Reality Check: Are Idol's Judges Anti-Jessica? And Who Stumbled Harder -- Alex or Jena? Plus: Josh Rocks While Judges Go Mad on The Voice!

Brace yourselves: “It’s the most wrong episode of Reality Check ever!” Yep, that’s a direct quote from our producer Jason Averett, as my co-host Melinda Doolittle and I tackle Top 6 week of American Idol and the Top 12 performances on The Voice.

What, exactly, has us going off the rails (and howling with laughter while doing so)?

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* The Idol judges’ continued viciousness toward Jessica Meuse — no matter how well she performs. (Warning: Grumpy Cat could be harmed by Idol‘s Powers That Be if America doesn’t turn against the pink-haired rocker from Slapout, AL.)

* The insistence that teenager Sam Woolf grab the title of Season 13 heartthrob — even if every fiber of his being tells us it’s not something he wants.

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* The Voice coaches’ baffling, baffling song choices for a variety of contestants — which bring out the heretofore unseen conspiracy theorist in Melinda.

We tackle all these subjects and more, with a little help from our favorite Veep, Hannibal and Orphan Black characters. There’s even a suggested J.Lo song title, a Tyra Banks appreciation and one of Adam Levine’s most scathing critiques of all-time ever.

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

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

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219 Comments
  1. Lourdes says:

    Caleb is by far my favorite contestant on Idol and he gave two really great performances that night but I agreed with Keith. I think he should have picked a classic country song (possibly a ballad) for his second performance. I think that would have helped him stand out.

    You guys speak the truth!! This is the BEST episode of Reality Check ever. I don’t want to burn it, instead I want to keep it in my pocket and watch it when I’m having a really lousy day.

  2. ME says:

    Great Reality Check! It’s always best when you guys “stop being polite and start getting real”. I feel like reality check is my therapy after watching these shows, lol. The judges on AI do not like Jessica. JLo’s entire demeanor changes when she critiques her. And the song choices on the Voice this season are making it super boring. I’m already looking forward to next season even though there are some great singers on there.

  3. Emma says:

    The camera switching to the judges during the contestants performances is beyond infuriating. Especially knowing that they paid J-ho $17.5 million to come back. Just so she could “sing” that embarassingly bad song of hers, which I refuse to name, and have the camera on her more than the poor contestants. Seriously idol, are you just conceding that you picked really boring contestants this year so you’re not even going to keep the camera on them when they’re singing? Is that it?

    • Amy says:

      The camera switching to the judges during the contestants performances is beyond infuriating. Especially knowing that they paid J-ho $17.5 million to come back. Just so she could “sing” that embarassingly bad song of hers, which I refuse to name, and have the camera on her more than the poor contestants. <<<< THIS.

  4. joey says:

    The judges are hard on Jessica because she’s not that good. How ’bout that for an answer?

  5. joey says:

    Idol is 20 minutes of singing, 40 minutes of commercials, and 60 minutes of other stuff. The show’s over. Greed killed it.
    .

    I didn’t watch the show for 13 seasons because I wanted to watch J Lo, or grumpy cat or Demi Lovato, or whatever. I wanted to see singing. I wanted to see the contestants interact with each other. I wanted to get to know them. I wanted them to discover a star. I watched them accomplish that with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood and others. Get back to that, Idol.
    .

    Idol, you are done. Greed killed you.

    • wingsstef says:

      Ha. This is the first season I watched this long in a few years, but I agree on all the extra “blah blah”. That’s usually when I turn to the ball game or something.

    • Amy says:

      “I didn’t watch the show for 13 seasons because I wanted to watch J Lo, or grumpy cat or Demi Lovato, or whatever. I wanted to see singing. I wanted to see the contestants interact with each other. I wanted to get to know them. I wanted them to discover a star. I watched them accomplish that with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood and others.”
      Get back to that, Idol. <<<<AND THAT.

  6. GuitarBlue says:

    News about “The Voice”

    Update 2: At 9AM Tuesday

    The iTunes Top 100 Chart (Overall Chart)

    5. Hold On, We’re Going Home – Christina Grimmie
    25. Let Her Go – Kristen Merlin
    33. You Lie – Audra McLaughlin
    39. Landslide – Kat Perkins
    40. This Is It – Josh Kaufman
    46. Run – Jake Worthington
    76. Oh Sherrie – Sisaundra Lewis
    82. Stay With Me – Josh Kaufman (previous performance)
    87. Bright Lights – Delvin Choice

    The top 8 of this show will all be good singers and performers. Cutting from top 10 to 8 tonight I think.

    • Emma says:

      Well then I guess Bria and Tess are in the bottom 3 for sure, wonder who will be joining them. If it’s Josh or Jake I have to believe they would be saved over Bria or Tess. But if it’s Delvin or Sisaundra I’m not so sure. Although it would be a travesty is Sisaundra left before either Bria or Tess. #Beastmaster #Voicesave

      • GuitarBlue says:

        They pulled Bria away from her wheelhouse and then gave her a pretty weak review on what she did, which was “Trying something new, expanding”. – didn’t work. She did great on the song, but it was not the right choice. itunes downloads count as votes, so doesn’t look the greatest for Tess or Bria right now.. .

  7. wingsstef says:

    Agree they are unfairly critiquing Jessica. However, I don’t think Jena stumbled last week.

  8. Jessica says:

    The judges are tough on Jessica b/c they know she has it in her to do better- Alex and Sam can’t (well Sam did show that anger a bit that was good). Well at this point I wonder if Jessica can do better. It’s not out of them being vindictive. Jessica isn’t getting the votes b/c of the judges comments but b/c the voters may be in agreement that it is hard to watch her perform. That’s the last I go into that since now I feel like a broken record. “I tooch myself” -very very funny! :)

    • HTGR says:

      Not that whole we are only tough on you because we know you are the one who is better is just code for we are busing you. (don’t forget that if that really was true, then they would not have said that Jessica clearly belonged in the bottom two last week and that all of the other four had really done a lot to jump ahead of her)

  9. Rachel Hill says:

    He’s right about not enough cameras on the contestants. When CJ was leaving and singing, I wanted to see if my Facebook pic was going to be up there, instead we were looking at the crowd and JLo. Come on!

  10. Amy says:

    It’s really become the J.Lo show this year. If she’s back next year and if it’s same as this..I’ll probably tune out. I see my viewing habits lessoning already for the first time since I became a regular viewer Season 5, and a Super Loony, Season 7. Now if I miss a bit I sometimes don’t even go view the whole show On Demand the next day. I might just YouTube any contestants I’m interested in…or not. It’s so disconnected now, the contestants’ story arc, with all the junk/filler of the show, that I’m more disconnected. Has nothing to do with the contestants this year or level of talent…there is talent there, even though no one I’m invested in like other years. But the show is really annoying to watch now, and the JLo shots are grating on me, because they just get in the way…the focus is totally shifted on her, not on the contestant…and that just really takes away any connection, emotional impact of any performance for me.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      Bringing J. Lo back has not helped the show itself or the ratings to date….. Fox exec,s and TPTB made another big mistake, just like they did by bringing-in Mariah and Nikki last year, when ratings dropped in double digits. I have to wonder if J. Lo and Randy might have a lot of financial interest/holdings in this production and are working the system by favoring themselves in to the show with big money contracts. Don’t know, but also don’t know why they are in the mix at all. . Randy was Mariah Carey’s agent when she was signed to a big contract – is what I seen on some Idol news at the time anyway.

      • Emma says:

        I’ll never understand why they brought her back. She’s the main reason a huge chunk of their audience abandoned the show after season 10. Makes no sense whatsoever that they would pay her so much to come back. The good news/bad news is that she won’t be back next year because of the drastic drop in ratings this year they can no longer afford her ridiculous salary.

        • HTGR says:

          +1 She cost them a ton of money and obviously did nothing to help the ratings and may have even hurt. I know almost all of my friends quit after S10 and as soon as I saw JLo back it just brought back the feeling that getting rid of Nigel meant nothing, they didn’t see the shenanigans as the issue. I skipped basically all of this season until the last two weeks.

  11. Jan says:

    I’m devastated! The sound isn’t working for me on this week’s Reality Check! Don’t TPTB know I live for these discussions between Michael & Melinda?

    • ara says:

      You seem to be the only one with the problem. Maybe Youtube was down for you at the time. Hope you get to watch it. It’s hilarious!

  12. Beth T says:

    SO glad Reality Check is back! I was howling with this one – I really needed to laugh, so many thanks. :D

  13. DeeKayTee says:

    Dear Michael & Melinda,
    I’m feeling like AI and The Voice should get equal time on Reality Check. I love watching you two recap the episodes but honestly I pretty much only watch for The Voice recaps and to be fair to us Voice watchers out here I think splitting the time 50/50 would be best. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    DeeKayTee

  14. Stormy says:

    I’ve just seen tonight’s song list and It’s gonna be a crap shoot. Sam will be OK, but I think Jena and Caleb are dicey for different reasons. We’ll see.

  15. bill says:

    ple ase please please get rid of harry he is bringing your show down and I mean down

  16. Diane says:

    This whole season sucks .The contestants are some good singers but all of them are lifeless .Past seasons contestants performed with dancing in groups and this year they stand and deliver , it’s not enough. I stopped watching and so has all my family.

  17. Jill Moya says:

    When I saw Grumpy Cat’s face, I immediately thought of Alex and Jess! I thought they were mocking them… Honestly. Thing is, at least the cat has a personality.

  18. Jill Moya says:

    The shows on Wednesday should be 1 hour tops, since there’s only 5 singers remaining. 2 hrs……WHAT A WASTE!

  19. Jill Moya says:

    Jessica needs to be SLAPPED OUT of the competition!

  20. Maryann says:

    I am disgusted with Idol this year. Week after week the judges bash Jessica. Seems nothing she does is right. Her voice is beautiful. Would love to hear her sing with Stevie Nicks. THEN week after week they praise Gina, jena or whatever she calls herself. She screams, she doesnt sing, shes fake, a poser. Alex, cluthches his guitar, tapes his foot like he has to take a piss…..Yet the judges still diss Jessica…..Yet when Gina sings Keith and Harry practically come in their pants…..and JlO well……. shes just a JEALOUS OF JESSICA…

  21. Sherry says:

    Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez laugh at Jessica Meuses’ talent.
    Voice judges would never do that!!!!!!!!! Sad for them.She is very talented and H.Connick Jr.
    Knows it and gives her encouragement. It has to be very hard for her onstage knowing how those 2 judges will react. Keith can play but his singing is not always good. Jennifer is getting older and her lips are different, is that why she is laughing?
    Get Off of nat’l t.v. If you will poke fun at our talented young people. We need encouragement for our young people and you 2 are poor mentors. Sad for you.

  22. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Slezak and Melinda, this has to be one of your best efforts ever! I am going to start campaigning for Jennifer Lopez’s next album to be titled, “Queen of Tooch”, or however that’s spelled.
    Great critiques, both of you.
    I am beginning to wonder if these judges are judging on a curve or something. That’s my only explanation. This is reminding me of the “Haley” season all over again where Haley was knocking it out of the park and getting faint praise and tons of criticism, while other mediocre contestants were getting praise about the way they looked and accolades for moderately good performances.
    .
    Are the judges really jerks? Are they really trying to get rid of Jessica? Or do they expect more from Jessica so they’re harder on her, much like parents are sometimes harder on and expect more from the smarter, more talented children (not that I’m bitter or anything). Are they going easy on Sam hoping they’ll turn him into what they want to see? Are they going harder on Jessica hoping she’ll magically turn into some sort of cross between Reba McEntire and Madonna? Are they leaving Alex alone because they just figure that’s what he is and no amount of criticism is going to change that?
    And why are they not calling Jena out on her mediocre performances? is it because they want her to win because she’s the most marketable?
    Anyone out there got a crystal ball?

    • Diane says:

      I’ve watched American Idol since Rubin won. I ‘ve seen good people go and non-singers stay. This year takes the cake. Jessica can sing , she just doesn’t move to the beat of her own singing. BUT SHE CAN SING ! I’m no longer a fan. The voice has my attention but something isn’t kosher there either. Blake has all 3 of his performers , someone needs to go home on his team and we know who he is.I think I’ll stick to movies and news.

  23. Jut says:

    Late comment here, but thank god for this forum. I don’t always agree w/ Slezak and/or Melinda, (i.e., I just don’t get the Alex devotion. He is hit or miss.) But I really appreciate their ability to pinpoint exactly what is phony, irritating (and vaguely sexist) about both Idol and The Voice. I especially appreciate this humorous way of responding to the crap dished out by the judges who have clearly been co-opted by a corporate machine that presumes American spectators are morons. (The only person I believe is Shakira, even though she makes mistakes w/song choices.) It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one screaming at my TV about the ill treatment of Jessica, the Sam bathos (so glad his time is finally up…nice boy, but seriously), the CONSTANT panning to J-Lo’s puffed up lips) — yes, now they do show Keith and Harry as well, but J-Lo wins. I’m beginning to keep track of when the camera switch occurs — I swear it is at the exact same beat every single week.

  24. Mary says:

    I think the judges don’t like Jessica. She sings every song perfect. This is not a dance contest. Her voice is what counts. She certainly has the best voice. They are terrible judges.
    I wish Simon, and Paula were back. People who know what they are talking about-Talent.

  25. Patricia Wittman says:

    Jessica is so lacking warmth. She isn’t someone I would pay to see or hear. She got on my bad side during Hollywood group week. She just thought she was so above the rest of the group. I haven’t seen anything to change my mind. She is a decent singer, she is not star material.

  26. Patricia Wittman says:

    This panel of judges are entertaining and can have a little fun. They are probably the best since the early years. I had to stop watching when Minaj and Mariah were on. That was awful.

  27. dougszymanik says:

    harry wanted jess too dance at home not on stage,but ,jaylo,wants ,release it ,jump act like a nut ,we will cheer ..bottom line is at the end when jena invited caleb to prom ,jena says we both are into s&m darkened,why .

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