Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AI- Hollywood Week- Part 3

Okay, so we’ve taken it from 103,000 hopefuls, down to 72. On our 3rd Hollywood episode, we’re playing Lost, and flashing forward and back as the kids sing the song of their choice. Randy is blinged up the ying yang. Kara is wearing a white dress overlaid with black lace, like a goth bridesmaid. And Paula has a deeply mysterious necklace made of intricately cut sheet metal.

Adam Lambert, of the emo hair and skillfully applied eye makeup, chooses to sing Cher’s Believe, and does what hardly anyone on this show ever does: he improves on the original.

Matt Giraud goes for soul by playing the piano and singing Georgia, and I will get this out of the way right now: he’s no Taylor (and yes, I know that’s a plus to many people, though I doubt they similarly approve of Matt’s goat vibrato).

Jamar Rogers, in a Kelly green jacket and pink tie, wonders what you do to mee-eee-eee (with each eee enunciated carefully and separately). It doesn’t impress me particularly, but he’s probably good enough to get through.

Danny Gokey has pretty much become my favorite. I do so love a smoky voice. And though the judges have declared that they will not critique the performances, Paula left her poker face at home.

Anoop Desai is also obviously on to the next round.

Jorge Nunez doesn’t do it for me, but he has what AI loves.

Scott McIntyre, who has been mostly absent from the show since his audition, sits at the keyboard and tackles Daughtry. In general, attempting a show favorite would be a mistake, but he does a fine job with Home, despite a bit of wobble at the end.

New to me (I think) Kendall Beard, tries Carrie Underwood on for size, and finds her much too large.

Stevie Wright sings that bubble song and is great.

Lil Rounds needs to step away from the Whitney-style singing. Permanently.

Kristin McNamara, with the parti-colored hair and last week’s drama, was much better than I remembered, though she foolishly attempts Kelly Clarkson (what is the matter with these kids? Voluntarily submitting themselves to a comparison with The AI Greats is just plain foolish. Most of them, including Kristin, come out on the losing end).

Mishavonna Hesson was cut in Hollywood last year. I don’t remember her from either season, but I like her.

Tatiana simply will not STFU. She’s wearing a shower curtain, and though her voice is good, it’s not good enough to outweigh her many many faults.

Alexis Grace trots out more Underwood. Kenny Hoffauer murders some song. And Jasmine Murray sings Jordin Sparks (my god, when will it end?).

Nathaniel Marshall is like Tatiana- no voice is worth putting up with the drama. Or the headband.

Joanna Pacitti crashes and burns. Casey Carlson forgets the lyrics. Stephen Fowler blew it and knew it.

Nathaniel, Von (another annoying one- this year has a surplus), and Tatiana are all in Room #2, and I hope hope hope they’re slated for tickets home. And then Tatiana is pulled from that room and sent to another. Did the judges change their minds, or are they just torturing her? Frankly, a little Tatiana Torture is fine by me.

I know it’s silly for an American Idol fan to complain about wasting time, but why are they wasting my time with Nick Norman Mitchell Gentle? He’s not serious and he’s not good.

Anne Marie Boskovich, however, is.

Ju’not Joyner is new to me (I would have remembered that adorable little boy), and he Delilah’s us as well (with less eee-eee-eee). He’s good, even with some waver issues and a stupid hat.

Tatiana has been moved to Room 4, freaking the hell out of everyone in there (including Tatiana).

Kaylon Loyd (one L, if the chyron is to be believed) is shut down by Simon. Not a good sign.

Laneshe Young, who was homeless at one time, is just not very good.

Oh look! It’s Kai! I am so glad he made it this far. He sounds hoarse, but I still like him.

Oil rigger, Michael Sarver (this week without the Jeremy. I wish he’d make up his mind), embroidered his song too much.

The decisions have been made, and the 4 judges are all smoochy-smoochy as Simon takes off, and leaves the other 3 to lace and sparkle the news to the 4 rooms- two to stay, two to go.

They enter Room 2 with long faces, and anyone who has seen this show in any season knows instantly that these kids are sticking around, which means that they moved Tatiana from a winning room. While I’m thrilled that Kai is staying, I am less than delighted to be stuck with Von and Nathaniel.

And it’s just as obvious that the next room is going home. I don’t recognize most of the faces, though India and Michael Castro and Laneshe are among the crowd. It’s just as well that I won’t have another Castro with pretty eyes to moon over.

Okay, with 2 rooms left, it’s more than obvious that Danny Gokey isn’t going anywhere (except to the Top 3- you heard it here). He and his room are noisily jubilant.

I am briefly excited, because this means that Tatiana is going home. But about halfway through Randy’s mournful spiel in the final room, I realize, with a sinking heart, that they’re playing games with us (and the kids). Not only is Tatiana staying, they pulled her from one winning room, and moved her to another, for no other reason than to torture her. I believe that deserves a round of hearty applause (or as Jeff Boyd memorably said in the 7th grade: Stand up and ovate).

So tomorrow night, it’s The Chair, and the final cut of the judges, and after that, it’s up to us. Start limbering up those dialing fingers!

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