Well, its 2 full hours of American Idol... Ryan Seacrest uses the word "crescendo", and all we hear are Idols saying how bad they want this, and how much this means.
Ya know, I'd love to have an Idol to say, "You know, this doesn't mean all that much to me, and really, I've only been dreaming about this since... I dunno, maybe Thursday? I'm really just doing to... well not to inspire people, but just to inspire chicks to go out with me. That would rule. I rule."
HOLLYWOOD WEEK'S FINALE
In the backdrop of "Realize" by Colbie Caillat, they show some of the journeys of Idol. 71 contestants remain... and coming up, its the final performance, by themselves, to show the judges they want it bad enough, with the goal making the top 24. And the hardest part? The judges don't give any feedback to them, they just decide.
We see Randy the Dawg, Kara the New Hotness, Simon the Cowell and America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres going over the pictures of the contestants, and figuring out who makes what room. This is the part where they are split into 3 different rooms.
We see Angela Martin doing "American Girl" by Estelle... and she sounds rockin' awesome. Seriously. Whoever is in her room should feel okay... digging this song. The judges like her. So do I.
The names sound familiar--Jermaine Purifory and Casey James I remember. Jermaine does "Brick House" while Casey does some "Bubbly". Both sound pretty good.
Casey in Room 1. Jermaine is in Room 2. And in Room 3? Angela Martin. What to do? What to do?
Imagine spending 2 hours in that room, just waiting. How nerve wracking is that? How terrible is that, just to sit there in possible silence, any words spoken being shallow and unmeaningful because you have no idea what to think, or what to say. We see hands being held, we see girls huddled together, we see guys just biting their nails and rocking back and forth, none saying really much.
Jermaine Sellers is doing "Man in the Mirror", and he's doing pretty good. Not great. Just pretty good. He's got the big Spike Lee glasses and the gangsta' hat, and he does the unthinkable--he blames the band for not sounding as good as he wants.
Siobhan Magnus gave Ellen the impression she was... well, old. Her first performance was stiff, her last performance was much better and much more fun, doing Stevie's "Living for the City". She's one we have seen very little of, but she was great.
Crystal Bowersox, with harmonica and guitar, does "If It Makes You Happy" by Sheryl Crow. I'm known for my own Sheryl Crow rants, and how much I loved old school Sheryl, so I won't get into this here, but Crystal is doing the song some real justice. This song is vintage Great Sheryl.
Alex Lambert had trouble with his song, and he clashed with his group during Group Week. He's trying to do some Jason Mraz on his... well, that looks like a ukulele, but I'm not sure. Big Mike also tried some "I'm Yours", sounding like a big soul brother. Todrick Hall does the same song, putting some sexy spin on it.
Thaddeus Johnson is singing "Man in the Mirror", while his Mama cheers on in the front row. I remember this being one of my least favorite Michael Jackson songs, and in 9th grade, we used to sing "Man in the Bathroom"... "I'm asking the man in the bathroom (pee!) I'm asking him to wipe his tail (pee!)..."
So that was all in Room 1. What about Room 2? Charity Vance, who I liked quite a bit, sang something I didn't know, but did it well. Tasha Layton, a chick worship pastor, has this awesome rasp to her voice that I love. But, in Room 2 also sits Mary Powers, one of my least favorite contestants ever. She was the drama queen who tried to take over during Group Night. So, I want Charity and Tasha to advance, but to do so, that means that Mary Powers must advance.
Well, I'm not that attached to Tasha and Charity, so see ya Mary. Please, please, don't put her through.
Lloyd Thomas, the big dock worker, has some tears when thinking about his woman and his offspring. He tries "Man in the Mirror" and really, not all that great. Eh, he's okay. Brian Walker, the police officer who auditioned with "Superstar", and could become this years The Widower Danny Gokey, without the Widower part. Remember, Jermaine Purifory is also in this room, as is Hope Johnson, who auditioned in Dallas. She seems kinda gawky and awkward, and sings, "Home" by Daughtry. Erin the Marine Wife is not happy with this performance, as its not that great. She's the biggest Daughtry lova' I know.
Now, let's skip to Room 3 down the hall. Seacrest flips through some of that I recognize, including Shelby Dressel, the chick with the slight nerve damage to her face. However, while rehearsing for the final song, she forgets her lyrics to "More Than a Feeling". The band leader is scolding her, kinda making her cry. Onstage, she gets all the words. Go Shelby!
However, she's not all that confident, as she sits next to Aaron Kelly, who forgets the words to "Angel". He sounds good, but not when you are being silent. THIS IS WHY YOU PICK A SONG YOU KNOW. Don't go for a song that will dazzle the judges, go for a song that you will remember the words to, then make that song dazzle. This kid was like, 3, when this song came out, I swear.
Someone names Ashley Rodriguez is shown singing... ya know, one of those that will likely make the Top 24 that you've never heard or seen before... which is a shame, because she sounds fantastic, and she's really easy on the eyes too. And, she's one of my own, a Mexican! Lee Dewyze is singing "You Found Me" and sounds great, while Joe Munoz becomes the next in the line of people who aren't doing so well with "Man in the Mirror". Haeley Vaughn, who seems like she was named because her mom couldn't spell "Haley" correcting, also is in Room 3.
Janell Wheeler woke up coughing and wheezing, with voice issues. Her last performance sounds pretty good, though, singing "Love Story". Kara the New Hotness whispers "wrong song. wrong song..." to Simon the Cowell, and Janell stands with tears, knowing it was the truth.
We now see the judges walking down the hall, approaching the rooms to give them the news. We started in Hollywood with 181, we've got it down to 71 and now they are split into 3 rooms. Do the math, that puts about 23 in each room... there is a Top 24, so we figure 2 rooms advance, 1 room does not.
Room 1 has Tori Kelly, Lilly Scott (who's description says "Musician/Sandwich Maker"), Andrew Garcia and a few others, including the guy who blamed the band. The judges head to Room 1. How weird is it to see Ellen DeGeneres to stand in front, deciding your musical future and career? And America's Favorite Lesbian tell them they advance. Siobhan Magnus, Tyler Green, Thad Johnson, Katie Stevens and Big Mike celebrate.
But, you can hear the cheers in another room. The judges head to Room 2. I like how Seacrest tries to build suspense on which room they are going to... Room 1 was... first. And which room are they headed to now? Room 2. Which is 2nd. Leaving Room 3. Which might be 3rd. Thanks, Seacrest.
Simon the Cowell stands up in front, gives them the news and tells them its bad. They won't make it, including Mary Powers. Sadly, we lose Tasha Layton, Charity Vance and Jermaine Purifory, but we lose Mary Powers. I'm okay with that. I'll live, somehow.
Room 3, which we already know will now advance, awaits hearing the news. They all sit on the floor--you'd think they'd toss some chairs in that room, or a sofa, or maybe a few board games or something. Kara the New Hotness tells them they are staying, and the room go nuts. And they spill into the hallway, Rooms 1 and 3 making a huge party in the hall.
The judges now much choose 24 out of the 46--remember, the next step is the audience voting. Twelve girls, twelve guys, in OUR MOST EMOTIONAL TOP 24 EVER. EVER. EVER NEVER EVER. So says Ryan Seacrest.
At this point, the judges go back and spend a little time watching audition tapes again, figuring out who did what, rethinking or reaffirming their positions on certain people... in real time, the Top 24 has already been set, as these auditions have already happened, but we haven't' seen who makes it until now. There was a story of one guy who made it, but the guy's daddy couldn't keep his trap shut, so he was disqualified from the show. The guy who made it and then was kicked out? Big Mike.
It's OUR MOST EMOTIONAL TOP 24 EVER. EVER. EVER NEVER EVER.
Each one is brought in to the Kodak Theater stage, from the upstairs holding room. The judges will talk to them to tell them yay or nay. 12 guys, 12 girls.
Big Mike comes down first... he's like a big, black John Mayer or Jason Mraz, even doing "I'm Yours". While he's been falootin' around Idol, his wife has had a baby already. No, I'm serious. Simon tells him he's through to the next round with a unanimous vote. Too bad he gets the boot thanks to daddy being stupid.
That's one guy down, eleven left.
Taking the next long walk, its Didi Benami. She's the one who lost her best friend back home. She's shown singing a song written by Kara the Hotness, something I'm sure about belief in yourself and reaching for your dreams. She sits in front of the judges, and they tell her... she's one of the 12 chicks. That's one chick down, eleven spots left.
And next is Katlyn Epperly, with big poofy hair... she's the one with family issues, something about her dad leaving her as a child and so on. Whatever reason, she's got some rockin' hair. America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres speaks to her right off, telling Katlyn that she makes it through. Two chicks in, ten spots left. And she looks sort of 1920 flapperish as she comes out of the elevator.
Shelby Dressel sits anxious, knowing that when the door comes open with someone victorious, that's another spot taken away. We've had the first three people in a row make it... someone is bound to not make it. Could it be Shelby Dressel? Randy the Dawg gives her the news, and its bad. She doesn't go through... and that kinda makes me sad, because I kind of liked her. Simon says, as she leaves, "that's the wrong decision."
Casey James, with his long hair in a ponytail, was the guy who Kara the Hotness asked to take his shirt off. He sounds good in a rockin' sort of way, though he'll be interesting to hear in like, Disco Week. Kara the New Hotness does the talking, and she tells him he is going through. Two guys make it, two girls make it, ten of each gender remain.
High school student Aaron Kelly is ready to go to the Kodak Theater stage, after having a great performance at the beginning of the week, and a (literally) forgettable performance during the Group Week, and at the end. Yet again, another guy that no one has even seen until this episode. America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres tells him that he makes it through.
And if you think I'm saying "America's Favorite Lesbian" when talking about America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen Degeneres just so I can call Ellen Degeneres "America's Favorite Lesbian"... well, you'd be right.
Lee Dewyze comes up. Kara the New Hotness tells him that he needs more confidence... but that he makes it through. Four guys spots down, eight remain.
Here comes Todrick Hall, another dude. Another yes from the judges. Five guys in, seven spots remain.
Jessica Furney comes down the long aisle to the judges table. She was already a good contestant in last year's Idol, and now it comes down to this. She's one of the four who pimpslapped Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape" during Group Night (and by pimpslapped, I mean crapped on it, not made it sound good) and here she is, finding out the next step. And the next step is a big, bad no. With horror in her face she watches Randy the Dawg say no. And then she admits it sounds pathetic to beg, then pathetically begs for another chance, telling them how important it is to her, and how she's got it, whatever "it" might be and Simon the Cowell cuts her off and just tells her flat out that its done. She asks what she did wrong, and Simon said, "You didn't sing as well as the others." Love it. Alright Jessica, save some dignity. Walk away.
As the other judges console her, Simon just tells her, "Alright, that's enough" and basically says, "Get off the stage and go away." She complains about how she lost her voice. Too bad, she was the only person out of that almost 200 contestants that had any issues, problems or obstacles to overcome.
Who else goes through? Find out tomorrow night, here on this blogpost!
Welcome back... its a day later, and once again, I'm joined by The Lovely Steph Leann, sitting on the adjacent couch, blanket in hand. Where were we? Well, five guys and two chicks made it through... leaving seven guys spots and ten girls spots to be filled.
This is the final judgment. And...
The remaining contestants are in the "holding" room, awaiting their names to be called. Janell Wheeler wants to be here so bad, this means so much to her. She wants to inspire. She sang "House of the Rising Sun" in the initial audition, while singing "American Girl" during Hollywood Week, using a guitar to do so. Not bad. Group week was a disaster, and her final song wasn't that good either.
She gets all emotional about her flub-up, and she walks down to the judges table to find out what happened. She gets so emotional, baby, every time she thinks of you... she gets so emotional baby, ain't it shockin' what... love can do (ain't it shocking what love can do?) Sorry. Whitney rant.
American's Favorite Member of the Lesbiterian Church Ellen DeGeneres rambles on before finally telling Janell that she's advancing. Three girls in, nine spots left.
Who the heck is this Tyler guy? He looks like a young, scrawny version of big Don Dawson (the guy in the overalls) from Dazed and Confused... maybe crossbred with James van der Beek. Just sayin'. Kara the New Hotness tells Tyler Grady he's headed through to the next round, taking spot number six.
This is an overwhelming baptism of fire for the Idol contestants. Lacy Brown comes up... she was here last year, at this very same spot, sitting next to Kristy Lee Cook--KLC advanced. And this time, the news is better... she makes it through! Ashley Rodriguez gets in. Alex Lambert gets in. Joe Munoz gets in.
Four guy spots left. Seven chick spots left.
Crystal Bowersox comes up... she's got the Elliot Yameen "I gots to win so I can get my grillz fixed" thing going on. I've read online that everyone loves her "rocker" background, and I can see it, but she kinda reminds me of Whatshername Overmayer or whatever her name was--Simba is what I called her.
Anyway, Crystal BoSox gets in, leaving six girls spots left.
So, perhaps we'll see some people who won't make it in. Katie Stevens, who has the old grandmother with Alzheimer's, is up next. Perhaps she can just tell Grandma she made it, even if she didn't. Grandma won't know the difference, and you can tell her again tomorrow and it will be like she'd never heard it. Oh, come on, you kinda thought that was a little funny, back off. The Lovely Steph Leann cracked up.
She sits before the judges, Ellen is going on a speech about not wanting to say negative stuff and so on... and she tells Katie Stevens she's making it through. Five girl spots left.
And here's a montage of people who didn't make it... including that annoying chick with the annoying "I'm quirky, look at me" colorful glasse. And they don't even give the names out--and most of us don't remember them anyway.
Angela Martin, who in my mind is a front runner already, is up. She did well in Group Week, and not so well in an individual performance. Cindy Jo is openly weeping right now for Angela telling us about her life's troubles--daughter's illness, jail time, father killed... but perhaps this means so much, perhaps she wants this so badly.
Not only is Cindy Jo openly weeping, Angela is as well. Kara the New Hotness comes over and sits with her, talking to her and then telling her that she didn't make it. What? What? She didn't make it? Wow. That was a little surprising... let it not be said that Idol is looking only for sob stories and feel goody tales... this would have been both, and they shot her down. Even Ryan Seacrest is handing her like kidgloves. Here's hoping we'll see her next year.
Denver's Lilly Scott's jazz stylings on Day One of Hollywood Week blew the judges away... and her dreamcatcher earrings blew fashion away. She was also trying to do "Rich Girl" for a performance, she struggled with the band and then struggled onstage. That's a fun song to sing, only because you feel like you are being naughty when you bleep yourself from using the B-word during the song. Most of the time, you can only do that with rap songs.
Kara the New Hotness tells Lilly Scott know that she's making it through to the next round. Eight spots remain--four guys, four girls.
Paige Miles makes it through (The Lovely Steph Leann and I both say, "Who?"), as does Siobhan Magnus, Jon Park, Jermaine Sellers (and not Jermaine Purifory? Wrong Jermaine...) and some chick with fabulous hair named Michelle.
So, am I right in saying that two guys spots remain, and one girl spot? I think so...
Its the final judgement... Haeley Vaughn and Tori Kelly walk to the judges stand, with one spot left. I vote Tori Kelly, if only cause I can spell her name much easier.
Idol juxtaposes between the two girls, rather than have them sitting side by side like in years past, with the judges talking to each one of them. Simon talks to Haeley, Randy the Dawg talks to Tori... Haeley's fate? Tori's fate? One makes it, one didn't. Tori didn't make it, while Haeley advances to the Top 24.
And the guys? Two spots left. Thaddeus Johnson vs. Andrew Garcia. The Lovely Steph Leann says, "Bye bye Thaddeus...". We'll find out in just a moment!
For Thaddeus, it was a week of triumphs... he's the guy with his mama in the front row. And I'm hoping this guy gets cut, because T-Bone's mom might really be bothersome. Andrew Garcia wants to make a better life for him and his son. This means so much to him, he wants this so bad. He did do a rockin' acoustic version of "Straight Up"... yes, Paula Abdul's "Straight Up"...
Thaddeus sits down in front of the judges, and Simon flat out tells him, Straight Up, that he didn't make it. Thaddeus starts crying... thats what happens when you are 16 and let down. I feel for the kid, walking away simply bawling. Where's mama? She should be right there, ready to pimpslap Simon back to Liverpool...
Which means... Andrew Garcia has no idea that he takes the final spot. I like this guy alot, actually... Ellen DeG speaks to him, and tells him that he made it through.
And there is it... your American Idol Top 24.