American Idol Top 10 Performance Recap: To Thine Own Selfie Be True [Updated]

_MB13151On tomorrow’s American Idol results show, Jennifer Lopez will perform her new single “I Luh Ya Papi (Not a Typo),” and it will almost certainly be a debacle of sparkly fabric, preternaturally glowing skin, gyrating netherregions and Auto-Tune.

But to-ni-iii-iii-iii-iii-iii-ght, during the Season 13 Top 10 performance show, Jenny From the Block set the world on fire, and shone brighter than the su-uhh-uhh-uhh-uhh-nnn.

RELATED | American Idol‘s Keith Urban on Song Deconstruction, Blunt Feedback and Guaranteed Use of ‘The Save’

Seriously, on a night where Harry Connick Jr. broke out my new favorite phrase (#BereftOfJoy) and pledged not to attend contestants’ rehearsals (huzzah!) and where Keith Urban mixed a perfectly balanced cocktail of truth and warmth and exactitude, it was J.Lo who stood out for delivering what was unquestionably her finest night of critiques in three seasons on the panel.

The Season 13 Top 10, on the other hand, well, like Vanessa Williams (and the Isley Brothers before her), they’ve got work to do.

But don’t take the preceding sentence as a cantankerous dis: The kids are ai’ight all right! Sure, Majesty Rose needs to find a way to contain her “fear face” and 17-year-old Sam Woolf needs to steer clear of lyrics about a drunken barfly who left a scar on his girlfriend’s face during an unfortunate altercation, but these are the kinds of wrinkles that can be handled with a trip to the dry cleaners — or maybe even with one of those nifty sprays you can buy down at the local Target. (The Top 10 also proved highly amusing while posing with their voting numbers in staged “selfies.” Oh, Idol does love its buzzwords. #pow.)

_MB13043So, yes, I remain cautiously optimistic — emphasis on “cautiously” — that somebody (or several somebodys) are on the edge of glory, thisclose to proving worthy of inheriting the crown worn by Clarkson, Cook, Sparks, McCreery and their ilk.

On that note, let’s jump right to letter grades for tonight’s contestants:

M.K. Nobilette: Pink’s “Perfect” — Grade: D+ | When I first heard that M.K. — a vocalist who’s at her best when she’s mellow and lilting — was tackling a hard-charging belter like Pink, I assumed she’d be stripping back the arrangement, slowing down the tempo and remagining the jam as an inspirational lullabye. But nope, girlfriend pretty much took the route of least creativity, delivering a karaoke arrangement (and a “stare in the mirror” intro championed by The Voice‘s Michelle Chamuel) that exposed her inability to stay in the pocket and to convey real urgency in her singing. There was so much dead space in between M.K.’s phrases that my attention kept drifting — that is until she botched her segue into the second chorus and then tried to cover it with multiple downward glances and some tentative caterwauling. J.Lo and Harry gave pretty tough feedback, and even M.K.’s post-commercial defense — “I thought it was pretty solid, for what it was” — conveyed a certain sense of defeat, no?

Dexter Roberts: Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” — Grade: C- | To be fair, Dexter really did take his biggest/only risk to date by slowing down the tempo for the opening half of Florida Georgia Line’s propulsive party jam. Problem was that stripped of the steady, rhythmic movement — J.Lo did a nice recreation using stomps and claps — there’s not a whole lot to recommend “Cruise”: It’s hardly a vocal showcase (and even then, Dexter hit his fair share of bum notes) and the lyrical connection definitely suffered from Dexter’s mumbly drawl. Like a glass of water you drank three Thursdays ago or a Randy Jackson mentoring soundbite, this performance was so void of flavor, so lacking in oomph that it’ll be nothing more than a vague memory by the weekend.

Jena Irene: Zedd featuring Foxes’ “Clarity” — Grade: B+ | I wasn’t crazy about the staging of this performance — contestants, please don’t allow the show’s producers to lower you into the SwayBot pit under any circumstance, even if it’s to escape Randy’s “advice” — but vocally, this may have been the episode’s most impressive accomplishment. (Well, that and Jena managing to rock out in pink Doc Martens — and not the deadly high heels the Idol styling department tends to favor.) I loved the little liberties Jena took with the melody, the way her distinctive, rounded tone filled the entire stage, and the fact that she maintained solid pitch despite bouncing around like the audience had come by solely to catch the Jena Irene concert. Yeah, I worry a little that voters might not respond enthusiastically to electronic dance music (side note: Can anyone else imagine Jena singing Kristine W’s “Land of the Living” or Cher’s “Believe” or Hercules and Love Affair’s “Blind“?) but then again, isn’t that what all the kids are listening to on the radio anymore? Yeah, that was the Grampy McRickety-est sentence I’ve ever written in an Idol recap, so while I grab a mug of warm milk and a butterscotch candy, why don’t you jump ahead to the next sentence…

Alex Preston: One Direction’s “Story of My Life” — Grade: A- | I like that Alex is strategic enough that he’s already thinking about the entire Idol season as a concert set list. And while I’d like to see him tackle a selection or two that might shake up his “sensitive troubador” vibe — perhaps a radical rearrangement of an EDM track that could convey a sense of humor, or maybe a more raucous selection that forced him to work the stage — there’s no denying his delicate recreation of “Story of My Life” is the best rendition of the song I’ve ever heard. With those perfectly placed high notes he nailed on the chorus and the flawless phrasing that breathed new life into the lyrics, it’s no wonder Harry declared that he’s leading the pack at this point in the competition.

Malaya Watson: Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” — Grade: B+ | I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to shake Candice Glover’s soul-stirring Season 12 cover of this tune, but lo and behold, Malaya grabbed my attention from the first note — bringing palpable pain to the lyrics and an effortless beauty to those tricky “Ooh ooh oohs,” too. Keith was right that the Malaya of two weeks ago would’ve attacked every note of this ballad like a hyena to an antelope leg, but the season’s youngest contestant looks like she’s in the midst of a major growth arc — learning about restraint and shading at just the right point in the competition. And what Idoloonie doesn’t love a major growth arc?

Caleb Johnson: Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” — Grade: B- | “Lacks momentum.” That was the notation I made midway through Caleb’s Gaga cover — then underlined three times for emphasis. But Keith actually did a better job of summing up the problem with Caleb’s “half-time” rearrangement when he called it “lumbering.” Either way, though, by removing the urgency from the jam, by failing to capture the wild-eyed lunacy of Gaga howling the phrase “the edge, the edge, the edge,” Caleb wound up attaching a big old clunky hay wagon to the back of his Maserati. Musically speaking, of course. Plus, in an unexpected turn of events, I thought the Season 13 rocker struggled with pitch intonation a little on the verse, to boot.

C.J. Harris: Hunter Hayes’ “Invisible” — Grade: D+ | I know that at the end of this article, I predicted M.K. should and will go home on Thursday night — but if the zippy red streaks in her hair resonate with at-home viewers, C.J. would make a perfectly acceptible substitute. Yeah, the judges tried their darndest to praise C.J.’s passion (¡and his rehearsal performance!) but the Alabama native’s consistent sharpness rendered all other considerations moot. Seriously, if C.J. was a surgeon performing a heart transplant, you’d want him to be passionate about keeping you alive, but more important would be his use of the correct tools in the correct manner, his depth of knowledge about human anatomy and organ replacement. Suffice it to say, when Harry had to take a beat and explain the concept of pitch to C.J., it was like watching the doc drop a scalpel into the patient’s chest cavity, complete with a giddy “Whoopsie!” Bottom line: This guy might just not be ready for primetime.

Jessica Meuse: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” — Grade: B | I had no problem whatsoever with the sly smile Jessica kept on her face throughout her number — especially since we had a pre-performance package in which she explained the song’s juxtaposition of happy melody and creepy lyrics. Yet while I continue to be completely enamoured of Jessica’s nasal-quavery tone and her ability to paint pictures with her words, I did agree with Harry in one regard — and that’s in wanting Jessica to take risks and use her glorious instrument in less expected ways. The verse of “Pumped Up Kicks,” for example, would’ve benefitted if Jessica had twisted the melody, gone for a couple of bigger notes, rather than accepting the minimal range of the original. Yeah, we got a big and delirious payoff with that final glory note Jessica floated atop the final refrain, but now that we know she’s capable, let’s see a little more, eh?

Majesty Rose: Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” — Grade: B | Aside from swallowing the ends of certain phrases — and maybe sounding a tiny bit breathy in spots — I enjoyed Majesty’s gentler, folksier rearrangement of Avicii’s driving pop hit. And yet it took J.Lo — aka The Artist Formerly Known as the Head of the Haley Reinhart Demoralization Society — to articulate what it was about the performance that stopped me from completely getting swept away in the Majesty-ness of the moment, like had happened on “Happy” and “Tightrope.” J.Lo noted she saw “a little bit of fear” playing out on Majesty’s face in the first half of the song — and it was totally true. “I felt like what happened last week really affected you,” said Ms. Lopez, noting Majesty’s Bottom 3 placement, to which the contestant blurted out, “Of course! Oh my gosh!” But J.Lo wasn’t done; she ignored the adorableness of Majesty’s smile, and instead sagely noted that criticism and mistakes are a part of show-biz — but that it’s an artist’s job to rehearse hard, gain confidence in her decisions and never let the audience in on that self-doubt. Coming from a woman who fell on her booty at the AMAs back in the day, that’s advice worth taking.

Sam Woolf: fun. featuring Janelle Monae’s “We Are Young” — Grade: B/B- | Sam definitely showed improvement off last week’s woeful “Come Together,” but the second of my grades tonight takes into account inappropriateness of/lack of connection to the lyrics for a high-school student. I mean, look, it’s Sam’s prerogative to select a verse that paints an uncomfortable picture of domestic violence — My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses/ Asking about a scar and/ I know I gave it to you months ago/ I know you’re trying to forget — but it’s my prerogative to say it makes me skittish. Worse still, though, there was a hollowness to the delivery that made me wonder if Sam actually sat down and read the lyrics and thought about their meaning prior to his performance. That said, though, the kid’s spotless pitch and clear enunciation came through right on schedule. That alone should ensure he’s not in the Bottom 3 this week. Speaking of…

Should Be Bottom 3: Dexter, M.K., C.J. (M.K. going home)
Will Be Bottom 3: Dexter, M.K., C.J. (M.K. going home)

What did you think of the Top 10? Who were your faves? Who’s in trouble? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! And for all my reality TV-related news, interviews 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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569 Comments
  1. Grandma Jane says:

    What is electronic music?? I love idol, but basically stopped listening to the radio many years ago. If I recognize a current song ever it’s because I heard it on idol.
    Meanwhile, Malaya was really good, but I am such a Candice fan, I kept comparing the two. Close, but Candice was better.
    Alex was the best tonight. His voice was so good. Caleb was better last week. I don’t like Jessica’s voice. I get that she’s technically good, and “edgy,” but there’s something in the tone or timbre or SOMEthing that sets my teeth on edge. Dexter needs to go. Majesty has something special, I just hope she can get it back. And liked all the judges. I always liked Jennifer. She was great tonight.

    • Stormy says:

      I’m a little out of my depth here, but as I understand it electronic music is that which is produced by electronic instruments [sound synthesizers, computers, theremins,] rather than mechanical instruments [pianos, trombones etc.].

    • Mary says:

      I feel the same way about Alex that you do with Jessica. I love her voice but his is like nails on a chalk board to me. I think he would be a great producer but I am not sure about singer.

    • Jim Welker says:

      You are right about Jessica! I actually HATE HER VOICE, HER LOOKS AND HER DISPOSITION! To me she sounds like a cat who is being tortured and castrated…AWFUL TONE! She needs to go!

      • Stormy says:

        You’re in the minority. Personally, she’s my favorite of the girls and my friends and co-workers seem to like her just fine.

  2. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Okay, I’m in agreement with the general consensus that the contestants this season are poor performers. But I just listened to Jessica and Majesty’s studio recordings of tonight’s songs and both are fantastic, especially Majesty’s. Is it possible that these kids are as good as the judges keep saying they are, just not live? Maybe they accidentally chose a bunch of studio singers. It works both ways, too. Candice always brought it to her live performances last year, but her studio recordings were always lacking. I’m starting to think it’s the opposite for a lot of these contestants.

    • Mark says:

      So you motivated me to listen to Majesty’s studio performance. It’s beautiful…. but…

      And there’s a big but….

      She’s doing the weird breathing thing even on the studio recording. And once you start hearing it, OMG it’s distracting and irritating as hell. You almost stop hearing how beautiful she sounds. This is bad. Really bad.

      So I went back to “Fix You,” which I liked for half of it… And there it is again…. And it’s in “1234”…It’s even a tiny bit in “Tightrope” although the pacing stops her from doing it much…. (Of course, it’s all over the abysmal “Let it Go”)

      I love this girl, but I don’t think I can ever listen to her again without finding her unbelievably, incomprehensibly annoying…

      This makes me really sad.

      • Stormy says:

        I agree. I’m surprised they didn’t cover it up in the studio recording. How can a singer perform live with that? It’s as bad as needing autotune. Either you can deliver a good performance without a technical eraser or you can’t. I can’t listen to Majesty because of that gasping.

    • Kayk says:

      Is this week the first week that iTunes has put out the studio recordings? I wish they had Caleb’s Firefall from last week but it seems to have only started with this week’s songs…

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Miscellaneopolan – was it Harry last night that said he could hear MK making a beautiful studio recording? Yes, so can I, but her live performances are sure lacking.
      “Back in the Day”, as people like to say, you HAD to be able to perform live. That’s the whole point of Idol – live performances. Some of these folks are clearly up to the task – I think better mentoring is in order. Jessica’s vocals are just fine, IMO, even though she needs to work on her stage presence. I think Jennifer hit the nail on the head with Majesty’s problems – I hope Majesty’s studio version lacks the annoying, breathy phrasing, not to mention switching between her head voice and chest voice at random.

  3. NedPepper says:

    It’s time for Dexter to go.

    Alex, Jena, and Jessica brought it tonight. I don’t know why Harry hates Jessica. But it ticked off JLo.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think Harry is getting back at Jennifer for the season when Jennifer hated Haley Reinhart.
      JUST KIDDING. I couldn’t resist.
      I don’t think Harry hates Jessica and I have a Benjamin that says he’d never heard “Pumped Up Kicks” before Idol. I think Harry wants Jessica to push herself and he expects more from her.

  4. xx says:

    If HCJ had actually been concerned about lyric connection instead of policing a young woman’s sexuality when he criticized Emily a few weeks back, he also would have criticized a 17-year-old with no edge for singing about getting high in the bathroom and scarring his girlfriend. Double-standard.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      IKR? I rarely saw him criticizing a male contestant for a song’s meaning.

    • iluvcandy says:

      ^this

    • tealeaves says:

      Can someone please site me the lines in that song that indicate that is what it is about? Were they even sung this week?

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        LOL. yes, tealeaves. Criticize Sam all you like for whatever reason but his diction is perfect.
        .

        Let’s see how I do here…
        .
        Please give me a second
        I just need to get my story straight
        My friends are in the bathroom
        Getting higher than the Empire State.
        My lover she’s waiting for me
        Just across the bar,
        My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses
        Asking about a scar.
        .
        And I know I gave it to you months ago,
        I know you’re trying to forget,
        But between the drinks and subtle things
        The holes in my apologies
        You know I’m trying hard to take it back.
        If by the time the bar closes
        And you feel like falling down,
        I’ll carry you home.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Wow, you got it perfectly! No “please” in the beginning of the original version, though.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Not bad for an old broad!
            It’s an odd song. It starts out dark and serious and then breaks out into an anthem-like arrangement in the chorus.

        • tealeaves says:

          Did he say in some interview that it was about a physical star? I heard the artist talk about this song after they won the grammy, and he did not indicate a dark meaning. As I recall he indicated it was a quickly written song after a fun night on the town with him and the band.

        • tealeaves says:

          lol. I just replayed Sam’s performance and he does sing that entire first verse. Including “My friends are in the bathroom Getting higher than the Empire State.”

    • Timmah says:

      Sam is one of the Chosen Ones so they don’t criticize his choices. Emily was cannon fodder.

  5. Jane says:

    MK lost me tonight when she failed to smile in a single group shot. The contestants need to know they are being judged every moment they are on our TV screens.

  6. Adele Dazeem says:

    Harry Anus Jr is not having any fun on any of the performances. He seems like he’s the professor in a music class.

    • tvlover44 says:

      yeah, i was noticing on several songs they’d cut to the judges and j.lo and keith would be bopping and/or singing along, while harry would be sitting still and silent. i know he’s taking this judging thing seriously – and i’m glad he is, but he could loosen up a bit and at least smile here and there during the performances.

      • Mary says:

        He is an old crooner, I don’t think he likes current music. I love the way Keith and Jennifer gets into it, especially Keith singing along.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Personally, I like the balance on the panel. Harry is “old school” and looks at things from a technical perspective, Jennifer is the “performer”, and Keith has a ton of useful knowledge about all genres as well as music theory knowledge.

  7. Richard says:

    I thought Majesty and Alex were the best of the night. I was pulled in by Majesty and I think she’s getting it back.

  8. Richard says:

    Oh, and Harry Connick Jr. continues to be the best judge AI has ever seen. He is phenomenal.

    • Mytake says:

      It’s nice to see you taking the time to come post here Harry.
      *grin*

    • Timmah says:

      I think he’s a self-important windbag.

      • kate'shomesick says:

        …he is but he’s still one of the best judges idol ever had…

      • C says:

        He’s nowhere near as self-important as Simon was, and he knows a heck of a lot more about music than Simon did. Best judge ever.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Yep. ^this.

        • marie says:

          Absolutely, Harry is the best judge ever (on Idol). Although I’d put Keith at a fairly close second. Simon was the one who was too in love with what he perceived as his own charm/cleverness; half the time, it seemed to me he was concentrating most on just how to word his barbed comments (“Hmmm, what sounds wittier, ‘drowning cat’ or ‘cruise ship singer with a sore throat’?”). We don’t see that with Harry, who seems to genuinely want to help and teach these kids as best he can.
          If The Sing-Off ever gets canceled (which I hope it NEVER does), Idol would do well to scoop up Ben Folds – they could even go back to 4 judges if they wanted to keep JLo – now that would be a dream judges’ panel indeed!

  9. MAB says:

    My favorite was Alex tonight and I thought MK, CJ and Dexter was horrible. I think MK or CJ will be going home.

  10. What happened between the auditions and live shows? Like Majesty during her audition did this sweet, small, beautiful song and I loved it. But then on the live shows she has gone away from what got her on the show and yells a bunch of big songs out. Or Jessica auditioned as this cool, outlaw country singing badass and then on the show she’s doing Foster the People and Simon and Garfunkel? Now Caleb is doing Lady Gaga?

    • karen says:

      EXACTLY!! Agree 100 percent. Jessica is confusing me with her song choices. I thought she was going to be roadhouse blues rocker outlaw chick, and she’s picking songs that one would hear from a restaurant singer….

      • James says:

        You seriously think Pumped Up Kicks is a song a restaurant singer would sing? I guarantee that is one of the edgiest songs to hit the Top 10 on Billboard from what they had to choose from.

        • Name This Tune says:

          It may be edgy, but her delivery was not. Since she routinely sings in a bar, the restaurant singer comment fits.

  11. JB says:

    I find it harder and harder to watch this season. Beyond Jena and Alex i’m rarely entertained by anyone. I think Harry has been a fantastic addition to the pane (probably the most entertaining judge since Simon’s first 4 seasons).

    The talent is just not good. The first few live shows I was thinking maybe the sound system was just off and it wasn’t their fault. Now its obviously not the sound system.

    You can say all you want about the Voice bringing in ringers but the point is if I’m going to give you my 2 hours (more like 94 minutes) I want to be entertained. I don’t care if you bring in ringers, because they are more entertaining.

    • JM says:

      I still think the sound system is having problems. I have noticed that the first few singers are consistently struggling, regardless of who sings. Did you notice Dexter fumbling with the mic or whatever that box was on his pants? Each week, it takes the AI team a few performances before they get it right, which is inexcusable, IMO.

  12. AprilD says:

    I have to side with Harry on the Pumped up kicks song. I understand that it’s lyrical dissonance means that there are two ways you can present the song but with the understanding that there is an undertone. When I watched Jessica I didn’t get the “let’s all be poppy & happy” vibe I got the “Oh look at how cheeky I’m being” vibe which to me cuts out the meaning of the song. It’s a social commentary song and to me represents how on the surface everyone is happy & bopping along oblivious to the mental health & social issues underneath that never get addressed out here in the real world. So that’s why I just don’t appreciate her interpretation of the song. I thought her voice was better suited to this song than in weeks past, but I find her voice grating & shrill more often than not.

    • James says:

      Uh, she seemed completely happy and pleasant throughout the performance, which is what the song called for. Did you want her to bop around the stage like a precocious child or something? Seems like you are desperately grasping at straws to justify just not liking her or her voice.

  13. James says:

    Best tonight:
    Jessica and Alex by a country mile.
    .
    Worst, in order of suckiness:
    1. Jena – Astonishingly bad vocal compared to last week; flat throughout, nearly inaudible at times. Standing up and singing seems to be a major problem for her.
    2. M.K. – First half was decent; second was an awkward train wreck. She is in way over her head at this point, which is a shame because she has one of the most pleasant vocal tones of the bunch.
    3. C.J. – The emotional connection was there, but as far as singing in tune… yikes…
    4. Dexter – Uninspired karaoke vocal and predictable song choice as per his usual.
    .
    Bottom 3 Prediction: M.K., Jena and C.J., with M.K. going home.

  14. Joe says:

    MK, who resigned from the show during her song, was packing her hoodies and backwards baseball caps for home until CJ had what might go down as the worst performance in Idol history. He made Kristi Lee Cook look prolific. He made Sanjaya look like Sinatra. He made Kat McPhee look like she isn’t fed like a baby bird from her vocal coach Mother’s mouth. Team Ivy! Speaking of which, Sanjaya’s hot sister. I miss her.
    Anyway, Dexter’s sweaty pits, which oddly enough is the name of a chain of popular bathhouses, were more intriguing than Dexter himself. When he finishes up with his Idol run, he can become an animatronic guest star in the Country Bear Jamboree when the Country Bears are on vacation.
    Jena not only got bangs but also received globs of self tanner on her midriff. Idol stylists in the house.
    Sam’s hat seems to be getting smaller.
    Caleb keeps side parting his hair in a very odd place, no?
    Alex refrained from showing his ankles. I really wish he said to J. Lo “I am smiling” when she demanded to see him grin.
    Malaya gets sent to detention for attempting one of Candice’s best songs last season. Girl does not know her Idol history.
    Sadly, Majesty refrained from acting like a Disney Princess. I was kind of hoping she’d hold a tea party with all her stuffed animals on stage this week while Keith would comment “Groovy Baby!”.
    I bet next week Jessica is going to sing Ave Maria dressed as a smiling devil while tearing up pictures of Harry Connick Jr…
    I can’t confirm this, but I have a theory that Randy Jackson is melting. Into what is anyone’s guess.

    • marie says:

      Hilarious about Jessica! Now THAT would be entertaining.
      But, while CJ WAS pretty bad, you don’t have to go back as far as Kristy Lee or Sanjaya to know that wasn’t the WORST Idol performance; heck, you needn’t go back any further than last season and Lazaro’s “Close to You.” (Sorry if that memory makes anyone gag.)

    • Mytake says:

      Wow. That seriously had me laughing like a loon!

    • GuitarBlue says:

      ha ha, Sam’s hat is shrinking — Majesty’s refraining from another Disney Princess skit, Jessica singing Ava Maria in her madness, ripping-up pictures of HCJ – all too good, I love this show again.

    • Mark says:

      OK, that red headed boy who thought he could sing standards… and the little child who sang “Set Fire to the Rain….” They were probably the bottom two performance in Idol history.

      • Joe says:

        Mark – Yeah, I couldn’t remember the red headed crooner kid’s name either who rocked the Grandma vote to a higher spot than he should’ve. Oh, he was awful.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I’m still voting for the Haeley chick that sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand” with the guitar as the worst peformance ever.

      • Joe says:

        darcy – was that the one with the legs who as her voting block decreased her hemline would get shorter much to Simon’s glee?

        • Adam Fachry says:

          That’s Haley Scarnato. The Haley Darcy’s talked about was a lot younger back then. Simon would’ve been sued for statutory rape if he saw her hemline got lower each week.

  15. danin says:

    MK- C DexterC- Jena from the block- B- Alex- B Malaya- B+ Caleb- B- CJ- D- Jesse- C+ Maj- B Sam- B-

  16. marie says:

    If I could change one thing about the live shows this year, I’d bring back the performance snippets at the end of the show. Without those, by the end of the show, particularly if it’s a night like tonight where I don’t know most of the songs, by the end of the show I have a hard time remembering the performances outside of “I enjoyed that one a lot” or “He was off-key most of the time.” I have to wait for Slezak’s article to remember at all. Frustrating! I suppose I could rewind back through the show and watch a few moments of the performances, but I liked it better when the producers did it for us.
    Tonight I really enjoyed Alex’s performance; I saw an incipient star there. I was amazed at Malaya’s improvement; her pitch was more accurate and I heard control there that I hadn’t heard there before. I still enjoyed Caleb, but this was not his best night.
    I’m REALLY beginning to think I won’t settle on a firm favorite at all this season, which would be a first for me with Idol. I really don’t see a frontrunner yet and suspect I won’t. Strange season: many improvements, vastly better judging, middling-at-best pack of singers.

    • Z says:

      I agree with your points, especially about the singers being middling at best. I’m betting Interscope Records isn’t loving this much.

  17. GuitarBlue says:

    Possibilities for a save this week are pretty slim if the bottom 3 are from the poll above… I also believe that TPTB will be giving at least a little “input” to the Judges before the show – as to who they should and shouldn’t consider saving. ………………………

    The 10th placer will “sing for the save”, the Judges will whisper and confer, but only about how their stocks are doing……………………………………………

    They burned their save one year, then got rocked when Pia fell through the voting cracks much earlier than expected.. They were happy to have a save when Jessica Sanchez suddenly got elim’d when no one expected it.

  18. Alie says:

    I am an Alex fan. He is a true artist. Has it all, the voice, the artistry and the musical talent. He will be around for a long time whether he wins Idol or not. He lives music and is very humble about his talent. Alex has his own unique style that you would know if you heard on the radio, he is not like anyone else in the Idol competition. Unfortunately Caleb who I also think is very good, is trying to hard and thinks he is the best, which was part of his problem tonight. He belted out the song to show off his voice but lacked originality or emotion. Alex all the way.

    • Stormy says:

      Doubt it. You haven’t studied your Buggles. Alex looks like a bushel of elbows. What is his demographic? Librarians?

    • JM says:

      I’m also a big Alex fan. With Caleb, who has grown on me with his impressive vocals, I’m not sure if he is cocky or just confident in who he is. So until I’m sure, I will continue to give him the benefit of doubt.

    • Timmah says:

      Alex is the first WGWG that I have liked in the history of this show.

  19. Tee says:

    I may be mistaken about the song she sang, but I know that Usher had Michelle Shamuel use the *start singing the song in the mirror* device on the Voice 2 seasons ago…and I’m pretty sure it was to the song *Perfect*. I was so taken aback by the blatant copying of the technique that I sort of zoned out until MK missed the lyric or got off beat with the chorus or whatever she did that was a mess up.

    I thought tonight was rather sleepy. Alex gave the best performance and he is not a favorite of mine. Jena, also not a favorite, came in 2nd for me. Jess was good vocally but Harry was right that she has to start showing a connection to the lyrics. Felt bad for CJ. I don’t get the Majesty love and Sam is just not ready for prime time yet…one day he will be. Caleb was lumbering. I would call it constipated. Dexter was the same bland Dexter. Malaya was pretty good to me…not extraordinary.

    • iluvcandy says:

      michelle’s mirror thing happened during bruno mars’ “grenade”

    • JM says:

      I don’t understand why you and Slezak say that M.K.’s mirror device was a blatant ripoff of M.C. on ‘The Voice’. Many singers have sung to mirrors in the past. What made M.C’s unique, was that it WASN’T a mirror, but a video of her singing, which pleasantly surprised the audience.

  20. Hilary says:

    I really don’t get Jessica. She is painful for me to listen to. So monotone and without feeling and very affected. Weird and forced. Otherwise, I generally agree with the comments and grades.

  21. Helena says:

    “Yeah, I worry a little that voters might not respond enthusiastically to electronic dance music…” Actually I think the voters won’t be responding enthusiastically to Jena’s terrible vocals and thus Jena will end up Bottom 3 like she deserves.

    • Mary says:

      Really, you think her vocals were worst than say MK, CJ, Dexter. Jena has a voice that either you like or you don’t, I happen to like.

  22. Syb says:

    I’m oriented toward liking CJ, and on the fence teetering either way on MK, but there’s no way they get the same grade. MK wasn’t good, but CJ was flat out terrible. Jena oversang. I didn’t think it was a great vocal. I like her taste though and hope she continues that direction, but doesn’t lose the nuance she demonstrated vocally last week on the Paramore song.
    Malaya hit her notes, and faked some nice emotion, but was that believable? Really? Not to me. Playacting by a child. I love her personality, but her singing leaves me cold.

  23. GuitarBlue says:

    I think Jessica has been used to crunching out songs in the Bar scene – with a voice good enough to keep her booked – but hasn’t been moving to the big star knock-out emotional performances the Judges are looking for. ……………………………………………………..

    I think she smiles in places inappropriate to the serious lyrics, simply because the audience is responding to the song and she’s smiling back; you “like” me, I “like” you..

    I like her voice and tone, and she will last longer if she doesn’t get into running all over the stage and trying to screech-out high notes and ham-it-up, the way the Judges want to push everyone into. How much of that did P squared do? ………………….

    If she goes more toward Country, she will become a threat in this competition. She is also delightfully mad. I worked with someone much like her in a band recently. She drove me crazy socially, but could sing anything and make it work.

  24. Simon says:

    Alright, I’ll be the one to say it. I actually think Malaya did that song better than Candice.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      I don’t know…there’s something about Malaya that’s hard to listen to. I think it’s because of the braces.

  25. Tahoe Mike says:

    I definitely put Jessica, Alex, and Caleb at the head of the class this week. In fact, I’d be happy with that as the final three this season.
    ~
    I’ve been hard on Malaya so far this season, so I’ll give her a bit of credit where it’s due and say that this was the best I’ve heard from her to date. I think she will be clear of the bottom three this week.
    ~
    C.J. was good last week, but had marbles in his mouth again this week. IF he makes it past this week, and I think it’s him or M.K. that goes, I think he ought to stick with that rock feel he brought last week. I like something in his sound, but the mumbling kills me.
    ~
    It occurred to me tonight that I want to hear C.J sing “Walking in Memphis,” if he can get the words out. It’s not the kind of rock thing I think he does well, but it just seems like it would fit his voice. I could also hear Caleb doing it as a change of pace.
    ~
    As I said I think it is probably M.K. or C.J. to go this week, but I noticed that Dexter was getting no love in the poll tonight so he may be the one, or round out the bottom three. I’d say much the same thing about Dexter as I did about C.J.; I like his sound, but the mumbles kill me
    ~
    I don’t get the feeling that Harry dislikes Jessica, it feels more like he expects better from her. I do get the feeling that he genuinely does dislike Randy. It seems like whenever we see someone follow Randy’s advice, Harry kills them for it.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      You may be right, Harry knows Jessica has potentials she hasn’t tapped-into yet……

      And Randy is no great mentor. That should be left to the Daughtry’s Adam’s and other ex-Idols.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Wow, Tahoe Mike – I agree with everything you wrote. Your top three are my top three. I notice you didn’t mention Jena. I also like Jena but I can’t handle that electronic dance music. I’d rather poke out my hears with sharp objects than listen to that crap. Her vocals were impressive last night but I’d prefer to hear her dial it back a notch and sing songs that are less screechy and annoying.

  26. MacJagger says:

    Sam a B? Totally the wrong song for him. Like teens in prior seasons, he doesn’t have any emotional depth in his performances. I kept wondering if he’s ever even had a drink let alone closed down a bar or been out past curfew…

    • C says:

      He’s only 17. I HOPE he hasn’t had a drink or closed down a bar.

      • McJagger says:

        That’s the point. There is no way he can connect to the songs emotional content because of his age and lack of experience. Sam should have gotten the treatment that Emily did for singing the Grace Potter song. What does this song mean to you (him)?? It seems that the judges and most people commenting here have a double standard based on gender. Sam is a cute likeable boy so he gets a pass while nearly everyone piled on Emily…

  27. whonoze says:

    “I assumed she’d be stripping back the arrangement” Good heavens, Michael. Do you really think they let these kids dictate their own arrangements? Perhaps the older and more experienced contestants (e.g. those who have fronted bar bands and such) will know what they want for accompaniment, and be assertive enough to ask for it. But the contestants with no real performance background are at the mercy of the music director. Not only did they saddle MK with an over-wrought arrangement, but the audio engineer buried her down in the mix so far you could barely hear her over the background singers. This has happened a lot on Idol over the years. You’d think a big show like this would have an ace mixer on the sound board, but Idol’s audio work is consistently mediocre to inept. In contrast, I’ve never heard a bad mix on The Voice, and even Nashville Star had much better sound work than AI.

    • Timmah says:

      It must have something to do with Fox shows, because the sound mix on X Factor was always consistently horrible too.

  28. Daniel says:

    One of the biggest signs that the judges panel is doing great this season, is how quiet the audience was during thr critiques. Really awesome.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Not exactly. I think I’ve heard some slowly clapped or cheered everytime either Harry Keith, or JLo started to even imply a praise.

  29. winston says:

    hmm for me Malaya won the episode, I don’t really get the hype over Alex though, for me the bottom 3 is MK, C.J and Dexter and ether Dexter or C.J. needs to go, still kinda disappointed at Majesty she didn’t brought the magic I hoped she didn’t fully redeemed herself this week like Malaya did on the top 12 show my top 3 is.

    3/2. Jena Irene
    2/3. Jessica Muess
    1. Malaya Watson

  30. sleepless.in.paris says:

    Hi Michael! Might be slightly off-topic. Any chance you’re watching The Voice UK? Inputs?

    I mean, as much as I enjoy a couple of singers this season on Idol, I think generally speaking, the contestants on The Voice UK are easily going to annihilate this season’s crop on AI. Jamie Johnson for one. :)

    • JM says:

      Hey SIP, I’ve been watching The Voice UK on YouTube, although I’m a little behind. I will reserve judgment on the singers since I’ve only viewed the auditions, and sometimes the singers who gave great auditions disappoint.
      However, what do you think of the judges? I love the US Voice judges a lot more, with the exception of Will, (who would replace Adam, if I had a say in it). They don’t interact with each other much, and they can’t make up their minds at all! They let so many good singers just pass on through. Will is the only one who thinks for himself and who brings any kind of entertainment to the show.

      • sleepless.in.paris says:

        Hi JM. I haven’t really been following any of The Voice shows really. I just recently saw some clips of the UK season, and I got hooked. Definitely helped that Kylie is on the show. She’s precious. She seems very hands-on with mentoring her group. Seems genuinely nice and sweet too.

        I can’t really compare the judges to the US series because I never really followed it as much. The judges on the UK show seem like they have a good dynamic. The live shows haven’t started yet, so we’ll see from there. In any case, I think they picked very interesting and unique contestants this season. I mean, that guy who covered Kylie on the first episode (who evidently went with her team) gave me chills. Probably not the best, vocally, but he does know how to add drama on the stage. :)

  31. Gailer says:

    Watching Ryan this season is like watching Dick Clark staying too long with American Idol. The magic is over, these judges picked the worst. :(

    • Gailer says:

      Supposed to say, DC stayed too long with American Bandstand. ;)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think you’re outnumbered here – Most of us think Ryan is doing a superb job. I loved his banter with the kids at the radio station for the intros.

      • Stormy says:

        ITA Ryan is absolutely the best host in the business. Smooth, polished, suave, gorgeous yet down to earth and approachable. Peerless.

      • JM says:

        I agree. Love Ryan, and he so easily adjusts to things, like when Caleb stood in front of him and with his quick comebacks.

      • gailer says:

        No, I love Ryan, it’s the show that has picked the worst possible Idols and is tired. I think Ryan looks tired, that’s all.

    • marie says:

      Unlike Randy Jackson, Ryan actually EARNS the money they pay him.

  32. jga94 says:

    I had no problem with the lyrics of We Are Young….seems to me the song is about the mistakes people make when they are young and careless (and drunk)…..and about how they try to make amends for it and despite these mistakes (thus the lyrics Sam sang at the end…..So if by the time the bar closes…..And you feel like falling down…..I’ll carry you home tonight)…..actually i think this song is a positive song……

  33. Kate says:

    I always assumed the “scar” in the song was an emotional one not a literal physical one – verbal punches thrown that have left someone withdrawn and vulnerable but that’s the interesting thing about lyrics, they resonant differently to each listener.

  34. C says:

    I might not be qualified to judge, because I haven’t listened to pop music for years, except for “Idol”, so I didn’t know a single one of the songs sung tonight, but here are my capsules:
    MK – Vocal was fine, but she has NO stage presence.
    Dexter – Pitch trouble at end, song was boring.
    Jena – FINALLY someone with a little energy, but she seemed to have pitch problems on the last note.
    Alex – Good vocal and good energy. I just don’t like him for some reason.
    Malaya – Excellent vocals and a song every guy ought to listen to over and over.
    Caleb – On the edge of a few high notes, but otherwise wonderful. My clear favorite.
    CJ – Off-pitch all through. Words mumbled. Should go home tonight.
    Jessica – A totally inappropriate song for all the good cheer and smiles. Did a good job with it, but I don’t think this song should have been done at all.
    Majesty – Seemed wooden, but the vocal was fine.
    Sam – LOVE his voice. Showed a lot more energy, and I just enjoyed the song.

    Mr. Slezak, could we please have ONE column where you don’t mention Haley Reinhart? It’s been years. I haven’t heard of her since then. GET OVER IT!

    • sleepless.in.paris says:

      Blasphemy!

      Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart. Haley Reinhart.

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    Wow, where was THIS Jennifer Lopez when she was on the program before? Either Harry and Keith have seriously forced her to step up her game, or the producers aren’t leaning on the judges and telling the judges to steer the votes toward certain contestants. Or both. All I can say is I am SO enjoying the judges this year. I may not always agree with them but I appreciate their honest comments and the fact they aren’t afraid to disagree with one another.
    .
    That said, my favorites were Alex, Caleb, and Jessica (SHUT UP, Harry! :-) Just because you don’t appreciate the sly look on Jessica’s face, we get it!). When I heard Alex’s audition I remember thinking I wasn’t sure if I’d want to listen to an entire concert of Alex. Now I think I would! Caleb’s performance could have had more energy (that’s kind of a song that goes nowhere – starts big and stays there. He should have done “Bad Romance”). I love me some Jessica. She reminds me of a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna Judd, and I’m hearing a little Bobbie Gentry in there – assuming there’s anyone out there old enough to remember Bobbie Gentry (she wrote and made the first recording of Reba McEntire’s megahit, “Fancy”).
    .

    .

    • marie says:

      Now I’m really curious to hear Ms. Gentry’s version of “Fancy.” I think the only thing I’ve ever heard by her was her huge crossover hit “Ode to Billy Joe” (what an amazing record that was at the time).

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Bobbie Gentry’s version of “Fancy” wasn’t quite the powerhouse, overproduced version Reba’s is, but I still love Reba’s “Fancy”. Everything stops at our house when it comes on the radio! Not sure if it’s on youtube!

    • Stormy says:

      I’ve been comparing Jessica to Bobbie Gentry since auditions. She even resembles her. Bobbie did an album of duets with Glen Campbell back in the day. It would be cool for Jess to do a duet with Caleb from that album.

  36. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak, if you get the opportunity to interview Jennifer Lopez would you please ask her what she honestly thought of Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina.

  37. darcy's evil twin says:

    One other thing – I loved the intros with Ryan and the kids at the radio station. thought that was nice.
    .

    Bottom three – MK, CJ, and Majesty. Majesty probably won’t be there but honestly, that breathy, inconsistent phrasing is annoying. Her performance was better this week but not as good as what the judges believed. I wouldn’t have known what song CJ was singing if I hadn’t been told.
    Mr. Slezak was right on the money about MK – MK should have rearranged “Perfect” into a ballad that suited her vocals.

  38. John Anthony says:

    Quick comment. No future stars here. I guess someone has to win in the end and at this point it could be any one of them. It wouldn’t surprise me to see all of them in the bottom three at one time or another. No wonder Mr. Slezak looks to years past.

  39. Gale says:

    One of the things I watch Idol for is for a “moment”, when a contestant’s talent, creativity and passion become palpable. Here are just a few:
    Kelly Clarkson, Respect
    Carrie Underwood, Alone
    Bo Bice, Whipping Post
    Jordin Sparks, I Who Have Nothing
    Blake Lewis, You Give Love a Bad Name
    Chris Daughtry, I Walk the Line
    Adam Lambert, Mad World
    Kris Allen, Heartless
    Joshua Ledet, It’s a Man’s Man’s World
    And this is what I will continue to tune in every week for. But I must admit that I my expectations for this year are decreasing by the week. I just don’t know if there is anyone who is capable of the standard set by previous contestants. The one saving grace is the refreshing honesty being expressed by all three judges. Too bad that honesty seems to be falling on deaf ears.

    • Stormy says:

      I’d add David Cook’s Billie Jean or Music of the Night, Siobhan’s Across the Universe or Paint It Black, and Clay’s Bridge Over Troubled Water or Solitaire to that list.

    • Jessica says:

      Completely agree

    • JM says:

      Well, I have to admit that I wasn’t really impressed with Caleb until he sang ‘Skyfall’, so that, for me at least, was a moment.

    • Name This Tune says:

      None them have that in them. I think Keith Urban gave a good explanation about how hard that is to do. It requires a level of experience that these guys don’t have except maybe Caleb.
      I expect exactly MOTS. Alex will keep being Alex. Jena will be Jena, Jessica will be Jessica, Sam will be Sam. Because it is in their comfort zone.

    • Mary says:

      I think it is because this years crop are to young. Alex is the only one to really change up a song, but he is quite monotone in his delivery every week. I will say that Jena last week and Caleb was almost a moment, very least worth a second look.

    • marie says:

      All of the above plus
      Melinda Doolittle, My Funny Valentine (or anything else, really)
      Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert, Slow Ride
      Haley Reinhart, Bennie and the Jets, What Is and What Should Never Be (or just about anything else, really)
      So many great performances in the past! We have yet to hear anything of that caliber this season.

  40. Annie says:

    It was an ok episode. No one was a trainwreck, no one was amazing. Sam took a small step forward, Caleb took a small step back. Alex is probably my frontrunner to win the show, but I’d like to see him perform something that isn’t singer-songwriter in style (I know SOML is technically a pop song, but it is very much singer-songwriter-y when you strip the production back. It’s really more Ed Sheeran than 1D in terms of style).

    Somebody please educate Jena about electronic music. It wasn’t invented just a couple of years ago and she isn’t the first Idol contestant to sing electronic music (um…Blake Lewis, anyone?) You’d think the producers would help the contestants out so they don’t sound so ignorant.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      yep. I posted a link above about the Moog Synthesizer – invented in the mid-60s. It was supposed to replace orchestras.

  41. Me says:

    If American Idol is trying to improve/save their show or attract/keep viewers, why are they not trying? Harry Connick Jr was a great addition. Love him and the chemistry between this set of judges. I know you guys have been hitting on this in Reality Check but, where is the vocal coaching!? Why are these kids not being trained to breathe properly when singing or to open their mouths and fully form words when singing. These are the basics of proper vocal coaching. I feel like the judges are as frustrated as I am!
    Also, if it has been done before (in a previous season or on The Voice) then contestants shouldn’t be allowed to do it again. Unless it is a fresh new take on something I don’t want to see it if its been done before. Especially if it was done better before. You would think the producers would be on top of this.
    I thought Alex was the best tonight. I love Majesty and Malaya but feel they aren’t getting the coaching they need to reach their full potential.
    I thought MK looked great tonight but I didn’t think the song choice was right at all.

  42. Jessica says:

    I’m not impressed with this season-it feels like they are either not listening or getting any advice-or they just don’t have what it takes on a big stage. Jena is the only one I am excited about. I like Sam’s voice and Alex has moments but Phillip Phillips in my mind is so much better. I keep comparing the country guys to Scotty and on that note Dexter has to go! M.K. or Dexter. I agreed with Harry about Jessica (I like her but she’s boring me) and Malaya’s voice hits a nerve with me and my ear drums-really would have liked to see her on AI a couple of years from now when she matured a bit- like her softer voice but just can’t take her seriously. It’s sad this season but besides the selfies (not even going into that rant) I am liking the judges and Ryan.

  43. Mari McGrordy says:

    We’ve all heard how song choice plays a major role in determining the judges’, audience’s and voters’ perception of the performance. In Jessica’s case, she chose (and for some reason was allowed) to sing a song, that despite it’s crazy popularity, wasl in poor taste. I agree with Harry on this one (remember, Harry was the guy who correctly called out underage Emily Piriz on her choice to sing Paris…) Last night, Jessica sang a song written about the Erfurt Massacre…..a horrific school shooting in Germany. After the Sandyhook Elementary School massacre of all those dear little children in December 2012, many radio stations and radio conglomerates pulled Pumped Up Kicks from their playlists. The main reason they did so was so as not to honor or give credence to a song that blatantly talks about shooting children for fun. Some topics are just not appropriate to talk or sing about. Period.

    • Mark says:

      “Pumped Up Kicks” is not based on any actual event. Mark Foster explained the song’s meaning to Spinner UK: “‘Pumped Up Kicks’ is about a kid that basically is losing his mind and is plotting revenge. He’s an outcast. I feel like the youth in our culture are becoming more and more isolated. It’s kind of an epidemic. Instead of writing about victims and some tragedy, I wanted to get into the killer’s mind, like Truman Capote did in In Cold Blood. I love to write about characters. That’s my style. I really like to get inside the heads of other people and try to walk in their shoes.”

      Foster says he considered writing the song from the perspective of the victim, but felt that would be a cop out. He also points out that there is no actual violence in the song, as the threats are all the kid’s internal monologue.

      Foster discussed the broad appeal of the song in an interview with Billboard magazine: “‘Pumped Up Kicks’ is one of those songs that blends something really familiar with something that’s very modern,” he said. “It’s a song where you could lay on the couch and listen to it or you can get up and dance around the room to it.”
      Talking about writing this song in Rolling Stone, Foster said: “I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid. It’s a f–k you song to hipsters, in a way – but it’s a song the hipsters are going to want to dance to.”

      The song was yanked from the airwaves after the shooting of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December, 2012. Mark Foster agreed with the decision to pull the track out of respect for the victims adding that he wrote the song about the growing trend of mental illness among teenagers in a bid to create a conversation about the need for change. He said in a statement to CNN.com, “I wrote ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ when I began to read about the growing trend in teenage mental illness. I wanted to understand the psychology behind it because it was foreign to me. It was terrifying how mental illness among youth had skyrocketed in the last decade. I was scared to see where the pattern was headed if we didn’t start changing the way we were bringing up the next generation… This song was written as a way to create ongoing dialogue for an issue that was being talked about, but when it came to government intervention, was largely being ignored…
      “Now, this topic is finally at the forefront of major discussion and will hopefully lead to some big changes in policy that will prevent these acts of violence from happening in the future. That being said, I respect people’s decision to press pause. And if that becomes a catalyst for a bigger conversation that could lead to positive change moving forward, then I absolutely support it.”

      • Name This Tune says:

        And now I feel strongly that Jessica missed the whole point of the song and was trying to be cute.
        I live in Colorado and remember the day of the shootings at Columbine High School. As well as the shootings at The Aurora theater. And a recent incident at Arapahoe High School. She doesn’t get it at all.

        Yuck.

        • Name This Tune says:

          The more I think about this, the harder it becomes for me to listen to her again. It just rankles me.
          She won’t get another vote from me.

          • Jaszy says:

            But you guys are acting like shootings just happened yesterday or a few days ago or something like that. If Jessica were to sing this type of song while a real event like a school shooting was being talked about right now, then I think it would’ve been inappropriate. But I don’t think many people agree with you. The audience had no problem with her song choice. She wasn’t in the bottom three, so thousands of people liked her. I didn’t even think about anything in the performance but her voice.
            I mean if you’re going to talk about songs being inappropriate or what not, then Sam shouldn’t have sung that .fun song because many people have died from drugs as well.
            I think you guys are taking it way too far. At the end of the day, Jessica chose a popular song that was at the top of the charts, she sang it well. She did her dues. She got votes. She’s going to be singing next week. Point. Blank. Period. She deserves votes.
            Basing everything on inappropriateness, well, we might as well not hear, sing, or even speak of the majority of songs that are heard on the radio or sung live. They are all, in some way, inappropriate to different people for different reasons.

      • JM says:

        Thanks for the b.g. info, Mark!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Some topics are just not appropriate to talk or sing about. Period”.
      Wow, Mari, I hope you weren’t around in the 70s!

  44. LeahKittyS says:

    Okay, guys, I just got the singles on iTunes. If the reviews of those are any indication of how the voting played out, then CJ is a goner, and MK will also be in the bottom 3. Majesty could very well end up there again; let’s see how dedicated her fans are.

    • Lynn says:

      I agree with this bottom 3, CJ, MK and Majesty. I don’t think Dexter will be bottom 3. The problem for Majesty is that after being bottom 2 last week, she really needed to nail her performance, really stand out, like Jena did last week after landing in the bottom the week previous. I don’t think she’s in danger of going home, though. Just don’t know if it will be CJ or MK tonight. My gut says MK, because CJ sings with more heart, but who knows.

      • Mary says:

        I am thinking MK might get sympathy votes to keep her one more week, not that I think she deserves it. Happy she made top ten, but she is getting to painful to watch, so out of her element. I am okay with either MK or CJ leaving. Majesty might be the one but I think she might have a boost for being in the bottom last week.

  45. Barely holding on. says:

    After watching and voting consistently the past two seasons I am slowly just watching parts of shows and reading online recaps. BTW, what is up with the newly designed AI website; keep it simple.
    I have said before this seasons top 13 was not that impressive as a group yet Michael still keeps the faith. I can only imagine if non-winners from the past two years were in this group and how they would blow this group away. Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, Kree, and Angie from last year come to mind.
    No one has moved me to even vote this year and unless some firepower guess performances occur, I think this will be the end of the road for me and AI until next year. Once again I fault the lack of diversity in the final 13 and how any tone deaf person can realize that these just could not be the 13 best singers they could find to get to the finals.

  46. Jim Welker says:

    Worst show ever! Only good talent was Alex and Watson! I have hated Alex but axmit his voice was good last night! Rest were garbage! Keith liked MK’s hair???? Gimme a break! Jena’s stomach was like a ballon! If you are gonna wear that, which shows the belly, have some abs for God sake! My fab 4 from day 1 are still here…..Rose, Sam, Caleb and MK! May lose one tonight! They all Stank up the joint! Meuse, the worst as usual! She needs a job in the theatre…HARRASSING STAGE MOTHERS!

  47. Jim Welker says:

    Also, like I said above, Watson very good, Alex verg good! The rest need jobs and need to stop dreaming about being stars! But, still overall…Alex is a no talent! Caleb overall, still kickin’! As stated…Meuse awful! America…please send that creep home already!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Jim, we get it. You don’t like Jessica. Please stop.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      So Alex is “verg (sic) good” but he’s also a “no talent”?
      Interesting.
      And by the way, I don’t care for Malaya. But I don’t need to make repeated posts to get my point across. Nor do I need to criticize her looks. Can you please take your hateful attitude elsewhere?

  48. Blank Slate says:

    Why aren’t they using the traditional AI theme music to open the show?
    Where are the poster faces of past winners and favorites as show begins?
    Why did they stop playing back clips of the performances at the end of the performance night with voting phone numbers?

  49. gailer says:

    The gap between all of these contestants and the artists who actually recorded these songs is as wide as the Grand Canyon. I will continue to watch out of habit and a sincere desire for it to get back to its glory days. ;(

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I’m still watching out of habit, too, and to get musical material for my stories. But the glory days are over, and they’re not coming back. This season may or may not be the end, but the end is definitely in sight.

      • Stormy says:

        I can’t understand how they went so far astray in choosing contestants. I’m still miffed that they cut Maurice before Hollywood, but kept Emmanuel. I thought Maurice had a cool smokey jazz vibe.

        • Gailer says:

          I thought the guy from Texas was a shoo in to win. With the dreads whose brother had just died. Sam is too young. Some can’t sing on key, some are boring.

          • Stormy says:

            That’s Maurice Townsend. He was so much better than Emmanuel.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            No, you’re mixing them up. The on whose brother died was Savion Wright, who didn’t even make the Top 30. Shame; I liked him, too.

          • Stormy says:

            You’re right Leah. Both gentlemen of color with long hair. Maurice was the one with a bunch of kids. I really liked him. Either he or Savion would have been better than Emmanuel.

        • Jaila says:

          When I think of all the better auditions that didn’t make it–I remember HCJ being outvoted by Jlo and Keith time and again. No wonder he seems so disgusted.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I was more upset about the women that weren’t chosen. Savion Wright bothered me also.

  50. Jim Welker says:

    If Alex ever makes a record, he could sell it to the Zombie Community, with that horrible face! Meuse could model horse blankets, with that mug!

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