Happy Friday everyone. I hope you are all well and are having a great week. Hooray for the weekend! I’ve been absent on these recaps for the last couple weeks and I apologize for that. Sometimes life gets in the way of TV shows, I’m sure you all understand.
In the last couple weeks the top 20 from each of the girls and boys had performed before live audiences in Las Vegas. The format was a little different than in past seasons as this was ‘sudden death’. They each gave their performances and right then and there, they were given a decision. Personally, I liked this format because that room reveal of past seasons was getting very tired. Ten of each would make it on to the live show to sing for America’s votes. There were some standouts who made it to the live shows and a few that had me scratching my head wondering what these judges were thinking. Then I reminded myself that there have to be some duds for the public to send packing. By duds, I mean people who aren’t quite ready for a competition like this. They are all good in their own way even if they don’t suit my own tastes. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m here just to trash these people. These aren’t reality show HWs after all, they are young people going after their dreams, something I’ve never really had the nerve or drive to do. I admire all of them for that, again, even if they aren’t within my personal tastes.
This week was the beginning of the live, for vote, shows where the decision becomes that of the voting public. There are several ways to vote including a new iPhone type app that you all can look into if your interested. I’m sure it’s advertized on the AI website. Of this group of 20 finalists, I definitely have my favorites but only 10 will make it through. Many of you know that it is usually 12 or 13 with wildcard spots and all that fun stuff. This season, only 10 and they are the ones who will make it to the summer tour. I am thinking but not certain, the judges save may be gone as well. Next week there will be a sing off between the next runner up of each of the men and women for a eleventh spot on the summer tour. In other words one of the ten out of the twenty who didn’t make it on to the season tonight, gets another shot at the tour but won’t be part of the show (I hope).
Over the last two nights the top 10 from each gender sang their hearts out for the votes. As I said earlier, if this is the best for some of them, they have a long way to go. The judges gave their critiques and left the decision up to us or rather those of you who vote. Nicki Minaj remains my favorite judge. She doesn’t blow smoke up these people’s butts letting them think they have promising careers, yet. Strangely, I found myself agreeing with a lot of what they said. At this point, again, they are all good but some are just not ready. We got a few of Yo Dawg’s “in it to win it” (get a new phrase Jackson, or vacate the seat for some fresh blood). The judges absolutely hated a few of these performances and didn’t mince any words in telling them so. One of them, was Zoanette Johnson. You all remember her. Full of life and attitude and a bit of (imo) a clown on stage. She sang Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It”.. I’ll just say that she should leave the Tina songs to Tina. The judges, from their comments, agreed with that sentiment. There were a few of the other women that the judges weren’t too pleased with but I think she got the worse of it. She was also the first to perform which is typically a death spot. In her case however, regardless of what she sings, she’s memorable. From the men’s side, the judges completely thrashed Charlie Askew. I don’t know what he was thinking, he came out looking like an infant Steven Tyler. I couldn’t tell you what he sang, some classic rock song I guess but it just didn’t work for him and the judges didn’t pull any punches in telling him so. Kind of felt bad for the guy as he was nearly in tears when he left the stage but at that point, I thought it may garner him some sympathy vote. You know, one of those Idol contestant tricks I refer to at times. I’ll save you the wait, Neither of these two made it to the top 10. I doubt they made top 12 for a shot at that 11th spot on the tour. By the way, Randy says this is the women’s season to lose. I have to say, I agree.
I’m only going to fully recap tonight’s show because in all honesty, it’s the only one that matters at this point. With that, Here we go.. The top 10 reveal this time isn’t a typical stand 3 contestants next to each other and send the ‘safe’ ones to the couch. Instead, each group is sequestered in a room and supposedly, only Ryan Seacrest knows which 5 of each made it to the show. He will name them one by one in the group setting and each will be brought out to the stage for their big reveal moment. They will then sing a ‘victory’ song and one judge will comment just for the sake of hearing themselves talk. For the performance nights this week, they were still in Las Vegas. Tonight for the results reveal, they are back in their normal Hollywood venue. The judges are seated and kill me now, that damn tweenie mosh pit line is back at stage front. Ryan tells us that 39 million votes were cast. We will keep an eye on that vote count because I still think it’s a crock, especially later in the season. So, let’s get to the reveals. Men first, in no particular order.
The first to get good news is Paul Jolley. I don’t really remember him though I may have commented on him in the past. Let me just get this out of the way right now. I don’t remember most of the men who made the top 10 in their part of this. For his victory song, he did Heart’s “Alone”. It isn’t a song I’m familiar with but I guess he did okay with it.
The second spot goes to Burnell Taylor. His song was India.Arie’s “Ready for Love”. Again another song I am not familiar with. Probably because I hate the balled genre. I guess he did fine with it though because Mariah was all misty eyed. Takes something a lot different to have that affect on me. However, congrats to Burnell.
Third spot belongs to Curtis Finch Jr. He sang John Legend’s “So High”. Wasn’t there a Michael Finch last season or the one before? Any relation? The interweb is saying that of the men, this guy has the best chance of making a showing at the end of the season. The rest are just plain bland, especially compared to some of the women. I tend to agree with that statement. They are also calling him arrogant. That may not play too well with the voting public. He won his spot in the top ten with his rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly”.
Fourth is Devin Velez who sang “The Power of One”. I’m not real familiar with him but at this point, I think he belongs in that bland category mentioned above. He has had his moments like the rest but again, he’s no match for the ladies.
That fifth and final spot for the men is no surprise. Not because he’s a great singer but because of his story. That would be Lazaro Arbos. You remember him. He’s the Cuban immigrant who developed such a bad stutter as a child that disappears when he sings. He’s a little too weepy for me. I get that he’s happy to be accepted for something and all that but (not that he did it tonight) if he continues that kind of stuff, he’s going to wear my last nerve raw. His song was “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Before he came out on stage, he instructed the band to follow him because he couldn’t remember what the last ‘notes’ were. Really? Now, of all the songs the men sang tonight, that is my favorite song.. When someone else does it… It’s a song I think of when I’m thinking of some of the people in my life, especially those I want to help in some way. His performance of it, for me, fits dead into that bland category. I’ll still say congrats though for making it on to the show.
The top ten men who did not make it (This is from People.com) were Charlie Askew, Nick Boddington, Elijah Liu, Vincent Powell and Cortez Shaw. I have to say that for a change, I wholeheartedly agree with the voters based on what I saw from the Wednesday show. The ones who made it through however are going to have to really step it up to compete with the ladies this season.
Now for the top 10 women. I am going to put this out there. As with some of the men, some of these women should not have been in the top 10 or even top 20 to begin with. Again, not that they are bad singers but much better ones were left behind in the sudden death rounds in my opinion. That said, Here they are.
First woman out of the holding room was Janelle Arthur. Her song was Dierks Bentley’s “Home”. Nicki just gushes all over this girl. She has a classic country voice and style that I think this show really needs. I’m really sick to death of pop song contests and she’s a nice change of pace for me.
Next out was Candice Glover who sang “Goin’ Down” by Mary J. Blige. I was walking through the room and only caught a glance of the reveal. She was doing a happy dance when she was announced and my jaw hit the ground in a true wtf moment. I thought for a split second that it was Zoenette. After my heart settled down and I realized it was Candice, everything was okay. Can I say however, that I can live a lifetime and be perfectly happy if I never hear that song again?
Third spot for the ladies goes to Angie Miller. Her song was “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. I think she won her spot on this show by doing her own original song during the sudden death rounds. She, like Candice, is a very polished singer and could probably have a career without this show if she chose to go that way. For some reason though, she reminds me of a young Marie Osmond. Probably because of that Osmond smile. I think she’ll be around on the show for quite awhile. One to watch.
Fourth (and I’m getting nervous now) is Amber Holcomb and her song was “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan. This one left me flat.. I don’t really get the pick unless the voters by count thought she was the best of the worse. Not to take anything away from her skill but I just don’t see it with her. I’ll still wish her well though.
Fifth and it’s about damn time, the pimp spot of the night goes to my absolute favorite. Kree Harrison (I didn’t even need to look that one up). This is the only one of the entire group who has managed to make Me misty eyed. It doesn’t take much, just the right song and properly done. Her sudden death song was Up To The Mountain and it was done to perfection in my opinion. From that point, she could have sang the alphabet and she would still be a winner to me. Her song tonight was Susan Tedeschi’s “Evidence”. It’s another song I’m not familiar with. If there comes a point in this competition that I don’t like what she’s done, it will be because of the song. She is the one *I* will be watching.
The 5 ladies who did not make the cut were Aubrey Cleland, Breanna Steer, Tenna Torres, Adriana Latonio and the season’s most animated contestant, Zoanette Johnson.
So there you have it friends. Season 12 of American Idol is finally off and running. Let’s hope it doesn’t peter out. See you next week for another recap. Be sure to check back tomorrow for my Saturday Special.
Til then, Peace.
PS… In other entertainment news.. Justin Beiber apparently was hospitalized after collapsing on stage during a performance. Does anyone give a shit? Didn’t think so.. Carry on..