American Idol: Top 11 Revealed

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 12th 2008 11:00PM
(S07E21) Katharine McPhee CD CoverFor the first in a season full of hour-long American Idol results show, I'll give Idol credit for filling it pretty well. It was nice to see past runner-up Katharine McPhee perform on the Idol stage again, as well as the video footage of the Idols reacting to their sudden fame. What they need to do is turn the Results show into more of a classic variety show. And keep those past Idol contestants coming, too. American Idol has been around long enough now that it has it's own legacy and tradition, so keep honoring that.

As for the results, while the person who left wasn't necessarily the consensus choice, it was someone that I'm perfectly alright with seeing leave at this early stage. In fact, I could have lost the whole "Bottom Three" tonight and not lost any sleep over it.

There were over 29 million votes cast last night for the Top 12. And for no apparent reason, Jim Carrey was in the audience dressed up like an elephant to shamelessly promote his FOX film Horton Hears a Who. Later he appeared up with the contestants during elimination to ham it up some more. After all, we don't have four eliminations to get through but only one, and how long can that take?

As much as I love the music of The Beatles, I wasn't looking forward to the Top 12 singing a medley of their hits. I think I hold Beatles music too high to subject it to this sort of treatment. For the most part, it was like most medleys they do on Idol. The dancing and choreography was horrible, some of the singers did well and some others were terrible. But it filled some more time, so FOX is happy. How come America didn't get a vote as to whether or not we wanted the results shows to all be a full hour this year?

For more filler, they made a video about how much the "Idol Experience" has affected the contestants ... set to Beatles music. They're definitely living up to their vow of making this year more about the Idols themselves, as I think I may already know more about these twelve than I ever learned about anybody last year. During this video, they showed the Idols at the premiere of Horton Hears a Who, for more cross-promotional goodness. FOX loves this crap.

FORD COMMERCIAL #1 - "The Distance"
In this election year, the first Ford music video of the season cast the Idols as political contestants, campaigning and kissing babies and all the stereotypical political stuff. And I hate to admit this, but it was actually pretty good. Which may be the second or third time I've been able to say that in the past six years. Congratulations, Ford. It was funny but not too corny.

Tonight marked the first time in Idol history that they've taken live calls during the broadcast. Helpful hints for future broadcasts, It takes the suspense of what the caller's question is going to be when you plaster it on the screen beforehand. And it makes Ryan look stupid when he asks the caller as if he can't see the question right in front of his face.

1) The first question was for Jason Castro: "If you could be one judge for a day, who would you be?" Jason hates interviews, so fumbled around before not being able to answer this one conclusively.
2) The second question was for the judges: "I have auditioned for the show 7 times in 6 cities. What does it take?" Now this question shouldn't have even been allowed in.
3) The third question was for Ryan and Simon: "When are you two going to just throw down?" Ryan's response was to do so in mud.
4) The next thing to come up was a comment ("Simon is sexy...") which Ryan quickly took down.
5) The fourth question is for Simon: "Do Americans or Brits have more talent?" Simon conceded that American singers have the most talent, but the Brits are superior on the judging panel.

Katharine McPhee w/ David Foster - "Something," The Beatles
This song isn't eligible for the show because it was written by George Harrison but it's still a beautiful song. And Katharine is still a beautiful girl with a pretty voice. Beyond that, I never really saw the magic of Katharine during her season beyond her classically good looks. She follows Blake Lewis last week in the string of second place finishers. Does that mean Bo Bice is next?

She's grown since then as a performer and showed more authenticity than ever before on an Idol stage. She still didn't seem to know what to do with her body, though, as she just fidgeted at the end of the piano David Foster was playing. After the performance, David Foster revealed that he's working with McPhee on her next album, as he's absolutely in love with her voice. Do you think McPhee will get an Idol boost on her album's sales? I'm quite certain The Beatles will, as most theme artists do.

You just knew Ryan was going to drag this out because he's contractually obligated to do so. This week they started off by building a "Bottom Three." Ryan began this process by having Carly, Michael, Jason and Syesha all stand up. Of the four, Syesha has been consistently ranked toward the bottom in popularity, so would she be the only of these to go into the bottom three? He saved her for last, and in the end Syesha Mercado was indeed the first to fall into the bottom three. You remember how we had a lot of time to fill? Well, we can take up time by having all three "bottom" contestants sing their swan songs, right? Excellent! You haven't noticed that this column has as much filler in it as the show, have you? I'm just trying to capture the same sense of "Come on, just get to it already!"

The second group to rise was Chikezie, David C., Kristy and Amanda. Of this group, I would think Kristy is the obvious choice, and of course he saved her for last. And unless it was going to be a "shock" safe vote for her. She responded pretty humorously by asking "Where's my microphone?" before Ryan even gave her the results. And as she predicted, Kristy Lee Cook. Then when she hit center stage she said, "Sorry you gotta hear it again," to the judges. Most of you commenters said much of her problem last night was with the speed at which the band played the song. It looks, however, like that's how she wanted it done as they were clipping along again tonight and the result was about the same.

The last group of four was David A., Brooke, David H., and Ramiele, so Ryan brought them all center stage. Of these four, he narrowed it down to David H. and Ramiele, so none of this was really surprising yet. It should be David H., as Ramiele has more raw singing ability to work with, and it was. She needs to really step it up, though, to stick around. So the last of the "Bottom Three" was David Hernandez.

This is the part that Idol loves. First, you pick it down to three. Then you make them wait through a commercial break. Then you send one to safety and stare down the "Bottom Two." Love that building tension. The judges agreed with the "Bottom Three" before Ryan sent Syesha back to safety. That leaves Kristy and David H.

And the person leaving us tonight is...I'll tell you after the (paragraph) break.

David Hernandez

Ruben Studdard recorded this seasons "farewell song," a cover of Kenny Loggins' "Celebrate Me Home." He does a good job with it, and it's good to hear the big boy still at it. It's also nice to see Idol reaching out more to their own in recent years for things like this.

I underestimated the country vote, I guess. I knew David Hernandez' performance wasn't good, but I thought it was still better than Kristy's. So that's 0-1 for me tonight, lowering my total to 5-8 on the year.

You guys had Syesha at the bottom, followed by David H. and Kristy Lee Cook, so kudos for getting the "Bottom Three" right (I should have picked that). But, your bottom pick was the first one safe, so that's 0-1 for you guys as well. This drops you to a still impressive 9-4.

Ryan told us that because of all the letters they received, they've nixed whatever their original idea was for a theme so they could do a second week of Lennon-McCartney hits. So if you loved it, you're gonna love it more next week, and if you absolutely hated it maybe you should just skip next week altogether. Of course I'll be there, and here, to help guide you through the Idol shenanigans again.

Did American get it right?
Yep537 (24.1%)
Should have been Kristy1306 (58.7%)
Should have been Syesha75 (3.4%)
Should have been Ramiele54 (2.4%)
Should have been David A.92 (4.1%)
Should have been Brooke4 (0.2%)
Should have been Amanda84 (3.8%)
Should have been Chikezie28 (1.3%)
Should have been David C.10 (0.4%)
Should have been Jason8 (0.4%)
Should have been Michael7 (0.3%)
Should have been Carly21 (0.9%)

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evie stefenson

Anything can happen still ... I cannot help but think the Idol producers purposefully restrained Michael Johns and David Archuleta (maybe even Jason and Ramiele) to keep the show interesting and to, quite frankly, ink more record deals. That would include David Cook, Brooke, Carly and Chikezie. This is a seriously talented bunch and any of the above can and WILL sell records. Props to all!! (glad the stripper's gone). Kristy Lee must be next. Then, they will have a golden top 10.

March 14 2008 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently, the reason that David A. messed up his lyrics was because his dad, Jeff - the stage dad from hell - had gone crazy at him, telling him that he wasn't happy at his singing. This also explains why he's doing all his pageanty routines. His dad was also thrown out of Star Search for harassing his opponent. He's some sort of professional manager and has been working with Idol for six years...

March 14 2008 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
idol luva

Can I tell you how much I detest having to listen to the bottom three repeat the "performances" that got them there? Why not do an encore of the best like Dancing with the Stars? Have the judges pick top two performances. Would certainly keep the ear-bleeding to a minimum...

March 13 2008 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary Ann

I would LOVE to see Bo Bice make an appearance performing one of his new songs from his new/FABULOUS CD, "See The Light". This CD showcases the REAL Bo!

March 13 2008 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Do you think McPhee will get an Idol boost on her album's sales? I'm quite certain The Beatles will, as most theme artists do." - Because obviously the Beatles need a boost in their sales! I get what you are saying here about the influence of AI on sales, but it still struck me as funny.

Oh the pains of watching the results show with out DVR! It is just so long and obviously stretched out and even worse they show that awful lie detector show before hand.

The group medley was terrible and nobody seemed to know how to sing together. There were several points were Michael J was clearly supposed to sing with another contestant and realized that the other person wasn't paying any attention to him or trying to harmonize, causing Michael J to stop singing. You could see it on his face when it happened and it was hilarious. Also at times the singing as a group sound very pre-recorded. It was all very Kids Incorporated/the Brady Bunch Band.

The Ford commercial was boring and really just another commercial break.

I thought Katherine McPhee was worse then any of the performances from the night before. She didn't really connect with the song on an emotional or melodic level. She added runs and removed sincerity. She didn't look comfortable on stage and didn't seem to know what to do with herself when there was the piano solo. It was terrible and I enjoyed it very much (except for the horrible slaughtering of a fantastic song).

I also think the AI producers had a contest to think up terrible ideas that would fill up an hour of show.

Runner-Up: Taking on air calls from fans. Hmmm... let's take the "ask an Idol" questions to the next level and have somebody do it on air. TELEVISION GOLD! Even better was the question by the person who had auditioned 6 times. It was like a reminder for next season, "hey don't forget at the beginning of next season you will get to see a bunch of hopeless losers!"

Winner: Instead of just showing you the worst performance from the previous night when that contestant is eliminated, let's make everybody watch the 3 worst performances! This was a genius decision. Not only do we have to sit through three more crap performances, but it also means that we don't get to see the "elimination performance". While I am not a big fan of the "elimination performance" I do happen to think that those performances are almost always much better then the performance from the night before. It always gave the eliminated contest an opportunity to sing without any repurcusions and usually more passion. Instead we get three bland repeats reminding us how awful those contestants were (maybe this is part of AI's masterplans?)

March 13 2008 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked it that they let all of the bottom 3 sing their songs when they were put in the bottom 3 rather than letting the loser sing their song after they got kicked off.
Imagine if the whole season is all Beatles songs all the time. Couldn't they have done a different singer everyweek? People are going to hate the Beatles after this. Can you imagine Archuleta screwing up again and still coming out on top?

March 13 2008 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they chose to do another beatles theme week because sir paul will put in an appearance. he watched the show the night before and liked someof the contestants and probably wants to do a remix with some of them

March 13 2008 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't understand why they save the best songs for the stupid group song. Since all those great songs were used there does it mean that the contestants can't sing any of those next week either?

March 13 2008 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Idol Results Shows: Never more than a half hour, please. And drop those horrible medleys! After suffering through the medley, then realizing the whole mess was going to be dragged out for a hour, I went to bed, and found out the results this morning.

March 13 2008 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This isn't just a singing competition. Among other factors, personality is incredibly important.

Despite his looks and fairly decent voice, David Hernandez has the most unappealing personality. I'm glad he was the one voted off. He may be a stripper, but he's more nerdy than cool. He came across as a bit obnoxious during the banter that follows the performances. That's when America gets a slight but significant sense of who the singers are as people. Are they arrogant? Humble? Grateful? Awkward? Cool? Those brief moments tell us a lot.

I think America agreed with me and liked him the least, not only because of his singing, but also his personality. People just won't bring themselves to vote for someone they don't like, even if they respect their talent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most appealing personalities are probably Brooke and David A. Most of the contestants seem like nice people, but David A. stands out with a puppy-like quality (which is annoying to some, admittedly) and Brooke seems very open, honest and sweet. She comes across as vulnerable and wholesome when she sings, but in a very cool way. If she continues to pick songs which suit her perfectly, she'll probably wind up in the top three at least.

March 13 2008 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sonny's comment

Please speak for yourself when you say David A. has an appealing personality. I felt that David H. had a much better personality than David A. If I have to see him act like a puppy dog and lick his lips a million times each song for much longer, I may have to barf!

Please get rid of David. Yes he has a nice voice but so do most of the other contestants!

March 14 2008 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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