Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol - Thriller Night (As In Thrilling, Horrifying and Lucky Number Thirteen)

American Idol - Top 13 - Performance Night - Theme: Michael Jackson

It's the Top 13 and we're onto a swanky new set that looks like it exploded from Battlestar Galactica trying to impregnate the So You Think You Can Dance set. Meanwhile, in the biggest shock of all, I thought by using the excuse of opening up the Top 12 to 13 to fit all the "talent", they get one more week out of the TV show (and thus lots more advertising money), but instead, Simon reveals that 2 people are being cut this week, thus keeping things on schedule. Shocking. FOX not trying to milk Idol for all it can? What's going on?

So after last week's Wild Card round, I polled who I should add to my Idol pool picks. I had already basically been contemplating all the A's. Anoop, Adam, Allison, Alexis and Kris Allen. The results came as such: Adam Lambert (44%), Alexis Grace (36%), Wild Card Possibility Anoop Desai (28%), Kris Allen (24%), Allison Iraheta (16%), Scott MacIntyre (16%), Jorge Nuñez (12%), Wild Card Possibility Matt Giraud (12%), Michael Sarver (8%), Wild Card Possibility Ricky Braddy (8%), Wild Card Possibility Von Smith (8%) , Wild Card Possibility Jasmine Murray (8%), The Other Wild Cards? (8%). (Seriously, where the f#$k is Ricky, Mishavonna, Kristen, Felicia and Jesse (who totally grew on me last week). Oh well, back to oblivion they go).

And I still think I may have chosen wrong. See below. Though at least I knew to steer away from some definite no's with only Michael and Megan really putting in surprisingly better performances than I would have anticipated. Everyone else either fell into their definite obvious top half of the group (Kris, Allison, Alexis, Matt, Lil, Danny, Adam) and bottom part of the group (Jasmine, Scott, Jorge, Megan) with Michael and Anoop floating in the middle.

Lil Rounds
23 years old
Home: Memphis, TN
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "The Way You Make Me Feel" (by Michael Jackson)

Grade: B+

Again, I don't know if it's because I've built her up so much in my head, but I keep expecting MORE from Lil.

Her vocals are great, but not perfect still (I feel she's off pitch on the high notes sometimes) but I feel there is STILL something missing and I don't know what that is yet. Maybe a personality? Cause at this point, she just sounds like poor ol' mom-of-three Lil who is down on her luck but waiting for the Idol fairy godmother to save her. But who is SHE??? Cause at this point, she sort of comes off as a carbon copy of Tamyra Gray.

On the other hand, she's one of my pool picks so GO LIL ROUNDS! Papa needs a new pair of running shoes for the gym!
Hear the mp3 here.

Scott MacIntyre
23 years old
Home: Scottsdale, AZ
Audition: Phoenix, AZ
Song: "Keep The Faith" (by Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett and Michael Jackson)

Grade: C

I wish his performance was as inspiring as his story but his vocals wer mediocre (relatively speaking at this stage in the game) and the whole thing just felt shlocky and boring. At least Celine Dion is dynamic when she sings her sh!t (and I mean that in the nicest way because but I secretly love her over-emotional fist pumping adult-contemp sh!t). The cheering was almost condescending. We'll cheer because you overcame obstacles and can play piano while you sing, so even though that was a bland performance, you're still awesome, because we feel sorry for you.

And then Simon said it. "It's fine to be artistic but just not on this show". Hey, at least he admits what the rest of us know already. And he admits it in front of the writer of the song that it's a bad song. Tell me about it. Whoever said Simon is irrelevant on the show sure hasn't watched Randy Jackson lately.
Hear the mp3 here.

Danny Gokey
28 years old
Home: Milwaukee, WI
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "P.Y.T." (by James Ingram and Quincy Jones)

Grade: B+

Okay. Danny should never attempt dancing again. The funny thing is you could tell he thinks he's all cool with his moves. Luckily, the guy has a nice deep throaty voice and can yell like the best of them. As predicted, Paula seems like she just had an orgasm to Danny's performance. Someone give the girl a cigarette.

Simon agrees that "the dancing is hideous". Luckily Danny admits he's bad. Okay. I'll give him that.

I still thought he milked those throaty yells on a song I don't really love, but I will admit that as much as this guy still bugs me (even though he's my other pool pick), his voice is naturally strong.
Hear the mp3 here.

Michael Sarver
27 years old
Home: Jasper, TX
Audition: Phoenix, AZ
Song: "You Are Not Alone" (by R. Kelly)

Grade: B

Wow, he sure recovered from a horrific Top 36 performance. If it wasn't for the fact that he seemed to really draw out the U in "yoUUUUUUUUUUU are not ALOOOONE", I think I would have given him a B+ and equal to Danny and Lil.

It was surprisingly good and he definitely has a natural likability and charm to spare. And while the he and the producers seem to milk his HARD WORKING MAN persona, it definitely comes off far more genuine than the manipulative heart strings that surrounds Danny (whether it's his fault or not).
Hear the mp3 here.

Jasmine Murray
16 years old
Home: Starkville, MS
Audition: Jacksonville, FL
Song: "I'll Be There" (by Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis, and Willie Hutch)

Grade: C+

If I get nitpicky, it was a hot mess. If I'm being nice, it was pretty decent. She was flat at times, but when she was on, it sounded great. I still think she has a great untrained voice but I think she would be better in a few years as she matured.

Randy namedrops working on Mariah Carey. Time to take a shot. Drink up!

Whoa. Meanwhile, Paula actually notes the "under moments" when she missed the key, but says the same thing I did, that when it was brilliant, it was brilliant. Simon thinks it was a bit robotic at times.
Hear the mp3 here.

Kris Allen
23 years old
Home: Conway, AR
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "Remember The Time" (by Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle)

Grade: A-

He's married? Well that just lost him all his girls (and gays) votes. Which was my only hope to keep him alive on the show.

And then he performed. And whew. He managed to turn in a guitar performance to an MJ song that probably doesn't suit the guitar, and make it his own. Randy compares him to Jason Mraz but I felt a bit of a John Mayer vibe (I know, same thing).

Okay, maybe I made a mistake in not picking Kris for my 3rd Pool pick. My heart kept telling me to choose Kris but I thought it might have been my penis, so instead, I listened to my head (and chose Adam Lambert). Next time, I'm listening to my penis.
Hear the mp3 here.

Allison Iraheta
16 years old
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Audition: San Francisco, CA
Song: "Give In To Me" (by Michael Jackson)

Grade: A-

I didn't love Allison as much as everyone else seemed to in the Top 36 and sometimes I find she relies too much on that rockerchick shouting they love to do, but other than one major scream fit, Allison was awesome this week, turning an MJ song into her own, much like her fellow Group 2 buddy Kris.
Hear the mp3 here.

Anoop Desai
21 years old
Home: Chapel Hill, NC
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "Beat It" - (by Michael Jackson)

Grade: C+

Well, he looks awesome with just a slight cleaning up of his hair. If his jacket were black leather, I would have thought Anoop had entered The Matrix with that green backdrop.

Okay, so I'm glad there's a new Indian dude who can help erase the memory of Sanjaya, but you know? I think there's still a bit of Sanjaya in him. I never liked Sanjaya but I do like Anoop, but it was an odd performance and even Paula doesn't really think it's that great.

Um, but he looks great! And seems really likable still.
Hear the mp3 here.

Jorge Nuñez
20 years old
Home: Carolina, PR
Audition: San Juan, PR
Song: "Never Can Say Goodbye" (by Clifton Davis)

Grade: C

Randy says he would have chosen something else for him and that he had pitch points. Kara didn't think it was a great choice either. Paula didn't think Jorge was himself tonight. Simon obviously didn't like it.

I thought it started off as crap but then got a bit better, then back to crap. I know Jorge is the emotional singer but he makes Menudo look like the German army. He's SOOOOOOO slinky. I know that makes no sense but that's the word that keeps popping up when I watch him. It's not schmalty, it's slinky.
Hear the mp3 here.

Megan Joy Corkrey
22 years old
Home: Sandy, UT
Audition: Salt Lake City, UT
Song: "Rockin' Robin" (by Roger Thomas)

Grade: B

This is a Michael Jackson song? Who knew!

But it was a perfect for Megan's distinctive voice and even her little butt wiggle she calls dancing. I still don't think she's an Idol but she would be a great performer on a tribute show on stage somewhere.

It's funny that Simon noticed that bad vocals and weird dancing. Um. She's like that ALL the time. Now it just fit the song. Did you not realize this when you put her through from the Wild Card round? While I should have been thinking with my penis (see Kris Allen), here's the mistake that can happen when Simon thinks with his.
Hear the mp3 here.

Adam Lambert
26 years old
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Audition: San Francisco, CA
Song: "Black or White" (by Michael Jackson)

Grade: C+

Sheeeet. Here's what I get when I think with my brain. I picked Adam as my 3rd Pool pick. I wasn't sure if I liked it. I thought it was almost laughable. He screamed every note and granted, he has the whole rocker performance down pat (harking back to those classic 70's and 80's rockstars) but he's really not becoming my thing. And yet, the judges were creaming in their pants for Adam.

Paula says its the most comfortable performance in all 7 seasons. She's a blubbering mess. I think she needs another smoke. And then Simon seems to have had an orgasm over it all. And so on and so on. Well, at least they like it. I need the points.
Hear the mp3 here.

Matt Giraud
23 years old
Home: Kalamazoo, MI
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "Human Nature" (by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis)

Grade: A-

I really should take a point off for his awkward attempt at the rift near the end, and as Randy noted, there were a few pitch spots, but overall it was kinda refreshing. Now if Matt can only change up his wardrobe once in a while. I don't exactly if he wore that white shirt and brown jacket before but it always feels like he is.

Oh, and give Paula yet another cigarette. Girl's going to get cancer by the end of the night.
Hear the mp3 here.

Alexis Grace
21 years old
Home: Memphis, TN
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "Dirty Diana" (by Michael Jackson)

Grade: B+

Simon said it wasn't as good as she thought it was. Paula thought it went over the top a bit. WHAT? And yet they loved Adam Lambert? Excuse me?
Hear the mp3 here.

The Final Round Up:

Best of the Night: Kris Allen
Second Best of the Night: Allison Irahetta
Third Best of the Night: Matt Giraud
Fourth Best of the Night: Alexis Grace

Oh great, none of whom I have as my pool picks. I would say the next slots go to Danny, Lil, Michael, Megan, then Adam.

Worst of the Night: Jorge Nuñez
Second Worst of the Night: Scott MacIntyre

Bottom Three Four (?) Predictions: Jasmine Murray, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nuñez, Megan Corkrey

Going Home: Jasmine Murray and...

If the new twist is that the judges can save someone from the bottom 3: Jorge Nuñez and/or Megan Corkrey because they are going to save Scott.
If it's some other twist: Megan Corkrey is going home.

For more on American Idol:
Click here for the most recent posts.
Season 8:
Top 2 Performance
Top 3 Performance, Top 3 Results
Top 4 Performance, Top 4 Results
Top 5 Performance, Top 5 Results
Top 6 + Matt (Top 7 Redux) Performance, Top 7 Redux Results
Top 7 Performance, Top 7 Results
Top 8 Performance, Top 8 Results
Top 9 Performance
Top 10 Performance
Top 12 Performance, Top 12 Results
Top 13 Performance, Top 13 Results
Top 36:
Group 1, Group 2, Group 3
Wild Card, Wild Card Results
Pre-Top 36:
Who Are You Going To Vote For?
Handicapping the Alleged American Idols

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RJ said...

Haha. Glad to see I'm not the only one, ahem, thinking with my penis in regards to Kris. He and Alison are my two favorites right now, actually, but I think the smart money should be on Alexis.

And Adam is pure theater. Like, I'm sure that's great in Jesus Christ Superstar, seriously, but it's VERY theatrical . . . didn't they diss Syesha Mercado for the very same thing?

Vance said...

Yah, usually they criticize when it's TOO theatre, yet they LOVE Lambert (and I'm usually okay with too theatre, but getting annoyed at Lambert).

Oh well, what do I know? I think with my penis (or should be).