Wednesday, February 25, 2009

American Idol: Top 36 Group 2

Hello everyone and welcome back to Idol, a day late mind you! I've already expressed my sentiments about the pre-empting by the Non-State of the Union Address, so I will say no more on it (except one thing did anyone notice the DOW STILL dropped today?! Stop talking man! Just fix it!) Anyway, so between this and the LOST Blog, I'm double booked tonight. But I will try my best to give both blogs a strong effort! Even if I have to stay up until dawn doing it!

Not sure why I'm wasting my time with the Idol one though. This whole reverting back to season 1 to 3 Semi-Final Format is really taking it's toll on the show. I don't understand why they tried to fix a format that wasn't broken. Sure, they say they had more talent to show America and to have them vote for, but I'm really not seeing it! Out of the past 2 weeks we've seen a couple decent singers and then marginal talent. And the big issue? No one is getting a second chance to sing. So people like Matt Giraud may get hurt, when they would have a pretty good shot of getting through in last year's format. (if they messed up the first week, they'd get the advice, and then do better the next week) Sure, the judges are going to put 3 through next Thursday. But I find that kinda cheap too. I mean, they did that in season 2. And look where Carmen Rasmusen is now!

Anyway, I'm sure all will be forgotten in 2 weeks when we have a top 12 of decent singers and the REAL competition starts. In the meantime, I am still here for your entertainment!

Tonight, we were "treated" to more tunes from Billboard's Hot 100 over the years. But the big buzz on the street...the judges switched their seating arrangements. And not only that, but they changed critiquing orders with each song. Ugh, 4 judges is starting to get old! No fear, my local news is chiming in on the rumors that Paula may be out after this year. But....who on earth would I make fun of next year then?! Riiight, there's still Randy!

Okay okay, I'm boring you guys, let's get onto the performances. My picks for Results show, as always, are below.

  1. Jasmine Murray - 17 from Columbus, Mississippi - As most people know from my hundreds of previous Idol blogs, I am not a big supporter of the 16/17 year olds contestants. (Exception being Jordin Sparks in season 6 because she was the only one I could seriously see winning!) Jasmine was starting to grow on me over the early rounds this year. And just when I decided to pick her for the top 12, she decides to mail in her performance of "Love Song." Combine that with going 1st? Not looking good Jasmine! I'd say that maybe she'd get called back for the wildcard night. The judges are big fans, and I'm sure she already has a lot of fans out there. But it's gonna be a packed house with other Judges' favorites from previous rounds. This was kinda disappointing and again a reason why I'm not a fan of this semi-finals format. Oh well, we'll see.
  2. Matt Giraud - 23 dueling pianist from Kalamazoo, Michigan - When I saw this guy in Hollywood week behind the keyboard and jamming to "Georgia" I thought this guy was a shoo-in for the Top 12. Now, I'm conflicted. Alright, I get it. Chris Martin from Coldplay is a piano guy too. Hey I'm a piano guy. But that doesn't mean I'm going to jump around and start singing a crazy song like "Viva La Vida" and expect to be taken seriously! Especially, if I'm a bluesy dueling pianist like Matt Giraud. I think he still has a chance for getting some sympathy from America, but I'm not so sure they'll be voting based on tonight's performance! He sang in tune and everything. I thought maybe a little too much vibrato and looked really ridiculous in the whole process! But, I'm still a fan and hope American or the judges bail him out in this crazy season! He needs to get to the Instrument round! Which reminds me, why on earth can they not use instruments in the Semi-Finals? I thought they did last year. The conspiracy continues to if the Band is hidden in this year's semi-finals or if they're cutting costs and using pre-recorded tracks. Could the recession be impacting Idol too?!
  3. Jeanine Vailes - 28, Bartender from Washington D.C. - Well, I guess I could just join the judges and talk about Jeanine's legs. I mean, what on earth was this?! She admitted herself that she was trying to overcompensate for lack of publicity. Well, over-singing isn't the way to do it. It just makes you look ridiculous. Her version of Maroon 5's "This Love" was all over the place. And her endless begging of the American Public to vote for her just worsened her chances of getting voted in. And poor Paula. How could they make her do the first critique on this one? That was priceless, but painful at the same time! "Great Legs, it's American Idol season 8! Simon?" classic.
  4. Nick Mitchell - AKA Norman Gentle, 27 - Okay okay. I've enjoyed the comedy of Norman Gentle. And I think the producers forced the judges to bring this guy to a Live show. Well, we've done it! Time to move on! The crowd really did dig the performance though, unless it was just applause for the ridiculousness of it. I barely take this show seriously as it is, but I really don't think I'd be able to if Nick makes it any further! However, I'm sure is on alert!
  5. Allison Iraheta - 16 from Los Angeles - When this girl started her interview segment with Ryan, I just wanted to blow her off. 16 year old, crazy red hair, don't know her too well at this point. Oh, and she's singing Heart's "ALONE." No one has really done the song justice since season 4. And why would you dare want to take on Idol's most successful Idol? Case-in-point:

    I had already written the girl off. But Allison really brought her game! This girl can SANG! Totally caught me off-guard. Don't get me wrong, no one is gonna top Carrie on the song, but Allison was great at it for different reasons. She brought more of a rock/raspy feel to it. And she immediately made herself a contender this year. I still fear song choice issues with 16 year-olds. But some kids just beat the odds. Let's see how she does down the stretch. But I think she's definitely making it through.
  6. Kris Allen - 23 from Conway, Arkansas - Well, what can I say? Kris wasn't BAD, per say, with his rendition of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" (apparently written by Glenn Ballard and some other songwriter I don't know!). He did a suitable job on the song. But come on, it's not Michael! This guy, that had barely any screen-time up to now, needed to be great. I thought he was good. Now, based on everyone else that performed tonight, well, maybe it was just enough to squeak by. But if I have to put him vs. Matt Giraud for the next highest vote of the night? I gotta go with Matt. But there's another one in the marginal list that could compete for that 3rd spot. (yes, I already have picked my top guy for the night. I mean seriously, is there any doubt who it is?)
  7. Megan Joy Corkery - 23 from Utah - Megan has got some kind of appeal to her. The judges tried to call her a "package artist." They did everything but say "hey, you're a pretty girl, but your voice? It ain't quite there." And that's how you sum it up. Personally, the tattoos were a little too Carly Smithson for my taste! She had some kind of nervous tick when she sang too. Her whole body was shaking like the little girl in The Exorcist or something! I mean, she didn't sing TOO bad. Her voice is very unique (well, in that it sounds like Duffy or Amy Winehouse), but she may just not appeal to the vast population of the United States (tried to think of a different way to say American Public! How'd I do?) I agree with Paula though, she definitely picked the right song for her voice and persona ("Girl, Put Your Records On") I guess she can be content with that.
  8. Matt Breitzke - 28 from Bixby, Okhlahoma - Oh poor Matty. I do love Tonic's "If You Could Only See" but Matt kinda just went through the motions on this one. I guess having both of our Blue Collar guys make it to the top 12 was asking too much. We got Michael Sarver, and I guess that's enough. Matty was a good time though. You gotta love the big bald guys singing some tunes on the stage! You never know. There are a lot of people out there that probably like Matt and will vote for him. But, I think there was enough decent talent out there that did better. This is likely the end of the road for Mr. Breitzke.
  9. Jesse Langseth - 26 from Minneapolis Minnesota - This was the girl that barely made the top 36 and Simon would've said no to her after her sing-off. She sang "Betty Davis Eyes" and I thought she actually did a decent job on it. The judges weren't so thrilled about it, well except Paula (that makes me feel good about my opinion!). My gut reaction was that Jesse really sang the tune well. But the judges I guess were saying that she was "too cool for her own good." Well I like to think America is kinda cool too. Maybe a lot of people dug it! But, she's another one that didn't get a lot of publicity. So, no judges backing, and only me and Paula supporting her? Not looking good!
  10. Kai Kalama - 27 from California - This guy....I don't know what it is, but when he started singing "What becomes of a Broken Heart," I almost fell off of the couch in laughter. He's a likable guy, yes. He's a decent singer, but the way he sang the song so seriously thinking that it was his ticket to the top 12. Oh man, I just couldn't stop laughing! As Simon said, I guess it was just a little bit too corny for my taste. And maybe for most of America's taste. It's not looking good for ol' Kai.
  11. Mishavonna Henson - 18 from Irvine, California - Well, you know, it's about time that we start getting nicknames for people. And I hope Mishavonna gets in because, I have already given her a nickname that is SURE to stick! It all started with a typo in the Hollywood Blog. Ladies and gentlemen and fellow Idol MY SHARONA HENSON!!! Whew, was it worth the wait? I wasn't thrilled with the song choice of Train's "Drops of Jupiter" a contender for most overplayed song in Top 40 Radio history. (I love how My Sharona talked about how she picked the song to be different! Yes, way to pick the most popular song ever! Ugh...teenagers!) And while the arrangement of the song was kinda goofy, I still found that My Sharona sang it pretty well! If anything, I could tell she had a good voice. The judges weren't very thrilled about the performance. I think they were more concerned that Paula sneezed on live TV! (I mean, how does that not happen more on live TV?!) Oh well, it's anyone's guess who the 3rd person to make it through will be, and by the end of this blog I need to make one!
  12. Adam Lambert - 27 from Hollywood, California - Once again, placement of the contestants seems intentionally weighted in American Idol's Favor. We ended last week with fan favorite Danny Gokey on an inspirational note with the judges salivating over him. They salivated to the point that I'm not sure if I can even root for him anymore. I really wanted to support him too! Oh well, like I said, once the top 12 starts it's a whole new ball game! Anyway, Adam (aka Mr. Theatrical) pulled out a rendition of the Rolling Stone's "Satisfaction." One indication that we're supposed to like it? Paula was dancing! Call it what you want, love him or hate him, man that boy has some range! This top 12 wouldn't be complete without him. He can sing. He is still very theatrical, but hey, Freddie Mercury was theatrical and one of the greatest live performers in ROCK history. Am I suggesting that Adam can pull of the same kind of career? Surely, not at this point. But, what I am saying is, there is a place for him in this competition and anyone that thinks he will not be getting the popular male vote (some could suggest he might get the top female vote but let's not go there) is off their rocker!

Whew, man, is anyone still reading? Okay, so we know who the top spots are going to. So, the suspense is in my #3 pick. Last week I went 3 for 3 for the first time I think EVER (the Sarver pick being where I impressed myself!). Can I do it again? Doubtful, but here goes nothing!

Top Male Pick: Adam Lambert
Top Female Pick: Allison Iraheta
Next Top Vote Getter: Matt Giraud

Bonus Picks (just in case): Jesse Langseth, My Sharona Henson (but just because of the name!)

I changed my mind on Kris Allen. I gotta stick with my gut. He wasn't "stand-out" enough for his first major appearance to America. So last week, a 2nd guy got in, so does a 2nd girl get in this week by default? Eh, I dunno. It's really up in the air! My vote for Matt is based on what I HOPE happens. If it doesn't, I have faith the judges will bring him back.

Well, that's it folks. Hope you've enjoyed my ramblings as always! And I will be here tomorrow with the my reflection on the results!

One more sidenote of business. I am going to be publishing my blog on from now on too. Feel free to check it out and join in any discussions that may arise there! If you don't check it out, then I'll still be here too! See you tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

I loved Normund Gentle. The fact that he took a song we were all sick of hearing on this show and basically made fun of it earns him a lot of points in my book.

Allison's getting a ton of good feedback from what I've seen, so I'm hoping she can indeed make it over annoying Megan Corkrey.

I thought Jesse was pretty good too.

My Sharona. That's a good nickname. Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to get many more chances to use it. At least she did a better job on that song than Ace Young did.

I think you might be two for three on your picks. I don't see Matt Giraud making it.

Mike V. said...

Ian, I think I was just tired and cranky writing the blog last night (not going on much sleep right now either!). I definitely laughed when watching Nick Mitchell. But for the sake of the competition, I think he needs to leave now! lol

Thanks for the props on the nickname, and I agree it's not looking good for her.

I just don't know about my Matt pick. No one thought Sarver would really make it last week either. I just have a feeling that people latched onto him in previous weeks. If he doesn't get in this week, then he's probably good to go for the wildcard. I'm guessing they'll add one person from each week (well...most likely)

So it would be Anoop, then maybe Matty from this week if he doesn't make it. Of course, they will need some more females in this competition who knows?

I'm rambling!

Anonymous said...

Have you checked DialIdol? It looks like your Matt pick may be correct! If it is, you are truly the master!

I think I'll go see if last night's episode of "Lost" is posted online yet. I had to miss it because of "Idol," unfortunately.

Mike V. said...

Yeah, I remember you mentioning that crazy talk last week with skipping LOST. I decided to forego sleep rather than miss a date with LOST! (of course, I couldn't miss a blog either! lol)

Enjoy the show, it was a good time.

As for Dialidol. Yes, I always check it out after I make my picks. But it's never 100% accurtate. So we'll see if I truly am the master, or will fall back into my old ways of last season and just mess up on a weekly basis! As long as I get the final pick right, I'm happy!