American Idol, 2009 – Episode 19 (3/10/09)

Idol LogoSo we’re finally at the top twelve thirteen after a messed-up selection process filled with obvious results-manipulation and tokenism based on race, sex, age, you name it. I don’t like it, but that’s reality televison for ya.

So who will get the death slot tonight and who will get the money slot? Will those who have annoyed me redeem themselves like Matt Giraud did last week? Can a Michael Jackson theme night be anything other than a complete disaster? Live blog, comin’ at ya.

As always, spoilers below the fold.

Does Randy actually believe that anyone in the top thirteen can win the whole thing? Does he actually think Jasmine Murray, for example has a real shot? I beg to differ.

For once, Seacrest seems to be keeping the show moving along, thank heavens.

So here are our singers. Time for me to try to put my biases aside (curse you, Megan!) and be as objective as possible.

Lil Rounds gets the first slot–the death slot. My guess is that the producers think that she’s strong enough to make it through despite that. They’re probably right.

“The Way You Make Me Feel.” Great choice. Her big voice seems to fill the room, and she’s obviously extremely confident. She looks and sounds like a pro. A terrific start to the top twelve thirteen.

The judges are gushing, and should be. Paula compliments her outfit–it’s safe to say that no one will be complimenting Paula’s outfit tonight.

Simon says it was a lazy song choice. Why? What was she supposed to pick–“Beat it?”

Turns out Scott MacIntyre is blind! Did you know?

He’s doing something called “Keep the Faith,” which I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. That was a good thing, as the song is cheesy as all get-out, made worse by a strange arrangement with inappropriate violin.

His vocal is much better than last week, but, man, this song really blows. Unfortunately, this is the kind of stuff he likes so we’re going to hear a lot of similar songs over the next few weeks. Does the world really need a new Richard Marx?

Kara is gooping on the human interest stuff–he’s “true to himself.” But what if it’s crappy when he’s true to himself?

Paula likes to see his instrument at his fingertips.

Randy and Simon bring at least a little bit of wisdom about the song, although they aren’t too harsh on it because apparently the songwriter is in the audience.

Danny Gokey spares us the sob story for once–maybe everyone involved finally realized how tasteless it was to keep hitting us over the head with it. Whatever it was, I’m grateful.

He’s doing “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” and is doing a surprisingly good job at uptempo material–I had him figured as a ballad singer and it’s nice to see that he can do more. It’s an energetic, kinetic performance, with a strong vocal. I thought there was no way that this was going to work, and it worked big time. Very impressive.

Michael Sarver is going to do “You Are Not Alone” in a sort-of James Ingram style. His voice is good, but not amazing and I realize the ladies likely disagree but I think he lacks charisma. He hits the glory note, though, and the crowd seems very enthusiastic.

It was a rock solid performance, but the competition is so good tonight that the judges are likely to be a bit harsh.

Simon is very positive! So is Randy! So are the Kara and Paula, but they probably weren’t paying attention to the singing.

I’m a bit surprised, but not unpleasantly. If it wasn’t quite Lil Rounds or Danny, it’s almost certainly better than Jasmine is going to be, and she’s next.

I’ve been hard on Jasmine Murray. I want to like her, but she hasn’t done a very good job singing so far. I sincerely hope she does better tonight singing “I’ll Be There.”

Apparently, everyone is bringing their A-game tonight, because this is much better than I’ve heard her before. She wisely doesn’t try to get too fancy with it, delivering a straightforward vocal that is perfect for the song. Nice work, Jasmine!

Randy, like me, is shocked that it’s pretty good. So is Kara, although she thinks Jasmine should have dropped it half a key. Given Jasmine’s troubles with low notes on other songs, I’m not sure Kara is right about that. Simon wants her to lighten up.

A pleasant surprise there. Who will be the first to bomb?

My money is on Kris Allen, who I don’t think should be here. “Remember the Time” is a curious pick–I really don’t see how this is going to work with an acoustic guitar. Give the guy credit for trying something different.

And I’m shocked again. It’s got a bit of a hippie singer-songwriter vibe to it that somehow works. The vocal isn’t brilliant, but it’s solid on the whole, and enjoyable all the way around.

The judges are by-and-large positive. Randy likes the arrangement better than Simon. I fall with Randy on this one.

Allison Iraheta is next. She’s had the best vocal in the voting rounds to date, so I’m looking forward to this. “Give in to Me” is her pick. She’s very comfortable with a Pat Benatar sort of style, and she’s got a great voice for this kind of material. A powerful, rock-the-house performance. Outstanding.

Simon points out that “we know who you are” and he’s right about that. She knows what kind of music she wants to do, and she’s very good at it. Kara especially loves the performance.

Here comes Anoop “Noop Dogg” Desai, who I liked early but at this point appears to be nothing special. He needs a good night.

“Beat it.” Oh no.

And once again I’m surprised. It isn’t brilliant or anything, but the vocal is much better than “My Prerogative” was last week. It’s the worst of the night, but only because tonight has been a very good night. That was nothing to be embarrassed about, although I confess that my expectations were not high.

The judges bring the hate–Simon says there was “no aggression,” and Paula and Randy don’t like the song choice. Kara wanted riffs. I didn’t.

Jorge Nuñez is attempting “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Jorge’s got a nice voice, but this is boring and his facial expressions are distracting. A letdown.

Randy doesn’t like the song choice, and neither does Kara. Simon really slams him good, while Paula pimps for him even though after that, he doesn’t really deserve it.

Will Megan Corkrey redeem herself? At this point, I hope so, because this once-excellent episode is going downhill quickly.

“Rockin’ Robin”!?! What are you thinking?

Once again, Megan is demonstrating that she’s nothing special as a singer. This time, though, I don’t think the judges are going to give her the unwarranted praise they’ve been heaping on her since the beginning. This is a disaster from start to finish.

And they’re praising her anyway? At least Paula feels “disconnected.” I felt connected–connected directly to hell.

Thank you, Simon, for hammering her for this. But why were you pushing her in the first place?

Adam Lambert is here to bring the camp! Even if this is a disaster, it won’t be boring…

“Black and White”? Another mystifying pick. I never thought this was a good song, and to me it marks the beginning of Michael Jackson’s decline.

After a boring opening, Adam finally gets to the glam, injecting some much needed energy, and miracle of miracles, the song ends up a success! This guy can sing, and he’s a master of the stage.

It must have sounded extra-good live, because the crowd goes absolutely nuts.

Paula’s eyes are transfixed on Adam–sorry, Paula, he doesn’t bat for your team.

Simon loves it. Randy loves it. Kara hopes MJ is watching tonight.

He’ll be around for awhile. Keep bringing the camp, Adam!

Matt Giraud had a great week last week, so I’ve moved him off my enemies list. “Human Nature” is a good pick for him, I bet.

He’s overdoing the vocal on the verse. It gets much better on the chorus, and he hits the falsetto nicely. All in all, a solid performance. He’ll stick around.

The judges like it, although Simon is more correct than the others in pointing out that it was solid but not amazing.

And finally we have Alexis Grace, who gets the money slot because the producers want her to go farther than she should. “Dirty Diana”? I don’t think her voice is big enough for this.

And for the umpteenth time tonight, I’m surprised. The bluesy edge to her voice works much better here than it did with the Aretha Franklin material that got her through the first voting round. It’s a passionate performance, and she looks striking. Hats off, Alexis, that was a big performance.

Kara and Paula love it, but Simon thinks it was over the top. Uh, Simon–have you ever heard “Dirty Diana” before? It’s not exactly a work of great subtlety.

Excellent show tonight! I thought it was going to be a train wreck, and time after time I was proven wrong. I really enjoyed it.

Come back tomorrow for power rankings, predictions, and coverage of the results show!

2 Responses to American Idol, 2009 – Episode 19 (3/10/09)

  1. Stephanie says:

    What do you think the change will be tomorrow?

  2. I think the judges are going to have the option of keeping someone who has been booted.

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