Jennifer Lopez says 'American Idol' 13 contestants put on stage 'too early'

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jennifer-lopez-ellen-show-american-idol-13.jpg In an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Jennifer Lopez tells Ellen DeGeneres that Season 13's crop of "American Idol" contestants were "thrown to the sharks too early," and that's why the live shows have been so lackluster.

With all due respect to Lopez, who's having her best judging season ever on the show right now, isn't that kind of her fault? She's one of the three judges who chose all the singers competing for the title this year -- if people aren't ready, that's because she, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban put them there without the proper preparation.

"I feel that they're all super-talented kids; I also feel that they were thrown to the sharks too early," she tells DeGeneres. "We went from Hollywood Week right to the main stage, and before we used to have those middle rounds in Vegas and all that and it gave them time to adjust. So I feel like they're really not coming into their own yet."

But the past years didn't have those middle rounds, J.Lo, so that argument doesn't hold water. Perhaps Lopez is trying to soften her image, because most of the judges' critiques this year have been quite harsh.

"It feels like we're beating up on them ... but they do need to step up to the plate," Lopez says. "I feel like now in the next couple of weeks is when they're getting into their comfort zone."

Is J.Lo just doing damage control? All she and her fellow judges have been doing is telling these kids the truth. If they can't take those critiques and use them to turn out some performances to rival past seasons, then they're not working hard enough and they don't deserve to be there.

It does raise the question of whose fault it is that Season 13 has been so boring. The early rounds were exciting, and the talent seemed great, but the live shows -- despite some excellent judging -- have fallen incredibly flat. Has anyone been able to pinpoint why? (That's a serious question. Why is everything so snooze-worthy this year?)

Your suggestions are welcome. What can these kids do to spice things up? Why do you think this season isn't so great (despite what Harry keeps trying to tell us about the best batch of singers since Season 1)?


Photo/Video credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.