Reality Check: Is It Too Late to Save Idol's 13th Season? Plus: The Great Alex Preston Debate! And Is Team Blake Unbeatable on The Voice?

To say it’s been a frustrating season of American Idol would be as much of an understatement as saying Jennifer Lopez likes her clothes on the revealing side.

But what, exactly, is keeping the show’s latest crop of contestants from achieving true greatness, from delivering musical moments that deserve to be branded in our memory banks alongside …READ MORE & WATCH VIDEO

American Idol Top 8 (Redux) Performance Recap: Am I Lookin' for a New Love, Baby? [Updated]

I don’t want to sound like a miserable old codger, breath reeking of Werther’s Originals and cantankerousness, shaking a freshly cut lilac branch at the neighbor kids and screaming “Get the heck off of my lawn!” But man oh man, tonight’s installment of American Idol put me in a bad mood. And this despite Season 7 champ David Cook pinch-hitting for “mentor” Randy Hackson — typo, and it stays! — and offering the kind of cogent, specific, pithy (not to be confused with pitchy) advice the Idoloonie Nation has been longing for all season. READ MORE & TAKE OUR POLL