American Idol Top 7 Performance Recap: Filler Queen [Updated]

American Idol Tonight, in perhaps the most filler-ific performance show to date, the Top 7 took on “The Many Zoomed-In Faces of Jennifer Lopez.” Whoops, no. That’s every night on American Idol!

This week’s official theme: Competitors’ Picks, aka Softballs. Zero sabotage among these super-great friends who will be sneezing onto each other inside a bus all summer. Oh well. That’s fine. If that’s how they wanna play this whole life thing, whatever.

RELATED | Idol Mentor David Cook on Judge Antics, Top 8 Performances & Whether the Show Still Matters

You may have noticed by the lack of Haley Reinhart and horse-racing mentions so far that I am not Michael Slezak — not now, not ever. I wish. You thought you and he had something special? Hello, REALITY CHECK! Look, he abandoned you. He’s just like that. You knew it would happen eventually. The man lacks character.

I’m just kidding! I love that hilarious wino — he taught me everything I know about how not to hold my liquor. Slezak is overseas stalking Jody Watley on vacation through the weekend, and he’ll be right back here next Wednesday for the Top 6.

RELATED | The Voice Playoffs Recap: The (Rise and) Fall of the House of Usher

I hate giving out grades before watching everyone three times, but here we go!

American Idol Set List: Competitors’ Pick

Caleb Johnson: Kings of Leon’s “Family Tree” — Grade: B | Alex picked this “amazing groove” for Caleb and he sang it with clarity, conviction, and a whole lotta visible saliva. I don’t think he owned it as much as he could have… though with Caleb I always worry that if someone urged him to “go for it, more!” he’d turn into a full-on caricature. Did anyone else notice how especially fluffy Caleb’s hair was tonight? He looked like a baby shampoo commercial, like maybe he’s the baby’s crazy dad who’s just really pumped about the product. Caleb’s hair rivaled Rickey Minor’s thick teal scarf and the backdrop of a wall crumbling into flames (graphically) in terms of things other than J. Lo begging for my attention during this performance. Let’s hope he doesn’t fade in viewers’ memories like he did during that duet with the all-powerful Jena.

Jessica Meuse: Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” — Grade: B+ | A few chunks of this, like the moody opening with Jess bathed in a blue ‘X’ of spotlights, were superb — though you’d never know it from listening to the judges. Other parts, though, showed her hesitation, and I noticed a few pitch problems. That tone, though. Hers is indisputably one of the richest voices of the season.

I like Jessica so much. I just want her to rock more. Doesn’t she want to? Isn’t she able? These are my questions as a fan of hers. Perhaps the judges have similar frustrations, but damn if their comments against Jessica don’t sound like a broken record week to week. They are just blatantly not rooting for her at all. And they don’t even try to mask that, like they do for everyone else.

“When your rhythm is in your body, it’s gonna inform everything from the neck up, so you can match the pyrotechnics,” said Harry Connick Jr., a judge in a SINGING COMPETITION.

Alex Preston and Sam Woolf: Passenger’s “Let Her Go” — Grade: C | It’s cool that these two got to sing on the set of That ’70s Show — I miss it too — but man, did they miss the mark with a happy-go-lucky but ultimately personality-free cover of an emotional song. Two lumps on a silly sofa, jammin’ like they do during their down time. No thanks. And these are supposed to be our season 13 heartthrobs?!

C.J. Harris: John Mayer’s “Gravity” — Grade: B | I find it difficult to root for a guy who so consistently sings out of tune, but this week marked a firm exclamation point within his usual series of vocal question marks. He did a good job. It’s still not good enough, though, no matter how many emotionally driven stank faces he presents to the crowd (so that J. Lo can promptly mimic them, then laugh with delight once she knows the camera’s on her, at last). Jennifer gently approved of how C.J. now supposedly thinks he can really win this. Note, this is different than J. Lo saying she thinks C.J. can really win this.

You know who can really win this, though, in a surprise twist? An adorable baby with giant headphones. C.J.’s son and Dad’s lack of blatant failure may have just bought him another week. Oh, and speaking of money, it’s so cute that C.J. thinks he’s going to have enough to hire his messy roommate Dexter a maid. Lifestyles of the Top 7 and Not Famous!

Dexter Roberts: Luke Bryan’s “Muckalee Creek Water” — Grade: B | He’s getting comfier, I guess. No bungled notes. No wardrobe malfunctions, unless you count the effing baseball cap. I still suspect any crowded bar in the American South would go absolutely crazy for Dexter, and I can’t blame them. Drunk people just want to have fun, and Dex could thrive on that and deliver. But in a roomful of bright lights, sober sisters, and a few people who should know better? There’s just no way of getting around the fact that he’s so average. And it must be said: Dude consistently garbles his lyrics as badly as Michael Slezak on Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” in a private karaoke cell after half a bottle of Sauv Blanc.

Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene: The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” — Grade: B+ | The vocal competency was on point, but was she supposed to completely drown him out like that, or were there mic issues? Perhaps I’d been brainwashed by J. Lo’s “That is a moment” propaganda when I gave them this high of a grade. I’m sorry! The back of her dress was distracting! FROM THE REST OF THE SHOW.

Alex Preston: Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” — Grade: A- | Part of the reason I graded Alex so highly is because I appreciated last week’s complete retooling of “Every Breath You Take.” (Shoutout to everything Melinda Doolittle said about Alex on Reality Check!) Creepy kid alert: I used to sing that one to myself as a lullaby for years (of sleepless nights) before I was old enough to learn about the fine arts of stalking and evil-tinged obsession. And if you’re not brave enough to throw a classic pop song in the blender, then what the hell are you doing on American Idol?

But I digress. Anyway, I don’t have as strong a personal connection to “The A Team,” but this was a typically strong showing from Alex. Well, musically, at least. I cannot detect any activity along Alex’s emotional circuit other than a burning passion for thrifted ‘80s clothing and socklessness.

Sam Woolf: David Gray’s “Sail Away” — Grade: C+ | Zzzzzzz. Again. Sure, he always sings well. And tonight there were a few flickers of facial connection that suggested Sam might be a Real Boy after all. J. Lo noticed them in her monitor while screening for shots of herself, and she never lies. But the judges’ whole improvement arc thing with Sam? Seriously? It was difficult to listen to Harry and Keith laud Sam for being a “work in progress” when the undercurrent of their superficial praise was clearly “WE ALL KNOW THIS ISN’T WORKING.” And yet they rip apart the details of Jess’ performances even after she specifically follows their directions. I tell ya, it’s hard out there for a female who believes she was abducted by aliens these days on American Idol.

Dexter, Jess, and C.J. a.k.a. Alabama Power: Lady Antebellum’s “Compass” — Grade D+ | Maybe I should’ve gone with my gut instinct of an F-. I kept trying like mad to just listen to Jess’ voice, then okay, maybe Dexter’s, but aggggghhh definitely not C.J.’s, and within a few bars I just gave up. It shouldn’t have to be this much of an effort to enjoy something. There’s really no need to force these children to play nicely together. “You, you, and you. Congrats, you’re Harry’s bottom three. Pretend to gel.” No! Stop it!

Jena Irene: Radiohead’s “Creep” — Grade: A- | I’ll be honest: I can’t stand some of Jena’s “aoowwwww”-laden pronunciation — you’re not foreign, girl! Just accept that you don’t have a natural quirky accent! We’ve all had to do it! But on a lackluster night, this piano-driven wailer, sponsored by Screech, was the clear standout both vocally and in performance value. More than any contestant this season, Jena strikes me as a kid with potential star power right this second. You could throw her in a pop video and she’d make perfect sense. (Especially if she follows through with her terrible tattoo idea of a skull with “Don’t worry, we’re all the same” underneath. Real stars love pretending they’re commoners.) You know it’s true! For better or worse, Jena owns it. Most exciting performance of the night, by far.

Offer up your thoughts on the way J. Lo’s skin glowed tonight and other musically relevant topics — and vote for your two favorite contestants — below.

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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535 Comments
  1. kate'shomesick says:

    It’s nice that the judges now want to make sure that „THAT WAS A MOMENT“ when I really wasn’t….
    Caleb A- it R-O-C-K-E-D
    Jess C- Rearrangement very nice, vocal shaky, rhythmically off
    Sam& Alex I’d like them as living room performers @my home but thought it was very…“cute“
    CJ D++ (no…CJ’s not gonna get a C…not officially…not by the powers I invested in myself) what is that fake growl thing he does? My phoniatrist would have to say a couple of not-so-nice-things about that. Other than that…slightly better than everything else he’s done
    Dexter C- so boring
    Caleb&Jena the latter looking good!, it’s basically just shouting though…the uncontrolled vibrato that comes with Jenas cough*belting*cough….not a good sign, good energy though
    Alex B really solid, that song is just so overdone…I would pay NOT to hear it again for a while(I’m a poor music student and I don’t even listen to the radio, so…)
    Sam B+ it’s a simple song and he did such a good job with it…are people gonna vote for him. I hope so- Otherwise heads will roll…by my hands- because I’ll cut them off …..with my sword…
    Jess&Dexter&CJ Ummmm
    Jena A- styling really is spot on for her this week, I know everyone is going to love this- I still can’t, I felt it was a little one dimensional vocally on the verse(much better than other stuff she’s done though!) and I hated the arrangement but the end really delivered, so I’m going to grade this much higher than I want to

    Will be bottom 3: Sam,CJ,Dexter …
    Should be bottom 3: Jess, CJ, Dexter

    • Danny says:

      Annie- Can ya please PLEASE get that picture of Lopez’s swiny face off the top of the site here? I think we’ve all seen it enough for one night. To look at it every single time I refresh the page is driving me batty.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Up-vote every day for the next ten years.

      • Brandon says:

        It cracks me up every time I see it. Annie, I’ve missed you!

      • the real wendy says:

        ANNIE. BARRETT.

      • karyn says:

        Hi Annie. Welcome to the dark side!

      • CaliGirl says:

        ^^^^^This!!!!

      • Karen says:

        I think J.Lo sexiness is brought up too much and Harry Conick Jrs antics are taking up TOO much of the show. IT is not his show! All the time should be spent on the contestants!!!!!! And advise from the judges show be equal for all contestants.. there are obvious favorites of the judges and that is WRONG. They really seem to bash Jessica every performance ..Not all singers are dancers . She tries to follow their advice, you can tell that but they never praise her for following their advise they just find something else wrong. Really disappointed in the judges lack of equality in their judging. Jessica in the bottem 2 for the first time the whole season and it was because of the judges constant criticism swaying peoples opinions. Just not right!!!!

    • Gary Kirk says:

      If Caleb does not win, I will be finally convinced that the US is tone deaf. He was not great last night – just better than everyone else – and with a who? what? song.

      Alex may be a fine musician, but I find his musical choices (songs and re-arrangements) about as interesting as watching and listening to the grass grow.

      Sam is also dull. Since young girls seem to find this attractive, maybe I was born about 50 years too early. BTW: I said a week before Harry brought it up that he looks like Ricky Nelson (quite a compliment). He should try to sing something of Ricky’s – oh, and Ricky just stood there and sang, too.

      CJ: Nice guy, good last night, but it was the first time. When he hits a note, it is by accident. He would be the worst talent to win AI since Taylor Hicks were he to do so.

      Jess: Pretty girl, different voice, and a good performance. I did not like the song and have a natural distaste for “in your face” songs for females. She said she was a “bad ass,” but she did not display that in her singing. She almost seemed as if she were apologizing for saying the words.

      Dexter; He was good last night. He has been good every week. If you go to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville any night of the week, you will hear someone who sings the same songs, just as well or better. I.e. ho, hum, singers like Dex are a dime a dozen (btw: My Dad was a professional country singer – so I have heard this stuff all of my 66 years).

      Jena: I did like her makeup and hair. I do not think she is attractive. The shorts she wore in the duet looked like a burlap sack with glitter and two sticks coming out the bottom. I liked her performance better than any other she has done as I actually knew the song. The rest she has sung, I did not know and wished I had never heard them after she sang them. I also think she is too over the top. I guess she is trying to have one of those “moments” that Jennifer is always urging the contestants to have. I would like to see if she can sing something with softness, compassion and gentleness. It would be good to see a performance with contrast and texture. Everything sung at full volume gets shrill after a while.

      • will says:

        If you think Jena hasn’t had any performances with contrast or texture, and that she’s sung everything at full volume, you haven’t been paying attention.

        And anyway, there’s no reason to give that critique if you’re a fan of Caleb, because while you’d actually be wrong in both cases, he fits that criteria far more than Jena does.

        • Aaron says:

          What was Jena wearing during that Rolling Stones duet? This shorts were SO unflattering and just plain hideous – where are the stylists this season? I swear these contestants look like the people singing karaoke in the bar down the street (and since I live in LA it is actuallt sort of true – they are singing down the street!).

    • situated says:

      Yay Annie!! Great to see you back. and THANK YOU for calling out the J-Lo distraction. If AI people read this: You’re losing your audience!!! STOP before we all abandon ship…. Meanwhile …I’m baffled by the Alex love. I don’t get it. His voice is pleasant enough but … a snooze. And how much are they paying those girls in the audience to scream at Sam? C’mon!

      • MamaLis says:

        If you’re “baffled” by the Alex love I’ll help to explain.

        I’m drawn in EVERY single time he sings. I’m a grown-ass woman so it has nothing to do with “screaming girl” -type hormones. I just find him:

        → very believable
        → highly talented
        → a singer I REALLY enjoy
        → and did say highly talented?

        Also, I dig all his arrangements. I find myself singing them a week after I’ve heard them.

        So there you have one explanation.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Up-vote for MamaLis!

        • MAB says:

          I agree with you totally MamaLis. I totally look forward to him every week. He is a breath of fresh air. He was not my favorite in the beginning but after his original I am sold. I love his style of music and will buy it after idol ends whether he wins or not.

      • karyn says:

        I second Mamalis. Alex has by far the most musicality and artistry of any of the contestants. I don’t care that he doesn’t charge around the stage as the judges and some viewers seem to want him to do. When he sings, I lean in to hear what he’s singing. It takes real talent to accomplish that.

      • syb says:

        I try to resist the white guys with acoustic guitars, as we really have had enough of them over the years season 7 and beyond. But as much as I tried, I can’t resist Alex’s vocals. They’re interesting, and they’re beautiful, and what differentiates him from, say Sam, is that he doesn’t give you a copycat version. Every tweak to the melody, every falsetto or run makes melodic sense, and makes me hear the song differently from the original. Do I wish he’d spread his wings a little bit and take on some songs a little further away from his genre, yes. I do wish that. But he’s just a great singer to me. I think Jena has done more to earn a victory than Alex, but for me, those two are the ones that I am excited to hear every week.

      • Julie Anderson says:

        Alex’s voice is like chocolate mousse. Rich, satisfying, soothing to the soul.

    • Jeanette says:

      What is up with the judges? They pick apart Jessica every week. I thought her performance last night was great. Can’t figure out what Harry was telling her. They are all so critical of her, no positive feedback is ever given. She acts like an adult on stage and not some out of control teenager. It is very obvious who they want to win (CJ or Gena). I believe Caleb should win this, but Jessica should come in as runner up.

      • gdv says:

        I tuned in just after Jessica started singing, and the judges’ feedback made me think that I must have missed something awful at the beginning of her performance. Turns out, nope! They were just ragging on her for no reason. I get she needs to move a little better, but that performance was leaps and bounds above her wooden stage walk of ‘Call Me’ last week. Srsly, I didn’t understand their super negative feedback at all!

        • Em says:

          She has no stage presence. But it’s hard to have stage presence when you have no personality. I don’t think she’s getting eliminated tonight but if she did I wouldn’t mind. I’m not a fan of her voice at all.

          • MAB says:

            Please forgive me for this comment but I can’t help it. Maybe Jessica was really abducted by Aliens and they stole her soul and replaced it with an alien. That’s why she seems so absent with her performances. Hey, she was the one who brought up alien abduction. It is true Jessica has a beautiful voice but I just can’t warm up to her. She seems so out of sync with her body. Even when she tries to move or show feeling she seems so forced. The only performance of hers I really liked was blue eyed lie.

      • Samara Desiree says:

        I don’t know why they want Jess to dance or move around a lot on stage. Carrie Underwood stood in one spot and sang all season. They would be picking on Carrie for the same thing. These days everything seems picked on. Just focus on her vocals!

        • M G says:

          It’s not dancing that they’re looking for, it’s selling the song.  A live performance is a visual experience as just as much as it is aural.  Movement helps to sell the message.  That’s why public speakers use hand gestures to emphasize their points.  Singers do it with their hands, head, eyes and feet.  A turn of the shoulder can be good too.  Jessica is never going to dance like Janet Jackson, but she can get better at working the stage.  In fact, she is improving.  This week was much better than last week’s painful stroll around the stage perimeter, and the weeks before where she stood in place woodenly.  It’s the weakest part of her performance, but it is on the upswing.

          A good reference for her would be to watch Pretenders videos.  Chrissie Hynde stands at the microphone and strums her guitar, but she is not stiff and lifeless.  She leans in, sways, shakes her boots, turns, and  does other things that sell the song and make her performances more enjoyable to watch.

          • Mercedes S. says:

            I don’t go to live performances. I listen to contemporary music on the car radio, and a song is “sold” to me by the way a singer sings it. Movement is not involved.

          • Mark says:

            Yeah, but 8.9 million people are still watching the performances live. It is, after all, a television show that we are talking about.

        • MamaLis says:

          Clarification: They DIDN’T tell her to “dance and move around the stage.” In fact, they were bothered by her walking OUT of beat of the damn song!! That’s actually not so cool!

          Furthermore, Harry suggested she dance (which ok, maybe was a bit uncomfortable) only as a means of providing a rhythmic connection to the music.

          Definitely no one, NO ONE after last week suggested Jessica dance or further “move about” the stage.

          • Stormy says:

            i have a feeling that Jessica may be clumsy. A sense of rhythm is innate, and Jessica doesn’t have it. She’s my fave, but I don’t think she is very graceful in her movements.

          • MamaLis says:

            @ Stormy, I think you may be right. She very well might be “clumsy.” If so, she should just get back to her roots of being the “real-deal” musician chick, singing real-deal songs about life.

          • zaza says:

            What they really want is for her to FEEL the song…rhythmically and emotionally. She has the same smile on her face all the time when she sings (no matter what the emotion of the song) and when the judges criticize her. The way she wanders around the stage is the same, no matter if it’s a happy song or an angry one. She reminds me of a sleep-walker…functioning but not really there. It’s too bad, because I do think she has a good voice.

        • karyn says:

          Jess certainly needs some constructive criticism on how she moves on stage but it is completely unfair that they give her all criticism and no love while they come up with a million ways to soften the muted criticism of CJ/Sam/Dexter even when they are terrible. They are so biased in their judging that it’s reminiscent of Uncle Nigel manipulation, as though they’ve been ordered to give negative feedback in advance of seeing the performance.

          • Stormy says:

            I don’t think she needs criticism constructive or otherwise. I think she needs someone to show her what they mean. She should get with Allison Iraheta backstage and work with her.

        • CaliGirl says:

          Jessica is the new Haley, hence the target of J-Ho hate.

        • Idolhead Ed says:

          They did get on Carrie for the same thing. She was actually a weaker contestant than Jess. Maybe that means something good for Jess. I know folks like to vote for someone who gets ragged all the time.

      • Jan says:

        They DO seem to pick on Jessica every week. I always feel like she’s done way better than what the judges have said. Then they’re easier on much lesser talents. [BTW, I prefer Jena, but still feel they're unfair to Jessica.]

    • karyn says:

      Re Sam, I completely disagree with you that he sang Sail Away great. What he did was sing it syllable by syllable exactly as David Gray did. Yes, he has a smooth voice but no delivery whatsoever. In a sane world, he would stay longer than CJ and Dexter but wouldn’t have outlasted Majesty.

  2. Annie glad to see you on TVLine. Other than Jena’s amazing performance this was a night of predictable safe choices. I don’t think it is a mystery or a big revelation that the 2 or 3 best performances were the least safe and the most current, Jena and Caleb. I thought Alex, CJ, Sam and Dexter each gave really standard, safe performances that I’ve seen week after week. Jessica tried to step out of her comfort zone but got nailed by the judge’s a bit on her voice. No one can blame Jena for these song choices since no one picked one of her choices. Caleb got 2 selections. I wonder why Jena wasn’t picked given how good she is at picking songs for herself.

    • Jase says:

      Not a single “moment” onstage. Jena was the best, everyone else was boring, and Jessica got dumped on the most for no reason. Just like every week of this godawful season.

      • Danny says:

        @Jase- No, there WERE moments. The judges told us so. Harry even explained why he doesn’t stand. That in itself was a “moment” if I ever saw one.

        On a serious note, there haven’t been any moments in years now. There won’t be one this year either. Every dang song they ruin by showing Lopez’s face. To me a performance that creates a moment isn’t just the 90 seconds they sing. The singing is most of it of course, but also the pre amble and after the song stuff matters. Most of the time the pre-amble stinks and the judges have ways of bringing down even the best of performances.

        Next week if I remember too, I’m going to close my eyes when they sing. I would have enjoyed every song a lot more if I had thought of doing that this week.

    • Mark says:

      This was just another average bordering on mediocre show. CJ showed a little improvement, Sam, Dexter and Alex squatted right in the middle of their respective lanes and did exactly the same thing they do each and every week (although, as always, I give Alex credit for a creative arrangement). Caleb showed he could do something that isn’t available on vinyl, and was moderately but not overwhelmingly successful. Jena, I felt, was highly overrated. She did do a great job of belting the last half of her song, but the first part was another muddy mess. Sometimes when she sings in her lower register it sounds like she has a mouth full of peanut butter, and this was another one of those times. Her duet with Caleb was a hot screaming mess. I just listened to it again, however, and the fault lies entirely with the arrangement which was too short and resulted in them singing the wrong parts and over top one another. They tried to cram a size 10 song into a size 3 shoe. I mean, damn, this is one of my all-time favorite songs–I even requested that they do this one on an earlier board–and the producers treated it like a 30 second jingle.
      Moving on–the criticism of Jessica was just piling on for no reason at all. That was one of her best performances of the year. She sang great and moved about the stage in a more natural fashion; she deserved a little bit of praise instead of the bum rush treatment. The only critique that made even a little bit of sense was Harry’s–she does at times seem to lack rhythm.
      Finally, I think I’m done with this show, possibly forever. The final nail in the coffin for me is the constant attention on JLO. It’s just too much. These performers get 120 seconds to wow us, but the constant close ups of JLO are too damn distracting. It seems like the shot director is a 13 year old boy with his first crush. He probably has to change his underwear by the end of the show.

      • The Beach says:

        I have no doubt that the constant attention on JLo is spelled out very clearly in her multi-million dollar contract. All eyes on my at all times.

      • giselle says:

        Would we be having all this JLo bashing if Annie hadn’t made as many comments about it as the number of times JLo was shown? I’m not a big JLo fan, but I do think she is a better judge this year than she has been in the past. At least she isn’t running around in the audience or having young people sit on her shoulders. At least she is in her seat observing the performances, instead of wanting to “be part of it.” The actions of Harry and Keith last week IMO were disrespectful and childish. On his own, I don’t think Keith would have done it.
        No matter what Jess does, the judges (especially Harry) are going to find fault with it. The same thing happened to Haley Reinhart the year she was a contestant (just not all the same judges). Dexter is a one-trick tractor. CJ connects with the audience but not with the song. Sam chose a wrong song. Alex has a good voice, but he does not connect that well with the audience either, IMO. Caleb did not sing well enough to “make the old ladies cry,” but he did do well with his Caleb version which is not that different from anyone else’s version. Jena’s performance saved the evening for me, but I would not take JLo’s advice about wearing bangs all the time. At this point I’m thinking about which one would make the best American Idol. The only one I can see coming close is Jena.

        • Mark says:

          I made the comment last week that the show might as well be retitled JLO And Friends. My complaint is not directed at JLO, but rather at the show’s director. The constant, lingering, repetitive cuts to JLO during every song detract from my enjoyment of the performances. She gets enough air time without interrupting every contestant. I agree that she is a much better judge this time than she was during her first term in office, but please, dial back the JLOve!

          • Mal says:

            I agree re: JLOve (love that comment). I do think Harry takes over too much and doesn’t let poor Keith have his say much of the time. Harry walks the thin line of being Knowledgeable and a Know it All.

        • karyn says:

          Yes, we’d be having this discussion in the absence of any comments by Annie. We’ve all been commenting for weeks that the constant focus on Jenifer Lopez (I always have and always will think that the JLo moniker is lame) is obnoxious, especially as she is obviously checking the monitor every 8 seconds to see if the camera is on her. What irritated me most last night (go back and watch the video) is how she cringed when CJ missed a note and then realized the camera was on her and changed immediately back to her contrived “I’m really into this performance” face. I’d be curious if the two guys were doing this too except that we almost never see them during the performance (except when the whole panel – read Lopez – is shown).

          • Blank Slate says:

            She absolutely was caught making that ugly face and Ryan was clearly told to step in, bring it up live last night for damage control before the show ended and they lost control of this narrative!

        • Blank Slate says:

          You can be sure Jennifer Lopez has her quantitative air time spelled out in her multi-million dollar contract. She only turns on the human switch when on camera. She has no use for the audience other than for brief moment she enters the stage and pretends to engage with people in the studio audience.

          It’s beyond comprehension how much they hold the camera on HER while a contestant is singing. Such a stupid turn-off!

        • giselle says:

          Seems like last year a lot of people were glad to hear that JLo was returning. I wasn’t one of them, but I’d rather have her than the two from last year where each week was a battle round that had nothing to do with singing. Would you rather have Paula who seemed to talk in her own fantasy world? So what’s the solution? Would it be better to have a different female guest judge each week to at least put some variety into the situation? I do think some people connected with the show look at our comments so it wouldn’t be a waste of space to make suggestions if we have them. There are some very with-it people here who could give some good input. I still think the show has something to offer even if my favorite does not win the competition.

        • ElleKay says:

          I actually liked JLo at the beginning of the season, but about halfway through live shows she started really grating on my nerves. I tune in for the performances, not shots of JLo’s face, or Harry’s skeevy antics.

  3. Mike says:

    JENA IRENE!!!

    • Because of the time wasters the judge’s couldn’t properly give Jena accolades and rain more great comments on her. Both Keith and Jennifer said they would say more positive things if they had time. There is no reason that any contestant, especially one that delievers such an amazing performance at the end of the show shouldn’t get just as much time, or more time, spent on them than those that go earlier in the show. I am so tired of the time wasters. We had duets/trios,”special” drop ins from Demi Lovato,Terry Bradshaw, Martin Garrix(a singer/songwriter), Ronda Rousey(UFC champion). We learned 5 more things about these contestants, even though they did this segment a couple of weeks ago. It’s just so much time wasted. If the show can’t deliver 2 hours worth of really good stuff then make the show 90 minutes or an hour. With each song only about 90 seconds there is no reason they couldn’t make this a really great 1-hour show, instead of really bloated 2 hour show. I know FOX doesn’t have a ton of great programming but this could be one of the reasons that viewers are tuning out. 2 hours is a lot to commit to week to week, especially when those 2 hours aren’t being properly utilized.

      • Danny says:

        @Idol- Of course they didn’t have enough time. They spent it all panning the cameras on Lopez’s face. It’s totally understandable and I don’t blame Idol even the tiniest little bit. It’s an honest mistake. I tune in for the sole purpose of seeing that bat’s fake head bobbing for about 20 seconds of every song. There were 10 songs for a 2 hour show. Not having nearly enough time at the end is totally blameless on Idol’s production team.

        • AlyB says:

          Well it wasn’t just her face tonight. What would we have done without all the time spent hearing about, getting the fake demure tease of, then actually having JLo get up and model the back of her dress. Obviously that’s just SO much more important than having the time to actually, you know, judge the performances.

          • Matrix says:

            And what would we have done without seeing the musically-relevant Phil Simms? Was it just me or was there extra effort to introduce several random guest celebs tonight?

          • Just FYI: that was Terry Bradshaw, not Phil Simms. But I agree with your point

          • deedee says:

            @Matrix – Seems like it. Remember the days when tons of celebs were in the audience and all we got was a quick shot of them clapping? Those were the days when Idol was confident in its relevance and popularity. Now, if there’s a junior regional girls’ soccer team captain in the audience, they have to announce it to the world, as if to confirm that we’re watching a really, really hot show.

          • The Beach says:

            Oh deedee…so funny and so well said!

          • deedee says:

            Funny but tragic, eh, The Beach? :,(

        • A fan says:

          Well, they have to have time for the 400 commercials. I record the show and fast forward through most of it. The two hours boils down to about 45 minutes of anything you want to actually see. I recommend that approach!

          • Matrix says:

            @Kevin above, thanks for the correction. It was Terry Bradshaw, shows how closely I was paying attention!

      • JM says:

        Waste of time–so true.

      • chris says:

        Agreed. Jena was terrific and they ran out of time to praise her?? Disrespectful. The boring filler in tonight’s show was just as bad as Harry’s antics were last week.

        Want to say welcome to Annie–always a delight to read her work.

        • Owen says:

          I like how you people make out like they did this on purpose. They obviously thought they NEEDED filler due to a schedule. Granted, they should have timed the show out better but it’s Live TV. It’s probably not easy. And heads roll if there is end-of-show dead air, NOT if there’s rushing.

          • Danny says:

            @Owen- Usually you’re spot on but I think ya missed with this one. 7 singers, 10 songs, 2 hours. They STILL had to rush? There’s no excuse. They dropped the ball big time. The production team is 2nd rate. Look at all the other times they’ve botched something. They boned Jessica a few weeks ago (not the judges, the production), all the times the sound man has screwed up earlier in the season. It hasn’t been so bad the past few weeks, but earlier it was terrible. There’s other things too that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head. The production team has been terrible this year. I don’t see any excuse for them other than they’re terrible at their jobs.

          • Mike says:

            I TOTALLY AGREE. They needed to fill out the middle parts. Period. It would have been better if it was a 90min show. If there were no fillers, and the final performance was done at 9:40, would you want all those fillers to be post-performances?? Really? No!

            But I HONESTLY BELIEVE IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION TO SABOTAGE OR DISRESPECT JENA. Come on, she has closed the show twice —She & Caleb has done this twice.. Look at Dexter, CJ, Jessica – THEY HAVEN’T EVEN CLOSED THE SHOW EVEN ONCE (Pls do correct me if I’m wrong). I think the Standing O given by Keith and JLo was the “respectable” thing they did to counter the unfortunate fact that they had less time to praise her.

          • Owen says:

            Yes, Danny, the things you mentioned are somewhat inexcusable, but the managing of the timing of a live show is something I bet neither of us can even imagine. Saturday Night Live has to very often actually cut skits that were timed perfectly on the dress rehearsal just hours before! That American Idol gets it timed out at all is probably a bi-weekly miracle.

          • RB says:

            It’s not transmitted live on the West coast!

          • Elizabeth says:

            I thought the timing was really off this episode. Fill, fill, fill and then rush, rush, rush. I counted at least 3 times where the contest was already starting their performance while Ryan was still introducing them… I find that incredibly annoying and distracting. I need that second or two of silence before the song starts to get in the mood. It’s really starting to feel like the actual contestant performances are an afterthought to all the junk they fill the show with.

          • ara says:

            @RB, it may not be live in the West Coast but they’re not going to have a “do-over” them and transmit a different show with more/longer comments/judging for Jena.

  4. IMHO says:

    Annie! Doesn’t it feel so freeing to be able to give grades? Welcome back from your mini-hiatus and welcome to the dark side.

    • Lunakit says:

      Well, it’s finally happened.
      Michael Slezak is so bored of this season that even he found something else to do…. that’s saying *ALOT*! (Can you imagine Michael jetting off to Europe during seasons that produced Kris Allen or David Cook??)

      • Mike says:

        He’s singing I LUH YA PAPI ON HIS WAY TO LONDON I BET.

      • Barbara Ruiz says:

        This year has been another epic failure. The judges don’t mesh. No one I know who watches American Idol can stand Jennifer Lopez. Why would they bring her back? Harry seems very uncomfortable trying to say something nice about any of them. He knows he is losing his musical credibility. If American Idol could not find more polished singers than this it is time for the show to end.

        • Samara Desiree says:

          It’s not about finding polished singers. If you want that, watch The Voice. American Idol is about finding total unknowns and making stars out of them. Neither Kelly Clarkson, Phillip, Phillips, and Carrie Underwood were polished performers and they have done very well after Idol.

          • MamaLis says:

            Well said, Samara.

            In fact, I was going to say much the same thing after watching a couple of performances tonight.

            Say what you will about Idol vs. The Voice.
            But I’m willing to BET right here – that JENA and ALEX both have notable careers after this season of Idol. Caleb will likely do interesting things.
            That still kills the Voice record for long-term success.

            Phil Phillips was just two years ago. Idol is still picking relevant talent.

          • MAB says:

            And if you remember correctly Phillip Phillips was constantly ripped to shreds on this blog and some said he was just a coffee house singer and will never sell out concerts. Guess What? Don’t be surprised that if someone that you think will never make it will have a great career. I personally think both Alex and Jena has a great shot at success both are extremely talented and record well.

          • S. says:

            Yeah, The Voice is for ringers. They scout that show up so hard. Idol has tried to do that more, but they often don’t make it, e.g. Jim Carrey’s daughter, various sports stars and musicians’ sons or daughters. Unknowns without millions of Youtube subscribers can actually make it on Idol. And I don’t see how anybody can grumble about Idol judge attention if they’re comparing it to The Voice which is team this and team that and all about the judges.

  5. LOL says:

    America loves Annie Barrett!

    • Tess says:

      I’m more excited to see Annie’s now at TV Line than I was about Idol tonight. I was so put off by the blatant bussing of Jess followed by the unnecessary commenting of a duet they weren’t going to critique but still did… I had to turn it off. I’ve got the rest on my dvr and I’ll watch it tomorrow with my finger on the fast-forward to bypass the judges’ inane comments, Demi Lovato’s on air screen test of JLo’s seat should they manage to get another season, and all the other filler junk that went on. I’ve never stopped watching Idol, even through their lean seasons like last year, but as a devoted fan the show is actually making me angry that it’s become such a farce of itself. I liked the judges early on but they’re just worthless mouthpieces now like Randy.

      • Danny says:

        @Tess- FF thru the critiques is a good idea. With one exception. Check out the critiques after Sam’s performance. They panned Jess when they were critiquing Sam. Un-flippin-real.

        • tealeaves says:

          “Check out the critiques after Sam’s performance. They panned Jess when they were critiquing Sam. Un-flippin-real.”
          I know! AND, IMO it was hands down Sam’s best performance during the live shows. It was a perfect song choice.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I agree about Sam. He seemed more emotional and “connected” (hate that word but I don’t know what else to write) than I’ve seen him with any other song.

          • The Beach says:

            And he was finally styled well for once with a young, hip outfit instead of those awful shirts made out of grandma’s curtains that they always stick him in. (Unfortunately, he was in one of those ugly things earlier in the show).

          • Alan Dvorkis says:

            Agree. Despite some comments, he truly is improving. I can only imagine the day when he totally opens up as his voice stays amazing as his range expands. I do hope he gets through this week.

    • lori says:

      100% agree! Love to see you over at TV Line.

  6. Danny says:

    Hi Annie- Frustration is high here after this episode-

    I’m not sure what to make of this season. Except for the duets I thought the show was pretty good, yet still not enough to make it must see tv. I don’t think it’s just the singers. Overall while no “moments” the top 4 have at least been decent to pretty good for the most part. Today I thought they were all real good, except Lopez’s face ruined every one of those songs.

    Deedee mentioned something in her post yesterday about not being able to put a finger on it. I agree with that, except I think I can put a face on it. It’s that plastic, ugly, no talent fraud Lopez. Her creepy, backside kissing sidekick isn’t helping any, and it even seems like Keith is getting in on the action.

    I flippin knew they were gonna rag on Jessica. I thought she was good. Or at least as good as ya can be when ya know no matter what ya do it’s gonna get panned. Throw Jess under the bus is in full force now. She’s got one song of her own (Blue Eyed Lie) and it’s better than anything 2 out of the 3 judges have ever put out. I tried listening to some of Harry’s tunes. Every single one of them- I tried about 5- were boring as hades.

    I see the one thing that hasn’t changed from previous seasons is they’re gonna pick a female to run over and do what they can to make sure she doesn’t have a chance. Janelle, Elise, Haley, Siobhan, Allison, and Carly, to varying degrees have all been in no win positions. Jesus H!! Even when they judged Sam they’re taking shots at Jessica.

    About the only thing the production end of the show got right was alluding to Lopez’s stank face. Stank is a pretty good description of that hag. I wish Ronda Rousey had went up there and knocked her upside the head or put her in an armbar for being so useless. I was actually liking Dexter’s performance until they showed that skank. Then I got irritated. The whole season is like this. Even when the singers are good, it gets ruined by showing that plastic fake.

    My take on tonight was 5 good performances, 2 meh ones, with all of them ruined by one ugly face.

    • karenb says:

      Danny-I don’t think Jessica is going home any time soon. The odds are that the guys will drop like flies now. I’m not a big Jessica fan but I actually really liked her performance tonight. Not sure what was up with the judge’s comments.

      • Timmah says:

        Jessica is in the most danger this week. Death spot, so-so song choice, failed to stand out. And it certainly doesn’t help that the show hates her for some reason.

        • Lynn says:

          I agree she’s in danger and will probably end up bottom 3. The producers have really hung her out to dry.I think that Idol will send CJ home, though.

          • kierankramer says:

            Jessica sings great but she’s a wooden performer. She lacks charisma. I don’t think she’s being picked on–the judges are being kind. It”s painful to watch how stilted she is . It’s too bad. She has a stellar voice.

        • karyn says:

          Agree. Their criticism of Jessica is accurate but each week is should be said in the context of – you had the 3d or 4th best performance of the night but these are things you can work on. People excuse it as the judges are “expecting more from her” b/c she’s more experienced, but it’s outrageous that they heap abuse on her while praising much lesser performances.

      • Danny says:

        @Karen- I think she might go. She’s not even my fav. Jena is. I just hate seeing people get a raw shake. I think Jessica is one of the top 4- pick your order. I just sorta hope for her sake that she does leave because it’s like every week she’s gotta put up with the negative tone. When they critique the others, there’s always a tone that’s encouraging. Yeesh, w/ Sam they were so encouraging they blamed Jessica for his choice. With Jessica the comments have that tone of they want her out of here.

        • Jerry says:

          It seems to me Jessica Meuse is the producers and judges’ favourite punching bag, and reminds me of Siobhan Magnus back in Season 9. It’s not like Siobhan is very good, but she was clearly better than many male contestants from her season, and even when the frontrunners (Lee and Crystal) were way ahead of the pack, many predicted that she will finish a distant third. I recalled Siobhan getting hammered almost every week while other male contestants (Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, and even Tim Urban) got better feedback even though they were still below her admittedly disappointing standards.

          I think they doubled their efforts to undermine Siobhan since she was never in the bottom 3 and it finally worked when she got voted out. I hope it doesn’t happen to Jessica who is in a very similar position.

          • Danny says:

            @Jerry- I agree w/ your sentiment. Huge disagree that Siobhan wasn’t very good. She’s my 2nd or 3rd fav all time Idol. Tied w/ Allison. Paint it Black was my favorite song ever on this show. Along with Crystal and a lil bit Didi, she made Season 9 not only bearable, but for me somewhat enjoyable.

          • Stormy says:

            @Danny I agree with you about Siobhan except my fave of her performances was “Across The Universe”.

          • tealeaves says:

            I agree Siobhan is on the list of female contestants who were among the best of their season and yet got some of the worst judging comments most weeks.
            @Stormy, Across the Universe is one of the classic examples of bad judging. It was a beautiful performance and they called it “sleepy” and they meant that as a criticism. Then when she sang “When You Believe” Simon told her the butterflies on her dress were distracting.

    • PGV says:

      Thank you for pointing out the judges’ strange disdain for Jessica!! My TL exploded over the unfounded critiques she’s been getting, with No praise, while Others are allowed to get by with Almost hitting the notes *coughCJcough* or staying behind their guitar, while Jessica gets critiqued for that as well. The Producers were definitely trying to throw her under the bus by showing her Group performance, without showing that her original group dissolved at the last minute. I’m getting flashbacks of Haley’s treatment. And I’m Over It!!

      • Erin says:

        She doesn’t move well, so she stays put and then that is all they will critique about her until she does move; and well then, she doesn’t move well so…

      • WhoMe? says:

        They really are hating on Jessica! I don’t understand how they can be so blatant about it! I was expecting to not be thrilled with Idol this year, then the judges were kind of a bright spot (for a while). Didn’t last long. Now I find the judges to be very annoying and I feel sorry for the contestants. Jessica does not deserve this treatment and neither did the likes of Hailey Reinhardt Carly Smithson, Allison Iraheta and others. Seems if JLo doesn’t like you, you are outta there! I really dislike the way they break away to JLo’s face constantly during performances. She’s a fake and a fraud. I may have to be done with this @#*$ show once and for all!
        P.S. Sorry for this strong reaction, but I am upset. Can you say obvious?

        • as says:

          Shout out to Annie Barrett!!!!!! YEAH!!! Would really love a duet or maybe an all girl “slayer” band with Jessica, Hayley, Allison and Carly Smithson. American Idol has no star this season and it’s star has burned out. The target viewing demographic is children aged 8-13….so why let Jessica on the show Harry?

        • RB says:

          You hit the nail on the head – JLo is jealous of their looks and voices – oh and youth. It’s not surprising she always picks up toyboys

      • The Beach says:

        I’m so glad to see so many posters commenting on the terrible treatment Jessica has received the entire season. It’s been bothering me a lot for quite a while and while she’s not always perfect she’s certainly better than some who have mangled performances and still been praised. I hope TPTB are reading this and realize how apparent this is to their viewers.

        • Mary says:

          As much as I love Jessica and voted for her, the critiques were correct. She did not show the fierceness that song warranted. I appreciate her trying to incorporate what the judges have commented on. At this point if she is not comfortable moving around then she should ignore the judges and go back to her comfort zone, but to be honest I love her and find her to be wooden.
          I do think it is unfair the judges don’t critique the guys who just stand there, Alex, Sam and in some regard CJ. If anything I think the judges are doing her a favor because we all know that America revolts if they think a contestant is being bussed.

        • Name This Tune says:

          So Beach, do you think Jessica will make the top 3?
          Because it is not a question about how the judges treat her. It’s where do you think she will finish?
          —-’
          Here’s some tough love for you. Go back to Season 10 and 11. Watch the best female singers from those seasons Haley, Lauren Alaina, Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez. How does she stack up against them?
          ‘—
          Because she doesn’t belong in the same room as those girls. She can sing, but her performances are underwhelming. Do you want the judges to play dumb? Like we did in the Nigel years and lie?

          • The Beach says:

            I never said she should make the Top 3…not really sure where that came from, Tune. Actually, I would place her around #4 or 5. All I said was that she never seems to receive any positive feedback from any of the three judges while lesser singers IMHO such as CJ, Malaya, and several more who are no longer there received what I consider to be unwarranted positive reviews.

          • Danny says:

            Name- I don’t agree Alaina should be in that group. Take her out and I’d agree with your statement. Jessica falls below any of the others. The thing is, everyone else this year does too. Even Jena. If it were Jena vs Haley I’d be rooting for Jena but realizing that Haley was kicking her tail. Sort of like when I watched Michigan get hammered by Alabama in football a few years ago.

            Yes Jessica needs to improve. That’s not what’s in dispute. Not just by me, but I think by anyone. This whole group isn’t that good. If I’m not mistaken it was Season 11 that Caleb was cut. You could make a case that Caleb is the best this year. Having said that, I feel him being cut in Season 11 was correct. He’d be shooting for 8th place that season.

            My beef is the tone/attitude that they critique Jessica vs how they do it with the rest. It’s like every year this show singles out a female to throw under the bus to some degree. I’m lost as to how you’re missing that. Even Keith is getting into the act. They’re not trying to help her. They’re taking shots at her. That’s where the beef comes in.

          • MamaLis says:

            Ya… I don’t always agree with NTT, but I do on this!

            Yes, Jessica is criticized in a manner that is similar to that of Haley and Elise – but she is nowhere NEAR as stellar a singer and performer as those girls were.

            I feel badly for her, but I think the comments are true.
            |
            First of all, they DO tell CJ he sings off tune. And yes, he should probably be gone. But at least he is real and connecting to his songs. Dexter is Dexter.
            |
            But as of late Jessica has been really of-the-rails in terms of where she started and where she’s portraying herself now. She used to be that “raw, I’m real” type girl.
            |
            Now – she’s all GLAMMED-up, prancing around, dis-connected from her song-choices, freaking walking out-of-BEAT to her song!!! You can’t do that and compete on a show of this caliber!!!

          • Name This Tune says:

            @Danny. Here’s the problem. Jessica chose a Miranda Lambert song. And Haley and Lauren Alaina were paired on a duet singing that exact song. Lauren delivered that song with far more sass and attitude than Jessica last night. So at Jessica’s current state of development, she is not as good as Lauren Alaina was. It is what it is.

          • M G says:

            All of which matters zero percent.  Nobody is voting for Lauren Alaina or Haley this time.  She has to beat out Sam, CJ and Dexter, and then either Caleb, Alex or Jena.  *shaking my head at these constant comparisons to performances from prior years* 

          • Name This Tune says:

            @Mr.G
            In a very mediocre year, compared to Alex, Dexter, Caleb, and Jena, she is 5th. Nobody is willing to deal with some constructive criticism to help her beat them. They just want to complain that it’s not fair. But there’s only so many seats left on The American Idol bus.
            Looking at other top Idol performances gets you started in the right direction.
            So many people like to talk about Carrie Underwood and how stiff she was on Idol. Check out a YouTube video with her and Miranda Lambert singing this song. It shows you what can happen if you work on your weaknesses. But it ain’t happening if you don’t try.

        • Name This Tune says:

          So Beach, if we’re at top 7, and she is #4 or #5, then she is bottom 3 material. Which puts her at risk for going home – soon.
          It’s not about the judges. It’s about is she good enough to win.

          • The Beach says:

            Then so be it. She goes home. Jeez, all I was asking for was a level playing field where judges’ critiques are concerned.

      • Var says:

        I agree completely with your comments. The poll attached to Annie’s article suggests that voters, at least the ones who read TV Line commentary, are not swayed by the judges’ inexplicable negativity towards Jessica. Also, I don’t get the love for Jena. I try not to allow her unattractiveness and grating personality to sway my opinion. Her voice does nothing for me.

        • Grandma Jane says:

          Haven’t you noticed though that the poll for tvline commenters is often really different than the results? As a group we seemed to like Majesty a lot more than having her in the bottom three indicated. And as a group we seem to think Dexter boring, and he’s in our bottom consistantly, but not on the show. Not to mention CJ… I think TPTB should listen to this site more as we are loyal longtime and serious viewers!

          • Melanie says:

            I guess I’m all by myself in liking Dexter in this platform. I don’t know, I’m a country music fan and I enjoy his sound. He’s had some horrible performances on this stage, but I enjoyed him thoroughly on “This ole boy”, “One Mississippi”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, and “Muckalee Creek Water”. And I think that people who hate Dexter show more sympathy towards Jessica (who has also had some performance that I’ve enjoyed and some performances that were flops).

          • MamaLis says:

            Yes Gramma Jane! This group tends to skew high in terms of intellect and taste! :-)

          • Var says:

            Yes, I have noticed. I think that we TV Line readers are more discerning than the general group of voters.

    • tealeaves says:

      “My take on tonight was 5 good performances, 2 meh ones, with all of them ruined by one ugly face.”
      lol. That about sums it up.

    • Danny says:

      @Stormy- I love disagreements like that. We’re BOTH right. To prove it I’m gonna go listen to one Siobhan sang to me and one she sang to you.

    • Karen says:

      Danny, really, do you have to resort to name calling, like “hag”. Unnecessary.

    • girl_3 says:

      Danny – last night when Sam performed I said to my husband “Watch, I bet they pan Sam’s performance because Jess chose his song.” As soon as “song choice” came out of Harry’s mouth, I paused the DVR and said, “See?” Also, did you notice during the trio with Dexter and CJ, Keith made it a point to say, “the guys in particular harmonized really well?” On what planet? Nice touch to remind everyone too about Jess’ group debacle just before the performance too. I thought subliminal messaging was outlawed…yeesh.

    • The Other Leah says:

      Wow, I’m not a Jlo fan, but those were some pretty harsh words. Yikes!

    • Pat says:

      could your relentless psychotic ravings originate from your self-loathing, of course they do and rightfully so!

  7. Name That Tune says:

    Caleb Johnson: Kings of Leon’s “Family Tree”. I was a bit concerned when I heard he was doing this song. Because Caleb is capable of doing so much more than the song requires. He tweaked it just enough. Here’s how you know you are watching a great performer – he sang it better and infused it with more life than the original artist. Grade A
    ——–
    Jessica Meuse: Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”. Can’t say I felt any fire in her performance and the arrangement took the rage out of the song. She’s moving better around the stage, but we’ve had the opportunity to see Miranda perform this live, and we’ve seen 3 previous Idols kill the song – Skylar Laine, and a duet featuring Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart. Jessica has a long way to go before she is in their league. Grade C
    ——-
    C.J. Harris: John Mayer’s “Gravity”. Caleb picked this song for him. It worked. Harry was right. This was his best performance of the season. Grade B
    ——–
    Dexter Roberts: Luke Bryans “Muckalee Creek Water”: The song is not my cup of tea, and the original is pretty lifeless, but Dexter did his usual – a solid performance. His fans will like it. Grade B+
    ——-
    Alex Preston: Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team”. I get that he likes this kind of music, but I was underwhelmed. Grade B
    ——–
    Sam Woolf: David Gray’s “Sail Away”. It’s slow, which Sam loves. I was bored with it and there were some “intonation” issues. C
    ——–
    Jena Irene: Radiohead’s “Creep”. Jena is not a fully developed talent yet, but she’s pretty damn good. A-
    ——–
    Note to the producers: The two best performers this season do not play the guitar. Think about that.
    ——–
    And in the spirit of producing an interesting show, open with Caleb or Jena and close with Caleb or Jena. And let’s start talking about cutting the show back to 90 minutes. It felt about 30 minutes too long.
    ——–
    If we’re doing a bottom 2, there’s only two people who belong there. Jessica and Sam. Sam going home. But wouldn’t be shocked if it was Jessica.

    • Danny says:

      @Name- Pretty much agree but I’m thinking Jessica realizes no matter what she does it’ll get ragged on. I thought she handled the critique of the trio pretty well. I knew going in they were gonna rip her. I’ve got to believe she knows it too. I thought she did pretty well. Pretty well would mean about a B or so. I do agree she didn’t do it as well as others in previous seasons, but I still feel it was better than almost every song someone did last year.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Well, I don’t see it as “ripping”. Keith kind of hinted at it tonight – does she want to be here? Because the things they are pointing out are things she has to learn how to do or she’ll be back in Alabama singing in dive bars. There’s an attitude that comes with Gunpowder and Lead. You have to be pissed off at a guy to sing it. And we know Jessica knows what that means.

        • Danny says:

          @Name- I’m not sure what ya consider ripping. Would slowly taking apart with the knife be a better term? Whatever it is, Jess gets no positive feedback, no encouragement, no nothing of the sort. I’m not even rooting for her to win. I just want her to be treated with a certain amount of respect. They don’t have to do cartwheels when she’s done, but quit treating her as a punching bag.

          • Name This Tune says:

            Ripping would be saying You stink! You sing out of key! Your voice is like nails on a chalkboard!
            ——
            It’s hard for non professionals to understand that this is a performing art. The key word being Performing. You have 3 successful performers sitting on that panel. Do you think they never heard the things they are saying said to them? And how do you expect Jessica to get better if someone doesn’t tell her? Because she has been singing in those bars in Alabama and no one has told her – this is what you need to work on.
            ——-
            Do you watch football? What does every football team do? Study the film, grade the players and tell them what they need to do to improve their performance. Because it’s not a pity party. It’s a job for highly skilled people with talent who want to be at the top of their game. And make money.

          • Danny says:

            @Name- I haven’t played football but I’ve played hockey for 13 years. The coaches- the good ones anyway- don’t single out one person to keep harping on all season long. It’s not just what they’re saying, but the tone. There’s no encouragement for her. They do this crap every year to someone. I’d have no qualms of what they say to Jessica if they’d let Dexter, CJ, Sam, Jena, Alex, and Caleb- yes they all have faults- know where they’re falling short and using the same tone as they do to Jessica.

            I promise ya, I’m not even rooting for her to win. I’m just fed up that every year someone gets singled out like this. I want Jena, but I want Jena to win because of better talent. Getting back to sports, I never wanted to lose because a ref blew a call. At the same time I never wanted to win because the ref blew a call either.

          • Name This Tune says:

            Danny, there is nothing wrong with their tone. They are not yelling or screaming at her. They are simply pointing things out. The person who should be upset about the judges is CJ because they have been the hardest on him. You never hear the judges talk to Jessica the way they talk to CJ. But it’s the same issue. These are the things you need to work on. Pitch, intonation.
            —-
            Where do you see Jessica finishing? Or where do you hope she finishes? Because she is not going to make the top 3 unless she does things differently. And we are getting to that point in the season where some hard choices have to be made. What do you think she needs to do to oust Alex, Jena, or Caleb? Because that’s not about the judges. It’s about you making a choice. Stop blaming the judges.

        • Tom22 says:

          I thought Jessica did a pretty good job and better and/or equal to a couple others but I also think that Harry was spot on with his advice and criticism.. she does need a lot of help rhythmically and he didn’t mean that she should actually dance on stage but her body and mind should be filled with the surging rhythms of the song… still she did a good job in many ways.
          .
          It isn’t the format but I really wish the comments from the judges could be coming at rehearsals where they could do direct good and demonstrate . That thumping on the desk Harry did was spot on.. although I’m sure it went over many peoples heads (and perhaps jessica’s) what was so different about it. People do hear the difference between Miranda and Jessica but somehow they key in on the ability to sing notes, not phrasing, pocket etc. that are every-bit as much as what it takes to be a singer just as playing the notes on a saxophone is only part of being a great saxophone player.

          • PGV says:

            I hear you Tom22, but Sam had absolutely no rhythm either when he tried going without his guitar, yet didn’t receive the same criticism as Jess received tonight. And he’s had phrasing issues as well! At least Jess is trying to step out of her comfort zone, to show the judges she Wants to improve, while Sam simply went back to hiding behind his guitar. The lack of Any praise or encouraging words for Jess, while Sam, and Especially CJ, continue to be nurtured for any slight improvement on their issues, is maddening! And their issues are, imho, worse than Jess’.

          • Tom22 says:

            No arguments from me PGV .. Jess wasn’t bad.. just had room to go farther.. Sam.. well, .. er. I’m with you : )

          • Tom22 says:

            darn, no edit button.. I Jess deserved more praise than she got relative to the others(what she got was nearly all criticism.. as you said), although I personally thoughy CJs was super. In my mind he could have actually deserved more praise. I’ve heard how people that don’t appreciate certain things he does.. well they don’t appreciate or even see what those who like him think is pretty special.

          • tealeaves says:

            I thought CJ was good tonight. Actually, I usually enjoy CJ’s performances. But then JLo said she could see that he is starting to believe he could win this thing… If CJ wins this thing I will eat my hat.

          • Tee says:

            Finally someone in the comments is not just poor Jess ! The girl has no rhythm walk off beat to the song, move her arm off beat to the song and has a dead face. Her vocal are consistent
            But she is not just boring but uncomfortable to watch. But did anyone see her get mad and try to walk off the stage but dexter wouldn’t move. When she couldn’t get dexter to move she went around him even thought Ryan was saying to stay in place. If not for the 2girl sticking their hands out when she passed by it would have been real awkward.

          • PGV says:

            I’ve loved CJ’s emotional connection to every song he’s sung from the start. His performances, as JLo has said, tug at my heart. He is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to that!! But… I’ve grown tired of his inability to sing an entire song without a lot of intonation or pitch issues. Some nights I’ve hit the mute button it’s so bad. His solo tonight was clearly his best effort! However, he still hit some wonky notes. His vocal effort with the trio was pretty bad. What bothers me, is that Harry seems to have given up on critiquing CJ about intonation/pitch issues, that he’s said are fixable, yet he continues to pound Jess about her issues, even though she’s improved! They seem to critique some on a different grading curve. All I ask is that they critique everyone on the same curve! Personally, if Jess makes it through this week, I hope she just goes back to playing guitar behind a microphone. Not every successful singer can or needs to move around the stage! But, I would still like to see her be as emotionally “connected” with covers as she was with her original song. That was a great performance!

          • Tommyo2000 says:

            They are being far more harsh on her than other:

            Critcism of her song last night was harsher than on anybody else. Subjective, yes, but still very apparent

            Harry pans the trio, badly, and Keith chimes in but the guys sounded good … so what does that say be inference….. Jessica your the one who sucked …

            Harry with the Sam song choice …. ” Im not sure if that was the best song” … at three different times they took a direct or indirect shot at her …

            I dont think anybody else suffered that …

    • JM says:

      Haven’t they mostly given the pimp spot to either Caleb or Jena??

    • OhMy says:

      Not sure about the “A” for Caleb. He can sing, he has such a thin voice that it’s rarely pleasant to listen to — tonight esp.

    • Tom22 says:

      You guys should check out the studio recordings. My order of preference both live and in studio is different than @names .. I’d put CJ and Alex at the top and call them impressive performances, and Jena and Caleb and Jess in the next group — sorta a no judgement on Dexter … no complaints but forgettable and I’d say, Sam did the least for me… someone needs to get the kid really angry or sad or something to put some fire in him .. I can see a fire lurking behind those eyes… (tell us how we’re all wrong about the world Sam! either the good we’re missing or the ways things are screwed up or both but no indifference ! )
      ….
      Anyway, the studio recordings were at a pretty high level.. and while I thought the live arrangements were very good with some very good musician participation, the band was really incredible on the studio recordings.
      .
      I wonder if they held back a bit …. wondering if the versions in the studio were a bit too sophisticated? … or it just could be its harder to keep subtle parts of the artistry slicing the time in half and needing to build up more quickly.. probably the time issue.
      .
      The drummer in the studio was really insanely good. As was the rhythm guitar and Ricky minor on the bass … and that lead guitar player listens so carefully to the singers and mimics(in an abstract but derivative way) and compliments their styles with such artistry its pretty impressive.. but they need to give him something to work from….and those that do are apparent… he won’t step all over a singer with a different feel of his own.
      .
      But back to the studio drummer I was so impressed by… you really could distinguish between the quality of the contestants by listening to those that could take that foundation and energy the drummer gave (and certainly all the rhythm section was driving equally well in the studio with their own grace in sync with the drummer that I noticed particularly.. and.. for those that don’t hear the drummer.. it doesn’t take flamboyance but subtle timing and chosen kicks and accents to have a great drummer.. one stroke a bar can even do it sometimes.

      • Tom22 says:

        Man, that might have come off like I didn’t like the live arrangements.. I loved them.. just put an extra cherry on top for the studio takes….

    • Don’t cut the shorter. For one freakin’ time, give the kids 2 minutes … or 2:30.

  8. IMHO says:

    Wasn’t it interesting that basically everybody got to pick a song for somebody else, besides Jena? Wasn’t it interesting that the only person who was told they were given a bad song was Sam (chosen by Jessica). Isn’t it interesting that Harry Connick gives more lucid, less goofy critiques when he is obviously sick as a dog? Isn’t it?

    • Danny says:

      @IMHO- Nice catch. I noticed Caleb got to pick 2 songs, and was trying to figure out who didn’t pick one. So thanks. I noticed Jess got slammed on Sam’s choice too. The only thing you didn’t cover is Harry still kisses as much backside as ever when he’s sick. Whatever he had, I hope it’s contagious and fatal.

      • The Orginal Lemon says:

        Each contestant gave a song rec to the other 6. From those, the contestant was able to choose the song they wanted. That’s how this worked. If 2 contestants picked Caleb’s choices, it’s because Caleb knows what he’s doing.

        • IMHO says:

          Yes, I am sure that is exactly how it worked. I am sure there was no nudge, nudge, wink, wink, pick this one going on.

        • Lynn says:

          Either that or Caleb knows that he’s mommy and daddy’s favorite and therefore doesn’t feel threatened by the other contestants. I’m kidding. Kind of. Maybe not.

        • The Beach says:

          That was my take also on how it worked. HOWEVER, you know they were all letting each other know what songs they would like to have on their list to choose from.

      • Jordana says:

        As expected you have finally lost it……..go to bed, get up early and promptly seek therapy

      • Forwardad says:

        @danny you hope whatever HCJ has you wish to be fatal? Dude it’s a reality show. No need to wish death on a judge. :-(

  9. Lourdes says:

    Annie Barrett’s now on TVLine???

  10. Michelle says:

    wasn’t surprised at all about the negative comments jess got-the minute she walked out JLo was giving concerned prune face-basically before the performance kicked off

    • Jase says:

      And they didn’t even clap for her. They just sat there stone-faced. Even though they clap for SAM all the.

      • Tom22 says:

        look at the expressions on the judges faces.. particularly Keiths when Sam was singing.. body posture and facial tension doesn’t lie.. he was bored to all hell during Sams song.. to the point of almost cringing.. then he comes out postive on it? Ok .. maybe my read of body language was wrong.. I don’t see why he’d lie with his comments……….

        • Mary says:

          I agree that is why I like them panning to the judges, a picture is worth a thousand words. Keith was right Sam isn’t going to change in the amount of time the show is on. CJ isn’t going to correct his pitch problem – yes auto tune does in studio – but I really think at this stage nothing the judges say will help them. I think that is one reason why they don’t get on them about it, we all know America will vote extra hard to keep the one getting bussed in the game. I really think they are helping Jessica because truthfully I think they recognize her talent but she has to get out of the one room dive bars mind set if she wants to make it in the business.

          • karyn says:

            I’d like to think the judge’s were trying to do Jess a favor by over-critiquing her (b/c I think HCJ and Keith are nice guys) but they are almost beating her down. Her performance level has been declining b/c they insist she has to move around (when they don’t insist on this re Sam or CJ) and she is becoming more self-conscious and awkward rather than improving. She did not seem nearly this stiff when they just let her do what she was comfortable doing.

    • JM says:

      You’re right. Beat up on Jess. More same ol’, same ol’…

      • Fancy says:

        It makes me so sad to see the abuse Jess gets every single week! Why the hell can’t she just stand there with a guitar lie Sam and Alex do? It’s her style. I think she is so off every week, because she knows no matter how hard she tries, they are gonna bash her. I feel like if one judge would just give her a bit of praise to hold on, she would get some confidence and kill it! Her voice blew the boys away in the trio song. Poor thing!!

        • MamaLis says:

          Look, as it’s been said earlier, Jessica needs that feedback.
          |
          At someone’s suggestion, I went on youtube last week and listened to some of her originals. She IS a really great songwriter. When she’s sitting in her studio, singing into FaceTime, she sounds great!
          |
          But then I landed on a couple of her “bar gigs.” NOT so good. There’s a reason she’s got a great voice and great songs and she’s still “stuck” in dives. Her “live” performances were dull as dirt and even uncomfortable to watch!
          |
          It also made me wonder: Why DOESN’T she have a band? She’s always standing with the backdrop of someone else’s band behind her, why doesn’t she have one?? It would help, a LOT. Bands take collaboration and team work and……. ??? I don’t know.

    • Tess says:

      I knew they were going to give her negative comments the moment Ryan threw it to commercial before the judges commented, and we saw the trio putting their heads together to discuss her. Two weeks in a row now if I’m not mistaken that they’ve gone to a commercial after she’s performed but before the judges have commented. I can’t help but wonder if they would’ve been as scathing had they not had time to conference first. The vocal was solid and she’s moving around the stage more like they asked her to (probably the most comfortable she’s looked up there really) and they can’t manage to find one nice thing to say to her? Everyone else gets an A for effort type of critique but she’s treated like the red-headed stepchild on this show and it’s really wrong.

    • Erin says:

      Didn’t someone suggest Coldplay’s Yellow for Jessica? I would loved to hear her tackle something like that: she could sit with a guitar and sing it. But true to this season’s form, she picked an artist and song she really loves and if you go for predictability, you better knock it outta the park.

  11. Knew something was up when the first sentence didn’t begin with ‘Haley Reinhart.’

    Can Annie please have a permanent spot on TVLine please?

  12. Liz says:

    Annie Barrettt!!!!! So happy to see you here!!!! So many exclaimation points I know, but it made me so sad that you were not going to be at EW anymore. You and Sklezak are kindred spirits for sure. Hope you have found a new home here. Good luck

    • Girl in MD says:

      Yay even thought I love me some Slezak it’s nice to see Annie being picked up so quickly!!
      Annie you are awesome glad to see you on TVLINE can’t wait for your full recap :-)

  13. Phan says:

    I should have known it wasn’t Slezak considering there weren’t eighteen “+”s after Jena’s rating tonight. Does this mean no reality check this week? Have a good vacation, Slezak!

  14. Colin says:

    I’m not done yet, and my J.Cam count is 12, and the count of times special attention is given to her, or how much people love her, or how hot she is, is at 5.

    • cschermerhorn says:

      The final count was 15 J.Cams and the other count stayed at five.

    • Erin says:

      Can we also address how annoying and nasally Demi Lovato is? Who would give a rat’s crap for any advice or input she had to give? Please do not bring her back Idol, let her go the way of X-Factor.

  15. Michelle says:

    Jena and Caleb brought a small bit of magic to the show. But there is so much more to fix…

  16. JM says:

    I’m gonna let Simon Cowell do my critiqueing tonight:
    Simon: That was about as exciting as my wardrobe.
    The End.

  17. gracelessk says:

    I am so over the judges hate for Jessica. They pick on her every week, but they let the boys get by with subpar performances. It’s getting ridiculous! Jennifer’s feedback about her being shaky on the voice versus was absolutely absurd. There were definitely other problems with the performance, but that wasn’t one of them, which makes me think she had something negative planned to say prior to the show even starting. I’m not even asking for the judges to be nice to her, but at least be equally honest to the boys and your feedback to them as well.

    • Danny says:

      @grace- Well yea. Jessica doesn’t get to lip sync her songs like Lopez does. Of course she was shaky. Jessica also doesn’t have anyone to kiss her backside like Lopez does. Harry is obviously going to side with either plastic face Lopez or a 12 year old girl. That’s just the way he swings. Jessica has no chance.

      • Karen says:

        Do all of us a big favor and stop bashing Jennifer Lopez. Your nasty comments are bringing stink to this forum.

        • Danny says:

          If you like her, defend her and make a counter point. Trying to dictate what someone says isn’t going to work. She’s terrible in so many ways. Thanks for playing though.

        • Fancy says:

          How about she stop bashing Jessica? You know without autotune JLO would be a worse singer then Jessica, and I love Jess’ voice. JLO has a god complex and she needs to get the hell over herself!!

        • The Other Leah says:

          Danny seems to have a HUGE, unhealthy? obsession with hating Jennifer Lopez. It’s kind of disconcerting.

      • Pat says:

        you are a sick twisted freak who is not even worthy of pity

    • Owen says:

      If I were a conspiracy theorist, I think the judges want Jena to win. And as we know, there are just so many votes out there for women on the show. And to keep Jena there and not have to split the female votes they’ve decided Jess has to go. And believe me, they know the problems with the trio’s harmonies were NOT Jessica’s (or Dexter’s).

      • Danny says:

        @Owen- I hadn’t thought of that. I’m rooting for Jena and what you’re saying is as good an opinion as any other thought. I don’t want Jena winning like that though. I’d like to see a top 4 of Jena, Alex, Caleb, and Jessica. While I’m rooting for Jena because she’s from Michigan, I’d be fine if any of them won.

        • RB says:

          I think you are spot on Danny. That has been my top 4 for some weeks now. I think it will be Caleb and Jena in the last 2 (Jena narrowly beating Caleb out) and the 3/4 spots could go either way.

          I am sure the judges criticism of Jessica will eventually take its toll on her. With some encoragement it could have been an all girl finale.

      • karyn says:

        This is the best theory I’ve heard yet for why they are throwing Jessica under the bus. That would explain Haley too – they were determined to get Lauren Alaina into the final. FTR, I agree with folks above that Jessica isn’t quite in Haley’s league, but she’s much better than the critiques she’s getting.

  18. Blinged Up says:

    Annie, I like your grading. Agree!
    Alex and Jessie are my favorites this season.
    Thanks for filling in. Hope Slezak has a most wonderful vacation.

  19. S7 Fan says:

    Annie Barrett!!

  20. Davey says:

    I still don’t find Jena good at all. The screamer!

    • S7 Fan says:

      Same here, Davey. Sam got our 100 votes tonight, and we are not cute young girls. Hubby and I are in our 60s, and we love Sam’s voice. Okay, I love his face, too.

      • IMHO says:

        I would say I loved Jena’s voice and her in her tutu, as well. But since I am a dude, that would make me a weird pedo.

    • Vivi says:

      Jena’s voice makes me cringe. It’s not a pleasing sound to me ears. I try very hard to understand the hype. Each week I wipe the slate clean and tell myself, okay, give Jena a chance; this will be the night she wins me over. Nope. Hasn’t happened…yet.

      Nice girl with a goofy demeanor who respects the awesomeness that is Hayley Williams. But her voice? Nope.

      • Mary says:

        I feel that way about Alex. His voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. He might be creative but as a singer no not for me. I guess that what makes the word go round, different strokes for different folks.

  21. MAB says:

    If Creep by Jena was not an Idol moment than there is no such thing as Idol moments. She killed it. I also loved, loved Alex. He is the only one I would buy music from post Idol for sure. I love his style of music. I really like Jena also but I would have to see what her album is about before buying it. I love some of her stuff but not all of it.

    • Akash says:

      It was the best of the night because this season sucks and Jena is the best of the lot. But that was not a moment. Fantasia’s “Summertime”, Melinda Dolittle’s “My Funny Valentine”, David Cook’s “Always Be My Baby”, Adam Lambert’s “Mad World”, Candice Glover’s “Love Song” — THOSE were moments.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        In the context of this season: sure, Jena had a moment. But yeah, when you prop up her performance against some of the great Idol moments past, it comes up short. HOWEVER, she’s making so many strides that it gives me hope that we may yet have a real moment before the end of the season. This year is not a great year, but for me, Jena, Caleb, and Alex are finally emerging as genuinely good, rather than just good compared to the rest of this sorry bunch.

      • Davey says:

        Would add Kris Allen’s Heartless, Bo Bice singing a cappella In a Dream, Elliot Yamin’s A Song for You, Casey James’ Jealous Guy as other moments.

      • Mytake says:

        Don’t forget Adam lamberts Born To Be Wild. One of my all time favorites.

        • C says:

          One of Adam’s best that everyone seems to forget about was his incredible rendition of “Feelin’ Good” on Rat Pack night. It was right up there with “Mad World” and “Tracks of my Tears”. Dang….everything he did was a moment!

          • BrazenSongBird says:

            Don’t forget “Whole Lotta Love” When he strode downstage for that incredible vocal riff? I know he’s gay, but damn that boy is sexy!

    • Kaba says:

      Put her “Creep” up against all the moments in idol history. I’d daresay her’s is dead last.

    • +++++++ 100

      Jena had me out of my seat and my 13 year old telling to sit down. She is fantabulous.

      • MABu says:

        No matter what these kids do there are people on this blog that will not ever give them credit. Jena was incredible tonight and I liked it better than some of the so called idol moments that they said were better. Jena is not my favorite, Alex is and I can recognize when someone did an outstanding job. I am getting so tired of the negative on this blog. They called the show boring. We heard 10 songs in two hours. On The Voice there were 6 songs in two hours. I find The Voice so boring it took me three times on my DVR to get through it. I am really enjoying Idol and I thought this week was great but to each his own. Again I say if you hate the show so much than don’t watch it and please stop posting. I barely watch The Voice anymore so I don’t bother to go on those blogs. Some people must have nothing to do with there life if they can say I don’t watch Idol anymore I only watch some videos but yet have the time and energy to constantly come on this blog and rip the contestants and the show apart. It is people like this that is hurting the show the most and spoiling it for those who love it.

    • karyn says:

      It’s funny that I agree with you 100% re Alex and disagree re Jena. She’s not bad and did a really good job on Creep, but I don’t get the mad love for it. She prettied up things in the song that are meant to be gritty which mildly bugged me. But what bothered me most was that when she started “belting,” I heard only shouting and thought she lost control of her tone completely.

  22. Akash says:

    Why don’t the judges just pull a rope and drop a sandbag on Jessica right before she walks onstage each week?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Oh dear, you get a Made Me Laugh. :-)

    • tealeaves says:

      After the trio, I wondered if someone was going to say that CJ and Dexter did a good job, and just leave Jessica out of the praise. Then Keith did it! He specifically said it fit the guys voices particularly. WTH?! I have no idea why Demi was there tonight, but at least she helped save the day by then specifically saying Jessica had a beautiful voice (on the song).

      • Danny says:

        Tea- Yea, that was Demi’s best piece of judging in 2+ years. Keith’s comment reminded me of Randy’s a few years ago. It’s like he’s joining the parade to dump on Jess.

        • Mike says:

          I do think Demi was the saving grace from XFACTOR… Am I the only one on that? :( She judges with her emotions, I think lol, but I do think she’ll fare better on IDOL with HARRY than xfactor.. If JLO’s not coming back next season (yes there’ll be another season of Idol, I bet my round ass on that), who do you think should take her seat.. (Keep in mind that AI likes these 3judges together, including ME well, except for last week’s antics….. AND THEY ALL LIKE EACH OTHER so that may sway them to getting another season from these 3..)

        • Karen says:

          Danny, you drone on and on about how the judges treat Jess, yet you hurl misogynist comments about other artists. Why the hate? Who cares what you think about JLo or Demi?

          • Danny says:

            Karen- you apparently do. You took the time to comment. The fact is if you’re going to put yourself on public tv for people to watch, people are going to have opinions. Demi was so/so in her XFactor gig. Some good, some bad. That comment where she defended Jess was a plus comment. It was Keith who’s comment I compared to Randy. Demi is someone I didn’t care for. I wouldn’t call it dislike. Just not a fan. No real emotion one way or the other.

            As for Lopez, she makes it easy to not like her. I don’t like fake people, bullies, self centered people, and liars. She fits the bill on all accounts. For the 3 seasons she’s been on she’s done everything in her power to make the show about her. I’m not tuning in for her. I’m trying to tune in for the contestants. I’ll flat out admit I’m frustrated at how she’s basically ruining the show for me.
            The singing talent isn’t that bad IMO. There’s 4 pretty good singers I could enjoy a lot more if it wasn’t for her. So yea, I’m frustrated.

            I don’t like Harry either. I’m not sure if he’s drunk, on something or what. This I felt was starting even before last week. He’s been on a downward spiral. Last week topped it off though. That was flat out creepy.

        • Mary says:

          Or maybe he didn’t like the performance. I thought it sucked myself all three of them. There was a couple good parts, Jessica being the highlight, but it still was not good.

        • CaliGirl says:

          Exactly this … the moment Randy said everyone did a good job but Haley!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I noticed that as well, tealeaves! I nearly died.
        I like Lady Antebellum but “Compass” just isn’t a good song, IMO. The Band Perry’s song “Done” would have been much better.

        I liked Caleb and Jessica. I thought Alex did a very good job and I would put Jena in fourth place. Jena is incredibly talented but she’s just not quite my cup of tea for some reason.

        • darcy the slutty twin says:

          Mayhap it’s her affected singing style? Trying to sound vaguely British coupled with sore throat and a nasty case of nasal congestion.

  23. Lynn says:

    How can someone who does not sing in tune earn a B? John Mayer’s head is spinning.

  24. Jim says:

    Jena was not an A-! more like an A+!!! best of the season for me

    • Nedsdag says:

      She was screechy in some parts. I would’ve giving her a B+ because it sound like a female karaoke version. She didn’t bring anything new to the song.

  25. Adam Fachry says:

    Okay, is this really Slezak or not? I’m confused.

    Jena Irene. That’s all. Goodnight, everybody.

  26. NedPepper says:

    Annie! I don’t even care about Idol. Just glad to see you filling in for Slezak. Awesome. Hope you can get a steady gig here at TVLine.

  27. Miscellaneopolan says:

    Wow, the judges just LOATHE Jessica, don’t they? I mean, her rendition of ‘Gunpowder and Lead,’ while not the best performance of the night, certainly wasn’t the worst, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the judges slammed her. Honestly, Jessica brought more grit and life to the song than I thought she would, and she deserved some credit for the rearrangement at the beginning. And then the judges slammed her song choice for Sam AND singled her out as the weakest voice on the trio (J-Lo’s comment about it showcasing the guys vocals). Someone hates that girl.
    .
    Overall, definitely better than last week, although Jena, Alex, and Caleb are really the only ones I could just let myself enjoy without bracing for something to go wrong.

    • Akash says:

      Seriously. Jessica may lack stage presence but she has the second best voice of this pathetic lot (after Jena of course) and no way does she deserve the unkind, appalling treatment they give her each week. There is a contestant who never connects with lyrics and who looks uncomfortable every week onstage and his name is SAM (you know, the guy they freaking saved). Why don’t they save all their disinterest for him?

    • JM says:

      I noticed all three of those instances, too. Felt really bad for Jessica…

    • SarahNotSara says:

      And sadly I don’t think the Jessica bashing is going to result in a backlash. She’s good in this group but doesn’t have the firepower on stage (oblig Haley R ref lol) to make most of the audience and idol commenters get behind a wtf wave. That CJ is outlasting people is still bizarre – having one ok night doesn’t change the fact he’s consistently off key and dull.

      • Terry says:

        Agreed. Jessica’s criticism has been mostly warranted, Haley’s mostly was not. Sidebar: anyone notice this is the third song that Jessica has covered that that previously covered by Haley? If she does House of the Rising Sun next week…

      • Erin says:

        It’s just ridiculous to keep talking about Jessica’s movements when we have to cheer for CJ’s emotional face. Why don’t they urge CJ to move around to distract from his terrible pitch? Because a woman has to move about cutely while the men (CJ, Alex, Sam) can all just stand there??? WTH?

  28. Mark says:

    Caleb and Jena B+? Are you out of your Mind? That was a D- at best. The arrangement was terrible. It made no sense at all why bother if its only going to be 60 seconds?

  29. Scotty says:

    Honestly, I didn’t think anybody had a bad performance in terms of vocals. CJ & Sam did show improvement. Caleb, Dexter, & Alex, were good. Jena did a nice job with her performance. Honestly, the least satisfying performance to me was Jessica. She wasn’t bad but Keith was right. “Gunpowder & Lead” is a song about revenge & anger. Those emotions were not communicated at all in that performance. If the trends of the last few weeks are any indication, it will be CJ or Sam going home.
    One other thing. If the duets don’t matter, then they should not be judged. J

  30. Kaba says:

    Voted for Jess.
    Why? The judges were so hellbent on making sure she was the only one who received any real/harsh criticism tonight it was infuriating. Which isn’t to say I was in full disagreement with them, but it’s just great to see her actually start trying to perform as though she intends to win.
    Caleb is easy to forget when he’s early on.
    Dexter was the same old Dexter
    CJ was the best he’s ever been…still didn’t see it as enough
    I enjoyed Sam even though I figured I wouldn’t. He looks more into it…face-wise
    Jena….doubt I’ll ever board that train. I don’t care when she’s good any more than I care when she’s bad…if anything I’d say the performance/song that left the most impression on me was “The Scientist” oddly enough
    Alex….was whatever.

    The Jess bit isn’t even half of my annoyance with tonight.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      Jess may get some extra votes just because of the bashing; a backlash against the Judges has sometimes happened over the years. ……….. singing 2nd in the rotation puts her at a disadvantage already, though she was clearly the best singer in the Alabama Trio which did sing in the 2nd half of the show.

      • Kaba says:

        They went after her a lot tonight.
        First with her actual performance, then with Sam’s song choice, then the trio.
        They were practically about to run out of buses to throw the girl under.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I didn’t watch the episode, but I voted for CJ. Why? Because his songs are seriously the highlight of my week. They’re so damn funny!

      • Kaba says:

        I watched tonight with the expectation to entirely officially give up with the season (because last week was just THAT bad). I’ve had my faith refueled for one more week at best…let’s hope they don’t do what they do best and be consistently inconsistent and tank next week.
        Oh and __ (I refuse to say his name until he’s gone-zo) was fairly in tune tonight. That being said…I still don’t care for him nor want him to win.
        Nonetheless…__’s performances are terrible to the point where they’re funny.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Oh, they’re funny. Really funny. If I don’t have to work the following day, I’ll get plastered and watch them with friends. Just youtube and a bottle of cheap bourbon. We are howling with laughter at those.
          I’ve loved Jena since the top 40, and am glad to hear she’s doing well. She was my hands down fav. I’ll take a look at those performances tomorrow as I’m fading hard right now!

          • Kaba says:

            That is the most beautiful idea I’ve ever read. I might just take up that past-time myself.
            Yeah, Jena is slaying it right now. I’m not feeling it, but boy do I recognize when someone is just murdering the comp right now.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Just watched the performances. Ugh. I actually couldn’t even finish most of them. I was most bummed that CJ had a few correct notes. Where’s my joy for the week now? Jena was very good, but I kind of have to laugh at all these folks who are comparing it to Candice’s Love Song. No. Not so much. I’d say a more appropriate comparison would be Amber Holcomb’s A Moment Like This. Very very good but ultimately forgettable.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        So you’re the one behind his inexplicable stay! Hey, officers! I caught the culprit! :)

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          :) What can I say? Entertainment is entertainment, even if it’s for the wrong reasons. I think I’ve enjoyed watching his songs more than I have Candice Glover, Haley Reinhart or Adam Lambert. His song last week was hands down my favorite. I was almost crying I was laughing so hard.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I understand. And I won’t beat you up for it. That was just the reaction people gave me when I admitted I voted for Lazaro to make the Top 10 last year. (For the record, I never voted for him after that.)

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Lazaro honestly wasn’t that bad in the lead up to the finals. Not great, but bottom-of-the-bucket acceptable. Then he fell apart in the finals. Oh did he fall apart. The fact that he outlasted 4 vastly superior male vocalists is kind of shocking to me.
            And just when you thought we’d never hear a worse singer on Idol, season 13 presents us with CJ. That kid is a gold mine! I’m smiling from ear to ear even thinking about him. I’m sure he’s a wonderful person, but singing is not his thing.

        • The Beach says:

          Yeah, now we know where Vote For The Worst disappeared to. It’s Angie_

      • Name This Tune says:

        Angie, I have to admit that I have been doing the same for weeks. And for pretty much the same reason.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Fun, right? I just listened to his performance from last night. It was an F, but not as funny. I need last week’s levels of hilarity. Now THAT was funny!

          • MAB says:

            I really find it disturbing that people are voting for someone as a joke. It is a total disrespect to the other contestants and also to the one you are making fun of.
            I am beginning to think you have a deep seeded desire to destroy Idol. It is sad and not funny at all.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            MAB, seriously? Really? My 50 votes are destroying Idol? REALLY!?!?! I think Idol has done a fairly decent job destroying its own brand with this group in the final 13. They don’t need any help from me. He sucked from the get go, yet he’s going to be final 6. How is that my fault that he’s one of the 6 best on this horrific season? Blame the show, not me.

          • MAB says:

            But it is people like you who keep CJ ahead of more deserving contestants and then complain that he is still there and laugh about it. I’m sorry Angie but maybe there are others here that think what you do is funny or cute but I feel it is just nasty. From day one all you did was rip this season apart before it even had a chance. You claim you don’t watch the show only watch videos but yet knock every little thing you can. I don’t think the show is any where near as bad as you constantly say and as far as the contestants I think there are a few very talented kids who will do just fine once this season is over. I apologize for my rant but I really find the whole thing distasteful and mean.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            MAB, you’re factually incorrect. I was not ripping this season apart from day 1. I was really excited about it. And I kept going through the final 20, at which point everything fell apart. Once Sam and Majesty were declared the front runners, I think I was overcome with a feeling of “oh my, how the mighty fall.” How is that not giving it a chance? I spent more than half the season watching it until I realized it was beyond repair. It’s bloody awful. I saw your post that Jena’s Creep was the moment of the season. If that’s the moment of the season, God help us. It was good, it was actually very good, but is that really the best? Wow.
            And I still fail to understand how my 50 votes towards CJ makes me such an evil and nasty person. Obviously other people like him. He’s about to become final 6. And people buy that Katy Perry crap and she sings worse than CJ does.
            And you are correct. The season isn’t anywhere near as bad as I constantly say it is. Its 19 million times worse than I claim it is.

          • MAB says:

            Forget it Angie you missed the whole point. It is not your 50 votes it is your entire attitude. If you think that it is the most entertaining thing to poke fun at another human being and actually vote for him to keep him there so you can continue to laugh at him is a wonderful thing then I feel really sorry for you and anyone else who thinks the same way. For the record I never said Creep was the best performance of the season I said it was a moment. I am not alone with those feelings. Other bloggers has called it a moment.
            I am sorry I offended you, it is not my personality to be combative but it just hit a nerve with me. I am sure you are a nice person and would never think of laughing at someone if they knew who you were but the anymonity of the internet brings out the dark side of many of us.
            Let’s just put this to sleep. I feel the way I do and you feel the way you do.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Yeah, we’re never going to agree here. There’s nothing anyone can say that will ever convince me that this season is a total bust.
            And I fail to understand how putting these kids in this situation to begin with where they’re humiliating themselves week after week is not a far worse sin than sending 50 votes their way. If you really want to blame someone, blame the judges and the producers. Not me. That was far more sadistic than anything I’m doing.

          • Pat says:

            obviously you are a frustrated,vile drunk who is too wacked out to seek help….you seem like voice material, leave this forum as soon as possible….thank-you

    • Tommyo2000 says:

      Funny, I did the same thing, the first and only time I voted this year …

  31. JB says:

    ANNIE!!! I was seriously going to send a question to Ask Ausiello if he’d hire you now that you aren’t with EW anymore. So happy to see you here.

  32. claudia says:

    JLo has NO rhythm. That head bob thing she does doesn’t hit the beat. Not surprising – I don’t think autotuned “singers” necessarily have rhythm. And she does too much mugging for the camera.

    I didn’t think that song was good for Jessica but Harry is way too hard on her. He needs to be more even-handed with his critiques. My favorites tonight were Caleb, CJ, & Alex. I didn’t really like any of the duets/trio.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      when I seen the song spoilers, I knew this was not a good choice for Jessica. ……………..
      Harry is often over-critical as trying to rate everything against his idea of knock-out superstar levels where the band and singer have practiced the song 50 times and every note and nuance of the song is technically correct………………………………………………

      I have been to many concerts, and even some of the big names are not always right-on-the-money in some of their performances —- and will tend to just “mail-in” some of the songs they are famous for, with a low-energy delivery..

      • Name This Tune says:

        Well Guitar, mailing it in is fine if you know that you have another performance next week. But these guys don’t have that luxury. It is like the NFL playoffs. Win or go home. We’re getting to a place in the season when there’s very little room for a mistake. You bring it 100% or get the hell out of here.

  33. Marta says:

    Creep is the first iTunes version I’ve felt inclined to buy this year and it is spectacular! Just as good if not better than the live version (one of the great elements of that song is the build and she just didn’t have enough time live). Plus the studio version has a killer key change at the end that blew me away. Go buy it, Jena supporters!!

    • tvlover44 says:

      appreciate this detailed description – i was thinking about checking out the studio version, and you’ve convinced me.

  34. Carol says:

    I am over these judges never giving Jess credit and always looking to focus on any negative thing they can find. Once they finish busing her off the show I am done for good with this show. I can’t abide these judges after this. After 13 seasons, this hatchet-fest they have done on her is the last straw. I’ll just wait for her album while AI finishes burying itself.

  35. Stormy says:

    OMG! First what was up with JLo’s lipstick? it was like a lab experiment gone very wrong. Second, what a boring two hours. I’m not a fan of Caleb, but he’s the only one I’d give a passing grade. IMO Jessica may be in trouble because of her performance and her remarks about aliens could cost her Bible Belt votes. Several performances were nothing more than mumbles with one out of five words distinguishable as english. Third, It’s gotten to the point where I have to mute the TV when A$$hat [It's all about me] Harry gets started. This week goes into my top 10 worst Idol performance nights ever. This is only my opinion.

    • Karen says:

      Uh, I’ll take aliens over Jena peeing her pants. Could not erase that visual from my mind during her performance.

      • Stormy says:

        Yeah, she has no filters. But about Jess ,she’s my fave, and the creationists down south are going to be upset by the outer space reference. Think Vatican Vs Galileo.

    • karyn says:

      Surprised this is the only mention here about Jess’ alien comments. It was a silly thing to say b/c both the city folk and the country folk are going to lose respect for her – though she might pick up some votes from the fringe element. I thought Alex was quite good, Jena a close second and Jessica third. The rest I’ve already forgotten, though I didn’t think Caleb was bad at the time.

  36. GuitarBlue says:

    They will be disclosing a bottom 2, not a bottom 3 this week. I think someone from Alabama will be eliminated this week………………… while Alex, Caleb and Jena will all be safe, the other 4 are all at risk. .

  37. Annie and Michael reunited and it feels so good!!
    TV Line please make this happen!!!

  38. Wendy says:

    I swear if they make Demi Lovato a judge next season, I will never watch again. I believe she was the main reason most people stopped watching The X Factor.

    • claudia says:

      IMO Demi doesn’t have the cred to judge anyone. (Well neither does JLo but what can I say – she’s the “most beautiful woman in the world” & she loves her papi – obviously that makes her some kind of an authority.) I thought Demi was the worst judge on the X Factor…well, until Paulina came along.

    • Em says:

      I can’t imagine why she would want to, I mean talk about jumping from one sinking ship to another! But then again the “judges” on idol are grossly overpaid so hey who wouldn’t take it if offered.

  39. Melissa says:

    So glad to see Annie Barrett! Hope she’s a permanent fixture on TVLine.

  40. Kaba says:

    This night was tiresome, but thankfully not agonizing like last week. Just tiresome.
    Watching the show namedrop B list celebrity’s (at most) in what appeared to be some piss poor attempt to make the show appear relevant was just a bit much.
    The judges waiting till the top 7, after already using the save, to stress the living hell out of how important it is to actually draw the crowd and viewers in was pathetic. It really highlighted just how poorly this season is rounding out.
    And Demi Lovato must be intending to be next seasons judge because otherwise…why the hell was she there last night?

    • Danny says:

      Kaba- Talent wise they’ve got a B List Celebrity right in the middle of the judges table. It only makes sense to have a few B-listers as guests. For what it’s worth, Bradshaw and Rousey are A-listers in their fields. I’d never heard of that kid. I fully agree on Levato.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      With X-Factor now in the trash, very possible that Demi is on the short list for season 14. She would likely be a lower price tag than J. Lo., and has a younger following.

      • Kaba says:

        I’m fairly against her being a judge next season as I despised her all through Xfactor..though it was mentor-wise. So long as she’s only giving critique I can deal.
        It’d be a nice middle-finger to Simon and Xfactor considering the send off they gave her.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I wouldn’t mind that. As much as Jennifer has improved this year, I like Demi and her music, and I hear she was a good judge on “The X Factor.”

        • tealeaves says:

          She was not a good judge on X Factor. I don’t know where you heard that. She was likable. But as a coach she was all style over substance.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I think it was another commenter on MJ’s Big Blog, maybe they were in the minority. Or perhaps it was my little cousin, who is Demi Lovato’s biggest fan and actually watched X Factor after Season 1, unlike me.

      • Danny says:

        I’m not a fan of Demi, she’s miles ahead of Lopez though.

    • Erin says:

      Please no Demi Lovato. I just can’t stand singers with irritating speaking voices. That means you should sing, not talk. Easy peasy.

  41. Fran V says:

    Hi Annie!!! I hope this will be a regular gig.

    • Fran V says:

      To clarify, I meant the website. I do love Slezak. But perhaps you can sprinkle some Fringe Fairy dust around and find a home here.

    • Stormy says:

      I’d love for Annie to take over the recaps for Downton Abbey and/or Once Upon a Time.

  42. Danny says:

    If Jena had sang “Creepy” rather than “Creep” it could have been a full fledged dedication to Harry.

  43. LeahKittyS says:

    What is it with this season? Forgive the cliche, but it’s been a nonstop roller coaster going up and down. One week I’m really enjoying the show, the next I’m not plugged in at all, and so on and so forth. Everyone was so good tonight; of course Alex and Jena were the best, but Caleb rocked, Sam improved, and Jessica was once again denied the credit she deserves. As for who’s going home…I haven’t the slightest idea. I think the Golden 4 will still be safe, which means one of three men will be leaving us. But which one depends entirely on how motivated their fan bases are tonight. And how about those 5 facts behind the scenes of the small groups? I actually like those.

    • Stormy says:

      Where do I vote to send Harry home?

      • Kaba says:

        I feel like I’m losing sight in what he’s looking for in someone with star quality or just a star in general. With the way he praises something with one person then degrades another for the exact same, it’s hard to get a scope on what exactly he’s looking for.
        I understand that these people aren’t exactly all looking to be the same type of artist, but it would be nice if these judges had a baseline of expectations rather than tailoring their critique to the point where they’re contradicting themselves….
        Boy oh boy.

      • GuitarBlue says:

        Saw a TV guide mag on the news stands a couple weeks ago, front page: “How Harry Connick Jr. saved American Idol”. hmmmm … but then during Steven Tyler’s first year, there were magazine covers stating the same thing about him ……… as the ratings continued to slide.

      • Danny says:

        @Stormy- if ya want Harry to go home contact Pedophiles Anonymous.

        • Erin says:

          Please don’t write or joke about things like this. It dilutes the heinousness of pedophilia in general. Thanks.

          • Danny says:

            @Erin- Please quit trying to make like this is your board. If I’m not mistaken this isn’t your first attempt at dictating what gets written by others. The fact is Harry is creepy. I see the guy now and he’s got a Woody Allen vibe to him. That’s not a joke. I think the guy is disgusting. You’ll have to forgive me for not being PC enough for your tender eyes.

          • Erin says:

            @Danny: wow. You are mistaken because I have never criticized anything anyone has to write; I only agree or disagree respectfully. I appreciate everyone’s views and the discussions, that is why I like this board. Pedophilia is a serious crime and allegation and the term should not be used flippantly, IMO. I said “please” and “thanks” because of course you have every right to say whatever you want, and I still want to be respectful. I find it distasteful is all, just as I would find it distasteful to call someone retarded, although we have every right. I truly was not trying to bully or put you down, and sorry if that is how it came across.

          • The Other Leah says:

            I’m shocked. Someone here has a huge chip on his shoulder and he’d probably be better off if he stopped watching Idol. It obviously causes him a lot of negative emotions.

        • Jordana says:

          You need to be reported to TV LIne as a potential risk to people around you. If I knew where you lived I would call the local authorities!

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Hey, quit picking on my TV Line buddy. He hasn’t don’t anything wrong. He has every right to dislike Jennifer Lopez as a singer, a judge, or a person.

          • Mary says:

            @Leah, I think they are referring to Danny remark above which was distasteful.

        • Pat says:

          you are a primo coward with a keyboard

    • Danny says:

      I think Dexter’s gonna crack that Golden 4. I actually thought he was pretty good tonight and was enjoying his song until the camera showed Lopez. Then I got irritated and the song was ruined.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I think Dexter is the only one who could. But maybe not just yet. And I agree, I’m tired of the camera cutting to Jennifer in the middle of a song. Let the contestants have their moments, for pity’s sake.

  44. daisy5 says:

    Annie!!! Yay!
    I liked Caleb, Jessica, and Jena, but kept getting bored and didn’t make it through the whole show. I realize Jessica isn’t the most dynamic performer but it is obvious to me that while she is likely an introvert, she is very happy to be on the show .

    • Stormy says:

      I was bored enough to keep switching back and forth with American Pickers. An antique American Eagle weathervane was more interesting than this ep of idol. Maybe the sound system was faulty, but to my ear Dexter, CJ and Jena sounded like they were mumbling through a considerable portion of their performances.

  45. Kaba says:

    I honestly have no clue who is gonna go home tomorrow.
    My first inclination is to say __, but I’ve learned that hoping for __ to go home just makes them stay longer. I can’t imagine TPTB allowing Sam to take the cliff dive this week after the save just yet, nor did I think his performance warranted a send-off just yet. I fear for Jess because throwing people under the bus on this show has proven to get them [wrongfully] eliminated….
    I’ll go with Dexter.

    • Erin says:

      I have a bad feeling that Jessica will at least be in the bottom 3 if not booted. I feel like the judges are urging America to dislike her.

  46. Lisa says:

    Ok, here goes…

    The stick figures need to be replaced by actual performing. Yes, Jessica did move around a bit more, but unfortunately, her rhythmic lackings made it seem out of place. I found myself yelling at the tv “Move darn it!”, too much. With the song Caleb did, he should have been ALL over the stage. Ditto for Jessica. There are certain songs that it makes sense for them not to be all over the stage…CJ, Alex, Jena. Even in the duets/trio, there were many lost opportunities. It’s as though they are afraid that if they move it will ruin it, although it’s quite the opposite…it will enhance their performance.

    Jena’s song was by far the best of the night, with Alex right behind her. If you ask me, they should be the top 2. Jena’s voice is unique, and she knows how to use it. I consider Alex to be the dark horse.

    Karaoke boy needs to go home, as does the pretty puppet boy. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, maybe you haven’t been watching. I think that should be the bottom 2. As much as I like CJ, unfortunately, his predictability by staying planted square in the middle of his comfort zone, and not even slightly straying from it, should land him in the bottom 3. Although I think Dexter & Sam should go first.

    I really can’t make a lot of complaints about Caleb with the exception of the missed opportunities to really own the stage. He is consistent, although he really borders on screaming. I still don’t like the Jack Black type persona, but he still seems rather comfortable. I just can’t bring myself to vote for him, because sometimes it seems like he’s trying to hard to imitate.

    In conclusion, SOMEONE needs to own the stage. Right now, if any of the contestants did, they would probably run away with the competition, even with the worst song choice. It’s severely lacking, and everyone is practically begging for it.

  47. Adam Fachry says:

    Oh, pkay hust saw the Annie Barrett twitter account on the bottom of the post. I don’t know who she is but judging from the response, she was (or still is?) at EW and y’all seem tonlive her. Welcome, then.

    To me, this is another underwhelming night. The standouts tonight are just Jess and Jena. I agree with some of you that the jusges’ comments were the final nail in the coffin for their biased dislike towards Jess. Last week was understandable because she did have some problems. But this week, while not entirely spot-on, she did better than most of the contestants.

    Dexter went back to his boring self.

    Caleb was good but I don’t know, he lacks charm when singing a more contemporary song.

    Sam was pleasant but still a snoozefest.

    CJ was alright with the intonation problem not being so ubiquitous this week, though the growl sounded a bit affected.

    Alex was another case of pleasant but still a snoozefest (which he’s always been).

    Jena was amazing and I’d like to applaud her for fixing her lower register because it sounded much more crystal clear than ever. However, I wish the initial band arrangement was completely gone. I kind of wish, because of her voice, that she went with a trip-hop approach. I always wonder what Portishead would do with that song, and given the fact that RITD demonstrated Jena’s ability to go atmospheric, I was hoping she could bring that to Creep.

    Jess’ body language was still a bit awkward, and rhythmically, wasn’t as fiery as Skylar Laine’s rendition. But there’s an air of effortlessness to her vocal delivery. Her phrasing also sounded nonchalant yet menacing at the same time. Definitely didn’t deserve that much criticism.

  48. Nedsdag says:

    I thought the judges overpraised two contestants whose names will not be mentioned (*cough*Alex&Jena*cough*) and drove the bus over a contestant they desperately want out (alas, poor Jessica). Otherwise, it was your typical AI night, complete with B-List guest stars. And they wonder why reruns of Modern Family are beating it in the ratings.

  49. lla says:

    Yes they are really backing up over Jessica with the Idol bus. She hasa really good voice too. They just diss her every time. I don’t get it. Do they just want one girl left? At least she’s coming out of her comfort zone and moving around. When have Alex or Sam EVER done that during a performance? I don’t think CJ has either. But, if you’re female–they make you jump through all kinds of hoops on this show.

    It reminds me of season 10. They wanted Haley gone in the worst way. She could have been juggling and standing on her head singing–wouldn’t have been good enough for them. It’s like they only wanted one female– Lauren A –in the top 6/7.

  50. AI13 says:

    Based on tonight’s performance only . I am 100% sure that this should be the Rankings..
    1. Jena
    2. Alex
    3. Caleb
    4. Sam
    5. Jessica
    6. Dexter
    7. CJ

    I Love Jessica . actually she is my favorite. But i Know that she wont be in the bottom 3 because she has a large fan base..

    Bottom 2 Should be : CJ & Dexter
    I am starting to get scared if Sam will be in the bottom again because that means that his fans is decreasing again.

    I WANT CJ TO BE ELIMINATED. She should be the 13th place.

    • Kaba says:

      sssshhhhh
      Don’t say you want __ to be eliminated. It only makes him stronger.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        Lol yeah, “__ should go home.” Wait, when did I gear that statement before? Oh yes, during top 13, 12, 10 (11 was arguably good tbh), 9, 8, and 8 again. And look what happened? He’s still there. Don’t jinx it, people! Nevertheless, Dexter, Alex, Sam, and __ could go on whatever order and I could care less. Just as longas Caleb, Jena, and Jess are safe.