American Idol: A warning shot fired to next round of semi-finalists

And that warning shot is “DON’T UNDERESTIMATE SONG CHOICE!” Last night on the results show on Fox’s “American Idol,” it was painfully clear to some contestants who chose the wrong song to sing Wednesday night, and as a result one or two made it through to the finals that may not have otherwise. The recurring theme on Wednesday was, “I hope America gives me another chance.” Well, you have to treat every chance like it’s your last, so let that be a warning to next week’s 12 semi-finalists.

So anyway, there were results last night after some banter between host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell. Then there was a look back at the journey of the 12 that sang Wednesday as well as a ridiculous group performance. Then the first three were brought out…Allison, Jessie and Matt B. Matt was asked if he regrets disagreeing with Simon disagreeing with his song choice, and he said he didn’t. Yeah, okay. Allison made it, Jessie and Matt didn’t.

The next group was Megan, Kris, Matt G and Jeannine. Matt G and Jeannine were sent packing, and it was between Megan and Kris. Megan I thought might have a shot but she really didn’t do very welll Wednesday, while Kris did a nice job with Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” and odd choice but a good job nonetheless. Kris made it through, Megan did not.

Then there was a retrospective of the 7 previous seasons….good lord, they really can cut this to 30 minutes if they wanted to. Then last season’s finalist Brooke White sang her new single, and I have to say, it really wasn’t very good. Sorry Brooke, I like you but I didn’t like what I heard last night.

Then the remaining five came out…Mishavonna, Kai, Nick (Norman), Adam and Jasmine. Mishavonna, Kai and Jasmine all sent home, and may I add all a victim of poor song choice.
So it was down to Nick and Adam. The showman or the dude with the theater background and heavy metal voice. Adam made it and Simon breathed a sigh of relief. As they did last week, each new finalist sang their way onto the thrones set up for them and there was no Tatiana-like melting down of those who didn’t make it, some of them still hopeful they will be wild cards.

So there are now six finalists, half the field….Danny, Alexis, Michael, Adam, Allison and Kris. No real surprises last week, but you might say all of last night’s winners were borderline choices. We’ll see you all next week….and I hope you semi-finalists are studying carefully that you need to pick the absolute right song. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  

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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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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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