American Idol, Episode 8-19 Review

So here’s the deal: the contestants are singing the songs of Michael Jackson, and the Bottom Two go home. So that answers how they’re dealing with thirteen singers rather quick.

1) Lil Rounds sang “The Way You Make Me Feel”. She does a real good job here. Batting leadoff wasn’t the best spot to be in, but I have to admit – she set the bar pretty high, and you gotta figure that she’s gonna stay around until at least the Top Six. I want to say higher, but I have a feeling she’s gonna be this year’s “contestant eliminated too early”. 7.5/10

2) Scott McIntyre sang “Keep the Faith”, which I’m not familiar with, but he’s playing the piano and clearly he was more in his comfort zone with the ivories in front of him. I give him a lot of credit for learning the song so quickly on the piano, but I agree with Simon – the lack of song recognition will hurt him. 5.5/10

3) Danny Gokey sang “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” and after starting soft went all out. He showed why he is being considered the oddsmakers favourite (4-1) to win this. Simon, again was right here though – the dancing was horrid. Still, you want to show some energy and connection with the audience to get those votes coming in, and Danny did that. 7.5/10

4) Michael Sarver batted cleanup, and sang one of Jackson’s more sappy songs (and that’s saying something) “You Are Not Alone”. He did what he could given his tenor voice, but this not really that great in my mind, and I guess that I keep having flashbacks to Matt Rogers, who like Sarver pretty much peaked in the semis. Nothing wrong with that, but I think that it’s not the key to staying around much longer. 5/10

5) Jasmine Murray sings “I’ll Be There”, which is guaranteed to get a Mariah Carey comparison from the judges. And simply because of that, Jasmine needed to avoid this song. She didn’t, and her rendition was the very definition of “safe”, which won’t do her any favours, but if I’m right about the elimination changes, she’s safe for another week. 5/10

6) Kris Allen is apparently a huge Michael Jackson fan, and he pays tribute by singing a Josh Logan-tastic rendition of “Remember the Time”, with some Dave Matthews-type dancing thrown in. I still don’t really know who Kris is, but I think he’s got enough charisma to last another day. The whole “he helped everyone else” thing probably doesn’t hurt either. 6.5/10

7) Allison Iraheta is singing “Give in to Me”, and she injects that smoky Bonnie Tyler/Alannah Myles-style voice into the song. I really don’t know if she can sustain the rocker style for the whole competition, but she’s giving it a go, and I’m digging it. 8/10

8. Anoop Desai goes for “Beat It”, and really, someone should have told him that it was a bad, bad choice. The singing, well, it actually wasn’t bad, but it’s not gonna hold up to the original, and certainly better than Fall Out Boy’s cover. But you know what this was really missing? The Eddie Van Halen guitar solo. 5/10

9) Jorge Nuñez sang “Never Can Say Goodbye”, and this was really not a good choice for him. It was decidedly average, and I gather that by the time he picked a song everyone else had taken what he wanted, and he thought this was the best of what was left. He better hope that Puerto Rico can vote. 5/10

10) Hippychick decided to sing… “Rockin’ Robin”? OK, looking it up, Jackson did actually release this as a single, but I would relate this more to Bobby Day (or Andy Bernard) than Michael Jackson. On top of that, the song was incredibly pedestrian, and I don’t know what this was supposed to present to the voters. 3/10

11) Emo Boy sang “Black or White”, and it’s kinda funny that I call Adam “Emo Boy” because he’s really more of an 80’s hair metal singer than an emo singer, but, well, he looks more like an emo boy. With respect to the song, he rocked it, and definitely made it his own. Adam definitely could win the competition, and I look forward to seeing what he’s got next week. 8/10

12) Matt Giraud goes with “Human Nature”, which curiously was used in a remix of SWV’s “Right Here”. And of course, SWV member Taj Johnson-George is a current castaway on Survivor. How’s that for useless tangential linkage? Anyway, the song is done in Matt’s usual bluesey, Buble-esque style, and it’s not bad at all, but I don’t know that Matt has much more to offer, y’know? 6/10

13) Alexis Grace sings “Dirty Diana”, and it wasn’t all that great. I guess the first problem is that noone could possible imagine Alexis as “dirty”, and second, she’s dressed like a waitress at a bar who is dressing to look “sexy” but it’s entirely the wrong wardrobe for it. And the singing is strained to the point where she’s trying to outdo some of the other singers, and it’s not working. In addition to that, her phone number ends in a “36”, which pretty much guarantees bottom 3 and perhaps necessitating the twist. 5/10

At the end of the show we get the announcement of a “surprise twist” for Idol involving the judges. Presumably, they’ll be doing an elimination similar to Rock Star/So You Think You Can Dance up until the Top 6, meaning that the bottom 3 (4?) will “sing for their life” before the judges decide who stays and who goes. Which probably means that Jasmine will stay if she’s in the bottom 3.

Predictions
Bottom 3/4:

Anoop Desai
Hippychick
Alexis Grace
(Jorge Nuñez)

Eliminated:
Anoop
Hippychick

See you next week.

Kevin Wong thinks that inmate “Thriller” thing is quite entertaining. He also thinks that the Sobe “Thriller” commerical is rather annoying.

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