American Idol – Episode 8-17 Review

Are we ready to see who America chose to be in the Top 12? This is the last batch of three that were determined by the ringing of phones. Tomorrow night eight Wild Card folks will plead at the mercy of Simon Cowell. That’s going to be so much more entertaining. 

Ryan wears a black suit with a tie that’s loosened like he’s just returned from a stripclub. Why bother with a necktie if we can see the top two buttons through the loop? We see the first six people on the stools. The three empty stools await the winners while a Greyhound bus is ready for the losers. We get a montage reminding us how these dozen kids auditioned and performed during Hollywood week. Shame we didn’t see much of this footage during Hollywood week as they focused on Bikini Girl. They redid the group winners pose from Hollywood week to scrub away the stain of the ex-Annie.

They once more lipsync another group song. This time we get Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold.” The guys are sitting on a sofa while singing. They must have been really bad learning their steps earlier in the week. Why do these group songs come out sounding like Kidz Bop tracks? They go to commercial, but we’re promised a hidden audition to keep us from flipping. It’s a white girl doing a soulful rendition of The Jeffersons theme. She’s not bad. Why was this held back during that episode? 

Hell’s Kitchen is on tomorrow. Does this mean the Wild Card show will merely be an hour long? The 8 hopefuls better plead fast for their shot at the final three slots. Now there’s a recap of last night’s performances. Mostly they focus on the lame performances including the shopping with Taylor business. If you go shopping with me, bring a bag that doesn’t stain. The praise goes to Lil Rounds. She’s the top contender. She’s Fantasia without the TV movie of her life in production. Ryan talks to the contestants about how they think they did.  Ju’not Joyner had an asthma attack during rehearsals today.

Lil Round is asked to stand up. Without much suspense, Ryan puts her through. It’s no shock that she’s in the Top 12. Not that she was going to make us sweat. Kara expects ridiculous vocals every week. Now Lil does her Mary J. Blige song. 

Arianna Afsar, Alex Wagner-Troutman, Kendall Beard, Taylor Vaifanua and Scott McIntyre are told to stand up. Ryan assures us that one them will be going through. But first we have a commercial break.

Arianna Afsar stands up again. Ryan reads her judges reviews. It’s like a death sentence. She’s told to sit back down. She’s out. Taylor Vaifanua has her time in the spotlight. Ryan once more doesn’t have refreshing judge comments. She’s also not through to the Top 12. Alex Wagner-Troutman gets off his butt. He has regrets, but he’d rather lose being himself. At least he will leave the stage a winner in his heart. He’s out. Kendall Beard and Scott McIntyre stand together. They clutch each other like hostages told that one of them is about to be shot and tossed out of the bank. “The nation has spoken,” declares Ryan. Scott is part of the Top 12. He’s ready to play his piano for America. Randy says, “Scott is going to keep it hot” and “blow up the stage every time!” He’s going to be like the mad bomber on The Muppet Show. Scott repeats his Bruce Hornsby song. Bruce used to play piano for the Grateful Dead. Perhaps this connection will get Scott tie-dyed love this season? Do they have phones in VW Microbuses?

So far I’ve picked the two winners. Will the third be the Puerto Rican charm? I’m eager to see the Wild Card selections. But there’s still 5 people who need their dreams crushed.

Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara both stand up. They look like a real bad prom couple from one of Paula’s old music videos. Things don’t sound good. Ryan says, “After a nationwide vote, it’s a No for both of you for now.” Is that a hint that one of them got Wild Card love? Von Smith and Felica Barton stand up next. How can these two not be getting told they’re out since that would mean the other two people on the sofa will be dumped without a tease? They are both given the same wording that sounds like a Wild Card is in their deck. Jorge Nunez and Ju’not Joyner are brought down to the stage. Ryan sounds like he’s going to the commercial break, but then announces he’s telling them now. It’s Jorge going through. Jorge nearly has a stroke on stage. He’s overwhelmed and can only speak Spanish. He’s going to sing his song later because Ryan’s going for the Wild Card. 

Ryan says the judges did not know tonight’s outcome so they haven’t finished their picks although they have their selections from the last two weeks losers. There’s 11 people hanging off the red room balcony including Anoop and Tatiana Del Toro. But I don’t see Nick Mitchell. No!!! All the folks in the sofa have a second chance shot.

First Ryan brings back the 9 voted in finalists. They now have everyone in the Red Room. And Nick Mitchell is there. Please bring back Nick and Tatiana for one more song? I hope leaving my request on a bottle of Scotch at a Ralph’s Supermarket in Santa Monica reached Paula.

Randy’ announces Von Smith as the first through. Paula thinks he can make it by just being himself and not wearing a hat. Kara picks Jasmine Murray because she has commercial potential. She must pick the right song and kill the judges with her vocals. What a shame since napalm would work faster. Paula wants to grab someone from the first round. It’s Ricky Braddy! The Braddy Bunch lives another day. Simon’s choice is delayed as he gets snippy with Ryan. Megan Corkrey is his selection. What shock since Simon wants to lick her arm sleeve tattoo. 

Who will be the last 4? Randy promises his pick is about dedication, entertainment and heart. He’s giving Tatiana Del Toro another shot. She’s in tears. She better bring the crazy. She can’t even speak through her sobs and collapsing. She’s already giving her Miss America speech. Kara mentions her final pick goes to a bluesy singer. No surprise it’s Matt Giraud. But still no dueling piano. Paula says there’s another last minute change. They went with Jesse Langseth. Why?

One last spot and it’s down to Anoop Desai and Nick Mitchell. Simon says this person was an easy decision. It’s Anoop. There will be no swansong for Nick. But at least UNC student Anoop has his second chance.

Jorge gives us his song. But who cares. It’s all about figuring out who gets to appeal to the judges. The biggest surprises are Jesse Langseth and Jasmine Murray. They just didn’t have it on the stage. Can we really expect that much of a turnaround? My picks out of the remaining folks to claim the three empty barstools are Anoop Desai, Megan Corkrey and Tatiana Del Toro. They need a little crazy on that stage and they won’t be getting it from the 9 kids America picked.

Tune in tomorrow and see how this quickie elimination goes down. How many songs will Del Toro belt out to sway the judges?