Reality Check (in Two Parts!): Who Can Still Beat La'Porsha on American Idol (and How)! Plus: J.Lo Lies, Kelly Cries!

Some people wait a lifetime — quite literally — for a moment like Kelly Clarkson returning to the American Idol stage last week and giving a jaw-dropping performance of her song “Piece by Piece.”

After all, when you think about it, several of the show’s Season 15 finalists — Tristan, Lee and Gianna in particular — were still in diapers when the original Idol took home the Season 1 crown and turned Fox’s fledgling reality competition into a ratings juggernaut.

But while Queen Kelly used her astute, hilarious time on the judges’ panel to declare La’Porsha Renae the obvious candidate to get the Farewell Season confetti shower, my Reality Check co-host Melinda Doolittle and I still view the competition as a seven-horse race.

On this week’s two-part episode, we take a long look at the 10 remaining singers and offer strategies for how they can narrow the gap on the front-runner (or whether some of ’em might just want to wave their white flags). All that plus references to Pocahontas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the lying lies of Jennifer Lopez, the incomparable Haley Reinhart, ‘Yoncé lingo and the overuse of Ed Sheeran songs.

Press PLAY above for Part 1 of this week’s show — and below for Part 2 — then hit the comments with your own thoughts on the week in Idol!

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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73 Comments
  1. mamamitzvah says:

    Hooray!

    • mamamitzvah says:

      Welcome back, guys. You were sorely missed. Feel better. Michael.

    • Min says:

      OMG, I stopped watching AI years ago, but the chemistry between Michael and Melinda makes me wish I hadnt. I might pick up again! All the JLo stuff had me rolling!!

  2. Card_D says:

    J.Lo’s comment about Haley might not actually be a lie: maybe they DID think (fear) she was going to win, thus they had to tear her down to promote the production script?

    • tom22 says:

      That thought crossed my mind too. Especially with randy s “I’m not rooting for her ” comment that was caught on mic. But then jlo really should have said, “we were afraid you were going to win”

    • KJohnson says:

      So agree. I came down here to say the same thing.

    • Mary says:

      I am sure I am going to get flack for this but I think they helped Haley go further than I think she would have. Haley has a voice that you either like or not and to be honest the majority I don’t think cared for it.

      • Emma says:

        OK, here comes the flack… it’s fine if you don’t care for her voice, you’re entitled to your opinion, but to suggest that the majority agrees with you is unfounded. She wouldn’t have made it all the way to 3rd place is that were true, she wouldn’t have over 15 millions views on her youtube cover of “Creep” with PMJ is that were true, her beautiful cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” wouldn’t be charting if that were true, I could go on and on but I think I’ve made my point. Personally I love her voice and I’m glad she was asked back and got that well deserved praise from the judges. Better late than never I say!

        • Mary says:

          You missed my point which obviously is not surprising. I do believe Haley received more votes due to the backlash the judges put on her. It is obvious that a majority didn’t care for her voice or her album would of sold more than it did. You are entitled to your opinion, just like I am, but please don’t make it sound like fact because that is just not remotely true.

          • Emma says:

            Clearly you didn’t even finish reading my comment before replying which is not surprising. Have a nice day!

          • HTGR says:

            How much promotion did her album get? And why did they promote far the most radio catchy song on it (hint: it was the only one she didn’t write on the entire album and thus the only one the studio would get max percentage of sales in their own pockets on). Don’t forget that by the time her album came out just being on Idol didn’t make you sell any more. At that time unless you made top two, without tons of extra promotion, forget it. Even winners barely even sell anything now without major additional promotion. Candice sold like half what Haley did and Candice won.
            And it’s also obvious that the way they gave her the total nasty edit totally damaged her on the show. You still see the catty comments based on nothing other than the producer’s tricks. Don’t forget also how many votes that cost. DOn’t believe me, just look at the absurd comment from giselle below. Total catty nonsense based on nothing. They have people seeing stuff now that isn’t even there.

      • Timmah says:

        Indeed, not even Michael liked her at first. I believe one of his early Idoloonies quotes that season was “Haley Reinhart is where melody goes to die”. And the public wasn’t buying her either as she spent many of the early weeks in the bottom 3.

      • carmen says:

        I agree – I guess I’m in the majority.

      • wayans says:

        I guess you’re never supposed to say this or you may be struck by lightning, but I’m not a Kelly fan and I never liked her singing. It’s more like shouting, and unfortunately this is what people call great singing today.

      • Luke says:

        Wrong.

      • giselle says:

        I think Haley’s voice is great. It was her attitude that did her in. Even on this season’s Idol, when they showed her waiting behind the scenes, she looked bored like this was beneath her. Maybe she didn’t feel that way, but the expression on her face gave that impression. To me, she also upstaged the contestant she sang with. Sometimes it’s not the talent that takes the person down; it’s the way they consistently rub people the wrong way. She did not impress me in her appearance on Idol this season even though I was looking forward to hearing her sing. The camera, not her voice, reminded me why I did not vote for her.

        • HTGR says:

          Or maybe it’s people who are jealous and catty and lemmings who fall for every producer’s trick in the book? You do realize what the producer’s did to her in her season to try to lead people along like lemmings into saying what you are saying now right? They that re-filmed certain scenes and faked them up (look at the true original footage shown on local Chicago TV) even in her home town visit to give a diva edit right?
          .
          But OMG she is blonde and cute so just has to have a bad attitude right? Maybe you need to look at yourself in the mirror and stop being such a jealous hater and learn how to feel good about yourself.
          .
          Every single contestant who came back tried to sing there best, but of course you pick out Haley for daring to not get up their and suck on purpose just to make her partner look better right? She no more and no less showed up anyone than anyone else did.
          .
          And if you read into that backstage stuff that she though it was beneath her, what? Your are letting your own personal demons or the producer’s old tricks mislead you. I mean did you not even hear the two contestants say how they absolutely loved working with her and had an awesome time behind the scenes? Wow.
          .
          And the thing is this isn’t Miss Congeniality it’s American Idol, a singing competition, so even if you were tricked or do have jealous issues, why did you vote against her just for her supposed personality if you thought she sang well? That’s the problem with voters. They jsut vote on nonsense.

  3. Ruthi says:

    Great review you guys, don’t agree with everything you said, but that’s America for you, we have the right to disgree politely. I however LOVED all the Buffy clips!!

  4. K says:

    Oh my god thank goodness, I was so scared we were going to have to go two weeks in a row without Reality Check!!!

  5. Greenlean says:

    According to Bing, Gianna and Olivia will be voted off this week.

    Tristan and Avalon will make up the rest of the Bottom Four.

  6. Mike C. says:

    WAY too many random clips that ruined the flow of the commentary. I mean, can we actually GET to what you guys think?!

    • Mak says:

      I know, those randoms really take away from the continuity of the review…did not watch part 2.

      • lorie says:

        Can you please stop showing that JLo video? It’s disgusting and getting old.

        Other than that, enjoyed the commentary. I think Gianna was saying a lot with her song; that maybe she really didn’t want to be singer. Although she could be a great one with a little time.

  7. jr. says:

    LaPorsha is the next American Idol. But IMO Alisan Porter on The Voice, out shone them all!
    And I read on youtube’ Alisan is friends with Adam Lambert! Alisan is the kind of talent, I was hoping American Idol would have had for their last season.

    • Yes and yes. Alisan wrote “Aftermath” for Adam’s first album, and is fantastic (and seems really nice). So if LaPorsha wins Idol and Alisan wins The Voice, all will be well in the realty TV singing world.

      Great episode, Michael and Melinda! (And Producer Jason, of course.)

    • Mary says:

      I don’t watch the voice but you better hope she doesn’t win because they have a worse record on producing viable artist than AI does. I really don’t see LaPorsha taking home the grand prize but time will tell.

  8. Lisa G says:

    Hahahahahaha. I could listen to Arya’s laugh over and over and over. :) Loved Melinda’s take on Kelly’s song. Hearing a peer of hers love it as much as we fans is awesome. Maybe Melinda can do election commentary this year? I’ll bet her facial reactions would be even better than when Slezak tortures her with “reality” TV clips.

    • Lisa G says:

      One other thought…. It was interesting to me that the producers have been pimping Olivia all season but they gave her the death spot on week one. Were they sure she would pull through or did they want to improve the odds of someone else?

      • Jared says:

        I really don’t think they’ve been pimping her nearly as much as they’ve been pimping Tristan. And yes, I think the producers believe that Olivia will sail through this week. She’s amazing.

  9. Miss O'Ginny says:

    Bey quotes were so on point! Plus lotsa original lines by M and M too….worth the wait!

  10. Ethan says:

    The comment about J-Lo lying about Halet made me laugh so hard.

  11. CAH says:

    Really wish Melinda can come back to Idol one last time! I love, love, love yall’s take on American Idol.

  12. Shaun says:

    Funny stuff blaming it on JLo.Olivia needs to get back on track a bit,but so do many others.I can’t stand La’Porshas way of singing things,so I can’t get behind her power voice and proclaim her the winner or whatever.Those Ed Sheeran types can get drowned out by the music,so they better be extra careful.

  13. I’m sad when I see Alison Iraheta singing back-up for some of these 15-year old Idol wanna-bes..,

    • Ben says:

      Yeah.. the bar is soo low this final season. Maybe they made this top 14 in order to crown La’Porsha no?… ’cause it can’t be that they select just inexperienced kids/flat singers for the final season… It’s just stupid (well.. at least La’Porsha gives us an A performance last week).

    • I know, right? I mean I know she’s getting paid and all, but it’s a travesty to have to listen to some of these contestants when we can just bring her up and take their place.

  14. OMG! I loved this one. Both you and Melinda were “right on” this week. Loved how you got JLo. She deserves it and I hope she sees this. I just kept singing “Liar liar pants on fire” when I heard he utter those words to Haley.

  15. Scout says:

    They really need to ban Ed Sheeran songs for the rest of the season. It’s becoming absurd. And it’s not like they sing them better or even have a different take on them. It’s just bastardization of good songs over and over again. Enough, already.

    I am so happy for TWO vids this week. Everything about them was PERFECT. Love the editing and different clips. Already miss you guys.

  16. Alan Dvorkis says:

    Damien Rice is the perfect singer song writer to borrow from.

  17. abz says:

    The Buffy clips made me want to rewatch the series so bad. Also the Maleficent clips killed me. I don’t even watch AI much anymore except for the occasional YouTube clips, but I still enjoyed this. I hope you guys can throw in The Voice a little bit later on.

  18. PaoloAKhan says:

    I just don’t understand how people see laporsha as the clear winner, Olivia is still there and her vocal is out of this world, and she’s only 16!!

  19. Epazote says:

    If Allison Iraheta is still on stage, I should be allowed to vote for her, damn it.

  20. “I don’t always buy what he’s selling”…how soon we forget the Proud Mary performance.

  21. karenb says:

    GREAT Reality Check (s)! The editing is hysterical, don’t change a thing! I really appreciate all the effort that goes into making these episodes. Reality Check adds to the Idol fun. Will be sorely missed (as always-love the Kris Allen shout-outs!)!

  22. Scott says:

    I don’t think that Avalon’s Thursday performance was her best, and surprisingly she seemed nervous and not her normal “I am who I am and I do what I do” self. But she has an amazing voice and, usually, an even stronger stage persona. She is a really cool chick who is what she is and is proud of it. She is a great example for young women in sho wing that you don’t have to conform to a certain image to be successful. But I agree that she needs a better, stronger performance this week. Still my favorite

    • Suzie says:

      When I saw Avalon in makeup, I thought “oh no! They are trying to make her over.” Once the Idol Machine gets a hold of you, your “you-ness” gets whittled away. Remember how they tried like crazy to remake Philip Philips? But he was having none of their nonsense.

  23. Stephanie O'Daniel says:

    I don’t like Laporsha and that tumble weed wig I also don’t feel she was that good I hope she is voted off

  24. Stephanie O'Daniel says:

    Sonika can beat Laporsha and I hope she does because I cannot stand seeing Laporsha with that horrible wig

    • SZ says:

      I love LaPorsha…But that ain’t no wig Honey.If it was it would be lookin’ nicer. I already have been wondering when she will get the straightening iron makeover ?

  25. Hanna says:

    Way too many Buffy clips. I love hearing what you all have to say, you’re smart and very entertaining, so please cut out 95% of the extra clips.

  26. Jo March says:

    Brenda K. Starr – go home, and take your daughter with you. BKS is a horrible stage mother.

  27. carmen says:

    I JUST NOTICED how there’s a lot of young 15 and 16 year olds this season. LOLOLOL

  28. darcy the slutty twin says:

    What are you talking about, Michael and Melinda?! Trent delivered my favorite performance last Thursday!

  29. susie says:

    Your videos will not load

    • PSCali says:

      Or they play Dairy Queen ads over and over then freeze instead of playing the Reality Check video that I really want to watch.

  30. AlyB says:

    I just caught up with this and have to say it’s my favorite Reality Check probably ever.

  31. LaPorsha belongs in a cabaret show.

  32. IC says:

    Nobody ask you to like her.

  33. Jamie Covert says:

    I was a little surprised when Dalton compared himself to David Cook. To me, he’s more like a blonde, Adam Lambert wannabe. He’s cuter than heck, but he just doesn’t bring it like David OR Adam.

  34. Kate says:

    This whooooole thing feels like a gift specifically chosen and wrapped up for long-time, devoted Idoloonies. Alison. Haley and the Evil Queen. Poor little Thia Megia, who you have not gone a season without talking about. Jason Averett and the vindication of Brie Larson! Love you guys so much.

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    I’m a little late but thanks to both of you for a very entertaining two-parter of Reality Check. Melinda, I wish they would have you on Idol JUST ONCE before the program ends. You’ve Earned It!

  36. ara says:

    Aaargh!!! Please go back to using Youtube. This is taking forever to load and replay!

  37. HTGR says:

    I didn’t have a problem with her comment. The show and JLo were finally giving her due props (even if you don’t believe JLo meant it this time, the mere fact she’d then have been forced to agree to bow down would mean Haley won anyway; I’d be more inclined that the eye of newt she sent out last time was the fake stuff, forced by Nigel, of course it would still mean selling out which Steven Tyler refused to do, so still awful, or maybe even something messed up in her personal life then plus a few nudges from Nigel). What were they to do go in a long pitch about how they sent the fleet out after her? (maybe on the side some day she could admit what the show did to her, but this was not the place and this is probably all you’ll get and as much as you could expect). Simply saying the stuff they did was giving her props, clean props.
    .
    And they basically meant by that comment, that they were admitting she was the best and that they knew it. What more could you ask for? And they had to do it in a slightly delicate way as to not insult the other contestants. So yeah I was fine with what they did regarding Haley this night.
    I would just celebrate all the positives of it, repeat them saying it many times and just stick to that.