We've been saying that "American Idol" is going downhill without Simon Cowell, and if you needed any further proof of that fact, all you had to do was watch last night's show. Haley came out to sing Blondie's "Call Me", and her performance was quite honestly, a disaster. She missed notes, her pitch was off, she trilled needlessly at odd times causing her to miss even more notes, her tone was disjointed, her tempo sped up, slowed down and then sped up again; by any objective measure, her vocal was a sloppy, sloppy mess. Afterwards, all the judges had pained expressions on their faces, and we thought, "Okay, even this group of Sandra Dee judges can't be nice about this performance," but we were wrong. The worst critique they could manage was that Haley had made the wrong song choice. So there went Haley off the stage, smiling and telling the camera in a bubbly little-girl manner, "Okay, I just have to pick a different song, and I'm good!" and then she giggled, quite satisfied with herself.
Can you imagine what Simon Cowell would said to her? Oh, hell. Yes, he would have been mean, but Haley would have gotten the message that she has to be more disciplined with her vocals. So you could actually make the argument that, not only are these judges, Jackson, Tyler and Lopez, not very entertaining, but they're actually hurting the contestants' chances of winning the competition. How would Haley know that she's making people at home cringe in the corner if someone doesn't tell her? It's no wonder that Pia's fans wondered if her elimination meant that someone on the show was tampering with the votes because the judges never had the guts to tell her that she wasn't really that great of a singer. The judges are playing good cop-bad cop, and they're hoping the American public will continue to play the role of the bad cop. But wake up Jackson, Tyler and Lopez, this isn't a 1970's episode of "Starsky and Hutch", although if you don't start doing your job, we will call in Huggy Bear to go all "street" on your ass.