Don’t knock “American Idol” in front of Season 14 judge Harry Connick Jr. During Wednesday night’s episode, the judge went back and forth with contestant Quentin Alexander after he called the bottom two results “wack.”
It all started after Alexander’s lackluster performance of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” He got some criticism from the judges, particularly Connick, and looked visibly upset afterward. Host Ryan Seacrest took the opportunity to ask the contestant why he seemed to be fuming.
"This sucks. My best friend is sitting over there,” Alexander said. “This whole thing is wack. But I'm gonna shut up now."
Alexander was referring to his competitors, Rayvon Owen and “best friend” Joey Cook, sitting in the bottom two seats on the side of the stage. Seacrest announced earlier in the show that one of the two didn’t receive enough votes to advance to the next round.
"In that moment, I was just being honest. I felt genuine emotion, and it came out," Alexander told People magazine about the incident.
Honest or not, Connick was not about to let those comments slide. He began saying to his fellow judges that he didn’t understand how Alexander could make those comments. When Seacrest informed him that they were not on a commercial break as he'd thought, the singer had no choice but to keep going and make his feelings public.
“If it's wack, you can always go home," Connick, 47, told Alexander. "'Idol' is paying a lot of money to give you this experience, and for you to say that to the hand that’s feeding you right now is highly disrespectful."
And that wasn't even the most awkward moment. The scene became even more cringeworthy when Alexander, who had left the stage moments prior, stormed back out and walked right up to the judges’ table to clarify his comments.
"When I was saying ‘this is wack,’ I wasn't saying this is wack," he said, gesturing to the whole stage. "That is wack," pointing to Cook and Owen.
“What’s wack? It’s a competition,” an undeterred Connick replied.
“For my personal feelings, it sucks to see two people who I’ve grown to love go home. That’s what I mean is wack. I’m not disrespecting this competition.”
“That wasn’t clear.”
“I’m glad I got to clarify it for you.”
With that, Seacrest ushered Alexander back off stage once again and the night continued with tension lingering in the air.
"This is a reality TV show. People watch for the reality of it, and there are moments where life is not all rainbows and kittens," the contestant told People. "We all just have to remember to be honest with ourselves. And in that moment, I was being honest."
In the end, his best friend, Cook, ended up going home and Alexander moved on with Owen to the Season 14 Top 6. Check out the uncomfortable moment in the video below.