Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Idol 9: Say Goodbye To Hollywood, My Babies

So, we finally have our 24...and it only took AI three hours to get there! Ken Warwick is no Jack Bauer, that's for sure.

As I've mentioned before, the Top 24 was already leaked to the world. If you, like me, have shielded your eyes and ears from all spoilers, then read on. (If you're a big cheater, then just pretend to read on.) But honestly, even without knowing the finalist roster ahead of time, there were very few surprises among the judges' choices.

On Tuesday night, AI tried to pull some sort of Quentin Tarantino move by opening with the remaining 71 contestants already split up and sequestered into three different rooms, and then flashing back to many of the final auditions.

In Room 1 were Katie Stevens, Casey James, Lilly Scott and Andrew Garcia. Room 2 held Jermaine Purifory and Mary Powers, and in Room 3 sat Angela Martin, Janelle Wheeler and Jessica Furney. (I knew I saw that Lisa Loeb-ish girl from last year hanging around the auditions! I really liked her last year, so I was hoping she'd do well.) Based on those room configurations, I immediately predicted that the Room 2 people would be the ones cut. Seriously, like they were going to send Katie Stevens (possibly this season's Chosen One) or Janell Wheeler home? I don't think so.

Selected final auditions from Room 1 members were shown, including Casey James' rendition of "Bubbly" (yeah, that stupid Colbie Caillat song) and all the Jason Mraz you can handle from Michael Lynche, Todrick Hall and Alex Lambert. Siobhan Magnus proved that she had a great voice by taking on a Stevie Wonder song, but probably scared everyone with her horrific facial contortions. Crystal Bowersox stood out with a very Lilith Fair-ready version of Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy," while Thaddeus Johnson and Jermaine Sellers both did fairly unimpressive covers of "Man in the Mirror." Thad's performance was somehow not derailed by his ever-present, shrieking mother, but Jermaine went off the tracks when he tried to blame his suckage on the band. Never a good move. But he was in Room 1, so I figured that unless they tried to pull some last minute switcheroos, he was guaranteed to make it through.

Then we saw some Room 2 people, like Charity Vance (meh), Tasha Layton (the chick they always introduce as a "worship pastor" as if that's part of her name), the pinhead cop, and some other dude who shouted "Man in the Mirror." I was a disappointed in Hope Johnson, whom I liked throughout the audition process, when she gave a rather lackluster performance of Daughtry's "Home." And Mary Powers didn't live up to her own hype. She told Seacrest that the song she chose, "Hot 'N' Cold," was "cake," but for such a supposedly easy song, she sure sounded out of breath. Simon thought she was "interesting because she's older." Ah yes, the ripe old age of 28. Amazing that she can still get around so well!

From Room 3, we heard Shelby Dressel, who remembered the words to "More Than a Feeling" after forgetting them all through rehearsals, and Aaron Kelly who flubbed the lyrics to the tortured/abandoned dog and cat anthem, "Angel." Ashley Rodriguez, Lee Dewyze and Joe Munoz all did fairly well, but Haeley Vaughn's version of "I'm Yours" was downright painful. Janell Wheeler covered T-Swift's "Love Story" and, even though she was suffering from a sore throat, she still managed to sound pretty good. Kara didn't think so though, as she sat there shaking her head and muttering, "wrong song, wrong song." It's kind of like how I look at her every week and mutter, "wrong judge, wrong judge."

As I predicted, Room 2 was let go, leaving the judges with 46 hopefuls.

And then it was time to play another round of "Who Wants to Fake Out the Contestants?"The judges love this game, so they all took turns. Oh my God. I don't know what was more annoying — their childish games or Seacrest's constant hyperbole.

Did everyone notice that the Coke cups were gone? I couldn't quite tell what they were replaced with, although they looked like Vitamin Water cups. Hmm. Could Idol's ratings be bad enough to make Coke bail out as a sponsor?

As the judges started picking the Top 24, more sob stories (dead friends, bad parents, poverty, etc.) began to emerge. HA! I knew it! I knew that after that Very Special Contestant bloodbath last week, there were probably more VSCs waiting in the wings.

Shelby Dressel's constant crying when she got cut reminded me of an unanswered question that's always bugged me. Why do a lot of girls wave their hands in front of their faces when they cry? Are they trying to dry their tears? Is that flapping supposed to calm them down? I'm not a big cryer, but when I do, I certainly don't do that. Can someone please explain this to me? It's extremely annoying.

By the end of Tuesday's show, seven finalists had been chosen: Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, Casey James, Aaron "Big Sack of Boring" Kelly, Lee Dewyze, Todrick Hall, Didi Benami and Katelyn Epperly. Of these, I didn't think that Aaron and Didi deserved to be there.

Wednesday night's show was, mercifully, only an hour, so the judges got right to the carrot dangling process.

During a montage of people who didn't make it through, Radiohead's "No Surprises" was playing. What the...? How did AI swing that? It's a good thing I know someone with a PhD in Thomyorkology. Paging Dr. Bad Tempered Zombie. Dr. Zombie, please report to me and tell me what you know about this.

Despite that musical cue, there was one fairly large surprise last night — Angela "Black Cloud" Martin was sent home. And she was cut in the most annoying manner, with Kara insisting on sitting in her chair with her like she was some kind of sadistic Santa Claus who let Angela tell her what she wanted just so she could reach into her sack and pull out nothing. Cutting her was a bullshit move because Angela could really sing. And since the judges put Haeley Vaughn, who is 57 flavors of terrible, into the finals, there had to be some other reason for Angela's dismissal. I'm thinking that it was that brief stint in jail for a traffic violation. Or maybe there's some other stuff in her background that TPTB don't want to deal with. Whatever. I'm no fan of the VSCs, but I really did feel bad for Angela and was hoping that she'd make it through.

The Lisa Loeb-ish girl didn't make it either. I would have been disappointed had she not developed diarrhea of the mouth in front of the judges. After her extremely grating "woe is me" outburst, I was glad to see her go.

Those who did make it through to round out the Top 24 were: Tyler Grady (Mika's long-lost cousin), Jermaine Sellers, John Park, Andrew Garcia (Gokey's long-lost, less smug cousin), Alex "Not Adam" Lambert, Tim "Not Keith" Urban, Joe Munoz, Janell Wheeler, Ashley Rodriguez, Lacey "Underall" Brown, Crystal Bowersox, Katie Stevens, Lilly Scott, Paige "Who?" Miles, Siobhan Magnus, Michelle Delamor and Haeley Vaughn.
Just for the heck of it, I'll make a super-early prediction. Here's who I think will make it to the Top 12: Katie Stevens, Janell Wheeler, Crystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, Ashley Rodriguez, Paige Miles (I'm guessing she's the best kept secret of the Top 24) , Andrew Garcia, Michael Lynche, Casey James, Alex Lambert, Tyler Grady and Todrick Hall. Although, Katelyn Epperly could edge out Janell, and Siobhan has the potential to pull a Kelly Clarkson on us and emerge as the one to watch. (Even though it's really hard to watch her when she's making those passing-a-kidney-stone faces.)

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Alice said...

hooray! time for the REAL idol to start! (and by that, obviously, i mean i don't plan on watching any episodes but will follow along solely via your recaps.)

Penny said...

so glad it's over! Now I can start watching!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can only imagine they were expecting those eliminated to take themselves out permanently, perhaps over a cliff lemming-style. Why else would you play No Surprises, that ode to suicide? Does this mean Thom watches the show, or simply that his kids will be going to a very tony university?

Travis said...

I'm going in completely deaf and blind. I only watched one night of Hollywood week. No voices really stood out and I wouldn't remember the name if one did.

I think that's a good way to begin with this show.

And I'm not sure where to go on the record with this, but I am not among the masses who have AI crowing about beating the Olympics in the ratings this week. I watched the Games.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Thank you again for watching this season so I don't have to! :D

I'm still all idoled out after last year. :)

Dave said...

Whatever the vitamin water brand is that now has their logo on Paula's Sauce Cups, they're owned by Coke, so it's not like Idol got stiffed by Coca-Cola.

Bond said...



Little Ms Blogger said...

I have never watched Idol till this season - wait, not true. I watch the auditions and ditch the rest.

This was my first Hollywood week and the judges torturing the contestants with making them believe they're not going forward is stupid and cruel.

The cups are vitamin water cups. Ellen announced it on her show.

elaine said...

I believe that they put a handful less talented folks into the top 24 just so the first few eliminations are contestants that nobody really cared about anyways. That way, your favorite is almost guaranteed to last a round or two, thus making fans more happy and dedicated to the show. The backfire in this plot is the token awkward teen that always ends up making it much further than he should, which then actually ends up being a plus for ratings because it makes for better water-cooler conversations.

Anonymous said...

Oh, THANK GOD! I tried watching the episode but it was too much same-same. God... love this blog. Can rely on you to catch up on all of the garbage I NEED but am unwilling to sit through!

Jill said...

Happy belated birthday, Beckeye! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)::):):)

BeckEye said...

Thanks, Jill!

words...words...words... said...

Aw. Jessica Furney was super cute.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Can you rattle off all the winners for a fun trick at parties?

Cora said...

Yeah, the first thing I noticed were the missing Coke cups too. Bizarre.


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