Reality Check: Alex, Sam, MK, Majesty and Jena's Early Season 13 Edge! Plus: Why 'Rush Week' (and Randy Jackson) Failed the Idol Audience

American Idol‘s inaugural “Rush Week” extravaganza may be best remembered for its dreaded “Chamber of the Damned” — which devoured a full third of the Season 13 Top 30 before they’d belted a single note. Nevertheless, it also provided an opportunity for a quintet (or perhaps a sextet) of contestants to get a slight head start on the competition.

On this week’s installment of Reality Check, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I dissect top-notch semifinal performances by Alex Preston, Sam Woolf, M.K. Nobilette and Majesty Rose — as well as Jena Irene’s devastating Wild Card original.

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Also on the docket: How executive producer Per Blankens’ cruel Rush Week twist backfired with a series of subpar performances; why we were confused by the judges’ snubs of several female contestants; which Top 20 flops left us most heartbroken; and whose inclusion in the Wild Card sing-off left us utterly flummoxed. Plus, we tackle “The (Alleged) Slut-Shaming of Emily Piriz”; the Insipidness of Randy Jackson’s “Advice”; the general awesomeness of guest mentors Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry; and the one performance that was (simultaneously) a hot mess and a delightful revelation.

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So press PLAY below for the full Reality Check experience, then hit the comments with your own thoughts. And for all my Idol-related news, recaps, video and exclusives, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQKe1-r9vcU