It's the time for the CHAIR OF DESTINY. And this year, the judges have royal looking thrones instead of the business-like table. I think I like it.
First up is Anoop Desai, whom I love. The judges all love him, and he's through. Randy is going to have fun with his name.
Von Smith is up next. There's no elevator, and he entered the ornate judging room (is it in a palace? A museum?). He brought up the moment in Hollywood when Simon called his singing an indulgent child, but said that he took ownership of what he did, and made his own decisions in the end. Simon said that his final song decision made up their minds, and he's through.
They are doing sing-offs for possible finalists. I like it. Very Zoolander.
Cody Sheldon sang Love Remains the Same, by Gavin Rossdale, and he was off key all over the place, I thought, and I don't like the tone of his voice particularly. It's a beautiful song, and he didn't make it beautiful.
In the Sing Off with him is Alex Wagner-Trugman. He sang Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, and reminded me very much of Clay Aiken.
The winner of the sing-off is Alex, and I think deservedly so.
Adam Lambert is up next (and I hope his Liza Minnelli impersonation didn't turn them off. It turned me off a little, and I loved him before that). He appreciated the chairs, and Paula said they are holding court. I wish that they had the room decorated with frescoes of previous seasons. That would have been funny. Back to the matter at hand, Adam is through.
Taylor Vaifenua messed up early in Hollywood, but got her groove back at the end, and sounded quite good. It was enough to redeem her, and she's through. She's a very pretty girl, too.
Jasmine Murray is also through, as is Arianna Afsar, Casey Carlson, Megan Corkrey, Mishavonna Henson, and Stevie Wright.
Since they put those people through with absolutely no fanfare, they must be saving padding time for other things.
Like the wretched Tatiana. Ugh. Must they?
Joanna Paciti had a terrible time in Hollywood remembering lyrics. Still, she is through. I am glad, because she's got a lot of talent. The judges urge her to bring her all from now on. I agree.
TK Hash, Chris Chatman, and Reggi Beasley are quickly dispatched. And we hardly ever saw them before, so I'm not surprised.
Kendall Beard looks to be the cute country girl for this season. Paula told her that he song choices were boring, even though she had the whole package seemingly. Paula tried to fake her out, but in the end, Kendall is through.
Never saw Jenn Korbee, who made it to Hollywood with her husband (but he was cut), but she is in a sing off, and did a lovely job with Not Ready to Make Nice.
The second contestant in the sing off is Kristin McNamara. She sang I Will Always Love You, which I thought was going to be a dreadful problem, but she has a great octave transition. Very natural. I like her.
In deliberations, Simon was arguing about letting through the prettier girl (Jenn), but some of the other judges were rooting for Kristin (Randy called her more interesting). Kara told Jenn that she doesn't connect well to the songs emotionally. Paula questioned Kristin's sense of style (which was kind of terrible), but she is through, even though Simon disagreed vehemently.
Alexis Grace is up next, and she is through, and will be separating from her daughter for a while. She's lovely, and I love her daughter. What a cutie.
Scott McIntyre is up next, and the judges think that he is much better behind his piano. He's through. He's just so-so for me.
Lil Rounds (who I think is totally overrated, personally) is through easily. The judges love her. I'm not sure why. The girl has a good voice, but I don't care for it. Maybe she'll prove me wrong.
(I swear, Seacrest just called her Lowell)
Felicia Barton (who I don't think we ever saw) is out, as is Ashley Hollister (did we ever see her?), and Devon Baldwin (a beautiful girl, who I don't remember).
Frankie Jordan started well, but had some issues in Hollywood. She is in a sing-off with Jessie Langseth. Frankie sang a song I am not familiar with, and was super shaky, especially in the beginning. Simon said "That's definitely made it easier, Frankie," and I don't know if that's good. Jessie sang a different song I am not familar with, but I think she sounded ok. Simon hated Jessie's song choice. Simon didn't want to keep either of them after the sing-off. Paula told them that they both sang terrible songs, but Jessie is through. Simon said "Frankie, if it's any consolation, you didn't have a chance of winning." Ouch. I don't know if he had to go there. I do think they made the right decision with this sing-off. Jessie sounded better.
Seacrest brought up the lack of the elevator this season, but insists that the emotion is still there.
This year, there are stairs. Maybe someone will be overcome with emotion and faint, tumbling down those stairs. Maybe Tatiana?
Sherra Lawrence and Derik Levers are both gone, and since I never saw either of them before that I remember, I don't care.
Allison Iraheta (who is just 16), is through to the Top 36. She's cute, and could be good. The judges say she has raw, natural talent.
Danny Gokey is so good, and I really love him. So do the judges. Danny is happily though. I hope to get the chance to vote for him. (How is that working this year?)
Will his friend Jamar Rogers join him? Kara questioned some of his decisions in Hollywood - and I think his odd rendition of Hey There, Delilah was his downfall. How bittersweet for Danny! There was much shock in the holding room. I'm not totally shocked. He wasn't as good as Danny.
Ricky Braddy got through, as did Matt Giraud, and Ju'not Joyner, Jorge Nunez, and Brent Keith.
What about Steven Fowler, who flubbed his very last song, and walked off stage? They are giving him another chance, and I hope they don't regret it. He has a very good voice, is he can get over his nerves.
Seacrest called Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle the craziest contest of Season 8.
I beg to differ.
Tatiana is a complete nutjob. Probably certifiable. Nick is just a bit strange and eccentric.
Nick said that he would do anything to get through to the next round. He said he would wash Simon's 12 cars, be Paula's butler, or wear a bikini like Bikini Girl. He was too serious (and too Nick and not enough Norman?) for the judges in the judging room, and he said he wanted to make people laugh and entertain them with song, too. Begrudgingly (for Simon), Nick is through. I'm kind of happy. He's got talent in there, and Norman is funny... but I'd rather he be Nick most of the time.
Jackie Tohn thought that she did pretty well in Hollywood. In the clip they showed, I thought she was kind of flat. Still, she's through. They are giving her a chance.
(My DVR cut out for a bit - and I missed Tatiana!!! Was that the way my dvr had of loving me back? I have a sinking feeling that she got through... it came back on to...)
Nate (and talk about wretched style decisions) had a sing-off with another dude (named Jackie) who I don't recognize. I only heard Nate, and he did a good job with vocals. He is through. He needs to do something about his love for headbands which rivals only Norman's.
Jeanine Vales (who I don't remember seeing) is through. Kai Kaloma is also through (and I like him). In rapid fire mode, Ann Marie Boscovitch and Kris Allen are also in.
Matt Briezke and Michael Sarver are in a sing-off. I much prefer Matt. He sang a song I didn't recognize, but he has such a nice tone to his voice. Simon asked him why he chose that song, and Matt said "I love that song." Simon quipped back "I don't." Oh well.
Michael sang another song I don't know, but did a good job with it. I think he did a better job that Matt, actually. Marginally, but better.
My husband totally called it. They let both of them through.
And in the holding room with the Top 36, I see Tatiana.
Why must you torture me, American Idol?
Just, please, please, please, let her be gone soon.
What do you think of the Top 36? Did you like the sing-offs? I really thought they were awesome.
The first group of 12 is
Ann Marie Boscovitch
Tatiana Del Toro
Anyone know how many people go through from each round? I think 4. If that's true, before hearing them next week, I am hoping for Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai, Ann Marie Boscovitch, and ... maybe Stevie Wright to go through.
The fun part of American Idol is coming. I promise, my recaps will be more reviews once we get into it. At this point, I'm just trying to get everyone's names right!