Thursday, March 28, 2013

AI Season 12- Top 8 Elimination

We open with a long pan of the 8 finalists, most of them really badly dressed.

Mariah and Nicki are not twinsies tonight. Mariah is in a tight, short, long-sleeved lacy knit yellow dress. She does not appear to be wearing a hangover. Nicki is in a red tartan plaid vest over black. Or she's in a red tartan plaid jacket with black leather sleeves over black. It's hard to tell.

Ryan announces that this is the 450th episode of American Idol. It will not surprise you to know that I've seen all but about eight of them. I need help.

The group sing tonight is Old Time Rock 'n Roll, and as far as I can tell, the kids are singing live. As a result, they sound thin and maybe a little shrill, though that could be due to the sound controllers and not the singing.

Instead of the usual Fordmercial video, this year they're doing assorted (Ford) Fiesta Missions. #1 is The Gift of Song. It sounds like a PSA, but make no mistake, it's a Fordmercial. The finalists go to a school and teach a small group of kids Phil Phillip's Home (which is now the #1 top Idol seller of all time). These kids are little- maybe 1st or 2nd grade, so I feel terrible mentioning it, but they all look rough. One girl has a fading black eye, one has red all around her mouth (as though she'd been drinking Kool-Aid recently) and more than one appears to have a dirty face. Their singing is sweet, but boy, this is odd, and a little unsettling.

Jimmy Iovine opines, based on last night's performances:
Candice: a natural, not going home
Kree/Janelle duet: Nicki was right, Kree was great, and far better than Janelle
Lazaro: better than last week, but he really does need to listen to someone
Janelle: murdered it
Devin: good compared to Devin's earlier performances, but still coming up short
Angie/Candice/Amber: they all supported each other and made a great trio
Burnell: impressed with how he connected with the song
Angie: wrong song choice, wrong everything
Amber: did exactly what she needed to do, and what she should have done
Burnell/Devin/Lazaro: new group called Wrong Direction, terrible
Kree: great top register, possible finale candidate

The kids are sitting on the Bleaches of Terror. Ryan calls up a surprise clip of Aretha Franklin's recorded phone message of support for Kree. She loved it. Mariah gives Aretha's Phone message a Standing O.

Colton Dixon was not one of my favorites last year. He has done well in the interim even without my support- his new album debuted at the top of the Gospel and CC lists. Colton still has spiked hair with shaved sides and long sideswept bangs arranged in a blonde Emo. He's wearing a black blazer with black leather sleeves over a loose red and black scoop neck sweater, and tight jeans on impossibly thin legs. In other words, he looks just the same. He sounds just the same too. I know absolutely nothing about CC music, but this songs seem okay. The Hub thinks that the pulsating red hearts on all of the stage screens are morphing into Devil's Heads.

Immediately following, One Direction and Katherine McPhee (Season 5 Runner Up) take the stage. One Direction is a combo of spiky hair and black leather, and hipster. Kat has short, shaggy raggy hair, a black leather cropped mullet top and low-slung black pants. But despite the hair and horrible outfit, she still looks pretty. I'd say something snarky here about Smash, but I don't watch it. By know you know the kind of tasteless jokes I make, so feel free to insert one of your own.

And immediately following that, Keith Urban takes the stage. Once again, I am innocent of the Urban Oeuvre, so I can't compare this song to any of his other work, but it certainly seems engaging and competent, and I can see how, in a smoky bar and after a couple of beers, it would be a catchy ditty. Unlike all of the JLo performances on this show, this one was done live because we see a shot from the stage, showing all three judges rocking out.

Mariah holds up a #1 Keith Fan sign, and he gets a Standing O from the entire house.

So, finally, we're down to the purpose of the show. In no particular order, Ryan says that the following kids are safe:
1.Kree (glossy straight hair, lose red top with a black hem band, black pants, sparkly black heels)
2. Candice (holey jeans, red sleeveless top, khaki vest)
3. Janelle (messy ponytail, raggy jeans, sleeveless top)

Though we don't see it, Ryan makes sure to tell us that Kree slipped and fell in her exictement over Janelle's safitude.

4. Angie (denim hot pants, black sleeveless top trimmed with metallic studs around the neck and armholes)
5. Amber (odd brown print dress, shortie denim vest that fades from dark to light) (those two pieces do not match at all- it's not a pretty combo)

Of course, this leaves Burnell (brown splotchy leather jacket), Devin (black satin jacket over a red shirt), and Lazaro (white shirt with blue flowers printed on the shoulders, white suspenders holding up tight black jeans. Literally... the suspenders pull the waistband of Lazaro's pants up in a goofy way. Also, he's wearing a white belt, and a shiny gold bow tie).

Editorial Opinion: yes, these three deserve to be in the Bottom 3. They're definitely no match for any of the remaining women. However, it's not an accident that the men are so weak- the show deliberately engineered this, and I cannot respect it. A Candice or Kree win would be absolutely deserved, but it's also diminished because they're competing against ringers.

So, Burnell is safe.
And... Lazaro is safe. Yes, Lazaro needs to go home- he's the weakest of the singers. But he's also cute. And he has a great Struggle Against Adversity Backstory. His fanbase is strong, and he's not going anywhere until maybe 5th place or so, after one of the girls is sent home (and I have no illusions- one of those girls could be Candice or Kree).

And so, Devin is in the bottom. He sings one of his songs in his usual manner, half English, half Spanish, all unnecessary runs. I don't think the judges even deliberated, though Keith, Randy and Mariah all give him a Standing O.

Goodbye Devin. I'll miss your Tintin hair.

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