Mandi Bierly
April 14, 2010 AT 08:45 PM EDT

Image Credit: Peter Sorel; Michael Becker/FoxJust read an interesting piece by io9’s Annalee Newitz in which she explains why the extreme Twilight hate — by people who’ve never actually seen the movies — has gotten boring. In short, she’s “just sick of hearing everybody trash Twilight for the very things they love in other stories: Impossible romance, epic battles that transcend generations, silly costumes, and growing up superpowered.” She makes good points. Check it out. I bring this up not to start a Twilight debate, but because it made me think of the backlash against the backlash I’ve been experiencing as of late: American Idol‘s Tim Urban.

Yes, it’s been easier to like him the last two weeks as he’s not sucked singing “All My Loving” and  “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” But it really started for me when the judges got mad at him for smiling onstage during their negative criticism. Reasons he could be doing this: a) he’s nervous and some people laugh when they’re uncomfortable, and b) the only way you survive a verbal assault in front of more than 20 million people is by turning it into some kind of out-of-body experience, one that allows you to see the humor in someone struggling to find yet another metaphor that explains how much they hate you. Cementing my backlash against the backlash: Randy Jackson condescendingly saying he was going to judge Urban on his own special scale (“Is it a good Tim performance?”) and the number of times this season the judges have started a positive critique of various contestants with the word “Actually” — as in “Actually, I liked that.” I’m sorry, I thought this was a singing competition, and as the judges, you determined who would be competing. When contestants are colossal failures, as some have been/are this season, I blame you. Not them. As a judge who handpicked the contestants, you should not be surprised when you LIKE someone’s performance, but when you HATE it. So… go, Tim Urban. But please, keep not sucking.

What’s your backlash against the backlash?

Read more: Michael Slezak’s latest American Idol recap

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