Hiya folks. Yes, I’m back. Last week, the top ten contestants were chosen by viewer vote count. Some of my favorites are there, some are not. Some of my not so favorites got sent home, some did not. Last week they told us that this week would be a sing off to choose an 11th alternate for the summer road tour. If at any time reading one of my Idol recaps you want to see what these people look like, simply click the American Idol logo here and it will take you back to my original cast reveal. It will save me some time in writing these to do it that way. Can you believe, that this is the 18th episode (results show will be the 19th). So, Last week 20 started, Half got bounced and some not so ceremoniously, and we are left with 10 hopefuls. Let’s get to the performance show.
The show opens with each giving a one liner about their Idol dreams. I’m sure they all have them but to most if not all, this means the world to them. Well, naturally. The announcer announces the judges and three of them walk out. Where is Nicki? She’s a no show for the first few minutes because apparently, LA traffic still S.U.C.K.S. I like Nicki but I’m not giving her a pass here, seems that she would know as well as anyone how bad the traffic is in that city. In fact, NO passes for any of them being late for the show because of that. Ryan made some comment about the show starting on time.. Whatever, Ryan. What else was going to happen? I see too that that tweenie mosh pit line is still at stage front.
This week, Jimmy Iovine will be giving the contestants his input. The theme this week is, American Idol. What that means is they can sing any song that a previous winner has done on the show or in the post season recordings, including contestant originals. Um, Why? I guess since that’s what actually happens all the time anyway (rehashing the old song books), Why Not call it the American Idol night?
The first one in to visit Jimmy is Curtis Finch Jr. He tells Jimmy that he wants to be a new Luther Vandross (sp). Jimmy tells him not to get too wrapped up in the past. No one wants an imitation is what he says and to be his own artist. It’s acceptable to do some classics but be weary of the Retro… Okay… If this is the kind of advice he’s going to hand out, I’m going to skip his part of the rest of the show. Curtis’ song will be “I Believe” sang by Fantasia on her season. He comes out on the stage, sings it, the small choir of backup singers comes in behind him.. Curtis didn’t really go to church with this one. Not for me anyway.. He played it kind of safe. Judges comments, Keith said he had a request for Curtis in the future. Since I didn’t hear what that request was, nothing else he said matters. Randy, oh, Yo Dawg…. Again… Kind of early to be starting this shit isn’t it? I’ll ask again, What purpose do these judges serve at this point? They love to hear themselves talk, I don’t. If we have to hear a post or even pre performance bit, cut the judges out and just let the contestants explain themselves. He wants Curtis to step out of his comfort zone and show something new. Mariah feels the exact opposite. First spot on stage, Curtis. Good luck.
Next, Jenelle Arthur. Jimmy says that the country market is full of cute blondes, what makes her unique? She says that country these days is too watered down, and gone too far to the pop side of things. (I agree).. Her goal is to bring back some of the true country (I remember when they started calling it ‘Young Country’, I groaned at that). Her song was “Gone” which was done by Scotty McCreepy. Keith loved the idea of a woman singing that song because he never heard it like that before. The other three (Nicki is back) panned the song choice. They all liked the way she was dressed though (Kiss of death).
Devin Velez is next. He says he’s a ballad singer but wants to take a risk in the competition. He tells Jimmy that he wants to be similar to Michael Buble (sp) and some other guy. Jimmy once again cautions not to get too caught up in trying to cover different singers but to be himself. He believes that Devin is unique enough to be himself. His song, is “Temporary Home”, Carrie Underwood. Keith completely panned it. Says wrong song choice.. Nicki disagrees. She thought it was perfect for him. Yo Dawg says it was way too safe. Mariah, expects more from him as well. Not a good judging night for Devin. Wrong song choice.
It’s a boy-girl-boy-girl procession and Angie Miller is next. Jimmy says that sometimes when she is singing, he feels like he’s watching a beauty pageant. Is that an ouch? She doesn’t understand why he says that but she’ll go back and look at the footage because she doesn’t want to come off like that. Her song is “I Surrender” by Celine Dion / Kelly Clarkston but she’s going to put her own spin on parts of it. Oh lordy.. Here we go with more ballads. Ummm… Okay. I’ll tell you what I thought of it and then what the judges said. I didn’t care for it and not just because it’s a ballad. I thought she missed a few notes (flat) and she looked lost on the stage, at least with the camera work. She’s much better behind the piano IMO. Keith, gushed all over it. Nicki thinks Angie is perfection and there isn’t anything to critique, except that she prefers her at the piano. YoDawg (kill me now), In it to win it. Mariah, “Stellar”.
The fifth spot of the night is for Paul Jolley.. Honestly, I don’t even know why this guy is there (which means he will win) but here is what Jimmy says. Paul perpetually over sings things. He says to Paul or rather asks, have you ever seen broadway singers and wonder why they are not recording artists if they are so great? It’s because they over sing. It’s great for that sort of genre but not for recording. Paul seems confused by this as he’s never done Broadway type stuff he says. Jimmy tells him to tone down the theatrics or they will be the death of him on the show. His song, “Amazed” done by Scotty McCreepy. It was pretty solid. I won’t take that from him. He listened to Jimmy and scaled it back some and the judges appreciated that.
Next, Candice Glover. Her song will be (I think) “I Love You” done by Jennifer Hudson on her season. I’m just going to cut to the chase here. It sounded flawless to me. Of course the judges gushed. Nicki says they ought to retire that song on Idol because no one is ever going to measure up with it.
Seventh out of the gate, Lazaro Arbos… Jimmy notes he has a big following but, he has to know the songs he’s singing (remember last week he didn’t know the proper notes at the end of his song?). Jimmy tells him that if he keeps that kind of stuff up, then his fans won’t stick by him. He is going to “Breakaway” – Kelly Clarkston. Jimmy tells him to learn the song..cold. He can’t practice enough. For me, it just kind of plopped on the stage and laid there. The judges panned the song choice (and please, I don’t want to be offensive but don’t ask this guy too many questions). Nicki tells him to forget about what Jimmy said, she doesn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Because, it knocked Lazaro out of his own zone and it just didn’t work for him.
Eigth- Kree Harrison.. Jimmy essentially tells her that she has IT. She has what it takes to make a huge career for herself but, again, tells her that she doesn’t need to over sing the songs. Her song choice is Roy Orbisons’ “Crying” – Carrie Underwood. She loves the melody and hopes everyone gets it. Per-Fec-Tion. I know I’ve mentioned that I love this woman when she performs. The judges agree. Nicki describes how she likes to make her waffles in the morning. Toast the waffle, put butter on it, pour on the Aunt Jemima syrup, and heat it a little in the microwave. SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH, and that is exactly what Kree’s voice is to Nicki. Never thought of it that way but I agree (and now I’m hungry).
Up next, Burnell Taylor.. He tells Jimmy that he wants to stay strictly R&B. Jimmy says that covers a lot of ground and can be just about anything. The song choice “Fly Without Wings” – Ruben Studdard (sp). Jimmy tells him not to get caught in the trap of doing 10 R&B ballads in a row because (in so many words) people get sick of it and that’s the end of the run on the show. I swear when Burnell talks, in his TH interview, he sounds stoned to me. I don’t know what the hell these judges were listening to because I thought it sucked. They didn’t gush but they liked it, said it was nice, he had put his own ‘Burnell-isms’ on it.. Okay, I guess we just disagree.
Finally, of the night, the pimp spot, Amber Holcomb… Jimmy asks her if she’s nervous about anything.. says she’s really beautiful, sings like crazy, and asks her which song. “A Moment Like This” – Kelly Clarkston. He asks her if she’s going to go up tempo with it because that’s where she really shines. She says she doesn’t know if she’s going to take his advice. Personally, I don’t think it was pimp spot caliber. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. That’s my opinion. Nicki says, best performance of the night. Compared her to Whitney Houston. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like it because I don’t like Whitney Houston.
Before any results are given, Jimmy gives his overall impressions of the performances. I’ll just say that with most of them, I agree with Jimmy. He more took the judges to task than the contestants with some of them and again, I agree. The results show has a bit of a different format. The usual prolonging garbage is there… The kill me now it was torture kid bop group sing, the old phart use to be popular bands promoting their latest stuff, a previous season winner or near winner or two, and of course, the part the contestants all care about, the results. That is the part that is different and I’m going to skip right to that.
By vote count, they reveal the top three contestants. Tonight, they are Candice, Angie and of course Kree. No shocker there. The way this is presented is in groups or pairs, Ryan tells them who in their home towns took top vote count. And then gives them the nationwide results to reveal the top 3. In most cases, the two were the same. That is, home town and nationwide. Ryan then through the course of the show, near the end, reveals spots 4-8 (or up to the bottom two) of safe contestants. None of the fake out shit, that I absolutely hate. I’ll get to the bottom two in a minute (In case you haven’t noticed, unless something great happens, with these results shows, I’ll be concentrating on the actual results. I spent a lot of time cracking on the entire show last season, those of you who took that ride know how I feel about all the filler on the shows so no point in repeating it over and over. That doesn’t mean I won’t take a little snark license once in awhile 😉 ).
Last week, as you know, 5 of each gender were chosen for the top 10. Lucky for the guys that was an even split because a few of them wouldn’t be there now. That left two people with 6th place on each side to sing this week for a shot at going on tour. The two who were in that voter slot were Charlie Askew and Aubrey Cleland. I couldn’t tell you what song Aubrey sang and Charlie did an original. He wasn’t dressed like a psycho Steven Tyler mini-me, sat down at the piano, and sang his song. If he had done that in Las Vegas, he would likely have Paul Jolley’s spot on the show in the top ten right now. There were no judges comments, they are up for a vote from the public. The result will be revealed on next weeks’ show. My pick, Charlie.
Final results. As noted earlier, spots 4-8 are revealed right away. In addition to the top 3, Janelle, Amber, Paul, Burnell, and Lazaro are safe. The bottom two are Devin and Curtis. The idea that Curtis is there stuns the judges, particularly Nicki. Way to make Devin feel like an ass, Judges. She says that if Curtis goes home, so will she (but not really). The lowest vote getter? Curtis. Devin is safe, Nicki gets up from her chair and pretends to be about to leave. I wondered earlier if this was still a part of the show, the judge’s save.. It is. Curtis sings for his life, I thought he flopped it personally. The judge’s vote is Not unanimous says Randy. Nicki thinks they should have had another minute to discuss it. I don’t know for certain but I think Keith was the no vote if there was only one. Realistically, how many times has the judge’s save been used on the first one voted out? they are saving that for one of those top 3 girls. I noted last week that the interweb chatter found Curtis to be ‘arrogant’. Maybe that perception did him in. I think it may have been partly that and also his spot on the show Wednesday night. After Kree did her song, I forgot who Curtis was and I think he just didn’t get the votes because he was forgettable. He certainly wasn’t the worse guy of the night (not that it’s a gender vote at this point).
I’m going to say here that I like the change in the result show. I wish they would take it further but it’s a start. What I don’t know for certain is if everyone is actually revealed In Order. That is, Lazaro was sent to the safe couch 7th. Does that mean that is his standing in the show? He beat Kree in Florida (his home state), by a handy margin but she beat him nationwide. Either way, I’m glad the typical vote reveal is gone. I hope it stays that way.
See you next week. Til then,