Ryan is hanging out high above the top 13 and it’s creepy. And he’s toned down his “THIS IS AMERICAN IDOL.” It’s the top 13 and people can now play instruments! Yay!
There’s a weird intro of the judges including an unseen announcer and the judges walking in. And Paula is wearing something strange and feathery that makes her walk funny. Really, I could have done without this whole over-the-top intro of the judges. In other judge news, Paula looks very plastic and weirdly made up. Mindy and I think she may have run into a bird, judging from the amount of feathers on her dress.
They’re singing Michael Jackson. . . oh, boy! I have always said no one but MJ should attempt to sing MJ songs.
First up, Lil Rounds. We get the video intro and she talks about pursuing her dreams. She’s doing the “Way You Make Me Feel.” So far, so good. The outfit does not fare that well, though. She’s good, and I predict she’s safe for a long time. But there are a few shouty moments, some digs that make her voice sound a bit ugly and harsh, but overall, quite good. Randy says it was bluesy and “new again;” Kara says everyone will have to step it up after Lil’s performance; Paula compliments her makeup and says it was like “angels singing;” Simon says it was good, but a bit of a lazy song choice. I kind of agree, Simon. Then, Simon disses her outfit and I fight back an urge to shout, “Amen!”
Commercial, then the iTunes reminder from Ryan. And next, Scott! There’s a nice video package with his family and parents (of two visually impaired children)! They seem very cool. He’s doing “Keep the Faith” and he’s playing the piano, which is a good move for him. He’s obviously at home behind the keys. The beginning is rocky with some bad notes—and since I love him and his story, it hurts me to say that. There’s also a strange, modulating note toward the end that goes completely out-of-control. The song got better as he went on, I must say. Kara mentions he just learned that song on piano this week and compliments him for staying true to himself; Paula says something weird about “your instrument at your fingertips;” Simon hated it because no one knows the song and disses Scott for trying to be artistic; Randy says the performance was good but didn’t have enough sparks. Oh, well, I still love him and always will.
During the commercial, Mindy decides she would sing a song MJ did with Janet that she thinks is called “Scream.” If she couldn’t do that, she’d go for something like “Remember the Time.” And remarkably, I remembered the video to that one! It’s a miracle!
Commercial, then Danny Gokey. He has a cute and LARGE (as in number) family. The whole family sings and Danny’s shocked to be this far. He’s doing “PYT.” OK, Mindy and I don’t even know this song. The beginning involves falsetto and slow singing, then he busts into this fast, bluesy, pop dance tune. I must say, Danny’s a better performer than I thought. He nails it, even if he isn’t a great dancer. (Mindy: It was great except for that beginning!) Paula says something weird but oddly complimentary; Simon says the vocals were brilliant (I agree!), but the dancing was hideous (Danny jokes about getting a dance instructor—hee!); Randy says it was all good; Kara compliments Danny on his joy.
Michael Sarver is next. There’s a ice video with his oil rigger coworkers, his momma, and his family (read: sweet little blonde girl). He’s doing “You Are Not Alone.” Mindy and I don’t really remember Michael singing this one. . . but I guess he did. Vocals are so much better than I expected. But he sure does weird stuff with his mouth when he sings. I’m just saying. (Mindy corrects his pronunciation/enunciation of the word “you.”) Simon says he’s not the best singer in the competition but makes up for it with passion and heart; Randy says he was one of the best so far; Kara says it was great; Paula uses the word “distinctually” right for him. I’m not sure that’s a word. Oh, well. He did a good job, but nobody has been horrendous so far.
Commercial, then Jasmine. Oh, girl, knock our socks off.
Jasmine is singing “I’ll Be There.” I think this was a good choice for her. I think this girl can undoubtedly sing, but she needed to knock it out of the ballpark and she didn’t. I don’t feel like she always has great control over her voice and every time she sang the “I’ll be there” phrase, she was flat. Randy name drops and says it was pretty good; Kara suggests singing a half key down but said she sold it; Paula says she has poise and composure, but missed some notes; Simon says it was a little robotic. I want to like her, she’s not really giving me much to go on.
Next is Kris Allen from Conway, Arkansas. There’s a nice video with his family and his wife of five months. Mindy and decide he’s not as cute since he’s married. He’s doing “Remember the Time.” (Hey, Mindy! He stole your song!) I had misgivings about this, but Kris is selling it. I things he’s underrated. He’s also doing this weird, singing out of the side of his mouth thing, though. It weirds me out a bit. He breaks it down and it doesn’t work out so well for him, but overall, the performance was good. Not amazing, but good. Kara says the girls love him and loves him with his guitar; Paula says Simon is trying to undress her, then says no one knows MJ’s catalog better than him, then calls him “adorable, sexy” and manages not to really say anything about the performance; Simon says the song may not have suited the guitar, but that he should keep the wife under wraps a little longer (Mindy and I laugh, then agree); Randy says it was Jason Mrazy, which it wasn’t, but oh, well.
Allison is next, and I kind of love her and her Kool-Aid red hair. She compliments her parents and Ryan intros her as singing “Give It to Me.” I think she looks great tonight, but needs to stop jamming the mic so close to her face. Your voice is big enough, girl. She made that song her own and made us forget she’s 16 years old. Paula calls her a rock star; Simon says it was good and that she has confidence; Randy says she could sing anything and is one to watch; Kara says it was ridiculous but in a good way.
And now it’s Anoop. He’s wearing a weird jacket, button down, tie combo. There’s a sweet video package with his parents who obviously love him very much. He’s doing “Beat It.” Yay! I kind of love Anoop and love every minute of this performance. The boy can sing and the voice that comes out of him is definitely not the one you’d expect. You go, Anoop! Paula says the song is untouchable and possibly sounded karaoke; Simon thought it was horrible (get a sense of humor, Simon!); Randy says is the wrong choice (between saying “Anoop Dog” and “baby”); Kara says we didn’t get to see him do anything cool with the song. In hindsight, I understand what they’re saying, but I don’t know if it was as terrible as all that.
And now, it’s Jorge. I love the way he tells a story and his family is so happy for him. He’s doing “Never Can Say Goodbye.” He can sing, I will never deny that, but as Mindy says, he sounds like a cruise singer. Randy says it was a bit old-fashioned; Kara says there was no emotional connection; Paula says something about “mad love” and wants to know why he picked this song (he wasn’t all that familiar with MJ’s songs and thought it fit his voice); Simon says it was corny and out of his depth. I kind of agree. But I also feel bad for Jorge, too. He seems very sweet.
Commercial, then Meghan and Adam. I spend the commercial wondering what stage-show theatrics Adam will pull out for this performance.
Meghan is wearing a strange red dress and there’s a sad package about Meghan getting divorced and how much she misses her son. He’s so cute! She’s doing “Rocking Robin.” Really? It’s. just. weird. I wanted to like her at the beginning, but now she just gets on my nerves. I want to like her because she’s different from everyone else and I love the retro feel, but she’s just not as good as everyone else. Kara says it was “Meghan” but mentions we need to see range; Paula says her voice is quirky and unique; Simon calls it a stupid song choice with bad vocals; Randy says the song choice wasn’t good.
Now, it’s Adam. Mindy and I still think he needs to join INXS. They did just fire that lead singer they got from their reality show. He’s doing “Black and White.” I’m scared. Of all the contestants, MJ should come easiest to Adam. It’s theatrical. There’s falsetto, strobe lights, and screaming. He knows how to perform. Paula says he’s the most seasoned AI performer ever; Simon says it was in a different leagure from everything else we’ve heard tonight; Randy says he’s the most current, right-now contestant out there; Kara says it was good and that she hopes Michael Jackson was watching tonight.
Matt Girard is singing next and there’s a sweet interview with his family. He’s playing the piano and singing a song I had no idea was a Michael Jackson song. (It’s “Human Nature.”) It was just OK for me, but mostly because I fell in love with David Mead’s version on Indiana. Randy says it was good but pitchy; Kara thinks he should be around for weeks; Paula was blown away; Simon says it was very good. I think they were running out of time and made them hurry through the comments.
Alexis is our final performer. Her little girl is adorable in the video, and I hope she does well. She’s doing “Dirty Diana.” (Mindy: Look. At. Her. The girl is all sex kittened out!) This song is weird, but girl is selling it. We can’t decide if she’s wearing the world’s tiniest dress or of little pair of shorts. Whatever, it’s all out of control. I’m basically blown away by this performance. And Mindy applauds in my living room. Kara says Alexis was naughty and she liked it; Paula warns against over-singing (one word? hyphenated?); Simon says it wasn’t as good as Alexis thought it was (like he knows); Randy says it was good.
Who’s going: Jasmine and Jorge. Anoop possibly, but I think too many people love him.
Soon to go? Kris, probably. Meghan, maybe.
Ryan and the judges promo that a rule change is coming during tonight’s reveal show? Any ideas? Discuss in the comments?