Predictions and Trends
There are six contestants left on 'American Idol,' and everyone did really well tonight, which means it's anyone's guess who will go home. After noting that a whopping $45 million was raised on 'Idol Gives Back' last week, Ryan Seacrest introduced this week's mentor, Shania Twain, and we got right into the performances.
Lee DeWyze, 'You're Still the One.' Per Shania's suggestion, Lee starts the song with just voice and piano, adding in guitar later. It sounds a little forced to me, but I like the ending. Randy Jackson says it's one of his favorite songs of all time, and Lee found a way to make it his own. Ellen DeGeneres agrees, saying "you couldn't look cuter" and "all aboard the Shania Twain!" Kara DioGuardi likes that Lee cracked a smile a few times, and Simon Cowell thinks it was "absolutely the perfect song" for Lee. Then Simon and Kara started arguing about whether Lee smiled or had some other weird facial thing going on. He was smiling! He's still just a little nervous!
It was an interesting night on 'American Idol,' as that statement suggests. Obviously, Ryan was talking about Adam's tongue action while singing, but when he said it, Adam's eyebrows went up. He and Ryan would make a cute couple, wouldn't they?
Anyway, Ryan's mom was in the audience, too, which made things even more interesting. That and the fact that after Big Mike's save last week -- which I'm thankful for -- the Idols are definitely feeling the pressure. Two -- count 'em, two -- people will be sent packing this week.
Based on the performances, I'm guessing they won't be the ones we predict. Meaning that Tim Urban and Andrew Garcia will still be here after tonight. Ok, maybe not Andrew.
Ryan Seacrest started off the show with "Prepare yourself for a surprise or two," and we definitely got that. Based on your comments on my 'Who Will Win 'American Idol'? post a few days ago, it's really anyone's game at this point. And I mean, anyone, from the shoe-ins like Crystal Bowersox and Siobhan Magnus to the dark horses like Tim Urban and Andrew Garcia. After this week's performance show, Kona thinks Casey James also falls into that dark horse category, and I agree.
After a message about Idol Gives Back, a group medley of Lennon/McCartney tunes, and a Ford commercial (kaleidoscope fun!), we got to the results.
Pretty boys don't do it for me. Long, flowing locks aren't what generally draws me to a guy. As a result, I was never particularly drawn to 'American Idol' contestant, Casey James. Of course I understood the attraction on an intellectual level -- I do have eyes after all, and he is a very pretty man. But throughout the first half of this season of 'Idol,' he remained little more than a background player to me.
Casey was talented enough, but he never knocked my socks off. I figured that he'd stick around for a while because he's good-looking and he doesn't stink up the stage with his performances, but that after a while, he'd be swept up in a cloud of blond hair and sparkling teeth and he'd become nothing but a distant, blue-eyed memory. That all changed this week, however, when he performed 'Jealous Guy.' All the sudden, I was sitting in front of my TV and a random thought struck me: "I kind of want to make out with him."
The 'American Idol' season nine finale is still a ways off, but I'm ready to start talking about who I think will win. I'm tempted to say that the judges missed the boat on some of the contestants who made it (or rather, didn't make it) into the Top 24, but that's not really fair. Sometimes a contestant will shine during the auditions and Hollywood Week, but once they get to the big stage, nerves or a lack of confidence take over, and it shows in the live performances.
If 'Idol' moves on to another season, I'd like to see more behind-the-scenes footage with the Top 12 -- more scenes of the music coaching, what the contestants go through making those all-important song choices, and what goes into the hair and wardrobe we see on stage. Future wish-list aside, follow me after the jump for more analysis on the remaining contestants, and my choice for the winner.
Last night, we learned the Top Ten who'd be going on the 'American Idol' tour this summer. Out of all the contestants who made it into the Top 24, I'm ok with who's left. There are really only a handful of standouts for me -- Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche, and Siobhan Magnus -- but all of the contestants have their moments.
What I love about this season is there's such a diverse group of singers, each with their own fan base. We've got Crystal's bluesy-folksy vocals, Katie Stevens' teen pop, Michael Lynche's soulful blues, Casey James' guitar rock, Aaron Kelly's mad vocals (I'm convinced he can sing anything well), Tim Urban's Zac Efron vibe, and Siobhan's edgy pop-rock. Lee DeWyze, Didi Benami, and Andrew Garcia don't really pop out at me, but there's still time.
Did the right person go home last night? Let's talk about it after the jump.
Ryan Seacrest said there would be a few surprises on last night's episode of 'American Idol,' and that certainly proved to be true. You have to wonder if Vote for the Worst came into play, although even the worst contestants are still really, really good to have made it that far. Let's take a look after the jump, and see which four got eliminated.
We start things out with an awkward scene of Ellen sitting on Simon's lap and making out with him. But as Ryan said, Ellen's taken. And so is Simon, apparently. Oh, and I really like Kara's straight hair, and whoa! We jump right into performances. Follow me after the jump...
R&B star Mary J. Blige sat in as a guest judge, and she seemed to get along really well with the other judges. And of course, she definitely knows her music, not to mention what it's like to stand on a stage and sing for thousands of fans.
Ryan Seacrest also reminded us that not only was he born in Atlanta (they showed a picture that can't possibly be him, because it looks like someone's aunt), but three Idols came out of previous auditions there: Fantasia, Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson. On with the show!
- It seems more like The Tonight Show isn't the best marriage for Conan O'Brien, rather than the host being wrong for the show. From SNL to The Simpsons to his own Late Night, O'Brien was a driving force in some of the most cutting edge network comedy of the last 15 years. But, The Tonight Show isn't about "cutting edge." It's about something mildly entertaining to watch before folks tuck into bed. It's a waste of O'Brien's chops -- though you can't blame the guy for knocking down the paycheck.
- Due to lazy NBC programming ideas, O'Brien's popularity could be damaged by his predecessor. No, Jay Leno is in no way out to sabotage his protege. But Leno's upcoming prime time, pre-news lead-in to The Tonight Show seems like overkill. Will audiences want to watch "Leno's old Tonight Show" followed by "O'Brien's new Tonight Show?"
People in the Midwest and South don't have celebrities around every corner, and we're not as "hard" as the East Coast. So we still get excited when a "hometown" boy or girl does good. Think back to Season Five when Katharine McPhee went "home" to Los Angeles to a crowd of hundreds while Taylor Hicks was blown away by tens of thousands in Alabama (and they already had one Idol!).
It's getting down to the wire, and all three of the remaining contestants are certainly talented enough to be crowned the next American Idol. While I've been an Adam Lambert fan all along, I'd be fine with whomever wins this season.
Things start off tonight with the Ford commercial, kind of a fun little cartoon-oriented ad with Adam, Danny and Kris singing "Break My Stride." It must be really fun to see yourself as a cartoon/comic book character.
We've been building to a Danny/Adam finale pretty much since the beginning. Kris though, Kris kind of came out of nowhere early on, and I think he blew the other two boys away last night. Yes, I know Adam fans think he was amazing, but he again worked his patented "rock scream" into both songs and it didn't belong in either, particularly "One." Danny opened disastrously before redeeming himself, but Kris had that something special in both songs. Is it even possible to change people's minds at this point?
Yet another results show has come around, and Ryan starts things off by asking, "Who will graduate from the Idol school of rock, and who will just get schooled?" You know, Ryan, I'm available if your writers are on strike. Call me.
Anyway, sounds like it was a dramatic week on American Idol - a large column collapsed and in a separate incident, a staffer was injured on a stair mishap. Whew. But the show must go on, and we'll find out tonight whether Allison, Danny, Adam or Kris will be going home. The other three get to go home, too, but for a big hometown parade with cheerleaders and town leaders gushing praise on them.
Kris Allen starts things off with "The Way You Look Tonight," one of my favorite songs from that era. It's really nice having Ricky Miner and the band onstage, because it helps to put you in that era. The tune starts off slow, then picks up with a jazzy beat in the middle. Really, really nice.
The Judges: Randy says it's his best performance to date; Kris took his time, told a story, and added some R&B stylings. Kara agrees, saying Kris set the technical standard high for the evening. "You are truly a dark horse in this competition," says Kara. Paula says he's made an amazing transition from boy-next-door to sophisticated gentleman. Simon isn't quite as enthusiastic, saying it's "wet" and like "taking a well-trained spaniel for a walk." He doesn't feel like Kris can win the competition.
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