Wednesday, February 11, 2009

AI Season 8: Hollywood Week Continues

Ryan informs us we have whittled the contestants down from 103,000 to 72. I feel like we lost a couple between the last episode and this one but admittedly I suck at math. For this round of auditions contestants will perform solo, with back up singers and with instruments if they wish. Or as DH pointed out, if they are Josiah from Season 7 they dismiss the band and sing a capella. Remember that guy? He was a whiny baby and Simon showed good taste in not letting him past the Chair.

But tonight is Day 4 of Hollywood Week, Season 8. Per usual, contestants are split up into rooms and the entire room is dismissed or makes it through to the Chair for the final round of judging. There are 4 rooms total with 18 contestants in each. Now, I was a little slow on the uptake here and didn't really figure it out until the end but if you are not as math challenged as me, you will know that 3 of the 4 rooms will be safe. Why? Because AI is going with a Top 36 this season and if they dismiss 50% of the rooms there will be nothing left for the Chair to judge. And we can't have that! Of course this math should just make the contestants who are dismissed feel even worse about themselves. A 75% chance of making it to the next round of judging aren't good enough odds for them!

After Ryan tries to fake us out that we will see the results immediately, the show is "rewound" to 12 hours earlier.

Adam Lambert is up first. If you don't remember him he is the slightly goth guy with a musical theatre voice. Paula called him "unique and different." Grrrr. Here we go again, Paula. Someone can't be both unique and different. Unique is sufficient and grammatically correct. That crap drives me up the wall! I'm sure I will comment on it many times over the course of the season so prepare yourselves; it is one of Paula's favorite compliments. Adam chooses Believe by Cher. Good set of pipes but having a gay guy sing Cher is a little cliche, isn't it? He does OK and we aren't told what room he ends up in. I think it's Room 1.

Adam is followed by dueling piano player, Matt Giraud. Matt serenades the judges with Georgia On My Mind and plays the keyboard, natch. Good tone of voice and a lot of presence. He's totally through and Kara calls it hot. Again we aren't told where he ends up but I'm sure his room will be safe.

Ryan talks more about the stress in the Waiting Room. I wonder why Degree sponsors a small show like Eureka but they pass up the opportunity for a Degree moment on America Idol. Seems like good synergy to me.

Featured next are Danny and Jamar, the BFFs who have received a ton of screen time during the auditions. You remember them: Danny's wife died of a heart condition and Jamar is his cute friend who supports him all the time. Jamar picks Delilah by White T Shirts (great song and apparently 1/2 of the contestants think so too) and does an OK job. I didn't think it was a good song choice for his voice but DH thought he was great. Danny watches him from the wings. The producers are really milking this friendship, aren't they? Performing right after each other, same group in Day 1, etc. Danny sings a smaltzy song with his raspy voice and he sounds really good. Not a lot of range or big notes but he's definitely through. I think Danny has had the most air time of any potential winner yet. I predict he will easily get passed the Chair. Jamar, however, is up in the air.

Anoop sings My Perogative and has the crowd on its feet. Jorge Nunez from Puerto Rico does a decent job but I am not seeing why the judges love him. Both end up in Room 1 so I'm going to assume the contestants we've seen so far do as well.

Scott MacIntire sings I'm Going Home by Daughtry and accompanies himself on the piano. He does a good job but I'm not bowled over by his voice. But there is definitely something about this guy. Totally normal despite his physical disability. I am secretly glad he hasn't been featured too much during Hollywood Week because it implies he will go far. After his performance he tells us, "I just heard that Paula gave me a standing ovation but I didn't see that." Good one.

Also in Room 1 (I think) is Kendall, a cute blond from Puerto Rico. She picks Carrie Underwood, of course, and had a generically good country voice. She is followed by Stevie who is 16 and sings the Bubbly song I like so much. Her voice was not great. But Lil Rounds does amazing! She has the drive and the voice and will totally survive the Chair.

Ryan has a chat with Kristen McNamara from Team Compromise. Ryan fucks with her and she is not annoying. She does much better than I saw from the group round. But it's the first time we really saw her sing so it's hard to tell if she makes it.

Mishavonna who we never saw before is back at Hollywood Week for the second year. I don't recognize the song but think she does a good job. Terrible name though...

We are on next (I think, Ryan is doing a bad job with his narrative tonight) to Room 2 which includes Tatiana so you know they are toast. Too bad because it included the oil rig guy and Alex, the kind of nerdy guy. Ryan shows us a montage of all the songs that she sang for the judges. Why do you insist on deluding this girl with more air time?? The producers are mean this season. Tatiana picks a Whitney Houston song, of course, and kind of butchers it. DH is happy and yells, "Gone!" The judges are appalled. She, of course, thinks she nailed it.

Alexis Grace picks Carrie Underwood and does OK (another one of the single moms we've seen). Jasmine Murray who was good in the other clips was not good in her final audition. Also in the same group is Nathanial ("Look at me!") from Team Compromise who got way too much air time. I breath a sigh of relief that he kind of sucks. Buh-bye.

Also in Room 2 is Joanna Paciti who is totally cute and royally screws up the words. Two more contestants forgetting the words are shown. Simon doesn't let that shit through. After all, if a contestant can't learn a song in 24 hours, how will they be able to do it week after week?

Then Tatiana is removed from Room 2 and put into Room 4. Not sure what's up with that, I've never seen it before. Room 4 should be very worried right now.

Nick/Norman is highlighted next. He picks his alter ego, Norman Gentle to sing the final audition. Let me pull my Psych 101 hat on and say that it is easier for Nick to be rejected as Norman than as himself. So when there is more on the line he's not willing to actually be himself. It's a shame because he does have a very nice voice. He is put into Room 4.

Also in Room 4: Ann Marie picks I Hope You Dance and pulls a Brooke White by singing barefoot. She's pretty good. You probably remember her from her audition where Simon made her go out and get a parking lot makeover. Ju'not Joyner sings the Delilah song and we've never seen him before. I think he does a great job with his styling of the song. Could he be another David Cook with his own versions? From the short clip we are shown, I think he will make it past the Chair.

When Tatiana joins Room 4 the rest of the contestants freak. As well they should. She's an awful person. But supposedly the judges only look at voices so you never know...DH is ready to stop watching if she makes it through. But he remembers: she will never survive the Chair even if she makes it through here. So the world is right again. We are counting on you, Simon! And add to your cut list Nathanial "Look at me!" if his room makes it too.

Room 3 includes Kaylan Loyd from the Louisville auditions. She starts strong but then forgets the words. Leneshe is also from Louisville and Ryan reminds us of her sob story. Homeless, raised by a single mom, blah blah blah. She does OK but not great.

Kai Kalama in Room 2 had his voice crack repeatedly. Chin up, man, Syesha made it through when she lost her voice. Michael Sarver is also in Room 2 and is the oil rig guy. He does an OK job but doesn't wow me. Simon was smiling though which is a good sign.

Simon skips out on informing the rooms of the results. But that's got to be his favorite part! It would be mine. He he he. Although he still has the Chair to come so he'll get his kicks that way.

Room 2's decision: they are through to the Chair. I am annoyed that Nathanial "Look at me!" Marshall is one of them. Gah.

In Room 3 India (she of India/Asia audition) is shown and does not do well. That coupled with the fact that many of the contestants who forgot the words are there means we are not surprised at the results. Room 3 decision: end of the road. Included is Jason Castro's brother.

Room 1 is obviously getting through. Is anyone doubting that? Especially with Scott (bind guy), Anoop, Lil Rounds, etc.

In Room 4, Tatiana has a nervous breakdown before the judges deliver their verdict: they are in for the next round.

That means only 18 people were cut and we are down to 54. 36 make it past the Chair.

Speaking of the Chair, tomorrow is the 2 hour extravaganza. And apparently now there is a judges mansion. A hotel isn't good enough any more? Where is the hotel with the private elevator? They can't do this to me! The elevator is a key component. I need to see the contestants collapse against the wall sobbing in shame and disbelief! A long walk from the waiting room up some stairs is not going to hack it. Unless someone falls? Then I might be OK.

So tomorrow night prepare yourselves for the start of the 2 hour episodes. We will likely have those (excluding results shows) for a number of weeks until the contestants are cut down to Top 10. I am preparing myself to stay up past my normal bedtime to blog all about it.

SJ out.


Natalie said...

on behalf of all of your adoring fans, we thank you for your continued commitment and journalistic integrity. It isn't every journalist who would be willing to forego sleep during their third trimester to bring us the news that matters most and I'm just so grateful that we can depend on you. NJ out.

Mommy, Esq. said...

I didn't like when the contestants sang past Idol songs (Daughtry, Carrie Underwood) - just showed how crappy said contestant is compared to the AI stars.