So, it'd be easy to reduce blind singer Scott MacIntyre to a series of puns about his visual impairment (read: the title of his post). Lots of other bloggers refer to him as Blind Guy, and he's actually got a good sense of self-deprication about the whole thing, so we don't think he would really mind a few blind jokes at his expense (see: Telling Seadouche to give him a high five. "I'm a stationary target!" he says). But here's the thing: unlike other Idol contestants who milk their backstory for all it's worth to distract from their vocal shortcomings, Scott actually has a lot of talent. As we've written about before, there's more to the kid than meets the eye (See? It's almost harder not to make the puns). Granted, there's a small part of us that's pulling for him because he's the one shot for the Valley to have someone make it into the Top 12. But really, we'd have been texting IDOL-9 like maniacs last night regardless of his hometown. Other highlights:
While there were definitely moments of mediocrity and sometimes even horribleness last night, Group 3 as a whole was far and away the best overall group of the three. Nobody (except for Arianna Afsar, perhaps) was out-and-out horrible. Yay!
Von Smith: I'll be honest--I actually expected to hate Von Smith. He has annoyed me pretty much every time he has appeared on my screen throughout the season, he annoyed me when he pimped himself out on The View (pre-Idol), and he annoys me with his abnormally large mouth, which makes him look like a sea bass and makes me want to go fishing. So imagine my surprise when he not only didn't irritate the crap out of me, but also did a pretty good version of Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need." Simon compared him to Clay Aiken, which might be one of the most backhanded compliments of all time. He won't get through to the Top 12, but he did himself and his hyperventilating mother proud.
Taylor Vaifanua: The main thing I took away from this chick's performance was that a) She looks like a younger version of The Pussycat Dolls' frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger and b) She wore rubber leggings that were more intriguing to me than her performance. She sang Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You," and, like Ricky Braddy before her, she sounded really good but sort of bored me. As Randy pointed out, "You didn't tell us anything about you," and I thought that was a good way to put it. I don't think she'll make it through to the Top 12, but she's 17 and who knows, maybe the little teenyboppers will send her through. She'd better hope she has an outside chance, cuz bitch ain't coming back for the Wild Card round.
Alex Wagner-Trugman: I'm going to put it out there--AW-T might be my new show boyfriend. Which is sort of a shame because I'm pretty sure his ass is going ot be sent packing after last night's performance of Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues." He did a weird growling thing and knocked over the mic stand and he is really such a clutzy dork that you kind of can't help but fall in love with him a little bit. Plus he has a sense of humor, which always helps. And his dad is a total dork, too! I love me some Wager-Trugman men. Simon told him he was like "a little hamster trying to be a tiger," which I don't really understand, but I do know that while his performance wasn't technically good, he was really entertaining. Maybe nerds everywhere will unite to put him through to the Top 12? Doubtful, but stranger things have happened.
Arianna Afsar: When Seadoche announced that Idol would have its first performance of an ABBA song, I got super excited. Would it be "Dancing Queen"? "Take a Chance on Me"? Even "Waterloo"? So you can probably guess that I wanted to ram my head through my TV screen when Arianna Afsar sang "Winner Takes It All," aka The Worst ABBA song ever. It was not good. It was, in fact, bad. Even if she would have sang the crap out of it (which she didn't), I still would have hated it because all it made me do was think of Pierce Brosnan singing in the movie version of Mamma Mia, which, really, who ever thought that was a good idea. She's not anoying on the level of a Casey Carlson from Group 1, but she's not doing herself any favors. The judges hated it, too, and I'm thinking Wild Card is not in the cards for her. Whatever, she's young, she'll bounce back.
Ju'Not Joyner: First of all, I sort of want Ju'Not to get through to the Top 12 because I love his name. He sang the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah," and he slowed it down to turn it into even more of an adult contempo jam, and it was prety good but not amazing. The judges jizzed all over themselves about it, but I didn't think it was in the top three performances of the night and I'd be surprised to see him go on. Wild Card round, maybe. Points for telling us that you got a cortisone shot in your ass before the show, though, Ju'Not. That conjurs up some nice images.
Kristen McNamara: I'm sorry, I can't stand this chick. From the drama she and Nathaniel Marshall drudged up during Hollywood Week to her horrible hair to her dumb answer when Seadouche asked she was when the judges questioned her potential identity crisis ("I'm Kristen McNamara!" she said, giving a bad name to dumb blondes everywhere), she annoys me. Also, her ass was already kicked off of reality country singing show Nashville Star, which makes me think she should take a clue and realize this singing thing isn't for her. Her version of Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason," wasn't bad, but it definitely wasn't great, and I want her off my television NOW.
Nathaniel Marshall: I love me some flamboyant gays (see: my Adam Lambert adoration), and I was really looking forward to Nathaniel Marshall's performance. But he really takes it to a whole new, ridiculous level with his version of Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love." It is so over-the-top with the hand gestures and the headband and the weird facial expressions, but not over-the-top in an Adam Lambert, "OK, I can dig this," sort of way. I really hope they have a therapist backstage tonight when he gets kicked off. Love his grandma, though, when Seadouche asks her what she thinks of the performance: "I'm used to Nathaniel's music." Ha!
Felicia Barton: This is the chick who got brought back after Joanna Pacitti got her ass kicked off after the Top 36 was announced. Another mother (this time not single, though, so a mom with a twist!), she actually rocked it out with an Alicia Keys song that made me say, "Taylor Who?" I actually hope she gets through or at least gets brought back for the Wild Card. I was pleasantly surprised. The judges seemed to like it, too, though I don't think it'll help. She'll get knocked out for bigger characters who've gotten more screen time.
Scott MacIntyre: As previously mentioned, Scott knocked it out with Bruce Hornsby's "Mandolin Rain," which was sort of a weird, old-man song choice, but I still dug the performance. If Scott gets through tonight (which I'm pretty sure he will), I know a lot of haters will say it's because he's blind, and the sympathy vote might have a little to do with it, but he has the chops to back it up. I can't wait to see him with his piano. Go Scott!
Kendall Beard: My feelings toward Kendall are similar to my feelings toward Kristen McNamara, but less extreme. I would stop to think that maybe I have something against blondes, but my love of Group 2's Megan Corkery refutes that. I don't know, she's an OK singer, but she's annoying. Maybe it was her dad's stupid alligator dance, I don't know. As Simon pointed out, there are lots of Idol viewers who love the whole country thing, and she does have a sort of Kellie Pickler vibe. I could see her sneaking in, but I really hope she doesn't.
Jorge Nunez: He sang Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," a Clay Aiken favorite, and it was really, truly good. He lost his accent at the judges' request, though Simon questioned the intelligence of asking him to do that. I'm a sucker for a man who can cry on national TV, which he did once the judges told him how awesome he was. If I'm being honest, I thought it was the best performance of the night, and I hope he makes it through.
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Lil Rounds: Before we get to the singing, can we talk about Lil Rounds' butt? Really, girl has got some awesome junk in the trunk. I was sot of transfixed by it halfway through the song, but her awesome version of Mary J. Blige's "Live Without You" snapped me out of it. I haven't liked her in the past, but I liked her last night, epsecially when she changed the lyrics to, "Call the show if you can't live without me." She's through for sure.
Tonight: Results show.
Thursday night: Wild Card round. Still unclear how that's going to work, but if the judges get to choose, I think it'll be Anoop Desai, Megan Corkery and Nick Mitchell (just kidding!). Probably the third spot will go to Matt Giraud.
Who should go through tonight: Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez
Who will go through tonight: Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Kendall Beard