American Idol Season 9: 12 finalists revealed

“American Idol” got down from 16 contestants to 12 last night, in effect reaching the “magical” Top 12 final round. From here on out, everyone will perform on one night and the results, with one person being eliminated each week, will be announced the following night. There were a few surprises last night, and probably two that America really got correct. As Seacrest would say, “dim the lights, here we go….”

The show opened with the Top 16 singing their ridiculous weekly group number, this week a Michael Buble song that I’m happy to report I’ve never heard before. Then Ryan announced that next week the contestants will be choosing songs by The Rolling Stones. I’m pretty excited about this….it doesn’t get any more legendary in rock than the Stones, and it should be fun trying to guess who will sing what.

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American Idol: America’s shocking decision?

Last night’s “American Idol” finale proved that while we have endured many crappy performances this season from the likes of KC and the Sunshine band, Lady GaGa, Frida Payne and even Idol judge Paula Abdul, they showed that they always save the best for last. I’d say this was one of the best finales, maybe the best yet. And for me, the outcome didn’t suck either. But more on that in a minute.

Ryan Seacrest announced that almost 100 million votes came in, and a record 624 million votes this season. Then they announced each judge and had little clips of them from this past season, focusing on each of their quirks, which was pretty funny. And I’m still seeing red from Randy’s bow tie. Then Adam Lambert and Kris Allen came out wearing all white…what? And after showing Kris’ fans in his hometown in Conway, Arkansas with host Mikhala Gordon, and Adam’s fans in San Diego with Carly Smithson, it was the first group performance–the final 13 all wearing white (oh now I get it) and singing “So What,” after which exactly one dude in the studio audience stood up and clapped. Does anyone remember Jorge? And poor Scott McIntyre was being pushed and pulled all over the place. Jasmine Murray reminded us of why she was booted off early on in the finals when she soloed….ouch!

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American Idol: Simon can stick it

Last night on FOX’s “American Idol” results show, we learned that Simon Cowell may truly be on crack, as I wrote yesterday, or he may just not know what he’s talking about. Or as he said last night, he had an off night. Either way, he was wrong, and America was right, and I couldn’t feel better about that.

The show began with Ryan Seacrest asking Simon what he thought about Tuesday night’s performances, and Simon said that he watched it back at home and everyone was good, and that it was an open competition. Funny, Simon thought Kris and Allison were pretty awful and he feared that one of them would be going home.

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American Idol: Is Simon on crack?

Never before on “American Idol” have I seen more of an example of Simon Cowell trying to will America to vote a certain way, and last night he was making a case to oust either Kris Allen or Allison Iraheta, while draping unnecessary praise on Matt Giraud and expected praise on Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert. So no, I don’t think he’s on crack, but this big-headed music exec has intentions, and honestly I don’t think they are good or fair intentions. But more on that in a bit. We’re down to the final 5, and the competition is fierce and heated at this stage. Last night the remaining contestants sang crooner type standards, and while having Jamie Foxx be their mentor was sort of an oxymoron, the dude gave everyone excellent advice, something you can’t say for, you know, the Q-man a few weeks ago (yeah, telling Anoop to growl when singing sappy Bryan Adams ballads….that’s money!).

I don’t usually comment on what the judges are wearing, but Paula was wearing this red dress that looked like the man-eating plant from “The Flintstones.” Adam Lambert, you’ve been warned. So here we go, and we’re just going to do this in order since almost everyone was good or very good:

Kris Allen went first, something that is always risky to begin with, and sang a near-flawless version of “The Way You Look Tonight.” Jamie Foxx was blown away in the mentoring session and seems to be pulling for Kris. Okay, this is my boy regardless….but I want to say Kris knocked this thing out of the park. Randy said it was Kris’ best performance to date, Kara said Kris set the bar very high for the other four, Paula said he’s made an amazing transition to a handsome, sophisticated singer, and then Simon burst the bubble by saying Kris wasn’t as good as the other three guys, that he sounded like a well-trained spaniel, that the performance was “wet,” (What????? Even Ryan Seacrest laughed at that), and that it wasn’t incredible and Kris can’t win based on this performance. Damn….could it be any clearer that Simon is trying to push Kris out? I was so pissed that I did something I haven’t done yet this season…I voted.

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American Idol: disco freak show

Last night’s “American Idol” results show was one of the most painful to watch in recent memory, and not just because we had to sit through two eliminations. The medley of performers from the disco era was easily the worst thing this show has ever produced, and something I want to try and forget as soon as I’m done writing this blog.

First, Ryan Seacrest announced that there were 45 million votes Tuesday night, the most this season so far. Yay America. Then they showed the final 7 preparing for their group performance with judge Paula Abdul doing the choreography. They did “Shake Your Body Down To the Ground” with the dancing being pretty good for a change. The pre-recorded vocal tracks weren’t bad either.

Then, on to business. Seacrest had Lil Rounds stand up and then he rambled on about how the show needs her in the competition, blah blah blah. Then he brought her out to the front of the stage, where he told her that she was going home. Nice going Ryan, was that “this show needs you” thing really necessary? Lil sang “I’m Every Woman” again and Paula ranted on about how Lil should have sang like that the night before. Whatever….at this stage of the competition Lil was next in line to go home anyway.

Then came one of the worst 10 minutes in Idol history….a disco medley by aging ’70’s stars Frida Payne, Thelma Houston and KC of KC & The Sunshine Band. Frida sang her only hit, “Band of Gold” and she was stuffed into this gold sparkly dress and has absolutely no vocal ability left, I’m sure of it; then Thelma Houston sang “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and she also looked and sounded old; finally, KC of KC & the Sunshine Band came out and with his giant red shirt and big balding head looked like Tony Soprano, and sang his hit “Get Down Tonight.” Folks, I can’t imagine James Gandolfini doing a worse job than KC did….and dude surely could have used Paula Abdul’s coaching as a dancer too…yikes. And that red shirt….like a popping flash bulb, that image is burned into my eyelids. To make matters worse, this was not a brief medley…..each performer did their entire song, so the whole thing went on for at least 10 minutes…..and each one of them looked like they needed oxygen afterward.

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