American Idol: how do you choose?

I told Mrs. Mike last night that the episode of “American Idol” that ended as she arrived home was the best episode of the show I’ve ever seen. And I mean the talent was all good…so good that trying to figure out who might go home was a major chore. Like J-Lo said, the voters are going to have to just pick their favorite and see where the chips fall. And I guess I can throw a few names out there but it’s going to be difficult. Here is how it all went down….

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American Idol: what a field of 13

Well, almost. Randy Jackson made reference to the fact that, “Hey, these 13 are here because we picked them.” And he would be correct. I think this is one of the best jobs of judging to get us a field of great singers to choose from ever on “American Idol.” And I credit the exit of Simon Cowell for that. I loved the guy, but he always had that “who can be a star?” question in his head rather than judging who the best vocalists were. This batch of judges is looking for that best singer first and foremost. Which brings us to last night’s performances. The Top 13 chose songs by their own idols, and had the help of Jimmy Iovine and producers such as Don Was to help them with arrangements. Some of them were beyond good, even beyond great. A few were just okay, and just okay in this field will get you sent home fast. Let’s go to the videotape, as it were…..

THE REALLY, REALLY GOOD
Casey Abrams sang Joe Cocker’s version of “A Little Help From My Friends,” and this guy is tailor made to take on Cocker’s music. But he took it up a notch, and showed why he is already a strong contender to win this thing. J-Lo said at one point, she grabbed Randy and said “Wow,” Randy said he’s always excited to watch Casey sing and that it was unbelievable, and Steven said Casey is a “rainbow of talent.” Indeed.

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American Idol: live TV can be painful to watch

Last night on “American Idol’s” results show, there was more proof that live TV can be awkward and extremely difficult to watch at times. Reality TV is sometimes too much of a reality check.
But more on that in a minute.

After the recap, a Motown medley and the obligatory Ford video (I confess to reading the sports page during all of this), Season 2 champ Ruben Studdard peformed his new single, “Together.” And judging by how big dude is, I think he may have been singing about his relationship with a cheeseburger. But that’s okay, because after the song as he was talking to Ryan Seacrest, Ruben lost about 10 pounds of sweat. Ewwwww.

On to the results. Adam Lambert, safe. Matt Giraud, bottom 3. Yikes…what the hell was America thinking? Admittedly, I didn’t think singing Marvin Gaye was smart, but Matt did a decent job with the song. Kris Allen and Lil Rounds, both safe. Michael Sarver, bottom 3.

Then came a creepy duet for the second straight week….Smokey Robinson and the hot and much younger Joss Stone. They sang “You’re the One For Me” and if you thought Randy Travis ogling Carrie Underwood was creepy, go watch this one again.

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American Idol: Motown week challenges top 10

“American Idol” just gets more full of itself. From the way they that “Tell them what they’ve won, Don Pardo” announcer that brings out the judges and perpetually peppy Ryan Seacrest, to Simon drawing a mustache on Paula and laughing so much that he can’t deliver a fair critique of Allison. Just get over yourselves, people! It’s about the singers, or at least should be.

What follows is a recap of last night’s Motown performances, with the great Smokey Robinson coaching the finalists, and the great Berry Gordy in attendance. Keep in mind these are grouped into the good, in-between and bad based on my opinion, not the judges.

THE REALLY GOOD

Allison Iraheta was in the pimp spot last night, and she hit a long fly ball that would have cleared two baseball fields. She sang “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and I think we all keep forgetting Allison is just 16, because she has ridiculous pipes, and shows almost no signs of being nervous. Randy said it was “blazing hot,” Kara said “wow,” Paula said she looked fantastic and sounded awesome, through her Crayola mustache, and Simon said, through giggles, that it was one of Allison’s best performances yet. No, it WAS her best Simon…you were too busy acting like a 5 year old to notice. How in the world was Allison in the bottom 3 last week? Well, she shouldn’t be tonight.

THE PRETTY GOOD

Matt Giraud took on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Look, this is the exact song I was quoted in a Fox News article on, saying that no Idol hopeful should attempt it. But Matt actually did the song justice. I kept thinking he is no Marvin Gaye, but he did the best he could. Randy said it was challenging but that Matt did a nice job, Kara said she thinks all the girls watching liked it and that Matt is coming out of his shell, Paula said it was a nice job and Simon said it was a brilliant choice and a cool performance. Considering Matt went first, that’s pretty damn good.

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