Contestant Quentin Alexander sparked the ire of judge Harry Connick Jr. after calling the competition "wack"
Seacrest, 40, did his best to diffuse the situation before sending Alexander backstage, but judge Harry Connick Jr. felt the need to address Alexander’s comments.
“Did we go to commercial?” Connick Jr., 47, asked Seacrest before calling Alexander’s “wack” comment “disrespectful.”
“When I said that ‘This is wack’ I wasn’t saying ‘[Idol] is wack,’ ” Alexander approached the judges’s table and explained.
“Yeah, yeah. I get it,” judge Keith Urban said in support of Alexander.
But Connick Jr. was still not appeased.
“What’s wack?” he asked. “It’s a competition.”
“For my personal feelings, it sucks to see two people who I’ve grown to love go home. That’s what I mean by it being wack. So I’m not disrespecting this competition,” Alexander responded, eliciting cheers and applause from the audience.
“By the way, we support you and a lot of people love you and let’s get you some votes,” Seacrest said, once again breaking the thick tension in the room and sending Alexander backstage.
After Cook took to the stage to sing “My Funny Valentine”, she discussed her friendship with Alexander.
“That s my best friend,” she said. “He’s marrying me and [my fiancé] Evan. He’s marrying us. We’re going to make him about 13 ft. tall. That s the plan.”
After Alexander performed his second song of the night (Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”), judge Jennifer Lopez weighed in on the drama.
“I feel that you’re in a little bit of a sensitive mood. I understand that this is a lot of pressure. That is part of being an artist. We have to get out in front of people. We have to control our emotions,” she told Alexander. “I know that inside you have a good heart. You displayed something earlier that kind of threw everybody. It was against what I know of you and I just want to say all of that you need to be an artist, you do but you also know how to control it and always put your heart out there first.”
Connick Jr. and Urban did not make mention of the earlier tension but after they gave their critiques, Alexander asked to be allowed to make a statement.
“I just wanted to say that it wasn’t my intention to disrespect anyone,” he said. “It was just a matter of my opinion. I can’t help the way I feel.”
“I actually thought you were going to go hit [Harry],” said Seacrest.
“I was raised way better than that,” Alexander responded.
But despite Alexander’s displeasure, one contestant still had to be eliminated at the end of the night.
Cook and Rayvon Owen sang for their lives but in the end, with 52 percent of the live Twitter save vote, Rayvon was saved.
American Idol airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.