Ryan is looking rather preppy tonight, don't you think? I think there was nary a flatiron in sight. And Paula looks straight out of the fake tanning spray booth, which she must have been in when the other judges had the "We are all wearing just black and white to the first live show, right?" meeting. Paula attempted to give some advice to the contestants, but didn't make any sense. The judges made some comments about Ryan's new hair do, and Simon accused him of stealing his style.
I am so excited for the nitty gritty of the show, I can hardly stand it.
And WHY do they have to do themes for these nights? Why can't they just let the kids sing what they want to? At least it's a broad theme - Hits on the Billboard Top 100 since it began.
Jackie Tohn (28, NY) A Little Less Conversation - In her interview, she was wearing some sort of 80' reject giant shoulder-padded monstrousity jacket. Her style is no better for her performance, looking like she raided Katy Perry's and Lindsay Lohan's closets. (And I'm not even going to touch the shoes with that enemble) Yes, it's bad. She sounds like a mediocre bar singer, totally sub par. Randy said he wasn't sure if he was good on the vocals, but appreciated her performance. Kara liked her big personality and ability to work a stage. Paula practically gushed over her. Simon thought she worked the stage but acted a clown, with an ungainly performance and gimicky vocal. I would agree. The booing began. Oh, and Simon also hated her outfit. Thank you, Simon, for being the voice of reason.
Ricky Braddy (26, North Carolina) A Song For You - Leon Russell. Have we ever seen this guy before? He apparently came straight from serving chicken finger to having microphone troubles in the Red Room. I think the dude is wearing a chocolate brown or dark purple velvet jacket. That's bold. He's got a really good voice, and I wish we had seen more of him before. I don't know if he is unique, even though he's good. I don't think he has much of a chance of getting through tonight, just because the other guys have gotten so much more air time. Maybe he'll be back for Wildcard Week. I really love his range, and he has a very natural tone. Some of his falsetto was really good. He got a "Yo, What's Up" from Randy, and a Dude. Kara loved it, and called it effortless and amazing, and told him he has a wonderful gift. Paula brought up the fact that Ricky wasn't featured previously, but said that he deserves to go far. Simon said it was very very good, but said he doesn't see the Star Quality or charisma in Ricky. We'll see. Ricky's parents have "Braddy Bunch" T-shirts and told everyone about TheBraddybunch.com. Hope that work out for them. You can even pre-order Ricky's iTunes debut through the site.
Alexis Grace (21, TN) Never Loved a Man - Aretha Franklin. I liked her to start with, and her daughter is adorable. I think she forgot her dress and left the dressing room in her slip. Oops. She remembered her jewelry. Once again, the back-up singers were too loud (can't they fix that), but luckily, Alexis' song needed very little back-up. She's got a great voice and is really feeling the song. Watching her, I have already forgotten about Jackie's performance. She's got a real voice on her, even if she does need help getting dressed. I love her alabaster complexion because it makes me feel better about my own. I much prefer that to the carrot-complected Hollywood regulars. Yes, Paula, I'm talking to you. Randy said that she found the soul and worked it out. Kara said the genie is out of the bottle, and appreciates how far Alexis has come, and she loves it. Paula loves Alexis' passion and confidence. Simon said that Alexis is the best tonight, by a mile, so far. He loves her confidence, and calls her a dark horse, and says he's reminded of Kelly Clarkson watching her. I could see that.
Brent Keith (29, Ohio) Hicktown. They had a technical difficulty and almost missed showing Brent's tape (Stevie Wright's came up instead, frozen.... awkward!), and instead had to walk him down to the stage before it came up. He's the one that Paula and Kara went under the table for. And that was weird. He's a cutie, and he reached out earnestly to the audience with once outstetched hand (many times). It sounded like mediocre karioke to me. There have to be better men than him here tonight. I have heard better at my local karioke bar. He was a terrible performer and I didn't feel engaged at all by him. Randy said he had a country swagger and could see him at a chili cookoff. Kara thought he played it a little safe, and wanted more range from him. Paula agreed with Kara, but thought Brent could make a great country star, like Bucky Covington and Josh Gracin. Simon said "but what has happened to Bucky Covington?" (Here's what Bucky's up to, if you care. I do not.) He said that Brent ended up being forgettable. Brent attested that he didn't think country fans would find him forgettable. He talked back to Simon. Leave now.
Stevie Wright (17, CA) You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift. She started off very weak. I think she was really nervous, and the song started way too low for her. Sorry, Stevie. I wanted her to be really good, but she totally bombed. Can I just take this moment, when I am trying to ignore how bad she is sounding, to say that I really want the legging and the skinny jean to die (again). It really is a dreadful look for almost everyone. Stevie paired her ill-advised skinny jeans with a terrible bubbly top and looked very hippy. Randy admitted that it was just not good. At all. Kara said that she wanted her to be young, but she didn't choose a good song for her voice. At all. Paula's hair looks ashen, and she also admitted that Stevie bombed it. Simon thought the others were being polite. He said at least she's gotten some experience, but said she pretty much has no chance of getting through. I hope he's right.
Hey - Neil Patrick Harris is in the audience! That's awesome!
Anoop Desai (22, NC) - Angel of Mine - Monica. Immediately, the "Noop Dawg" came out. I would really rather not. I wish he had chosen something a bit more upbeat for his showcasing song. He's got a really awesome voice, but for a ballad, I don't know if was better than Ricky's. Those damned back-up singers really need their microphones turned down. Anoop hit a couple nasal notes in the higher registers. Sadly, I don't think I'll vote for him tonight, even though I really liked him coming into this. Ricky was much better, with a better song. Paula still gave him a Standing O. Of course she did. Randy said Anoop Dawg was in the house, but said that the whole thing was kind of sharp. He's still a huge fan. Kara said it was a hard song to sing, and didn't think he nailed it like he needed to. She does believe in him, though. Paula says that America has connected with him already, and said he's got a Brian McKnight feel to him. Simon wanted to know why Anoop chose the song, and he said it was the first R&B song he remembered hearing. Simon thought it was too serious a song. Anoop said that he wanted to show he was thankful to America. Simon brought up the very valid point that Anoop has massive likeability, and maybe America should forget he sang that song and just take his thanks to heart if they want to vote for him. I don't think I will. I'm going by talent at this point, even though I loved Anoop previously.
Casey Carlson (20, MN) Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police. Before coming on the show, she worked in a Bubble Tea shop, so that's pretty cool. Bold move, trying to sing something that Sting sang. It would be one thing if she sounded good, but it's a terrible song for her voice. I was thinking earlier that Danny Gokey could rock out a Sting vocal. Casey, not so much. She attempted to do a little growl thing, but failed miserably. She breathed in all the wrong places, and sounded weak and dreadful. Randy mumbled for a second before saying it was wrong for her, and weirdly karaoke. Kara said everything about it was wrong, and that she wanted to hear her doing a girly anthem, and hated the performance entirely. Paula tried to find something good to say, and told Casey that she is beautiful, but her phrasing was weird, and didn't think that she was thinking about what she was singing (she also mentioned that Casey needs to watch the pulling faces and winking. I agree). Simon asked Casey what she thought, and she said she had fun. He said "That's good, but you sounded atrocious." This is making my voting look a whole lot easier.
Michael Sarver (27, TX) I Don't Wanna Be - Gavin Degraw. It's everyone's favorite roughneck with the adorable family. I thought he was off time with the music a little, and didn't sound rough enough (which is ironic, if you think about it). He sounded almost ... choral in parts. he did the strange bobbing dance that so many people do when they don't know what else to do. Occasionally, he squinted at the audience with feeling, I suppose. He was very very weak on high notes. I did not enjoy that at all. Randy said Michael can really sing, but didn't like the song on him, and didn't think he performed it very well. Kara thought the song was a crowd pleaser, but didn't like it for Michael. Paula thought he did a real good job, and showed a different side. She thought the switching of microphone from hand to hand was distracting. I didn't notice. I was too busy noticing I didn't like the vocals. Simon said they he likes Michael, but didn't like the song at all. He still hopes that America votes for Michael, because he wants him to do well. Can I just say that Michael looks to be on a larger scale than Ryan?
Ann Marie Boscovitch (22, TN) Natural Woman. She's the one that the judges had go out and change her look and then come back. I thought that the song choice was foolish, since no one could out do Kelly Clarkson's performance of it. That was the moment that I sat up and said "Whoah," about Kelly. Ann Marie, I wanted to like. But her strange, slightly weak vocals, pointing, and squatting, did not make me like her. Randy asked Ann Marie how she thought she had done. She thought it was pretty good. Randy did not. Kara thought that the song was too big for her, and old fashioned. Ann Marie said "Something not as good?" Don't. Talk. Back. To. The. Judges. Paula thought Ann Marie did better than in previous auditions, which makes me wonder how she made it this far. Simon thought she could win The Best Hotel Singer in California, but thought that, very simply, her voice was just not good enough for the song. At least she's pretty.
Stephen Fowler (26, OH) Rock With You - Michael Jackson. I still don't think he should have made it though after his lyric-forgetting tantrum in Hollywood. I really don't like this song, and I don't think he sang it so well. I thought in parts he was off-key, and I thought his stage presence was weak, and his breathing was off in places. His voice broke a bit in his long high-note hold. It was totally boring, in my opinion. Why didn't Jamar make it instead of him? I am angered. Randy said he didn't get the vibe of the song, and didn't think it was the joint for him to be singing, and he was all pitchy. Kara said she got more from him when he was at the piano and forgot the lyrics. Stephen said he is more comfortable with a piano. Paula said at least he remembered the lyrics. Simon said he wished that Stephen had forgotten the lyrics because it was a terrible arrangement, and a really pointless performance. He called it corny, and I totally agree. Bye, Stephen.
Tatiana Del Toro (24, Puerto Rico) Saving All My Love For You - Whitney Houston. Please let this be the last time we ever see her. Her dress is cute. She's got a good voice, but her mic seemed too quiet. I don't care how good she sounds, I can't handle watching her on tv any more. She had a couple rough notes in there, but finished with a nice high note run. After the night's sucky women (except for Alexis), she sounded good. I still don't care. Randy thought she had moments. Kara thought it was a roller coaster, but wondered if Tatiana fits anywhere. Paula said that Tatiana is the most talked about person on the show so far (not always good, but most talked about). The reserved Tatiana is unfamiliar. Simon said that Tatiana is a complete and utter drama queen, who wants fame more than anyone he's known (except for a dig at Paula). She said that she looks at marketing as a business, and wants to market herself. Simon said surprisingly, the vocals were not bad, but said that the demure Tatiana was weird and made him nervous. Tatiana tried to sell the idea that her laughing was completely out of character. I don't believe her. She's trying to get into the Top 12. She tried to say that he bizarre behavior was because she was nervous and a multifaceted woman. Go away, Tatiana. I'm voting for Alexis.
Danny Gokey (28, WI) Hero - Mariah Carey. Finally! Please don't disappoint! They gave Danny the pimp slot. Why is he singing Mariah f-ing Carey? He did well with it, but I wish he had sung something more rocking. Paula stood up immediately to bop strangley. I can hear that this song has a lot of meaning to him, and he did really well bringing his all to the bridge. His falsetto was nice. I wish he had sung something else, but I'm voting for him and wishing him the best. Randy called him the Redeemer of the Night and said it was blazing hot. Kara said it was great and gave everyone hope. Paula said he was wonderful and predicted sold-out arenas. Simon thought it was good, but thought the arrangement was heavy handed.
Remember, to vote, it's 1-866-IDOLS-##
My votes are for Ricky (02), Alexis (03), and Danny (12).
If Tatiana gets through, I am going to be very angry. Very.
What did you think?