Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Top 11 Perform Again...A Night of Neverending Ballads

Article first published as American Idol: Top 11 Perform Again on Technorati.


The Top 11 Redux begins with a montage of last week’s show with a prophetic pre-results Casey saying they will not use the save – it’s too early.  Ryan takes us through all the drama that was last week’s results show, and then, we’re ready to get started.
The Idols come out and the first thing I notice is that Paul is AGAIN wearing his Rose-embroidered suit.  Somebody should really take that guy shopping.  Maybe it’s a lucky token, like the stuff superstitious athletes wear over and over.

Jennifer looks lovely tonight but I did notice that her earrings seem to get bigger with every week.  Maybe she’ll be able to hula-hoop through them by the finale?  I think I could slide the current ones pretty far up my leg, and that’s saying something!  Also, Ryan has something odd going on tonight with his whole hair and make-up combo.  What is happening behind the scenes here?  Ok, back to business…

I have high expectations for what Jimmy can do with these kids this week, as I adore Elton John’s entire catalog.  But first, we get to see the young idols glam it up with the stylists at the fashion shoot…yada yada yada.

Finally, Scotty is up first.  He does “Country Comfort” very authentically, and I love the slide guitar. I really like that Scotty is totally just himself.  More than almost any other contestant, he knows exactly who he is as an artist. (Uh oh – I sound like Randy). I’m not a country fan but I really respect his commitment and his vocal talent.  The judges agree.

Naima is next with a reggae version of “I’m Still Standing”.  Hmm….bold choice. OK – she introduces the song and dedicates it to troubled folks out in the world, but she does it in a Jamaican accent.  Why?  Maybe she’s thinking that adding a British accent worked for Madonna?   I give her props for trying it, but she’s really cheesy.  J.Lo  and Randy didn’t dig it either, saying it was corny.  Steven begs to differ and says something like “boom shakalaka laka baby.” Wow, I just can’t get enough of him.

Next up is some songwriter who has something to do with a Coca-cola commercial that I believe Idol is crowdsourcing.  Maybe? I don’t really know because my daughter wanted to debate the merits of Justin Beiber, and I just couldn’t let that go, so I was distracted.  Alright, back to the singers.

Onto Paul who goes with “Rocket Man.”  Nice. One of my top 3 Elton tunes.  He’s really in his element on this kind of song, with his guitar.  I wanted so badly to love it as much as the young girls in the audience do, but I’ll give it’s a little off. I did like that he steered clear of his stage jig, which was a plus. Randy is a bit lukewarm on it as well.  They all agree that he has to take it farther, and then – Steven comments on the suit!  Awesome!  I love that he got called out on wearing the same thing 3 times now, but it is a little ironic coming from Tyler, who’s wearing yet another slightly metallic leopard print.

Pia is next and shares with us that she’s totally comfortable getting glam.  Is there anyone out there who hasn’t already figured that out?  She already looks like she could own a Vegas stage.  As for song choice, she chooses yet another ballad, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” but I think it’s a good choice.  Jimmy advises her to take it somewhere between “Fergie and Axl Rose”.  How would that sound?  Seriously? Like P!nk maybe?  Pia sounds more like Celine than P!nk, but she’s good and they give her the full choir just for good measure.  Tyler adores her and digs the rendition. So do the others.  She’s not going anywhere and can get used to getting glammed.  By the way, I don’t usually pay attention to the mini-interviews backstage after each break but I caught Pia’s and she told us that she’s doing “River Deep, Mountain High” next week.  Spoiler alert! Does that mean Tina week?

Stefano, the comeback kid, decides to take on “Tiny Dancer.” Yes, another ballad.  I don’t love it, but what do I know.  I think you have to be a teenager to fully appreciate his charms.  He ends stronger than he started, and you have to give him credit for kissing up to Jennifer with the hand squeeze at the end.  Naturally, she applauds him.  Randy thanks him for keeping his eyes open and Steven says his voice is “sweet.”

Lauren is all sorts of glammed up this week.  She really has a Real Housewives’ vibe working.  She’s going with “Candle in The Wind” in a very stripped down country-western way with a piano that sounds terrific.  The judges eat her up, she’s so cute and Randy tells her it was one of her best performances.  Steven and Ms. Lopez are also on board the Lauren train.

Next is James, indulging us with “Saturday Night’s Alright.”  Good choice for him.  He’s really trying to bring home this year’s bad-boy title by tossing the mic stand, climbing on the piano, using pyrotechnics and throwing in his signature scream on the last note.  He’s pulling out all the stops.  Tyler loves it – it’s totally in his wheelhouse. Randy and “Hoops” Lopez both concur.  Ryan calls him fearless, but then quickly regrets it when James makes reference to a possible Pepsi moment with the stage fire and his hairspray.  Ryan rapidly has to dance around the P-word and remind us that Coca-Cola is the main sponsor of Idol.  I’d truly have loved to be in the production booth at that moment.  Great TV.    

Thia tries for “Daniel” and Jimmy wisely coaches her to sing from her heart and get in touch with the poignant lyrics.  I’m no fan of hers, and while I think it’s a little safe and boring, it’s spot on pitch-wise, and she is visibly trying to connect with the song.  J. Lo says it was beautiful.  Randy’s feedback was mixed – saying that it was a good song choice, but safe and pitchy (I didn’t hear the pitch problems myself, but I didn’t play with Journey and Mariah, so I’ll take his word).  Steven says unenthusiastically that she sang it well.

Casey’s up next.  No pressure, right? He’s got to prove that the judges didn’t waste their one-and-only save on him last week.   He picks “Your Song” which is one of my all-time faves.  Oh, and he gets his beard trimmed.  He no longer looks like Zach Galifianakis.  It’s tender and powerful and notably, on key.  The judges all pat themselves on the back for saving him and give Casey his due for the performance.   I think Casey’s back!

Jacob is next and Ryan prepares us for a “softer, gentler Jacob.” I remain skeptical because I don’t think it’s physically possible for him to sing anything restrained.  He chooses “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word,” the Mary J. Blige version.  She even shows up in his practice studio to cheer him on.  Jimmy warns about over-dramatizing the song, securing his spot for me as Idol’s Best Mentor Ever.   I wouldn’t say that it was restrained, but it was restrained for Jacob.  The judges adore him.

Oddly, they’ve given Haley the pimp spot tonight.  I’m really curious what she’s bringing, because she’s been in trouble before.  Not surprisingly, she shares how at home she feels getting the glam treatment, like she’s finally being treated as she’s always deserved.   She does “Benny and the Jets,” undoubtedly my favorite Sir Elton number.  She really gives it her all, and while I thought it was a little cartoon-y, it certainly had its moments and the judges are all enthralled.  Randy calls it the best performance of the night.  Tyler says, she “sings sexy.”       

 Okay, so Bottom 3 is a tough call tonight.  I think Pia, Lauren, Scotty, and James are totally safe.  I think the audience will rally behind Casey for his dramatic improvement and I’m betting that Jacob and Paul both have loyal enough standing fan bases to stick around for another couple of weeks.  That leaves Haley, Naima, Thia and Stefano.

I’m going with Stefano, Naima and Thia, because I think Haley showed dramatic improvement and I believe there’s an advantage to going last.  I’m not totally confident though this week.  Paul could be on the bubble too. Honestly, nobody was terrible, which makes it really tough to choose.  I’m going out on a limb and guessing that Naima and Stefano will need to pack up and move out of the plush Idol crib.  Tune into Fox Thursday night to find out for sure.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top 11 Part Deux: The Idols to Take on Elton!

Article first published as American Idol This Week on Technorati.


Wow!  That's all I can say about Idol's dramatic results show last week.  Here's how it went down according to the official site: http://www.americanidol.com/recaps/season_10/mar_24/.


On the heels of that dramatic spectacle, we've learned that this week, the Idols will take on the always dramatic Elton John and his catalog of music spanning almost 4 decades of work.  That may pose problems for a few of our frequently-challenged contestants.  Not only because many of this year's idol wannabe's were born long after Elton's golden period and may only be familiar with his relatively bad 80's pop ditties, but also, thanks to last week's use of the "Honorary Jennifer Hudson Save" of Casey Abrams, two idols will be voted off this week, leaving us with the final 9.  How do you think it will all go down?  I believe that Naima, Haley, Thia, and Casey will be in trouble (I say confidently without knowing anything about their song choices).


Haley has been in the bottom of the pack for awhile now with the voting public and Elton's catalog may prove troublesome for her.  She really needs a Carol King week, or maybe a Christina Aguilera week to regain some footing.  Or, she needs to continue wearing hot pants and hope that the men in the television audience are motivated to pick up the phones.  Good luck with that. In the meantime, we can only hope she chooses the right song.  I'd recommend "Honky Cat", but what do I know?


I'm personally not a Naima fan and even though she was not in last week's bottom three, she's no stranger to that realm.  I'm struggling trying to think of an Elton song that would work for her, but remain curious.  She's always entertaining; I'm just not always sure it is in the way she intends it.  My advice is please, for the love of God, do not pick "Circle of Life".


I think that Thia gets a lot of votes from younger fans who can relate to her, and they vote in droves (unlike those of us firmly ensconced in our middle age trappings and too high on wine to accurately text or dial by the time the show ends).  However, those young voters also tend to listen to the judges who continue to be lukewarm on Thia.  I think she'll be tempted to take on another ho hum ballad this week and that will not help her along.  God forbid she chooses "Crocodile Rock" and receives a rant from Randy playing the part of Simon, this year's "mean judge", harkening back to John Stephen's sad take on that song in the 3rd season.


I am a totally unabashed Casey fan, even though I was not in love with his last 2 weeks' performances.  That said, I was totally shocked when he was voted off last week, and then promptly saved by the judges.  He is really going to need to connect with voters this week, because Ms. Lopez et al cannot save him again.  Hopefully, I can stay awake (and sober!) long enough to log in some votes for him this week.  I believe he appeals to older Idol fans who just don't vote as much.  Thinking about what he'll sing is fun and I really hopes he chooses "Take Me To The Pilot" or "Levon".  Fingers crossed Casey.


As for Scotty, Pia, Jacob, and James, I think they'll all do well this week.  Scotty apparently has an enormous fan base, based on what I see on Twitter, other blogs and online polls, and should be in his element as many of these songs lend themselves to a stripped down country vibe (maybe "Your Song" or "I Guess That's What They Call It the Blues").  Pia has an amazing voice and should waltz through any one of a number of Elton tunes, but she does need to beware of becoming predictable and choosing yet another ballad.  Simon would definitely not let her get way with that, reminding me once again why I miss him.   I'd really like to see her try "Nikita", but I fear we're in for a "Candle in the Wind" moment.  James will do a rocker take on one of Elton's 70's tunes - hopefully "Benny and the Jets" or "Saturday Niht's Alright for Fightin'".  It's not totally in his wheelhouse but unless he really hoses it up, he should do fine as he also seems to have a lot of loyal fans (if you believe what you read elsewhere online).  Jacob will undoubtably take on a big emotional production and as usual, show no restraint at all. I envision "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"with lots of vocal gymnastics, but we'll see.


That leaves us with Lauren, Stefano, and Paul.  Paul is quirky and is actively courting the cougar vote, as indicated by his fancy cougar pin last week - thank you Ryan for pointing that one out.  He should do well on early-era EJ tunes, but what he really needs is a Rod Stewart week to shine. I really liked him when this all started off, but I'm growing tired of his constant jigging around the stage and his barely there voice.  I wonder if he's losing his luster with other viewers as well? I think Lauren is an incredibly likable candidate for this year's Idol.  Lean on talent perhaps, but rife with moxie, stage presence and pop idol cuteness.  You can't count her out at this stage and as long as she stays away from the dreaded "Crocodile Rock" or "Philadelphia Freedom" or, worse yet, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart", she should be completely fine.  Maybe she should try "I'm Still Standing".  Stefano is not my favorite contestant and he's been up and down in the competition so far, but he's cute enough to keep getting votes from tweenager's across America, and vocally, I can see him doing any number of Elton tunes well.  I'd love to hear "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", but now that I think about it, maybe that's a more appropriate choice for Casey given his fate last week.  Barring any major vocal catastrophe, Stefano should be safe for another week.


I can't wait to tune in and see what they deliver for us this week. Last week's not-exactly-an-elimination show was a great twist and made the season a lot more interesting. Tune into FOX on Wednesday to see what happens.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Top 11 Elimination Show Shocker!

Article first published as American Idol: Top 11 Elimination Show on Technorati.

It was a big night on American Idol for anyone who didn’t catch the action.   Here’s how it went down.  They kicked off last night’s results show with some nonsense from Mark Antony and teasers about the upcoming performances from Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson .  The Idols then performed a Motown number…badly, except for James Durbin. Then, lo and behold, Stevie Wonder himself graced us with his presence.  Pretty cool.  Steven Tyler did yet another secret product placement for Chico’s women’s wear, sporting multiple animal prints and the latest trends in jewelry layering.  He actually wears woman’s wear pretty well.  Like an oddly hot, but slightly masculine, Bea Arthur.  Weird, right?  Anyway, it’s his birthday so Stevie sings to him, and they presented him with a cool Warhol-ish painting.   

Ok, back to the couches of dread…by the way, the idols ALL looked amazing last night, like they’re dressed for a bunch of Vegas weddings!  First up, Scotty, Pia, and Lauren were called into the spotlight.  Ryan tried to tease us, but we’ve watched this show before so we’re not totally na├»ve….they’re safe (of course).   Then before more results, we’re treated to a new song by Sugarland – something about uh oh and glue.  They sounded good in their uniquely twangy way, but I can’t help but think their last album made a lot of money, so why isn’t she dressed better?  I know that at least Hudson will bring us some fashion tonight because she is showing off her new Weight Watchers body.  You go girl…Next we were subjected to the week’s contestant video package – it seemed to be about wrestling and general mayhem at the Idol Mansion. I’m not sure that it made any of the Idol wannabe’s more appealing, but maybe that’s just because I’m not a WWE fan?  

Next it’s back to results, with James and Paul at center stage.  Seacrest tried to tell us they’re not safe, toying with us yet again, but the joke’s on us, because then came Hulk Hogan to tell us they both ARE safe, but Ryan isn’t.  Some really terrible fake-punching ensued, and at least now I get the wrestling tie-in from the video segment.  I personally think Idol just jumped the shark.  What about you?  The Hulk?  For real?  The one thing about this stunt that was actually funny is just how puny Ryan looks next to Hulk.  The good news is that Paul and James are now safely cradled in their tour-worthy safety seats.

The next victims were Jacob, Thia, and Stefano.  They don’t keep us in suspense long on Jacob – he’s safe.  Both Thia and Stefano are in the Bottom 3.

The last Idols, Naima, Haley and Casey were called up.  Naima is told she is safe, completely blowing my prediction (and my faith in the American electoral system!).  Then we got our first REAL shocker of the season – Haley is safe too and Casey is in the Bottom 3.  Wow – did not see that coming.  I agree that last night, Haley was better than before, and that Casey wasn’t as good as usual, but seriously?  My husband was ecstatic by the way as he’d much rather look at Haley’s legs for the next few weeks than Casey’s mug (I earlier said he looked like Seth Rogan, but now I’m thinking more Zach Galiflanakis.  Do you agree?)

Ok, so the lowest votes this week were for Thia, Stefano, and Casey.  Who will get to take their summer off?  Who will go on tour?  Who else will they haul out on stage tonight to relieve our boredom? Oh wait, they introduce a couple of Nascar people whom I totally don’t recognize as a stall tactic.  Then, out comes Idol’s own Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson, for whom the “Judges’ Save” was invented after she got robbed several seasons ago.  She had an odd look on her face throughout her performance, like perhaps she was still bitter about the fact that back in her day, there was no “save” option. But, other than the grimace, she looks completely gorgeous and sounds amazing.  By the way, she also makes Ryan look puny but that may be because of her 8-inch heels.

Back to the results, Ryan sent – NO WAY – IT CAN’T BE – he sent Thia back to safety.  Truly unbelievable!  I’m again reminding myself that when I make predictions, I need to keep in mind that it’s primarily 14 year olds who know how to text fast enough to actually vote multiple times.  Of course, all those teens and tweens love Thia, no matter how lukewarm the judges are on her.  Aye yi yi…

So, last night’s big loser was Casey, or was it?  We’re then told that Stefan is safe and that means that Casey had to do a sudden death sing-off for the judges and hope for their mercy.  He picked “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and doesn’t even get through the first verse, when the judges stopped him, saying “we know who you are Casey” and USE THE SAVE!  I genuinely thought Casey was going to hyperventilate.  He barely keeps it together, he’s so overcome with gratitude.  Ms. Lopez schooled him on what she thought happened and coached him to “just be the musician that you are, and don’t bring any antics” or something like that.  That actually sounded like good advice – rock on J. Lo. 

Anyway, there you have it – nobody went home, so next week, we’ll have the Top 11, Part Deux.  That means however that 2 people will go home next week so everyone better step it up!  Casey included.  I know I’ll be there to see it all go down.  How about you?

For more recap information, thoughts and weekly updates, check out another favorite site, American Idol Net at:  http://americanidolnet.com/.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Top 11 Take on Motown!

Article first published as American Idol: The Top 11 Perform on Technorati.



Doesn’t Detroit already have enough problems?  OK, in all seriousness, the idols did well last night!  I’m going to have to focus almost all my rants on their fashion choices, on the judges and on Ryan. So, let’s start there…Jennifer is dressed like Rachel from Glee tonight.  Steven is obviously wearing a woman’s shirt from Chico’s – maybe they’re a new sponsor?  Randy is proudly sporting a Bill Cosby cardigan. Nice.  Finally, after plenty of nonsense, they haul out the Idols.

First up is Casey with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”.  Here’s what we know – he’s quite a character.  The judges love him and comment more on his uniqueness than on his actual singing, which wasn’t that great actually.  Not bad, just not his best.

Next is Thia who warns us in advance that it’s a tough week for her…uh oh.  She chooses “Heatwave”.  The good news is that she looks gorgeous.  She’ll end up on a Disney show before long, I promise.  Unfortunately, it’s a very karaoke performance but J. Lo gives her props for finally letting loose a little.  The general consensus seems to be that she did better this week but still needs to dig deeper.

Jacob is up next – this should really be his week, right?  He does “You’re All I Need to Get By” and is reminded by Jimmy Iovine to show restraint.  I guess that was his version of restraint? Steve Tyler storms the stage and hugs him, so I guess he liked it.  The judges all dug him, and I have to admit he was good.  Seacrest wants to be certain he’ll stick around so he invites the entire front row, that’s right, the whole front row, to come up and hug Jacob.

Poor Lauren has to follow that and goes with “You Keep Me Hanging On”.  She’s good enough, but nothing I’d really remember.  The stylists have her dolled up like a younger version of one of Bravo’s Real Housewives.  Randy calls it swagger.  The panel really likes her apparently.  She’s safe.

Stefano is the next victim and before he sings, Ryan warms the crowd to him by highlighting his adorable mom who cooked pasta for everyone at the Idol Mansion.  Stefano loves his mom….and her cooking….and the mansion.  He’s a good boy – we get it.  As for singing, he chooses “Hello”, the Lionel Ritchie classic.  Stefano was awesome last week, right?  Sadly, the old Stefano is back. He over sings the ballad a bit, and closes his eyes for most of the last half of the song (even though Iovine told him not to do so).  The judges call him out for not connecting (code for not keeping his eyes open).

After the break, Ryan introduces Gordon Ramsey and asks him to review Stefano’s mom’s pasta.  He trashes it, officially proving that with Simon gone, he is the biggest meanie on Fox….and that’s saying something! 

Now that the audience is feeling very awkward about that whole exchange, they haul out Haley who has been flat-ironed beyond all recognition to sing   “You Really Got a Hold on Me”.  I don’t totally dig her performance but she’s definitely better than the last 2 weeks and has her blues-y growl back.  The judges are ecstatic, but I’m not sure the audience agrees.

Scotty is next and admits that he was way too country to listen to Motown growing up, but he decides to do a take on “For Once In My Life”.  We all knew this would be a rough week on him…but you know what? He’s great and totally transforms that Stevie gig into a valid country tune.  I give him credit for staying authentic and for staying on key.  He should leave the dancing to the others and sit still, but he sounds good.  A friend of mine pointed out that he’s a dead ringer for Alfred E. Newman from MAD magazine – totally.  Now, I’ll never get that out of my head.  Tyler compares him to Glen Campbell and the other judges give him thumbs up too.  Safe.

We have the ever-lovely Pia taking on Stevie Wonder too, but opting for “All In Love Is Fair”, fully utilizing her 3-octave range.  It’s not my style of music, but her vocal talent is undeniable.   The judges are appropriately awestruck but do call her out on being a little boring.   Randy quips, “You cannot live on ballads alone”.  Amen to that.  

Paul is stoked to do Motown and goes with “Tracks of My Tears”.  That actually seems like a great choice for him, and he’s going to do it as an acoustic jam with his guitar.  OK, big fan.  I like almost any big song stripped down to an acoustic moment with a guitar.  I’ll say this – the guitar seems to limit his normal desire to do a jig, so that’s a plus.  Unfortunately, he’s pitchy and the back-up singers suck some of the coolness out of it.    Randy wants him to “bring the tender”.  Tyler calls him a true original “like Dylan” (that’s a stretch, right?).  I like how Ryan points out that Paul is wearing an actual cougar pin.  For real? Yes, he’s really stomping for that voting bloc!

Naima does “Dancing in the Streets” which seems like a natural choice for her.  Spoiler alert – she gives us a heads up that she’s going to incorporate some African Dance.  Bold choice.  Also, she may be wearing the biggest bell-bottoms ever.  She’s going big tonight. Steven says she was “E to the Z to the Tweedly Dee” Whatever that means…Randy and Jennifer say something too, but I’m still working out in my head what Steven meant?

James is in the final slot and goes with Stevie Wonder’s “Living in the City”.  He delivers a version very reminiscent of Adam Lambert, but with some of Paul’s signature jig thrown in for good measure.  Jenny-from-the-block can’t contain herself, and calls him serious business.  Randy isn’t having any of it – he thought it started rough but finished amazing “once he got in the pocket”.   Tyler loves him.

Tonight is tougher for me to pick, because unlike previous weeks, nobody was flat out terrible.   They were all actually pretty good.  For sure, Pia, Jacob, Scotty, Lauren, and James are safe.  My guess is that Casey, Stefano, and Paul will be too.  That leaves Naima, Haley and Thia in the bottom three, or at least that’s how I’d rank them.  I could see Stefano in the Bottom too, (thus, likely saving Thia).  I think Naima is going home.  Maybe it’s just wishful thinking and if I predict it enough weeks, it will eventually happen.  What do you think?  A few other sites I read say it’s Haley’s turn to go.  Tune in to Fox tonight to find out on the Elimination show:  http://www.americanidol.com/.

Photo: Fox.       

Friday, March 18, 2011

Top 12 Results Show: A Night of Lees, Peas and Pleas

Article first published as American Idol Top 12 Results Show on Technorati.

Last night’s Idol Elimination Show started with the very Glee-esque Top 12 group number; a mash-up of “Born to Be Wild” and “Born This Way”.  I’m not sure we’ll ever again experience Steppenwolf and Lady Gaga collaborate in such fashion!  Then, we moved onto the always-obligatory Ford Video which, this week, consisted of the Idols trying to cover “Val Kilmer” whilst hocking the latest Ford model.  Does this really sell any cars?  Our third product placement of the night involved Seacrest pitching the Idol 10th anniversary CD.  Ryan proceeds to go all Oprah on us and tells the audience there’s a CD under each seat.  The crowd goes wild….sort of!  Not exactly the same reaction as when Ms. Winfrey gave away those trips to Australia last year. Ok, enough snake oil, let’s get to some actual results….

Nope, not apparently until we struggle through this week’s “contestant package”, which seems to be an odd montage about foreign languages, pets and accents….just weird.  I guess voting isn’t what they’re expecting this season and they need to be sure that we’re really getting to KNOW the contestants as individuals.  Thanks Fox – I think we just care about the singing (and of course, any tawdry scandals, because we are Americans after all).

Finally, we’re onto actual results, but wait, it’s St. Patty’s Day so we have to break into Irish folk music as a momentary tease first….ok, we’re back. Whew – I was concerned that Paul McDonald was going out come out and do a jig!

Jacob, Lauren and Casey are first called to the stage. That seems like a waste of caloric activity for Lauren and Jacob, who are naturally safe and sent immediately back to their seats.  Casey is left, and Seacrest stalls by asking Tyler what is in the “goop” he referred to last night.  This prompts some concern from the Idol indecency squad….but thankfully,  it’s all good.  Tyler does not earn himself the dreaded delay and we learn that Casey is also safe.

Next up are Haley and Paul.  Ryan asks Haley again about what kind of artist she’d be and she stumbles through an answer that basically translates to “I don’t know”.  They talk of Paul’s illness, and he seems to have received remarkably.  That’s not the only good news tonight for Paul, who is also declared safe, making Haley the first in the bottom 3. 

Lee Dewyze performs and while he sounds good on his fairly bland new song, it still makes me wonder why Crystal Bowersox didn’t win last season?  Am I alone or did you think her recently released album totally rocked?

OK, back to the business of breaking hearts…Scotty, Pia and James are called to center stage.  Snoozefest- all 3 are safe and sent back to the safety seats.

Now, Stefano and Naima join Seacrest in the spotlight, where we’re not surprised to learn that Stefano is safe and Naima is in the bottom 3.  I love that Naima totally calls out the judges and shares that she hates the word “pitchy”.  We do too Naima – I think your stock just went up! 

Finally, Karen and Thia face the music.  Thia is safe (because it is after all the 15 and under’s who vote in this race), so Karen joins Naima and Haley in the hot seats as the night’s bottom three.  So far, my half-hearted predictions from last night are looking good!

But now, its time for a commercial break and then of course the Black Eyed Peas perform (I cannot really call it “singing” right?) so the idols have an appropriate amount of time to sweat it out before learning of their fate.     The Peas debut their new song, which I did not love and then, good grief!  It’s yet another commercial break.  Fox sells more ad time on this show than I do on my web page!  Jeez! 

OK back to our bottom three where Ryan sends Naima back to the safety seats….blowing my prediction for this week.  Haley is also safe with Karen (potentially) going home. Karen sings for her supper, and in an outright plea to the judge to save her, she chooses Mariah Carey’s “Hero”.  It’s not “muy bueno” at all even though she throws in some Spanish for good measure.  Unfortunately, it comes off as more of a party trick, and if it were me, I’d probably just try to sing in key (but what do I know?)

The judges chat for a second, while Seacreast tries his best to make poor Karen cry.  Randy shares that they’re not saving her tonight, but adds that it is not unanimous, subtly letting America know that Jenifer really is the nicest judge yet and tried her best to save her….or at least, that’s my guess.

Next week the Top 11 will sing, and the elimination show will give us the Top 10, and the year’s Idol Tour participants.  I think there are a few folks who desperately need to step it up, or they’ll have to start making plans now for theme park jobs this summer!  What do you think? Tune in next Wednesday to see for yourself!  Want more Idol chatter?  Check out American Idol Net for even more recaps, predictions, news and goings-on: http://americanidolnet.com/.
 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 12 Perform: Birth Year Hits from This Season's Dirty Dozen

Article first published as American Idol Top 12 Perform on Technorati.


Idol started off last night with the judges announcing that they’ll be donating iTunes download proceeds to the American Red Cross for the Japan crisis (oddly dressed in fashions from their own birth years s a nod to the night’s theme).  Sometimes I’m proud to watch this show, but then last night’s episode actually started and I changed my mind.  It was pretty much a hot mess right?  Bad song choices, bad arrangements and bad Seacreast antics (cleaning Haley’s face, for real?)

Naima (1984) kicked it off with “What’s Love Got to Do With It”.  Wow – Taking on Tina – many have tried, and most have died.  She starts off rough and by the end, it sounds a bit like we’re at a Jamaican All-inclusive resort taking in the free dinner show.  It’s not my cup of Jah, but Tyler loves it! JLo and RJa don’t let her of the hook on the pitchiness (I guess it IS back this year!).

Paul (1984) follows up with Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”.  He sounds EXACTLY like Macy Gray singing Elton John and still can’t seem to resist the urge to do his weird chicken dance.  He’s definitely hoarse and I give him a break, as Jennifer does.  Randy does not, and calls him out for being pitchy, but oddly, compares him to Ray LaMontagne.  Steven still digs him.  No worries for Paul; he’ll use his magic smile get lots of cougar votes.  

Thia (1995) opts for Vanessa Williams’ “Colors of the Wind”.  Of course she does – she’s an ideal Disney star. She looks and sings just like Pocohantas, but doesn’t bring anything new to the song.   Randy tries to keep it real and calls it pageant-y and boring, but the crowd won’t hear it.  They love her.  Unfortunately, Steven and Ms. Lopez both agree. 

James Durbin (1989) is next.  It’s not really going to help his bad boy rocker image that they’re showing a montage of incredibly cute baby pix featuring him cuddling his dolls.  His mom says he used to sing to them “in perfect pitch”…Too bad that trait is not still with him as he take on Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There for You”.  First off, I’m done with the scarf tail – please lose it.  Secondly, while he’s not horrible, there is nothing new about his version and Simon would surely be hauling out his theme park or karaoke references at this point.  Even Tyler calls him out on the dolls issue and warns him not to get too pop.  Jenny from the Block loved it.  Randy says “tastefully done” but is obsessed with James’ boots, so that must be distracting him.  He’s safe because lots of others were way worse.

Haley (1990) does Whitney Houston – uh oh.  Has she never watched this show before?  They annihilate anyone who tries Whitney.  She is predictably horrific and the lyrics are flat out incomprehensible.  Just as I notice her lipstick is smeared all over her chin, Ryan comes over to wipe her face and clean it off.  It’s a first on Idol – Ryan really does have more jobs than anyone else in America.  Randy is concerned that she doesn’t know who she is and Steven tells her to go more Blues-y next time….if she’s around.

Next up is Stefano (1989) who goes with Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.   Go Stefano!  I’m not normally a fan but he rocked it.  The judges fawn over one another trying to out-compliment each other.

Pia (1988) goes with another Whitney tune, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.  Why is she dressed like Hans Solo?  Her singing is flawless and she looks beautiful (albeit in an 80’s time capsule kind of way).  I’m sure she’ll be safe, but I’d never download that song.  Would you?  She’ll need to break out of that mold if she wants to go the distance.  For now, she’s the favorite.

Scotty (1993) chooses “Can I Trust You With My Heart” by Travis Tritt.  “Stay Country, Stay Me” is his motto. Let me say once again that I don’t get the whole country thing, but he’s in tune, doesn’t jam up the melody, and doesn’t distract us with absurd dance moves.  So, he’s safe in this crowd.   He’s not goin’ anywhere, y’all…. Jennifer gives him props, Randy does too, while OF COURSE reminding us that he worked with Travis, and Tyler gives him a lukewarm thumbs up as well.

Karen (1989) looks like JLo if she did an Austin Power movie, but sings “Love Will Lead You Back”….badly.  She’s in trouble and reverts to singing in Spanish, which worked for her in week 1, but not now.  The judges inexplicably go easy on her.

Casey (1991) and his bass take on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  He is quirky and unique and a little scary.  I can only imagine Kurt Cobain seizing in his grave that his song is on AI, but I digress… I notice he’s wearing an ascot – bold choice Case.  Tyler says he has the “goop” and is crazy and talented at the same time, JLo once again calls him sexy, and Randy, whilst reminding us yet again of all the great artists he’s worked with, manages to give him a side-handed compliment too.  I dig Casey, but not tonight – sorry. 

Lauren (1994) informs us she has the flu and she must be medicated because she’s acting like she just shared a bong of Salvia with Miley Cyrus.  She sings Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One” which definitely suffers from her illness, but its still good enough to keep her safe on this sad night.  The panel loves her.

Jacob (1989), our final victim, is in the clutch spot.  He disses his mom’s singing, which probably won’t help his popularity, but my guess is that he has fans to spare right now.   He’s takes on Heart’s “Alone”, which he certainly Jacob-izes extensively.  Randy gives him at least 3 yo’s and Steven and JLo echo the love vibe.  Maybe he’s a singers’ singer because I thought he was way over the top, bordering on annoying.

Predictions tonight are tough because honestly, there was more bad than good.  I’m guessing that Naima, Haley and Karen will be Bottom 3, and Naima will go home.  What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2011

American Idol Elimination Show –Now We Are 12...


I’m embarrassed to admit that I won’t be at my snarky best today, primarily because the show was lame last night (for me at least?), and I honestly feel asleep!  I can’t believe it!  That’s on at what, 8 PM EST?  That really says something about my 1) age, 2) energy level 3) commitment to Season 10!  Thus, this post will be very brief and only focus on the parts of the show that I actually saw, which included Adam Lambert’s performance and Diddy Dirty Money’s gig.  Also, of course, the actual elimination.

I went out on a limb this week with a firm prediction about the Bottom 3 AND the contestant to be voted off, and amazingly, I guessed right.  Maybe this was totally obvious?  What do you think?  Was Ashton the right choice to be sent home?  I definitely think so!  I'm pretty sure the judges agreed expect that poor Jennifer really looked like she was going to cry when she delivered the bad news.  Maybe she's just too nice to be a judge?  Then again, Ellen Degeneres did it and is there anyone on the planet nicer than her? Don't think so, but this is not the time to get into the relative merits (or lack thereof) of Ellen's judging ability...I digress. 

Have a great weekend everyone and I promised to be back, wide awake and ready to rant next week for the Top 12 Performance Show.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 13 Extravaganza?


Article first published as American Idol Top 13 Extravaganza on Technorati.

This is it.  The boys and girls combined and we’re working towards narrowing down for the all-important tour.  Last night’s show bordered on lame for me.  Am I alone?  I just can’t fathom sitting through a 3 hour concert featuring ten of these kids, although there are a couple I’d go see as solo acts.  The theme for Wednesday night’s show was “The Idols’ Idols”; each contestant chose a song from their musical idol with poor Jimmy Iovine as the mentor this week, along with a motley crew of esteemed producers.

So let’s dive into the performances, thoughts and/or rants about them, and predictions for who will be crying to David Cook’s debut of “Don’t You Forget About Me” on Thursday night (http://www.americanidol.com/).

Lauren starts off and shares that her idol is Shania Twain; she sings “Any Man of Mine”.  It was as good as any karaoke performance, but certainly not any better.  Wow, the judges agree with me, and Lauren looks stunned.  I’m sure she’s surprised since they’ve done nothing but fawn all over her until now.

Casey hauled out Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From My Friends”.  They’re pulling out the whole backup choir pretty early in the season this year! He rocks it out, but it’s not the best I’ve heard him this season.   Jenny from the block calls him “important”.  Randy reminds us that it’s Idol Season 10: The Remix!!  Steven calls him a rainbow of talent and a plethora of passion.   Interesting.

Ashton, this year’s diva in training, tells us that Diana Ross is her (hair) idol.   Actually, Randy told her that last week, and she was smart enough to take his advice and at least secure his support. She certainly proved that she can look like Diana, but sadly, NOT sing like her.  Randy gave her a pass and Steven and J.Lo both seemed so enchanted by her hair that they didn’t notice her singing.

Paul’s idol is Ryan Adams, an Indie singer/songwriter, in keeping with his whole quirky thing.  He is however dressed like an extra from Sargent Pepper, and he’s flat, and all in all, a little off, right?  Steven loves him and his voice but agrees that he was pitchy and should pick a better song.  J.Lo admits that she doesn’t know who Ryan Adams is (one more reason for me to make fun of her).  Randy tries his best to get him votes by supporting him and Seacrest gets in the act and attempts to copy his chicken dancing.

Lovely Pia tells us her idol is Celine Dion. She chose “All by Myself”, which is only a song Celine covered.  So now Pia covers Celine covering it….but she does so really well.  She should decorate her room in the Idol mansion because she’s not going anywhere.

Next up was James doing Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”.  He does his rocker best to amp it up a la Adam Lambert, and he’s pretty good, if a bit rough on the higher register.  Randy loves him and somehow manages to work in once again that he worked with Journey.  OK – we get it; you were famous before Idol – we just didn’t know it!  Steven and Jennifer really like him too.

Haley opted for LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue”, which surprises me.  I was expecting Aguilera or Joss Stone, or some other blue-eyed soulstress.  She is dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction, but manages to keep it together.  She does not sound great though.  Randy agrees with me, but the other judges are under her spell and only give her praise.  Maybe I’m just not a yodeling fan?

 Jacob’s idol is R. Kelly – shocker!  He believes he can fly…and the full choir agrees with him! He starts off a bit sketchy but finishes strong.  All the judges love him and Randy again proposes that Season 10 is the Best. Season. Ever.  They lavish their praise accordingly.  For me, he’s way over the top.

Thia Megia sang “Smile” and she’s ok, until she surprises us by picking up the pace in her song, and completely losing her key.  The judges agree that her soft, sweet quiet intro was better.  Thia begs us, the voting public, to keep her alive.   I’m not sure she’ll make it, but younger contestants tend to fare well because it’s the tweens amongst us who actually vote.

Stefano chooses Stevie Wonder’s “Lately”.  I just can’t be objective about this guy.  He’s so sweet and cute, but I don’t get his vocal appeal.  The judges seem mixed in their reviews, but again, my guess is that the not-yet-driving set who actually votes will keep him around. 

Karen went with Selena’s “I Could Fall in Love”, but sounds so-so to me. I am actually missing Simon who would surely have pointed out that she brought nothing new to the song and was not relevant.

Scotty McCreery goes out on a limb (ok, not at all) and does Garth Brooks’ classic, “The River”.  It’s ultra low, on key, and a great anthem for Garth fans.  I don’t get the Scotty thing, but he is not going anywhere anytime soon.  The judges utterly adore him and he’ll get a lot of votes from inside the coasts.

Last up, Naima, the wildcard in the clutch position, tells us that she idolizes Rihanna, but not until Ryan reminded us one last time that she was a janitor. She is sort of flat and karaoke-esque and then breaks into a weird reggae / rap moment followed by some Beetlejuice-inspired dancing, but it may just be quirky enough to keep her around.  I can’t tell if I like her or I’m just curious what she’ll do next, but I can tell you that my six year old thought she was “soooo funny”.

So, what do you think?  Who will be in tonight’s hot seats?  My guess is that James, Casey, Scotty, Pia, Lauren, Paul, Stefano, Thia, Naima, and Jacob will be safe.  Karen, Ashton and Haley will be in the bottom 3, and Ashton will get voted off the island tonight.  Do you agree?  

Friday, March 4, 2011

American Idol Elimination Show – Narrowing Down the Top 24


I first published this article as American Idol Elimination Show: Narrowing Down the Top 24 on Technorati.

Last night’s show on Fox started with Seacrest reminding us that American Idol is a juggernaut, and that there were 40 million votes logged for the Idol wannabes.  I suspect the new online voting pushed that total way up.  The buzz on the show this year is hardly momentous, but I digress.   Check here for recap and photos: http://www.americanidol.com/.

I love that Steven Tyler is wearing a fuchsia puffy shirt, like he’s channeling a pop music pirate; maybe Jack Sparrow?

They start with the guys.  It’s a good thing we’ve already voted because their interview package didn’t serve some of them well. Stefano/ Brett, I’m talking to you.  Seacrest does a good job of getting down to business and shares the first results.  Scotty is IN, and Clint is NOT.  Possibly his bad attitude during Hollywood week didn’t play well with America. Jovony and Jordan are also ousted. Now, they volley to the girls and show their interview package, which is much better except that I think Lauren T. just threatened us if we voted her off?  I’m a little bit scared. 

Pia and Lauren A. are the first girls to secure Top 12 slots. Next we learn that Ta-Tynisa isn’t in and neither is Julie. Sorry Ladies.  So long to Ashton and Kendra too, but Karen gets the nod and joins Scotty, Pia, and Lauren A. in the safety seats.

Back to the guys; am I the only one getting dizzy? Jacob is in – no shock. I’m happy for him but surprised by the weird grunting noise he just made.  Naturally, Casey – who is doing his best impression of Seth Rogan tonight – made it in too.  See ya Tim!

Now to the girls; Lauren T., Thia, and Naima are brought forward.  Bye bye Naima and Lauren T.  Thia gets a safety seat.

 The guys’ turn again; Brett and Paul step up.  By the way, whose hair is bigger – Brett’s or Ashton’s?  I can’t tell, but for some reason it is much more distracting on Brett.  Paul is in, but Brett, not so much.

Haley and Rachel are up next; Haley makes the cut.   Rachel was bad last night but I do feel for her – she’s been hanging around since Season 6!  James and Stefano are the last to learn their fate. I think we all knew that James, this year’s Adam Lambert, wasn’t going anywhere. So Stefano will have to hope for a Wild Card slot.   

The judges announce their Wild Card picks.  With14 people left, the judges select 6 lucky ones to go again in a sudden death sing-off.  Then, they’ll agree on an unspecified number to move forward. What?  Maybe NOT a Top 12?

Ashton, already fully embracing her inner Diva, took on Jennifer Hudson. I don’t love her but she sounds good.  Not Jennifer Hudson-good, but strong.  The judges must have signed some sort of NDA because their comments are quizzically noncommittal.

Stefano?  He does Smoky.  It doesn’t rock my world, but J. Lo looks like she is going to cry, and he may go on.

Next Up, Kendra tried to put a sexy spin on Georgia on My Mind. The chorus was good but it seems like she should have chosen a higher key.  I’ve noticed a trend that all the aspiring Idols are trying to make the Guinness Book of World Records with the length of their last note.  How about just singing in tune?

Jovany predictably sings a Jon Secada tune. He throws some Spanish lyrics in the mix, which worked for Karen.  We’ll see.  I’m not a fan, but I have to admit he is in tune and his last note isn’t an endurance exercise, which is refreshing.  Jennifer is again acting as if the judges’ verdict is top secret.

Next they choose Naima and I’m very surprised they’ve gone with her over Lauren T., who they loved last night. She really brought it on the Hathaway tune.  Even Randy, this year’s mean judge, cracks a smile. Steven Tyler is literally reduced to tears.

OK – the last one to sing for their supper is Robbie.  I am shocked that it’s not Clint or Tim. I guess they need at least one “sensitive ballad man’ in the mix.  Pan to the safety seats where we learn that all of the Top 5 Girls have a crush on him; they’re completely bawling throughout his song.  Was that a Members’ Only Jacket? Maybe those tears were for fashion.

Finally, time for the judges’ decision...wait – great news.  The judges are still laboring over this nearly impossible task, giving us time for a sneak peak of J. Lo’s new video.  Good thing they had that clip handy just in case.  It actually features 3 Jennifers.  I’m more than a little scared of Empress Jennifer, and Fly Girl Jenny looks like she could kick my butt too, but J. Lo  wearing the silver spider web suit circa Britney 2004 looks cool.  Seacrest likes her abs.  I’ve already forgotten this song.  Its time for the judges‘ decision; Little Diva, Ashton, is the first one to go through.  Next is Stefano and surprise – they are putting ONE more through.  Hmm… that means there will be an uneven number of guys/gals and a Top 13!  Remix indeed!  Naima is the final choice.

So Season Ten’s Top 13 are six guys including Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, and James Durbin. Plus, seven girls, including Pia Toscano, Karen Rodriguez, Haley Reinhart, Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, Naima Adedapo, and Ashton Jones.  I thought this was the year of the boys?

With the exception of Stefano instead of Clint / Tim, I think they got it right.  I would have preferred to see Lauren T. go over Ashton, but I get it.  Naima ss the true wild card, both in terms of being Number 13, and by being the most quirky and unpredictable.  I don’t know about “Best Season Ever”, but it seems comparable to other years in talent, and I admit that I look forward to watching it all go down over the next 11 weeks or so.   Darn, we didn’t get a goofy Glee-inspired Group number., but thankfully, we can look forward to next week!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top 12 Girls Perform

This article was first published as American Idol: Top 12 Girls on Technorati.



Were those really the Top 12 female singers in America?  I find that dubious at best.   Wednesday night, Fox aired the Top 12 Girls; you can check out a recap here: http://www.americanidol.com/.    So, let’s get down to business on this latest crop of Idolettes.  The line between the good and the should-have-tried-out-for-Top-Model is pretty clear here to me. 

The judges were of course back in rare form last night too! Madame Lopez was dressed like a backup singer in a 1975 Elton John Concert (with the Farrah hair to match!) and Steven Tyler seemed to grow a few extra feathers in his mane.  What are those things?  Randy continues with his “Mean Guys” tour this year, taking Simon’s place as the judge who’s job it is to put these kids in their place when he’s “not feeling it” (which seems to be the new “pitchy”).  All in all, I’d have to admit that he went really soft on most of the gals, but it was clear who all the judges thought would be around in the coming weeks for them to build some rapport with, and who they could dismiss pretty readily.  

As for the actual singing, and who is likely to stick around…Pia, “I’ll Stand By You” for sure!  Somehow, you weren’t on my radar until now.  My bad! You really brought it last night and wrapped up the otherwise-flat show in style.  I hope you’re not a one trick pony, but I’m sure you’ll stick around long enough for us to find out – you’re safe. For me, the only other passable performances were from Thia Megia, Haley Reinhart, Lauren Alaina, Karen Rodriguez, Lauren Turner, and Kendra Chantelle.  That’s a total of 7 gals, so my guess is that Pia, Thia, and Lauren A. will be safe, with Haley and Kendra in a nail biter ending in tears for at least one of the blue-eyed soul sisters. Then the judges will save either Lauren T. (who does also remind me of Bette Midler, but sadly of a 50-year old version of the Divine Miss M.), or Karen Rodriguez (I think we know which one Jennifer will vote for!)  I don’t even know where to start with just how bad Rachel Zevita was. She was channeling Dita Von Teese, if Dita were trying out for Broadway!  Naima Adedapo really did sound like a lounge singer, and a so-so one at that, plus she looked a bit like Carmen Miranda, which cannot help at this stage.  She’d really benefit from the Idol Stylists who get their hands on the contestants once we whittle down to the Top 12.  Alas, she probably won’t get that chance.   How sad was it to hear Julie Zorrilla open her mouth, when she LOOKED so predictably gorgeous.  Bad song choice Julie – you should know better than to take on Kelly Clarkson at this part of the competition.  Ta-Tynisa Wilson was at her leggy best, but just flat-out abysmal (as well as flat), and I wasn’t feeling Ashton Jones, the Diva-in-Training, last night either.  That said, Ashton is the only true R&B singer in the bunch so she may stick around and upset someone.  That would mean curtains for both of the R&B wannabe’s – Kendra and Haley - or the kiss of death for Lauren T.

Tonight Fox airs the Elimination Show and we’ll find out or sure who the Top 5 Boys, Top 5 Girls and 2 Judges’ Wild Card picks will be.  Hopefully, we’ll get some silly Seacrest banter and at least one mock-able group number featuring all of the Top 24!

Be sure to check back next week for my Idol soapbox report.


Top 12 Boys

This article was first published as American Idol: Top 12 Boys on Technorati.



 And so it begins.  The Top 24… “Best season ever”….  “Most talented group yet!” Really?  Where have I heard that before?  Season 9…Season 8…even (good Lord!) Season 4 claimed the same thing.  American Idol is back in full swing this week with 3 – count them – three! – nights of programming as we struggle through the Top 12 boys, Top 12 girls and the dreaded elimination show.  (Find out your programming details here: http://www.americanidol.com/). Here’s the deal – I’ll watch, so you can go do something useful with your life!  Then, I’ll report back each week on highlights (I’m being optimistic here), weekly judges’ shenanigans, general contestant mayhem, and some predictions (to hopefully help you win your office pools!).

Let’s start with the judges. I guess Randy is now the resident bad guy and “serious” judge now that Senor Cowell has sadly abandoned AI.  I’ve heard little so far about “pitchiness”, and the “dawgs” don’t seem to be out much.  While he seems downright harsh compared to the other judges, he’s really the only thing approaching a voice of reason this year at the experts’ table...that alone seems like a harbinger of doom to me.  J.Lo is beautiful – really, I’d gladly give up a toe for her complexion or access to her extensions/wig/hairdresser, but she just doesn’t bring the crazy like Paula did!  And then there’s Steven Tyler.  Gotta love that guy!  Does anyone else get a creepy uncle vibe from him, or is it just me? My biggest prediction this year is that he’ll never say anything critical to a hot chick – he just doesn’t have it in him! 

For the boys, let’s talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – there were definitely a few of each in this opening week of viewer voting.  Casey Abrams, you put a spell on me!  Seriously, does anyone doubt that this guy will go the distance?  I cannot fathom a universe in which he doesn’t clobber these other clowns… That said, the ever-snarky but talented Clint Jun Gamboa was totally solid, and James Durbin, playing the role of Adam Lambert this year, sang like a fake-wannabe-rocker, but one with a four octave range, so he’s safe.  Those three aren’t going anywhere, and, I think that Scotty McCreery, aka “Deep Throat” isn’t going away either.  His “aw shucks” thing coupled with his classic country/heartland appeal should allow him to skate through at least 3 more weeks, while barely breaking a sweat (Remember Bucky Covington?). Five guys will move forward, so it’s looking like the last slot would go to either Jason Lusk, whom the judges adore, or to Paul McDonald, whose freakishly white teeth are apparently hypnotizing the judges (as well as a few female voters I’m guessing).  Whichever one America doesn’t “get”, the judges will probably save with their Wild Card pick.  The good news is that this means we won’t have to listen to Jovany Barreto, or Stefano Langone slaughter any more tired Idol standards, and we won’t be forced to watch (or listen to) Jordan Dorsey or Brett Loewenstern any longer.  By the way, did Brett have a spider in his hair?  What was with all that head shaking?  And Jordan…was that dancing or was he having some sort of a seizure? We also won’t have to fall asleep to any more Robbie Rosen ballads, or just be confused by Tim Halperin’s apparent desire to go home early (he’s such a good singer – what happened last night?).  So, there you have it.

Be sure to check out my next post on the Top 12 Girls, or Idolettes...coming soon!
We’ll find out tonight on Fox if I’ve watched enough of this dribble over the last 9 seasons to have any insight, or if I’m totally full of it! Check back each week for more rants, quips and other nonscientific observations about the Idols!