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megan corkrey

AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Top 13 Compete

I went into Michael Jackson-theme night with high hopes because whatever you may think of him as a person, the guy’s had tons of good catchy hit songs. But does that mean the contestants chose those good songs? No. Some of them chose such dreary, obscure ones that I was sure Barry Manilow wrote Scott MacIntyre’s selection, “Keep the Faith.” But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s break it down.

  • Lil Rounds, aka Loud Rounds, started the night with “The Way You Make Me Feel.” I like the energy and the song but every note was sung exactly the same way—loudly. The way she made me feel was to turn down the volume. It’s too much of a good thing. The girl’s got pipes for sure but some moderation and variety would be nice.
  • Scott MacIntyre accompanied himself on piano while singing “Keep the Faith.” Which? Yeah, I didn’t know it, either. That’s because it was never released as a single and there’s good reason—it’s utterly forgettable. If you offered me a new Buick to hum it right now, I couldn’t. It’s awesome how well Scott can play piano and overcome his visual impairment but I realized tonight that every performance will probably be exactly the same because it’s not as if he could do an uptempo song and dance around. He could still have a career as an Elton John-type of artist but he’s not the kind of “package” performer the producers are looking for.
  • Danny Gokey. Ooh, I was scared when he did those slow runs at the start of “P.Y.T.” I thought, “Please, no, don’t put me to sleep.” But then he ripped the mike off the stand and funked it up! He sang the crap out of that song! The dance moves made him look like a spastic chicken but I didn’t mind because he looked like he was having buckets o’ fun. 
  • Michael Sarver went next, showing his sensitive side with “You Are Not Alone.” Well, I can’t be alone in thinking the performance was completely vanilla, right? He’s got a solid voice and seems like a stand-up guy (reminded me of Josh Gracin from season 2) but has no star quality.
  • Jasmine Murray. That girl sure is pretty and her sisters are gorgeous, too, but her cover of “I’ll Be There” was safe and unspectacular. I was just thinking how she came off a little Stepford-ish when Simon said, “You’re a little robotic” and I freaked. Simon’s inside my head! Jasmine needs to show me more of her personality before I can get more excited about her.
  • Kris Allen. I like this kid with his guitar! Makes him so much more interesting to watch. “Remember the Time” is not the most riveting song but he made it more fun by John Mayering it up.
  • Allison Iraheta, doing another obscure song, “Give In to Me.” She’s got such a great, gravelly voice, though, that she managed to rock it out. That little girl’s a powerhouse! But she’s got to stop making those goofy, awkward faces while listening to the judges’ feedback. Put on a game face and own it, girl!
  • Anoop Desai, bravely taking on “Beat It.” I was excited when he announced this song choice but oops, what happened? The vocals weren’t great. That song needs a whole lotta ‘tude and Anoop didn’t quite bring it. I dig the makeover, though, and still want him around for next week.
  • Jorge Nunez sang “Never Can Say Good-bye” in a cheesy, ’70s-style arrangement. But his vocals are consistently passionate and if you close your eyes, he sounds just like Marc Anthony in places. My favorite comment of the night came when Jorge said he wasn’t going to sing “Bad” and Simon retorted, “You sort of did.” Ha! 
  • Megan Joy Corkrey. She sang “Rockin’ Robin,” which is a really quirky choice but perfect for her persona. She’s so wacky and fun and retro and Duffy-ish with the funky dance moves and I love her. Not the best singer but my favorite entertainer. And her mom is stunning! No wonder Megan’s gorgeous.
  • The Hellmouth aka Adam Lambert tackling “Black or White” in a bombastic, seizure-inducing manner. He’s got an impressive falsetto but I can’t deal with his shrieky style. He’s never met a note he didn’t want to kill, and I don’t mean that in a cool, slangy way. Judges loved him. Even Simon betrayed me. Sadness.
  • Matt Giraud, playing the piano and singing “Human Nature.” It’s an underwhelming performance but the song is underwhelming. The guy is talented; I think it was just a matter of bad song choice here.
  • Alexis Grace. Her baby said, “Seacrest. Out” in the video package! Cutest. Thing. Ever. (The baby, not the catchphrase.) I thought Alexis shredded “Dirty Diana.” She was a little bit dirty and a lot hot mama as she slinked across that stage in her shorts jumper and high heels and confidently belted out the song. I was completely confused by why the judges thought she oversang it when they praised Adam Lambert for being over the top. 

Random thought apropos of nothing: Did Paula have some kind of plastic surgery gone wrong? Her face looked different tonight, like a younger Joan Rivers on bronzer. Something was too sharp or too tight or something. 

Anyway, I voted for Megan, Anoop, Danny and Alexis. I think bottom two will be Michael Sarver and Jasmine Murray.

Who’d you vote for? Who’s saying buh-bye tomorrow? Discuss!

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8's Top 13 Finalists!

Tonight’s wild card show went mercifully fast, with a lot of business wrapped up in an hour instead of stretched out to two. Eight wild card performers competed for the remaining three spots in the top 12 and after a commercial break, the judges, who obviously had their minds made up before the show, announced who should go through. They threw in a little twist by picking four people instead of three but I say “little” because there really wasn’t any chance they wouldn’t put Anoop through after all the superlatives they threw at his “My Prerogative” performance.

The other finalists selected tonight were Megan Corkrey (yay!), Matt Giraud and Jasmine Murray. Those are pretty good choices but I’m sad my girl Jesse Langseth didn’t make it. As usual, she was smoking hot (singing “Tell Me Something Good”), the performer with the most confidence and stage presence. Somebody needs to snap that girl up for a recording contract.

Which rejected wild card contestant did you think should’ve advanced to the next round? Vote below and see if others agree with you!

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Group 3 Finalists & Wild Card Contestants Revealed!

Here’s what you want to know: Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez and Lil Rounds were voted into the top 12 by the public. After that was settled, the judges picked 8 previously rejected contestants for the Wild Card round, which takes place tomorrow.

All my faves were given another chance—yay! I’m talking about Anoop, Megan Corkrey and Jesse Langseth. I was so psyched even the selection of Tatiana was only a minor damper (though my mouth did drop open and my chicken almost fell out). Gross, I know, but so’s having that girl forced upon us again.

I’m keeping this short so I can go do my finger-stretching exercises to prepare for some furious dialin’ action tomorrow night. ‘Noop, Meg and Jess have got to advance to the next round. They’re the most unique from this bunch so c’mon, America, don’t let them down again! If you vote Tatiana through, I will hunt you down!

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Finalists from Group 2

Let’s get right to the point. The 3 who made the top 12 from this bunch were Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. Save for the choice of Iraheta, who has an incredibly powerful voice and kinda looks like early Kelly Clarkson, I’m hugely disappointed by the results. I thought we’d get 2 girls and 1 guy since the girls were so much better last night. But no, we got 2 guys—1 white bread, 1 cheesy. Together, they couldn’t even make a sandwich because there’s no meat in their performances.

Iraheta was the first one to claim one of those coveted stools after Ryan asked her, Jesse Langseth and Matt Breitzke to come center stage and then the latter two were sent packing. I was hoping against hope that red-hot Jesse would get in but I’m absolutely okay with Iraheta. Iraheta’s got a great voice; she just comes across so unformed and awkward whereas Langseth seems to be the more ready-for-prime-time performer. I hope she comes back for the wild card round.

Next up were Kris Allen, Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud (looking more like Justin Timberlake every day) and Jeanine Vailes, in short shorts again. That girl ain’t stupid; she knows what her best assets are. But this is American Idol, not Miss America, and her shapely gams couldn’t save her from being eliminated. She’s going home and should stay there. Matt is also gone, but we might see him again, hopefully in front of a piano.

At this point, Kris Allen and Megan Corkrey were left standing together and told that one of them was a finalist. I was thinking, “Oh, no contest. Megan’s got this in the bag.” When Ryan announced it was Kris, I thought he was on crack or maybe April Fool’s came early. To me, this was the night’s most shocking result. Kris seems like a perfectly nice kid but he’s so vanilla and nowhere near as dynamic and compelling as Megan on stage. She’s definitely coming back; I’d put money on that. They need someone unique like her in the finals so that we don’t have a bunch of cookie-cutter contestants.

At this point, there were still about 30 minutes of show left so you knew they weren’t going to reveal the third finalist any time soon. Instead, we got a performance from season 7’s top-five finalist, Brooke White, who looked gorgeous (she was my fave last year). She sang her brand new single, “Hold Up My Heart,” (available on iTunes) which had a nice, ’70s feel to it. It’s not the best song ever but the chorus was pretty catchy. I love her raspy vocals and how she still plays the piano with one bare foot to work the pedals.

OK, back to judgment time. Mishavonna Henson, Jasmine Murray, Kai Kalama, Nick/Norman and Adam Lambert were brought down. There wasn’t one ounce of surprise when Henson, Murray and Kalama were told America just didn’t give them enough love. Which left Nick/Norman and Lambert still standing. This was so gross; I wanted them both gone. But again, after no suspense whatsoever, Lambert was declared the victor and we had to experience his hideous rendition of “Satisfaction” all over again. I might need therapy after being repeatedly subjected to such heavy trauma.

Next week, group 3 will perform: Nathaniel Marshall, Kendall Beard, Taylor Vaifanua, Kristen McNamara, Von Smith, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Felicia Barton, Lil Rounds, Arianna Afsar, Scott MacIntyre, Ju’Not Joyner, and Jorge Nunez. Are you excited about any of these people? I’m not.

Did you agree with the results tonight or were you disgusted like I was? Post me some comments!

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AMERICAN IDOL — Group 2 of Semi-Finalists

The girls were way better than the guys tonight and it burns me that the rules force us to accept at least one guy from this group into the top 12. There are three girls (Allison Iraheta, Megan Corkrey, Jesse Langseth) who should easily move on, but nooo, one of those shiny stools tomorrow night will be occupied by either a boring or ridiculously cheesy guy (Adam Lambert, I’m talking to you). Let’s break it down.

  • Jasmine Murray. She’s beautiful and can sing but her rendition of “Love Song” was a mess. The arrangement was too slow; it’s supposed to be a bouncy pop song. She over-‘tuded it up with the distracting, jerky choreography. Wasn’t one of my favorite females tonight.
  • Matt Giraud. Oh my goodness, I so wanted him to be the top male vote getter tonight but his perf of “Viva La Vida” was sooo bad. He kept gasping for breath and couldn’t hit any of the high notes. I love the song and really like this guy so this was a bummer. Now we’re probably stuck with cheesy Lambert.
  • Jeanine Vailes. What is going on tonight? Everyone’s bombing so far! We’ve never seen this girl and I was willing to give her a chance but after her atrocious take on Maroon 5’s “This Love” (a song I already dislike), I’m thinking it’s a good thing we haven’t heard her sing before and hopefully we won’t again. She admitted she might have overcompensated to get America to like her but I’m afraid she won’t get a second chance to atone for this.
  • Norman Gentle. I’m too tired to say much else about this guy. Please end the torture, America, and send him home.
  • Allison Iraheta. Anyone who has attempted to sing Heart’s “Alone” in recent years on A.I., I immediately compare, usually unfavorably, to Carrie Underwood’s searing version of it as a contestant four seasons ago. Iraheta’s performance wasn’t as good as that but she made me sit up and listen. She’s 16 and she can blow like that? Wow! It was a little shouty at times but she was way better than I expected. 
  • Kris Allen. Who? I’ve already forgotten. He was definitely not memorable. For the record, he sang Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” but nothing about it stood out for me. 
  • Megan Corkrey. I love this girl—she’s so quirky and sweet and charming and gorgeous. She stood there with an armful of tattoos and yet came off like Little Miss Sunshine in her white babydoll dress. She sang Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On,” which showcased her unique, funky voice. It was good to see her sing again after she was practically invisible during Hollywood week.
  • Matt Breitzke. I’m sorry, did you say something? I fell asleep during this performance of Tonic’s “If You Could Only See.” Everything about it was bland and half-baked and soporific. Too bad ’cause I liked when he sang “Ain’t No Sunshine” in his original audition. I think it ends here for him.
  • Jesse Langseth. I love me some Jesse! I just think this girl is so cool. She’s got grit and spunk and her voice is smoky and bluesy. She was captivating to watch with her slinky, sultry hip-swaying, and yet still came across like a pretty and accessible tomboy. When Simon said he didn’t think her performance of “Bette Davis Eyes” would incite people to jump on the phone and vote, I said, “That’s exactly what I’m doing!”
  • Kai Kalama. He sang “What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted” better than I expected but I just can’t find anything exciting about him. Not strong enough for the top 12 in my book.
  • Mishavonna Henson. Her singing of “Drops of Jupiter” wasn’t a Train wreck—she’s got a nice, strong voice—but there’s a little something too robotic and stiff about her. No personality comes through when she sings. I think she’s going home but she’s young enough to try for the third time next year if she wants.
  • Adam Lambert. When he first came out to start the Stones’ “Satisfaction,” I recoiled with such horror I almost fell off the couch. I was mortified by his opening, trying to seduce the camera with his eyes (I hate when contestants follow the camera around with their eyes!), and his fake snarling. This guy is such a poser. He thinks he’s a rock star but he looks and sounds like a girl. He thinks he’s singing rock and roll but he was doing a rock musical. When he tried to growl out parts of the song, I just laughed. Then the full-throttle, mouth-wide-open final note struck fear in me once again. It was like looking into the Hellmouth and hoping you don’t get sucked in.

I ended up voting for Megan Corkrey and Jesse Langseth but no guys. Judges’ pet Lambert will probably get the top male spot but at least I’ll be able to say I didn’t help put him there.

What did you think of tonight’s show? Did you like or hate Lambert’s performance?

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AMERICAN IDOL Reveals First 3 of Top 12 for Season 8

WTH?!! Anoop is gone? Argggghhh! Most shocking and upsetting result of the night! Man, I thought he was a sure thing. I voted for him about 30 times and he’s still going home. What happened?! This is such a bummer. What a huge loss to the show. They’ve got to bring him back for the wild card round.

Tonight’s elimination show was a bloodbath compared to results shows of years past. Nine people were sent home instead of the usual two at this stage in the competition. (Bolded names are the ones who made it.)

The first person asked to face the music was Casey Carlson. No suspense there; her campy act was a disaster. She’s gone. Stephen Fowler was next with his “soaking wet hands” and was sent home, too. Then it was Alexis Grace’s turn and I knew she was safe. That girl killed last night and was by far the most impressive female. America agrees—yay! She’s the first one in.

Ryan asked her to reprise her performance, which was better than asking eliminated people to sing like they’ve done in the past. I mean, if someone’s getting kicked off for sucking, why would I want to listen to them repeat their sucky performance? Conversely, Alexis, with a shot of confidence from being the first one named to the top twelve, upped her game in her encore of “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You.” She burned it up! This Kristin Bell-lookalike is definitely one to watch. She keeps getting better and better.

Next up were Jackie Tohn and Ricky Braddy. Jackie said she disagreed with Simon 100% that her performance was cheesy. Loved Simon’s response: “We’ll see.” Yup, she’s gone and so’s Braddy. No surprises here.

Then the shocker. Anoop was asked to step forward with Michael Sarver. I was just thinking, “It’s a no brainer. Sorry, Michael” when Ryan dropped the bomb that Sarver was the one who’s safe and Anoop was eliminated. I had to rewind the DVR to make sure I heard Ryan correctly. America let Anoopy down!

At this point, there were five people left vying for the last seat available tonight. Ryan took a break from dishing out results by bringing on Michael Johns and Carly Smithson to do a duet to the Box Tops’ “The Letter.” Johns looked spiffy and Smithson went on about some emergency weave-shopping incident. Then they started singing and oof, it was not good for me. Johns was all right (I loved his Michael Hutchence-ness last year) but Smithson was shrieky. They went for volume instead of emotion regarding that letter. It’s a good thing they couldn’t be voted off for this performance.

Back to the eliminations. Ann Marie Boskovich, Brent Keith and Stevie Wright were asked to stand up. Since they weren’t even asked to come down to center stage, it wasn’t hard to predict they were all goners.

And then there were two—Danny Gokey and Tatiana Del Toro. It was so obvious Danny would be the victor but Tatiana took it hard. I must say, I wasn’t rooting for her but I got no joy from seeing her dreams crushed like that. At the end of the day, she’s still human and I felt kinda bad seeing how devastated she was.

So, 2 out of the 3 people I voted for made it; I’m just disappointed about Anoop. If the producers have any common sense at all, they’ll bring him back. This kid will boost their ratings.

Next week, the second group of 12 will perform: Megan Corkrey, Kris Allen, Mishavonna Henson, Matt Breitzke, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray, Kai Kalama, Jesse Langseth, Adam Lambert, Jeanine Vailes and Norman Gentle. (Dude, I’m begging you—buy a new shirt.) Based on their past performances, I’m rooting for Jesse Langseth, Megan Corkrey and Matt Giraud.

What did you think of the eliminations? Were they too harsh or fair? Do you like this year’s new voting system? Post me some comments!

(Don’t miss out on any American Idol discussions this season—Subscribe to Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd by Email)

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8's Top 36!

Tonight, 54 contestants found out if they made it into the top 36. Producers made some changes to the ritual (no elevator, nicer mansion, better chairs, sing-offs) but it was still nerve-wracking for the wannabes.

I have mixed feelings about the sing-offs. It’s always nice to hear some singing in a singing competition but I hated who they chose for them. It seemed they picked good friends and pitted them against each other, making the victory bittersweet for the one who made it. I mean, wouldn’t you want to go out and celebrate with your friend if you’re in? Nope, he/she didn’t make it so you’d better find someone else to party with.

There wasn’t a lot of suspense in tonight’s show. Generally, if you’d never seen a contestant before, he/she wasn’t going to make it. Let’s break it down. (Bolded names are people who got through.)

Anoop Desai was shown going into the Chamber of Fear first. He’s awesome so he’s in. I think he’s gonna crack the top 10, at least. Next was Von Smith, cute as a button but a mass murderer of notes when he sings. He was given another chance to “blast” us all (his word).

The first sing-off was between good friends Cody Sheldon and Alex Wagner-Trugman. Alex was clearly the better singer (he sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down”) so he won. I hated how the judges put Alex in a position where he just couldn’t give in to his joy because his friend was crying beside him.

Adam Lambert, who wears more makeup and hair products than most of the girls, made the cut. Taylor Vaifanua walked in next and looked so much better with her makeover. The bangs actually made her look her age (17), whereas she looked 30 in her original audition with the big hair. She’s through to the next level.

Next was a montage of a bunch of very pretty and talented girls who made it: Jasmine Murray, Arianna Afsar, Casey Carlson, Megan Corkrey, Mishavonna Henson and Stevie Wright. I was happy to see Megan, who needs more air time, and Stevie, too, because I love her fresh-faced, free and hippie vibe.

Then came Joanna Pacitti‘s turn. They let her through and I thought that was B.S. Unlike some people, I’m not hatin’ on her because she’d already had a recording contract and failed album. I was annoyed because that girl repeatedly forgot lyrics—sometimes a whole chorus, it seemed—and Simon had announced his strict rule that if you forgot the words, you were done. That’s why he sent home really interesting singers like Emily Wynne-Hughes and Rosa Flack. But they let Pacitti stay, who’s attractive but in an unremarkable way and has a forgettable voice. UPDATE: The producers have just disqualified Pacitti and picked Felicia Barton to take her place! Yay! Give some other girl a chance.

A montage of guys being rejected came next: T.K. Hash, Chris Chatman, and Reggie Beasley. Except for Hash, who sang “Imagine” with too many runs in his original audition, I’d never seen the other guys before so I knew they were toast.

Kendall Beard came in and was put through by Paula saying, “It isn’t great [news]. It’s fantastic.” Huh? I hate when they play those stupid word games to mess with contestants’ heads. If something is fantastic, it isn’t great?

Time for another sing-off, this time between Jenn Korbee and Kristen McNamara. I’d never seen Korbee (or her fine husband Tom!) while McNamara had been given lots of screen time during group day so it wasn’t hard to figure out how this would go. Korbee is very attractive, like Simon kept saying, but McNamara was obviously the better singer (with a few notes of “I Will Always Love You”) so the right girl was chosen, even if Simon pouted about it.

Three more people made it through: Alexis Grace, who stands out with her pink-streaked, jagged bob and adorable Gerber baby girl; Scott MacIntyre, whom I’m just not crazy about, despite my respect for his overcoming his handicap; and Lil Rounds, whom I haven’t been that impressed with since her original audition.

Then a bunch of people got kicked out: Felicia Barton, Ashley Hollister and Devon Baldwin. I had no idea who they were so I had nothing invested in their leaving. But like I said in the update above, Barton is coming back after producers disqualified Pacitti for reasons they won’t reveal.

Next up was another sing-off that really annoyed me: Frankie Jordan vs. Jesse Langseth. Both girls were talented and shouldn’t have been in the position where one had to go. That said, I knew Langseth had to make it. That girl came out of nowhere to wow me in a brief snippet singing “Some Kind of Wonderful” on group day and tonight she impressed me even more with her soulful voice and funky vibe. She’s a confident, fiery female amidst quivering, crying girls and I like that. I was sorry to see Jordan go, though it was ridiculous how she said she was getting older and wouldn’t get many opportunities like this. She’s 23, for goodness sakes! She could come back next year and 5 years after that if she wanted.

Another two were sent home: Shera Lawrence and Derik Lavers. Who? Exactly.

But next up, red-headed Allison Iraheta was the exception to the rule. They’d never shown her before but she made it. She sounded good in the few clips shown tonight so I’m okay with her staying.

Then it was Danny Gokey‘s turn. C’ mon, was anyone even wondering if he’d make it? This guy was a sure thing. Shockingly, his BF Jamar Rogers was cut, which was so sad. Jamar used to be one of those REALLY LOUD singers who make me scramble for the mute button but he’d gotten much better at moderation. Plus, he’s got stage presence and puts together cute ensembles. This was easily the biggest upset of the evening.

Next, several guys were shown getting yeses: Ricky Braddy (who?), Matt Giraud, Ju’Not Joyner, Jorge Nunez, Brent Keith (what happened to the Smith?), and Stephen Fowler.

And then a rude thing happened: Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle made it through. They cut Jamar to give this guy a spot? He said, “I’d do anything to get through to the next round.” Really? How about taking the competition seriously and just singing for a change?

I have no objection to the next person who made it: Jackie Tohn. She’s like a brunette Sheryl Crow and she’s a bit quirky but I like her energy.

The next person, though, has too much energy. Tatiana Del Toro made it through, which was no surprise because the producers have already given her so much air time, but it was disgusting nonetheless. She screamed so loudly you’d think she was being assaulted, which is what happens to my eardrums every time I hear her sing. My only consolation is that after tonight, the judges can’t keep her safe anymore. America is gonna kick her to the curb.

Another sing-off: Jackie Midkiff vs. Nate Marshall. Oh goodness, Nate cries way too much but his mama is in prison so I’m not gonna say anything else.

Jeanine Vailes, Kai Kalama, Anne Marie Boskovich, and Kris Allen are shown in a montage of yeses.

Final sing-off of the day: Matt Breitzke, the welder, vs. Michael Sarver, the roughneck. It was such a cliche to put these guys against each other and there was no suspense. If you were keeping tabs, you would’ve known there were two spots left so both of these guys would make it through and that’s what happened.

Now that the top 36 have been determined, 3 groups of 12 will be performing in the next 3 weeks for America to vote. First up: Carlson, Tohn, Braddy, Boskovich, Keith, Grace, Sarver, Wright, Gokey, Del Toro and Desai. This is a really strong bunch and I predict the bottom 2 will be Del Toro and Braddy.

UPDATE: I just learned that only 3 from each group of 12 will move on! That’s crazy! They’ll take the top male and female vote-getter and then the next person of either sex who got the most votes. This is grossly unfair. This means we may have to choose between Danny and Anoop or Anne Marie and Alexis or Jackie and Stevie. I know producers are trying to change things up but this is nuts. Lots of really talented people are going to be eliminated before their time.

What do you think this new voting system and the semi-finalists? Did the judges get it right? Who do you think will be first to go next week? Post a comment!

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Final Audition Day

I’ll try to keep this short since the top 36 still hasn’t been revealed, though a bunch of people got cut tonight. We did get more singing and less drama so that was good.

Some Safe Ones: Danny “I Have Most Air Time” Gokey, Jamar “DG’s Best Friend” Rogers, Matt “JT Lite” Giraud, Anoop “Dawg” Desai, Adam “I Sound Like a Woman” Lambert, Jorge “Secada” Nunez, Jackie “Tortured Faces” Tohn, Joanna “Do-Over” Pacitti, Scott “Legally Blind” MacIntyre, Kendall “Bouncy Blonde” Beard, Lil “Loud” Rounds, Kristin “Anna Faris” McNamara, Mishavonna “Season 7 Reject” Henson, Alexis “Pink Streaks” Grace (I’m glad she’s still safe ’cause it looked like she had been cut last week due to confusing editing), Jasmine “Sweet-Voiced” Murray, Nate “I Can’t Stop Crying” Marshall, Casey “I Forgot the Lyrics” Carlson, Stephen “Walked Off Stage” Fowler, Matt “Welder” Breitzke, Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell, Anne-Marie “Makeover” Boskovich, Ju’Not “Never Seen Him Before” Joyner, T. K. “I Love My Runs” Hash, Kai “Rough Voice” Kalama, Michael “Roughneck” Sarver (who dropped the Jeremy from previous weeks) and Tatiana Del Toro. I’m afraid that calling her crazy would be insulting to people who are truly suffering from mental illness.

M.I.A.: Where were Megan Corkrey and last week’s discovery, Jesse Langseth? They haven’t shown Corkrey singing at all since her original audition and, after showing us how awesome Langseth was, the producers benched her this week without a glimpse or mention.

Some Who Were Cut: Michael Castro (we hardly knew ye!), India Morrison, Kaylan Loyd (never seen her before) and Leneshe Young. Man, I hurt for Leneshe. I didn’t love her funky version of “Love Song” but she deserved a spot more than some people who made it. Nick Mitchell pulled out his tired, cheesy Norman act with the shiny shirt again and they kept him. Joanna Pacitti completely blanked on several whole lines in her song and made it. Stephen Fowler tried singing his song twice, screwed up both times, gave up and they still let him in. Why they gotta hate on Leneshe and then show her crying? That was just rude.

But I have hope. More cuts will be made Wednesday so Nick/Norman, Tatiana, Nick Marshall, Joanna Pacitti and others can still be sent home. And then there are wild card spots, so maybe we haven’t seen the last of Leneshe, Emily Wynne-Hughes, Rosa Flack, and Deanna Brown.

Come back tomorrow to discuss the top 36!

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AMERICAN IDOL — Second Hollywood Round: Slaughter of the Front-Runners!

Oh, the drama. So much of it tonight, where to begin?

Let’s start with the best news of the evening. No more Bikini Girl! She abandoned her group practice then had the gall to call her teammates “fake girls” when she’s about as natural as Nicolas Cage’s acting. But we don’t have to deal with her any more! Yay! Her room needs to be disinfected after she leaves.

But, but, but…why is Nick Mitchell still there? Didn’t get to see him “sing” but at least he wasn’t wearing the shiny shirt so maybe he finally decided to take this seriously. We’ll see.

From what I could tell, the following are also among the (approx.) 75 who are safe: Megan Corkrey, Casey Carlson, Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers, India Morrison, Anne-Marie Boskovich, Jasmine Murray, Taylor Vaifanua, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Adam Lambert, Jeremy Michael Sarver (what’s with the three names? He was only Michael Sarver during his original audition), Matt Breitzke, Jesse Langseth, Tatiana Del Toro, Jorge Nunez, Kristin McNamara, Nathaniel Marshall, Kris Allen, Justin Williams and many more whom I’d never seen before and could not I.D.

Many good people were cut tonight whom I was sorry to see go: Deanna Brown (bummer!), David Osmond (too bad), Rose Flack (aw, man!), Alexis Grace (frak!), and Emily Wynne-Hughes (crap!). We didn’t even get to hear Brown, Osmond or Grace sing so I have no idea what happened. As for Flack and Wynne-Hughes, they completely blanked on their lyrics and were fairly cut (according to Simon’s new hard rule) but they both had distinctive voices and personas and would’ve been assets to the show. I guess I’ll now throw my support behind Danny G, Megan C, Jasmine, Anoop and Leneshe, if the last two are still safe (I think they are).

Other highlights:

Bitchiest Good-bye: Nancy Wilson. Wow, that girl was bitta. She was angry through the whole rehearsal process, not undeservedly so because of that crazy, flaky Tatiana, but she couldn’t let go of her anger and ultimately it destroyed her performance.

Craziest Retort: Ryan Pinkston. After he got cut, he blamed it on Paula, saying he felt “manipulated and assaulted” (?!) and “I saw an evil in [Paula]’s eyes.”  The producers decided to play along by making Paula’s eyes glow red. Nice. Way to disrespect one of your judges and indulge a failed contestant’s nonsensical rant.

Best Group Performances: The first one and The Rainbow Coalition. The first group had India Morrison, Justin Williams, Matt “White Chocolate” Giraud, and Kris Allen rapping and beat-boxing Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”  They were really good and unique but I must say India only rapped a little bit and didn’t actually sing.

The Rainbow Coalition, consisting of Jamar, Danny, Taylor Vaifanua and unidentified girl, performed a strong, well-harmonized version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” That poor Danny cannot seem to stay away from lyrics involving death (“Each morning I get up I die a little,” plus “kiss from a rose on a grave” last night and “losing you would end my life, you see” from “I Heard It Through a Grapevine” originally) and his run at the end was unnecessary but he’s an awesome singer so I hope he cracks the Top Ten.

Performer Who Surprised Me Most: Adam Lambert. I never got this guy’s front-to-back comb-over hair and guyliner look, kinda David Cook crossed with Pete Wentz. Plus, I’m not a musical theater fan. But when he did that run of high notes in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” I put my sandwich down so I could pay full attention. That dude could really sing! Gonna have to keep a kohl-rimmed eye on this one.

Performer Who Came Out of Nowhere to Grab My Attention: Jesse Langseth. Who the heck is Jesse Langseth? I laid eyes on her for the first time last night when she also sang “Some Kind of Wonderful” in Matt Breitzke’s group and made a memorable first impression. She could be a dark horse in this competition.

What were the standout moments for you? Who were you most disappointed to see cut? Comment away!

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 Recap — Salt Lake City

Now we’re talking. Tonight’s show had some very interesting, unique personalities who have Top 24 potential.

The Best:

  • Frankie Jordan, a 23-year-old mom (with the cutest baby!) who stood out with Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” She looked like Vanessa Carlton but had a Corinne Bailey Rae vibe. She’s spirited and cute and has a very likable persona.
  • Megan Corkrey, 23, another mom, recently divorced, with gorgeous eyes, beautiful mane of long hair and a blanket of tattoos on her right arm. She sang “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from the musical Showboat, not the most contemporary of songs, but her voice was so distinctive it’s undefinable, her range was impressive, and did I mention she was gorgeous? She’s off to Hollywood.
  • David Osmond, 29, who’s living with MS. He’s Alan Osmond’s son (Donny and Marie’s nephew) but made it not because of his name; he could actually sing. Man, I really hope he stays healthy because the competition is going to be rough.
  • Rose Flack, 17, the tearjerker of the day. Her parents both died within the last 4 years and she’s been living with a friend’s family. She’s a barefoot hippie wearing platinum blonde pseudo-dreads and a tie-dyed dress. Her look was already distinctive and I thought if she could sing, she’d be golden. Sure enough, she sang Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” with a maturity beyond her age and a soulful ache that made it believable. I hope luck will smile on this girl in Hollywood because so far, it seems to have kicked her in the teeth.

And the Next David Archuleta Is:

  • Austin Sisneros, 17, an adorable little blond version of Archie. He made boring song choices, first Train’s “When I Look to the Sky” then Raffi’s “It Takes a Village,” but he’s a smiley, nice young boy with a big, mature voice. The tween girls are going to go nuts.

Most Ridiculous “Lucky” Charm:

  • Why did Chris Kirkham bring his friend dressed in a pink bunny suit? Did he think he was auditioning for A Christmas Story 2? The whole thing was not only weird, it backfired. The judges liked the bunny friend more than they liked Kirkham.

Most In Need of a Massage:

  • Tara Matthews, one of the most tense singers I’ve seen. She stood around stiffly, with her shoulders around her ears, and was completely humorless. Decked out entirely in black—dress, garters and gloves—she insisted she wasn’t trying to make a statement. She sang an awful version of “One Day I’ll Fly Away” from Moulin Rouge and then gave the camera the finger when rejected. Classy.

I think Salt Lake City provided the strongest batch of candidates since Phoenix. What’d you think? Check back tomorrow night for recaps of New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico!

(Don’t miss out on any American Idol discussions this season—Subscribe to Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd by Email)

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