Erika Van Pelt Felt Robbed Over American Idol 2012 Elimination

American Idol 2012 Erika Van Pelt

Erika Van Pelt sat down with MTV News to discuss her elimination last week on American Idol 2012 and she doesn’t hold back.

Erika told MTV that she was surprised by her elimination and even “felt a little robbed” by being sent home. Of course this was the second time Van Pelt had been eliminated by America’s vote which makes me think any time she had as a finalist after that first elimination was a gift from the judges. Not only that, but Erika gets to be part of the summer tour and earn a nice little paycheck for that experience. Erika Van Pelt might have been better than some of the other singers still in the competition, but she wasn’t going to win this season so I’m not sure I could agree with her “robbed” assessment.

Speaking of those judges, Erika added that the singers received conflicting feedback from the judges. She was told by JLo to move around more during her Billy Joel performance while other singers were praised for their standing-still deliveries.

“I think a lot of your fate rides on what sort of light [the judges] shed on you,” Van Pelt said. “For me, I was doing ‘New York State of Mind,’ which is a ballad, and every time Billy Joel has ever performed it, he’s been sitting behind a piano, he’s not dancing around, and [Jennifer Lopez] made some comments about me on planting my feet and getting my body into it more. I just wasn’t feeling it. I don’t feel like I need to jump around to sing. There are a few other contestants on the show that do nothing but stand there and sing, and they don’t say anything to them. [At] the very least, they get standing O’s, and they like that. I just felt it was a constant struggle for me.”

Maybe I’m reading too much in to this, but it’s coming off a little like sour grapes to me with complaints of judges favoring some over others. We all know that happens on American Idol. And of course this was a constant struggle for her. Did I mention she had already been eliminated once and the judges brought her back? She’s been hanging by a thread since the Top 25 performances. I wasn’t surprised by her elimination last week and I think she had more than her fair share of chances to connect with the audience. It just wasn’t happening for her.

Check out the video of Erika’s interview with MTV News below along with a second video clip of her complaining about the feedback process and even admitting that she doesn’t accept criticism well.

Source: MTV News




  1. well it’s because even when some of the other idols were just standing, their performance was still great .. unlike hers … be thankful enough she was given a second chance…

    • This is going to sound really shallow, and maybe it is.  This is Idol, not singer.  Erika didn’t fit the profile in any way, shape or form.  Not in size [plus size only works for opera, soul or jazz],  demographic [nothing new or even relevant], or star power.  She was wrapped in mediocrity.

      • I agree totally.  I can’t relate to the kids in a lot of cases.  I think they’re getting shoved down our throats.  At the same time, Erika isn’t one of the older ones I could relate too. 

        This is a so/so year for AI.  If Erika couldn’t stand out during a season like this, it’s not going to happen for her.  She offers nothing except an ok singing voice.  I only rememered she sang New York State of Mind because it was in the article.  I haven’t a clue as to what else she sang.

      • Yeah.. i too agree, AI is more about likability.. thats sanaja was there in the other season.. thats why hee jun is still here.. people more oftn than not judge charactors by their likability, for me EVP never ever had that! Jessica has that because its her nature..

      • I agree here, she had a decent voice, but not the best, plus she did not fit the IDOL profile for looks and style.  Sad yes, but it happens

      • Lets not forget Rueben Studdard &  Jordin Sparks.  They didn’t fit the profile either but they were American Idol winners.   Even Kelly Clarkson was not exactly size  O……..

      • @32b9575059ed2ecb9da6f403c70c0e79:disqus  True, but Kelly and Ruben won before every teen had a cell phone.  And Jordin was very young and quite beautiful and was also a plus size model.

      • I agree with you. Yes, it is undeniable that she has a voice but for the people, it’s not an idol material. Hee makes the show entertaining but not for long.

  2. She should becareful with her negativity……bad attitudes from a karaoke singer will not get you a contract.

    • She should be grateful that she still get a 6 figure paychk after AI Summer Tour. That also means more gigs for her. There are many other EVPs out there, sining in small towns & living paychk to paychk. After AI, would suggest to her to buy a nice place & car for herself & keep the rest in the bank. I would suggest for her to follow Jennifer Hudson – lose weight. Jennifer is doing well now.

  3. He Juun is a total joke and people are way over him. He is making a joke out of the show. It is not funny anymore.

  4. I have to agree with Erika as far as there were one or two others that should have been gone before her.  She should also be thankful that she is on the summer tour.  And Matt you are definitely right…..she was not going to win.
    Maybe she can take some singing lessons now to prepare for the tour.  I did like Erika and did not feel she should have been eliminated last week before a certain few but like the comments say..this is a popularity contest.  The cuties get the younger peoples votes.  I don’t have to elaborate any futher than that.

  5. Well, if Erika was eliminated based on her last performance … She was robbed. As she was in the top 3 that week, in my viewpoint.

    • I agree with you–and her.  She was robbed.  She has a terrific voice.  It came down to appearance and who, demographically, is doing the majority of the voting.  Wonder if Adele would have made it on AI? 

  6. I agree with you. I think to say she was robbed was completely uncalled for.  She would never have won and I never saw her breaking into the Top 5. 

    Also, I kind of get the criticism against her. I think if she congested all of the comments about her, it would be summed as — she needed to connect to the audience better.  She just did not have “it.” 

    For a 27 year old, Erika is not coming off as immature. Yes, she needed to be candid but I feel she could have chosen her words Shannon did better in the post-elimination interviews. 

    • P.S. Wanted to add that whoever was styling her, did not help her chances. Erika and I have the same body type, so I *know* that she was not being dressed right.

  7. She was in the bottom two – sharing the spot with Heejun  – now c’mon… you can’t tell me he’s a contender… the guy thinks the whole competition is a joke – and he’s mediocre AT BEST.   Between the both of them, she deserved the spot – at least she would have worked for it.   What a joke.

  8. America SUCKS at voting! Well atleast since they made it unlimited per phone line!  Little girls only vote for the guy they love to look at who cares bout talent! again a girl will go home this week! Mark My Words! Colton will win this esp. with the comments ive seen on his youtube vids! u got lil girls fighting over him and sayin they are gonna marry him! Samething happened with Scotty! But the difference with Colton is he is one of the best in the competition! Scotty was great but not the best and didnt deserve to win!

  9. Again—-The Judges are not consistent in their comments. However, they do influence a lot of peolpe—especially the youngsters. 😉 You should have made a wide base of fan base.

  10. You may not agree withme but i think that Erika was eliminated deservedly. She had no sense of self identity, changed her looks all the time, always had the worst and least remarkable arrangments, had nothing special about her and her voice. Shy usually took soulful songs just to turn the into bland, forgettable poprock pieces and she was literally the only one i wasnt waiting for with hope to hear something amazing from. EVERYONE from top 10 had at least one really great performance except for her. 

    • DeAndre rocked Georgia, Master Blaster and This woman’s work, Heejun rocked All in love is fair, Elise – Vienna, Jessica – IWALY, Love you i do and dream, Hollie – reflection and change, Philip -Slow and easy, movin’out, in the air, Colton – Piano Man, Joshua – When a man loves…, You pulled me through, Skylar – Stay with me and broken heart. Erika had ZERO remarkabe performances like that…ok, that’s all igot to say about her. I got a feeling i will never hear about her anymore

      • All I could remember about EVP was when she was standing nxt to Ryan.
        She looked like a fridge(sorril). Elise was also pretty big frame, too.
        No branding at all. Just bland.

  11. I don’t know if Erika would have won, however, I don’t think she should have gome home this week.  He Jun was worse than Erika.  But when you have this type of contest you have to go by the votes of those that can vote over and over in various ways.  I do wish that the vote was for who you thought did the worse job.  As far as her fitting the image of an idol, I would think that we want people with talent and not fitting the image of the look.  We are a varied looking world and not everyone will fit an image. 

  12. Matt if your going to post videos may you post videos that will work in other countries pleaase

  13. I’ll just say this if she was eliminated at 10th place during a medicore season like this season has become, then there isn’t anything real special about her in my view. For me her performances were just ok. They weren’t bad but they weren’t good either. She didn’t stand out. Sometimes it’s worse to have a forgettable performance(Erika, Deandre) than it is to have a bad performance(Heejun).

    • She saw herself as a rocker chick, but apparently never read the 2 most important rock rules.  “Don’t get fat” and “Don’t cut your hair”

    •  Just imagine if she were on last year when the talent was outstanding. If she were up against the likes of Scotty, Haley, James, Casey, and Pia. I think she would have been eliminated at 11th, 12th, or 13th place and wouldn’t have made the tour.

  14. Come on! its been nearly a week… get over it and  stop complaining erika!  Stop being so negative! It wont get you anywhere. Just be thankful that you reached this stage of the competition unlike thousands of other contestants.

  15. She’s a wildcard pick…then in the Top10 and will be on Tour this summer. What more she could ask for?

  16. I agree with her that the judges have favorites. In fact I would even take it a step further and say that they have a certain contestant pre-prepared or planted in the competition that is supposed to go on and win the competition. That’s just my opinion and the way I see it.

    If that is not the case then I think the judges may develop certain biases toward certain contestants according to the way they act behind the scenes. If Erika was expressing her opinion or complaining that the criticism was unfair back stage after the competition or during auditions then that may affect the way the judges critique her performances. If a contestant is very likable and personable behind the scenes when interacting with the judges and the crew then they get more positive reviews from the judges. I think the judges should judge the performance without bias but that is almost impossible. If you don’t like a person then your reaction to anything that person does is naturally going to be negative. It’s the human factor. 

    And I do agree that she just didn’t ever appeal to the average American voter. If the average American is anything like me they will also have an opinion as to whether or not the judges comments are accurate. I totally agree with them sometimes but other times I absolutely agree. So I have no solid answer as to whether she was judged fairly or not but there are so many factors that can play into it that you can never tell. 

    I do think that Erika was lucky to make it as far as she did and should be grateful that the judges brought her back. If she hadn’t been picked as a wild card she would have been gone a long time ago. I didn’t think that JLo was telling her to act a fool and jump around. I took it as she was saying relax and don’t be so stiff and move around a little and develop a swag on stage that appeals to people. She just needed to be herself and be natural and sing with her whole body. It’s very hard to do that when you are trying to be totally perfect with your vocals but you have be a performer in the end. Not just a singer.

    • Idol was so much better when we had Simon, Paula and Randy.  It was based on singing back then.  NOW its very commercialized…..Between the Ford commercials & Tommy H.  its become a joke.
      I still love watching the new talent sing but as far as the results go….I just don’t buy it anymore.   JMHO

  17. YOu shouldn’t be bashing the judges, it’s because of them that you
     made it into the Top 13. America just didn’t like you.

  18. How can Erica complained that the judges were unfair to her ?   It was the judges’ decision to pick her at the wild card and gave her the second chance.   The judges actually played their favoritism toward her.  She should be very thankful that she was in the wild card and she is in the top 10 .  

     Of course the judges would not use the save card on her, knowing that she will be in the bottom-three again next week.   Look, she was in the bottom TWO the previous week.   Why did she has unrealitic expectation from the public  ?   She should ask were the judges being unfair to pick her in the wild card instead of other people.   She is a good singer I have to admit, but  so do others in the top 12. 

    Of course, the judges have their favorite contestants, there is no doubt about it.   It is human nature and natural to like someone over someone else.    I am sure you have friends, and why do you like certain friends better than other people.   Is it a crime to like A better than B ?  The answer is of course not.

    This year the American votes have shown that the younger contestants have more chances to win the public votes  than the older contestants.   She is 26/27, and considered as “older” when compare with the other teenager contestants.   It was not a major concern few years ago, but now, you maybe considered as “old” when you are over 23 or 24.  There are so many young teenagers ready to compete for the American Idol title. 

    The main reasons that she was not being selected by the public are : age factor, secondly her appeal is a little too “mom-sy”, she dressed and looked like a mom.   All these teens were not going to vote for someone who has a “mom” look so to speak.   Her new hairdo did not help !!!  Being unfair ?   Of course it is unfair.   But there is no such word as being FAIR   !!!!  The reality of life does not evolve around the word FAIRNESS.     

    It is the way it is !!!  Be happy !!!!


    • Actually, I thought that the Judges would choose Jen Hirsh as their wild card . But they didn’t.   Accoding to her condition, she only told half of the truth .

      • Me too!  I liked Jen and she was at least more different than the other girls.  Having Erika, Elise, Hallie and Haley is just redundant.  

  19. These are the “older” contestants not being voted by the public :  Jen Hirsh (25/26),  Reed Grimm (26),  Creighton (28),  Hallie Day (26 ?), Adam Brock (27/28 ?)  and others.  They are considered being “older” now.  It was not so a few years ago.

     Erica (26) and Elise (28) were very lucky to be in the top 10.   The whole dynamic in American Idol have shifted to younger contestants  or teenager contestant ! 

    Once you understand this age factor, you will not be too mad about the voting system.  

     It is the way it is,  it is nothing personal !!!


    • mine too:) he has the most exceptional talent and most soulful and beautiful voice of all the contestants

  20. welcome to Idol Erika where the judges except Steven Tyler has a short-term memory loss syndrome.

    • Tell me about it.  I want to turn the TV on mute everytime Randy Jackson speaks.  Thank goodness Jimmy sometimes puts him in his place!

  21. I thought all along that Erika didn’t have any charisma, and that is why the public did not vote for her (among other reasons).  But reading this, I think the only thing she’ll only get more haters.  Erika, how the heck can you be robbed of something (America’s votes) you haven’t really earned?  You’re lucky that you made it to the tour.. but don’t be surprised if you would not be received well by fans.  Sure, Heejun and Deandre sang worse, but it’s clear they have a better connection to the audience, which in the end is what matters.

  22. I could remember Irish vocal belter Carly who ended up at 6th place on AI season 7. She’s kinda old but I like her better than EVP. Actually, Carly really was one of my favorites during that time. Both of them [David and her].

    Simon acknowledged her even when she got eliminated. True artist. 

  23. I agree that Carly is a sweet-heart.   She sang “You are so vain” beautifully.    She has the look and the voice.    But Carly was not “old”, she was about 24 when she was in the competition.   In the history of AI all along, age was not a factor at all.   Bo Bice was 27 at that time.

    But it became more obvious that this year has changed.   Since Scotty(19?)  won the show, teenager voters prefer younger contestants.  It seems that way.   How can you explain Elise, Erica were constantly at the bottom three ?    If Reed Grimm(26) or Creighton(28) or Jen Hirsh (26?)  came to the show five years ago, they might have a higher chance to be selected.     

     Yes “age” matters !!!  Things changed !!


  24. That’s what you get for listening to Jimmy Iovine and Tommy Hilfiger!  Phillip and Colton ignored their advice and they were good to go.

  25. I think there is truth on both sides. I don’t think Erika could have competed with certain others. However, I do believe she is more accurate than people want to admit. “Idol” has an agenda and they use every tool to push it: judges, order of singing, length of backstory exposure, and perhaps even the advice given as they prepare. Don’t discount her comments because she wasn’t the strongest competitor.

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