American Idol Recap: Seventh Sealed

The role call of seventh-place finishers on American Idol ranges from the back-to-back eyes-wide-open nightmares of Sanjaya Malakar and Kristy Lee Cook in Seasons 6 and 7 to the remarkable success story of Season 3 Wild Card Jennifer Hudson, who overcame the Pepto-Bismol Dress From Hell to scale Oscar- and Grammy-winning heights. In between those two extremes, though, the not-so-lucky No. 7 spot has been occupied by singers who showed early promise, then flamed out (Anwar Robinson, Kimberly Caldwell) and those whose “package artist” good looks carried them further than their vocal abilities might’ve otherwise suggested (Ryan Starr, Tim Urban, Ace Young). (Nope, I’m not mentioning Season 8’s Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds, who technically tied for sixth.)

Where exactly the newest member of Idol‘s seventh-place club fits into the mix remains to be seen — and that’s due in no small part to the fact that the two defining moments of Stefano Langone’s Season 10 run are true studies in opposites: On the positive side, Stefano’s gut-busting Wild Card rendition of Smokie Norful’s “I Need You Now” still ranks among the top two or three vocals by a male contestant this season (gun to head, I might actually put it at No. 1). But conversely, the average entertainment junkie probably knows Stefano as that stunned-looking dude who was standing next to the glamorous Pia Toscano when she was unexpectedly given the old heave-ho on Top 9 results night. I’m not sure how many hundreds of thousands of times that scene has been aired and re-aired on syndicated entertainment shows, basic cable channels, and also “the news,” but it inadvertently made him the Zola Budd to Pia’s Mary Decker, the Blame to Pia’s Zenyatta, the Crash to Pia’s Brokeback Mountain. You get the picture.

If, however, Stefano wants to be defined on his own terms — and I imagine that’s got to be the case — he certainly took the correct first step with a thoroughly winning attitude and a decidedly heartfelt sing-out during Thursday night’s results-show telecast. From the moment Ryan sent him to the Silver Stools of Doom, Stefano maintained a big smile and a zippy energy, bobbing and ducking like an enthusiastic boxer waiting to get in the ring. And once Stefano found out his rendition of Ne-Yo’s “Closer” had netted him the lowest number of viewer votes for “Songs from the 21st Century” week, all he wanted to do was skip the ceremonial gnashing of teeth and  belt out his closing number. “I’m ready for the mic,” he declared, while a befuddled Ryan Seacrest held him at bay long enough for the weekly farewell package to get rolling.

Fortunately, there was enough time for a highlight reel that showed Stefano in a tank top — anyone casting a musical rendition of Streetcar Named Desire? — and a vocally muscular encore presentation of Stevie Wonder’s “Lately.” I’m not sure Stefano is quite ready to take the music world by storm at this very second,  but neither was J.Hud at the end of her Season 3 run. The good news is, the kid has plenty of raw talent. With hard work and a little luck, who knows what’s possible?

Idoloonies Interview: PIA TOSCANO on Her Dream Rap Duet,
Love of Ballads, and That Ghastly Jumpsuit

Joining Stefano in the bottom three this week were Jacob Lusk (but only because of an earpiece malfunction, I’m sure he’d tell you) and Haley Reinhart (because, if you didn’t notice, she’s a female). That configuration, of course, means that only Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and James Durbin have avoided a bottom-three placement this season.

But getting back to the subject of Thursday night’s telecast, let’s do a rundown of the musical performances, with letter grades for everyone:

Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, Stefano Langone, and Jacob Lusk: “Hey, Soul Sister”
I’ve been loving Season 10’s emphasis on results-night ditties by duets and trios — instead of the show’s typical joyless group routines — but “Hey, Soul Sister” contained neither the organic brilliance we saw last week in Haley and Casey’s “Moanin'” or the real-world relevance of, say, Lauren and Scotty’s “American Honey.” There was nothing particularly wrong with any individual vocal, but there was also the sense that Train’s ubiquitous hit wouldn’t have cracked a list of any of these kids’ top 500 songs from the 21st century. It’s not a good sign that I spent most of the performance contemplating Haley’s day-to-night secretary ensemble of salmon blouse, green pencil skirt, and yellow heels. Just add a chunky gold necklace and you’re ready for happy hour! “Oh grrrl, it’s two-for-one mudslides at TGIF’s till 9 p.m.! Let’s get outta here!” Grade: C+

Scotty McCreery, James Durbin, and Casey Abrams: “Viva la Vida”
Whoever railroaded these boys into Supremes-style hands-to-the-front choreography should be forced to watch a month’s worth of marathons of every awful sitcom Fox has ever tried to launch in the post-Idol timeslot. Scotty sounded halfway decent on a non-country song, though. Grade: C

Katy Perry (with Kanye West and some very pale, dancing Sleestaks): “ET”
Generic voice? Check. Questionable dance skills? Check. Gaga wannabe outfit? Check. Awful lyrics (i.e. “Wanna be a victim, ready for abduction!”)? Check. Congratulations, Katy Perry, you’re No. 1 on the Billboard charts! Grade: “Marketing.”

David Cook: “The Last Goodbye”
The new single from Season 7’s delectable champ is like a refreshing fizzy drink compared to the toilet water of Perry’s smash hit — but whether or not that’ll mean anything at pop radio remains to be seen. Back on the Idol stage, David looked and sounded right at home, and aside from Stefano’s sing-out, Cookie gave us the sole moment worthy of a DVR rewind. Grade: A-

Stefano Langone: “Lately”
I still find it jarring to hear a skittery disco beat paired with Stevie Wonder’s tender melody, but Stefano sang with a looseness and confidence that’s been missing from his performances for many moons. If you’ve got to go, this is the way to make your exit. Grade: A-

And now, on to our awards ceremony for the evening!

Unsubtle Early Reminder That an Idol Finalist Would Get Beheaded Within the Hour
The opening chyron indicating that “SE7EN” contestants remained

Another Example of Randy Being Intolerable
That sentence that began with “Me, Steven, and Jennifer…”

Contestant Who Clearly Enraged an Idol Stylist During the “Ford Music Video” Shoot
Casey Abrams, clad in ill-fitting regalia from the Cabela’s catalog while trying to lasso a cloud

Food Reference That Sounded Potentially Awful/Awesome
The “Butterscotch Scotty” Cupcake

The “Who Says We Don’t Need the National Endowment for the Arts” Award
Painting of Casey’s Face + Pomerian on an upright bass leaning against a brick wall

The “Is Someone on the Idol Production Team Watching Idoloonies?” Prize
Awarded to whoever killed Randy’s mic when he tried to respond to Ryan saying the Casey-Pomeranian piece was “a nice shot of Casey and Randy”

Revolting Comment That Ought to Inspire J.Lo’s First Idol-Related Restraining Order
“I was just gonna breathe in her face, but then she gave me an opening.” –Casey Abrams on going in for the kiss during Wednesday night’s “Harder to Breathe”

Please Stop Encouraging Casey From Doing Anything Other Than Making Good Music Prize
Ryan Seacrest announcing “America wants more of the soft lips!” to indicate Mr. Abrams’ safety

Age-Appropriate Flirtation of the Night
David Cook’s mom flashing her son the “rocker hand” sign while getting a hug from Steven Tyler

Possible Inappropriate Ogling of the Night
Was it just me, or was J.Lo ch-ch-checking out ‘Fano’s booty during his exit performance?

The Kris Allen-Adam Lambert Prize for Absolutely Adorable Bromance
James Durbin giving Stefano a massage openly weeping at Stefano’s ouster

The “Children Under 18 Should Not Be Allowed Near Ryan Seacrest’s Spray Tanning Technician” Award
An Oompa Loompa-colored Lauren Alaina

The Awkward Setup to a Bottom Three Announcement Prize
Ryan: Did Stefano do enough to stay out of the Bottom Three?
Stefano: I hope so.
Ryan: You are in the bottom three!

The Subtle Commentary on America’s S**** Voting Pattents Prize
“Wow, Scotty, you are safe.” –Ryan Seacrest, sending Haley Reinhart to the Bottom Three (again)

And now I turn it over to you: How are you feeling about Stefano’s ouster? What kind of post-Idol career do you expect him to have? Were you surprised by anyone who avoided the bottom three? How did you feel about the night’s musical performances? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Abby says:

    It was time for Stefano to go, but I am still a bit sad because I feel like he had the chance to be much better than he showed. Why did he never play the piano, by the way??

    • The Wheeze says:

      I was a little sad too. I figured it was going to be either Jacob or Stefano, and I did not think I really cared which of the two went, but when Stefano’s name was called I was sad and disappointed that it was not Jacob. I think Stefano never felt comfortable under the pressure. I mean first he only makes it through by wild card, then he basically has a permanent spot in the bottom 3, and finally is the odd man kept during the “apocalyptic ousting of Pia”. I mean looking back who would of/could of held up to that?

      • sallyD says:

        Jacob a Diva? No, Drag Queen perofrmance YES! Please get this Queen gone.

      • Meredith says:

        I agree with you, Wheeze. I knew that logically, it should be Stefano or Jacob. And I really didn’t think I cared that much which (though I knew tha Jacob (the mirror) really irritated me). But I was sad. Stefano really is such a nice guy with a really good voice. But I just didn’t really feel it when he sang. But I think there is a place for him if he works at it.

    • darclyte says:

      Stefano had more to offer than Jacob. Stefano peaked early, fell back, and was progressing forward again lately. Jacob is running in circles.
      My bigger concern, though, is that they are following up 21st Century Music week with Carole King week? Seriously? If they’re gonna go that route, why not Diane Warren week instead? At least she’s had a hit song within the last 15 years.
      With Stefano gone, one can only hope that next week will be the last time that Jacob Stanks up the stage.

      • Julie says:

        Carol King was a staff song-writer for (I forgot which label) and wrote half the songs that played on the radio in the 60’s and 70’s, not just the ones we associate with her or that she herself sang. She was a great, super-prolific song-writer. And look what good it did trying to focus the contestants on “current” — one still managed to choose a 30-year old ditty and the others sounded like wannabes.

        • tonya says:

          I did not know that about Carol King! Thanks for the info Julie!

          • Julie says:

            Another thing about Carole King: She said in a documentary I saw that she wasn’t trying to write GREAT songs — she was just trying to write hits — in those early days as a staff writer in the 60s, I mean. They were all trying to just write hits aimed to the very young (baby-boomer) crowd, and as quickly forgotten. She said they never imagined so many of their songs would become classics as they did.

        • Cornelle says:

          I can’t remember either. But there is a good book out called “Girls Like Us” which talks about Carole, Carly and Joni as they became famous.

      • Suncatcher says:

        @darclyte – your good question about Carole King had me doing some homework.

        We all know Carole King for the many hits she wrote and recorded for herself. However, she is mainly known as a successful songwriter for OTHERS. We all know who sang the song – but frequently don’t know who wrote it.

        King is in that select group of singer/songwriters who make a whole lot of money writing music for others. Others in this niche: Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Paul Anka to name a few. Like them, she is in both the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1987), Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1990) and she is also the 2004 winner of the coveted Grammy Trustees Award.

        Here are just some for whom she has worked that had Billboard hits:
        Mariah Carey, Mary Blige, Black Eyed Peas, James Taylor, Celine Dion, Babyface, k.d. Lang, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Guns ‘N Roses, and our very own STEVEN TYLER.

        Carole King has the #4 album of the 2010 Top 10 Albums, “Live At The Troubador.”

        I think we’ll hear some good / current music next week!

        • Dave says:

          What – do you work for Idol and are trying to put a positive spin on this? Or are you actually Carole King? Cause PULEASE! It’s gonna be LAME. I can’t wait to hear Lauren sing “I Feel the Earth Move” – because with all the weight she’s gaining I am sure it’s a song she can finally relate to.

          • @galaga6846 says:

            Age aside, I asked my husband what he thought of Lauren’s body type and he said “I like it, yeah!” And, if anyone will sing “I Feel The Earth Move” it will be Haley, in the style of Mandy Moore.

          • Lizbeth says:

            Maybe they should have went with Katy Perry’s great repertoire–LOL

            Carole King is awesome. She wrote huge hits for others when she was still a teen from the Brill Building. I think she may have more hits than any other woman in music history. She started singing her own stuff-because the very young James Taylor encouraged her to go for it.

            Hope Idol cleared a bunch of songs.

            I will never forget when James Taylor sang his Fire and Rain and then Carole King’s Up on the Roof for the Concert for NYC after 9/11

          • Allie says:

            I have never commented before but feel it is important. #1 Mr Slezak I think you should look at all the comments and ok them first. #2 Dave you should be ashamed of yourself, she is 17 years old!!! How awful of you to comment on her weight. Who are you and what have you done to feel righteous enough to say such things. This young woman had the courage enough to put herself in front of the very judgmental American public to try to realize her dream. I may not like her style but she has some true talent.

        • Lyn says:

          Gotta love Carole King, seriously! Sampling of her songs:
          It’s Too Late
          So Far Away
          Some Kind of Wonderful
          Up on the Roof
          A Natural Woman (not that I want to hear that again on “Idol”)
          You’ve Got a Friend
          One Fine Day
          Where You Lead
          Will You Love Me Tomorrow
          It’s Going To Take Some Time
          Crying in the Rain

          • zaza says:

            There really is a lot that the contestants can do with these songs…IF they are allowed to be creative.

        • julie says:

          Thanks for bringing me up to date on King’s career!

        • Uh says:

          And this is news to who?

    • Joe says:

      Stefano never developed as an artist during the show and I think his music IQ was pretty low. How the heck did you now know Lionel Richie’s Hello and call yourself a singer? Besides the fact Cook slayed it a few years ago, the song is parodied in everything from Judd Apatow movies to Family Guy.
      In the early rounds I was very pro-Stefano and thought he was going to dark horse this thing, but the more we saw of him, the more we saw how raw he was.
      In my estimation, I don’t think a recording career is going to work for him, but I do think he’ll be a fairly big hit on Broadway. He’s a natural in the way he delivers a song for the stage and he’s got the pipes to do it. He could be cast in Jersey Boys pretty easily not to mention other musicals.
      While I know hating Jacob seems to be the thing to do on this board, I was glad he got another week to potentially knock something out of the park. I enjoy Jacob. Out of all the vocalists, he’s probably the only one left who can pull a rabbit out of his hat and destroy the audience with a ridiculous vocal. That said, he needs to hit a grand slam next week or he’s toast.

      • @galaga6846 says:

        I think Stefano has the potential to sound very contemporary. He sounded great doing the Neyo song. But, he doesn’t need autotune or strobe lights and 38 backup dancers to make for an interesting performance, so never mind. He’ll never be contemporary.

      • The Wheeze says:

        Though I do agree when Stefano said he did not know “Hello” before he chose to perform it,I did have a “Are you freaking kidding me” moment. He did know Stevie Wonder, and it was much much worse when a bunch of the contestants did not know who The Beatles were? THAT should have been an instant elimination! I did enjoy Jacob’s “Man in the Mirror”, but his self-proclaimed “Lusky Stank” that he put’s on most of the songs he sings makes me hope he goes next week!

      • dewey says:

        I hate to sound like Simon, but Stefano will have a great career singing on a cruise ship. He will make a nice living, and he will meet all the girls he wants. All over the world. Good luck, Stefano.

      • Disagree says:

        Stefano never developed at all. He still attacked every song. He still closed his eyes and stuck his head in the air like he was a baby bird swallowing that mic. He still never got for one minute what any of the lyrics ever meant. He still was clueless about what the judges were trying to tell him. His poor Dad got everything. How painful for him to watch his son try so hard but not get it.

        • @Disagree says:

          And yet, I’d rather watch/hear him sing 20 songs in a row than watch even 10 seconds of Jacob butchering some classic with that out-of-control weapon of his. Ugh.

    • GinaBallerina says:

      Re: the piano…I saw a tweet from him somewhere responding to that very question. He said that he wouldn’t be playing the piano unless it was his “own stuff.” I thought that was an odd notion.

    • Stefano, Jacob, Paul, they all were never going to win. So the order in which they went wasn’t a big deal. As long as Jacob goes next week, then that will be fine. If any of the remaining 5, especially the 2 girls leave before he does then it will be an injustice again.

  2. evs says:

    “Whoever railroaded these boys into Supremes-style hands-to-the-front choreography should be forced to watch a month’s worth of marathons of every awful sitcom Fox has ever tried to launch in the post-Idol timeslot.” – hilarious Slezak. (Fox cannot do comedy :D )…

    • Walrus says:

      I beg to differ, if only with an exception. Raising Hope is genius. Is it the best comedy on TV? No… I’d give that to Modern Family, but it’s frequently very funny and one of the only comedies on TV I bother to watch.

    • Karen says:

      Fox can’t do comedy? There’s a little show you might have missed – it’s called The Simpsons. :) Hard to believe it’s from the same network that has given us so much garbage, though.

    • Christina says:

      It was none other than Robin Antin who railroaded the boys with that choreography. What should we have expected from the woman who brought us The Pussycat Dolls.

    • millie says:

      That would be Robyn Anton from Pussycat Dolls who choreographed both opening numbers. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything that corny and dated looking. She should stick to choreographing sleaze.

    • vetimus says:

      House is one of the best comedies ever on tv.

    • Mike says:

      Three words: Married With Children

      • CraigJ says:

        You really think Married With Children made its debut in the post idol time slot? It was off the air before Idol ever started. Same with the Simpsons. Slezak wasn’t saying FOX can not do comedies, but take a look at the attempts that Fox has made “specifically following” American Idol…the most current being Breaking In, which is better than 90 percent of their other attempts. Glee doesn’t count either. Remember Life on a Stick? That is a perfect example of the type of shows he is referring to. Fox can do comedies, mostly cartoons, but they have had failure after failure, year after year, in the post Idol time slots. Once X-Factor starts, Fox is going to have very few programs. Three shows that air twice a week (Idol, Dance and assuming X-Factor) Sunday night cartoons, Sat Cops etc. so they only need to fill Monday and Tuesday or Thursday nights. Fringe stays on Friday. Anyways, Cheryl Cole is going to be on X-Factor…America get ready to fall in love. She is awesome and love her accent! Go Haley please outlast Lauren. I am thinking next year have to winners on Idol one Male and one Female and raise the age up to 18. X-Factor is auditioning 12 year olds. To me that’s just wrong and I don’t want to watch kids that age sing and you know they are going to get tore apart online. That’s just the world we live in today. Lauren’s fat, Jacob’s the worst thing to happen to television since The Biggest Loser, Scotty’s going to win this thing and he is so boring every week. Would love Haley, James and Soft Lips to be in the final but don’t see that happening.

  3. Jem says:

    Well I’m hoping Jacob goes next week, then I’ll feel that we have a reasonable top 5.

  4. N says:

    I love Cook but I wasn’t crazy about his performance. Seems like his vocals weren’t as strong as usual – was he sick? It felt like he couldn’t get the high notes. I hope he gets a sales-bump anyway..

    • Walrus says:

      I agree. I’m a huge David Cook fan, and was looking forward to tonight’s show. The performance was a little flat and the song itself was a little disappointing, but may grow on me. I found myself more interested in his drummer, who impressed me greatly with his ability to play so intensely and sing at the same time. I can’t believe we have to wait until June 28th for the CD to drop!

    • The Wheeze says:

      ITA. The performance started a little rough, not just David’s voice , but the whole band too, no one seemed to be together. It did get better towards the end, but David’s voice just did not seem as strong as usual.

    • allie says:

      Love, love, love Cookie. Fast forwarded the song – hoping he was just having an off night and will check it out on Itunes.

    • Anon says:

      I thought the song was just meh. Kind of boring.

    • Ablo says:

      I know Michael, our host, really likes David. So do I. But if you listened to that and thought it was good, you’re letting your antecedent impression of him color your critique. Michael hates that when the judges do it — but he doesn’t seem to see that he does it too — regularly. David had a bad night. Perhaps it was the mix. Perhaps he was sick as N asks. But it was a mess. Don’t pretend it was an A- performance because you like him.

      • LAP says:

        Couldn’t agree more. C+ just because it is David, but I bet you that if the same sound would have come from Goookey Slezak would have give it a D-

      • RE says:

        Why was he so glamed up? Maybe that affected his singing because it did not look or sound like Cookie.

    • Gata says:

      I agree…I thought he sounded a little off.

      • Blair says:

        I also agree on Cookie and the whole band being off and out of tune. Usually, he delivers right on the money, but IMO this performance sounded rather like “DeWyze” performance than his own. Strange.

    • Leila says:

      It wasn’t bad singing, it was a bad song. I loved David Cook on the show, haven’t liked any of his own songs so far. Sad.

      • SDTim says:

        David Cook’s pre-Idol CD, “Analog Heart,” is genius. Not a bad song on it. His POST Idol stuff, however, hasn’t really blown me away. I think that says a lot about being under contract to a big label. He probably gets pushed to do stuff that the suits think will make money instead of getting to do stuff because you have a passion for it.

        • Julie (was a DC fan) says:

          @ SDTim: Because of your post I went to youtube to check out a few songs from Analog Heart, and you’re right!! They are SO much more interesting, musically, vocally, in every way, than the stuff he’s produced with all those producers and co-writers. What a shame!!!

        • WTF? says:

          Um, then David Cook shouldn’t have auditioned for American Idol then, should he? What did he expect if he won, the record label to just cater to his every musical whim? I don’t feel bad for Cook; winning Idol is a double-edged sword. That song last night was unfortunately run-of-the-mill, but that’s what he signed up for!

          • j. says:

            Strange how so many people seem to feel that music consumers and music makers need to blindly accept the status quo. So what if the music industry has settled on making processed food out of every tasty raw ingredient it scoops up. Don’t feel bad for Cook, feel bad for the rest of us who are proffered the crap.

      • was a David Cook fan says:

        It was below-par singing for Cook AND a bad song. I agree I haven’t cared much for any of his songs since idol. Though a few have been not to bad, there’s been nothing for him to really sink his teeth into (or should I say his voice into) the way he did when he sang the slowed down Billy Jean, for example. And nothing that would make me buy a CD. Disappointed.

      • djm says:

        Declaration and Bar Ba Sol from his post-Idol CD were AMAZING, but they never released them and I am not sure why. I guess they are a bit more “rock” than “pop”, but I think that is what I liked about them. As for the song last night – I don’t hate it, but his vocal performance was way off.

      • Maureen says:

        This is so true. I was a huge Cook fan and was elated when he won (the first time my fave ever won), but I was disappointed in his post-Idol music. I bought his first album but really didn’t care for it much. I was hoping he would go for a “fresher” sound on his new album. TLG sounds very dated to me. Honestly, it doesn’t really sound like anything they play on the radio now (and I’m not sure that’s a good thing). I’m not feeling so optimistic about the “new” David Cook era. He has a great voice, but he needs much, much better songs.

        • gregk says:

          I feel exactly the same. Loved his Idol performances, very glad he won, bought his first CD, but it was “just OK for me” as Randy would say. Wish he could have made an album of his Idol performances. Even “Happy Together” (actually one of my favorite 60’s songs) was better than his new stuff.

  5. Tanya says:

    I feel like we keep losing contestants before they’re able to create an Idol “moment.” Pia, Paul, Stefano…all quite capable of performing a song that would put Scotty voters to shame (nothing against Scotty, but he’s so darn boring!). Instead of an acoustic Paul with his guitar or a Pia ballad with actual emotion, the poor contestants are getting swallowed alive by the producers. And we poor viewers are stuck with…blah. Just blah.

    • garrisonsf says:

      Yep, Haley, Casey, and James can all be said to have had break-out moments on the show, but Scotty has not. He’s a nice guy, but has not made for riveting TV. I hope that we don’t have to turn to butterscotch cupcakes for more flavors from him than vanilla.

      • Shawn says:

        When did Casey have a “break out” moment? Plus I am sick of all the stupid constipated faces Casey makes. Like he is taking a poop on stage.

        • The Wheeze says:

          Shawn…you crack me up! I do love Casey, but you are right his Caseyisms do leave a lot to be desired. I really wish he would just get back to singing, and not OVER-performing.

        • Yuk says:

          Casey makes Me break out…….in a cold sweat. That guy is downright creepy.

    • anonymous says:

      All I can say is – Bleahhh. At least Stefano was interesting. That weird guy with the beard, he should be gone. And the Scotty guy, no way. The weeper, what’s his name? He should be gone too. Oh yeah, the orange girl too. None of them look comfortable in their performances. The producer who is mentoring them was a bad idea for the show. I sure wouldn’t buy any of their music.

    • kes says:

      EXACTLY!!! Pia had “Stand By You”, Paul had “Blackbird”, Stefano had “I Need You Know”….Scotty has…Nuts of Wonder. Scotty has no quality performance that makes you say, “wow, that guy/girl could win.” Just the novelty of his voice, a trick, a permanent act. Just BOGGLES THE MIND! UGH!

    • Yo says:

      Yep. I thought Stefano visibly relaxed when booted last night and I thought he did very well as he left, better than the previous night. I can’t blame any contestant for not changing up in a contest like this. The producers seem to be helping the system get gamed, which doesn’t produce the most interesting results. Seems contestants used to have to venture out on the branch to succeed, now it’s risk averse – which is a reason I have enjoyed Haley. She has gone there.

      • agrimesy says:

        Allison Iraheta gave a similarly defining moment in her exit song. She was amazing and proved then and there that she deserved to stay. Allison didn’t take as many risks as Haley, but Haley’s spunk reminds me of Allison now and again. Here’s Allison’s exit “Cry Baby.”

    • RT says:

      I agree! I think Paul and Pia, even Naima, had the potential for an “Idol” moment. Unfortunately, we haven’t really had one this season, other than Haley/Casey on last week’s result show.

  6. AnnaW says:

    Michael, Michael, Michael. Sometimes you are the keenest observer/writer on all things Idol, that I think I want to marry you. But then you go all fan-boy, no cred sometimes.
    David Cook’s performance gets an A-??? I mean we do lurve us some DC, but man, that was wonky. (And kind of a weird song for him too.) I believe the Idol “rocker” has done popified himself up a bit much!

    • Tracy says:

      Well done as always and I love seeing David Cook again. I like the new tune. BTW have you heard David Cook’s version of Adele RITD. I saw it on youtube. AWESOME!

      • djm says:

        I agree – David’s version of Rolling in the Deep was 1,000,000 times better than what Haley served up Wednesday night. I wish he’d release his version of that song – I’d buy it.

    • The Wheeze says:

      Agreed. The song was a little poppy! I was trying to decide, why besides his vocals and band seeming to be off during the first half of the song, it still did not seem like a song he would or should of been singing in the first place. Plus, I too was wondering if Slezak’s love of DC (which i would still take a bite out of that cookie too!) did not “auto-tune” his hearing during the performance. I maean C+ at best would of been my grade, and that is still throwing a little DC love.

    • Ali says:

      I agree, Slezak loses all of his wondrous objectivity when it comes to his returning favorites. This was not Cook’s best vocal… not his best song…..not an “A-“. That’s essentially undermining his idol performaces by saying this was on the same level. Come on, if you’re going to knock the judges for favoritism, then take off the rose-colored glasses yourself.

      • Ablo says:

        @Ali – exactly. I just tried to make that point but I hadn’t seen your comment at the time.

      • julie says:

        I think Slezak’s objectivity suffered from the last umpteen number of mind-numbing weeks of the least inspiring singing ever to be unrelentingly perpetrated by a tv show. By comparison, Cook was… well… Cook.

    • Anon says:

      That was not a great tune from DC. We thought it sounded like an old Rick Springfield tune reheated. And Wheeze, it’s “would have”, not “would of”.

    • LAP says:

      I agree with AnnaW. I think Slezak is NOT a good judge of performances when the performer is a guy he has a crush on. He usually gives good criticism to those who are not his cup of tea, but an A- to David is such an aberration, specially considering he gave Haley an A- in her duet last week. I like DC but there is nothing wrong in saying that he looked unconfortable, he didn’t sound good and the song was a poor song with little to no emotion nor melody. C+ just because he won AI in the past an he is some sort of a star but that’s it…

    • Dan says:

      I agree. I’ll admit that I am a bit tone def. I often have to turn to my wife and ask; “Was that a little off?”. Or when I say; “that was good” she’ll look at me and shake her head; “A bit sharp in the middle”. I even went to a website that demonstrated sharp and flat, and I really couldn’t hear it.
      BUT… I can usually tell when something is just not rite. And last night David Cook was just not rite. Love him, but none of the big notes were there.

    • Realist says:

      Cook’s performance was lackluster at best. It sounded like he hit a few notes that don’t exist in nature.

      I expected better.

    • craig says:

      I have a feeling he still had Jacob’s Lusky Stank reverberating through his ears drums during David Cook’s song and it sounded so much better than Stank he was grading on a curve. I wasn’t in love with Cook’s song either, but at least it wasn’t Extraterrestrial. WTF was that!!!! I was hoping Kanye would storm the stage after Stefano got sent home and said this ain’t right, yo. The Lusky Stank has gotta go…he can’t miss tryouts for RuPaul’s drag queen show. That’s where he will shine with his diva attitude and those weird faces he makes and his lips all in every direction. He must be possessed by some type of demon that hates music and hates us for making us listen to him. My ears hurt when he is finished and once I got heartburn so bad from listening to him I ate a whole pack of Tums. Does anyone else think he sings like he’s gotta take a shiznit? And he vetoed signing the Marvin Gaye song cuz it talks about doing the nasty, yet he does pelvic thrust over and over to his guitarist. He better hope Jesus wasn’t watching when he did that but I think he was safe since Jesus watches Survivor and it’s on at the same time. Ask Matt on Survivor he will tell you that he has all of the lords attention right now keeping him safe on Redemption Island. Some of these characters make Charlie Sheen sound sane. I know I’m just bitter because I miss Jacob in the church choir now that he has sold his soul to Nigel Lythgoe.

  7. Joseph says:

    For me it was a toss up between Stephano and Jacob leaving, in both cases they have something special but at the same time no idea what they want to do with that talent.
    Jacob does he want to be a church choir diva or some thing else?
    Stephano can sing but no idea what he wants to do with that voice/ body / charisma , but maybe a singer on a day time soap or cruise line other then that no clue what he should do post idol.

  8. Cathy says:

    Lordy that Jacob-I don’t understand how he’s still on there-no stage presence, entitled attitude, and his voice, though it has glimpses of greatness, is too inconsistent. He’s no Luther-not now-not ever.

    • Kim R says:

      Totally agree. You could see the vast difference in attitude between Stephano & Jacob last night. Stephano’s grateful humility vs. Jacob’s “sharing his gift with America”. Oh brother. :)

      • ziggy says:

        omg, yes! I LOATHED his stank face and comment about sharing his “gift” with America. Lusk is the most unlikeable, supercilious contestant ever on Idol. I think he’s going to have a very rude awakening when he’s eliminated—-no throngs of producers will be lining up at his door, the way he expects them to. Ugh. Can’t stand him.

  9. Shannon says:

    I was dreading Stefano’s exit for two reasons: 1) Jacob should’ve been the one handing in his faulty ear monitors and packing his fabulous bags.
    2) I knew James was going to be crestfallen.
    It would only be delaying the inevitable, however. I like Fano and his soulful power notes, but he was neither edgy nor folksy and you’ve usually got to be one or the other to last on the Idol stage these days. He’s male, though, so he had a fighting chance. And he fought well, if only for the fact that he sandwiched his Idol stint with two strong performances I can think of. (Sorry, Fano fans…)
    The epic bromance between the 7th place finalist and weepy James ain’t over, though, and that makes me happy. Anyone think Fano will be the Best Man at James’s wedding or become the godfather to his son or something along those lines?
    (I’ve seen some funny gay jokes on this board, but I’m not going there! They’re really good friends and maybe just maybe little Langone can turn his BFF onto something completely different and inspire him to…um…take up a side career or hobby as a masseuse. Yep. A metal-headed masseuse. That is all.)
    So… Carol King week up next. Please no one sing, “I Feel
    The Earth Move Under My Feet”…

    • Alicia says:

      Agreed about Stefano and James, but I’m pretty sure James is already married. He mentioned it at the beginning of the season.

      • Shannon says:

        He’s still engaged. And low and behold Stefano announced today that he is indeed going to be his Best Man. Awww!

    • CraigJ says:

      You know Lauren is going to sign that Earth Moves Under My Feet song. I mean Holy Slezak she sang Natural Woman the girl can’t pick a song. What’s up with Jimmy Iovin and Bill.I.Yam that idea was a total fail!!! Loved the weekly mentors of seasons past. Always something to look forward to seeing superstars just chilling trying to help (or not give a Flipper) the Idols come up with something creative. It gave us the viewer a great chance to see the personality of some musicians we have listened to for years. Well, Except for Miley Cyrus I haven’t even listened to her for an hour although I do love her speaking voice. So deep and she sounds like my grandma who smoke 2 packs a day since she was 13 and was a heavy drinker. Wait, has my grandmother been reborn as Miley Cyrus? I got all excited for a second then remembered nana wears panties I am pretty sure she would still wear those even as a reincarnated Miley. One quick word about Steven Tyler….your critiques are far from beautiful dude. Where you being told what to say during auditions because you haven’t said anything useful to the contestants since the live show started. Wait I loved your critique to Jacob that the first half was great and the last half was the same. Dude….peeps aren’t gonna hate you for telling it how it is. In fact you are going to lose fans and credibility if you can’t give an honest critique. It always bothered me when people thought you were Mick Jagger but know I don’t give a Randy you have totally let me down dog. Do keep up the swearing though…I love me some filthy talk. America needs to lighten up…or light up…they go hand in hand. Imagine Ellen and Steven Tyler and Randy as the panel this year!!! I’m sorry J. Lo had to much influence on the final 24 contestants and she went for the year of the Latino and they all sucked making the talent suck. Karen Rodriguez must have won a contest on myspace and they had to have a myspace contestant that is the only reason I can think of that she made top 13. Does anyone know if Kattelyn Epperly, or past Idol try outs that didn’t make the live show can try out for X-Factor? Time for redemption for some Idol cast offs….that would make some great tv. Simon, Paula, really did you have to hire her again? Bring in someone new. I don’t think people like Paula as much as you think they do. The ratings on Idol would have been huge if a robot occupied her seat. They were tuning in for you and the singers and the drama not always for Paula plus she will be mentoring a category on X-Factor. Hope she doesn’t get the boys category…we know how Paula spends a “little extra time” with some of the boys “to get to know them better” and when the time is right she sings “Forever Your Girl” to them and puts on her Lakers dance team uniform and seduces these men. If Cheryl Cole did that I would learn how to sing since Cheryl Cole (not Crow) Americans think of her when they hear Cheryl’s name but this CC is perhaps the worlds hottest beeyotch. She is delicious in every way and a huge talent in UK. So like I was saying I feel the Earth move under my feet will be sung by Lauren on Wed. Just my prediction. One more prediction It’s gonna be a hot one tonight, dawg!!

  10. jef says:

    Shoulda been a double elimination ~ Stefano and Jacob! And we don’t really know if Haley got the 3rd lowest score because there was actually only a bottom 2 tonite.

  11. Gami says:

    Thank you, Michael, for mentioning how ORANGE Lauren was! Dang, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who saw it. I mean she was really orange.

    • allie says:

      Slezak’s “oompa loompa” comment made me laugh out loud. Someone tell the girl to lay off the Fake Bake. She looked ridiculous.

    • mike_n_ike says:

      Oompa Loompa! LOLLOLLLL! What a great analogy! Yes she did look pretty ridiculous with her chubby orange face. All you could see was a puffy orange face and the whites of her eyes! I will not be able to ever “not” see it again when I look at her! LOLOLOLLLLL!

      • GIgi says:

        I agree Mike N Ike that the oompa loompa comment was hilarious

        Now let’s get that orange Barbi Doll into the bottom two

        I’m tired of the Idol execs telling me that Lauren should be the one

        GO HAILEY!!!!

    • dp says:

      she regularly spray tans… I wouldn’t know about fake tanning but isn’t 16 a little young to be doing that? or is there no age limit? oh right, toddlers and tiaras…..

  12. Rebecca says:

    I would have preferred Jaquisha, er, I mean Jacob, to go, but I’m not sad that Stefano was the who was axed.

    • The Wheeze says:

      hahahahahaha! That was faboulosity! I think everyone knew it was going to one of the two, but I so wish Jaquisha had gone home instead of Stephanie, cause sometimes Jaquisha’s voice makes me want to take a pencil and jab out my eardrums.

      • Jurybox says:

        @The Wheeze – LOL!!!!!! I totally agree. Just don’t call Fano Stephanie please.

        • The Wheeze says:

          @Jurybox – Okay, you are right, I will not call him Stephanie. Fano does seem like a legitimately nice guy. He had some good and some not so good performances. (But haven’t they all at this point in the season!)

  13. James says:

    Should of been Jacob! If there is any justice in this world however he will go home next week for sure!

  14. Sandy says:

    The very best part of the whole show was David Cook being back on the Idol stage performing his new song-The Last Good Bye. He looked very dapper and handsome -he can charm any audiance just with his good nature (he should be in movies) This has been quite a week for David Cook fans, anyway-we got The first single-infectious. There’s even a title to the album “THIS LOUD MORNING” with the perfect album cover-the June 28th date. We can/have pre-order…We know it was worth the wait!
    Sorry David Cook fans in general are Pretty excited right about now-It started in when he sang Rooing in the Deep-wow…
    I wish it wasn’t Stephano to go home but I think he’ll do well-I don’t want to watch Jacob anymore!

  15. Shannon says:

    Anyone else find it funny that Scotty can make a perfect basket at a considerably long distance from a balcony of the Idol mansion, yet can’t muster the momentum to bowl a strike?

    • claudia says:

      You don’t seriously think that Scotty REALLY made that basket do you? That was more producers’ crapola.

      • Shannon says:

        I don’t know what to believe anymore, but considering the hoop-shooting hoopla, it’s pretty silly that the kid seemingly can’t handle a bowling ball. But, it’s Scotty, ya know. He’s country strong, folksy cool. What can’t he do? ::eye roll::

        • ladyhelix says:

          It’s always interesting which shots the producers choose to use!! This is their party after all *sigh*.

  16. Mara says:

    Why the HELL is Jacob still there. Who is voting for that moron!

  17. Mark says:

    Scotty sounded really good during Viva La Vida, the kid doesn’t need to stick with all country. After that performance, I hope they push him to move away at least for one song towards a non country performance. I think it’d be a success.

    • Tim says:

      I agree. I think Scotty sounded really good during that segment. Good job Scotty.

      • not a fan previously says:

        I was really impressed with Scotty’s voice on the Coldplay number. It sounded so much better without that country-styling.

      • Yo says:

        Yes, he did – but his voice was entirely different. How is it country singers’ voices change when singing non country? I’ve heard Sugarland (or Jennifer Nettles) do pop, and I don’t recognize her. Is it just the nasal?

    • dp says:

      I agree, Scotty should sing a pop or rock tune in the future – could give him a moment

  18. Tahoe Mike says:

    The moment that Haley went back to the couch, and I knew that only good things could happen form there on in made my day. I did hope for a moment that somehow the vote was a tie and they would both go. You could have flipped a coin and it was going to be alright by me. One down, and one to go. After that it gets tough.
    I was really creeped out by Casey this week. I DVR Idol, and watch Survivor live. I tuned in to the last half hour of the show on Wednesday right in the middle of Casey’s performance just as he was snarling at the camera. By the time it was over I was sure that he had just done himself in. I was so put off by the whole thing, I couldn’t imagine that people would vote for him. How did Haley wind up in the bottom three instead of Casey??? As a wise old owl used to say, “The world may never know.”
    “The Zola Budd to Pia’s Mary Decker.” Wow, now that is a reference from the deep. It pains me that I got it; without having to Google it.

    • Lily says:

      I did think Casey was going to be leaving us soon. But the “Vote for the Worst” people are now power voting for him. I think Jacob is getting the gospel church vote which may be an underestimated powerhouse, so unfortunately this leaves Haley vulnerable. I’m surprised the tackling of Stefano at the end of his song didn’t make the recap, there was a sort of “whuff!” of the last tremulous, yearning note as the air was driven out of Stefano’s lungs by James’s power tackle, and then he was flying through the air. Now that is the way to exit. Stefano had one of the Idol moments of the season with his wildcard sing for your life, so good for him lasting this long and having a great, memorable exit.

    • gregk says:

      Much to my chagrin also, I got the Zola Budd reference. Searched all the comments and was surprised that someone else did also! This was almost as obscure as Annie Barrett’s reference (in her EW blog on the performance show) to King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”, the bizarre “song” from an album I actually bought in 1969.

  19. Linda says:

    Oh, Slezak – you gave me my best laugh in months –

    “The “Children Under 18 Should Not Be Allowed Near Ryan Seacrest’s Spray Tanning Technician” Award
    An Oompa Loompa-colored Lauren Alaina”

    LOVE IT!

    • lisasp says:

      Yes! I was like WHY is she so orange?? Not a good look.

      • S. Lee Stack says:

        Lauren’s mom clearly had a few gallons of cost-cutter Wal-Mart brand spray tan left over from Lauren’s toddlers + tiaras years…

        • Gigi says:

          I agree S Lee Black

          What a hilarious comment about the spray tan

          Let’s out vote the little orange oompa loompa that the judges are shoving down out throats

      • Yo says:

        I thought everyone was suddenly tan(ish) – maybe Trump is gonna be this week’s mentor? I’m glad to know it was fake; I almost readjusted the television.

  20. Inland Sea says:

    Casey Abrams doesn’t even sing, Casey GROWLS through half of his song and did you notice that Case talks like a little child? Ewwww.

    • The wheeze says:

      he is not the only one….Haley does too. Well, and Jacob with his “Lusky Stank” is the worst!

    • josie says:

      I also noticed this for the first time last night. It was creepy. Enjoyed the look of horror on JLo’s face when he said his original plan was to “breath on her” ook.

  21. kes says:

    To: Michael Slezak

    I was thinking, would it be a cool for Stefano, Ashton, and Naima to form a cool R&B group? Call themselves: The Wildcards, LOL. Just a thought :)

  22. karen says:

    I loved David Cook’s performance, even though maybe the sound was bad in a few spots, I still liked it much more than just about everything else I’ve seen on the show this year. I really like the new song, and I hope it will be a hit. But even if it isn’t I like it far better than most of the pop that is out now.

    Anyway, glad Hayley was safe. I didn’t like her that much before this week, but she really won me over with her Rolling In The Deep. I thought it was by far the best performance.

    And I thought Stefano and Jacob were the right bottom two. I was kind of hoping for Jacob to go, but either way, it was ok. Kind of wondering who Stefano’s votes will go to.

    • Yo says:

      I really like David Cook and was anxious to see him last night: I thought he might give me an excuse to buy an album. Sadly, he didn’t. He is still one heck of a person.

  23. Brandon says:

    Loved David Cook, just great. I really like the new song too. It’s been time for Stefano to go for some time now. Jacob or Casey next.

  24. leo says:

    wouldn’t it be brilliant if past idol winners and successful non-winners came back as guest judges? i mean, how great would it be to see kelly clarkson, carrie underwood, chris daughtry, adam lambert, david cook, jennifer hudson and fantasia sitting in a guest judge’s chair every week, giving proper constructive criticism instead of the love-fest that’s going on now?

    • sixona says:

      This needs to happen ! What the judges are doing now is a huge disservice to these kids and will result in huuuuge disappointments for them in the real world.

    • Caroline says:

      Yes! When Adam came back as a mentor, he was really good! He told them the truth about how they came across and without Simons cruelty he let them know where their weaknesses were. Giving these contestants nothing but empty praise is not constructive and does not do them any favors. They are new and raw and while they have talent, they need to know how to best put themselves out there to appeal to the audience.
      Are you listening, Idull??? Let’s get some real judges on there, someone new every week with a fresh perspective! And please, someone who’s been there, done that, no Ellen (sorry, I love you but you are no music judge) or Reiner.

      • sixona says:

        It’s all about the sales and the bizzznesss. The ridiculous tie-ins and commercials spell out the power of the dollah. Idol is a money-making machine above all else. Sadly.

      • agrimesy says:

        Adam was an excellent mentor! I loved that episode. I thought he’d be good at it, but I didn’t expect him to be GREAT! The contestants didn’t always follow his lead, but the judges commented after their performances that they should have listened to Adam. I also think Kelly Clarkson would be an effective judge. I really like this idea of different guest judges EVERY week. There wouldn’t be this ridiculous favoritism that lingers from one mediocre performance to another. The contestant would have ONE shot to impress a new judge with vocal prowess, performance energy, and physical image.
        I really abhor the judges constantly referring back as far as auditions and Hollywood week to offer praise OVER the current performances. The judges consistently do that with Casey and Jacob. The two of them burned out very early but they are still there due to strong starts. Fresh judges would be honest.

    • @galaga6846 says:

      THIS is the best idea for freshening American Idol that I think I’ve ever heard.

  25. ginaM says:

    I love how David Cook took over the show and told his mom to go get a hug from Steven Tyler. And how adorkable was it that she gave the rocker gesture with her hand. It was a toss-up between Jacob and Stefano. I’m hoping Jacob finally goes next week. He definitely has overstayed his welcome.

  26. Teena says:

    I think it was Stefano’s best performance of the season. I loved it when James knocked Stephano off his feet with his hug.

    I love David Cook. He did seem under the weather. He looked bone white to me. I have upgraded my preorder to get David’s acoustic versions on the new album!

  27. Harmony says:

    Slezak Kristy Lee Cook was eighth, because Michael Johns was 7th and Carly Smithson was 6th. And I think that Sanjaya was actually 6th.

    • SybilT says:

      No, hard as it may be to believe, Kristy Lee Cook outlasted Michael Johns. He went out eighth, in season 7’s big “shock boot” moment, on Idol Gives Back Night. I’ll never forget Ryan’s cruelty: he tells Michael the bad news, then reminds us that the prior year, no one was sent home on IGB Night. As hope lights up Michael’s face, Ryan says, “But we’re not doing that this year.” Kristy Lee went out the next week at seventh, followed by Carly at sixth.

      I’m a big Cook fan, but I agree that the first few bars of the song last night were a little wonky. I think he pulled it together after that, and on the whole I thought he and the band performed really well. The song is a little poppy for my tastes, but it’s catchy, and should do well in terms of getting radio play. That’s the name of the game these days, if you want to move albums.

    • Gib says:

      Michael Johns was 8th and Kristy Lee was 7th.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Oh yes – I would love to Have David’s acoustic versions!! I’m going to look into that – THANKS!! I love David and Michael!
        During the Idol season it seemed like Michael was so charismatic – UNTIL he started singing, and that David Cook was not charismatic at all -UNTIL he started singing. Luckily since he won Idol I’ve seen so much more of David’s stage presence and personality – he really is a class act. His Sleyzek interview rocks.

        I saw David in concert – and although his command of the “show” and crowd interaction were exceptional – the sound (vocals/music) was disappointing. I initially blamed the venue, but Adam electrified that same venue last summer, so now I’m blaming David’s audio equipment!! He will always be a favorite!

  28. luvdavid says:

    If you are grading David Cook as a person he gets an A plus. Wonderful, smart, sweet, and sexy. However, to give his performance an A- is disingenuous. Watch it back, and it was very sharp, and the song just stinks! Oh well, still pre-ordered the album and can’t wait to hear a song he wrote all by himself, and not some forced pop-ditty.

    • Amy says:

      luvdavid…agree on all counts. And I repeat Wonderful, smart, sweet and sexy. So great to see him back up there. And I will still be checking out the rest of the cd..that song was certainly nothing to write him off for!

    • jb says:

      Yup, the song was putrid. Very boring. We thought we were listening to Rick Springfield. Yikes!

      • Yo says:

        Everyone who sings live on Idol turns into a pumpkin, but I would rather listen to David Cook sing than watch Katy Perry’s presentation….I don’t even get the point of it.

        • CraigJ says:

          Did you understand that in Katy Perry’s song that those were dancers dresses as aliens and the name of the song was ET and it is about aliens and the like. Hope that clears up your confusion about her performance and it makes sense now. She wasn’t singing Firework last night, that song wouldn’t go with that presentation but even though the song is sshhiitt it understand the performance. Do you know what and Extraterrestrial is? Google it and you will find you have a new understanding of the song. You still will think it’s crap though I have a feeling.

  29. Amy says:

    Thought it would be Jacob. Wanted it to be Stefano…couldn’t endure anymore trying-to-hard-to-be-what-I’m-not performances.
    Cute kid. That’s all. Bye.
    I agree with Lily above…surprised James’ tackle of Stefano didn’t make your mention…that was a cute surprise…that James is a likeable dude.

    Speaking of likeable dudes… David Cook. SO nice to see Mr. Cool again from my favorite Season. Did not love the new song (though all 3 guitars were notable!), but loved seeing him, and I will check out the rest of the new cd. Loved that Steven moment with his (also cool) mom, and David’s characteristic wry humor over it. Ah, was a breath of fresh Idol air from the past blew in..

    Love the awards of the evening.

  30. josie says:

    Wow, were we listening to the same show? Neither group numbers were great but at least the world rulers were in tune and could actually harmonize which was more than you can say of the soul sisters. I love David Cook and he and his Mom remain adorable but I thought he sounded sharp on his song. I don’t expect much musicality from Katie Perry but she should be called out for one of the laziest lip syncing performances ever on the idol stage and for looking like a total idiot in that outfit. As far of the elimination, I was hoping it would be Jacob because he annoys on so many levels(facial tics while singing, arrogant prouncements bout “America”, exploitation of dead relative) that Stefano could never hope to reach. And, as Simon would say, he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

  31. 'Fano's Booty says:

    ‘Fano’s Booty…Slezak has those two words tattooed on his ass!

    • anon says:

      We did notice that Jennifer turned around and looked straight down at his booty during the performance like Slezak did. Awkward!!

  32. CAT says:

    As far as I’m concerned, either Stefano or Jacob could have gone home and it won’t make much difference. The other one will go home next week. I think Haley and Lauren will KILL during Carole King week. Will that just be songs she’s recorded, or will it include other songs that she’s written? The two girls and Scotty will be the top 3 next week. I can’t see Jacob, James or Casey doing well with that category.

  33. Garner Native says:

    I find it interesting that Scotty mentioned that fact that there is a cupcake named after him at home, when devastating tornados went through here this past weekend. I realize he isn’t here, so it isn’t really real to him without seeing it, but I think it may have rubbed some folks the wrong way when he didn’t even mention it. Granted Garner made it through with very little damage (thank goodness! I live in Garner too!) but just a couple of miles up the road is a BIG mess. Would have been nice to know he had been thinking of what was going on here and not a cupcake. But I do understand that pictures don’t do it justice and he probably doesn’t understand how bad it is and a cupcake can be distracting! :) Have a good day everyone!

  34. Zeke says:

    I agree with some of the comments about David Cook’s performance – not bad, but certainly not A- worthy. I like DC a lot, but he wasn’t on top of his game last night.

    I like Stefano, but he should have gone home weeks ago (ie, 2 weeks ago instead of Pia – I would add he was Shakespeare in Love to her Saving Private Ryan). Jacob is the worst left by far. Pia was my favorite, but I’ve always liked Haley and I like her more and more each week – I think she’s my favorite at this point, though a long-shot to win it. She’s by far the most under-appreciated (at least by the judges) contestant left.

  35. Kiki says:

    I think Steven Tyler is adorable, but maybe he’s done just a few too many drugs to be a good judge. The guy is out in La-La Land most of the time.

  36. MFW says:

    Katy Perry’s performance was not good. Her singing is not so bad, but her dancing, if you want to call it that, was awful. She was trying to be robotic, but was too tentative with her movements. The best thing about that performance was her back-up dancers/aliens. Slezak you hit the nail on the head….MARKETING all the way.

    • GSOgymrat says:

      I don’t like “E.T.” on the radio and the performance didn’t change my mind. She appeared to be lip synching or singing to a very loud backing track, not that it really matters I suppose.

    • Caroline says:

      Katy needs to go back to the “I kissed a girl” type of thing, she is no Lady Gaga and that performance was just a hot mess, all wrong for her voice and style. She doesn’t have that GOOD a voice by typical standards, but like Paul she has a quirky interesting sound and when she does what suits her it works. Oh yeah, and MARKETING which is what it’s all about these days.

      • craig says:

        Russell Brand had ruined Katy Perry just like Bobbie Brown ruined Whitney. 3 years away from a reality show max.

  37. Georgia says:

    I’m a devoted Davic Cook fan, but I thought he sounded tired. I bought the single, but it’s not his best performance. Thank goodness, it doesn’t matter. I dread another week with Jacob and Scotty. It’s nice to be able to watch the sitcoms on ABC while not missing anything on AI, but I’d rather be watching riveting performances on Idol. The more I listen to Haley’s studio recordings, the more certain I am that she’s the only option for me.

  38. Christina says:

    Stefano has been escaping elimination since top 11 so no upset that he’s gone. Jacob just needs to follow him out of the door next week. But as for next week, the songs of Carole King. Could they have picked a less exciting theme?

  39. Kelly says:

    Can a woman please win??? And no, Jacob and James screeching like one doesn’t count.

  40. paisley says:

    Haley had the best vocal and she winds up in B 3 again? Scotty should have been there instead — he needs to lose the cornball routine and get relevant. COUNTRY does not have to be meH, there are great crossover songs post-2000 he could have picked…Anyway, I voted for Haley and James so I am ok with the B 2, anyway…

    • Blair says:

      I have to agree wholeheartedly w/you, paisley! Just listen to current country, and even crossover songs today, and then listen to Scotty ..he brings absolutely nothing to the current Country/crossover scene. …and yet the judges and producers back him like he’s the next best thing since sliced bread & shucked corn. All I can do is shake my head and ask “why?” week after week.

  41. ab2859 says:

    Jacob should of left. But he probably will next week.

    Love David Cook – I don’t know why he doesn’t get more airplay. And his mom & Steven were the best moment of the show. She’s been through so much I was sooo happy for her to get that moment.

    Stefano, like the rest of this group (except Scotty future country superstar) will fall off the radar as soon as the tour ends and their CDs tank. We’ve all been watching long enough to know the end of the story.

    • planofaman says:

      David Cook is a brilliant songwriter on his own (see: 10 years of pre-Idol work) and an incredibly gifted singer (see, for one example, Petapalooza performance this month of Rolling in the Deep) who’s caught between the current market and indie purgatory. His singles are never representative of his true talents. The hidden (unfortunately) track on his last record, Kiss on the Neck, shows what he and his guitar player Neal Tiemann can do. His live shows kill.

      By the way, if you listen to his interviews of this week, you can hear he sounds like he does indeed have a cold, perhaps contributing to the pitch problems of last night. I agree the single is unfortunately pop and boring though I thought his performance last night brought all his usual honesty to elevate it as far as he could.

      In one of the interviews this week, he said the first song on his new album is called “Circadian” and the last is “R.E.M.” (as in Rapid Eye Movement, the sleep stage). These are not the titles of a simple pop consciousness; he’s bright sensitive, and not incidentally, a deeply good person. I wouldn’t discount this upcoming album based on his need for a pop single.

  42. Erica says:

    I laughed my head off about your prizes! But you didn’t mention the strange manner in which Ryan told Haley she was safe. Almost like, don’t anybody look/notice, but Haley’s safe.

  43. Linda says:

    When Stefano was eliminated, it was the first time I got teary-eyed since Constantine Maroulis was sent packing several years ago. You go, Stefano! And I agree with Mike Slezak, it was a helluva exit performance!

  44. Caroline says:

    Well, it was just a matter of time for Fano, but I would have rather seen Jacob go first. How he is still there is amazing considering I have seen almost no support of him on any boards or reviews. Goes to the “do the votes really matter” theory. And yes, it could be the pesky vote for the worst people, who have nothing more productive to do than work at bollocksing up things for others.
    I really hope to see Jacob hit the bricks and get it over with already.
    Carole King? Seriously? She had some great music, but wth is up with theme choices. They do the same thing every year, keep telling the contestants to be current and relevant and then saddling them with song choices from genres that are old and stale. I love Carol King, but lets face it, I cannot really think of any song pairings that I would put with these performers. Well, at least it will be interesting trying to figure out what they’ll sing next week. I predict that it will make for some painful listening though.

    • sixona says:

      But really, when Idol tries to update, the result is an overdose of Black Eyed peas ? Really ?

    • CAT says:

      I’ve said it on here a million times–the best songwriters are from back in the 60’s and 70’s. There really aren’t very good songs coming out now that are current–or at least not enough to make a list for a bunch of people to choose from.

    • Julie says:

      As I replied to someone else who felt as you do, Carol King wrote half the songs that were on the radio in teh 60s and 70s, not just the ones we associate with her or that she sang. She was a staff song-writer for a big record company before her own singing career.

      • Billy says:

        Carol wrote Sometime In the Morning, a minor hit for the Monkees in 1967 (minor when compared to I’m a Believer, for example). Great, great song – still sounds fresh to this day.

    • karen Anderson says:

      Actually, I think Carole King could prove to be a highlight of this idol season. She has such a vast repertoire of songs and many of them cross over into different genres: gospel, blues, rock, folk, jazz and country. She is one of the greatest songwriters ever, and her catalog will definitely level the playing field for all the contestants. I just hope Haley chooses a more obscure song like Hi-De-Ho, rather than trying to tackle You Make the Earth Move. Sadly, the Idol producers will steer her to that well-known uptempo song, rather than a rolling roadhouse blues style tune. Scotty will sing the Byrds song Wasn’t Born to Follow. Jacob will Way Over Yonder.

  45. Karen says:

    Even though Stefano has never been a favourite of mine, he deserved to stay longer than Jacob.
    Save Stefano, save us from the most uncontrolled voice on idol since Scott McIntyre
    And that James-Stefano bromance was the sweetest thing ever :-)

    • Scott says:

      Total agreement. Stefano was interesting to watch. With Jacob, you know what you are getting, and that means boredom. I wonder who will do Pleasant Valley Sunday next week. I think that could be great for Casey.

  46. Wowser says:

    Huh, Durbin really did read every page of the Lambert rule book of how to last a long time in the competition. Chapter 6: Bromance. Chicks dig it. Guy is a tool.

    • sixona says:

      What’s chapter 7 ? I wanna know ?

      • agrimesy says:

        The Adam Lambert rule book for Idol staying power:
        Ch. 1 Startle the judges with your high octane rocker wail.
        Ch. 2 Perform some off the wall stage antics.
        Ch. 3 Bring it down, way down and emote.
        Ch. 4 Be silly in the behind the scenes package clips.
        Ch. 5 Win over the mentors. (James ignored this one.)
        Ch. 6 Have a bromance.
        Ch. 7 Make the news with a genius level performance. (James?)
        Ch. 8 Remain humble as your popularity skyrockets. (James?)
        Ch. 9 Align yourself with awesome guest musicians. (James did this one out of sequence before he’d earned it.)
        Ch. 10 Surpass the confines of reality TV and emerge a genuine superstar! (There just ain’t NO way, James!)

        • Jamesftw says:

          You are a critical judgmental ignorant human being.And for the record James is better than Adam in many ways..but according to you,you know James heart and motives,so I shall be silenced and not blog any more

        • sixona says:

          For a “critical judgemental ignorant human being ” you’re pretty much on the mark. But James needs to update it, fast.

      • adamziggied says:

        Chapter 7: steal your wardrobe from Adam Lambert’s closet including his cane.

  47. ASH says:

    Nice kid…pleasant singing voice…but he better find a good financial advisor for the Idol tour money he’s going to make. As the saying goes (and applies here) “Stefano, this is the end of the road for you.”

    Ah well, at least he’ll have something interesting to show his grandkids one day.

  48. Bee says:

    Katy Perry’s performance was better than I expected it to be, but I don’t understand why they didn’t interview her afterwards. Is she too good to talk to Ryan and the contestants? Maybe it was b/c of the costume…it would have been hard to take her “advice to the contestants” seriously while in that gettup. And Kanye’s purpose on that song was….what exactly? The song is MUCH better without his lame rap.

    • sixona says:

      They didn’t because her segment was pretaped. As in not live.

    • @Bee says:

      What’s the purpose of Kanye West in general really? Dude can’t sing, has an awful voice, is a douche, thinks he’s God’s gift to music, has no fashion sense whatsoever. I don’t know how but, like Chris Brown, he sells. For some unfathomable reason. I don’t understand the music charts, I really don’t.

      • WTF? says:

        Lemme guess….. Scotty fan?

      • CraigJ says:

        You may not “get” Kanye but he is very talented. He may be a douche and all that but he does make great music. Kanye has autism a lot of what he does and they way he comes off in interviews, etc is due to his social problems. Please don’t make judgments about people until you know the facts. Listen to his full albums, somethings I know you haven’t done, and you will hear what a genius he is musically not socially.

  49. dgman says:

    Yes! Langone is now Longgone! But can’t say I’m looking forward to “Carole King” week. I mean talk about “relevant”. Seriously, Idol? If that’s the best they can come up with then they might as well copy Glee and do an Overlooked Artist week.

  50. claudia says:

    I hated James’s tackling of Stephano during his ending notes. That was Stephano’s moment in the sun & James made it all about himself. I like James but let’s face it, he hasn’t shown a lot of maturity….he’s just a big kid.

    I FF’d both group numbers & both guest numbers. But I thought that was Stephano’s best performance. Finally he was relaxed & he sounded good. That was the worst I’ve ever heard Katy Perry. I can’t imagine anyone would buy that mess. I will probably buy David’s CD but that song won’t make it onto my IPod.

    Haley didn’t deserve to be in the B3 but then we all know that deserving means nothing to the majority of AI voters. And really, do we know for sure she really was in the bottom? If either of the Anoited Ones (Scotty or Widdle Wauren) was really down there, there is no way the producers would let their precious butts hit the silver stools. As long as they aren’t the one going home, we won’t see them there.

    Who is voting for them anyway? My husband loves country but there is no way he would enjoy dorky country that Scotty serves up. I refuse to believe that teenage girls find him cute or sexy. In my high school he would have been the poor little nerd who couldn’t get a date. And Lauren hasn’t delivered once, plus that skunk hair, the bad wardrobe (poofy shorts anyone?), & bad figure shouldn’t inspire anyone to lust after her. (But then you could say the same about Jordan Sparks…she didn’t distinguish herself in the early rounds either & she had people voting for her anyway so who knows what the voters will go for?)

    • Laurel says:

      Respecting the fact that you may not be a fan of James however he does have aspergers syndrome and tourettes.
      Which sometimes may make him seem kinda childish or he might blurt things out unexpectedly.It’s not an intentional behavior it’s a byproduct of his illness.
      I feel that he is really doing a lot to over come his disability and help others to do the same.

      • Jamesftw says:

        Laurel I agree with you 100% James is really tryin to overcome and the fact that he and stefano got so close shows he is socially really overcoming I like that he doesn’t stick it in our faces and I believe his dad died of a drug overdose or something don’t quote me on that

      • claudia says:

        I am a fan of James. I just wish Casey or someone would have held him back until Stephano has his moment. It would have been nice for him to get to have his applause without James. I don’t think James was trying to steal his thunder but the fact is, he did.

    • Lily says:

      Actually I think “the tackle” might work out very much to Stefano’s benefit. He was getting some negative edits before this (such as with Jimmy). “The tackle” made a really good TV moment, and will likely be replayed a lot giving everyone that impression of what a great guy Stefano is, and how much the other contestants liked him.

    • Leslie says:

      So let me guess Claudia, you were one of the “mean girls” in your school? Scotty is a jock, he’s got tons of friends (more jocks) he’s a nice kid and he seems pretty well grounded—-I’m sure there are millions of girly girls voting for him. Based on your judgmental, rude comments, you either were one of the popular mean girls, or the loner girl who no one talked to at school.

      Oh and James has Asperger’s—it’s a pretty well known fact, yet you are still gonna bring him down for something that most people found endearing? But I suppose since you are so high and mighty with your opinions of everyone—it would be beneath you to acknowledge that fact.

      • claudia says:

        In other words, you don’t know how to disagree with a post without resorting to insults. Scotty may be a perfectly nice kid, but all his stage mannerisms make him look like a giant dork, not cool, not sexy, to this woman anyway.

        I don’t think you can effectively argue that James hasn’t shown himself as immature at times. That may be a side effect of Aspergers, I really don’t know. But tackling Stephano was immature. Let the poor boy take his bows first. James stole his “moment”. I’m not going to applaud him for that, no matter what the reason.

        • Robin says:

          ITA with claudia here – does that mean that every time James does something people don’t like NOONE can comment on it because his fans witll pull out the disability card (Asperger’s, Tourette’s and for heaven’s sake – father a drug addict) ?

          How do his fans think that the lack of critical judgment on his often flat vocals and at times inappropriate behavior will help James have a post Idol career ? I really don’t get!!!!

          • Jamesftw says:

            Dearest Robin:

            I can understand Claudia’s concern for the stealing of thunder, but I believe you are appearing to be mean with your commments on the ignorance of any person with Autism, high functioning or low functioning. So,I am believing the best with your comments to the thinkin that you have no idea. And, my comment about his father was the very fact that James DOES NOT play the cards of his disability or sing songs about his deceased father. Not that Jacob doing it was wrong. With that being said, James fights those disabilities to the core, you can see it and I admire a guy with courage to do what he wants to do with what he struggles with.And he can sing. Maybe not your cup of tea, but he has a great voice. David Cook did’t hit his notes, but still has a great voice and can sing.

          • @Robin says:

            Actually, “pulling the disability card”, in this case, is right. James’ behavior is, indeed, compatible with his disability. Anyone here saying that his acting immature is off-putting is saying the same as if I came here and said Scott McIntyre shuffling across the stage and looking vacantly into space was off-putting during Season 8. And I’m betting EVERYONE would point out my rudeness and ignorance, rightly so. I’m not a fan of James’ vocals or performances, no matter how much I initially wanted to like them (I’m always biased towards the rocker but his vocals tend to be unstable to say the least), but I’m one of the first ones to commend him on how good of a job he’s doing overcoming his limitations. It’s a wonder when he manages to NOT act childish and socially awkward. Dislike his vocals, dislike him, sure, but know that you’re demonstrating ignorance and insensitivity when you say “pulling the disability card”. Just because his disability isn’t one you can actually see, it doesn’t mean he’s not overcoming huge obstacles just to live his life.

        • Billy says:

          Well, Claudia, I think it’s safe to assume that Scotty will never grow up to be Sean Connery, but in comparison to Casey, Jacob, and James he is a veritable sex god, especially if you think George W. Howdy Doody is all that. ^_^

      • Linda says:

        I don’t think Claudia was being “mean” at all. She was making an observation, and a valid one. She didn’t characterize James negatively. If you disagree with her, can’t you do so without reviling her?