American Idol 8 Semifinals: Third Flight

Before another night of Idolatry (where we pretty much know who’s going through, but what the heck)… a word on The Bachelor: IDIOT.  What kind of spineless, indecisive jellyfish goes through all the inanity of weeding through 25 desperate attractive women, “proposing” to one, then coming down with a twisted form of buyer’s remorse and dumping her in less than 6 weeks for the first runner-up?  We now have the answer to that question.  ABC has another hour of this lined up after Idol tonight.  I’m going to watch.  And I hope his second-choice girlfriend kicks him in the balls and tells him to get a life.

OK.  On to tonight’s festivities… as from a stage that’s (hopefully) compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act… THIS… is American Idol! *awkward pointy-gesture*

Once again, the theme is Billboard’s Hot 100.  And we start with a guy this week, for reasons that will be obvious at the Pimp Spot.

Von Smith (22, Greenwood, MO) — “You’re All I Need To Get By” (Marvin Gaye) – Umm… *this* is the guy everyone thought was going through?  What was I thinking?  A bit screechy at times.  Good, not great.  I don’t think he’s really suited for this song.  May have swung and missed… if any of the less visible guys puts up a good performance, he might be off to the Wild Card.

Taylor Vaifanua (17, Hurricane, UT) — “If I Ain’t Got You” (Alicia Keys) – Well now.  You could hear the nerves a bit at the start, but she got into the song… enjoyable (if, in some ways, safe)… I liked it, but I wonder if she’ll draw votes.

Alex Wagner-Trugman (19, Studio City, CA) — “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” (Elton John) — Going for the geek vote (and I say that kindly)… A bit of overacting… decent voice, although he’s slid off into karaoke while trying to put his own spin on the song.  I don’t think it’ll get him to next week.  Got the covered Vote For The Worst nod.

Arianna Afsar (17, San Diego) — “Winner Takes It All” (Abba) – Noble choice.  Poor execution.  Sorry.  Next, please.

At this point, I’m really starting to wonder if anyone wants to win this thing.

Ju’not Joyner (26, Bowie, MD) — “Hey There Delilah” (Plain White T’s) – Interesting rework of a song we’ve probably all heard somewhere… a bit rough around the edges, but likeable… a bit of soul in a competition looking for it… interesting, and he could steal a few votes…

Insert insincere pre-performance Red Room interview here. 🙂

Kristen McNamara (23, Napa Valley, CA) — “Give Me One Reason” (Tracy Chapman) – Hmm… I liked this… she can definitely sing, and she’s got a presence to her… she’ll have to get through the Lil Rounds juggernaut, though… heading for the Wild Card, I think, at worst…

Nathaniel Marshall (19, Malone, NY) — “I’d Do Anything For Love” (Meat Loaf) – A Jim Steinman epic is a rough song choice… his image, while memorable, may work against him… unfortunately, so will this song.  He’s not enough of a singer for it.  OK, but kind of… blah.  I think the part where he tweaked Simon will get him more votes than the song.

Felicia Barton (26, Virginia Beach, VA) — “No One” (Alicia Keys) — The accidental semifinalist (after Joanna Pacitti’s DQ) – I wanted the Virginia contestant to make it… but she disappeared too far into Alicia Keys… OK, solid voice… the field has been lackluster, so it could work out… maybe.

Scott McIntyre (23, Scottsdale, AZ) — “Mandolin Rain” (Bruce Hornsby & the Range) — The man I have sarcastically called “Blind Scott”… I wonder if he played it a little safe… the song suits his voice… with his backstory, all he had to do was not blow up.  He didn’t.  He should be in the Top 12.

Kendall Beard (24, Lufkin, TX) — “This One’s For The Girls” (Martina McBride) – The country audience gets a rooting interest… too bad she’s a bit light on the song… this is one you can let loose on, and she held back… might catch a judge’s eye for the Wild Card, though…

Jorge Nunez (21, Carolina, PR) — “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (Elton John) – Nice voice, but I just don’t connect… I think the pronunciation issue is a problem… he’ll get votes, but I don’t see it.

Pimp Spot has been two-for-two… let’s see if we can go for three.

Lil Rounds (24, Memphis, TN) — “Be Without You” (Mary J. Blige) – She seemed a bit rushed… nerves, perhaps?… but she’s in a great spot here, none of the ladies really stood out (and the “call this show” line was a nice touch).  She caught herself midway through, and she’s going through, deservedly.  She *is* a contender.

THE LAST WORD: This is a rough semifinal to judge.  There weren’t a lot of jump-out-and-vote performances… everyone’s pretty much bunched into a tight range.  Likeable, but not really enough to motivate me to choose one.  But I feel I have to, so this time, my Predictions Sure To Go Astray are actually all-but-guaranteed to be wrong.  Off we go…

SHOULD GO THROUGH: Lil, Ju’Not, Kristen

WILL GO THROUGH: Scott, Nathaniel, Lil

EYES ON THE WILD CARD: Ju’Not, Kristen, Von, Felicia, Kendall

Results tomorrow.  Wild Card Thursday.  And the Top 12 will, we hope, finally open up a bit starting next Tuesday.

Your late local news is… NEXT.  But I’m off to see the Dimbulb Bachelor get his ass handed to him on ABC. 🙂

(edit) Feh – he got off easy.  A few backhanded swipes, and the first runner-up stayed with him.  That’s OK, the breakup will just be a quiet sidebar in US Weekly this summer, then… but I have a friend who’ll be thrilled that the Canadian gets to be the new Bachelorette.  No, I won’t be watching until the decision episode, but Jillian can’t possibly be as wishy-washy as the most recent Bachelor (and future small-b “bachelor”).


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