American Idol 8 - Third Round of 12
I cannot believe American Idol is on three nights in a row. That's torture. The final round of 12 performers sang tonight, results are tomorrow when three more go through to the finals and then on Thursday the judges/producers pick three "wild cards" to make up the Top 12. So who's through after tonight? Without a doubt Lil Rounds and Scott MacIntyre, despite his mediocre performance, and the third spot should go to Jorge Nunez, but god knows how America will vote. There were a lot of blah performances. Read on.
Von Smith: Looking vaguely like that kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Von reined in his inner screaming queen and performed a decent version of "You're All I Need to Get By." The judges were uniformly gushy, even Simon, who said his outfit was appalling and compared him to Clay Aiken. That's code for "Von's a big 'mo." I have to tell you in all the eight years Idol has been on, I can't remember this many gay boys. However, there's only room for one queen in this kingdom and Adam Lambert is a lock for that.
Taylor Vaifanua: Simon summed her up as forgettable and bland, and I can't disagree. She sang a soulless version of Alicia Key's "If I Ain't Got You," and struggled with her lower register in the opening verse. She was better in the chorus, but she's a goner tomorrow night. Kara, who week after week continues to prove how useless she is as a judge, made some comment about wanting the song to tell her where Taylor likes to shop. Even Paula gave her the side-eye on that one.
Alex Wagner-Trugman: I didn't really remember this dork from auditions, but he's totally unforgettable -- and I don't mean that in a good way. He shouted Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," added in a few weird growls, knocked over the mic stand a couple of times and mainly looked like he was having a fit. I wanted someone to grab a spoon and stick it in his mouth before he swallowed his tongue. Apparently, he was trying to channel is inner Joe Cocker, but all I was getting was grand mal seizure.
Arianna Afsar: Say what you will about ABBA, but those ladies could sing their asses off. Arianna had no business going near "The Winner Takes It All." Hell, Meryl Streep did it better in Mamma Mia. Arianna tired to make the song contemporary by adding unnecessary vocal runs and changing the melody. The song is a classic. Do not fuck with ABBA. She's outta there.
Ju'not Joyner: The judges were just giddy over his version of Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah," but I thought it was a one-note yawn. It was a very odd song choice and didn't show any of his range, which we saw tiny glimpses of in Hollywood. Just a very meh performance for me, dawg.
Kristen McNamara: The karaoke host was much better than I thought she was going to be after her meltdown in Hollywood and the drama between her, Nathaniel and Nancy Whateverhernamewas in Hollywood. She sang an odd jazzy version of Tracy Chapman's "Gimme One Reason." She has a good voice, but she looks totally lost and, unfortunately, will be totally forgotten tonight because much better singers came afterwards.
Nathaniel Marshall: The tats, the piercings, the Olivia Newton-John headband...Princess Nate was rocking his e'mo hard tonight. He sang a theatrical version of "I Would Do Anything For Love" and the judges endlessly debated his merits, his look, what kind of album he would make. Simon said Nathaniel was fun, but made him uncomfortable. I think that's the point. They milked his critique for all it's worth, and that might translate into votes, but I doubt Adam Lambert's throne is in any danger.
Felicia Barton: She was brought back to replace Joanna Pacitti after a tabloid exposed her for being a uber-plant and friends with all of the producers of the show. A good thing, too, because Felicia can actually sing. Her cover of Alicia Key's "No One" was a bit copycat, as Simon noted, but she's got potential.
Scott MacIntyre: Let's be honest here -- the vocal on his version of Bruce Hornsby's "Mandolin Rain" (which happens to be one of my favorite songs from the 80s) was good, but not great. However, the fact that Scott is blind and a genuinely nice guy makes it nearly impossible to rag on him. The judges were uniformly complimentary, although I wonder if he wasn't vision impaired if Simon would have been so nice. I'm just sayin... He's through to the next round. Trust me.
Kendall Beard: I have no memory of this girl at all. She sang Martina McBride's "This One's For the Girls" and it was okay. She likes country music, has wholesome good looks. All the country fans who put through unworthy Michael Sarver might vote heavily to try and counteract all the queens.
Jorge Nunez: He's Puerto Rican, has a sexy accent, is swarthily adorable (that's him pictured above) and Paula was nearly creaming herself over him. He did the George Michael take on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and is so damn charming that if voters don't put him through it will be one of the biggest injustices of the whole show. If they don't, he's a wild card contender for sure or Paula will beat somebody down with her cheap jewelry.
Lil Rounds: She already sounds and looks like an R&B star. She channeled her inner Mary J. and definitely gave the best vocal performance of the night with Ms. Blige's "Be Without You." Unless she falters somewhere along the way, I can easily see her in the final two. You heard it here first.