Reality Check: Hooray for Hollywood Week on American Idol! Plus: The Ickiness of Contestants Hitting on J.Lo

Picture it…American Idol, Hollywood Week, Season 14. No vicious “Airplane Hangar of Doom.” No threat of Randy Jackson’s inane mentoring sessions. And a dozen (or two) fantastic, charismatic vocalists signaling the possibility of a truly stellar three months of competition.

That dream scenario began to look like a reality during last week’s two-part Idol telecast — or at least that’s the conclusion drawn by my co-host Melinda Doolittle and me on this week’s episode of Reality Check.

Still, though, it’s always important to separate the future Candice Glovers from the Lazaro Arbos types — which leads us to debates about Maddie vs. Maddy, Hunter vs. Shi and true sexy vs. Big Sexy. All that, plus an extended rant from both Melinda and me about why we never again want to see a contestant invite judge Jennifer Lopez back to his room for a bottle of wine and a “cuddle.” Take it from the Lady Doolittle: “You don’t have a chance!”

Press PLAY for this week’s full Reality Check experience — then hit the comments and share who you’re loving, who’s overrated and how Season 14 is playing out!



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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Msznd says:

    Finally! Waiting for this all day!

  2. Tusk says:

    Shi is much too irritating, which means they’ll keep her around longer than she should be.
    I like Jaq’s vibe, Jaq v Jax ;)

    • Shi is kind of like the “CeCe Fry (xfactor) of this years American idol. Annoying over and over!

      • Ok Here’s a question. Would you rather deal with CeCe Fry (xfactor) or Shi? Which is more annoying? I think CeCe Fry was worse! OMG She kept getting through clear until the top 5 I think! You could tell Simon was getting very annoyed, but when she didnt go home and little Beatrice got voted off, THEN I was pissed! One of my favs Beau Miller! That scratchy, carmely tone, I have never heard a tone like that again since her. And soooo cute!

  3. Hello? Is anybody there? I must be the first one to comment! Well, You guys did not comment on the “soon to be” love affair between Qaasim Middleton and Jax? But all in all, the usual funny stuff from reality check! You Michael, and You Melinda have the funniest laughs I have heard. Oh, you forgot to mention the “anxiety attack” girl. Thank you for showing snippets of Melinda performing, she was my favorite!

  4. Simon says:

    On the subject of Toxic, the best cover hands down is the one by Jayme Dee on YouTube. Look it up. Also, where we’re the funny edits this week?

    • Simon says:

      *were (autocorrect)

    • Tom22 says:

      I’m very happy that Michael Mentioned Melanie Martinez’s cover of Toxic on the voice. Definitely my personal favorite cover of the song and very glad I bought the itune of it. I still listen to Melanie’s Toxic and Seven Nation Army and Bulletproof and Hit the Road jack and another I bought frequently in my car.

  5. Kate says:

    Team Dimples did everything for me. I rewound a few times to enjoy their gorgeous harmonies.

    Shi needs to get gone. Go be a print model, you spectacularly beautiful and obnoxious person.

    Thanks for calling out the hitting-on-JLo issue. Keith and Harry are hot dudes too — and I know they’re both married, so this probably wouldn’t happen — but can you imagine female contestants constantly going after them? I know we’ve had issues with Jennifer in the past but it feels icky and disrespectful.

    Michael, what happened to your fried-egg-looking vase?

  6. Wait Cody Fry, “Phantom of the Opera”? Ive got it! A modern day Richard Marx! That is what he reminds me of. The guy with the beautiful voice, but does a lot of romantic lovey, dovey type songs. Some people make fun of Richard Marx, but wow he really did have an amazing voice. Remember when Ryan Seacrest sang with him on the final show?

  7. Anonymous says:

    These guys just reacting to a typical streetwalker on patrol on Friday night that J Lo resembles!

    It the way the guys greet all streetwalkers. J Lo does mind it at all since that how guys say hi to her!

    • Kate says:

      You’re disgusting.

    • Runner says:

      Ew. Just ew.

    • Tom22 says:

      Funny! wow the prude culture police are out again both with Michael and Melinda and the crowd here unable to recognize the difference between a silly joke of a provocatively teasing nature and an actual lewd comment.
      I guess I’ll never convince you guys that these pick up lines on JLO are 100% hokey-ness without a tiny weensy bitsy suggestion that they’d think or even take her up on it if she agreed.. A JOKE .. just like “take my wife, please” in the old vaudeville routines.
      But I imagine you’re the same people who found something remotely off color about a 12 year old girl dressed like a 12 year old girl (maybe you don’t approve of the fashion of 12 year olds wearing short shorts) sitting on a family man’s shoulders in a supervised setting.
      I can only imagine that some people here you consider cheerleaders doing high kicks at football games sexually showing off their panties? or when they sit on male cheerleaders shoulders in their short skirts being something sexual instead of clean as clean can be Americana ?
      It’s all hyperbole as was anonymous statement being a funny way of saying “she promotes a public image as a sex symbol and she’s glad to have that reinforced by others through playful joking and entirely unserious sexual advances”. Just a grand pantomime.

  8. Lili says:

    I want to hear Najah again. Loved her singing Payphone by Maroon 5.

  9. Jase says:

    J Lo is too busy sweating over Ryan Guzman (you can tell from their interviews that their “just friends” status is NOT her choice) to give a rat’s ass about some scrawny, pimple faced nobody howling at the moon. Melinda is right: “You don’t have a chance!”

    • Zack Quinti says:

      I think Paula visited one of the contestants in the hotel, so why not J Lo

    • Tom22 says:

      Wow you guys taking this provocative joking seriously are nuts (including MS and MD). It’s just another way of saying “I’m happy to be performing in front of a very attractive woman” without it being cloying. I’ll agree though that it is Hokey joke that’s been said one too many times, but it’s actually been said so many times it’s taking on a an even more comic meme like “hi bob” in the original Bob Newhart show.
      I explain more elaborately in a comment above but these heavy criticisms need at least someone providing a counterpoint.

      • Tom 22. Well I thought the young guy Daniel was actually kind of respectful this last time. He just said “This is for you Jennifer”. Also in the beginning when we saw Daniel with his parents, they were “all about it”. His dad asked him if he thought Daniel would get a selfie with Jennifer. So if his parents think its ok to act like that, then maybe its some kind of family fan praise. Could it be like when young kids get a crush on their teacher? As for the other guy with the wine, he may have been a bit forward. But COME ON! It s J-lo. Of course they are going to try! LOL

        • Tom22 says:

          I don’t even think it’s like getting a crush on teacher.. not even. Its “what can I say silly to flatter this person” … that’s . I get kind of excited about this to be honest as we got “anti bullying” police taking hyperbole at face value. “i hope she dies in a fire” was always taken as something less serious than “I don’t really like her” because being so extreme was so silly it was a way of making fun of yourself for saying it at the same time as expressing frustration. Now people take “i hope they die in a fire” as some sort of threat.. not something a Liza Minnelli or Barbra Streisand comic character portrayal would say wryly.
          His parents are ok with it because it is 100% a joke.. silliness. I don’t even think he thinks JLO is sexy.. he’s just saying it as a cut-up knowing that she likes the game of flattery. Humor is supposed to push taboo’s a bit and this is all that is. People are getting so darn serious you need to walk on egg-shells. By making light of things tension gets diffused.. unless people get in the habit of taking over the top statements seriously. Friends and associates teasing each other actually open’s lines of communication parallel to a power structure of lines of authority… unless people get too thin skinned to understand how it works. Can they even have “roasts” anymore … where the press and others teased the president about his faults etc ? .

  10. trickster88 says:

    I would have given a vito to the nerd. Everytime he’s on screen, I just blackout

  11. Runner says:

    Oh, I absolutely think they will keep “She” around until America can vote her off – just to torture me. Yeesh. I’ve never seen someone come off as that phony, unless that’s her “real” personality – which would be… le sigh.

    I agree. No more hitting on JLo. It’s just disrespectful. I may rue her existence in about 5 weeks – after she picks which young girl she wants to mind—- for the season – but she deserves to not have to ward off horny young boys at work. Ew. It’s not cute. At all.

  12. Runner says:

    Oh, and I love you. I wait all day for you to post! Thanks!

  13. Bonic says:

    I don’t understand the hate on Shi, I actually think she redeemed herself in the group round someone that should have been out after her solo is Amber Kelechi the girl can’t sinc. There is a voice somewhere in there but she needs some hardcore vocal training

    • Timmah says:

      Shi sounded great on PYT, and she certainly wasn’t trying to imitate MJ. Michael will come around eventually, I just know it. He didn’t like Haley at first either.

  14. darcy's evil twin says:

    Once again, great job Mr. Slezak and Melinda. There were some of the 38 contestants they wanted to hear again I wouldn’t have sent through, but whatever.
    YES, Melinda. I love me some Clark Beckham as well. Right now I’m not as wild about Rayvon but I didn’t care for Haley Reinhart in the beginning so I could change my mind. I love Katherine Walker and Cody Fry. I’m not sure this is the best venue for Cody Fry but he is an amazing vocalist.
    I like Maddie Walker and predict she’ll attract the country crowd.
    I am not so wild about Jax for some reason. She’s good and I can’t take anything away from her other than to say it’s just not my favorite style. I may also change my mind about Hunter. And I’m right there with you on the Melinda Veto with Shi!

    • Lemon says:

      Agree with much of this. I find Rayvon’s voice to be a bit thin, although he sure is handsome and charming. I’m not a fan of Jax at all. Katherine Winston has the most gorgeous tone, and Maddie will definitely attract the country fans. Ready to hear more from Clark, and say goodbye to Shi.

  15. darcy's evil twin says:

    My favorite team was the the one with David Oliver Willis (is it “Willis” or “Wills”?) that sang “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

  16. neaorlean says:

    I think Jennifer isn’t crazy about the 12 year old kids hitting on her at all. She looks embarrassed. Also, I’m watching old seasons of Idol from before I started watching it, and I have to say, this is the best the judges have ever been, they’re even better than last year, now that even the echo of Randy’s “yeah yeah yeah”s is forever gone. I’m watching season 9 now (my first season was 11) and I can’t believe how one person can be THAT annoying and not knowing it, it’s horrible, at some point they could’ve swapped him with a wind up doll that says “yeah yeah yeah” and boos every time they announce Simon, it would’ve been cheaper and less annoying. I’m loving the judges this and last year, I’m loving the actual critique, as opposed to “that just didn’t work at all, dawg, just… Pitchy all over the place and… I don’t know”. I had totally forgotten how annoying that man is, and, believe me, all the circus stuff Harry is doing are nothing compared to Ellen and Simon pretending to be making out (love Ellen though) and Simon and Kara fighting over who is moving his chair close to whom.

    • But I miss Steven Tyler on the show. He was a great judge!

      • neaorlean says:

        Well, he is great alright, I enjoyed him as a judge, but he wasn’t very helpful, if you think about it, he was mostly there as a novelty… Back in his season we had a lot of what we see happen to Jennifer now, teen girls talking about how hot he is. But he is great :)

        • I thought he was so supportive with the contestants. I remember when Holly was getting kind of picked on by the other judges and Steven told her to ignore them! He was also very funny! Holly was a favorite of mine.

          • neaorlean says:

            Yeah, I remember that, but I also remember that, although extremely likeable, Holly had persistent issues that the others called her on, and that’s why I think he wasn’t an useful judge, really really nice one, cool to have on the panel, but there needs to be some actual critique – like Keith does, he’s always really really nice and supportive, but he would still tell you if you’re off your game.

          • I think Steven just didnt know how to give critique because he was too nice and cared about their feelings to much!

          • neaorlean says:

            Yeah, he seems like a nice person and he really didn’t know how to still be likeable while telling you you did something wrong, but you have just those three people in front of you to tell you how to be better next time, and one of them just being nice is not helpful. :)

  17. TrP says:

    You better never leave this gig Michael and Melinda – since now that Jon Stewart is leaving Daily Show, you two are the only great things left in the media!

  18. Terry says:

    Jlow is disgusting. I felt there should have been a child abuse charge after that repulsive booty video with Iggy. I mean, gross, just gross, she is twice Iggy’s age! If Jlow was the one who was 24, Iggy would be 12 and it would be considered unconscionable and someone would be in jail.

  19. Smokey says:

    Sanjay Malakar — last heard to be tending bar in NYC? Taylor Hicks, last steady gig was at Bally’s in Vegas in 2013 == Kellie Pickler, had a Gold Album a while back —David Cook had a platinum album to his credit, now age 32 — Rueben Studdard, fairly good music sales over time, was a contestant on “Biggest Loser” in a previous season? anyway, that’s some stuff I read on a newsfeed a while back.

  20. XD says:

    Sal is supposedly 19, how does he have a 2011 Merlot in his hotel room?

  21. Shroom says:

    This comment needs an intervention

  22. Do you have any other heart healthy recipes besides gravel? Do you only cook in the microwave? Is there a gravel site that we dont know about? Damn, I knew I was missing out on something.

  23. Malcom, speaking of interventions, havent I seen you on that tv show?

  24. Zack Quinti says:

    why, we all learned something.