Reality Check: Who's the American Idol Front-Runner Now? And Was the Judges' Save Used Righteously?

It’s a week of deep disagreement here at Reality Check — as my co-host Melinda Doolittle and I can’t seem to agree on who’s leading American Idol‘s Season 14 pack.

Jax or Joey? Clark or Quentin? Heck, we can’t even solve the question of J.Hud or (brace for a blast from the past) Zoanette!

Fret not, though — we’re not engaging in any kind of Cookie Vs. Boo-Boo Kitty brawling. And actually, there’s one subject on which we’ve found common ground: the decision to use the Judges’ Save on Qaasim Middleton.

Press PLAY for the full Reality Check discussion — including the week’s biggest disappointments and the perils of song choice — then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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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175 Comments
  1. melinda, i’m agreeing with two things you gave me in this video. 1. clark was definitely the best. and 2. zoanette’s COL was better than j-hud’s. high five!

    • Hayder B. Hayden says:

      I wish they would get over this constant referencing of someone else in another season who did it better. It makes no difference who sang it better in season three. You can’t vote for that person. Try it–it doesn’t work. So forget who sang which song and slayed it. It makes no difference whatsoever.
      Better yet, I wish they would just retire any song that has already been performed three times. There is a whole universe full of music that has yet to be performed.

      • I don’t agree. I think if someone does an okay job on, say, “Bennie and the Jets” or “My Funny Valentine” I’m going to immediately compare it to Haley or Melinda’s version and if they fell short then I’m almost immediately docking them for being worse.

        • Hayder B. Hayden says:

          I think it’s kind of silly to grade someone lower because someone else in the distant past performed a song better. It doesn’t change the performances of the other competitors. No matter how hard you try, you can’t vote for Haley or Melinda or Adam, so what difference does anything they did impact on who should win the current season? How does a performance by Adam or Melinda make Clark better than Joey? I’m interested in seeing the logic behind that.

          • Larc says:

            I think everybody who ever sang a song is fair game for comparisons. When I grade a performance, that grade isn’t just in comparison to other current Idol contestants. It’s in comparison to all the other performances I can recall. If Idol contestants are trying for the big time, then they should expect to be measured against those who have already made it. It’s only fair.

        • Jill Moy says:

          You wanna hear a great Valentine, check out Alice Fredenham!

        • karyn says:

          It’s fair to compare them and score someone lower b/c their performance doesn’t stack up against others. But it is unfair of MS to simply say she cannot get the A- he admits she deserves b/c she should have known not to touch this song after Lambert killed it.

          I agree with Michael that these people need to research their Idol history — Adanna should be mortified by her gaff about Jennifer Hudson. But I would be shocked if Joey was just oblivious to Lambert’s version. She strikes me as someone who is serious about what she is doing and is smart about it.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            For the record, Adanna said on Twitter that she was just kidding about the Jennifer Hudson remark to Ryan Seacrest. The best jokes are the non-obvious ones.

          • kevstar says:

            I don’t think I’ve missed an idol season, but even I don’t know everything about who sang what on every season. You can’t expect these kids to know. This isn’t Jeopardy, this is a singing competition.

      • Troy says:

        Exactly @dam744. Maybe we shouldn’t compare, but its inevitable. I know if I was a contestant I would never touch a song that went down as one of the best idol performances in the past. Having said that, I don’t really mind what Joey did because her and Adam are so completely different.

        • Markopolis says:

          I’d love to see a Joey/Jax finale, second best (and more likely?) is Joey/Clark. The only question is whether Jax built such a strong fan base so early, so heavily featured in the early rounds, that she’s mathematically unstoppable. Add Quentin and you have a great Top 4. Tyanna’s problem is pitch – all season long, although she’s rarely called on it. Otherwise a fun performer. And yes, it would be awesome if Joey keeps growing and comes from behind to win.

          • shawnuel says:

            Compared to Quentin, the KING of bad intonation, Tyanna’s “pitch” problems are miniscule.

          • Roger says:

            Tyanna has a great voice. She is my top pick to win. Jax is overrated and so is Joshua. I see Clark and Tyanna being the top choices. Just because the judges put someone down does not mean it is so. Or say someone is good. It is strictly their opinion as this is my opinion.

      • Smokey says:

        agree, not all the same people are watching the show as it was 5-7-10 years ago. Many have quit watching, some new viewers get on, and sometimes only watch as they happen to remember it’s on ———- how someone did it 4 seasons ago doesn’t reflect in a big way on this curve of the competition…………………………….

        It is true though, that song choice, especially good 2 weeks in a row or bad the same —- can kill the favorite and escalate the least liked from today’s standings. Sarina Joi was considered 1st to 3rd in the early polls – but a bad song choice, a little under the mark on vocal and singing first in that round — gone.

      • good thing for me, i guess, that i didn’t mention anyone’s performance of ‘circle of life’ from this season.

      • HannaB says:

        I agree with you, Hayder.

      • Marilyn says:

        This comment made me laugh and I agree with your second paragraph. It’s not like there’s not a lot of music out there

      • JoMarch says:

        It most definitely does matter. We constantly compare things to other things; it’s a natural part of our memory process, I believe. Whether it’s, “the pizza tasted better last time”, or “the 110th version of “Christmas Carol” is my favorite”, or “Adam Lambert sang that song better”, we all do it from time to time. I’d have to have a lobotomy in order not to have a memory pop into my head of a song sung previously on AI and to prevent automatically comparing them.

        • Hayder B. Hayden says:

          Please explain how it makes another contestant from this year better if someone else sings a song that Adam Lambert or Jennifer Hudson sang. No one has explained how performances from prior years have any bearing on season 14.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I think it’s because in people’s minds, it’s a reflection on the singer’s relative talent. “She didn’t sing this song as well as Jennifer Hudson” may translate to “She’s not as good a singer as Jennifer Hudson” or “she won’t be as successful as Jennifer Hudson,” so it lessens the contestant’s appear in their eyes. I’ll admit, I do that a lot, too.

    • pl says:

      It was such a hard episode to set through. Even the best contestants did nothing special. I at least hoped the episode was going to be saved by having Qaasim the correct ( i.e. and view voted ) performer voted off. Because what if this week Joey or Clark is in jeopardy and Seavey still is safe!

    • Simon says:

      Totally agree with these points. Clark and Zoanette SLAYED. The only thing I disagreed with Melinda about was her preference of Qaasim over Quentin.

      • I actually kind of view quentin and quaasim on the same level, but very different. i personally think they both lack control with their vocals, but they are equally entertaining, just in different ways.

        • Temperance says:

          TO me, there really is no comparison. Quassim is entertaining, and I’d watch him in passing, but I’d only buy Quentin. He’s got the thing I’m looking for.

          • Jill M says:

            Temperance, I agree with you 100%! I’d buy Quentin also, if he keeps doing that type of music.

  2. Jill Moy says:

    I think if Tyanna survives this week, she could win! Adanna and Clark also in the mix! Eventually the public will see through Jax and she’ll go!

    • Lunakit says:

      Tyanna suffered “the curse of the high heels” this week. I’ve seen it year after year… girls who usually run hard on the stage and feel their soul in their soles invariably get suckered in to having their feet bound in a pair of overly high heels in the name of “fashion”. Compare how comfortable Tyanna was dancing around in previous weeks to her stilt walk on stage this week. It all translates to the voice….

      • Smokey says:

        The curse of the heels – true. Tyanna was rising to one of the higher favorites, but slipped-back with that song.

      • Lavender Rose says:

        Really great point, Lunakit! I hadn’t thought of the curse of the high heels before you mentioned it, but I do recall that happening with some contestants in prior years! I’m guessing that the only time high heels are not a disadvantage or distraction is when contestants are used to wearing them regularly off the show. Adanna is able to give fierce performances in heels, but heels seem more consistent w/her style, which makes a huge difference. (I remember Haley Reinhart was another who used to work the stage week after week in very high stilettos :)). When contestants with a sportier or quirkier fashion sense are pressured into wearing very high heels on show night, it always seems to backfire, as you noted. I’d be interested to hear an insider’s perspective from Melinda sometime on how much leeway the stylists/producers give to contestants when it comes to what they wear on show night. Dressing them in a way that takes them so far out of their comfort zone and affects their ability to move freely has such a profound influence on performance. For contestants not adapted to wearing heels, I can only imagine how intimidating and restricting it would be trying to perform in stilettos on live TV in front of millions of people, with everything else they have to think about. I glanced back at the video of Tyanna performing Circle of Life, and you are so right; her gait was extremely stilted in those super high heels. Poor thing! I seem to recall the judges commenting in the prior week how much they liked Tyanna’s innately adorable sense of style. It’s interesting that the very next week, she’s wardrobed in more standard “fashionista” style. She still looked beautiful but was teetering and seemed so much less comfortable on stage, and her performance took a major dive from previous weeks. I hope the producers/stylists/etc make the connection and style her this week in a way that facilitates bringing back those fierce performances she was becoming known for!

        • Lunakit says:

          Thanks, LR! Remember when Crystal Bowersox was given a pair of stilettos to perform in?!? Craziness… They did an interview with the stylist that week and I remember her saying something along the lines of wanting to help contestants push the boundaries of their style comfort zone…

          • Lavender Rose says:

            Wow, great memory, Lunakit! I’d forgotten about Crystal B wearing heels until you mentioned it! (My brain probably blocked it out intentionally ;)). What a relief that didn’t get her booted off the show prematurely. It was great tonight to see Tyanna back in athletic shoes and more casual, hip clothing. She seemed so much more at home and moved around again while performing. It felt like a world apart from last wk’s performance, and I loved it. Sad to see the top 12 girls dropping like flies (as usual, right :( ), but at least the dreaded curse of the high heels didn’t take Tyanna out….yet! (Let’s hope the stylists learned their lesson there, please!).

    • jen mac says:

      I wish she would!!!! but she has so many followers on twitter who vote she may be around for a while if not till the end

    • dax says:

      jill……yes…..i would love to see a Tyanna/Clark finale….lots of layers would be on display and……I think they should date!

    • S. says:

      Totally. Jax is so fake and I feel like she’s getting on more nerves each week. She’s skilled, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not her natural tone. It’s forced and faux-quirky. We hear some of them on The Voice every year. The breathiness drives me nuts, esp. because it’s intentional. Joey talks the way she sings. You can tell it’s a natural. She might or might not be your cup of tea, but it’s authentic.

  3. Kate says:

    I’m going to say something that I’m having controversy with myself over, but: I’m fine with them saving Qaasim. He’s not a great singer. I’m never going to buy his music. But you know what? I haven’t bought any other Idol’s music in many years, and in fact, most of them have completely fallen off my radar once they left my TV. That’s not ideal, and surely it’s not what Idol wants, but that’s where we are now. The show is coming to an end soon, and we’re not finding any more superstars. So what we have is a weekly television show, designed to entertain us and nothing more. Qaasim is entertaining to me, period, and that’s all I want from Idol now. And now I know they’ll never save Insufferable Child, which is a second win in my book.

    • Troy says:

      So hard to come to terms with, but I feel you.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I up-vote all of this.

    • marie says:

      I pretty much feel the same, Kate. I have bought some post-Idol music, but basically I want to tune in and be entertained. Qaasim entertains me tremendously.

    • Marilyn says:

      Think you’re right; the big days of Idol are gone, but I swear this season is the best in a very long time. Wish I could get more people to watch because, as you state, there are entertainers on this season.

    • Ben says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said but one thing, that being ‘the show is ending soon, and we aren’t finding any more superstars’. I don’t think that is set in stone. Might be right, might not. Although it might depend on how you define Scotty and Phil Phil – do they count as stars? The rest I agree with.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I’d definitely call Phillip a star. He had two songs in the Billboard Year End Hot 100, one of which made it in twice, and he’s toured with Matchbox Twenty, John Mayer, and O.A.R. Scotty might not be as big a star, but not everyone in the country niche can cross over. I think he’s big for what he is. He gets plenty of airplay on the country station around here.

        • Smokey says:

          Ask a girl in college who Phillip Phillips is, and almost all know who he is and can name some songs they like of his…………. More than half of them will have no idea that he won American Idol a while back.

          He is often played on mainly current top 40 rock-alternative stations in major metro areas like Chicago., A lot of Idol watchers don’t listen to current Pop-Rock-Hip-Hop mix stations, so have no barometer to realize how much airplay he gets….. His songs have been in TV commercials as well, over the past – a lot.

          Scotty is well known in the Country Genre now. And so is Danielle Bradberry from The Voice.

    • dax says:

      nailed it!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Idol is still entertaining for me. Scotty gets a LOT of radio airtime around here, as does Phillip. And just the other day I heard Casey James on the alt-country station. Although the premise of Idol is to produce a superstar perhaps the truth is producing a superstars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood (and arguably Jennifer Hudson) were, in fact, lucky flukes – and producing mid-level artists with a smaller following is more the norm.

    • Lavender Rose says:

      Some fair points about Quassim! There’s been a lot of discussion elsewhere about his vocal skills; for the purpose of my comments, I’m going to speak purely to his performance/dance/entertainment skills. I’ve been watching Idol consistently since season one, and I’m trying to recall if we’ve ever had another “dancer” on the show. I can’t think of any past contestants who’ve even come close to having dance skills on the level of Quassim. (I have this distant memory of lovable goofball Jon Peter Lewis, or “JPL,” from Season 3 attempting some slightly over-the-top dance moves that involved sliding across the floor of the stage while performing and such. I don’t think the video is up on You Tube, so I’m going strictly from memory. The only reason I remember it is that it’s always been so rare to see any Idol contestant attempt to incorporate dance moves into his/her performance). I have to think, given how many seasons have passed, there’d be more notable examples….I must be forgetting some. Personally, I feel like Quassim brings a unique dimension to the show and a level of entertainment/energy that’s been lacking at times (particularly compared w/some recent seasons. Remember how few of the top 12 guys last year would move at all on stage?). I find myself looking forward every week to seeing what Quassim has in store. When it comes to performance, I never have to worry that he’s going to “dial it in.” I’ve been hoping for years to see at least one or two contestants break out in this area and take some big risks. Quassim fills that void for me. I’m happy to have the chance to see a few more (assuming he makes it through this week) explosive, high-octane performances from him on the show.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Well, there was Todrick Hall during Season 9 but he didn’t make it into the Top 12 (or whatever the number was that year) along with Lily Scott, Alex Lambert, and Kaetlyn Epperle. Hall is a dancer and has a number of videos on You-tube.

        • Lavender Rose says:

          Txs for your reply! Good call….I meant to specify that I couldn’t recall much dancing among Top 12 contestants (live shows). Txs for helping to jog my memory a bit. I’ll have to re-watch some of those performances on YouTube, since I find this an interesting topic, and look up Todrick Hall. I recall his name but not much else. Should be fun to check out!

  4. also, i agree. you MUST do better than “let’s hear it for the boy.” just abysmal.

    • Smokey says:

      Did anyone see the top 11 doing the National Anthem at NASCAR last weekend? As a team, they did a great job, the guys carried the low harmony and the girls swooped the highs pretty near perfectly. —

  5. Lemon says:

    Quentin’s vocals on Riptide and Youth were gorgeous. His upper range has this husky cry that is just so beautiful, and unique to the competition. I would love to go to a Quentin concert.

    It looks like Jax is looking at Joey’s type of quirkiness, and trying to go in that direction. Smart. I’ve never been a Jax fan, but I enjoyed this performance….mainly because it was Joey-like. Jax started out as this edgy, Gaga-like performer, and it’s interesting watching her adapt to the realities of this competition.

    Clark had the most vocally beautiful moment, but he’s missing something. I’m not seeing heart, soul, feelings….etc from him. It felt workman-like. Still–so much talent.

    Joey did not come close to her performance of Fancy, but I still enjoyed what she’s serving. Looking forward to her next performance.

    Those are my my top 4 as of today, but I know Nick will sneak in there….of course.

    • RT says:

      I completely agree with you about all of it, but especially about Quentin. I would definitely go see him live. He may have pitch issues, but I never notice them during the performance. I think his voice is raw and full of genuine emotion. He is very compelling to watch and listen to.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I don’t mind when someone is a little rough outside the studio. Some of my favorites, including Phillip Phillips and Hunter Hayes, aren’t the best singers but I still think they can hold their own in an acoustic setting. It makes them seem more human, and the difference isn’t so dramatic that I feel cheated by the recordings. What Quentin lacks in vocal perfection he makes up for in emotional conviction, and I really appreciate that.

  6. MSD says:

    No mention of Adanna at all in this episode I think points to her possible boot this week in the double elimination… She has been solid– but you/we (literally) are not talking about her. Hard place to be.

  7. Hayder B. Hayden says:

    Using the save was a massive mistake, and here’s why. Qaasim is a tremendous entertainer, but he is a mediocre singer. His vocals are not going to improve. The get worse when he has to stand still. Micheal even admitted he cannot win—he’s a fifth place finisher, at best. If he ends up in the bottom TWO this week, he doesn’t perform, doesn’t get to sing for his life, and just goes home in exactly the same place he was in last week. Except this time someone else is also going home, and that person cannot be saved. It could be Tyanna, it could be Adanna, it could be Jax. All are better singers than Qaasim, and all are potential winners.

  8. Veronica One says:

    I really like your weekly video. You two make a great team. I don’t know what it is about American Idol that can still get me to care about who stays and who goes. But it does, and, at this point, Quentin, Qaasim and Joey have so endeared themselves to me, they could getup there and bark like a dog and I’ll still vote for them. Jax has a nice voice, but it doesn’t seem strong and she apparently has limited range. (I wasn’t particularly impressed with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” has more range.) On her good performances, her voice is a little too twee and breathy. So, while I like her just fine, I am not particularly impressed. Joey, on the other hand, is not just quirky or providing interesting arrangements of songs. She puts her whole self into the song and projects that to the listener. She’s not just sitting or standing there being cute. She has a story to tell–and she delivers. I think the same is true of Quentin and Qaasim, but Joey has, as you say, yet to falter.

    • Lisa says:

      Joey’s performance this week was my favorite by far. While I liked the other songs she did, it was starting to seem like she was just a novelty act similar to Weird Al which can get old. This week, she showed her chops on a serious song, which was a nice change. Quirky and novelty like songs are quite interesting, but it can be overdone. If she changes it up, throws some serious and some quirky, she could possibly win it all. She’s damn good.

  9. Lunakit says:

    Good! Good! Good! Good Reality Check!! That was a full meal episode….

  10. To be honest I don’t think Joey’s cover of Keith’s song back in Top 24 week was necessarily a good choice, I don’t think it was bad either though.

  11. Timmah says:

    The save is supposed to be used to prevent a shock elimination, not to keep someone on the show who has no chance to win. I don’t want to hear any crying from Michael or Melinda if one of their real favorites who actually is a contender gets booted in the next few weeks.

    • Hayder B. Hayden says:

      They tell us the save is supposed to be used to prevent shock eliminations, but as they have demonstrated year after year, the true purpose is to try to give the ratings a boost. Using it improvidently generates outrage and controversy, which they hope will translate into ratings. It’s about time we all grew up a little and stopped being fooled. (I include myself in this category).

      • Smokey says:

        The “save”, just as on some other reality shows, (or steals or 2nd chance wild cards, etc.) is definitely aimed at creating more drama and controversy — and therefore baiting the media for more attention to the show, as well as holding-on to the usual viewer hoping they will get more invested in the show.

  12. LeahKittyS says:

    I know I said I was done commenting on this site but Reality Check is too much fun not to say anything about. So here’s what I loved this week, not just from Idol but from you guys:
    1. I’m not as crazy about Qaasim as I was before, due to his vocal shortcomings, but I’m glad to see you two think he deserved the Save. The show would not be as entertaining without him.
    2. I agree about the best and most disappointing performances of the week. As much as I love Nick, you guys have a point. At this point, if a guy is going to win, it’s going to be Clark. And if it’s a girl…oh, who am I kidding? Girls never win Idol anymore. But I would be totally cool with Joey.
    3. Doctor Who <3
    4. Not one mention of Justin Bieber kid! Thank you.
    5. And thank you, Jason, for acknowledging the late, great Michael Johns. Still stings a little thinking about it. RIP America's first fallen Idol.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      A few other thoughts:
      1. Yes, I would’ve rather they used the Save on Sarina-Joi. But that’s in the past now, no point in dwelling on it.
      2. Why no mention of Adanna this week? I thought she was good enough to talk about.
      3. It’s really cool that you actually show tweets from your viewers in the video. It reminded me of the shout-out I got last year. I love that you appreciate your fans.
      4. Hey, Jason, this ought to make you happy: Joey Cook is a Whovian. So combining those clips was all kinds of perfect.
      5. I like this exclusive Idol video with no Voice talk. Can we continue this for the rest of the season, please?

      • Jessamine says:

        I am afraid Adanna might go home tomorrow. The fact that she didn’t get mentioned and that I didn’t even realize it until I read her name in the comments does not bode well. Yikes! I just hope Tyanna doesn’t go with her…

      • S. says:

        Joey’s a Whovian? Ok I didn’t know it was possible to like her more, but I totally do. And thanks to TVLine for the dose of Capaldi I needed this week.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Some of us like The Voice. A lot. I’m not sure why anyone would allow discussion of a show they don’t watch to sully the viewing experience for a vlog that historically has always skewed heavily towards the show you do watch. It’s a pretty simple solution; hit the stop button when the discussion strays away from Idol.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Yeah, but it always feels like they just cram The Voice talk in at the end. Don’t you thnk The Voice should have it’s own web show, so Michael and Melinda can spend more time talking about it? Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo! does two separate edition of her show The Day After, one for American Idol and one for The Voice..

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I guess if they wanted to do that, they’d have done it already.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Actually Angie Overrated, originally there were two separate web shows, one called Idology (or whatever iteration of “Idol” Mr. Slezak was using at that point) which was focused solely on AI, and Reality Check that was for The Voice — and X Factor, I think.

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      Did I miss something? When and why did you sign off?

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Two weeks I said I wasn’t coming back because a few people were making the comment section hard to read. And from now on I will only be commenting on Reality Check. But I missed hearing from the nice people, so I’m back. Now if we could just get Justin Bieber kid to go away…

    • Ben says:

      Leah, I for one am happy that you kept commenting and ignored the bullies.

  13. joey says:

    They should have saved Sarina Joi. Screw Quasimodo.

    • Meg says:

      I did not get Quassim’s ridiculous facial expressions. He was trying to look like an angry gang member which had nothing to do with the song…..why was that so appealing??

      • dax says:

        Quassim’s “gang member facial expressions” are only negative if you believe them to be so!

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        No coded racism in there! Nope. None at all!
        Ask yourself this: would you have made the same exact comment about a white person who was making identical facial expressions?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh get over yourself. Everything isn’t about race and racism. that REALLY gets old.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Except when the comment is patently racist perhaps? How about instead of me getting over myself, you learn to be less of a racist?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            So you’re accusing me of being racist and don’t even know me.
            Nice.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I know you’re defending a comment that is racist. That’s more than enough for me to draw conclusions.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Great. TV Line has turned into Facebook.
            There are white gangs and hispanic gangs as well.
            West Side Story.

          • tvlover44 says:

            i’m a white woman, and i totally cringed when i read that phrase. given the current state of the country these days, and mainstream media representations, yeah – that phrasing read as totally racist to me as well. angie is right – the same remark would not have been made about a white contestant. and white people’s defensiveness when called out on such things only reinforces the initial impression.

        • joey says:

          It’s so easy to play the race card, isn’t it. It is used to shut people up. Quasimodo comes across to me as an arrogant prick. We could still have Sarina Joi in the competition (note: she’s black), but instead we get this out of tune arrogant prick with his pretty hair. I hope he goes home soon, along with Justin Bieber junior.

        • Meg says:

          Angry gang member has nothing to do with race! There are gangs of all races!!! He just had an angry scowl on his face as though he was trying to appear big and bad!

      • Lavender Rose says:

        I love the intensity and passion Quassim brings to each of his performances!

  14. How is Daniel still on this show? Even with an extended Reality Check (and thank you for that by the way) Daniel wasn’t even mentioned. He is such a non-entity on this show, yet is probably gonna beat out some people that don’t deserve to go home, why? because he is “cute, and adorable” and that’s insane. The other contestants that disappointed this week or last week should be on the show longer than him, the fact they disappointed us proves that the expectations for them are higher, the expectations for Daniel are so low thatthere are no expectations, he is just there, and he will probably there for the long haul. I’ve watched 14 seasons of Idol the odds him staying for way too long is higher than him going at the appropriate time, which is really 2 or 3 weeks ago, but definitely this week.

    • Smokey says:

      I believe Daniel will be eliminated tomorrow or within the next 2 weeks. He will not be in the top 5. The bottom half of this group right now, in handicapping/odds terms = Daniel, Qaasim, Maddie, Rayvon and Adanna. ………………….(this is not an evaluation of singing or performing talent, only odds of moving-up the competition) 2 of this 5 will be gone this week……………….odds will change next week, depending on song choices —— for instance, if certain ones survive this week, they will be more in competition with others in certain similar “styles” or genres. Vote splitting will mean 1 of the 3 or 4 my ladyfriend has been throwing votes to, Tyanna,,Adanna , Joey and Nick — will get ousted as time goes by, and then the survivors will get stronger support from her, changing the odds( just as a micro-example)..

    • MAB says:

      I usually don’t believe there are that many preteeens and teens watching this show anymore but there seems to be an army of them who just adore Daniel and are voting for him in every way they could including using other family members accounts. Once he made it to the top 24 I knew we were in trouble and this way what was going to happen. The only way to fix this if us adults vote the same way for our favorites but unfortunately most of us will cast our 20 votes and call it a night.

  15. Debbie says:

    I am honored to be the first to comment this week, Mike and Melinda, love to listen to both of your views, both of you give my a smile and a good laugh. My top is Clark, followed by Tyanna (only for the small stumble she took last week with song selection), Joey, Jax. Glad they got the save out of they way early this year Qassim (sp?) was the right person to have that save, Now hopefully we can have Daniel saying goodbye. Goodbye Daniel and I won’t miss him so much. He may be musically talented but his voice needs to grow by leaps. His maturity level is just not there yet, vocally, and as a person. Just a giddy kid. I am hoping that Daniel and Maddie are the ones gone tomorrow. Not that Maddie can not sing, she just is a little too green, a little bit to early for her right now, another year or two older and she would of killed it, stage fright is getting the best of her. This will be good experience for her. I will say that one day some of us we buying her records. Everyone else was OK. Till tomorrow then, I bid adieu

    • Lemon says:

      Maddie should have sung 9 to 5. It’s a movie song, perfect for her voice, and funny. I am cutting her a break this week, because, really, none of us know just how bad it was for her in the hospital.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Agreed about 9 to 5. Maddie is a country singer, she should embrace country at every chance she gets. Who knows what other themes will come her way.

      • karyn says:

        I agree that LHFTB was an awful choice but that we should give her a break. It may be that she chose it b/c it was on the list and she knew she wouldn’t need much work to hit all the notes. I actually thought about 9 to 5 as well, but I thought that would be a little too campy as well. I admit I can’t think of any now but I’m sure there must be a million other songs off recent movie soundtracks that are country. She should be singing something like Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me” (though I don’t think that’s actually on a soundtrack).

    • dax says:

      Debbie, reading the tone and astuteness of your comments I must say that it would be a pleasure to know you. Adieu to you also. Vous etes tres tres belle.

  16. Scott says:

    …and the Voice. Or not :) Not that I’m complaining, but I’m watching and thinking…How will they get the Voice in!? LOL

  17. Holly says:

    Mindy Doo, I love you! But Quassim > Quentin? Even worse, Zoanette > J Hud?? Honey, what are you smoking????

    • Timmah says:

      Qaasim and Zoanette are very similar, both over-the-top “entertaining” I guess.

    • in her defense, she only spoke of that particular performance from zoanette. i actually agree with her…HOWEVER: jennifer’s vocals are CLEARLY superior to zoanette’s, but the overall performance from zoanette exceeded jennifer’s.

    • Mary says:

      I actually agree with her on Zoanette, not really a J Hud fan sorry, but I prefer Quentin way over Quassim. Something about Quentin just draws me in, I am memorized when he sings. Won’t happen but I would like a Joey, Quentin final. Clark has a nice voice but does absolutely nothing for me and Jax is starting to wear thin. Every song sounds the same.

  18. Name That Tune says:

    So, I’m thinking how did The Voice come up with Sawyer, and American Idol chose Daniel Seavey.

    Certaily Idol can do better than this with 15 year old males.

    • Sawyer is the only contestant on the voice to have this weeks and last weeks songs in the top 100 on i tunes!

      • Lisa says:

        Sawyer has quite an interesting voice. IMO, you really can’t compare Sawyer to Daniel. Sawyer may be young, but with his voice and stage presence, he is more ready than Daniel. If they had passed on Daniel for this year and perhaps next, Daniel might have had a chance. He needed time to grow, and instead they rushed him through, which again IMO was just wrong. I feel for the kid, because instead of having a real shot, he’s this year’s Sanjaya (at least Daniel can sing better though), but he’s the one everyone is begging to see leave the show. I think they did the kid wrong.

  19. Carp Finley says:

    Adanna feels like she is inches from breaking out. She has everything, the voice, the passion, the hunger, the looks, the sex appeal, the ability to make us feel. It just needs to gel. ADANNA NEEDS DISCUSSING!

    I fell hard for Joey last week. The moment the camera hit her sitting alone on stage you could see she was in a new place. No hat, more serious makeup, and she was projecting such a sensitive, emotional, intelligent vibe before singing a single note. And she followed through with such a touching performance. Not a single cute bit in it. And she held the feeling after the song ended. This was her breakout performance and she’s clearly on the road to being a pro.

  20. donna says:

    almost none of the current successful artists today is a great singer. qassim is very young, he is a musician, he plays multiple instruments, he is handsome, he is a wonderful dancer trained in various forms of dance, he sings fast songs that are usually played live with playback. the pitch problems can be autotuned, the dance and charisma are not easy to find. if he fixes his pitch he is prob the only one in this competition with a chance for stardom. and u know what, i don’t give a damn about stardom, most of the artists i love are not top 40, but when i watch tv i want to be entertained so for me, qassim is number 1 in this competition. i only wish he would have better instruction in regard to his dance and song production.

  21. heartofgold57 says:

    Jax and Joey – love these girls!

  22. Tahoe Mike says:

    Love seeing Michael come around on Joey.

  23. Jill Moy says:

    Jax performance gorgeous and fantastic…..GIMME A BREAK! Then they say Q did good on come together????? Dolittle to me is the best Idol singer ever but her judge of talent isn’t very good. I just don’t understand this praise for JAX with her phoney sounding whisper like voice! As Tom Hanks said in BIG, “I DON’T GET IT!”

    • jen mac says:

      I so agree with you I totally dislike jax’s over affected voice. She has a huge fan base I figure mostly from her days when she sang with her band Meadowland then The Jax Band. “I DON’T GET IT” either

    • Craig says:

      Yeah, it really just startles me how overrated Jax is in general. It’s like she is being graded on a curve and whenever she stays in tune for half the song it’s good enough for an A while others get nit-picked to death over every last detail. Clark’s performance was much more impressive vocally, Joey’s performance far more touching and authentic and Quentin’s more intense and dramatic, yet Jax is rated above them all for whispering her way through a song in a contrived, cutesy fashion. Ugh, I don’t get it at all. Qaasim sounded terrible but, hey, at least he’s enthusiastic. Some of the others are straight-up boring.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Melinda said Qassim was entertaining. And he is! She also said singing for the save brought out the fight in him – and it did!
      Will he win? no. Does he have stellar vocals? no.
      Is he entertaining? Absolutely.

  24. Jill Moy says:

    Meant Melinda “DOOLITTLE

  25. Betsy says:

    I totally just enjoyed the sh** out of that, thank you both.

  26. Grandma Donna says:

    I have watched American Idol from the beginning and was something I could watch with my grandchildren, but not now. Last weeks outfit that Jennifer Lopez wore was unacceptable for young children, She is talented and gives meaningful advice but it is lost when she sits with her boobs hanging out. Standing up and shaking them was even worse. I will now have to screen the program before I watch it with my grandchildren.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I thought Jennifer’s dress was beautiful and there’s certainly more offensive stuff on TV than that!

  27. SJP says:

    I love the commentary of Slezak and Melinda so much that I would love them to do an hour long podcast. There are so many things I would like to hear about. This would give them an opportunity to:

    1.) Discuss EVERY performance
    2.) Identify Power Rankings of the remaining contestants (i.e. has Joey broken free from the middle of the pack? Has Adanna quietly been rising to middle of the pack? Are Nick and Rayvon falling too far back to recover?)
    3.) Make a prediction of who will/should go home (and complain that Daniel should be home by now.)
    4.) Take questions from listeners.
    5.) And discuss any important items from “The Voice”

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch/listen to “Reality Check” and silently nod or shake my head.

    Thanks for the show Slezak!

  28. Guilherme says:

    Please, talk about The Voice!

  29. Tammy says:

    are you ever going to talk about The Voice?

    • T.B. Hammer says:

      The Voice is still trying to patch together a starting line-up.

      Only a few like Cody Wickline, have been robbed so far. I would say that the mentoring and performance coaching on that show is far superior to what we have seen so far on Idol.

      I don’t really compare shows as one being gold and the other pond-scum/// as they are different types of entertainment, and each has their good points, I like them both over the canned laughter sit-coms, same-old scripted dramas, etc..

    • Spitey Spice says:

      Very disappointed there as no Voice coverage again this week. :(

  30. Kayk says:

    No iTunes this season??? Slezak, please find out why not (or when, is still forthcoming) and enlighten us! You mentioned wanting to get Jax’s song this week on iTunes but I cannot find any songs from this season yet on iTunes!

    • girl_3 says:

      I just saw on MJ’s website that Idol has just made the ’80’s Week recordings available on iTunes yesterday, so not only will the song titles be spoiled in advance, you’ll actually get to hear what the contestants will sound like in advance. I’m glad to have the iTunes back, but not how I feel about hearing the songs ahead of time.

      • Mary says:

        I know what you mean. I like that they are back on I tunes but I feel they should wait till after the performance. Lets face it Auto can help make anyone sound good. I am afraid people will vote for recording instead of live performance.

  31. LLA says:

    Guys can sing off- key and they get a pass–but better not be a girl and do it. Is that the way it is Michael?

    • Smokey says:

      While I enjoy the comments of Michael and Melinda —–

      – I think viewers in general, seem to expect the girls to perform like pro’s, have a great personality (that especially doesn’t “rankle” the voters) be attractive but not too sexy, have a 5 octave vocal range with perfect timing and perfect pitch—- regardless of how the band chops-up the beat and turn-arounds……………

      Guys can cut-up, stir the crowd, grunt or growl out a semblance of a tune and it’s all great fun. But that girl, darn it, she did the wrong song and went off-key in the middle there somewhere. Girls need to be amazing and outstanding to win this show.

      • tvlover44 says:

        well-said – totally agree. and girls and women are judged more harshly in so many ways by folks in ‘real life’ – including ourselves at times, because we have internalized the dominant messages about women.

        interestingly, there’s a debate about a female contestant on ‘the voice’ right now – hannah – who, in slezak’s terms, dances like elaine benes on ‘seinfeld’, though she’s a pretty great singer, too, but not perfect or ballad-y like most of the remaining females on that show. and i find her entertaining as all get out and am glad she is still part of the competition, but man, some other folks’ comments are very harsh. (and that’s not to mention the whole online uproar over kelly clarkson’s weight – and no one can argue that her vocal ability is not stellar!)

  32. Bruce Wayne says:

    Joey is the second coming of Clay Aiken in terms of Idol fanbase. When this season’s over, it will come out she’d led from the first vote through the finale when she’ll probably lose to “Anybody But Joey.” She will, though, be Idol’s largest success since Carrie Underwood in the music industry.

  33. Angie_Overrated says:

    If our trusted hosts decide to skip The Voice in the next vlog after this epic week the show has had (undoubtedly the best performances in the show’s history), there will be rioting in the streets. Rioting I tell you!
    C’mon, guys! I know you like Idol as most of us do, but we also value your input on The Voice. Something more than 90 seconds of afterthought would be greatly appreciated.

  34. S. says:

    Cookie Lyon Presents The American Idol Sound. Just think about it, Fox.

  35. JJ JaxJoeyNickClark says:

    If you look at the time on the scroll ba at the bottom of the video, 7 min 57 sec a guitar begins to play a familiar song… what is it??

  36. darcy's evil twin says:

    As usual Mr. Slezak and Melinda were one of the highlights of my week – and Jason, you were at the top of your game. Particularly with the “Empire” clips!
    I pretty much agree with what was said here – I liked Clark and Joey the best last week. And say what you like about Qassim but he is entertaining!
    .
    Jax definitely had a “comback” of sorts from crappy breathy baby voice vocals to acceptable breathy baby voice vocals. I hope Tyanna has a comeback this week.
    .
    Nick Fradiani is kind of reminding me of Paul McDonald from (I think) Season 11. I kept waiting for Paul to have a great performance, and he finally did have one good week (for the life of me I can’t recall what it was). I wanted so badly to like Paul but he never quite got to where he needed to be to make me really enjoy his performances and convince me he was worthy of the Idol crown. (Did I read that he and Nikki Reed got divorced?)
    .
    I really wish the judges had put that Rachel chick through instead of Maddie. I like Maddie and I believe in another couple of years she would have been more savvy about song choices and performing. And I love Rayvon’s voice but perhaps he’s better suited as a backup singer.

    • girl_3 says:

      LOL at “from crappy breathy baby voice vocals to acceptable breathy baby voice vocals.” I know you’re not a big fan of Jax, DET. I started out liking her, but I’ve come to the conclusion I like Joey’s authentic quirk better than Jax’s affected style. That said, I did like her choice of song this week because at least it hasn’t been done to death. My husband’s favorite is Joey, which if my husband’s past history of picking favorites is any indication, she is destined for a 3rd place finish, which is pretty good considering the treatment she would have received in the Simon Cowell-era. So who finishes Top 3 with her? I can honestly say with the exception of Bud Bundy (Daniel) I’d be okay with any of them.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I do agree Jax chose a song we hadn’t heard a million times. I’m not a fan but I understand why people like her. The performance was good. I just don’t care for her vocals.
        I didn’t care for Joey at first but I like her more and more every week,
        I am going to predict the top 3 will be Clark (the winner), Jax, Joey. In fact, unless Clark dies he’s going to win this thing, and I live in Missouri, where we elected a dead guy to the United States Senate, so anything is possible. :-)

        • girl_3 says:

          Ha! Nobody can explain the voter mentality, whether it’s Idol or elected officials :-)

          Clark does seem inevitable. I wish it weren’t so because at least nine of the remaining 11 have something that makes them interesting, either likeability, interesting vocals, or the entertainment factor. Clark is likeable but until last week’s performance he bored me. I agree with you about Qaasim, he entertains the heck out of me even though I know he’s nowhere near the best vocalist. After last year’s foray into a cure for insomnia, I actually welcome performers like Qaasim, Adanna, and Tyanna moving around and trying to entertain the masses, probably because it’s a good balance between them and the interesting vocalists. Viva variety!

          • The Superficial Man says:

            I agree with you that there is NO way Clark does not win this season. Why ?? Idol voting history – 7 of the last 9 winners have been white guys. Two years ago Candace Glover was greatly helped by the fact that the five guys who made the Top 10 ( Curtis Finch , Devin Velez , Paul Jolley, Burnell and Lazaro ) were either black or not exactly WGWG material ( Paul and Devin ). I will always feel that the powers that be stacked it that way on purpose so a white guy would NOT win. Jax is my personal favorite but I see her coming in 2nd or 3rd place ( she and Joey will make the Top 3 ).

            Clark is a good singer but more importantly he is EXACTLY the type of guy Idol voters swoon for ( the eyes, the stubble etc. ) As I have mentioned in previous posts I am fascinated by the fact only 2 white women have won out of 13 seasons but they are by far the 2 most successful people the show has ever produced ( Kelly and Carrie ) 10 years ago was the last time a white chick won ( Carrie in 2005 ).

            I am always bias towards attractive female contestants on Idol ( that is why I go by the Superficial Man !! ) and NEVER has a female that is considered to be slim with a great figure won the show. Carrie Underwood became that way after she left Idol but when on the show in 2005 she was a pretty farm girl who looked like the girl next door- she lost all that weight after Idol. Jax would be the first winner to fit that mold

    • deedee says:

      DET, I’m pretty much on board with everything you said. You’re dead on about Nick – good call! He’s a hybrid of Daughtry and Paul McDonald (yes, he and Nikki Reed are splitting).

  37. don32 says:

    Most of the great “stars” today are entertainers and not necessarily the best singers. Qassim sings fast songs that most singers perform with a playback and even if he isn’t mr. pitch perfect he can be autotuned as his voice is pleasent. It is much more difficult to these days to fake charisma and dance moves which he masters. I really wish he had made smarter choices not only with his song selection but also with the choreography bcs from what i’ve seen on youtube, he is an amazing dancer. very happy he was saved, other than tatian and possible joey and jax– he is absolutly the most entertaining and interesting contestant on the show.

  38. MAB says:

    I really don’t care how many posters here think I am crazy and some may even insult me. ( you know who you are) but I absolutely love Jax and Clark. I am beginning to like Joey & Quentin a lot also. These are my top 4.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      You’re not crazy. I like them, too. And I would never call anyone crazy for the contestants they like. Not even fans of the Sanjaya character (and there’s one every year).

      • MAB says:

        Thanks Leah. I usually agree with you and I am glad to see you posting. Some of the posters on this site make you afraid to speak up about who you like. They could be very insulting and attack you for liking someone they don’t. There have been many times I felt like throwing in the towel on this blog because of it but that makes them win. It’s best to just ignore them. You have been on this blog forever and I would hate to see you silence your voice because of a couple of very rude individuals.😄

  39. James says:

    Let’s hope Daniel goes home next week and is either joined by Adanna…or I suppose Maddie.

    • Mary says:

      We can all hope but I think we are stuck with Daniel for longer then we expect. He has people voting for him and we all know with the viewership down and voting probably down as well we might end up with him till the end. God I hope not but it is a possibility. I blame the Producers for this he never should of been put in there in the first place.

  40. Lking says:

    I liked Jax overall best for me personally. Not a Clark fan but he’s got the inside track to win this. Joey is very unique and will go far, as will Daniel regardless that he’s the weakest contestant IMHO.

  41. Dede says:

    The song playing at 7:57 is Joey. By Concrete Blonde.

  42. deedee says:

    Ugh, Slezak. Watching ‘Reality Check’ and … please. Jax? Jax?? Come ON with the over-praising. Srsly. I used to think you were capable of teasing out the manipulative from the authentic. I just don’t understand your not being totally feeling … violated …. by Jax’s machinations. Not understanding it at all. There. Said my piece.

  43. Trisha says:

    Joey deserves that A (+) Michael! No comparison to Adam is necessary – they both did great arrangements. LOL! Last week was a two-way tie for me: Joey/Clark. Hilarious & fun recap!

  44. Lloyd says:

    Michael, will you be interviewing the eliminated finalists this year?

  45. shawnuel says:

    By the way….you to DID jinx Joey. Bad song choice in 80’s week. Probably as bad as “Let’s Here it for the Boy”. Maybe Idol just needs a moratorium on gender titled songs.

  46. paigehi says:

    Way to go 17 minutes and not mention the 15-yr-old with one night stands! (May America do the same)

  47. dee says:

    I thought you should only save someone who could be the next Idol!!!!!They have lost there minds,,,,I could sing better then him!

  48. Audrey says:

    I still do not understand why QUASEEM is still a constestant!!! He is the WORST !!! WORST !!! WORST !!! No tone no nothing. I do not know what the judges were thinking when they saved him.. James Brown has passed many years ago and Quaseem is passa as well. He has nothing going for him. I hope and pray American gets smart and votes him off next week.

  49. Babs Smith says:

    I’m a former choir director and a singer, and Clark is BY FAR the best choice for American Idol 2015!