American Idol‘s Charlie Askew is just 17 — and, unlike most teenagers, his most vulnerable moments are aired live on television, immediately followed by criticism from famous people.
This morning, the blogosphere is buzzing about Charlie Askew’s mini-meltdown Wednesday night after what was deemed by judges to be a not-optimal performance of the Genesis track “Mama” on the high-stakes karaoke contest.
Many tuned in to watch last night’s performances, and Askew’s was not entirely well received by hosts Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj, and some of those judging laughed at the teen’s rendition as he “screeched” through the song with “grungy” hair and a disheveled look.
Urban deemed Charlie Askew’s Wednesday efforts to be inauthentic, saying the performance “feels not fully genuine,” and that it “just feels disingenuous a little bit.” Askew was crestfallen.
Minaj was a bit harsher, saying that during the teen’s last appearance, she “wanted to cradle [him] in [her] arms,” harskly adding, “this time… not so much.” Ouch.
The “Roman’s Revenge” rapper then tore into Charlie’s appearance, and the teen tears up as Minaj asks “where’s my little baby at?” before continuing, “I don’t want to see your arms, I don’t want you working out… Charlie, I don’t want to see that ponytail… I don’t want to see that earring… Lose the mustache immediately, honey!… Charlie, seriously, babe, I want my cute, cuddly Charlie back.”
After the poor reception, Askew talked to Ryan Seacrest, where he had a mini-meltdown of sorts, defending his choice of song as well as how he performed it.
When Seacrest asked Charlie what went wrong, the teen explained that he “needed to vent a bit,” and added that the “message [he] was really trying to send is that a lot of people think [Askew is] a happy buoyant person a lot of the time and the only reason [he smiles] so much is [because he has to on American Idol.]”
Ryan comforted Askew, saying Idol appreciates the teen’s “courage” and “honesty,” and added that “there’s nothing easy about having those feelings inside and standing up here and having to do that tonight.”
Do you think Charlie Askew’s Idol meltdown was due to overly harsh criticism from Minaj and Urban?