07:05 AM EDT 04/17/2014

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Idol's Keith Urban: I Don't Ever Want to Humiliate the Contestants | Keith Urban

American Idol

Keith Urban: I Don't Ever Want to Humiliate American Idol Contestants

Originally posted 03/25/2013 08:00PM

Keith Urban agrees with acid-tongued American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine, who said the show's judges need to be tougher.

But the country superstar says being an artist critiquing artists is harder than it looks.

"He is right," says Urban, who sits on the panel alongside Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson. "It is not easy for us a lot of the time because we are just coming from a different place. We're artists talking to a young artist on camera in front of millions of people, trying to give constructive criticism in a way that doesn't humiliate them. I don't ever want to humiliate somebody."

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Ryan-Julianne Split Made You Sad, But Selena Gomez Got You to Laugh | Julianne Hough, Ryan Seacrest

Ryan-Julianne Split Made You Sad, But Selena Gomez Got You to Laugh

Originally posted 03/23/2013 11:45AM

PEOPLE.com readers expressed distinct sadness over the breakup of Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough, while Selena Gomez sparked a healthy dose of schadenfreude by admitting she made former boyfriend Justin Bieber cry.

Here, then, are the stories that sparked the strongest reader reactions this week – what made you happy, sad, laugh out loud, awestruck, even angry. Also, please don't forget to keep clicking on the emoticons at the bottom of every story to tell us what you think.

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Did Lazaro Arbos Survive Idol's Elimination?

American Idol

American Idol: Did Lazaro Arbos Make the Top Eight?

Originally posted 03/21/2013 09:45PM

All season long, the American Idol judges have been saying a girl will win this season. If Thursday night's group numbers were any indication, they are probably right.

The five remaining females did a show-stopping performance of "Here, There and Everywhere" that showcased each of their voices. The four remaining men sang "Got to Get You Into My Life." It was a capable rendition, but strangely reminiscent of the musical numbers from The Love Boat.

Based on Wednesday's performances of Beatles songs, Lazaro Arbos was perhaps in the greatest danger of leaving. The judges and mentor Jimmy Iovine brutally criticized his rendition of "In My Life." But Arbos agreed with their assessment.

"They were right for the most part," he told Ryan Seacrest Thursday. "I have to do songs that I love and that I want to sing." But would he survive America's vote?

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Idol: Tears and Triumph as Top 9 Take On the Beatles

American Idol

American Idol's Top 9 Take On Beatles Songs

Originally posted 03/20/2013 10:45PM

Nine singers are still in the hunt on American Idol – and this week they were faced with the daunting challenge of putting their own spin on a song from the Beatles catalogue.

"If you sing these songs well they will deliver for you," music producer and Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine told the contestants. "If you don't sing them well, the whole world is going to know."

Country crooner Kree Harrison kicked things off with a booming version of "With a Little Help From My Friends," which had the judges trying to outdo each other with praise. "You're all the cool things about country," Keith Urban said. Mariah Carey dubbed Kree's performance "fan-freaking-tastic." And the always fashion-conscious Nicki Minaj had nothing but praise for Kree's suddenly pumped-up style and her unflappable confidence.

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Holly Madison's Baby Name Made Readers LOL

Holly Madison Draws Baby Name Laughs, Demi Moore Sparks Anger over Divorce Terms

Originally posted 03/17/2013 10:00AM

What's on the minds of PEOPLE readers this week? We love seeing your responses to all of our stories, and as always, you weighed in with plenty of angry, sad and LOL feedback.

From the heartfelt adoption news of Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein's, to the surprising make-under of flamboyant Nicki Minaj, to the new look debuted by the oft-troubled Amanda Bynes, see how readers responded – and remember to keep clicking on the emoticons at the bottom of every story to tell us what you think!

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And the First Finalist Voted Off Idol Is ...

American Idol

American Idol Sends Home First Finalist of the Season

Originally posted 03/14/2013 10:00PM

First things first: Nicki Minaj arrived on time for the live taping of Thursday night's American Idol. But as the evening ended, she probably wished she were still stuck on the 405 freeway, because things really didn't go her way. (Spoilers ahead!)

For the first time ever, host Ryan Seacrest told viewers how most of the contestants ranked in the voting – and even gave results on how many of them did in their home states. It was a nice touch: viewers got a clearer picture of who is likely to go the distance, and who needs an influx of votes to stick around. (Idol history time: The week before she was voted off, Jennifer Hudson actually received the most votes. It just goes to show how fortunes can change when decisions are left to the voting public.)

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You've Never Seen Nicki Minaj Like This Before – and She Looks Gorgeous!

You've Never Seen Nicki Minaj Like This Before – and She Looks Gorgeous!

Originally posted 03/14/2013 05:30PM

The wacky star gets a major make-under for Elle

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Filed Under: Nicki Minaj
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Oops! Nicki Minaj Is Late for American Idol | Nicki Minaj

American Idol

Nicki Minaj Arrives Late for Live American Idol Show

Originally posted 03/13/2013 08:40PM

Better late than never!

When American Idol's live performance episode started at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nicki Minaj was nowhere to be seen.

"We are coming to you live and on time," host Ryan Seacrest said, before asking the crowd which top 10 finalist could win this season. After the cheering subsided, Seacrest added, "Keep that energy going for three of your four judges who are here tonight."

Keith Urban, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey were all in their seats. But Minaj, it seems, was stuck in traffic.

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Idol's Top 10 Revealed! | Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

American Idol

American Idol: Top 10 Revealed

Originally posted 03/07/2013 10:00PM

Meet the top 10!

American Idol cut its 20 semifinalists – 10 guys and 10 girls – in half on Thursday – with few, if any, surprises. In the 90-minute show, Seacrest announced the lucky ones in an offstage room and then led them to the stage.

The finalists, named below (guys first), walked through sliding doors to a surprised and adoring crowd to sing an emotional victory song and take in the judges' praise.

Keep reading to find out season 12's top 10:

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Which Tearful Idol Contestant Did Ryan Seacrest Comfort on Stage?

American Idol

American Idol's Top 10 Guys Perform for Votes

Originally posted 03/06/2013 10:50PM

The time finally arrived Wednesday for viewers to weigh in on American Idol's top 10 guys – and they were faced with some big decisions. (Caution: spoilers ahead!)

Kicking off the night was the Bruno Mars-esque 18-year-old Elijah Liu, who immediately sought to seduce the show's key voting bloc.

"I love the ladies," he said, making it clear that he's also "single and available."

And his plan worked like a charm: His performance of Rihanna's "Stay" elicited a chorus of high-pitched shrieks from the audience. It also caused the judges to rave about his marketability.

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