American Idol Semifinal Results Recap (Week 1): Mismatch Point

No one left the cake out in the rain during Thursday’s American Idol semifinal results show, but producers may have yanked it out of the oven when it was still making the transition from lukewarm batter to delicious baked good.

Look, I’m not one to complain about the idea of Idol all-stars returning to the show — even putting aside my fury that my exquisite Reality Check cohost Melinda Doolittle has not once performed on the Idol stage since her shocking Season 6 exit — but this may have been a case of too early, too unbalanced and too unprepared.

Thin about it: For the 12 Farewell Season finalists who took the stage this week, it was only their second performance since the Green Mile “Top 24” announcement. And while there’s no denying the overall talent level of these kids, the truth is that very few of ’em — at this moment in time — have the stage presence or vocal confidence to go toe-to-toe with ‘Tasia or Ruben or even the verrrry flirty Lauren Alaina.

Would you judge me harshly if I told you I kinda fell for the Lauren-MacKenzie love-at-first-sight edit? I know, I know… I should be forced to revoke my Idoloonie card and be sent directly to the SwayBot pit. But there’s only so much producer manipulation a fella can resist over the course of 15 seasons — I had to break somewhere!

Anyhow, I have to go get my How to Get Away With Murder recap on, so let me offer my letter grades for the episode’s duets — then get to the business of results.

Letter Grades (for Contestants — Not All-Stars)
Emily Brooke (with All-Star Lauren Alaina), “Flat on the Floor” — Grade: C-
Thomas Stringfellow (with All-Star Nick Fradiani), “Man in the Mirror” — Grade: C-
Stephany Negrete (with All-Star Ruben Studdard), “Superstar” — Grade: B
Sonika Vaid (with All-Star Caleb Johnson), “Skyfall” — Grade: C+
Jenna Renae (with All-Star Scotty McCreery), “See You Tonight” — Grade: C
La’Porsha Renae (with All-Star Fantasia), “Summertime” — Grade: A-
MacKenzie Bourg (with All-Star Lauren Alaina), “I Hope You Dance” — Grade: B-
Gianna Isabella (with All-Star Nick Fradiani), “Beautiful Life” — Grade: D+
Avalon Young (with All-Star Ruben Studdard), “Flying Without Wings” — Grade: B
James VIII (with All-Star Caleb Johnson), “Gimme Shelter” — Grade: B-
Jeneve Rose Mitchell (with All-Star Scotty McCreery), “Gone” — Grade: B
Jordan Sasser (with All-Star Fantasia), “I Believe” — Grade: B-

Advancing to the Top 14 (By Judges’ Decision Alone)


Biggest Outrage: Squeaky Thomas over Jessica Cabral (eliminated at the Green Mile)
Runner-Up: Gianna over Stephany

Your turn. What did you think of Part 1 of the Season 15 semifinal results? What were your favorite duets? Vote in our poll below, then hit the comments to expand on 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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  1. Allie says:

    Tonight was terrible. I might be out by next week if this doesn’t improve. There is only so much time I have to waste.

    • Timmah says:

      I’m trying to look at it as being so bad that it might actually be good. From the awful performances right down to the last detail of Seacrest trying to look like David Hasselhoff.

      • Lyn says:

        Do you get the feeling that [not unlike the Democratic nomination] the fix is in? That the 3 judges have become super delegates and it really isn’t up to us at all? There is absolutely no way that Janeve or La’Porsha are viable as Idols. It’s the whole package and neither one has it or any chance at a national career. And I don’t say that because my faves were cut. My two Dalton and Jenn haven’t performed yet. All in all last night was pretty dismal. The former Idols performed well, but all of the current bunch were Ds & Fs.

        • Kbella says:

          It’s about ratings. LaPorsha and Jeneve are interesting and controversial and will generate more interest than someone like Stephany or Emily. They just need to keep a few really good contenders around to be legit.

          • Lyn says:

            I suppose so, but Janeve is very Children of the Corn and La’Porsha really needs to dial back the circus hair.

          • Lizzie says:

            Jeneve isn’t “interesting” – more of a speeding trainwreck at this point. Emily showed that she was so unready for the competition, but so is Gianna despite all the coaching she has had from her mom – feeling like when the daughter has to have a big wedding because the mom didn’t get one in her time. Stephany seems to tick all the boxes of what you’re supposed to do to be on the show, but something about her singing is disconnected. LaPorsha can surely sing, although take out 9/10 of the runs and I will be able to listen longer.

        • jr. says:

          Thomas and MacKenzie should never have even made it to Hollywood week,let alone the top 24, and certainly should not have gotten through last nite. Really beginning to see the problem with American Idol, is not the contestants, but the judges! IMO

          • Larry Davis says:

            Nah, they got it right. I’m actually GLAD they chose La’Porsha and Jeneve and non-makeup-wearing loosey goosey Avalon over the more packaged Stephany (despite her hotness) and Emily, and even Jenna Renae…package and image only goes so far…we need originality and off-kilter NON commercial talent over someone too obvious. I actually got it right in who will make it through…the judges picks were my picks…thank freaking goodness…if Simon were here, he woulda sent through the opposites…

          • Larry Davis says:

            Of COURSE Tommy & MacKenzie deserved to make it through…more than some of the others…because talent is their MO, not image…Tom is a powerpop guy with a quirky side and so is MacKenzie, who is more like a better, more melodic pop version of John Mayer, and he was great on the Voice as well…

        • Larry Davis says:

          Sorry Lyn, better that it NOT be up to us because if it were, then the best people would not be sent through and will never win…the judges are the best the show ever had and have the best taste of them all right now…if it were just up to the judges, Adam Lambert would have won Season 8, instead of Kris Allen who won only because of the homophobes and conservative people afraid of someone different. The fix may not totally be in though because they had their sights on Emily and she wasn’t very good and deservedly got cut…if Simon were still on, he would have made sure she got through because of her commercial appeal and sub-Taylor Swift image. Should ONLY be about talent and originality first, NOT image first & the whole package first. If it were, Stephany would have gotten through, and she deservedly did not cuz she is a bit emotionally flat & soulless. Artistry first, commerciality & package second or nonexistent. I am happy La’Porsha, Jeneve, Avalon, Thomas & Mackenzie got through over the more packaged ones…because they deserved it, those others did not.

      • marie says:

        Hilarious! Thank you for identifying what I was trying to figure out about Ryan’s new look.

      • LizzyB says:

        By way of lady golfer.

        • LizzyB says:

          I was referring to Ryan Seacrest’s new look–not sure if this popped up under the original person’s statement I commented on.

    • Bryan says:

      2 words for next week: Reinhart. Daughtry.

      • Luke says:

        One more : Cook

      • gemapet says:

        I do like the Idol-alum duets but should have left for top 10 or whatever it is. So the contestants would have had some more live experience and would have styling and hair/makeup done.

      • Larry Davis says:

        Haley Reinhardt is awesome…her album “Listen Up” is one of the best albums an Idol alum ever made, artistically…as for Daughtry??? Yuck, flyover post-grunge at its worst, and when he attempted powerpop, it’s too commercialized and a bad version of the Gin Blossoms…his new hits collection is one I will be avoiding 100%…I’m happy I missed Season 5, except for Katherine McPhee…David Cook is good too, but 19 ruined his second album…

    • Shirley says:

      It’s Idol’s last run. One would think the judges would want the strongest talent on the stage. Instead,we’re left with the new cast of High School Musical. Is this REALLY the legacy these judges want to leave? I watch because I’ve watched since season 2 and because I used to write about the show (good thing I don’t anymore; it wouldn’t be pretty). I’m with Clay: These judges are the worst EVER.

      • MyFavoriteSong says:

        Agree that the judges are really bad. That being said, you know they don’t make final decisions – the head honchos do, as they are the ones responsible directly to Fox upper mgt and the advertisers/ratings. Judges are window dressing…and bad at that.

        Was disappointed last night when the judges oooed and awwwed way too much over the alums. Sure it was good to see some of the alums (but not all of them are favorites) but come on, of course they are going to out-sing the contestants.

        Thank God for DVRs.

        • Larry Davis says:

          No no no and no…you & Clay (whom I hate, horrible music and taste) are 100% wrong…the judges are the best lineup ever here because of their good taste, real musical ability & knowledge, and chemistry as a unit, like a real band…Simon sucked on the show, despite his Brit charm & honesty, because he had horrible, too-commercial taste, and zero musical talent. He did get better on the X-Factor though. These judges are not being told who to pick…if they were, Emily & Stephany would have gotten through because of their image and “package”, and it would have felt rigged. And Shirley, no, this might be the best contestant lineup in Idol history, based on talent alone…they may look awkward, but that’s not the point. It’s originality, real honest-to-gosh musical talent, and green rawness which the show intends to build into something viable yet their own. This is why the Voice works because it’s about the voice and talent, not the look…ie BLINDS…and 3 people here are unsurprisingly FROM the Voice…Mackenzie, Shelbie Z & Sonika…if these judges were on the show Season 4, not Simon, then for sure, Carrie Underwood would never have won the show…she was horrible, too stiff, too commercial country and too religious…and when she won, I banned watching the show for 3 seasons…5, 6 & 7…she did get better but I still hate her cuz of her religiousness…I’m happy I missed Daughtry too…he really is bad and gives rock & roll a bad name…horrible, too commercial, post-grunge flyover rock…he actually makes Nickelback tolerable, hahaha…he’s a bad Nickelback. Sorry I go against the Idol rules, but just being honest…

          • Annoyed Beyond Words says:

            You hate Carrie because she’s religious? Ha. THAT’S mature. No wonder the world is going to Hades in a hand basket. Too bad you boycotted… You missed some great talent.

          • Larry Davis says:

            Yes ABY, I am an atheist, and Carrie’s religion is downright offensive…”Jesus Take The Wheel”, “Something In The Water”, etc. Terrible. She was even upfront about it when confronted, and doesn’t care if it offends people. Best if the world is atheistic because free thinkers make better decisions; blind faith is downright foolish and a waste of time. To all religious people, if you think what you are taught in church or otherwise was actually TRUE(??!!??!!), well then, I have a bridge I’d love to sell you. And religious people tend to cross boundaries and IMPOSE their beliefs on others who are usually unwilling to go along with it. Plus, religious people go against the world’s values generally (pro-choice, anti-war, pro-gay marriage, etc)…As for missing Seasons 5, 6 & 7, yes I did miss some good ones, but I buy their records…Kat McPhee, Carly Hennessy/Smithson, David Cook, Kellie Pickler. Happy I missed Daughtry though, his music with his band stinks…terrible generic flyover rock & bad post grunge…nice guy though.

      • Var says:

        Judges are worse than Mariah, Nikki, Ellen, Steven,and the woman with the Italian name ? Seriously?

    • Lizzie says:

      Be sure to DVR it so that you can fast forward through the commercials, Ryan, and anyone who starts out their performance really awful.

  2. Ethan says:


    • Logan says:

      Im so glad Im not the only one extremely excited about this. Her alone would be reason to watch.

      Remind me, why didnt she win season 10? Im still mad…

      • septicsam says:

        Because Scotty was better.

        • Kbella says:

          Or he just appealed more to the voters, especially the young, female ones who will spend all night voting multiple times.

        • Terry says:

          No, because Scotty was country.

        • Larry Davis says:

          Absolutely not…The only reasons why Scotty won was that he was country, like a baby Blake Shelton with his cute aw shucks charm & low voice, and appealed to the ladies who were the only ones voting. Also Lauren Alaina was country too. If the show was based only on talent and the judges’ input only, Haley would have had a better shot at winning…of Season 10’s Top 3, Haley was the one who put out the best album…not Scotty (too cookiecutter lame & radio…shoulda been alt-country/Americana), and not Lauren (her debut was just OK countrypowerpop, like a baby Shania Twain, nothing earthshattering, and she only cowrote 1 song on it…I’m about the songwriters ONLY)…Haley’s debut “Listen Up” was one of the best records released by an Idol alum, period, and one of the few ones of quality…90% of them are all junk.

          • Emma says:

            If the show was based on “the judges’ input only” Haley wouldn’t have made it past the first live show. Your memory is failing you. LOL. I agree that Haley’s album “Listen Up!” was stellar, I really hope it gets a nice boost after her appearance on Idol this week. Looking forward to seeing her sing on my TV screen again, it’s been so long, 5 years! I can’t believe how time flies.

          • Larry Davis says:

            If I’m not mistaken, the judges loved Haley on the show, more than the public did. Same with Casey Abrams. If is was judges only in Season 10, the Top 3 would have been Haley, Casey & Lauren, and Haley would have won.

          • Brandon says:

            Haley Reinhardt is not that great she wasn’t great on the show either

          • Larry Davis says:

            Sure, everyone has their own opinions, but taste is taste, and your’s sure as heck ain’t mine. Haley was the only true rocker on that season, and her taste leaned more towards the eclectic, which is the way it always SHOULD be. Her dad also played a mean guitar…remember their Zeppelin collab?? Ace and unforgettable. Her post-Idol album “Listen Up!!” was just brilliant and had a cool Brit influence. Some of it reminded me of one of my all-time fave bands, St Etienne, and had a cool indie and alt-pop feel that would sell better in the UK and Europe than backwards America who wouldn’t get it. You sure don’t. She was the best on Season 10 and I loved how she was at the bottom in the beginning but kept rising higher and higher as the weeks went on, ending at #3. She was the “little engine that could” who got better and better with each week, but she was my fave from the start.

      • Luke says:

        I agree! Hayley is my favorite Idol of all the seasons – with Kelly coming in a close 2nd. Especially ridiculous that Lauren came in ahead that season – and shows the public doesn’t have the best taste. That’s why the show is stepping up and having some say in who their last meal ticket will be. And Hayley’s album is one of the best albums no one heard of – because she got zero marketing and support.

        • Lyn says:

          IMO Lauren came in 2nd because of her duet with Scotty on “I Told You So”.

        • Gibraltr says:

          The public definitely DOES NOT have the best taste, which is why american idol is pointless

        • Larry Davis says:

          Hailey is one of mine as well…her record “Listen Up” is one of the best by an Idol alum, period!! The Walmart version with the 4 bonus tracks and purplish cover is the only one to get. It hit #17 in Billboard, but with zero promo or hits, that’s pretty remarkable…too bad her deal with 19 & Interscope didn’t work out for more. Yes it’s cool the public is involved with the vote, but like any democracy, you cannot sway the vote towards the “best one” because that is purely subjective, and yes, agreed, the public overall has the worst taste, but who am I to say really?? The show should be the judges only, and should have been that way all along, or a mix of judge and public, with the judges the final say…HOWEVER I just read they did away with the judges save for good this season…interesting…in a way, that’s good, it was like cheating.

    • Holly says:

      DAVID COOK COMES BACK NEXT WEEK!!!! (Actually both are among my all-time favorite Idols. So happy they didn’t stick Haley in the same episode with Scotty and Lauren Alaina!)

    • The Beach says:

      It’s time to bring Allison Irahita (sp?) out from the background and into the final season spotlight like she deserves.

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        Sadly, I don’t think they consider Allison an all-star anymore since she took the background vocals job a couple seasons ago. She’s the “help,” and thus no longer an all-star who can perform as a “guest.”

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I saw her singing background and I see no reason she couldn’t come to the forefront.

      • marie says:

        I say, Hooray for Allison, she has a steady gig singing! (And don’t forget, Melinda Doolittle spent time as a backup singer before embarking on her solo career; happens her path was kind of the opposite of Allison’s, but who says it can’t happen for Allison, too.) The music business is incredibly tough, as I’m sure we all know; kudos for Allison being able to make a living doing music vs. waiting tables or clerking in a department store (not that there’s ANYTHING at all wrong with those jobs, mind you; I’m just glad for Allison that she has the opportunity to MAKE MUSIC!).

      • The Beach says:

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy for Allison that she is making a living with her music. I just have always considered her as one of my favorites from her season and her duet with Adam Lambert was always one of my fondest of Idol memories. Was just hoping they give her a few minutes to show her stuff during this final season. As a matter of fact, let her and Adam do that Slow Ride duet again.

    • Bonnie A. says:

      My favorite contestant and how I discovered this website. And David Cook! Saw him in concert last year–so good.

    • Lyn says:

      Don’t you threaten me!

    • Jose says:

      She is coming back!!!! Along with Daughtry and David Cook!!! Definitely the best combo is up next week!!!

  3. Lisa says:

    Gianna not getting cut was a gigantic travesty and I couldn’t wait for you to put up this recap to hear what you had to say about it. Your grade for her performance said it all. She sounded like a high school student trying to sing with Nick.

    • Lisa says:

      Okay wait – she IS a high school student, but high school talent show kind of thing is what I was going for. Not American Idol.

    • Somebody says:

      I’m not sure I agree with that. I’m not her biggest fan, and to be honest, I would have been perfectly happy to see her home this week, but “Beautiful Life” is kind of a…well, terrible song. Even Nick just shouts it. There aren’t any real opportunities in there to have a vocal moment, and I give Gianna credit for trying to find one and /almost/ succeeding.

      Full disclosure: I never thought Nick was terribly good. Adequate.

      • marie says:

        Of all the talent last season, I never understood why Nick won.

        • kevstar says:

          Because last year was WEAK! That’s why.

        • msemmyjones says:

          Same. I found him so bland every week. So bland, so forgettable, so middle of the road. It was a pretty weak season, but Joey and Clark could have won instead.

          • Kayk says:

            I was for JAX all the way and I’m still miffed about how she was unceremoniously practically shooed off the stage when the Final Three were standing awaiting their fates and she was announced as the one going home.

          • Liza Ann says:

            Clark was blander than Nick.

            Once Joey & Quentin were the most interesting contestants. But they were too quirky to have a realistic chance of winning. Idol voters want mainstream, and it is a bonus if they are middle of the road.Thy are all that interested in voting for contestants that are not totally mainstream/MOR unless they are really great.

        • Waterbug says:

          Totally agree. How did that happen? I stop watching last season at the final 6.

          • Owen says:

            Because WGWG

          • Timmah says:

            Owen is exactly right. They should have banned guitars for the final season and then they might have had a chance of having a winner who can actually sing.

          • marie says:

            Timmah and everyone, wait for Trent next week. He plays guitar AND he sings like nobody’s business. My (hypothetical) “money” is on Trent this year. So what if he’s another WGWG! Incredible talent is incredible talent, and he has got the goods.

        • Jillette Razer says:

          Every finalist this season is so much better (more creative, better sounding, more interesting) than nick fradiani but this week most of them sort of fell asleep at the wheel. Also its way too early for all star duets, even the judges seemed confused.

        • Lizzie says:

          Scott Bourchetta got pissed off when Clark wouldn’t do his bidding, and Jax got voted off, so that left Nick. He’s not good enough to have won, but there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from, after better singers were cut early on, including better singers who were shut out of the live shows because they didn’t match a demographic component. Candace Glover, Caleb Johnson, and Nick – none of them worthy of winning. The last actual American Idol winner was Phillip Phillips, after that we just keep seeing the forced winner (or their second or third choice) of the producers. I can hardly wait to get a chance to vote, although as usual, I wish that instead of being able to vote FOR contestants, that we could vote against some of the ones the producers stick us with.

      • Steven John says:

        I actually agree. That song was meh. I think Gianna actually did a good job. I think vocally she is talented, and I thought she was genuinely super cute and adorbs.

        For me, part of the performances I enjoyed weren’t just because they were sung well, but seeing the interaction between the contestants and the Idols. So while this song was not great, I enjoyed Gianna’s energy and enthusiasm.

        I also liked the oddballness of Jeneve. And even Jordan’s attempt to keep up with Fantasia even though it was obvious he was painfully outclassed.

        While I liked Mackenzie and Lauren, it was actually more for the awkward flirtation rather than the musical performance, which personally, I felt like Mackenzie was kinda meh. Lauren totally lessened her shine for him. And while that makes sense as a duet, she did her job, because it has to be more about showcasing the current contestants, it kinda stirred my inner psuedo militant feminist. I was also a little squicked by her flirtations a bit. It was cute… but also… kinda creepy. I dunno. Maybe it’s because I don’t find him all that cute? lol

      • Allie says:

        I was kind of shocked that they had 2 finale songs – let’s face it, they always stink. Didn’t do the real contestants any favors.

    • The Beach says:

      Stephany should have gone through instead of Gianna. It’s not that she can’t hit the notes, it’s her tone that I find harsh unpleasant.

      • Jaye says:

        Or Jenna Renae! This is American IDOL. Nothing about her says “IDOL.” She is so far outside the grid she has no clue. Its not just how she dresses (little house on the prairie?) but her voice IMO is immature. She is awkward and difficult to watch and listen to. She is a talented musician, but not an American Idol singer/performer.

        • Lizzie says:

          Are you talking about Jeneve? She’s the off-the-grid girl, Gianna is Brenda K. Starr’s daughter. Both Jeneve and Gianna should have been gone.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Totally agree about Stephany, The Beach.

      • Larry Davis says:

        Nope no way…despite her hotness…talent first, image second. Even Avalon was better than both Stephany & Jenna…Stephany looked great, no question, but she was emotionally flat, disconnected and soulless. Jenny had fun and enthusiasm in spades but her performances were oh so forgettable. That’s what Idol got wrong in the past and got right this season…they put through the ones who are both musically talented but are green & raw on the surface but find their footing later…just like how Kelly Clarkson was in the beginning of Season 1…most of the people who get through look good but are musically flat or not talented at all…and they don’t focus on songwriting ability either…Gianna and Jeneve deserved to get through, despite their awkwardness, over more packaged obviously cliched ones like Stephany, Jenna & Emily…

        • HeartMN says:

          It does seem like they are trying to get the ones that have a musical background – the ability to work with a band, change up a song, etc. Hopefully with the shortened schedule they will still have enough time to gain the stage presence.

    • Don says:

      I thought Gianna was better than everyone who got cut, except for Steffany. Of course, this isn’t saying much.

  4. Tyanna says:

    I would gladly trade Stephany for Thomas

  5. Sophia says:

    Hi Michael, could you ask Ausiello if Paul Anka will be back in the Gilmore Girls revival? Also I love your Idol insight and opinions, I’ve been reading you since your EW days, I think I’ll miss you the most when Idol ends :/

  6. Logan says:

    Savion Wright all over again with Emily Brooke. Please tell me La Porsha is not going to act as the Sarina Joi Crowe of this season and be eliminated first in the top 12 (or this season, 10)

  7. Angela says:

    I agree with the grades for these performances for the most part. I’d rate the duet between Jordan and Fantasia lower, though-it was just way too screechy for me. They weren’t singing so much as they were shouting and screaming.

    • MamaLis says:

      Curious why people think Jordan was sent home? He’s got a somewhat solid voice. Certainly better than grid girl or hiccupy Thomas. Was it his smug, disenguous personality? Was it the Sunday Baptist Worship vibe? Or was it simply rudely crossing in front of Fantasia (which honestly, perhaps shows a lot)? Honestly, I was surprised. Just wondering what this group thinks.

      • kevstar says:

        His All by Myself last night was ATROCIOUS. Right up there with Thomas and Emily Brooke.

      • Owen says:

        Married in the closet gay men get on my nerves.

      • The Beach says:

        I think it was all the points you mentioned plus his terribly overwrought Celine cover from the night before.

      • He was okay. His song choice last night wasn’t the best. It is a competition and he was trying to showcase his voice and range for the judges, so I got that. He wasn’t bad with Fantasia, and I would have put him through, after Stephany and Jenna. I would have left Jeneve (arggggh!), Gianna (yuck!) and Thomas (bleech!) on the cutting room floor. Notice how the producers constructed the eliminations: One for each guest performer. It’s so obviously predetermined, long before last night’s single performances were even rehearsed.

        • Shirley says:

          TOTALLY agree.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I’m not sure how Jordan went from “trendy guy with man bun” to a bad lounge version of Neil Diamond. It was bizarre. And I get the same gay vibe from him.

        • Liza Ann says:

          Both of the contestants who sang with Nick advanced to the Top 14.

          Also, did anyone notice that Idol played a very short clip of Nick’s next single at the end of his mentoring Gianna? That was Scott B at work. The clip was lmaybe 3 seconds long, but Nick posted a longer snippet on his FB.

      • Ann says:

        Jordan was sent home because he stunk. Thomas stinks too, but Jennifer Lopez is infatuated with him or something…so he’s got her in his corner. I also think that’s the reason why Gianna got through. She’s not very good either but her mom is Brenda whatever who was a one hit wonder in the 80’s whom Jennifer Lopez adores….

      • Lizzie says:

        Likely the unbelievable disaster of his attempt at a Celine Dion song was the end of Jordan, although to J-Lo it was crossing in front of Fantasia on the stage during the duet – seems like an easy enough thing to stop doing, but to J-Lo it was some sort of extreme ultimate rudeness.

  8. I would trade Stefany for Thomas and Jeneve for ? Jeneve for a swap next week maybe cause I like next weeks batch of singers better IMO.

    • SaraPo says:

      I feel the same way about next weeks batch. It’s sad that better talent will go home next week only because they put some subpar people through this week. I know not all my faves will make the cut when there are SO MANY weak ones this week :(

      • Lyn says:

        I’m right there with you. i wasn’t keen on any of this week’s hopefuls, but worry that the ones I like from the coming week won’t make it. Dalton Rapattoni, Jenn Blosil and Lee Jean are the ones I hope make it through, but the hype is on for Trent Harmon, Tristan Macintosh, Olivia Rox, and Manny Torres.

  9. das.bananas says:

    Jenna and Emily are waaaaayyy better than how they appeared this week. they deserve another shot. where is my vote.

  10. Brigette says:

    How convinced are we that the producers didn’t already know who was going through before these performances even happened?

  11. Andres says:

    you had to see stephany go, she was cannon fodder, but the fact she got the boot over gianna confuses me.

  12. marie says:

    MUST I vote for both duet partners? Can’t I just vote for Fantasia and Scotty?

    La’Porsha is very good. She’s not as good as Fantasia yet.

    I thought tonight was at least better than last night – which admittedly isn’t saying much.

    Looks like next week is overall a stronger alumni lineup (and my favorite contestant sings next week too).

    Thomas threw in at least one hiccup on his duet which was totally unconnected to any line in the song – just a standalone hiccup. PLEASE stop it.

  13. wendy says:

    I don’t get it. I thought stephany could go to the finals. So sad right now.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Glad to see I’m not the only Stephany fan . She’s very polished and deserves to go farther.

      • Lyn says:

        I liked her but couldn’t get past her reminding me of the actress who plays Priya on The Big Bang Theory.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Okay then. I don’t watch that program. I am old – she reminds me of Cher! :-)

          • Lyn says:

            You mean visually right? Because vocally Cher [my fave female singer ever] has a much deeper voice. I find Stephany a bit shrill.

          • Cat2 says:

            I totally agree–in appearance. She was my favorite out of all those 12. I really enjoyed last night. “Skyfall” gave me chills, and I was singing along with “Gimme Shelter”. The duets seem to give the contestants a lot more confidence. I’m just beyond disappointed that Adam Lambert won’t be on next week. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen at bringing out the best in his partner. He reins in his own stellar voice, smiles encouragement….Face it, he’s the best Idol ever. His perfection is what killed this show; everything else after him was dull.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Yes, I meant visually, Lyn. I think with some work her voice would develop more depth.

      • JayNC says:

        You are not the only one – I thought she and Jenna would both make it. Instead we are forced to endure at least one more performance by Jeneve and Gianna.

  14. Mollytanner says:

    Ruben’s voice is still velvet. That took me back to 2003.

    • Lisa G says:

      Yep. He sang that Carpenter’s song in his season, and as soon as he started I remembered why it was so close between Ruben and Clay. I thought he was well paired with both of his contestants and that he was most generous in understanding that this was supposed to be about the contestants.

      That said, I enjoyed hearing most of the returning Idol stars. It was fun to hear I Believe again. Scotty was perfect for Jeneve. I really hope that CJ performs with Daughtry next week. He’s in a bad spot being older and in a group of judge’s favorite teens.

      • kevstar says:

        JLo pissed me off a little bit with her mispronunciation of my favorite male singer of all time, Luther Vandross. ( It rhymes with Ross, not Gross).

    • Timmah says:

      But are you sorry for 2004?

  15. I think the judges decided who was going forward before tonight. Most of the duets were a train wreck. La’Porsha was amazing…and then there were the other ones (I think James VIII was robbed, and I don’t get the love for Jeneve at all.

    • Somebody says:

      I’m pretty sure they made that decision well before this point in the competition. You can tell from their critiques. Good singer/performer gives solid performance: damned with faint praise or backhanded complements. Weak singer/performer gives weak performance: “You’re so interesting. Nobody else is like you. You’re such a raw, natural talent.”

    • Jeneve is being propelled on the strength of Harry. I am appalled that they let her dress like that. And that song choice for the duet?????

      • Eurydice says:

        She looked like a cowboy nun.

      • Ann says:

        Jeneve has a really nice, strong voice. I think the producers are setting viewers up for a “transformation” similar to David Cook. David was pretty mediocre in looks and how he dressed up to a point after the makeover episode where he got a haircut and new hairstyle and new clothes…that’s when he started blossoming. I suspect that if Jeneve can go far based on her voice alone, she’ll get a makeover at some point and viewers will love it….and if she does win the whole thing, producers can take credit for transforming her into the winner. Because right now, producers seems to have already picked their top 3: Stringfellow, La Porsche, and Jeneve (after a makeover).

        • HeartMN says:

          She is also very musically talented – she plays a lot of very difficult instruments.

          • Lizzie says:

            I can’t stand Haley Reinhart – it will be hard to listen to her sing, although I am mostly irritated by her personality – I did enjoy hearing all of her performances with Casey. Daughtry will be awesome. Seems like maybe too much talent stacked into next week to cut 5 of them – I’d rather have gone without Geneve and Gianna from this week’s set to keep the better contestants that will get cut next week. Whoever set up the groups of 12 surely had an agenda through a few who should not have stayed in the competition.

          • Emma says:

            Lizzie, I hope Haley changes your mind when she duets on her single. It really is quite beautiful. As is she, inside and out. Cheers!

      • Jennielyn says:

        She’s like church lady cowgirl with her moves and expressions or is it Mary Catherine Gallagher? She’s like an SNL skit. Just awful!!

    • Calen says:

      I thought the exact same thing. I may have started and continued to swear for a good couple minutes when they picked her.

  16. SaraPo says:

    The only thing that made me glad i spent 2 hours watching this trainwreck tonight, was the last 30 seconds when i briefly stopped breathing as Chris Daughtry, David Cook (my favorite Idol contestant EVER) and Haley Reinhart are coming back. I am sad though that all my favorite contestants are scheduled to perform next week, so fewer to go through. I was only happy 1 or 2 from tonight went through. The talent level of the contestants seems unbalanced from this week to the next. Someone really deserving next week could go home only because they HAD to pick a certain amount this week. Oh well. David Cook will be back on my tv again and that’s really all i care about right now. Counting down the days….Oh, also Keith’s reactions when the camera would cut away to him during Jeneve’s circus performance tonight were priceless.

    • lizzie says:

      Keith’ reaction as to how bizarre the performance was, that was the most honest response of the night. Jeneve was pretty awful, and so awkward on stage. Scotty was generous in how he tried to work with her, but there are much better singers coming next week and not enough slots. Next round, someone from wardrobe has got to step up.

  17. kevstar says:

    All my favorites, the first 3 you mentioned. I’m OK with that, but Thomas..?

  18. Ron says:

    Judges…total package also includes looks. Take the blinders off.

  19. Z says:

    What is the point of sending through immature teenagers except for highly dubious ratings considerations. Even if they were to win they are still years away from any meaningful career, if anyone still remembers them by that point, and so the payoff to Idol is virtually nil.

    • Mary says:

      That is not necessary true. Look at some of the musical stars today – most of them started at an early age. It is not that I agree with whom they choose to put through, but you cannot dismiss the possibility that one of them might break through.

  20. Corinne says:

    Stephany should be in Gianna’s spot no doubt. Once the people get a vote she will be one of the first to go.

  21. Florence+TheMachineRulez!!! #TeamMariah says:

    Very bummed that Emily and Jenna didn’t make the cut. But happy for laporsha, Sonika, Avalon, and Mackenzie. Here’s my predictions for next week:

    Shelbie or Adam


    • Kbella says:

      Well, I really hope the “painfully cute” Lee Jean makes it through, which I’m pretty sure he will.

      • Lyn says:

        Thank you. You’re the only person other than myself who has even mentioned him. Don’t think I’m crazy, but I get a bit of a haunting Michael Jackson vibe there.

        • lizzie says:

          Lee Jean has real potential, I like that guy a lot from tone to personality. Here’s hoping he makes it a lot longer. In no particular order, my favorites on the show now are Dalton, spacey Jen with that ethereal, spunky voice, Trent, Lee Jean, CJ, Thomas if he will ditch that weird affected chirrup sound at the end of phrases, and I would like to hear LaPorsha sing after extraction of the Fantasia influence. I will need ro DVR the next shoe to spare myself from Shelbie Z, who I didn’t like on The Voice, either.

  22. Blewis says:

    Wonder why this show went down the tubes and in its last season? Just take a look at who the judges selected!! I had loved this show until 2 years ago, now it’s just a waste of time. Judges just trying to be PC. No balls to just pick the best. Pissed again, great job Idol,

  23. This show can’t end fast enough. The all-stars made me miss when it was good.

  24. msemmyjones says:

    Okay, when that one kid quits the squeaking he’s not all that bad.

    • I only heard one squeak–and it was half-hearted, or maybe like he did it inadvertently, like someone told him “Stop doing that!” and he remembered not to do it in the middle of the squeak. So, at least I got a laugh out of it. Without squeaks, he’s just okay, but one half-hearted squeak is one too many.

  25. Scout says:

    I was really impressed with all of the returning idols. I am still baffled with how Gianna and Thomas are still here at this point.

  26. twell says:

    Please can this be the last time Jessica Cabral is mentioned. She’s out and cannot win.
    Jeneve, really? That was terrible; maybe it was the song. Sometimes I hear a pretty tone in there but it’s not consistent. She’s not ready.
    Gianni has a great voice but isn’t ready. A couple of times she looked disconnected during the song, kind of blank, like she was thinking too hard.
    Thomas? I have no words.
    On to the shallow, Fantasia looked beautiful.

  27. Rob says:

    Okay. What we just witnessed tonight was a goddamn social injustice. How does Jeneve and Gianna get through while people like Stephany Negrete get cut? Even Emily would’ve been far better than either of those two. WTF!?!?

  28. Ruben Griego says:

    Unbelievable that Stephany didn’t go through, I think she’s the best singer by far & the best overall performer. I really think she’ll be the next SELENA & that’s saying a lot but she no doubt has the talent. JUST AWESOME! They need to get her back on the show somehow, someway.
    She can win this when the voting is in the public’s hands.
    Thanks, Ruben

    • Kbella says:

      But we already HAVE a Selena! That’s why Stephany got cut. People, it’s about RATINGS! There is no one in the musical spotlight like Jeneve. And she’s not as awful as so many people are saying she is. Close your eyes and listen to her sing. (Ok, not “Gone” but maybe “RIng of Fire.”) She’s got the talent and she is INTERESTING.

  29. kevstar says:

    Oh, Mikey. I don’t think the producers had a hand with Lauren being in heat woth Mackenzie and how uncomfortable be was. Damn, girl, you may need a cold shower!

  30. Gary L says:

    What are the judges thinking eliminating Stepany!!! Do the judges actually think Jeneve can win AI this is a joke that she even got this far… Somebody please put some makeup on Avalon

    • Timmah says:

      They are more interested in joke contestants than people who can sing. Nothing really new I guess, it’s why they have so many mediocre winners.

      • Liza Ann says:

        None of the past winners were joke contestants. All of them are very talented and were deserving winners, even if they weren’t all my favorite contestant from his or her particular season.

        All 14 past winners would be favorites to win if they were competiting in S15 — they are all better than most of the S15 contestants.

    • marie says:

      Hands off Avalon. She has every right to look and dress exactly as she wishes. The sad reality is, though, related to exactly what you said: in 2016, there’s still a societal expectation that women – at least young women – are supposed to dress to please men, not themselves. Sigh. Don’t get me started.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I have to agree with marie. Avalon looks totally appropriate for her age. She absolutely knows who she is and she’s as cute as she can be.

        • Lyn says:

          Yes and no. i get a lesbian vibe from her so OK no evening gown. But at least she should have some sense of occasion and clean up a bit. She looked like she just came in from volleyball practice and was headed for the shower. Some effort was required for national TV.

          • Kbella says:

            Have you seen how the guys are dressed??? I think Avalon is very naturally pretty and refreshing.

          • Liza Ann says:

            Hate to break it to you, but most tomboys are not lesbians. And I know lesbians who are very girlygirl and love wearing dresses, high heels and makeup.

            Stop with the stereotypes. Most male artists wear jeans and t-shirts when they perform in concert. Very few of them get dressed up. So why can’t a female artist perform in a sweater and jeans? It sure as hell is far more comfortable than trying to work the stage in a tight dress and 8 inch heels.

            I hope Avalon resists any attempt to make her over. If she wants to wear a dress and makeup, that’s fine. But it should be her decision — not forced on her in some outdated, sexist idea of what a female artist should look like.

          • marie says:

            For heaven’s sake, “clean up a bit”? Geez, she does not look dirty! And to echo what darcy’s evil twin said (hi, DET! :-) ), it’s refreshing to see someone so young with that much self-awareness, self-confidence, and the ease to say, This is me, take me as I am. I wish I’d been more like her when I was her age! It takes many people, myself included, a whole lot longer to develop that degree of self-confidence. Good for Avalon!

          • marie says:

            And also, who says lesbians never wear evening gowns?

          • JayNC says:

            I like Avalon exactly as she is, and I am speaking as a man

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I guess lesbians never attend formal events, marie. :-)

          • Red says:

            The femmes wear gowns. The butch ones [Ellen] wear suits, sport coats etc.

          • Susan Curry says:

            I will agree if you said the same about Phillip Phillips in his season. He typically looked like he was about to change the oil in his car. If you didn’t, I smell hypocrisy.

      • Mel says:

        AGREE. Also, I really hope her “makeover” just includes more expensive clothes in her style and a hair trim. Producers and stylists, please don’t force her to wear something that makes her look and feel uncomfortable.

      • Judy says:

        Is Avalon a butch? Back in the hollywood week, when she sang “Excuse Me Miss”, I thought gurlfriend genuinely sang that song to a certain love interest. It was almost like a “coming out” moment for her.

  31. AndyAxel says:

    Annie Oakley is on borrowed time. I can’t wait for her to get back off the grid.

  32. Omarr says:

    I don’t now, nor have I ever in the past, thought that Stephany was that good. She’s a good singer but not one of the best. Gianna has a great voice but her youth shows every time she performs. This week was really boring. Next week’s cut will be brutal. I can feel it now. I have no doubts that Tristan and Dalton are going to Top 14 since the producers have been giving them sooooooo much screen time and the judges never give them real critiques. SO many of my favorites are on next week and it pains me to think about who will go home. I wish they sent home Thomas, Jeneve and Gianna in addition to the elimnated 5 tonight so that 10 people could go through next week. ughhhhh!

    • JayNC says:

      You are right to be worried – the decisions have already been made, might as well just skip the performances and wait for the results.

  33. lorie says:

    Not great. Everything AI does is calculated and you just gotta wonder why.

    • Smokey says:

      Because they are “casting” for the live shows and want a certain mix of characters, genre influences, etc. No use in trying to rate strictly by singing ability and appeal, as the Judges will still control things, even until their self-appointed “saves” are exhausted into the live shows. Anyway, just enjoying seeing the previous idols back and working with them, so no worries.

  34. Tahoe Mike says:

    I’d have kept Stephany over Sonika, James 8 over Thomas, and Jenna Renae over Gianna. With Gianna still there we have our first true waste of space. So many others should be there over her.

  35. Puchinsmom says:

    Fantasia and La’Porsha were a perfect match. But some of the other pairs were bizarre! I mean, Sonika with Caleb? And Michael was right about it being too early for these duets. It showed how unready these kids really are to pair them up with the alums.
    I thought Avalon sounded so good. And Sonika’s voice is exquisite. Gianna may not be ready, but she’s a hoot! She’s really funny.

  36. I thought Stephany & Ruben’s, Jenna & Scotty’s and LaPorsha & Fantasia’s were the best. As for the judges I think Nick, Fantasia, Ruben and Scotty did a good job coaching them with Scotty’s performance with Jenna Renae a clear standout. Lauren Alaina seemed to have decided to make her duet with Mackenzie all about her. I didn’t see her performance with Emily (the Producers seemed to have been trying to sabotage her performances since the beginning of Hollywood Week). Stephany and Jenna Renae clearly were better than Jeneve and Gianna. But it’s not Gianna who should be gone, it’s Thomas, who should never have made it to Hollywood in the first place and Jeneve. I was surprised at how selfish Caleb Johnson was. He literally blew Sonika off the stage (a true sign of a lack of respect) and he dominated his performance with James VIII using them both as mere background singers. I felt Lindita deserved to make to the top 24. I’m certain she would have kept up with Caled but I think JLo was too jealous of her (giving her a steely look as she sang) and they (Harry/Keith and producers) choose to keept LaPorsha instead, whom she looked away from as LaPorsha sang her final song during Hollywood Week. I’m looking forward to next week.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      Caleb Johnson is a douche. Douchebag back in his season, still a douchebag now.

      • Justien says:

        I disagree. I think Caleb is a genuinely nice guy- the other contestants on his season certainly liked him otherwise they wouldn’t have been so happy when he won. I don’t think he was trying to be rude- he has a very strong, loud voice. People don’t call Lauren Alaina rude for singing louder than her duet partners. It was inevitable. He was very nice to Sonika especially and I think he gave her great mentoring advice. At the end he seemed to be in a rush to get off stage. Something tells me he’s unhappy with the Idol machine because they left him in the dust after he won- hardly promoting his album and leaving him out of last year’s finale. I really don’t blame him for feeling bitter, so lighten up. He’s a good man, and a great singer.

  37. Ashley says:

    Clearly, most of the commenters here have much more sense than the judges!

    I’m not a huge Stephany fan, but she was the one elimination that really stunned me; she may not have the best voice, but she has undeniable stage presence, light years ahead of some of the teens! I don’t get Avalon – I just really don’t. Mackenzie is another that I just don’t understand, and Thomas is adorable, but that damn hiccup of his is getting annoying really quickly; I don’t think I can take more than one more week of it. I was bummed about James VIII.

    Positives: If they mentioned Brenda K. Starr one more time I was going to throw my wine glass at the TV, so there was that. Fantasia, Fantasia, Fantasia! I squeed a lot when I saw Cookie, Daughtry, and Haley. Can’t wait for next week, however, I agree with many of you that some of those cuts will be a major travesty because my faves are also in that group.

  38. Gailer says:

    These judges are bad actors and couldn’t pretend those were their choices
    What does Brenda Starr have on Scott? Or ?? Lol

  39. Timmah says:

    Tonight’s episode finally answered the question that everyone has been struggling with, namely: “Who was it that won last season?”

  40. Taylor says:

    Can someone explain to me why on earth Michael gave Avalon and Jeneve’s performance the same grade?!? I thought Avalon sounded fantastic tonight and Jeneve…..I just don’t get it, or her.

  41. La’Porsha. Fantasia. A MINUS? How? That’s got to be one of the great ones. A+, off the charts is more like it. Jeneve and Gianna never, never, never should have gone through. Here’s hoping America soon sets this to rights. If ever there was circumstantial evidence that the producers decided who was going through before the performances even happened, this show is it. Jenna blended really well with Scotty (Get outta here with your C); Jeneve: Make it stop. Please. Stephanie was terrific; Gianna was so boring I had to have an expresso while she was performing, and I don’t drink coffee. Sure, her voice was as big as Nick’s. So? He’s a nice guy, and I liked him okay with Thomas–he was generous, unlike Lauren–but I don’t think he should have won last year. Jordan was pretty good too. I’d take him over Thomas any day. Maybe the next reality show to use this model–and there will be one in a few years, for sure–will have better and more intelligent producers.

  42. Bruce Wayne says:

    Oh please, Fantasia is terrible and so is her clone La’Porsha.

  43. Steve says:

    The first 3 to leave should have been Keith, Harry, and J Lo… Proud Mary sucked.. No originality other than not being able to do it as good as was like watching Wednesday night Karaoke at a sports bar… You 3 let Stephany go? Mackenzie has a wennie voice (with no balls).. The same goes for Stringfellow…. Poor judging,.. Bad programming … Gone gone gone!!!

  44. Don says:

    Biggest disappointment was Stephany getting cut. I would have kept her over Thomas, Geneve or Gianna. She has a far better voice than any of those three.

    As for the duets, I really liked Avalon, La’Porsha, Sonika and Stephany (in that order), Some of the others were pretty awful (particularly the two who sang with Scotty and Thomas).

  45. Buffy0531 says:

    I do not get the appeal of Jeneve. I haven’t heard her sing really well yet. To put her through ahead of Stephany – bland as she may be – seems like a waste of a spot.

  46. TBD says:

    Now that Thomas and Gianna are through I’m worried Trent’s not gonna make it. I don’t feel good about this. Oh well it’ll be like Ethan Thompson all over again for me this year. Still I hope I’m wrong.

    I wish Mackenzie did that solo guitar version he did in the VTR instead with Alaina, maybe have her harmonize more and not actually belt out like that. There would have been more chemistry. Speaking of which, there was so much of that with Avalon and Ruben. I mean Avalon is just cool. That duet made Ruben more current and it showed Avalon’s more elegant side.

    Happy about Sonika. I can’t wait until she has her ‘moment’ on the show. When that happens, I feel like such a wide demographic’s gonna vote for her.

    Watching Fantasia sing tonight just made me wish she was the kind of Idol I’d be watching this year :’) I don’t quite get that from La’Porsha or really any of these people just yet.

    (Reinhart, Daughtry and Cook) x 2 next week. SO stoked.

  47. Sue says:

    Interesting how each former Idol each won one and lost one, except the newest Idol, who “won” both of his duets. Coincidental, or ego-saving?

  48. Brandon says:

    I believe jeneve should of gone home instead of stephany because I was a big fan of stephany and Gianna

    My top 14 was
    Adam lasher
    I don’t really have the last person because they not memorable

  49. Christine says:

    A “B” for Jeneve’s performance? Surely that can’t be right? I’m with Keith on that one. Bizarre.

  50. zach says:

    Hmm, I actually agree with the results of the ‘vote’ above and also with Michael’s rating. It seems like many people like Jeneve, but they don’t post comments.