The rumor that broke today is that (1) only the 10 finalists selected in the viewer vote will be revealed tomorrow and (2) there will be a Wildcard week next week. Right now, it’s unclear if there will be audience voting, judges’ selections, or both for the Wildcard week. Nothing will be announced tonight, I suspect, because the show was taped on Monday. The first live show is tomorrow’s results show, so any Important Announcements will come then. Or not.
I’m still hoping for some star power tonight… we desperately need it. The guys last night, overall, were good-to-really-good, but nobody jumped out as a star. Let’s see how it goes tonight.
OK, Ryan… the guys weren’t really a “force”, but I’ll go along for the ride, becauseTHIS… is American Idol!
Tonight, we get the full Mark Thompson intro for the judges and for Ryan… and while Ryan kills time with the judges, I’m setting up my DVR for later tonight…
As Steven tells the girls they need to “go to the moon”, we bring them out… a couple have issues finding their marks… but they make it on stage, take their applause, and then exit quickly so we can get rolling… again, it’s any song (that can be cleared) that the girls want…
Ta-Tynisa Wilson – “Only Girl (In The World)” by Rihanna
Hmm… same as last night. It’s hard to pin down the first singer, although I think she’s a better lead-in than Clint was last night. Glad to see she seems to be enjoying the experience. Good voice, good song choice, has stage presence… we’re off to a solid start. It’s clear already that Randy is very comfortable in the Simon Cowell role of being “honest”…
Quick side note: Whoever thought it was a good idea to give the Twilight treatment to Little Red Riding Hood should be shot. That is all.
Naima Adedapo – “Summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald
Naima gets the Product Placement Interview tonight, talking about the dress she designed for herself.
It takes guts to take on Ella. Sometimes, guts pay off. I really liked this performance… if she can keep this up, she has a shot to go all the way to May, even with the slightly clichéd Idol Glory Note.
Kendra Chantelle – “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera
Clearly, this song was chosen before Xtina signed with NBC for their Idol ripoff.
Bad timing for her to follow Naima’s performance… file this under “OK”. Decent job, but the kind of performance that can get left behind this early in the show, even with the slightly clichéd Idol Glory Note. A little screechy on the edges, but otherwise workable. I wonder if she’ll be this year’s Janell Wheeler, someone who has promise but got lost in the shuffle.
Instant Scorecard: Naima > Kendra > Ta-Tynisa
Rachel Zevita – “Criminal” by Fiona Apple
Ouch. Hope she didn’t blow the 4-year dream with this performance. Thin vocal, all over the place, and clearly figuring she’d go for style over substance. There’s a good chance she’s capable of better. There’s also a good chance we won’t find out. It’s OK to have your own take on a song – but if you do it wrong, it’s a quick exit.
Karen Rodriguez – “Hero” by Mariah Carey
Whoa… pulling out Spanish lyrics… she didn’t belt it like Mariah… this is a good thing. A really good performance, and she’s already trying to set herself for post-Idol Latin crossover success. This ovation was well deserved… It’s OK to have your own take on a song – and if you do it right, it could make you a star.
Instant Scorecard: Karen > Naima > Kendra > Ta-Tynisa > Rachel. Eliminations start now… I’d say Rachel needs to get the VFTW nod if she wants to make it to the Top 12 or so.
Lauren Turner – “Seven Day Fool” by Etta James
Ella and Etta the same night? This is Idol, right? Enjoyable performance – you wouldn’t know this is an “old” song if you hadn’t looked. Not the best of the night, but may have put herself through to the Twelve.
Instant Scorecard: Karen > Naima > Lauren T. > Kendra > Ta-Tynisa || Rachel.
Ashthon Jones – “Love Over Me” by Monica
It may be very tough to cut this group down to 5 finalists at this rate. She’s got “it”, a very tangible presence that says she knows she belongs here. Not the best performance, but a very good job. She’s got the swagger to take this a long way.
Instant Scorecard: Karen > Naima > Ashthon > Lauren T. > Kendra || Ta-Tynisa > Rachel.
Julie Zorrilla – “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
Oof. If you’re taking on one of the Exalted Idols, you can’t afford a misstep. This was a misstep. Kind of flat at the start and never really recovered. She’s going to need a wildcard to survive, as this performance wasn’t enough.
Haley Reinhart – “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys
She’s got a pretty good voice, but I don’t think this was the right song to showcase it. Given what we’ve seen so far, she needed a star performance, and she didn’t get there. I wouldn’t be surprised if she sneaks into the Twelve, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she just missed. With the flirting, I think Julianne Hough is going to want to kill this girl.
Instant Scorecard: Karen > Naima > Ashthon > Lauren T. > Kendra || Ta-Tynisa > Haley > Julie > Rachel.
Thia Megia – “Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara
This demonstrates the power of a stripped-down arrangement to showcase a very good singer. Ryan’s pre-song patter might be right – if this is why they lowered the age limit to 15, it was the right choice. Excellent performance. One of the best of the week.
Lauren Alaina – “Turn on the Radio” by Reba McIntyre
Nice song choice. There was some wavering in her voice at times, but for the most part, she showed why they’re pushing her so hard this season. Not terrific, but solid enough to get to the Twelve, where she’ll have plenty of chances to blow us away. I hope her nickname for Seacrest sticks… “Peaches”… as we laugh off to…
Instant Scorecard: Karen > Thia > Lauren A. > Naima > Ashthon || Lauren T. > Kendra > Ta-Tynisa > Haley > Julie > Rachel.
Pia Toscano – “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders
Well, now. What a way to take this one home. Really good vocal, definitely “made it her own”, and the Pimp Spot will guarantee that she goes through. There’s a hint of star quality here. We’ve got a chance to see her well into May, as well.
Final Scorecard: Karen > Pia > Thia > Lauren A. > Naima || Ashthon > Lauren T. > Kendra > Ta-Tynisa > Haley > Julie > Rachel.
Wow. This show has 8-9 girls who really deserve a shot at the top 5, and 10 with a chance. I can see why the producers have been encouraging the buzz that this is the year for one of the girls to win it all. There are some talented girls who are going to lose this numbers game.
I wouldn’t argue if the 2 or 3 wildcards were all girls, as they definitely outperformed the guys this week. But what do I know, I’m just a guy with a blog, right? Anyway, what I’m saying is that I don’t think my top 5 will be the 5 selected tomorrow night. Only Julie and Rachel would surprise me if they got in – and Rachel is getting the VFTW nod, although I don’t think even they can get her past tomorrow night.
We’ll find out tomorrow at 8/7c in the ridiculous two-hour results show. Then again, I can see a “shocking surprise” that gives us a reason for the supersized show – probably involving the wildcard round.
Another doomed FOX comedy, “Traffic Light”, is next… see you tomorrow night (possibly late in the evening) with reactions…