Warning: This is a rant.
1. The first thing Idol should avoid in Season 11 is comparing contestants to Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, especially at the initial a cappella auditions like they did with Lauren Alaina during Season 10. Of course, Lauren never lived up to those expectations. How could she. Let the contestants put together a string of performances that show they're worthy of such lofty comparisons, instead of doing it by cheap proclamations from the judges.
I am now convinced that the order to hype Lauren Alaina came from Simon Fuller himself. He announced after the show that he would personally handle the careers of Scotty and Lauren. He obviously had his sights set on Lauren all along.
2. Don't use the judges to punish the contestants for disputes going on behind the scenes. This happened when Haley Reinhart sang Blondie's "Call Me." It's a good song for her and she did a good job. Yet all three marshmallow judges were down on her when they were so gushy about everyone else, and not everyone else was good at Top 8. I believe what really happened is Haley managed to tick off the producers during the week, and having the judges criticize her was their petty way of punishing her. Watch It Back Here.
3. Don't say someone was voted off when they were really disqualified for a rules violation. I'm talking of course about Pia Toscano. All the indicators said she was Top 4, all the subsequent outrage said she was Top 4, and the fact that Iovine wanted to sign her immediately also said she was Top 4.
If you don't think American Idol is capable of such silly behavior, you need only look at how they've treated Pia Toscano since the end of the show. Pia was in position to release her album first given she had eight tracks recorded before the start of the Idol Tour. Yet Idol is making her wait until their beloved Top 4 -- Scotty, Lauren, Haley and James -- release their albums first. We're still waiting for Pia's album to be released because Haley's album has not yet been released. What a silly game for Idol to play.