American Idol: ships passing in the night

Yeah, “Ships passing in the night” is a weird title for a recap of “American Idol.” But what I mean is, some of the ladies’ performances on Wednesday were incredible or at least really good, while others were worse than last week. Some of the women keep climbing, while others are barely hanging on and risk falling off the ladder entirely tonight. Now that I’ve explained myself, let’s get on to the recap of the performances….

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American Idol: competing with the Olympics

As Fox tries desperately to compete with NBC’s Winter Olympic coverage, they keep unveiling “first time in American Idol history” type stuff, which really is just a small break in format during Hollywood week.
But I’ll give them this…they are getting down to the final 24 quickly. Almost too quickly.

Last night’s two-hour episode began with the final 71 contestants being broken into three rooms. Two rooms would hold those advancing to the next round, and one room full of those heading home. This, after one final shot to impress the judges with a solo performance.

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American Idol: The judges really do have an influence

If you people thought the judges on “American Idol” have less influence now that America is doing the talent evaluation, last night’s results show was proof of just how strong their comments can be. Here is how it went down….

First, there was another group performance of a song I didn’t recognize but Mrs. Mike liked. I think she liked the song and not the delivery, because these group numbers are just bad musical theater. Anyway, it was straight to the results….Lil Round, in the Top 12. That left 11 others dangling and only two chairs to fill. Ryan Seacrest had Arianna, Taylor, Alex, Kendall and Scott all stand up and announced that one of them was in the finals. Uh-oh…by my notes, only Scott really had a chance to make it, with Kendall being a long-shot. So Arianna, Taylor and Alex were all told to sit back down, and it came down to Kendall and Scott. Naturally, it was Scott who made it, and not because he’s a great vocalist, because he’s not. Scott is something like 95% blind, and the judges did this fake drooling over Scott on Tuesday night to ensure that America voted him through. I know this because I’m halfway done reading “Chart Throb” and becoming more and more cynical about how this show works behind the scenes. And I’m getting pissed because I know Felicia or even Kristin deserved that spot more than Scott did.

Then it was Nathaniel and Kristin to stand up and both get the boot together, and then the same with Felicia and Von. Bummer, they were both decent. Finally it was Jorge and Ju’Not. I thought they were both great but that Jorge had an extra special something on Tuesday. We’ll find out what happens after the break….but wait, Ryan Seacrest wasn’t going to break, and there were 20 minutes left in the show….he announced Jorge was going through and Ju’Not was going back to the couch. So there you go….Lil, Scott and Jorge. I’m not upset about Lil and Jorge, but I am upset about Scott. Way to go, judges, you got what you wanted.

Then it was on to the wild card selection, and the judges brought back some of the semi-finalists who were voted off the last two weeks…there would be 8 wild cards who are going to perform tonight for the last three seats in the finals…and since there is no results show tomorrow, I’m guessing that this will totally be the judges’ call, and that scares me. Here’s why….

The judges selected Von Smith first, and while I can understand why, they didn’t select either Kristin or Felicia, and in fact chose no one else from Round 3! The others were Jasmine Murray, who had show such promise but chose an awful song last week….Ricky Braddy, who I thought was amazing in Round 1…Megan, who sang last week and has some appeal but not that much…Tatiana, who, we all know, was picked by the show’s producers to get more amazing footage of her telling us it’s “her dream” and crying and panting and crying some more (sorry, go read “Chart Throb” yourself!)…..Matt Giraud, who has a great voice but butchered Coldplay last week…Jessie Langseth, who has some good qualities but who really shouldn’t be a finalist….and finally, Anoop, and I admit I was pulling for this kid more than anyone.

If the judges really do have the final say tonight, your wild card finalists are going to be Jasmine, Tatiana and Anoop. It doesn’t matter what Von, Ricky, Megan, Matt or Jessie sing or how good they sing it. My cynic meds taste good, and I’m taking them because I hate seeing very good talent go home at the expense of TV ratings. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…see you all tomorrow with the recap!

  

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American Idol: Did you have to pick that song?

Okay, before we get to the recap of last night’s performances on “American Idol,” can I just say, WHAT ARE THESE CONTESTANTS THINKING? It seems like they are choosing the wrong songs with regularity, not understanding the urgency of giving it their best shot while they have the opportunity. It just makes me crazy and I think it makes the judges crazy as well. Last night the performances were less than stellar. In fact, many of them were flat-out awful. But it wasn’t always that maybe the judges mis-calculated and sent the wrong singers through to this round. It was mostly about poor song choice. With that, here were the good, the in-between and the bad from last night, with a prediction for tonight’s results show.

THE GOOD

Alison Iraheta is only 16 and as Simon Cowell correctly pointed out, she looked out of her element when Ryan Seacrest was interviewing her, and then when she took the stage she was a completely different person. This girl has unbelievable vocal ability at such a young age, and last night she sang Heart’s “Alone.” Randy said she “blew it out of the box,” Kara said Alison doesn’t know how good she is, Paula said she was the best so far (she went fifth), and Simon said she was the best so far by a mile. Alison would not have advanced last week, but with the way last night’s semi-finalists performed, she has a great shot now.

Kris Allen is a 23 year old dude from Arkansas, so you wouldn’t expect him to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” would you? I was scared, but dude pulled it off nicely. It was rough at the start but he really nailed it as a whole and could be a dark horse. Kara said she thought it was the wrong song, Paula disagreed and so did Simon, saying Kris showed confidence, and Randy said he did a nice job without his guitar, as he had done before in Hollywood.

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