Reality Check: Celebrating Harry Connick, Jr. and Week 1 Standouts! Plus: Can J.Lo Be Trusted?

It takes a village (of talented contestants) to create a memorable American Idol season, but hilarious, insightful new judge Harry Connick, Jr. is already positioning himself as its mayor.

On the season premiere of Reality Check — yes, we’ve placed Idology beneath a broader umbrella! — my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I weigh in on Harry’s most memorable moments (the cradling! the rewind requests! the pentatonic scale!) from Week 1 of Season 13 — and also dish our favorite auditioners from the Boston, Austin and San Francisco tryouts. (Hello, Sam Woolf!)

What’s more, Melinda helps me navigate my conflicted feelings about the winning, goofy chemistry of the Season 13 panel (Harry, Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez) and my general distrust of J.Lo based on her dubious performance during Seasons 10 and 11.

So press play below for the full Reality Check experience, and follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and exclusives!

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. Scott says:

    Yay! Great episode!

    Let go of the Maleficient stuff until it actually happens. Listen to Melinda Doolittle on this!

    • Shawn says:

      I agree let go of all the Haley stuff. I wouldn’t even mention Haley’s name unless there is a contestant that comes along that reminds you of Haley, or someone has a performance that reminds you of something Haley did. And unless JLo starts treating a contestant in the same manner that she treated Haley then you can bring up all that stuff. Melinda has a point and take her advice and don’t worry about it until when or if it actually happens.

      • Steve says:

        Agreed, Slezak needs to let it go. At least Haley got a record deal out of her time on idol and she got to release an album. As short lived as her record deal was, it was a lot more than most idol contestants come away from the show with.

        • Steve says:

          And it’s not Maleficient’s fault that Haley’s album flopped, despite what Michael might have you believe. hahah.

          • Tusk says:

            It is his commentary, in his blog, he’s got a right to his opinions/his posts… Haley’s fans love that Michael is one of us, so ya we enjoy and still believe in Haley.

            So I understand Haley’s fans (including Michael) and the reminiscing to whole “Haleyloonies” thing, we’re fans, that’s what fans do….

            What I don’t get is her ‘haters’ still holding onto this apparently incessant need to be belittling of a young, talented artist finding her way in the Big Bad Music industry.

            There are plenty of Idol’s I really don’t like, but I just don’t feel the need to post how much I really don’t like them… :P

            Apparently, Michael isn’t the only one who needs to “let it go” ;)

          • Steve says:

            Not sure what you’re babbling on about Tusk but where exactly did I say that I didn’t like Haley?Just because I agree with Melinda on this doesn’t make me a hater!

          • Tusk says:

            The “Ha Ha” and that your post resembles the one posted on Youtube, if that’s not you, I apologise for assuming…

            I still see residual hate from AI S10 for Haley, so maybe I’m a bit sensitive :P

            I’m still stinging at the ‘non management’ she got from Interscope, if there was any indication they weren’t going to give her a fair shake, it was that they had NOBODY at Lollapalooza to video or promote her there (1st Idol invited 2 Lollapalooza….. not one video, the only thing they posted was my fan vid :( .

            And that was early in her relationship w/ them :(

            So to put how LU did squarely on Haley, is not fair (also they pushed a non radio friendly song she didn’t write on her as her first single, didn’t help, either )

            I still like “Free” but anyone could see it would be a hard sell to radio :(

            Anyways, glad to see Jason hasn’t lost his touch and AI S13 will be more entertaining w/ the TVLine crew back at it’s best

          • Tusk says:

            ….Of course, that is not to say Haley got the ‘rawest’ deal, Candice and Melanie Amaro are ahead of the line in that regard, so it could be much worse ;)

          • sg54 says:

            Whether Haley’s album flopped or not (which I don’t believe when comparing her success to most Idol alums) isn’t the issue here. The issue is that JLo’s abhorrence to anything that Haley ever performed during season 10 whether it was absolute magic or not (which it mostly was) affected her votes to a great extent. The judge’s opinions have always mattered and they still do. Michael doesn’t want anymore injustice to happen on the show. Plus, its his blog, and she IS the slayer :)

          • Steve says:

            Like I said Tusk, Haley got a lot more out of her idol experience than the majority of contestants get so there’s no need for all the bellyaching. P.S. I’ve never posted a comment on youtube in my life but if you’re that sensitive might I suggest you don’t read ’em!

          • Tusk says:

            I did apologise for assuming, and yes it could be alot worse, at least she got alot of experience behind the scenes because they gave her opportunity to be involved in the song writing and production, which will pay dividends on her next project

      • stellara says:

        i like that michael doesn’t let go of “the haley stuff”. i just wished he (or rather jason – come on!) would at least mention elise testone once. the way randy and jlo treated her was just as outrageous and proved once again how clueless they are.
        fabulous elise.

        • Jaszy says:

          Right?! Elise Testone was also treated unfairly by J-Lo. It just wasn’t as harsh and cold-spirited as the way she treated Haley. But Elise was my absolute favorite contestant of that season and I do believe the judges’ critiques sealed her fate in the long run, because her song choices were excellent for me; she sang the songs she chose extremely well, her voice was impeccable, she had an AMAZING personality. I just wish she could’ve gone further than sixth place. I really thought she deserved to win that season. She was great.

        • HTGR says:

          Yeah Elise was my favorite of that season. The weird thing is at the end when she was sent home I could swear you could just barely overhear some of Randy’s words with her at the end and it sounded like he was telling Elise stuff 100% the opposite of what he said out loud for the public. Also feeds into the whole scripted show bit. And as usual, JLo appeared to care less, same as when Haley was dumped.

    • wooster182 says:

      I have to agree with Slezak here. I refused to watch Idol after the Haley debacle and I’m only getting sucked back in for Harry Connick Jr. I am not looking forward to JLo’s nonsense at all. Hearing that she’s coming back almost made me decide not to watch.

      • Shawn says:

        Well as far as this goes I’ve got to say that I didn’t hate Haley. While she wasn’t my favorite I didn’t hate her and could see the unfair treatment that she received by JLo and Randy. I remember once the one time that Steven Tyler said something other than “that was beautiful” was when he stuck up for Haley after she received harsh treatment by JLo and Randy by telling them that they were wrong.

        I knew Haley wasn’t going to win. I didn’t think she had a large enough of a fan base to overcome the Scotty vote. She was in the bottom more times than any other contestant that season so while she might have gotten votes from her fans and those that were voting for her out of sympathy of the harsh treatment she was getting I didn’t think she would win. When James Durbin was eliminated I told my mother that Scotty was going to win it. While I admit that a Scotty vs Haley finale would have been more exciting than the Scotty vs Lauren finale that we got, I don’t think Haley would have been able to overcome the massive fan base that Scotty had.

        Now with all of that being said I’m not taking anything away from Haley she is a talented singer, and deserves a shot at stardom especially now when most of everything is autotuned it is refreshing to see someone who can actually sing be successful. All I want to say is it’s been three years since that season, it’s time to let it go. Now if in this season JLo treats a contestant like the way she treated Haley three years ago then be my guest and bring it up, but for now let’s sit back and enjoy the show and not worry about that for the time being.

        • MC says:

          Fantastic post on this subject, especially your second paragraph. This was the season where AI producers decided they had to grab a piece of the country music pie. Unfortunately, these shows are popularity contests and the producers (filtered down through the judges) actively promote the acts they know are pulling in huge vote tallies. The judges don’t have teams (a huge flaw in the AI format), so they are not invested in the outcome of the show. They can easily be manipulated by calculating producers who have already decided who “should” win. Once that snowball starts rolling downhill, the final result becomes obvious and inevitable. I feel sorry not only for Haley, but for the other performers who had to contend with the preordained Scotty-Lauren juggernaut that season. It became a battle for third place with about two months to go in the season.
          I am glad that Harry Connick, Jr. is part of the show. He’s smart and witty. He knows his stuff and has plenty of personal integrity. I’ll try to watch a few shows because of him, but AI’s history of manipulation is nauseating. Also, there should be limits on the number of votes per format. I probably enjoy the younger singers more than anyone, but AI also suffers from not having anyone older than 28 on the show. These “older” singers still have the potential to be great acts, but just need the exposure to get to the next level.

        • sybl says:

          Ever since the Paulagate debacle, I’m of the view that the “judges” are essentially mouthpieces for the producers. Nobody was going to let anybody mess up the planned country kids’ showdown, whether it be Haley or Casey or whoever else… JLo is certainly no worse than Randy, Paula, Simon, et. al. It’s so much easier to attribute evil motives to the wicked stepmother. If Jennifer’s evil eye influenced one voter to switch from Haley to somebody else, that voter is the problem, not Jennifer.

  2. Scott says:

    What happened to all the Coke glasses on the table?

  3. Sarah says:

    This is my life. Oh, and I agree with Melinda on basically everything.

  4. Lily says:

    I have to admit, I laughed pretty hard at some of your movie flashbacks, in particular those with Cary Grant in them. I gave up on Idol a few years back, but I continue to watch Idolatry/Reality Check for its entertainment value. So let me add my 2 cents. Having worked on a movie with JLo, I have to say I agree with Michael and perhaps I am being unfair, but I just wouldn’t trust her as far as I could see. Harry Connick, Jr. seems to be a nice surprise and I hope he continues that way.

    I know a lot of Idol watchers aka Idol loonies are excited about the new panel, but for me (for you), we still have Randy as a mentor, which I feel will be useless AND biased like he always was. Why should this change? And I can also relate to the unfairness of the way they treated Haley Reinhart, but I feel, the judges on every show were biased towards the ones they preferred. Anyone remember Season 7 and Season 8?

    And speaking of Season 8, the moment I heard that worship leader, whose last name was Fox, it reminded me of Kris Allen, and I agree with both Melinda and Michael 100% that Kris Allen does it better. As a matter of fact it was this song you showed, that made me really focus on voting for Kris.

    Finally, I don’t trust the producers, even though most of them are new, to not attempt to manipulate the show the way they want. Perhaps a show of good faith might be to adjust the voting, but even that, I don’t believe will help.

    So that’s my two cents, for whatever it’s worth.

    I appreciate your recap and as always…it’s entertaining and probably the way I’ll watch Idol this year.

    • amy. says:

      Everything she said :) This has been the way I watch idol for about 5 years now. So keep them coming Michael and I loved the song comparison between Kris & Fox too, gives us an idea of true talent. I don’t mind the Haley rants, and WISH I find/buy a full version of Didi Benami’s “Terrified”. So keep the flashbacks to past contestants coming :)

  5. Gina says:

    #I’mwithMichaelonThis … can’t let go of J-Lo resentment from her mixed messages for Erika Van Pelt. I’m not buying the “baby”s;-) But, great episode. The two of you should be on every day. I’d watch!

  6. Topher says:

    I wish this was just Idology…I don’t want to hear Voice coverage. I come here to TVline just to here you talk about Idol

  7. Lauren says:

    In England the word ‘Pumped’ means farted and that’s all I could think throughout the rest of the video.

  8. Static says:

    I don’t really get the bashing that Slezak’s giving JLo, honestly; at this point, I think everyone knows that producer manipulation is a key ingredient in the idol recipe (at least according to the producers themselves) and it has been for way before the Reinhart saga began. Remember Jasmine Trias getting saddled with All By Myself, LaToya’s signature song right after the latter got cut? I was 10 or 11 at that time and a big Jasmine Trias fan, and I was just seething with anger over what they did (though now that I’m old enough to recognize Jasmine’s reign of terror over pitch, I guess I could understand why the producers did it).
    Let’s not forget the Season 7 Campaign for the David vs David Finale–aka Operation Happy Feet–either. And Season 8 was a crapola ride from start to finish; Kris and Allison always got the short end of the stick while the producers pushed their hand-picked finalists, fronted by Adam and Danny. There are tons of others as well: Season 11’s Elise and Hollie, Season 10’s Pia (and Haley, of course), and Season 2’s Kimberley Locke, off the top of my head. Why are we only concerned with Haley, and of the team of producers and judges that bashed her, JLo?

    • JR says:

      I agree with everything you said, except on Pia Toscano. She didn’t have a “hard time” on the show, she was actually one of their favorites. But she suffered from the same Jessica Sanchez did on S11… not getting much advice but at the same time not having a fantastic critique from the judges like James Durbin and Joshua Ledet always received. Kinda like the judges liked those girls but they weren’t really connecting. That’s what I didn’t like about J-Lo: you could see what she was thinking but she would never say it directly. Hope she’s better this season.

      • Static says:

        With Pia, I felt like the judges critiqued her on a different level than everyone else; in a season where even the struggling undercards were praised as if they were Whitney or David Bowie, Pia was given useless “feedback” and watered-down compliments. They made it seem like she was the struggling one when she was consistently excellent week-to-week, and look at what happened.

        • Jeffy says:

          That’s not how I remember it. From what I recall they praised her to the heavens every week. That’s why her elimination was such a shock. The only mild criticism I recall is that they told her she needed to move around more. So the next week she very tentatively walked around the judges table and then they praised her to the heavens for her vast improvement. I think that’s what got her eliminated. Viewers were turned off by the unwarranted over-praise.

    • HTGR says:

      Here is the thing, yeah it had already been manipulated for many seasons prior to S10, and nobody ever really liked it, but it was never 100% in your face over the top before, and you just kinda took the show only half-way seriously at times and let it all slide by. But S10 you had a true gem getting singled out, all alone, all season long, every possible way under the sun and that was something knew. And it was a season that you really wanted to take seriously because there was some good talent.
      S10, I mean it was so bad that for the first time (I think) ever, you actually had one of their own vocal coaches, one of the other contestants and even one of the judges at one point (Tyler went on quite a rant the night after Randy responded that it was clear that Haley deserved to go home first (to a question of who do you think most deserves to stay!)) slamming what the heck was going on with the show and saying that they didn’t get what the heck was up. There are direct quotes from their own vocal coach slamming the judging and production for pulling nonsense. Direct quotes from a contestant or two, on the record, before the season was over, putting their neck’s on the line and saying they were confused and upset about how off the judging seemed to be towards one of their own. And Tyler rant against Randy caught on video. I heard some minor rumblings by some after some other seasons were over, but never while they were going on like that.

      • HTGR says:

        They had one of their greatest gems of a contestant only and of all the contestants she was the only one getting absolutely singled out and killed by the show every which way (‘forgetting’ to bother to make her what was it top three backstory promo piece or something, re-filming and editing her home town visit and showing totally different things than the local news in her hometown showed, giving her 3 seconds on videochat to home and 3 minutes to everyone else, pushing her and egging her on until she broke just for cheap drama for ratings – that was beyond the pale what show does that to contestants in the top live rounds?, turning the fact that she was having the best performance week after week in a negative by laughably going on about how ‘uneven’ she was just because on the two performance nights her second performance was perhaps only merely very good but not also best of the night, come on).
        Anyway we are not only concerned with her, it’s that she was the final breaking point for many. The one where they just took it so far and put it so so so in your face again and again that there was no way to just ignore it anymore, not if you wanted to take the shoe even the tiniest bit seriously anymore.
        And the thing is JLo is insanely rich. I’m sorry but when you have tens beyond tens beyond tens of millions in the bank to sell out to that level for another 10 mil…. they all laugh to the bank with all their millions and extra fame from it all not caring a whit if they leave some of their own contestants hanging in the wind. Yeah I know give it a rest, nobody likes the whistleblower and it all just backfires, but that’s why the JLos and producers and all do it, they know they can. Either nobody speaks up and they get away with it or people speak up and then people hate that people keep speaking up and it backfires and they get away it.
        Anyway that’s my rant on it for this season. Everyone else is getting there rant out, so the first R.C. will be the place we all dump it out and move on for the rest of the season.

  9. drainey323 says:

    So glad to see Jason back in full force! Great as always Slezak and Melinda.

  10. Babybop says:

    Love the “Brie Larson was Robbed” sign you added in. She WAS robbed! Even though that has nothing to do with Idol! Ha ha.

    • Jaszy says:

      Yeah, what’s that all about? I was like “Brie Larson WAS ON IDOL? When?! What season?! I don’t remember her being on there!” I know she wasn’t on the show, but I know she is a singer. I’ve had her debut cd ever since it dropped. Unfortunately I think it was her only CD, wasn’t it? But I loved it when it came out.

  11. Shane says:

    Love, love, love this! So cute and so funny! :) I love Harry Connick, Jr. I have loved him since he starred in Will & Grace so anytime I can see him on TV is a win for me. I agree this is a wait and see, but in my eyes he can do no wrong. Oh and a side note, how gorgeous is Keith Urban?! Seriously, those eyes…my, my, my… Anyway, thanks for this recap, Michael! You and Melinda are so great together. You both are so entertaining and so enjoyable to watch.

  12. MissyBean says:

    I agree with your picks. And I agree that so far, Harry Connick Jr has made a difference. And I agree that #KrisAllendoeseverythingbetter. Loved the recap!! Please don’t make me watch The Voice.

  13. Jay says:

    Man, I was so disappointed when they hired Harry Connick Jr. I thought he’d be so boring, but man, he’s really good. Him and Keith are so on point with their feedback.

    • Timmah says:

      I didn’t like the hire either. I thought he’d be a pompous ass. Which he is, but he’s an entertaining pompous ass.

  14. Diane says:

    I don’t agree that Jillian Jenson should come back. There is something very sad and desperate about her. She tries way too hard on twitter, I mean seriously, she tweeted a photo

    • Diane says:

      A photo of herself in the bath. Just not right

    • Tusk says:

      Maybe unfairly, but her sad crying face from XFactor is indelibly attached in my mind to her name, made worse when they interviewed her Mother with what looked like the exact ‘sad’, crying visage :P

      She does sound like she’s improved, but that sequence on XFactor was so off putting to me, it might take a while of good performances for me to shake it….

      • Mary says:

        Different show, personally I think Xfactor hone in on her crying and kept showing it over and over again. I judge the singing not the stories and I think she was a better singer than a couple of who Demi kept. I am keeping an open mind and if she makes it through Hollywood week I will judge her on the singing only.

  15. Ilana says:

    #KrisAlenDoesEverythingBetter #YeahBaby #CantWaitForNewAlbum

  16. zaza says:

    I stopped watching Idol last year after Hollywood week, when the heavy hand of the producers once again showed up. But when I heard that Harry was going to be a judge this year, I decided to tune back in. I’m loving the vibe of this season’s judging panel BUT….I can’t help being dubious about the live rounds, because I fear that the producers will, once again, try to force us to pick their favorite, instead of ours. So I’m watching and waiting, warily.

  17. YAY, you’re back! Mandatory vid watching for the truly informed AI/TheVoice/Others singing competitions! Hail from Brazil.

  18. Rachel says:

    Watching this episode of Reality Check was the best way to start a Monday. The editing, especially all Sleeping Beauty references, could not have been any better. I laughed out loud through almost the entire episode. Thanks Slezak, Melinda, and Jason!

  19. Tiff says:

    Reality Check wins all the awards for that clip from the BBC version of Emma. =)

    I agree that Michael might need to leave his J.Lo hate behind for now. I know how he feels, but you can’t critique something that hasn’t happened yet.

    By the way, I like both Idol and The Voice, so I’m happy with the change to Reality Check.

  20. Tusk says:

    The snappy, hilarious, timely editing is back, the amusing commetary and snarky side eye….

    THIS gives me hope for Season 13…. that the TVLine crew seems to have been inspired and regained it’s Mojo :) Great Review, Michael an Melinda

    #ReinhartMentionWeek3 ;)

  21. Kate says:

    I don’t know what Jason Averett even looks like. He may be a troll living under a bridge. He may be featured on a episode of “My 600 lb life.” He may have Bieber tattoos.

    But I do know this: I am so into him. Boyfriend is a genius.

  22. Kim R says:

    I can so relate to the whole “trying to let it go” thing with the treatment of Haley. I actually stopped watching Idol after that season. I am back this season because of Harry. Fingers crossed. :)

  23. Ginger Snap says:

    Great episode of Reality Check. Still won’t watch until the live rounds and will limit my viewing to just the performances themselves – which means Daily Motion, YouTube and Hulu. I trust Michael and Melinda to share the intelligent comments from HCJR.
    Here’s hoping that TAB finally eliminate Randy & JLo next year.

  24. TinLV says:

    I’m hoping for better contestants this year. I got bored last year, it was so easy to see who was going to win.. not much suspense, at least for me. I like the new mix of judges. I personally like J-Lo as a judge. And Keith is awesome. Harry C Jr is a big surprise, though, he’s going to be the tough judge, no one is putting anything over on him. If they are good, he’ll put them thru.. if not, he tells it like it is. And I am glad that Randy is no longer judging. was so tired of him.. his new role with the show might be better suited to him anyway.

  25. marie says:

    Ahhhh, an “Idology” by any other name…. Welcome back, Reality Check! Adds SO much to my weekly Idol viewing.

  26. Teeny Bikini says:

    Do worry about JLo, Michael? When Haleygate happened Jennifer was on the panel with two idiots. I don’t mean they were dumb… they were just 2 judges who brought none of their considerable musical acumen or insight to the table in any meaningful way. I don’t think Harry will sit by and just let her have her Cruella moments, and to a lesser extent – I think Keith is not as pliable (I am intentionally forgetting when he threw Candace (sp?) under the bus last season, of course). I was worried too b/c I will also never forget how she treated Haley, but eh – you couldn’t drag me away from Harry Connick Jr. I don’t care who’s on the panel with him. Love that dude. He is the kind of smart that I appreciate. Go Harry!

  27. Linderella says:

    I assumed the manipulations of earlier seasons was really the producers doing their best to create friction where there was none. I was also a big-time Haley supporter and hated how she was treated. I’m not sure if it affected Haley’s album sales, because I was an early buyer, but the production values on her album were terribly disappointing. It just sound amateurish and many of the songs were not radio worthy. Perhaps with a different record producer and higher production values her album would have done better. Let’s hope she gets a chance to show how really great she is.

    • Tusk says:

      That she didn’t get the talk show circuit like the others did post season and that she took time to get the album out didn’t help either, the Idol audience has a short attention span/next season up mind set, so she lost alot of inertia from her AI appearance.

      I think JLo will probably be alot better because Harry doesn’t seem to have a problem speaking out on what he perceives as inaccurate, Melinda is right, Keith and Harry will keep JLo relatively ‘grounded’

      Then again, as pointed out above, TPTB have the power and even Keith gave in at the end of that season,, so we shall see…

      or maybe…”plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

      • Jeffy says:

        What would have really helped her is if she had her album out when she performed on idol. It’s a great album, with a little more exposure I do believe it would have taken off. But it doesn’t matter now, what’s done is done.

    • Mary says:

      Haley has a nice voice, but the realty is she was never main stream. She has a Jazz voice and should of been marketed there. The thing is the producers try to make a good show, they do not care if the singers make it beyond that. All the seasons have been manipulated but the final vote is up to America. It was obvious Haley did not have a big following.

      • Amy says:

        “The thing is the producers try to make a good show, they do not care if the singers make it beyond that.” <<<<< That. I've been saying that these past few years…to the producers, Idol the show is THE real star and the cash cow, and it's their job to make it get ratings and keep it's value. The rest of the show serves that purpose. The singer who gets picked is what America gets invested in and makes that part happen (along with the talent), despite whatever the producers do to make the show they want.

  28. Justin says:

    Am I the only one who really thinks the Haley “hate” from JLo was thrown WAY out of proportion? She was never really harsh towards her. It was ONLY those two performances and now people act like JLo criticized her and hated on her every week. Randy was the one who was more harsh on her and JLo stood up for her quite a few times and was positive. People need to get over it.

    • Tusk says:

      It’s part of the narrative, back when the Idol recaps were 3-5 segments each week, the mythology that Jason and Michael (and Buffy) created, and all in good fun ;)

      Every good story needs it’s villain, and Randy was too comical to make a good villain :D

      Besides, JLo is part of the discussion because she’s the one who has returned to the judges chair, Randy will get his critique when he shows up as a mentor. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does a fair job in that role, better than as a ‘worn out his welcome’ judge. Randy helped Casey Abrams on his debut album, which I liked a lot

    • Emma says:

      I thought her reaction when Haley was eliminated was pretty harsh, mean, inconsiderate, whatever word you wanna use. Especially when the week before she was bawling like a baby when James was eliminated… for her to be sitting there clapping enthusiastically with a huge smile on her face when Haley was eliminated… ugh, it just makes my blood boil all over again. Sigh. Perhaps me and Michael, and a few others here, need to all go to therapy together to deal with this. LOL.

      • Mary says:

        Yes you do.

      • Jeffy says:

        Sign me up! I need help letting go too. My hatred is so deep seated that I can barely stand to see she-who-shall-not-be-named for the few seconds she’s shown in Reality Check, there’s no way I would be able to watch idol as long as she’s a “judge”. Could I make a special request to Jason that he always replace she-who-shall-not-be-named with the cartoon Maleficient so that I never have to see or hear her? haha

        • HTGR says:

          Hah, good call. After recoiling and having to make the sign of the cross each time she appeared yeah I answered my question as to whether or not I can watch this season. No. And with Randy apparently returning in a few weeks. NO. Now I wonder if I can even watch Reality Check hah. Cartoon her over in R.C.! Hahaha.

    • waterbug says:


  29. Hugh says:

    Happy the show is back but I don’t watch The Voice because it sucks! Are you guys going to be making longer videos or splitting the time between Idol and TV?

  30. Mary says:

    Good Reality guys. Nobody has really stood out for me, but I do agree with Melinda and Harry: Nicki son’s was not that good and was only pushed through due to the story. Also Kris does do everything better. I get the impression that Harry does not like runs so I have a feeling not to many singers in that genre will make it. I am not complaining because it is not really my style but I want a diverse group to make it. I am still reserving my judgement until live rounds, but I do get the impression Harry will be honest. Also, Michael you do have to let the Haley thing go. I thought Randy was worst toward her than Jlo.

  31. ali427 says:

    That was AWESOME!! Thank you both so much–you make Idol so much fun!

  32. chris z says:

    So glad Michael and Melinda are back. I find it impossible to watch Idol until Hollywood Week, but I always watch and love these videos. I’m with Slezak; I do not trust JLo. She totally would give a poison apple to anyone she considered a threat. Can you imagine if there were another beautiful woman on the panel with her? Neither can I, because she would never allow it. Now I must google Kris Allen and bask in his cuteness

  33. Amy says:

    Haley was payback, for Michael and his buds at EW giving unfair treatment to a polite, uber-talented, nice kid, back in Season 7, who was so-called “pimped” because a good portion of the Idol audience, with valid reason, actually loved him. But he took flack at EW and on the boards for being “the chosen one.” There is often a “chosen one” on Idol anyway.
    So, Haley’s karma, Michael. But I’ll let go when you do…well, maybe.

  34. darcy's evil twin says:

    Really good “Reality Check”. Loved it. Wish they’d discussed a few more of the contestants but there is plenty of time for that. So glad Melinda is back!.

  35. Terry says:

    So glad you’re going to be discussing The Voice and not just idol. I quit on idol after season 10 and I’m not going back, but I do enjoy The Voice.

  36. DJ says:

    I know it’s only Week 1, but Harry might be the best judge AI has ever had. (Granted, I didn’t watch seasons 9-12, but from the few clips I’ve seen, Steven, Mariah, and Nicki don’t hold a candle to him as judges.) He’s humorous, knowledgeable, honest, clear in his statements (Take notes, Paulina!), and is constructive in his critiques.
    I just might be willing to give S13 a chance, especially after the debacle/obvious-ending that was X Factor S3! (I only managed to get through the Four-Chair Challenge episodes.),and I’m SO glad they’ve eliminated the bad auditions from the early episodes – what a waste of my time!!

  37. darcy the slutty twin says:

    I agree with Melinda. Move the frak on. Haley should’ve won, but it was nothing new that someone we thought should have won didn’t. So I hope there won’t be any mentions of Kendra whatshername, Mishavonna Henson (whom I loved) and other former contestants from 100 seasons ago. And please, stop picking on poor Thia Megia. I’m an unapologetic Thia Megia fan. I just love saying her name. Thia Megia.

    • Jaszy says:

      Uh! KENDRA CHANTELLE WILL LIVE ON FOREVER with that performance of Georgia on my Mind. THAT was one of the biggest robs of all time on this show! Uhhhh! Shame. She was fantastic. She should come back on some singing competition show; it doesn’t even have to be Idol. She should just come back, like on the Voice or something. I would’ve said the X – Factor, but that show’s a joke.

  38. Jaszy says:

    I love how Slezak included scenes from the movie Frances Ha, starring Greta Gerwig. I recently got a chance to watch that movie on Netflix and I gotta tell you: it was a great film. I just wish it was longer. It was so funny, quirky and idiosyncratic…i just love indie movies.

  39. Jaszy says:

    Haley! Haley! Haley! Haley! Haley!

    If only she could see the love that’s on this board from her fans.

    Miss her forever!

  40. Brigette says:

    I love you guys, I love that you’re back, and I love Harry. I agree w/ Melinda that this judges panel is working great so far and hopefully will balance things out and keep She Who Must Not Be Named in check. Speaking of which, I love all the season 10 references and the eternal rage over the treatment of Haley Reinhart. I CAN’T LET IT GO EITHER, MICHAEL! #NeverForget

  41. HTGR says:

    Hah that was a pretty funny R.C. through and through. It’s hard to say since I didn’t see the shows, but from what I can see, I might have to agree with Melinda a bit more, at least until the very end, where I fear she is being a bit naïve (but hopefully not).
    Harry does appear to be awesome and man do I love how he came back with that stuff about how is it really so bad to maybe challenge America a little. I mean seriously does everything have to be ever dumbed down more and more and more. +1000000 to Harry for that. It’s about time to stop the endless spiral down. And if the producer’s try to tell him to dumb it down so as to not scare people off or some other such garbage I hope I he tells forget it, I’m doing it how I’m doing it. He does deserve some ratings.