‘Something Pitchy:’ It’s an ‘American Idol’ Therapy Session!

Sure, it’s called ‘American Idol’ not ‘Attitude Idol’ but can anyone blame Haley Reinhart for giving it back to Randy and J.Lo after they not only slammed her for the umpteenth time, but also compared her to golden boy, James Durbin?

Myself, Rickey Yaneza (Rickey.org) and MJ Santilli (mjsbigblog.com) are just as perplexed as Haley, herself. Only more puzzling is Randy’s assessment of James Durbin, comparing his screamy Journey cover to an Olympic performance.

See the video at TV Squad

‘American Idol’: Randy tears into Haley, and Rupert Murdoch is there to see it, on the scene of Top 4 performance night

As the crew set the stage for James Durbin’s opening number, Paul McDonald sauntered into the Idoldome, one hand clutching two tickets, the other the hand of actress Nikki Reed. The Twilight star was beaming with a practiced starlet grin; the former Idol troubadour looked like he was going to throw up at any given moment. The duo were led up to their seats a few rows back, and then swiftly led back down them and out of the studio once the audience peeps realized that it would likely be a good idea to place the season’s second most talked about couple up closer where the cameras would likely better capture their blinding smiles, photogenic affection, and possible vomit.

EW

‘American Idol’ recap: I’d Like to Solve the Puzzle

Of course — of course! — I’m sick of Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez acting like American Idol is this super-complicated jigsaw puzzle and that James, Scotty and Lauren have SUDDENLY SOLVED IT. But as the judges stuck nearly word-for-word to the same tired script as last week, I somehow stopped being angry that the terrible two had once again singled Haley Reinhart out as the only final four contestant who’s ever done anything even a little bit wrong. Haley’s already decided their comments don’t matter, so why should I? Their weird bias could get the growler more votes anyway, so good for her.


EW

American Idol Recap: ‘Nothing’ Ventured, Nothing Gained

Imagine watching a boxing match where a fighter gets bound tightly to the corner post, then relentlessly pummeled by his foe. Or a race where one horse is led to the starting gate, only to be pointed in the opposite direction of the remaining runners. Or a figure-skating competition where everyone performs on ice, except for one girl who gets violently hurled into a lake and told by the judges, “Hey, it’s not our fault you couldn’t get the water to freeze!” That’s kind of what Wednesday night’s edition of American Idol felt like, with Haley Reinhart getting the proverbial slushie to the face from “judges” Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, while her three competitors received nary a word of criticism despite experiencing pitch problems, facial malfunctions, and a general lack of believability.

TV Line

‘American Idol’ Recap: Lady Gaga Mentors/Scares the Top 4

What do avant garde pop princess Lady Gaga and ’60s doo-woppers The Coasters have in common? Nothing. But both were a part of tonight’s Top 4 performances on ‘American Idol.’ So I guess there’s that.

The final four took to the stage for another two-for-one special, this time choosing one personally inspiring song followed by a selection from mega-hit songwriting duo Leiber and Stoller’s songbook.

TV Squad

Guest Blogger and ‘American Idol’ Alum Allison Iraheta: ‘The Judges Owe Haley An Apology’

First of all, I think this season is great. It was genius to have Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges and to bring some change to the show. And the contestants are awesome! They’re super-talented and you can tell they all get along — they’re not just there to compete, they want to have fun, take it all in and learn from each other. It’s not all about the contest.

But the top four is also when everybody is super stressed out, and it’s hard to think about yourself as an artist because you’re also thinking about the fans, what the people want, what the judges are going to say, and you’re so close to the Top 3.

Hollywood Reporter

Scotty McCreery Struts, Haley Reinhart Soars On ‘American Idol’

And then there were four. On Wednesday (May 11) night’s “American Idol” performance show, the final four were tasked with picking a song that inspired them and then choosing a tune from the formidable songbook of legendary songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (“Stand By Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock”).

Oh, and Lady Gaga popped in to mentor them. So, like, no pressure.

MTV

‘American Idol’ Recap: Lauren Alaina Turns ‘Evil,’ Lady Gaga Gropes James Durbin, and Scotty McCreery Rocks the Leather

Wednesday night’s Idol begged the answer to the immortal Randy Jackson question of “who is in it to win it?” More importantly, who wants to have that elaborate homecoming parade next week if they make the top 3? I still get goose bumps every time I see that footage of Elliot Yamin’s mother riding in the car at a parade in his honor. Homecoming week is a big deal in the Idol Universe, and probably on every single one of the contestant’s minds Wednesday night (you know Scotty McCreery is thinking about it, as he’s more than willing to make out with the grass and not his microphone — more on that later). Next week is truly the only week where you want to “go home,” because you return as a hero before facing the inevitable reality that, in the words of the awesome movie, “Highlander,” “there can be only one” American Idol.

Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ Top 4 Night: Conservative Contestants Finally Go Gaga

Oh, how richly ironic that Lady Gaga, who is arguably the biggest player in the pop game right now, mentored the top four this week on “American Idol.” I mean, this a show whose two biggest frontrunners, 16-year-old country kids Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, are so ultra-conservative that Gaga’s very leotarded, skunk-wigged presence had Scotty kissing a cross pendant and begging God for forgiveness (“Apparently he’s a bit more conservative than I imagined,” mused Gaga), and rendered Lauren too afraid to even sing the word “evil” in an Elvis song.

Yahoo

Harsh criticism fuels Haley’s comeback on ‘Idol’

For the second week in a row, Reinhart started off slowly. Her choice of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” as her inspirational song didn’t have the excitement of James Durbin’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” or the shameless pandering of Scotty McCreery’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” or Lauren Alaina’s “Anyway.” From both a tactical and vocal level, she was way behind entering the second round, as Randy Jackson made explicit when he said the other three finalists were tied for first at the halfway point.

MSNBC

‘American Idol’ 2011: Lady Gaga mentors

It’s Inspirational Music followed by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller tunes mentored by Lady Gaga week on “American Idol”

Judge Randy Jackson is wearing a sample from the casual line of the Randissimo Italiano collection. Jennifer Lopez is in a shoulder baring number, cut to keep herself covered on her Steven Tyler-facing side. A bird has built a nest in Tyler’s hair.

Washington Post

Lady Gaga Brings The Drama As ‘American Idol’ Mentor

Not every “American Idol” mentor would ask a contestant, “How do you feel about getting a little psycho?” Then again, not every “American Idol” mentor is Lady Gaga.

Yes, “Idol” got Gaga’d on Wednesday (May 11), as the pop superstar tutored the top four contestants while they worked through material from the songbook of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

MTV

‘American Idol’ Recap: Don’t Stop Believing, Haley!

A wise woman (and a rapping cat hallucination) once sang, “I take two steps forward, two steps back. We go together ’cause opposites attract.” “American Idol” bought into that reasoning by booking Lady Gaga as a mentor for Leiber & Stoller night. They snagged one of the biggest pop stars making music today … to talk about songs that may have been written before Scotty McCreery’s grandparents were born. (Anyone know how old Grandma Piquita is? Tweet me! This is important!)

MTV (Jim Cantiello)

‘Idol’ Watch: Are you pro-choice?

Oh, wait, the petty party has only just begun!

Let’s face it — at this point, everyone left in the competition is not only “in it to win it” (so seriously stop Randy), but an amazing singer. So to analyze a performance show based solely on their vocal prowess seems a bit like trying to decide who is the worst judge based off their weekly critiques. FYI: It’s a tie for third, everyone loses!

NYP

American Idol Fights Its Way to the Finish Line

For an American Idol episode with so much gravitas—the viewing audience was reminded at the show’s outset that the results of this episode would determine which of the three remaining contestants got to visit their hometowns, in a package that for some reason spotlighted Danny Gokey more than any other ex-contestant—tonight’s episode sure felt oddly plotted and rushed. You’d think that having Lady Gaga on to mentor the contestants would have at least given the show some sort of structure since she has a Very Important Record To Promote, but she came in halfway through, in a black-and-white wig and makeup even more elaborate than what she had on in the “Judas” video, to quickly guide the contestants through the Lieber and Stoller songbook after they’d all performed songs that “inspired” them. Her fake birthmark alone was 100 times more interesting than the performances, let alone the judges’ comments that followed them.

Popdust

American Idol Recap: Paul F. Tompkins on the Lady Gaga Tutorial

Ooooh, folks. As things wind down, the faux-drama revs up. We begin with a montage of Idols past, capturing the moments when they each triumphantly returned to the narrow-minded Podunk from whence they crawled; now having conquered the world, they make the Doubting Thomases of these backwater ignoramus farms weep at the prospect of touching the hem of an American Idol’s garment. The scene shifts to the present-day, and we see our current Idol hopefuls, bursting with promise! The stakes could not be higher! The screen hurls portentous words in our fat faces: “TONIGHT THEY NEED YOUR VOTES TO SEND THEM HOME.” Oh my God, I knew it! These kids are being held against their will!

Vulture

Top 4 Recap: “I’m Evil! I’m Evil! I’m Evil!”

The top 4 got to sing songs that inspire them along with Leiber and Stoller songs. Really, the song choices were pretty boring and predictable. But two things about this episode were fantastic- The first was Lady Gaga. She gave every contestant hilarious advice that made them way more VFTW worthy than they would’ve been without her. When I slipped her that note a week ago and told her to mentor the contestants, I didn’t know she’d follow through. Well played, Ms. Gaga. Well played. The second awesome part of the episode was Haley Reinhart’s attitude. I just love this girl’s sass. She serves it up stone cold and isn’t taking crap from anyone. That’s the mark of a truly awesome VFTW pick.

VFTW

 
  • MrDuffin

    It’s James week to go home. He is soooo bad to watch and listen too. I luv my DVR..

  • AIaddict

    I hope James leaves tonight. It’ll be a sad rest of the season if Haley is gone but I’m afraid the bus is just around the corner. :(

  • Reflections On Life

    re VFTW: Yes, I agree, 1/2 of Lauren’s final song was just her repeating “I’m Evil”, it was really strange that she chose to chop up the song that way, and even more strange that the judges didn’t say “well, all you did was say I’m Evil the whole time.”

  • Nina1

    I love Jim Cantiello and Paul F. Tomkins, both of whom never fail to crack me up! I also love Michael Slezack, but that just goes without saying.

  • Trina

    Hasnt the bus been around the corner for poor Haley the last few weeks? Or did the standing ovations block the bus?

    Reading Nigel’s reaction to Jame’s DSB I’m starting to think hes the dolt who blabbed to E saying it was so mindblowing. Maybe in his mind it was.

  • stwbcross

    I’m beginning to wonder if James’ fanbase isn’t as large as we think it is. Maybe the reason why he keeps getting the pimp spot.

  • CindyM

    Lol, the Gawker recap is hilarious!!

    http://gawker.com/5801213/american-idol-i-can-hear-the-girls-screaming-all-day-long

    Ryan just tweeted that tonight show will be very “interesting”.

  • brian_ny1976

    HALEY WHINEHEART IS TRASH! I HOPE ALL THAT MAKE UP SHE WEARS WEIGHS DOWN HER CHANCES OF MAKING IT ANYWHERE…I HOPE IF SHE IS BOOTED HER CAREER THOUGHTS OF BECOMING A SINGER ARE DRASTICALLY CHANGED AND SHE IS RIPPING TICKETS AT A LOCAL MOVIE THEATRE

  • Chicagolaw

    LOL, I think “interesting” means that they let the judges and Haley have a “discussion.” Or it simply means that Haley made it through and someone else (probably Lauren) is headed home.

    In any event, I don’t see anything stopping a Scotty/James final.

  • emmuzka

    Heh, “interesting” could mean anything. The euphemism for Haley not getting the boot would be “shocking”.

    *Hopes for the opening speech include the term “shocking”*

  • tinawina

    Alison had some interesting things to say.

  • Tess

    Heh…I’m so looking forward to the Idol blog world’s (and its media affiliates)collective melt down if two young and very inexperienced country singing kids walk away with the top spots on this years idol. If it happens we will be witness to a tsunami of indignation the likes Idol has never seen.

  • Zastine4974

    On a more positive note, Haley is hands down better than “I can’t take criticism” Lauren. Girl is a clone of many of other blond country singers in Nashville.

    Sad that Idol has come to this. No criticism when it is due and picking on one contestant all the time.

  • standtotheright

    Heh…I’m so looking forward to the Idol blog world’s (and its media affiliates)collective melt down if two young and very inexperienced country singing kids walk away with the top spots on this years idol

    I actually don’t think so. I think the producers have engineered (intentionally or otherwise) a mini Durbin-Reinhart fanwar that has generally taken the focus off of McCreery and Alaina. Some people don’t care for each of them, but in my view, there’s way more vitriol being expressed at the older contestants.

    If that was the ultimate goal, congrats, TPTB. Well played.

    Also, I want Paul F. Thompkins to come to my house and read me stories every night. And I normally find Lawson overrated as a recapper (writing fake fanfic is kind of funny once), but that “thank you for that activity” riff was gold.

  • AddictedToMars

    ”Interesting” could mean anything, it doesn’t have to mean shocking and the last time Ryan said ”shocking” Jacob went home. If it’s a shocker tonight I expect to see James going. With Scotty being untouchable, Lauren’s fanbase being riled up after her B2 appearence and Haley sympathy voters it’s possible James could be left in the mix but we will see what happens tonight. I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen.

  • lavender1960

    Been out of the Idol loop for a few years. I’m watching The Voice though.

    I am probably stating what many people have already said or are thinking but hello, autotune and slick production combined with good looks and dance moves are what gave Jennifer Lopez some hit records not some incredible voice, honey you ain’t no Jennifer Hudson or Haley Reinhart, you wish, JLo. All her songs are fluff what does she know about emoting a song? Fluff has its place but her giving vocal tips to kids who actually have great vocal chops is well interesting.

  • lavender1960

    Oh yeah that was Paula Abdul too. But then Paula stuck to what she knew.

  • Chicagolaw

    Why do people think Scotty is so untouchable? Have I missed something? Is it the young country thing? The young male thing? I’m just curious what evidence is out there that backs this up—because I keep reading everywhere that he has it locked up. In my mind, James would seem the obvious winner knowing what we do about the audience demo.

    “Interesting” probably has nothing to do with who is leaving. I bet Ryan’s referring to the Lady Gaga video.

  • AIaddict

    Hasnt the bus been around the corner for poor Haley the last few weeks? Or did the standing ovations block the bus?

    Yes, but now it is cranked up and headed straight at her. It just happened to veer off and miss her the past couple of weeks. If it doesn’t get her this week it’ll be a miracle.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Heh…I’m so looking forward to the Idol blog world’s (and its media affiliates)collective melt down if two young and very inexperienced country singing kids walk away with the top spots on this years idol. If it happens we will be witness to a tsunami of indignation the likes Idol has never seen.

    All the Idol pundits I know fully expect Scotty to win, so I don’t think there will be any sort of meltdown when the inevitable happens. Sorry.

  • standtotheright

    Why do people think Scotty is so untouchable?

    “Never in the bottom 2″ or whatever the quote was, and being the only contestant in the green on DI every week.

    DI is problematic but there’s a substantial gap between him and everyone else that presumably reflects how the overall votes are trending.

  • AddictedToMars

    Why do people think Scotty is so untouchable?

    He’s got all the fanbases needed to win Idol. He’s got the country vote, he’s got the christian vote, he’s even got the teen-age girl vote because he’s cute to them, he’s got the older vote as well because he’s a traditional country singer and in a way he reminds them of the good ole days of country before it’s gone somewhat pop and less traditional. He’s also got the whole likability factor that most idol fans love. There’s not much that’s going to stop Scotty from winning and whenever Lauren gets elminated, most of her voters will vote for Scotty. At this point everyone is fighting for 2nd place. It’s Carrie Underwood/Taylor Hicks all rolled into one for Scotty.

  • musicality

    I just found out that Scotty is partially Puerto Rican. His father was born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mom and caucasian dad. So his father is half Puerto Rican. Not sure why but that made Scotty much more interesting to me. Personally, I find people who are exposed to some sort of ethnic diversity (no matter how minute) more interesting and rounded. I kind of wrote him off as Opie Tayor 2.0. I like his voice and his demeanor. If he wins I say good for him. Lauren has a lot of future potential. She’s had some really shinning moments and has a very radio friendly voice. I wouldn’t mind seeing her win. Haley is unique and has her own sound. With the right promotion she could be huge. Durbin is the King of Karoke. Totally unoriginal and off pitch way too much. He’s a dog and pony show. I know he has a fan base but this is puzzling to me.

  • http://gdormier.blogspot.com gdormier

    I was reading a couple of websites and hear that she answered the judges back in one of her performances last night. I think that Haley is going home tonight but I might be wrong. I also think that Lauren, Scott, and James is going stay for another week.

  • musicality

    I actually don’t think so. I think the producers have engineered (intentionally or otherwise) a mini Durbin-Reinhart fanwar that has generally taken the focus off of McCreery and Alaina.

    Doubt it. The viewing audience at large isn’t that vested and basically could care less. I see a lot of people on twitter who are fans of both so I don’t get the fanwar analogy

  • AIaddict

    Don’t forget Scotty also has the southern vote. We southerners know how to vote.

  • rayni

    AIaddict says:
    05/12/2011 at 2:52 pm

    Don’t forget Scotty also has the southern vote. We southerners know how to vote.

    This southerner voted for Haley – Team Growl! I can’t even watch Scotty sing.

  • standtotheright

    Doubt it. The viewing audience at large isn’t that vested and basically could care less

    Yes, but those aren’t the people who would be “indignant” at any win. I’m simply talking about the group that would supposedly be upset by McCreery and Alaina taking it all, and I think that it’s a very small minority that would be outraged on both Durbin and Reinhart’s behalf. Maybe one or the other, but not both.

  • musicality

    I’m simply talking about the group that would supposedly be upset by McCreery and Alaina taking it all, and I think that it’s a very small minority that would be outraged on both Durbin and Reinhart’s behalf.

    Ohhh……gotcha :) I don’t know though. I follow all the fanbases on twitter. Though I might like some and not others when push comes to shove I don’t really care who wins. I do get totally annoyed at the bussing of Haley & the lack of support for females in general.

    I’m not seeing that much passion this season. I see Haley fans that would be totally pissed if she went home but I have to say I’ve not see one person in all my followers (and I have a lot) express anger if Scotty or Lauren won. I haven’t seen that at all. It’s just the typical I’m not going to vote any more if Haley or James or who ever goes home. But I have not seen or read anything about people not thinking Scotty or Lauren didn’t deserve the win. I’m seeing a lot more people wanting a female to win though. So if it was a Scotty/Lauren finale I wouldn’t be shocked at an upset to see Lauren win. Personally I don’t care who wins though I think based on talent James shouldn’t win. But other than that I think the other 3 are good. I do think Haley has the vocal edge though. But in all honesty I know I’m not going to buy any of their CD’s or music or go to the concert. So basically it’s a big whatever for me. I know a lot who feel the same way.

  • koshka

    So basically it’s a big whatever for me. I know a lot who feel the same way.

    That sums it up for me. Complete apathy.

  • lovestosing

    I, too, am a Southerner who voted the entire 2 hours nonstop for Haley. This show ticked me off last night and if she is voted off I do not plan to watch again; this season or any other. It is not right to only criticize one of the contestants and not the others. I am not saying that Haley should be the winner, just that is should be a fair competition. This year has been the worst example of shoving contestants down our throats. Not only were J-Lo and Randy harsh after her first song last week and this week, but when she did well her second songs, they gave her a short praise and then brought up how well she did after doing so poorly in the first song making sure that people remembered the first performance.The bias is so flagrant that I honestly could write several more paragraphs about Haley and others, but what good would it do?

    I am doing the Nielsen survey next week and it will definitely reflect my feelings about this show. The comment section will be full…I am, however, not naive and know it will make no difference.

  • AIaddict

    I did not vote for Scotty either but we know he’s way ahead of the pack.

  • SpenserJ

    I’m just curious what evidence is out there that backs this up—because I keep reading everywhere that he has it locked up.

    In addition to what others have mentioned about Dial Idol, no trips to the bottom, southern country charmer, etc., my biggest reason for believing this is the no pimp spot thing. I think he’s not getting it, because Nigel knows he doesn’t need it.

    I actually don’t think so. I think the producers have engineered (intentionally or otherwise) a mini Durbin-Reinhart fanwar that has generally taken the focus off of McCreery and Alaina.

    Haley’s my favorite, but I’m not warring with the Durbinators. I like James :).

    I won’t be outraged at any outcome either. There are probably some finale combinations that woulld make it less necessary for me to watch that night. But, I won’t be pissed. And, I’ll be right back with AI come next January.

  • musicality

    This year has been the worst example of shoving contestants down our throats.

    Agreed. At this point I don’t even think James has to show up. He could send in a audio recording of his cat shrieking in heat (not much different from his voice) and the judges would be falling all over themselves to praise him.

  • JoCeeisme

    Well if you don’t like contestants being shoved down your throat, close your mouth! No one forces you to watch the show. Throat forceage has always happened, most people are ok with it if it is not someone they dont like. As for James, I praise him, I like me some shrieking.

  • muzikghetto

    Haley’s my favorite, but I’m not warring with the Durbinators. I like James .

    I won’t be outraged at any outcome either. There are probably some finale combinations that woulld make it less necessary for me to watch that night. But, I won’t be pissed. And, I’ll be right back with AI come next January.

    Well if you don’t like contestants being shoved down your throat, close your mouth! No one forces you to watch the show. Throat forceage has always happened, most people are ok with it if it is not someone they dont like. As for James, I praise him, I like me some shrieking.

    Loved those comments above. Just saying…

  • http://MJO judes

    This year has been the worst example of shoving contestants down our throats.

    Agreed. At this point I don’t even think James has to show up. He could send in a audio recording of his cat shrieking in heat (not much different from his voice) and the judges would be falling all over themselves to praise him.

    You can’t have been around in season 8 with all the Danny & Adam pimping by the judges- has happened in most seasons of Idol.

    Even though I liked Lauren’s first song I think she’s the one who hasn’t performed consistently enough so is deserving to go .
    I am happy for James not to win but I think he deserves to be in the Finale as he has consistently chosen good songs for him & mostly performed well.
    Hard to tell thoughas apart from Scotty who seems untouchable , the other 3 are now very close.

  • Esqt

    You can’t have been around in season 8 with all the Danny & Adam pimping by the judges- has happened in most seasons of Idol.

    For me, it was well-deserved because they were the BEST and the most CONSISTENT singers/performers of their season vocally & performance-wise. I don’t remember them being praised after a wonkie-tonkie performances like James’s. Reading at the comments during their run, these two usually earned the votes by simply nailing their perfomances everytime and not out of pity -”OMG..that was not good [X name here], so I better vote harder because I don’t want [X] eliminated yet.” The crowd reactions/reviews during the AI tour further proved that they were also the best two. TPTB were right from day one.