April 16th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

'Idol' cast-offs say judges' advice was 'confusing'

The "American Idol" ride came to a screeching halt for Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens this week, as the singers were the latest contestants voted off the popular show.

Garcia was a favorite earlier in the season, but Tuesday, the judges panned his rendition of the King's "Hound Dog."  Kara DioGuardi said she wanted more "swagger" from the 24-year-old performer, and Simon Cowell told him that "all the coolness has been sucked out of you."

"They were extra confusing this year," Garcia tells CNN.  "They tell you one thing, like 'I don't know about the swag...' and I was like 'What? I was doing my thing!'"

Stevens agrees.  She also had issues with some of the judges' feedback.

"'Katie, you should be R&B. Katie, you should be rock.  Katie, you should be country,'" said Stevens, recalling what judges had told her. "Yeah, definitely got confusing comments.  So I think it's ultimately important in this competition to be true to yourself and to what you want."

In fairness, both say they found the "American Idol" experience very rewarding... and are excited about the upcoming Top 10 American Idol tour this summer.

What do you think? Has the judges' advice been confusing?

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. kat

    This year has been a JOKE.. There is no where near the talent in past years (out of all the people that tried out and this is all they could come up with,,, there is NO "WOW" Factor at all,,, and the judges are,,, well I just dont even know what to say... I fear this year will do IDOL in,,,

    April 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. moon627

    Since this show began its never had professional judging

    – its always the same lame stuff from Randy (yo, dawg, i dunno)
    – exagerated kudos and gushing from Paula
    – Simon's blunt honesty or british quips that make no sense
    – Kara is all over the place with her critiques
    – Ellen should just stick to making jokes because she isnt in the music industry and has no business being there in the first place

    And its only gonna get worse when Simon leaves...

    The contestants would be better off sticking to whatever it was that got them chosen to go on the show in the first place and grow from there based on the mentors advice and the votes.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. moosey

    to be honest this entire season the one that gives the most confusing advice has been Kara. She constantly over analyzes. I think she lacks the ability to communicate to the contestants at a level where its relevant to their experiences. The only one that is ever on the ball seems to be Simon. He may be a bit brassy but at the same time he knows how to talk to the contestants. Randy is cool and relevant, he knows how to encurage and tell it like it is.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    OK Paula (Wayne).

    April 19, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bomberfan

    The judging is terrible. Simon has been doing this too long. Ellen is not a judge. Kara has displayed judgement problems with her own life whether it be eating habits, or posing nude in magazines during a time when she is "judging" young kids and giving them career advice and direction. Randy is cool though.

    April 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mushymushroom

    And to make it more confusing I will advice the contestants to just listen and weigh the advices, if it confuses them then just always listen to themselves.

    But all the criticisms and advices of these judges, may it be confusing or harsh, treat them as a blessing, you know why?

    Because once you start a career in the music industry and you actually make it, the criticisms and unsolicited advices are endless!

    Plus, there are bonuses such as gossips, fabricated stories, papparazzi trails, and most of all HATERS.

    This is the life you want, welcome it with open arms..! LoL.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jl

    I agree the judges comments are confusing and not helpful at all. They've had to shorten their comments so they don't run over like they did last season when they first added four judges, but in so doing they aren't giving good feedback. Also, I like Ellen on her own show, but she's not adding any value at all to Idol. She's trying to do like Paula and give only positive comments, but it's just a waste of time. Nothing constructive at all. Simon just really doesn't care since he's leaving at the end of this season anyway. Randy hasn't used the word "pitchy" once this season has he? If so, I missed it.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hyag64

    Oh yea! I agree. The judges mean well but their comments are confusing. At times, I'm not sure the poor contestants know what they mean. What does Simon's "indulgent" means? I'm not sure and I know and love the English Language

    April 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fred

    Quite frankly, the judges should advise this year's batch of LAME contestants to "throw in the towel" and find another dream. The show is painfully dull – due mostly to an unquestionable lack of recruited talent. Crystal would have been a refreshing artist back in 1987 – the year Tracy Chapman broke out – but now her musical routine is very old hat. If a Chapman and or a Melissa Ethridge can no longer move musical product then its highly unlikely that a Crystal will make a serious impact on the music industry.
    Having these "wanna be" artists stand in place and use an instrument to mask the fact that they cannot work a stage also greatly hinders the entertainment aspect of this year's show.

    April 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rl cook

    The judges were old and boring 3 years ago- RANDY: You know you did your thing dawg, PAULA: You look great, you're really finding yourself, I really liked it, good job, SIMON: If I'm being completely honest, thats was bloody awful- YAWN YAWN YAWN.

    Doesn't really matter if the judges advice is confusing or not, this crop of contestants doesn't heed it anyway- HOW MANY times did Adam tell them their performance was boring? How many of his suggestions (sing it falsetto- push yourself out of your comfort zone, smile- more facial expression, move your body) were ignored-? All but one- that would be Crystal going electric instead of accoustic. This years finalists have it tough having to follow Adams edge of the seat theatrical performances last year. Kris Allen was ridiculously boring but at least he could sing. Crystal can sing but she's a bit of a one-trick pony and we already have Jewel.

    April 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. yasmine nassef

    I remember a time when there was back stage advice from the mentors helping them choose the right songs and guiding them through.. that was what they truly needed. i know the judges should not do that for fear of favoratism....so get good mentors. period.
    the judges are different people, with different tastes so different opinions ... but i agree, i wish they would not battle their differences in front of those kids.. they all lose credibility. I love Ellen too and i am surprised she is doing a good job, although cannot find a reason why she is there... i think that Simon is not interested any more in his show .... too bad for those kids with tremendous talent.... they are being treated like potential merchandise. if this were about good vocals only, then for heavens sake WHERE IS DOLITTLE ????

    April 18, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sheila

    American Idol Judging is the most unprofessional in the music world. There is no realistic analysis and critique on musical abilities.

    Maybe they should utilize some people who actually have music degrees to help judge these contestants and give them practical useful feedback that will benefit the audience and future music potentials.

    April 18, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. rquinn

    Judges are without a doubt confused. They use terms that are subjective in nature and not measurable and often ill-defined. It doesn't help that Ellen mirrors everything Randy says

    April 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. "Idol" is weak this year

    It's about time one of the former contestants spoke up about the judges. It does seem as if the judges aren't giving USEFUL info at all. They just say "You should have done this". And then when the contestant follows their advise the judges tell them "No, that's not very good. You should have done that". I think they should give feedback to the contestants BEFORE they pick their songs, rather than just throwing them to the wolves. Things definitely seem a lot different this year.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thierry

    In general, the judges are doing a good job. Andrew Garcia was given the chance, many times but choose to stick to his style. He shall not complain with CNN about his exit and put the blame on the judges.

    As to Siobhan an other contestants who might be next to take the exit door, what judges meant by when they said "I want to see more of you ...", does not mean you have to be "Peter Paul & Mary", or Mohawk one week, Cinderella another week and very contradictory in style and personalities when you tried to be "Weird and snob" .

    WHAT THEY MEANT BY THAT, IS THAT THEY WANT TO SEE YOU PERFORMING WITH YOUR TALENTS VERTICALLY, BUT NOT HORIZONTALLY. Likewise, it is easier to see you as a person and an aspiring artist in its integrity, but not as a projection of so many images. You have to project your image to a judge panel as one person / artist. Do not confuse them !.

    And we have enough with screeches and screams!.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. alf

    Kara overanalyze everything, Randy converted to his dark side, Ellen rocks and Simon is painfully relevant and honest. Difference in opinion comes with the trade – therefore – contestants get used to it and do your thing

    April 17, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  17. Ryan

    Yes the judges are somewhat confusing- Siobhan-has a great voice- she looks beautiful when she has her hair done like she did when she wore the black outfit- she needs to sit there-dress nicely-not over the top-looking beautiful and make all about her sweet voice by singing a song like WISH YOU WERE HERE-by Kate Voegle

    April 17, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  18. Padmini (from Bombay)

    I've watched every single episode since the very first elimination round – many of us here have, and are great fans.
    I don't personally like either Katie or Andrew (my fave being Crystal), but you know what? the judges' advice HAS been all over the place.
    If only for this, I would let all the judges' comments in one ear and out the other after a performance – EXCEPT... if they were all unanimous in their feedback!
    Nuts! Feel really sorry for the contestants 🙁

    April 17, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  19. Rob - Australia

    Take the leading one or two, the judging is irrelevant to them, they just get it right.
    Andrew should have sung more powerful songs. Katies was OK, but nothing special.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  20. Sency

    I think the Judges are usually solid – they try hard – that is for sure


    April 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. laura TJ

    Either a song is sung well or not - all should continue to do the best they can..not a great year but I enjoy the show. I like Ellen,not as a judge–stick to the talk show.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Indigofizz

    Sounds like the blame game to me. Andrew has no personality, NO swag and is a damp piece of cardboard when performing on stage. You can't blame the judges for lacking talent. Katie has a voice and cute face, but also lacks any depth and personality. Both deserved to go.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Sandy

    I thought show was about ability to sing and perform. I continue to hear judges give advise and change the following week. Let the contestants do what they are capable and maybe leave "smiles" out and talk ability in all areas.
    At the same time it appears certain people get all of the attention; as latest story regarding Crystal who appears to get alot of "ink" and others do not and under same pressure. Is this a singing and performance contest or popularity? Crystal is not the only performer on stage; or have we forgotton that. If we keep telling the American public that Crystal is the front runner just by the weekly actions of judges and stories that I just read I guess then the American public will get brained washed and lets make Crystal the winner now and I will go to be early on Wednesday nights.
    Thank you

    April 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Millie

    It's the judges job to keep confusing the singers (and viewers) so noone notices how Big Mike wins it all. SHELLGAME.

    April 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Tash

    yeah I don't blame the contestants for thinking this. I've felt really sorry for them. I thought the judges were there to purely judge the performance – not advise on what the contestants should be performing. Kara has been the worst – poor Andrew didn't have a chance after constantly having to live up to the "Paula" song. Oh – and I'm getting tired of the "niggle" between Simon and Ryan – it's not called "the Simon and Ryan" show. Stick to hosting Ryan and leave the arguments to the bedroom.

    April 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Wayne

    What is missing is Paula. Guess with all the changes they are trying to adapt to the changes being the viewer/audience and least but not last the new judge. Ellen is very fair but in my opinion needs some more experience and is really better suited at a talk show. Paula was in love with the contestants and Simon is growing tired and frustrated. Ryan seems to want to fest fight Simon and there is action where no man has gone before. All in a days work hey! Well your right in your posting header in this blog. That all happened. Seems like a toss up and that's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess. Someone has to go. One cool tune and other "I don't know", a mix of judges feed back and some entertainment in there as well from guests. Well it's time to get on with getting on with the show. Would be nice to see a show of bands compete-ting instead of just how it is now. Kara gives balanced feed back though. She is experienced and sometimes they don't get it right... If they sing a song not in their style and it works they become that. Because they can sell that. But too many mistakes and you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Song choice is important but I did hear some great performances every now and then. Hope of deliverance all the way to the crown. A little less conversation and a little more action, love and dedication towards vocals/performance and delivery and the cows will come home. Best of luck to everyone. I still watch it. Randy is always cool and Simon needs more love. Hey Ryan too. Everyone does in one way or another. On that note. Bless everyone.

    April 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Clara

    at times one does not understand, such as Kara, I think that confuses Siobhan, in the case of Adam and even his teammates, they could remain more faithful themselves, Broke White still follows his instincts, so it is important to know if out of tune or more technical things but the style of an artist can not be defined in 3 months and under these pressures

    April 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  28. jesus

    I really don't care.

    April 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Erin

    word Str8. i agree.

    it's my feeling too that the judges – now what, 9 seasons in? have kind of checked out. haha. i'm sure their attention to these kids is less than season 1.

    April 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Str8 outta TX

    sometimes others' advice isnt what's best. do yur thing. you see where adam lambert is now.

    April 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |

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