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American Idol 10 Finale. I don’t know much about agelbra.

This is American Idol.

Hey, by the way, did y’all hear that the host of X Factor became one of the judges today? Making way for… another certain host who has a rather flirtatious relationship with the head judge? Just speculating. But you know you hope it’s true.

Wow. 122 million votes last night.

LOL at Randy’s tux.

Ryan says say hello to the 2 people we’ve been rooting for all season. Hi, James! Hi, Haley!

Top 13 are out to sing “Born This Way”. Oh yeah, Pia. Forgot about her. Didn’t miss her.

Wow. James Durbin performing with Judas Priest. WHAT UNIVERSE IS THIS? I’ve gotta say, I was hoping he would perform with Muse or Steven Tyler. The Muse song he did blew me away.

Montage of Randy saying, “What show is this?” Which is weird, because suddenly, American Idol turns into The Middle. And I’m suddenly going, “What show is this?”

Jacob Lusk is out to torture us. He’s singing with some gospel singer, Kirk Franklin, and then oh! Gladys Knight. And now they’re asking for money for tornado victims. What is going on here? I’m so lost. Jacob has completely forgotten Franklin is on stage. He only has eyes for Gladys. Rude.

And now Casey Abrams. LOL, he’s singing “Fat-Bottomed Girls” with… Jack Black. Awesome. Wait, near the end of the song, girls come onstage and dance and slap their own bottoms… but shouldn’t they be fat-bottomed? Cuz they’re not.

Ok, now we have the top 6 ladies on the stage. First they’re singing “Single Ladies”, and Naima is just in her own world. Crazy dancing, nothing like the rest of them. And then “You Must Not Know ‘Bout Me”, led by Karen and Thia. I never missed anyone less. Except Pia. Now they’re singing some song I don’t recognize. I know, it’s probably the most famous pop hit of the past year or something, but I’m an old lady. And then the next song, I don’t know it either. Ok, now they’re on to another song, and Pia is singing, and really, this whole medley is just torture. Finally, they bring out Beyonce. Whoa, is she getting whiter? Like Michael Jackson? Or maybe I’m just thrown off by the blonde hair.

Steven’s montage is next. They’re showing all his inappropriateness. I do hope he’s back next year. He was a lot of fun for the show, F-bombs notwithstanding.

Haley is now performing with… Tony Bennett. Her dress is FANTASTIC. Oh, wait, I just noticed it’s got big butterflies on the front, and now I’m scared. And now they’re dancing together. This is cute. They didn’t show off Haley’s voice at all, but it was fun.

Now J-Lo’s montage of all the contestants who love her and have loved her since they were born.

Now we have TLC performing with Lil Jon and the girls of the top 13. Didn’t one of them die a couple of years ago? Man, I can’t hear “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” without thinking of RiffTrax. True story, my sister used to be *positive* that this song was saying, “Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls.” Haha, I just remembered that. Will have to needle her about it. Anyway, did TLC not have anything more current? Ryan: “Nice abs.” Oh, Ry-Ry.

What? Scotty’s singing with Tim McGraw and NOT Josh Turner? I want a refund. Also, I’m totally underwhelmed by their performance. It’s “Live Like You Were Dying”, by the way. Ok, the end of the song is pretty great.

Seriously, Randy’s tux looks like an animator drew it on him.

Now one of the bad auditioners is running down the greatest hits of bad auditions from this year. Meh.

Marc Anthony is performing now. In Spanish. Since this is Spanish Idol and all. Hey, it’s Sheila E! Wait, when did J-Lo come out to dance? Rewinding, I see she’s been out for a while, and, dude, is her dancing a little racy for non-Cinemax television. Oh, Ry-Ry. “Now we know what they do at home.” He needs Simon back to rein him in.

And now a debate over which was the most shocking elimination. James and Casey are fighting over it. And then Pia comes in at the end, and the conclusion of the debate seems to be that her elimination was the most shocking. Um, it wasn’t. I’d completely forgotten about her until I saw her again tonight.

Top 7 guys are out. I cannot see Paul McDonald without smiling. Like ear-to-ear grinning. Love him. I swear, these medleys are all over the place. There’s no logical flow. No, wait, it’s progressively worse songs. That’s the theme of the medleys. My baby is teething, and I’m pretty sure she’s suffering less than I am watching this. And now we have Tom Jones out with the guys. Okay then.

Scotty and Lauren invited the teachers who have influenced them the most to the finale. Scotty’s is his choir teacher, and Lauren’s is her princiPAL. And at the finale, Ryan says, “You’ve got some hot teachers.” He found Paula’s leftover vodka stash under the stage tonight, kids. Or borrowed one of Steven’s pills. Anyway, Ford is giving both of the teachers a Ford Focus. Wow. You know all of their other teachers are ticked off. Why didn’t you pick me? You’re in detention FOREVER! Oh, and Ryan tells the kids that they each get the keys to any Ford they want to drive. It’d be awesome if one of them said, “Can I have a Honda?” Ryan: “Congratulations to you teachers… who did your hair for the finale tonight.” What?

And now, Lady Gaga. Or “The Gags” (pronounced “Gogs”), as I call her in my head. She’s doing “Edge of Glory” from her new album, which I bought for a buck on Amazon yesterday. I’m loving this song. By the way, the Gags is wearing Cher. Like the whole person Cher. And now a provocative little pornish dance from Gaga and her male stripper friend. She and the stripper friend eventually drop off the edge of the rock they were gyrating on. Good song.

HARRY POTTER TRAILER!

Lauren is singing “Before He Cheats”, which makes me think Carrie is gonna sing. YES! CARRIE! I love this woman.

The rest of the top 13 make fun of the fact that there are school children in the finale. “Go to your prom!” Casey: “They can’t even write cursive. I’ve known cursive for about five years now, and they’re just starting.”

Wait, wasn’t Beyonce out here already? Now she’s out again? She’s singing some new song called “1 + 1″. That’s the number of times she’s been on the stage unnecessarily tonight. “I don’t know much about agelbra [sic] but I know one plus one equals two.” That’s really just your basic addition, Beyonce. No agelbra required. Anyway, this song seems to be a plea for sex. Many pleas for sex, actually.

Bono, The Edge, and some Broadway Spider-Man star are performing “Rise Above”. There’s a giant spider web on stage. What show is this? What am I watching? Why? Spider-Man looks a lot like Harry from the movies. I think I died a little watching this.

Steven Tyler performs “Dream On”. I almost called it “Sing For the Moment”. Yes, I love Eminem; guilty pleasure. Anyway, I’m all swoony. I still wish he’d sung with James.

Scotty and Lauren are tickling each other onstage while waiting for the results. And Ryan announces that… SCOTTY WINS!

WOOOOOO! Whoa, did Lauren just grab him and kiss him on the mouth? And how about this tidbit from Scotty: “It’s been a year since Lauren Alaina and I tried out now. Me and her tried out together, and we’re gonna stay together.” And then he thanks the Lord. Good boy. Well done, Scotty.

He sings us out with his new boring single, “I Love You This Big”. Well, he’s only kinda singing, as he hugs his entire family. And now hugging all the top 13. And to Lauren, “I love you, baby.” And then Lauren kisses him about a hundred times. Or maybe it’s not a hundred. I don’t know much about agelbra. Anyway, yay! They can get married and make little twangy babies.

Goodnight, loves. See you in the fall for X-Factor.

American Idol Top 2 Perform. Shenanigans.

Scotty vs. Snorin’

Seriously, this has to be the most boring finale in the history of historical things.

How old do I have to be knowing that Scotty and Lauren were 6 and 7 when they started watching this show 10 years ago? I was… quite a bit older than that.

Oh, of course, Lauren’s supposedly having trouble with her voice. Nobody cares, Ryan. And nobody cares about this doctor guy. I seriously hate it when they feel the need to tell you that one of the contestants won’t be any good tonight, so you should give her a break. That’s all the judges have done all season long is give Lauren break after break. I’m over it.

So first they do their favorite song of the season. SCOTTY is doing “Gone”. This was one of his best a few weeks ago. And tonight it’s great again. Not much to say besides well done. Annnnnd they’re not getting judged after each performance, apparently. Well, judge SarahK loved it and declares Scotty the winner of American Idol 10.

Lauren’s favorite of the season is “Flat on the Floor”. I think I liked it when she did it before. I have to say, I *am* impressed that even though she knew she barely had a voice for it, she did try to hit some higher notes than usual near the end of the song. That said, it wasn’t that good. Look, I’m sorry that she blew out her voice being stupid and rehearsing at full voice, but that’s not my fault. Is she going to blow out her voice at one concert and then sound like this at the next? Then why make her the American Idol?

Wow, George Strait picked Scotty’s 2nd song, and he picked one of his own, “Check Yes or No”. He can do that, because he’s George Strait, the hat maker. Pretty good, Scotty. I still want him to wow me with his last song.

Carrie Underwood picked Lauren’s 2nd song, and she picked “Maybe It Was Memphis”. Great song choice. Eh, it’s good, but it’s not great. It’s just average, like most of Lauren’s performances. Do I sound cranky tonight? I’m not. I’m just baffled that she’s in the finale.

Ryan goes to the judges. RANDY: It’s so even tonight. Scotty’s reprisal of “Gone” was brilliant. The George Strait thing was really good. Lauren you were really good, too. Round 1 to Scotty. Round 2 to Lauren. SARAHK: Huh? Rounds 1 and 2 to Scotty. J-LO: I agree with Randy. Round 1 Scotty, round 2 Lauren. STEVEN: I have to give first round and second round to Lauren, but only because she’s prettier than you are.

Now Taio Cruz is out to sing the Coca-Cola song that American Idol fans wrote or something. His mic goes out. I think the song is called “Positive”. I kind of prefer the perfect harmony song.

Sorry, had to take a baby break. Daddy doesn’t have boobs.

Scotty’s single if he wins will be called “I Love You This Big”. He looks really good for this round. Almost slick. The song is not blowing me away. Kinda boring. Not Scotty’s fault, but it’s boring. RANDY: Scotty, you are in it to win it! It is game time, and dude! I’m proud of you, because you’ve grown in this contest, and that was a brilliant vocal. J-LO: You’re our great story teller on this show. You did an amazing job with that song. STEVEN: You can’t take a three-point shot from under the net. You took your chance, and you ran with it. You nailed it again.

Lauren’s single if she wins is called “Like My Mother Does”. It’s a good song, if you don’t viscerally hate all songs about mamas and daddies like I do. And Lauren actually puts something into it, FINALLY. Too late for me. Definitely her best vocal performance yet. Oh, goodness. She’s going down the steps, and Ryan comes out to help her down (I wonder who the producers want to win?!). She goes and sings a few lines hugging her mom. And that maudlin stunt is going to win her the title. Dangit. Scotty can’t compete with the mom vote. And now her mom and dad are crying and hugging. Yeesh. And now Lauren is crying. RANDY: Jimmy, amazing song. Great song, great ode to your mom. Lauren Alaina has arrived, America! That was amazing! [And he standing o’s her.] J-LO: It’s a very tight race tonight, but with that song, you may have just won. STEVEN: I like how Jimmy said moms are the bedrocks of America. As far as I’m concerned, the first time I saw you I thought you were my American Idol. I think America will find that to be true as well. You are it in my eyes. SARAHK: Shenanigans. Jimmy gave Scotty a boring song and then gave Lauren a song with a great melody about moms. SHENANIGANS.

David Cook sings us out with his version of “Don’t You Forget About Me”.

I’ll be here for the finale.

I predict Lauren wins it with her maudlin mom stunt. I hope I’m wrong. #TeamScotty

American Idol Top 7. Mad Max meets Storm Troopers on Melrose.

Okay, so been busy, had company, etc.

Let’s talk about Pia. I think she went home because America was tired of the judges never calling her on her flat notes. Yes, she has a great voice, but let’s stop pretending there was no reason for her to go home. (I actually think she went home because of her hideous hair that night.)
Karen. America was tired of her singing in Spanish, even when she promised to sing in English.
Thia. She was boring on a stick, had the personality of a very pretty brick. She was not long for the Idol world.
Naima. Reggae, enough said. Seriously, people only listen to that crap if they’re stoned. It will never be mainstream. Thank goodness.
Ashthon. Booooorrrrrrrring.
Paul. Sigh. I miss him already. I want to hear his acoustic CD like NOW.

Pia, Thia, Naima, Ashthon, Karen, and Paul come out and sing “So What”. I agree. Other than Paul, so what?

Okay, on to the people still in the competition.

01 Scotty is first, and all the other kids are teasing him about the way he holds the microphone. Haha. Okay, now the theme tonight is music of the 21st century, and Scotty is singing “Swingin’” by Leann Rimes?? Come on, Scotty. You and I both know you’re copping out with that one, because that is a John Anderson song from… googling… 1983. Cheater. You missed the entire point of the theme, and this is actually kind of boring and safe. Other than the part where he drops down low, it’s just meh. I’m not digging it. STEVEN: I’d like it if you boot scoot more up there. J-LO: At this point in the competition, it’s time to pull out the big guns. You need to push past your comfort zone and do something exciting. You had a decade of music to choose from, and you could have chosen any song. RANDY: At this point in the competition, it’s really who is in it to win it. You’ve gotta bring it really hard. It was so safe, it was actually kind of boring for me for you. There had to have been a better song for you to sing. SARAHK: Yeah, like one that was actually *from* the 21st century.

Does Idol really need to advertise its website?

02 Oh my goodness, James is going to do a Muse song. I might pee my pants, seriously. I like Muse, and it’s just so out of Idol’s comfort zone. His fellow contestants are making fun of his scarves and backbends and high notes. He’s singing “Uprising”. Oh wow. He has a little mini-drum corps marching onstage with him. His jacket is very thick. He’s killing this and completely outdoing Muse. The last chorus, he’s doing it an octave high, just WOW. And with that, he just got the Twilight crowd’s vote. And the drummers drum themselves off the stage. J-LO: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that that will theatrically the best performance of the night. I think that was the highest we’ve ever heard you sing or anyone on the show. That was amazing. RANDY: Muse is one of my favorite bands. That song is amazing. In fact, I hope you follow this direction when you make an album after this. Dude, you were unbelievable up there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that will be the best performance of the night. [Tells that lead singer of Muse sent him an email challenging him to up the octave on the last chorus.] And Matt, he did it, he slayed it! STEVEN: You stay out of my closet now! Mad Max meets Storm Troopers on Melrose, right? You’d be surprised how expensive it costs to look this cheap. That was crazy good, you took it up again. It sounds like you’re going in a T-Rex direction. SARAHK: I don’t know what that means. STEVEN: I just love that you’re out of your mind, beautifully so. SARAHK: You’re brill, dude.

03 Haley’s next, and the contestants make fun of the growl and the arm thing. Let me pause. I think Haley’s the best vocalist in this pack of kids, Pia included. But she overdoes the growl. She needs to save that for big moments, once per song max. If you do it all the time, it becomes boring, and that’s what she’s been doing week after week. I’m hoping she’ll do it less this week. She’s singing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”. Man, that girl can SANG. RANDY: What I’m looking for now is not only who’s gonna win, but what direction are you gonna go as an artist. I think that you chose a perfect direction for you. I think Adele is an amazing artist, amazing singer. There were a couple of times when you hit the falsetto in the chorus it went a little sharp, but I thought it was a great performance, man. Well done. STEVEN: I thought it was a great performance. A little slow at start, but you brought it up in the middle and did what you do best. I thought it was beautiful. J-LO: It takes a lot of guts to take on a record that everyone knows so well right now. You have to be at least as good or better, and that’s what you did in parts. SARAHK: I can’t believe they found anything wrong with that performance. I thought it was perfect. Even the growl wasn’t overdone.

04 Jacob is next, and the other contestants say he’s a diva and does a lot of yeah-ye-ye-yeah-yeahs. Truth, all of it. He’s singing Luther Vandross, of course, “Dance with My Father”. I can’t wait. Did I say can’t? Meant can. Can wait. His dad passed away when he was 12. That’s sad. Ok, it bugs me that he always takes the ear piece out of his ear during performances. He did it last week too. It’s pretty good until he goes up for his big high note, which is flat and awful. Meh, I’m glad it’s over. STEVEN: You are so good. You remind me all the time the reason I love music. I heard you lose the track, you had a little stumble there, but you pulled it through, and your daddy was up there listening to you. It was a beautiful thing. J-LO: It’s hard when the song means that much to you blah blah blah you have to learn to control your emotions blah blah blah. Emotionally it was beautiful. RANDY: Yeah, emotionally it was beautiful. Vocally it was good but it didn’t make me jump up and down. I need the return of the old Jacob again. You need to go for it. I need you to go for it again. I need the return of the church kid. JACOB blames the track for the flub at the beginning of the song. SARAHK: I get the feeling nothing is ever his fault.

05 Casey is next. The kids are making fun of his beard and his quirky stage presence. He’s doing Maroon 5’s “Harder To Breathe”. Love the beginning, nice and soft, acoustic, and I’m a little nervous about the F-bomb, and he changes it to “even”, and I’m so glad, because if they’d had to bleep him, I would’ve had to stop liking him. Anyway, the band comes in at the chorus, song is good, and for the last line, Casey kinda whispers it and pauses to kiss J-Lo on the cheek before he finishes. Crowd goes wild. Good job, not my favorite performance of his, but still good. J-LO: Casey’s not playing fair. Casey has soft lips. STEVEN: You did what I’ve been trying to do for 4 months. J-LO: I loved it. The performance was great. You brought all your Caseyisms to it. You took a pop rock song and took it all the way rock. RANDY: What I love about Casey is always surprise surprise surprise. I was a little worried about you doing Maroon 5, because the Nirvana thing was a little right right right right. Continue to take chances. It’s almost like you’re a jazz indie kinda rock guy. You fit all of those genres. Amazing job. STEVEN: Casey, man, you already are a cult hero. There’s millions of people in America who are really angry because you piss them off because you’re so [bleeped] good. J-LO and RANDY act like 12-year-old girls over the F-bomb. RYAN: You just kissed the most beautiful girl in all the world. [He’s wearing the fake Casey beard.] CASEY: Are you going to do it too because you’re wearing the beard? RYAN: There’s a joke in there but I’m not going for it. SARAHK: I don’t even know what’s happening.

Cute. The other judges taped Steven’s mouth closed.

06 Stefano’s up. The other kids are making fun of how he likes women and flirts and is confident. I tell ya, confidence is a lousy trait to have! He’s singing “Closer” by Neo. It’s basically a nondescript dance song, and the way he’s dressed with his faded black jeans, black t-shirt, muscles, and red suspenders hanging down, I feel like I’m watching the dance mix of Newsies. He’s my Italian Jackson Rathbone, but I’m kind of over him. This is so boring even though he’s trying really hard. I think it’s the end of the road for him, even though I enjoyed Jacob less. RANDY: I thought it was gonna be a little kind of jerky, bad karaoke, but dude, you turned me around. You did a very good job, you smoothed it out. You took your time singing the verses. I was really proud of you, and you kind of worked the dance steps out a little bit too. STEVEN: No one can say you weren’t all up in it. I was hoping you’d dance and you did. Good job. J-LO: Speaking for the girls in the audience, I thought it was very very good. You had your swag going on. It felt like a real performance. I really really liked it, I thought it was a really good job. SARAHK: I just don’t love dancey music.

Update: I’m rethinking things and may decide that Jacob is going home. Sympathy votes will only get you so far.

07 Lauren. The kids are making fun of the way she talks and how much she talks. She’s gonna sing “Born To Fly” by Sara Evans. Eh, I don’t think that’s a good choice. It’s not that showcasey a song, so I don’t think it helps her much. Man, her hair looks awesome. Cute outfit, too. Horrid earrings. It was good, and she did as much as she could do with that song, but it was a bad song choice. STEVEN: Lauren, I heard you say that you didn’t know what you’re doing sometimes. Anyone who doesn’t know that they could fail is bound to win. You’re so good naturally and you have a great swagger. I’d like to hear you sing some Alison Krause, Faith Hill, Shania Twain. For me? J-LO: You have so much character in your voice. I heard you say you don’t sing the big notes, and you don’t want to fall behind. Why don’t you do that? You can do that. Try it in the shower and see if you can do it. RANDY: Same stuff Jennifer said. Challenge yourself, Lauren. SARAHK: Yes, sing bigger or you don’t have a shot.

My ranking:

James
Haley
Casey
Lauren
Scotty
Stefano
Jacob

Bottom 3: Stefano and Jacob, and… hrm. Scotty. Going home: double hrm. I’ll go with Jacob.

American Idol 10 Top 12. Gospel had a baby.

Okay, yeah, I seem to be running a week late on these, but I have a baby who isn’t a consistent sleeper, so while we work on that, I’ll have to be sporadic. You understand.

So this week’s (last week’s) theme is songs from the year each contestant was born. I bet most of these kids were born in the ’90s, and wow, I’m old.

NAIMA was born in 1984. I was 8. She’s singing “What’s Love Got To Do With It”. Ok, I love Naima’s mom. I’m not loving the song, though. Just not doing it for me. Kinda boring, actually, and the vocals aren’t impressive. STEVEN: You’ve got a sorcerer’s grasp for melody, and I just loved it. And what are you doing wearing my shirt tonight? J-LO: You bring your specific flavor to everything you do. Last week I gave you a pass on the pitchyness. And now I’m seeing you’re consistently pitchy. So I need you to work on that a little bit, okay? SARAHK: She’s very good at the constructive criticism. RANDY: Last week when I watched the show back, it really wasn’t great at all. You look hot, got energy, but the vocals were kind of a mess. The vocals were just all over the place. SARAHK: Yeah.

PAUL was also born in 1984. He’s gonna sing “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”. Oh goodness, he’s adorable. I could listen to him all day. He’s such an understated Idol contestant. And that’s why he won’t win. But I hope he gets a record deal anyway. J-LO: I could tell you were struggling up there [sinus issues, hoarse], but you still brought it. You have so much soul and so much star quality, and you overcame that. RANDY: I kinda differ with Jennifer a little bit. I’m not going to give you a pass because you have a cold, because every performer has to do that. Some of the notes were very pitchy and you were very pitchy the first half of the song. But what I like about you is you’re like the blah blah blah new kind of artist you do your thing. SARAHK: I’m so lost. STEVEN: You got off a little bit on the notes, but you define cool dude and loose mood. Your swagger up there is way cool. The way you sing your notes… distinctive voice… we just know who that is… That’s what you’re turning into. SARAHK: I wish your pants were less skinny. I swear you shop in the ladies’ department. Please stop.

THIA was born in 1995. She’s singing “Colors of the Wind”. It’s very pretty, very boring. Simon would say it’s old and sleepy. Next, please. Ouch, pitchy on a pivotal note. RANDY: The vocals were okay, but the problem I’m having is you’ve been singing all these ballads every week. For me, this was bored, I felt like I was at some pageant somewhere. There was nothing special or unique about it. So maybe a different kind of song next week. It was so safe and boring. STEVEN: I think you sang it beautifully, you have a beautiful voice. But is that song who you think you are? THIA: I think it fit with what’s going on in the world. So I thought the lyrics suited very perfectly with the… you know. SARAHK: Rebecca Black and earthquakes? J-LO: Beautiful quality to your voice, blah blah different kind of song. SARAHK: Fri-ee-day, Fri-ee-day, Fri-ee-day. SPIKE: Saturday’s next, and after that is Sunday, you know.

JAMES was born in 1989. He’s singing “I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi. Jimmy tells him not to kiss anyone in the mansion because they’re all sick, and James declares that since he’s married, he ain’t touching no one. His mom shows video of him singing in his crib to his doll, putting his doll to sleep. Adorable. He’s doing great. Has such good stage presence. Oh, and he goes and stands behind Steven to do his big screamy high note. Haha. Love this guy. STEVEN: Your mama singing to you when you were young, I get that, but the dolls, what was up with that? Born in 1989? I’ve got leftover sandwiches under my bed older than you. How do you do that? Do me a favor, and don’t get too pop-y on me. JAMES: You had some great music in 1989 too, but I don’t want to spoil the Aerosmith until the finale. SARAHK: Love it. STEVEN: You do that, and I’ll come up there and sing it with you. J-LO: A great performer makes you want to sing along. If you saw me actin’ a fool just now, you do that. I loved it. RANDY: You had a couple of pitch problems, but you managed to work in your high note and not overdo it. Tastefully done. RYAN: Wait, Steven, did you just confirm that you will perform on American Idol? STEVEN: That man right there has a rich vein of inner crazy. I’ll join him. I’m up there.

HALEY was born in 1990, and she’s going to sing Whitney. Uh-oh. She’s singing “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, one of Whitney’s more boring songs. Oh wow, this is just a mess. She’s wearing what look like yoga pants with stripper boots and a red top, and they’ve got hot pink flower animation all over the stage behind her–they clearly did not coordinate with her on that. And the vocals are so confusing. Parts are really good, other parts are awful. Pitchydawg like crazy. And then there’s the ending, which she tries to do all loungey, which is completely different from the rest of the song. Giant mess. J-LO: You look so beautiful tonight! When I see you performing up there, I hear this amazing voice coming out. I feel like you’re still tense in your body. Do what comes naturally, don’t force it. Your voice comes so naturally that I want the rest of the package to be right there, too. RYAN wipes the lipstick off of Haley’s face (and man, it was like ALL over her face). RANDY: You don’t know who you are. You’ve gotta find that out. The vocals were okay. It wasn’t a great performance. I’m just confused with you. STEVEN: That was sweet and tough. We want to hear more blues.

Okay, I’ve decided I need to be brief on the rest of this episode, just because this week’s Idol has already happened, so y’all don’t care what I say about last week’s.

STEFANO: 1989. “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”. Really? Anyway, I hated this–well, hated the first half. Second half was better, but he’s losing me, no matter how much he looks like an Italian Jackson Rathbone. RANDY: Best performance of the night so far. STEVEN: Beautiful. J-LO: Perfect song for you. You could take this thing. SARAHK: Huh.

PIA: 1988. “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” I think she’s wearing a djinn outfit. I’m bored. The vocals are good, but I can’t hear them if I’m asleep. STEVEN: You are why this song is called American Idol. You nailed it. J-LO: Yay! Up-tempo! You’re perfect every time you get up there. RANDY: Every week you’re producing amazing vocals. Pia is in the competition to win it! SARAHK: Why am I the only one who isn’t over the moon about her?

SCOTTY: 1993. Oh, no. He loved Elvis as a little boy. It’s over between us, Scotty. We’re through. Aw, cute. Both his parents can sing and give us a sample of, you guessed it, “Baby, lock them doors and turn the lights down low…” Anyway, he’s great on “Can I Trust You With My Heart?”. J-LO: You keep growing! RANDY: Yay! STEVEN: You’re going places.

KAREN: 1989. “Love Will Lead You Back”. She says she wants America to know she doesn’t only sing in Spanish. Well, that’s a blessing. Wow, she stepped right out of Galaxy Quest. Wow, this is boring. And now Spanish. Meh. RANDY: Better than last week. STEVEN: I love when you go into your ethnic whatever-it-is-ness. J-LO: If you’re scared of a note, don’t go there. As a professional, never expose your weaknesses.

CASEY: 1991. I was in high school. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The first Nirvana song ever done on Idol. A little pitchy, but still great. Love this guy. And he has a little of that Dave Matthews dance going on. STEVEN: Crazy talented goop. J-LO: Screamy. RANDY: Me being a musician, I like that you’re putting art first and commerce second. You’re fearless.

LAUREN: Has the flu. 1994. I graduated high school that year. Oh goodness, her mom looks so so young. “I’m the Only One”. Her dad looks so young, too. She doesn’t do so great with the low notes. Mostly good, kinda pitchy, but not bad. Not as good as I want her to be. J-LO: Very nice. You made it yours. Very very good. SARAHK: It wasn’t *that* good. RANDY: That was very nice, so have a cold every week. STEVEN: I loved you the first time I heard you. Did it again, shining star.

JACOB: 1987. “Alone”. Oh, dude. This will have to be awesome since Carrie KILLED this song. Wow. I didn’t think I was loving it, and then he hit the key change, and I loved that and got chills. Near the end, it got dicey, but he brought it back. Well done. Still no Carrie, but it’s hard to be a guy and take a woman’s power vocal and be as impressive. RANDY: Got lost in pitch but brought it back. End was genius. SPIKE: Jacob makes me uncomfortable. STEVEN: Your mama might not be able to sing, but she gave you the moxie. Gospel had a baby, and they called it Jason, Jacob Lusk. SARAHK: I love Steven. He’s like Paula without the vodka. J-LO: You give yourself completely. So amazing. RANDY: We got a competition!

A guy’s gonna win this year.

James
Jacob
Scotty
Casey
Paul
Lauren
Stefano
Pia
Thia
Haley
Naima
Karen

Karen should go. Bottom 3: Haley, Karen, Thia.

Notes from the finale: Ryan thinks he’s Oprah with that look-under-your-seat business. Loved Lee Dewyze. Had kind of a Dave Matthews sound to it. Thia always looks bored. Bottom 3 Haley, Naima, Karen. Fast-forwarded right through the Black-Eyed Peas, I don’t have to torture myself for the blog. Karen goes home. I don’t know why they even had her sing for the judges. Everyone knows Pia is the only girl they’d save. Of the guys, they’d save Casey, James, Jacob, Scotty.

American Idol Top 13. The carpet’s all paid for. God bless the TV. Let’s shoot a hole in the word salad.

Man, I feel like we got here awfully early in the process. Ryan says that this… is American Idol. Oh! Good to know. J-Lo’s single is #1 on iTunes.

This week the kids got to pick a song by their own personal Idol. Please PLEASE someone pick Bieber. They got to work with the chairman of Interscope this week.

01 Lauren Alaina’s idol is Shania Twain. I used to hate Shania but have changed my mind on her. She worked with Don Was and is singing “Any Man of Mine.” Poor outfit choice. She and I have the same body type, and I can tell you from experience that frills do not work. Okay, the singing isn’t great. It’s alright, but it’s nothing you don’t see at karaoke any given night. Nothing exciting, nothing new, she didn’t make the song her own, and it was an incredibly safe pick. Not a good night for Lauren. STEVEN: I love that song, but I wish that it’d just been a little more kickass. J-LO: The thing with me is that you always sound so amazing. You don’t have to try, you’re that good. But you need to kick it into high gear. You have an amazing voice, now this is it, this is time. RANDY: That’s a cool song, we’ve had Shania on the show a number of times, her and her great… uh… collaborator Mutt Lange. SARAHK: He totally almost said husband. RANDY: You sang it well, but we want America to see how good you are. We want you to shine beyond belief. I’m not sure this song did that. LAUREN: I didn’t want to do a ballad because that’s what everybody does. I wanted to kick it up a little but I guess I didn’t, sorry, Steven. SARAHK: Smart girl, going for the sympathy votes. Because wow, what a sad tone and face.

02 Casey Abrams is singing the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which he first heard on the Wonder Years, as did I. He says of Cocker, “You don’t hear the music, you feel the music. I want to be felt.” Haha. I don’t think anyone can ever accuse Casey of doing anything halfway onstage or not having fun. Anyway, he’s great AGAIN. J-LO: You wanna be felt? Notes, pitch, whatever, doesn’t even matter. And I’m not saying anything about your notes or pitch. Honestly, there was one point where I just grabbed Randy, like wow, I’m watching someone important. Wow. Blew me away. RANDY: What Jen was watching was Idol Season 10 Remix! [Rambles.] Dude, you were so unbelievable, so exciting. You hit all the notes. I loved it. STEVEN: What Randy was trying to say is you are a rainbow of talent. And you’re a plethora of passion. RYAN reminds J-LO that she is watching American Idol.

03 Ashthon Jones is singing Diana Ross’s “When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” and I’m bored just hearing what she’s gonna sing. Man, I hope she pronunciates. This is boring and just doesn’t do anything for me. Her voice actually sounded kind of weak. And whoa, get a look at those earrings. Those are as soul-crushing as they come. RANDY: I was a little worried seeing the song that you’re doing. I’ve gotta tell you what. It sounded like it was a little bit of a safe move, but blah blah blah, I think you actually did yourself some good with that. STEVEN: I think there’s a lot more in there, and we’re going to see it. I have confidence in you. J-LO: We’re seeing what a professional you are. Now we want to see songs that people can sing along with. You’re amazing, you’re awesome. SARAHK: Look, I think you’re a sweet girl, and you have a good voice. But I’m not seeing anything I haven’t seen before.

04 Paul McDonald is singing Ryan Adams’s “Come Pick Me Up.” What is he wearing? Oh, hon. You’re adorable. And possibly on something. Whatever, you’re cute. STEVEN: I love the character and the rasp in your voice. I love it so much it doesn’t matter whose song you do, it winds up being yours. It was a little pitchy. I love your voice, man. J-LO: I was looking around and seeing the audience watch you move. SARAHK: He moves a little more spastically than Dave Matthews. J-LO: I hope America gets it. I don’t know Ryan Adams or that song. SARAHK: Wow. J-LO: Really. You should know Ryan Adams. J-LO: I’m gonna look it up! RANDY: I love the character of who you are. I know you love Wiskeytown, Wilco, that kind of music. I love you, huge fan, I love you for this show. SARAHK: Well, I get it.

05 Pia Toscana loves Celine Dion. Is she the one who did the chest thumping last week? Anyway, she’s doing “All By Myself.” Love this song, love Celine’s version. Love to sing it at karaoke. She’s wearing a cape. Oh, the big note is flat. She keeps trying to work it out, and then it sounds like she just gives up on it and moves on. The rest of it is good, but she didn’t nail the big note. And she knows it. J-LO: I think a lot of people were wondering what you were gonna do to top last week. There it is. Really beautiful. RANDY: Yo, I’ve spent a lot of years on this show. And we always tell people the big three are Mariah, Whitney, and Celine. You know Celine can slay these songs. You hit these notes dead on without even thinking about them. Very hot, dope, cool performance. SARAHK: Really? No one is going to call her on the flat big note? STEVEN: Pia, that was the sum total of all the work you’ve done on the show until now. Happy International Woman’s Day today, by the way. SARAHK: Oh, Steven, you’re an adorable little monkey. And that’s what I call my daughter, so it’s high praise.

06 James Durbin is singing “Maybe I’m a Man.” He’s great, per usual. What can I say? Love him. It’s actually pretty understated for him, not very many high notes, though he does get up there. A little bit of a softer side. RANDY: So listen, man. You’re one of my favorites in this whole thing. Hang on, this name is so heavy, uh-oh! I think… can’t hold on… gonna drop it… Journey! Aw, man. you can sing anything. Last week you sing Judas Priest, you rocked the house. Now you come out and sing Paul McCartney and slay it? You turned the other cheek, showed that you have a sensitive side. James Durbin is dangerous, America! This guy can sing! STEVEN: James, you have taken everything you’ve ever felt and kicked it into the middle of next week. SARAHK: I’m confused already. STEVEN: If there’s ever a review to be said about you, you just sang it. You did such a good job, man. [crowd applauds] J-LO: Let ‘em clap, baby, when they wanna clap. Get used to it. Blah blah, you have what the greatest rock singers have, and that’s a melodic quality to your voice. You can really actually sing.

07 Haley Reinhart is singing Leann Rimes’s “Blue.” Man, she’s making me feel old, says she’s been singing it since she was 5 or something. I remember hearing that for the first time when I was, oh, 16 or so. She’s doing the yodel very well. I don’t know, it’s good, but kind of boring. She has a great voice. STEVEN: Haley, that was beautiful. If you listen really carefully, you can hear the rest of America roaring. The country and western part of America. I knew Leann way back when when she recorded this, and it’s a song that Patsy Cline never recorded. Such a great job tonight. SARAHK: Actually, if I’m not mistaken, Mack Davis wrote the song for Patsy and then she died before he could ever give it to her. And then he heard Leann singing at the Johnny High Show (in the Metroplex) and gave her the song because he knew she could do it justice. There’s your useless trivia, folks. You’re welcome. J-LO: You do things with your voice that are so diverse. It’s something so unique to you. Really, really special. RANDY: Listen. Okay, the good parts about it is that last week you do Alicia Keys and then you do Leann Rimes. I like that you can do anything. For me, it was a little boring for me, if I’m being honest. It was a little sleepy, a little boring for me. J-LO disagrees. SARAHK: Randy’s right. The Sarahkle has spoken.

08 Jacob Lusk is singing “I Believe I Can Fly.” I hate to say it, but he went pitchydawg several times during the song. He had at least 2 big pitchy notes, but the judges won’t notice. STEVEN: Pure passion, pure music, I can’t even judge you. Your wings and your voice will soar way beyond your wildest dreams. J-LO: It is, it’s so hard to judge you. You make us feel so much when you sing. RANDY: [very impressed with the panel for picking so many talented people.] When you start, you have such a signature sound. That’s what it’s about. When you went to the B verse you kinda fell off, you had a rough change there, went a little sharp. By by the end, you were unbelievable. I’m excited every time you hit the stage. SARAHK: Not your best performance, but still good.

09 Thia Megia is singing “Smile” by… Michael Jackson? Is it the Nat King Cole / Charlie Chaplin ditty? Producer informs her that it’s Charlie Chaplin, and she’s like, who? Sigh. Kids these days. Anyway, it starts out fine, then it’s boring and not that good. I am still baffled by her inclusion in the top 13. RANDY: I loved the intro. I heard Michael, Adele. It got a little pitchy. I loved the beginning more than the end. STEVEN: I gotta agree. A little pitchy in the middle, but you’re so new and young, and you’ve got a great future. I liked it all in all. You gave it up, thank you. J-LO: The beginning of it reminded me of last week. The arrangement was interesting. I like seeing you move. It doesn’t matter, you sing like an angel. THIA: I agree with the judges. I felt a lot more better in the beginning. SARAHK: More better. For when you just don’t have enough better. Go away.

10 Stefano Langone. Oh, Stefano. Don’t make me turn against you. I have a strict rule that only Stevie gets to ever sing Stevie. His music is not Idol music. Don’t make me tell you again, you adorable little basket of cute. I do not understand his outfit. He has so many different outfits going on at once. I don’t know if he’s going out to a nice restaurant, riding a moped, or playing basketball. Ok, if I’m being honest, that was kind of awful and screechy. Song choice was terrible. STEVEN: You pulled it off. It built from beginning to end. The arrangement was crazy. J-LO: You had me dancing there for a minute. It’s so hard to take a classic ballad and do the dance remix. RANDY: Started off a little rocky for me. You slayed it. By the middle of the song, you were soaring. SARAHK: What? Oh, dude. I just realized why he’s one of my faves. Looks a little like Jackson Rathbone. Can’t go wrong there. Anyway, I dunno what the judges were hearing there.

11 Karen Rodriguez’s idol is Selena. Of course. She’s singing the one Selena song I even know, “I Could Fall In Love.” What a boring song for Idol. Man, what’s with the kids trying to put me to sleep tonight? Even when she goes up and hits a high-ish note and does her own little twist, I can’t be bothered to enjoy this. J-LO: You look so beautiful tonight. SARAHK: Uh-oh. J-LO: I could tell you’re uncomfortable up there tonight. You’re one of our strongest girls, so I hope you make it to next week. RANDY: It felt like you were kind of fighting the song. It was a little sleepy. It’s not exciting. STEVEN: The energy it took to ramp up to how well you ended the song just wasn’t there. SARAHK: You know who was more exciting than you? Thia.

12 Scotty McCreery’s going to sing Garth Brooks’s “The River.” A really good song. Ok, let’s talk about this head tilt of Scotty’s. He kind of bobbleheads. The harmony is awful, and that’s been a running theme the whole night. Scotty, on the other hand, is great tonight. And apparently has a ton of fans. RANDY: It goes to show, dude, this is exactly where you belong. You could put this out as a record noow. STEVEN: Speaking of non sequiturs, someone wrote a song, and the lyrics are: The carpet’s all paid for, God bless the TV, let’s go shoot a hole in the moon. SARAHK: I’m almost positive Scotty’s never heard that before. STEVEN: Roy Rogers riding high. You’re riding high tonight. SARAHK: YOU’RE riding high tonight with your adorable word salad. J-LO said something, too, but really, who cares after what STEVEN said? He cannot be followed.

13 Naima Adedapo is singing “Umbrella,” and she’s working with the producer who actually produced the song. Ok, this girl keeps you on your toes. I never know what to expect from her, song-wise, outfit-wise, earrings-wise. Oh man, I love the faces Steven makes when people sing. She’s rather entertaining. It’s kind of boring from a vocal standpoint, but everything else is very engaging. She’s good if pitchydawg. STEVEN: You’re crazy good. I love ya. A little pitchy. But you brought flavor tonight. You brought another little something, and I adore you for that. J-LO: I don’t care about all the pitchy, you got fire, girl. You’re dancing, you’re giving us your reggae flavor, you’re doing it like stars do it. You need to work on the control. RANDY: Well, listen. I differ a little bit from Jennifer. I do care about the pitchiness, but when you’re dancing you have to keep enough breath to hit the notes and the cutoffs. Loved the reggae, yo yo yo yo what yo what?! SARAHK: Did Naima just say I “overstand” what the judges are saying? She’s out, I’m done.

02 Casey
12 Scotty
06 James
05 Pia
08 Jacob
04 Paul (What? It’s my kind of music.)
13 Naima
07 Haley
01 Lauren
10 Stefano
09 Thia
11 Karen
03 Ashthon

Ok, so that’s my order. Bottom 3 prediction… Thia, Ashthon, Karen. My prediction on who went home… hmm, it’s Thia or Ashthon. Thia has the inexplicable Jasmine factor, so I’ll go with Ashthon.

And I’ll just go ahead and watch the results now…

Oh, man. Ryan just reminded me about the judges’ save. Now I’m sad. And now there’s a group number, and it’s definitely not pre-recorded this year, full of lots of pitchydawgness. And it’s a Michael Jackson medley. It’s horrific. But I can’t look away.

Jacob and Stefano are safe, Karen is in the bottom 3. I’m fast-forwarding through Adam Lambert, because I’m sleepy.
Lauren is safe. Haley is wearing birds on her ears. Ashthon and Haley are in the bottom 3. Everyone else is safe. I can get behind this bottom 3. They were all boring. Thia belongs there more than Haley, but it’s ok.

So weird to see Puff Daddy performing on Idol. That tells you how important this show is. Or isn’t.

Karen is safe. She’s very tall. Haley is safe. Ashthon goes home unless the judges save her. She’s singing the same song that put her in the bottom three. It’s still not good. And the judges choose not to save her. That’s the right decision.

American Idol Top 24 results show

Wait, what?? They’re cutting 14 people in this show to get it down to 10? Then the judges are picking a wildcard? Wow. Ok, so my prediction for the top 10 (not necessarily my picks), if they’re doing 5 guys and 5 girls:

Pia
Lauren Alaina
Lauren Turner
Haley
Ashton
Casey
Jacob
James
Stefano
Scotty

Let’s see if I’m right. And dang, that leaves out Brett, Rachel, Kendra… I think those 3 will all sing for their lives. And for some unknown reason, Thia will get another shot with the judges. And so will Jordan, gross. I hope they give Julie another shot. She’s so much better than she sang.

Anyway, now that I know they’re cutting this down to 10 tonight, some of those performances are even WORSE. The song choices! Ick.

Scotty’s in, Robbie’s out. So far, so smart, SarahK.
Clint and Jordan and Jovany are all out. Look how smart I am.
Pia and Lauren Alaina are both in the top 10. Smartypants SarahK!
Ta-Tynisa is out, Julie is out. Oh, y’all. Don’t look so smitten with my smartsyness.
Ashton is out–okay, well, if I were perfect in my predictions, you’d suspect I’d watched the results show before blogging it, which I haven’t. So this needed to happen.
Karen is inexplicably in the top 10. Kendra is out.
Jacob and Casey are in the top 10. Ahem, I’m super smart.
Naima is out. Thia is in. I am baffled. Lauren Turner is out. Ok, I am not responsible for America’s sloppy voting.
WHOA. Paul is in the top 10. Brett is out. I did not see that one coming. I like it, though. I like that Paul is in, that is. I really like Brett, too, though, so I has a sad about that.

Wait, that means there’s only one spot for Stefano or James. Dude. I think James will get it. And he earned it. But Stefano! Ack.

Haley is in, Rachel is out. Smartypants.

James is in, Stefano is out.

And now I have to go to bed. I’ll finish tomorrow.

Now I’m awake. So of the remaining 14 contestants, the judges are picking 3 girls and 3 guys to sing again. They get to sing any song from the competition so far.

The judges first pick Ashton to sing again. No surprises there, big pimpage for her all along. She sings “And I Am Telling You” and overdoes it. STEVEN: I thought you brought it like you’ve brought it before. J-LO: I felt your passion. I know you deserve to be here. RANDY: I still love the attitude. SARAHK: Meh.

Stefano (yay!) gets to sing next. Singing “I Need You Now.” RANDY: I love that you chose that song to anoint this moment. You did it justice. J-LO: I’m so nervous! There’s no way to not get it right with this group of kids, and there’s no way to not get it wrong. When you needed to come through you came through. STEVEN: [He liked it.]

Kendra gets to sing. She’s singing “Georgia on My Mind.” And she kills it HARD. So good. RANDY: Dude, you rocked it at the end. Very nice!

Jovany (????what????) is singing. Okay, whatever, judges. He’s singing in Spanglish. Off you go. J-LO: You did a good job, baby. You did all you could do.

They choose Naima to sing, which means that Ta-Tynisa, Lauren T, Rachel, and Julie are gone. Naima will sing “For All We Know” by Donnie Hathaway. Whoa, look at those soul-crushing earrings! She’s singing very well, so beautifully. The judges seem to really be into Ashton, so I fear that with this performance, it’s the end of the road for Kendra. I think that Naima was the best of the girls, followed by Kendra and then Ashton. STEVEN likes it too.

For their last pick, the judges go with Robbie??? Okay, wait. Jovany and Robbie over Brett? Brett’s tone is just so pretty. He should have been given a shot over these guys. So this means that Jordan, Clint, Brett, and Tim are all out. Too bad about Tim–I think he’s a good singer and just chose a very wrong song for the top 24. Plus, Fort Worth dude, so it would have been nice to see him make it.

Robbie is singing “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” Okay, first two lines, and I’m ready to move on. Oh my goodness, I’m seriously tempted to fast forward through this. Awful.

Stefano was easily the best of the guys. So easily.

And while the judges try to decide who to keep, they play Jennifer’s new music video. She looks stunning tonight (um, last Thursday night), btw. I’m actually enjoying this. All that listening to current pop is apparently ruining me.

Huh. Out of the 6, Ashton would NOT have been my pick. Judges picked Ashton. And also Stefano! I’m happy about that one. Naima is the final pick. If they were taking 3, they should have taken Naima, Kendra, and Stefano.

So there’s your top 13. And now I’m gonna go watch that show.

American Idol Top 12 Girls.

Wait, don’t you mean Top 10, SarahK? No, I mean Top 12, because I’m just now watching it.

Yeah, yeah, I know this is like a week late. But I’m watching it, so I’m blogging it anyway. Maybe I’ll be able to do this week’s shows more timely. Maybe not.

Ryan asks J-Lo what’s so special about these girls. Everything, talent, beauty inside and out, blah blah. Randy, what should people look for when they’re voting? Look for who should be in the top 10. Ask yourself, is this the American Idol? Steven [YAAAAAAAYYYYY! says the crowd], what did you sense after watching the rehearsal this afternoon? Steven senses nerves and says they need to sing for their lives, like there’s no tomorrow. He says to go to the moon.

Whoa, Big Bird is onstage.

Ta-Tynisa Wilson is first, and she has managed to fit an entire birthday cake under her dress, and this impresses me. She’s singing Rihanna’s “Only Girl”. She’s pitchy all over the place. So, SO, pitchydawg. STEVEN: Beautiful way to open the show. The song sang you, you sang the song beautifully. J-LO: It’s good that it’s over now and you’re the first one, right? Started shaky, but you really brought it home. RANDY: I’ve got a feeling this is gonna happen a lot this season, guys. I differ from them. It was just okay. You didn’t bring anything new to the song, it paled in comparison to Rihanna. J-LO: I disagree. A star moves the crowd, or something. RANDY: I’m part of the crowd that wasn’t moved. RYAN: Randy, it does take a lot to move you. SPIKE: That was uncalled for. SARAHK: Where did you come from? Also, Ta-Tynisa, your hyphen confuses me.

Big BirdNaima Adedapo designed her dress. She’s singing “Summertime,” a dangerous undertaking, because if it isn’t amaaaaazing, they’ll just compare it to Fantasia’s performance, which was great but was like 7 years ago, so they need to get over it already. She’s giving it kind of a jazzy flair. It’s fine but not amaaaaaazing, kinda boring, but I’d listen to it on my ’40s on 4 station on Sirius (what, I’m old, shut up). The last note is great. J-LO: I love to see someone nail a note like that at the end. You’re like an exotic flower. SARAHK: Of the sunflower variety. NAIMA: My name means flower. SARAHK: Mine means princess. I know, hard to believe! J-LO: Really good job. RANDY: It was a little lounge acty for me, because on this very stage here [insert Fantasia reference, high five me for my prescience]. The 2nd half was better than the first half, and by the end, you nailed that note. STEVEN: I do take you personally since I first heard you sing. It was like early Ella Fitzgerald. I love you a lot, and I liked it a lot. SARAHK: All joking aside, I think her banana dress is really pretty.

Kendra Chantelle, who is obviously using her middle name as her last name, is next. She comes out onstage in painted-on pleather pants and starts doing the pee-pee dance. She’s bravely singing “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera. I’ve never heard the original, but this is really good. Boring, but she shows off her voice and her vocal acrobatics. Pitchy in one or two spots, but this is good. Well done for the first night on the big stage. RANDY: I was a little worried about you singing that song because Christina did her thing and worked it out. Your vibrato reminded me of Lauren Hill. I really liked it. STEVEN: I always look forward to seeing what your voice can do to a song, and you did it again. Voice hot, clothes hot, style hot, the whole package. Nice, beautiful. J-LO: You have heart. You fought your way into this top 12 with that voice of yours. I feel like there’s more in you, and I hope everyone can see it, because you’re amazing.

Rachel Zevita is singing Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” She completely owns the stage, does a whole bad girl thing, has a ton of fun, sounds great. Standing O from the audience. STEVEN: I loved your strut, swagger, moves. A little too Broadway for me. Not that that’s a bad thing. Broadway could be your niche. RACHEL: I think that’s the one thing I’ve never sung. STEVEN: Hurm. [And then a long pause, which I lurrrrrve. Finally, the audience fills in with awkward laughter. SARAHK: My mouth hurts. J-LO: That’s the question. This is the first time America is seeing you perform. Do you want them to see you as a Broadway star, or do you want them to see you as someone who can go out tomorrow and be a recording artist? You obviously belong on a stage. You have an amazing range. I think I would have liked to see more of that tonight. RANDY: Yeah. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t good. It just didn’t work. I didn’t even know who that was. I didn’t even half recognize that song. It wasn’t great. SARAHK: Eh, they don’t know what they’re talking about. You did great.

Karen Rodriguez is singing “Hero,” which Randy will undoubtedly compare to Mariah unfavorably, no matter how well she sings. Oh wow, she has some serious Celine Dion flair onstage. OH MY GOODNESS, SHE JUST DID THE CHEST TAP / HEART POUND THING. Total Celine. Mixed with Gloria Estefan or something, because she keeps switching to the Spanish channel, and I guess this is her gimmick, but no thanks. I like to understand the language I hear in a song. Simon would say she sang about 40 years older than her age. BTW, I edited out about 40 “or something”s in this single paragraph. Apparently I like to say that. Or something. “I love you, Mom,” she shouts at the end, and she’s gone from jumping the shark to nuking the fridge in a minute and a half. Now watch, y’all will pipe in and tell me that her mom is dying and that I’m a cold-hearted witch. You’re a bunch of meanies. I went to the dentist today, you should ease up on me. Anyway, I think I fell asleep during that. J-LO: Wow wow wow wow. [Goosebumps] says it all. I love that you changed from English to Spanish. Amazing. RANDY: You know, I like how you figured out how to make it you. The Spanish was even better than the English. Steven, some say that Spanish is the language of love. STEVEN: Definitely a one of a kind singer. I think you and Jacob Lusk need to get together and sing that song together. KAREN: He’s my best friend in this competition. SARAHK: I am dying of… how you say… aburrimiento. See, I can google in Spanish.

Lauren Turner is singing “Seven Day Fool,” an Etta James tune. She’s great for most of it but gets very screamy at the end. I’d still say she’s the best of the night so far. RANDY: That’s how you do it, man. I love the whole power, I love the feeling that this could be Amy Winehouse meets Florence + the Machine. STEVEN: That was spectacular. It’s like Lauren Turner meets Lauren Turner. At the beginning, I was like, bring this up, and then you did. The end of the song was upstairs. It was a perfect, full, complete sentence. J-LO: Your voice is undeniable. With that kind of song, you’re physically holding back. You need to get in the face of that camera. SARAHK: Oh, those cameras and their faces.

This just in: I still heart Ryan Seacrest.

Ashton Jones is next. “Love All Over Me” by Monica. I can barely keep my eyes open for this. Horrible, boring song choice. Ick. STEVEN: May I call you Jonesy? You’ve got the confidence of a queen, and you sound so sweet. J-LO: You’ve got all the makings of a diva. Your confidence up there is breathtaking. ASHTON: I get it from you! [And then she imitates Jennifer’s head-tilt.] J-LO: Really really amazing, you should be proud. RANDY: You do have the confidence and stage presence. I didn’t love the song if I’m really being honest. I think you’re broader, bigger than that. I feel something different for you. J-LO: You’re Diana Ross. SARAHK: Yeah, Ashton, you need to pronunciate!

Julie Zorrilla is singing one of my very favorite songs of all time, “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. It’s kind of awful. Pitchy and screechy and sometimes a little unrecognizable. And the ending just doesn’t fit the song. Double ick. J-LO: How do you feel up there? Listen, I liked it. I don’t feel it was the best thing we’ve ever seen you do. [Something about connecting to the words.] RANDY: Our original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson sang that song. SARAHK: She DID?! RANDY: Pales in comparison. STEVEN: Great chorus on that song, but wrong song for you. I think if you took it up a couple of keys, it would be better.

Haley Reinhart. Oh just kill me. She’s singing “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys. Man the first half is great, and then she goes up for this high note, and it’s screeeeeechy. Then it gets better again. But I’m gonna go ahead and call this a song choice failure. It was mostly good, but eh. RANDY: Great song. But it didn’t do anything for you. What we fell in love with was your husky tone, and all of that’s kind of gone away, and it’s kinda karaoke. And I didn’t get it. STEVEN: I didn’t hear that at all. I heard just the right amount of style, just the right amount of sexy. RANDY: What? STEVEN: If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong. Where you took it with the rasp, it was just great. J-LO: I agree with Steven. We saw a lot of colors in your voice just then. I will tell you you need to get out of your head just a little bit. SARAHK: Randy, you and I are the only sane judges on this.

I miss the Simon/Ryan flirting.

Thia Megia is next. I don’t even know what she’s singing, because her voice is so quiet that I can’t make out a single word. I like her little ostrich dress, though. Oh, I just made out the words “on my own.” But it can’t have been the Les Mis song, because it sounded nothing remotely close to it. Her voice is just too small for the Idol stage. STEVEN: Sometimes a person’s pitch can be so perfect that it doesn’t matter what she sings. Blah blah, that was beautiful. J-LO: So beautiful. Such a quiet moment. SARAHK: Too quiet. J-LO: Really, really special. RANDY: It’s been said that the mark of a great singer is the quality of the tone of your voice. Your tone reminds me of Michael Jackson. It doesn’t matter what age you are. This is what hot singing is about. SARAHK: WHAT? RYAN: I think after that performance, we need proof that you’re only 15. [And this is where we see proof of her age, because she has no witty comeback. Not even a, “Well, I can show you that my wallet doesn’t have a driver’s license.” Just a nervous laugh.] Ok, I rewound to watch again, and I don’t see what the judges were going on about. It was alright.

Lauren Alaina, another middle-name-last-namer, is singing “Turn On the Radio” by Reba. It’s good. Not as much as I was expecting from her. No big notes, and the end was a little screechy. I’m a little disappointed. J-LO: You look so beautiful. You don’t even have to try. It’s crazy to me when I watch you up there. I know there’s more in there. It’s just amazing how much of a natural you are. RANDY: I gotta tell ya, I mean, you have a natural gift, you can sing anything. You don’t know how good you are. I know I’ve been dropping names like crazy… SARAHK: Here, here’s one, it was on the floor next to me. RANDY: You remind me of a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Carrie. SARAHK: I love how Carrie doesn’t even need a last name. There is only one, yo. RANDY: I am a fan. STEVEN: There is room somewhere between Clarkson and that where you should live. Just because a person can be in the stratosphere doesn’t mean they have to live there. When you don’t go there, I miss it, though. Blah blah wonderful beautiful. SARAHK: Could have been better.

Pia Toscano sings “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders. She’ll have to be awesome for me to give her any credit. First off, the Pretenders. And then Carrie did it, even more beautifully than the original. Okay, this is really pretty. Aaaaand then we get to the end. This song isn’t a blast-it-out song, and she does. She just completely ditches the song and wails the last few notes. Sigh. She had me until then. Judges give her the standing O. RANDY: I’ve been here 10 seasons. This is our first standing O of this season, Idol 10. You just put yourself in the top with those amazing performances. That was unbelievable, that’s how you do it. STEVEN: You know, after Monday, Tuesday, even a week says WTF. SARAHK: Oh dear, he’s right. STEVEN: That was unbelievable. That was so over the top, you went from here to there. Gorgeous. Congrats. J-LO: I knew you were a standout. But you’re a little tricky because you were saving that for when it counts. SARAHK: Best of the night, but not because of that ending. Sometimes the big finish is wrong.

Pia
Lauren Turner
Lauren Alaina
Kendra
Rachel
Haley
Naima
Ashton
Thia
Karen
Ta-Tynisa
Julie

My prediction for what happened: Ta-Tynisa and Julie went home. Now I’ll watch the results show and see if I was right.

American Idol Top 12 Guys. “That song was for all the ladies out there.”

So why’d they start right out on the big stage? Normally they save that for the top 12. I guess if you own the theater, you should use it, right? Stupid Obama economy.

Ryan asks Randy how it feels to be the head judge. He says it’s hot. Ryan asks J-Lo if it’s tough for her to turn over decisions to the voters. I don’t know what her answer is. He asks Steven (whom Buttercup LOVES, if her shouting at him is any indication) if he feels right at home with the live crowd. Steven says he never knows what will happen or something, and Ryan gives him an American Idol button to put over his mouth if he’s going to curse. Then they have a jokey thing where they both say the F-word because they’re 13, and it’s so cool to cuss when you’re 13.

Right into the performances.

Clint Jun Gamboa is the tool karaoke host who kicked Jaycee (or Jacee) out of his group on group night, and everyone hates him for it. I don’t hate him for it. I just think it reinforces what I think about his personality. And I truly don’t know why he’s in the top 24. He’s singing “Superstition”, and we know how I feel about people singing Stevie on American Idol. I guess he does fine, if you think screaming high notes is good. Watch my double standard apply when James Durbin takes the stage. I hope Randy says “it was just a little karaoke for me, dawg.” STEVEN: Beautiful. Started strong, ended strong. Brilliant. J-LO: You had jitters, but it didn’t affect your performance. You hit it, and it was good. Now that you’re over the nerves, I expect a lot. RANDY: I know we say stuff sounds karaoke over the years, but guess what? There’s no karaoke singer in the world that’s got that kind of vocal talent. SARAHK: Randy, you disappoint me. Maybe he didn’t sound karaoke, but he moved on stage karaoke. Clint, Harry Potter thinks your glasses are dorky.

We can vote online now. I see VFTW becoming even more powerful and Dial Idol becoming less accurate.

Jovanny Barreto is up next. He’s singing “I’ll Be” by the Goo Goo Dolls. It’s kind of too weak for that stage, too weak for Idol. Blah. He is cute, though, looks like someone they would cast on General Hospital as LuLu’s boyfriend or Sonny’s long-lost son or something. STEVEN: Holy shipyards! [See, he worked in a shipyard before this, so it’s clever.] I loved it. J-LO: I’m happy right now, because people got to see what you can do for the first time, and you know what? You did it. RANDY: I hate to be the one to break up the apple cart [is that a thing?], but I didn’t really get it. It felt karaoke. You’ve gotta bring something different and unique to the song. It was just okay. SARAHK: Mehhhhhhhhh. JOVANNY tells Randy he should be on his side since they’re both from Louisiana or something.

Jordan Dorsey is next. I can’t stress enough how much I don’t like him. Dude, you’re a music teacher, not a music god. Come down a little and pretend you think you’re mortal. He’s singing “OMG” by Usher, I guess. I had to google, because it’s a completely nondescript song that I won’t remember five seconds after he’s done. And I’m so underwhelmed. STEVEN: It wasn’t my favorite performance of yours. It wasn’t an OMG. J-LO: Is that who you want to be as an artist? JORDAN: No, no, no. SARAHK: Oh, then thanks for wasting our time. RANDY: Jordan, if you’re going to sing anybody else’s song, you have to bring something to it that is different. Pitchy all over the place. Pales in comparison to the original. It’s not a singer’s song. JORDAN explains that since he had to dance and move since he was singing Usher, he didn’t sing as well. SARAHK: Also, you tried to coast, because you think you’re the pre-coronated champ. Sorry, but you’re not. Nah, I’m kidding. I’m not sorry.

Next up is Tim Halperin. “Streetcorner Symphony” by Rob Thomas. It’s fine, but it just doesn’t showcase anything. We’re now 4 for 4 on horrible song choices. Blah. STEVEN: I’m not sure that song did you any justice, man. It really let me down. [BOOs from the audience.] Yeah, well, nevertheless. J-LO: You did it well, but you didn’t showcase yourself. RANDY: I agree with those guys. Not the best try today, I don’t know. SARAHK: Song choice song choice song choice.

Brett Loewenstern is next, singing REALLY? YOU’RE SINGING “Light My Fire” ON IDOL? I need to sit all these guys down and tell them about this little thing called song choice. That said, I’m very impressed with his hair tonight. Herbal Essences for the win, yo. I do have to say, for a lousy song choice, he did a good job with it. STEVEN: Brett, man, you did it again. You are on fire. SARAHK: I love how brief Steven always is. He’s no Kahra. And it’s really cute how he works the song title into all his reviews. He’s adorable. J-LO: You have more hair tossing than me and Beyonce put together in the past 10 years. You need a fan and a video like tomorrow. RANDY: 14 hair shakes. BRETT: I didn’t even know I was doing that. RANDY: A little pitchy in the beginning but you pulled it together in the end. And you’re going to do what you want to do. SARAHK: It was actually the best performance so far, so there’s that. SONG CHOICE SONG CHOICE SONG CHOICE.

You know, J-Lo looks very comfortable at the judges’ table, and she’s a good judge. I’ve been impressed with her this year.

James Durbin, whom I love, and not just because of the whole overcoming-Tourette’s thing. He’s truly talented. Doing Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” He’s great. A little flat on one of his high notes, but all the rest is so far above all the rest tonight. STEVEN: That’s the first Judas Priest song they’ve had on the show. That was [Idol button] crazy good. I love it that you’re over the top. J-LO: I love the way you perform. It’s organic, it’s real. Every move you make comes from something inside. You do it so naturally. RANDY: Yo, I tell you what. This right here is how you do it. That was great. JAMES is wearing a zebra tail or something. Nevertheless, SARAHK says Yay for him.

Danny ZukoRobbie Rosen is next. Oh no he isn’t. He’s singing Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and making it unrecognizable. No. No. No. Go home. That’s one of the best songs ever sung, and you’re killing it. You have a good voice, so there is absolutely no reason for you to make this song so much your own that it doesn’t even remotely have the same tune. No. No. No. Bad. STEVEN: Robbie, you can sing a ballad like nobody’s business. That was beautiful. SARAHK: No. J-LO: When you sing songs, you have to tell a story, and you do. All the notes weren’t perfectly perfect, but blah blah blah wrong opinion blah. RANDY: Yo, I kinda differ with my cohorts up here on this. I didn’t think this was a great performance. Pitchydawg, and you were never quite comfortable in this performance. It didn’t quite all connect. SARAHK: No.

Josh TurnerScotty McCreery is next, singing John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters From Home.” Not the song I would have picked for him, it’s a little boring, but he sings it well. And a nice higher note at the end. One of the better performances of the night, and that is not saying much. STEVEN: You’re gonna be getting a lot of letters from home really soon. So beautiful. SARAHK: Steven is so adorable. J-LO: After Hollywood week, you said, “I would have cut me.” No. That’s why. RANDY: I like that you switched it up. You love country. You’re not trying to be a crossover guy. Love it. SARAHK: Scotty, you’re good. Go eat a sammich.

Stefano Langone, whose name sounds like an exotic pasta, is singing “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. I hear this one on the radio a lot, because I’m hip and listen to what the kids today are listening to. Until it tires me out and I switch back to the Coffee House station. One of the better performances tonight, good song choice, a little screechy on one high note, but overall well done. Showcased his voice and all that. I like him and hope he stays. Steven will say, “You’re amazing just the way YOU are.” STEVEN: I love the way your voice cut through the air in this room. I can always tell when you hit the right note, because the vein in your forehead pops out. SARAHK: Now I will be obsessed with the vein in his forehead. Thanks, Steven. J-LO: You’re so consistent. Every time you get up there, I’m sure my hands will be in the air and I’ll be grooving. You’re a beast up there, you’re amazing. RANDY: You had us all up here like we were at a concert. There were a couple of notes up there, but it was good, man. RYAN: Is there anybody you were singing that song to? STEFANO: No, that song was for all the ladies out there. SARAHK: Lllllllladies.

Paul McDonald is the quirky dude. Ah, I love him. “What’s up, TV Land?” Seriously? He’s singing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May”? I would give him a hard time about song choice, but this is perfect for him. Kind of boring, except he’s just so adorable. He’ll never win American Idol, but I love him and his girl’s suit. STEVEN: It’s all about the jacket. And the voice ain’t bad either. I love the character in your voice. Nice going. J-LO: You have real character in the way you move, too. Your smile lights up the whole place. I love someone who smiles when they’re singing. Good performance. Congratulations. RANDY: Dawg, you are just so unique and different from anything we’ve ever had on this show. I like that Idol can embrace this kind of a quirky and different singer. I think you’re great. SARAHK: With all the quirks, it’s easy to look past how stinking good-looking this guy is. Oh, and he sings good. And I speak English good.

Jacob Lusk is singing “A House Is Not a Home” by Warwick, Vandross, et al. He’s flawless. This guy is amazing. Amazing. You can thank church for the way this guy sings. STEVEN: Divine intervention that brought you here. I’m honored to be in your presence. You make me cry when you sing. J-LO: Luther Vandross is my favorite singer of all time. I’m excited because he’s gone, but now we have you. RANDY: Luther would be so proud of you. I don’t think there’s anything that you can’t sing, dude. SARAHK: Excellent.

Casey Abrams has been one of my favorites so far, so I’m hopeful. “I Put a Spell on You.” I’m a little disappointed he’s not up there with the double bass, but I’ll give him a break. The vocal is great, stage presence, performance, he totally owns this. Brilliant. STEVEN: You are in your mind good and out of your mind unreal. Your notes and your melodic sensibility. That was as good as it gets. J-LO: You’re sexy, Casey. You’re gonna redefine what this whole thing is, and somebody wants it bad. Loved it. RANDY: Dawg, listen. I love how you transformed yourself into the spirit of that song. More more more! SARAHK: Welcome to the top 10.

My order:

Casey
Jacob
James
Stefano
Scotty
Paul
Brett
Tim
Jovany
Jordan
Clint
Robbie

Prediction: Robbie and Jovany go home. Or went home. I don’t know, because I still have a results show on the DVR. Maybe one day I’ll get to watch it.

Ok, let’s talk Idol top 24

Yes, I’m watching. Yes, I’m loving. Steven Tyler is crazy and funny and–dare I say?–adorable. J-Lo is doing a good job playing the nice girl, though I was really surprised that throughout most of the initial auditions Steven was the nice one who didn’t want to say anything mean to the contestants. And Randy has become the mean one. He doesn’t have the biting one-liners that we came to expect and crave from Simon, but he gives a little bit of edge to the panel. I wasn’t excited about the judges when they were announced, but I was wrong. I’m loving this season.

Here’s hoping it’s quotable this year.

Ok, now I want to talk about the contestants. I have opinions, as you know.

Jordan Dorsey. Giant tool. Yeah, he can sing, but tell me it’s something I haven’t heard a million times before. You can’t tell me that. I can’t wait for him to be gone. I think they should have kept that 15 year-old kid with the curly ponytail instead. He was much better, had a way better tone, and didn’t think his poop smells like roses. I wish I could remember his name. Anyway, back to Jordan. Did y’all notice that when they did the top 24 eliminations, he had to get in the camera shot of every rejoicing contestant who came through the door? He was all like, oh, this is my best friend! But he didn’t give out consolation hugs to the losers, or at least I didn’t see it.

Lauren Alaina. She’s good, but wow did they overplay her in the early rounds. I’ve already seen way too much of Lauren Alaina and her cotton candy dress.

[Note: I’m looking for a really good photoshopper for my Idol posts. Someone who can and will do hilarious photoshops within just a few minutes. My old (and I do mean old) photoshopper isn’t around the internets much these days. If you’re interested, please email me at my name at my name dot the country we live in. You will be paid in photoshop credits and high praise. Also pictures of the candy of your choice.]

[See, right here, it would be awesome to have a picture of Lauren Alaina’s head sticking out of a roll of cotton candy.]

Stefano Langone. I don’t really remember this guy. Maybe they didn’t showcase him much. He has a nice voice.

Jacob Lusk. Love this guy. We see hundreds of Jordan Dorseys, but we’ve only seen one of this guy. He’s fantastic.

Pia Toscano. She’s fine. I kind of nothing her.

James Durbin. Some of the best pipes Idol has ever seen. He can touch notes that Steven Tyler might not be able to touch. Love him. Love him. Love him.

Casey Abrams. I’m so happy this guy is in the top 24. Loved him from the first audition. I hope he never cuts his hair or shaves his beard.

Thia Megia. She reminds me of Jasmine from, what, season 3? I think that’s all I need to say. Ok, wait, I’m not done. I really do not get this. At all. Her voice isn’t that strong, and she has the personality of a brick. Every week i purchase cheap cialis online 20 mg for a good price. Brett Loewenstern. Awesome. I’m so glad they put him in the top 24. His tone is wonderful, one of the most unique tones.

Ashton Jones. She’s good. I’m so tired of hearing people sing that Dreamgirls song, though. It’s over. Move on to Katy Perry or something.

Clint Jun Gamboa. Tool. Also: Boooooooooooorrrrinnnnng. I seriously don’t know how this guy is top 24 material.

Haley Reinhart. She’s not bad.

Jovany Berreto. I nothing him.

Julie Zorrilla. Love her voice. She’s very talented. I’m excited about her.

Karen Rodriguez. I like her. I’m surprised they put her through for some reason, but I’m not upset she’s in the top 24.

Kendra Chantelle. She’s pretty good.

Lauren Turner. I truly remember nothing about her. This does not bode well for her. Or it could just be that she wasn’t overhyped. Maybe she’ll turn out to be wonderful.

Naima Adedapo. Sweet girl, great voice.

Paul McDonald. The first time they showed him (Beatles round), I said to Frank, “He’s weird.” Then they showed all of his performances, and I love him.

Rachel Zevita. Uber-talented, but I just have a feeling she’s going to have a horrible song choice one night, and that’s what will get her sent home. And then she’ll go get produced by David Foster, and everyone will be happy.

Robbie Rosen. Okay, come on with that hair cut. You seriously are trying to get cast as a T-Bird on Broadway. You’re not fooling me.

Scotty McCreery. Hmm. I love his voice. And when he went into his higher register in the Beatles round, I was happy–it sounded good, and I was glad to know he wasn’t stuck way down south in the register (Scotty gets my joke). But his problem is that he’s really comfortable singing Josh Turner and not so much everyone else. I’m hoping that he can branch out into Toby Keith as well (sorry, Rachel Lucas!). But if he really wants to win, he’ll have to sing a lot of chick songs. So Scotty, if you’re reading (as the Idol contestants always do), do yourself a favor and learn some Carrie and Martina and Trisha and even some Patsy. And baby, lock “Your Man” in the vault. You can’t sing that one anymore.

Tatynisa Wilson. I don’t particularly remember anything about her voice, but they didn’t showcase her.

Tim Halperin. He’s good.

As always, the judges cut some people who should have stayed and let some people in who should have gone home. Nothing new there!

So. I’m in for the season. Here’s hoping my new mom duties don’t interfere with my Idol blogging! Yeah, right.

Stabby

Sorry, y’all. This episode of the Idol finale preempted by Family Guy, the stupidest and least funny show in the history of the world, followed by The Simpsons.

I’m not even kidding. The 1st hour of my 2 hour Idol finale is Family Guy and the Simpsons. Which means I’m going to get 1 hour and 8 minutes of the finale.

So thanks, Fox. Thanks for nothing. Makes me even happier that I won’t be watching next season.

Anyway, no liveblogging tonight, because what’s the point. See y’all for the X Factor next year!

American Idol 9 top 2! I’m finally almost sorta done with this show!

This… is the last week I watch American Idol with any consistency! Disclaimer: I will watch if Harry Connick Jr. or David Foster replaces Simon and they keep Ellen. Ditching Kara wouldn’t hurt, either.

Boooo. Simon’s last week on the show. But yay, more free time. Except maybe not, because I’ll watch X-Factor.

Crystal and Lee run down the aisle onto the stage at the Nokia Theater. I’m so glad it’s these two, they actually deserve to be in the finale. I can’t remember the last time the two best were in the finale. Season 4 with Carrie and Bo? Probably. Anyway, Crystal’s been my favorite all season, but Lee’s been my second favorite for most of it, and I don’t know who I want to win. I’ll be happy either way. Love them both. NO THANKS TO THE JUDGES’ SAVE, WHICH TRIED TO KEEP IN A CONTESTANT THAT WE OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T WANT, OR HE’D BE HERE TONIGHT.

Yeah, not a fan of the judges’ save.

Anyway, Crystal won the coin toss and gets to go second. After the break and all.

So there are three rounds. First, each sings his/her favorite song from the season. Second, they sing a song chosen by Simon Fuller, so he can sabotage whichever one he thinks will make him less money. Third, they sing the song they’ll release if they win. I hope it’s about hurricanes and rainbows. It’s what we all want to hear in preparation for our yearly Idol-finale-related purge.

LEE is singing “The Boxer”. I’m underwhelmed–sounds like the first time he did it, so I’ve already heard it, ya know? Randy thinks it wasn’t the best he’s been. Ellen loved it. Kahra liked it. Simon is DASHING tonight. Simon would like a lot more passion tonight so he’s disappointed. He says it’s like wanting a kiss on the lips and getting a kiss on the cheek.

Adorable pics of Crystal as a teenager. She’s singing “Me and Bobby McGee”. And this is the kind of performance they need to bring tonight. Yeah, same as before, but so full of energy, especially the 2nd half. RANDY: It was dope. ELLEN: I’ve said it before, but I’ve said pass the salt many times, and I don’t care. You fill up the room. Stunning. KAHRA: I loved it when you first did it, and I loved it tonight. You have fire in your belly. SIMON: This brought me back to the time when we first fell in love with you. We’ve got a competition tonight.

Round one to Crystal.

Simon Fuller has chosen “Everybody Hurts” for LEE. Ok, uhm, let’s all say it together: SABOTAGE. I mean, tell me, people. What can he do with that song? It’s great for hangin’ out in the rumpus room playing Scrabble and listening to tunes, but what a CRAP song choice for Idol. If Lee had chosen this song, the judges would have been all over him about song choice. He sings it fine, sounds great, but it’s boring for Idol. At least now I know who the producers have picked to win this season. Sorry, Lee. Maybe if you’d smiled more, they wouldn’t have tried to kill you off in the last episode. That said, once he found out he was singing this song, he should have changed his pick for the first round to something more exciting, and he didn’t. RANDY: That was definitely better, because I could feel your passion in it. Started out pitchy. ELLEN: I felt like you went off a couple of times, but I don’t really care about that, because it’s about the performance. You got exciting a couple of times but then pulled back. Don’t pull back. KAHRA: Not a perfect vocal, but I love that about you. Blah blah blah. SIMON: Brilliant choice of song for me. You went a little off melody at times, but what I’m feeling from you tonight is that you’re nervous. And you’ve got another song to come. I think you’ve really got to grasp what this night can do to change your life. When you come out for your last song, I want to see a 10 out of 10.

Yeeeeaaaah. Told you it was sabotage. Crystal gets “Black Velvet”. Can do so much more with this song than with Lee’s song. And she takes it above and beyond what even I was expecting from her. Outstanding. RANDY: Mamasox is in it to win it! ELLEN: The wardrobe changes, it’s like a Cher concert in here! That was fantastic! KAHRA: Tonight is the night to give it your all, to kill yourself on that stage. You want it, you can tell. SIMON: I had a little bit of a problem, because I’m almost allergic to that song because people have murdered it in auditions. But you took that song, and you absolutely nailed it. I’m very impressed.

Yeah. Round 2 also goes to Crystal. She’s gonna win the heck out of this thing.

Last chance for Lee. If he wins, he will release “Beautiful Day”. The U2 song! So no hurricanes and rainbows! I guess my yearly purge will have to wait for tomorrow night’s group sing. I’m pretty disappointed. He didn’t do all he could have with it, and I would have expected more from the big last chance to sing for his supper. Oh well. I’ll still buy his 2nd place album. Love the guy. RANDY: Once again, it started off a little interesting, you walking around. By the middle of the song, hitting the high notes, you started getting your groove, and that’s the Lee I love. ELLEN: Watching you grow to where you are right now, watching you taking in every bit of these people’s energy, I’m so proud of you. You did a great job. KAHRA: You got a bit swallowed up in that song, it had good moments and bad. SIMON: You made the most of it. This is my last time judging on this show, and I want to say you’re what this show is about. Regular guy who needs a break. You deserve to be here, I’m glad you’re here, you’re nice, etc.

Crystal’s single if she wins will be “Up to the Mountain”. I don’t know this song. I’m loving it, though. The girl is wonderful. Clear winner tonight and all season long. She got all emotional and teared up at the end. I almost did too, but I’m pregnant, so a freaking ladybug makes me cry. RANDY: This is what this show is about. An amazing song by an amazing singer. This is one of the greatest performances and one of your best moments on this show, at the perfect time. That was incredible. ELLEN: You’re always looking for someone unique, someone we don’t already have out there right now. I can’t compare you to anyone out there right now. If you’re making an album, I’m buying it. If you’re going on tour, I’m going on tour and watching. If you’re making a salad, I’m eating it. KAHRA: Lots of words about walls and entrails and stuff. She loved it. CRYSTAL says good luck on your endeavors, etc, to SIMON and thanks him for all of his criticism and help this season. SIMON: Thank you. Crystal, since it’s becoming a bit of a love fest tonight, I thought that was by far the best performance and the song of the night. And since this is gonna be the final critique I’m ever gonna give, I would like to say that was outstanding. FRANK: I wanted him to say, “Since this is the final critique I’m ever gonna give, I still have to add that it was horrible.

RYAN says we’ll all miss Simon.

Yes, I’m crying over the last critique Simon gave. Because I love him and all that. Boo hoo.

Will Young, the guy who sings this year’s going home song, “Leave Right Now”, is singing it onstage now while they play a tribute to the season. He’s a Pop Idol winner or something. Love his voice.

So. Finale tomorrow night, and there will be livebloggage. I mean, as soon as I get home. So DVR-delayed livebloggage.

Notes on the top 4 and top 3

Thanks, America, for finally sending Mike home. I love you again. Oh, and thank goodness the judges can’t force him on us again, right? We told you no once, judges. I don’t like the judges’ save.

Um… WHY did Ellen pick a song for Crystal that repeats “maybe I’m a man” over and over? UM. But yeah, she was awesome on it.

Lee on “Hallelujah” was brilliant. It’s hard for me to decide between him and Crystal. He’s come so far this season. I think he might win it. I’ll be happy with either one of them, because they’re the best of Idol this season.

I’m glad Casey was top 3, but he was boring on top 3 night, and once again the Judges’ Sabotage worked to send him home. But he should have gone home. His own choice for the night was a snoozer, and while I do think he’ll have a big career, I don’t think he’s as good as the other 2.

So yay, we actually have a top 2 that makes sense. And yes, I’ll be liveblogging the finale nights, because LOST will be over, and Frank will let me watch Idol.

American Idol survey

Please go take the American Idol survey and tell them how much you hate Kahra (as a judge, not as a person), miss Pauler, and love Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol 9 top 5.

All I want to know is: how in the world does Harry Connick, Jr. only have three Grammys?

Oh, um, this is American Idol, and I LOOOOOOOOVE Harry Connick Jr. He’s writing all the compositions and arrangements for this week, which is awesome. “You think Shania Twain was up in here doing this?”

So it’s Frank Sinatra night, and I’m so glad that they saved it for this late in the season, because I sure hate it when more than 5 kids destroy Sinatra tunes. Simon lurves Sinatra, and Nancy and Tina Sinatra are there to give him one of Frank Sinatra’s monogrammed handkerchiefs, and Simon is touched.

Haha. Aaron is up first, and when he comes in to rehearse, Harry calls him Big Mike. Harry actually teaches him a little about music. Aaron’s singing “Fly Me to the Moon”, and if even Harry can’t make Aaron good, there is no hope. You know, this was actually pretty mediocre, so I’d call it his best week. Randy and Ellen love it, but Ellen calls the piano pitchy (Harry’s playing piano). Kara and Simon like it ok, but Simon says if Sinatra was a lion, Aaron was a mouse.

Before Casey sings, he’s on the Tool Stool, and Harry comes over to say, “I want you to remember one thing: Don’t screw it up!” Casey sings “Blue Skies”. Ouch, second note is pitchy. But the rest is good. Ellen: “I don’t know whose idea it was, but it was a bad idea to have the piano on stage.” Haha. Randy and Ellen hate it, and Kara calls him on his goat vibrato. Simon says the band was great but Casey wasn’t fantastic and thought Casey came across as embarrassed. Ryan asks what Harry thinks. “To be honest, I thought you were better in rehearsal. You killed it two hours ago, but that won’t help you right now.”

Crystal is singing “Summer Wind”. Harry has no advice for her, because she’s awesome. She’s brilliant on stage. Randy thinks it’s okay and sleepy. Ellen wanted her to loosen up more, but she loves her. Kara liked it even though she wouldn’t have seen Crystal singing this kind of music. Simon doesn’t think it was the best song choice (indulgent) and thinks she’s had two okay weeks in a row. Crystal gives the judges a little schooling on how to sing a song.

Big Mike is singing “The Way You Look Tonight”. Once again, he doesn’t do anything for me, and once again, the judges love him. I don’t get how they didn’t like Crystal but liked this snoozefest.

Lee is singing “That’s Life”, and did I mention my love for Harry? Lee is the best of the night, easily. Randy loves it. Ellen says that at first she was distracted by Harry’s organ (ahahahahaha) and then says Lee would have won with that performance if this was the last night. Nobody cares what Kara says. Simon says Harry’s been absolutely incredible. Says that Harry brought out Lee’s personality and confidence, and it was by far the best performance of the night. Agreed on all counts.

My order: Lee, Crystal, Casey, Mike, Aaron.

I already watched the results show, so I know that Mike and Aaron were the bottom 2 (thank you, America) and that Aaron went home (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!). I think this bad boy’s gonna come down to Crystal and Lee. Also, in the results show, I was giddy the whole time over Harry. Best. Mentor. Ever. You know, if he took over for Simon, I’d actually watch next season. David Foster is the only other person I’ll make an allowance for.

Anyway, yippee, Aaron’s gone. Next week, Mike!

American Idol 9 top 7. “They look like leaves.”

This… is American Idol. And this… is going to be sucktastic, because they’re doing hurricanes and rainbows songs. I can’t WAIT! Well, obviously I can since it’s Thursday morning and I’m just now watching. But hey. Making a person, so give me a break.

You know, Big Mike, there’s nothing I love more than white jackets. As you know, the ’80s were the most brilliant decade for fashion EVER, so it’s good you’re drawing clothing inspiration from there.

Alicia Keys is the inspirationally inspired mentor, and she’s big with the philanthropy and loves Idol Gives Back. Wait, let’s talk about that for a second. Idol seriously needs to reconsider its IGB timing for next year. The week after I’ve drained my savings account for tax day is a very bad time to ask me for money. Because, you know, I have none.

Casey is up first, and he’s boring on “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac. Kinda just doing the same thing every week. We know what his album will sound like already, so he needs to step it up and do something else. I’m not saying lose the bluesy vibe or stop playing guitar. Just stretch your vocals, dude. RANDY: Yo dawg, you’re boring. ELLEN: I have to be hard on you. Be great. It wasn’t great. KAHRA: Lots of words, very little to say. SIMON: I’m amazed you chose that song, because this week’s theme is hurricanes and rainbows. That wasn’t inspirational at all. Lazy song choice.

Coca-Cola once again giving generously to Idol Gives Back. We know it’s because of my Coke habit, so you’re welcome.

Lee is doing “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel. I’m sorry, but slow, boring songs don’t inspire me. Sounds good, but next. RANDY: I’m probably one of your biggest fans, and I think you’re gonna have a big career. ELLEN: Beautiful song choice. You have so much soul and depth in you. Best performance by far, I think. KAHRA: Simon said a few weeks back you had your moment, but I think you had it tonight. Lots more blah blah blah. SIMON: That was inspirational, and you made it sound like it was written a year ago. Absolutely brilliant.

Tim is doing “Someplace Simple” by the Goo Goo Dolls. I guess that was inspirational or something, but it wasn’t special, and the beginning was all kinds of pitchydawg. Next. RANDY: Ok good karaoke for me. You didn’t do anything with it. It just kinda laid there. ELLEN: You’re like the soup of the day. Sometimes I like the soup, sometimes I don’t like the soup. I’ve liked your soup, but today, I didn’t like the soup. KAHRA: Many words to say, it wasn’t your best performance. SIMON: I think if it had been your first performance, we would have been impressed. You have improved over the weeks, but it was a little bit of a letdown.

Aaron is doing “I Believe I Can Fly”. Of course he is. He hasn’t started yet, but we can just assume I hate this hard. Yeah, I didn’t love it, because he sucks. RANDY: You did a good job with a giant song. ELLEN: There was a brief period in the ’70s when I believed I could fly. Tough song, you handled it real good. KAHRA: By the end, you were flying. SARAHK: Shut the hell up. SIMON: I think we have to put this into two parts. On the one part you, we like you, and you’re brave to take on that song. In the real world, if I’d heard that on the radio, I would have turned it off within ten seconds. SARAHK: I’m glad at least one of you is sane.

Siobhan is doing “Miracles”. The first half is really good, and then the wheels fly off when she goes up for the second half. And then the very end is good. I like hearing her hit a non-screaming high note. RANDY: You probably picked the toughest song of the night. I don’t know why you picked it. It was just ok for me. SARAHK: Better than most of the crap they’ve been putting on tonight. ELLEN: I disagree with Randy, it showed why you’re here. KAHRA: I still don’t know who you are. SARAHK: Read her freaking bio and shut up. SIMON: I agree with Randy. And the leaves distracted me on the closeups. [She’s wearing creepy butterflies on her arm and shoulder.] SIOBHAN: They’re butterflies. SIMON: They look like leaves. SARAHK: Hahahahahaha. SIOBHAN: I’m… not… going… to… be… intimidated… by… a… song… because… of… who… it’s… by. SARAHK: Slow down, you’re talking too fast.

Big Mike is doing “Hero”. Not the Mariah one, the other one. Oh my word, he just pointed at the camera. Kill me. Vocally, it’s good, but as we all know, I don’t get him at all. I just don’t like the kind of music he sings, so I’m always utterly bored. Though the pointing was a nice touch to wake me up. RANDY: I was worried about this song for you, but you held your own with it, dawg, it worked out. ELLEN: Great job. KAHRA: Not my favorite. Song became unrecognizable. SIMON: I think you sang it pretty well. But the theme tonight is inspirational songs, and that was about Spiderman, wasn’t it? MIKE: No! It’s about being a hero! SARAHK: Hahahahahaha. SIMON: But it’s about Spiderman. SARAHK: Hahahahahahaha.

Crystal is last, doing “People Get Ready”. She really likes the gospel music, and I dig her. Alicia Keys was a good mentor. Crystal starts out a capella, no instrument today, backup singers onstage with her. Oh my goodness, poor thing couldn’t even finish the song, she started sobbing. Had to just speak the last line. Made me cry, but you know, pregnant hormones. Best of the night–the others were just renting space on her stage. Wow, that was corny. Sorry. RANDY: Unbelievable, standing O. ELLEN: You have never looked more beautiful, you keep evolving and growing. That was so beautiful. KAHRA: Thank you for putting your guitar down. SIMON: In another league. THAT was inspirational.

Crystal
Lee
Casey
Siobhan
Mike
Tim
Aaron

Bottom three prediction: Siobhan, Tim, Aaron. I already know who goes home, but I would have predicted Tim, since Aaron is impervious because the tweens are trying to destroy my calm.