American Idol: not a huge shock this week

Last week the collective viewership gasped when Pia Toscano was cut from “American Idol,” but it wasn’t quite that way this time. The results show began last night with Scotty and Lauren doing a duet of Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey.” It was really pretty good. Then there was the behind the scenes of the zombie themed Ford video, and then the video, which was mildly amusing. After that, Haley and Casey growled through a jazz tune called “Moanin’.” That wasn’t bad either.

Finally, some results. Lauren, Scotty, Casey and Haley–the first three all safe, Haley in the Bottom 3. Then they showed Rob Reiner coaching them all this past week. Really? Rob Reiner? After that Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean did their new single, “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” and that was really good too! Hey, not a bad results show.

Then Paul, Stefano, James and Jacob did a medley of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Talk about a group of four that don’t belong together. Yikes. Not a great performance either. Time for results. James and Jacob, safe. Stefano and Paul, both in the Bottom 3. Then Rihanna sang her new single, “California King Bed.” Man, that was good too! A catchy song, with NO auto-tune. Imagine that. It was actually a really good pop/rock tune.

Then it was time for the results. Haley, safe. So down to Stefano and Paul. Going home…Paul McDonald. He went first on Wednesday and gave a lukewarm performance, while Stefano had one of his best yet. So that’s it. We’re now down to seven, and Paul was the first guy eliminated in the finals, which was quite interesting.

We’re getting closer and closer, and the talent pool is still very thick this season. Let’s see what happens next week, but I think Haley and Stefano should definitely be next to go. See you all next week…

  

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American Idol: awkward and head-scratching

Last night “American Idol” Season 8 on FOX kicked into high gear with 12 of the final 36 contestants performing in front of 25 million TV viewers, a live audience, the four celebrity judges and Ryan Seacrest. And since it’s the eighth season, we can forgive them for a few awkward moments and some bad technical issues, right? Wrong! Okay, it’s live TV and most of these singers have never performed on a stage of this magnitude, so it’s okay if some of them stumble on their words when Seacrest sticks a microphone in their face. But there were some bad sound problems, and even a moment where a video montage of the wrong contestant forced Seacrest to improvise. He does that really well, but he shouldn’t have to. I have a feeling someone is getting fired today, or slapped with a written warning.

Anyway, things are different this season since they added a fourth judge–Kara DioGuardi. This was inevitably going to make the comments from the panel take even more time. Also, of the twelve performing each of the first three Tuesdays of live shooting, only three make it through to the finals–one guy, one girl, and the next highest vote getter. What does this mean? It means you have to be damn good the first time out and you have to pick the right song, something the contestants of Idol seem to mess up with stunning regularity. After each one sang, we’d get about five minutes of judging banter and then an interview with each contestants’ parents and/or spouse as soon as they came off stage. Whoever came up with this idea is likely being handed a pink slip now as well. Damn, I feel like Donald Trump today. Anyway, it was really awkward, especially for those who performed horribly…and there were a few of those.

Here is how it went down, broken down by the good performances, the in-between and the bad, as we have done before in this space.

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