It all started Tashia Bathea, an African-American alternative rocker chick. Randy and Mariah were skeptical about her rocking ability and Nicki pipes up, “I don’t really care for you to make a decision as to what kind of music you like,” as in saying that she just likes Tashia’s voice and she doesn’t care what box she fits into.
Then it really got rolling on Summer Cunningham, who made the off-hand comment heard ’round the “Idol” world when she said she “did the country thing.” It raised Keith Urban‘s hackles a little and it also then had Randy and Mariah really drumming the “you’re a country singer” into Summer’s head.
Nicki took umbrage with the barrage of “you’re country, you’re country” when she felt like the girl was just trying to say she doesn’t quite see herself as solely country, so Nicki comments that Randy and Mariah basically scared her into lying about how much she loves country music.
Then when Randy threw “30 years of experience” in Nicki’s face, Nicki stormed out with a, “Oh, you’re right. I can’t help her. Maybe I should just get off the f***ing panel.”
And it appears that Nicki did not come back that day. The next day, the tension on the judges panel was palpable.
So, who do you side with? To be honest, regardless of whether Summer is 100% country or not (because she is), we think Nicki is right that the judges did kind of scare her into lying. Summer expressed an opinion about not wanting to be in the country box with an innocent remark and the three judges pounced on it.
It’s like — let Summer figure out that country is her wheelhouse (and also a money-maker for “Idol” contestants). Instead, Summer could read which way the wind was blowing in that room, realized her trip to Hollywood might be in jeopardy, and smartly toed the country line.
And Randy making a snide remark about how much experience he and Mariah have was a total junior high move. We’re surprised he didn’t find a way to name-drop Journey.
For our money, Nicki was right and while maybe she shouldn’t have stormed off and not returned, she had every right to feel slighted by how that went down.
What do you think, “Idol” fans?