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: You want uncomfortable?

Last night’s “American Idol” results show had its moments, but none worse than the last few minutes of the episode. Somebody needs to get a handle on things, and fast, because it’s peoples’ lives they are messing with. More on that in a bit.

First of all, when they introduced the judges last night, Paula Abdul was wearing these latex gloves. Was she going to give Simon a prostate exam after the show? Because that’s surely what it looked like. Call her Paula the Proctologist, or to use a “Seinfeld” term, “Asswoman.”

Then they joked about the theme of the show Tuesday, which had the contestants singing songs from the year in which they were born. They razzed Simon Cowell about how old he was, showing a video of a young Frankie Avalon singing “Venus” from that very year. Then they surprised us all by bringing Frankie out live to sing the same song. Dude looks good, like he probably stopped aging around the time all of the current contestants were born. Anyway, Frankie let us all know that the year was 1959, which means Mr. Cowell is going to be 50 this year. That’s October 7 for all of you celebrity gossip hounds.

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American Idol: How old do you feel?

Last night the Top 8 on “American Idol” sang songs from the year in which they were born, which always is the week I feel very, very old. That was all confirmed when the “oldest” contestant this year, Danny Gokey, went first, and he was born in 1980. Nineteen Freaking Eighty. Not only do I remember that year clearly, I was in high school at that point. Yikes. Anyway, there is a lot to talk about, because I disagreed with the judges on a few occasions, and there were some stellar showings and some pretty horrible ones. Here we go….

THE GOOD

Danny Gokey went first and sang some dude Mickey’s version of the classic “Stand By Me,” and it was pretty good but not at all Danny’s best. Still, what this guy possesses that no one else does is an ability to crank things up during his performance that make him seem otherworldly. He has a gift, and he’s on his way to the Top 5, easily. Randy said he didn’t love the arrangement but loved the performance, Kara said Danny “made the song his own” and I wonder if we can STOP SAYING THAT! Paula said “wow” and that Danny opened the show on a high, and continued to babble the stuff her writer wrote for her to say, to which Simon said, “What the hell are you talking about?” Kudos, Simon. Simon said that overall it was a great performance.
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American Idol goes a little GaGa

Last night’s “American Idol” results show was a bit different than the past two weeks, because there was no mentor working with the contestants, and instead the theme was popular iTunes downloads. That meant guest appearances from #1 artist Lady GaGa and also from last season’s Idol, David Cook.

But first they recapped the previous night’s performances, along with snippets of the judges’ comments. Here was a gem from Paula that I forgot to write about yesterday, when she was draping praise over Adam Lambert: “True genius does not fulfill expectations, true genius shatters expectations.” Ugh. How much did you hire someone to write that for you, Paula?

Then after showing a typical day in the life of the Idol hopefuls, there was a group performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and it wasn’t awful. Scott even got to play the piano instead of wandering around the stage aimlessly and trying not to trip on national TV. And Adam got to do a real scream, not a forced one.

Then, on to business….Ryan Seacrest broke them up into groups of three–Kris, Matt and Megan; Adam, Lil and Allison; and Scott, Danny and Anoop. He asked which of them we thought was the Bottom 3. I knew better…there would be one from each group to make up the bottom. Then David Cook arrived to sing his new single, “Come Back To Me” and was presented with a platinum album. He started tearing up, and for good reason…he told Seacrest that in 2006 he sold 1000 copies of an album he released on his own, and now he sells 1 million copies of his major label debut in 3 months, thanks to the power of the show. Damn.

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