Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AI Season 8: Top 12, I mean Top 13 perform

Tonight the competition really gets started. The biggest difference from last year is that we have only seen these folks sing once before the Top 12 were selected. Well, the "winners" did get to sing again during the results night but did anyone really watch that? I didn't think so.

I had a real struggle with ranking the Top 13 for my AI pool. I ended up with the following:
1. Adam Lambert, 2. Lil Rounds, 3. Jorge Nunez, 4. Jasmine Murray, 5. Danny Gokey, 6. Alexis Grace, 7. Kris Allen, 8. Allison Iraheta, 9. Anoop Desai, 10. Matt Giraud, 11. Scott MacIntyre, 12. Michael Sarver, 13. Megan Joy Corkery

Frankly I think because of our lack of exposure to this season's Top 12 it's going to be a crap shoot with these predictions. I personally can't stand Adam but he's got some serious talent. If he loses the raven black died hair and stops trying to be a "rocker" he could go all the way.

On with the show...

The judges are introduced by some random voice dude. And they come out on stage rather than being introduced where they normally sit. What's up with that? Ryan claims it was Simon's idea. Per usual Ryan asks the judges what the contestants need to do. Randy says they have to "bring it." Kara claims she will be tough with the criticism. Paula tells the contestants to use the stage and not let it overwhelm them. Simon agreed with Paula.
We are told that 2 contestants are going home tomorrow. I'm OK with that - anything to get us down to one hour performance shows faster. The music tonight is Michael Jackson. That should be good for Kris Allen as long as he doesn't sing "Man in the Mirror" again. Regardless of the freakiness of Michael Jackson today, he still has the number one selling album of all time and has sold more than 750 million albums. Damn.

Lil Rounds is one of the Memphis ladies to bookend the show. We get to meet Lil's husband and learn more about the tornado tragedy that put them in a motel. She picks "The Way You Turn Me On" and does extremely well. Not so well with her wardrobe choice but hopefully the stylists will work more with her in the future. Lil doesn't precisely make the song contemporary but it feels more relevant with the arrangement. Randy said it was the way to kick off Season 8, Kara thinks the other contestants will be nervous, Paula compliments her clothes, and Simon thought it was good but a lazy song choice. And Simon agrees with me and hates what she is wearing.

Scott MacIntyre is up next and leads with the blind thing. OK, dude, it's now officially old. We see a picture of Scott at the piano with his creepy brother staring at him from the background. Then we hear his sisters sing and basically they suck. Scott picks, "Keep the Faith" and I don't know this song. He is much better sitting behind the piano and doesn't give off as much of a weird blind vibe (yes I am going to hell). He still misses a lot of notes and is just not that good. But he's blind so the judges will probably salivate all over him. Let's see, shall we? Kara gives him props for learning the song on the piano so quickly, Paula calls him magical, Simon hated it because it was a bad song choice, and Randy thought it was a safe performance.

Danny Gokey shows his entire family and man, there are a lot of them. His family made up songs when they were kids, how cute is that? And nary a mention of the dead wife. Good move. He selects P.Y.T which is a good song selection. Except it stuck in my head all night to the point where I was singing it in my dreams. Like last season's winner, Danny changes up the arrangement quite a bit. He still doesn't have the range of most of the other contestants but he is a great performer. Paula thinks he has a lot of gifts and said the word "finals." Simon thought the vocals were brilliant but the dancing was hideous. Just wait until he sees Megan. Danny very cutely admits that combining singing and dancing is not good for him. Randy and Kara loved it.

Michael Sarver shows us more of his oil rig job site. We see his cute daughter and hear some really thick southern accents. He picks "You're Not Alone" and proceeds to smile through the whole song. It's kind of creepy. It reminds me of a teacher I had in elementary school who was always smiling even when sending kids to the Principal's office. Michael is way better than I remember from Group A performances. I am totally regretting my rankings at this point. Simon reminds him he's not the best singer but had a lot of passion, Randy thought he was one of the best so far, Kara said he can really sing, and Paula said a lot of things that made sense individually but make her appear to be babbling when put together.

Jasmine Murray looks stunning and of course Ryan asks her about the stylists that descend on them once they make the Top 12. The girl has a great looking family. She sings, "I'll Be There" and this group of 13 is really bringing the A game tonight. She demonstrates again that she isn't just a pretty face but has a nice set of pipes too. A few sharp notes and a pretty boring arrangement but a very nice job. Randy name drops Mariah Carey and thinks she did a pretty good job. Kara is surprised by the quality of her voice, Paula commends her poise but highlights a couple of sore spots, and Simon called it a good attempt.

Kris Allen is another southerner. DH thinks he is so boring and can't believe that America voted him in to the Top 12. We find out he's been married for 5 months and wonder if she knows that he's gay. The matching aprons is a dead giveaway. He accompanies himself with a guitar to "Remember the Time." Odd choice. He's doing everything he can to sell the song but he's still boring. By the end it's a total mess and he's shouting and gesturing and it's awful. But the tweens will probably still vote his cuteness in for another week at least. Kara thought the guitar helped his performance. Somehow Simon started undressing Paula and I felt funny. Paula calls him adorably sexy. Simon called it interesting and not really suited for a guitar. Randy compared him to Jason Mraz. I scratch my head because I didn't think it was that good.

Allison Iraheta's family is from El Salvador. Apparently she sang in discount shopping centers. Hey if it was good enough for Tiffany...Allison picks "Give In To Me" and I've never heard of that song. I have no idea if this is a rock song or not but she effortlessly makes it into one. She seems much older than her 16 years. I think she did an excellent job. Paula really liked it, Simon called it a good performance and Allison made an unfortunate cutting reference. Blowing past that Randy said she can really sing. Kara told her to keep being a rocker girl.

Anoop Desai continues his transformation to cool with his wardrobe choices. His parents are adorable and he obviously has great affection for them. He picks "Beat It" which is probably the most recognizable song so far tonight and hard to top Michael Jackson on. Anoop doesn't strike me as a rocker so I'm nervous for him. He obviously decided his energetic performance from last week worked so he was going to do it here too. Not a good choice. He sounds very karaoke to me. Paula thought it was a very poor song selection, Simon called it horrible, Randy agreed it was a bad song choice as did Kara. I hope he's here next week but it's not looking good.

Jorge Nunez is going to demonstrate the Michael Jackson love. When I was younger my family sponsored some Spanish exchange students (from Spain not just generically spanish) and they all freaking loved Michael Jackson. He picks "Never Can Say Good-bye" and I've never heard that song. He is the most vocally talented guy in the competition. Randy agrees with me and questions the song selection. Kara blathers about "connecting" and basically agrees with Randy. Paula tried to engage Jorge and it didn't work probably because she can barely speak English and it's his second language. Simon called the performance corny and arrangement too old fashioned. Despite these comments I still think he'll be OK.

Megan Corkery is wearing a tight red dress showing off her crazy arm tattoo. She tells us that she's never really performed on stage before. Really? Color me shocked. The dancing makes her seem so professional. DH is impressed with the hotness level of her mom. Does Megan remind anyone else of the daughter from Charles in Charge who went on to be on Baywatch? Nicole Eggers, that's who she reminds me of. She picks "Rocking Robin" which is an interesting song choice. DH thinks she picked it because it's the only song that matches her dancing. It's a good thing that she looks like she's having fun because she is not so good at actually singing. Guys, she "cawed" at the end. There are so many things that drive me up the wall about this girl. Kara called it "very Megan," Paula likes her quirky tone, Simon called it a stupid song choice and Randy agreed with Simon. Can she be done now, America? Please?

Adam Lambert's interview showcases how gay his is. What? I'm not judging. He talks about how he basically sucked in Hollywood on his own and couldn't make it so AI is his last shot. Kind of like what he said during his first audition. Adam sings, "Black and White" and technically does a very good job. He's a little manic but so is the song so I guess it works. Paula adores Adam and both of them practically start crying over how much she loves him. Simon called it in a "different league." Randy thinks he could make a record right now and Kara loves his voice. I wonder how long it will be before I jump on the Adam bandwagon. We'll see; I'm pretty stubborn.

Matt Giraud is up next and good luck, dude. You will need it. Per usual his interview is boring. I'm regretting having him as far along as I do in my rankings. Oh well. Of course the dueling piano player accompanies himself to "Natural." Matt kind of has a very poor man's Justin Timberlake look going. Like homeless poor man. He does a good job. Randy mentions Justin Timberlake, Kara thinks he is really talented, Paula gives him like 5 adjectives and Simon thought it was very good.

The money spot this week goes to Alexis Grace. Like Lil Rounds she is from Memphis. She also has the single mom thing in common with Megan. She picks an awesome song, "Dirty Diana" and looks absolutely amazing. The song starts a little rough for me but I think it's the arrangement. Once she hits the chorus Alexis really gets going. I do worry that she is going to fall over in those heels but she works the stage well. There are a few rough spots for me but she does a good job. Kara called her a naughty girl, Paula agreed, Simon said it was over the top and Randy said it was good and liked the attitude. I'm not sure she deserved the money spot but perhaps her dress rehearsal was better?

Ryan teases us with some changes in the results show. I still won't watch the whole thing no matter what he claims. My prediction is that Megan and Anoop are going home. Who do the rest of you think are done?

SJ out.


Theresa said...

I think Jasmine is going home, and probably Anoop, unfortunately. He made a poor choice last night. I fast forwarded through Scott and Michael Sarver - too boring for me. I was most impressed with Danny Gokey, I thought his PYT was fantastic, and Adam Lambert, though I think that AI is looking for someone outside of the rocker mold this year, given that David Cook won last year.

A. said...

I'm going to guess that Anoop and Scott are going home.

Jordan said...

I'm gonna stick to my guns and predict that my #12 and #13 picks in my predictions will be going home: Megan and Jorge.

A few nitpicks. Nicole Eggert not Eggers and I believe Matt sang Human Nature not Natural. Good recap though. Not sure how you could pick Jorge #3. He's terrible.

Stacey said...

Don't forget Jorge has the Latino vote...

Mommy, Esq. said...

Do they pick the contestants order after the dress rehersal? Also, best line of your recap is "Paula tried to engage Jorge and it didn't work probably because she can barely speak English and it's his second language."

Two are going home? I hope it is Scott and Kris Allen but will probably be Jorge and Michael. My favs are Matt and Allison.

A. said...

Wow, Stace, looks like your picks are already letting you down. Of course, I didn't get any right, either!