Well, I know I said last night that I would probably miss tonight's show because I already had plans and no DVR but, as is generally the case any time I try to make plans during the week, there was suddenly a big emergency at work and I got stuck there until 7:30. As the minutes ticked away, I thought there was a good chance that not only were my plans ruined, but that I might still miss Idol anyway. However, the planets aligned and I made it home in record time (a company car service may have been involved), so it's all good.
Well, it's not all good. But I'm watching. So, you all get a recap. Your lives are complete.
Jesse Langseth is up first, so I guess that means the judges really have no intention of picking her. She picks the funktastic Rufus song, "Tell Me Something Good," and, while she's no Chaka, I'm actually enjoying Jesse more than I ever have before. I've always felt like she was putting on a bluesy girl act, but she sounds genuinely bluesy tonight. Randy gives props for the song choice also, but only rates the performance "aight." Kara says there were some bad notes, but dubs Jesse's onstage persona as "Sasha Fierce." (I don't know about that. She's a little too skinny. Not Bootylicious enough. We'd be ready for her jelly.) Paula is impressed, either with Jesse's performance or with the sheer amount of meds in her own bloodstream right now, but Simon thinks Jesse was a bit self-indulgent tonight.
Next up is Matt Giraud with "Who's Loving You" by The Miracles. Even though Seacrest introduces this as a Jackson 5 song, I'm pretty sure that Smokey and the boys did this one first. But his target audience will be lucky if they know who the Jackson 5 are, so I guess we shouldn't confuse them completely. Matt apparently went on a shopping spree at Poseur's Wearhouse, because he's dressed like Justin Timberlake's fifth cousin. His vocals are much better than last time, but he annoyingly throws in several unnecessary runs and high notes. Kara agrees that it was a little over the top, but that he can "riff amazingly." And, even though I despise Kara, I have to tip my hat to her for at least understanding the difference between an adjective and an adverb. Has anyone else noticed how often the other judges say things like, "you sing amazing?" Well, Paula also uses the word "amazing" to describe Matt but, unfortunately for my illustrative purposes, does so properly. She also says that America is loving Giraud now. Simon thinks that it was a billion times better than last week, but pisses off the entire Soul Patrol by using a Taylor Hicks comparison as an insult...and the entire audience boos like it's the worst insult ever. Wow, they really treat Taylor like the
red gray-headed stepchild, don't they?
Megan Corkrey says she's singing one of the "jamsiest songs around," "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." This statement proves that Megan doesn't know, well, a lot of things. As for the vocal, all I can say is that Megan can sing better than I can. But she's definitely not a better dancer. Than anyone. Well, maybe better than Casey Carlson and this guy. But that's about it. I think even Elaine Benes would win in a dance-off against Megan. Paula thinks Megan is beautiful and applauds her for picking a song that fits her personality. Simon loves Megan, we all know this. I don't doubt that he is solely responsible for her being back, and will make damn sure that she goes to the Top 12. Simon and Randy, contradicting themselves for the 99,346th time on this singing competition, both say that the vocals weren't the best, but it doesn't matter. Kara says we need Megan, and hopes she stays. How ironic, being that we don't need Kara, and I hope she goes before Season 9.
I was really hoping that Von Smith would go the Adam Lambert route tonight and camp it up, but instead he plods along with Elton's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." It's sad. So sad. It's a sad, sad situation. And the way his tongue curls up when he hits the glory notes is absurd. Poor Von. He really does have a good voice, but he keeps shooting himself in the foot with his boring gun. Simon agrees that Von is now Mayor McSerious of Dullsville, and Randy just wants to know where Von's hat is. Maybe that's where all the magic is? Just like in Frosty the Snowman. Paula has one of those freaky, lucid moments, and tells Von that he was too concerned about the technical aspects of the performance, which prevented his "true essence" from coming out. Kara thinks the song was very dark, so I'd love for one of the contestants to do some Satanic death metal this season. If Elton John scares her, Angelcorpse would probably instantly turn her hair white. (Click that link to groove to the soothing sounds of Angelcorpse's "The Fall of the Idol of Flesh." Perfect, right? I should really devote a separate blog post to these guys because their album titles are hilarious. They had me at their demo, Goats to Azazel.)
Whoooooo is that girl I see, staring straight back at me? OMG, she's, like, so commercial!! Yes, it's judges' pet, Jasmine Murray, shouting Christina Aguilera's "Reflection" through her nose. That's quite a talent. Randy tells Jasmine that the song was too big for her, but that she's improved 100% from last time. Kara and Paula say things to help justify the inevitable choice to put super-commercial Jasmine on a magic carpet ride to the Top 12. Simon calls the performance "pretty special" before engaging in a scripted fight with Paula. That tiff was so self-indulgent.
Ricky Braddy is back and singing Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." He still can sing circles around most of these jerks, but his performance skills just scream "lido deck." Kara, horny as usual, tells Ricky that he can sing his butt off while looking him up and down. Paula tells Ricky he "nailed it," and I swear I heard Kara say, "not yet." Simon thinks Ricky sounds good but looks clumsy, and Randy shows off the expression he just learned tonight, "self-indulgent."
Viva la Tatiana! My favorite Puerto Rican psycho princess, Tatiana Del Toro, makes her triumphant return to Idol, sporting a much thicker accent than anyone remembers. And how does she take advantage of her second chance on the AI stage? By singing the same Whitney Houston song she sang last time!! Oh, Tat, Tat, Tat. Doesn't she know that she's screwing herself? She still sounds good, which I know pisses the judges off, but it's just the worst move in the world to come out and do a song they've already heard when you're trying to really impress them. Paula complains about that very thing, but concedes that Tatiana has a good voice. Simon debates the repeated song issue with Tat for way too long before finally giving up on the notion of ever getting the last word. Randy says the song had its good and bad moments, and Kara is completely confused by Tatiana's personality. Nothing upsets Kara more than when contestants won't stay in their boxes.
Because she wouldn't be Tatiana otherwise, she gets down on her knees after the judges' critiques to beg for their approval. She gets up when Seacrest comes over, but then he tells her that she can stay down there. Then he remembers that he likes dudes and tells her to get back up.
Keeping us in reruns is Anoop Desai, who sings Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative," which he did during Hollywood Week. Anoop definitely is a likable guy, but I only find him an average singer. Well, maybe slightly above average, since I've placed Scott MacIntyre squarely in "average" range. The judges all love Anoop. Paula is like, "Hey, remember how I just told Tatiana I hate when people sing songs they've already done? I'm jus' keeeeeeeeding! I love it!" Simon basically admits that the point of the Wild Card round is to CAST the show with personalities, not just "boring singers." Obviously, Anoop will be going through. He was in the pimp spot, after all.
The judges now make their final decisions, and Ryan calls the contestants up to face the firing squad.
Jasmine - Simon claims that after "heavy deliberation," they've decided to put Jasmine through. I wonder if he thinks that "deliberation" means "deliberately choosing the most commercial looking person, whether she can sing or not?"
Ricky - Kara says, "Not enough personality, sweetie. Sorry." Oh, don't be sorry, Kara. Just explode into a ball of flame.
Megan and Tatiana are called up together, so we can all guess what's up. Megan gets the nod, which goes against what Simon said before about picking personalities instead of boring singers. Maybe he meant to say "spastic dancers" instead of "personalities." Whatever. Meggo tries to comfort Tatiana, who just stands there with her hands over her face, unable to really cry because she's probably already got a deal for her own show on Telemundo. I'll miss you, Tat, you bruja loca.
The only girl left is Jesse, so I guess this will be the first unevenly gendered Top 12. No way she's getting through.
Hey, wait. Ryan just barked at Anoop before that they were running out of time. So, why are they going to a commercial break?? It's past 9! You're running into The Office, Seacrust! How dare you try to divert my attention from NBC's Must-See lineup!
When they come back from the break, Ryan reminds us who just got put into the Top 12 because, apparently, we're all idiots. (In his defense, we are all watching this show. And I'm writing about it, so that must make me head simpleton.) Megan leans over to give Jasmine a high-five, but Jasmine just continues smiling vacantly at the audience, leaving Megan hanging. Wow, and Jasmine's not even blind.
Jesse - Simon tells her she didn't make it. OH, but...she nearly did. But she didn't. But almost. Nearly. But not.
Von - Nope.
Matt and Anoop are called together, and I immediately suspect that the judges are going to pull a fast one and pick them both. I know that Matt's in because Kara wants to bang him, and I know that Anoop's in because he's a big fan favorite. The judges tell Matt that he is the one going to the Top 12, and don't even wait very long before dropping the unsurprising bomb on Anoop that they've decided to make it a Top 13. I hope he's not superstitious like Ricky Braddy.
So, here are your Top 13:
- Kris Allen
- Megan Corkrey
- Anoop Desai
- Matt Giraud
- Danny Gokey
- Alexis Grace
- Allison Iraheta
- Adam Lambert
- Scott MacIntyre
- Jasmine Murray
- Jorgay Nunez
- Lil Rounds
- Michael Sarver
Can I just say right now that a line from the first few minutes of The Office was more entertaining than anything I've seen in the last 3 nights of Idol? Michael, who just got done giving blood, says, "I was so nervous about this; I probably haven't eaten in 3 days," and promptly passes out. Oh, quality programming. How I've missed you.
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