The opening was all fancy with Announcer Guy introducing the judges and Ryan as they were revealed Price Is Right Style. Ryan picked on the judges about it (mostly Simon). I think it was fun seeing Paula teeter across the stage. The stage is set with truly seizure-inducing lights, and the camera work to show off the whole thing was dizzying.
The judges warned every one of the 13 finalists to be on their game.
The 13 were introduced, and Scott was escorted across the stage by his brother. Simon announced that this week is going to be the double elimination.
Cut to the clip package of when Michael Jackson used to be a black man. Good times, good times. Now, he's a melting wax statue of himself.
Lil Rounds (The Way You Make Me Feel) - Starting off the night, Lil gets more back story, including three kids, sweet husband, devastating tornado and a leveled house, including a stay in an extended stay hotel. Unfortunately, Lil made her stylist angry for some unknown reason and ended up wearing white Mom Jeans and what looked like it could have been the bodice of a dreadful bridesmaid dress. The song was not good for her voice. Can't think of anything that would have been particularly good, though. It was an awkward arrangement and I hated it. Randy said yo, this is the way to start off Season 8, claiming to love it. Kara also thought that she was making others nervous with that performance, and she hopes to hear Lil on the radio. Why are the judges liking this? Paula liked Lil's whole look (I don't understand), and said it was like angels singing. Simon thought it was a bit of a lazy song choice, and he got booed. He also hated her outfit. Thank you Simon, for being the voice of reason. I am very disappointed in Lil, but more with the theme than with her necessarily.
Scott MacIntyre (Keep the Faith) In case you forgot, Scott is nearly completely blind, and he plays the piano. His sister is also visually impaired. As I expected, Scott got himself behind a piano. I have never heard the original of this song, but he got people clapping their hands above their heads. He sounded much stronger behind the piano. I still find his voice kind of nasal, and his falsetto got really shrill. He's a great piano player, I'll give him that. Kara was impressed with Scott's piano skills, and thought that the song showed his hopeful message, and the fact that he is true to himself every week. Bold statement for the first week. Paula called it magical and lovely. The song's composer is in the audience and Paula said that she was sure she loved it. Simon apologized to the composer, because he hated the song, because no one knows it. Scott said he wanted to be artistic, and Simon said that's fine, but you don't need to be artistic on this show. Randy called it safe, and said he wanted more sparks. Paula blathered on about the song being number one in Norway, saying Simon gave her scout's honor and shook on it. I don't think anyone cares.
Danny Gokey (PYT) He's got a huge family, and a very musical family, who made up songs to get kids to do stuff. I tend to do that, too. No mention of his late wife, which is a good thing. He started out slow and soft, and then rocked it up a bit and got his groove on. Thank you, Danny. This is so much better than Guarini's version. He's got a great voice, and I love the tone to it. He also rocked out some decent movement on the stage. I want to love you, Danny. Thank you for making it easy. Paula said the true mark of an artist is to hear someone with your eyes closed and know who they are. She predicted he would be in the finals, with tears in her eyes. Simon called the vocals brilliant, but thought his dancing was hideous. Danny admitted that he has troubles combining singing with dancing. Simon said it doesn't matter, because he still loves him. Randy loved it all. Kara said Danny has joy. He's wonderful. And he's adorable. I'm so happy he was good.
Michael Sarver (You Are Not Alone) Remember he works on an oil rig? Don't forget that - he's a Roughneck, America. His family is sweet, too. He just doesn't have a very pleasant voice. He gritted his teeth through the middle notes, and sounded strained. He reached for the notes, and managed to find most of them, but not before he got really froggy with an unpleasant tone. It was verging on painful. He sounded constipated and droning. I hated every second of that. The last note saved it a little, but only a very little. Simon admitted that Michael is not the best singer, but says he has passion and heart. Randy is happy about the R&B swagger and dubbed Michael one of the best tonight. At number 4. Kara said it showed her that he really can sing. He can hit the notes, but the tone is just bad, in my opinion. Paula says he's a likeable regular guy, and admired his song choice. I don't hear what they heard. Michael reminded everyone that he'd rather be singing than be on an oil rig.
Jasmine Murray (I'll Be There) Jasmine has a lot of sisters, and her mom is with her, because she's a minor. It's a good song choice for her, and he dress is cute and young. She is much more pleasant to listen to than Lil was tonight. She does tend to get throaty on some of her notes, and I couldn't tell if she was off key in the strong notes, or if it was just a shrill tone. Still, it was a nice performance and much better than I expected. Of course, Randy dropped names, because he recorded that song with Mariah Carey, and said she had some big shoes to fill, and said it wasn't that bad. Kara continues to be surprised by Jasmine's voice, though wondered if a half key down might have been in a more comfortable range. I agree. Paula liked her poise and stage presence. Paula actually noted that she had a few off key moments. Simon said that Jasmine needs to lighten up a bit, and it was a bit robotic, but said it was a nice attempt. I'd agree with that.
Kris Allen (Remember the Time) His wife is stunning. He's got a guitar for the song and he is cute. It was a current rendition of the song I thought. He has a nice voice. Unfortunately, I think he kind of fell apart near the end, which was a shame because he was doing so well. Kara admitted that the girls love Kris, and is happy to see him with his guitar. She also noticed that some notes were off, but said it was ok. Kris also apparently helped the other contestants out with their songs this week, which is awesome. Paula said that no one knows Michael Jackson's catalogue more than anyone in the competition, and called him adorabley sexy. Simon called it interesting, but thought it was somewhat clumsy with the guitar. He also thought that Kris might have done better if he hadn't brought his pretty wife out so early. Pretty wife in audience didn't look pleased with that comment. Randy said it had a Jason Mraz vibe. I could see that.
Allison Iraheta (Give Him To Me) Her family is from El Salvador, and there was a video of her singing when she a very small child and she was awesome then. She's seemed to decide to be the rocker this year, and she's doing a convincing job of it. I am not familiar with the song, but she sounded very polished and I just love her tone. Sometimes her ennunciation could have been better. It was a little mumbly. Paula said that it's amazing that she's 16, and said that she's a complete rockstar and she loves her hair. Simon said it was a good performance, and it's clear what kind of artist Allison is, although he wanted her to lighten up. Randy said if you've got it, you've got it, and said to check it out, she's the one to watch. Kara loves her as the rocked out girl. I think I do, too. She's way better than so called rocker girls in past seasons. Her hair looks much better tonight, that's for sure.
Anoop Desai (Beat It) Anoop's parents are adorable, and they encouraged him to learn as much about Indian culture as possible. I'm glad that he's singing something upbeat. He got into the audience, and he had fun on stage. His voice is very appealing, even though he had a couple bum notes in there. I can forgive him them. I just like Anoop. Paula didn't like his song choice, calling it an untouchable song. Simon thought it was horrible, and said he looked stupid on stage. Randy said it was the wrong choice. Kara said that the problem was that he didn't change the song up at all, and felt disconnected. See, here's why I hate the narrow theme nights. You tell them to sing a Michael Jackson song, and then criticize them for singing a Michael Jackson song. And Simon complained that Scott sang an unknown song. For heaven's sake. I see where they were coming from, but still... I'm rooting for Anoop.
Jorge Nunez (Never Can Say Goodbye) He has a huge family, and his being on American Idol has helped the family come back together after the death of his grandfather. He dug into the Jackson Five catalogue to get this song, and I admit that he has a good voice, but I thought the song was dreadful and bleating. I hated the song. Randy said he has mad love for Jorge, but wouldn't have chosen the song, because it seemed old fashioned. Kara said she wanted more emotional connection, and wished he had sung She's Out of My Life (which was my pick for him). Paula worried that he wasn't himself in the song, and he flip flopped during the week on song choice, but at least he didn't sing Bad. Simon quipped "You sort of did," called it corny, out of his depth, with a terrible arrangement. He said he couldn't wait for it to end. Me either.
Megan Corkrey (Rockin' Robin) She is totally stunning, but it looks like someone snuck up on her and glued a giant flower to her dress. Holy cow, her mother is also gorgeous. Megan can also rock dark hair, and she has an absolutely beautiful son. She found the best song for her voice. She rocked those little wiggly hips. Her voice reminds me of Zoe Deshanel. If anyone else had sung this song, it would have been ridiculous, but Megan's bluesy influence made it grand. I enjoyed that. Until the bizarre ending caws. So strange. But still cute. Kara said it was So Megan. Paula loved the quirky and unique tone. She worried that she was a bit disconnected with the song. Randy said they have established that they like her, but thought it was a stupid song choice with a clumsy and awkward performance. Randy didn't like the song choice at all. They asked Gordon Ramsey in the audience what he thought, but he had no mic, so that was a stupid thing to do. Well, the judges didn't like it, but I did. So there.
Adam Lambert (Black and White) He's been trying to make it for a long time in the entertainment business. I get it. I don't get why everyone loves him. His voice is shrill and unpleasant in my opinion. It was a good song choice for what he does. Paula was standing up. I was not. The lighting people are rooting for him and gave him some strobe. They only do that with people they like. I'm sick of his emo hair and his screaching already. The judges are going to kiss his feet. Paula said never in the history of AI have they had anyone so comfortable and seasoned on stage as he is. She is forgetting David Cook, Daughtry, etc. and loved him. Simon said it was a totally different league than anyone else. Randy said he is the most current of anyone. It's the emo hair that makes them love him. Kara loved him and said he hit notes that she didn't know existed. To me, that's not a good thing. WHY DO THEY LOVE HIM? I don't get it. He is comfortable on stage, but I just do not enjoy his voice. At all.
Matt Giraud (Human Nature) His parents are cute. Matt is behind the piano, and is more comfortable there. I think the song is a little low for him in the beginning. It's a great song, though, which I'd forgotten about (I had the Madonna song Human Nature stuck in my head when I saw the title... much different song). Matt did a lot of falsetto, which I don't know was a good choice. It was just so so for me. Randy said it was a very good song choice, and Kara said he's very talented and hopes to see him. Paula was blown away. Simon called it a meat and potatoes nice solid performance. I'm rooting for Matt, certainly above Overrated Adam.
Alexis Grace (Dirty Diana) She got her blues from Memphis, her hometown. Her daughter is absolutely adorable. Lots of parents this season. She taught her daughter to say "Seacrest out." I love it. Great song choice for her, though some of the phrasing was a little clipped. She owned the stage. The lighting people kept her very dimly lit. I wanted to see her more. Even when she wasn't quite all there vocally, I still loved it. I think she forgot her pants. She seems to have trouble remembering her whole outfit. If she didn't forget her pants, her skirt was short enough to be nearly embarrassing. Kara said that she was a naugty girl, and she loved it. Paula warned her not to oversing, but loved it. Simon said he thought it was good, but probably not as good as she thought it was. Randy quickly said it was good, not great, because they were running over. I think she is still one of my faves. 1-866-IDOLS-36 is Alexis' number, to get past all of the porn lines, I guess.
Who did you like best? Who do you think is gone? Remember, two are going. I loved loved loved Danny (03), Allison (07), Megan (10), and Alexis (36). I will also throw a couple votes in for Kris (06)because he is so talented and, yes, adorably sexy. I think Michael is in serious jeopardy, and Jorge was pretty bad. I absolutely hated Adam, but I think America likes him for some unknown reason. I think that Lil had a very weak performance, but she is good and should stick around for a bit longer at least.
Can't wait for Kelly to perform tomorrow! Show them how it's done!