American Idol, Top 13

So as you can imagine I’m a little eh about the whole Michael Jackson theme night. I get that he’s written and recorded lots of great songs, but I’m just a little tired of them. However, I’m willing to deal with the MJ theme, because I just got to watch a super-cheesy introduction of the judges and Ryan Seacrest, and that, THAT IS WHAT MAKES THIS SHOW SO WORTH IT.

Anyhoo. Here we go.

Lil Rounds – “The Way You Make Me Feel” – I have never in my life thought of this song as “sassy,” but I’ll be dadgummed if Lil didn’t make it sassy. It was a little slow, but it was distinctive as all get out. She’s a natural performer – fun, infectious – and I think she could probably sing anything and make it sound good. And I’m going to start praying right now that I get to hear her sing a gospel song before this season is over, oh have mercy.

Scott MacIntyre – “Keep the Faith” – This is a great song choice for him, and he seems much more comfortable behind the piano than he does when he’s performing without it. I don’t think he has the strongest voice in the competition, so he’s going to have to find a way to wow us with originality and stage presence.

[Somebody please make Paula stop talking.]

Danny Gokey – “PYT” – I TRIPLE LOVED the bluesy / soulful take on this song, and I adored his energy. This was the opposite of boring for sure. He has such a fun confidence on stage, and it was a total joy to listen to him. I don’t know any other way to say it.

Michael Sarver – “You Are Not Alone” – He has a beautiful voice, and I think this song was probably a good choice for him (he seems to do well with the Sentimental Ballad). That being said, he seemed to lose his way a little bit in the second half of the song. Plus, I think having to follow Danny was a tough draw. All in all, though, well done.

Jasmine Murray – “I’ll Be There” – This has absolutely nothing to do with the song, but I just want to be perfectly clear that I give her MAJOR style points for tonight’s ensemble. And her lip gloss was perfection. Anyway, I was a little concerned that this song was going to be boring, but she kept it pretty interesting. She was a little screamy on the chorus, but overall she did a really nice job. It’ll be interesting to see how her song selections and performances change as the competition moves forward.

Kris Allen – “Remember The Time” – I wasn’t expecting the John Mayer-ish take on this song, but I loved it. I don’t remember him very much from the auditions, but I just looked over at David and said, “He’s really good!” The guitar seemed sort of unnecessary given the fact that I couldn’t hear it at all, but if it made him more comfortable on stage then I’m all for it. So far he’s the biggest surprise of the night for me.

[Please make Paula stop talking.]

Allison Iraheta – “Give In To Me” – Is it just me or is this song just a smidge inappropriate for a sixteen year-old? Am I being oversensitive about this? You can tell me if I’m being oversensitive. Performance-wise it wasn’t really my thing, but she handled the song well. She definitely stands out from the pack with her edgy style, but it was just a little too rough around the edges for my personal taste.

Anoop Desai – “Beat It” – I so appreciate Anoop’s jacket – it’s a nice little wink to the early 80s. But I have to say that I think he picked the wrong song. This song was always secondary to the dancing that accompanied it, and if you’re not going to put a new twist on it, you’re going to look like an imitation. Anoop has a great voice, and he needs to show it off – but this performance didn’t do him any favors.

Jorge Nuñez – “Never Can Say Goodbye” – I thought this started off okay, but it went downhill fast. I kept expecting for Ryan Seacrest to say, “Ladies and gentlemen – Burt Bacharach!” – because it just felt very dated and sort of like a commercial for one of those KTEL Love Song compilations. Jorge has a really nice voice, but I’m not so sure he’s going to be around much longer for us to hear it.

Megan Joy Corkrey – “Rockin’ Robin” – Okay. Did anybody else think that the arrangement for this song sounded like something the Brady kids would have used when they entered a talent show to win the money to fix the portrait that Jan ruined when she ran into it with her bike? The whole thing just felt a little dated and out-of-touch to me – because there’s no way someone would watch this and think “Oh! Give her a record deal! Right now!” She’s way more talented than this performance showed. AND SHE CAWED AT THE END.

Adam Lambert – “Black & White” – AND THE TONY GOES TO… – oh, sorry. Wrong show. He is so stinkin’ talented, and it’s way obvious that he has tons of stage experience. I’m having a little bit of the same reaction to him that I had to David Cook at first – he just seems to have this whole thing figured out already (his image, his vocal style, etc.), and I feel like I’m trying to play catch-up. He’s a phenomenal entertainer, though – and he has a big ole voice for sure.

Matt Giraud – “Human Nature” – OH COME ON NOW WITH YOUR JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE-ISH VIBE. This was totally modern and original – until the end. Because I thought the ending was weird. I loved seeing him behind the piano, though, and I think of all the people in the Top 13, Matt is the one most likely to record a CD that I’d actually buy. Not that anyone cares, of course, but I just thought I’d share.

Alexis Grace – “Dirty Diana” – There’s no question that she can sing (SANG), but this song feels like it comes to a dead stop when it hits the chorus, and that sort of affected my ability to get into the performance. Plus, it seemed like she overcompensated on the chorus because she knew that it was dragging. So it was a little uneven, but I like her style.

Overall I think this was a mighty fine start to the round of 13 – some really strong, memorable performances, and considering what we have had to endure in past seasons, tonight’s weak links seemed comparatively strong.

What did y’all think? Who’s your pick for the best and not-so-best of the night? Which two do you think will be voted off tomorrow night?

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  1. You were absolutetly right…I said the same thing…the song Allison sang was inappropriate for a 16 yr old. We did like Rockin Robin…it was cute for her…and yes she cawed. Why did she caw??

  2. Oh my goodness, yes, with the PAULA PLEASE STOP TALKING!!! That woman was driving me halfway up a wall and to China tonight! Several points through I found myself wondering, “IS SHE DRUNK?!”

  3. LOVED Danny. I think he actually danced pretty well for a white boy! My husband and I hit rewind and watched it again b/c we both like it so much! And Matt was one of my favs too. And I too would actually purchase his CD. Hmmmm. Not so best – Scott, Jasmine, Anoop and Jorge. They made me sleepy!

  4. Kris was the surprise of the night for me too. I don’t remember him before he showed up last week, but he seems deserving!

  5. Southern Gal says:

    I turned the channel each time Kara or Paula started talking. Enough already. If anything will make me stop watching AI it will be the two lady judges jabbering non-stop.

    And Somebody Please Teach MEAGAN HOW TO DANCE!!! She sings beautifully…she moves awkwardly. It really makes me hurt watching her twitch her behind like that. She could have put some tail feathers on her bottom and it would have gone perfectly with the cawing and the arm flapping. Sorry.

    My vote would be for Anoop to go home. I believe Ju’Not was so much better than him by the way. Alexis Grace was pretty bad, too.

  6. Okay, your “AND SHE CAWED AT THE END” comment had me literally laughing out loud. I think my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard her do that. WHY would you CAW?

    Anyway, I love your recaps. Thanks. :o)

  7. LOVED Lil.. she’ll be around til the end. Scott? meh. I love who he is, but the voice just isn’t the best out there. Danny? Hot! blah blah to Allison, and yeah, she looked like a twenty-something up there. She wins the rocker vote. Anoop and Jorge? blew it. TO-TAL-LY. Should have been the Top 11 instead of the Top 13 based on tonight’s performances. Megan? I’m with you.. it was SO dated and bouncy and garage-band-ish. She IS cute, though. Adam? WHY is he even on this show? WHY does he not already have a contract? Don’t get it, and he feels like a ringer, but dang he’s great. Matt? thumbs up. Alexis Grace? gorgeous, naughty, but too over the top.
    My problem was with the mechanics of the show itself. Michael Jackson on the first night? ReALLY? He’s a little hard to cover and be good AND original. But, some of them did it nicely. And the judges? are driving me insane. Somebody needs to keep Paula in a lock-up between shows so she can dry out. She and Simon need to be separated (they need a preschool teacher to run the stage… SHE’D know what to do!). Randy and Kara just keep saying the same things over and over and over and..
    And what is UP with the “changes” for tomorrow night? It’s sort of like they started this season with absolutely NO gameplan and are doing it on the fly. Hate it. It’s like we’re watching A.I. and the 4 Dwarves… Dopey, Goofy, Loopy, and Grumpy. blech.
    That’s all. Good night.

  8. I’m going to guess that Michael and Jorge will be eliminated.

    And that Lil and Adam will be the last two standing.

    And as for the twist, I’m gonna guess that Ryan will tell us who the bottom two are and then the judges get to pick who stays and who goes. Probably not, but it’d be interesting.

  9. Oh dear gracious Lord….

    I am watching on my DVR, and just now checking your post, and just HAPPENED to be on Kris Allen, and read your (paula stop talking). When she referred to him as kind of sexy and clinched her fist in some sort of battle move….I lost it.

    Keep your feathers quiet Paulssssa!

  10. Please, God, let American Idol do a Brady Bunch songs theme night with all the contestants decked out in polyester jumpsuits. Hearing Anoop Desai sing “Time to Change” would make my life.

  11. OK…I hate to be picky, but, the Brady kids went on the talent show to pay for the engraving on the Silver Platter which was Jan’s fault because she thought it was 42 cents for the whole engraving when really it was per letter.

    The picture frame mishap was also Jan’s fault. She ran into it on her bike because she didn’t want to wear her glasses. She sold her bike to pay for this.

    Now that you know how truly pathetic I am…I agree with you on not feeling the whole Michael Jackson night, but I am wondering if “We Are the World” will be the group ensemble song.

  12. Best- Lil
    Not-so-Best- Jasmine and Jorge
    Same two going home.

    Know that I am going to rewind just to check out Jasmine’s lipgloss.

  13. Covering Michael Jackson… kind of a big lift for anyone… that is probably why so few of his songs have been remade over the past decade or so. You have some of the J5 stuff – I’ll Be There, etc. – and some v. interesting takes on BIllie Jean but not that many because the songs are so enmeshed with who he is. That being said, from my perch – Adam, Danny, Kris and Matt were great. I liked Alexis a lot and could see her going a long way. I really want to heart Megan but holy tweet tweet batman. Jasmine and Allison were, well, probably safe but whatever. Not sure what to think of Michael – more of your personality please. If I were Lil’ Rounds I’d be worried – going first, entirely forgettable… Jorge? Oy. But the worst of the night goes to Anoop. Covering Beat It? Are you kidding me? Unless you have the musical chops to do something akin to what Chris Cornell did with Billie Jean just do not go there. Bye Bye Anoop…

  14. I heart Danny Gokey. OK, part of the love is the whole young widower thing, but I truly love listening to him sing.

    I do not heart Adam. He’s like Christian Siriano on steroids. I cannot look at his haircut without thinking, “Fierce.”

    AND SHE CAWED. Even more amazing, not ONE of the judges commented on the CAWS. TWO CAWS. TWICE SHE CAWED. I wanted to take my BB gun and shoot the bird.

    Was it just me, or did Paula seem even more hopped up on Vicodin tonight?

  15. Suzie: LOL on your Brady Bunch notes!

    Oh, Jasmine. She was the best-dressed by far. I love her look even if she’s not the best singer.

    I think Blind Guy gets through on sympathy votes, and that just drives. me. nuts.

    Oh, I’m heartless.

    I’m not a big Megan fan, but more importantly, do robins caw?

  16. While I love your post and think your observations are right on, the comments are the awesome.

    I fully expected to remain loyal to my top three faves-Danny, Lil, and Anoop- but I was pleasantly surprised by almost everyone EXCEPT Anoop. He phoned it in, and it breaks my Carolina-loving heart to say that.

    I was not as impressed with Matt as the judges were, however I am not a big Justin Timberlake fan either. And I definitely feel that Scott is getting through on his story and not his voice, although it IS a good story and he is a cool guy.

    I spent the entire show puzzled about why they chose MJ for the theme. EVERY time a contestant picks a MJ song for an audition, they are told that they are signature songs and that no one can do them like Michael.

  17. I thought you were right on – with most of your “critique’s”. I LOVE Danny G. – he can sing, he is cute, and he’s got such a sweet personality. Adam Lambert – I like, but he makes me crack up when he starts in on that scream – complete with his tongue sticking out! Don’t like that black nail polish also! Loved the last girl – though she did “over sing” a bit. Love the oil rig worker – so sweet and cute, but with Danny and Adam, I’m afraid he doesn’t stand out as much. Those are my top choices!

  18. To quote Elaine Bennes (sort of)…

    What. Is with. The caw?

    I can’t remember being in my yard, having a swooping figure buzz me for being too close to the nest, then look up and see a robin. Even a rockin’ robin wouldn’t do that.

    Sigh. Meghan, Meghan, Meghan. Please don’t caw again.

  19. I will confess that I wanted to make a comment in my AI post about THE CAW, (because SERIOUSLY?) but I couldn’t figure out how to spell it in the past-tense. I am a moron, but I thought I’d just thank you for your ministry of excellent phonetical spelling.

  20. Okay. Am I the only one that thinks Megan is just precious? While the caw certainly caught me off guard, it totally cracked me up and confirmed that she is the unique, quarky, goofy-in-a-cute-way person I suspected she was. And I love the bold and unique way she sings, even if it’s not the most refined voice. She makes me smile, and I hope to hear more of her.

    As far as the others go, I thought it was an incredible night! I was pleasantly surprised after a few shaky weeks.

  21. Well, seeing as how I just downloaded Megan’s version of Rockin’ Robin to my iPod, I would have to disagree with you on that point. I think she’s adorable, and I love the sound of her voice. Even with the caw!

    I’m still pulling for Anoop, but last night was a disappointment. Hoping he’s around long enough to do better.

    Allison’s mother should have pre-screened that song and said, “oh NO ma’am.”

  22. Matt has been my favorite since I first saw him and I totally agree with you. Out of all the contestants this year, I can see myself definitely buying his CD.

  23. Oh Anoop. We hardly knew ya. You broke my Carolina heart last night. Such a poor choice of song. Even though your vocals were not bad the song (besides Ben) is the worst song this side of that sparkled glove. I’m afraid you may not miss the big dance after all.

  24. Oh! All of these comments are hysterical! I love it! I needed that laugh! The infamous CAW, I thought was kind of creepy. Why do people think she’s quirky? Because she has a tatoo’d arm and does that strange dance? However, I do like Megan – and tears when she spoke of her son! Aw, man! Ya gotta love a fellow mama! Love Lil, Matt & Danny. Adam: I must be getting old because the judges called him “current”. He is talented but, I’m just not that into him…

  25. Hey Cyndi, I didn’t realize I repeated what you said so well the first time. I guess there are broken Carolina hearts everywhere.

  26. Love Danny
    Love Lil
    Like Kris
    Like Matt
    Jasmine is pretty
    Adam is a drama queen
    Everyone else is a’ight
    The caws were weird, the dancing was weird, the song was dated, but Megan has great pipes.
    The end.

  27. So many thoughts on AI. The first step is to really start living in reality and not a dream world. I’ll outline them here:

    Lil Rounds – “The Way You Make Me Feel” – I think it’s safe to say that she can sing. However, I sorta tought she screamed everything last night. Also, I’m sorta bored with AI always having the “sista” with the big, gospel voice. I’m bored with it to be honest.

    Scott MacIntyre – “Keep the Faith” – Ok. We need to own up to the fact that the only reason he’s even on the show is for ratings and “making good TV.” If you don’t believe that, you’re lying to yourself.

    Danny Gokey – “PYT” – He can sing, and frankly, he knows it. A little too well in my opinion.

    Michael Sarver – “You Are Not Alone” – Wha?? I mean, come on. I can’t. BORING.

    Jasmine Murray – “I’ll Be There” – I still don’t know why she’s even on the show except for the fact she’s gorgeous. She should save the singing for Miss USA or something. A recording artist, she is not.

    Kris Allen – “Remember The Time” – Biggest surprise of the night! I loved it. I always thought of him as your standard “good church singer” until last night.

    Allison Iraheta – “Give In To Me” – I’m bothered that this 16 year old sounds like a 75 year old chain smoking, moo-moo wearing lady from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

    Anoop Desai – “Beat It” – just a dumb, dumb performance – and he’s one of my favorites.

    Jorge Nuñez – “Never Can Say Goodbye” – He freaks me out and I don’t know why.

    Megan Joy Corkrey – “Rockin’ Robin” – she’s way too talented to sing stuff like this. It’s almost like she thinks she’s too cool for AI. She’s starting to annoy me.

    Adam Lambert – “Black & White” – If he screams like a strangling chicken one more time, I’m going to blow my brains out all over the living room.

    Matt Giraud – “Human Nature” – thought his performace was genius.

    Alexis Grace – “Dirty Diana” – gifted, gifted, gifted. No need to look like a prostitute though.

  28. I love these comments but I’m surprised no one has remarked on Allison’s “I’m not a cutter” statement.
    Doesn’t anyone else think that when Paula motions for you to zip your lips, something has gone terribly wrong?!

  29. Jeannie, Allison’s “I’m not a cutter” statement was very problematic for me. She has some issues with in-person interviews for sure. I loved her performance, though. I also liked Lil and Megan (even with the cawing) and Alexis and Kris, and I’m surprised that I liked more of the girls than the guys because I think most of the guys are better than most of the girls.

  30. The caw at the end was priceless but that dance she does is annoying. I didn’t see Danny but like him anyway. I like Adam, Matt, Lil Rounds. I like Scott but don’t think he will make it very far. What was up with Paula’s face last night though?

  31. When I heard it was MJ night, I was afraid he would actually be the mentor. How creepy would that be! I was relieved to find out that MJ was not on the show. I don’t think I could have let the girls watch it if he had been on. We loved Danny. And, after reading the post and the comments, I am very glad we could not understand a lot of what Allison was saying.

  32. Truly? I’m not sure how much more of Paula I can take. Honestly…WHAT IS UP WITH HER???

    Danny and Adam rocked the house. Love Megan’s voice but her overt querkiness might just do her in (the cawing…oh. my. word.), Alexis and Lil’ did a fine job, but I fear that Anoop will have to “beat it” on home. Bad ol’ choice, ‘Noop Dawg.

  33. I went back and watched Megan on YouTube; then I googled the words to Rockin’ Robin, including this:

    Every little swallow, every chick-a-dee
    Every little bird in the tall oak tree
    The wise old owl, the big black crow
    FLAPPIN’ THEIR WINGS singin’ go bird go!

    Do you think she was “cheering herself on” at the end? Definitely quirky….

  34. Paula lost me last week when she took Simon’s forearm and tried to give him an indian burn. Yet another reason to Just Say No.

  35. Now’s the time in the competition that I start to really watch seriously, with my fleecy blanket and a big bowl of popcorn at the ready. I loved Danny and Kris, could have done without the rest of the night. And WHAT was wrong with Paula tonite? She seemed loopier than normal and really kinda out of it. Ugh. Double Ugh.

  36. You’re bang-on as usual! :-) I’m a little late to the party but I threw my post into Mr. Linky anyway. Getting ready to go watch the result show.

  37. Man, I am SO bummed I accidentally deleted my commentary. I’m sure these are better anyway. I hope to be here next week! :-)

  38. I really love Megan- I think she has such a unique voice…but the Rockin’ Robin thing was weird for me. (The whole Brady Bunch thing made me laugh out loud- too funny!) Love Danny! Love Alexis normally, but thought she was a bit too much. And I really felt sorry for Anoop. He thought he was doing such a good thing; but obviously not a good choice. Holy Cow Jasmine is just gorgeous! And I totally agree with a previous comment…for some reason Jorge totally weirds me out.

  39. Please tell Kara D (even though she is quite wonderful) to STOP LEANING INTO THE MICROPHONE!!!!!

    It’s so stinkin’ annoying!!!!

  40. I really don’t like this show at all, but since I sat through it with my dear husband, I have a comment. On what planet should Anoop and the tattoo girl (Megan??) be finalists on any singing show??? Their singing frightened me. If they represent the talent of America, then we are in a sad state musically. Maybe we have a couple of “Sanjays” on our hands again. It was obvious that the two people who got booted tonight wouldn’t go all the way, but they were MUCH better than Megan and Anoop. I heard a couple of decent performances, but overall this show just makes me sad. I need to remember that this part of the show has nothing to do with musicianship or talent and everything to do with popularity. It’s just a popularity contest voted on by people who may or may not have any clue about music. Okay…I’ve vented and I feel better! :)

  41. I have so many words for Tuesday night. Not all of them are kind so I will keep them to myself.

    But Danny Gokey – dude. You are not as hot as you think you are. Trust.

    I really like Anoop and was sad by his song choice. That is 2 really odd, boring songs he has chosen since he has been on the big stage. It doesnt bode well for the future of Noop dog.

    Megan is great to me. He song choice was not. she has such a unique voice. And personality. I kind of like her little dance but am almost afraid it will be “taylor hicks” like in its oddness. I hope not. I really like her.

    The 16 year old chain smoker with red hair sort of bothers me. she has a great voice – especially for her age – but she is a little too in my face. And I dont think she is ready for AI and all the attention it brings.

    And I like Lil just fine – but I actually thought she sounded not so great Tuesday night. And she looked like kind of old in her outfit. not that i think Simon should be giving out wardrobe advice. Have you seen his attire? She was just “aight” for me.


    And how did it get by without a word, not even from Simon. But she is my favorite of the girls

  43. Oh Megan.. please hold on to the microphone and stop. the. weird. dancing. moves. Seriously. It is annoying.

    ‘Noop Dog.. you slid right through. Bring your game next week, love.

    Danny – I *heart* you!!! You are my early favorite.

    Kris – You rocked that guitar. Memorable for sure.

    Lil – You’ve got some great pipes. I like you ALOT.

    Adam – You rocked that song, but I must admit the black nail polish is a little over the top. And the hair. Please get the hair out of your face.

    Allison – I think someone should have screened your song choice girlfriend. Shame on your mama for not putting her foot down.

    Matt – LOVED YOU!

    Scott – You can really rock the keyboard. I’m pulling for you.

    MJ week rocked! I loved it. Just glad he didn’t show up. That might have been weird.

  44. Go Danny Gokey! So far he’s shown he can do a slow, melodic, soulful song and a fast, upbeat pop song. I have a feeling his ballads will be easy on the ears, and if my ears aren’t deceiving me, he can probably R&B with the best of them. Simon was wrong about one thing: the first thing I said when he performed was “Look! He’s dancing!” It’s not often that you see contestants who are willing to move on stage… like a real performer. He did something that none of the other contestants were willing to do. He did more than walk the stage and point. He busted a move a time or two, which was a very pleasing change.

    Can I just state for the record that judges are as confusing as I’ll get out? First they make everyone sing Michael Jackson songs and then proceed to tell certain contestants that some songs should never be sung because they solely belong to “him”. Poor Anoop. I thought he did a great job tackling a huge song. He was entertaining. He was audacious. He seemed himself. He was attacked unfairly, especially since PYT and Dirty Diana are MJ trademarks. Then they chastise Scott for picking a Michael Jackson song that “most people don’t realize is a Michael Jackson song.” Not only did Scott perform it exceptionally well, he made the audience feel as if it were HIS song. If the judges feel that certain songs are untouchable, then they should hand out a list of songs that the contestants can’t sing. Otherwise, a song is a song and they are all fair game. Also, the judges have to learn how to judge the contestant and song for the night, not just compare them to the original. That’s what fair judging should be like at this stage, otherwise NONE of them would be able to make it to the end… except maybe Danny Gokey.

    And here’s my other side notes:

    Adam Lambert seems like a nice guy and he has great stage presence. But does anyone else feel as if they are hearing a lead singer from an 80’s rock band like Poison, Scorpion or White Snake. I mean look at him! He even dresses like them. I can’t shake the feeling that the songs he would produce would be screeching like last night. He has talent, I’ll give him that. Unfortunately, I see it as very one dimensional.

    Meghan Corkey shouldn’t even be on that stage. I’ll give you that she is her own singer and that she has guts, but I would never pay to hear her vocals. She’s cute, but cute doesn’t cut it when it’s the sounds that count. I can’t believe she was in the top 13, to be quite honest. If she gets any further, someone has got to tell her to stop the corkscrew dancing too. It’s ridiculous.

  45. Loving American Idol! Adam & Danny are my favorite!

  46. I love reading your thoughts on American Idol. I am a big fan of the show.

    I have chosen your blog for a Lemonade Award for showing gratitude. You may stop by my blog and pick it up. I just wanted you to know that I enjoy your blog.

  47. My favs are (not in any particular order):

    Megan (though she has GOT to have better song choices)

    The rest of the crowd just leave me cold. I wasn’t a bit sorry to see Jorge go, and realy would have preferred Anoop to have gone home instead of Jasmine.