Tuesday, March 14, 2006

AMERICAN IDOL NIGHT 20: THE TOP 12 CONTESTANTS PERFORM!!

It's time to take the competition to the next level. The top 12 are ready to perform, and the theme nights are about to begin! From here on out, the competition will be fierce, and one person has to go home each night, and bloggers like myself will have to work harder to think of sarcastic things to say (except when Kellie Pickler's performing.)

(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

The arena is bigger, the egos are inflated, and still Seacrest's suit looks like it's fresh from the Goodwill. There are posters in the audience saying "I love Kat," and really, which of us doesn't? Seacrest does a light check, and now I've got spots before my eyes. Apparently Rickey Minor has a bigger band and a "killer sound system," whatever that means, so they should be even more successful at overpowering the singers. Now it's time for a montage of the Top 12, to the tune of Freiheit's "Keeping the Dream Alive." Somewhere out there, John Cusack is wondering why that song is the only thing people remember about Say Anything. The contestants sure do cry a lot when the cameras are on, don't they? For some reason the montage felt the need to kick Ayla again.

Now it's time to meet the finalists, as though you had forgotten who they were. Boy, we sure are killing a lot of time here. Seacrest introduces the judges and asks them the same inane questions he asks every year. In turn, they give the same inane answers.

The spoilers were right, and we're going to hear exclusively Stevie Wonder songs tonight. As if that weren't already the case throughout all the years of this competition, particularly the previous rounds of this season. The contestants actually got to meet Stevie, and lucky for him, he didn't have to see them.

Ace Young is going to sing "Do I Do." Ace is rubbing Stevie's back, and Stevie looks like he's just a bit uncomfortable. Ace comes out off key, and sort of makes it through the song. Seriously, guys, go back to the tapes of last year and compare Ace's performance to that of Mario Vazquez and you'll see the obvious inferiority. I'm glad for one thing, though. At least Ace isn't molesting us via the camera with his eyes. Well, at least not until the end. Randy says it started off badly off-key and that it corrected itself in the middle, but that the performance was just sort of alright. Paula, natch, totally disagrees, mainly because she's obviously in love with Ace, and by the glaze in her eyes, she appears to be three sheets to the wind already. Simon thinks it was not a great vocal and that it won't be the best tonight. Ace gets no votes from me tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 01

After the break, Icky Picky and Elliott...

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Ryan's in the audience talking to some random person.

Kellie Pickler, naturally, is not that familiar with Stevie Wonder, because she is not familiar with anything. Can you tell by her ACK-SEY-ENT? Seriously, don't sing through your sinuses to Stevie. Icky has no idea what she's doing, but isn't she so adorable that you just want to pound her over the head with a hammer? I'll give you Pickler fans one thing, she does look amazing in that black dress and those hair extensions, but her vocal performance tonight is once again average. She's showing no range, and she's still nasal as she can possibly be. This song is boring. And for goodness sake, Kellie, if you wear a black dress, wear black shoes, not red shoes. You look ridiculous. Randy thinks it's a very interesting song choice, and he says there is no spark, and that it is very forgettable. Paula thinks that she was way too safe. Simon thinks everything went wrong and that the performance was boring and excruciatingly wrong. He even criticizes the look, and Kellie says something stupid about an accent again. Simon says it was her worst performance by far, and Kellie actually says "I'm sorry." No, we're sorry. Hopefully this will get rid of Kellie for next week. By the way, Kellie is wearing fake eyelashes for the first time. She's also breathing oxygen for the first time and just earlier today she brushed her teeth for the first time. 1 866 IDOLS 02

Elliott Yamin is completely starstruck by Stevie Wonder, and he's losing it sitting next to him. If anyone is going to come close to Stevie's style and talent, it will be Elliott. He has Stevie's blessing and endorsement, so that's good enough for me. I sort of dig this song, but it's a bit slow and boring. Something about the song just sort of showcases every bum note, not that there are too many coming from Elliott. This is more of a recording song than a performance song. Elliott's money note pays off at the end. I like his performance, as I always do, but again, I'm wanting for a bit more spark. Randy doesn't think it was his best performance, but that it still showed some flavor. Paula loves everything, including nuclear war, Hitler, and the Black Plague. Simon thinks it was good but that it needs a little more kick to it. I'll definitely vote for Elliott. 1 866 IDOLS 03

After the break, is it time for the "wow factor" with Mandisa?

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Mandisa is up next. Ryan takes Mandisa's shoes off. This is the weirdest sight gag of all time. Mandisa has moisturized ankles. Ryan Seacrest has officially crossed the lame-oid barrier. Stevie appears to be impressed with Mandisa, so maybe this will be spectacular. Mandisa honestly did not put her shoes back on. She sounds pretty good, but just the least bit screechy. She really comes into it in the middle of the song. It was pretty good. I'm still waiting for her to come out and knock it out of the park, though. Randy thinks that she wasn't as good as she was last week. Randy thinks she's the best so far but that someone could come out and out-do her. Paula thinks Mandisa can sing anything. Simon says the competition just got started and that she's the best so far. Ryan gives away Mandisa's shoes, and she fake laughs, all the while thinking about how much those shoes cost. 1 866 IDOLS 04

After the break, Bucky...

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Bucky Covington has never really listened to Stevie Wonder, but he loves "Superstition," so he's going to sing that. Stevie warns him about getting sharp when he gets excited. I think this song may just be right up Bucky's alley. It is, but I sincerely wish for Bucky to stop doing that spread-legged squat, because it's starting to make me feel violated. Vocally, he's not doing that great, but I have to admit this is a nice southern-rock spin on a Stevie classic. I liked the performance. Randy thinks that it was definitely the right choice for him, the vocal performance wasn't the best, but that he enjoyed the performance. Paula actually enjoyed it too. Are you surprised? She wishes he would've gotten out of his comfort zone a bit more. Simon thinks it was one of his best performances so far, but then he has to pick on Bucky's "Jessica Simpson" hairstyle. Ryan makes a weak attempt at a joke which falls flatter than Paula after the Vicodin wears off. 1 866 IDOLS 05

After the break, Melissa...

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Ryan reminds us that Ayla Brown got rooked. Did she do something to make Idol upset at her??

Melissa McGhee has been gargling olive oil and losing eye make-up. She messes up the lyrics in front of Stevie, who immediately gives her some good-natured ribbing. She's going to sing "Lately" while wearing a dress. Let's see how that works out for her. I love this song. I wish she would get up and move a bit. Vocally, this is probably the best we've heard of her. She just stayed on one end of the stage, which I thought was weird. The lyric is "hope my premonition misses," not "hope my recognition misses." She forgot the lyrics again. Randy calls her on that, as well as some flats and sharps, but reminds her that she can really sing. Paula thinks she looks beautiful in the dress and that her voice is a breath of fresh air. Simon thinks it was her best performance so far, and that it was edgy, contemporary, and strong. I'll definitely vote for her. She's not going to win this competition, but I want to see more of her. 1 866 IDOLS 06

What, we're taking another break?? Well, alrighty then. After the break, Lisa...

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A girl in the first row is looking at Ryan as if he's the stupidest, most loathesome person in the world.

Lisa Tucker is going to sing "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." Stevie gets down with Lisa, and tries to give her some pointers. Lisa's coming out on stage with the energy tonight. Vocally, she's sort of on, but like everybody else, she just seems to be a little bit disconnected. I'm enjoying her performance, though, and she's keeping my eyes on the screen. Okay, by the end, I'm really liking this. Lisa gets mad props tonight. Randy says he was bored through the middle but that the end was hot. Paula comments on her nerves but that Lisa took some chances. Simon thinks it was one of the best performances tonight because she took control of the stage and that she has the X Factor, which is not, by the way, a plug for his British show. I'm going to vote for Lisa tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 07

After the break, Kevin Covais...

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If we didn't have a commercial break between every singer, we could be doing something else right now.

Kevin Covais is up. Kevin's fan club gives him a hug. He's definitely pulling the middle school crowd. Kev's a bit nervous in front of the Wonder, and he sings "Part Time Lover." Kevin tries to put a little sexy feel into the song, and if you listen closely, you can hear the audience laughing ironically in the audio track. Stevie calls his voice "interesting." Which might mean "good," but might also mean "sucks." This is pretty bad though. The song starts out a bit too low with more bass than Kevin can handle. The thing with Kevin is that he can sing, but his range is limited, possibly because of his age. He may be tons better at 21 than he is now. I didn't really enjoy his performance at all. Randy loves Kevin and the pimpage continues. He wasn't expecting it to be sung well and in tune, but Randy was shocked to find that it was. Sort of. Paula wants to give birth to Kevin. Paula compliments him on keeping time. Simon is about to rip him up. He says "appalling." To Kevin's credit, he manages to win a staring competition with Simon. I like Kevin, but I can't bring myself to vote for him tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 08

After the break...*drooooooooool*....

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Katharine McPhee is positively glowing at the prospect of singing near Stevie Wonder. Stevie says she has a lot of potential. A slight blooper lets us hear "the host" get cued, but such is the danger of live television. Katharine is singing well again. She has sort of a higher pitched Kelly Clarkson voice, and this girl will be seeing the top 5 at least, if not the top 2. Randy thinks Katharine has finally come back and that she was a "hot one" as well as "da bomb." Paula thinks Katharine pierces her through the heart and that tonight was her best performance ever. Simon says "Katharine, you're good!" Simon also compares her to Kelly Clarkson vocally. Am I on the same wavelength as Mr. Cowell or what? Ryan inadvertently stares at Katharine's chest, but that might be because he's on eye level with them. 1 866 IDOLS 09

After the break, Taylor and Paris...

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Taylor Hicks is going to be performing "Living for the City." Stevie thinks that Taylor has feeling and soul. I'm almost going to say that this song may be a touch too high pitched for Taylor to handle. Still, Taylor makes up for it by putting energy and flavor into the performance. Taylor seems to shout and exaggerate the notes that he's not quite able to hit, but that seems to come off well. Overall, it's an energetic and enjoyable performance. Randy thinks that all his work paid off tonight, that it was a hot performance, and that Taylor was fearless. Paula thinks he is a fun performer and that he needs to continue to do what he does. Simon thinks Taylor is like every father who has ever gotten drunk at a wedding, but this is somehow a compliment. The difference is that Taylor can sing. For some reason, they have the same toilet seats for Seacrest and the contestants that they had for the top 12 last week. Will Taylor color his hair? Who knows? 1 866 IDOLS 10

Paris Bennett cries at being next to Stevie, all the while keeping her Rudy Huxtable voice strong. Stevie compares her to Fantasia, which just ensures that I don't want to vote for her. The pimp machine rolls on! Paris is singing "All I Do." I think Stevie picked out Paris's wardrobe tonight. A seeing person certainly never would've picked that outfit. She does a good job singing the song, but it's just gotten to the point that I'm tired of her as a person, and I don't want to see her go much further. Unfortunately, Idol seems determined to see her go all the way. Randy thinks she was unbelievable and hot. (pimp...pimp...) Paula thinks she's a seasoned veteran. (pimp...pimp...) Simon says she was brilliant and a doll. (pimp...pimp...) Paris sneaks in another couple of bars of singing while she's interviewing with Ryan. I like her a LOT less for doing that. No votes from me. 1 866 IDOLS 11

After the break, Chris...

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Chris Daughtry is singing "Higher Ground." Stevie likes the "clear yet raspiness" quality of Chris's voice. Finally, somebody is willing to do the Bo Bice thing with the mic stand. Wow, this is hot. I haven't heard this song in a while, and I'm glad I'm hearing it this way tonight. Chris is so obviously a rock star in the making. I love how he goes over and sings with the back-up singers. The lighting people are really working with Chris tonight to pull off the show-stopper. Excellent performance! Randy is impressed that Chris makes everything his own and thinks that Chris worked it out. Paula thinks he's been consistent. Simon says "thank God for Chris" because he thinks that this was the only "real world" performance and thinks if Chris recorded that song he would have a hit record. "Best tonight, by a mile." Tons and tons of votes for Chris, and I think he may be the last man standing. 1 866 IDOLS 12

So that's it for tonight. Tomorrow night, someone goes home.

MY PREDICTIONS:

Who is likely to go home: Ace, Kevin and Kellie didn't do well tonight. If I had to pick, those would be my bottom three for tonight.

See ya tomorrow night.

7 Comments:

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Texas Biscuit said...

Before we get started, JD, do you know what that song was they played during the contestant review/preview? It sounded a little MCartney-ish, but I've never heard it before. Let me know if you know!

Stevie Wonder hits - what a great way to show off our top 12!

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

I posted this in the update after you asked it, but it's "Keeping the Dream Alive" by Freiheit, from the Say Anything soundtrack

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger Texas Biscuit said...

I downloaded the song. Thanks for the info (and sorry I jumped the gun asking about it!)

Disappointing performances tonight, but still in my top 5: Chris & Mandisa

My fave gal: Katherine
My fave guy: Taylor

Who I hope goes home: Kevin, puulease!

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Zoor said...

Katharine and Taylor A+

Chris and Elliot A

Mandisa A-

Lisa B+

Melissa and Paris B

Bucky and Ace C+

Kevin C

Kellie C-



My goodness Katharine is Excellent.

Elliot could easily have blown us away tonight if he had made a better song choice.

Why did we need to see Mandisa's feet?

Why was Kevin bullying Simon?

Lisa should learn a new "finishing move." That "chin-on-the-shoulder, long-note, close-up" is getting old.

For the love of god Randy please write some new material. Let me get this straight... Stevie Wonder is one of the best singers in the known world?

Do you think Paula will ever stop interrupting Simon? Maybe Bucky could slip her a joint next week so she will mellow out and actually listen to the songs.

Who should go:
Kevin or Kellie.

Which better singer than them will go home?
Probably Melissa.

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger Justin said...

I thought Chris Daughtry's performance rocked as always, and he's my pick to win.

But I thought it was a little unfair that a) he got to go last twice in a row, and b) that so much more production went into his performance. He had strobe lights and smoke and everything, ten times more than anyone else. Maybe he requested them and no one else did, but it seems like AI is setting him up to win.

If he does win, fine with me, as long as it's an honest win and not engineered by the producers.

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger Georgia Writer said...

I caught that Constantine comment Jd...molesting the camera w/ his eyes? Constantine still RULES.

 
At 12:49 AM, Blogger Kat said...

"A slight blooper lets us hear "the host" get cued, but such is the danger of live television"

I thought it was Ryan's voice and that he was intending it to be funny? I'll pay more attention when I rewatch in the next couple of days.

Loving everyone's different opinion; we're eye-to-eye on some but I thought Chris was pretty awful this week, plus he's getting pimped almost as much as "Icky" (hee!).

 

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