American Idol: Shtick sells

Last night on “American Idol,” Simon Cowell made my blood boil just a little. As he sat in one of four judges’ thrones in a judges’ “mansion,” he consistenly made reference to the fact that various contestants were not good-looking enough to make it as musical artists, or more to the point, to win Season 8 of “American Idol.” Mrs. Mike pointed out that Cowell is looking for the total package of looks, talent and the ability to sell millions of records. But this is also what has been wrong with the music industry for at least a decade now–that it passes on less pretty but more talented artists for pretty ones that they think they can teach to sing. Look, I’m not saying Cowell hasn’t been successful with that formula, but sometimes you can’t ignore amazing talent because you can’t picture their face on a magazine cover. Okay, I’m done ranting, on to the results at the Hollywood mansion…

I don’t know how many contestants made it this far, but only 36 are going on to the round in which America votes. This year will be different from than previous seasons, as 12 at a time will perform, and 3 of those will move on while 9 go home, with the judges selecting three wild cards to round out the final 12. So as they do every year at this point, the remaining hopefuls have to face the judges, but the scene is in a mansion this year. Is this someone’s house? Anyway, a handful of these contestants had to “sing for their lives” against one another, which was extremely uncomfortable for everyone. Here are the results, for real this time…


Cody Sheldon, who lost in a sing-off to his buddy Alex….TK Hash, and some white dude named Reggi….which reminds me, I didn’t see any auditions of some of these folks…Jen Korbee, who lost in a sing-off with Kristen McNamara, but not before Simon ranted that Jen was so much better looking and he didn’t agree with the other three judges. I’m not sure what’s wrong with Simon’s eyes though, because Kristen isn’t exactly Ugly Betty either….Felicia Barton, Devon Baldwin (stop me if you’ve seen these folks sing, because I haven’t)….Frankie Jordan, who had to sing against Jessie Langseth, was sent home to be with her new baby, and that’s probably a good thing….a dude named Jackie lost to Nathaniel Marshall, and let’s face it, Nathaniel is a volatile ratings darling, and Jackie is a plain dude who has a great voice….also, Danny Gokey’s buddy Jamar did not make it through, and I was okay with this until I realized some of the others that they let through.


Anoop Desai, the nerdy looking Indian dude, just has an incredible voice and can’t be ignored….Von Smith, who has a shouty voice and probably won’t go far….Adam Lambert, who also has a shouty voice and actually sang a Cher song to get this far….Jasmine Murray, who survived being in a crappy group……Stevie Wright, the 16 year old girl with great pipes….Joanna Pacitti, who has had two record deals but forgot the words in almost EVERY audition to this point, and I’m sorry, this one really makes me shake my head. I don’t think she’s even that great a singer….Alexis Grace, the young mom from Memphis…Scott MacIntyre, the legally blind guy, who in my opinion has a good voice but not great….Lil Rounds, who I’m pegging right now for final 12…..Danny Gokey, who though he is bummed about his buddy Jamar, has top 12 potential as well….Matt, the dueling piano player guy…Ju’Not, Jorge, Brent…..sorry, they were blazing through them at this point……Steven Fowler, who despite having a really bad performance the last day in Hollywood, just has too good of a voice to ignore…..Nick Mitchell, a.k.a. Norman Gentle, made it through a) because he can sing and b) because the producers didn’t want to see him leave….same with psycho Tatiana….Kai Kalama, the dude who takes care of his mom full-time…Anne Marie…Kris Allen…who?….and finally, both Matt the welder and Michael the oil rig worker, had to sing against each other. Simon made reference to the fact that neither will win this thing, again based on the fact that they are both almost 30 and big, burly men. Thing is, both have incredible vocal ability, and in the end, both made it to the final 36.

Whew….they squeezed that into 2 hours last night, but still, I’m kind of annoyed that I still don’t know all 36 of these contestants. I guess we’ll get to know them in the next few weeks, though. And maybe America will vote off the shtick like Norman and Tatiana. We can only hope so, right? Okay, time for you all to play music industry exec and ring up enough votes to make Ryan Seacrest proud. See you all next week…


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