Join us for a live recap of the American Idol Top 13. There will be a special number tonight for contestant #13 because it turns out 1-866-IDOLS-13 is… rather scandalous. Check out the details here. I think after tonight Anoop, Kris, and Jorge are in trouble. None of the girls should go home, but the way the public votes, it could be any of them too.
The judges are introduced like they are The Beatles. What, they couldn't get an announcer who could do an Ed Sullivan impression? Paula is wearing something gold and shiny with feathers. I hope it doesn't distract her too much. Seacrest looks dapper in a charcoal suit and purple tie. Very dashing.
Randy posits that anyone in the Top 13 could win. I don't necessarily think *that's* true. Paula advises not to let the stage consume them. Ryan makes a veiled vain and/or masturbation joke towards Simon, then Simon advises not to flub the lyrics and to prove they aren't swallowed up by the stage. Paula admonishes him that she just said that and for once… she is correct. Get some new material, Cowell.
We are introduced to the contestants and it appears that Alexis Grace gets the coveted Pimp/Phone Sex Spot. Simon lets us all know that two of them are going home tomorrow night. We are then treated to a Michael Jackson video montage. They conspicuously leave out his Macaulay Culkin phase.
Lil Rounds, "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Up first is cutie Lil singing the song that I would choose if I were in this phase of the competition. Great song, makes me remember how hot I was for Cooper Nielsen in Center Stage. Lil is borrowing a page out of Paula's book by wearing a frou-frou pink one-shoulder shirt, but she's rocking it with white pants. I *really* like her voice on this song. She's changing the song enough to make it very distinctly "Lil" without completely destroying the song the way some contestants do. I like her stage presence and she hits a couple gorgeous high notes near the end. Very well done, in my opinion. Dynamic, energetic and not at all swallowed up by the stage.
Randy says way to kick it off and liked her spin on it. Kara says everyone is going, "Uh oh" and that she wants to hear Lil on the radio. Paula loves the softness of her outfit and says she is a force to be reckoned with. Simon thought it was a lazy song choice, but that the second half got better. He also hates her outfit. Offff course he does.
Scott McIntyre, "Keep the Faith"
Turns out he has a sister who is also visually impaired. Looks like he's making a play on Danny's "dead wife" votes. Scott is at the piano tonight, which is fantastic. I definitely think his singing is better when he's at the piano. He's clearly more comfortable. He also picked a great "middle America's votes" song… until he launches into some "strangling a cat" high notes. Don't do that again, please. My ears are bleeding. Other than that little bump, it was okay. Not awesome, but decent enough to keep him here, I think.
Kara points out that he just learned the song on piano this week and then compliments him staying true to himself, whatever that means. Paula calls him "magical." Paula wants him to come live in her attic and play games with her. (My words, not hers. Though I could see her saying something like that. She can hang Scott's head right next to David Archuleta's.) Simon hated the song because it's so obscure. Scott argues that it's artistic and Simon says being artistic has no place on this show. HAHA! So true, Simon. So true. Paula tries to bring up Norway. Maybe she wants to go be magical with Scott in Norway. Who can say, really? Randy finally comments that it was a safe choice and didn't have enough sparks.
Danny Gokey, "PYT"
It appears that Danny has, at last count, 148 family members and they all live in one modest-sized house in Milwaukee. I don't love the opening bars of the song, but once the fast part kicks up and the band and red background go nutso, he sounds very nice. I also like Danny's dance moves, he's very into it and is really good at working the crowd. He's sticking to the melody but has some nice growls and runs. Nice performance, vocals and otherwise. I dug it. Very exciting.
Paula has some word-salad about "hearing with your eyes closed" and knowing who he is and promotes him straight to the finals. Next! Simon calls the vocals "brilliant" and says he is one heck of a singer. He also likens him to Michael McDonald, a "white guy with a soul." Simon thinks the dancing is hideous, but I disagree. I found it delightful. Randy likes his passion, dancing and all. Kara likes his joy.
Just a quick thought on Danny Gokey: I don't think he has exploited his tragedy, I think the show has. He mentioned it (of course) but they are the ones beating a dead horse (as it were). And I don't fault him for it.
Michael Sarver, "You Are Not Alone"
He has the cayoootest little girl, all blonde pigtails and giggles. Awww. Unfortunately, he's singing the "Free Willy" song that makes me want to throw myself off the roof. Gag me. I'll try to be objective. Vocally, it's a little milquetoast but still sounds good. Nothing blow-me-away but decent and should garner him PLENTY of votes. He *does* do a nice job on the key change and the ending. That saves it from being so boring.
Simon says he's not the best singer but he makes up for it with passion, heart and 110% effort. Randy says one of the best so far tonight. I don't know that I'd go that far because both Lil and Danny were better. So just by virtue of the numbers, he's one of the worst so far. Kara thought he brought his game. Paula thinks he's likeable, talented and picked a great song for himself.
Jasmine Murray, "I'll Be There."
Jasmine gets the first stool interview. She's dressed like she stepped right out of Haight-Ashbury, so I hope she's singing one of the Jackson 5 songs. Turns out she is. This song is in a good place in her range, but it's just very bland. Leading into the chorus, it sounds like there are a few pitch issues and she has some trouble going from high to low the way lil' Michael did. OH MY GOD… when they step out onto the platform in front of the judges, they are standing on big projections of themselves. Creepy. Anyway, she has a nice big ending but I didn't love it. It seemed… mechanical. She just stood there, like the pretty Jasmine Doll singing a song for us.
Randy reminds us that he recorded this song as a remake with Mariah Carey (everybody drink!) but says she did a pretty good job. Kara said she sold it. Paula likes her composure, poise and said there were bright moments but also some not-so-bright moments. Simon calls it robotic. Yep, that's the word I was looking for.
Kris Allen, "Remember the Time"
Turns out Kris is a newlywed, only married 5 months. Wow, that would be hard. We get to see Kris "jam" out on the "guitar" tonight. It might be a cardboard cutout, that's how important it seems to the performance. Seriousl
y, it's very out-of-place. Vocally… well, he's super-cute? Seriously, this is a terrible song choice. It doesn't show anything off and it's very repetitive. I guess he blew his load with "Man in the Mirror." I would say that I'd be surprised if he survives tomorrow night, but he's cute and we all know the demographic that votes on this show, so… who can say?
Kara says it was a little off in parts but is happy to see him with his guitar. Really? I didn't really notice it. Paula can't comment at first because Simon is tugging on her dress strings. Pretty soon, Paula will just be naked. Paula calls him engaging and adorable/sexy and then babbles something about Simon. She's high as a kite tonight, folks. Simon thinks the guitar was a bit strange on the piece, the vocals were okay and advises him not to have brought the wife out so early. Basically, Kris will stick around because tween girls like him. Gag me. Randy calls it "Jason Mrazy" and "very well job done." Maybe Paula's been sharing her stash.
Allison Iraheta, "Give In to Me"
We take a trip back to the Latin Wal-Mart where she got her start. That's adorable. Just adorable. I am not familiar with her song choice but she's dressed like a biker chick, so that's cool. Man, I really like this girl's voice. It's so mature and supported and soulful. It's making me want to give in to her, just like the song says. Anything you want, 16 year-old mesmerizing pink-haired Latin princess. There's a great big note at the end, fabulous. I hope the judges liked it.
Paula asks her how old she is again and calls her mind-boggling with her poise and "rock star" presence. Simon calls it very good and is glad they know who she is. (It's the Idol Boxes people, very important to have a box to put everyone in.) Randy says if you got, you got it and you're born with. He says she can sing anything and is one to watch for the whole thing. Kara calls her vocals ridiculous.
Anoop Desai, "Beat It"
For a dance team performance college, we were rival gangs in leather jackets and had a rumble. I love this song with all my heart. Anoop starts out using the mic stand, which I don't love. This song needs movement or it's repetitive and boring. He better ditch the mic stand. At the first chorus, he does and the lights go crazy and it gets better, entertainment-wise. Vocally, it's not that strong. I mean, he sounds fine but this isn't a hard song. I'm very bored. He's also losing his breath and dropping notes. That was very karaoke for me. Seriously, we cut Jesse Langseth for this crap? Booooo.
Paula didn't think the song showed what he has, the song belongs to Michael Jackson and it was very karaoke. Yes. Exactly. Simon calls it "horrible" and "light weight." Randy wishes they could've seen what he can do. Kara thinks vocally it was very bland, no falsetto, no riffs.
Jorge Nunez, "Never Can Say Goodbye"
Turns out Jorge has almost as many family members as Danny Gokey! Jorge is getting his Latin Lover on tonight. I think he's trying to make love to me through the camera. Vocally, this is not good. It's schmaltzy and off-pitch. The accent is an interesting aspect to his singing, I like it, but overall it's just not that good. There were a few missed notes. Not even close to the best tonight. But we've all seen what happens when there are Small Island Contestants (coughJasmineTriascough), so he'll probably stick around.
Randy doesn't like the song choice. Kara wants to see more emotional connection. Paula asks him about the song and while he answers, she gives him the thousand-yard stare of a totally bombed person. Simon says it was sort-of bad, corny and out of his depth.
Megan Corkrey, "Rockin' Robin"
I love Megan in red, just have to say. Also, what a beautiful mom she has! I immediately love her song choice. Her growls and weird vocal affectations are great on this song. Her stage presence needs work but vocally, I really dig this. There's a great last note and some cute little "caws" at the end. I thought she did really well with it.
Kara likes her putting her signature on every song she does. She's going to have a show called "That's So Megan!" She wants to see more of Megan's range. Paula liked the song choice but wants to hear the sound that they love. Simon calls it a stupid song choice, clumsy and awkward. Oh, I disagree. Randy says it wasn't great, but then they ask Gordon Ramsey and I think he says something nice. It's hard to tell. But the requisite cross-show pimping is fulfilled.
Adam Lambert, "Black or White"
Can he magically morph into multiple people of various races at the end? Cause that would be cool. He starts off a little mush-mouthed. Enunciate, babe. In the middle, he starts his Steven Tyler Shrieking some more. I just do not enjoy that, I'm sorry. This guy can obviously sing, so why does he have to do that? Seriously, I enjoy Adam's vocals but I really don't like the way he starts screaming at me.
Paula says Idol has never seen someone so comfortable and seasoned and practically declares him in the finals with Danny. Yes, his stage presence is great. But I don't enjoy the shrieking. Simon says it is a mile ahead of everyone else. Randy thinks he "got it." Kara thinks he hits notes that she didn't even know existed. Well, when we're all done fellating Adam… good lord. Seacrest drops a "herky" joke in regards to Paula, which is a cheerleading joke, for those of you keeping score at home.
Matt Giraud, "Human Nature"
There is some video footage of Shirtless Ping-Pong at the Giraud house. Yikes. Matt is also rocking the piano tonight, that's cool. This song is almost a little low for him, it's very breathy. The chorus gets a little better, but this just isn't grabbing me. I would've liked to hear him to "Dirty Diana." His falsetto is not great, very all-over-the-place. It was okay, but a tad boring.
Randy says a few pitch problems, but he's got the Timberlake/Thicke thing going on. Kara says they'll see him for many weeks. Paula was blown away. Simon thought it was solid.
Alexis Grace, "Dirty Diana"
Apparently, Alexis's dad is the lost member of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Great song choice. Alexis is rocking the back-light and Cell Block Tango outfit. I really like this song on her. I take back what I said about Matt Giraud. I like how she can belt without shouting. Very good ending to the show. Just don't forget her special number: 1-866-IDOLS-36. 36! Not 13. THIRTY SIX. No phone sex numbers, guys.
Kara says naughty and she liked it. Paula liked it but watch the over-singing. Simon thinks over-the-top and not as good as she thinks it was. Randy liked the attitude.
Get ready for a big twist tomorrow night!
Recap: Lil workin' it out, Scott being very forgettable in retrospective, Danny rockin' many pretty young things, Michael schmaltzing it up, Jasmine Doll getting her retro on, Kris getting his bland cuteness all over "Remember the Time," Allison blowing it out da b
ox, Anoop karaoaking "Beat It," Jorge being pretty weak compared to everyone else, Megan's old school being fun and cute, Adam screaming at me but also being very entertaining, Matt not picking a great song, and Alexis grooving her "Dirty Diana."
Who is in trouble? Kris, Jorge and Anoop. Though nothing surprises me anymore on this show.