My judge-manipulation-meter is totally pegged and my cynicism is so great it feels like it is leaking out of my ears. That is because we are at the point in the show where the judges and producers, having failed through manipulation of songs and arrangement and coaching and order and commentary to place all of their personal pet-choices … now get to trot them out once more mixed in with some second-chance cannon fodder before picking who they wanted anyway. That is because this … is American Idol!
Yesterday we got the list of the eight contestants brought back for a final shot at the final 12. There were four guys and four girls:
- Von Smith, Ricky Braddy, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai
- Tatiana Del Toro, Jasmine Murray, Megan Corkrey, Jesse Langseth
Another interesting random thought – has anyone else been watching ‘Lie To Me’? We have gotten into watching it and it has steadily improved since being somewhat too dry and slow and feeling like a ‘House changes jobs’ rip-off. Anyway, the show stars Tim Roth as the head of a private consulting firm that works with law enforcement for a single purpose – to use their ability to interpret gestures and expressions to detect truthfulness or hidden motivations. During the show you actually learn to watch for some of these – disconnected head and hand gestures indicating dishonest intentions, head shakes meaning you don’t believe what you’re saying, and the use of the middle-finger for any purpose meaning … well, what it means. So watching some of the expressions Simon was tossing around – and particularly his casual scratching with his middle finger when looking at Ryan a few times tends to indicate that the playful teasing is perhaps not so playful … but anyway …
It is interesting to note that the chance of making it through this round is actually HIGHER than making it through the previous rounds – while the singers had a 25% shot of making it through their group of 12, they now have a 37.5% chance of making it through this set.
Let’s get right to the show:
Before starting the performances,
Jesse Langseth – “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan
When I think of this song I think of the voice actuated effect popularized by Peter Frampton on Frampton Comes Alive in the mid 70′s … when this song was popular. She is ‘saucy’, as is her outfit ,… but she is in the cannon fodder slot and going home.
Matt Giraud – “Who’s Loving You” by The Jackson 5
Matt sings pretty well, and would have probably made it to the top 12 based on this performance!
Megan Corkrey – “The Black Horse & the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall
Do you ever feel like you are not watching the same thing someone else is describing? That was my feeling here – this was a defining song for Katharine McPhee and Megan is nowhere close, and her dancing is spastic and identical to the crap from last time … yet the judges are falling over themselves to toss out as many adjectives as possible. Yeah – they didn’t even listen – she’s in.
Von Smith – “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” by Elton John
Sorry is also how I’d describe this performance … Von, once again, is gone.
Jasmine Murray – “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera
I have never liked Jasmine, but she sang well enough to earn a slot tonight – especially with how the judges and producers have been pushing her.
Ricky Braddy – “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
This doesn’t live up to his performance from before, and will likely mean he goes home … a shame, as he was more deserving than some of the others.
Tatiana del Toro – “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston
She sings the same song … again. And while she sings well, the judges pick her apart – they are done with her, with Kara actually gettign exasperated with her antics. She has no chance.
Anoop Desai – “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown
Anoop isn’t the best singer, but he is a clear fave … which obviously the judges like and fear at the same time. General praise with reservations … but he was the big hit of the night with our family as the only one who isn’t posturign for the judges.
It was actually 50 minutes into the show by the time results started, so they got straight to business. So I guess I’ll do the same …
Here is how it went:
- Ryan pulls Jasmine and sends her immediately into the Top 12.
- Rickey Braddy is summarily dismissed.
- Tatiana and Megan are brought forward, and when it is announced the Megan is going forward, of course Tatiana makes it all about her, getting more camera time than any two other contestants tonight. Eventually Ryan regains control.
- Next Jessie and Von are dimsmissed.
- One slot, and it is between Matt and Anoop.
- Matt is selected … and then, so is Anoop – teh judges extended their influence and made it a Top 13!
So … recounting the entire Top 13:
- Guys: Danny, Michael, Adam, Kris, Scott, Jorge, Matt and Anoop
- Girls: Alexis, Alison, Lil, Jasmine and Megan
The family was pleased with Anoop, and really irritated with the way Megan was brought in. I mean, there was no need to be so pandering and transparent in their motives. But it is just the way things are done.
Out family also played ‘Spot the Reflex’ based on my ‘Lie to Me’ reference, and Simon was in rare form – it comes down to this: if he is talking, you better shaddup or he will be annoyed because he is better than you.
Next week we get into the rhythm of eliminating one or two a week (not sure with the 13 finalists) based on one full song. Not sure what the theme is yet, but I am not hopeful it will be interesting. See you then!