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Feb
26

American Idol: Second 12 of 36 Compete

   Posted by: admin   in News

I love Simon Cowell for many reasons: He’s almost always right, and while he can be a bit too harsh at times, he doesn’t drown the contestants in useless platitudes either. When Seacrest asks the judges to give this second group of 12 advice for tonight, Kara blah blahs on about “bringing it,” and “doing their best,” while Simon tells them that it’s too late for advice– because it kind of is.

They’ve already chosen their songs, which is one of the most important, if not the most important factor in how well they’ll do tonight. All you can really tell them at this point is “don’t suck.” Let’s see how many of this twelve actually don’t suck– I’m sincerely hoping it will be more than last week, because if not, it’s going to be a long two hours.

Jasmine Murray is first up. She really impressed me during the auditions, so I have high hopes for her tonight. She’s singing “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles. I really like her attitude, but she just seems way too … sassy for this song, if that makes sense. If you’ll permit me to make an awkward Grey’s Anatomy reference, this song is Lexie Grey, but she’s definitely performing it more Meredith Grey, if that makes sense to anyone but me. Randy agrees with me and also calls it “pitchy” all the way through. Kara tells her that she started too low (which I also agree with). Paula agrees with the first two judges, but praises her confidence. Simon is disappointed and says that she doesn’t have a great voice, which I disagree with. I think she just chose the wrong song.

Dueling piano player, Matt Giraud sings “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay, that really annoying song that I always hear in the grocery store. He’s another one who I liked in Hollywood week, but this performance was really weird for me. He was good, but I don’t know if the arrangement was weird or what, but the whole thing was just kind of uncomfortable. Kara tells him that it was the wrong song choice, Paula agrees, but tells him that he brought it. Simon says his performance was horrible and turned him into a wannabe pop star. Randy tells him that he’s still pulling for him, but needs to sing more difficult songs.

Jeanine Vailes is singing “This Love” by Maroon 5 and seems to be having the same problem Jasmine did, in that she’s singing a simple song too powerfully. She’s also having trouble keeping up with the music and seems really off-tempo to me. Paula can’t manage anything other than “you’ve got great legs” and, “it’s season 8.” Simon goes right to, “it’s terrible.” Randy tells her that the best part was the end because it was over, while Kara just says that it was “overdone.”

Okay, I know a lot of people don’t like Nick Mitchell and don’t believe that he belongs in this competition, but I love him. His Norman Gentle character is completely ridiculous and I haven’t the slightest idea how he’ll have an actual recording career, but he’s one of the only genuine entertainers I’ve seen so far in this competition. When he is on the screen, I’m completely captivated. Plus, he actually has a really good voice. He’s singing “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going,” (which is genius) and Simon has no idea what to do with it. He says that he prays he doesn’t go on to the next round. Randy calls it one of the most entertaining performances ever. Kara says that she enjoyed him, and Paula calls him a true performer, although she doesn’t know if this is the stage for him.

Allison Iraheta‘s pre-performance interview is one of the most painful things I’ve seen recently. That, coupled with the fact that she looks like a Hot Topic exploded on her, doesn’t make me very hopeful for her performance. She’s singing “Alone” by Heart, and she starts off really well. I’m really impressed until she gets to the chorus and sounds like a screechy cat. However, she has a lot of natural talent and the screech factor can probably be fixed. Randy tells her she blew it out of the box, Kara says that she’s “serious,” Paula tells her she can sing the telephone book, while Simon tells her she’s the best tonight by a clear mile.

Kris Allen is bravely (stupidly?) singing “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. He slows it down and makes it more soulful, and I don’t hate it. In fact, I think he does a pretty damn good job with it. Kara, however, is disappointed and calls it the completely wrong song. Paula completely disagrees with Kara and tells him that he nailed it. Even Simon agrees with Paula, which earns a kiss from her. Randy is impressed with the fact that he did so well without his guitar.

Megan Joy Corkrey sings “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae, and while she seems to be enjoying herself, it’s underwhelming. She clearly doesn’t know what to do with her body and she just sounds, dare I say, pitchy? The last note is great, though. Paula loves her, and tells her she did everything right. Simon says that it started out really well, but she became a little “shouty” in the second part of the song. Randy wants to see her in other rounds, and Kara calls her a “package artist.”

Matt Breitzke sings Tonic’s “If You Could Only See” and kind of creeps me out. He also loses points with me by completely missing the point of the song when he says it’s about true love. And for dancing like my dad. Simon tells him that he really likes him, but absolutely hated the song. Randy calls the performance boring, while Kara tells him that it fell really flat. Paula tells him that he has a great voice but it didn’t come together.

Jesse Langseth
is singing “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. I hate to say it, but I honestly think Gwyneth Paltrow did a better job. This just didn’t do it for me in any way. Randy tells her that it was an “okay” performance. Kara praises the fact that she took risks. Paula calls her captivating and calls her phrasing “unique.” Simon calls her “forgettable.”

Kai Kalama is another one who stood out for me during auditions. He’s singing “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,” which is a great song. It’s soulful and although he may be taking the whole “flirting” thing a little far, I think he does a great job with it. Kara, however, calls the song “a little old-fashioned.” Paula calls him “quite the performer,” but says he fell off pitch a little bit. Simon says the performance was “corny,” while Randy agrees with Simon and says it was “so safe.”

Mishavonna Henson sings “Drops of Jupiter” by Train. She slows it down and even though I don’t like this song very much, she does a pretty good job with it. Paula says she sang the song well, but the song didn’t excite her. Simon says she’s very serious and while she’s technically a great singer, something left him cold. Randy says she sounds a lot older than she is. Kara wants her to loosen up.

Adam Lambert
is closing the show with The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” and maybe this is just personal preference, but I hate it so much. It’s theatrical and creepy and over the top. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will eat it up, but I am not one of them. Paula, on the other hand, is. She drools all over him in a more incoherent than usual way. Simon says there were parts he thought were excruciatingly bad and some that were brilliant. Randy calls him one of the most current artists they’ve ever had, while Kara is impressed with his range.

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