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


Image Credit: Frank Micelotta/Fox/PictureGroup

I’m going to have to start off this American Idol on the scene recap with a small apology. It wasn’t until the final ad break of the night that I realized that the most powerful man at the Fox television network — nay, one of the most powerful men in the world — was seated just a few rows in front of my quasi-opera box seat inside the Idoldome. As some eagle-eyed home viewers can attest, Rupert Murdoch himself — chairman and CEO of News Corporation, Fox’s pappy/corporate owner — was seated with what appeared to be a small gaggle of the extended Murdoch family, a rare sighting indeed for even the most season Idoldome veteran. So rare, in fact, I didn’t even consider that the bald, bespectacled, well-dressed older gentleman was the man who could quite literally shut off the lights with just a flick of his Blackberry, so I won’t really be able to give you a fun blow-by-blow of how Rupert Murdoch takes in an episode of his most popular and lucrative cash cow. In my defense, I really only saw the back of his head until that aforementioned final ad break, when Fox TV head Peter Rice stepped out into the Idoldome and up to Murdoch’s row to pay his respects. (I’ve been meaning to bone up on my back-of-media-moguls’-heads flashcards for months now, but they just keep gathering dust on my credenza next to my tech mogul yacht 2007 calendar.)

But the moment I did realize Murdoch was in the house, the preceding events of the evening took on an entirely different flavor for me. Everything just made so much more sense: Why Randy Jackson was suddenly antsy to take on the mantle of Simon Cowell’s meanness; why Jennifer Lopez kept struggling for ways to be the mama bear judge with her tough love and denim dress; why Nigel Lythgoe appeared especially peppy as he stalked the far corners of the audience; and why Steven Tyler, well, actually, Steven was the only one who seemed pretty much unchanged from any other week, and bless him for it, I just love how pure he is, he’s just beautiful, I love him.

Fortunately, there was plenty of other great behind-the-scenery from last night’s thwarted stoning of Haley Reinhart Top 4 performance show, starting with…

Paulie McD goes Hollywood 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. After the first ad break, they returned to the Idoldome and were placed in the perfect spot, just off Randy’s shoulders. Not literally just off Randy’s shoulders, although now that’s the one image that is going to stay with me for the rest of the night: Little tiny Paulie McD trying in vain to see his famous girlfriend on the other side of Randy Jackson’s massive cranium.

Annnnyhoodle, for the rest of the night — save when Debbie the Stage Manager pulled Paul and fellow season 10 alum Casey Abrams up to the balcony to plug the Idol tour — Paul’s left arm never really left its perch atop Nikki’s left shoulder. When Paul wanted to applaud, he simply slapped his thigh with his right hand. He simply was never going to let go, and I can’t exactly say I blame him. It really is a good thing he got down off of Randy’s shoulders, huh?

Nigel sure is spry, part one For pretty much James’ entire performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Nigel stood just off the far stage left aisle, jumping in place and applauding. He was so enraptured, he hopped his way into the aisle itself, and had to leap out of the way when the song was over and a camera crew came barreling up the same aisle to catch Casey’s response to the performance.

Nigel sure is expressive, part one During this ad break, Nigel stepped up to the judges and proceeded to make a series of strong, systematic, segmented gestures with his hands. Unfortunately, I cannot read lips, but nonetheless I interpreted the statements Nigel was making to accompany these gestures in three possible variations: 1) Making it clear that the contestants have made a progression over the weeks, or perhaps giving them an explicit arc even within the hour itself; 2) Being more specific and emphatic with comments and criticisms in general; or 3) Instructions on how to prepare and slice extra-long sub sandwiches for catered parties of 30 or more. I leave the final judgment, as it were, up to you.

Nigel sure is spry, part two As the ad break continued, Nigel drifted behind the judges’ chairs to chat up Ryan. With 15 seconds left to go, Nigel began to walk past Ryan to his usual spot near the sound stage’s massive elephant doors, but Ryan blocked his path. Nigel feinted left, but Ryan stopped him again. Debbie announced 10 seconds to go, and quickly things devolved into a panicked scuffle as Ryan began to keep Nigel bodily from leaving the judges’ platform. With a few seconds to spare, Nigel did a 180 and raced away from Ryan. The Idol host tried to follow Nigel down into the audience and drag him back on the platform, but Debbie had had quite enough of their shenanigans, and split the boys up in time for the live television show she was keeping afloat to continue.

You do not contradict Ms. Lopez All there really is for me to say about Randy and J.Lo’s mauling of Haley Reinhart after she sang Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” is that I was so annoyed, I booed. Quite loudly, actually. So did Casey, I think, who was on his feet quite early into Haley’s performance. (You can check out Haley’s feelings on the shenanigans here.) It was already clear on television that when Steven Tyler came to her defense, the audience was emphatically on his side, but that did not seem to really matter to J.Lo, who spun around on her chair the moment we went to commercial and said to Steven, audibly, “We weren’t wrong.” Randy wheeled over to Steven to hash things out too, but Steven must have said something especially Steven-esque, because almost immediately, Randy leaned back slapped his hands loudly as if shocked into laughter, and Jennifer spun back forward in a flourish so the activity cloud of make-up artists could best attend to the most beautiful face in the world.

We really are just at a Scotty concert, and they’ve just built a TV show around it At least, that was the feeling inside the Idoldome after Scotty’s performance of Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” — the audience simply lapped it up, and when Scotty tossed his pick into the audience as he was leaving the stage, several people scrambled (yes, scrambled) to grab it. Like him or not, this kid is a bone fide star.

Then again, he is still just a kid As the package of delicious awkwardness between Lady Gaga and Scotty unfolded on the Thunderscreen, the image split and the Thunderstairs emerged with Scotty sitting on them just as he cracked the joke that his mic had better be good looking if he was going to make out with it. At that very moment, Scotty stood and nervously readjusted his jeans to keep them from riding up. It was unavoidably cute. And Gaga was completely right, by the way, about how Scotty needs to hold his mic; the audio mix on television pushes the vocals so forward, you can usually always hear Scotty sing, but in person, his voice does at times come in and out of the live mix to the point of distraction.

Nigel sure is expressive, part two During the ensuing ad break, the judges and Ryan took to the stage to record a quickie P.S.A. about donating to the Red Cross to help the tornado relief effort across the South. (You can do that, by the way, by clicking here.) Nigel, meanwhile, explained to the audience what was happing like so: “We’re doing a shout out to the Alabama relief fund, so don’t shout out during it.”

So is Rupert Murdoch a fan of the Durbs? Welllllll, let’s put it this way: Once I finally realized Murdoch was there, I paid close attention to his viewing habits as James performed “Love Potion No. 9,” and I observed the following details: When everyone else was clapping along, Rupert kept his arms folded, and when everyone else was standing and cheering, Rupert stayed in his seat. (The rest of his row soon joined him, conspicuously so.) He then spent the rest of the segment leaning forward with his head in his hands. We call that in the Making Wild Assumptions Based Upon Observing Three Minutes of Body Language profession “totally not feeling it.”

Nigel sure is expressive, part three: As I wrapped up writing this on the scene recap, Nigel tweeted the following nugget of thoughtful insight: “Thanks for all the personal abuse from the usual morons out there in Twitterland. I personally feel Haley is the most improved contestant.” We call that in the Making Wild Assumptions Based Upon 140 Written Characters or Less profession “the executive producer doth protest too much.”

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Read more on American Idol:
Haley Reinhart on the ‘American Idol’ judges’ criticisms: ‘I’m not going to crack’
‘Idol’: 30 best performances ever
‘Idol’ poll: Your all-time fave?

Comments (267 total) Add your comment
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  • Haley is nasty

    I hope Haley goes home…she is sickening.

    • Cakey

      I thought she did really good last night.

      • Fooking Yanks

        Rupert Murdoch….Rupert Murdoch…OH!!! You mean Satan! The PRINCE OF LIES!! Now I know who you’re talking about!

    • Hating Is Nasty

      Oh please – sickening? Get over yourself. I agree with Cakey – she did really well and deserves to stay.
      You want to talk sickening? How about “Lady Gaga”?

      • pete

        the most sickening performer is Scotty, lord he sucks

      • Nah Haley is a hag

        nah Haley is sickening hag. She screams.

      • Caroline

        Um, I take “sickening” as a compliment, like “fierce.” I believe you meant it like “nauseating.”

      • Ladylou

        When you are adored by millions of fans and making her kind of money than and only than can you make the stupid remark that Lady Gaga is sickening

      • D’s Advocate

        Yes, only the rich and famous are allowed opinions. (That said, my financially insecure and relatively unknown self thinks Gaga is cool.)

      • D’s Advocate

        But what do I know, beyond the difference between “than” and “then”?

    • dctoronto

      I know I can’t change your opinion but I would at least like to try to see another perspective. Imagine yourself at work. You are punctual, dilligent, willing to think outside the box and except for a small human error here and there, you are a great employee. Now imagine you work with three people who do a fair job. They are not always consistent in their quality of work and they all are not willing to do anyrhing that it outside their job description. Now Imagine it’s employee of the month time. While you believe you deserve it you’ve never won. Instead for the past 4 months you’ve watched increduously as each of your less than deserving co-workers receive the prize. Last month was the worst. Out of the 4 of you, your boss chose your 3 co-workers. This month your boss gives it to the young woman who cries anytime you give her some direction. You on the other hand are told by your boss in front of your co-workers and distinguisghed members of the community who are invited to the event that you are not working to the potential she sees in you and that you seem to make choices that don’t reflect your work style.

      How would you handle it?

      • JJ

        PERFECT analogy!!!

      • Susan

        I would improve my game.

      • BW

        Oh please, those are completely different situations. This is a talent competition, and the judges job is to give their opinion. Why is it that everyone on here can give an opinion, some like James, some don’t, same with Haley, and its ok. But when the judges, whose job it is to give their opinion, don’t like someone, then they are wrong. Objectively critiquing your work and subjectively being a judge are way different.

      • kb

        nicely done, dctoronto

      • Brigette

        SERIOUSLY. It’s easy for people to criticize Haley’s attitude at home, but she’s a person and this is her job right now. How would THEY handle it?

      • Jason

        @BW – it was their job to give their opinions before America started voting. Now, they are their to critique, and offer advice. They aren’t there to slam these kids, and then say “thanks for coming” without offering any positive suggestions for the following week. “That song just wasn’t right for you, and you screamed it” isn’t advice. That’s the judges telling America who it is that they want to win (clearly James)

      • DefunctOnlinedotcom

        Unless your “job” is singing in a competition, your analogy makes no sense whatsoever. Very stupid, and a waste of space.

      • Cari

        I’d start looking for a new job. But I think the problem with that analogy is that you have “Haley’s voice” analagous to “great employee.” I don’t think she’s any better than Lauren, and I think she’s not half as good as Scotty and James. Personally, I find her voice grating and whiny. She may be consistent, but it’s consistently annoying.

      • Julia

        I think the judges point was that her voice isn’t consistent. JLo even said that after her second performance. She KILLED the second song, but was just blah on the first one. They were just saying that she needs to kill it each time. That is all and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Caroline

        This year’s American Idol IS…. Inanimate Carbon Rod! (Sorry Homer)

      • Rob

        @Julia – but the thing is the other contestants have been at least as inconsistent (well Scotty has be consistent, although IMO boring, and recently gone way too corny) and yet you don’t think so since the judges never call it.

        I mean I like James but he missed almost every note last week, often off key to a major degree, even he admitted he was off last week and yet the judges didn’t mention it and praised it like crazy!

        This is what drives teh Haley fans nuts.

        If they treated them all fairly and America didn’t vote her to the top then well it stinks I won’t agree but you can respect the decision and the process. But that is not what is going on. Randy and JLo have tossed her under the boss compared to anyone else. Even when they offer mild, reasonable criticism it sounds harsh to the audience by view of them having offered nothing to someone else who may have just sung with noticeably more troubles.

        This is what Nigel doesn’t seem to get either.

      • Rob

        @Julia and your comments thinking that the others are always killing it and Haley only sometimes is proves the point of what the judges are doing, influencing the votes to knock certain people off so others will be safe.

        Others have had super cheesy karaoke at times or almost every note off pitch and yet they praise it to heck and then you think they had two in it to win its.

        I have no problem with them saying stuff to Haley (although occasionally it’s been absurd outright) but they never say the same stuff to others even when it is far more warranted.

        And it’s not just some crazy people here saying it, even former idol contestants have been noticing the same thing. Heck even other current contestants have.

        Idol has always done a tiny bit of this but it’s never seemed so blatant before.

      • marcy

        You are exactly right – that is what is sickening. No matter how well she does we are fed the slop of how well mediocrity is. Tiring

      • Tenley

        Oh Jesus just give her the damn title then. That’s not how it works.

      • Peggy Sue

        Agreed. and it takes an analogy to realize how ridiculous and unfair it’s all been. I think of it in terms of a family where the parents have distinct favorites among the kids. Think of how defeating it would feel to be the one who’s constantly being criticized and put down, while the other 3 are unfairly complimented. You’d give the parents the “what the hell” look on your face too.

    • lucy

      She was rubbish in the first performance. Good job Adam B. Vary is not a judge. Still she pulled it out in her last performance.

      • Steve

        although if you listen to the MK live performance on youtube she sounded almost the same and MJ might have even screamed more.

        maybe it ws not her best but it was hardly rubbish and not worst of the night

      • @lucy & steve

        You are both right to a degree. Haley was faithful to the MJ version, which requires screaming, to maximize the effect of pleading & desparation, and it’s probably the interpretation that haley found the most moving.

        Having said that, the judges point is that (1) america really doesn’t know this song (it was a hit in europe, not in usa), so it’s not strategic to sing an MJ song that isn’t known, and (2) since america doesn’t know that you are supposed to scream at the end, they’ll just think you’re screaming (e.g. lucy) instead of singing, that’s why randy said you should have added runs & riffs. ITA w/ haley – runs & riffs at the end would have been ridiculous to the song. And I FLOVED the performance, arguably better than I (who have nothing). But ITA w/ randy – this is AI, and the strategy to win AI is well known, so you shouldn’t be choosing songs this late in the game that are just WTF to the viewers.

    • Jason

      Am I the only one that noticed James’ pathetic move? The one where he was supposed to perform his 2nd song before Haley, but ended up claiming “technical difficulties” so he could go last? His 2nd song was no better than his first- both were just really bad. I don’t understand the Judges constant praise for this guy, or his pretty regular off-key singing. Scotty hasn’t grown, or improved an ounce during this competition, and anyone that spends 20 minutes listening to country radio will see this kid as a total “hack”. Lauren and Haley are the only two that have actually gotten better each week, but even Lauren isn’t always as great as the Judges say she is. Regardless of how well Haley performs, they rarely praise her. I get J-Lo being jealous of another attractive person- sort of “I need to be the hottest in the room, by a mile, or I’m unhappy”, but Randy’s usually all over girls like Haley, and has praised people for far less than Haley has given. I just don’t get it.

      • jade

        Totally agree! I really don’t get it..

      • Jannie

        Technical difficulties? Where did that bit of “fact” come from? Amazing how “creative” people are in fabricating and stretching fact regarding other performers not their favorite. James was last because his was the show closing best performance in the producer’s opinion.
        I ‘m beginning to think these reality shows are some covert government project to learn how to control the masses and discover new brainwashing techniques! LOL

      • Jammie

        James did not get moved in the lineup. That is how it was at the dress rehearsal as well.

      • Sean S.

        and c’mon James opens and then closes the show ?! What kind of subtle pimping is that? We get it. You want James in the finale with Scotty and you probably want him to win and be the new Daughtry. How about we go back to the Clarkson days when the contestants just did their best and America picked a great voice and supported them with excellent sales and press for the show. All this pimping gave us Taylor Hicks, Danny Gokey, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Blake Lewis, Adam Lambert, David Cook etc. Other than maybe Sparks and Lambert, who is really selling as an artists and bringing success and attention to the show ?!

    • Lisa

      Come on be honest – Durbin screams in every single song (and off-tune as well we might add) so don’t pick this one topic to try and single out Haley

      • Cari

        Why not? Haley growls in every single song to the point of garbling her words, but people ragged on Casey all the time for the same thing (though at least you could understand what he was saying).

      • Rob

        @Cari – the problem is the judges praise James for screaming and praised Casey all but one single time for screaming and Haley screams for 1/4th of her song and they kill her (not to mention Michael Jackson totally screamed out the exact same part and he wrote the frickin song).

        And I honestly haven’t heard trouble understanding what Haley has said. It might depend upon what speakers/headphones you use, I’m running some high-end AKG headphones. It would be unfortunate if her voice wasn’t clear on some types though.

      • Allison

        @Cari … the difference is that the JUDGES never ragged on James for screaming and only once barely whispered ‘don’t growl so much’ to Casey. Maybe people on comment boards ragged on Casey for growling but not the judges. And yet Haley screams once and they are all over her like she just killed a baby or something. It’s a ridiculous double standard especially when you consider how James can’t even manage to sing in tune for the rare notes that he’s not screaming or just plain yelling at the audience to clap for him.

      • Didi

        Durbin was the disappointment of the season for me.
        I am normally always for the rocker, but his performances make me cringe.
        He barely hits a note and does way too much over the top screaming.

    • cathy

      She is the only decent one left. At least she can carry a tune.

      • Edy

        When she’s not gargling, screaming and growling. I loved what she did to the second song and noted not so much growling. The first song was tortuous. Lauren and Scotty are boring. I hope Haley gets to the finals with James. BUT STOPS THE GROWLING

      • Don


        Stops WHAT growling? It’s been established that she did NOT growl in teh first song. Please get your facts straight. she sang it beautifully, even j.lo said she sang it well. she didn’t “growl” anywhere in the song as far as I can remember – she screamed the screaming part out because she’s knowledgeable enough about the song to understand that it’s how MJ intended it to be sang, and Haley won that criticism clearly for anyone who heard her say through Randy’s yelling that she didn’t see any need to change what was already a great song how he wrote and performed it.

    • Don

      sickening? sickening is someone in the public who would publicly name call a person “sickening” who has done nothing lewd, nothing crude, nothing but compete on the world’s most competitive reality show.

    • bite me randy

      1) I’m with Mr.Murdoch, James sucks!
      2) Lauren needs to grow up, she is not ready for the music biz.
      3) Haley frickin ROCKS!!! What an artist. I love all the songs she has sung on the show…I also down loaded all her songs on iTunes!
      HALEY FTW!

      • Rob

        While I do fear a little how she’d (Lauren) handle how vicious the world of fame can be at times it’s no knock on her. I also respect her for actually daring to stand up for Haley last night after the show and calling out the judges for always picking on Haley. She even said it made her feel ill how they always piled on Haley, alone for the most part. And that she listens to all of Haley’s itunes all the time haha and thinks she has an amazing voice, the best in the comp.

        If she (Lauren) wins, hopefully she will stay strong and not get eaten up. I think she is a good person, very sensitive to both her own and other’s feelings.

        Hopefully hangs on this week. She’s got to not let the judges get to her and have them end up making people see her in the bad light as they are seemingly trying to do.

      • NeverSayNever

        shut up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • michele

        i find it so obvious that they are so much harder.almost mean, to haley. when the others try different things they get praised.. when haley shows she can sing anything they say she hasnt found her niche.. she so obviously is the best andmost versatile. that gilr can sing ANYTHING…

    • Skye Hill

      What’s sickening is all the things I did to your mother last night.

      • Jake

        I guess you know what that makes you.

    • O

      Haley is nasty, let me guess… You’re a James durbin fan?

    • Ladylou

      You just have a bad ear for good music and vocals

    • Rob

      If Haley is so nasty then why did sweety Lauren come to her defense afterwards saying that the judges constant picking on Haley were making her (Lauren) feel ill?

      And she did actually pick a song she truly believed in and no it wasn’t one all about herself, but helping other people/animals.

      Give her a break.

      Randy and JLo just make me so mad at this point. If if sometimes, not always mind you, they are right about Haley they virtually never do the same things to other contestants, completely ignoring all sorts of stuff, and when Haley does fantastically and the couple times they gave it credit they actually didn’t really say anything more than they have somewhat routinely for some others. Anyway enough of them, I’m just tuning them out and the only thing I care about it the contestants, not the show, not the judges.

      • Suncatcher

        Great comments, Rob!

        JLO and Randy knew they were in trouble last night by the time Haley came out for her last song. They think they can worm out of the ire from around the country for their unwarranted attack on Haley by giving her a standing ovation. BS!

        JLO and Randy become the biggest phonies on earth last night and now they know that WE know.

        One things we Americans won’t stand for is gangin up needlessly on someone – and JLO and Randy did just that last night. They will get their a$$es kicked in tonight. It started last night.

        KUDOS TO STEVEN TYLER for manning up and protecting Haley from the slop JLO and Randy tried to feed Haley – and the country last night.

        Nigel, you created a monster. Good luck

    • Brad Field

      Anyone BUT Haley; weak voice, little entertainment skill, but has great looks for teenage boys.

    • Laura

      She’s so awesome, that it is pretty sick, isn’t it?!

    • warren

      Any moron that thinks Haley is nasty is sick . Sick in the f*&%en head

    • Bloodyscot

      Haley is great, Scotty is great but much find his own style to make it.
      James is great at time and iffy at others. Lauren I don’t remember a thing she sang, sorry just no star factor there.

  • Squishmar

    Crossing my fingers Haley stays one more week.

    • Pam

      Me too.

    • Susan


      • teresa

        I just don’t like Haley. She is so into herself. Look at me!

  • Haley is nasty

    Haley has NO class, and idol needs SOME class and she has none.

    • Cakey

      Well how is she supposed to act when the judges were that way to her?

      • Emily Salley

        Haley should listen to what the judges have to say and not argue with them. Evidently, its she who is right and the judges aren’t. These judges are people who have been in the music industry for many, many years, and they obviously know what they are talking about. The other contestants, when criticized, have corrected their mistakes and moved on—but not Haley. She needs to go home.

      • Jason

        Emily – what are the judges saying when they tell her “you screamed the song, not a good song choice- Thanks!”? What advice are they offering her? Don’t scream, pick a better song- great detail there guys. Now, James was WAY off-key during his ENTIRE first performance, and was about 3 steps below the right note during most of his 2nd song- yet he gets praised like he just had a moment?!

      • Michele

        That was brutal what they did to exceptionally talented Haley. I was absolutely appalled with J-Lo and even more so with Randy’s comments (what a jerk). Steven was absolutely right on this one, they were TOTALLY WRONG! If each of these four get record contracts, I’ll buy Haley first, then Lauren. Never Scotty and unless super impressed, not James either. For what that’s worth…

      • Rob

        @Emily Salley – Listen Randy got on her for singing it the same way the guy who wrote it, Michael Jackson did. He and JLo skip over flaws for all the others. Don’t even mention if someone else misses almost every note (and yes that has happened and Randy praised it).

        Even former singers and even other current idol contestants are starting to note how they only pick on Haley and let the other’s flaws largely go by without a critique.

        Don’t fall for the judges, listen yourself and you’ll hear unless you are partially tone deaf which many people are but then go read what some singers who are not paid Idol staff have been saying about the whole thing.

      • Rob

        @Emily – and even when they are right about Haley, they do not offer the same comments to others, so it looks to the audience (look at yourself and all the others who now say Haley is more inconsitent than the rest, she is not, that is what they want you to think) like only Haley had some things to improve upon, which is their game, don’t fall for it. You don’t have have Haley be your favorite but don’t fall for the judges manipulations where they only call out one person, the same person, again when they could often much more easily call out many others.

        They need to either tell everyone they were perfect or critique everyone to the exact same extent.

        Again she doesn’t have to be your favorite and you don’t have to want her win but don’t fall for the shenanigans going on and cut her a little sympathy for the non-stop being tossed, alone, under the bus.

      • Alton

        @ emily what the hell are u talking about? when other contestants get critized? when the hell have the other contestants got critized this whole year, haley got their bs for 10 weeks straight and got singled out by randy. if i were her i’d be pretty pissed too.

    • Posey

      Yeah, why didn’t she just roll over and die like good little subservient fodder?

    • duranmom

      I can’t count how many weeks in a row Haley was basically crapped on while her fellow contestants were praised to the heavens and she is supposed to just stand there and TAKE IT? I’m glad she spoke up for herself — it’s not like she was screaming expletives at the judges (like me in my living room) — the was DEFENDING herself.

      • Michelle

        My sister was watching this with me for the first time and during their critique of Haley she literally turned to me and said, ‘Why are they picking on her like that? They’re doing it on purpose to make her cry, aren’t they?’

        For me, I’m glad that she had the guts to stand up for herself. There’s a difference between listening politely to constructive criticism and keeping your mouth shut while others try to steamroll you. For those people who say she should have just stood there and took it, all i can say is that I’m sorry for you if your idea of proper behaviour is to just smile and stay quiet when someone is deliberately trying to embarrass and insult you.

      • Alton

        Thank You! i agree 100% with duranmom and Michelle. when randy says “it’s a three way tie between james, scotty and lauren.” thats not constructive criticism. that’s called… singling her out like a a-hole.

    • po’d

      emily, they don’t criticize anyone BUT haley! no she isn’t perfect, but neither are the others, not by a long shot, but they NEVER get any criticism. UNFAIR, and if you were her, you’d think so too.

    • Ladylou

      Haley has more class than you do in your little finger. She always keeps her cool and comes back to prove them wrong everytime. She was winner written all over her

      • Catlin

        I would hope so since theres about 5 grams of class in a little finger.

      • Tenley

        When has she even once remained professional and not done her eye roll or had to be bleeped because she cursed on live TV? Get rid of her.

      • Squishmar

        Yeah, Ladylou, that should have read “Haley has more class in her little finger than you do in your whole body.” That’s what you meant, because I see you’re a fan.

    • Jess

      right, so i guess in your opinion Haley should have just stood there and let them walk all over her? Since when is sticking up for yourself considered as having ‘no class’? Or are you a sexist idiot who expects all women to cower and obey every single word that comes out of your mouth?

    • michele

      HALEY has so much class and is soooooooo good and she sticks up for herself when she needs to… the judges are so mean to her… and she makes the show!!

  • Cakey

    Everyone was great last night. My favorite was Scotty and loved when he sang Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” It was very touching.

    • Susan


      • warren

        Susan scotty is a prentender . The only contender is WHO ? HALEY

    • Michelle

      Where were you when they built the Ladder to Heaven?
      Did it make you feel like crying?
      Or did you think it was kinda gay?
      Well I for one believe in the Ladder to Heaven
      Ooh yeah yeah yeah, 9-11
      I said 9-11 9-11 9-11 9, 9-11

      • debcom

        Michelle is my new hero. PERFECT.

      • Donna

        Yes!! Shout-out to Trey Parker and Matt Stone! That’s all I could think of when he sang that song. Laughed so hard that I cried.

      • Dolly

        HAHAHAHA!!! I LOVE IT!!! So true!

      • GS

        Pathetic is the only word I can think of to describe this post and anyone who finds humor in it.

    • ivanGie

      same hir!i was touched when scotty sang allan jackson’s “where were you(when the world stopped turning..he just hooked my heart so much.

    • cathy

      Scotty sucked big time. He does every week. When he wins AI will have their first American Idol bumpkin.

    • CJ

      I did enjoy Scotty’s first song, but hsi second performance was terrible. All those horrible cheesy scary faces he makes! I can’t watch him when he does that for fear of vomiting.

  • Pam

    After Steven’s defense of Haley, maybe he told Randy and JLo to f off. I think it’s safe to say that he would NEVER want Randy (who is worthless) or JLo (who can’t sing without a healthy dose of autotune) telling him he’s wrong and they’re right.

    • Dan M

      Yeah, sad to say, but he is the only judge I can respect any more.

  • Tahoe Mike

    This is the best on the scene recap so far this season.
    Haley rocks, and has handled the treatment she gets with all the class, and dignity you could ask for.

  • Joshua Mistrette

    Sorry, Haley… you’re going home (by the way, I never saw her sing last night).

    • Hating Is Nasty

      Joshua, feel better now? Thanks for the dumb comment.

      • Haley Rock

        agree, best dumb comment

    • NedPepper

      Then why comment? F’n troll.

    • kahuna

      She sang, I who have nothing for her second song, and slayed it.

      • ian

        Jordin Sparks sang it better

      • Dolly

        Um, Jordan sang it well…..Haley KILLED IT!! Jordan is cute, but Haley gave meaning to the song.

      • GS

        No she didn’t give it meaning. She oversang the crap out of it. Jordin was restrained and beautiful. Haley was growly and horrible.

      • james

        Jordin who????…..does she even have a career anymore? …….do you mean the one that did the Beyonce imitation on the elimination show?

    • Joshua Mistrette

      Speaking of Jordin, she’s giving us the world premiere of her new single, “I Am Woman”, on tonight’s results show. I’ll be watching that — nothing else. Everyone else, enjoy the rest!

      • Leila

        Jordin who?

      • mark

        I will be enjoying the rest, but fast forwarding through Jordin. Enjoy listening to the cow moo!

  • James fan

    Everyone is making a big deal over Haley. She doesn’t have the stage presence or pizazz as some of the other contestants. Randy and Jennifer are professional and they know true talent, and that is NOT Haley.

    • Cat

      At least she sings in tune, unlike some people…

    • Max

      What openly supporting one person and going around and saying they will win AI? Is that professional. No. It isn’t. It’s small-minded and petty. So is ignoring the flaws in one contestant while magnifying them in another. I don’t now what you call professionalism or true talent but I suggest you open your ears, and open a dictionary.

      • Jen

        Maybe you should open your ears, Max. They didn’t support one person, they supported three. Just none of them were Haley. Also, I think James fan was saying they’re professionalS, as in they’ve worked in the music industry, as opposed to Haley, me, and (I assume) you, so they may have a slightly better idea of what will sell. I think Haley’s growl will have some difficulty on radio, and American Idol needs a winner who can get radio time. She’s not marketable the way Lauren or Scotty (or James in an Adam Lambert kind of way) are.

    • Leila

      She has more pizazz than all the other contestants combined.

  • kelsey

    Ok people. Haley DID take criticisms in stride until Randy & his extremely limited vocabulary (Seriously, Fox pays him millions and he pretty much rotates btn 3 comments) wouldn’t stop digging at her. Honestly, I too was shouting at my TV, “we get it Randy!”. Haley was respectful during J.Lo’s critique but I would have done the same in response to Randy.
    Also – James’ Journey performance was lame. I imagine that Simon would call it “overindulgent”. You know the judges panel isn’t what it should be when you’re trying to imagine what Simon would think.

    One last thing: America, why are you so in love with James? You won’t buy his albums if he wins, so why all the fake love now? The white guy rocker contestant has won the past 3 years and NONE of those rockers have made any sort of impact in the music scene.
    Think about THAT when you vote next.

    I’m hoping that Haley fans will unite and keep this girl around another week. Bluesy pop (a la Adele) and Country is what is hot right now on mainstream radio.

    I hope that the judges take off their James-is-awesome rose colored glasses b/c he’s often sharp and a second rate A. Lambert/ Shioban with the screaming.

    I grew tired of performances like his 2 decades ago. James does NOT deserve to b in the final. He brings NOTHING new to performances.

    And sorry to be un-PC but its time to say it: after this round of Idol is over – rock fans will not embrace the ticks his Tourettes causes. It won’t allow for him to interview well. Seriously, its true.

    • gafour

      Couldn’t agree more! I’m not sure how people expected Haley to react to the crap J Lo and Randy were flinging at her? She’s on live TV and was doing her best not to tell them both to F off! She realizes, like the rest of us do, that 2 of the judges have picked James as the winner. Why I don’t know! He’s boring, screachy, and a wanna be rocker. Their over the top praise of him is sickening. “set the bar”? Seriously? I loved both of Haley’s performances last night. I think she has improved dramatically since the beginning of the competition and no one can hit the notes she does. At least she has some personality and passion when she’s singing. And doesn’t need pyrotechnics and mid air splits to make people think she can sing! I think she’ll be around for the finals.

    • brandons mom

      I have been reading all these comments but this one about his tourrettes is rude and mean. He can’t help the way god made him. Here is another thing, Haley has been very unconsistant these past weeks and you can not rely on her to bring it when she needs to. James and Scotty and Lauren have. Haley needs to go, regardless of all else when they are judging her she looks like she could care less and has no respect. I guess you can do that if you are a big star but she is not and that is not the way to get there.
      just my opinion

      • Donna

        UN-consistent? Seriously? Please, if you are truly a mom, learn the English language. Not a word! It’s “inconsistent,” by the way.

        Carry on…

      • Ashke

        I think you mean ‘inconsistent’ there Brandon’s mom. James, Scotty and Lauren all put me to sleep. They constitute a snore-fest of Ambienic proportions. You said, “Haley needs to go, regardless of all else”, what the hell does that even mean?!? You’re all over the place in your statement so thumbs down for effort.

      • pumpkin

        Ok, brandonsmom … first, I feel sorry for Brandon’s spelling and sentence structure abilities. Second, it’s Tourettes (learn to spell).
        What kelsey was saying about the Tourettes wasn’t mean – just a fact. The public is picky and that will get on peoples’ nerves during closeups. It’s a distraction from the performance for many, whether you think that’s mean or not, it is what it is.

      • Cami

        James has indeed been consistent. Consistently OUT OF TUNE.

      • Rob

        If she has been so inconsistent then why did she have the best performance of the night for two straight weeks? And her second performances were no weaker than those of anyone else and actually noticeably stronger the weakest of some others.

        The only reason you say that is because they judges, purposefully, only given comments to Haley so everyone thinks she is the only one not having two identically ultra insanely perfect peformances. And even she has the best and they admit it they still don’t say stuff like utterly 100% flawless not one thing can be said as they have to other performances that have not even been considered by anyone to ahve been tops of the night.

    • Julia

      Are you kidding, Kelsey? So should people with Tourette’s just hide away in a room because no one should be subjected to their tics??? Puh-leeze! You can hate on James all you want for his singing ability, but to bring his disorder into this is completely crossing the line. And it’s people like you who make kids with Tourette’s self conscious. Good job… :-/

    • Rob

      I don’t think he was necessarily picking on the Tourette’s (and I have it myself, only to a lesser degree and it rarely shows in public, also while I am at it I should also mention that while Hollywood and TV medical experts make it seem like everyone start shouting out swears and so on that is actually very rare and only a very, very small subset of people with Tourette’s, those who have every gene fully expressed for it, have that part of it, most people have nothign more thna just perhaps clearing their throat slightly more than normal) but fearing that the general public might get on him for it although then again by saying that and suggesting it as a reason why idol might not want him to win isn’t fair or exactly helping things any.

  • Jordan

    I never watched the earlier idol episodes so maybe I wasn’t there to witness the greatness of Hailey but I thought her first performance was terrible and the only judge who came closse to an accurate criticism was Randy. Also her 2nd performance was much better but not worth a standing “O”. Steven Tyler is hilarious to watch but he really has nothing of substance to say. You can’t call Randy useless and then praise Tyler like he’s the oracle. And as annoying as it was to see little Sotty kissing his cross after lady Gaga, he probably should win or come in second. He’s not necessarily the most talented in the group but there’s just something about him.

  • Michele

    I’ve lost respect for J-Lo and Randy. The blatant fawning over some contestants and targeted sabotage of Haley is transparent. James is good, but no Adam Lambert, and his tsp/start thing in the second song was “indulgent, as Simon would say. Scotty had cookoo eyes in his second song. They never remark on anything negative with the boys this year. I hope Haley makes it through with the f-the-judges vote.

    • brandons mom


      • Ashke

        Yes, by your standard. Give it a rest will ya?

    • Donna

      For me, it’s hard to lose respect for someone one has never respected. Both these fools are embarrassing to watch. Lord, I can’t wait for X-Factor!

      • CandaceTX

        between The Voice and Xfactor – I hope that his AI crumbles.

        Here’s the other thing…now that there are other singing competition show options out there, other singers are paying attention to who Hailey is being treated – and my take their talent to The Voice or XFactor.

        Uncle Nigel’s behind the scenes machincations might just backfire on him on future seasons.

      • Sam

        Was just thinking the same thing Donna. I miss Simon, who would give honest criticism to any of the contestants, not just one. I have watched this show for a few years and am officially deleting it from my DVR. There’s better things to watch that don’t take up empty air on my tv.Can you imagine what Simon would have said about Scotty??? “Drunken country cousin at a wedding” or something to that effect. See ya Idol, you’ve past your prime.

  • Bob

    I give the Paul-Nikki romance another month or so. Look at the two of them in the picture and tell me which one is just not into it.

  • Susan

    Haley should go home tonight,,,,,but somewhere she is getting a fan base so that actually might send Lauren packing which will make Steven cry ALOT…..and Randy amazed and Jennifer not happy…Haley does deserve to go and Lauren does deserve to be in the top three and James and Scotty should BOTH win it…They are BOTH GREAT….No matter who wins Scotty and James will be fantastic and Scotty will sell as many songs and be as popular as Carrie Underwood with James a close second……….

    • debcom

      people who write “a lot” as one word make me cry. people who are suckered in by cheesy, pandering patriotism make me cry. Scotty & Lauren both chose songs just to nab undiscriminating voters who are easy saps for obvious emotionalism– for that strategy, I’ll give them props for marketing, but not for music making.

      • Donna

        Yes, Deb, another Kristy Lee Cook-like desperate pandering to the redneck Idol fans. Pathetic!

      • Eileen

        People who don’t capitalize the first word in a sentence make me cry.

      • Didi

        Will be interesting to see if Scotty actually has a country audience that will buy his records.
        I am thinking he is running on girlie votes, with some added grandmoms who find him cute and a perfect match for their granddauthers.
        His whole stage behavior is totally anti-country if you think about it, I am really not sure it will go over well in the country music target demographic.
        But who knows, maybe young girls will start buying country records.
        Maybe Scotty is the Twilight of the music industry.

    • warren

      Susan what planet do you live on .

  • ivanGie

    haley sucks on the very first round of her performance tonight..i can tel,u can go home tomorrow..:’D

    • Ashke

      For God’s sake, how OLD are you? Your grammar tells me you’re 8 years old. No? You’re mentality speaks otherwise.

  • Nina

    Haley should try to learn how to take criticism with grace instead of looking like a petulant child. She’s not the first singer in the history of the show to get criticized, and if she wants to make it as a professional artist, she’ll have to learn how to deal with it.

    Or, she could have avoided it entirely by not screeching her way through MJ’s song.

    • ST

      Nina, I couldn’t agree more. I thought the judges were spot on with their critique of Haley. It wasn’t a good song choice for her and she did screech her way thru MJ’s song. Her second song was much better. Haley needs to learn how to suck it up. Yes, it’s hard to take (especially when it seems like you’re the only one getting the brunt of the criticism) but handle it gracefully rather than looked ticked and argue back. I think that might hurt her in the end. Though I do think the judges tend to go easy on the other contestants. James screeches a lot and while both of his song choices were okay, his second song was ridiculous. You’re not a star yet so don’t get into Diva mode. Scotty’s second song sounded okay but he made it seem too corny.

      • Sasha

        The thing is they’ve been doing it week after week.

        When Randy said there was a 3-way tie for first place didn’t you get pissed off. He shouldn’t have said anything and just say there was no clear winner.

        But they kept bringing down Haley.

        All he had to do was say the vocal wasn’t too good but that you appreciate the song choice ( I did and it was INSPIRATIONAL)

        And then STFU.

        He degraded her and I think she handled herself well.

      • jrbear

        agree with Nina, not a good song choice and her voice ‘broke’ during it. I gave round 1 to Lauren by a mile. she was very good, her best song ever, and i’m not a fan of hers. by singling out the other 3 the way he did, it was a huge ‘diss’ on Haley.

      • Dan M

        MJ wrote the song to be out and out yelled during that one refrain, it was supposed to be a harsh call out for the raw pain of war and environmental destruction!

    • AtlGuy

      Nina, You’re comment was totally idiotic. I hope you will take that criticism with grace and act as adult about it. No petulance. If you are going to be a commenter on the message boards, you are going to have to learn to deal with criticism. Or, as an alternative, you could avoid it altogether by refraining from making inane observations or, for that matter, posting at all

      • jrbear

        come on, that’s not needed at all. i don’t think Haley is a “petulant child”, but she should be free to say so. Lauren IS a child in both age and maturity, cries when she thinks she is getting crit’d, and no one is faulting her for that. both she and scotty have been getting huge passes all season, even when not so hot.

      • May

        omg, this truly made me lol. haha!

      • Didi

        Needed or not, it was funny as hell.

    • Dan M

      She has taken criticism when actually given.

      Go to youtube and listen to MJ Munich HiStory live 1997 Earth Song. He wrote the song and he totally screamed the same parts. And Haley didn’t scream at all for an entire two-thirds of Earth Song and only really out and out screamed for 1/6th of it. MJ did the same thing with it and he wrote it.

      You don’t have to like it or her but you should admit that that Randy and JLo didn’t call out some songs that were karaoke cheese and some taht were 80% off key while picking on much more minor flaws in her song and same story most weeks.

      It’s not wrong to say stuff to her, aside when it’s clearly absurd and meant to just knock her, but it is wrong to only say stuff to her when others the same nights have done as much more more wrong.

    • warren

      Nina you are full of s—t . Haley did what any STAR would do . And Haley is a STAR . Thats right , uh hua , uh hua , uh hua , thats right !

    • Alton

      Nina i said this before and i’ll say it again. Who the hell else this year got criticism other then her? nobody thats who, and she bu up with their crap for 10 weeks straight, and by the way, how is commenting that “it’s a three-way tie between scotty, james and lauren” anyway constructive or criticism? thats just straight up singling her out. ofcourse and ass-hat like u wouldnt realize that.

      • Alton

        put no bu. sorry lol.

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