American Idol 9 Finals: Week 1

To set the scene for tonight’s Rolling Stones night, I watched a few episodes of the wrestling-blooper video series, Botchamania.  Why?  Because we have the potential for true Idol Botchamania tonight…

Word leaked out this afternoon that Paige Miles may have lost her voice.  Let’s just say that VFTW is hoping that’s accurate…

OK, time to get serious.  Much as we can wonder if these really are the top 12 from this year’s competition (they aren’t), these are the 12 America voted for.  So the road to the Kodak Theatre, and the AI9 Finals, starts tonight. 

It’s time for the standard pretaped cold open… THIS… is American Idol!  *cue the music*

We’ve moved to the larger stage at Television City, so the judges and Seacrest get the official Mark Thompson voiceover intro… this is the stage somewhat-replicated at Disney’s American Idol Experience, in case you were wondering.  Katie gets the honor of leading the Top 12 through the big screen at center stage… and we get the Rolling Stones video intro/history.

We get “back home” videos on the Top 12 tonight (hey, they have to fill 2 hours!)…

Michael – “Miss You” – I was wondering why they put Michael up front… until he blew us away with his first Big Stage appearance.  They needed a strong performance up front to get us into the show… and Michael delivered.  Solid vocal, nice arrangement. The bar is set high, quickly. 

Do we get the sense that Ryan has had it with Simon?  Or he’s acting like it to generate buzz?  You decide. 🙂

Didi – “Play With Fire” – Interesting performance… kind of a torch song… that’s not a knock, I enjoyed it.  Might’ve been her best performance to date.  She’s got a longshot chance of breaking the presumed Crystal/Michael stranglehold if she keeps improving…

SCOREBOARD: Michael > Didi

Casey – “It’s All Over Now” — (on electric guitar) This theme is right in Casey’s wheelhouse, so it would’ve only been a surprise if this blew up.  It didn’t.  A very solid, professional performance.  I liked it, and the first three singers are really bunched closely…

SCOREBOARD: Michael > Didi > Casey… but we haven’t yet reached the singers that are expected to derail… 🙂

Lacey – “Ruby Tuesday” – She slowed it down slightly and tried to put a softer edge on the song… it was OK, but I think she missed it a little bit.  Not likely to be voted out, but could go to the bottom 3 if things go bad.  I have to agree with Simon (gasp!) – that’s what I was trying to say, it’s that she comes off as *too* choreographed.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Lacey

Andrew – “Gimme Shelter” – Another “OK, but…”.  I’m not sure he was totally comfortable with the song, and it came out as a somewhat tentative performance.  Even the attempted to kick up the end slightly missed.  Problematic.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Lacey > Andrew

Katie – “Wild Horses” – I was really expecting to trash her performance, as she’s been so rocky in the semifinals… but this time, she found a connection, and some confidence, and gave one of her better showings.  Pretty good.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Katie > Lacey > Andrew

Tim – “Under My Thumb” — (on guitar) Oh my… clean-cut Tim singing this particular song (it’s about sexual domination, folks)… and making it into bland Muzak?  This was… not good. Idol Botchamania has arrived.  This could well be Tim’s swan song, VFTW or not.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Katie > Lacey > Andrew > Tim

Siobhan – “Paint It Black” – I was worried that she’d lost the song at the start, but those fears subsided quickly… problems with overdoing it in the middle, but overall, a solid performance… until that screechy segment just before the end.  Call it “solid with issues”.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Siobhan > Katie > Lacey > Andrew > Tim

Lee – “Beast Of Burden” — (on guitar) I don’t think the indie-rock sound really works for him… this performance may fade into the background… OK, I suppose, but not what he needed tonight.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see America fail to vote for this.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Siobhan > Katie > Lacey > Lee > Andrew > Tim

Paige – “Honky Tonk Women” – I guess laryngitis was just the thing she needed to stop thinking and just sing… I think she took herself out of the firing line tonight with a performance that finally indicated why the judges put her through originally.  Definitely her best.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Siobhan > Paige > Katie > Lacey > Lee > Andrew > Tim

Aaron – “Angie” – Let’s not sprint through the song, please… nice voice, but another case of missing the song completely.  He sang the words, but didn’t really sing the song.  Might be bottom 3 material, but the tween vote will likely save him.

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Casey > Siobhan > Paige > Katie > Lacey > Lee > Aaron > Andrew > Tim

Crystal – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – (On guitar) Perhaps expectations were too high… I thought we’d get a blowaway finale… but she pulled it back a bit.  Still a solid performance, just not what we wanted (but probably what she needed)…

SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Crystal > Casey > Siobhan > Paige > Katie > Lacey > Lee > Aaron > Andrew > Tim

The Big Finish:

REVISED POST-MONTAGE SCORECARD: Michael > Didi > Crystal > Siobhan > Casey > Paige > Katie > Lacey > Andrew > Lee > Aaron >  Tim

My vote: Big Mike

I’d eliminate: Tim

Orianthi, Ke$ha, and David Cook, plus we find out the first finalist going home… tomorrow at 9/8c (after “Human Target”).  Your late local news is next…


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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