Credit: Michael Becker/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: Charlie Askew Performs in American Idol 2013 Guys Semi-Finals

American Idol ratings may have been in a freefall all season, but anyone who watched knows Season 12 still had some pretty fantastic moments. Once it got down to the Top 5, the talent was through the roof. Even the group performances were generally less cringe-worthy than other seasons.

Let’s face it, though — there were a more than a few stinker moments to contend with as well. We weigh in on the five worst moments of
American Idol season 12! What were yours?

1. Charlie Askew’s emotional breakdown on stage — You likely remember where you were when Reagan was shot (if you were alive then!), and you probably remember that very moment when you thought Charlie might melt into a giant puddle on the Idol stage. It was (surprisingly) the first time the American Idol judges really let Charlie have it when it came to his critique after a particularly horrendous performance of Genesis’ “Mama.” 

Credit: FOX Photo: Watch Charlie Askew Sing “Mama” in American Idol 2013 Guys Semi-Finals

Not only that, but he shocked everyone with his combination masculine/emo outfit that included a revealing tank top, a long, feather earring, and his hair in a ponytail. The judges unleashed the fury, and Nicki Minaj gave him the ole “I’m disappointed” act, saying, “Where’s my little baby at, Charlie? I feel like someone stole my kid.” His lip began to quiver, and he said, “The only reason I smile so much is because I feel like I have to.” All of a sudden, the situation went from funny to frightening, and you couldn’t help but feel sad if not a little scared for this poor, young man!

2. There were a few uncomfortable Paul Jolley moments, one of them being when he hit the stage during Hollywood Week with a boatload of excuses for why he might not be at his best. Nicki cut him off at the knees, asking him for one minute of professionalism. 

Credit: FOX Photo: Paul Jolly Sings "Blown Away" in American Idol 2013 Hollywood Week, Round 2 (VIDEO)

But the worst of all was this Nicki/Paul exchange later on in the competition:

Nicki: Paul, are you jolley?
Paul: Yes, I am. (smiling)
Nicki: crickets
Paul: I’m “jolley” all the time.

Some thought this convo had a double meaning, with Nicki trying to ask him if he was gay. Either way, it made us die a little inside.

3. ForgettingLyrics-Gate — Lazaro Arbos became as well known for forgetting his lyrics as his signature pink bowtie. No one can deny, though, that the worst example of this was during that absolutely botched group number of “I Can’t Help Myself” with Laz, Burnell Taylor, and Devin Velez. Nicki was so put off by the whole thing, she yelled, “Lazaro, you fell as flat as a pancake. All three of y’all go. Get off the stage!” Not wanting to take the fall, Burnell said, “I did what I was supposed to do.” So much for that “all for one and one for all” stuff, Burnie!


Credit: FOX Photo: Watch Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor, and Devin Velez Sing “I Can’t Help Myself” in Season 12 Top 8

4. Mariah Carey Lip Synch-Gate — Yes, we can put “gate” after anything to make it look like a scandal, and scandalous is the only way to describe Mariah Carey’s finale medley. Didn’t she learn anything from Beyonce? While we think Mimi’s music is amazing, we would have appreciated a live performance by the American Idol judge. Okay, okay, her rep says that technically she did sing live... to a pre-recordedtrack. Um, okay then, that makes it all better, right? As long as you are singing live over yourself singing on tape, then that is just as good apparently.

Credit: FOX Photo: Mariah Carey Performs Greatest Hits Medley on American Idol 2013 Finale Results

5. Ryan Seacrest’s faux pas with Amber Holcomb’s mom — Okay, we were shocked we didn’t see much about this online. Were we the only ones who wanted to crawl under the furniture when Seacrest played that video footage of Amber’s step-mom reacting wildly to Amber getting the golden ticket, asking her mom about that moment? Uh, Ryan, that’s not Amber’s mom. Dude, awkward. Just super awkward. Someone in the editing room must have a beef with Ryan, too, as that clip ended up in the finale.

What do you think of our “worst moments”? What do you think were the worst moments on season 12 of American Idol?