Reality Check: Is American Idol Season 13 in Trouble? Plus: Defending 'Harsh Harry' and Questioning Randy Jackson's 'Mentoring'

Seacrest, we have a problem.

American Idol‘s Season 13 Top 12 performance night wasn’t exactly a memorable one — not for the right reasons, anyhow — and it’s causing even long-time fans of Fox’s reality singing competition to wonder if the rewards of viewership are worth the investment of every Wednesday and Thursday from now through late May.

RELATED | American Idol: What Should the Top 11 Sing for Movie Soundtrack Night?

On this week’s installment of Reality Check, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I tackle this crisis and speculate that in-house mentor Randy Jackson might be more to blame than the show’s promising but under-performing contestants. We also shine a spotlight on Top 12 week’s MVPs, its Opposite-of-MVPs and the pink-haired rocker chick that Melinda and I are just gonna have to disagree about — for now, anyway. Plus, there’s a deep dive into the subject of “Harsh Harry” (Connick Jr.).

VIDEO | American Idol‘s Kristen O’Connor on Covering Adele and Kelly Clarkson, Not Playing Guitar, Surviving Group Rounds With Sam Woolf

Not only that, but we also check in on Week 2 of The Voice‘s sixth season — highlighting two vocalists who made a somewhat lackluster week worth watching.

So press play below for the full Reality Check experience, then hit the comments and share your thoughts about your Idol and Voice faves. And for all my reality TV news, interviews, ezxlusives and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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

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188 Comments
  1. r says:

    FYI it’s ONLY TOP 12 week. The BEST seasons started off dreadful sometimes. Give it time

  2. CR Johnso says:

    Either this season’s contestants have yet to sing the songs that are right for them, or this is the most lackluster season yet in terms of talent. Randy’s repetitive comments before each performance made me want to turn my sound off. He is just irritating. He was actually better as a judge in my opinion, even with all the broken-record comments.

  3. Jerry says:

    I think ever since Season 8 or even earlier, the show has lost the “we are searching for the next mega superstar” vibe which it had during the first few seasons. The build-up to Clay vs Ruben, Fantasia, Bo vs Carrie were epic in the earlier seasons. Even though some of these contestants did not eventually become huge stars, the idea and hype of American Idol creating a huge superstar is almost visibly there. It gradually lost that spark especially starting from Season 9, and even with Season 10 and 11 filled with talent and solid winners, that huge hype is gone.

  4. Meg says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like Ben? He’s an okay singer, but his performance style is really corny. Not a fan.

    • Amy says:

      Not a fan either. His attitude seems a bit cocky too when he’s getting critiqued…then last week he said something like “when I’m performing everything the judges said goes out the window”…didn’t sound good, since not “respecting” the judges advice & critiques is kind of missing the point…and a big Idol “no-no” for winning on-screen behavior. He and a few others right now are not good enough to come off as cocky as they are acting….any of the true greats of idol’s past were as humble as could be. Confident but no need to be cocky.

    • John Anthony says:

      I agree regarding Ben. Maybe the Idol should let the audience vote during the audition process one season. They are the ones who purchase the records in the end and make or break any new performer. Have four judges and the audience breaks all ties when it comes to who goes on. Surely the show needs a fresh idea.

  5. Dank24 says:

    It’s Harry who doesn’t know what “waiting on the world to change” means. The song is about how we need to stop waiting for it to change. How we need to stop relying on other people to change the world when we can do our own part.

    For someone who keeps asking contestants if they understand the song, he might want to google it

  6. Lily says:

    Agree with you regarding getting new and better mentors. It appears that the ones Idol have are not doing right. I heard that one of the mentors told one of the contestants to look in the mirror and watch herself but then thankfully Keith told them NO. Don’t do that. It’s not about what you look like as much as what you feel. Then I also heard one of the mentors told one of the contestants to do something which prompted Harry to say..”who told you that???”.

    So maybe those mentors should be eliminated and get the ones that will be good…like ALL the ones Michael suggested.

  7. Calli says:

    Where’s my new “Reality Check”? :-/

  8. scott roulier says:

    After listening to last week’s show, my wife made the comment that only 3 or 4 of the performances would have even “turned a chair” on The Voice. Maybe it is the stage or sound, but this is by far the worst group of AI contestants I have heard. Sorry to hear Harry give them TOO much praise after being the only honest feedback for awhile. They just aren’t that good….

  9. AnneMarie says:

    I usually either love or hate the American Idol season; even when I don’t like the season there are some standout performances I don’t want to miss. This season is mostly blah performers. Sam Woolf has a great voice but is too uncomfortable on stage; he’s still my favorite for the win- based purely on his voice. I do love Harry Connick Jr as a new judge & can’t wait to see him next season as well as Keith Urban. I miss Jimmy Iovine; please bring him back. J.LO is good but not great; I do think that she is giving better critic this season. I do not like the styling of the contestants this year & the voting number routines are a bit sophomoric. I also think they need to raise the age of the contestants to at least 17 (Scotty Mccreery was great). Why couldn’t Amber Holcomb be in this year’s group instead of last year; man she had a great set of pipes & she could have excelled like no other. Last year had so many great talented girls in the final 5. Caleb Johnson may win based on his stage presence & my favorite girl is Jena- she is a pretty consistent performer. My past all time favorites were never the winners except for Scotty M. I really loved Pia Toscano, Haley Reinhart, Colton Dixson, James Durbin, & Amber Holcomb. Maybe we could see an All Stars with some power-houses from the past. That would be amazing!

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