American Idol 12 – The Top 7 Performances – What the Critics Say

Here’s what critics around the interwebs are saying about last night’s American Idol 12 Top 7 performance show. Read my recap here.

With guitar virtuoso Orianthi sitting in, season 12’s top 7 team up for high-energy group numbers, while the judges groove along. – American Idol’s top 7 were ready to rock on Wednesday night, as the show kicked out some old-timely jams — and one Evanescence song — for its theme this week. Most handled the challenge competently, which could make Thursday’s results slightly less predictable. Until that riveting moment, 15 things you didn’t see on TV to hold you over… – Read more at Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ Recap: Rock Night Brings Pinched Nerves, Broken Toes and ‘Crack Juice’ – After weeks of R&B balladry, American Idol’s top 7 wanted to show the nation they were ready to bring the rock. But wasn’t this week’s theme billed as a “ballad free week?” How is “What About Love” by Heart not a ballad? How did Amber Holcomb get away with this? Also, why tease us with Rush’s “Limelight” in the opening segment? – Read more at Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ recap: What About Rock (No Ballads)? – Tonight’s Rock Songs (No Ballads) theme for the Top 7 turned out to be The Same Few Songs We Always Hear (And One Ballad). Plus: One contestant performed a song from later than the year 2000. Whaaaaaat? Idol is shakin’ it up! It’s positively the Space Age up in here. We are living it! – Read more at

American Idol Top 7 Performance Night Recap: For Those Who Managed to Rock, We Salute You! – I can’t get no satisfaction — not when it comes to American Idol‘s Season 12 theme nights, anyway. I know, I know: A couple weeks back I put together a gallery of potential alternatives to the usual “Songs That Inspire” and “Songs From the Year You Were Born” — and I’d actually included “’80s Rock” and “No Ballads Allowed” among my 22 suggestions. So you think that Fox’s official announcement of “Classic Rock, No Ballads” for Top 7 night would’ve been cause for nothing but a joyful Headbangers Ball up in Casa Slezak. – Read more at TV Line

“American Idol” Recap: Who Wants To Rock? (Nobody) – During last night’s American Idol, the home audience was invited to weigh in on upcoming themes for the show via Twitter using the hashtag #attidoltheme. I contributed a few never-gonna-happen entries during the show’s first hour (in part because I was sort of bored by the performances during the show’s first half): Nick Cave, murder ballads, Brokencyde, etc. But there were two that I was at least 75% serious about: A tribute to those videos in the TRL Hall Of Fame, and a week that would prove the singers’ prowess with songs that could make it on the radio in 2013. The two aren’t unrelated, of course; a male singer who showed his dexterity with, say, “I Want It That Way” could probably transition into the sorts of blandly upbeat songs Maroon 5 is putting out at the moment, while a woman could show off her pipes with a Kelly Clarkson track like “Walk Away” or “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” both of which are at least kissing cousins to her 2012 chart-topping “Stronger.” – Read more at Pop Dust

‘American Idol’ Recap: Rock Night Tastes Like ‘Crack Juice’ – Wednesday was rock night on “American Idol”, or as Ryan Seacrest described it, “No ballads, no slow dancing, just solid beats that will get you on your feet.” Rock music hasn’t been described as “solid beats that will get you on your feet” since the days of “American Bandstand,” but this is “Idol,” not a dingy rock club on the rough side of town. The playlist wasn’t quite “Headbanger’s Ball” — there were two Billy Joel songs in the mix — and only Angie Miller’s show-closing spin on Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” came close to actually, well, rocking. But the theme weeks are more about testing the contestants’ resolve and seeing how they adapt to curveballs than they are about pleasing genre purists. Read more at MTV

‘American Idol’ Top 7 Night: Still Not Rock ‘N’ Roll To Me – “Tonight, ‘Idol’ rocks out,” Ryan Seacrest–clearly a pathological liar, or just a guy who, much like Ron Burgundy, will read anything off a teleprompter–announced at the start of “American Idol’s” top seven show this Wednesday. Rock Night had only just begun, and I already knew that Ryan was not speaking the truth. I mean, none of this season’s contestants are rock singers by trade (where’s James Durbin when we need him?), and not even the shreddy presence of guitar goddess Orianthi could make this episode really rawk. Ryan was much more truthful when the top seven first emerged onstage and he semi-joked, “They look confused already! I’m worried!” – Read more at

‘American Idol’ Recap: Big Voices and Forgotten Words on Detroit-Honoring Night – The good news with “American Idol” this week? Apparently ‘Motown Week’ means less ballads on the singing competition, which after the last few weeks is a welcome respite indeed (let’s thank Smokey Robinson, the mentor this evening). The bad? It’s down to the top eight and still needs to fill two hours, so it’s time for group performances! While that may not sound like a poor proposition, remember that this is the “Idol” season where remembering the words to songs during Hollywood Week was tougher than usual, for reasons unknown. Remember also that this is a group of contestants who tend to wear on their sleeves the fact that they didn’t know a song they sing that week before, you know, that week. Through two songs into the equation, and it’s going to be a recipe for disaster for some. – Read more at

‘American Idol’: A rock ‘n’ roll recap – If American Idol ever had a group of finalists that wasn’t made for a night of rock songs, it’s this batch. But this season’s Top 7 muddled through, with a few bright spots along the way. Namely Janelle Arthur’s boots. Imagine taking one of Porter Wagoner’s suits and distilling it into a pair of cowboy boots, and you’ve got an idea what Arthur was wearing as she covered Billy Joel’s You May Be Right. When the show came back from commercial, Arthur was sock-footed and judge Nicki Minaj was wearing the boots. – Read more at USA Today

‘American Idol’ recap: Top 7 try to rock out – It was “rock week” on “American Idol” as the top 7 took on rock ‘n’ roll classics, with varying results. It also happened to be injury week, with top talents Kree Harrison and Candice Glover singing through their pain. Harrison had a pinched nerve that limited her arm movement. Glover had an April Fools’ prank-related injury: She broke a toe when Burnell Taylor persuaded her to try to fool Lazaro Arbos into thinking the house was on fire. Yes, fake house fire, real backfire. “That’s what you get for trying to play a trick on Lazaro,” Nicki Minaj chided. “Lazaro got special powers. You ain’t know that?” – Read more at LA Times

‘American Idol’: Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Dead – Of the many silly ways that Fox and the show’s producers have tried to shake up American Idol this season — flashy new judges, the ambush audition, the introduction of that weird Vegas week stretch — last night’s was maybe the silliest. Or, I don’t know, the most half-baked. The theme for the week was “Rock Songs/No Ballads,” meaning everything was to be up-tempo and jazzy and exciting. I suppose they were trying to infuse a little pep and fun into this dreary but otherwise nondescript season, but it just came off kinda lame. Plus a couple of the songs were sorta ballads, weren’t they? So that was kinda unfair and denuded the whole evening of meaning. I mean, that wasn’t very hard to do, of course. This whole season is just… It’s weak, you guys. It’s deeply, deeply weak. But we must press on, so let’s do just that. – Read more at The Atlantic Wire

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mj santilli

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • irockhard

    Rock Night had only just begun, and I already knew that Ryan was not speaking the truth. I mean, none of this season’s contestants are rock singers by trade (where’s James Durbin when we need him?), and not even the shreddy presence of guitar goddess Orianthi could make this episode really rawk.

    Thanks Lyndsey!

  • TylerWV

    This was a really bad night for me. I couldnt really find one rock song that rocked and most were the same old stuff. Couldnt really fault the contestants since none are rockers. Not enough versatility in this years crop and stacking the deck against the guys has killed the show. Apparently a girl is going to win but it will feel like she cheated to get the win, due to the producers usual fingers in the pie.

  • Anny_nanny

    One very famous band in my country has a song called “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Dead, but I still don’t”. Add “I’m sorry” and we have the theme of this week.

  • Laura Corn

    Thanks for recaps Mj. Something about this S12??? Oh year boring! But did get a bang out of Nicki flinching Janelles boots….

  • Nadine_Bitch

    Michael Slezak ?@MichaelSlezakTV

    AMERICAN IDOL’s Ratings Woes: 8 Common-Sense Ways to Salvage Season 12 … #SaveIdol, @DizzyFeet!

    ”As a massive Idoloonie who’d love to see the reality juggernaut stay
    strong and produce another generation of J.Huds and Carries and Lamberts, I’ve concocted an eight-step plan to reinvigorate Season 12 — and keep the Idol train moving forward in the coming decade.”

  • Anny_nanny

    Michael says things implementation of which will only add to the problem. I remember, it was he who suggested week of Rock and No Ballads. What do we get as a result? This’s American Idol.
    I don’t see the former successful alumni who sit and waiting for what their tomorrow called on All Stars, such events are planned in advance. And they can’t collect only wgwg as someone suggested in the discussion, it is only worsen the impression of the current contestants.
    I would like to mentor worked with the participants of more, but the salt of the competition in the fact that they themselves should be able to choose a song, nobody will do it for them after the show, I want to see that someone is not in a condition to select a song and forget about this contestant. But they SHOULD have the opportunity to to choose the songs are not from the list – this is the only thing I completely agree with Michael.
    I read earlier that most of the time unusual arrangements and version helped select the music Director, not even by the participants themselves. I have the impression that the current team hates all of girls and boys. I don’t know the reason, maybe these kids are to blame, but it is also part of the show, they should be able to be friends with the people they depend on their career.

  • Clayton Davis