Sunday, March 08, 2009

This Show Is Wild!

Ryan starts off the show telling us second chances are miracles and that tonight is about the importance of redemption and the power of tenacity. There are three chairs placed center stage so we don’t forget only three people are joining the Top 12. The already qualified finalists are sitting on two tiered stools. Scott is in the back, which makes sense since he doesn’t really need a front row seat. However, is it really a good idea to put him on an elevated stool? What if he gets up and dances a little during one of the songs. He could quickly find himself falling to the stage. Judging from the way the Wild Card participants are standing, it looks like Anoop gets the coveted pimp spot. As the camera pans around the audience, there are very few guys. Almost the entire ‘scream pit,’ the group of fans directly in front of the stage is comprised of teenage girls. I wonder how many times a season R. Kelley calls Idol producers begging for his chance to guest star. They have to squeeze in 8 performances and then three Wild Card selections – this show should be action packed! Wait a minute, there is no pimp spot. I almost forgot this show has no fan voting; only the judges get a vote. Still, going last could leave you fresh in their minds. I’m assuming arguendo that the judges haven’t already made up their minds who they want on the show. However, I think how you sing tonight might have little to do with whether you make the Top 12.

Jesse - Tell Me Something Good

Jesse is a chameleon. Sometimes she looks really good, and sometimes she looks like she just went on a date with Chris Brown. Luckily for her, tonight is a look good night. She is really grateful for another chance to show her range in the Wild Card round. She hopes the judges throw her into the Top 12. She is certainly the sultriest female this year. However, her outfit is disconnected. She is wearing a sexy black mini dress with a little sweater that looks like she is on her way to Sunday school. She is sartorially confused. Is she preppy or sexy? The first part of the song is a mess. Her overall sound is good, but she is going off pitch on some notes. Further, her enunciation is almost nonexistent on some notes and she is slurring the words. Yes she is showing off more range than her first round performance, but once again she picked the wrong song. When she reaches the chorus she sounds much better and we can hear what she is singing. Holy Crap, we have our first back up singers appearance since the David vs David battle royal. I still don’t know if they were backstage singing live every week or on a taped background. I’m guessing the latter. One of the backup singers is wearing sunglasses. Really? You are so cool you have to wear shades inside? Come on girl, you are a backup singer. Save the cool fashion statements for the people singing lead. Just when the song starts to pick up and Jesse opens up her voice (she is sounding really good) the song is over. Unfortunately it took her most of the song to find her groove. When she did, she sounded great. She has Top 12 talent, but maybe not Top 12 performance ability. Randy gives her props for her interesting song choice. But he isn’t sure she sang very well. He thinks she had some interesting note choices making the song only ‘alright.’ Kara loves her swagger when she sings. She compares interview Jesse with singing Jesse calling the latter Sasha Fierce. Paula is impressed with Jesse’s tenacity and determination. She says Jesse has a lot of soul in her and laments at the difficult task ahead for the judges. A task Paula thinks will be hard. Simon reminds Jesse that she barely made the Wild Card round. He thinks she is much better than her first performance. His only real critique is Jesse’s self indulgence. He believes she made the song more about her than anybody else, and tonight is about the judges, not the contestants. The other judges, especially Paula and Kara try to explain to Simon that this is a sexy song and Jesse was not self-indulgent. Unfortunately, after 7 full Idol seasons, I still have no idea what makes something self indulgent in Simon’s eyes. Was Lil Round any less self-indulgent last night? I think when he doesn’t know what to say he reverts back to this steady stand by classic – self-indulgent! Simon actually agrees with Paula that tonight’s choices will be tough. Being the last one in the Wild Card means Jesse probably had to really blow the judges’ minds to have any chance to advance. Based on their reactions, she failed.

Matt G. - Who's Loving You

He is so thankful he gets a second chance. Come on Matt, get cute with words and say you are ‘soul’ thankful. He is singing for his life and he wants to give the judges his bluesy side. There is always a risk doing the Jackson 5. Who would have imagined replicating the performances of a 12 year old would be so difficult 40 years later. He is wearing an odd scarf fedora combination. I think maybe Kristen dressed him. He is already riffing on the first verse. 20 seconds in, this is already significantly better than his Coldplay train wreck. He shows off his falsetto nicely. During the song’s finale he really lets go and gets into the music. The lyrics are secondary to his ‘yeahs’ and ‘ohs,’ which is a nice relief to what sometimes feels like the world’s biggest karaoke copycat competition. This is very much a Matt original. He is moving his head back and forth and I imagine if at a piano he would have a little Stevie vibe. His final note goes lower than I thought he could; he went low, high, and added a lot of himself into this, I don’t know what else the judges could want. Kara says wow and thanks him for bringing back the bluesy soulful Matt. She thinks his riffs are amazing, but thought some parts were a little over the top (you can hear Simon in the background sarcastically say “a little”). Suddenly the camera switches to the balcony view and we see Von and Megan leaning on the railing when suddenly a crewmember moves Megan just a bit to her left. Megan is such a free spirit I wonder if her constant movement vexes the show’s director. Paula says this is the right zone for Matt. She doesn’t want him to go against what he is great at; she thinks he did an amazing job. She says America is loving him right now. She is all about the play on words this season. I think someone gave her a learning frog for Christmas. Simon says he was a billion times better than last week, but he hates Matt’s wardrobe. He saw bits of his arch nemesis Taylor Hicks in Matt’s movements. Randy doesn’t care about Matt’s sartorial elegance and actually focuses on his voice. He predicts the other Idol contestants are nervous because Matt might have just entered the Top 12. He says he was ‘hot,’ but he didn’t call him molten lava hot so I guess he has room for improvement. Matt tells Ryan he is dumbfounded why he did not pick this song the first time. As they head to commercial Megan and Von are perfectly placed on the railing – good job random crewmember that accidentally appeared on television.

Megan - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

Ryan gives us another Itunes commercial. I wonder if the Top 12 gets an unlimited Itunes account while they are on the show. It would make sense right? That way they could download all the songs they might sing that week and figure out which one will be the right choice dog. Megan is thanking her lucky stars the judges gave her another chance. She says she is doing one the jamsiest songs around. No Megan, if you are doing a song Kat “David Foster loves me” McPhee performed on Idol twice, it simply is not one of the jamsiest songs around. She is doing her crazy hulu hoop dance move thing again where she twists back and forth. I feel like I'm at a Luau. At the end of every phrase, the song goes too low for her voice and she is unable to project that note. When she does get good volume on the note it’s flat. Halfway through the song she is still missing a lot of notes. She sounds better on the sustained notes, but again at the end of every phrase she falls apart a little. Tatianna, amazing, taking a break from thinking about herself, is dancing on the balcony enjoying herself. She finally stops messing up the last note of every phrase near the end. But then at the very last note she screams instead of sings and it sounds pretty bad. Megan is interesting, fresh, and unpredictable. However, she is also inexperienced and unable to sing a song without missing more than a few notes. At best this is on ok performance. If the judges sing her praises, we’ll know this wild card show is not about singing, rather, it’s about picking the right ‘cast.’ Paula says Megan is beautiful and picked a song that fits her personality. She had fun watching her dance and thinks she picked the right song. Hmm ok Paula said she is beautiful and then said she picked the right song…twice. What about her singing Paula? What about the performance? She literally didn’t say a sing word about how well Megan sang the song. THIS IS A SINGING COMPETITOIN RIGHT? Simon says he has always liked her, and still likes her because she is current. He fears sometimes this show becomes karaoke, but she is original and quirky. Even though she didn’t have the best vocals, he doesn’t care because it was fun. Randy agrees with Simon the vocals weren’t the best ever, but the song put her in the right range. He can see her making these types of records. Kara thinks they need Megan because she brings variety to Idol. She wants American to have Megan around because of her uniqueness. She says, “I hope you stay.” Whoah boy let’s recap here. This show is all about singing. I know this because every year at some point the judges tell us. Let’s be honest, Megan missed so many notes Barack Obama just introduction legislation to ‘bail her out.’ She was decent yes, but not good. The two female judges said nothing about her singing. They breezed over her ineptitude quicker than Octomom has babies. The male judges said her vocals weren’t the best, but never went into any detail. Simon said he liked her and Randy said she could make a record with those types of songs. Look, if this selection process is about everything that’s happened this season, fine, but they have certainly led us to believe the best 3 performances tonight will earn you a spot in the Top 12. I fear this Wild Card round is a little, what’s the right word, oh yeah, fixed. Unless everyone else has serious issues tonight, Megan should not make it into the Top 12 with that performance. Simply put, Megan did not sing better than Jesse tonight, yet Kara hopes she advances!

Von - Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Von is so ecstatic to get a Wild Card invite. He wants to show the judges his real honest raw emotion. Hmm he starts off way to high for this song and his voice wavers a little during the first verse. His voice is a little thin and still wavering. No idea why he is singing in this voice. When he finally gets some big notes he sounds incredibly better. Von does the big notes as well as anyone. His biggest problem is everything in between. He sounds fantastic on the last 20 or so seconds; probably his best vocals on any Idol stage. His strong finish might salvage the curious beginning. Simon loves the song, but he didn’t like the beginning of Von’s performance. He thinks Von is becoming a bit boring. He didn’t get it from him this time. He thinks Von is becoming a bit too serious and earnest. Simon calls him Mr. Serious and says he sounded quite ordinary. Randy misses Von’s hat and thinks he couldn’t quite find the pitch at the front of the song. Even though he isn’t crazy about the song choice, he does say Von had a beautiful tone during the song’s higher notes. Kara, like Simon and Randy, also isn’t crazy about the song choice. Hmm do we sense a theme here? She thinks Von was too dark during the song and is sad because he has what it takes, but hasn’t hit his stride yet. The studio audience is funeral quiet right now. I say funeral because the judges are killing Von. Paula, suddenly erudite, says she has been studying Von’s performances and she thinks he gets too concerned with his technique when he sings. She could see him thinking so hard he trapped his pure essence inside and did not let it out. When he does let his essences go, she says he soars and takes them on the flight. Ryan asks Von if he is over thinking, and he says yes, it’s the worst thing about him, but he is working on his Achilles heal. No neutral arbiter could suggest Megan’s performance outclassed Von’s. Sure Von had issues too, but his great moments, particularly the song’s finale, were molten lava hot. Unfortunately for Team Von, Idol already reached its Top 12 quota for boring white guys. Von has a very legitimate liability that I expected Paula to mention – time. He is the only Wild Card participant selected from the last Group of 12. Everyone else had at least a week to prepare their songs for tonight. They could try them out, see how it worked, and then pick a new song. They even had time to work with people. They had enough time to carefully consider the judges’ comments and alter their performance accordingly. They had enough time to go online and see what people liked and did not like about their singing. They had time to recover from the emotional turmoil that occurs during the performance and results show. Von had none of these luxuries. He sang on Tuesday night, found out his fate on Wednesday, and now has to sing for his Idol life tonight. Sure he could have been working on two songs during the three weeks. Yet, if you have two songs, one of which you don’t even need to sing if you sing the other song perfectly, I’m thinking you spend most of your time on the song you are singing the first time around. Not to mention, he also had to learn a group number. Based on accounts from former Idols, these kids are exceptionally busy. Granted, there are no guarantees with an extra week Von would have brought the house down with his phone book singing, but I wish he at least had the chance.

Jasmine - Reflection

She is so excited the judges picked her for the Wild Card. She hopes she picked a song that features her vocal ability. She has a minor pitch problem until she reaches the bigger part of the song. When she opens up she sounds much better than during her first performance. She is having a little trouble on the outer ranges of the song. The high notes almost get away from her, but she averts any major disasters. Her vocals are pretty good, but this is nothing amazing. Her performance has an ‘almost but not quite’ quality. Is there anything exciting about Jasmine tonight? This song is not exactly a party song and she is more double than homerun. Will the judges give her the Megan treatment and genuflect? Randy says the other day she was really bad and has improved 100%. He thinks the song was too big for her, which lead to some flat and sharp moments on the big notes, but there were some really bright spots. Kara had no idea Jasmine had such a big voice. She apparently missed the audition and Hollywood week. After a strong start, Kara is becoming more and more like Paula. It’s only a matter of time until she sleeps with Corey Clark. Paula, as always more concerned with looks, complements Jasmines appearance. She says even though some notes fell off her determination fostered a great performance. Simon doesn’t think Paula gave Jasmine enough credit. Paula takes offense to Simon’s comment and starts yelling at him. He calls her song choice brave. He thinks at some points in the song she sounded like a young girl trying to sound more grown up. He predicts her performance put her back in the running. Let’s recap. Simon told Jasmine she is back in the running. Kara hoped Megan made the Top 12. Foreshadowing anyone? Why not just call this episode “America Didn’t Vote Enough Females Into The Top 12 So We Need To Get More Girls To Balance Out The Sexes.”

Ricky - Superstition

Ricky is filled with confidence because the judges told him he had a pretty flawless performance. He wants to recapture his flawlessness while adding a little excitement. He is doing an up tempo song and Paula is already standing and dancing to the music. Anoop and Tatianna are getting down on the balcony. He is riffing at the end of every sentence; he is doing a pretty good job supporting the lowest notes. He throws out a random falsetto note. Sure he doesn’t have Adam like range, but his voice is as flexible as any other male contestant already in the Top 12. At times though, I feel the song is pulling him along. This song is funky, and Ricky might not have enough inner funk to make this ‘real.’ But his vocals are really good, I don’t think even the judges can disagree with that assessment. So far we’ve heard Ricky do a song a little too slow and now one that is a little too funky, yet on both he kills the vocals. I’d like him in the Top 12 so we can hear him finally pick the right song. He is certainly having fun with the song; if he added a k to the end of fun he’d be in the Top 12 for sure. One thing is for certain – Ricky is one of the top 12 singers this season. Kara says the judges already knew he could sing his butt off and tonight he loosened up and showed off some personality. She would have picked a different song, but thinks he held his own and did a good job. Paula loves loose Ricky and thinks he nailed it while having fun. Simon thinks he sounded good. However, he isn’t sure Ricky absolutely said to put him into the finals because the performance was clumsy and karaoke. He doesn’t think Ricky made the impression he could have made and is a little disappointed. Randy thinks the song wasn’t the right choice and the performance bordered on self-indulgent. Huh? What? Geez, another self-indulgent comment coming from a male judge. Random House Dictionary defines self-indulgent as indulging one’s own desires, whims, etc., especially without restraint. I’d like Randy to write a one-page essay explaining how Ricky did anything that indulged his own desires and whims without restraint. Madonna rolling around the stage in a wedding dress in Like a Virgin – that’s self indulgent. Randy says although Ricky can definitely blow and has a voice, he tried to do too much with this song. The audience boos and Randy tells them Ricky understands his comments. Really? Because I have almost no idea what you are saying. I hate to say it, but gender is playing a role in the judges’ comments tonight. Ricky sounded better than Jasmine, but received far less praise.


Ryan sells Itunes again, ironically right before the person least likely to have their music downloaded via Itunes. You know who says, “I am in love with everyone and everything that has happened. I have found love and god I love what I do and I love to sing so much and I just want to show the world how much I love to sing and how this means to me and to get a second chance, which nobody gets second chances, once in a lifetime. I am ready to sing for you America. Thank you so much.” Wait a minute, the girl that sang different songs every chance possible is singing the EXACT SAME SONG SHE SANG DURING HER GROUP NIGHT? This is either really bold or really stupid. I’d like to hear her sing a faster song by herself. The song starts out a little weak, but as soon as she hits the bigger notes she sounds great. She can definitely sing, but we already knew that, because we heard her sing this song two weeks ago. She still doesn’t have much stage presence. Her idea of performing is looking lustfully into the camera and standing still at center stage. She had a little trouble with the ‘big finish’ the first time around, but not tonight. She nails the glory note and adds a little falsetto riff to the ending. Vocally, this is easily one of the best of the night. If this was the first time the judges heard her sing this song I dare say she would make the Top 12. When she finishes the song she is so overcome with love she almost falls to the ground while leaning over. Once she stands up she tells Paula she loves them so much and thanks them so much in a strange accent. She suddenly sounds like the villain in a James Bond movie. Paula asks her where this new accent came from and Tatianna says she is like Jorge. When she gets excited the accent comes back. I’m not saying I don’t believe Tatianna, no wait, yes I am. I think she ‘discovered’ her accent when she saw Jorge make the Top 12. If they have one Spanish guy shouldn’t the Top 12 also have one Spanish girl. I bet that’s why she suddenly sounds like a female Jorge. She gives the judges a laborious explanation regarding her accent and they finally have to cut her off so they can talk. Doesn’t she understand this Wild Card isn’t about the contestants; it’s about the judges. Paula, who admits she is all confused, isn’t a big fan of repeat song choices, but thinks after a shaky start Tatianna nailed it once she reached her power voice. Simon, obviously frustrated Tatianna sang this song for the third time wonders what happens during country week when she can no longer sing this song again. She assures him she can sing everything from Motown to country. If so , he asks her why she sang the same song again and she says because she couldn’t clear a song in one day. He calls her answer rubbish. She felt like the song was so good last time why change things, but Simon correctly tells her it wasn’t good enough; the fans did not vote her into the Top 12. Simon and Tatianna could argue about this all night, so Randy starts talking. He says it started off really rough. There were some good moments and some not so good moments. He thinks listening to Tatianna is like being on a ship when the waves are moving it up and down. Kara says it’s like the Adventure of Tatianna. When the judges finish their comments Tatianna for some reason drops to her knees. She gets back up when Ryan joins her on stage and he says she didn’t have to get up for him, she could have stayed on her knees. Ladies and gentlemen the most obvious sexual inference ever in the history of American Idol. The judges start screaming ‘family show’ and you can clearly hear Randy say, “Oh my god.” Somewhere an 8-year-old kid just asked his dad why that was funny and what the judges meant when they said family show. The quick thinking dad hopefully said something about Tatianna being on her knees to pray and families pray, so that makes this a family show.

Anoop - My Prerogative

He is ecstatic to be in the Wild Card. He had a last but not least moment when the judges made him the final person into the Wild Card Round. He is reprising ‘My Prerogative,’ which he sang during Hollywood Week. I’m glad since I wanted to hear more than 15 seconds of him singing this song. There is something inherently funny about the clean cut Anoop singing the lyrics ‘they say I’m crazy.’ He pops his collar while he sings this line. Already he is the most enjoyable performer tonight. He sounds really good, better than in Hollywood. He is moving around the stage even touching some hands in the pit of screaming fans. The backup singers are back. I guess they only show themselves during special occasions, like Anoop singing. He hits a huge note near the end that shows off his nice tone and the power of his voice. He finishes the song by pounding his chest. Although their styles are different, he is this season’s Taylor Hicks. The vocals are good, but not necessarily great, but you have more fun watching him than anyone else. Anoops parents look very proper cheering on their son. If Anoop makes it deep into this season, I wonder if they will start to loosen up and go nuts a few times. The audience keeps cheering until Simon finally starts talking. He says the night has been strange and calls Anoop an enthusiastic dog. Even though he isn’t the best singer, people like Anoop. He says the judges have to cast the next stage so they do more than put through boring singers. They also want personalities. He congratulates Anoop for returning to the fun version they liked in Hollywood. Randy says he sang the song better tonight than in Hollywood. He is ok with people repeating songs as long as they slay them, and Anoop was a slayer. Randy calls him Anoop ‘Brown’ Dog. 1 billion people in Indian just stood up asking what did he say. Randy, perhaps realizing he possibily insulted a few people clarifies his remark and says Anoop is like Bobby Brown’s cousin. Anoop says ohhhhh Bobby Brown. He started to explain what he thought Randy meant but quickly stops before he makes things even worse. Kara, a Duke alumnus, wanted to get up and dance. Anoop, a Tar Heel says his ability to get a fierce rival in a dancing mood means he did well. Paula calls Anoop a showman. She says some of his moves were a little nasty and she loved his performance. She cautions him to always pick the right song. Anoop gives a shout out to Chapel Hill and Eve saying he we are all thinking about her. She was UNC’s student body president until she was murdered. Today is the one year anniversary of her death and Anoop, as well as every other UNC student is celebrating her memory. I wish Anoop could have had a few seconds to explain who Eve was to the people at home, but Ryan was rushed for time. That’s what happens when Tatianna gets a chance to open her mouth, the show runs long.


Ryan says the judges rounded out the Top 12 over the break. He starts with Jasmine. Randy says after some heavy heavy deliberations he is sorry to say that Jasmine will keep seeing a lot of them because she is in the Top 12. Allison is so excited another young person joins her in the Top 12 she almost tackles Jasmine with a bear hug. She lingers with her a little too long on stage and Allison apologizes to Ryan. Ricky is next. I doubt they let two people in while another 6 are still awaiting their fate, which means goodbye Ricky. Kara says he showed more personality tonight, but not enough. He is eliminated. Ricky is one of those boring singers Simon said would be left out in favor of those with personality. Under the old ‘the judges don’t have complete control over what happens format’ I think he makes the Top 12. The crazy Tatianna and the quirky Megan are next. Paula, perhaps aware a long torturous delay would devastate Tatianna, quickly says the judges picked Megan. In the ‘that’s random’ moment of the night, the camera suddenly flashes on Kai who is sitting up stairs extrememly happy Megan advanced. Are Kai and Megan dating or something? And what about Kai’s mother? If Kai spends so much time taking care of his mother shouldn’t he be home doing that instead of chilling in upstairs in the red room? Tatianna is unable to move. Megan asks her if she is ok and then Paula shouts her name. Tatianna makes her way to the Idol logo in front of the judges’ desk and leans her head down as if in prayer. Paula, leaning over the table, tells Tatianna the judges love her and had a lot of fun with her. She thinks she is a brilliant singer and could even be an actress. Look for “The Adventure of Tatianna” coming soon to the E! network produced by Ryan Seacrest. Back from commercial, Megan and Jasmine are seated on their stools. Megan attempts a high five with Jasmine, but her attempt is unseen. She is left hanging and must retract her arm in embarrassment. Allison, seated on a stool behind them sees the entire incident and laughs hysterically. Jesse is next, and with two people already through and Anoop still sitting down, her chances are not good. Simon says she did not make it, but nearly did. She doesn’t quite understand what he says and for a brief moment thinks maybe she is in the Top 12. Ryan sees her confusion and makes sure she understands almost is not quite good enough. Von, like Jesse knows he has no chance of making the Top 12. Paula says she thinks Von knows where he needs improvement. She believes he will be a recording artist, but he is also eliminated. Two contestants left, but only one stool. Simon tells Matt he made it through to the Final 12. He had arguably the best performance tonight, which means maybe the Wild Card round was not totally fixed. However, we all know Anoop is going into the Top 12, so I bet they pull the switcharoo and add Anoop in as the thirteen contestant. Anoop, completely caught up in the moment cannot imagine this scenario and starts to walk off the stage until Ryan stops his progress. Simon says, on behalf of all the judges, they decided recently to make it a Top 13. Anoop is overcome with emotion and wipes away a few tears. Once he recovers from tonight’s drama he is going to be at least a little upset he is this season’s whipping boy. That’s two nights in a row they screwed with Anoop’s emotion. I predict he will be the first one told he is safe next week. A Top 13 is a first and I hope no contestants that already made the Finals went out and got a tattoo saying American Idol Top 12 Finalist, because they are feely a little stupid right now. Sensing Anoop is having an emotional breakdown, Ryan calls down all the other Finalist. Everyone runs down, EXCEPT THE BLIND GUY. Everyone forgot about him and he is trapped in front of his stool. His brother comes running on stage and quickly grabs his arm leading him down to the on stage celebration. As soon as his brother gets him in position he runs back off stage. Someone needs to take the role as Scott’s on stage buddy and help him get where he needs to be each week. It should be someone that will stick around for a long time. I’m thinking Danny. Then he is more than just the guy that lost his wife, he is also the really nice guy that helps the blind guy get around the stage. We are through with the Idol regular season – let the Idol playoffs begin!


Post a Comment

<< Home