Like I've said before, I love Hollywood week, but not so much when it's ridiculously attenuated. First of all, I guess I can't call it Hollywood week anymore. But moreover, the excitement of this portion of Idol gets watered down with boring, useless narrative devices like starting tonight's episode at the end, Ryan Seacrest's more-banal-than-usual commentary and the producers trying to get us interested in people who weren't interesting enough to feature in prior episodes. And we're not even there yet! It all still gets wrapped up tomorrow.
So tonight the 72 singers performed with backup singers and instruments and no judges comments. We began with Adam "Fall Out Man" Lambert, who wants to "Take a song you've heard a million times before and twist it" which is not like David Cook at all. I kind of did like his choice of singing "Believe" by Cher but Adam lost me with the theatrical gasping between phrases. He can sing all right but it's just too much. And I hate it when men wear nail polish.
I did like Matt Giraud, the dueling piano player, who did "Georgia On My Mind." Yeah, he does that blue-eyed soul Justin Timberlake thing but he does it pretty well, and thus earned 75% of a standing o from the judges.
Danny Gokey had Paula writing in her seat. I dunno, I think Danny is a pretty good singer and all but I can see him looking average when the competition actually gets going.
Anoop Desai though had the crowd going nuts with "My Prerogative." I like that we're all behind Anoop. Good for him. And for us!
I feel at this point like I'm skipping over a bunch of singers but that's basically what the episode did. There's Jorge Nuñez! And Stevie Wright. She's pretty. So is Lil Rounds. And Jasmine Murray. Oh yeah, Kenny Hoffpauer, he's someone. Etc. That's how about half the show went.
Scott MacIntyre, the guy who can't see, performed at a keyboard looking like…something. Help me out here. A Ren Faire performer? But they didn't have keyboards in the Middle Ages. Art Garfunkle? Anyway, he sang Daughtry and don't be mad at me but I didn't think he was all that—a little off key and not really that strong-voiced. No high-five, sorry. Speaking of Daughtry, like half the chicks sang that Carrie Underwood mess-up-his-car song, I don't know why. It seems like the vocal equivalent of wearing a band's t-shirt when you have backstage passes at the concert.
Even though Kirsten McNamara irritated me last week with her contribution to the dramz going on with Team Compromise, I did like her voice—a little rough and strong.
Tatiana, desperately needing to brush her hair, sang "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and seemed to be doing OK but then she lost her mind halfway through and started scatting, or something. Then she exited the stage, like a true diva, seemingly drunk and pleased with herself. I love her!
Nathaniel Marshall sang "Disturbia" with a guitar, headband and bare feet. Bare feet are very in this season, along with maxi dresses. I guess bare feet proves you're…Brooke White? Speaking of which, Ryan mentioned the time she screwed up on-air and had to start over as Steve Fowler also messed up his song and had to start over and then quit. But Steven I think had his shoes on which ruins my theory that forgetting your shoes leads to forgetting the lyrics.
There was disappointingly little drama this episode, other than Tatiana being moved from one room to another and all her roommates (understandably) giving her side-eye as they tried to figure out what her presence meant. Meanwhile, Nick Mitchell decided to perform as Normal Gentle again. "Well, good for him for making it this far," I wrote, as he did "Georgia on my Mind" but what do you know, he made it through.
I don't know who Kaylan Loyd is but she was a good example of why, if you're on national television, you shouldn't chew gum. Maybe especially during a singing competition.
Michael Sarver, the roughneck, sang again. He bores me. Is that un-American of me to say?
So anyway after all this musical fun the singers were rounded up into rooms and the judges came by to tell them whether they made it or not, but this being Idol of course they couldn't just say "You made it" or not. I'm really glad that Chris Lilley made fun of this on Summer Heighs High with Mr. G faking out all the auditioners who tried out for "Mr. G: the Musical" because it's really ridiculous. God bless that one guy who raised his hand and said "So is this a no?" after the judges' nonsense was making Tatiana so nuts that she started warming her hands in front of an invisible fire.
So along with Nick and Tatiana, Anoop made it through and, also Scott and Jackie Tohn, who I found amusing on a prior episode. It felt like only 2% of the entire group was cut yet the crowd was celebrating like they'd made it to the actual competition—but not so fast. There's still tomorrow, and the narrowing down to the final 36, and the "judges' mansion." I unfortunately will not be here as I'm co-hosting a literary event in Chicago but I encourage you not to come out and see me but instead stay home and watch along with your more-than-capable fill-in, Donna Bowman.
—I hate those commercials that feature those Cyclops people. I don't even know what they're for because they creep me out so much that I need to fast-forward through them.
—WTF was Paula wearing around her neck? A bunch of hubcaps?!
—I admired the restraint Randy showed, meanwhile, by only wearing tromp l'oeil jewelry
—So Ryan said that tonight was the end of the road for Michael Castro, but I'd heard that he actually was in the group that made it to the live competition. So what does that mean, wild card or something?