American Idol 12 Chicago Auditions: What the Critics Say

You watched the American Idol 12 auditions in Chicago last night. Here’s my recap. Now read what the rest of the blogosphere had to say about the show.

‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 2: Chicago Hope – But just when it seemed like Mariah and Nicki were about to brawl like a couple of scorned women on a particularly heated love-triangular episode of “The Jerry Springer Show,” a memorable, bow-tied contestant came along to turn the show around and remind viewers (and hopefully the judges) what “Idol” is supposed to be all about: giving kids a much-needed break and making talented people’s dreams come true. Yes, it was sappy and manipulative (cue violins here), but it was just the sort of sap and manipulation the show dearly needed. – Yahoo Music

‘American Idol’ Chicago Auditions Prove It’s All About Nicki And Mariah – Mariah and Nicki. Nicki and Mariah. Sure, Randy Jackson’s back on the panel, Keith Urban is hiding out somewhere too, and supposedly there are some contestants who are trying to make the show about them and their journeys. (Good luck.) Let’s face it, though: This season, “American Idol” is all about Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. The two divas were the centerpiece of this week’s two-night “Idol” premiere, which covered the show’s New York and Chicago auditions. And whether they were feuding or making nice, all eyes (and ears) were on them, and their sometimes-British accents. – Read more at MTV

‘American Idol’ Chicago: The recap – “Chicago was unbelievable.” Nicki Minaj says. “Remarkable.” Well, maybe not. But it was a big improvement over New York. The second night of American Idol’s 12th-season premiere started ramping things up, not only the talent but also the escalating tensions between judges Mariah Carey and Minaj. The feud, which apparently boils over in next week’s episodes, showed signs of building through the show, as both singers wearied of hearing the other speak. – Read more at Idol Chatter

American Idol Chicago Auditions Recap: The Windy (City) Project [Updated] – Indeed, 12 seasons in, the giant onion that is American Idol hasn’t lost an ounce of potency. Sit with it long enough — breathe in its swelling strings and its harrowing backstories and its humble notion that, with the right melody, the misfits and outsiders and scrappers of the world can make like Kelly Clarkson and have their very own “moment like this” — and eventually, you’ll be succumbing to the urge to ugly cry on your couch. – TV Line

‘American Idol’ recap: Sweet Hope in Chicago – Happy sigh! I went into “Auditions No. 2” bracing myself for an even worse display of Diva vs. Diva than Wednesday’s premiere — and don’t get me wrong, the Mariah-Nicki Get Up Out My Face 2013 feud is still annoying. But the Chicago auditions showcased so much talent — 16 featured golden ticketers! — that the warring egos simply didn’t weren’t awarded enough screen time to completely muck up the episode. Plus, the Adler Planetarium was the best possible venue from which to provide a sweeping backdrop of downtown Chicago –home of the meat wave, deep-dish pizza and during the ’80s and ’90s, me. Gotta love that lake effect! – Read more at Entertainment Weekly

‘American Idol’ Recap: Do You Hear the People Sing? – Of course, the passive-aggressive tension that began at the New York City auditions was bubbling under as well, as the insults and swipes between Nicki Minaj and Carey continued before (and during) the audition process. Take, for example, the atrocious audition of Austin Earles, a 19-year-old from Lakeview, Mich., as he proceeded to destroy one of Carey’s hits, “Emotion.” Carey wanted to cut it off, but Minaj seized the opportunity to stick it to her. “I would love to constantly hear that every day,” she said, as the bickering continued. – Read more at Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ Recap: Keith Urban Flees Chicago – Welcome back to American Idol, where the auditions have moved to Chicago and eager contestants are patiently waiting for a chance to sing in front of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson – you know, if he happens to be in the room. The second episode of Idol’s 12th season kicks off with someone in the graphics department showing off the Batman-style Pow! Boom! Bam! signs they brilliantly plastered over footage of Nicki and Mariah bickering. – Read more at Rolling Stone

‘American Idol’ Recap: Lazaro Arbos Inspires, Nicki Minaj Shines in Chicago – I realize that it’s currently an unpopular opinion, and certainly unheard of leading up to the premiere, but Minaj is doing exactly what she was hired to do: judge. And she’s pretty good at it, too. You can tell when she’s not feeling a singer, and frankly, most times, those singers either don’t get put through or are clearly the kind of contestant that we’ll never hear from again after the Hollywood portion of the competition. She’s doing that which Randy Jackson has done for years, but with more personality. The Nicki- Mariah Carey “feud” be damned. I’m enjoying having Nicki around for her blunt opinions and the fact that I agree with her probably 95 percent of the time, let alone all the great reaction faces she makes. I didn’t expect this. I may need a moment. – Read more at

American Idol Recap: Please, Sir, May I Have Some Less? – The producers of Idol can sympathize with anticlimactic entrances. The ratings are in, and oh, they are not good. Last night’s Idol premiere was the lowest-rated since season one, and while much ink will be wasted over the public’s distaste for Nicki Minaj, or our skepticism over her and Mariah’s feud, or of Keith Urban’s star power, I know the truth: These early episodes are long and enervating, and even the biggest Idol-boosters resent their time being wasted. Just because you can stretch these debut episodes to four hours a week doesn’t mean you should. You are holding us hostage, Idol. You are holding us by the ankles and shaking change out of our pockets, and we don’t like it. – Read more at Vulture

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  • Nadine_Bitch
  • Shander Maxwhite

    I didn’t see that much snarking between Mariah and Nicki .. It really struck me more as “ribbing” .  I’m an ex-fraternity boy and teasing friends mercilessly is part of the bonds, that do last in a positive way from my experience.   They have different likes.. the ridiculed each other a bit but I felt it was in a fun way and that each “trolled” each other by playing up their tastes that would rattle the other.. but I found that a sporting repartee rather than a tenseness .  It is all edited snippets of a tiny portion of what really happened so who knows what the true story is either way.
    Kez Ban was the real deal for me.  No, I don’t think Kez is made for idol but it is rare I listen to a song and like it so much .  I only saw a few others on the internet.  Evidently she didn’t truly write the majority of Azure Sky but adapted and expanded upon a friend’s work … idol editing might have not fairly portrayed her explanation   It is rare I love a song so much while listening to it the first time.  I’ve listened to it dozens of times since…really a great song and performance although I’d like to see a top notch blue grass style guitar solo take off for 32 bars in the middle.

  • anonoymous

    I don’t see this OTT bickering between MAriah and Nicki keep talking about. Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention. IT doesn’t seem like anything to make a fuss about. They argue somewhat, but Simon and Paula did that all the time a few years back. It’s much-a-do about nothing IMO.

  • lovetheusa1776

    Kez Ban for the win – unlike so many females, her speaking voice alone is a benison for the ears.

  • ladymctech

    I’m not letting the Nicki/Mariah stuff get to me. It’s background noise and if you work hard enough, you can drown it out…by focusing on the contestants. I think quite a few good people got through last night. And like some other posters here, I love Kez Ban.

  • Beth Bowers

    Dare we hope?  She gets raves reviews pretty much across the board, but will the general public like her?

  • H.A.

    I hope the public likes her. Her personality is so pleasant and likable and if  her talents holds up I do think she can go far.

  • CB40

    LOVE and agree with the Billboard post.

  • Kariann Hart

    I was at the Theater Premiere, so I did see many of the auditions previously.  They were even better the second time around.  I very much like Christina Isabel Pasqualone and Teena Torres.  Kez Ban came as a surprise and I hope she doesn’t get cut right away.  I already knew how Lazaro Arbos sang and see a TOP 10 contestant!

    So far, the Mariah/Nicki relationship is tolerable, but I don’t look forward to worse bickering.  Keith seems like a good judge and Randy seems to have improved!

  • Valarie

    The vulture review sounds as if I wrote it. Imo, the audition overkill is killing the show. Wake up, Nigel.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Exactly! Why do we need 3-4 hours of auditions every week? For three weeks to be exact. It’s hard for me to get into anybody because I’ve seen and heard these voices all before. I just want to get to the main competition already, the auditions just simply drag too long.  

  • Mateja Praznik

     Well, the auditions are the necessary evil of all these shows. I think three weeks is about right for this round. Idol’s auditions used to be longer a few seasons ago, so three weeks seems okay. It’s just enough time for the viewers to get used to the schedule.

    That said, I completely understand that after so many years nothing about this round excites anymore. Surely Simon Fuller could think of something that would change up the routine?

  • Kesia Monteith

    I just also want to add, that I think Nicki and Mariah are doing a fine job. I get annoyed with Keith looking like the best judge, because I don’t think his critiques are anymore special than the females. I think people only see what they want to see from the girls because they already had a hex against them to begin with. I guess my real problem is that people make Paula and Simon sound so much better, but Paula seems to act more like looney tunes, and Simon seemed to be more focused on saying zany zingers, than really offering constructive criticisms. Nicki and Mariah’s bickering is just as annoying as Simon drawing on Paula’s face. I agree with some, that aside from Paula and Ellen, that the female judges get a real bad rap on the show.