After last week's Group 1 train wreck, American Idol's Group 2 was pretty much destined (to borrow a Randy Jackson-ism) to "knock it out the box" last night. And, overall, they did. Obviously, there were still some performances that made me want to strangle myself with my laptop power cord and those that left me disappointed to the point of waving my fist at the TV screen yelling, "What were you thinking?" (I'm looking at you, Kai Kalama. We'll talk later). Some highlights:
Automatically making last night's show better than last week's was the producers' wise choice of not have Seadouche talk to people's parents after the contestant's performances. When they did it last week, it turned out to be Snoozefest 2009 (although I would have given my left nut to hear Nick Mitchell aka Normund Gentle's parents' reactions to their son's performance).
But it would be great if we could stop the stupid top-of-show banter between Seadouche and the judges. When he asked Kara if he had any advice for the contestants, her answer was, "It's all about doing the best you can possibly do." Seriously? That's your advice? I feel like my 5-year-old cousin (the one who eats paste) could give better advice than that. Shit, if that's all it takes to be a judge on Idol, sign me up. I will make the sacrifice of having to sit next to Paula twice a week in exchange for a yacht and a resort island in Ibiza. Call me, Simon Fuller!
Ahem. On to the performances:
Jasmine Murray: So Jasmine wasn't Stevie Wright bad, but she was still pretty damn bad. Her version of Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" was pretty off-key and boring and you could tell after she was done that she thought she (to borrow another Randy-ism) was da bomb. Probably because the judges keep telling her how pretty and great and commercial she is (read: she'll make Cowell so much money that he can buy as many man-boob shirts as he wants). Does anyone else think she sort of looks like an alien? She won't make it through tonight, but I could see them bringing her back for the Wild Card round.
Matt Giraud: The deuling piano player was starting to piss me off in Hollywood Week, verging on a Taylor Hicks-esque series of ticks and faux soul during his performance of "Georgia." Last night's performance of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" was far less annoying, but it was also far more boring. The judges told him to stick with the soul stuff, which you could tell pissed him off because he really wants to be the next Justin Timberlake. Same fate as Jasmine: See you in the Wild Card round, bud.
Jeanine Valles: The Leona Lewis lookalike (so you know she partly got through to the Top 36 because Simon thought he had a chance with her) tried to make up for her lack of previous screen time by taking the opposite tack of last week's Ricky Braddy: Instead of boring us to death, she oversang us to death. She sang Maroon 5's "This Love," as if she was singing some sort of pop masterpiece and it was not good. The judges loved her legs, but not the singing. She'll be sent home, though it does annoy me that she doesn't even have a chance (unlike some other so-so singers) because she hasn't gotten one ounce of screen time. That shit just don't seem right. Nick Mitchell: The Idol world held its collective breath last night to see if Nick Mitchell would perform as himself or his alter ego, some douche with a sparkly shirt and a red headband named Normund Gentle. Of course he came out as Normund--a mistake if he actually wanted to get through to the Top 12, because, lets be honest, the judges ain't bringing him back for the Wild Card. he sang "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls, and here's the thing: He actually has a pretty good voice. I can't wait to visit the gay cabaret he will inevitably be employed by after his run on Idol. His performance was at moments silly, at moments truly funny, but always entertaining. I don't know if this guy is for real, but even though I know he won't get through tonight, I'm actually really pulling for him for the same reason I pulled for Tatiana last week. Also, he called Simon "sassypants." Go Normund!
Allison Iraheta: Could this chick be any more nervous/boring? It really was hard to tell which side was winning out more. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and go with that she was just super nervous, because her performance of Heart's "Alone" rocked. It was probably the best between both the first and second groups. She'll get through for sure. And if for some reason she doesn't, she'll definitely come back for the Wild Card round.
Kris Allen:Objectively, this guy is adorable, and you know as soon as he opens his mouth that the teenyboppers are going to eat it up. He sang Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," such a cheesy song that even if he sang it karaoke style, it wouldn't have come off as being too horrible. He actually sang it pretty well, though. I don't think he'll get one of tonight's three spots, but I wouldn't be surprised if he snuck in.
Megan "Single Mom" Corkery:I will put it out there right now: Megan Corkery is gorgeous. She just is, and I hate her because she's cute and punk and has a pretty good voice. I sort of have a girl crush on her. She looked like a little kid at her first piano recital last night, but I liked that she didn't play the sexy angle. It was a nice change of pace. She sang Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On," and it wasn't great but it was pretty. I don't think she'll get through, but I hope she does or at least comes back for the Wild Card round.
Matt "The Welder" Breitzke: The producers beat a dead horse like only they know how and told us, yet again, that Matt Breitzke is a welder. Whoop de doo. Anyway Old Welder Breitzke is probably the biggest fish out of water we've seen yet. As the judges pointed out, he seems like a super nice guy, but if this was a Seems-Like-A-Nice-Guy Contest, Kevin Covais would have beat the snot out of Taylor Hicks. He sang Tonic's "If You Could Only See" and he didn't know what to do with his hands and it was awkward and it was too bad because he can actually sing but there ain't no way we're seeing him after tonight. Maybe he can star in the Broadway version of Flashdance as a male welder-type. There's hope for you yet, Breitzke! Jesse "Single Mom Pt. 2" Langseth:Don't get me wrong" I have total respect for mothers, both single and attached. But that doesn't mean I enjoy having single motherness shoved down my throat every time I have to listen to some chick sing. But I digress. Jesse was...OK. Her version of Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" was good but a little boring. Simon called her "too cool for school," and I think that was a good way to put it. I wouldn't be upset if she squeaked through, but it's not going to happen. She was too forward with the judges and she's not as memorable as some of the other contestants who choked but who I think the judges will bring back for the Wild Card round. So I guess that means Sayonara, Jesse. Fare the well.
Kai Kalama:How do you expect to support me and our adorable, curly-haired children with boring performances like that? I love you, but I don't know if I can live the life of a wife of cruise chip performer forever. I know you won't be getting through tonight (despite my 305 text message votes for you), but I will keep my fingers crossed for the Wild Card round. Stay strong, keep looking hot, and somehow, I know, you will prevail.
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Mishavonna Henson:The 18-year-old was told by the judges that she was 18 going on 50. I actually thought her version of Train's annoying "Drops of Jupiter" was pretty good. Definitely in the top three female performances of the night (along with Allison Iraheta and Megan Corkery). It was a little serious, sure, but she has a nice voice and a cute personality. I wouldn't mind if she got through to the next round, but I don't think it's gonna happen. Sorry, kid.
Adam Lambert:Simon hit it right on the head when he said people were either going to love or hate Adam Lambert's performance. Make no mistake about it: I absolutely effing loved every second of it. His version of the Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" was so balls-out over-the-top that it made me both laugh and think, "Damn, that boy can sing!" at the same time. Also, I have to give props to a guy who was wearing more makeup than Paula and Kara put together. If he doesn't make it through tonight, I'm boycotting Idol. OK, maybe not, but I won't be happy watching a Lambert-less Top 12, that's all I've gotta say. He is the ultimate diva, and I am pulling for him for tonight.
Should go through tonight:Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Nick Mitchell Will go through tonight:Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen.
Join us tomorrow for the results show recap!