Jesse Roach, the girl who sang stay by Sugarland, the really butch girl who sang If I Were Your Woman, and the girl who sang the Willy Wonka song. And Nikki Mckibben’s son, mostly because he’s Nikki Mckibben’s son. And because he was adorable handing a flower to her after her dreadful performance of Ben. God, he makes me feel old.

  5. Danny says:

    Yea, so far it’s been a really good show. I saw viewers were down to 15 million. Hopefully that’ll pick up. Harry is exactly what this show needed. We’ll see if the viewers come back. The live shows will tell the tale if the judges can keep like they were. Steven Tyler and JLo were also promising in the auditions, and we all know how that turned out. I liked Harry’s little jab at Randy w/ the “pitchy” comment. I like that there’s only been one joke of an audition. Keep it to the either gonna make it or needs a bit of work but not brutal auditions.
    Overall, a pretty good 2 shows to start. Keep up the good work AI.

    • RIPpiercehawthorne says:

      Ha. Almost forgot about that fantastic bit. Now if we could only get him to take on the inittowinit madness.

    • Sara says:

      “I liked Harry’s little jab at Randy w/ the “pitchy” comment.” <—- This. Seriously. I was so tickled by that comment Harry had. I said to my mom "He literally just discredited every season Randy used the term pitchy." And it was fabulous. Because Randy is useless and will absolutely be fast forwarding whatever segment he gets.

      • I have a really strange feeling that Harry’s gonna step it up even more with the criticism during the live rounds. I being extremely critical last season when Randy and him got into a friendly argument over a contestant’s performance. This is exactly what American Idol needs.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh yea, thanks for that reminder! I hope you are right and this new team allows the judges to JUDGE.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          It will be interesting (maybe) to see what happens once Randy starts fulfilling his “mentoring” role (what a joke!). On the other hand, it might just be uncomfortable.

  6. Scott says:

    That Season 1 Mom was creeping me out, big time, singing along with her son. Get out of the limelight. And I would not have put Son through. I loved the Obama impersonator, too.

    • Stormy says:

      He was good. When they first said he looked like someone, my brain supplied Shemar Moore. Then they said POTUS and I thought “A bit of both actually”. The kid has a lot going for him.

    • CatLover04 says:

      I actually liked the kid but I agree, mom should not have walked in there with him. It would have been better for him, overall, if the judges didn’t know he was a former idol contestants son so that he could know for a fact he got through on his own merit. Also, note that Harry didn’t send him through; JLo and Keith did. I don’t think Harry is going to let sentiments from the past keep him from being as honest as he can be.

      • MSJ4321 says:

        The son was adorable and – IN A FEW YEARS – could be quite good. Right now, he’s too young and it’s clear that mom is pushing him. SOOOO uncomfortable watching that. I thought maybe she’d stop in, say hello, and then get out. Standing there singing along the whole time was just awful.

  7. Fran says:

    Brb, becoming a cougar in order to live vicariously through the lives of my young lovers after seeing season 1 3rd place return….with. her. son.
    I feel decrepit…I’m only 21

  8. MAB says:

    I am really enjoying Idol this year. The chemistry of the judges is fantastic. I am really hoping the live shows continue to entertain.

  9. marie says:

    A little bit of a letdown from last night’s episode, I thought, largely due to what Michael identifies in point 2 above: more dreary, squirm-inducing auditions by pitiably untalented folks without a clue than last night. This isn’t entertaining; it’s meanspirited and embarrassing. And unlike the first show, I didn’t see anyone who truly made me take notice. Did Nigel sneak back into the building? Sigh.

    • Alan Dvorkis says:

      I could not have said it better, so I shall not. Well done.

      • marie says:

        Thanks. I was thinking this morning that it’s rather like how televised Major League baseball games won’t show a fan who has run out onto the field on camera so as to not reward or encourage the bad behavior: if viewers KNOW that they’re likely to appear onscreen if they show up dressed like a giant hot dog, then next time TEN folks will show up dressed like giant hot dogs. Just stop! I don’t want to see jerks rewarded for acting foolish OR poor clueless souls made fun of.

  10. ben says:

    Your 3a is so on point. People have often given Ryan far less than his due, but ever other talent host ever proves just how good a job Ryan does. He has well earned it (to be fair, the other winners of the award have too, but they have also won the award. Give Ryan a turn).

    • KayVee says:

      Ryan is amazing. I missed his presence on the premier. He was barely there. Ryan is in a class by himself. It’s not until I watched Carson on the voice and Mario on x-Factor that I realized what a charismatic breath of fresh air Ryan is. (Nick Lachey on the sing off isn’t that bad either).. but Ryan is the king!

      • Stormy says:

        ITA Ryan is so approachable. Carson is very civil but lacks warmth. Mario is genial but superficial. Nick Cannon has a lot of Ryan’s warmth, but lacks Ryan’s polish. Ryan really is the benchmark IMO.

      • MamaLis says:

        Hi again everyone! So true about Ryan. You know, he really is a superstar in his own rite. Yet he very willingly plays the humble, “backstage,” kick-it-with-the-parents, affable host. Not always an easy or fun job. Obviously he makes a mint, but it hasn’t messed with his head and he remains PITCH PERFECT in his duties and his role on Idol. If I remember correctly Dick Clark was very influential on Ryan and it shows.

        • KayVee says:

          Good point! Dick Clark probably played a tremendous role in the way Ryan carries himself. A throw back to the good old days where your worth was measured by your “gentlemanly” quality instead of being a reality show exhibitionist.

    • Alex says:

      Ryan Seacrest STINKS!

    • JM says:

      So glad to see this post and others agreeing with Slezak’s comments on Ryan. For years, I have posted (previously on TVG) that he is a great host and businessman. Several contestants have commented on his work ethic; he’s a really hard worker, which is a breath of fresh air.

  11. RIPpiercehawthorne says:

    Briana Oakley!!! So glad she’s back. But I really haven’t got a favorite yet. Still waiting for that magic moment to happen. But gosh. The way Harry handled that ‘handsome’ worship leader guy Spencer who sang a Colton song? I was really impressed by how Harry breaks it down for these contestants. And the twins situation? Dayyuuum. Everytime the other two disagree with him and put people through and he’s just like, what? Im scared this is gonna be the case in hollywood. I’d hate for Harry to be outnumbered in a panel where he clearly is the most sane and rational one.

  12. darcy the slutty twin says:

    I noticed there are a lot of 15 year old auditionees especially last night. It wasn’t too long ago that people like Lauren Alaina and Thia Megia were a rarity in the audition rounds. Nice to see talented kids, but I want a real man with arms and chest to get me excited with like Ben from last night. Or someone as handsome as Phillip Phillips. Who can sing, of course.

  13. LeahKittyS says:

    I was disappointed to see a couple of genuine joke auditions tonight. But I was impressed by Spencer Lloyd, MK Nobilette, Emmanuel Zidor, and Briana Oakley. Harry is still awesome. And next week looks like it’s going to be really good.

    • marie says:

      I would be happy to never again see another audition by either tiresome, unfunny jokesters or the unfortunate, deluded folks who truly but incorrectly believe they can actually sing well, and it seems others here agree. Alas, though, those cringe-worthy bits are still popular; several co-workers mentioned to me that they like to watch the audition shows specifically FOR those, and were disappointed with the lack of same on the premiere episode. Doesn’t leave me with a lot of faith in humanity.

  14. Ginger Snap says:

    Remember this is still a Fox reality show. Which means it’s being cast. You know they have to carry at least one deluded sole through to the live rounds. They don’t know any other way to do it. Remember Lazare and that poor girl from Africa last year?

  15. Alyssa says:

    When they had rappy guy vs. his belting friend, I thought for sure the guy was getting through because the girl was pretty terrible, . . . and then they go for the girl and cut the guy. There were a bunch of people this episode who I don’t think have what it takes.
    Like that guy who they all agreed was a mediocre singer, but who they put through because he’s attractive, and this is something they consider to be a “different kind of entertainment”? No, this is not an audition for strip club, this is an audition for a record deal. At least TRY to make that seem like it’s the goal.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      It’s just the first audition. He’ll get cut soon if he’s really not good enough. You may not always agree with it, but they are partly “casting” the semi finalists by choosing diverse personalities, voices, singing styles and perhaps race, ie belter, guitar boy, token Asian chick, the child wonder, piano-playing folksy singer, jazzy singer, country singer, etc.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        I apologize for using the word “jazzy.” Harry might kill me. And I just might die in his arms tonight.

        • Ben says:

          I have to say though (and many will disagree with me) – first time I felt like giving Harry a slap on the hand and saying ‘now, now, don’t join the correct usage of english police’. As someone whose job it is to spend my whole day making every single word and sentence accurate, unambiguous and written in perfect English, the most annoying thing in the world is when people then want to stop me talking shorthand when I’m not at work. To Harry I say, you know what jazzy and pitchy mean, so get over the fact they are invented words (they will probably both be in the dictionary by now or soon enough anyway, like a whole lot of other words invented every year).

          • darcy the slutty twin says:

            I tend to agree with Harry’s hatred for the word “pitchy,” especially since it was made popular by the useless Randy Jackson. It really does sound annoying. How difficult was it for useless Randy Jackson to say “off-pitch”? That was the only thing useless Randy Jackson said when he was trying to be constructive. I guess “pitchy” also meant “out of tune” for useless Randy Jackson because I don’t remember him saying “tuney”.

    • marie says:

      They always need enough cannon fodder to be able to cut half in Hollywood.

      • Shawn says:

        That’s what I was thinking too, that they need fodder for Hollywood to so that way they can’t justify keeping ones around that they’d like to see continue on that might not do too well when the reach Hollywood.

    • deedee says:

      It’s not an audition for a record deal. It’s an audition for a tv show.

    • JM says:

      Totally agree about the rapping guy.

  16. Kate says:

    “Tetanus, anyone?” made me legit snort.

  17. Jim Welker says:

    Unlike yesterday, there were a few fairly good singers! I still feel there hasn’t yet been a real standout! I feel the best of the night was Briana Oakley! I was reminded a little of J. Sparks (before JLo said the same thin g)! She could go far! A great smile and personality as well! Again, Harry Connick livened up the proceedings! I’m still waiting for a real STANDOUT who is capable of making the top 10! Again, the chemistry of the judges is the highlight of the show!

  18. Jim Welker says:

    After thinking about it, Briana Oakley has a voice strong enough to possibly land her in the top 10!

  19. james says:

    As soon as I saw that red hair in The PortaPotty/Chamber, I yelled “NIKKI MCKIBBIN” as a joke. I could. not. believe. when it was actually her. I still can’t. Weirdest Idol moment ever for me. haha

  20. Timmah says:

    They really need to do something to spice up that chamber. Maybe have the walls literally start to close in, or open up a trap door above them that releases swarming insects.

    • marie says:

      Lol! That chamber is seriously creeping me out. That’s one aspect of the new production I really DON’T like. Seems like it’s intentionally designed TO frighten the contestant forced to wait there. Don’t like it at all: too much like a chute in a slaughterhouse. (Now I’m gonna give myself nightmares.)

  21. 4theloveoffilm says:

    Loving Harry Connick Jr. as a judge. (And I’ve known who he is for years! Fan of his singing and acting.) Part of why I haven’t watched IDOL consistently in recent years is because of obnoxious judging panels. The three work well together, so long as JLo doesn’t single out another Haley Reinhart to hinder (#NeverForget).

    I love that they’ve toned down the coverage of the crazies. (Another reason IDOL viewing has been inconsistent for me.)

    My one gripe is that while there have been some good and, occasionally, great singers, I’ve yet to be blown away. I generally find an instant two or three favorites during the initial round, and I haven’t found any yet. Where are the auditions like those of Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Paris, etc.? Where are the powerhouse singers? The Carly Simons? The soulful white boys like Danny Gokey? More auditions to come, I suppose.

    • SarahToo says:

      Did you srsly call Danny Gokey soulful? I regret to inform you that you’ve forfeited the privilege of invoking Ms Reinhart’s name for the rest of the season. #HalienRestrainingOrder

      • Selena says:

        I hate that ppl on this site have to agree with the same thoughts as Michael. Not all of us liked hailey. I hated her. Thought she was awful. She got better later on but I felt there were better contestants that her. Once her toned down the growling it was better.
        As for Danny. Go back and watch his audition. He was good. I liked him right away. As did many ppl. I agree his dream on was horrible. But give him his due

        • deedee says:

          You’re right, we are forced to agree with Michael’s every thought on Idol and beyond. Which why I expect your comment to vapourize in 3.. 2.. 1 ….

        • MSJ4321 says:

          Didn’t enjoy Haley.

        • darcy the slutty twin says:

          Haley wasn’t my favorite either, but I ended up purchasing a couple of her Idol recordings. That season was among my favorites, along with Seasons 7 & 8. With the exception of Jacob Lusk and maybe Karen Rodriguez, I liked ALL the finalists from Haley’s season. Scotty was probably my least favorite. Casey Abrams brought something different. I have ALL of Paul McDonald’s Idol recordings. I enjoyed Thia Megia. Pia had a great voice. James had a lot of memorable performances for me, and even though Ashthon forgot how to sing during the live rounds, I enjoyed her during Hollywood week. And Stefano. He is so handsome and he forever captured my heart and loins when he tweeted that shirtless photo of himself.

        • Jaszy says:

          Well…that’s rather unfortunate that you say this, because some people who agree with Michael truly enjoyed Haley Reinhart. I’m one of those people. I literally voted for her hundreds of times. I thought I was the only one who liked this girl, but I was very wrong. Thousands of people loved Haley Reinhart. I’ve said this in 2011 and I will say it again: This girl was robbed of that American Idol title. She should’ve won that season HANDS DOWN! BUt noooo, people were too in love with those country bumpkins who couldn’t even sing that well instead of giving an amazing singer like Haley her deserved props.
          It is true, not everyone likes Haley Reinhart, but to say that people on this board have the same thoughts as Michael in regards to Haley, that’s not true
          But again…Slezak hashtagged it best, Haley Reinhart #NeverForget

    • John Anthony says:

      I would like to know why they have to pick 79 performers, with more coming, to find one singer who may be that future star? It seems like a huge waste of time. The Voice selects 48 over all and they still have to start cutting right away once the blind auditions end. It’s a joke to select so many performers during the audition process. I realize this gives most of these average performers a free trip to Hollywood on The Idol but why so many? America’s Got Talent does the same thing. Most are cut before the following shows even begin. I also realize that it gives some of these performers a second chance to settle down and give a better performance once their first round nerves are settled, but so many?

      • deedee says:

        Because they base their early episodes on the mass culling process. More hopefuls means more personalities, more scenarios, more potential humour/drama. It gives Idol a different feel than the other shows – like a cattle-call audition vs. a hand-picked closed-set audition. And the viewer gets to know some of the hopefuls who don’t make it, and then come back the following year.

        • Stormy says:

          And The Voice chooses from singers who are already professionals or semi-pros for the most part. Idol gets mainly first time amateurs.

          • John Anthony says:

            I agree Stormy and Deedee but not completely. We watch a few of these shows and it’s hard to remember the last ten of any top twenty let alone hundreds. The Voice is accused of using alot of professional performers like this past season’s winner. Super stars are very hard to find for any of these shows. Carrie Underwood is the exception not the rule. Also, there are a lot of professional singers who never got a shot at the big time. If they can come on one of these shows and prove themselves as a future star I see nothing wrong with that. It’s up to the young new comers to beat them with their voices not their experience. I really like your critic! Need more like you both. Thanks!!!

    • Scott says:

      Smithson. Carly Simon (chuckle) When was she on Idol? (I think she’d be a great mentor!)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Season 8? Same season as David Cook, I think.

        • deedee says:

          Hi DET! Nice to see you again. David and Carly were S7. Season 8 was Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey & Allison Iraheta (who will be a backup singer on the show this year!).

          • marie says:

            Hi deedee! Good to see you. Thanks for the news about Allison; it will be delightful to see her again on Idol. Glad they gave her the job!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Thanks, deedee. Glad you are back. Heck, David’s a hometown boy. You’d think I would remember! They say the mind is the second thing to go – I forget what the first thing is!

          • darcy the slutty twin says:

            I loved those back-to-back seasons that brought us David Cook, David A., Brooke, Carly, Ramiele, Amanda, Michael Johns and Danny Noriega from Season 7, and Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Matt Giraud, Anoop, Allison and Megan Joy from Season 8. Yes, I loved Megan Joy! It’s best to forget Danny Gokey, though.

        • Jaszy says:

          No, her name was Carly Smithson, not Carly Simon. Scott was asking when was Carly Simon ever on Idol. and that was never. Carly SMITHSON however was on Idol.

  22. Lana says:

    I am loving this years AI and the judge’s panel. Unlike so many I like Jennifer and enjoyed her, of course I’m not a Haley freak so I’m not so angry on how Jennifer treated her. I loved Keith last year so I knew he wouldn’t disappoint and I’ve been a fan of Harry’s mentoring so I figured he would be as great as he is. I really enjoy the judges and the two guys are hilarious and I’m betting it will continue. There were some contestants that I felt should have gone to Hollywood and some that shouldn’t but did, however I’m pretty happy with most of the choices. The only time I have found my favorites during auditions was Clay and Adam, normally it takes several times seeing and hearing them sing before I get favorites. I do think this is going to be a fun year!! Also its nice seeing all my favorite “bloggers” like DET and Marie or Leah Kitty and of course DST and so on. I love to read what everyone says {mostly} so I am looking forward to everything. God I sound so Pollyanna!! Yuck

    • Shawn says:

      Yeah one thing I am tired of is all the people who are complaining (including Slezak) about how Haley was treated by JLo. I agree JLo and Randy treated Haley pretty harshly when other’s who should have also have gotten some kind of critique were just getting A’s for effort. Now can we please put that past us now. It’s been three years and if you all loved Haley so much then why didn’t you buy her album when it came out(she walked out of AI with a record deal if memory serves me right), or call your local radio stations and request they play her music, or buy tickets to see her in concert. Of course you didn’t do any of those things, you loved her on AI but not enough to go out and support her career and as a result she lost he record contract due to poor sales. So did JLo and Randy treat Haley too harshly, yes I agree they did but it’s been three years time to much on and stop moaning and groaning about it as you guys didn’t see fit to support her post Idol career.

      • Danny says:

        I did buy Haley’s music. Something happened to Itunes and I lost it. I’m not tech savvy. I don’t have the smart phone and the other devices many have today. I used I tunes on my computer. I registered for Itunes simply because of her. If I could find a regular CD of hers, I’d get one.
        Her record came out the week of the next years final. That basically meant that it would get no push or promotion.
        While the Haley issue is certainly the main reason I don’t like JLo, that woman gives a lot of other reasons for people to not like her. 1) She’s an auto tuned fraud. 2) She’s treated others terrible. While Haley was the worst (at least publicly) she wasn’t the only one. 3) JLo used Idol to promote herself way beyond what’s decent. 4) She’ll sell her soul, even if it’s for an enemy of the US if they’ll pony up enough $$$. 5) She’s a hypocrite. She’s telling contestants that they’ve got to put more emotion into their songs while she sings-check that, lip syncs- songs with lyrics “put your butt on the floor, put your butt on the floor.” 6) She’s a liar. Promoting recorded perfomances as live. 7) Outside of Idol, she called this charity and offered her sevices for an event they were having. When the charity said yea, she then told them she needed like $14,000 worth of flowers and $8,000 worth of special chocolates + travel expenses and a ritzy hotel room. The charity told her no thanks.
        I didn’t like her before she came to Idol. That charity event issue was before she was a judge. Then at first she was ok. I thought maybe she wasn’t so bad. Then as time went on, she started showing her true colors. I also enjoy hockey. I root for the Detroit Red Wings. Occasionally we’ll get a player on the team who I didn’t like from another team. I don’t all of a sudden start liking that guy. That’s kind of how I view Lopez on AI.
        The good news here is I don’t think Harry’s going to let her walk all over him like Randy and Steven did. I think as the show goes on he’ll be the alpha judge and Lopez will be put in her rightful place as an role player type contributor.

        • Shawn says:

          Believe me I am no JLo fan and groaned when I heard that she was hired back my AI was she just uses it as a platform to promote herself rather than looking for new talent. I am just tired of hearing about “poor Haley” who was so mistreated. Like I said it’s been three years now time to let it go and move on. I don’t like JLo but I am just tired of hearing all the whining about how Haley was treated especially when she didn’t get the kind of superstardom that some of the previous non-winners have gotten, as it seems all the people complaining about how she got treated on the show weren’t there to support her after the show.

        • Jaszy says:

          Remember Season 11. J-Lo had few too many undeserved comments towards my favorite that Season Elise Testone. Elise was fantastic. It was that she was just older. and we all know that teeny bopper girls like to vote for cute young boys, and not vote for the more talented girls.

  23. Scott says:

    One more thing: I found myself looking at the clock after about 90 minutes of last night’s show, so something about it was dragging.

    • marie says:

      I know what you mean. I can’t put my finger on just why, but I found myself getting a little bored after about an hour.

  24. Kim R says:

    I’ve hear “To Make You Feel My Love” twice now and I immediately think of Hope Floats. I want someone to mention that to Harry. :)

  25. darcy the slutty twin says:

    That one skinny guy in the tank top with the guitar needed to stop flashing his arm pits.

  26. Shawn says:

    Well my thoughts on the joke auditions are this. I’m fine if there are one or two of them per episode, but we you overload the episode with joke auditions then I tend to tune out. Best limit the joke auditions because I don’t want to see people who are just there to get on television and have their fifteen minutes of fame or those who are delusional and think they are talented but are put through to the audition rounds so we can have a laugh. I’d rather focus on the ones that are good singers and have a focus on the ones who will be going far into the competition especially the ones that make the live shows.

    Harry is great I am loving him I hope he continues to call it as it is and keep it real when the live shows start.

    • Stormy says:

      I sometimes wonder about the mental health of some of the deluded ones. That kid that had the meltdown when he didn’t get a ticket needs professional help before he goes postal somewhere. JMO

      • catlover04 says:

        It’s either their mental health or they are acting. Never sure which. It always baffles me when someone is so sure they are the next big thing and they are completely tone deaf. Could never figure out why they want to edit crap like that into the show. So very glad to see that kind of stuff limited down to next to nothing. Maybe if they don’t edit it in, future audition processes will bring out fewer crazies. You know, if there is less of a chance to garner any kind of attention for their effort they might stay away and head to The X Factor or something which seems to love editing in that kind of stuff. :-}}.

  27. Buffy0531 says:

    Oh Michael, please let the Haley Reinhart thing go. She is a talented jazzy singer. She was on a pop show. Her album tanked, probably due to crappy production, but that isn’t J. Lo’s fault. J.Lo’s problem this season is her inability to say no. Keith seems to have some of the same problem. Harry can see which ones are going to crash and burn in Hollywood, he’s trying to spare them. I still am enjoying this panel immensely. It’ll be interesting how this all plays out!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Keith did say no a few times last night. And remember, the show is heavily edited. We aren’t seeing every audtion. Keith is a great musician, a crackerjack guitar player, and a good vocalist – I can’t take anything away from him. Harry, on the other hand, probably has more classical music training and is looking at things from a slightly different perspective than Keith and Jennifer. His criticisms will be a little different but Keith has offered some solid comments.

      After the whole “poor Lauren Alaina” edit from a couple of seasons back I have been more circumspect. I didn’t care for her at all on the show and then Mr. Slezak interviewed her and she was this funny, delightful, engaging, sassy girl that reminded me of Dolly Parton. good grief, why didn’t they show THAT girl on the program?

  28. Brendan says:

    I actually miss just seeing auditions… they used to show people walk, sing a song and get feedback. And sometimes when they were introducing someone, you really did not know if they would be good or not. But now it’s so obvious which one or two are jokes and every single other person they show is going to go through. And during half of the songs being sung they mute the singing and show them saying why they want to be on the show. They are more interested in telling their back story then letting us hear them singing this year… and I find that annoying. Just let us hear the songs and we can learn more about the ones that make it past Hollywood (since most of the people telling back stories probably won’t make it anyway).

    • scooby says:

      I don’t think we’re watching the same show. There have been very few sob story contestants compared to past years. We have to hear some backstory to differentiate person A from person B, but they aren’t letting the gutwrenchers through. Harry’s putting his foot down on the inspiration-but-nothing-else singer.

  29. darcy's evil twin says:

    Great recap as usual, Mr. Slezak, but I didn’t care for Tristen Langley one bit. Of course I didn’t care for his mother when she was on the show. He looks like Brian Austin Green (not that that has anything to do with this). His voice has a horrible, grating, nasal quality. The judges were right on the money with their comments about his vocals. I wouldn’t have put him through, but oh well.

    For some reason I wasn’t as wild about Megan Miller this time around but time will tell. I have been known to change my mind. Like Haley Reinhart, for example. :-)

    • My Alter Ego says:

      Hi DET! I’m in complete agreement with you on Tristen Langley. Yikers! He needs some vocal lessons — and even that may not help. And I was dismayed by the rationale (excuse) used to put him through. However, I think it unlikely he’ll survive Hollywood week (no matter how much his mother attempts to “fix” things for him — poor kid.)

      Granted, I haven’t seen several of the performances from last night’s show, but I’m puzzled by what I perceive as an inconsistency of those they put through and those they don’t, despite the fact that it seems (from those brief clips) there may be better singers who aren’t making it.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      The random comment about Brian Austin Green made me laugh! Mmmm, also made me think of him shirtless in Desperate Housewives. As for Megan Miller, perhaps she was more likable when on crutches and sporting a Pocahontas outfit, dear sister?

  30. darcy's evil twin says:

    Oh, and I did enjoy the kid that impersonated Obama. He must have been pretty darned good – my husband was reading the paper while I was watching the DVR. When the Obama Lookalike Contestant started speaking like POTUS my husband came out of his “newspaper coma”, looked up from his paper and screamed, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HE’S ON AMERICAN IDOL TOO?

    I laughed and said, “Honey, that’s a contestant. Harry commented on his resemblance to someone famous and the kid started impersonating Obama”.

    This is not intended to start any political discussion (not appropriate here). I just thought my hubby’s reaction was funny.

  31. KayVee says:

    Mr. Slezak.. I couldn’t agree with you more on 3 and 3a. Ryan Seacrest’s presence was sorely missed on the premiere. He is the heart and soul of the show (besides the contestants). I missed his banter, wit, and interaction with solid contestants and their families as well as his “kind-hearted patronizing” of delusion contestants in the holding room.. That part should never, ever leave!

  32. TD says:

    Dear Santa, One other request. I love me some Michael Slezak, but please make him not mention Haley Rinehart for the rest of the year.

  33. pmet says:

    @Michael Slezak – Love your recap, as always, but I am respectfully asking that you let the Haley controversy be put to rest. The season of Adam Lambert I felt the same way. I intensely disliked the promotion of Danny over Adam and the ridiculous touting of Danny’s backstory. I felt they were using Danny’s backstory and his “wholesomeness” to keep Adam out of the finals. In addition, all three judges refused to say anything about Danny’s debacle of “Dream On.” But, you know what? Time marches on. And, after the show both of them received contracts and one has been much more successful than the other and embraced by fans throughout the world. Haley is still trying to find her way and maybe one day she will become a best selling recording artist, but JLo and Randy’s treatment of her, following the direction of Nigel, did not hurt her after Idol ended. It was wrong, but they were following the script of a television show. We are three years later and a new crop of contestants are up. Let’s try and focus on them and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.

  34. I love your recaps, but wish that they included video clips. I find myself reading your recap, then hopping over to MJs Big Blog to watch the contestants. Would be nice if I could just stay here.

  35. MamaLis says:

    I’m just still loving Harry. What sealed last night for me was his handling of the twins. He was SO smart in that. As a parent myself, that was straight from the “boundaries” playbook. He was like, “I’m not gonna get all wrapped up in the emotion of this. I understand your sisters and I understand this will be hard for you. But only one of you is going through and that’s just how it’s gonna be.” He really handled it as perfectly as it could have been handled. Impressive!

    • scooby says:

      Totally, I appreciated how he wasn’t just gonna put both through for pure storyline purposes, realizing he’d be breaking one or both hearts later anyway. The sooner you’re honest, the easier it’ll be on everybody. I thought about who he was gonna put through and figured it’d be Selena. Sorry to folks thinking Serena was better but even her sister knew she was having a bad day. You could see it on her face, Harry was right.

      • MamaLis says:

        So true, Scooby!

      • Jaszy says:

        Her name was Sierra, not Serena. and she was better than Selena at emoting. I felt Sierra’s performance way more. Selena’s performance was technically better, but I felt nothing when I heard her sing. It was lacking emotion. Sierra should’ve been given another chance. The judges gave a lot of lackluster, mediocre singers golden tickets, so why not give Sierra one. Granted, she probably wouldn’t have made it that much farther in the competition, but still, she should’ve been given another chance. and i loved her personality!

  36. J says:

    I made it through hour 4! Yeah seeing Nikki’s son made me feel just about as old as I really am. I thought the editing made Harry seem less jovial which I liked though. I like that he is actually trying to make a clear and concise assessment of the singer. Like Simon did. But I fear Harry may be taking shots of whiskey to get through the season if he has to sit next to JLo the whole time. San Francisco contestants were a bit nuts but why am I surprised. I look forward to next week. I am so happy to be reading about Idol again from Michael Slezak!

  37. Jake says:

    I knew I recognized Megan-On-Crutches from last season! I think I liked her audition last year better, but I can’t wait to see what else she whips out this time around. I remember she had a fun personality. I also really liked McKibbin’s son.

  38. waterbug says:

    i am liking the judging panel this year. Unlike some, I really like JLo. Her expressions during the last season she was on was priceless. Had me cracking up many times. I hope the producers do a tribute to her expressions at the end of this season.

  39. Idol says:

    I really enjoy the new season with the new judges. I feel like they’re emphasizing that the show is looking for serious artistes. No longer just looking for entertainment! Plus Harry is bringing refreshing new input that is going to make for seriously talented contenders!!

  40. Jared says:

    Michael, you are my favorite writer of any blog and I will keep on reading your recaps til the very end. I have always appreciated the way you randomly bring up past contestants and your Haley Reinhart love is much appreciated. As long as J.Lo gets paid millions to sit there and judge and give her 2 cents, you are allowed to remind the readers of the way she treated Haley. I still hope that Haley does become the star that she deserves to be…
    Keep the good stuff coming!

    • Jaszy says:

      I really hope so too. Haley was the one who got away. Her album deserved more than it got. Such a shame. Haley’s still a star in my book.
      Haliens will never forget the awesomeness that is Haley Reinhart!

  41. Harry (not the Potter one) fan says:

    I was disappointed with last night’s episode. After a promising first night, what looked like a new and improved Idol turned out to possibly be too good to be true. Editors, back to the editing room!

  42. BECKY says:

    The addition of Harry Connick, Jr. has saved American Idol. Plain and simple. How else can you explain how the elimination of one person has made such a difference in the show? It’s helped to make it fresh and positive.

    After watching the show last night, I told my husband that I would actually let my children watch the show now. In the age of “anti-bullying” campaigns that are funded by the Government, how did the producers and show runners not see what a negative message the show had been sending to viewers and youngsters for 12 years? I grew up in an age where it was normal to pick on the kid with the ugly sneakers or the kid who had crossed eyes. It’s how I communicated with my friends. Would I have been different if I had been exposed to all of the anti bullying teachings that are now as much a part of school curriculum as Math Class? I’d certainly like to hope so.

    So, why did it take American Idol so long to see how making fun of people who didn’t know they were being made fun of wasn’t the way to sell their label? Sure, the guy who sang “Pants on the Ground” is like a legend in most homes- but that was funny. The guy knew he was funny. William Hung of “She bangs, She bangs!” fame? Eh, not so much. That poor kid was basically picked on in front of the whole country and we, as a nation, laughed at him. What about the people who were definitely mentally handicapped to some extent and were 100% positive and believed without a doubt that they had the singing voice of an angel only to be gawked at by the judges with the background of chirping crickets echoing during their segment or having the judges blatantly laugh in their faces? We all know what it feels like to be laughed at in front of a group of people. I know I personally hate getting laughed at. Imagine putting yourself out there and getting laughed at by millions of people?

    What did that say about us as a Nation? That we basically tuned in to watch these train-wrecks and get our entertainment out of someone else’s pain? Did the camera guy really need to follow the woman in the tight sequence jumpsuit and bad wig down the street further exposing her apparent lack of reality as she was shouting at the cameras with tears streaming down her face that “America hadn’t seen the last of her”? Had my generation been taught the way my kids are in this age of anti-bullying — would we still have laughed? Or would we know enough to know when we saw trashy TV antics and someone hurting that we wouldn’t support it with our continued viewership? I’d like to hope so.

    What were we teaching our children? That it was okay to laugh at people that were different from us or who didn’t fit into the stereotype of ‘acceptable America’? That seems completely unacceptable in this day and age, yet it happened. My children were taught since Kindergarten about respect and how to never be a bully and not to dump anyone’s bucket (You can fill a person’s bucket with nice words, but mean words would make it tip over.) A show that had garnished the most viewership in the history of television didn’t only make its success off of the talent that we all tuned into watch, but American Idol certainly did its share of bucket dumping in the process.

    My twin sons are almost 9 years old and after watching the first two shows of American Idol with Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban, I will finally let them watch the show because it’s a different beast. It was refreshing to actually hear the singers and not have to sit through 20 people that obviously got through the screening process just because of the entertainment value that would be obtained from basically making fun of mentally handicapped people. It is refreshing to hear positive feedback and while still being able to tell the truth, the judges are getting their points across without telling someone that they weren’t ‘American Idol material’ because they looked like a “bush baby” (complete with a side by side photo to make sure America could see the resemblance). The show is focusing on the music and the stories of the people who the show is supposed to be about. The people who need this show to help them be seen as an artist. So far this show has shown me that there are tremendously talented people with such great stories spread far and wide throughout our country. It doesn’t need the gimmick of getting America to laugh at poor souls who just don’t know any better. So, for that, thank you American Idol and Harry Connick, Jr. I look forward to being able to watch something else besides the Disney Channel and The Food Network with my children.

    • MamaLis says:

      Well that answers my question about word count in here.

      • BECKY says:

        Ha!! I am taking a writing class but am so afraid to share my crap with anyone I actually know, so this was where I chucked it!!! LOL!! And someone responded!! Yes!!

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Don’t worry, Becky; the readers here are open to all kinds of commentary. Heck, last year they let me write a whole horror story. And some people actually liked it.

          • BECKY says:

            That is genius LeahKittyS!!! I may just start using this site like that!!! Love it!

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Yes, LeahKitty, and I’m expecting another story this year and it doesn’t have to be a horror story. Yes, last season did lend itself to that genre, but that spectre is gone. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life” for American Idol Season 13! Let’s bring it on!

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I’ll see what I can do. When we get down to the finalists we’ll see how the producers behave. Last year was a horror story because they had it in for the guys.

    • HTGR says:

      That would actually count as one of my shorter posts had I written it! :) So don’t worry about it.

  43. jane says:

    I’m really enjoying this season so far. Harry is funny and charming, but I’m thinking enough already with the jokes. One or two funny quips per episode is fine, but it seemed like he was there more to make Keith Urban laugh than to judge.

  44. It’s good to have you back. Are you and MD going to be doing Idology again?

  45. HTGR says:

    “I’m sure J.Lo will soon dance with the devil and sink her talons into a future Haley Reinhart or the producers will incentivize Keith into ignoring a Candice Glover-level talent. Something will drive me into a white-hot rage soon enough, Santa! I’ve just got to believe it!”
    I think your problem is that you are writing letters to Santa when you clearly mean to be writing them to the Grinch!
    But thankfully for those who are watching this season, you are writing to the wrong place. I sure hope for all their sakes that a sneaky, dirty, little elf gone bad doesn’t forward one on to the Grinch and make your apocalyptic 9th level of hell, 666, ghastly, demonic desires born of worship to the god Snark into reality.
    (although when it comes to the Candice Glover’s, it’s actually the savior Harry that you should perhaps be fearing more, as my impression was that he was actually a little bit put out by her refusal to stop with the non-stop tricking up the melody when he was mentoring last season, he seems like a make sure you got the melody or be gone kinda guy)

  46. There are now 3 strong shows (Am Idol, Voice, X Factor) drawing not only viewers but also searching for best contestants. All three check many thousands to audition, and those auditioned probably make application to only one show that year. Make a difference???

  47. Lola says:

    I’m just glad that Harry is calling out the “runners.” Music in the styles of Mariah Carey and Xtina is getting old for me (though I love Xtina’s voice). I want to hear the music, not just vocal “virtuosity” (with the aid of auto-tune). I feel like I’m back in the music building of my college listening to the voice majors doing warm-ups. It would be the same thing as a world class pianist walking up to his Steinway and playing finger exercises. Enough. Love the new judging panel.

  48. Lora Johnson says:

    Like the dynamics among the judges. Dawg not adding too much to the show. Totally agreed with comment – lot of guitars, some should have been left at home. Ban the instruments. Minimum age is too young. Should be 18 or senior in high school.

  49. namby says:

    i am enjoying watching ‘IDOL’ and am rooting for it in ratings. i agree ‘VOICE’ sucks and uses professionals and already polished veterans ONLY and deserves to go off the air. it is a rip off of ‘X-FACTOR’ anyhow, same 4 MENTORS teams competing junk, and it killed the appetite for X-F illegally! STOP WATCHING ‘THE VOICE’ and just watch ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ and ‘X-FACTOR’ if it gets another chance!

    • namby says:

      OH, and how could anybody be surprised that it was nikki who had the contestant kid on the show? she ALREADY had a school age child and he was ON the show back then. The others hadn’t had any yet. I think it was touching that a first year vet was back around on the current show. I am sort of sorry he got cut since he is so hot and he would provide a story to follow. i have been watching since season 2 so only saw finale of one, and have seen it in reruns. anyhow, i am rooting for idol and hexing the voice!