The final twelve out of this group of 36, for the most part could not be listed under the 'Saving the best for last' category. It felt more like four hours long rather than just two. My youngest kept asking me, "so what number are they on now?" and "how long is this show tonight?". Like 'are we there yet' only we were sitting in the living room.
First singer on the chopping block, Von Smith. It's never good to be the first sheep out of the pen in the slaughter house of Idol and he apparently drew that short straw. Hapless victim, he came out in a brown suit and orange shirt with his hair done ala k d Lang.
I ranked Von average. It wasn't a completely Fail performance as he did show the crowd that amazing ability to unhinge his jaws like some sort of python while he sings and he did not sound horrible. I had expected to see the gesturing, that over the top guy viewed in auditions and in Hollywood but apparently someone slipped the guy a mellow out mickey. He tried to bring some soul, what is it this season with all the wanna-be soul singers? Taylor Hicks you obviously still have left your mark on that Idol stage, regardless of your first CD not blowing up Billboard's charts. Anyway Smith was not Hicks nor any close proximity of Marvin Gaye in his delivery of "You're All I Need to Get By". I think he'll be lucky to get by tonight.
Long tall Taylor Vaifanua was next, dwarfing wee Ryan on the Idol stage. She hails from a town near where my folks currently live, Hurricane, Utah. Why it's called Hurricane a mystery since it's out in the middle of red rock canyons without hope of any sort of sea driven storm. Tall Taylor did Alicia Keys who must be destined to be the New Whitney on this show. Song choice, "If I Ain't Got You", poor Tall Taylor isn't going to get the votes. One entertaining moment to emerge from her performance, Kara DioGuardi's Pauleresque comment, "I want to know what it would be like to go shopping with you!" Let me insert Randy's new word of the year, "What!".
Hilarious interlude next with little Alex Wagner-Trugman. The summation of his performance? Rowr, Rooowwr, Roowwrr! Spaz dance, spaz and knock over mic stand. Kid looks like he's twelve and Simon's appraisal, "You were like a hamster trying to be a tiger" made me laugh. It was so true. Bless you wee Alex for bringing the fun.
Ariana Asfar was next to show just why shiny buttons don't belong in this show. Kara DioCrappi, in her review of the child's off-key warbling rendition of first time ever on this show ABBA song, "The Winner Takes All", asked what happened to 'that shiny button' you were? Apparently this little button got popped off and scraped up on the floor. Bye bye little button. Button, button who's got the button? Not Idol.
Ju'Not Joyner, you know the guy in Hollywood that got through on how cute his little boy was in audition? Well he came out with the same song he's been apparently singing this entire time, "Hey There Delilah". He had some moments where you could tell he has a glimmer of Luther Van Dross going on but overall I got the cheesy vibe off him. The eye squints that were intended as 'come hither' looks, the whole whack look of him. Top that when asked by Kara after his performance about his son's whereabouts, he had to pause, the light left his eye a moment as he thought it through. Said kiddo was with Grandma, then camera panned to two ladies one who looked like... a Grandma. Not sure about his backstory regarding the kid's mom but more likely the child with Mom. Where ever she may be.
Kristin MacNamara, aka Nashville Star past contestant followed him with Tracey Chapman's tune, "Give Me One More Reason". She smirked, wrinkled her nose, tried to rowr it up a bit like little Alex, but it wasn't working. Top that with coming out in what looked like she'd pulled a MerryMaids job before coming in last night. All she needed was a turkey feather duster to complete the look.
Nathanial "Headbands" Marshall was next with another first, he did Meatloaf's "Anything for Love". It was anything but what I had expected or hoped for from Headband Nate. That said, the show loved him up, gave his Grandma some camera face time and Ryan and he skipped to the judges desk to hang out for a few minutes and try to wrestle one of Nicks' shiny glitter headbands on Simon. Likely Simon was afraid of what he might contract from the headband and put a brave resistance. A lot of folks profess to hate Cowell but I admire the way he won't shovel shit on the show to be nice. My respect, man. Nate was disappointing in that any other Meatloaf song would have been more fun, and he was just not... he just wasn't up to the greatness of last week's Adam. I am beginning to think no one will hold up to that bright beam of light Adam shot the show with last week.
Felicia Barton who was brought back to cover for Joanna Pacitti's being canned by the show as just too much plant, did a passable job. I did not hate her. Liked her hair it was so shiny but not like a shiny button. She may make it through. She will be Wild Card if she doesn't.
Scott "Legally Blind" MacIntyre, well you all will hate me on this one. I mean, yes, the guy is blind. He has cute curly fluffy hair, he seems like a nice person with a sometimes quiet and redeeming dry humor. I really enjoy the way he inserts "seeing" into many of his comments. I also liked how he had Ryan give him a "High Five" holding up his hand as a "stationary target"'. There, I said something nice. Kara DioCrappi crapped all over herself with fawning over his being able to "move mountains". Apparently Kara has been drinking what Paula normally does in her Coke cup. Mountains were not moved. I KNOW - he's blind. But I can see that he's not a mountain mover, nor can I say I see him as the best singer in this competition. He did a fitting, for him, rendition of Bruce Hornsby's "Mandolin Rain". It is the type of tune I can see him performing, for the most part, on this show. From what I've heard he's that type of artist. He'll put out that type of music. This will assure me of one more step into Hades but he should really wear some glasses. Not Hokey-Gokey glasses but glasses. Bless his heart.
Scott McIntyre: "Mandolin Rain"
Gee, this was a long night, Kiddo was right.
Kendall Beard is up after Scott. She's from Texas (I think, not into her enough to even google) and does Martina McBride's, "This One's For the Girls". It's along the lines of last season's Kristy Lee Cook's type of presence and vocal treatments, she's not horrible, or maybe just I'm relieved to have finally reached number nine tonight. She wears a little yellow dress her Mom picked out that my youngest thinks is 'oooo that's such a cute dress' and my youngest thinks she looks like a Disney girl too. That means like Demi Lavato or Miley Cyrus in her lingo. Baby girl wants to get the phone out and vote, but I rein her in. In my house I am ruler and yes, we have censorship.
Jorge "Massive Eyebrows" Nunez from Puerto Rico comes out with a big smile - he's the only one taken from that country and considering only about 300 folks came to try out he had a good chance at making it. He performs "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (must have been a big Elton John scene while these folks were picking songs). He winds up crying at the end, such is his passionate Latino heart.
Jorge Nunes "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
I'd not be surprised he squeaks through or is a Wild Card (Pauler pick).
FINALLY the show is going to end tonight. Naturally, hitting the "Pimp" spot is Lil Rounds. She decides to entertain us with - no surprise here, a Mary J. Blige song, "Be Without You". She works the stage in a way a seasoned pro would - something I find very interesting since she's just been a regular ol' mother of three kids. She can sing, she's lovely to look at too. Darling Man, ever the most intelligent commentator kept saying, "baby got back! Yeah, Momma got back". Other than that, all he contributed for the night was to wallow in misery on the sofa saying how much he hates this show. Lil Rounds at least gave him a reason to live through it all, for that I thank her.
I'm not sure how long this videos will be in working order. The show this year has been especially shrewish about not sharing.