American Idol – Episode 9-15 Review

Last night’s Top 12 boys episode should be rated the worst two hours of network television ever watched by 23 million people. Fox executives should have spent the night on the phone screaming at the producers for allowing the most unprofessional performers on the stage. I understand that not every pick will be a superstar of tomorrow. But last night was pure agony without any moment of glory. The best we got were a couple mediocre songs. The elimination of four contestants will be a mercy killing.

Ryan teases us that this was the opportunity the contestants had longed for. They must have blown their creative wads on the first auditions. They show lots of tears backstage after their songs. Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen will perform to fill up this hour long fluffathon. The judges appear to be in bored form.

Ryan says Simon was harsher than normal. Why? Because these contestants deserved it. Ellen was surprised at saying she liked bananas. Is she really a full time judge? Are we really to blame nerves on them singing in front of millions of people with the cameras? They had cameras and millions of viewers when they were auditioning. Many of these people don’t have it. The judges picked a pack of frauds.

The Top 24 sing “American Boy” in group. They pre-taped the vocals. Is that Autotune my ears detect? Some of these people can’t fake it, but nobody will be insisting they should sing live. Did you know the kids actually get paid for singing the group song since it’s not part of the competition? They get paid $1,011 for the group sing episode if it’s part of an hour long episode. The price leaps to $1,540 for a two hour episode. Simon earns that amount of cash every time he sniffs his armpits while Randy talks. Because the show is also their manager, 15% of that fee goes back to the American Idol coffers. Is this considered a conflict of interest?

Ryan will cut a girl first. Someone on the back row is marked for elimination. Siobhan Magnus gets up first and sits down. Haeley Vaughn gets up and is reminded she’s a hot mess. Amazingly enough, she has to sit down. She’s safe? Vote For the Worst can claim victory. Michelle Delamor is safe. Katelyn Epperly is safe. Katie Stevens and Janell Wheeler stand up. Only one is staying. Randy refuses to call. They were both on my iffy list. Janell Wheeler is the first contestant tossed back to the real world. Before she goes, she tortures us one more time with Heart’s “What About Love.” She stinks more tonight than last night. Her parents stand in the wings knowing their daughter lost out to Haeley Vaughn. Maybe they can drive her over to audition for The Bachelor or Rock of Love 14?

Allison Iraheta returns to the stage with mega-cherry red hair. She performs a light rock ballad called “Scars.” The audio is glitchy with the mix bouncing around. Oddly enough, this is not the song on the album co-written by Kara. Song just isn’t that catchy. She’s on Idol’s own 19/Jive label. She finished 4th and still got a record contract through the show like the winner.

They dim the lights and have the front row stand up. Paige Miles gets to sit down. Lacey Brown gets to stick around for another week. Ouch. Lily Scott was one of the better performances. She gets to sit down. Crystal Bowersox is reminded that Simon didn’t love her, but she’s still sticking around. Didi Benami and Ashley Rodriguez are brought to the front of the stage to build up the tension. Ryan turns to Ellen to ask what the loser should to start over. She gives a hopeful message about a new beginning. “Marry rich is my advice to the loser.” Didi is safe. Ashley Rodriguez is toast. She’s ready to sing her song. She puts on a brave face. Hard to think she got less love than Lacey Brown’s “Landside.” Ashley sounds pissed on the bridge. She’s ready to toss bodies in the river. But she’s trying to be “Happy” as the song.

Ryan introduces a clip of Tyler Grady perform in boots, socks and a bathrobe during rehearsal yesterday. He should have gone with that outfit for showtime. The back row gets up. Michael Lynche immediately stands up. John Park is safe. Seriously? Aaron Kelly looks like the punk kid brother on a sitcom. He gets to sit down. Todrick Hall gets his mixed reviews. He gets declared safe. Todrick didn’t get marked for death with the scandal story. Tim Urban and Joe Munoz stand together. Kara gets asked if America is right in sending either of them home? She says no. Tim Urban gets to sit down. Vote For the Worst strikes again. Joe Munoz is gone. Tim Urban and John Park ducked a major ax swing. Joe sounds better without being wrapped in that scarf. He’s bouncing around the stage. This is much better than last night. Joe got screwed. That was the best performance of the last two days.

The results have been put on hold for the announcement that April 21 there will be another Idol Gives Back special. Kris Allen was on the ground in Haiti for a U.N. program. He thinks the country will be built back better than ever. They’re going to put Kris’s song on iTunes with all the money going to toward Haiti relief. He’s doing the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” There’s a montage of him giving water to Haitian kids. Why do people perform “Let It Be” as a call to create change in a disaster? It’s song about non-action leading to a solution. Shouldn’t they at least do “Bridge Over Trouble Water?” That’s a song about giving support to folks in need. Only donations over the next 24 hours go straight to the U.N.’s Haitian relief. Afterward the cash will go into the Idol Gives Back general fund. Why can’t they give the people of Haiti at least a week to receive funds?

The lights go down and the front row of guys get up. Casey James is safe to bring more ear candy to Kara. Jermaine Sellers gets all his bad reviews, but is safe. Lee Dewyze hears how Simon loved him. He’s sitting down. Andrew Garcia is safe even if he disappointed the judges. Tyler Grady and Alex Lambert come to the front of the stage. It’s the mullet versus the jaw. Alex Lambert is safe. Tyler Grady gets to strut his ’70s style onto the Sunset Strip. The audio goes dead for a few seconds. Did somebody cuss? Tyler feels Hollywood Week didn’t give him any help. We get the loser montage of all four cut contestants. They were so optimistic. Ryan swears next week is going to get dramatic. Really? These 20 are going to rock us? Tyler Grady abuses his “American Woman.” He’s looser as a loser, but there’s no regrets in seeing him vanish.

The eliminated were Tyler Grady, Joe Munoz, Ashley Rodriguez and Janell Wheeler. Tyler needed to go, but the other three weren’t the bottom of the barrel. The people calling the 888 numbers must be watching the show using Closed Caption. The producers better spend the next week getting better performances out of their future superstars.

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