Wednesday, March 11, 2009

it's michael jackson night...

I wasn't expecting a whole lot going into the first finals performance episode of season 8, and, frankly, I didn't get a whole lot, but happily I didn't feel the urge to throw heavy objects at the television either as the top 13 took on the Michael Jackson songbook.

Most of the kids took on the lesser-known MJ songs, which was a smart move, because it's been proven time and again that unless an Idol contestant takes a mega-hit and totally switches it up, anything else ends up as a cheap imitation.

We've been promised a double elimination tonight, plus a "huge twist" that will involve the judges, pretty much change the format of the show and is likely to totally tick off the viewers. Personally, considering the excitement of this season, my hope is that the twist is a six-way elimination and a season shortened by approximately five weeks, but I'm not holding my breath.

Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on the two-hour, 13-person live episode as always from worst to first.

Anoop Desai (Beat It). We all know it's never a good idea to choose a song whose lyrics might imply leaving, going home, getting axed, etc. But if you're going to select one of those numbers, it's wise to knock the performance out of the park. Anoop chose to "beat it" and to do it poorly. Enough said.

Jorge Nunez (Never Can Say Goodbye). Even Jorge's good looks couldn't save this performance from causing me to nod off a few times. I don't necessarily agree with the judges that the song was too "old-fashioned". I thought it was just boring. And remember Jorge, the truth is that YES, you can say goodbye.

Jasmine Murray (I'll Be There). Jasmine is one of the most beautiful young women this show has ever had, but she needs some better song selection advice. The notes were just too big for her, the song was plodding, repetitive and monotonous. Of the four wildcards, I felt her selection was least deserving, and she did nothing on that stage to change my mind.

Megan Joy Corkrey (Rockin' Robin). I honestly thought Ryan was joking when he announced that Megan had chosen this song. But at least I didn't fall asleep. It was cute in a juvenile sort of way, but novelty songs never work on this show, so why she chose it is a mystery that may never be solved.

Michael Sarver (You Are Not Alone). Once more we get reminded that Michael is an oil rigger, and honestly the guy didn't have to even sing. His little girl with the "vote for my daddy" shirt would have been enough to get me to the phone, if I were inclined to dial. Again, the song selection left me scratching my head - surely MJ has more tunes from which to choose. But Michael turned in a perfectly serviceable performance that should keep his little girl in the audience to charm me.

Alexis Grace (Dirty Diana). Paula cautions Alexis to watch the "over-singing." In parts, Alexis gave new meaning to "over-singing." In other parts she was good. I like her so far, so I'm willing to give a little latitude, but one more mostly-shrill performance like this will test my patience. I'm fickle like that.

Kris Allen (Remember the Time). I like this guy and not just because he's cute. He radiates genuine, and that's rare sometimes. I enjoyed this performance even though I did agree somewhat that the guitar was at times distracting.

Scott McIntyre (Keep the Faith). Finally we get to watch Scott at the piano. (Did anyone ever figure out why this year the kids weren't allowed instruments on the eyeball stage?) It's becoming evident that Scott will be our inspirational song selector this season, which will be fine for a short time, but might soon become cloying.

Matt Giraud (Human Nature). Again, I was glad to see Matt at the piano. I still think Matt might be the one to come out of nowhere sometime in the next few weeks. I was a bit offended that Simon felt the need to compare his performance to the one that preceded him, because the songs and the performances were completely different, and Matt's delivery of this tune was more than acceptable and deserving of praise.

Lil Rounds (The Way You Make Me Feel). What a terrific beginning to the show. (And personally I liked her outfit.) It's obvious Lil is a TCO for at least a top 4 finish, but she did nothing to even remotely prove she doesn't deserve that designation. It was fun, upbeat and and thoroughly enjoyable.

Danny Gokey (PYT). Refreshingly, we get to know something about Danny that didn't include a mention of his late wife. Hopefully they've gotten the message that the viewers really only need one brick wall to get a headache. Repeated brick walls falling on our heads just makes us angry. I'm not a huge Gokey fan, but his stock rose a little with this energetic (I like the dancing) and terrific outing.

Allison Iraheta (Give In To Me). With respect to last season's Amanda Overmyer, Allison is clearly the first truly talented rocker chick this show has ever seen. And did you know she is only 16?? This performance held my attention from beginning to end.

Adam Lambert (Black Or White). Yes it was over the top. But Adam is over the top, and that's part of his appeal. And while I do not agree that this performance was leagues beyond the performances that preceded and followed it, it was the most orginial and best of the night.

So we're going to lose two? And somehow the judges are going to be involved? I've heard reports of a sing-off with the judges negating the votes (kinda like Hollywood week and the 2000 presidential election), but since I have no clue what's in store, I'll just go with what I know.

Who should: Anoop, Jorge, Jasmine
Who I want: Anoop, Jorge, Jasmine
Who will: Jorge, Jasmine, Kris

I think we'll lose one of each flavor: Say goodbye Jorge. Say so long Jasmine.

So...what do you think?


Blogger Dave said...

I didn't think either Danny or Adam were as good as the judges made them out to be. Jasmine needs to take advice from the vocal coaches and not her mother when it comes to song selection.

Danny reminds me of Ted Allen. If Ted would eat a small Laotian child.

I still can't believe they picked Megan for the Wild Card and not Felicia.

12:09 PM, March 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danny was a pleasant surprise. Like you, I'm not a big fan and I was expecting some stupid preachy BS, but instead got a nicely done version of PYT.

12:21 PM, March 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm more bored than I was with Season Six, and for me, that was the dullest season ever.

12:35 PM, March 11, 2009  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

I think I might quite blogging and just send people here. Other than a slight disagreement on Alexis, we think alike.

12:54 PM, March 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see what happens tonight. I was kind of thinking that since the judges let Anoop stay and now there are 13, that they get to pick someone to leave. So the person with the lowest score goes and one that the judges want to go. If they get to pick both its not fair to all the people who called in last night.


12:57 PM, March 11, 2009  
Blogger Mighty Mouse said...

Talk about over-singing, Adam Lambert falls in that category; and screechy too. I can't understand how Paul can call Alexis on it and not say a thing to Adam. I like him but he needs to tone it waaay down. He reminds me a lot of Sam Harris of Star Search from very many years ago.

4:17 PM, March 11, 2009  
Blogger Nelle said...

I think Anoop will be one and hopefully Jorge the other. I did think Adam had something that seemed so professional and polished and yet he was so emtoional about their reviews. Jasmine has a great voice but I think she needs more time to be ready for this. I like Danny (yes I feel a bit sorry for him) but I feel he has some talent too.
Jennifer glad to see you are back and posting!

6:35 PM, March 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think adam is unbelievably talented. his voice is amazing, his stage presence is amazing, i think he is totally captivating.

12:05 AM, March 14, 2009  
Anonymous Adam Lambert said...

FAN HERE! Adam Lambert KILLED this week with black or white..."blew it out da box" (a randy jackson saying)

11:39 AM, March 16, 2009  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!