Jessica Bassett “Robbed” American Idol Contestant – Ellen Degeneres – VIDEO


Some of you expressed outrage over the quick dispatch of Jessica Bassett from the American Idol Salt Lake City auditions by Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban. Both felt she wasn’t ready yet. “You guys are crazy,” said Jennifer Lopez, who immediately said yes, “You let the good ones slip away.”

Also outraged, was Ellen Degeneres, who tweeted her after her performance and invited the singer on her talk show to perform the original song she auditioned with, called “Lydia.”

Jessica’s dismissal was odd considering all of the mediocre contestants who received golden tickets. She was better than several of the successful SLC hopefuls. Having said that, although she has potential as a songwriter, her singing voice is thin, breathy, and lacks affect. If judges solely on her singing voice, I can understand the no.

Also, I was really surprised to find out she was 22! On Ellen, she gushed like a teenager. At one point, saying she was so glad she didn’t make Idol if it meant appearing on Ellen (She’ll find out quickly that she’ll get very little mileage out of that.). Her childish demeanor may have played into Keith and Harry’s decision to say no.

Watch Jessica’s performance below. What do you think…was the singer robbed?

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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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  • Blirel

    wow ellen wants idol to pay for their mistake this is good and bad but jessica is great

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I posted my opinion about this appearance on the headlines thread, but it was deleted. Oh well.

  • Blirel

    She got robbed but does have a weak voice she should have got through auditions but then got cut in hollywood

  • girlygirl

    I like her but I think “robbed” is too strong a word. We’ve seen this happen every year, where someone who gives a strong audition and seems to have potential is passed over while other, seemingly more mediocre contestants, make it to Hollywood. And TBH, she doesn’t really stand out from the dozens of other strong contestants who did make it through. She’s good, but she’s all that unique, IMO.

    And considering her single is already on BeatsMusic, I think there was something that went on behind the scenes, probably not too long after she didn’t get that yellow ticket. Because that doesn’t just happen without someone promoting her. Maybe she’ll end up being another Tori Kelly, who is probably far better off not having made it very far on Idol.

    I wish her luck with her career.

  • BluSky

    Would be interesting to know how many people would actually download the song.
    The girl is sweet, and the song is nice. But “amazing”? i wouldn’t call it amazing

  • Kesia Monteith

    Despite her voice not being the strongest, I still rather liked this. I think I would have still like her to go to Hollywood despite her somewhat immaturity, just for experience sake. They have put through contestants younger and clearly not ready for primetime, so I don’t think she’s that much different. She honestly had one of my fave auditions, but I do agree she wouldn’t have made it to the live rounds. Like GirlyGirl said, maybe she’ll pull a Tori Kelly and be better off without Idol.

    I truly hope she has a nice indie career for herself. That’s where she’s best suited.

  • Pat H

    She was the one I was really surprised about too. Loved her !

  • gclay

    The clip on Idol was really really great, but now that I’ve heard the full version I get why Keith and Harry said no. The song is kind of lame, about a best friend her voice is just ok and she has no charisma. I really thought she was like Kez Ban, but she’s not nearly as good.

  • LA944

    It’s a pretty song with some really nice chord changes. Her voice sweet–plenty good enough for a singer/songwriter. It does remind me a little of “Like A Star” from CBR. She plays OK guitar. I think she should work on the guitar playing more than her voice.

    As far as idol, she certainly should have made it over a some others that were sent through. However, Idol does need some controversy in the initial audition rounds. There should be some people who viewers think should make it to Hollywood and then don’t. If the audience knows that every pretty good singer goes to the next round-it takes the suspense out of the show. I happen to think that too many were shown getting their golden tix this year. She was one of the few surprises. The surprises spark the water cooler talk etc. Now, that she was on Ellen–it helps her some–but it also helps AI get some free advertising.

    This my one complaint about the auditions. I’m glad that the most of the really bad/joke contestants are out. But, that doesn’t mean that almost everyone else shown should go through. IMO, approx 20% of the contestants with decent ability should be sent packing. Get people pissed. Stir up the pot some

  • gclay

    Ellen was filmed at least yesterday (or earlier) so it wouldnt be that hard to put the song on iTunes or Beats Music (who Ellen just signed a spokeperson deal with) by tomorrow

  • jcabby

    I still think she should’ve went through to Hollywood. She’s definitely better than some of the contestants.
    As far as her personality, I find it endearing. I think she could’ve had a fan base on Idol.
    Best of luck to her!

  • mjsbigblog

    However, Idol does need some controversy in the initial audition rounds. There should be some people who viewers think should make it to Hollywood and then don’t.

    It’s entirely possible that she was sacrificed for the sake of “good tv.”

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  • chillj

    I thought this woman should have gone to Hollywood. Waddyamean not ready? I thought Harry was off in several of his dismissals last week; it seemed some bad contestants got the ticket and good ones did not. I frankly didn’t get it . I thought this song, however, was okay, not terrific.

  • Oldhag

    I think she is a better song writer than singer. She can etch quite a good career out for herself if she goes that route.

  • LeelaST

    I think her voice is lovely – much better than many of the “belters” they put through, and she seems to have a sweet personality. The song is one she wrote for a friend and is the one she auditioned with; might not be the best calling card but she definitely deserved a chance over the “Hippity-hop” Dad’s daughter, not to mention all the others with parental connections.

  • Volveras

    She’s okay… i dont’ think she was robbed.

  • cherelann

    If this song gets any traction on itunes it will be because of support from Ellen’s fan base. Unfortunately this may give this young lady the idea that she is better than she is. I will have to hear more of her songs before I decide if she has any talent…

  • Mason

    Maybe good enough for Hollywood airport hanger for not Hollywood proper imo

  • LA944

    Yeah it is possible. And I don’t mean to say I don’t want good people to move on. But, if the audition shows have 90% of the people going forward–it makes it less compelling to viewers. I liked the auditions–but then I realized about everybody was getting a golden ticket. So, after the first few shows– it was too predictable. I don’t want to see bad people put through. But, I don’t want to see every decent singer make it either. There should be a little yelling at the tv set–so and so doesn’t get through WTF is wrong with those judges–lol?

    Since they played her song on AI–they were looking for a little controversy

  • esLillia

    Agreeing with “voice is lovely.” Belters are standard fare on many of these contestant shows. Pretty balladiers are rare and will find a way through. Thought this pure young singer is already in her own right. Her song(s) are movie material. Time is her friend as the downloads will escalate this little gem ‘s journey.

  • justmefornow

    lol. I’m sorry but she wasn’t robbed. Very thin breathy weak voice and really no special spark here at all. Nice, but not memorable at all.

  • Getalife

    The song seems to be a copy of “Like A Star” for sure. Other than that annoyance she should have gone through.

  • Allison Nicole Cothern

    Great song beautiful girl. She deserves a chance. I would be, and am, a fan for sure.

  • JustJam

    What did you all expect? There’s a reason why Ellen was hired as an American Idol judge before ;-)

  • Incipit

    No, I don’t for a moment think she was robbed. Just because it appears some folks who could sing no better than she could got through doesn’t equal robbed of a chance to visit an airplane hangar in California and go home. I don’t think she could compete with the better vocalists and performers who already had three judges say yes. And there are already more than ten of those.

    In my opinion, she had a thin, mostly pleasant, unmemorable voice with no special tone or resonance, made no emotional connection to the song or the audience – and her original song was highly derivative. She is an attractive girl who acts younger than her age – and there were no performing skills or special affect that would outweigh those factors. Not Top 10 material, especially in a season where it seems the bar has been raised. (I hope) But of course, that’s up to the producers.

    Ellen as a judge had difficulty saying ‘no’ – and it seems, so does JLo – and that does no one any favors.

    Just My Opinion.

  • maymay

    How to be a good judge is always an interesting and hard question. But being harsh about the vocal ability doesn`t convince me that it will make a good judge.

    Simon and Harry both are harsh judges. Simon is cheesy but I more trust in his opinions. Because Simon usually selects a contestant by his/her whole package. The singing show is not the music school. It doesn`t make sense to only forcus on the vocal ability.

    Ellen and Jlo are kind. But that doesn`t mean they must be wrong. Jessica being eliminated stirs up a lot controversies among viewers. Why only her? Why not other contestants?

    Being harsh and being kind both are easy things. The most difficult thing is how to find an American Idol with whole package toward the commerical success.

  • Made

    Isn’t this song too similar to “Like A Star” ? IMO, she’s an OK singer. Nothing to rave about

  • Incipit

    MayMay – I had no reason to trust in Cowell’s opinions – for several reasons – the first being he flat out told us several times over nine seasons that he was lying…the second being that his opinion most often had nothing to do with the singing – that wasn’t his field – he’s an A&R dude, and he played the producer’s game – people were lucky to hear “That was Good” with little to no other information that was useful. And third, instead of paying attention, he was much more interested in delivering the Zingers that he sometimes paid a writer to supply so he could keep up his rep as the second coming of Nasty Nigel. And towards the end of his tenure he even started recycling those – the ‘honest’ veneer was wearing very, very thin.

    I don’t know how this panel will shake out – or how heavily the Producers will lean on it – but as far as I can see, most people aren’t complaining because they think Jessica was SO good. She wasn’t. Most people are willing to concede that. It’s all because Harry has actually appeared to be equitable – to give sensible critiques and to have observable standards. And that is ALL new.

    So now people are worried about consistency – the appearance of fairness – they think that other contestants got through who sang at about the same level of mediocre – so by that logic, so should Jessica. That is NOT a compliment! The fact that people who are getting through on two yeses will be in the first cut in the airplane hangar, and Jessica likely would have been one of them also isn’t considered.

    There’s a lot of pressure on Harry to be consistent, (and a lot of hope that Keith will step up his game) – – and amusing to me – none on the Producers to keep their thumbs off the scales…(which they won’t).

    I’m waiting for more people to notice the Daughter of Wonder Mike and the Son of Nikki are producer’s picks for Good TV – and the more things change – etc, etc. Jessica is The Protege’ of Ellen – we’ll see if that buys her anything instead of going home and working on her vocals and delivery and performance skills and trying again.

    Just My Opinion. Of Course.

  • girlygirl

    Her song is not currently in the Top 200 on iTunes, so it doesn’t look like her appearance on Ellen made a huge impression.

  • Amy Beth

    Based on what the audition standards seemed to be, she should have gotten a ticket.

    Was she going to win or even go far, doubtful but who knows?

    I suspect viewers were thrown off by how prominently her audition was used (over a montage) and the judging result.

  • Oldhag

    I agree.

  • Sherry Minish Mercer

    Jessica absolutely was dismissed wrongly. I was watching and was shocked and agreed with Jennifer Lopez. She is a diamond amongst gems. She definitely deserved a chance in Hollywood. Hurray for Ellen!! Can’t wait to download!!!