*It was the most drama seen on Fox Wednesday night since Cookie smacked Boo-Boo Kitty.
“American Idol” managed to add viewers last night, but the show remains at a series low in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic – which means very few people saw the live broadcast come to a screeching halt when judge Harry Connick, Jr. called out a contestant for being disrespectful…and the contestant clapped back.
After narrowly escaping the bottom two, finalist Quentin Alexander rocked Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” then used his post-performance interview with Ryan Seacrest to volunteer his opinion of Rayvon Owen and Joey Cook receiving the lowest votes.
“This sucks,” he told Seacrest. “You got two of the best vocalists sitting over there — my best friend is sitting over there. This whole thing is wack.”
After the interview ended, Quentin and his chain-link top walked backstage and was out of frame when Connick Jr. decided he had to say something.
“Quentin, if it’s that wack, you can always go home,” he said. “Idol is paying a lot of money to give you this experience, and for you to say that to the hand that is feeding you right now… is highly disrespectful.”
Quentin – whose hair, facial expressions and outfit channeled Sly Stone, Prince and Isaac Hayes, respectively…
…walked back onstage and trekked all the way into the judge’s landing to give Connick Jr. a face-to-face response.
“For my personal feelings, it sucks to see two people who I have grown to love go home, so that is what I mean by it being wack,” Quentin explained. “So I am not disrespecting this competition.”
The two went back and forth, until Connick Jr. said he understood Quentin’s point and thanked him for clarifying.
Without a hint of warmth, Quentin stared him down and said, “I’m glad that I got to clarify it for you.”
It was an awkward moment, to say the least.
Watch below, beginning at 3:40:
After the show, Connick said of the Quentin showdown: “It’s an emotional thing. I just think you have to remind yourself why you’re here. It is a competition, and I think probably after the fact he realized maybe that wasn’t the best approach but I didn’t take any offense to it and I’m sure he didn’t mean any personal disrespect to anyone.”
Below, fellow judge Jennifer Lopez says contestants need to check their personal emotions at the door:
Joey Cook ended up going home.