American Idol – Top 36, Round 2

I’m going to attempt to watch tonight’s American Idol, but I’ll warn you in advance that it may be difficult for me to hear the contestants over the INCESSANT BARKING of the elderly labrador retriever who lives with us. I mean, I don’t know if there’s a pack of squirrels that are invisible to the human eye running circles around her right now or what, but trust me: she wouldn’t be this alarmed if she were suddenly confronted by a band of thieves at three in the morning.

In fact, if she were suddenly confronted by a band of thieves at three in the morning, she would probably just lick them and then go back to sleep.

But the invisible squirrels?




Here we go.

Jasmine Murray – “Love Song” – Maybe it’s appropriate that the dog won’t stop barking since Jasmine hails from Bulldog Country. I like this song a lot, and I also like the fact that it gave her the chance to show a little attitude and confidence on stage. It was weird at the beginning, but there was a fun little section about midway through that enabled her to show off some sassiness. So while I probably wouldn’t have picked this song for her, I thought it was a not-bad performance.

Matt Giraud – “Viva La Vida” – He’s my favorite contestant hands-down. And my word, he’s a brave one for taking on some Coldplay, but I think maybe it wasn’t such a great idea. There was a pretty rough patch about three quarters of the way through, and more than anything else it’s just difficult for an audience to get on board with that type of song unless Chris Martin is the one who’s singing it. I wish he’d picked an old Doobie Brothers song, some Stevie Wonder – something that was more soulful and played to his strengths.

Jeanine Vailes – “This Love” – This performance immediately felt like karaoke to me. I think Adam Levine’s voice is so distinctive that it felt strange to hear someone doing essentially the same arrangement he sings but with a vastly different voice. It was the wrong song for her, and I have no idea who she is as an artist after hearing her sing it.

Nick Mitchell – “And I Am Telling You” – No. Just no. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Allison Iraheta – “Alone” – SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL THE “IDOL” PEOPLE TO RETIRE THIS SONG. I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. That being said, she has a big voice, even if I felt like she was screaming at me a little bit. Still, it was the best performance so far tonight.

Kris Allen – “Man In The Mirror” – When they ban the Heart songs, could they ban the Michael Jackson songs, too? I actually really liked the arrangement of this song – just a hit-o-funky – and he did a decent job with it. I was actually surprised by him and felt proud of him for overcoming that rough beginning. Yay Kris Allen.

Megan Joy Corkrey – “Put Your Records On” – First, we need to address the hip-shaking behind the microphone. It was odd. I think she has an interesting voice, and she was fun to listen to during the verses, but the chorus was a little bit of a train wreck both times. She’s cute and talented, though – I’d like to see more of her.

Matt Breitzke – “If You Could Only See” – This song is over ten years old, I still love it a bunch. As far as this performance, it wasn’t bad if I closed my eyes, but he seemed a little awkward on stage, like he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the microphone and his hands and, well, himself. There just wasn’t a whole lot of energy on the stage, and for that reason the performance wasn’t terribly memorable.

Jesse Langseth – “Bette Davis Eyes” – I’m going to try to be unaffected by the fact that I despise this song. Didn’t even like it back in the day when I’d watch the Kim Carnes video on Night Tracks. That being said, this was a pretty interesting arrangement and performance, mainly because I felt like for the first time tonight someone put an original spin on a song. But I don’t understand why in the world someone would pick that song. I’d much rather hear her sing something bluesy and / or jazzy. Just my opinion.

Kai Kalama – “What Becomes Of A Broken Heart” – I need to get this out of the way: I adore his hair. There. I said it. As far as his performance, I thought it was pretty good, though he smoldered at the camera a lot. It was pretty karaoke-ish; tonight I’ve noticed that people have seemed perfectly content to sing these songs the way people have always sung them. And I think they need to take some chances. SURPRISE US PLEASE, THIS IS GETTING MONOTONOUS. Bottom line: this performance didn’t give me any sense of who Kai Kalama is as a singer. And I was a little bored.

Mishavonna Henson – “Drops of Jupiter” – Love this song a million times. And I liked this performance because I felt like she put her own little spin on an already-great song. What I didn’t think she did was captivate the audience – she wasn’t terribly engaging or dynamic on the stage. I’m sure that could develop over time (see: Carrie Underwood).

Adam Lambert – “Satisfaction” -Well at least it wasn’t theatrical. (Ahem.) I mean, don’t get me wrong: he can sing. But that was Sam Harris meets the Rolling Stones. And for that reason alone, it was a little weird for me. Again, he can definitely sing. Loudly. And good for him for having some charisma. But it was a little much for me.

All righty, people – feel free to chime in on the Linky. And please (PLEASE) leave the link to your post’s permalink and not the general URL. If you didn’t blog about Idol, then chime in via the comments – I’m curious to see if y’all were as ambivalent about tonight’s show as I was.

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  1. Dear Nick/Norman, Branson called and they have a spot for you. Now, please leave AI and never come back.

    As for the rest of them, I was drastically underwhelmed tonight. I love some Kris Allen (he IS from Arkansas and at least that deserves some SEC love), but the rest just didn’t do much for me. Adam Lambert can “sing the phone book”, but seems like such a poser. I miss Anoop already :(.

  2. Good critique. One of my commentors suggested Adam might be a missing Jonas brothers. I can see it.
    What I’d like to read next time is some analysis of that dog of yours. Song choice? Playing it too safe? Maybe a little pitchy in spots?

  3. I know it is harsh to share news like this via blog comment, but my DVR and I, we are through. For whatever reason, it did not begin recording until 9:32, so I only caught Kai, Mishavonna, and Adam. For the second week in a row my main thought is that they saved the most-likely shoo-in for last. And I am still not over the shock of America’s choosing Michael over Anoop.

  4. Completely agree with you again! Nick/Norman, whoever you are – Bye! Bye!

  5. I LOVE Adam. Must be the guy-liner and the polish. :)

    I think he was the only guy tonight who did remotely decent.

    Mishavonna was probably the best girl, and I still didn’t think she was that good.

    I really wanted Jasmine to do well (MS girl and all), but it just didn’t work for me.

    Nick scares me. My inner child cries everytime he’s on the TV.

  6. Uh oh. Seems as though I’m the lone Nick/Norman lover in this crowd. Sorry girls, but he makes me smile and laugh!

    OK, I know he won’t win but I’d like to see him do his schtick a few more times.


  7. I really like LOOKING at Jasmine. Such class! But I don’t think she’s going to make it.

    Oh, Megan. Can you BELIEVE not one of the judges mentioned the car wash swivel?

  8. Southern Gal says:

    Mishavonna spooked me with that frown/hate face she was giving the camera as she sang. Girl, get happy.

    And I’m sorry, but Adam makes me so uncomfortable, I actually felt sick while watching him tonight. PLEASE SEND HIM HOME along with the comedy act. HOW did that one make it to the final 36??

  9. Southern Gal says:

    Oh and one more thing. Nick also reminds me a lot of Taylor. Uh oh. That means he could win. If that happens I’ll never watch again and I mean it.

  10. So far it seems like this is the season for all the people who did so well in Hollywood to really disappoint in these first live rounds.

    I was diappointed in Jasmine and Matt. I thought they would be the front runners.

    Kris Allen is one of the worship leaders at my church…I thought after the first inital nerves he really came through and delivered.

    Adam – I agree…very weird and too over the top for me.

    Paula’s obvious “under the influence” performance had my husband and I rolling! He has not been into AI much in the past and has never seen this erratic behavior…so he was cracking up!

    I must say…the only person who was entertaining was “Norman Gentle”. Although this is not the stage for him…he could so do comedy somewhere!

  11. I’ll be happy as long as Norman leaves. This season, I’m glad I DVR the episodes. AI has waaaaay too much filler, and I don’t have time for the nonsense. Besides, I can watch all the important stuff the next morning in 10 minutes flat. (Note: I don’t think I like Cara/Kara whateverhernameis. Really, the only Judge’s opinion I take to heart is Simon. He always knows what he’s talking about. The other three? All sound the same – pitchy, not feelin’ it, you made it your own, blah blah blah…)

  12. What a mess this year. It’s either a mess or I’m getting too old to care about the show. We dvr’d it and ended up skipping most of it. Sadly, we think Norman Gentle is the best thing to happen to AI this season.

  13. I haven’t watched AI yet, I have it on DVR and plan to watch it in a little bit. Just a funny comment about the lab.

    My aunt has always had labs and as one of theirs got up in her doggie years she too would chase & bark at seemingly nothing. My aunt said she was chasing FIGMENTS.

    You know, FIGMENTS OF HER IMAGINATION. That always made me laugh!!! :)

  14. tonight I would have not picked anyone to be in the top 12. I guess Jesse was my favorite. It’s so weird that in a world full of music everyone keeps picking BAD songs from themselves

  15. I’ve been somewhat disappointed thus far with Idol. The last two weeks have been almost painful to watch. Especially since this is supposed to be the most talented season ever. Maybe next week will be better.

  16. Melanie K says:

    I was disappointed in Jasmine Murray and I think she blew her chances to move on, which she should have done.

    I think Nick/Norman did a great job rewriting those lyrics and he is definitely funny. I would like to see more of him too, but think he will get work somewhere as a comedian. He reminds me so much of Jerry Lewis.

    Don’t think much of Allison and can’t figure out why the judges are so impressed with her.

    Was also disappointed in Matt, really want him to move on. Love Kai’s hair and the way he loves his mama, but probably not going to do much.

    And Adam is da bomb!! He is not too over the top for the type of music he will likely do. I think people just have a problem with his goth looks and screamy voice at times. I thought he did a fabulous job with the song and making it his own.

  17. You were TOTALLY dead on. Great recap, my friend!!! :o)

  18. my 2 faves were kris and mishovanna (what IS that name about??)

    people should not sing songs that bands sing.

    and totally agree with retiring hart and mj and anything whitney/mariah. good grief.

    i am livid they ever let the norman guy thru to the top 36. he made a mockery of the whole thing last night. BOO & HISS.

  19. I think that this recap makes me want to delete the episode I haven’t watched yet- I totally trust your judgement and think I will agree with it. Maybe I’ll just watch tonight and see who makes it.

  20. I suppose I have been watching, but not really paying attention, because last night I was thinking, “Who are Jeanine Vailes, Allison Iraheta, and Jesse Langseth?”

    For the most part, I think the ladies are completely forgettable. There are a few stand-out men, but this may be another Season 3 or Season 6 for me (completely snoozed through those).

    And that awkward hip shake Megan kept doing? I swear Bette Midler did the same move when she performed as CiCi Bloom in Beaches.

  21. Dead on is right. I laughed when I read your comments about Matt; I said exactly the same thing. He didn’t sound awful, as long as I had my eyes closed. That song just looked weird coming out of his mouth.

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like Adam? I think he’s “acting” like a musician, he seems like he’s playing a role in a movie. Gag.

  22. I liked Kris, and I liked Mishavonna. Megan Joy was pretty good, although the dancing was…odd. But that last guy? Adam? Don’t like him. At. All.

  23. I was cringing the first few minutes of the show. Nothing sounded good until Allison came out. Then I was bored again. You nailed Adam Lambert. I had made the Sam Harris comparison back when he auditioned. But I thought he did a great job of bringing it down last night. Much less musical theater-like. I told my husband they must intentionally put who they feel is a strong singer at the end of the show. Last week it was Danny Gokey and this week Adam. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

  24. Hi BooMama,

    I’ve never commented here before, but I have to say, I sure do appreciate all the laughs you give me! My husband just shakes his head in wonder, some of it’s just good southern girl humor that he just doesn’t get!

    So, I was completely underwhelmed by the group tonight. I think American Idol really missed the boat this year, there was too much talent in the first group that is now out, and not near enough in this group.

    I have to disagree with you on one point… Adam Lambert was more like Tina Turner meets the Rolling Stones! LOL!!

  25. What was up with all of the AWFUL song choices??? Seriously people this is your one moment to shine, pick a song that shows your best side!!! It will be interesting to see who moves on…I’m thinking Adam for sure.

  26. let me just start out with, “thank goodness for dvr.” it took 2 hours down to 1. i liked little allison, despite her heart choice, for my fave girl. i didn’t really love any of the guys this round, but i think adam will make it through, for sure. however, nick/norman totally cracked me up. i can see him performing on a cruise ship somewhere, but really… he was better than the first 3. and that was where it stopped. tonight i will be working when they announce the three winners, so i will end with, “thank goodness for dvr.” have a great day!

  27. ARGH…I was so frustrated last night. Pick better songs people! Learn from others mistakes…PLEASE, as a viewer I beg you!!!!!

  28. I do watch American Idol and my pick for tonight’s top 3 are Allison, the last guy with the theatrical satisfaction and Mishovanna, I think she is so mature and I like that she isn’t a little brat like some of past idol performers.
    But, I’m just a fan, what do I know!

  29. Yes, I thought it was disappointing. I voted for Megan Corkery, just because I liked her so much earlier, but her performance last night was off. My oldest son wanted to vote for Norman Gentle, and I told him he could just as soon as he started paying the phone bill.

  30. There were moments last night when I said:

    Oh, dear Lord, no.

    Moments when I wanted it to all just GO AWAY.

    And a few times I turned red FOR the contestants.

    There were a few good moments ie. Mishovanna… she made me happy again. But over all… I was quite underwhelmed.


  31. you are so right about adam. i had my hands over my eyes while he was singing, and occasionally i’d peak between my fingers. i just couldn’t think of who or what he reminded me of.
    i had totally forgotten about sam harris.
    i remember hating that i loved him on star search. wow, that was a long time ago.

    and i’m so out of it i don’t even know what the car wash swivel is. but she’s cute & has a good voice.

    who should go thru? matt, nick & megan

  32. This is the way to do it! Read your recap, and then decide who to fast forward through.

    I was working last night until the wee hours, so I had to tivo the episode, but I agree with you! Enough with ALONE! That song is done. Why is it still on the list???

  33. I really loved nick/norman, I will hope that he will go far, the difference between nick and taylor is nick has some personality. you can’t take this show too seriously. they will put through who they want.

  34. I loved Allison. And I loved the song Alone. She is the only performance I remember from last night. She was awesome and she is 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!

  35. I’m not live-blogging AI this year, out of deference to my sweet hubby, who is not a big fan of the American Idol (gasp).

    Therefore, I’ve only caught bits and pieces of it this year. But last night I stayed home from choir practice (thank you, bronchitis), and flipped between AI and Top Chef.

    Anyhoo…there was a whole lot of forgetable on that stage last night. And those who weren’t forgetable were a little weird. I TOTALLY agree that Adam has some Sam Harris going on. Too funny. (Although I loved Sam Harris when I was in high school). Nick/Norman is more scary than funny to me. He reminds me of Richard Simmons. Yeeee. And I really kind of liked Jesse, but she reminds me of Lori Singer (remember Footloose?)

    I look forward to reading your AI posts!

  36. So far, this season’s contestants have completely underwhelmed me. There have been only a few who have really stood out, and last night I think it was Adam and Allison, but I don’t really like Adam much. Something about him is too showy and a little affected. I really liked Mishavonna, too, but that was about it. The 3rd group better step it up!

  37. Sam Harris is from my hometown! Sand Springs, OK. Just felt the need to share. It’s a rare day someone from my home town is referenced. :)

  38. my faves so far…

    megan and kris! ive never been an american idol fan really but im watching this season!

  39. I’m so ambivalent, I haven’t watched one single episode all the way thru this season. Not one. Once David Cook shone his bright light of beauty and talent, I was done. He’s my perfect AI and I’m happy in my oblivion to further wanna-be superstars that might try to emerge. I’m so over it all.

    But I do like that factory worker Dad. Can’t remember his name. Can’t remember what group he’s singing with. You know, the bald-ish one.

  40. I was definitely underwhelmed. That is all.

  41. I liked Jesse until she said “fuhgetaboutit” twice after she sang her song. Blech.

  42. Tthank you for hating bette davis eyes with me. my husband acted like i was the anti-christ when I told him that.

    I disagree with you on Kai’s hair tho – I got one word for you – CURLY.

  43. I have so missed these posts since the last season! I am a little confused about this season. But I haven’t really been watching faithfully.

  44. Watching Megan was killing me! She looked like a tattooed rag doll!

    I couldn’t believe none of the judges commented on it either; I am betting she’s going to be one of the wild card picks.

  45. I used to like Adam…but I just can’t anymore. Not unless he TONES IT DOWN. PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE…

    Legs girl: a mess. A hot, tranny mess…

    And come on…WHO DOESN’T LIKE NICK MITCHELL??? I mean…he’s like an SNL skit everytime. And that CAN’T BE BAD.

    Hmm…SNL…I miss them…come back and make fun of the Oscars, please…and AI…

    White-dress-cute-blond-hip-shaker-tattoo-arm girl:
    Weird with her hips. It’s like she never moved her legs AT ALL and it was off-putting. And odd. And weird. And so is her arm of tatts. Let’s just say it looks like an emo-arm…or the sleeve of a weird sweater. Just cover it up, girlfriend. It’s weird weird weird.

    And that’s all I have to say about that. Blarg.

    Hope next week is mo’ betta.

  46. I am SO relived to know that someone else has a crazy geriatric labrador! Mine is almost 13 1/2 and her craziness involves going outside to take care of bid’ness. She won’t do it, unless a human is standing outside WITH her.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised to find squirrels climbing all over her deaf self to forage for some nuts.

    I’ll be back for next weeks AI review. I am a bit behind on my DVR.