So much for "going live." As some (or many) of you may have read, last night and tonight's American Idol semifinal performances were pre-taped -- the guys on Friday, the girls on Monday. So producers had plenty of time to edit the film -- and bleep Steven Tyler. Feh.
Still, I'm looking forward to tonight's performances as I think the women of American Idol are due for a win -- and this year's crop of female Idol hopefuls are more promising than what I saw last night (though tonight could prove me wrong).
And now without further ado, the Top 12 Girls...
Ta-Tynisa Wilson: Ouch. Pitchy pitchy pitchy. Remind me why after BOMBING during Hollywood Week Ta-Tynisa was put through? Well, Rhianna has nothing to worry about. That was DREADFUL. Wait... WHA?! I don't know WTF Steven Tyler was talking about -- or listening to. Ditto Jennifer Lopez. Did I mention it was DREADFUL? (Randy: Sharp is an understatement.) We give Ta-Tynisa Wilson a C-, because we're feeling generous. But if she makes it to the finals we will be SHOCKED. We say Ta-Ta to Ta-Tynisa.
Naima Adedapo: Gee, "Summertime," because we haven't heard that before. :-/ But, gotta admit, I'm kinda grooving on Naima's upbeat arrangement. Definitely not a Fantasia clone. (Not that I thought she was.) Gotta give the girl some props. Now that was a good performance. We give her an A-. (The spouse liked it but said "That was a little 'Star Search'ish." Paging Ed McMahon? He also wants to know what that thing on Ryan Seacrest's head is. J-THREE-O thinks it's a hedgie, aka a hedgehog.)
Kendra Chantelle: Remind me who Kendra was? OK thanks. ("Some shoes," said the spouse.) Well, I think it's impossible that Kendra is the next American Idol, but that was a solid performance. Not going to vote for her, but may be enough to get her into the finals -- but she's no Christina Aguilera, at least in the singing department. We give Kendra Chantelle (what a name) a B/B+. ("Bad song choice," said the spouse. "Totally forgettable," said J-THREE-O.)
Rachel Zevita: Can totally see her at some cabaret in NYC -- not so much as the next American Idol. Wow, harsh, Randy. I didn't think it was that bad -- or that Broadway. She did go waaaay sharp. More importantly, both the spouse and I can totally see me wearing that dress. Wonder wear she got it. We give Rachel Zevita a B- ("though that may be generous," said the spouse; I was going to give her a B).
Karen Rodriguez: HATE "Hero." HATE HATE HATE. And Karen Rodriguez is no Mariah Carey, though she has an okay voice. But where's the passion? Her pitch was sharp, and that performance totally left me flat. Feh. WHA?! What performance was J. Lo listening to? Seriously, what is up with the acoustics over there? Hello? Is this thing on? Et tu, Steven? We give Ryan's Spanish a C- and the kid and spouse give Karen Rodriguez's performance a C+/B-; I give it a B.
Lauren Turner: No way is this chick the next American Idol. Or the next Bette Midler. Love her voice, and she's a performer -- and gave the best performance so far. Seriously loved it. But... I just don't see her as the next American Idol. (And yes, I know I'm repeating myself.) Agree with the Amy Winehouse analogy, btw. ("Her problem is she's a dog," said the spouse, who just had to explain what that means to J-THREE-O. Yup.) America, prove me wrong! We give Lauren Turner an A-.
Ashthon Jones: Love the hair. (J-THREE-O also has a pouf.) Not lovin' the song choice (or the shoes). Yawn. But I like Ashthon and hope she makes it into the Top 10. Good voice. The right look. And she can perform. "She has all the makings of a diva," said Jennifer Lopez, and I gotta agree. We give Ashthon Jones a B+. ("She was nothing special," said the spouse, who saw/heard Ashthon for the first time tonight. I actually think she is.)
Julie Zorrilla: Julie's been one of our favorite's since the audition, and not just because we love her cute skirts. But "Breakaway" was a really bad song choice. Really bad. ("Really out of tune," said the spouse.) And the band is drowning her out. And she kept sounding out of breath. Sigh. Note to Idol contestants: Don't try to outsing Kelly Clarkson. I'm with J. Lo and Randy 100%, not great, and Kelly did it better. And I really like Julie -- even thought she could be the next American Idol! But the spouse doesn't think she's making it into the Top 10. We give Julie Zorrilla a B-. Boo.
Haley Reinhart: Now Haley, on the other hand, is bringing it. Still prefer the Alicia Keys version of "Fallin'," but Haley's version is totally respectable (though could do without the growling). And she's not sharp! Hooray! We give Haley Reinhart an A-/B+, though I can see Randy's point about it being a bit karaoke. And I don't see Haley being the next American Idol either.
Thia Megia: AAARGH. What is it with the youngsters singing like old fogeys? We like Thia Megia, but OMG this is painful. Could it be any slower?! Awful. And she can sing! HATED IT. (J-THREE-O is so disgusted she just left the room -- to do HOMEWORK, which isn't even due tomorrow, for gosh sake.) Sigh. Yeah yeah yeah, she can sing, but there was NOTHING hot about that performance. Death. We give Thia Megia a B -- for Blah.
Lauren Alaina: FINALLY, an upbeat song! YAY! And a good (though not great) song choice (Reba McEntire's "On the Radio") to boot. Props to Miss Lauren Alaina. And I'm digging her makeover. We give her an A-. No way is Lauren not making it into the Top 10.
Pia Toscano: Why do I look so sad? Because almost everyone has chosen really crappy songs, Pia, including you. HAVE YOU PEOPLE LEARNED NOTHING IN 10 YEARS OF AMERICAN IDOL?! Sorry, chiquita, I'm not standing by you. Yeah, Pia can sing, and she's got the "whole package," as the judges like to say, but I can't vote for anyone who sings "I'll Stand By You." Still... pretty impressive. But we give Pia Toscano a B+. Would have been higher if not for the schmaltzy song choice factor.
My prediction: Lauren Alaina vs. Scotty McCreery in the finals.
Before I sign off, a quick word about the judges: I'm starting to miss Simon Cowell -- and find it odd that Randy has taken over that role. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are waaaay too wishy-washy -- zero help, so far. :-/
Come back tomorrow to find out who made it into the Top 10 - or 12. (Still a little confused about how this is going to work this season.)
UPDATED: Had to share perennial Idol reviewer Craig Berman's column on the Top 12 Girls. Priceless. He, too, is missing Simon.
UPDATED 3/3: And the Top 5 girls are... Lauren Alaina... Pia... Karen (boo)... Thia... and Haley (eh). I think America got it wrong. And joining them are... Ashthon... and Naima. Wow. Like Naima -- and wanted her to be in the Top 10, but her "singing for her life" performance sucked. And then there were 13. Until next week... J-TWO-O out.
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