Thursday, February 12, 2009

American Idol 8: Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Last night marked the end of Hollywood Week, and the end of the line for several of the AI hopefuls. There were plenty of tears, screams, and dramatic scenes – and that was just Nathaniel Marshall and Tatiana Del Toro.

Ryan announced, "Over the next two hours, there will be disappointment." Seacrest doesn't lie.

Idol must be feeling the economic crisis just like the rest of us, otherwise you’d think they could’ve hired a good editor to cut this into a one-hour show. Or, better yet, a 10-minute segment tacked on at the end of Tuesday night’s show.

Of course, that’s a joke. The producers of American Idol understand financial hardship about as well as they understand good music. And, since they’ve spent enough time demonstrating their lack of knowledge of the latter, they decided to flaunt their oblivion of the former with a big-ticket purchase. They done gone and bought themselves a big ol’ mansion for no reason at all! Yeah! It’s Hammer Time!

I remember the good old days of the final cuts, when the contestants hung out in the theater’s holding room and only had to take a quick elevator ride upstairs to the judges’ chamber to find out their fates. But 50+ people riding an elevator up and down just doesn’t suck up enough time, thus the mansion. When kids have to follow a convoluted path through the sprawling estate to get to the decision room, a whole extra hour of air time and another gazillion dollars in ad revenue is generated!!

Jeeves Seacrest gave us a little tour of the grounds, and explained that the contestants now have to walk out of the holding room, through the garden, and into the judges’ fancy parlor. Sheesh. It was like a damn Dora the Explorer episode. Holding parlor. Say it with me! Muy bien! Where's the map?

Most of the episode was just a revolving door of Idol contestants walking in the room, sitting down, and waiting for an obvious answer while pretending that they were buying the judges' attempts to psych them out. Like, did either Adam Lambert or Kendall Beard really think they might be going home? Certainly, no one watching with half a brain thought so. They had waaaay too much face time throughout the auditions, which means they were both givens. But the judges still had to play their adolescent games. Simon delivered Adam's vote with, "It's not good's GREAT news." Paula tried to kick it up a notch with Kendall, by telling her, "The answer isn't's FANTASTIC!" Gag. I was half expecting Kara to tell Danny Gokey, "You're not are DIVINE! You are a god and we shall worship you as such. May I wash your hair with my feet? Which of the cast-offs would you like us to offer up as a sacrifice?"

Danny was none too pleased with the sacrificial lamb when it turned out to be his best bud, Jamar Rogers. They put the man in bromance with tough-and-tender hugs, mouthed I-love-yous, and longing looks into each other's eyes. Everyone acted shocked as shit that Jamar was cut, as if he was the best singer there. I don't get it. Everyone should have seen this coming. First of all, the guy croaked like a frog. Secondly, Jamar was just riding Danny's sob story coattails. No one really wants to hang out with a Very Special Contestant's BFF. Unless Scott McIntyre's best friend was that hot blonde dude leading him around at his first audition. Then we need more of him, for sure.

Speaking of Scott, he made it through. Even he saw it coming. (Please don't send me to Hell for that.) Then Kara said something about his relationship with his instrument. Good ol' Kara DioEntendre.

Another non-shocker was the judges' decision to keep Joanna Pacitti, even though she never met a lyric she didn't want to forget. Kara read from the script, reminding the young plant about her Broadway shows and record deals, yadda yadda, and then asked when it would be "her time." Simon answered for Joanna by saying, "When someone gives her a break." Oh, give ME a break! This girl's had more breaks than Kurtis Blow. But AI gave her another one, only to take it away. If you haven't read my earlier post, the controversy over her had threatened to kill Idol for good, so she's since been disqualified.

The show went on much like this for most of the two hours, with people we know getting a yes, and people we don't getting a no. However, they did add a little twist this year with the "sing-offs."

The judges brought the "maybe" contestants in by twos (I hope this isn't a sign that the next great flood is coming) and had them "sing for their survival" right there.

The first match-up was between Danny Noriega wannabe, Cody Shelton, and this year's nerd, Adam Wagner-Trugman. Alex sang much better than Cody, so imagine my surprise when he actually got to stay! Cody and Adam apparently became good friends during Hollywood week, so they stood around and moaned in muffled tones about how unfair the whole thing was. Ryan basked in the afterglow of the sing-off by repeatedly asking the boys, "It's uncomfortable, isn't it? Huh? Isn't it? Huh? Huh? Uncomfortable, huh? Isn't it? Huh? Huh? Huh? Yeah!" Cody made his exit by telling everyone in the holding room that they were the best friends he ever had. So, I'm guessing his longest friendship pre-Idol was like, what, 2 1/2 days? And probably with a hamster.

Jenn Korbee, a pretty blonde girl with a really hot husband, had to face off against Kristen McNamara. They both had freakishly big mouths, but that's pretty much all they had in common. Jenn was a much better singer and, even though Kristen sang a snippet of "I-Eeee-I Will Always Love You-ooooo" much better than I would've imagined, I still haven't forgiven her for destroying "Because of You" on Tuesday. The judges' deliberation was pretty funny, because Simon had no qualms about calling Kristen out as a total hag. He asked Kara, "Do you want to put the attractive blonde through or...the other one?" This led to another mini-bitch session between the boys and girls until Jenn and Kristen were both brought back in. They told Jenn she was beautiful. They told Kristen she was kind of a mess with an identity crisis. So, it only made sense that they chose Kristen to stay. Ugh. I don't have any real opinion on Jenn because I never saw her until last night, but I wanted Kristen GONE, so I was hoping that Jenn would've prevailed. Also, I wanted to see more of her husband who, of course, was already cut long ago. Heaven forbid they let one hot guy slip through.

Frankie Jordan went up against Jesse Langseth, another girl we haven't really seen. Maybe they've been hiding her so that we don't find out that she's Jonny Lang's sister. Woops, too late! Cat's out of the bag! Frankie sang Brandi Carlile's "The Story" pretty badly, and Jesse sang something unintelligible. I think the lyrics may have been something like, "Look at me! I'm bluesy! Can't you see how bluesy I am! My brother's famous! And he bluesy too! Oooooh yeeeah yeah! Woo! White girl! Bluesy!" It was a tough decision, but after some eenie-meenie-miney-moeing, the judges chose Jesse. Then, Simon consoled Frankie by telling her she wouldn't have won anyway. And he's probably right, especially because she acted like a bratty sore loser. She couldn't have pulled a fan base.

Nathaniel Marshall found himself in a sing-off with Jackie Midkiff, a reasonably cute, stocky fellow who I don't remember seeing before. Between never getting the much-needed face time and his tragic lack of headbands, Jackie had no chance. But the final nail was put in his coffin when Nathaniel got a last-minute Lifetime movie moment. We learned that his mama was a drug addict who went to prison and left little Nate to bounce from relative's house to relative's house. If I had started to feel bad for him (and I didn't, but if I had), he ruined it when Simon said he looked like "John McEnroe on a bad day" in his outfit, and Nathaniel countered by dubbing himself "the new David Bowie." I wanted to rip those face piercings right out and fill them with salt.

The last match-up was between the two big oafs, Michael Sarver and Matt Brietzke. The judges' whole "hmmm, who should we's so difficult" schtick was as transparent as everything else they do, so I was unmoved when both guys made it through.

Finally, after much ado about nothing, we were left with the Top 36. They are:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti*
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Ju'not Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Michael Sarver
  • Mishavonna Henson
  • Nathaniel Marshall
  • Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle
  • Ricky Braddy
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith
  • *Disqualified on 2/11/09; replaced by Felicia Barton
Next week, the first group of 12 will perform for your approval, America. They are:
  • Alexis Grace
  • Anne Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Michael Sarver
  • Ricky Braddy
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Tatiana Del Toro
Only 3 contestants from each of the 3 groups will make it to the Top 12 - the top guy, top girl, and then the person with the next-highest votes. After that, the judges' will bring back 12 of their favorites for a 4th "Wild Card" group, and choose 3 of them to round out the Top 12.

So, who do you think will make it through next week? This first group is pretty loaded, so it' s a little hard to predict. I hope that Tatiana makes it, because the judges totally deserve to be stuck with that crazy broad. And she is the VFTW favorite, so I know all the Worsters will be dialing their little hearts out. (I never/rarely vote, but I may just have to join them.)

Danny Gokey is pretty much a lock, but the other 2 spots could be anybody. I hope my lesbian crush, Casey Carlson, makes it, as well as Stephen Fowler, because that boy can sang. The judges definitely want Ann Marie Boskovich, Michael Sarver, and Brent Keith in, so even if they don't get through on votes, they'll be saved in the wild card round.

My early prediction for Top 3 is: Danny, Michael, and Alexis Grace. Of course, this is subject to change after performance night.


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Okay, I'll admit: I haven't watched a single moment of this show yet. But I'm intrigued by the two blondes in the photo...which is which? The one on the right looks like a slightly creepy blonde Eliza Dushku in that pic, and I'm liking what I see...

words words words said...

I don't even know where to start. I'm so over this show. But that said, Jenn was WAY better than Kristen, and I'm still mad at Kristen for ruining her group.

Apropos of nothing, I had a job at the "Judges' Mansion" once. It is probably the most beautiful private residence I've ever seen. It was built by a lovesick man whose fiance died during their engagement. Once she died, he pledged to make it even more spectacular in her honor. He did.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

You know I love Idol and always do but- I think it just jumped shark.

coffee said...

what's this i hear about Joanna Pacitti got the Idol boot? she seemed like such a strong contender; i thought she would win the whole thing for sure

Barbara Bruederlin said...

How do you keep all this straight? My head exploded just looking at the lists.

Mike said...

Nathanel comparing himself to Bowie. I wanted to rip the tackle box right off his face, your addition to adding salt was a great touch.


LiLu said...

I can only watch the first few episodes where everyone's TERRIBLE. I love the kooks.

Bond said...

OK, they let Nick/Norman through but not Jamar Rogers???? Weird...

OH and I am sure you heard Joanna Pacitti has been cut...

Finally..found out today your crush's mom works at the same company i do here in Memphis...

Gifted Typist said...

I found the whole palace thang a little over the top, giving the state of the economy, you'd think they could have kept the tone down

jolie said...

anyone else think jenn looks a lot like jeri ryan?


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