Thursday, February 12, 2009

AI Season 8: Top 36 are selected

This is it, kids! For 2 hours we get to experience shattered dreams and inflating egos. And at the end, 54 contestants will become 36. Your Top 36. I would like to mention that I am suffering through a regular broadcast rather than my standard HD. For some reason FOX's sound was screwy on HD. It's amazing how much crappier the picture is when it's not HD. I have been completely spoiled.

DH and I are somewhat disgusted at the notion of a judges' mansion. First of all, don't the judges all have homes in the LA area anyway? Secondly, the elevator is gone! I think that is the worst part of the whole thing. Of course Ryan is still the annoying gnat buzzing around the waiting room so not everything has changed. Admittedly, the mansion is beautiful but is this the message that American Idol wants to send during our time of economic woes? I can see the producers' meeting now:

Producer #1: I know! Let's dump the somewhat luxurious hotel for a house that not a single one of our voters could actually afford!
Producer #2: Great idea! In fact, should we even allow Coke and Ford to advertise any more? Let's get Dom Perignon and Lamborghini instead!

New for this season's Chair is the "sing off." Two contestants are pitted against each other to sing for their supper. So to speak. I'm "eh" about this twist but let's see how it plays out, shall we?

Up first is NC native Anoop Desai. He seems very relaxed as he saunters into the Chair. Kara tells him he "surprised" them. He is in the Top 36. And Kara needs to work on her delivery, "I think you will be with us for Season 8." Think? It is or is not.

Von Smith is next DH immediately says, "Buh-bye". Apparently the only reason he is alive is to be on America Idol. This isn't going to work out well. He is one of the big voiced, musical theatre talents that Simon has such little love for. Von Smith falls back on his generations' habits and blames his parents for his song selection. I am disgusted that he makes it through. He brought his mom with him and she cries in happiness. Just wait until you see how he blamed you while he was in the Chair!

Ryan tells us that the judges had such a difficult time making their decisions because the talent was so good this Season. Really?

Cody is the amateur horror film maker and he totally disappeared after his first audition. Alex (slightly nerdy guy I have a soft spot for) is brought in to compete in a sing off. Cody does a terrible job. He wasn't in pitch at all. Alex is much less nervous than Cody and has a significantly better performance. The judges agree with me and Cody is out and Alex is in. Ryan tries to sympathize with both of them and fails miserably. Don't worry, Ryan, you've only had 7 years to perfect bad news/good news.

Adam Lambert still annoys me. DH think he has "the look" but I strongly dislike his musical theatre vibe and Cher performance from the last solo edition. Simon tells him that the judges liked him in Hollywood. Kara gives him a smile so you know he is in. And apparently I am going to suck at my AI pool this year because Adam is through to the Top 36.

The first girl up is Taylor who auditioned in Salt Lake City. Is she the girl who moved from Hawaii to Utah to be "discovered?" I think so. DH thinks she looks like Callie from Grey's Anatomy. Randy doesn't let her sweat long before he tells her she's in.

Also in are Jasmine Murray, Arianna Asfar, Casey Carlson (very cute, has already been on TMZ), Megan Corkery (single mom), Mishavonna, and Stevie Wright.

Joanna is up next (previously had a label deal) and we are shown clips of her constantly forgetting the song lyrics. Not surprisingly she is through and joins the other ladies in the Top 36. I predict at least one more set of forgotten song lyrics in her future. Joanna is one I think could go very far in this competition. I am annoyed at the judges constantly saying she hasn't been offered a break in the business. Um, what about her past record deals? She's made it a lot further than any of the other contestants...

TK Hash, Chris Chatham, and Reggi Reasley are all out. They never got any air time so I am not surprised.

Kendall Beard is up next and we are shown clips of her not doing well. Paula fucks with her pretty well and breaks the news that she made it.

Kristen McNamara and Jenn Korbee are going to have a sing off. Jenn is half of the married couple that made it to Hollywood Week. Her husband, Tom, was cut after first day of auditions. Jenn isn't fazed by the request to sing and belts out some country song. Kristen has a more pure country voice than Jenn but who will the judges pick? Simon keeps saying that Jenn is much more attractive and the rest of the judges give him crap for it. Kara and Paula give constructive criticism to both contestants and drag it way out. Simon tells Kristen she is through but he preferred Jenn. I'm sure that makes Jenn feel soooo much better.

Alexis Grace (cute single mom) cries a little in her interview about leaving her baby if she makes it into the Top 36. I really enjoyed her voice in her audition and think she has a unique tone. Needless to say, she is in. Looks like Gradma will be her daughter's primary care giver now!

Up next is Scott McIntyre. DH wants him to say, "This is a nice place," as he walks to the Chair. He he he. That's never going to get old because he's obviously through. Paula tries to throw some BS his way but the decision is never in doubt. At least Ryan doesn't try to give him a high five again. That was priceless!

Lil Rounds immediately follows and she is another one who is definitely through. She is a mother of 3 who lives in a motel with her family because they lost their apartment to a hurricane or tornado or something. Simon loves her and she's in. If she keeps up the good work she will be in the Top 10.

One hour down, one to go. AI loves to drag out these results, don't they? During the regular season I don't recap the results shows except to say who goes home, so don't get used to this. Between the group performances and the guest singers, the results shows are the worst. Sometimes I even go to bed and have DH watch the end and wake me up with the results. That's how boring they are.

Anyway there are 30 contestants left to be judged in the Chair. Felicia Barton, Ashley Hollister, and Devon Baldwin are all out. The first we've seen of any of them so they won't be missed.

Frankie Jordan (stay at home mom) is up for judging next. She is going to be in a sing off with Jessie Langseth. I like Jessie a lot more even before hearing the sing off. I have always coveted red hair though so that could explain my bias. Frankie is incredibly nervous and starts out pretty shakey. Jessie has a lot more "umph" than Frankie and I predict she will be the one let through despite the bad song choice. Paula confirms my prediction.

Shera Lawrence is out. Derek Lavers it out. And Simon tells them with such aplomb I want to stand up and applaud him.

Allison who has an unspellable name is 16 and we see her for the first time as she walk to the Chair. Her Hollywood clips are good and she joins the Top 36.

Danny and Jamar are up next. We get a clip package of their journey together. I really like these guys because they both seem so normal and great friends. Thank goodness the judges don't pull a BS sing off for them. Danny is up first in the Chair and he's obviously through. Jamar is genuinely happy for him. Will he also join the Top 36? Surprisingly no. DH is shocked. I kind of am too but such are the vagaries of American Idol. The entire waiting room is stunned by the decision. Jamar handles it with grace. DH calls it crap.

Ricky Brady, Matt Giraud (dueling piano player), Ju'not Joyner, Jorge Nunez (still don't get the judges love for him), and Brent Keith are all in. Stephen Fowler is up next and he totally screwed up the last solo audition when he forgot the words. Twice. But the judges are forgiving and he joins the other Top 36 guys.

Nick/Norman heads to the Chair next. He is appearing as Nick this time around and the judges miss Norman. Simon obviously didn't vote for him but he is through to the Top 36. I am baffled.

Jackie Tohn who was completely annoying during Hollywood Week thinks she did well. I think she butchered the last solo audition. Randy beats around the bush before welcoming her to Season 8. Jackie and her guitar necklace cry their way out of the room.

Jackie is hugged by Tatiana on her way back to the waiting room. We see lots of clips of Tatiana being emotional. Does she have any other mode? She does have a good voice but she's so freaking annoying! Thankfully Simon is in my corner. Tatiana babbles about the bracelet from Paula's collection that she bought and it was a "sign from God." Also a sign from God? That she doesn't make it. What? What did I just hear? Did Randy say she made it?Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I'm ignoring it and moving on quickly.

Jackie and Nathanial are going into a sing off. Nathanial and his two headbands piss me off. At least he's not wearing sunglasses over the whole mess like he usually does. Nathanial is one of the millennial generation that completely pisses me off. So entitled. I think this is the first time we've seen Jackie McKiff and he does a decent job. Kara immediately defends him. But first we need to suffer through Nathanial "look at me!" Marshall. After we hear his sob story, of course. Mom in prison for drugs, obese grandma in wheel chair, etc. I'm too full of hate for any sympathy. His voice is better than Jackie's. I'm not happy. I realize that this is a singing competition but can the judges not incorporate any of the personality factors? I just hope that America does a better job because Nathanial is in.

Sigh. At least one more week of him and Tatiana. It really might kill me.

Also joining the Top 36 are Jeanine Vailes, Kai Kalama, Ann Marie, and Kris Allen.

Matt Breitzer is a welder and Michael Sarver is a rough neck on an oil rig. Neither of these guys are people you want to screw with. So the AI producers put them through a sing off. Matt doesn't do a very good job. Michael is much better. DH thinks they are both in. Based on my count so far, he could be right. My math is good and they are both through.

And so that it, Season 8's Top 36. Now America gets to vote. Let's hope we weed out the loonies early. It might even inspire me to vote. And I never vote. The contestants will be broken out into groups of 12 and compete each week to be narrowed down. Sounds confusing. I liked the boy/girl of past seasons. Contestants will perform on either a Tuesday or Wednesday and the next day the semi finalists will be announced. Then we get the judges pick "Wild Card" episode on 3/5. And then, only then will we have our Top 12. I'm exhausted already.

Contestants have complained that if they don't get air time during auditions they are at a disadvantage when America starts voting. What do you think?

Season 8's Top 36 (don't blame me for the crappy website, it is American Idol...)

SJ out.


Mommy, Esq. said...

I was pretty upset about Jamar. I'm sure we'll get lots of recaps of his bond with his friend who did go through (and is currently my favorite - isn't it time for a geek to win?)

What is with all the musical theater people (the PR kid and that annoying toothpaste type kid) getting through? I guess we have to have someone to vote off.

Theresa said...

I am confused how it's going to work for the Top 12. So, we'll be voting for three "finalists" next week? (Well, not me, but people who vote?) So, the three highest vote getters will go through each week. Sounds brutal. But a very efficient way to get rid of Tatiana and Nathanial, I believe.

Jordan said...

Website says Joanna is out and Felicia is in due to a disqualification. May be related to her previous record deals?

When does the pool start? Final 12? I have my sleeper picks ready.

Stacey said...

That's correct. Highest boy, highest girl and then the third highest vote getter will make the Top 12. That will give us 9 and the judges pick the other 3. I am ASSUMING that the numbers will work out to be an even number of boys and girls but this is the first season where that may not be the case.

Anonymous said...

So, when are we going to hear about the tour of hospital facilities? Love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

Don't care how many hits you get because of your obession with this unimportant tv show...your father and I will be boycotting your blog until you start writing about things that really mean something not the person who will be the next artificial American Idol.

Natalie said...

breaking news: (Note: It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition. Felicia Barton has replaced Ms. Pacitti as part of the Top 36.)

and to Anonymous, you be nice to Stacey, this blog is important!!! People love it and Stacey got funny last year writing it so sit back and enjoy!