Wednesday, February 11, 2009

AI-Hollywood Week Night 4

Somehow I missed the news that this was to be a 2 hour episode. At least we get to watch the winnowing in the Clampett Mansion, which is pretty darn red. And velvet. I’m sure there’s a ce-ment pond out back somewhere.

For a show that pads half of each episode with nonsense, we get right to business by passing Anoop Desai through to the Top 36.

You know, Von Smith has a nice voice buried in there somewhere, and we’d hear it if he would just dial things back a bit. Unfortunately, we’re going to have a chance to find out if he can actually do that. (My guess: no)

This year unveils a new variation on Contestant Torture: the sing-off, which pits a couple of kids against each other for an impromptu last audition, during which the elimination decision is theoretically made. Me, I think the list was finalized well in advance and this is nothing but theatrics and padding, but what do I know.

First up is Cody Sheldon, the amateur film maker. His voice is thin but he’s okay, in a Better Than Sanjaya way. Next is Alex Wagner-Trugman, who is the better of the two. The judges agree with me.

Adam Lambert, of the pretty eyes and emo hair, sails through.

Tall Taylor Vaifanua is excellent, and she moves on too.

In quick succession, Jasmine Murray, Arianna Someone, Casey, Meagan, Mishavonna, and Stevie are all yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

It’s also a yes for Joanna Pacitti, this year’s Carly Smithson (right down to the previous major musical career failure). So much for Simon’s warning about forgetting the lyrics.

Almost more quickly than I can write them down, T.K. Hash, Chris Chatman, and Reggi Beasley are on their way home. I’m not too sad, since I’ve only seen T.K. previously, and not a whole lot of him.

Kendall Beard obviously never watched the show, or she would have known that Paula was just screwing with her.

Kristen McNamara, of The Drama Trio, is up for the next sing-off. Opposite her is the female half of a heretofore unseen married couple, Jen and Tom Korbee (Tom having been cut already). Jen is tall and blonde and conventionally pretty. Kristen is shorter, partially pink, and badly dressed. Simon actually says he’d rather have the better looking girl (this is not a revelation, but I’m surprised that he said it while the cameras were rolling). They sing, and Kristen is the better of the two. After the judges deliberate, they call the girls back into the room and insult them both before reluctantly dropping Jen. I think. It happened so weirdly that I wasn’t sure until afterwards, which one made it through.

Alexis Grace gets the okay, and I suddenly realize that Pink is the new Blonde.

Scott Macintyre is as close to a gimmee as this show can provide, and no one in the entire world is surprised that he made it. At least Ryan didn’t try to high-five him this time.

Lil Rounds is wearing amazing hubcap-sized earrings, and is moving on. Of course.

Some girl I didn’t know is cut. Ashley Hollister gets a “no”, as does Devon Baldwin, who explains tearfully, just how horrible it was. Really, really horrible.

Frankie Jordan, all unfettered boobs and tall leather boots, sings against Jessie Langseth, the Janis Wannabe with lace appliqued to the thighs of her jeans. The judges go with lace over leather.

Shera Lawrence and Derik Lavers are both rejected, but I don’t care because I’ve never seen either one before.

I can’t believe that they resisted the chance to pair best friends Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers in a sing-off. Danny is obviously, absolutely, and fer shure moving on. I figured Jamar was too, but in the first real surprise of the night, Jamar is sent home. Poor Danny.

Ricky, Matt, Ju’Not, and Jorge are all through. Who the hell is Ricky?

Stephen Fowler is in, despite screwing up royally onstage, and stalking off in mid-performance.

In the WTF surprise of the night, Nick Mitchell Norman Gentle gets the nod.

And speaking of expletives, here’s Tatiana del Toro. Lordy, that girl is going to unravel completely. And soon, I think.

Jumpsuited Jackie Thon has a gravelly voice that I like a lot. She’s moving on as well.

I can feel my blood curdling as Tatiana yodels and writhes her way into the room. (side note: when did puffy sleeves come back in? and why?). Simon delivers the best line in the history of the show when he asks if Tatiana can, just once, not be annoying. (the answer: hell no). After putting Nick Mitchell through, I knew that they would not resist inflicting her on us. Damn.

Mr. Drama, Nathaniel Marshall, with his mullet mama in prison, and jeans that are a full size too small, is paired with Jackie Midkiff (also new to me). Jackie is good enough to move on, but this year, it’s all about The Crazy. Or The Drama. Or The Crazy Drama. So Nathaniel stays.

Jeanine Vailes is also new. I wonder if she can sing.

And here’s Kai! And he’s moving on!!!! Woohoo!

As does Anne Marie Boscovich, and a strange guy (strange in that I’ve never seen him before, not that he’s actually strange. I don’t know him well enough to judge that. Yet) named Kris Allen.

In the final sing-off, Welder Matt Breitzke sings better than Roughneck Michael “No Jeremy” Sarver. But I’ve been writing names down furiously for almost two hours, and with only 16 guys on the list and less than 3 minutes left in the show, I know that both of them are going through.

So there we have it after a little over a month of auditions, the Season 8 Top 36: Danny Gokey, Scott Macintyre, Anoop Desai, Von Smith, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Adam Lambert, Nathaniel Marshall, Ricky Braddy, Matt Giraud, Ju’Not Diaz, Jorge Nunez, Brent Keith, Stephen Fowler, Nick Mitchell, Kris Allen, Matt Breitzke, Michael Sarver, Kai, Adrianna Something (I didn’t catch her last name), Taylor Vaifanua, Casey Carlson, Megan Corkrey, Mishavonna Hansen, Stevie Wright, Joanna Pacitti, Kendall Beard, Kristen McNamara, Alexis Grace, Lil Rounds, Jessie Lanseth, Allison Irahita, Jackie Thon, Tatiana del Toro, Jeanine Vailes, Anne Marie Boscovich, and Jasmine Murray.

And though some of these kids were new to me, for the first time ever, we actually got a peek at all of the finalists before the audience voting rounds begin. Next week, the winnowing continues, with the first group of 8 competitors: Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver, Stephen Fowler, Casey Carlson, Stevie Wright, Tatiana del Toro and Anne Marie Boscovich. I have no idea how this next set of eliminations is going to work, since 8 doesn’t divide evenly into 36. It’ll be interesting.

7 comments: said...

Actually, 12 are singing next week.. only three will go through to the Top 12. It's going to be a rough night, pitting Danny against Anoop already! We have a run-down of all 12 up at our site if you're interested.

dawn draper said...

My WTF moment was Tatiana getting through. I was happy to see Emily going forward since she's my favorite singer so far. But I was really spending 1+ hours of my evening just to see Tatiana's gold lameed butt get tossed out. Evil judges, you are too cruel!

Charles said...

Looks like after all the tears last night, Fox was not done. Joanna Pacitti has been replaced after being considered ineligible (it took hell week to realize this?)

Frankie said...

I just can't believe that Tatiana made it through. Ok, I guess I can 'cause this IS American Idol but come on! I don't care how good her voice MIGHT be . . . her crazy theatrics and that laugh are hard to look past. Oh my! I do hope she goes home quickly. And Nathaniel . . . please, oh please, let him leave with her! Other than those 2, I think this is going to be a really good season -- lots of talent and likeable kids.

LizzieHelen said...

Oh, yeah. It is 12--they did go by fast, though--and I'm not pleased that so many really good people are in this group and only 3 move on. And, how are they going to balance the boy-girl thing? My top-top ones in Round 1 are Danny and Anoop and, probably, Alexis. But most of the others are very, very good, too. This was a really tough year; the talent was and is exceptional--even Tatiana.

Kathleen Taylor said...

12 makes a lot more sense than 8. I thought that's what Ryan said, but I obviously heard wrong.

Tatiana can sing, which makes it even worse, because ther is a chance that she will move on and drive us all crazy...

and very interesting about Joanna's replacement. I don't think we've seen her yet.

murdo said...

Tatania is driving me demented...wailing banshee hybridised with 2 year old princess. Yuk :(
I was utterly appalled by what Simon said re the pretty one...the other poor girl looked so nonplussed.
This show is compelling! Not too keen on the new female judge....much prefer Cheryl Cole (UK judge) she would be a good addition!!