Reality Check: Did American Idol Just Wrap Its 'Worst Season Ever'? Plus: The Voice Gets a Happy Ending, and J.Lo's Vocals 'Explained'!

Everyone take a deep, cleansing breath. American Idol and The Voice have wrapped their respective seasons, and whether or not you’re delighted with the results, there’s oh so much to discuss. (Idol fans, in particular, should stick around to the very end of this video.)

On this week’s Reality Check, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I debate whether the recently wrapped incarnation of American Idol has earned the blogosphere-approved description as “the worst season ever.” Along the way, we come up with some simple solutions that could help restore some glory to The Tattered Mansion That Kelly Clarkson Might Be Afraid to Visit, draw uncomfortable comparisons between Idol and the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, and deliver some youth-approved hashtags you’ll want to add to your social-media conversations. #KindOfFunnyMostlySad #HugeBalls

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Plus, we close our Reality Check season with our executive producer Jason Averett’s almost certainly accurate theory about judge Jennifer Lopez’s performance of “True Colors” during the Season 13 finale.

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We also dish Josh Kaufman’s surprising (yet delightful) triumph on Season 6 of The Voice — and tackle the inevitable topic of whether that show’s finalist Christina Grimmie or Idol‘s Jena Irene won the battle of the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” covers last week.

Press play below for the full Reality Check experience, and follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV for all my Idol– and Voice-related posts, including upcoming interviews with CALEB JOHNSON, JENA IRENE and ALEX PRESTON, plus recaps this summer of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, RISING STAR, MISTRESSES and more!

American Idol: 30 Best Performances of All Time

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

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  1. Alice says:

    Melinda singing <3

    • Chris says:

      Melinda is perfection. Well… .except for the fact that she didn’t see it coming when Christina Grimmie came in 3rd place. Come on. Christina had to win the Twitter Save to even be in the finale! There was never any doubt that the victor would be either Josh or Jake.

    • Ricardo says:

      Ok so its not just me. I agree with the thoughts expressed in this video. Jena should have won. End of story. She writes her own songs she has the potential of a Clarkson. End of story.

  2. Riana says:

    Lee DeWyze. That is all.

    • Stacie says:

      That year was a mess with the contestants they had, with Ellen Degeneres, with Kara, it was just a crazy weird season. I think the worst seasons in terms of contestants and judges and everything with production are Season 9, this season, and probably a distant third is Season 6 . I love Jordin Sparks as the winner and obviously Melinda, but that season with Blake Lewis in the finale and not Melinda and you had Sanjaya in there. Not so great. Last season was a mess with the judges but those Final 5 girls were all pretty brilliant, so I can’t take it away from them. It’d be interesting to rank all of the seasons and see where they land.

      • jenna says:

        melinda not being in the finale was single-handedly the moment where american idol stopped being appointment tv for me

        • Davey says:

          Agree. The season with Elliot Yamin not in the final was also bad because of Taylor Hicks.

        • Jill Moya says:

          If Melinda hadn’t looked like SHREK, she would have won! Melinda was so great, I never complained about her looks! Sparks got lowest votes one week and they refused to let her go! Second place BLAKE wasn’t good at all!

      • Season 9. Anyone remember Tim Urban? He cracked me up because one of the judges said no matter how bad their criticism was he just always smiled! I kinda liked him! I just went and looked at a recent picture of him. He has grown up!

    • Pop Culture Bystander says:

      My daughter Roksana was a baby during that season, and I called her Roksie Roksie Bowersoxie.

  3. Molly says:

    Nope, the worst season ever was the one where Lee Dewyze won, and they had Katie Stevens and Crystal Bowersox (who was good but is not even close to a mass market artist on a show aimed at finding those) and that one kid who was good looking but not that great of a singer whose name I forget. There were really solid contestants before they narrowed it down to the top 12, but after they inexplicably cut them all it was embarrassing.

    • Jill Moy says:


      You are right about Lee! I liked Bowersox. Picked her to win from start that year! Maybe Lee was bad but throughout the season the talent overall was better! This year had some standouts these crappy judges didn’t recognize as talent! Harry needs to listen to his own mumbling diction before he complains about others! I went on You Tube and I heard Harry from late 80’s there mid 90’s. He was excellent. Now he stinks! His performances this year on the show were horrible….one could hardly hear him or understand him!

    • actually Lee Dewyze is doing great, listen to his new album it is great! I never hear anything about Crystal Bowersox.

    • Fran says:

      Lee WHO?????

  4. Davey says:

    Hmm…season 9 had Casey James who did the killer John Lennon song and has gone on to record and there was also Siobhan Magnus who was interesting. Last season wasn’t exactly something to write home about.

  5. Dee says:

    You guys always kill me with the clips you use!! Idol just need to go away!! It’s way past its prime!! I could easily rattle off the 6 winners of The Voice before I even try to remember who the hell won Idol! I do wish so much time wasn’t spent on Idol. Should have been more balanced! I thought the same thing about Josh and the Adele song Melinda! Adam signing Christina means nothing…he signed Tony Lucca and no music ever was produced and Tony has since moved on.

    • Keith says:

      Just don’t watch and it is gone.Get the remote and watch something you like

    • Meg says:

      Tony released a 5 song EP under 222 Records. There’s a YouTube video by Tony explaining what happened with 222.

    • tealeaves says:

      Who won Idol? Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson.
      Who came in second on Idol? Justin Guarine, Clay Aiken, Diana DiGuarmo (I think), Bo Bice, Katharine McPhee, Blake Lewis, David Archuleta, Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox, Lauren Alaina, Jessica Sanchez, Kree Harrison, Jena Irene.
      Who came in third on Idol? Okay, this is where things get fuzzy for the early years. But if I looked up the names I am sure I would recognize the names and I might even know at least one song they performed on the show. I could still name, off the top of my head, all the third place finishers since season 5. That list includes Elliott Yamin, Melinda Doolittle, Haley Reinhart, and Joshua Ledet.

  6. CMG says:

    Awww…. you guys aren’t going to cover Rising Star? :D

  7. Kate says:

    Ha, everyone had the exact same reaction as I did. The debacle of season 9 reigns supreme. Just imagine how much worse it would have been if Seacrest hadn’t cornered Crystal in a parking lot and convinced her not to quit.

    To me the most disappointing thing about this season was that it started with so much promise and steadily rolled downhill, rather than starting low and staying there (apologies to all the High School Student Aaron Kelly fans.

  8. Rissa says:

    I love the irony of J-Lo using auto-tune for a song about being yourself and embracing your “flaws”.

  9. Name This Tune says:

    One more suggestion for Season 14.

    No guitars

  10. Mike says:

    Did anyone see Christina coming in third? Yes, Adam Levine. Why do you think he offered her the contract at the beginning of the show?

    • Jake took second once again cause of the Southern Vote. As true with Caleb. Lets not forget North Carolina where Caleb is from. Other contestants also from North Carolina are; Daughtry, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Clay Aiken, Ruebin Stoddard, Scotty McCreery, Anoop Desai, Kelly Pickler, Bucky Covington, and Majesty Rose all From North Carolina. Caleb is their third winner. NO female from the Northern part has won. But I find it amazing they are all from North Carolina. What is in the Drinking water down there? WOW!!!!!! As for jake on the voice, I dont remember where he is from, but it is the southern vote that got him to second place.

      • My advice to anyone auditioning for american idol, WATCH OUT for the other contestants from North Carolina! LOL If anyone is wondering about where I got the information about all those contestants being from North Carolina, it was in an article in a North Carolina News, saying how proud their state is to have 3 winners and so many outstanding contestants. Im from Oregon and anyone that has gotten a golden ticket from here did not last 2 days! LOL

        • Jessamine says:

          Yes, NC has a very robust music scene. This year, however, the local news didn’t focus that much on the contestants (I live in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area known as the Triangle). Majesty Rose is from Goldsboro, which is in the viewing area, but she wasn’t shown too much. Caleb wasn’t either (Asheville is four hours west of here). Our Idol news was all about Scotty McCreery (a student at NC State) getting robbed at gunpoint and Clay Aiken running for the House. He was in a close battle in the primary and was only winning by about 400 votes on election night. A few days later his competitor died in a freak accident, so there was no need to recount the votes.

          • Jessamine Yah I heard about that, with Clay Aikens competitor. Sorry to hear about that. But also happy for Clay to be where he is today!

          • Jessamine says:

            Clay is doing well, but he won’t win the seat in November. He’s running as a Democrat in a solidly Republican district.
            And you’re right, KezBan is from NC. She’s from Durham.

      • Also remember that really wierd , but artistic girl, Kezbon (last year) OMG she is from North Carolina too! She is the one that didnt make it so Ryan tried to offer her to help with the cameras. I dont know if she ever got the job. She had short red hair. She was extremly funny though. She had a guitar too. I almost forgot about her!

      • Mercedes S. says:

        Remember Reuben Stoddard’s 205 shirts? That’s the area code for Alabama

        • .Ok I just went and looked. I .had read the article wrong. Everyone I listed from North Carolina was right.But Taylor Hicks and Reubin Stoddard are from Alabama! All of the rest that I listed were from North Carolina.They were comparing winners from North Carolina to winners from Alabama.

  11. Stacie says:

    -Melinda giving the difference between The Voice and American Idol was maybe my favorite point of hers ever. The fact that she said she could tell you the difference between the shows is because she can remember the judges/mentors that won the seasons of The Voice but couldn’t name you the winners of The Voice but CAN name you the American Idol winners. That’s such an interesting and specific and perfect point. You guys are right, American Idol trying to be The Voice is absurd. Idol is not about the contestants this year it and last season either with those crazy judges. No surprise that Idol had it’s lowest ratings ever.
    -The other major failing of Idol over the years is not utilizing their Idol Past. They have so many former contestants that have made it big, that are still performing, that still want to be part of the show, but does Idol do that? No. Where was Kree Harrison or Angie Miller from last season, we saw Candice for a second early on.. If every week they had a mentor be a former Idol contestant it would enhance the show. 13 years is a long time, Idol needs to stop fighting to be something they aren’t and embrace their history and embrace what they have proven they are good at, developing contestants that can make it. THANK YOU Melinda and Michael for another fantastic season of Reality Check. I appreciate you both doing it.

    • Brigette says:

      ^^^THIS! Embrace what you’ve made, Idol! Ah! It could only help build that relationship w/ the viewers to if they kept bringing back old contestants. Like characters in a sitcom, I find myself getting attached to some of these people. I felt total warm fuzzes, for example, seeing Haley & Casey in the audience during the finale. Could they please PERFORM!? Could SEVERAL old contestants come back and perform, share a realistic view with the contestants about life after Idol? (I love what Fantasia said to the contestants last year). This needs to be a consistent part of the show.

      • Yes it was great to see Haley and Casey. Afterbuzz interviewed Haley at the finale and she said her and Casey were there supporting Caleb, as she had met Caleb on her season when he did not make it through. She said the three of them have been hanging out recently from time to time.

    • TwoCents says:

      Exactly. Idol has tried to cast their net wider as ratings have dropped off, try to get the younger viewers, they have just come off to me as desperate. Fox Pres.recently acknowledged that they are not going to see the ratings rebound but they still believe in the show and believe it has legs for more seasons. That said, perhaps they should go more internal, into their past, into their core fans, celebrate their awesome legacy. Why not have an Idol TV special or I would love Idol radio,either a whole station or a weekly show where they play only contestants music? How about a special publication..or a convention …or a holiday special? They have blown so much budget on judges recently. Instead, they could do something really cool for the fans. There is so much unrealized potential. Turn inward to the die hards.

      • Jerry says:

        Yes! I think an idea is to “celebrate the show” making the next season its last, and at the same time, replacing the host and the judges with a rotating “Idol alumni”, get a rotating host (Diana DeGarmo? Matt Rogers? Chris Sligh?), rotating judging panel (Hudson? Clarkson? Underwood? Cook? Lambert?), and rotating Idol alumni guest performers.

  12. Deshawn says:

    Couldn’t bring myself to watch this awful show this season. As for the best Idol performances of all time, several of Jessica Sanchez’s performances should have been include. That young lady is the real deal.

  13. MA says:

    Oh, man. I’m going to miss this. Great episode, y’all. Next season, can Melinda sing every week?

  14. LB says:

    Great final Reality Check! I was laughing so hard I starting wheezing a few times. Thanks, Michael, Melinda and Jason!

  15. Davey says:

    I thought it was awful that Adam revealed halfway through the Voice that Christina was getting signed because we knew she wasn’t winning. That got lost in the video tonight. The Voice ruining the suspense all season.

    And please…Idol has had several questionable singers every season. We’ve heard them all. They’ve always been there, almost like plants, so the chosen ones could win. Though Michael Johns leaving early was simply stupidity on voters’ parts and a prejudice in certain parts of the country against a foreign accent (what, that dude doesn’t have a Southern accent?).

    I know this board has been Jena-biased but I was thrilled she didn’t win. She needed another year or two as well to be really good. I still wish Alex had won, even if he was a WGWG.

    As far as Jena vs. Christina and the Elvis song, they both oversang and wailed which is why some critics mock these singing shows.

    I still watching singing competitions but you’ve got to admit, yelling shouldn’t be an aspect of singing to keep encouraging.

    • Even though Melinda and Michael liked Jenas version of “Cant help falling in love” its a fact that Christy Grimmys version placed in top 6 on the charts. I think it got to number 3

      • LB says:

        On The Voice, purchasing a contestant’s song on iTunes is a form of voting. So, using iTunes sales as a basis for determining whose version is better is pretty meaningless.

        • The I tune votes werent used for the final voting anyway because there was a glitch and they had to remove all I tune votes to be fair. Grimmys was better because she didnt do a carbon copy of Ingrid MIchaelsons, and Jena copied Ingrids version right down to the piano and the way she sang it.

          • tealeaves says:

            People voted by buying iTunes. They did not know at the time that those votes would be thrown out the next day. I think the point being made was that fans would buy iTunes as a form of voting even if they would not have bought the song if it was not a form of voting.

      • MAB says:

        They are both partial to Jenna but I liked Christina’s version better. I think it was rated higher in some of the polls also.

      • rod says:

        Jena`s version wasnt released on iTunes,they were only allowed to record one song per week, the release that week was Heartbreaker

        • Yah but still jenas perfomances never got as high on i tunes as grimmys.

          • LB says:

            Again, your statement is illogical. iTunes rankings will ALWAYS be biased toward The Voice contestants because their song sales are a form of voting (regardless of whether or not the votes are ultimately thrown out because of an iTunes glitch).

          • Did you just come on here to argue with people? Get over it. Im not going to argue for 5 different paragraphs over stupid i tunes.Who cares? Find yourself a way to be happy! Feel sorry for you! You sound like a frikken stuffy politician. Go bother someone who gives a rats a**

          • Geez says:

            Says Caleb’s “wacko” fan.

          • Geez, Thats right. You got that right! Glad you noticed!

          • Hey GEEZ remember, we are not supposed to say or call names like wacko, moron, and the “R” word. So dont make mention or write it out because lets be PC at all times! MY GOD how could you? LOL

      • Jill Moy says:


        You know, I feel Melinda has the best voice ever of any Idol! However, her judge of talent through the season was questionable! She liked so many singers who I hated and they left early, very early. I wish she would be on Idol every year!

        • Me too! I didnt like all of Melindas choices. And I also believe some of the best talent was left in that weird sitting room waiting for their name to be called. The wild card choices were terrible.I dont like Jenas voice. I like her as a person, but everyone has a different idea of what they like in a voice. I like voices like Angie Miller, Elise Testone, even Danielle Bradbury. And of course Melinda, one of the best! I also love Rhianna’s voice and Lady GaGa’s voice

          • Jill Moya says:


            I still say Briana Oakley was the best. I predict a win next year if she auditions! And, Melanie Porris was another! There were plenty if discharged contestants who were terrific! Those singers you mentioned were all very good! Melinda was completely robbed! By rights, Sparks was supposed to go as she received lowest votes one week and FOR FIRST TIME they decided to combine the votes with following week! What a rip off!

          • Oh Yes I do remember that. Jordan Sparks was the one the judges were pimping that season. Melinda was the all time best in my book! No one ever comes close!

    • Martini says:

      Has it ever been noted that Christina’s version of this song is actually Celine’s version from her early 90s Colour of my Love days?

  16. EAP says:

    My heart and panties just exploded! CARY GRANT! ASDFGHJKL!

  17. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    I‘d like to echo the point about IDOL once having seasons where it pained you to see a finalist get cut. I think back to Season 6, for example — I was no Lakisha Jones fan, but otherwise the final rounds of that season were nailbiters where I hated to see anyone get sent home.

    • Brigette says:

      That was season 10 for me. I remember Motown Night thinking “ANY one of these people could win.” Have not felt that since.

      • J says:

        Same here. I couldn’t bare to watch. That was a great season of Idol. Many contestants were so good and likable.

      • syb says:

        Seriously? You thought someone was going to beat Scotty and/or Lauren? It was written in stone before the first votes were cast. LOL

    • Angela says:

      Agree so hard on this. I remember my family actually having serious debates over who should stay and who should go, or sitting there thinking, “Oh, god, if x contestant goes, my sister is NOT going to be happy!” or whatever. I remember watching season 2 with Ruben, Clay, and Kimberley and being like, “I like all three of these people. I’m fine with any of them winning. Maybe a three-way tie?”
      Now it’s like, “Eh, well, between these two I guess I’d prefer this person stay…”. If I cared at all.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      That was one of the things that made this season kind of dull. There were no delayed eliminations (like Sanjaya or Lazaro), but there were also no early eliminations (like Jennifer or Daughtry). Even at the very end, Jena had the edge, but Caleb’s win was not a surprise. It was a very predictable course of events.

  18. A says:

    that was weird

  19. Davey says:

    Can someone tell me where the “Oh, grow up” clip comes from? I don’t know that show.

  20. debbik says:

    Every Monday, I’ve faithfully watched my “Reality Check”… but this one takes the cake! Mixing J-Lo with Poltergeist? Genius! And had me laughing out loud! Thanks for the always entertaining commentary!

  21. David says:

    Idol just keeps getting worse. This was the first year I didn’t stick with it through the end although I had been close other years and probably just kept watching out of habit before. They need to redo the whole shiw and replace the entire judging panel. I thought X Factor at least added something unique to the process.

  22. Brigette says:

    The Beast! Ah! Hilarious! I’m going to miss this so much until January. Okay, first of all, the worst season ever was Season 12. Lazaro. The awkward judges panel. They actually had to cancel some concerts for the tour because there weren’t enough ticket sales. But Melinda is right, I only remember Crystal and Lee from Season 9 (oh I lied– Shiabon! Can’t spell her name.) Anyway.

    Here’s the thing about Caleb. If this show were on in 1988, I’d be like, “yeah, he’s going to go make a great album that will be on all the radio stations.” But it’s 2014, and what Jena does is NOW. Jena should have NO problem doing well. I will be SURPRISED if she doesn’t do well. But Caleb? What in the blazes is he actually going to record? What station will they play him on? I don’t even know.

    Can we start some type of petition to do away with the cut aways to the judges for season 14? Unless it’s an F-bomb moment like the one JLo gave us (which I loved) I don’t care about any of their faces. The very reason why I have no interest in The Voice is because it’s judge-focused. Idol is more personal, and that’s why it still has viewers 13 years later!

    • Davey says:

      Idol may be more personal but if you like singing it’s hard to ignore the Voice. Though this season the Voice’s song choices were less hip that usual.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Agreed, Davey. At least this year, The Voice had all the vocal talent. I’m not sure I understand the criticism that we need to know the contestants to like them. I didn’t know Amy Winehouse when I bought her album and had it on repeat for 3 months straight. I guess if needing to know the talent is a priority, then Idol is the best show in town, but I don’t understand why that’s a prerequisite to appreciate talent. Or the “growth arc” often stated. What if someone is already amazing when they come in and don’t need to grow that much? I guess my priorities are not in line with many of the viewers who post here.

    • Kevin says:

      I heard that Caleb’s coronation song was written for Kelly Clarkson 13 YEARS AGO. That would explain why it is such an outdated song.

  23. Davey says:

    Just wanted to add that my favorite duet on The Voice finale was Christina and Ed Sheeran. I would have bought that duet if it had been available on iTunes.

    • The Beach says:

      Yes, it was exquisite.

    • Jill Moy says:


      Amber was who I picked to win from her first audition. She had the whole pkg….voice and looks and looked natural when singing.

      Nicki Minaj said she was like a YOUNG WHITNEY HOUSTON. That was reference to being like Whitney.

  24. mel says:

    lol forever that there was no clip of winner caleb’s performance w kiss. burn. hah he’s already being ignored.

    • Thats because Michael has never cared for Caleb. He predicted at top 13 that Caleb would be going home by top 8. He is not being ignored! He just did the National Anthem at the Washington Memorial and is going to be on Kelly and Michael Live tomorrow and then again Wed with Jena where they will be performing live. Then they go to Prom wed night at Jenas high school. BURN as you said above.

      • Name This Tune says:

        It’s just a Slezak pout that occurs every year. His chosen one didn’t win. Rather than be gracious about it, he pouts. And fuels the fires of discontent among the minority.

        It was a good final 2, but the casting department needs to rethink what makes an entertaining show.

        • Oh I agree with that! It used to be that (almost) every contestant was steller on some of the seasons. This was definitely an underwhelming top ten. Maybe the real talent did not come out to audition this year! I didnt even really like the top 30 as a matter of fact! I liked “Kenz” and the guy with the braids who didnt make it.

          • Jill Moya says:


            I really liked guy with braids as well! I’ll say it again, if BRISTON MARONEY can make top 15 boys, a kangaroo could have made it!

          • Hey Jill! I was looking at Amber Holcombs twitter page. I really liked her too from last year. Remember they said she reminded them of a mini Whitney Houston? Anyway I was reading her tweets and she was rooting for Caleb! Awesome because she is kind of a R’n B girl.

          • Funny too, the reason I went and looked at Amber Holcombs twitter page was I saw a comment by Amber Holcomb on Calebs Skyfall u tube video and I wondered, “Is that the same Amber Holcomb from last year posting on u tube videos? And found out it was her! I also really liked her and Burnells shenanigans last year!

      • I am just very happy and excited because this is only the second time my favorite won. My other favorite was Phil Phillips. I absolutely loved James Durbin, such a great singer and optimistic even though he had challenges,( high functioning autism and tourettes syndrome) and did not let it stand in his way! Such a personality! I would have much rather had Haley and Durbin as the top 2 but the southern vote took over!

        • I agree with you @Calebswackofan! (Actually, I pretty much agreed with you all season.)

          • The Other Leah yes,Thank you and likewise. Im kind of sad its going to be a whole year until the next idol show. I guess I will watch SYTYCD and hope that my favorite dancer returns. Hampton Williams Exercist. He had a horrible car wreck after auditioning ( with his 4 year old daughter) had the golden ticket and then practically broke his back. He has recovered well though! Waiting to see if he returns!

        • Not a Country Music Fan says:

          I wouldn’t call it southern – I’m southern…and I was for both Haley and Durbin…I want NO part of country music…

  25. Cough attack says:

    I think the voting system this year was an improvement, but it was far from perfect. And while last year I like Candance, Kree and Angie… That season was so stacked to get a female winner. And that made the season worse. Wywg are back in style, but Jena gave it a good go and probably deserved it more this year.

    • Stacie says:

      100% If I were to look at the successes of Season 13 the Voting System is at the top of the list. I’d say every single week was correct. Sure it was sad when this person went home and this person didn’t, but it was all justified. It ensured that you had to deliver every week or you’re gonna go home. Look at Malaya, she had a great performance one week and gone the other, Majesty was a front runner in the beginning then was shaky and was gone, she didn’t just stick around based on her past, same with everyone. I hope they continue this voting system next year.

    • LibbyXD says:

      What I didn’t like about the voting this year was all of the different ways to vote. I, for one, didn’t go to the trouble to open all those random accounts (yes, I know that I’m the only person left on this planet who is not on facebook, etc.). I never really felt like my votes were counting. Heck, at this point, I’d be happy if Idol went back to the old phone thing. At least getting the busy signals was exciting!

  26. Nermal says:

    Thanks so much for another great season of Reality Check! I would have stopped watching Idol years ago but I love Reality Check so much that I have HAD to keep watching Idol just to be able to follow along with the Michael & Melinda (and Jason) show on Mondays.

  27. Babybop says:

    I almost spit out my drink at the “I specialize in 16 year old girls” clip. I forgot about that!

  28. Davey says:

    One other observation about this season: several times contestants gave fine performances and then the songs weren’t available on iTunes. That was frustrasting.

  29. Renee says:

    Oh, wow – that was great! Of course, Jason appears a bit hopped up on something but I forgive all, esp since he offered up Jesse Langseth from S8 – never forget!! (And some amazing Helena love from Orphan Black) I will say that now I kind of shudder realizing how lucky we were in past seasons being able to watch entire performances with few to no cutaways. In fact, when Idol used to sell the vids of the perfs on iTunes, I bought a lot of them and would squint to see if I could tell how judges were reacting (nope). Adam, Kris, Allison, Cook, Haley, — would they have gained such followings if people hadn’t been able to settle in and watch them build their performances? Yikes. (JLo’s evil must be contained if Idol is to have a future.)
    Thanks guys and re S14 – I mean this in the best possible way – I really hope that next year Michael, Melinda, and Jason are not the best thing – by miles – about Idol.

    • karenb says:

      I bought several performances too back in the day. It is crazy, all of the cutaways. Idol probably doesn’t sell the performances any more because the judges probably want more money to be in the dang video. Like they don’t make enough already.

  30. Mike C. says:

    I am clearly in the minority here, but I hate these random clips in Reality Check. It makes it really juvenile for me and hard to follow the thread of the conversation. Enough! And note to you, Slezak: neither Hailey Reinhart nor Alison Iraheta won Idol. Get over it! God, I hope 14 is better and gets back to that Season 5 dynamic you guys mentioned. This was dreadful. I stopped watching after Top 4 when I realized I couldn’t care less who won.

    • Matrix says:

      I agree with your point of the random clips. Barely one sentence of commentary is spoken before another tv/movie clip is inserted. It ruins the flow of the really great commentary. I like having some clips, but I think the allocation needs to be radically adjusted. Less is more.

    • Mikko says:

      I have liked them earlier, because it was then kind of a new surprising approach. But nowadays I do not care about them that much, because they seem to represent lack of creativity, because they are kind of repeating the same joke. I think one can use them, if there will stay in them the atmosphere of creativity. Now it seems, that they are many times put in there just because out of the habit.

    • Mikko says:

      I watched the Reality Check again, and I’ve got to take some of my words back: most of the editing was pretty damn hilarious (Scotty singing “Baby lock them doors” and Randy saying “My advice is: You’ve got to give your best perfrormance!” and editing after that)

    • karenb says:

      I disagree with everyone. Love the editing. It’s a big part of making this show what it is-which is hilariousl

    • WW says:

      I love the random clips. This gives me a reason to watch Reality Check 3 or 4 times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I watch once for verbal content and then again for visual content and usually a 3rd (or 4th) time to put it all together again!! LOVE IT!!

      • Mikko says:

        I,ve got to start to do that, also, watching several times from the different point of views, thanks!

  31. Lking says:

    I really look forward to the Reality Check videos each week. I wasn’t a Jena fan, in fact I think Jessica had a better chance at a career, nor was I impressed with Alex who simply lacked any personality. I think Caleb won fair and square so hope he can find a fit somewhere. Radio isn’t keen on playing idol, so that’s a tough hill to climb. A petition should go up for signatures to keep Jlo off the screen during performances. She adds nothing, but annoys viewers. This is American idol, not the Jlo Show! Producers are you even listening. Melissa correct we need better talent. The judges are getting millions to pick the right people. If they can’t get different judges. Simple as that. We have had enough mediocre seasons, get it right.

  32. It wasn’t the worst season of Idol, but it was definitely the worst season of the Voice.

  33. Britt says:

    I’m going to miss Reality Check for Idol and The Voice! I love you guys!

  34. kcostell says:

    Seems like there’s a bit of revisionism going on here. Slezak had CJ ranked #1 among all the guys going into the live rounds, and suddenly he “knew since the audition” that CJ wasn’t going to win?

  35. Emma says:

    My answer to the question is YES, idol did just wrap it’s worst season ever.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      the past 2 years especially, have shown a marked decline in viewers, as the Randy, Nikki, Mariah panel, with then new Keith Urban —— and this year’s recycled Jennifer and Keith with H. Connick Jr. ,—— have seen steady and significant decline.—————————-The Judges, along with a number of assistant producers, go about “casting” this show. —-Every year, America has more population, more TV sets and computers —————Idol had a great chance to build by making some good choices. They only made more bad choices and can’t seem to recognize the things that are destroying it’s popularity, especially among the younger demographic…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….VIA BuZZFEED: ….. FINALE RATINGS::: Season 10 = 29.3 million
      ..Season 11 = 21.5 million …
      Season 12 = 14.3 million…
      Season 13 = 10.1 million

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  37. winks says:

    Idol should do an “all stars” of sorts. Invite back some of those little bit lesser known, but interesting artists who were gone too soon like Jesse Langseth (sp?) Katelyn Epperly, Andrina Brogan (from this year) etc. I’m sure you could drum up 20 or 30 in no time and it would be different and interesting.

  38. Jill Moy says:

    This was BY FAR the worst season ever! The worst talent ever and Harry made a mockery of the show! The top 4 this year WOULD NOT have placed that high in most seasons! Give us a break, PLEASE!!!!! TOO MUCH JLO, IDIOT HARRY AND HORRIBLE TALENT is what this season featured…..real crapola!

    • I could never tell the two teenage girls apart either! Piriz and then the other one.! I cant even remember their names. But they are both Brunette and teens! I dont think either of them should have made it into top 13. The judges made one of them a wild card. Terrible choice!

      • Jill Moy says:


        Thought cleanser would be funnier. You know, people to this day don’t believe her daughter. Her book, reissued in 2008 has a list of people who witnessed her actions! Also has hundreds of new photos! Anyway, some of these haters are like M D…LOL!

        • Well I had some STALKER following me around 2 weeks ago and posting everywhere I went. She didnt bother anyone but me! I told her to get lost. I GUESS SHE DID! I havent heard from her since. There are definitely haters here! Where has Michael Johns been? He added to the fun! And yes I know, there are a lot of people who do not believe her daughter!

          • Jill Moy says:


            M J is still heading that lynch mob looking for me! I’m armed with plenty of wire hangers! He hasn’t shown up yet!

          • I think I here him in the distance with his posse! He is coming with his hanging rope! Ok Im putting my ball-stomper boots on and Im comin to back you up Jill! ITS ON!

          • Michael Johns says:

            Too late for the party, but better late than never! I am still looking for your house, Jill! Becca, what show are you guys gonna watch now that AI is done this year?

          • HEY MICHAEL JOHNS! Where have you been hiding? Im going to watch that new “rising star” looks pretty interesting, but west coast cant vote, i guess since the voting is done during the show! Jill has been raising havoc on Alex’s interview site making plenty of enemies! LOL Its never too late for the party!

          • Are you looking for Jills House? LOL LOL I would not mess with her if I were you, she may have a whole mac truck full of WIRE HANGERS!!!!!!

    • Bonnie says:

      “By far?” What an idiotic hyperbole. It was way better than Seasons 9 and 12 for sure. The boys those seasons were an embarrassment.

      • Jill Moy says:




    • HTGR says:

      You wanna know what has gone wrong with Idol? This right here pretty much sums it all up everything particularly S10 and on):
      They blast Jessica Meuse during critical top four week for not choosing something more herself…. right after banning her from doing her own song!
      Oh AND this was after then having giving her a list of TWO whole songs to pick from as replacement!
      Oh and one of the two choices she was allowed was “Walking On Sunshine”! (I actually secretly love that song hah, but how was that a choice a for her???? or for this competition in general?? it’s just not a competition song, so wrong! well…. unless you want someone who is not supposed to make it to a certain week gone….).
      So in other words she WAS GIVEN THE SONG SHE DID and HAD NO CHOICE and then they blast her to audience for not knowing who she was or knowing how to chose! Wow.
      That right there says it all and it’s one big reason why you can’t feel bad or take it too seriously when you get sent home off of these shows. Just gotta forget it all and smile and wave and smile and wave and have fun with it all regardless and get out and take out of it what you can and put the nonsense aside.
      So enough with the over the top shenanigans. Enough with paying a judge enough money that they could buy the writes to every song every written instead. Enough with showing one judge more than any contestant. Enough with all the fake tricks behind the scenes. They should do a bit less casting and bit more just going for the best when they chose the top 20 and 12.
      But more prior contestants back on the show though needs to happen.

  39. Jill Moy says:


    • Matrix says:

      Jill, what happened to the “a” in your name? Moya is now Moy?

      • Jill Moy says:


        You are so right! Harry is so picky with everyone! He should look at himself…so awkward looking and his singing is ehhhhhh! I really liked him a lot for a couple episodes but after that he was too much. As far as JLO goes, she thinks she is so beautiful! She’s ok, but not all that, with those elephant legs of hers. Again, I will say I LUH YAH POPPY was a terrific comedy video and should be labeled as such…A REAL HOOT!

      • Jill Moy says:


        I have been advised not to do so! I did say if Jessica won, I would reveal myself! BUT, I may do so anyway as I do what I want to do. At least I would have great respect on this sight. I’ve been bashed a lot by many but BECCA made it all enjoyable and she has a sense of humor. So, it’s possible I do what you asked…ONE NEVER KNOWS!

    • Jill , Hi its Becca, Yah harry was very out of tune on the finale performances with the other judges. He was the most horrible sounding. J-lo surprised me and sounded quite good. How dare harry talk about “intonation” all the time and act like such a perfectionist and know it all. Caleb and Jena have better “intonation” than harry. Harry also griped at C.J. all the time about being out of tune. I think Harry has come off to me, as a “know it all” and he doesnt. He also looked very dumb dancing like he was at a jazz session to the beat of kiss’s music. So embarrassed for him. Ughh! I never really got over that cute teenage girl in short, shorts up on Harrys shoulders either. I liked Harry at first, but he was also acting completely “off” on 80’s night.

      • Jill Moy says:


        I agree with you 100% about Harry and everything you posted! I couldn’t have said it better. I do remember that funny contestant! You have a great memory Becca!

        • I almost wondered if Harry was “on something” during the 80’s night. He was completely annoying. He was so over the top and hyper! Maybe he had 7 red bulls! LOL But maybe he was on something else,I dont know. But that was his oddest night. Oh and that teenager in shorts sitting around his neck! Ughh!

          • Jill Moy says:

            To be honest, I think he’s not all there! From blowing JLO’s hair saying he’s her new blow dryer to asking her to repeat things that he thought was sexy (I LUH YA PAPI) and other crazy antics, made a laughing stock of the show! The young girl on his shoulders was ludicrous, like you said! He’s a has been. He used to be great, now??????? He should be a judge on a show with 50’s music! He needs to go. His obvious CRUSH on JLO was ridiculous!

          • Well there was also one point where I saw Keith checking out J-lo’s boobs and it was very obvious! But at least Keith doesnt act as weird as Harry. I liked him at first. But why is he giving “intonation” advice to some, and movement advice to Jess? After seeing him dance to Kiss (which looked ridiculous) and then hearing him sing (out of tune). I think he is full of himself. Yes I agree, he should be judging 50’s music! I will tell you this, I wouldnt be caught dead on the dance floor with Harry! How Embarrassing

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Okay, Jill, the season is over. Now are you going to reveal your true identity? Maybe post a video of yourself singing, so we can all see how beautiful and talented you are?

    • Jill, I was looking at contestants from last year, and that weird girl Kezbon. She had a guitar and was real wacky! Do you remember her? Ryan offered her a job working with the cameras? She made me laugh though very funny! I thought of her when you said “goofy looking contestants”.

    • Amy says:

      GROW UP!!!

  40. L says:

    I will first say that i am in IDOL fan. This was the first year ever that i could not bear to see it through to the end. It was so contrived that i just could not bare it. That was the worst group of talent i have ever seen on Idol. They never peaked. There were no “Idol” moments for any of them.

    • Ruth Filby says:

      I also could not bear to watch it and agree the judges let what good talent there was slip out of their hands.

    • Mikko says:

      The same happened to me. Could not anymore watch the show, which would have been unheard in the previous years. Not even one moment…except…wait a minute… I loved Malaya performing “Hard Times”! (And I acquired the whole of Ray Charles’ production after that)

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  42. Tonya Easton says:

    I felt like a lot of good talent was voted off when selecting the top 10. Of course this was due to America’s vote that I could only guess is because many are not watching, however, the judges wild card select was even worse. I struggled to watch much of the season because there was too much of the same style of singing that was just ok…I like country music but did not want to here so many contestants that sang country music…I will say, the top two was outstanding and the only excitement in the end.

  43. ali427 says:

    Michael, I totally get your dog show reference–makes perfect sense to me! :)

  44. bobdavidblog says:


  45. lori says:

    Best reality check ever! I was laughing all the way through! Love it!

  46. Nani Nascimento says:

    I think you should do a Reality Check for SYTYCD !

  47. Laura says:

    Michael, you are by far the best part of watching Idol.

  48. Casey says:

    The problem with this season had nothing to do with talent – it was the cut aways to the judges – it really stopped me from connecting sometimes. That is what kills the momentum of the songs and I think prevents a true moment

    I am so tired of people saying this was the worst season ever. I loved Caleb and Jena and Jessica. This may be my favorite top four in years. I am not a fan of R&B or big Diva ballad singers and this season avoided them. I actually really enjoyed loved this season! Lot’s of upbeat and new songs. Some great originals too. I will buy Caleb, Jena and maybe Jessica’s album. I haven’t want that may finalist albums since Kris, Adam and Allison.

    Last year was a joke. The guys sucked and the girsl were all boring ballad singers. For the first time I stopped watching and I’ve seen all the other seasons but was bored sensless by season 12. Season 9 has been mentioned as bad. I hated the Scotty/Lauren finale – Haley was the only reason that season was any good (BTW I thought Pia was boring and was not upset to see her go). I like Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone but the rest of season 11 was a slog too.

    Love your work, micheal and I look forward to you and Melida every week. I think you and everyone else is being hard on the talent when it was the format that hurt the season

  49. Scott says:

    Thank you Mr. Slezak and Ms. Doolittle (and your producer) for my Monday Entertainment. I’ve really enjoyed listening/watching your spot-on (mostly) commentary, especially on what’s wrong with Idol (pause here while you all imagine JLo on your screen).

  50. guest says:

    Woo hoo…Amy Schumer