At long last, it has come to this--after weeks of watching tone-deaf wonders humiliate themselves during the first round of auditions, some slightly less tone-deaf wonders forget the lyrics to their songs during Hollywood Week, Casey Carlson give a bad name to bubble tea makers everywhere and Pacittigate--we finally get to hear the Top 12 bring it. What's that, you say? The producers mindfucked us last week, along with poor Anoop Desai, and turned the Top 12 into an unprecedented (why don't you tell us again how unprecedented it is, Seadouche, I think we missed it the first 9,000 times) Top 13? Well, indeed they did. Because really, what kind of world would it be if Noop Dogg didn't have an opportunity to gun it for the top spot in the Ultimate Karaoke Competition? That is a world I would not want to live in. On to the show:
Before we got to see anybody sing, we had to endure the judges make a cheesy entrance, which showed them standing and walking, things we rarely get to see them do (actually, I take that back, we get to see Paula stand every time she drunkenly dances during the contestants' performances) and which further drove him the fact that Paula looked like a Vegas showgirl reject and that Simon has manboobs (or moobs if you're into the whole portmanteau thing).
Randy told the contestants they have to "bring it hard," which made me realize how many comments the judges make when, taken out of context (and sometimes even when taken in conext), sound really dirty. Other favorites from last night include Simon telling Lil Rounds that given five seconds alone with her, he'd "sort her out," Paula telling Scott MacIntyre that it's good to see him with his "instrument at (his) fingertips" and Kara telling Matt Giraud that she "hopes to see him again in her bed." OK, I added the "in the bed" part, but we all know that's what she meant.
It's Michael Jackson night, which means we get to watch a video retrospective of Michael Jackson's career, complete with women screaming their heads off for him, which hasn't happened since the early 90s, so we know we're watching some old-ass footage. We also get an awesome (read: kind of gross) shot of Michael wearing a giant gold codpiece. Ick. But the whole thing did remind me what an awesome songwriter he is and made me a little sad that he turned into a baby dangling, Bubbles the Chimp loving weirdo. It also made me sad that Michael didn't make a surprise appearance on the show. What the hell else does he have to do? I guess that ferris wheel at the Neverland Ranch isn't going to ride itself, right?
So things start off with Lil Rounds and her magnificent ass (I'm sorry, but I don't think I've ever seen such a skinny girl with such a big butt and I can't stop staring at it while she performs no matter how hard I try). We get to watch a package featuring her adorable children and her cute husband. People pimping out their kids for votes is nothing new on Idol, but for some reason it doesn't anny me as much when she does it. Anyway, she sang "The Way You Make Me Feel," and it was really good. She seemed really natural on the stage and it was fun to watch (white pleated pants notwithstanding). The judges loved it, of course, and we'll be seeing her next week.
Scottsdale's own Scott MacIntyre is next, and we finally get to see him back behind a piano, where he is clearly the most comfortable. His video package is great, and, just like Lil unintentionally pimps out her kids, let's be honest, Scott unintentionally pimps his blindness. I don't blame them, really--if you can hedge your bets with a good backstory, why not? Anyway, he sings "Keep the Faith," which I--and I suspect most people--had never heard before. It was pretty good, but I agree with the judges that it was the wrong song choice for him (but, as Paula pointed out, it went to #1 in Norway, so let's hope those Norwegians had their voting fingers ready). But I think he's still safe for next week.
Danny "Hokey" Gokey came on next, and for me, this guy just keeps getting more and more annoying. We get to meet his whole extended family who think they are way funnier than they are, and, for the first time, he doesn't mention the dead wife, which sort of makes me hate him even more, because not mentioning her when all you've done up to this point is use her to pimp yourself, seems so calculated. And for real, how many pairs of glasses can one man own? I really think that's the sixth pair we've seen him wearing. I've never seen somebody so vain about that part of their face in my life. So he sings "P.Y.T.," which is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, and, though I really, really hate to admit it, it was actually really good, despite his lame white boy dancing. He was good enough to make Paula cry while she was giving him her feedback, but then again Paula likely cries when her doctor refuses to write her a third vicodin perscription for the week, so that's not such a great barometer. All the judges loved it, though, and we'll definitely be seeing him back next week.
Next, we get treated to yet another beating over the head about Michael Sarver being an oil roughneck (which Simon hilariously makes fun of: "I wish we knew what you did for a living, "Michael.") We're told he grew up without a father, which is what makes him such a great family man. All together now: awwww. He sings, "You Are Not Alone," which happens to be one of my least-favorite Michael Jackson songs, and it's surprisingly really good. As Kara pointed out, he "showed us that he can really sing," which he needed to do after he--as many people thought--stole a spot in the Top 13. Also, he's kind of hot in that beefy blue-collar way. He'll be back.
Jasmine Murray, who I previously thought looked like an alien, looked gorgeous last night. As did her sisters in her video package. Ugh, I hate beautiful families. She sang "I'll Be There," and again, I was surprised at how well she did in light of her Wild Card and Group 2 performances. Simon called it robotic, which I sort of agree with. Mostly, Jasmine seemed to have taken a page out of the Ricky Braddy "Sing It Well But Bore Us To Tears" handbook. And we all know how far that got Ricky Braddy, who, since getting kicked off the show, I hear is working the glory hole in the gas station by his house. Young Jasmine might be in danger of going home tonight, Im afraid.
Adorable Kris Allen pimped his wife during his video package, which, as Simon later pointed out, was probably not a good idea. The 13-year-old voting bloc doesn't want to hear about that you're taken, they want to imagine you whispering sweet nothings in their innocent little ears and taking them to see the 3-D Jonas Brothers movie. Why must you dash so many young dreams with your whole "marriage" thing, Kris? Anyway, he sang "Remember the Time," and, like Jasmine before him, it was good but also a little forgettable. I do think he has talent, though, so I do hope he comes back next week, though I wouldn't call him a shoo-in.
The thing about watching Idol is that sometimes you learn interesting things. Like, for instance, Hispanic superstores employ singers to entertain customers while they shop for frijoles and machaca. Who knew? Well, probably people who shop at large Hispanic grocery stores. But other than them...anyway, apparently that has Allison Iraheta's job since she was 5, which would explain why sister knows how to work a stage. Her fashion sense is very goth-early 90s-16-year-old-no-one-understands-me, and her personality is a little weird, but when she gets on stage, she's pretty freaking awesome. She sang "Give It To Me" and it was great. The judges loved it too. As Randy said, "If you've got it, you've got it, and you've got it." Yeah, dawg. She'll definitely be back next week.
So we all know that Anoop Desai looooooves Bobby Brown's cheesy-ass "My Perogative," which we've heard him sing about a million times. So is it any surprise he decided to sing "Beat It?" It was a better song choice than, say, "Thriller" would have been, but still. I actually thought he did all right under the circumstances of a song he was destined to fail at, but the judges all hated it. So he had an off week, but I think his likability and his video package--adorable, supportive parents! Being proud of his Indian culture!--will keep him around for next week.
Jorge Nunez takes us to Puerto Rico, where we get to meet his 9,000 relatives (seriously, I counted, there were 9,000 Nunezes), who are all super proud of him and it's really cute. He sang, "Never Can Say Goodbye," which was technically good but again, left me feeling a little bored and underwhelmed. The judges felt the same, with Simon calling it "corny and out of (his) depth." I really like him, and, let's face it, anybody who knows how to text and lives in Puerto Rico is voting for him, so he could make it through, but I suspect he may be in the bottom 4 tonight, at the very least.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Megan Corkery is beautiful. She just is. And while I usually hold beautiful people's beauty against them, there's something really likable about her. In her video package, she talked about how much she misses her son and she cried, so that should win her some major sympathy votes if nothing else. Also, she has a total MILF, which should get her the much-coveted 40-60-year-old male vote. She sang "Rockin Robin," and it was not very good. It wasn't Stevie Wright/Casey Carlson bad, but compared to the other chicks tonight, it seemed really amateurish. I could see her getting through on her likability, but she's definitely a potential Bottom 4-er.
I don't really think there's a whole lot to say about Adam Lambert other than that he is way too good for this show. As Simon said, he's in a totally different league than eveyone else. He sang "Black and White," and it was just really, really good. Here, watch for yourself. Yes, it's over the top. But that's the whole point. The dude is entertaining as hell, he can sing the crap out of a song, and he does it wearing more makeup than all the contestants on The Bachelor combined. I might be calling it right now: An Allison/Adam showdown in the finals. Just putting it out there early in case it actually happens.
We get to see a shirtless, 12-year-old Matt Giraud playing ping-pong during his video package, in which his dad cried over how proud he was of his son. Brownie points! Matt sang "Human Nature" whilst sitting at a piano, and it was a solid, if unspectacular performance. I hate to say it, but in the battle between the piano players last night, Giraud came out on top. Sorry, Scotty! The judges liked it. I think he'll be back next week.
Not to be outdone by Corkery, Alexis Grace talked about how much she loves her baby and cried, too. Take that, Corkery! She sang "Dirty Diana," whilst wearing lingerie, and it was pretty decent. She got shafted on the comments because the show ran over, but I think the judges seemed to like it overall. She's potential Bottom 4 material.
Tonight: Results show, and two people get kicked off. Also, we're promised another "twist" in the rules. Oh Seadouch, you wily SOB. Always keeping us on our toes.
Who should be in the Bottom 4: Anoop Desai, Jasmine Murray, Jorge Nunez, Megan Corkery
Who will be in the Bottom 4: Jorge Nunez, Jasmie Murray, Alexis Grace, Kris Allen