American Idol Judges Weigh In On What Went Wrong With Top 13’s In-Ear Monitors

During the American Idol Top 13 live show we saw some of the finalists struggle with their in-ear monitors used to listen in on their live performances. Some readers cried foul on the alleged malfunctions and blamed Kristen O’Connor’s elimination on the issue. Now the Judges are discussing what they think went wrong.

Kristen O'Connor on American Idol
Kristen O’Connor on American Idol – SOURCE: FOX/YouTube

When FOX Audio Central spoke with Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban about the perceived issues both insisted it was more of a learning curve rather than anything actually wrong with the monitors themselves.

Harry Connick Jr: I think it’s a matter of getting used to it. 

When you have in-ear monitors, there’s a lot of different information coming at you – bass, drums, click track, background vocals, your own voice, audience and stuff, and it takes a while to sort of figure that out. And they’ll figure out. 

It’s just a matter of doing it.  It’s just repetition.  They’ll get used to it. 

Some of them are a little bit better at it than others because some of them may have had a little bit more experience.

Keith Urban gave an interesting explanation of the various progression of monitor speakers. Clearly these are developed preferences for a lot of artists. Something these new finalists may not have had time to develop.

Keith Urban: Yeah, I mean this whole, I mean back in the day you used to have speakers on the foot of the stage, that’s how you heard yourself, and now you have these inner ear monitors that you see on everybody. 

Some people use two of them; some people use one with speakers down there or whatever.  Everyone’s got their own mojo with it. 

I like to use one and have speakers because I like to be in the space with the crowd as well, you know. 

But everybody’s got to figure their own style out, and these guys and girls have to do it in record time, you know.  So but that’s what they’ve got to really focus on when they get into rehearsal. 

They’ve got experiment with everything and find their comfort zone.

I feel like we’ve seen this issue come up on a lot of seasons and it really is something that works itself out. Unfortunately time isn’t something most of the American Idol contestants have and those with more stage experience may find themselves at an advantage.

What do you think of the in-ear monitor issues from last week? How would you like to see the challenge addressed by American Idol?

Kristen O’Connor removes her in-ear monitor during performance:

Source: FOX Audio Central




  1. i think the ear monitor thing is just an excuse. the exeptional singer will get past it. maybe kristen wasn’t good enough

  2. Kristen had some flat spots in her performances; a lot of
    the girls do which is why I like Emily so much I haven’t noticed that in her.
    Kristen was just the first to go. And if I might add that’s where country music has the advantage.

  3. Can’t help but notice how Keith’s remarks are repeated verbatim. Can we expect to hear a suggestion of Jennifer’s Bronx dialect in future columns, or perhaps, the lilt of arrogance from Harry?

  4. The show has become so uncomfortable to watch. Does not feel encouraging to these new artist and often leaves entertainment behind for unbalanced harsh “public” criticism. It is one thing to express good constructive criticism but to not see ANY good in ones performance feels so miserable. When the judges are uncomfortable …so are wel. My guess is audience will leave as their “friends/singers” are given mostly critical feedback and not balanced with positive. Sad…the show feels like it has lost it’s way and is no longer inspirational but too much conflict. Painful at times.

  5. they are for receiving instructions from the USAs illuminati legacy ruling criminal families. every second and every word on tv counts in dumbing down and programming all the mindless monkeys in order to maintain obsolete and corrupt legacy systems

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