Predictions and Trends
After all these weeks, there should have been a performance from almost everyone that forced me to back up the DVR and experience it at least once more. It hasn't happened.
I love the movie Flashdance, so I got all excited when the Idols started singing "Maniac" for their group number. But then I quickly deflated when I realized their version is nothing like the movie version with Jennifer Beals doing her butt dance. I'm not a lesbian, but watching that scene always makes me wish I was. Bring on the leg warmers and ripped sweatshirt.
After that, we had some footage of the Idols attending the red carpet premiere of 17 Again and getting to meet Zac Efron, Leslie Mann and the other stars of the film. Zac was in the Idol audience, too, wearing some goofy ski hat and looking like nine miles of bad road, but whatever.
Well, most of you correctly predicted who would go home on American Idol this week. A whopping 1183 votes for the predicted loser were logged in our poll!
But before we got to find out who it was for real, a whole bunch of other stuff happened, starting with Kara saying she appreciates the audience and their passion for the Idols. That was in reference to the heckling she got last night.
And Paula tried to redeem herself by saying that while she put the spotlight on Adam Lambert (you know, that Mick Jagger/Steven Tyler comment), she knows that all of the Idols have something special. Alrighty then.
Then Ryan descends from a big long stairway on the stage, like he's some old-time movie star or something. It's a little weird and cheesy, but also kind of fun. The theme this week is wide open, with the contestants choosing any song that's a popular download on iTunes. Let's get to it.
Anoop Desai started things off with Usher's "Caught Up." He cranked the pop factor up a few notches and showed that he's got the chops to switch it up a bit. Randy's a little torn and doesn't like the song choice. Kara thinks it's like a bunch of "frat guys dared you to get up and do Usher." Paula loves his more playful side, but says Anoop's stage presence needs a little work. Simon thinks it's "a complete and utter mess," saying, "It actually gave me a headache."
All you have to do is click on this link for the fantasy league and make your picks for elimination. Once you have, it will prompt you to login or register. Do that, and you're all set... to lose horribly to me (kona99). Oh, that's right. The smack talk is starting early, people. Let's go and see what you can do!
If you have any problems or questions, please feel free to comment below and we'll try to get them sorted out for you.
Michael Sarver sang "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up." He did a pretty good job with it, other than flubbing the lyrics a little in the middle. Randy Jackson liked the song, but wasn't sure about the vocals. Kara thought it was fun, but she missed the big notes. Paula thought the genre suited him, and Simon said it was clumsy and he couldn't understand the words. On a scale of 1 to 10, he'd give it 1.2. Really? It didn't seem that bad to me.
There are three places left in the top 12 ... or... are there ... ? If you haven't watched the show yet, I guess you'll have to read to the end of this review to find out just how many people are actually in the top 12. Until then, the eight singers chosen to come back in the judges' Wild Card Round sang their little hearts out. Let's see how they fared ...
Jesse Langseth starts things off by singing "Tell Me Something Good." Her voice is bluesy, and she looks hot, too. You can tell she's really trying to bring it, and while Randy likes the song, he doesn't think she sang it that well. Kara likes her swagger. Paula is impressed with her tenacity and determination, and says she has a lot of soul. Simon says she's the last girl they chose for the Wild Card Round, and she sang a lot better than last time. But he thinks the song choice is "slightly indulgent." I have no idea what the judges mean when they say that, and Simon must be reading my mind, because he explains that it's all about the singer, when it should be about the judges. Wait...what?! In fact, WTF?! Moving right along...
But before we got to learn which three went through, the producers tortured us with yet another group number, with the Idols awkwardly dancing and singing Neo's "Closer." I'm not a big fan of the group numbers, and the singers don't look like they're having that much fun either.
Hollywood Week continues, and the field has narrowed to 54 contestants, all vying for 36 spots in the official Season 8 lineup. But the Idol peeps switched things up by putting the judges in this giant house called "The Judge's Mansion" (???), and forcing contestants to take the long walk through the mansion and face the judges in a European parlor-type room. It's all very Vanity Fair-meets-Dallas. Anyhoo ...
Anoop Desai was first up, and the judges quickly moved him into season 8. "Love that kid," said Paula.
Von Smith addressed Simon's remark about his Hollywood Week song being "self-indulgent nonsense." But the pressure is off, at least for now, because Von made it through to the next round. And his mom couldn't be happier.
For this edition of American Idol, the crew traveled to New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of my favorite things about the auditions is seeing the expressions on the judges' faces – when they're witnessing true talent and also when they're being tortured by the voice of the devil.
Despite the distracting bobbing boat behind the judges (and a guy ON the boat at one point!), I tried to keep focused on the auditions in New York City. Let's get to it:
Adeola Adegoke, 19. She sang "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," and she's so sure of her singing abilities that she quit her job. Bad move. Simon calls the audition "shockingly bad" and then calls her former boss to try and get her job back. Thank goodness it works. Adeola is going back to her day job instead of flying to Hollywood.
(S08E02) Kona kicked off TV Squad's American Idol coverage last night, and the auditions are now in full swing. This episode found Ryan Seacrest and the judges in Kansas City, home of last year's American Idol winner David Cook. In fact, Ryan talked to David Cook's parents, who just happened to be walking down the street! Ok, not really, but they made it seem that way, which was kind of funny.
Also, included in the crowd of 11,000 people was Michael Castro, Jason Castro's brother. More on that later.
After the jump, the auditions...
After Sanjaya-gate last year, the biggest controversy to come out this year was that finalist David Hernandez used to be a stripper and David Archuleta's dad might be a Mr. Meany-Pants. And we got to be pissed that Kristy Lee Cook outlasted the likes of Michael Johns. Not until we got to the finale of Davids did things get really intense.
Gallery: AI '08 Top 24
First of all, it was not only a record-breaking number of votes, but the outcome was more distinct than in years past. That means that America really wanted David Cook to win. That's not to say David Archuletta can't belt out a good tune, but for America to pick the more original contestant who brought a unique style to everything he sang is notable.
The relevance to future Idols is this: If America actually picked the more talented contestant, the singer most likely to have a bang-up career, the hipper, cooler dude who should have had more appeal, then the future is bright for AI.
This way we can analyze how the week's performances affected a contestant's overall popularity, which turns out to be not very much except in a few select cases anymore. And this week we're mixing it up a bit, bringing you this column before the "Results Show" airs. As this is our last time to look at polls, why not see how many, if any, properly predict the David that comes out on top. Personally, even though you won't see her on these lists, I think Syesha still found a way to come in last on all of them.
Anyway, last night's epic battle got me thinking about past American Idol finales and whether any of them were this much of a contest. It seems like we've gone into most of the American Idol finales with obvious winners. Here's a breakdown of the past American Idol finales, and whether they stack up to last night's performances:
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