This (ridiculous dramatic pause) is the American Idol recap!
A horrible start! More bad song choices! Too many runs! An alter ego! Cutesy body wiggling! And Adam Lambert being over the top but yet remains the anointed one.
Overall, nobody really wowed me but there were some very good performances and three definitively awful ones. Two of them were favorites (Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray) who collapsed.
My prediction of the top 3: Adam Lambert (12), Allison Iraheta (5), Jesse Langseth (9)
Folks who have a shot: Megan (7), Kris (6) and Nick (4)
Very outside shot: Kai (10), Matt B. (8)
Folks who have zero shot: Mishavonna (11), Jeanine (3), Jasmine (1), Matt G. (2)
(I’m making these predictions without looking at dialidol.com, which shows hot blonde Megan far ahead of my “Bette Davis Eyes” favorite Jesse, who may have to settle for a wild card shot.)
My order of how I liked’em, which may not remotely resemble yours: 1 -Jesse Langseth 2- Allison Iraheta 3-Kris Allen 4- Megan Joy Corkrey 5- Adam Lambert 6- Nick Mitchell 7- Kai Kalama 8- Mishavonna Henson 9 – Matt Breitzke 10- Jeanine Vailes, 11- Jasmine Murray 12- Matt Giraud
The judges swapped sides, due perhaps to some lighting issues. And they rotated judging so Simon doesn’t have to wait so long to get his word in! The post-song parent interviews are gone, too.
First up: Jasmine Murray, the high school student from Mississippi, gets the opening spot. She goes modern with “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles. This is what I call a bad song choice. Pure pop? Not her place. She sounds breathy in the lower registers. Even in the chorus, she doesn’t sound right. In the end, it’s kinda boring. Randy: “It was pitchy throughout all out.” Kara: “It was all over the place.” Paula: “You tried to change the song but you sang all around it and caused you to go off pitch. The confidence you had is great.” Simon: “I”m disappointed because I like you. You have the right look and attitude. You just don’t have a great voice.”
Second up: Matt Giraud. This highly touted contestant is a dueling piano player from Michigan who did a great job with “Georgia on My Mind” on the keyboard in Hollywood goes for Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” His voice sounds much thinner than Chris Martin’s. He’s also pitchy up front. His runs and vibratto are not helping the song. He’s not Justin Timberlake. The little hip shake is distracting. Bottom line: awful. Randy skipped saying anything. Kara: “You blew me away in Hollywood week. Tonight, I’m not blown away. You should not be singing that. You’re a bluesy guy but that was lost in this song.” Paula: “It was a risky song. You’re soulful… I saw your rehearsal. Your performance tonight was far better.” Simon: “It was verging on a horrible performance. Jerky, uncomfortable. It put me off you.” Randy ended for the first time and encouraged him to go back to Ray Charles.
Third: Jeanine Vailes, a Washington D.C. bartender who was not seen at all during the auditions or Hollywood round, is going to have to blow it away. She chose Maroon 5’s “This Love.” Bleh! This isn’t the type of performance that is going to allow her to stand out and get the votes. She’s doing the dang runs, too. Ugh. Enough! Paula: “It’s season eight.” Simon: “I thought it was terrible. You’re all choosing the wrong songs… you do have very good legs.” Randy: “The best part was the end when it was over.” Kara: “So overdone!:” She admitted to being under the radar and tried to compensate. (”Overcompensate!” Kara said.”)
Fourth up: Nick Mitchell (Norman Gentile). He decides to reprise “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Hollywood. Is he truly that one note? But heck, he’s so dang entertaining, how can you not like him? Or hate him? He’s an utter joke but we needed this at least for a few minutes. Simon: “I hope I’m speaking on behalf of America. I pray you do not go through to the next round. It’s horrific comedy.” Randy: “The vocals were definitely not happening… that was funny.” Kara: “At least we remember you.”
Fifth up: Allison Iraheta, a 16 year old from Los Angeles, decides to do “Alone” by Heart, a big risk considering Carrie Underwood blew it away three years ago. Ramiele, Carly and Gina have sung it, too. She has a memorable personality and honestly, I do like her a lot. She has a grainy voice, like she’s already smokes two packs a day. More pitchiness. (Evokes Kelly Clarkson) But overall, well done. Considering the crap we’ve heard so far, it was great. Randy: “You blew it out the box.” Kara: “This girl is serious. You don’t even know how good you are… You have serious chops. With the right song, you could have a hit on the radio.” Simon: “You’re the best tonight by a clear mile. It’s like the competition just started right now.”
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Sixth up: Kris Allen, who is from Conway, Arkansas, hasn’t gotten much airtime either. Just a week after Paula Abdul said do NOT sing Michael Jackson, he proceeds to sing “Man in the Mirror.” I love this song and shockingly, he’s solid. I really enjoyed his performance through and through. He had confidence and was NOT pitchy. Kara: “It still does not come close to what you did in Hollywood week. This was just the wrong song.” Paula: “I”m going to disagree completely. You showed your personality… You nailed it.” Simon: “I’m going to agree with Paula… I’m not going to say you’re the best singer. But what you did tonight. You showed some confidence and personality.” Randy: “You did it without the guitar.” (NOTE: This is the first time Kara has ever gone against everybody else to that extent.) He’s good but I’m not sure he’ll have a real shot at the top 12, especially given the competition among the guys.
Seventh up: Megan Joy Corkrey. She goes for “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Balley Rae. She’s pretty but wow, that is one ugly tattoo, uglier than anything Carly showed. Her body wiggling is awkward but she has a lovely voice. She ended a bit weak there but I like her. Paula: “You picked the right song. You’re just beautiful. The camera is in love with you.” Simon: “You’re a funny little thing, aren’t you? It started off really well, then maybe you got overexcited, you oversang the second part of the song. I hope America votes for you. You are relevant. You are current. I wish the vocals were a little bit better.” Randy: “I’m interested to see you in the other rounds… the smoky jazz thing.” Kara: “You’re a package artist. You’re very pretty. You stand out. You’re unique. With the right song, you could be a breakout hit artist on the radio.”
Eighth up: Matt Breitzke, the welder, picks a really dull ’90s hit by Tonic “If You Could Only See.” He does a perfectly faithful version. I don’t think he really adds anything to the song. Simon: “I really like you…but I absolutely hated that song. It was boring. It didn’t suit you.” Randy: “You needed something more exciting for me.” Kara: “It didn’t show us any side of you.” Paula agreed with everyone else.
Ninth up: Jesse Langseth, a single mom from Minneapolis, beat out Frankie Jordan in a singoff during the final 36 episode two weeks ago. She goes for “Bette Davis Eyes,” a song nobody has ever song before on the show. She has that strange Mikalah Gordon enunciation but otherwise, she is a pro. I loved it! Randy: “I thought it was okay… in this round, everyone here has to blow us out of the box… it was a five-note range.” Kara: “This is your best look. Your performance was slinky and sexy and interesting to watch. You took some risks you hadn’t really taken through the audition.” Paula: “I found you captivating.” Simon: “I think you’re forgettable… it was too cool for school.”
Tenth up: Kai Kalama, from San Clemente, Calif., didn’t get a huge amount of airtime. He goes for a classic by Jimmy Ruffen “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” His moptop hair is more memorable than his singing, which is good but not distinctive to me. Didn’t feel modern. I liked him, did not love him. Kara: “You had some pitch issues but you went out there and gave it your all. The song was a little old fashioned.” Paula: “You have a lot in you. You got the chops to do well in this business.” Simon: “The performance was quite corny. Something you’d hear at a wedding or hotel.” Randy: “It was so safe.”
Eleventh up: Mishavonna Henson from Irvine, Calif. is another person without a lot of airtime. Her “Drops of Jupiter” was perfectly good but she didn’t blow me away. Something is missing but I can’t quite place it. Paula: “It just didn’t excite me.” Simon: “It’s a great song. What we’re having an issue. It sums up you. You’re very serious. Technically quite a good singing. Something left me really cold.” Randy: “You feel so much older and you’re 18.”: Kara: “I didn’t mind the song. I love that song. It’s just you’re very put together. I want you to loosen up a little bit.”
Pimp spot, up 12th: Adam Lambert, from Hollywood, Calif., is Mr. Musical Theater. I always found him over the top. He goes for a little Mick Jagger. It’s not my taste but I appreciate his theatrics and his vocals. Paula: “I’m watching an Adam Lambert concert. You’re in a league of your own.” Simon: “I’m finding this one difficult. There are parts that were excruciatingly bad and some that were brilliant. This will be one of those love it or hate it performances.” Randy: “I loved it.” He calls him current. “A little manic. Just don’t overdo it.” Kara: “Your vocal technique and ability is outrageous.”