American Idol Top 13 Performance Recap: Beautiful? Disaster? [Updated]

Jessica Meuse American IdolI’m not gonna lie to you: I went from mildly concerned to truly and deeply vexed during the first half-hour of tonight’s American Idol Top 13 performance episode. We had Mumbles McGillicuddy, Wacky Sharpenstein, Blankity Blankerson and Speedy McCountry all hitting the stage and delivering varying degrees of the night’s opening song title: “Aw Naw.”

Was it simply a case of nerves or could it have been those pesky in-ear monitors? Was it the fact that the first 15 rows of the audience were populated by the cast of AMC’s exciting new spinoff series The Swaying Dead? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the presence of “mentor” Randy Jackson, offering pre-performance soundbites so hollow that I swear I saw a woodpecker fly out the center of one of ’em.

[Side memo to executive producer Per “Uncle PB” Blankens: STOP TRYING TO MAKE THE DAWG HAPPEN.]

But if you were a little patient and willing to play through the pain, if you didn’t switch channels to Mixology because of the simple fact that they used an Adam Lambert tune in their promos, there were rewards to be reaped.

The Season 13 judges’ panel — even J.Lo, or perhaps especially J.Lo — offered straightforward, astute feedback and showed a willingness to not cover its critiques in a poncho of butterflies. And little by little, the contestants started getting better — with five or six vocalists delivering promising enough performances that you could almost imagine ’em getting the confetti shower that a dapper Ryan Seacrest talked about at the top of the show.

_MB13744But enough tap-dancing around who rocked and who crumbled. Let’s cut to the letter grades for tonight’s performances!

Dexter Roberts: Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” — Grade: C | Dexter’s a charming kid with a decent voice, but his diction tonight was so atrocious, I only understood maybe a third of the words splilling out of his mouth. Yes, I should probably be thankful for said fact, considering that the title of his chosen ditty sounds like the unofficial motto of the Professional Bull Riders Association, but still… If Mr. Roberts survives into Top 12 week, might I suggest he remember his Hollywood Week promise to “Dexterize” everything he sings, and then rework a completely unexpected song choice into his preferred bro-country wheelhouse?

Malaya Watson: Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” — Grade: D+ | Please, please tell me I was halluscinating that final bit of banter where the judges encouraged Malaya to bring her tuba to the stage in the coming weeks. With her carefully crafted wackiness and “puppy greeting its family after a week’s vacation” energy, the kid is already teetering on the edge of being labeled a joke contestant. A giant brass instrument is not gonna help matters. But back to “Runaway Baby”: Was anyone else confounded by the fact that Randy, in his mentorly wisdom, apparently did nothing to dissuade this teenage girl from choosing a frenetic funk jam with lyrics about a lothario on the prowl for a one-night-stand? I’m guessing the only reason Harry Connick Jr didn’t ask Malaya if she understood the meaning of the song was because her nasal, out-of-tune delivery presented far greater problems. When J.Lo tells you you’ve gone “off the rails,” a Bottom 3 placement seems almost guaranteed.

Kristen O’Connor: Kelly Clarkson’s “Beautiful Disaster” — Grade: D+ | “I have a lot to prove,” Kristen explained, prior to her performance. And alas, after subjecting the audience to a turgid, beauty-pageant arrangement of a song that proved far too range-y for her voice, that statement has now been bolded, italicized and underlined for emphasis. The judges cut Kenzie Hall, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Tessa Kate, Jillian Jensen, Nica Nashae, Austin Wolfe, Andrina Brogden and Paisley Van Patten for this? Dial 1-855-I-CAHHHNT.

Ben Briley: Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” — Grade: C+ | Look, I appreciated Ben’s attempt at originality, the way he cranked up the tempo and added a little O Brother, Where Art Thou? rollick to a country-blues classic. The trouble was, like a souffle that collapses before you’ve taken it out of the oven, the end result was a mess. As time went zipping on, Ben’s words began to slur into a sludge of consonants and his voice began to tighten up into an almost unpleasant growl. On the plus side, though, the neatly trimmed beard and black leather cap provided a solid style upgrade. And if I’m being completely honest, the guy’s willingness to take a massive risk — albeit an ill-advised one — at least has me intrigued to see what he’ll cook up next week. (And I do hope there’s a next week.)

C.J. Harris: Darius Rucker’s “Radio” — Grade: C+ | In the 13-course meal that was tonight’s Idol, C.J.’s “Radio” was the house salad with some shredded carrots, two tomato wedges and a little oil and vinegar. Which is to say it wasn’t terrible — not by any stretch — despite C.J. sounding intermittently winded and not landing some of his held notes as cleanly as he might’ve wanted to. The bigger problem for C.J. is that, at this stage of the competition, it’s often better to be bad (and activate your terrified fan base) than boring (and have folks forget to cast votes altogether). We’ll see if my theory holds true — with C.J. occupying a Silver Stool of Doom (™) — come Thursday night.

M.K. Nobilette: Allen Stone’s “Satisfaction” — Grade: B- | M.K.’s got a tone that’s undeniably sweet with just a hint of cragginess, kind of like a toasted English muffin with butter and strawberry jam. (Holy crow, I am hungry while I write this!) And the good news is that “Satisfaction” — in addition to being the most unexpected song choice of the evening — showcased the best parts of her instrument. Harry, though, summed up perfectly M.K.’s biggest problem: Whenever there are pauses, whenever she’s waiting for her next note to arrive, you can almost see M.K.’s attention drift. And that lack of on-stage fire proved especially problematic on a swaggery soul jam like “Satisfaction” than it did on the quieter fare she served up in her previous performances. M.K.’s stage presence could easily improve with time and experience — but by my calculations, she’ll need to pull that off in the next two or three weeks, tops.

Majesty Rose: Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” — Grade: B+ | Did a contestant actually cover Janelle Monae on Idol? A week after covering Pharrell? Oh, yes she did. And despite a couple tiny glitches — was it me, or was the mic positioned in a way that a couple of Majesty’s notes were inaudible? — the season-long fave held her position near the front of the pack, and did it with just the right balance of confidence and humility. (How could she ever have worried?!) There’s a freshness to Majesty’s voice and an unexpectedness to the way she zigs and zags through a song that has me practically ready to pre-order her album. And, um, it’s only Week 1 of the finals!

Jena Irene: Coldplay’s “The Scientist” — Grade: B+ | I’m not sure how or why somebody — Jena? Randy? Rickey Minor? — decided to pick up the tempo of Coldplay’s gorgeously mournful ballad here, but I’ll admit it took my ears (and Jena’s voice) a few bars to adjust. Once the train got out of the station (so to speak), though, I definitely found myself sitting in the luxury car — the one with fine dining and comfy seats — thanks to Jena’s insanely luscious and intensely emotional delivery. She hits big glory notes with such effortlessness — and yet infuses them with an individuality that many “belt-y” types can’t — that I get excited thinking about the possibility of her exploring more offbeat, unexpected terrain. Here’s hoping the 17-year-old has the creativity and the guts to go there!

Alex Preston: Jason Mraz’s “A Beautiful Mess” — Grade: A- | Harry complained about the “inward” vibe of Alex’s quiet, acoustic number, but I couldn’t have disagreed more. By choosing a lesser-known song and performing it with the intimacy of a whisper, Alex was able to highlight the limberness of his instrument, his ability to swoop into gritty places and then flutter into a delicate falsetto. Plus, Alex also made an incredibly verbose song sound deceptively breezy. The presence of X Factor Season 3 champs Alex & Sierrra (and Idol Top 30 contestant Jillian Jensen) in his cheering section hints that Alex is most likely a “musician’s musician” — and if he can succeed in looking perhaps just 10 percent less irked while he’s singing, he might turn out to be America’s musician, too.

Jessica Meuse: Shinedown’s “The Crow And The Butterfly” — Grade: A- | Is anyone else stoked that Top 13 night played out like a Jeopardy category called “Songs You’ll Never, Ever Expect to Hear on Idol” (with Jessica’s pick in the $800 box)? In all seriousness, though, the bewitching quality of Jessica’s pipes — paired up with the dark poetry of Shinedown’s lyrics — transported me…I’m not sure where, exactly, but to a mindspace much moodier than your average talent-show cover of “I Have Nothing” or “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.” J.Lo made a good point that Jessica’s sometimes stilted body language needs to match the limberness of her vocals — it might’ve been nice if she’d worked the stage and dragged the mic stand behind her — but hearing her harmonize with Season 8 standout (and current Idol house band background vocalist Allison Iraheta) was like a zing of minty toothpaste washing away the plaque of the night’s opening five performances. J’approve!

Emily Piriz: Pink’s “Glitter in the Air” — Grade: B- | Emily’s voice is very pretty — and I don’t mean that in a dismissive way. She reaches for glory notes with as little strain as I do when I grab a block of cheddar out of the cheese drawer of my fridge. But as Keith sagely noted, Emily’s rendition lacked the grit and ferocity — “the yang” — that Pink uses to make her crowd-pleasing pop hooks so special. In her fab silver minidress — her eyes locked on the camera with guided-missile precision — Emily embodied the perfect prefab Idol contestant (a “package artist!” as Kara DioGuardi used to say). But as far as convincing me that she’s a viable artist with a visceral connection to her music? I’m gonna suggest Emily YouTube Season 11 alum Erika Van Pelt’s Idol summer tour cover of “Glitter in the Air” as a beginner’s tutorial.

Sam Woolf: Matchbox 20’s “Unwell” — Grade: B- | Sam’s been so adorably solid in every prior instance this season that he can afford a misfire or two, but “Unwell” nevertheless provided a crisp and unwelcome slap to Idoloonies who’d already placed their bets on his inevtiable march to victory. As Harry noted, Matchbox Twenty’s jam is all about being messed up — feeling on the edge of a breakdown — and yet Sam delivered it with all the edge and humor of an Ivory Soap commercial (although he did deliver it with perfect pitch). Perhaps the inexplicably sluggish tempo robbed the song of any sense of urgency. Perhaps it was the song choice itself that was the problem, too straight-up-the-middle pop for a kid who’s been dabbling in Ed Sheeran and David Gray. Or maybe it was that terrible SwayBot in the blue dress who kicked off Sam’s performance by desperately seeking screentime. Whatever the case, methinks it’s time for Sam to challenge himself a little — maybe flip the script and choose something by a female artist — to keep himself out of the midpack swamp in the coming weeks.

Caleb Johnson: Rival Sons’ “Pressure and Time” — Grade: A- | OK, yeah, Caleb got crazy smoke machines to aid in building the drama of his Rock God aspirations. And yeah, the dude’s styling still reads very “midsize city Rock of Ages production.” But those things aside, “Pressure and Time” displayed a ferocious energy and vocal spotlessness that was in short supply among the Top 13. Caleb delivers his campy brand of old-school rock as if he doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone: He believes he’s a star, and that swagger — which is backed by a powerful set of pipes — then becomes a very easy stock to purchase. Yes, Keith’s right that Caleb’s got to avoid coming off too “retro,” that he’s got to find a “little twist” — which may be as easy as cutting a couple inches off his shaggy hair and appointing Chris Daughtry as his fashion inspiration — but that’s a minor hurdle compared to the ones faced by Malaya, Kristen, Dexter and C.J., no?

Should Be Bottom 3: Malaya, Kristen, Dexter (with Kristen going home)
Will Be Bottom 3: Kristen, C.J., Ben (with Kristen going home)

And with that, I pass the mic to you. What did you think of the Top 13? Who were your faves? Who’s in trouble? Take our poll 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!

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  1. bs’d
    I am waiting to download but after watching two episodes of The Voice, it is going to be hard to get back into Idol.

    • I haven’t even started watching The Voice. I think the 2 seasons of The Voice in a year is too much for me. I stopped watching X Factor last season. Ideally I would just like The Voice in the Fall and Idol in the Spring. That would be perfect.

      • Emma says:

        I loved the first two episodes of The Voice, very entertaining. Idol, meh.

        • Bonnie says:

          When the Voice stops being about “The Voice” aka the live rounds, it’s very meh. Idols lives are more fun.

          • David says:

            I agree with that. The Voice is all about that gimmick although very entertaining during that period. After that it gets to be a little much with all the multiple eliminations and mentor switching.

          • JoMarch says:

            I find all of The Voice boring; the judges talking themselves up and trashing the others seems to go on and on. I just can’t get into the show. Have they had a break away star yet. Kind of reminds me of America’s Next Top Model that in Cycle 1, 325 by now it seems. They’re always crowning a winner but I don’t ever see the winners’ Cover Girl ads or hear about a real success story. I guess if you count the Adrienne-chick that married a Brady Bunch dude and shows up almost naked at Comic-Cons a “success” then they’ve had one.

          • tom22 says:

            The Voice is only a gimmick if you’re looking at these shows as if they are all about some assessment of objective skills at something that is far more based on something far more important than vocal quality alone. .. an entertainer brings messages and outlooks on the world that far transcend any literal message in the lyrics and what sorts of messages or spin a person feels a given artist uplifts is as personal as you can get.
            Ill echo ms comments that the judges dropped that stupid title responsibility and moved towards insights and advice and affirmations that contestant s other than the performer could also use. These shows are live variety shows with an emphasis on amature singing guests rather than a stand up routine by leno followed by stars promoting a new movie while having humorous banter with jay. Jays got a great band and guest musicians to entertain us ..
            There was a time when idol was a novelty and we enjoyed the cheesy drama as the concept was fresh enough for the time even if an age old talent show core.

            Thats over and the shows musical entertainment and live banter by professional who are clever and engaging need to stand on their own

          • tom22 says:

            I actually watched a lot more advertisements because I didn’t start fast forwarding through cloying judges and sort of wanted to let my mind dwell a bit during the break and not miss fun clips of contestants at the back side with the sob stories andy randy almost gone. I usually only start 10 minutes late but take breaks and come back an hours later in a rush. With the fun to watch stuff between the performance s. I pretty much watched it straight through including the commercials and finished only ad delayed as I started

          • Tom22 says:

            lol ok one last thought: Advertisers probably care more about my teenage kids than myself. The kids wouldn’t watch either The Voice or Idol on their own BUT if dear old Dad is willing to come off of his computer reading of stock charts and the next day’s WSJ and sit on the couch, they will join me. (maybe I’ll take the remote and change the channel to the singing show) .They will watch along with me…maybe with split attention to their phones or mop-up aspects of their homework…. the more commercials I watch the more they watch. The less stupid things the judges say the more we watch of the show in general.. and the more we choose one show over the other.
            I’m not sure that these rating services have a really good handle on that. I’m sure my 17 year old boy would never admit to watching idol or The Voice.. but he’s paying enough attention to catch what the Coaches/Panel are saying and make disdainful comments (lol and probably secretly enjoy other parts). My 13 year old girl probably would only admit to watching what was cool…but, she can admit to needing to watch something because her Dad did.

      • The Beach says:

        I like that time frame.

    • Gailer says:

      I’m actually kinda bored with the Voice already and looking forward to Idol this season. I love the judges but the schtick is getting old.

      • The Beach says:

        I would like both of them better if Idol got rid of the weeks of auditions and The Voice got rid of all the back/sob stories.

      • Rivka Simons says:

        I could not believe Shakira wore the same dress for two ratings! What a rookie mistake! Christina Aguilera would have never been caught out like that!

      • joey says:

        The Voice is a game show, or a 4-way chess match. The chess players are Adam, Blake, Shakira and Usher. The chess pieces are the singers. The focus is on the chess players. It can be entertaining, but will it ever find a star?
        American Idol at its best is a search for an undiscovered star with the help of the TV audience. They have often achieved that purpose: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry, etc. When Idol concentrates on discovering a star, they often succeed. If they deviate from that purpose, they fail.
        The Voice and Idol are apples and oranges.

        • Tom22 says:

          I wouldn’t go with that chess analogy at all but I would go with the game show analogy. The coaches are (history) Pat Sajak and Vana white, and the attraction is people at home trying to answer the questions along with the contestants. To some degree people might care which contestant wins on Wheel of Fortune but, they enjoy the show for lots of reasons and which contestant wins is of mild interest.

          Wheel of Fortune was wildly sucessful for years. Viewers enjoyed it. Contestants came and went and I don’t think you can say they were abused by having a chance to win some money answering triva questions. The contestants on The Voice get to show their abilty to sing, not to answer trivia… the audience listens more than participates along but gets a bit of a role with voting at some parts of the show. The rivalry between the coaches has some mild effect on the outcome of the “season” which really can just be thought of as a number of Wheel of Fortune episodes with a round robin elimination tournament of a starting group.

          But yeah….. apples and oranges are both fruit and share a lot of traits but don’t expect one to taste exactly like the other. It isn’t an Apples to Bicycletires comparison.

          I think Idol’s star making sucess in the past had a lot to do with the vile cauldron of acid they put the prospects through that selected for attributes a talented person needs to have a chance in the industry better than the method The Voice uses. Idol also had a fad-type of mania in terms of huge audience for a while but to be honest, I don’t think it was the promotion that made the sucesses… but that the one with both 1 in 10k voices and 1 in 10k “x factor” to them found there way through the gauntlet idol threw in front of them. The probably just got lucky as hell too with Kelly and Carrie to a degree… I don’t think Idol made those two but those two made idol

    • Owen says:

      You know. The Voice contestants are usually more universally consistent, all much more ready for stardom…the show is slicker and seemingly easier to digest…the judges panel is more consistent (as is their judging)… I fully acknowledge these things. And perhaps in spite (or because) of those things, it doesn’t hold a candle to Idol for me. Never has. I thought it would just take time to get used to the Voice format. Well, I’m used to it. And I prefer Idol. Easily prefer it. Maybe because contestants come on full-formed to the Voice (something a lot of people prefer about that show) I find it less compelling. But it’s not just that. There is a heart to Idol I find missing on The Voice. But not just that either…I was thinking..I could see Majesty Rose on The Voice. But it wouldn’t be the same. She would never have been able to give THAT performance on The Voice for some reason. And I bet on the Voice, for whatever reason, I wouldn’t like her as much…

      • LizzieB says:

        I’m with you on that.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Eh. I’m over The Voice. I can’t even tell you why… Last season was my last.

      • Name This Tune says:

        If Idol is so great, why did it take me all the way until MK took the stage before I felt the urge to vote?

        • Bonnie says:

          If The Voice is so great, then why wasn’t there any talent that was that great last night? And if it’s “so much better” than idol, then why haven’t they created a star yet.

          • Name This Tune says:

            You have to get past the star argument. Idol has not produced a star since Season 4. Both shows exist to generate revenue for their networks, not make stars. We’ll see tomorrow who is winning that race.

          • Tarc says:

            Nope. P2 produced the highest grossing single of the year with Home… he made a HUGE amount of money on that one, and his album was great and spawned three singles. So, it’s been 2 years…. and the jury is still out on Candace.

            I enjoy the Voice (at the beginning and end), but the no breakout stars argument is still perfectly valid.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Tarc, the last real star that Idol produced was Carrie Underwood, who has a net worth of 45 million dollars. P2 has a net worth of about 1 million dollars. Scotty McCreery has roughly the same net worth. Idol winners have some limited commercial success because of the publicity of the show, but they are hardly stars. You have to go back to season 7&8 to find an Idol alumn who is worth more than five million dollars.
            It’s funny that people have a hard time accepting that Idol exists to make money for Fox. It wants you to believe it produces stars. There’s no shame in remembering that both The Voice and Idol were created to make money for their networks. One doesn’t have a higher calling than the other.

          • ben says:

            @name – I agree with you. I don’t really care which one makes stars and which one doesn’t. For me, the reason I prefer idol is because I feel like it focusses more on the talent and less on the judges.

            Having said that? I disagree with you about Scotty and Phil Phil. Especially P2 whose songs get a lot of play time even internationally. I live in a different country and I have never heard a single song from a Voice contestant. I can’t say I’ve only heard idol here (pentatonix from the sing off has made it here, so did that drug addict dude from x factor and I’m sure Alex and Sierra will) but for the most part – idol, and I’ve never heard anyone from the voice. For whatever reason, idol seems to set people up better for success. But in the absence of any ironclad reason why, its hard to know whether or not its been luck, or what its been really.

          • @name Totally agree with @ben about everything, even disagreeing with. Actually, I live in Brazil and P2 show on Rock in Rio was one of the most talked performance on that night, and have a really big buzz with his songs playnig on Brazilian’s TV shows. So, that’s I might call a huge success. And, tbh, that means nothing after all, cause all that matter is that NBC and FOX is eating all the money those shows are making – or made.

          • Jennifer says:

            @name, I have to disagree with you that there have been no stars since Carrie Underwood. I’d say there are several alums that may not have as huge of net worth but they are known internationally, like Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry, and Adam Lambert. Please don’t only use the US as gauge. If you’re going to cite net worth, according to, Adam is worth $10 million and he has been around less years than Carrie, Jennifer ($15 million), and Daughtry ($8.5 million). Adam also won favorite international artist in China, winning over Bieber and Jason Mraz. He also performed on The Voice in China with over a billion viewers.

          • Anna says:

            This year I happen to think that so far Idol has NO really gifted singers and The Voice has several. And Voice winner Danielle Bradbery is quickly (and deservedly) becoming a young rising star, now touring with Brad Paisley. And she’s got Carrie potential. Of the Idol winners, I really find Carrie the most talented and versatile and her songs have gotten better and better. NO ONE in any genre would have taken the leap and risk she did to perform in a live TV presentation of the dassic The Sound of Music and do the music justice, find another whole area of her vocal production, etc. Even critics of the show mostly praised the beauty of her voice and singing. And she was doing it all without any live audience to play to or be encouraged by! Kelly Clarkson is also a talent of distinction, but she could NEVER have pulled something like this off. And if you watch both of their Vh1 “Unplugged” specials, you’ll really get a solid taste of their vocal prowess and the differences between them. And Kelly even says that she heard Carrie singing “I know You Won’t” and felt compelled to cover ther song. I enjoy the interplay among the judges on both shows now, though what the heck Randy is doing there this year is beyond me. He’s a joke. I will not vote for Idol contestants this year because, as has happened almost every year over the past FIVE, the best singers have been eliminated by the judges already. It does seem to be clear that it’s REALLY DIFFICULT to find a truly gifted singer anywhere!!

          • Name This Tune says:

            @ Jennifer. You mentioned 3 of the most financially successful Idol alums. But they’re from seasons long ago. Except for Adam, we’re talking pre-season 5. You can throe in Jordin Sparks because shes about as successful as Daughtry. Again it’s been years since Idol has produced a star.

            Does anyone remember Syesha Mercado? I went to a live performance of The Book of Mormon last fall. Saw her name in the credits for the show and didn’t recognize it. My memory was prompted by the play bill for the show to recognize her. She’s definitely not a star. But this does not mean she’s not successful in musical theater 4

        • deedee says:

          Because they piled the cannon fodder on the front end of the episode.

      • ben says:

        With you owen.

      • deedee says:

        I feel the same way, Owen. Contestants on The Voice never pull me in, and someone like Majesty Rose would be lost for me on that show. On Idol I find Majesty to be fresh and lovely, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next! Jessica, on the other hand, has the feel of a The Voice contestant, and even being on Idol isn’t helping her (in my eyes).
        But I have to say, the new production team has really messed with what was good about Idol. I hate the weird smallish stage; I hate Randy’s pre-performance blurb as the kids are making their way to the stage – it totally takes away from the contestant’s intro; I hate that Ryan doesn’t say each contestant’s number after the performances; and I hate that the kids walk off the stage post-performance through the crowd. Lots of uselss changes that take away from the familiarity of the show. But I hate change, so maybe I’m the problem :-\ .

        • The Beach says:

          Nope, deedee, you are not the problem. Each one of your points is a valid one.

        • ben says:

          Definitely valid deedee, although I have to say I enjoyed the overall vibe of the show. It felt fresh. BUT – I could do without Randy being in there just at that moment, it really doesn’t add anything. And I’m not a big fan of the small stage at all. The rest of what you say is, well, I guess to me it didn’t take away from the familiarity, because it felt close enough to be familiar. It didn’t feel like they had really changed much. They felt more like bringing the show into a more modern feel than anything, to me.

        • Mikko says:

          I do not hate Randy at all, and the sessions with him in the rush week were ok, but his comments now – which were difficult to hear because of the noise – felt unnecessary and even ridiculous. If there would be a mentor, that could really concentrate into what these kids are doing, that would be interesting material (from the rehearsals), but if Randy has not enough time for this show prepared (because of the producers’ planning?), giving hollow statements like this without having maybe spent too much time with contestants, is sort of ridiculous. The contestants surely need help, but I do not think these kind of mostly flat views, will help them much, if not at all.

        • Lauren says:

          “Jessica, on the other hand, has the feel of a The Voice contestant, and even being on Idol isn’t helping her (in my eyes).”

          This is the absolute dumbest and most nonsensical excuse I’ve EVER seen to try to justify disliking a certain contestant. lol

          • Adam Fachry says:

            It’s not dumb. It’s called having that “je ne said quoi” moment when you can’t really point out what makes you feel underwhelmed by something/someone which is a completely normal human feeling. I like Jessica, but I can see why some don’t get her appeal. You need to be more careful with your words. Dumb is a pretty strong word. Try “ridiculous”.

          • deedee says:

            Wha? I’m not *justifying* my dislike of Jessica! How does one *justify* their taste or their emotional reaction to something? I’m just saying that her vibe matches The Voice (which I dislike) more than Idol (which I love), and even though she’s on Idol (which I love), I still haven’t warmed up to her.

      • Mikko says:

        I feel exactly the same. Last season of AI was so bad, that I seroiusly though, that The Voice might take over, but now that those nasty arguments are gone from the AI judges panel and everything is sort of back on the tracks again, it is clear to see: AI has undeniable heart. In THe Voice one may hear and see great performances – and yet there hangs some kind of strange coldness above it.
        In AI you just get to know people, in The Voice they remain somewhat distant.
        The Voice is also “mass production” in that sense, that is broadcasted everu half year, and I think it is too much. It takes away the uniqueness and shining of the season, and the singers become a part of mass production. In AI there exists the uniqueness of the present moment and of being able to reach to the live shows of tens of thousands trying.
        I also do not like The Voice coaches sort of lying to the contestants, that they do want into their teams, that “we will go all the way” and then dumping them (although it is not negative show in general at all)
        There have been quite a few contestants in The Voice I would hope to have breakthrough, but it might not happen. Surely it will happen to some, that I am convinced of. On the other hand, if Christine Grimmie (this season episode 1) has 2 million subscribers in her YouTube channel and like “a million” Twitter follwers, hasn’t she already had a breakthrough before the Voice stage? She also sang so greatly, that I would be surprised, if she would not become renowded musician now after exposure in The Voice. (And maybe that is the reason, why AI is also more heart felt: in AI people have not usually had any kind of previous success before AI, and we can see stars born)
        Somebody wrote, that from AI there have not come out stars since Carrie. To me, for example Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox, Scotty McCreery and Phil Phillips are stars, although Carrie might sell the most. It is still the show, that can really change your life.

        • takatomon says:

          This is exactly why I have so much trouble getting into the Voice because at the end of day, it’s apparent that the Voice only cares about a show and nothing more than that. Every person out there can make potshots at AI for “sagging ratings” and it hasn’t produced a star since Season 4 (which btw isn’t true)…but the Voice really hasn’t done much besides put on perhaps a better well around show.

          We should also note that if we did a thorough search on Youtube and all around the world that we can find people that have absolutely AMAZING voices, and they may be veteran singers but there’s a reason why they haven’t made it big in the industry because obviously they lack a certain something that would make them successful in the music industry. Having just “The Voice” isn’t sufficient.

          Having said all that, about Top 13 night. Malaya really needs to go…her voice is just painful to listen to. Not to mention there were some lines where it sounded all muffled and warbling (sounds like cotton in her throat), oh and her being out of tune…

          Best of the night, to me, I have to hand it over to Alex and Jessica. I was hoping that Jessica would finally show up to the live rounds after her debacle in Hollywood Rounds and how much drama they drummed up with that poor girl. Was so SO happy with her performance. Also loved Alex’s performance although he picked an awesome song…I’m concerned that he doesn’t have a whole lotta power in his voice.

        • MAB says:

          Totally agree with everything you said. I am so tired of The Voice versus American idol discussions. They are two totally different shows and both have their good and bad points. I prefer Idol but that is my opinion. Someone else prefers The Voice. Fine but don’t make someone feel like they are stupid because they don’t feel the same way you do. Someone else said it right American Idol has heart. They have the tour after the show that gives exposure to the contestants. We become more invested in our favorites. As much as I like a contestant on The a Voice I forget about them soon after the show is over but not with Idol . I buy their music and I follow their careers.

      • sandi says:

        But The Voice contestants aren’t too successful after the show. Idol has produced some real superstars. Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, even Casey James have been more successful than The Voice winners.

    • Jeri Garvey-Van Huyck says:

      New to both shows this year, began with idol…then the voice came….the two are very different, if I couldn’t watch idol later so I could fast forward through the fifty million commercials, I’m not certain I could make it through the show…..LOVE JEnnifer Lopez tho….she is a CLASS act…the guys are handsome, but SHE makes me proud to be a women!

    • Voice is boring says:

      The Voice is about the judges…not the contestants…So I will pass on the Voice.

      • Matrix says:

        Depends what you are looking for I guess. I like both shows but feel that you hear overall more consistently stronger vocal talent on the voice. Also better songs are sung. Although Idol has made great improvements in that dept this season. Singer for singer, the Voice rules in my opinion. By the time you get to the final few contestants, they are in the same league.

      • Alexandre Therrien says:

        I’m a regular watcher of The Voice ever since it started back in 2011, which is funny because it’s the season where I gave up on Idol (I actually waited until Haley was eliminated) and then I had enough. I’ve been watching videos and reading the reviews here, but nothing to captivate me to go back to watching Idol.

        In my opinion, I would say The Voice is all about the coaches during the blinds and that’s why this part of the show works so well. Then, when we get to the Battles, it kinda feels weird because it’s more about the contestants and not as much about the coaches which, to me, causes a big clash. From the get-go, it should be about the contestants, but that’s not how this format works. Once the teams are put together and we go through the Battles, the Knockouts and the Live Shows, it never really goes back to the fun of those early épisodes. But thank god the Live Shows are only on for 7 weeks, it keeps the pacing much more interesting. In comparison to Idol that goes on forever (13 weeks) and then you just lose interest. Yes, you can see the growth and all that but come the Top 5 or 6, it just feels like dragging until the Finale.

    • ArielMusic says:

      American Idol SUCKED big time tonight. Top 13 were the worst EVER!!! I could see it coming as Harry has way too much influence over the other judges. I like Harry but he does not like any singer that has a strong upper range voice. He must have sensitive hearing. Anyway it was my last show tonight as I will not be watching any more. Too bad as it started off really well having had an easier approach and more likable judges. They screwed it up with their top 13 choices. If you ask me, they should’ve kept the top 10 guys and sent all the girls home.

      • Rivka Simons says:

        The girls are weak and there were contenders. I agree just poor choices. I also agree that Harry has a problem with power, and views it as not singing. He wants everybody to sing like they are from the French Quarter. That take on prison was anxiety-driven and he loved it? Not a fan of any but the kid from NH is the favorite.

      • Andie says:

        Ha, you’ve clearly forgotten season 9.

        • ben says:

          And 4 (beyond Carrie and Bo, zero)… and plenty of others really. It’s not the strongest bunch, but if I had to rank the seasons on the average talent of their top 13, I think I’d have this in the top half. It might get higher if you ask me to rank it based on the top 7. It might fall away if you ask me to rank it on the top 2… but who knows how they might have grown by then, and even who they will be!

      • Mikko says:

        Not a very great night, but I would not be desperate with this group in general. But I would have liked to hear all the top 15 girls singing (with the addition of Rachel Rolleri) in the live shows, because for me Kenzie for example felt like a great singer, so I am not sure, if we are having in the top 13 all the performers, who would have inspired people the most. In former years there have been like up to more than 30 people singing in the live shows, so I wonder, if that was worse system than the one right now.

        • kelvinbastos says:

          ITA, I would love to watch Kenz for all season long. It’s just a shame that she and all the other girls didn’t have the chance to sing. I thing if they had brought Kenz to this stage, she would killed it like she did with the Macklemore song and beat easilly beasts like Malaya or Kristen. Or even Austin. Or Jillian. Or Andrina. Or Brandy. Damn, for God sick one of ’em are going home tonight. Let’s start bringing Kristen down.

    • Rivka Simons says:

      The talent on The Voice is kicking idol butt-no doubt. They made the mistake of booting off the best singers early; ie, Spencer Lloyd, John Fox… Gina is good when she blows but she seems so damn reluctant to sing. Aren’t we sick and tired of that nasal hoarse twist females have put on top of their vocals for the past few years? JUST STINKING SING! Not digging idol this season. Rivka Simons

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        Spencer Lloyd? Great singer? Dream on.

      • Sorry the ones you mentioned were not best singers. When David Oliver Willis and Savion were cut early I was shocked as they were two best males during the auditions. I don’t know what is going on this season but why cut the best singers too early unless producers already have someone they want to win.

    • Rivka Simons says:

      Slezak is dead right about Malaya teetering on being the joke contestant. 1) she wouldn’t get signed 2) if she did get signed-it would be on a demo deal 3) no demos would even get mastered 4) if one did get mastered-it would not be released until she was out of artist development 5) she wouldn’t be out of artist development for at least five years

    • SallyinChicago says:

      What I saw of Idol last night proves two things to me: They’re trending younger singers and these young singers look like newbies; in comparison to the Elise’s of past. The past singers were older and seemed to be more seasoned. These singers seem just karaoke and nobody jumps out except Majesty Rose who brings energy. The WGWG all look and sound the same to me.
      What were the judges looking for when they chose these 13?

      • Sugar says:

        ITA. I think Idol went down a notch as soon as they allowed 15 year olds to compete. Malaya is a perfect example of a little girl with a good voice who needs to be doing her high school homework at this stage in her life – plenty of time ahead for the big stuff.

        • snail says:

          Totally agree, Sugar! Although I’m not really the right person to talk to about this season, because I was completely underwhelmed by every single one of the contestants. Slezak, you might be right about some of the later ones doing well, but by then I had pretty much tuned out, and long before the show was over my TV was off. There have been previous years when I wasn’t really impressed by half of the contestants or so during the first episode, but there has never been one where I was so totally bored and uninspired by ALL of them.

          Furthermore, and adding to the strong possibility that I may be done forever with what used to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures, is the fact that JLo once again said that somebody gave her goosies. I swore – publicly, on the EW site – that I would never watch again if it meant I would continue to hear the word goosies. As far as I know, this is the first time this year she’s said it. I thought there was a chance it had been banned from her vocabulary. Obviously, no such luck. I HATE JLO’S GOOSIES!!

        • The Dog Whisperer says:

          Hi Sugar!!!! I agree with SallyinChicago too. I had a hard time watching the entire show last night – these kids are just too young and unseasoned – feel badly saying this – but found a couple of them irritating because of their immaturity. And the last thing I want to see on the show is Malaya playing her tuba – afraid the judges and/or producers are going to make that happen.
          Only two people I can root for this year based on their performances – really like Alex. Like his song choices, his voice and his artistry. And think Jessica has a beautiful voice.

    • Never watched XF after just one show. The Voice irritates me cuz of the judges especially Levine. I have a certain loyalty to AI because I found my idol and no one from any talent show has come close to his talent and charisma since.

    • JM says:

      Please stop this madness!!!!!

    • Mytake says:

      Up until Majesty Rose the prior singers were an absolute train wreck. I thought my TV’s sound had to be messed up since I couldn’t fathom how the top 13 singers out of hundreds of thousands could possibly have sounded so kareoke or like they just hopped over to the Idol stage from the tiny dive bar they were just playing at. While thankfully the judges didn’t heap tons of praise on the early singers, they weren’t nearly as honest and critical as they should have been IMO.
      Someone please make MK stop wearing those stupid looking baseball caps too. I get it that everyone seems to be all high on her because she had the strength of character to say she’s gay on national Tv but to my mind if she was just a regular contestant there wouldn’t be anywhere near the blind cheerleading over her singing abilities. Her voice is thin and wavers and while it’s a pleasant enough voice, her voice shouldn’t have ranked her in the top 30 nevermind top 13.

      • The Beach says:

        I’ve gotta agree. That was a damn disappointing way to start the first 30 minutes.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        Agree with everything you said Mytake, and also loved Slezak’s opening paragraph, he hasn’t been that funny since he was covering Idol for EW. My god the first 5 or 6 singers were god awful, especially Malaysia and Kristen. When I think of some of the girls that were sent packing in favor of those 2 it makes my head spin. There was a section though, starting with Majesty Rose, where there was one good performance after another, enough to make me want to keep tuning in as long as the right people get eliminated. I will say I was very pleased that the judges were very good tonight, even J Lo at times, other than her saying that she liked Ben’s take on Folsom Prison Blues because the uptempo pace made her want to dance. Note to J Lo- a song that contains the lyric “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die” is not a dance number.

        • Yo says:

          I thought everyone in the beginning was awful, also, but I think the show could go a long way in making the contestants, new to big audiences and stages, more comfortable. They make them sit on bleachers for two hours, interview before they go on, run a gauntlet of high fives they have never experienced, jam a camera against their molars, and “mentor” them out of any originality. The experience for the contestants must be far more brutal than last night’s was for the audience.
          Everything seemed designed to amp them up, not to provide good television.

        • Sugar says:

          Haha, Bob! What? You never heard of *dancing on a grave?* (brrr) ITA about it taking a good turn beginning with Majesty Rose. I will be interested to hear more from MK too, I think she exhibited a sensitive control of her voice last night. Interesting thing – MK has not gone the route of making her teeth so white they glow in the dark, but no one is dissing her the way they did our Crystal. (?) And I love Alex, I wish he didn’t give off the Lee DeWho vibe. They don’t sing anything alike, but visually they both have that haulking thing going on.

      • SallyinChicago says:


      • The Dog Whisperer says:

        Snail!!!!!! Hi. This is a great recap. Love that Michael gives out grades for the performances – and of course it helps that I pretty much agree with his grading! – except for Caleb’s. Think Caleb has a good voice, but feel like he’s trying to hard with his rock and roll persona – the costumes, the playing with the mic and his body movements seem like he’s trying too hard to imitate the real rockers of the past.

        • chris says:

          I agree. We already have Meatloaf, why do we need Caleb? He’d be great at a Sweet Sixteen party but I wouldn’t buy his record.

        • Sugar says:

          Agree. He was embarrassingly play acting the rocker last night, but he does have the voice. What if he can pull it off? Bring something uniquely his own into the picture? He’s been given that good advice right from the get-go, so we’ll see if he can make it happen. I hope he does.

  2. Danny says:

    Since I think my votes will actually matter this year, I went ahead and voted for the first time since Season 10. I voted on a 50, 45, 40, and on down basis. Caleb got 50, Jessica 45, Emily (surprisingly good) 40, Ben 35, Jena 30, Majesty 25, no one got 20, Malaya 15 (cuz I like her). The rest didn’t really do much for me. I was disappointed in Alex and MK. I was expecting bigger things from them.

    I did like seeing Alex and Sierra in the audience. She’s got that look of love in her that makes me think those 2 will be together for a very long time.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Oh, I like your ranking system. I couldn’t figure how I was going to vote, but then I just gave my faves all 50. Um… you must *really* like Malaya (and so do I actually) but tonight was a hot, HOT mess (more than her usual adorable, and somewhat off pitch hot mess). She needs to learn how to focus all of her energy *into* her song. Why were you disappointed in Alex? I am always so fascinated by his choices and delivery…. Just curious?

      • Danny says:

        Yea, Malaya was a mess. No way would I argue differently. That’s why I mentioned I like her. In no way do I think she deserves to win. I don’t want her to become a Sanjaya/Lazaro type contestant either. It’s just at this moment there’s others who I’d be just as good with if they left. I wouldn’t give her any votes if she sang like that and all who were left were people I felt had a chance to do something.

        Alex was my #1 guy after Maurice got bumped. He’s one who could actually play the guitar pretty well. I’ve actually watched every episode except the girls top 15 twice this year. I picked up on things about him that I really liked. Little subtleties and such. I just didn’t see those things tonight. I’m not writing the guy off. A lot of people get off to a so/so start. I didn’t pick up on Haley, Matt, Vonzell, a whole slew of them over the years really, until later weeks.

        Now my top 2 are Caleb and Jessica, subject to change next week.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          :) I voted for Caleb, Jessica, Alex and Majesty. There are just little nuances about Alex that I always find interesting. That’s my dude…

        • Rivka Simons says:

          And to think they bumped SPENCER LLOYD for Malaya… WTF? …and somebody teach that kid to dance, or at least stop rolling all over the stage like a drunken monkey.

          • darcy the slutty twin says:

            Give it up about Spencer Lloyd. He was bad on performance night, didn’t deserve a Wild card singing spot, got it, and still tanked. Plus his bad attitude during Hollywood Groups was a turn-off.

      • Name This Tune says:

        You know it really doesn’t matter at this stage how you divide your votes. I gave 50 to each of the ones I want to be on next week and there were only 6. So I have a few weeks before I need to rank them.

      • The Beach says:

        I agree Teeny…I thought Alex was excellent tonight too. He got a chunk of my votes.

  3. Lauren says:

    I love how Caleb and Jessica were two of the only singers who did not even merit a mention in the last Reality Check but both went on to completely steal the night tonight. Alex was also terrific. Definitely my three favorites right there! I enjoyed Majesty and MK, just not nearly as much. The rest = meh! The two worst by far were Malaya and Kristen. Even though Malaya was awful, I’d like her to stick around another week because at least she’s not boring like Kristen.

    • Bartleby says:

      I’d rather hear a “boring” singer than an “awful” singer. Malaya has to go. She was horrendous.

      • Lauren says:

        Kristen was not only boring, but her vocals were terrible, too. Overall she was the worst of the night and most forgettable of the night. I think she’s already overstayed her welcome with her wobbly singing, nonexistent stage presence and consistently terrible song selections that are always beyond her abilities.

        • Bartleby says:

          I’ve already forgotten Kristen’s performance, don’t get me wrong. But Malaya was memorable because of how atrocious she sounded.

          • Stormy says:

            ITA. Kristin is too generic. And Malaya throw it all out there with no cohesion.

          • Lauren says:

            I will give you that much. Strictly on vocals, Malaya was clearly the biggest disaster of the night. However, she is entertaining and likable so I’d still prefer her to stay over Kristen (or maybe even Dexter for that matter because he’s average at best and bores me nearly as much).

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I need Caleb to stay at least until the top 5. He give brings it and just wakes up the show. And I was so happy that Jessica nailed it tonight. Totally gave her 50 points easily…

      • Danny says:

        @Teeny- We seem to have the same top 2. People like Jessica in the past have gotten tough reviews (Gina, Carly, Elise, etc). I hope this year is different.

      • Name This Tune says:

        The 2 best performances were Caleb and Jessica with Majesty and Alex 3rd & 4th. After that, it all got too sleepy for me.

      • The Beach says:

        I know a lot of folks like CJ and he seems like a sweetheart but I just don’t think he is a very good singer.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          @The Beach. Yeah, he’s seems like a sweetheart, but I don’t want another Lazaro situation – where people just vote for him b/c they can’t bear to vote him off… CJ just needs training. He’s got heart and he “connects” with songs just fine – he just doesn’t have the technical chops yet.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I never did quite understand why everyone was so crazy about CJ. I kept reading the posts here and wondering if I’d missed something. But after last night it’s clear I missed nothing. He does seem like a very sweet guy and not annoying like Lazaro, thank goodness.

      • Mytake says:

        Completely agree!

      • Rivka Simons says:

        Love the name “Teeny bikini” – even better if you are a fat man! Ha

  4. I think that there were some pretty great performances, but then there were several clunkers. I thought MK, Caleb, Majesty, Jessica and surprisingly Emily were pretty fantastic. But there were a lot of middle of the road kind of performances from people like Ben,Sam and CJ. I think Kristen is going based on last week and this week, but Jena had a rough start and so did Dexter and Malaya. I didn’t like Dexter’s performance at all. It’ll be interesting how the voting goes.

    • marie says:

      Totally agree with your 5 favorites, idolbetheblogspot.

    • MAB says:

      I totally agree with everything you said. I was most disappointed with Sam as Harry said it was good not great. I did enjoy the show though. I love Idol and am pretty excited about it this year.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I enjoyed the show as well. But I do fastforward threw a lot of it… Sam’s blandness is becoming overwhelming.

        • Stormy says:

          Not just bland, he was off key as well. And CJ, was boring. Dexter mumbled so I couldn’t catch the words. If he was going to do a Chris Young song White Lightning would have been a better choice. Alex reminds me of Lee DeWyze and not in a good way. IMO Jessica, Jena and Emily were the stars tonight.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        I was worried after the first 5 performances MAB, but it did get much better after that. I think the potential is there to have some very good shows once they whittle it down to the top 5 or 6, assuming America gets it right and picks a strong final group. I was most surprised with Emily, I think she has huge potential to grow, I also really liked Majesty Rose and Alex, he has the same kind of potential that PP showed early in season 11. My only fear now is that the dopey “theme” weeks will take some of these contestants completely out of their comfort zone.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      When the show was over – I was still waiting for Kristen to sing. I totally forgot that she sang… If she stays, she has to figure out how to stand out a little.

    • tewence says:

      I wish Emily would have a repeat of the song she sang behind be piano during Hollywood week. She really shined then.

  5. Clement says:

    B- for Emily? I’m not an Emily fan, but I thought she did terrific with that song.

    • Lauren says:

      She was certainly better than a B-, especially if Jena gets a B+. Nonsense!

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I agree, that Jena was not a B+, I kind of found her voice really off putting tonight. B- or solid C would work for me.

        • The Beach says:

          I like Jena but I think that song was pitched too high for her. She seemed to be really straining to reach some of those notes. OTOH, I love “The Scientist” and you’re probably gonna laugh me off this board for saying it but guess who does the most beautiful cover of that song…the cast of Glee.

    • Lo says:

      Seriously, Emily was the best of the night!

    • I know Emily hasn’t been that great or completely memorable in the past, and color me shocked last week when she made it without even being a wildcard. But tonight was a whole other story. She did amazingly with a Pink song. Pink is so great that it’s tough to sing one of her songs, and Emily deserves better than a B-. I think a solid B+ is more appropriate for her.

      • OhMy says:

        I think Michael got it right. There’s next to no melody in that song, but Pink gets away with it. Emily flattened out whatever melody there is there to the point of losing 80% of it. Considering how little there is in the first place . . .

      • RRM says:

        It was just the wrong choice…Pink has that gritty/pleading/seductive voice that works real well for that song…Emily had good vocals but the song just didn’t suit her right

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Emily was good, but Erika Van Pelt did it better on the Season 11 tour.

          • Danny says:

            I didn’t see the tour, but Erika also had 4 months to get better. This was Emily’s first night. My thinking is a more fair comparison would be Emily tonight vs what Erica did on her first night on AI. I think Emily would be the winner.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I was only making that comparison because Erika sang “Glitter In the Air” on the tour. Otherwise, Emily reminds me nothing of her.

      • Name This Tune says:

        The word pageanty comes to mind. There were 2 pageanty performances tonight – Emily a Kristen. Emily’s was better but it left me feeling blah.

    • Bartleby says:

      Totally agree. I thought Emily killed it.

      • McFudge says:

        Well, if say she was in the top half, at least, but I’m surprised they didn’t call her out on the fact that she didn’t quite hit the lower notes that well.

        • ben says:

          Yeah. She had pitch issues at both ends of the song. I don’t know why people think she killed it. I think she improved from last week. I think a B- is fair.

    • Getty says:

      I agree. Along with Jess and Alex, Emily was the best if the night. Loved, loved, loved her performance.

  6. Lauren says:

    I also gotta say that I thought Jena was pretty awful (no way does she deserve a B+). Compare that to Katelyn Epperly’s take on the same song from seasons ago and it doesn’t even come close to comparing.

    • tvlover44 says:

      i was thinking of katelyn epperly’s version, too! i thought i liked jena until tonight, but something about the tone of her voice singing that song – i just found it really grating.

    • Mary says:

      I actually liked Jena on that song and to be honest I really don’t care for the song. Have I heard better, yes but I like the grit in her voice. I think Jena has potential and I loved her original song.
      I guess that is what makes the world go round.

  7. Timmah says:

    I love me some Jessica Meuse.

    • Danny says:

      @ Timmah- We’re on the same page. At the start I liked her a lot. I think her audition was great. Then I tapered off on her some. Now I’m back on board. It’s easier to gauge someone from a live performance than it is a snippet.

    • McFudge says:

      Agreed. Now she just needs to loosen up a bit.

      • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

        Waay better than last week. She looked scared out of her wits after she sang then. I was surprised no one commented on it.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Jessica. was. awesome.

    • Danny says:

      Stage Mom from the group auditions agrees w/ all of us.

    • The Beach says:

      I didn’t know the song that Jessica sang but man, she slayed it. And then Caleb comes out and blows the doors off the place. Hot damn! Two great performances.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I discovered the band Shinedown when I came to college, and it turns out my boyfriend really likes them. “The Crow and the Butterfly” is actually his favorite song by them. Mine is “Second Chance,” but Jessica made me really like this one.

    • Mikko says:

      She was a standout, really great. What is more, she got a little bit sort of bitch editing in Hollywood, but you know, with her creative and artistic talents she made it to top 13 and gave the best performance of the night. Her personality seems strange to me: How did she end up into all those troubles in Hollywood? Why was she attacked so strongly by that stage mother? She seems to be that kind of person, who lives in her own creative, beautiful and edgy fantasy world, at least a little bit cut out from the people around her, and thus getting attacked “being in her different world” or “out of this world”. To me, she seems like a person, who one cannot figure out, and she could give immemorable performances, interesting and lovely to see in the future!

  8. Bonquisha says:

    This episode made Lazaro look talented

  9. Gailer says:

    I agree Michael, the beginning of the show Had me very worried, especially Mayala. But things improved as the night went on. And I so agreed with Keith, Caleb is retro. Not a good thing. Sam is too young, MK and Majesty were the best.

  10. ben says:

    Why oh why choose the song beautiful disaster. Has no-one learned from the time Phil Stacey went down in a “blaze of glory”?

  11. Brian Glenn says:

    Why, the Voice is already filled with professional singers with albums and singles out, just go to iTunes and seek them out… They even had a singer that just opened for Selena Gomez on her latest tour…

    • Brian Glenn says:

      Sorry my post was to the person talking bout downloading The Voice contestants…

      • Danny says:

        @Brian- that’s been happening to me a few times also. My posts aren’t where I think I’ve placed them. This post will probably end up someplace under someone who actually likes Randy Jackson.

      • Victoria says:

        The thing is – The Voice has always been for people who already have had chances in the industry who want a second chance to make it. And none of The Voice’s artists have been signed to a record label, if they have released music on iTunes, it’s them making music independently with no label.

        American Idol, however, has ALL new talent. That’s the difference between The Voice and American Idol. The Voice is mostly for veteran artists (although there are new artists sometimes), and American Idol is more for people who want to fulfill their dream.

        And personally, I’m okay with The Voice having veteran artists. Personally, I prefer polished talent, so that’s why I like The Voice.

        I like AI too, though, it’s just hard to enjoy the whole show when half the singers are pretty crappy compared to singers on The Voice.

        • Tiff says:

          I’m with you, Victoria. I like both, but I prefer The Voice because it feels like the talent is consistent. Even the people who don’t get a judge’s chair to turn are still pretty good. American Idol used to spend a lot of time making fun of people who sucked, and I found it pretty mean-spirited. It’s better now, but I still think the judges are never as much about nurturing talent as putting on a show.

          Anyway, this post is about AI. I liked Alex and Majesty best today – kudos to Majesty for singing that Janelle Monae song, it is HARD. I also really liked Jena, Caleb, and Jessica. MK and Emily and Ben were solid…the rest was a bit of a mess.

          • Victoria says:

            My favorites tonight were Majesty, Alex, Jessica, and Caleb. I also liked MK, Emily, and Jena. The rest were kind of meh to me. I appreciate Ben Briley trying to take on a song like that, and he was solid, but I still like Midas Whale’s (from The Voice) version better. Maybe it’s because I love their personalities so much – but idk. I feel like they should have made it to the live shows that season instead of The Swon Brothers.

            I really wanted CJ to do well since he seems like a great guy and everything, but he fell short. Sam Woolf also definitely fell short tonight.

          • Kylee says:

            The talent on the Voice is always competent, but never THAT amazing. With idol, we get “Moments” that you don’t see on the other shows. Has anybody from The Voice come close to Lovesong, Summertime, In A Dream, Billie Jean, House Of The Rising Sun, etc? Nope.

          • Viajero says:

            Kylee, I would say that The Voice has also had it’s share of outstanding memorable performances in the three short years since it started. Amanda Brown’s Dream On, Juliet Simms It’s a Man’s Man’s World and Roxane, Jamar Roger’s Seven Nations Army, Amber Carrington’s Skyfall, just to name a few. And I haven’t even mentioned performances that stayed multiple weeks on the iTunes charts like Cassadee´s Over You and Dia´s Heartless.

        • The Beach says:

          That’s not entirely accurate that no Voice contestants have ever had a record deal. A number of them have had past label deals. And Idol is not necessarily all new talent as you state. There have been past Idol contestants that have made records prior to appearing on Idol…Carly Smithson and Michael Johns come to mind and I’m sure there are others as well.

        • Kylee says:

          Yes, because Jacquie, Raelyn, Xenia, and Melanie aren’t crappy, right? *rolls eyes* You act like the Voice has never had a bad singer before, when they have had plenty.

          I love watching the growth arc over the season for Idol.

  12. claudia says:

    I’m not charmed by Malaya. Hopping around the stage like a bunny on speed does not make you interesting to me. Her voice has potential but she needs more vocal training & a complete makeover. Sorry but I think the glasses are hideous – they would be alright if she didn’t let them slip down her nose like an old grannie librarian.

    I was disappointed by a lot of my favs tonight & I didn’t vote for them

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Oh, I hate when I can’t vote for my faves too. :) Um… Malaya needs to nail her next performance – at this point she needs to prove to me that she can actually deliver a song it’s entirety *in tune.* I really don’t think she was ready for this. She needed like 2 or 3 more years to get some control over that voice.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Malaya was NEVER ready for this. She is cute but as a performer I find her completely unpolished and annoying. The five good ladies that were sent packing were probably watching last night wondering, “WTH?????”
      Oh well.

      • waterbug says:

        totally agree!…I never understood the love for Malaya–even from her initial audition. I think the judges saw “cuteness” and thought their experts could transform this to stardom. She has always been a bit annoying to me…

  13. Scott says:

    Alex really did fantastic. That was worth tuning in for

  14. Kaba says:

    Can we just talk about Kristen for a minute?
    I’m not denying she has a good voice or anything. She certainly sang better than Ben and Malaya, but she’s absolutely nothing special.
    Everything about her comes off as so hyper-calculated, contrived, pageant-y, and she just tries too hard in my opinion.
    I feel more compelled to change the channel than see what she can bring to the table when she sings.
    She’s just sooo uninteresting.

    • Owen says:

      I have to take exception to you putting Ben in the same category as Malaya. Dude can sing and sell a song. I think the tempo was way too fast on his take of the Johnny Cash, but it was musically sound and his energy was focused (well, not entirely, but way more than Maylaya’s).

    • McFudge says:

      She strikes me as being a very sweet girl with a not at all bad voice whose greatest weakness in this competition is that she’s sweet and pretty.

      • Lauren says:

        Sounds to me like you’re pulling out the patented “jealous” card. I’d say most of the other girls also qualify as being sweet and pretty as well and no one is knocking them. People are having a problem with Kristen because she’s robotic, forgettable, consistently selects songs she can’t pull off and her vocals have been mediocre on her best day. Plus the competition already has Emily, who has proven to be much more solid in the same pop category, which makes Kristen’s presence in this competition seem redundant.

    • Alice says:

      I don’t think anyone really believes she’s that special. They see a beautiful girl, with a decent voice. I understand why they’d want her there. In a producing capacity, she’s a homerun. Where Dexter is middle America, Kristen is hollywood. Glitz and glam. She’s just super boring on a live stage. She’ll be weeded out soon enough. They might try to stick her in the tour, but whether she gets that far, it’s looking doubtful. In the comparison between her and Malaya, I’m actually more angry about Malaya’s inclusion. Kristen is the best as she’s gonna get at this point. Malaya has so much more room to grow though. I really with they would have cut her in the final 30 so she could come back next year. She needs to learn control

      • Kaba says:

        I won’t count Malaya out yet. Sometimes we’ve seen some teenagers really come into their own on these shows. Wasn’t Allison one of those?
        Sometimes it isn’t about learning control away from the show, it’s about just knowing your own limitations and making the best out of the best you can manage.
        I think she can do it if she lasts.

        • Idolhead Ed says:

          No, Allison kicked everyone’s ass first time out with “Alone”. Then continued to kick ass on Michael Jackson night with “Give Into Me”.She was gold from the beginning.

        • Mary says:

          Allison could sing in key. Sorry Malaya is entertaining but no singer. She is like the energizing bunny with ADD. It actually gives me a headache watching her run across the stage. In all fairness she should go tonight but I am sure it will be Kristen.

          • Kaba says:

            She’s a singer. I stand by what I said. The girl just needs to find her sweet spot, which she can do on the show. I’ve watched some of her covers and looked at her vines. The girl can be great.
            YOU just don’t believe she’s got it in her.
            I’ll have a full judgment on her presence on the show if she makes it past next next week.

      • The Beach says:

        Your first seven sentences sound like you are describing Lana del Rey :-)

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I totally forgot that Kristen sang at all.

    • Name This Tune says:

      You hit the nail on the head.

    • Mikko says:

      I find her very lovely person, and I do not mean this in somehow sexual way. When the names of the top 13 were announced, nearly all the girls did not dare to look up, but were nervously lookung down to the ground, Kristen looked Ryan without the fear and smiling.
      So it is possible, that this real loveliness of hers has blinded the judges when selecting the people, because when i have found her lovely, I would have wished her to perform well, but she has not. When even Daughtry said, that she ha s a killer voice, I believed, that she could offer now stanout performance, but did not happen. Makes one think, if it was fair to let Kenzie go, when Kristen really do not seem to be able to pull it off.
      But as a person, I found her really lovely.

  15. jaded says:

    I’m ready to buy “Crow and Butterfly” by Jessica Meuse right now.

  16. marie says:

    For me, the performances of the night were by Majesty, MK, Caleb, and to a lesser degree, Emily, Alex, and Jessica. They got my votes, as did Sam, whose performance tonight was somewhat disappointing compared to last week’s. I very much wanted CJ to be better than he was. Loved the songs KM and Majesty sang. Caleb is a truly fine rock singer.
    JLo is on her game so far this season.
    LOVE Google voting! So quick and easy down to the design of a slider vs. click buttons to enter the number of votes. Great convenience.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I think I loved Google voting most :) JLo’s game is on this season for sure. I just need MK to loosen up a teeny bit – she always looks so nervous to me and it takes me out of her performance. That probably comes with time though…

  17. Jeremiah says:

    Question: Was tonight’s show live? I’ve always thought that the show is broadcast live in the Eastern time zone once the voting rounds start, but somebody in the comments for the last Reality Check said that last week’s shows weren’t live.

  18. Ian says:

    The first half was fairly abysmal but started to hit its stride once MK performed. While I prefer Katelyn Epperly’s “The Scientist,” Jena’s vocals were pretty stellar.

    I wanna like Alex but something about him irks me. I think it may just be because he has permanent “stank face” and thinks he’s more unique than he actually is. He seems like a nice guy, though, and was glad to hear a different part of his voice.

    • The Beach says:

      I think Alex is immensely talented. He just doesn’t fit the sexy wgwg stereotype. Oh well, I was a huge fan of Elliot Yamin too and he was sure no Adonis either.

    • Stormy says:

      Thank you. I’ve said from the beginning that Alex looks like Lewis on Suits [the guy who does those commercials with Apollo Ohno]. A sneering, I’m so above you, condescending attitude is what it looks like. It probably is quite the reverse and he simply lacks social skills. I don’t dislike him and his voice is lovely, but he’s not appealing to a broad range of fans.

    • Jessica says:

      I feel the same way about Alex. It’s not about looks or talent but may be that he looks irritated. Not my fav. personality that’s for sure. Last night was the 1st time I enjoyed a song from him.

  19. Kaba says:

    How I felt about tonight:
    Dexter: …….ok?
    Malaya: braces will never let you sing that fast and sound right, stawp. STAWP.
    Kristen: zzzZzzZZzzZzz….go away
    Ben: meh
    CJ: I forgot about him already
    MK: loved her tone, the song was too lounge-y for my tastes
    Majesty: song was perfect for her
    Jena: Recap commenters have made me not know the difference between screaming and singing, I give up.
    Alex: Yes, perf
    Jessica: perfff
    Emily: idrk how to feel about her atm
    Sam: anyone bold enough to admit he ought to have auditioned a few years later?
    Caleb: call him retro, old school, old, etc. He makes me excited and I love him.

    • ben says:

      Everything else aside, the difference between screaming and singing can be a very subjective matter.

      • Kaba says:

        It’s just become obnoxious at this rate.
        Growing up listening to church choirs and singers…I was always aware of when they were flat out screaming notes for the sake of the feel of the song, and then belting them out.
        Now on these shows, when I hear belting, everyone else hears screaming/screeching/yelling.
        I’m not hearing any of that ever. That’s what I’m hearing about Jena atm

        • ben says:

          I agree. There is the odd time where I feel someone really is screaming the notes. But I think it is an over-used criticism which personally I find is often applied to when people are singing with power (but nevertheless, truly singing not screaming).

          • Lauren says:

            For me, Jena’s shrill “power notes” are flat out unpleasant to listen to and I felt the same exact way about the overrated Briana. I also find Jena’s phrasing annoyingly affected and forced. Can’t say I’m a fan of hers, nor do I understand the hype behind her. Of course, she’s still young and can probably work out a better overall sound eventually but I doubt it’s going to happen over the course of this show. I see her peaking at 7th or 8th finish.

          • ben says:

            @Lauren – I understand what you are saying, and that’s why I feel as though the question of whether or not someone is yelling/singing is subjective.

  20. McFudge says:

    Almost all of them were stiff as boards. Caleb did prove they’re allowed to move around! I love MK, but tonight her performance was disappointing; Harry was spot on about her; she always looked like she was standing around waiting for the next line to come, and she just wasn’t selling that song. Jessica and Majesty were my favorites, although Caleb was terrific – just not my genre. Still love Alex’s voice. Sam spent the entire time bobbing up and down. It was distracting. Bring back Chris and Adam!

  21. Adam Reinaldy says:

    I thought Sam was overrated by the public, and it shows this week how not ready he was. “For a kid, his music knowledge is impressive”, “my favorite wgwg”, etc. LOL. He needs to work on inhabiting the song he sings.

    My favorite tonight was Majesty and not just because an Idol contestant finally performed a Janelle Freakin’ Monae song (been suggesting her work to be performed by Candice last season), but her vocal was on point, her quirk was believable, and she looked like she lived and breathed that song.

    My other favorites are Jessica whose grit and darkness are something that I rarely see on Idol, and Emily who knew how to present an understated yet effective delivery (something Sam Woolf tries to achieve but failed to do so). I wish I could be more excited for Alex so I could form a JAM (Jessica, Alex, Majesty) but that song is just way too basic. Disappointed in Jena. She was just okay, and that first note was a bit painful to hear.

    Overall, another underwhelming night. So much for a season of improvement.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      This: “He needs to work on inhabiting the song he sings.” Exactly.

    • The Beach says:

      Anyone else getting a little Elise Testone vibe from Jessica? (and I say that as a good thing)

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Yeah, I hear it. She reminds me of the type that Jason the video editor goes nuts over (Gina, Carly, Allison, Crystal, Haley, Elise). I’m surprised he’s not all over her this time around.

        • Lauren says:

          That list amuses me because I am split right down the middle. I didn’t like Gina, Carly or Crystal at all, but absolutely loved Allison, Haley and Elise. Thankfully Jessica so far is fitting in with the latter group!

          • Adam Fachry says:

            I never got the appeal of both Gina and Carly either, though I loved Crystal. I found them both inauthentic. Trying to look like a rocker chick, yet they sang a bunch of diva-belting songs. Versatile? More like posers.

  22. LizzieB says:

    5 facts in 20 secs was cute.
    I didn’t think the show started til Majesty performed.
    Dexter and Kristen still haven’t done what they’re supposed to do. I might not find hope for them though I liked Kristen’s pre-live stuff. Kristen reminds me of a barbie doll!! With the figure and the hair and the stiffness(I wish I could sound a lot less mean I’m really sorry)
    Malaya’s song choice…eh. I mean Joshua Ledet anyone? It was sleepy to me and that song is supposed to be an upper.
    I liked Ben tonight. Much more than Dexter even though I’m not a fan of the genre.
    I liked CJ’s song choice. It was feel-good but slightly forgettable I guess. And I love his girlfriend in the audience.
    Mk had this look on her face the entire time–worry? nerves? I dunno her song choice got me all excited for her but the delivery was not quite great for me.
    Majesty! Boy do I love this girl. She already has a vibe. She has the tone and the look. Hello my new girl obsession.
    I guess it was fine that Jena didn’t play the piano for The Scientist. The chorus was solid and she’s my kind of powerhouse singer. Especially for her age. I’m just so proud and happy for her.
    Alex. I’m a fan now. He fully knows himself I feel and I admire that. Love that song. Love Alex and Sierra. And I disagree with Harry. Selling a song does not entirely mean you’re performing for and among the audience all the time. That sincere and ‘introverted’ performance was what made it believable. Something that I thought was lacking in Emily’s. It was too Mariah Carey-esque with all the glitter themes. The angst wasn’t completely there for me. Add to what’s great about Alex is that he’s just so comfortable with himself and so it shows how sure he is of himself. With Sam on the other hand, he’s been playing it safe this whole time and by safe I mean safe by Sam standards. He sticks to the artists he knows would give him points for being relatable and familiar as far as his vocal quality is concerned. Really kind of let me down a bit tonight. That tempo did the song no good either. I’ll always be a Sam fan but I’d love to see him put his guitar down, smile a bit, and sing something unexpected. If this trend goes on then we’ll all know he’ll be singing John Mayer next week. Oh wait he did that already. Sam this is not one of your regular gigs. This is big time American Idol! Step it up kid!!!
    I liked Jessica’s song and her voice is cool, just maybe not my favorite contestant right now.
    Caleb’s back to his mic stand tricks and fancy jackets! It was what I expected of him I guess.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      “I didn’t think the show started til Majesty performed.” She always makes me smile. She is able to channel her positive energy into a song in a way that makes me happy. I need her to stick around. I am also lovin’ that this year is not a ballad-fest. Lots of variety in song choices – not that everyone is pulling it off, but I appreciate the attempts to not bore me. ;)

    • JM says:

      While I agree that performance-level and playing the guitar was playing it safe for Sam, singing a Rob Thomas song was NOT. There’s just no comparison.

  23. LeahKittyS says:

    Wow, this was such a good night! We’re pretty much in agreement about the grades, although I would’ve scored MK a little higher. It really is too close to call at this point. There are so many frontrunners, and the strongest one varies by week. Can the rest of the season be this good? Pretty please?

    • tewence says:

      :o I actually find the group as a whole to be terribly weak this season.

      • OhMy says:

        I think leahkitty is pranking. (One hopes)

        • LeahKittyS says:

          No. I don’t prank. The thing about me is, I only dislike an Idol performance if it’s really, really bad (I’ll spare you the list). When I watch Idol, I just like everything I hear and read the blogs to help shape my opinion. I buy all the songs and incorporate them into my stories, whether the initial performance grabbed me or not. I just want to be positive and enjoy everything I’m handed in life.

        • Paris says:

          Please don’t feed that troll or she’ll start one of her dreary fanfics about Idol.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Excuse me? I am a long-time, respected commenter on this site. Any real “trolls” are quickly banned on here. And I checked with Mike on Twitter; I have permission to continue my story in the comment sections. So please refrain from name-calling.
            P.S. I still think it could come down to Majesty and Sam in the end.

          • ben says:

            You know, funny story. I used to skip past Leah’s fanfics. Not for any particular reason, other than I’m not really a fanficcy person. Then she got attacked for writing them. And again, and again. So I started defending leah, and then I started reading her stories.

            Mostly, I just think it is not cool that she gets bullied. What’s the go? She seems like a perfectly nice person in her posts. She is one of those people who posts lots of her opinions, in a polite manner, and is happy to just have her own view and be herself. But because she chooses to have a hobby, and share it with others, in addition to posting her on topic opinion, she is attacked and called a troll?

          • Mary says:

            Simple solution Paris skip by it and don’t read.

        • ben says:

          Why – because anyone who thinks the singers this season are good can’t possibly have a valid opinion???

          I’m excited about the batch of singers this season. I think it could be a very enjoyable top 7 or 8, and I do think that out of that top 7/8 its hard to pick a winner. Yeah, there is also some fluff that needs to be eliminated, but I’ve always liked that about Idol – it gives me 4 or 5 extra weeks to enjoy listening to the ones I really enjoy while the less good ones get picked off.

        • Kylee says:

          So anybody who enjoys this group is “pranking?” What a dumb statement. Newsflash, A LOT of people like this group.

      • Bonnie says:

        Really? You can take a back seat. They aren’t even close to being the weakest. There’s a lot of genuine talent in the bunch. And even the ones who didn’t bring it this weak have proved in the past that they can be good.

        • tewence says:

          people being rude on these boards about a singing competition always makes me laugh. “you can take a back seat.” like, how old are we?

          anyways, as i was saying, this group is weak IN MY COMFORTABLE BACK SEAT OPINION. alex has the ability to draw people in, majesty is an artist, when sam is on he is great, jena has great potential, and mk has a lovely voice. i have yet to be moved by anyone except alex thus far. maybe they’ll surprise me. also, while i can’t deny the talent of jessica and caleb, they just aren’t my personal cup of tea, though they both performed well last night. emily could be good if she got back to whatever made her shine during hollywood week.

  24. Chris says:

    Caleb you are everything the show needed tonight. THANK YOU THANK you thank YOU from the bottom of my big a** rock n’ roll heart. Your vocals, your energy, and your sheer genius in knowing who you are. YES SIR – YES. The Rival Sons are AWESOME.

    Jessica you are my hero. I would have never guessed you’d perform a Shine Down song – I seriously heart you for that, for your voice, and for your edge.

    ROCK ON!

    Majesty Rose is like a bag of sugar – addictive and sweet. Love her, I love her song choices, and (per JLo observation) how the rhythm hits her.


    Alex I do not know what planet Harry was on while you were performing, but you were fantastic. You drew me in from my couch 100’s of miles away. BRAVO!


    Loved Keith’s feed back to Emily – find the yang. Do I really have to sit through an entire season of Harry telling the contestants to sing in tune? I mean some are so obvious even us lowly folk who don’t have musical arrogance can hear it – otherwise it’s a waste of air. Less of Randy please – less of Randy.


    Did I thank Caleb – get it!

  25. Jenka says:

    Was anyone else creeped out by the odd “Glam Cam” toe-to-head pan of the camera while MK was getting her feedback? It felt predatory.

  26. There were a few at the beginning I would bump up or down a letter grade, but strangely that’s not the injustice of the night. I daresay Jessica Meuse was underrated. And I think her performance will grow on you even more when you watch it back.

  27. RRM says:

    My top’s gotta be Jessica and Caleb…loved that gritty edge in Jessica’s voice, though she need to be /more out there’ her posture was stiff but wouldn’t blame her, maybe it was her first in such a big stage?
    Caleb, though a bit over top with ‘I’m a rockstar b*tches attitude’ man what a closing performance. Liked Majesty’s ditty song as well loved how she’s sticking to her personality, but would like her to tackle a ballad/soul maybe? Sam was so-so to me he looked petrified after the performance.
    Emily had strong vocals, but wasn’t feeling the song choice…same goes for Jena. Alex was alright….down the middle he goes. Malaya was ‘eh what?’…luke warm on MK’s and the other’s were mweh…didn’t understand shtick of what Ben was singing.

  28. kelly says:

    Majesty >

  29. Jo says:

    Did you notice the camera shot of Taylor Hicks in the audience while Caleb was singing. Soul Patrol,

  30. Samantha says:

    I thought Sam and Emily did better than B-‘s even though both were still and didn’t have the best stage presences, they both sounded really good and at this early stage in the competition we should be thankful for that especially when you have terrible vocal performances by Kristen and Malaya.

    Ben, Dexter, CJ do aboslutely nothing for me, they bore me to tears.

    I can appreciate Alex’s talent, but he just bothers me. I don’t know if its his face or his energy but nooooo not a fan. I can also appreciate Caleb’s talent but he really isn’t anything special.

    Majesty is cool and i like her a lot but Jena didn’t sound all too great to me and neither did Jessica.

    Also side note: Kristen’s face really bothers me for no reason, I hope she goes home, she never should have made the top 13.

    I thought M.K wasn’t very good but i enjoyed her performance because i never heard that song before but i liked it. So 100% of my liking that performance was because of the song other than that, she looked more dear in headlights than Sam.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      “Kristen’s face really bothers me” LOL. Funniest Kristen statement of the night. Poor, sweet Kristen. I am not sure why she is even in the top 13. My guess is it won’t be for long…

  31. kate'shomesick says:

    Dexter C solid but boring
    Malaya D- distasteful, unmusical
    Kristen D affected, could seriously benefit from some singing lessons, bad arrangement
    Ben B+ I liked it, it was rhythmically different and it worked, very natural
    C.J. D there’s just no technique- as a singer I can’t accept that, also a little empty
    M.K. C- lack of vocal control
    Majesty B- good song choice, needs to learn how to sing with a mic (goes for everyone)
    Jena C interesting but she’s damaging her vocal chords…(with better technique B+)
    Alex B+ small problems with dropped/pushed notes, but so musical, spellbound
    Jessica A- polished, professional, small glitches with the mic and ear ins
    Emily B nice, could use a little more closing of vocal folds…esp. lower register
    Sam A- vocals are so clean, wonderfully musical, could have been sped up a tiny bit
    Caleb A professional, piece of cake for him…engaging

    • Tarc says:

      I’m with you except I’d reverse Majesty and Sam. Sam’s incredibly boring and not that great, which Majesty has a whole list of plusses.

  32. Davey says:

    Jessica sings well but she just isn’t my cup of tea. I find her a bit off-putting. I was disappointed by MK this week, too. My votes went to Majesty, Alex. I also gave some votes to MK and Ben because I want them to stay.
    I wanted to like Jena’s The Scientist more but the melody got lost and her voice gets irritating in the higher registers.

  33. Only positive thing I can say about Randy’s comments is that he was so drowned out by the screaming audience that I couldn’t hear a word he said.

  34. Davey says:

    I agree with everyone that Caleb gave a dynamic performance but he doesn’t seem modern. He better figure that out fast because he can’t win as a retro artist.

  35. lla says:

    I was thinking along the same lines as you Michael. How many viewers were totally bored for the 1st half hour and turned the channel? Why didn’t TPTB put at least one strong performance during that time? It makes no sense.

    The show picked up when MK sang and was fairly entertaining throughout the rest of the episode. I liked mostly everyone after that,

    Faves were Majesty, Alex & Jessica tonite

  36. tewence says:

    Eek! This season is shaping up to be season 9 level weak. Nothing is exciting me…and we have dexter, Ben, and CJ all sounding the same. The three of them, Jessica, and Kristen leave me wondering what this top 13 could’ve been. Not that I LOVE any of the others. Majesty and Alex being my favorite. But this is a weak, weak season for real. No amazing vocalists.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      “and we have dexter, Ben, and CJ all sounding the same” Oh, that’s interesting. I thought they were all bland and forgettable but for different reasons. Poor CJ, is so painfully out of his league now vocally. Once, Kristen is gone – I could easily lose these 3 next… One by one.

      • tewence says:

        you explained it better than i did…the 3 of ’em are the same because they are all bland, but yes, for different reasons. and instead of one by one, can there be a surprise triple elimination?

    • Bonnie says:

      What a dumb statement. It’s like each of them have to give a moment every week or the season is called “weak.” There is some great talent.

  37. DJ says:

    Caleb single handedly applied the defib paddles to this show tonight

  38. Angela says:

    I love “The Scientist”, and I agree with the judges that when the song first started up, Jena did sound a bit shaky. But it did get a lot better as it went on, and she got into the meaning behind the lyrics a little, too, which I liked.
    Jessica and Majesty were the best of the night, I think. I kind of preferred the quieter part of Jessica’s song, when it was just the guitar, before it kicked into the hard rock sort of thing…but even then, though, it still worked perfectly for her. I can definitely see her making a nice little career for herself in that genre.
    And I didn’t mind Ben’s take on Johnny Cash. It wasn’t perfect, no, but I kinda liked the rockabilly vibe he brought to the song (and I got a really good laugh out of Keith’s comment about how Johnny may well have performed that song at that speed after some help from a “stimulant” or two :D).
    Also, I know that these guys get kinda put on the spot with the questions they get asked, but still, when Alex explained that he picked Mraz’ song ’cause, as he put it, “life is a beautiful mess”…I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little. Seriously?
    And on a final note, so Sam is 17 years old, which means that he was a very young child when that Matchbox Twenty song came out. I, on the other hand, was in high school then. Nope. Totally don’t feel old at all now.

    • nowuknow says:

      Well Alex did say he was a hopeless romantic in his 5 things – so kind of goes hand in hand.

      • Angela says:

        Good point. I think he was sincere with that comment, mind. Just came off a bit corny, is all. But it is tough to know what exactly to say sometimes when you’re put on the spot, so I’ll let it slide.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Hmm… I need Jena to sing better or pick better songs for her voice so I can vote for her. There was something really weird going one with her voice tonight…. I really want to root for her. “Alex explained that he picked Mraz’ song ’cause, as he put it, “life is a beautiful mess”…I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little. Seriously?” LOL. Too funny. I fastforward through of the question/get to know me crapola. None of them are good at answering questions. That’s whole different skill set. If Harry asks one more question I think someone’s head will explode. :)

      • analythinker says:

        Somehow this post reminds me of Jason Castro, lol.

      • Angela says:

        Oh, yeah, Jena’s still got some work to do, to be sure. But I did like this performance better than her take on “Paint it Black”. I think she just needs songs that fit her particular singing style a little better. Tonight I think she was able to sound convincing on the lyrics, I think she understood them a little better than she did those of the Stones song. Still, though, yes, here’s hoping that as the weeks go on she figures out her little niche and can blow us away with something fantastic, ’cause I do think she has some potential.
        Hehe, thanks! Yeah, it’s painfully clear that many of them aren’t comfortable in front of a camera/audience yet. Not that I blame them-lord knows I’d be just as awkward if I found myself on TV (hence why I have no desire to be on TV :p). But if they’re interested in pursuing a musical career, they will definitely need a crash course in working the audience/media a lot better at some point. Unless they want to pull a Kate Bush or something and just hide out in wherever for years on end, that is, and choose to only pop out with new music every great once in a while.

  39. JM says:

    My new slogan: ‘Where’s the Yang?’
    My frustration: That the stupid ear mics were off and unfairly messed up the first few singers.
    My soft spot: Any guy who says he’s a poet and a hopeless romantic.
    My new fav song: Crow and the Butterfly
    My advice to Caleb: Never talk with your mouth full of toothpaste, but keep rockin’!
    My best attire award: MK, finally she wears pants that don’t sag.
    My fav smile: Majesty, gap and all!
    My pet peeve: People debating The Voice vs. Idol
    My FF button: Every time Randy spoke.

  40. J. May says:

    Anybody notice Alex and Sierra from X factor rooting for Alex? My favorite 3 were Alex, Jessica and Jena. I’m still on the fence about Ben’s take on FPB although I liked the way he almost changed it to a metal/rock song.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Yeah, I saw them. I also saw Alex’s girlfriend, Jillian Jensen. I still wonder what could have been for her…

      • JM says:

        Is Jillian really Alex’ girlfriend? I was wondering that tonight when I saw her in the audience, and I also saw her in a Youtube video singing with him.

  41. chris says:

    I liked Sam a lot — his voice is just the best of the bunch. Like Alex a lot more. Love malaya but she has to stop singing these bigger than life songs. Ben is who surprised me the most.

  42. mike says:

    Why is Kristen even there?

  43. analythinker says:

    I like good singing. I like great singing even better. I LOVE amazing singers. Doesn’t matter which reality show.

  44. NedPepper says:

    Alex, Jessica and Majesty brought it. Three best performances. Caleb can wail, but he needs to find a way to change it up. He verges into Taylor Hicks territory of making me cringe. MK has potential.Wonderful clarity in her voice and there’s a little swagger hidden underneath that nervousness. Jena is always missing half a performance, if that makes any sense. It’s there, somewhere The rest was karaoke.

    -Also, Harry is starting to get on my nerves. And what in the name of all that is holy is Randy Jackson still doing on this show? Every time he opens his mouth, I feel this strange sense of annoyance and embarrassment . Let it go, Randy. Just. Walk. Away. It’s over.

  45. tealeaves says:

    I agree with Michael that the first 3 performances were the worst. But none of them were among my many favorites, so I was not concerned.
    Overall I felt it was a great night! This season is full of promising contestants. I think we will have a stellar top 10.
    I could not help but think of all the ballads from last year. What a difference this year! This was an enjoyable show full of very different performances. That’s what I originally loved about Idol.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      This. All of this.

    • ben says:

      Yeah, I’m over all the ballads too. It’s one reason I’m glad Spencer didn’t make the top 13, because he feel he would have been shoehorned into a Colton Dixon/Angie Miller piano ballad week after week existence. And I really don’t need another one of those right now (I like it with Brooke White, because it felt different. Now it just feels old).

  46. I found some of my usual favorites (Majesty, MK, Alex, and Sam) a little underwhelming tonight so I voted for Jena, Emily, Caleb, and Jessica all of whom I think gave personal bests tonight.

  47. GrumpyOl'Lady says:

    I enjoyed seeing Alex and Sierra in the crowd.

  48. Adam Fachry says:

    You know life is unfair when Randy Jackson is given a million bucks to state the obvious whereas the number of unemployment among post-grads is increasing by the minute.

  49. Country J. says:

    TV viewers watching Jessica and Sam had to deal with those floating dark images the stage lighting ran behind them. It was distracting, if not grossly detracting through the floating images formed……… The stage production manager should be banned…….. Jessica has taken a foothold in the competition for the Country friendly voters, now a challenger against Dexter, Ben and CJ……………. Emily has raised the stakes a little on the girls side; I’m hoping she’ll sing “Blurred Lines” next time:)

    • ben says:

      Alex and Sierra killed Blurred Lines a few months ago. I don’t think Emily can live up to that version.

    • lulu says:

      Ahh, ben and LeahKitty – now I get it – blurred lines is a true sexy rexy song. This sheds so much light on last week’s Emily debate. Clearly lyrics like ‘I know you want it, you the hottest bitch in this place, and I’ll give you something big enough to tear your a** in two’ – would be a level of sophistication to which Emily or other girls could only hope to aspire. Oh lulz

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I don’t understand what you’re saying. I don’t have a problem if girls on Idol want to be sexy. Haley Reinhart could do it. Elise Testone could do it, for me, anyway. But Emily just doesn’t do it for me, so I don’t think that sound would be a good fit for her.

      • ben says:

        Err… so when I say ‘Sierra killed that song’ I am denying that she is a girl? My god, did Sierra ever sell me on that song. It was utterly sexy, and it was awesome. But, hey, if you continue wanting to make this about me, about Harry, about the man wanting to keep down the woman (and, I guess, since Leah is involved, the woman wanting to keep down the woman) I guess you can. But you’re misguided, and your decision to go on some kind of personal attack campaign is tiresome.

        Oh, last thing I guess I should say – I don’t like that song when Robin Thicke sings it. I don’t think he sells it particularly well. It never worked for me until I watched Sierra sing it, and suddenly I loved it. Perfect example of a song which proves the point I was always making that it isn’t the SONG, it isn’t SEX, it isn’t the GENDER – its the person and the performance.

        • ben says:

          And I’d add that, frankly, I don’t think any person would ever live up to Alex and Sierra’s version, and I would have made the same comment no matter who it was suggested of this season.

          Lastly, I really think you should go read my response to you in the reality check column. It might (I would hope, if you’re not entrenched) make you think about things a little differently. From now on, I’m kinda done engaging on this topic, so if you want to keep going at me for it I’m gonna just ignore it.

        • Renee says:

          While I don’t want to continue the Harry foot in mouth discussion, I feel in all fairness I should say I think lulu and others make a valid point. Lyrics either matter or they don’t – a but odd to say I’ll decide case by case based on whether I like the singer or the judge. And consistent double standards from some regular commenters do seem fall into a theme relating to women. I have a tween daughter and we’ve talked about Blurred Lines (first time I heard it on top 40 I literally felt nauseated). I won’t comment about this further but I think we can all benefit from occasional self- reflection vs defensive responses. And, like Forrest, that’s all I have to say bout that :)