Tuesday, February 28, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13 Boys

Tonight, the Top 12 guys (plus the judges' mystery guest) kick off the live shows by singing...eh, whatever they want. No one can be bothered with themes quite yet.

First up is Reed Grimm, who tries his best to kill my crush on him by performing the ridiculous "Moves Like Jagger." No matter how much Reed tries to polish this turd into a smooth jazz number with some Sheila E.-style drumming, it's still a turd. And, against all odds, he might actually be making it worse, because the slowed-down tempo makes it feel longer. I can't tell if he's taking this seriously or just screwing with everyone. I'm hoping for the latter. I still like him, and I think he'll still be around next week despite being in the lead-off spot of doom. The judges all give him good critiques, and Randy reminds Reed (again, and not for the last time) that Reed reminds him of Casey Abrams.

Adam Brock makes it all the way through Aretha Franklin's "Think" and the judges' critiques without crying. Amazing! That deserves a standing ovation. Eh, this guy seems decent enough—and most importantly, he's a Steelers fan—but I just can't muster up a ton of interest for him. Of course, the judges rave over Adam as they do for everyone, but I'm not sure he'll be making it to the next round. He may sing better than Gokey and have the Gokeyish looks, but without the sob story, the voters will quickly forget him.

I once (or probably more than once) said that I was a sucker for a good falsetto. And I originally thought Deandre Brackensick had one, but now...not so much. When he isn't whipping his hair back and forth, he sings Earth Wind and Fire's "Reasons" to the delight of the squealy girls in the audience. And then he breaks all of their glasses with a crazy high note. J.Lo tries to speak, but Steven is so excited that he cuts her off and yammers on about something. Jen finally gets to tell Deandre that his voice is "perfect." But to hell with the voice! The Dawg says this kid has it ALL! YO!!

Colton Dixon, Pet Detective says that people are used to seeing him behind a piano, so he wants to change things up tonight and really shock everyone. And just how does he achieve this? Why, by performing Paramore's "Decode" from behind a piano! Oh, but wait! What's this? Now he's getting up from the piano! He's sort of walking around the stage!! OH MY GOD, HE'S STANDING ON TOP OF THE PIANO NOW!! HE'S ON TOP OF IT!!!! I'M SHOCKED!!!!!!! Annnnnd, this isn't really that good, which is not-so-shocking. Steven and Jennifer gush over how relevant Colton is, while Randy loves that Colton is an "indie alt-rocker" like Paramore. Yes, he's talking about platinum-selling indie act Paramore, of the underground label Atlantic Records.

Seacrest introduces Jeremy Rosado as the "spirit stick of the group," which makes me feel better about my own too-frequent Bring it On references. Jeremy sings Sara Bareilles' "Gravity," a rather boring song, but one I can't hear without thinking of this fantastic bit from Community:

Anyhoo, other than a few wobbly notes, Jeremy seems to be one of the best SANGERS in the competition, and a pretty nice guy. Which most likely means that he won't make it past tonight.

Poor Aaron Marcellus. Such a pleasant voice, but he had to go and sing "Never Can Say Goodbye." Doesn't he know AI's track record of ironically booting contestants the week they choose optimistically-titled songs? But of course, if you go by the judges' ape-shit reaction, Aaron seems to be a lock to make it into the finals. But of course, you can't go by the judges' reaction because who don't they go ape-shit over?

Chase Likens sings Hunter Hayes' "Storm Warning," which I guess is the peppier, blander prequel to Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls." This is a big ol' meh for me. I don't think even the legions of country fans who made Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina the Top 2 last year can save this guy. But hey, the judges love him. And Steven thinks Chase looks like Brendan Fraser, so maybe he'll find fame when Hollywood gets around to making Monkeybone II.

First, Reed Grimm disappoints me, and now it's Creighton Fraker's turn. This dude is so capable of something wonderful and flamboyant, yet he comes out with some lounge lizard performance of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Steven says that Cyndi is probably watching this at home crying (in a good way), while J.Lo tries to force out some tears of her own. Randy states the obvious that Creighton "can definitely sing," but that has never mattered in this competition. It pains me to say that he probably won't make it to the Top 10, and even J.Lo seems resigned to this fact when she says that she doesn't want him to go home.

Phillip Phillips tried just "Phil" for a while, but I guess he's back to the formal first name. Perhaps he didn't want anyone to confuse him with Phil Collins, whose "In the Air Tonight" he's covering. The '80s sax dripping all over the arrangement is sure to get Phillip's lonely housewife fanbase horny and in the mood to dial, and it's a good thing that he has them on his side because this is not good. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to completely strip the song of any melody. Not caring about that minor detail are Jennifer and Steven, who gush as usual. I start to think that Randy might actually know what he's talking about when he mentions that he didn't like what Phillip did with the melody, but then he compares Phillip to INDIE artist, Dave Matthews. Seriously, Randy? Indie? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Eben Franckewitz threatens to "Set Fire to the Rain," and I try to set fire to my TV. Holy Bieber, I don't even know what to say. Is it any wonder this kid is the VFTW pick? It's unfortunate because he's probably already the pick for a lot of older women who want to adopt him and the tweens who don't quite understand the feelings that Eben has aroused in them. At critique time, I'm hoping that the judges will be honest for once, but they refuse to say anything worthwhile or constructive about Eben's performance. Randy takes the opportunity to remind Eben that he's "mad young" (15, yo!), J.Lo offers up the old standby excuse that perhaps he couldn't hear himself, which is perfectly fine, and Steven's only advice for Eben is to listen to some blues records. Yes, I'm sure he would really connect with that genre.

Speaking of wanting to adopt people, I kind of want to adopt Heejun Han. He's just so awkward and adorable. He still needs to work on his enunciation, but he actually does a pretty good job with Robbie Williams' "Angels." And it's THIS performance that the judges decide to toss some objections at—mainly that it wasn't the right song choice. (But a prepubescent boy singing an Adele song is a natural fit. Riiight.) Still, Randy says that Heejun is "mad talented," so I'm hoping that idiotic endorsement and all of Heejun's Twitter followers keep him in the competition.

Joshua Ledet belts out Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through" and it's clear that he can sing circles around most of these other contestants. It's a bit too screamy at the end for my taste, which means that it gets a judges' standing ovation. Jen likes Joshua so much that she wants to punch him, while Randy closes his eyes, sways and "Amens" like he's at a faith healer. Maybe Steven is the faith healer? He's talking an awful lot of gibberish about Joshua taking people places with God and his voice and coming back and changing the world...or something. Also, I'm pretty sure he called Joshua "Mantasia." Oh, come on, there weren't nearly enough yeah, yeah, yeah YEEEAHs in that song.

Finally, the two-hour extravaganza comes to an end with the reveal of the 13th man: Jermaine Jones. Like Adam earlier, he surprisingly manages to get through his mini-interview and performance of "Dance With My Father" completely dry-eyed. I like Jermaine, but he really has no range. This kind of deep-voiced soul is the only kind of stuff he'll be able to sing. The judges all love him though, especially Randy, who says they've never had a deep bass voice on the show before. Babylockthemdoors and turn the lights down low...last year's forgotten winner needs to have a good cry.

So, America's votes will determine which five guys advance to the finals. Then on Thursday, each judge will pick a wild card from the pool of guys and girls who don't make it to create the Top 13. This is kind of a tough one to predict, but I think the Top 5 guys will be: Reed Grimm, Phillip Phillips, Colton Dixon, Jermaine Jones and Eben Franckewitz. And since Idol voters don't care for chicks, the wild card picks will consist of one girl and two guys. Those guys will be Joshua Ledet and Heejun Han. If anyone throws a monkey wrench into my predictions, it will be Deandre Brackensick. So sayeth Beckstradamus.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Scope said...

Eben was gawd-awful. Simply GAWD-AWFUL!

If he isn't nuked, I call voter fraud. (And from Chicago, I know about that kind of stuff.)

Highlight of the evening: The Terrible Towel!

Lora Honeycutt said...

Holy crap, that Eben kid was terrible. Most of them were pretty bad, actually.

If I was actually planning to watch this show for the rest of the season, I'd really miss someone on the panel who actually tells the truth.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I am not watching AI however, I couldn't not check out an entry about a two hour salute to sausage, because PENIS. :)

Cora said...

I wish Simon Cowell was still there. What's the damn use of having three kiss ass judges? I just don't get it.

My prediction: The guys in the Top 5 will be: Jermaine, Chase, Deandre, Adam and Phillip Phil Phillips McPhillipson, with two of the wild cards going to Creighton and Heejan.


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