American Idol: baker’s dozen perform

Last night began the finals of “American Idol” and Fox beefed things up by having the judges and host Ryan Seacrest come out onto the stage in grand fashion. It was really self-indulgent and hideous, to use a couple of Simon Cowell terms. I mean, was that really necessary? Then the judges wielded their mighty power a bit with some of the contestants, and they said there will be a rules change they will announce tonight as well that will also involve the judges. That scares me, because they already have too much influence on the outcome and are already anointing winners. Anyway, here were the good, bad and in-between from last night, with the theme being songs of Michael Jackson, and keep in mind that these are my opinions and not that of the judges:

THE GOOD

Lil Rounds kicked things off last night, and that’s always a tough position to be in. But Lil sang “The Way You Make Me Feel” and while it wasn’t her best performance, it was good enough to be better than most of the other finalists. Randy said it was a great way to kick things off, Kara said Lil scared everyone with that performance, Paula said Lil looked great and is a force, and Siomon said he did not like her outfit and that he was a bit disappointed with the performance but that it was still very good.

Danny Gokey sang “PYT (Pretty Young Thing” and dude just showed why he is in the finals yet again. This guy can sing anything, and despite some awkward dance moves that he admitted to just being natural, Danny’s voice will carry him far. Paula said Danny has a gift and is on his way to the “finals”…um, isn’t he there already?…..Simon said Danny has brilliant vocals but that the dancing was hideous, Randy said “you got IT” and that he’s passionate, and Kara said Danny has such joy when he’s on stage.

Kris Allen sang “Remember the Time” with his guitar in hand, and not only was it a super cool version, but Kris just knocked it out of the park, in my humble opinion. They showed a clip of his wife before he started and Simon didn’t think this was a good idea, because it might take away from the female voters. Kara said girls are going to love Kris, Paula said he was engaging, adorable and sexy, Simon said the vocals were just okay but that Kris is likeable, and Randy said it was “kinda cool.” I don’t think they gave the kid enough credit, I really don’t.

Jorge Nunez sang “Never Can Say Goodbye” and while it wasn’t his best (see Lil Rounds above), this guy definitely has some real raw talent. Randy said it was a weird choice and old-fashioned and pitchy, Kara said Jorge didn’t connect with the audience, Paula said Jorge was not himself, and Simon made a hilarious spontaneous joke….Jorge said he chose that song because he didn’t want to sing “Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad'”…Simon said, “well, you DID!” Simon then added that it was corny and an awful arrangement. I disagree!

Alexis Grace went last and sang “Dirty Diana.” I know Alexis is 23 but maybe it’s that she looks so young and is a tiny little girl, but I don’t want her to be a sex symbol. I feel like the big brother who wants to protect her. Is that wrong? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because Alexis is an amazing singer and proved why she is here too. Kara said Alexis looks happy and was a bit naughty but that she liked that side of her, Paula said it was fantastic, Simon said it was a bit over the top and not great, and Randy said it wasn’t great, but he liked Alexis’ attitude.

THE IN-BETWEEN

Scott McIntyre sang an obscure song called “Keep The Faith” and got behind the piano where he is most comfortable. It wasn’t bad but was a bit weird and disconnected. Kara said she is glad he played piano but it was an odd song choice and not very dynamic, Paula said it was magical, Simon said he hated the song choice, and Randy said he dug the song but that it was a bit safe.

Michael Sarver sang “You Are Not Alone” and for me it was kind of bland. But the judges loved it. Simon said Michael is not the best singer in this competition but that he is passionate, Randy said he likes Michael’s R&B swagger, Kara said Michael can sing, and Paula said Michael is very likeable and a regular guy with extraordinary talent.

Jasmine Murray sang an oldie called “I’ll Be There” and did a pretty nice job with it. Definitely better than her semi-final performance. Randy said it was a pretty good job, Kara said Jasmine did a good job with a tough song, Paula said Jasmine looked poised, and Simon said it was a good attempt but a bit robotic.

Allison Iraheta sang “Give It To Me” and did a rocking, Heart-style version of it. It was a bit weird considering this girl is just 16, but man, can she sing. Paula said it’s mind-boggling what Allison can do at her age, Simon said it was a good performance, Randy said “you got it” and Kara said Allison is distinguishing herself as the rocker of the bunch.

Adam Lambert sang “Black or White” and did his signature emoting complete with heavy metal screams. I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Why are the judges drooling like this???? Paula said Adam was a natural and did everything but ask him into her bedroom, Simon said Adam is in a different league than everyone else, Randy said he’s current, and Kara said it was great that he could hit those high notes. Blah blah blah, can you guys kiss his ass any more?

Matt Giraud sang “Human Nature” and also got behind the piano. The difference between he and Scott though, is that Matt has some amazing vocal ability. Still, this wasn’t his best. Randy said it was a good performance, Kara said Matt is very talented, Paula said he’s talented and sexy, and Simon said it was very good. I put Matt here only because he didn’t measure up to some of the really good performances last night.

THE BAD

Okay, Anoop Desai was not awful last night, but this is maybe the best Top 12 or 13 they have ever had. Anoop sang “Beat It” and it was really kind of boring and disappointing. Paula said it was a bit karaoke, Simon said it was horrible, Randy said it was the wrong choice and also use the K-word, and Kara said we didn’t get to see Anoop’s vocal chops. Anoop pleaded that he would do better next week, but I don’t think he makes it.

Megan Joy Corkrey, let’s face it, is very pretty. But she is not a musical artist looking to bust out. I mean, she is just not talented enough. She sang “Rockin’ Robin” and it wasn’t awful but just not as good as everyone else. Kara said she likes the signature Megan puts on everything but that it wasn’t overwhelming, Paula said she loves the quirky quality about her, Simon said it was a “stupid choice” and “not good,” and Randy said it was not a great choice.

Okay, there is a tough choice ahead…..two of those who performed last night will be heading home for good….no more wild cards. I think Anoop and Megan are the two who should go home, and based on the fact that they were both wild cards, it kind of makes sense. But I’m not sure Michael, Matt or Allison aren’t also biting their nails tonight. We’ll see what happens. And I am going to be mad if the judges give themselves more power, because if that’s the case Adam is already going to be your next American Idol, and he doesn’t deserve all the praise he’s getting from them. Hey Paula, SHUT UP.

Okay, I’ve said what I needed to….who did you all vote for? And what do you think is going to happen? We’ll find out, after the break….

  

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