Wow! Back! Lots to catch up, so let's try and shoot through this reality television first...
The Lovely Steph Leann and I have already watched the single performance round... this is where the Idol wannabes sing one by one for the judges, and they make notes, nod, smile and at the end of the day, they place everyone in four groups--then go to each one and tell them if they move on or not...
Ryan informs us that the judges won't comment or say much, they'll just make up their minds one by one. However, the good contestants get Paula standing, Kara cheering and Randy going "yeah yeah!" and Simon with a slight grin. The bad ones don't get any of that, just silence. Yeah, that's fair.
Making it includes Anoop Something, an Indian who sang Bobby Brown, which was bizarre, as did Lil Rounds, who sounds like a Little Debbie cake. The Blind White Guy is also moving on, and Nate the Pansy and yes, Norman Gentle goes forth.
Well, we are on the next episode, and there's a twist... some will make it straight through... others will be rejected... and some will be brought in for a "sing off". They will sing something to impress the judges one last time... and they don't know they'll be in a Sing Off. And yes, they'll go against someone else, in the same room.
See, this is an awesome idea... yes, I'd prefer them to love me so much, they'd send me on through, but if they don't know, I'd love to get one more chance to prove myself. And if that guy next to me sings better upon the asking, then good luck to him, he deserves it. This is supposed to be a singing competition... let me earn it.
The first of the 36 spots has been filled with Anoop Haberdashery, or whatever his name is. The second is taken by Von Smith, who looks like Frankie Muniz, and causes The Lovely Steph Leann to laugh and say, "Why does he keep yelling?"
Cody is up against Alex is the first sing off, and though Cody looks more of an Idol, Alex sings much better. The winner? Alex gets the third spot, Cody goes home. Cody looks like a gay version of Mitch from Dazed and Confused.
Adam Lambert comes up. In the previous round, he sang "Believe" by Cher, one of the songs I hate the most in the whole entire world. Oh, I dearly detest that song. Adam's fate? He takes the fourth spot.
Seacrest calls it "The Final Judgement", like its an execution... I guess it is, in a way. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I love when they showcase people that either we've never heard of, or have barely seen". Thus is the case with Taylor Oompaloompa, or whatever her name is. And she makes it. I guess I will need to learn her actual last name.
Jasmine Murray also gets through. Arianna Afsah makes it. Casey Carlson makes it. Megan Corkrey makes it. Mishavonnahansen makes it. Stevie Wright makes it. Thats now 11 spots down, 25 open spots left.
Joanna Piscitti comes up, and since we haven't had anyone "not make it", at least onscreen, so things aren't looking good for Joanna. In the last round, she blah de dahhed her way through "Ain't Got You", the cardinal sin of forgetting the lyrics. She says, "I still don't think they've seen my best", and to me, we should have already seen her best. And she makes it. I'm a little surprised by it... she is knocked out in the first two voting rounds, I'll bet.
And now the montage of people who don't make it, exiting one by one, with their dreams crushed. As we see in the preview before the commercials ("I don't like the previews," laments The Lovely Steph Leann) things don't look so rosy for Kendall Beard. She's crying already, even though Paula has only started to talk. However... Kendall makes it to the next round. Crying.
But we've got a Sing Off! Jennifer Corbett and Kristen McNamera face off, womano a womano. Jenn Corbett sings "Not Ready to Make Nice", another song I can't stand, while Kristen goes in to earn her way through. She's the chick who was with Nate the Pansy and The Black Nancy Wilson. So, what does she do? She pulls out the Whitney for the playoff. You don't go for Whitney, chick... geez...
The winner, by a knock out? Is it the knock out? Or the other chick? Well, now that they show her up close, she's not really a knock out, but the other chick is definately the other chick between the two. What am I trying to say? I'm telling you that Kristen McN is going to the next round, and Simon says, "I completely disagree with this decision." Me too.
Alexis Grace, pink hair and all, is coming up now. She makes it. That makes 15 down, 21 spots left. The Blind Guy comes up, and I cannot imagine this guy not making it... seriously... and I'm write. So, #16 on the show is Scott the Blind Guy!
Another chick I can't imagine not making it is Lil Rounds. Is her name really "Lil"? Who names their kids "Lil"? I mean, if she were a boy, would she have been "Big'un"? She takes the 17th spot.
An hour into the 2 hour show now, and Felicia Barton didn't make it. Ashley Hollister didn't make it. Devon Baldwin didn't make it. I comment, "I liked her... well... no, I don't really remember her..."
And its a Sing Off! Frankie, who went to Hollywood, is facing off first. She's a chick, by the way, Frankie Jordan, and for her playoff performance, she sings, "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. She looks like an ethnic version of Janice from Friends. Simon says, "Well, that makes it easier, thanks", which sends Frankie J walking out in a panic.
Jesse Langseth sings next, "Wishing Well", and though she looks better, Simon says, "That was a horrible song." When Jesse leaves, Randy says, "We have to take a vote" and Simon responds, "No you don't".
The winner? Jesse Langseth goes on, and Simon says, "If its any consulation, Frankie, you wouldn't have won anyway... and Jesse, if you sing like that, you don't stand a chance either."
Shera Lawrence didn't make it. Derik Lavers didn't make it. He cries when he sees everyone downstairs.
Remember when I said there were those that we've never even heard of? I give you Allison Iraheta. She threw down on "Because of You" in the previous round, and now? She's #19.
Danny and Jamar have a great Bro-mance, being all BFFy and such, and now, they are both in the final round before the Top 36. I'm kinda hoping they don't do a Sing Off... that would be just cold.
Danny Gokey is up now, having sung "I Hope You Dance", one of The Lovely Steph Leann's favorite songs ever, in the previous round. He moves on, almost slipping as he runs out. Jamar actually tears up when Danny comes down. So, here comes Jamar Rogers... will he join his Brother From Another Mother in the Top 36? No. He comes to the end... of the road... though I can't let go... its a natural... you belong to me... I belong to you... sorry, Boyz II Men got me.
The whole room moans and is unsettled when Jamar doesn't make it. One guy in the back of the room wipes his eyes. Danny is shocked, Jamar gives him a hug and the whole room does a standing ovation.
Ricky Braddy becomes #21. Matt Giraud is #22. Ju'Not Joyner is #23. Jorge Nunez is #24. Brent Keith is #25. Ten spots left.
Stephen Fowler, who forgot his lyrics and fumbled on the keyboard before finally starting over, then just walking offstage with a wave, sits in front of the judges now. He makes it through to become the #26 contestant.
And for some reason, Nick Mitchell, who likes to portray "Norman Gentle", this freak show alter ego, is still here. Have the judges ever heard of Vote For the Worst dot Com? This is a disaster if he makes it, of monumental Sanjaya proportions.
And he makes it. This is a terrible, terrible day. I dunno if the shark has been jumped, but its in sight.
Here comes Jackie Tohn, who I do remember, and I do remember liking. She also sang "I Hope You Dance", and The Lovely Steph Leann closes her eyes and smiles. Then throws up. Anyway, for Jackie, she's #28.
Tatiana the Annoying Laugher is next... ohmigosh I cannot stand this chick. I mean, holy crap. Yeah, she can sing so-so, whatever, at least Norman Gentle makes me laugh some. The Lovely Steph Leann rolls her eyes. Simon says, "Just try for once to not be annoying." No way. Paula gives her some jewelry, they banter... and Tatiana becomes #29. The Lovely Steph Leann and I both groan loudly at the same time.
The Lovely Steph Leann says, "She's like some of those children we heard squealing at Disney World", and when she (Tatiana, not The Lovely Steph Leann) comes out of the elevator yelling, only Nate the Pansy claps, albeit while rolling his eyes.
Speaking of Nate the Pansy, he's in a Sing Off! He's up against Jackie Midkaff (a dude), who he befriended in previous rounds. Oh, those scheming Idol producers, placing friend against friend. Nate the Pansy, remember, wants this really badly, and has been through alot, and music means so much to him. This is what makes him different!
Nate the Pansy throws out some "Already There", combating Jackie's "When a Man Loves a Woman". Now, the judges rule... Nate the Pansy cries in the waiting room. Seacrest looks like he's trying his best to not blow up with laughter. And the winner? Nate the Pansy.
So, six spots remain. Jeanine Vailes is #31. Kai Kalama is #32. Anne Marie Baskovich is #33. Kris Allen is #34.
Much to The Lovely Steph Leann's chagrin, two of her favorite contestants Matt the Welder and Michael the Oil Rigger, are in a Sing Off. Matt the Welder sings first, and you just can't help but like this guy. Michael the Oil Rigger sings next, and seriously, why couldn't they just put both guys in and drop Nate the Pansy, or Norman Gentle, or Tatiana the Annoying Laugher?
The Lovely Steph Leann leans towards Michael the Oil Rigger. The judges? Simon and Paula like them both, but are not sure that either could win the competition. So what do they do? They put both through (which makes sense, because Seacrest said that only one spot remained, and I only counted 34, and I double checked, and since its a Top 36, I was confused... The Lovely Steph Leann says, "you know most people at home aren't counting, dear...")
So who is the favorite? I have no clue. Stand outs for me are Scott the Blind Guy, Lil Rounds, Jackie Tohn and Kai Kalama, but its still way to early... too many names, too many faces, too many chances for favorites to flame out, too many spots for underdogs and no names to rise up and rule... so we shall see.