American Idol Top 10 Girls Recap: I'm Sorry, Mr. Jackson, Are You for Real? [Updated]

american-idol-season-13-top-10-girls-performance-recap-majesty-malaya-mkI’ve always been a sucker for an inspirational, never-give-up, success-in-spite-of-insurmountable-odds story arc: The Little Engine That Could. Seabiscuit. Fantasia’s “I Believe.”

But for the love of all that’s holy, how is the caked-on gravy that is Randy Jackson still clinging to the American Idol platter on its 13th cycle through the reality TV dishwasher?

PHOTOS | American Idol: Ranking the Top 15 Women Heading Into the Live Shows

The Artist Formerly Known as ‘The Other Judge’ assumed his new role as in-house mentor tonight, and the results were, um, well… why don’t I just quote some of Randy’s “specific,” “actionable” advice: “You’ve gotta give it your all. And you’ve gotta give your best performance.” Dude misprounounced at least one singer’s name, didn’t offer a single smidge of advice about song choice or arrangement and acted as if he’d never watched a single second of performance footage of any of the women who sat in front of him.

Honestly, Idol probably had to slash its budget and cut the guy who sorts J.Lo’s M&Ms by color just to get The Dawg’s input? No me gusta!

RELATED | Pilot Season 2014: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows and Who’s Starring In Them

Even more distressing was the fact that the show cut one-third of Season 13’s Top 15 girls — before they’d sung a single note — based in large part on footage of Randy’s pre-season workshop (which, mercifully, was heavy on footage of glowing, talented Idol grads Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry). Ryan also noted that contestants’ dress rehearsals played a part in the decision. And — I’m just gonna assume it was all Randy’s fault — five really promising vocalists (Kenzie Hall, Austin Wolfe, Andrina Brogden, Jillian Jensen and Brandy Neelly) were all slashed in favor of the a couple women who’d given no prior indication of being ready for primetime singing stardom. (Spoiler: Their names respectively rhyme with Pia Buh-Bye and Larry Hell Cellars.)

A funny thing happened, though, on the way to creating a dramatic “Rush Week” forum. None of the 10 women who would eventually sing for America’s vote knew in advance of the live show whether or not she’d actually get a chance to take the stage. One at a time, the judges would introduce a singer, ask her to run through a backstage gauntlet, grab the mic and perform her ditty.

And as J.Lo astutely noted, the long run to the stage, the adrenaline and fear of the last-second announcements and the inability to fully prepare for a major television debut resulted in an evening of uneven, tentative, out-of-tune performances. In other words, reality TV drama was the night’s big winner; but lost in the contrived setup was the feeling that we were looking at multiple legitimate contenders to own a piece of The House That Kelly Clarkson Built.

That may not be a fair assessment of the Top 10 women’s skills, but it’s cast a pall over exec producer Per Blankens’ otherwise sparkly Idol reboot. Let’s hope Top 13 performance night allows the Season 13 lineup the full opportunity to look (and sound) like future Fantasias and Candices and Adams and Daughtrys, yes?

With that said, let’s jump to letter grades for tonight’s performances:

Majesty Rose: Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” — Grade: B+ | The gap in her tooth! The glorious hair! The dancing eyes! The little pops of range and power percolating throughout her acoustic take on Pharrell’s glistenining electronic jam! Majesty may not have delivered the most spotless semifinal performance in Idol history, but it may have been one of the most effervescent. And dagnabit, she actually went uptempo, to boot!

Kristen O’Connor: Adele’s “Turning Tables” — Grade: B- |  There wasn’t a whole lot wrong, per se, with Kristen’s pitch or tone or delivery — save for the few instances where she fell out of time with the band (good catch by J.Lo!). The problem, though, is that with her visible nerves and vacant smile, Kristen didn’t really capture the emotional heft that Adele brings to the complex ballad. The end product was like a postcard of a painting from a museum: The shapes and colors were there, but at a 99 cent price point, you couldn’t exactly swap it out for the original.

Briana Oakley: Demi Lovato’s “Warrior” — Grade: C+ | I loved Briana’s Hollywood Week performances — so much so that I had her ranked at No. 3 in my pre-live shows countdown. But not only did her choice of “Warrior” highlight some of the more strident aspects of her vocal tone, she also delivered it with all the confidence of a giraffe trying to navigate an Olympic luge course. Granted, I don’t think the background vocalists were helping Briana’s cause — every time their voices met, the blend was as natural as current Bachelor Juan Pablo at a Gay Pride parade — but Harry’s “fine job” critique was about the kindest way you could describe Briana’s downfall.

Jena Irene Asciutto: The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” — Grade: B- | A couple hours after the fact, and I’m still not sure how to sum up my feelings about Jena’s performance. J.Lo was spot-on that there was “a nice, sulty quality” to the vocals,  and yet while I appreciated some of Jena’s dramatic flourishes, the whole just didn’t feel equal to the sum of the parts. Maybe it was the arrangement, which seemed to stack verse on top of verse without giving Jena any room to play with the melody or build the drama or find some quieter spaces to let the song breathe. And maybe (just maybe) the whole number was pitched just a wee bit high for Jena’s instrument. When it’s all said and done, though, I still believe that She Whose Name Was Repeatedly Mispronounced by Randy proved she’s got a big enough range, a unique enough tone and enough natural charisma that she deserves a spot in the Season 13 Top 13.

Bria Anai: Melanie Fiona’s “Wrong Side of a Love Song” — Grade: D+ | Gack! Girlfriend definitely put the “wrong” in “Wrong Side of a Love Song,” a ballad I was unfamiliar with prior to the show, and certainly never wish to hear again. Keith tried to be gentle when he said Bria “overshot the runway,” but isn’t that just another way of calling the performance a plane crash? The tragic part of the wreckage is that Bria (whose mom hilariously describes her style as “an appropriate Rihanna”) showed glimmers of spunk and vocal ability, but clearly needs a few more years to be ready for the big stage. If she’d been left in the Holding Room of the Damned, it might’ve been the best thing ever to happen to her musical aspirations.

Marrialle Sellars: Katy Perry’s “Roar”– Grade: D- | Would Alanis Morissette describe it as “ironic” that Marrialle mostly gasped and mewled her way through a song called “Roar”? Perhaps. But a more accurate description of Marrialle’s performance might be “catastrophic,” with a questionable grasp of tempo and a lower register that fell away from her like it had dropped through an unexpected trap door at center stage. The worry is that Uncle Per has invested so much time and backstory into contestant voted Most Ready to Star in Her Own Teen Vogue Fashion Spread that he’ll instruct one of the judges to award her the Wild Card. But if girlfriend didn’t know enough to break out the acoustic guitar and break down Katy Perry’s into something that could unearth the allegedly pleasant parts of her range, how can anyone be confident that she’ll be any better by this time next week?

Jessica Meuse: Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” — Grade: B | For a gal who comes off kinda brassy and brash and hard-charging, Jessica sure picked a low key (or as my hubby described it, “completely unchallenging”!) country-blues ballad for her introduction to the voting public. But as Keith noted, the pink-haired one-woman band is a believable storyteller — one with a really unique tone — even when her facial expression doesn’t totally match the material she’s singing. And so while this wasn’t exactly the slam-dunk she probably needed to overcome the “drama queen” edit she’s gotten the last few weeks, I can’t help but feel like the season will be more interesting if there’s still a place for her in it.

Emily Piriz: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ “Paris (Ooh La La)” — Grade: C | Some folks on Twitter called it “slut shaming” when Harry pointedly asked Emily about the lyrics of his possible least-favorite song, and whether “that’s really what you want to sing?” But I wasn’t bothered in the least by his query — and here’s why: Yes, Emily probably ranked No. 3 or 4 tonight in terms of staying on pitch, but there wasn’t an ounce of believable sexuality coursing through her performance. It was all H&M dressing room poses and scrunched up faces and faux vocal grit without any real rock sensibility. For a song that begins with the query, “you’ve got me down on the floor/ So what’d ya bring me down here for?” Emily’s performance was never in any real danger of hitting the carpet. And at this stage of the competition, it’s not just about knowing your vocals, but your inner voice as well. I’m not saying I have a problem with innocence (or any variation on said theme): Just don’t put sexy on the menu if you haven’t perfected the recipe.

MK Nobilette: John Legend’s “All of Me” — Grade: B+ | What MK lacked tonight in technique — and yes, there were a few nervous pitch fumbles and a couple glitches in her phrasing — she made up for with a palpable passion and a lovely, lilting tone. Granted, her openly sobbing family and friends probably increased the emotional effectiveness of the performance by 10 percent. But her delivery of the lines “Love your curves and all your edges/ All your perfect imperfections” really hit me square in the gut, so much so that I won’t even dock MK points for being the first singer of Season 13 to activate those bloody heinous SwayBots(™).

Malaya Watson: Ray Charles’ “Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)” — Grade: B | The opening few lines of Malaya’s performance were pitched so low that it rendered her barely audible, but so what? On a night marked by tentativeness, misguidedness and future night terrors, Malaya at least proved willing to get a little crazy, boom out some notes with abandon and throw her whole body into the task at hand. The end result didn’t exactly transform me from the skeptic who ranked her No. 15 (out of 15 girls) in my pre-Live Show countdown into a full-fledged fan, but with a little more experience and a little more nuance, she could be an acutal contender (for, like, fifth place).

Oh, and in other news Ben Briley beat Neco Starr for the No. 15 slot among the dudes. (Can you imagine if the judges elect to cut him anyhow? #thisisreal)

And with that, I turn it over to you.

What did you think of the Top 10 women? Who were your faves? Which pre-performance cuts made you most upset? Take our polls below, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

  1. DonB says:

    Wow, AI still has some firepower. 342 comments as I write this. Sorry, I haven’t read them all. Last night pretty much displayed why The Voice and AI are going and will go in different directions. None of the judges on AI is invested in a single performer because of the show’s format. There is nothing driving any of the AI judges to bring out the best in any of the performers, whether that is presentation or appeal or specific song choice, as there is with TV. In past seasons they outsourced the job to guest mentors. This season it has been outsourced to Randy Jackson. So while contestants on TV get the same person with detailed points about every performance, and feedback if they continue on (a partnership in the truest sense), the judges on AI provide contestants with maybe a minute of post traumatic recap when the contestant is least able to absorb what is being said.

    Here’s the best single thing AI could do. Make judges commit to the show for their money. Make them responsible for song choice. Make them sit in with the vocal coaches to determine the song’s presentation. Make them coordinate with Ricky Minor. Change their description from “judge” to “partner” so when they render judgment it is as much on themselves as it is on contestants.

    Independently of above, two things make me laugh. First was HCJ’s comment to the tryout people that sickness is not an excuse, to suck it up because that is the very definition of professionalism. Then in what can only be described as a whine for the ages (and it was still going on on last night by all three judges), he turned around and whined about how hard it is to be a judge and cut people! Hey, Harry, the unprofessionial sick amateurs are getting on a bus and going home. You are getting a gazillion dollars to cut people. Don’t criticize them for concern about something that they feel is really going to adversely affect their dream and then turn around and whine about how hard it is to get paid to cut people. Second, I have seen HCJ on his self and AI promotional tour saying this is the best group of talent ever. Earth to Harry. Any five of this year’s males will be better than last year’s final five males. The best five girls this tear will not come close to last year’s top five girls.

    • deedee says:

      One of the main reasons I like Idol and can’t tolerate the Voice (or XFactor) is precisely because the Idol judges have no personal stake in the winner. What kind of “judge” has an interest in the game outcome? That sort of setup makes it a competition between the judges, and not the contestants. No, please … no!

      • DonB says:


        The game outcome in this case is to make AI the top rated show on television. If the judges can find a way to make contestants much stronger by using their (judges’) experience to choose songs that fit the contestants abilities and styles better than the contestants (without a lot of experience) can, the show is much stronger and gets better viewership. Everyone wins. That is the judges stake. For me every time a judge says “that was the wrong song choice” or “that didn’t do it for me” or “the arrangement wasn’t good”, that judge and the show let a golden opportunity go by. Why would this franchise want to turn over its reputation to the choices of contestants. Who wants Lazaro Arbus making song and arrangement and presentation decisions? The judges chose the contestants for specific singing and appeal reasons. How many times have you yelled at the screen and at the contestant “What are you doing!” In those cases the judges let the contestant make a decision that went against the reason they were chosen. The contestant and the show went to a weakness and not a strength. I am saying if the judges are worth their money, they know the contestants’ strengths and they can channel the contestants to that end.

    • Name That Tune says:

      DonB, I don’t know what world you work in, but being sick is no excuse, especially if we’re talking about a cold. LOTS of adults have to muddle through their work day even if they don’t feel 100%. It’s called life.
      For the most part, these are 15 to 20 year old kids who want to make it in the music business. They have always had Mommy and Daddy to cry to. But if you are going out on tour, and you’ve just sold out an arena at upwards of $100/ticket, there is NO excuse for quitting on your fans. This is a hard cold fact of making it in the industry, especially if all you have to sell is your name. So, yes, boys and girls, you need to suck it up and show up for work, just like your parents do at whatever job they have.

      • DonB says:

        Name That Tune,

        I think you misunderstood. I don’t have a problem with HCJ telling them not to use illness as an excuse. That’s the way life works. But when HCJ turns around and whines about how hard his job is to cut contestants, it is exactly the same as a contestant whining about how hard it is to sing while she or he is sick. He’s whining just like he says they are but shouldn’t. Be an example and be professional. Don’t whine and look for sympathy which is what he is doing and urging contestants not to do, like America is too stupid to understand it is difficult to cut contestants.

  2. anthony says:

    What the hell was that last night. How can you send 15 artists through to the live rounds, then let 5 of those artists sit there on live TV and never get a chance to sing. People get invested in a favorite for a week and then never get a chance to vote for them, it is some of the worst programming I have ever seen and completely uncomfortable to watch. Never mind the quality of the performances on the singers they did choose, just the fact that 5 girls had to sit there for 2 hours and never get a chance to sing is just incomprehesible. And, of the 10 they did choose, 4 of them are the exact same singer, how many Malaya’s amd Malayasia’s and Indonesia’s can you have that sing the exact same style. Not one of the potential female Phil Phillips made it through, a singer/songwriter type with a quirky voice. What started out as a season with such potential has turned into a disaster. The Voice starts monday, thank god.

    • Tom22 says:

      What started with so much promise with Keith being able to say a bit more though using a dialogue with harry and jlo to express it, and ryan reigining in on cloying “better than ever” crap a bit (yeah it is his job but at least he had toned it down to something less than a cartoon level) fell to pieces seeing Randy Jackson repeatedly… not just one little.. hello randy.. we had to listen to his crap now interspersed with stuff I want to watch.

      At least I could leave the room when Randy started talking (or press mute) the last 5 years after tolerating him for the first seasons. This is hell on earth having to see him talking about the singers preparation.

      Is there any chance they’ll cut him before the next week? I’m really not going to be able to enjoy the show with him on it.

  3. carol gulan says:

    I would like to know why all the finalists that were black made the cut; the four remaining women whomt I could identify as white or other were certainly not mainstream singers for the most part because of their appearance, demeanor or song choice. Is this Randy Jackson’s way of answering the harangue about how not enough minorities are winning American idol in the past by now stacking the contestants with only minority representation like the show did last year? I certainly wouldn’t listen to the rest of the shows if the results for the men follow the choices made for the women?

    • Jaynellebell says:

      I hope they give one of the people who did not make the cut a chance to get on the show. I can think of several people I’d rather watch than Marielle. I dont (and hope) think that they chose people based on race. I could comment about the number of gays and lesbians on the show this year or the number of male country singers. I could comment about the number of years when there was only one or two blacks on the show and they got cut earlier than some folks who needed to go and stuck around to the end (diana degarmo). So let’s keep an open mind and hope that talent wins out over ratings. They can cut Randy Jackson tonight. I am so disappointed that he is still on the show.

      • anthony says:

        I agree, I don’t think race has anything to do with it, it’s just poor judgement and the very bad idea of having Randy Jackson still involved with the show. His time was over, yet now his stamp is still on the show. I think tonight will be even worse because your’re right, too many male country singers, and guess what, they get votes, whether they suck or not. So disappointed that what started out as promising has turned to crap, 8 out of the 10 singers left are the cookie cutter idol prototype, and I’ll be tired of them in two weeks.

        • Tom22 says:

          Randy’s presence is worse this year than ever…I could mute him as a judge and not miss anything but now he’s in segments about preparation.. saying nothing …wasting time, making me sick but maybe in a conversation revealing some background on the song choice decision which is something I really want more of from the show… can they just can him and get some local news reporter to say the nothings he is saying as if he’s important.

      • MAB says:

        It may seem crazy but someone mentioned the law suit about Idol being racist but if you look at the finalist there are an equal amount of of black and white girls. Do you think that the judges had to do this cut to insure that it will be equal as far as race is concerned. To me it is the only thing that makes sense as to why some of these girls went through. I am thinking of Marrialle and Bria. There is no way they are better than a couple of girls left. It will be interesting to see what happens with the guys.
        Idol has always been my favorite show and I can’t wait for it to air. Last year was totally horrid and I thought I will never watch again. Then when Harry became a judge I got excited and I do like Harry but with the manipulation from the producers and it is still there I just about had it. Last year with all the whining of the WGWG. The producers caused one of one of the worse seasons of Idol ever. This year with this lawsuit over their heads I do believe the manipulation continues. Don’t get me wrong I think Candice Glover is awesome and deserved the win last year. I just purchased her album and it is really good but with all the crap that went on last season it did not help her in her success after Idol and I think it is a damn shame. I have to agree Idol is on its last leg. Last night was one of the worse opening to the live shows I can ever remember.

        • anthony says:

          agree completely MAB. Last night was Idol at it’s absolute worse and like you I have always been a huge fan of the show. This season started out promising, I also like Harry Connick, and I thought his inclusion was going to allow for some unique and different singers than the normal Idol prototype, especially given the type of singers they pushed through to Hollywood. But it all started going off the rails when they brought all of those contestants to hollywood and sent a big group of them home before they even left the airport. Was that supposed to be good. dramatic television, because it wasn’t. It was horrible and hard to watch.And last night was just a continuation of that process, for some reason it seems this season that the Idol hierarchy thinks it’s riveting television to send some people home without giving them a chance. For me it’s just a total negative vibe, we had a top 15, people had their favorites, yet 5 of those 15 are sent home without being given a chance.How on earth does anyone think that qualifies as entertaining.

          • deedee says:

            I’m all for them bringing Uncle Nigel back next year. Pers is not properly nurturing the soul of this show. (And yes, I realize I’m in a minority of one on this issue :) ).

        • Timmah says:

          Half the finalists are black, but no Asians. And I think there’s what, one or two Hispanics left? I agree, the lawsuit hanging over their heads is causing them to favor a certain minority group.

    • waterbug says:

      wow…really concerned about the races are we? What you said made no sense seeing as how a black woman won last season. Tagging Randy Jackson’s name on your comment does not make it less nonsensical and racist. Nothing personal. I know it’s your opinion…and this is mine.

    • Have u been watching from beginning? I don’t think so as many black contestants were eliminated too soon and some were better than anyone still there except Emily, MK and Majesty. Also judges aren’t ones who decide the producers do but they want u to think judges are the ones. They are not.

  4. Jaynellebell says:

    I didnt like the format of tonight’s show at all. JLo was correct when she said they expected people to run down an aisle and sing. Majesty and MK where the only two that stood out with that kind of performance. Marielle was the worse but they will save her because of her “nerves.” She is not the next American Idol. Hopefully, they will correct this injustice when its the boys turn tonight. I too would like a format where its just the top 20 and not boys and girls.

    • Meme says:

      Hate there has to be 15 of each gender. There were clearly great singers eliminated who shoud have been there, despite their gender. It should be the top 30 voices with potential star quality.

  5. steve spencer says:

    The producers really shot themselves in the foot last
    night. You cant bring 5 semi-finalist
    girls into the Chamber and then not even give them a chance to sing. Especially when 2 or 3 of them were the
    hottest babes (and maybe best singers) in the field. If they think “looks” is not a factor in a
    singing competition, they have another think coming. If they pull the same crap tonight and
    leave the “hunks” on the bench, there’s gonna be mass tuning-out. How about
    this idea instead? Edit out the Dawg
    reclining on the casting couch with “You gotta give it all you got” advice and
    you easily open up enough time to have 5 more girls sing. They
    make up the rules as they go, so now I’d say they should revive the Lost 5 and somehow
    fold them back into the competition.

  6. Flicker says:

    The entire problem with the rush week is that the producers didn’t establish what it is about at the core. Is it about supporting contestant to succeed or is it about reality tv drama? On the one hand, they said they gave the contestants a team of people to help them get better, including workshops, mentorship and spiritual guidance (which is actually very smart if and when done well) . We finally saw some long-awaited behind the scenes and it somewhat built on a solid round of auditions and hollywood week where constructive criticism generally prevailed. On the other hand, contestants were expected to sing withing seconds of their name being called, which created an extremely stressful situation and that is on their FIRST live show. The juxtaposition (success vs drama) were at odds with each other and the show completely bombed. With the exception of Majesty, Jena, and MK (even they had B performances), everyone else didn’t demonstrate they deserve to move on.

    What is even more frustrating is that we were supposed to see contestants who were supposedly the best from the dress rehearsal and workshops. The team of people was supposed to help guide them to success. It was clear that was total bull. Why did no one in the process of last week point out – hey, this song just doesn’t work; hey, try doing this acoustic; hey, you are out of tune! I guess the assumption is that the remaining 5 girls were even worse than what we saw, which I don’t buy by the way, but if it’s the case, it doesn’t bode well for the season.

    Perhaps this utter failure was in some small way caused by the show’s early success? Maybe they built expectations in us, and so we expected more?

  7. Stormy says:

    Too many comment to read through right now. My 2 cents = The only two I really enjoyed were M K and Jessica. Many of the others were shrieking not singing and Marielle needs to go ASAP. For all the hype, Majesty didn’t impress me at all. On the fence about Malaya, need to see her again.

  8. Loni says:

    It was an absolutely horrible way to start the show. Not impressed at all. Which is too bad because I was really enjoying this season. Now I don’t know if I can stomach watching any more and I have been an ardent viewer from the beginning. What a terrible way to cut 5 promising singers. Especially to have those who did sing do so very poorly for the most part. Very disappointed.

  9. JR says:

    I really hate the term “slut-shaming.” I’m a 29-year-old woman of color – nothing in common with Harry Connick Jr – and I think we all should be able to comment on a singer’s song choice without having to hear this stupid “slut-shaming” term being thrown around like it magically makes all critiques invalid. Here’s the thing – some people look like juveniles. Emily looks like a juvenile. Miley Cyrus looks like a juvenile. Regardless of their actual ages, they look like 13-year-olds, and they’re up there singing raunchy lyrics. It’s CREEPY. It’s GROSS. If they actually looked like adults, I would have no problem with it. This is not slut-shaming – this is a natural reaction that normal adults have when looking at what appear to be children. If you’re comfortable looking at a seeming-child acting like a sexual object (because in your mind you’re telling yourself, “She’s actually 18”) there is something wrong with you, not Harry.

    • justsaying says:

      not only do they look young, they also act/seem/sing young. if they could sell it believably, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • deedee says:

      Thanks, JR. I find the overreactions to Harry’s comments kind of ridiculous, myself. It’s like being back on campus where pretty much everything caused righteous indignation, lol.

  10. Kimbo says:

    Something tells me MK is gonna be the complaint target this season aside from Marrialle.
    “Oh her voice is weak! She’s only going through because she’s gay!”…..
    Judging from her other youtube videos, her voice is anything but weak and not plain. But of course she MUST belt a note or two in order to not be considered to have a plain voice, right?
    I wonder how many folk here like Ed Sheeran or softer spoken singers such as him?

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I love Ed Sheeran and his style. That’s the kind of music I listen to regularly. You’ll never hear me complain that a performance was too soft or gentle.

      • Kimbo says:

        I love that style too, but it almost looks as if it’s only gonna be considered plain if you don’t bother to belt a note or two, or if your voice isn’t so incredibly distinct people would prefer to listen to it be soft spoken and wispy.
        Basically, if an artist is gonna sing soft and tenderly they’ll only receive support if they have some Caroline Pennell/Holly Henry type voice.
        Shame. I actually enjoy not being belted at for once, seems more…serious.

  11. Michael – anyway you can add video clips in the recap? I love your words, but find myself jumping over to MJs site to watch the video clips and then coming back to you for your words. Would love to be able to just stay here…..

  12. GDR says:

    What a dissapointing night overall. I was so excited for this season…just don’t understand what happened. Hopefully the producers take a look at this. Loved Kenz and she didn’t even get through. Let’s hope things pick up or I am tuned out.

  13. jaxguy says:

    Uh Oh! AI started out great but has now hit a big, big bump….
    Nobody was great some were very good though…
    And a couple of cuts were a mistake….

  14. jaxguy says:

    I will make an even bolder statement: they cut the BEST singer of the bunch. They have opened the door for another country boy to win.
    I’m getting scared of the direction after last night.

    • wingsstef says:

      I know country is popular now, and I not saying they are bad singers. However, I have to say “Ha”. I too am sick of the same type of singer winning over and over. Partly why I haven’t been watching too much the last few seasons. This season has interested me a bit more so far. I guess tonight and tomorrow will tell us more.

  15. Sieves says:

    I loved: Majesty, Malaya, MK, Jessica and Jena.Those 5 to me are the most believable, interesting and talented girls who got up on that stage. The other girls have their strengths, but something about watching them just made me feel jittery and uncomfortable, for various reasons. The singers who get up on that stage should make us, the audience, feel good watching them, instead of exhausted from watching them (and in the case of Sellars and Anai, even listening to them was difficult).

    I feel really sorry for Briana. I mean, I always thought her voice had kind of a grating quality to it, but she does have a lot of skill and a great voice on the whole. But she just looked like a deer in the headlights tonight, which is probably why she got cut last year. She’s either thinking too much or not enough at all. That’s something I had never noticed before, but now I feel like kicking myself for not having seen it sooner.

    I’m also really upset about some good girls getting cut, such as Brandy and Kenzie. I thought both of them would have really brought it. Switch them out with Sellars and Anai and it would have been a much better top 10.

    JLO was great tonight, as she usually is. Keith was good as well, and Harry seemed unsettled in the beginning, but after he got his first BOO he relaxed and was much better.

    Overall, just a meh episode performance-wise. The format of this top 30 top 20 top 13–whatever–is really horrendous. The girls couldn’t catch their breaths or control their anxiety before they had to go sing, which made for even more problems…

    But yeah, pretty upset about how this whole thing went down.

  16. Sieves says:

    I will say this though: Song choice wise, I really liked last night. It was nice to hear a range of music and I felt like Idol was more “modern” last night.

  17. danin says:

    They did a pretty good job pre last night getting us on board w/a revived Idol & in typical Idol fashion found a way to destroy all those promising weeks.On the other hand we have seen promising contestants fall apart at exactly this point no matter the format. And just a few weeks ago there was an article w/some Idol honcho talking about Idol winding down.So those contestants who got the boot last night deservedly or undeservedly shouldn’t count on Idol being there for them in the future.Just like Jillian hoppped the Idol train these kidz ought to look for another show or way to do their music.Maybe the old fashioned way of finding places to sing,produce their oen music and not count on instant fame&success. Plenty of people do well on&w/youtube.And create avenues to perform both on&offline from it.

  18. Eva Krejci says:

    I would love to see your recaps include pictures of the contestants. At these early stages, I often have to google the names to remember which is which. But other than that, I love your recaps!

  19. JayNC says:

    Last night’s episode just made me want to cry. I wanted to cry for the 5 poor girls who were left sitting without a chance to sing. Did they have families in the audience that came to hear them? How utterly sad and humiliating and degrading. And I simply cannot believe they were worse than the 10 Chosen Ones.
    I want to cry about our top 10 girls too. We began with such a promising group after the auditions and these 10 are the best the judges could come up with? A few are good, but most are completely generic and forgettable, if not downright awful. The judges have completely lost their credibility.
    I also want to cry for AI, which I fear will not recover from this debacle. I may be seeing the last season of AI, if I even watch it all. At this point I am so sick I may tune out.

    • Listerine says:

      I wanted to see Kenzie, Brandy, and Austin sing :( Emmanuel and little Gary Coleman might make the top ten guys at this point.

  20. Dave says:

    I hope Jillian Jensen will have a wild card. Because I really want her to win American Idol.

  21. tadhi says:

    stupid producer. this season was never right since the auditions episode.

    super fail! i was suppose to love this show, and he make me hate it.

  22. tadhi says:

    I don’t want to brag about who’s more deserving, because every single one of them deserve to perform!!!!!

    stupid fail producer

  23. lynn says:

    Slezak, I usually agree with you 110% of the time. But Harry did slut shame Emily.
    He point blank, had an issue with the sexual aspect of the song. Not only that but the first two lines by themselves sound more sexual than they actually are. (Emily, in fact, had the right interpretation..not Harry’s inference.) Harry’s questioning was the musical equivalent of “isn’t that skirt a little too short for you?” She’s a grown woman. She can sing what she wants.

    I don’t think she’s naturally the type of singer that she tried to convey last night. But I do think that she’s a huge Grace Potter fan, and that’s probably why she picked the song.

    That fact that she was one of the few girls to hit all of her notes (and lets face it, despite not embodying the song completely, she did a better job than many of the girls.) makes it one of the better performances. And the fact that Idol, once again, treated it’s female contestants unfairly..makes me root for her a little more. (I doubt very much a male contestant will get asked that question if he decides to sing, say “Nice and Slow”…)

    • anthony says:

      great comments Lynn, I think you are exactly right on all points. Harry actually didn’t know what to say when Emily gave her answer to what she thought the first two lines meant, kind of proving that she is more in touch with Grace Potter than Harry is. She did a very good job on the song too, I agree there was somewhat of a disconnect there, but her voice sounded perfectly fine. much better than most of the other “singers” last night

  24. Jason says:

    I think there’s some favortism going on! MK was horrendous! Was off tune the whole time and she picked a boring song that basically had three notes. How do you go off tune on that!! awful! The whole show was pretty bad! And why 10 singers in two hours? In the past they always had a top 12?

  25. Meme says:

    I thought the entire 2 hours were filled with mishaps. We wanted to hear all 15 girls sing, and we think all should have been given that opportunity. The other 5 girls could not have been worse than the 10 performances we heard. I know they had to be nervous, and who wouldn’t be? But nearly every performance was wasted on the wrong song choice or vocals screeching over the top, off pitch, and listening to it was really hard. I don’t know what “Boot Camp” taught them, but it didn’t come through in their performances. Felt sorry for them because I heard better from them prior to this show.

    • Name That Tune says:

      It’s not what it taught them. It’s what it should teach us. Inexperienced 15 to 20 year olds singing in front of a live audience with a lot at stake. That’s a formula for failure.

      Makes me appreciate The Voice because most of the singers are a little older, more experienced and more mature. It’s not their first rodeo.

  26. Name That Tune says:

    Nearly 500 comments and we’re not even 24 hours out from the show.
    In the world of reality TV that’s a victory for the producers. Because, good or bad, they’ve got you talking. Plus they had about 9 million viewers last night vs the Olympics. That’s the best that any show has produced against the 20 million watching the Olympics.
    So Fox must be feeling pretty good about things today.

    • JayNC says:

      Well, until they read the blogs and find out how pissed off everyone is.

      • wingsstef says:

        Who tunes in tonight, tomorrow and next week will make more a difference than these comments. Besides, the term “vocal minority” is a thing for a reason. More unhappy people tend to post than happy ones. Ratings make more of a difference. Not everyone that posted here even have been unhappy. Also it’s early. People were nervous. Now if the singers continue to be sub-par next week and beyond, then I would agree more. Either I thought there were some good singers, and look forward to hearing some more.

  27. marie says:

    Finally watching what I missed last night.
    OK, now I get MK Nobilette. Wasn’t crazy about her before, but she might be my current favorite among the ladies.
    And now I am OFFICIALLY in love with Harry! He said to Jessie, “…disconnect between you and I,” and then immediately corrected it to “you and ME”! Who DOES that? NO ONE does that these days! Harry, I DO love you!

  28. Jen Quade says:

    They should have All been able to sing for America which is what the show is supposed to be about. Kenzie Hall was by far the best in my book and they cut her. Why even let them through to the top 15 if they were cutting them anyway. That is beyond cruel. I wish every guy would walk out of American idol during the live show. I’d say, if you went give all of us a chance to sing for America, then none of us will sing. Whoever would have the guts to do that, would be a hero. I bet the audience would
    Give them a standing ovation. But no one will be strong enough. Imagine what would happen if they did though. Idol would have to end for the season, or bring the others back. It would be sweet justice!

  29. PK says:

    What started out as such a promising season has turned into another repeat of past seasons. Though it would be practically impossible to match last season’s disastrous plot to bring down American Idol and I don’t know of anything that can ever heal the involuntary cringe I have when I remember Vonetta being selected over …… anyone, I fear that this year’s show has returned to the predictable AI patterns of the past….*sigh*
    They put Marialle through! Really? I’m still trying to remember the promising performances the judges spoke of and, for the life of me, I can’t remember any. Twenty bucks says she gets a wild card Thursday cause I can’t see her getting the popular vote. I won’t even comment on any of the others cause there are only two or three that should even have made it this far IMO.

  30. Bo Knows Muzak says:

    Terrible top 10 selection. This show just lost another viewer. All 15 should have been allowed to sing and they end up cutting the one who probably would have won it all (Kenzie). Booo Idol, you suck.

  31. Ashley says:

    Really bad AI season. Randy Jackson is a college dropout crashing the prom. No one superb. Bad choices. Dont like the 15 to 10. Emanuel is a social deviant. You can see the void in his eyes. Sorry that he took a spot away from someone worthy. AI playing the SUPER race card.

    • Bo Knows Muzak says:

      I hate to say that I agree with your comment about the ‘Race Card’, but I have to agree, well, not really a ‘Race Card’, per say, but an ‘Image Card’. I think the Idol producers, Randy Jackson, and Harry C. had the most influence on the picks. Harry has his favorites and it seems like his favorites trump the over judges. Harry may relate more to certain types of singers. Then there is MK. Can she actually sing? What the H&^*? Idol has never really had a gay female idol, at least not a definitely gay female idol, so why not give false praises to a mediocre singer? Maybe my television speaker just sucks, but I was not impressed with her voice at all.

      Kenzie’s unique Hollywood audition should have been enough to land her in the top 10. I think that should have been clear to anyone with two working ears, but hey, what do I know? Yeah Idol, work on your ‘Image’. Who cares if your selections have actual talent. This show/season might as well be called Glee.

  32. AO says:

    Last year’s format was better.. When we saw Top 20 girls and Top 20 boys perform.. Then 10 girls and 10 boys were eliminated by the Judges.. Then the following week Top 10 girls & 10 boys performed, then 5 girls and 5 boys were eliminated by the first-ever public vote.. And the remaining 5 girls and 5 boys became the Top 10.. Last year’s format was fair since we all get to see how the contestants perform in front of a live audience.. and we saw how the judges made their decisions.. This year’s Rush Week was just pointless…

  33. Jim Welker says:

    Best of the night….Rose and MK! I picked Oakley to win it all from her first audition and stickin’ to that! Sellars terrible as usual…never got the attracfion! Meuse only average….never saw this GREAT SINGER! Look for Rose, MK and Oakley to be in top five at very end along with Caleb and Woolf! That Majesty is a superstar! Again, sellars stinks! Watson was good too!

  34. Jim Welker says:

    Am I the only one that wants to know the reason MELANIE PORRAS was cut at Hollysood without an audition! She got psrhaps the best comments from tbe judges of any contestant! She sang FEVER and XEAD OR ALIVE! If you aren’t familiar with her, she auditioned on 1-22-14! See it on YOU TUBE! YOU DECIDE! Meant HOLLYWOOD above! That horrible Sellars in top 10 but no Melanie Porris! RIDICULOUS! Also, meant DEAD OR ALIVE above (typos)! Sellars is the most overrated singer in A I history! Shame on Harry for such praise on early auditions! She Stinks!

  35. Suzanne says:

    Okay, lets just say it like it was. If you were blond and blue eyed you were not making it in….oh unless you were gay ( I think. she’s blond although we have never seen her hair because she is always wearing that silly backwards ball cap) Why do gay girls always want to look like 10 year old boys. Oh well, anyway it is obvious that they are looking for the mixed race type that will fit in. As to the even mix of male and female that is due to the tour. It is really what it is about and makes things work better. The treatment of the female contestants was shameful. Everyone should have gotten to sing or they should have been cut before this show.

  36. Brian says:

    American idol has violated a cardinal rule of reality talent shows, namely, that contestants who advance are given at least one more chance to perform for either the judges or the public. I am now officially done with this show.

  37. HTGR says:

    Wow, I hadn’t been watching the season or even following these blogs past the first couple of weeks (part too busy, huge part JLo+Randy back and eventually ultra huge part the Olympics were on, how could they run against the Olympics? no way the heck I’m watching Idol, or anything else, over the Olympics, heck they could have had Elise, Haley and Adam as the three judges and I’m still not watching over the Olympics). But I did tape this episode for later viewing, which I just got to now.
    My first impression was oh no. After reading the blog about the first few weeks here it sounded promising (ignoring the whole JLo/Randy thing) but man something felt wrong about the top ten they sent out. Granted not having seen the show, it’s dicey for me to say that BUT:
    They claimed they chose which 10 of 15 based upon rehearsals of these finals songs and yet they bashed some of the songs and choices so how does that add up? Sounds like the show is all fake again, no?
    And I did see Jillian on XFactor, maybe something horrible happened to her since then, but she was way the heck better on XFactor than a great many of the girls they sent out there and I also did by random chance catch a bit of Austin flipping channels at one point and from my brief intro to her there she also seemed way the heck better than a great many they sent out. So how could they have seen rehearsals and how can they be being honest and leave those two out and send out some of the others they did? And for all I know there were even more messed up decisions left behind too.
    maybe they wanted so really weak ones out there so they could help along the top five they really wanted to get voted through, by lessening the competition? I suppose maybe that is sort of OK in that case, but it makes me think maybe the show is more of the same old nonsense again once the show goes live?
    OTOH the judge’s comments seemed to be a bit more reasonable and honest, overall, than expected, but then again they may have felt free since they were just setting up their chosen 5? And even that will all go to heck once it goes live live for top 12-13?

  38. idolfan1 says:

    I know I’m late to the game, but I hated seeing 5 people get cut eithout even a chance to sing. I’d rather the judges pick 5 favorites and let them have a pass to the next round and have the “bottom” 10 sing, and let the votes decide which of them get cut.

  39. cheap chanel purses
    Hello, I log on to your blogs daily. Your writing style is awesome,
    keep doing what you’re doing!

  40. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post
    is simply excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your
    feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.