Simon Cowell Admits American Idol 2011 Is Better Than Past Season

I never thought I’d see the day when Simon Cowell said something like this, but the former American Idol judge has admitted the new season is better than his last.

The 51-year-old TV star, who is set to launch his U.S. version of the X Factor later this year, said this season of the Fox show has more energy than his last one.

‘I personally think it is a better show than last year,’ Cowell said.

‘It feels to me they’ve got their energy back, they’re confident, they’re competitive.’

This surprising statement from Cowell follows on the heels of news that American Idol has finally staunched its ratings bleeding. Not since the 2007 season has Idol seen its ratings hold steady with an average of 25 million viewers each night after three straight years of falling numbers.

Could Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez be doing the trick or is the talent this year really that much better than recent seasons? What do you think it is?

Source: Daily Mail UK





    • Simon is making nice so people will watch XFactor. After doing his best to destroy Idol when he decided to bail, now he wants to wash the bitter taste out of peoples mouth regarding him.

      • there's great talent on the show, plus the panel of judges are amazing. the show has improved from all aspects, so i think

    • Oh my gosh, I'm sure Simon feels that this season is much better because of our oh so favorite Haley Reinhart! Oh wow, this is just the first time since like 2006 that AI has a female contestant who's so gonna win and so gonna follow the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson. Oh gosh I can't wait for Haley to win American Idol. Let us all vote for Haley!!! Come on, join her millions of fans!!!

  1. I think it's a combination of the talent of the contestants and the judges. But, after all, the judges are the ones who chose the contestants from the audition process, not to mention their excellent job of critiqueing/advice. And, the chemestry between the judges is great. I like the constructive criticism I'm hearing without mallace.

      • I agree, BUT, if people keep voting based on superficial criteria such as : "cute smile", "I don´t like his/her name(´s origin?)", "I don´t like his not-to-masculine gestures", and so on, this show will end at the trashcan.

      • I know! So people should all be voting for Haley so that this season is not gonna go to waste!

      • iloveHaley,My 19 year old son votes for Haley because he says she has big knockers. But for real he couldn't tell you not one song that she has performed.

      • Well, I for one think that Jacob has finally tamed his excessive emoting. It's not about him personally, it's about how he let all his emotions pour out on the stage right from the first note. You can't do that – songs need build up. Randy said it – Jacob needs JACOB moments. Now, Jacob turns down the emotion and power and the beginning and lets it all come out at the end in a giant crescendo. And he has SOUL in spades throughout. In his case, his mannerisms WERE valid to critique because they affected his performance. But now, he's got his act under control, and he's better than ever.

  2. I personally think that it's the diversity and energy of the contestants this year, especially amongst the guys. Hopefully this will encourage other artists who have "less mainstream" talent to audition for future seasons.

    • Agreed. Best season in 10 years with more diversity, more performance, more artistry and more RAW TALENT than ever before.

  3. The judges have contributed enormously to this year's high ratings: there is less friction between the judges and between Ryan and Simon – so that whole atmosphere is more positive. As for the performers, I think they excel when they are left to their own devices – why do we have "themes" for them to follow – why do we force people off their comfort zone. Top performers occupy a space which they own – why are we subjecting these artistes to song types that they don't like. Having said all of that, I went back over past AI productions and absolutely no-one on this year's fabulous show comes close to matching the phenomenal "Fantasia".

  4. I think its more about the contestants than the judges. Nine of the top eleven contestants were better singers than the top two from last season.

  5. Steven Tyler and JayLo are not the reason for this seasons success. There is a more consistant level of talant across the board, this year than there was last year or the year before. I miss Simon's honest feedback. I wish he would comer back

    • True. And the reason the talent is better is because Simon wasn't there to force his choices on the other judges. Simon is not a musician or a singer, but he sure is a bully.

      • Dont forget that Jaylo and steven along with Randy are the ones who vote these people through to the final. They have a great eye for talent

      • @Redshadow – I know that the judges are the initial screeners of the talent to go through to the process. But come on, they will never after the show get involved with the person that wins. So blah, blah about everything if the judges make a mistake or don't give the right comments it doesn't affect their careers. So wake up and stop getting on your soap boxes. Randy and Simon were always a good team – Randy with the musical know how and Simon with an eye for the talent – come on guys Simon beens in the business for a long time and would still be there if he didn't know what he was doing, namely spot talent. Don't make everything personal, but look at the bigger picture.

  6. I think it's a combination of both: Jennifer, Steven, and Randy picked the great talent we have on the show this year! I have been watching all ten years, and this year is, by far, the best yet!

  7. Couldn't agree more with Nancy. Combination of great talent and the new judges. More positive feedback and cooperation among judges. This season has been most enjoyable.

  8. i think the talent the judges picked is is amazing and diverse. Each contestant is unique and talented in their own way. However I miss the straightforwardness of a Simon Cowell when critiquing the singers.

      • I agree Lee. You know while Simon was on, I always felt that a sure way to get my vote was for Simon to not like that contestant. But even though I've really been seeing improvement in Haley & actually voted for her last week. iloveHaley has made me change my mind. I figure she will vote for Haley enough all of us. So Haley won't need my vote or anyone elses.

  9. Chemistry among judges is crucial for "Idol" – and the threesome of Randy, Paula and Simon had it at one time. Last year was AWFUL. Kara and Ellen, paired with Randy and Simon, was a disaster. Nobody wanted to see a trainwreck. And the talent was nowhere near what this year has. For the first time, I am dying to see the "Idol" Tour! I loved Naima and cannot wait to see her energy, paired with the quirky fun that Casey brings – and James and Stefano! I'm a faithful viewer to THIS season because of the judges – and their loving support. I didn't think that I'd be watching because Simon is gone. But I CAN do without that withering criticism. These cool crop of kids are better without that! Okay, except for Paul – who needs to GO 🙂

  10. The new judges have brought a breath of life with them to the show. The talent, especially, from the male contestants is much better than in any of the preceeding seasons. All that need to change now is the media personnel who hack and smash honest performances from the contestants just because they do not like their appearences. The Simon era of unneccessary crudeness and cruelty is gone and the media must catch up pronto!

  11. The pool on contestents had more talent than in years past. They were better prepared to compete in the contest. I disagree that the comments made by the panel has affected the decesions of the audience in their choosing of contestants. I know that my voting decision was made entirely by my own opinion of the person I believe should be the next American Idol, not by their comments. Their comments and decisions brought us the top group and then the audience is entitled to their own choices.

    • sorry should have read "that the panel" not "of the panel". And I might add I really miss Simon's honesty even though I though at times he was somewhat harsh.

  12. I think it's both the talent this year AND the two new judges that bring flavor and excitement to the show…

  13. I think it is a combination of things. Jennifer and Steven have been a great addition. I think people liked Simon but got tired of the bantering from Ryan to him. I am glad to see he has toned it down. Also, the talent is the best over-all that I have seen on this show.

  14. I think the rebound started with viewers' checking out the new judges just to see how they would interact. When the judges seemed to work well together and actually tried to give helpful comments and the contestants looked promising, viewers continued to watch. Along the way, viewers found some contestants they could relate to, and all of a sudden it was top 24! Once the viewers connect with the contestants, they continue to watch and vote, especially if they think the process is fair and honest. There have been some things that happened that could be thought of as staged or done to increase ratings or voting, but all the good that was done in the beginning of the season could be erased by messing with the viewers' trust. Please find a way to level the playing field in the voting process. Those who vote 100 times for one person are killing the show.

  15. I can’t believe I’m the only one that thinks panel of judges doesn’t offer anything in the way of constructive criticism! All they say is you slayed it, I have goose pimples, your range is amazing……..ect. The only time they said something was randy telling Pia not to sing ballads all the time, we see how that pearl worked out. I like Steven Tyler and JLo but I don’t think they’re good judges. As for Randy for the last 9 seasons he was filler and nobody paid any attention to anything he had to say, so trying to fill the spot as lead judge is a joke. Simon, love him or hate him at least had something constructive to say and when he praised someone you felt they really earned it. With this group every time they open their mouths I roll my eyes. I’ll admit some of Steven’s one liners are pretty good but have nothing to do with a constructive critique or providing direction for the contestants. Even JLo’s husband I can’t think of his name right now alluded to the fact that they don’t really do the contestants justice by constantly praising every performance. In my opinion they don’t even need to be there other than filling time between contestants. You have to have a good cop bad cop dynamic like Why not make them do something, go to a system like Dancing with the Stars, of course they would have to prove they are capable of actually judging and not give everyone 10-10-10!

    • Which, given the overall age of the contestants is far better than Cowell's "indulgent', or "you should lose weight" bs.

      • I disagree with you 100%.

        I was 18 years when I joined the USMC and I can tell you no body cared I was only 18 and criticism might damage my self esteem. Constructive criticism helps make you stronger, points out weaknesses so you can work on improving them and it builds character, life isn’t always nice and sweet. The music industry is a cut throat business and you better be prepared to handle rejection and harsh criticism. These judges are doing the kids an injustice not helping them.

    • "Simon, love him or hate him at least had something constructive to say and when he praised someone you felt they really earned it." You have said in your own words how stupid Simon was as a judge…You said that whenever he praised someone, we "felt" that they earned it… "Felt" and so it has nothing to do with reality..he criticizes everyone and so when he says something good, we 'feel' that the contestant has earned it..we don't think so, but we feel so… Pia tried out many time before on American idol and she never made through the Hollywood stage.. if Simon was the judge he wouldn't have put Casey through, calling him irrelevant, he would have not selected James saying that he just the ned we would have been left with a bunch of boring ass singers with zero talent…Simon is a great guy but he's a pathetic judge…

    • I agree with you. The judges were fun during auditions.

      But now they just keep saying the same thing. Nothing constructive. Steven "beautiful", come on. There is a way to provide that with out being mean or sarcastic. When Simon was constructive the idols listened and got better week to week. I thought there was going to more mentoring from the judges. Come on Nigel you need to have a serious talk with them.

    • Tom, that is just not true. JLo consistantly told Pia that she needed to move around & conect with the audience. I remember specifically when Pia anounced that Celine Dion was her idol, JLo told her that Celine stomped the stage when she performed. The contestants have to listen & put what they have been told into motion. I'll grant you that JLo is very sensitive & truly can't hurt anyones feelings. But she does try to guide albeit in a vague manor. Thos who have listened, have improved, & those who don't listen aren't with us on idol anymore.

      • maybe its because the contestants this year are at a much higher level this year, and dont need as much advice from the judges. Also this year they have a mentor session to help them work out the kinks in the song.

    • Tom – a man to my heart, I think you and I are watching a different show than some of the other people. I agree with your comments fully. Life is tough, you want to break into a business where nobody really cares if you make or break. So from the onset of your attempt to get to your point of destination you have to learn to put up with the good and the bad, the negative and positive comments. Go away learn something from it and come back "guns blazing" so to say. Your raise spoilt children by not commenting on the faults, here unfortunately they just get voted off (but everyone on the show told me I'm good) that's a shock and requires therapy. By the way JLo's man is Marc Antony.

  16. Casey Abram is the only reason i'm following this 10th season….:)….cant wait to watch his next performance…..:P

  17. I have watched AI since day 1 and I do agree that in the beginning the three judges were great and had great chemistry but somewhere along the line they lost it. Bringing back Nigel was definitely a plus, adding the two new judges and going back to the three person panel was a plus….Yes, Simon was honest but too nasty. These judges get criticized for not be judgemental but I think that they focus on the positive with a twist, just enough criticism without hurting the performers…

    This group had had the most talent since I can't remember…. Kudos to the Judges who choose them!!!!

    • @Phyllis – Simon was not nasty, he knows the business and was just preparing them for let downs. If you could handle Simon your are still around today. He knew that should you make it to the next round, the final 12, life was going to be even tougher. I think the man knew what he was doing, but maybe going up against a comedienne in a singing competition was just the last straw – dont you think?

  18. Of course AI is much better this season! The "judges" have never decided the outcome of the competition. Who wins is whoever the American public pick. Thus the "judges" role clear. Firstly they find the best contestants, then once they've done the shortlist, they are simply there help and support their picks with constructive advice and criticism. Previously – Simon especially – the judges just did not seem to get that. Or maybe they thought that trashing poor performances, instead of sympathetically trying to help – was what the viewers wanted to see. They were wrong. This season's judges – brilliantly lead by JLo have – by and large – done it right. So the show feels right this season. QED?

    • Ok, just so I understand this correctly. Simon Fuller the lead judge on American Idol for 9 seasons didn’t get the premise of the show? That’s what you’re saying? You call giving critasisum (which is why they sit there) trashing a poor performance? What are you suppose to do with a poor performance praise it? If Simon would say, “That was awful, the song choice was wrong, your timing was off and you didn’t connect with the audience” that’s critiquing a performance, to merely say “you look great and always give your best” helps no one. That’s what sympathetically trying to help is? So let’s stop calling them judges one the contestants are picked and refer to them as the “Brilliantly lead” head spectators.

    • To Tom

      Simon hardly gave any good criticism…Yes he was very good at telling people with no talent to get lost but some of his criticisms were absurd.. Simon himself has said that he suffers from manic depression and that if someone like Lady gaga had come on American idol, he wouldn't even have glanced at her…In the article he also stated that in the upcoming X factor, he would look forward to having crazy and talented people audition instead of the stale singers with boring and beautiful voices…So even Simon is slowly changing his perception for the better…

      • You know I like Lady Gaga. If she was on American Idol she might not have made the top 24. I see a lot of performers big name sucessful performers that would have bombed on AI. There were times I thought Simon was dead wrong but overall I liked watching him better then the present group. When I satrted watching the show it was because of him, I couldn't wait to hear what he was going to say.

      • Tom, you are a hoot! Get the names straight buddy. Remember there is no cure or treatment for stupid. And you are way to smart to be lumped with ilovehaley.

  19. This season show is very intense, full of emotions, drama and extremely great singers. The judges’ expertise and candor is the tip of the iceberg. – Guatemala City, Guatemala

  20. This season show is very intense, full of emotions, drama and extremely great singers. The judges’ expertise and candor is the tip of the iceberg. Guatemala City

  21. I personally feel that although fun to watch, the judges are not the reason people are watching. I also believe if we are going to be left witn an all male finalist group, ratings will plunge. Pia's elimination is because of the judges praising poor performers like Paul and Steffano and looking to push Pia out. I feel very mixed about even tuning in tonight.

    Steven T has had nothing to say other than who looks hot on any evening. When the camera pans to the table, it appears he is always looking away and is too busy to care.

    • I like Steven but I think he is in la la land allot of the time. Were is looking when he turns his head???

    • Remember – the judges get paid big bucks to be there, and in some of previous comments I say that they go home to their careers they are only here to do a job, whether good or bad doesn't actually matter. People focus on the signing talent that's what AI is about. And yes, sometimes harsh comments make for a better person/show/performance.

  22. I think the talent this year far surpasses all of the previous seasons! I was glad to see the show change things up a bit however, I think there is a Simon aspect that is sadly missing.

  23. The vibe of the show is more supportive and fun. Some of the guest appearances have been hilarious.

    The judges are likable and supportive but don't offer enough constructive criticism or specific suggestions for improvment. There's no more value-add in "love it, love you" than there is in "boring" and "indulgent."

    I like the behind-the-scenes with Jimmy and other mentors because I can see what contestants did with the mentoring they received.

  24. Well what ever you did it worked i really did not want to watch this year and all it talk is Jennifer Lopez talent in the show that kept me as a viewer and watch every show.

    I love Jennifer and Of coarse who would not love Brian he is the best at his job he is 100% perfect he is like my ideal.

  25. I think the talent this year has a lot to do with the show being a success. Also Steven Tyler is the bomb. Jennifer Lopez is alright but she talks too much!!Steven barely gets his comment out and she's cutting in.

  26. I've been saying this same thing all season. This is probably the best season yet. Bet he's sorry he left- but maybe that's one reason it's doing better. lol

  27. I think Simon being off the show has made the show more comfortable to watch. His criticism of the contestants were disgusting to me. And the new judges make you feel very comfortable and you know they care about the contestants. Great move.

    • I really think Simon not being there it does not make a lot of difference. When i watch the show i look at guys that made the the final 12 it with Jennifer giving good advice not at least we know she is being honest and from the heart if you are good she will tell if not she tells you not in a rude way like Simon.i wish Pia was still in she was my favorite know i'm voting for Paul McDonald voice sounds like Rod Stewart.

      I love Rod Stewart if you don't know him look jim up he is the best.

  28. I think the diversity of talent is the key to the success of this season. Simon was always outspoken about his dislike for country music and judged harshly anyone that sang a country song. This season, it is not only allowed but embraced. Country music is huge…you can see that with the popularity of Scotty and Lauren. Not only country, there was diversity of all talent….a little something for everyone. Also, I like the kinder judges. I felt so sorry for the contestants having to face Simon's harsh comments week after week. The judges this season get their point across in a subtle way without crushing the talent. When they are wowed by the talent, they let it be known in a big way. We get the message. We can take their input into consideration but, bottom line…we vote for who we like the best. This is the best season ever!

  29. I didn't think I would like Steven Tyler as a judge on Idol but surprisingly, I find him a compassionate, thoughtful and caring individual.

    I don't miss the banter between Paula/Simon or Ryan/Simon. That took the focus off the contestants and was so frustrating to watch their one-up-manship antics.

    I think JLo offers the best critiques and Randy seems to want to take the Simon role but not as nasty.

    AS far as the judges comments….they are real. Remember when Paula hired a writer to help her add variety to what she was saying? Too phony. To someone who said Steven looks away and seems not to be paying attention..I believe he is looking at his notes or the TV monitor he has in front of him.

    Finally, I think this year's crop of Idols are THE BEST ever as a group. Good job judges!

    • I totally agree, you took the words right out of my mouth.When i first saw Steven Tyler i thought he was scary looking, but his love and compassion for these kids make him beautiful.

  30. I think the talent is better than they have ever had, plus the American public has more than one "horse" (translated "favorite") that we are rooting on. (My favorites to win are everyone but Paul.)

  31. I believe it is both..the judges are awesome, and the contestants are the best I can remember and I have been watching for 8 years now. Each and everyone of them is special in their own way..awesome top 11

    • Rose from PA…I totally agree but it was the judges that picked these top 24…..I believe in the past that the judges didn't always pick the best of the best….I've seen performers who I thought were better but overlooked for whatever reason….This season they could have had the Top 30 and they would have been all good…

  32. Mr. Tyler has not given any constructive critique. He seems to "love" everybody. Don't know how the contestants can learn and grow with what he has to say. At least Jennifer has something to say, as well as Randy.

  33. The judges did a fine job of picking the best. There are no loser this year all will have a career in entertainment. Kudoos to the judges.

  34. I think the talent is better by far.

    Also,the judges are better,except for the absence of Simon. Simon was never mean,he was simply honest,in a droll sort of way. He also has class.

    I will certainly be watching his new show.

  35. Steven Tyler & Jennifer Lopez with randy make the show.. It is better than ever to watch & I love it when Steven gets wound up & sings!

  36. Much better contestants, some really good singers !! And the judges ? They are more interesting too. I'm a fan again.

  37. I personally prefer to see judges being supportive, rather than hearing the performances compared to dying cats, etc. Glad their constructive criticism is mostly behind the scenes. I don't see the group as being much more talented than the last couple of years, but they are sure putting on better performances, all-in-all.

  38. Yes…Jennifer and Steve had added a whole new entertainment level to the show…and…I think the talent has been much better this year. I had quit watching for the last couple of years because it just was not the same as it was "back in the day" 🙂 Even my husband has enjoyed it this year with me. Please keep this new format. Blessings, Gwen

  39. I actually still think,"I wonder what Simon would have thought of this singer?"

    Bet I know who he likes best…..Casey and Paul.

    I always agreed with Simon!

  40. I also think this year is much better than years in the past. The judges are kind, truthful and exciting to watch. The talent is very good this year. In years past, I usually have a favorite but, this year there is so many that are good that I have a few.

    • Can't wait for the tour. My sisters and I usually go to the nearest location. Hope they come to Cincinnati again. But if not we can travel.

    • Seriously Diane, kind, nobody cares about kind. When they are out in the big bad world they are going to say "I being judged to harshly, be kind to me. they said I was good and you are telling me I'm crap – oh dear oh dear." Plenty other established talent out there, nobody is really waiting for a little upstart from AI – it it is not the right person. They don't need kindness, they need to know the honest truth.

  41. The past several years of American Idol had a couple of issues. The judges were not well liked, and the contestants were lacking in talent, and quality of performance. This year (2011), we have that back in contestant talent and quality of performance and a panel of judges that define what/how judging should be. This, in conjunction with the talent and professionalism of the host, Ryan Seacrest, and you have a winner.

  42. I think that there is not so much negativity going on, The singers are far better. It seems that its left up to Amereica to decide who wins not the Judges, cause their comments tend to sway the people! Keep up the great job!

  43. I like Simon but in this case it's a matter of comfort, I've noticed that the contestants are more comfortable in their manerism and not afraid to speak up, I credit the judges, they are lovable and seem to bring out the best in them, even Ryan Seacress seems to be enjoying his role more. I found it uncomfortable listening to Simon cut down Ryan every chance he got so can you imagine the contestants! they didn't dare talk even if they found the criticism unfair!

  44. Jennifer and Steven have made a good difference on the show. No one on that panel this year degraded anyone. If they were not good and did not have talent they were told that but in a nice way and got encouraged to go another direction without all of the hurtful things said in the past seasons. Now with that said, the talent in the remaining top 12 has been amazing. It was so good this year it leaves it a very difficult task to choose who should stay and who should go. I have always had my choice for idol picked by now. Not this year! The remaining nine have been especially good and I really hope and pray that someone got Pia a contract. She is so good and it was unfortunate that she got voted off. She should still be there. Wonderful season guys!

    • Pia had the best voice on the show, but she was so boring to watch. I look forward every week just to hear what Jacob will sing.He is mesmerising.

  45. We are watching American Idol for first time (not into "reality" TV) and the talent is just wonderful and the judges too. The talent is SO good I want to see summer concert tour and follow all their careers…my favorite THE TOP 11. We are 65, and this is good television.


  46. The contestants are entertaing and very talented and the judges are the best. Keep up the great work and thanks to FOX for the greatest season of Idol yet. MAY THE BEST MAN/OR GIRL WIN!!

  47. The judges could not make a decent comment or critisisim for nothing…. I miss Simon he said it like it was. not like these judges, oh you so good oh we loved you. Its really very sad. Good thing they wont be back next year.

    • I agree with you Shelley. I don't agree it is better. The judges are quite sickly to be honest. Simon made that show, but I guess it is no skin off his nose to say it is better, look at what he is earning and worth.I am looking forward to the X-Factor.

      • I agree, the judges stink, I think Randy would say more but he does not want to be the bad guy. The talent is not better. I hope they won't be back next year.


      • yeah that's true, these year's judgest just say nice things to the contestants, so no one actually pushes their limit. It is kind of borring to watch. please bring simon back ..

  48. It's a combination of both. Steven and Jennifer bring a new energy and great sense of humor to the show that was missing before. The other big factor is Simon is gone. He was a good at what he did but he was a real downer; rude, and arrogant. His presence gave the whole show a very dark side. He was good at picking winners but the whole dark side of his persona brought the show down. I'm glad to see him gone. The other big factor with the 2011 show is the talent. It's top notch that along with the new judges make it a one of the greatest seasons yet.

  49. Simon behaved more like a prosecuting attorney than a judge. We, the viewers, are the jury. We decide, not the judges. The judges can issue guidelines, and maybe clarify something in a benign way, but we decide who did or didn't get it done.

    • @ Templar…I agree about Simon, but I have to be honest in saying that this year the talent is really tremendous. Just watched the Idols perform…wow… 🙂

  50. I think it is the talent this year. In the past there have been several really good competitors and several so-so competitors. This year they are equally talented and diversified in the areas of music.

  51. I might also add that Jennifer seems to be truly concerned about the people as being "human" with unique situations in their lives that they have to deal with and overcome. They are not just someone to mold into little puppets. Randy has shown this many times also, so I'm not leaving him out of the picture. He is the veteran and deserves attention also. He did not bring negative vibes in the past, and his present comments when negative have been constructive to try to help the young people with their careers.

  52. This year's contestants are awesome. They are better than they have been in a number of years. I think that Steven tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson make for an excellent panel of judges. They are firm, fair, and consistent, and they know what it takes to become a true American Idol.

    • What show have you been watching? The judges have been firm? fair? consistent? REALLY? Not even close. They are good for a good laugh here and there though.

    • do you really watch AI?…i simply can't believe you're saying that without knowing what those descriptive words you said about the judges mean to you…

  53. The talent this year is better than the past 3 seasons & Steven & J-Lo are welcome added additions to the show. I like the variety of contestants (from Lauren & Scotty's country flavor to James's rock & roll shows). I can't wait until Wednesday & Thursday nights. This year, my husband even looks forward to the show & he's never been a fan of AI. Kudos to Fox for not only providing us with good entertainment but also judges who make us laugh & have a great time!

  54. All I can say is they better start telling the contestants whats on their minds, instead of sugar coating. This makes them stronger, work harder, and makes them better..Plain and simple.

  55. The show is just fabulous this year! Actually considered not watching anymore after last year!But this year, both the talent and the combo of judges is great! I think the three together are wonderfully light and even Ryan is clearly happier. Think they also did a fine job of choosing contestants.

    Sad about Pia, tho….

      • Ha! Well, the guys have the Eye Candy with JayLo! Wowwwww! Paula was Awesome as well, we miss her and would like to see more of her. Simon's strength was not only his good looks (for the ladies) but he was dead-on with his judgments.

  56. no i just think they did a better job at getting the top 24 contestants first of all but AI still is not the same without Simon! forget X Factor and come back to where you belong dude!

  57. I am an Australian who loves watching American Idol.

    This series has been amazing to this point.I think the credit must go to the judges for two things.

    1.They were very thorough on finalist choices,the ladies love Stephen,the guys love Jennifer and Randy seems to be enjoying his role.They all have enormous knowledge of the music industry.

    I hope the public do the right thing this year.

    People who watched Adam Lambert get beaten were shocked and when Chrystal didn't win last year it became evident that voting was done on favourite people,not their talent.

    It has happened again already with Pia.However,there is enormous talent this year and the shows are fantastic.



    • I agree with most of what you have said. In the long run, I believe every one of these talented youngsters are going to do well. This show is the perfect place for great talent like this to get a head start. Pia is already off to a good start, and is she ever "Awesome!"… My Best Wishes go out to each and every one of the contestants. It's a hard Lump to swallow when you are voted off!

  58. I think this years talent is so much better than prior years that IF some of the previous winners and runner ups were here this season, they would already be gone or never picked.

  59. I believe that the singers are more talented and relaxed this season, and the very fact that they receive positive comments is definitely very helpful and uplifting to them.

  60. Simon has been one of my favorite judges. I love Paula and Randy. The three of them brought unqiue approaches and critique to the panel. I've always felt Simon was REAL with the contestants. To succeed in the business you will have to face numerous of things that let you down or make you reevaluate yourself. Simon offered that with the contestants. This year I see so many kind words and less constructive critique. I honestly feel the contestants need more critqiue. For instance, what can James do to improve? James is my favorite. I want to hear what he can do to improve not just WOW YOUR PERFORMACE WAS GREAT! Yeah we all know he's fabulous. Everyone has weakness, find them, expose them and help them. The judges this year are awesome.I love them in every way especially that Steve Tyler guy. I find myself cracking up. Each contestant needs constructive critism. The past years, we've heard judges offer that regardless how good or horrible the performaces were. This year, I'm finding less of that and they only seem to offer it to certain few, not EVERY contestant. I think it'd be interesting to have Randy, Paula, Simon, JLo and Steve as judges. They ALL bring something different to the table. This year's contestants I feel are a very talented bunch. In the previous years, I recall thinking wow at least 5 of them are really good. This year, I'm thinking wow, they all are good. Each one of them bring a different flavor to the show but all are good. I'd be interested in seeing what the rest of the show's gonna be like. I sure hope James is in it until the end. I'd love to see him evolve. Dig in a little bit deeper. He's got it I know he does. <3 James

  61. Without question all the contestants this season are talented in their own right. BUT the problem most of them have is they fail to entertain. The judges are doing them no favors by sugar coating their evaluation of performances. They're not going to grow as artist without SOMEBODY handing out some tuff love and being brutally honest with them. So the "judges" only have themselves to blame when one of their favorites gets sent packing by America. Steven's "you nailed it" comments are laughable. I don't think he's even paying attention when the guys are performing and when the girls are up there he only concerns himself with their "goods." JLo acts as if she wants to give "honest" advise but then backs off for fear of being seen as mean, get a backbone already. And even Randy gives his "favorites" a pass if they have a bad performance. The show doesn't even seem like a competition anymore, but more of some kind of wierd orgy or something.

    SHORT VERSION: Give the contestants and America more to chew on then "you nailed it."

  62. Lots of talk about judges and missing Simon. I do also. He provided degrees of separation between talents and that in itself was entertaining with his wit and sarcasm, which of course brought on the boos and heckles from the audience much like TNT Wrestling.

    That being said, when Simon rewarded an excellent performance with high praise, the audience got it and roared, and the voters got it–so there was much fairer elimination rounds.

    My suggestion as a new judge: I thought the Doogie Howser dude (sorry, forgot his name. He's got a new TV show I don't watch) would be an excellent replacement for Steven Tyler (we always need a JLo or Paula type for variance). Anyways, "Doogie" did great in his early season debut. He was confident and unafraid to give true feedback like Simon did–and he wasn't quite so cruel about it though. Anybody agree?–or remember his name?!

    • right you are…jennifer blabbers too much and has shown several times to be trigger happy with the microphone…boy, she sure loves the spotlight…in a discourteous way…

  63. I watch it because of the talent. The judges are so soft and non entertaining. Most of the time all three judges have the same opinion about the contestant. But, each week I can't wait to see what the contestants are going to sing, Scottie in particular. I was not a great fan of American Idol past seasons, but this season the contestants are so talented.

  64. I think it's BOTH. Steve Tyler is funny, JayLo is Beautiful and I think both of them offer good constructive criticism.

  65. The talent is good and the judges are ok. But the on stage performances are much better/ Don't under estimate the role Jimmy Iovine is playing in this. He has worked with the greats and getting him was a real coup…

    • Agree. Jimmy Lovine is like a voice of reason in a world of chaos. He honestly offers great advise to the contestants. Some have taken it to heart and are really taking off, performance wise. Others are stuborn "I want to stay true to myself" or "Oh no, I have principles." And that stuborness will get them nowhere but right back where they came from. Fools they are! LOL

  66. I watch more now because I like Steven Tyler and want to see how he behaves. Jennifer lopez is interesting too….I never liked Paula or Simon very much and I do think the talent is better this season, or at least I thought so at first. Steven and Jennifer could be a less effusive over the not so great performances but all in all I think I watch for them.

  67. I think it is strictly the incredible talent this year. I have never watched AI because I thought Simon was Horrible…every kid needs dreams and he squashed them, burried them and was damn mean about it. I am ONLY watching because he is gone. now, If we could only get rei of Randy, it would be perfect. He talks like an illiterate 12 year old…

    • in the past seasons, when randy would speak after simon, he always sounded like the latter's echo…now i appreciate that he speaks his own mind, independent of jennifer's and randy's comments…

  68. The judges did their best work in the audition stage. They eventually picked the best 24. That's what gave us this really good year and kept me watching.

  69. I feel that the combination of the judges and the mentoring for the contestants has made it a better show. There is a true amount of respect for the singers given by the judges that has not been there for quite awhile. When I saw Simon Cowell bantering with Paula and/or Kara during performances, I felt it was rude and disrespectful.

    this is a delightful, intelligent change and the show has turned out to be quite worthwhile of someone watching.

  70. TALENT is so much better!! JLO and Steven were doing a better job in the talent search than they are now — they need to start doing some constructive criticism to help these singers improve – and there is always room for improvement. I think the talent would appreciate more valuable feedback, too!

  71. Oh, are Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler judges??? They don't judge!!! They were better in the search. I don't think this is the most talented group yet either. Note, Simon said better than last year. We know why last year sucked (ELLEN).

    • I agree that the judges picked a great 24 but have been scared to tell the truth on the live shows. Some people might think Steven Tylers one-liners are funny but they do nothing to help the contestants. Jennifer offers the compassion that some of the singers need (thats why Simon wants Cheryl Cole on the USA X Factor – she is the same). I think Randy is only keeping Casey in because they share the double bass in common and the save was used far too early. You have to ask yourself…how many contestants would be worth saving before Casey? Pia and Scotty for sure. So it was a rushed decision to use it.

  72. I think it is the talent as well. I do like all three judges but was real disapointed in their reaction toward the happenings of last Thursday. I felt real bad for Stefano. Randy does back down to quickly when he is trying to be honest. Now is the time for the judges to step up & guide the contestants. JLo tries but she is neither direct or specific enough. She always comes accross as vague.

  73. the talent is amazing this year. and the judges offer something fresh to the show too. AI has been around for 10 years but it was given a brand new star for 2011. that's why it's still hot.

  74. I feel the cream of the crop got eliminated last week with Pia and as long as people can vote unlimited times, this is going to happen over and over. I miss Simon, like him or not, he is brutally honest and a real judge of talent and feel with his critique he helped get some real talent voted for. He said he predicted that Carrie Underwood would go on to break all records as an idol and she has. He also was very critical of Taylor Hicks being put through. All three of this years judges are too nice. Saving Casey was a big mistake. He's had some good performances, but a couple that were mediocre at best. When people are judges they need to be critical when warranted and with a couple of exceptions, you would think that all the contestants are already superstars and that is surely not the case. I'm sure we won't have a Kelly Clarkston, Carrie Underwood or a Chris Daughtery to win this years competition. What we will have is a Taylor Hicks or Ruben Studdard that will bomb and that hurts the show. Randy, Jennifer and Steven are great talents themselves and they need to start judging and cut out all the acculades unless they are well deserved.

  75. I believe it is a mix of all three. The talent this year has been amazing and I like the new judges but I do miss Simon.

  76. it is amazing to see how old Steven is and hasn't he worn well,hardly a Grey hair, but when you look at other rock group singers like Mick Jagger he is in fact a pensioner, but still can perform on stage like he did those years ago.Without the singers from the 60-80's where would the music business be today?

    Steven is about a year younger then me but looks 15 years younger!So the rock& roll life has been good to him, also many of the 60-80 singers all put their hard earned money into businesses to work for them, wise moves. I think kicking Simon out was a good move,as he was getting boring and big headed, thinking that he was gods gift to women.American idol is not really a talent show it is in fact a game show to see who go's the following week.

  77. SIMON:









    BELIEVE DATT!!!!!!!


    P S = NO MISSING SIMON !!!!!

  79. The talent this year is much better! Scotty McCreery is the next country western singer…..he is super!

  80. To me, the most interesting thing about this season are the changes put in place by the returning executive producer, Nigel Lithgoe. The show is now focused on the kids and how to make them shine, not on the judges, or better yet, one judge and his acerbic commentary. Forgotten lyrics and “pitchyness” are no longer issues for this group–they have just grown that quick in both skill and confidence.

    Lithgoe does this by backing these kids with the best in the business. The unsung but important producers, song-writers, singing coaches, musicians who are the very people who make “stars” out of “talent” are showcased, even lionized in the proceedings. For me, it is wonderful to see all these people and to be able to better understand and appreciate all the hard work that goes into the "star-making" machine.

    By focusing attention on “skill development”, Lithgoe shows a true respect for raw talent he is given. Rather than setting the kids up as “grist” for the judges commentary, the show's entertainment is now focused on performance and the excitement of watching talent ripen.

    Tonight’s show is a testament to Lithgoe’s successful formula. Viewers were treated to eight wonderful and unique performances, collectively at a skill level unrivaled in any prior season.

  81. I believe the talent this year is much better than last. I don't believe it has anything to do with Jennifer or Steven. I feel Jennifer and Steven have great suggestions and comments for the contestants.

  82. I strongly feel that the talent is the best it has ever been. I'm a very strong American Idol fan. Also JL and Steven have been a big assit to the talent that we have this year.

  83. steven and jennfer are best suited for this years show judging I can't wait to watch the show every week. Where when simon was there I would not watch it at all sorry simon

  84. yes, the judges this year play for the most part in brightening up the show…steven tyler's anecdotes are for the wit books but has always played safe in criticism…can he really judge?…but jennifer and randy immensely show favoritism in their praise and criticism…review all episodes starting from the top 13 and observe the trend…

  85. I agree the talent is the best I have seen and I have watched every year. They have more confidence and are more creative. Also love having the backup singers. In past years most singers just stood there and sang looking like a statue. Great changes this year!

    • i agree that backup singers improved the musicality of the performances…but if the producers are not careful, the backup singers may overpower the contestant's voice…watch james' performance during the 2nd episode of the top 11…several times throughout the rendition his voice was barely heard except where he did his usual high screamy pitch…but a male backup singer's voice stood out during those moments…but the judges didn't comment about it…

  86. Definitivamente los nuevos jueces tienen mucho que ver con el éxito de la presente temporada, la mayoría de los participantes son muy buenos!!!! hicieron una buena selección y se puede ver en cada espectáculo!!!!!

  87. I totally agree-this season is the best so far,for me.It's not about entertaining us, it's about the contestants – their career & future in the music industry.This season brought out the competitive edge in them and they are in their genre.The grooming & dance moves have improved compared to last year. Hope my choice idol Scotty is S10 Idol.It's nostalgic & he is super talented & natural not put up.Thanks AI for the show overseas.Enjoy watching it.:)

  88. simon had ears that could discern screamy, screechy, pitchy vocals…and eyes that sored when he saw tacky, geeky costumes, and gawky, all-over-the-place choreographies…though brutally frank, i still believe he was a better judge…i miss him on the show…

    • frankly, i don't think the likes of james casey, and paul, or even haley, would have made the top 13 if simon were around…definitely not his type of vocals…

      • I so agree…the talent and the extremes of their personal genres are what is really making this show. Casey's talent is amazing, different especially is jazz this week. Still loved it..everyone rocked the house except one for me…I do not believe the same talent from the auditions would be there.

  89. get stephano out of the contest..wasting of time hearing his voice..Hopefully this time round he will be 'out'

    • You could not be further from the truth! Paul and Jacob are by far worse then Stephano. I love his voice. But to each his or her own….

      • Stephano was really great this week…There is only one for me who was a waste of my time and that was Haley. Just my opinion and hopefully many other Americans.

  90. the talent couldn't be better…………..theres something go to be done about the judgeing.

  91. I see the varirty os talent as excellent. Tho, I believe that voting should be limited to number of calls equal to number of contestants.

    • I agree John…limit the votes to the number of Contestants. One choice of sharing their vote, eith the phone, cell or computer….voting now is which fan has the most endurance.

  92. Hello from New Zealand. You see the show Wednesday/Thursday, we see it here Friday/Saturday. Sadly Idol's New Zealand fan's can't vote, otherwise the most talented contestant "Pia" would not have been voted off.

  93. love seeing jlo ans Steven Tyler wouldn't mind if they sang on the night where contestant are voted of would like to see more of contestant sing their own songs and not covers

  94. I think the judging has been excellent if not outstanding!! One of the big reasons they have soo much good talent this year is because that's how the judges narrowed it down to. It didn't happen accidently. So now we have great judges that actually have fun on the show in addition to being great themeslves, plus we have outstanding talent and competors. That all makes for a show that people love to watch.. and vote for whom them think is the best! By the way, I DON'T see the need for all the guest on the nights of the eliminations. Why not use the contestants themselvse to sing duets or or other group numbers… or comedy stuff, OR guest that are really good!! Not some one that's the likes of the bare belly dude that sang last week!! That's the worst I've even seen on the show… in such poor taste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree Joe. Letting the Contestants do duets or share group singing would I believe be less cruel than letting them sit on the couches or the bottom three chairs. More entertaining for America less cruel for the Contestants. Win Win…where do they get there filler…really…Jeff Dunham, Dane Cook and many other comics would ease tension as well.

  95. Both. The idol judges pick the contestants, and this year they hit a gold mine. Every top 13 contestant this year could have won in season one. Justin who?

  96. Yes I think Steven Tyler is so cute!!! He just cracks me up with some of the funny things he says! But if you listen to him you can tell he knows his music. He talks about vibratos the contestans are using. And other nuances they are using with their voices. And also he talks about stage presence! Love you Tyler DUDE! Love your clothes too! Now that is how a rock star is supposed to look Tyler dude! J-Lo is doing OK. She interupts too much at times. Randy is still the dawg Randy. I personally think the judges could be a bit stricter. But this is Stevens first year and J-Lo's first year. So they are learning. LOVE TO ALL 3 JUDGES!!! Sherry K.

    • Yeah agree with you Sherry that JLo interupts too much. Her comments are on the whole pretty spot on, but she just needs to limit the amount of times she opens her trap when it's one of the other judges turns to give their appraisal.

      Overall the talent really is very good this year….except for stoopid Paul 😉

  97. Greetings fr Singapore. I share John's sentiments exacty. This is after all a singing competition and Pia has the best vocals, which was why everyone, including the judges were in a state of shock when she was voted out last wk. I mean what is so great abt Scotty….he can only sing country. If you compare him to David Archuletta, he stands no where. It is so obvious that young girls are voting for him and this is turning out to be a popularity contest rather than a singing one. If Simon were still around this year, he would give the voters a piece of his mind. Anyway what's done is just saddens me to See such a good singing show turn into a Popularity show. sigh

    • Hi love your comment is a reflection of what I think. You need the whole package to make a success of your win. Check the previous years winners and look and the current lot. Not one of them is good enough to be there – except for Pia who sadly didn't garner the votes because the young "chicks" have nothing to oogle at.

  98. Steven Tyler is the most exciting person to appear on Idol as a judge, love all the judges but Steven Tyler is exciting!! He has been there, done that and he is as good today as he always was!! He is the big draw this year! Some of the talent is outstanding but it is not exciting. There are some still there in the contest, I just don't get it why they are there. Adam Lambert was exciting! Pia was great, she is gone and Paul is still tip toeing thru the tulips around there. I have my favorites of course but there is something really wrong with the voteing and something has to be done. It is about the talent!! The teeny boppers are really ruining the show. It is not a fair voteing system for our singers and there must be a solution. Randy is our rock and he does know what sells and what doesn't!! Simon brought a lot of color to the show and I personally loved him. He was fun and like it or not he was usually right on! When a singer got a compliment from Simon, they were good! At least he had what it took to say what he thought!! J Lo, you are talented and beautiful but all the contestants are not great and they are not all Idol winner material. You are way to kind. I think that the judges should have more say about who stays and who doesn't and when you get down to the nitty gritty then we can vote for our Idol. Just a thought!!

    • Agreed. Simon and Randy know the music business – the comments are warrented. No doubt that the other 2 judges this year are up for it, but come on how about a straight WTH is was that. I have heard some terrible singing this season and only candy flavoured answers (Carmen from South Africa). That doesn't help anyone (from the public to be more observant and unbiased) as according to the judges everyone is "good".

  99. I really think Steven and Jennifer are doing a terrific job and the show is more exciting. Maybe because they both can sing ? I do off course love Simon Cowell, but Steven and Jennifer are truly the wright choice ! Go Jennifer and Steven. Although I live in South Africa and have to wait till Sunday to see the show, it is my favourite show and Jen always looks sexy.

    • Thank God Simon is gone. He was mean and nasty way to often, and yes Jennifer is sexy but its not the "I'm trying to be kind", she just is and beautiful and a beautiful person to go with it. The whole package.

  100. I love the show. Steven and Jennifer really make the show more lively. Altough I live in SA I can not wait till Sunday to see the show

  101. It's definitely not the judges. Sometimes, you need at least one judge who would say a person sucked at something rather all of them complementing or sugar coating. But the contestants are better than the last seasons'.

  102. I cannot believe what an amazing job the judges for this season have done and the incredible talent they have picked to compete this season. As Jennifer would say "Well done" you guys. I was really so sorry to see Pia voted off. I know that if it where up to these judges and not americas votes she would still be there, that was pretty plain to see. These judges have alot of heart and "They" really know their business. Good luck to all those talented contestants. America is right about one thing, Jennifer you are beautiful. hope all you guys stay judging next season!!!

    • if voting was limited to just the number of contestants voters would think twice about how they vote. Now it is the voters who spend two hours of their evening re-voting over and over…

  103. All the way from SA (South Africa) – the show is better, but not the talent. I have watched from season two and amongst this lot there is not one that I would pick to be the winner or even to put out a CD. I feel that the judges should have more involvement with the voting off as the public vote for many reasons (not always musical talent), and therefore you sometimes end up with "not the ideal talent and look". I must say I have picked the winner every single season (sometimes against my hopeful – like Daughtery). Still love to watch and get "aggro" when the public chooses the wrong person to go home.

    • talent is really awesome…I have watched from the beginning as well. I love the variety of genre and that they are learning each week about stage presence being part of the package…just sayin

  104. The economy is getting a little better. People getting their cable turned back on after finally finding a job. Suddenly Idol doesnt seem so trivial as it did when you were wondering where your next meal was coming from or where you were gonna get the money for gas in your car for yet another day of job seeking..LOL…just my opinion!

      • still looking for a job and have always loved American Idol. My money or financial satus has never had anything to do with the show…I agree Jeannie

  105. Or maybe gas is so damned high people are just staying in and watching the ole tube for a change…LOL

  106. I think Randy, Steve, and Jennifer are absolutely the best judges the show has ever had. Look at the great talent this year. They did a good job. And it's nice to see them show so much encouragement to the American Idol contestants. This is the best year ever. They are so considerate of the contestants feelings and give them constructive advice without belittling them in front of the whole world. Steve,Randy and Jennifer please come back next year!!!

  107. Greeting from Singapore. My Fav is James Durbin. He remind me of Adam Lambert. So if Adam is not the AI winner last year, i hope James will be AI winner this year…I think James, Scotty and Hailey, will be in top 3. And i not shocked when Pia was voted out, she sooooo boring.

    • With due respect to you, Az-Sha. I am from Singapore too and my whole office feel that Pia should not have been voted out. James may be yr cup of tea but dont forget there are some of us out there who prefer to listen to Ballads and who are not into the heavy metal thing. Hope you get the drift. To us, Pia has strong vocals and who can sing and hit high notes likes she does. She reminds us of a Celine Dion/Whitney mixture. So, one man's meat is another man's poison. To us, James sucks…….

  108. I think with the constructive criticism and encouragement thats been given to the contestants, they have each been able to flourish and bloom. I feel that previously Simon Cowell, with his comments, have somewhat instilled fear and loss of confidence in the contestants. That could be why this year's crop could really be what they truly are, be themselves and not be in fear of Simon's critique. Thats why they are doing so well and why this season is as succesful, if not more.

  109. Hi, I believe it is Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and the talent. I miss Simon and I like Steven more and more every week.


  110. I agree the talent this year surpasses those in past seasons but I would really like to hear what Simon would say. I would like to see him on the show as a guest judge… soon, while we still have 8 contestants, 7 next week.

  111. I think it is time for the judges to be a little more critical. It is enough of the love fest. Down to the finalists and there needs to be a real evaluation. It is a given that they are great singers and that is why they got here but now it is time for real criticism.

    • the real evaluation was last night everyone were on their mark…not so for Haley and the Judges got that so right…all 3

  112. Steven, Jennifer and Randy make a great TEAM. Constructive criticism is given when needed…no on is tearing anyone down. The MOST IMPORTANT REASON….the talent…and their sincerity. The judgesz got it right when they chose the TOP 24…America has made a few mistakes…PIA should still be there and Haley gone. Her actions show an egotistical non-caring person. Sure she has some talent but her always sexual(not sensual)growling and loud screaming is not pretty or good for anyone except hormonal boys. She thinks she is MORE than she is. Attitude adjustment for her would help her growth by focusing on TALENT. The viewers may drop if another talented person is voted off and Haley is still there. I'm just saying…

  113. No doubt that the judges this year have done an amazing job and Jennifer is so beautiful and nice. But sometimes in this too tough showbiz world, you need some criticisms to grow up. Love JeLo, Steven but still miss Simon says…:(

  114. I think the judges are judging from an artist's perspective not on what sells today in he music world, that is why we have such diverse talents-almost all genre represented indeed! and that makes the show so exciting. You have different doses of music every week, how great is that! Unlike before where to many poppy singers, very mainstream that it got so boring. Yeah, the judges may need to toughen up some but hey with all those talent? that's kinda hard indeed. And i really think it's different when you are there live so there..

  115. I think the coaching the contestants have all week before the show is making the difference in their performances.

    The judges are all excellent. It is hard to give constructive criticism when they are all so talented.

    I was so disappointed to see Pia go. I picked her for the winner after week two.

    Love the show.

  116. I think the show is better because the new judges have a more enlightened perspective on what constitutes talent than the old judges. This has opened up the field to unconventional (but extremely) talented contestants like Casey, James, Scotty, Jacob, etc.

  117. This is actually the first season I have watched each night, it is that much better than previous seasons due to the talent which is AWESOME!!! It is so hard to pick just one and be devoted to him/her. I'm also enjoying Jennifer & Stephen as judges.

  118. This season is great. I am in Australia and we see it Wed' & Thur nights. I hope the top 4 is Scotty, Lauren, Casey and James. I like these 4 the best. I would so like it to end up as a tie with James and Scotty. I loved the heavy metal – an hour later my tummy was still pounding. And that guitarist – wow and great thighs too 😀 ! More metal (& I'm over 50). Loving the talent & energy.

  119. I have enjoyed this season more than any other. The singers themselves have developed more than in any other season. JLo is a lady who knows how to strut her stuff on a stage and I have always been a fan. Stephen has always been awesome on stage, but I have to say I love both of them as judges. Their positive spin has given the contestants the confidence to expand and develop. Best year yet.

  120. The judges tell everyone to find songs out of the box except Scotty. I would like to see him sing something other than country. Like old man river or some show tune from fiddler on the roof.

  121. The contestants make the show, without them there would be no show at all. The Judges contribute as well, but it is definitely fronted by high talent quality.

  122. I think the diversity of tremendously talented contestants is the magic that keeps the ratings high…and this is from an older than dirt person who loves music of different genres.

  123. It's a combination of both! Not only is there true stars like Steven and Jennifer but upcoming ones as well! The talent is tremedous and the production of the show is even better.

  124. Judges critique with constructive suggestions which makes viewing a more pleasant experience. Furthermore, they selected outstanding contestants. Each episode has variety enough to make us look forward to the following week.

  125. I miss Simon more every week.Way too much gushing.I really like Steven,such a great personality.Maybe Paul wasn't the best singer technically but terrific stage presence and charm.I'll miss him.And I am so over James.I always feel he's trying to upstage Adam Lambert.I think it's a good season for diversity but not the "best" one ever.

  126. To me I love Steven to bits his cool calm and collected and I think it is the Judges who have made a differance to the show

  127. Love the change in judges and I'm glad we aren't hearing the word "dawg" too much anymore…The contestants are all great in their own way, and I think they aren't as nervous now that Simon isn't there making fun their clothes, weight or whatever. Simon did a great job though, and his honesty was refreshing although a bit mean. Jennifer, Tyler, and Randy are honest, but in a much nicer way.

  128. This season of American Idol is phenomenal and I think it is both the tremendous talent and the new energy of enthusiastic judges. I haven't seen AI shine like this in years. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as to say this might be the best year ever and if AI continues this route, they could easily stick around for another 10 years. Bravo!

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