“Cracks had already formed in the panel, and a long day of judging was about to take an unprecedented turn…” *In my Ryan Seacrest voice*
Oh American Idol, I see you trying to milk the disagreements between judges for all their worth to keep this show afloat. On yesterday’s episode, the judges took their expertise to places like Charlotte, North Carolina to weed out the new batch of talent they would send to Hollywood. It was of course during this particular episode that the shade the judges had been throwing at one another (Nicki and Mariah in particular) reached its peak. While judging 20-year-old Summer Cunningham’s rendition of “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, after her performance, when explaining her sound, baby girl made the poor decision to say that she “had done the country thing” in her past, but wanted to try something more soulful.
Seeing as how Keith Urban (you forgot he was a judge didn’t you!?) is a country singer, he played it off nicely, but it was clear he didn’t take too well to her comments. Hence him treating her life by saying, “I always get thrown when people say they have ‘done the country thing’…it’s like saying you ‘did the brain surgeon thing’— either you are a brain surgeon or you’re not.”
But Nicki liked her. She liked her voice, she liked her look. Unfortunately for Cunningham, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson decided to slowly but surely explain to her that while she was claiming to want to move away from “the country thing,” with her type of voice, that’s her niche–and she should stick with it. However, the back and forth about it between Mariah, Randy and Cunningham for like…ever…didn’t sit well with Nicki, who thought the two were ripping Cunningham apart for her statement.
“Why are we picking her apart because of a country comment? I feel like we’re going into, ‘Are you country, are you country, do you like country?’ … You guys make comments about everybody in popular music all day … not you Keith … Randy and Mariah.”
And from there, ish got catty and personal. Mariah let Nicki know that being that she’s an actual singer, she was just trying to help her and not waste time talking about her attire, which Nicki harmlessly did with contestants. And Randy even jumped in, letting her know that with their 30+ years in the business, they might have a clue about what they’re talking about (“No matter what Nicki says, your voice works for country.”). Nicki didn’t appreciate the shade and after they sent the young lady out with a “YES” to Hollywood, she walked out for the day and stormed off, saying “Oh, you’re right. I’m sorry I can’t help her. Maybe I should just get off the f**king panel! Let me get off the panel”
Yikes! To be honest with you, I think both parties made good points. I do agree with Nicki in that the other three judges seemed to harp on her comment about “I did the country thing” a little too long, when basically all they needed to explain to her was that “Look, the country thing is YOUR thing and it works for your voice.” But at the same token, even in their long-winded speeches, I do think they did have her best interest at heart, to let her know that with all the yodeling she was doing, she needed to embrace the country sound. Now, whether she decides to do that or go the soul or pop route, that’s her choice to make. I do like what each judge brings to the panel on their own (even Nicki can be entertaining and helpful, but sometimes the voice changing can be irritating). But I don’t like this group of judges together, I think they focus too much on each other aside from the contestants, and in the end, that could be what makes the show irrelevant by next season. Check out the clip of the big confrontation and let us know what you think.
Feature image courtesy of Neonlimelight.com