(S09E05) 11,000 people showed up for the Los Angeles auditions, which actually seems like kind of a low number to me. Maybe they heard the guest judge was going to be Avril Lavigne and said, "eh, maybe I'll skip this one. There's always season 10!" Okay, that's not nice. I'm sure Lavigne is a perfectly lovely lady. But who really cares? All that matters is whether or not she's a good judge.
...Except for the fact that she's a 25-year-old divorced woman who is wearing a hoodie with devil horns sewn into it. Not only that, but she insists on wearing the hood with devil horns sewn into it up on her head, while inside a building, so she can show off said devil horns, while she is evaluating people who are singing their hearts out to her. Because, God forbid she let anyone's hopes and dreams, or you know, professionalism, take precedence over her pseudo-punk lifestyle. Dear Avril, you are no longer 15; please dress and act accordingly. *Deep breath* Okay, that's better. Now on with the show.
(S09E04) Sweet! Kristin Chenoweth is the guest judge, which means that this episode is going to be awesome. Okay, perhaps that's overstating it a bit -- it is the audition rounds after all, but it's surely going to be just a bit sunnier. I'm really looking forward to this one, especially since Chicago had such a disappointing turnout (I mean, really... 13 Golden Tickets out of 12,000? Seriously?).
Orlando doesn't disappoint, and actually ends up getting 31 people to Hollywood. However, Kristin is only there, for the first day, so I feel a little ripped off. If I have to deal with Avril Lavigne at some point, shouldn't I get at least two days of Kristin Chenoweth? Come on!
(S03E09) We begin the show with Frank Sinatra's, "Chicago," which puts me in a good mood, but it's ruined by a bunch of never-weres sharing their heavily-bleeped opinions of American Idol and the judges. However, I am quickly buoyed by the woman waiting in line who says confidently to the camera, "I believe I have what it takes to become America's Next Top Model." God Bless you, ma'am. Thank you for being real and saying what no one else will: sometimes it's just about being on TV.
You would think that since it's the 3rd time Idol has held auditions in Chicago, that we would end up with a great group of talent, but you would be wrong. They may have used up most of the good ones the first two times, because Chicago doesn't actually turn out too many golden tickets.
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!
Alright, everyone! It seems like just moments ago that Kris Allen was crowned the new American Idol, but now he and runner-up Adam Lambert are old news. It's time to find the next superstar. This is going to be a big season: It's the first one without Paula, the first one with Ellen, and the last one with Simon. So let's just sit back, relax, and enjoy some auditions!
We start out with a look back at last season, and I'm sure Kara DioGuardi loves the fact that they're opening up with her ripping her dress off onstage with The Bikini Girl. Ryan talks about Paula leaving and shows a clip of Ellen announcing that she'll be the new judge. She looks so cute and excited! I can't wait for her to get on the live episodes. For now, however, we have guest judge Victoria Beckham. Am I the only one who forgets that she talks? I'm just so used to her posing, hearing her voice freaks me out.
At long last, the season 8 finale of American Idol has arrived! It's been fun watching all of the Idols grow in their musical prowess (that's a Paula word), especially Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, the final two performers who couldn't be more different, but are both awesome in their own way.
Ryan started things off by introducing the judges, along with a funny video clip for each of them -- Randy Jackson saying "For Me" throughout the season; Kara DioGuardi saying "sweetie" and "honey" to people who didn't make it past the audition process; Paula's round-up of colorful adjectives (vocal prowess, masterful and effortless, palette, etc.); and Simon's issues with hearing what people say (as in, he could probably use a hearing aid!).
"Two are left standing, but only one can take it all." Seacrest breaks it down for us this evening, just in case there was anyone who didn't know what was going on. Each contestant is performing three songs tonight: a song that they've already performed on the show, one chosen by Idol producer Simon Fuller, and the winner's single, co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi.
And what a winner's single it is. Hoo boy. I had no idea a song could be that awful. It truly plumbs the depths and nearly ruins the entire night. Luckily, the guys have two previous performances that hopefully people will remember instead of the final one. Because, wow. Just, wow.
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 open up with a shot of the three finalists: Danny, Adam and Kris. Doesn't it make you kind of sad? I don't want a finale with three dudes -- I want Allison back! She should be standing up there instead of Gokey, and she probably would be if the judges didn't have some weird fascination with him.
In any case, Ryan informs us it's the 300th episode and that we should stand up for the top 3. No thank you, sir. This is also the episode in which the finalists sing two songs, one of which is chosen by the judges. I already know what Gokey is singing, because Paula Tweeted it earlier today. NOT THAT SHE'S BIASED OR ANYTHING. Hey Paula, what are the other guys singing? Huh? What was that? <crickets>.
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.
With this particular final 4, you know that Rock Night is going to be interesting -- and they don't disappoint. Adam and Allison are definitely suited for this, while Kris and especially Danny have a bit of an uphill battle. Slash is the mentor, which sounds exciting, but we don't really see a whole lot of him. I have no idea if this is what actually happened or not, but we definitely get the impression that he didn't work with the contestants as much as some of the other mentors did.
Also this week we have something new: duets. Frankly, I thought the idea was going to be kind of a train wreck, but they turned out to be really interesting. Pairing Allison and Adam together makes sense, but it left the odd couple of Danny and Kris. It was really kind of hilarious, and I'm sad that they won't be able to do it again this season (unless they do it tomorrow during the results show), because it was a lot of fun.
My dad, however, thinks that Adam is in a class of his own and no one can touch him. That he'll win and nobody else even deserves to be in the competition. I pointed out the fact that he scream-sings all of his songs, but my dad was hearing none of it. My father is also tone-deaf -- not that that means anything.
Anyway, since we couldn't talk last night, I had to get that all off of my chest before we get into the Taylor Hicks and the Jaime Foxx and the elimination in tonight's show. Regardless of who leaves tonight, Adam's going to win and I'm going to be sad. Everything leading up to that is just going to be vague disappointments. Let's get started!
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.
Two of the seven remaining contestants on American Idol went home this week. And this time, they actually did go home. It seems like the producers have been trying to psych us out all season, throwing as many surprises as they can to keep the show fresh. Not so tonight. Two went home, and it was no surprise to me who those two were.
But first, we got to see some behind-the-scenes stuff as the Idols prepared for their group number. When Ryan said they called on a huge name in the choreography world for this week's group number, I was pleasantly shocked to see that it was Paula.
It was nice to see her dance again. Makes me want to go back and watch some of her vintage music videos. Thinking about it also took my mind off the goofy disco outfits the Idols were wearing. Anoop had quite the George Michael look going.
Well, the judges finally used their save last week somewhat confusingly on Matt Giraud. The good news is now that the save has been used, we don't have to endure any more of the awkward begging from the contestants at the end of the show. The bad news is that two people are getting eliminated this week. The worse news is that it's disco night.
In all fairness, though, this group is unlike most Idol groups in that they seem to do better with the more well-defined themes. When it's a free-for-all, like with the Billboard night, they lose their way and everything dissolves into chaos. Disco night just further proves this theory. With a few exceptions, the group manages to turn in vocally solid, interesting and original performances.
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