Ryan welcomed us to a Very Special Episode of American Idol. I wonder if this show is going to turn into Blossom.
Jesse Langseth (26, Minnesota) Tell Me Something Good. She is looking sultry, that's for sure. I am not sure how the original song starts (I have mostly heard the chorus), but she seemed a little off. I don't think it was very pleasant to listen to, sadly. I had high hopes for Jesse, but this was kind of a mess. Showing your range does not mean singing all the notes you can possibly sing, even if they don't belong in a song. It was a dreadful song choice. Randy said it was an interesting song choice, but said that she had some "interesting note choices." That's a way of saying that she kind of sucked. Kara said that she likes Jesse's swagger. Paula said that she likes her tenacity and thinks that Jesse did well. Simon admitted that Jesse was the last minute change, and liked this a lot better than her first one. I did not. He did think it was a rather indulgent choice, and all about her. Paula argued with him for a bit.
Matt Giraud (23, Kalamazoo) Who's Loving You - Jackson 5. He looked like he rushed in from the cold, still wearing a jaunty hat and poorly chosen scarf. His vocals sounded quite good. He got a lot of feeling into the song, and looked very comfortable on stage. His falsetto was pretty darned good. See, Alex, this is how you do the growly thing without looking like a confused boy. Kara is glad to see the return of the bluesy soulful Matt, and even though his riffs were a bit over the top at times, she loved it. Paula urged him to stick with what he is good at. Simon interrupted her multiple times for no real reason. Simon liked it "a billion times better" than the other performance, and hated what he was wearing, and worried that some of his movements were a bit Taylor Hicks. Randy loved what he just did, dawg, and said that it was a competition.
Megan Corkrey (23, Utah) Black Horse and a Cherry Tree. You just can't stop her hips. She did try, I think, but in the woo-hoos, they got to moving. A bit less flaily than before, so that was good. It was a different take on this song, and the girl certainly has an interesting and unique tone. Oops, there go her shimmies. Her last note was kind of screechy, but I still like her. I do lover her very long hair. Paula had fun watching her, and called her dancing quirky, and thinks that she picked the right song. Simon thinks that she's terrific, current, quirky, and original. Randy said it wasn't the best vocal, but loved the song choice. Kara said that she thinks that the show needs her, for the variety, and I would tend to agree. (I do like Katherine McPhee's version better, for the record, but this was much different.)
Von Smith (22, Missouri) Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word. He's got a voice, but something about him is offputting to me. I hated the sharpness of his ending. It wouldn't be a travesty if he got through, but I was bored. Simon said that Von is beginning to become a bit boring, serious, and earnest. Randy missed the hat. Kara is sad because Von has what it takes, but hasn't hit his stride. Paula said that she's been studying the way he performs, and he when he is too concerned about the notes, he isn't as magical, but when he isn't overthinking, he soars. Paula is making some serious sense lately! It's like bizzarro-land.
Jasmine Murray (17, Mississippi) Reflection - Christina Aguilara. I hold by my opinion that Jasmine is highly over rated. Her ennunciation is strange, and she's very froggy to me. She can hit the notes, but I don't like the way her voice sounds. She also said that she wouldn't hide it from her "art" instead "heart." That bothered me. She sounded much better near the end when she got softer and less shouty, because it was a nice tone. Randy thought the song was too big for her, but much better than before. Kara said that she is confused, because she didn't know that Jasmine had this big a voice. She was prepared to criticize song choice until she had a listen. Paula said that she did a wonderful job. Simon said it was pretty special, especially considering what they heard before. Paula got in Simon's face, and gave Simon and Indian Sunburn on his arm. What? I don't like Jasmine so much.
Ricky Braddy (26, NC) Superstitious. I'm glad to hear something upbeat. I don't like boys (or almost anyone, actually) wearing skinny jeans, but I can forgive him. He sounded wonderful. He put a good performance, and Paula was up and clapping. He did get a bit screachy near the end, but I can forgive that, too, because the rest was so so good. I think this is going to be a boy-heavy top 12. Kara said that they knew he could sing his butt off, and tonight was about showing his personality. Paula loves the way he loosened up, and said that he nailed it and had fun. Simon said that he sounded good, but thought the song was karaoke and lightweight, with a clumsy performance. Randy says Ricky can really blow, but thought the song was a little self-indulgent.
Tatiana Del Toro (Crazytown) Saving All My Love For You. Where did her accent come from? Seriously? In her interview, she was full latina lady, which I never heard before. So strange. She's a psycho. And, when she began shinging, she was shaving all her love for you. It seemed really weak in the beginning, and though she has power in her voice when she belts, and she really does have a nice voice, I can't handle her. Like her accent, her Sean Connery-esque ennunication was gone by the middle of the song. And, as before, her final run was about 3 or 4 notes too many. Paula said that Tatiana grew an accent, and Tatiana said that she is like Jorge and can only think in Spanish when she's excited. Sure she did. Paula wished that she hadn't repeated the song, but admitted that she can sing. Simon said it's the same song that she has sung twice before, and wondered why she didn't choose a different song. Tatiana said that she couldn't clear any other song in one day, which Simon aptly called rubbish, and he wondered if she would just keep singing the song in different styles if she is sent through. I think that Tatiana is trying to pull the latino community into her fan base by putting on that accent that we have never heard before, and we've certainly heard her talk enough, in distress and otherwise, that I think if it was a natural accent, we'd have heard it before now. Kara and Randy wondered what they were watching, and said it was like being on board the Tatiana ship. She's a whack job. There was an awkward moment with Ryan that I'm not wanting to talk about.
Anoop Desai (22, NC) My Perogative. This song is much much better for him, and showed that he is fun and up beat, and that he has a great set of pipes. Paula was up dancing for him. I like Anoop. He has redeemed himself to me after his first dreadful performance. I think it is his perogative. The crowd went wild. I wonder if they are trying to send a message to the judges - Don't vote for Tatiana! Simon said that he is like an excited dog, and sees that people like him, even if he doesn't have the best voice, but this is the Anoop they liked before. Randy said that he sang this before (in Hollywood?), but that he slayed it this time. Kara said that she was fighting the urge to dance, but thought that it was the best he has ever sounded. Paula called him a showman, and thought he was getting a little nasty (in a good way) in his dance moves. I missed that. Simon wished that he'd heard another song.
So, who is going through? I am hoping for Anoop, Megan, and Ricky. I worry that Tatiana is going to make it though instead of one of them. Can I just make my plea right here? America - if Tatiana gets through, PLEASE, let's make her stay short.
Jasmine is called up first, and she is through. Ok, so I am wrong. Right off the bat. Now, I am hoping for Anoop and Megan. Please.
Ricky is not through.
Megan and Tatiana are pulled up together. Tatiana is crying and clutching Megan dramatically. Paula says it's not over for either one of them, and urges them to continue the dream.
Oh, I am so thrilled right now.
Tatiana is GONE.
Megan is IN.
Poor Megan didn't even get to celebrate properly, as Tatiana threw herself into Megan's arms sobbing, and then dropped to the ground crying in front of the judges. Paula told her that she would be a good singer, and a good actress some day. No, thank you.
I am actually stunned (and happy in the happiest of ways) that they didn't keep her around to ramp up the crazy factor. I'll take Megan's crazy dancing for that, please.
Luckily, I was taping Hell's Kitchen, because American Idol went over.
Jesse is out, but Simon said that she nearly made it, but didn't. That's small comfort. She took the news better than Tatiana did. Von is also out.
It's down to Matt and Anoop. They chose Matt!
AND - They decided to make it a Top 13!!! Anoop is ALSO THROUGH!!!
Are they going to eliminate two people in one week?
This is awesome. I am thrilled.
And next week, Kelly Clarkson is on. Sweet.