Not sure if it is only me, not sure if I just really think the judging panel is sorely lacking since Simon Cowell left, but I feel that AMERICAN IDOL has completely lost its direction and focus. There seems to be no true criticism, only stroking of the contestants. Without true critiques, how will an artist grow and how will the next "American Idol" be able to make it in the "real" recording world if they think they are great just as they are? I think the voting has to be reworked as in my honest opinion, some of the stronger contestants went home way too early and we are left with some really lackluster talent. Would love to hear your thoughts!