Archive for March, 2009

American Idol – Final 9 (Performance Show)

Good Evening America! Here we are. Back again for another week of performances. After last week’s not-shocking-at-all elimination of Michael Sarver, I’m ready to see what our contestants do this week. We’re one step closer to the finale and one step closer to getting rid of Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre. (He was in the Bottom 3 last week. Good job America! Keep up the good work!) So, without further rambling (in this paragraph anyway), on with the show. This… is American Idol!

Tonight, our Idols can sing any song they want, as long as it’s a popular download on iTunes. Hmmm, can you be any more vague? This theme isn’t truly shocking at all, because if we’ve learned anything from American Idol, it’s that this show is best enjoyed while downloading songs from iTunes and drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Anoop Desai is our first Idol of the evening, and he’ll be singing “Caught Up” by Usher. I applaud his choice for going to back to something with high energy, but there isn’t a ton of range in this song, and he doesn’t really get the chance to showcase his vocal skills. I’m a big fan of this song, just not him singing it. There are points where it seems like he’s getting it, but then he goes back to looking lost. Uh-oh.

Megan Joy is second, and she’s singing “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Lauren Hill/Bob Marley. I truly hoped she would do some Amy Winehouse or Duffy tonight. Now, I don’t think Megan is going to win this thing, but I do find her enjoyable and quirky, and I am rooting for her. There’s nothing wrong with her performance, but, unfortunately, there isn’t anything spectacular about it either. For me, it’s easily forgettable.

Danny Gokey is third, and he’s singing “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flats. I love this song, and Danny’s taking it easy and low-key at the beginning, building into the chorus where he can go to powerful and emotional. Very nice. This was definitely one of his best performances of the season, and this is exactly the type of music he should do.

Allison Iraheta is next with “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. Love, love, LOVE the song choice, though I must say I’m not likin’ the outfit, but something about adding the guitar to the ensemble makes it all begin to grow on me. The first verse is subdued, but in true Allison fashion she supports her vocals amazingly well. During the chorus, however, she started to shout the song. It wasn’t bad, it was good, but it wasn’t the brilliance we’ve come to expect from Allison.

Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre is 5th tonight with “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. My brother seems to think that Pity Vote looks like Paul Walker tonight. He must be referring to a different Paul Walker, because Barry, not even on Paul Walker’s worst day. No. Just no. Back to the song, and I have to say… of all the Billy Joel songs, he pick’s this one? First of all, I’m shocked that this is even considered a “popular download” on iTunes. Second, he says that he’s “stripped things down” a little, which should be a nice change from the wacky, upbeat stuff he’s done so far… What’s that? This sounds like all his other performances? Yeah, I thought so too. Oh, and I hate his hair tonight.

Matt Giraud is singing “You Found Me” by The Fray. The start of the song was a bit shaky, but the raw growl to his voice I do like. This was not a great performance for him. Instead of trying to sound like himself, he tries to sound like the original singer, and it comes off uncomfortable and just ugh. People may say that the judges were too harsh, but as much as I like Matt, I think they were spot on.

Lil Rounds is next, and she’s singing “I Surrender” by Celine Dion. If someone had had me make a list of 10 singers I thought she might choose from tonight, Celine would not have been on that list. You know the judges aren’t going to like this… no matter how well she sings. And of course, she does sing well… extraordinarily well, as always. Lil did get to show us the vocal powerhouse that she is, but I would have liked to have seen that in a different song… one with a personality.

Adam Lambert-Martin is up next with “Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry. Every week, I anxiously wait to see what he’s going to pick and how he’s going to change the song. Tonight is no different, and Mr. Lambert-Martin did not disappoint. I love how Adam’s slowing down on the verse just to kick into gear for the chorus. This is fun, and we definitely needed some fun tonight. And Kara, just for future reference, it’s “Studio 54” not “Studio 57”.

Kris Allen is closing the show with “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. I enjoy that he’s left the guitar at home and is using the keyboard. I love this song, and I’m loving his version of it. This is an amazing arrangement. It truly shows off the emotion of the song and sets him up as a real contender for the Top 5. Well done.

Well, that’s our show for tonight. And what an “interesting” night it’s been. Our Top 3 tonight would have to be Adam Lambert-Martin, Danny Gokey, and Kris Allen. Residing in the Bottom 3 would be Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre, Megan Joy, and a toss-up between Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai. Though I love her, I won’t be shocked if Allison Iraheta makes a cameo in the Bottom 3 this week. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.

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American Idol – Final 10 (Results Show)

Good Evening, America! It’s Thursday night, and usually that means it’s time for Survivor. But not tonight. Tonight, we find out which of our wannabe’s is about to hit the road, Jack, and not come back no more, no more, no more. That’s right, it’s Results Night. And this… is American Idol!

Ryan says that there were over 36 million votes last night. More than they have ever received for any other Top 10. What… a whirlwind. Woo and hoo.

It’s Group Sing Time! The girls start out with “You Just Keep Me Hanging On” in true Girl Group fashion. Is it me, or are they lip-synching? Megan isn’t even really trying to mouth the words at the correct time. The guys join in for “You’re All I Need to Get By”. The medley ends with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and all I can think about is the episode of “Designing Women” with Susan Sugarbaker, in black-face, crashing the charity performance and making herself the 4th Surpreme. Ahh, good times.

Ford Music Video time to “Pocketful of Sunshine”. Our Idols create a sunny meadow out of puzzle pieces then drive into it. Eh, I’ve seen better. Overall, I’m quite disappointed with the music videos this season. Before we can get to the results, it’s time for Season 2 Winner (and recently slimmed-down) Ruben Studard. (Fast-Forward)

Time for the results. First up, Adam Lambert-Martin. America has done the right thing, and he’s safe! Matt Giraud is next, and he’s… in the Bottom 3? Huh? Hmmm, I blame last night’s sweater. Kris Allen is safe. Lil and Michael Sarver together. Ryan reminds Lil of the “Heat Wave” curse that usually causes the singer to be in the Bottom 3, but NOT TONIGHT! She’s safe, and Michael is in the Bottom 3! Yay!

Singing “You’re the One for Me” is Smokey Robinson and Joss Stone. I love her smoky, sultry voice. (If you don’t own any of Joss Stone’s cd’s, I suggest you go to iTunes and download ‘The Soul Sessions’. You won’t regret it.) Smokey joins her, and I’m not liking their harmonies. Smokey by himself is wonderful. They just don’t blend well.

Back to the results. Allison, Anoop, and Danny: all safe. That leaves us with Megan “Rainbow Brite” Joy and Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre. The last person to join the Bottom 3 is… SCOTT!!! Yay! Oh happy day! Ryan decides to send one person back to safety, and that person is… Scott? D@mn! My great mood just crashed. I do not like the fact that Matt Giraud has a 50/50 chance of going home. He should totally be safe.

Before we can find out which person is in the bottom and will have to “Lip-synch… for their Life”… oops, sorry, wrong show. I meant “Sing for their Life”. Anyway, we are treated to a performance by Motown Great, Stevie Wonder! He’s singing all of his biggest hits, and it’s fabulous. Say what you want about Paula, but girl can dance!

Now, the last part of our results, and we find out that the person with the lowest number of votes is… Michael Sarver!! Yay! We can already start celebrating, because there isn’t a chance in hell that the judges will use their save on him. So, while Michael “Sings for his Life”, the judges barely pretend to talk about saving him. (My guess is they were making dinner plans for after the show.) I will say that his performance tonight was much better than last night. I wish I could have said the same for Alexis last week, but the pressure was too much for her. Do you think Michael knew going into the performance that no matter what he did that he was going home? I think so too. So, it’s not really a shock to anyone when they do send him home. Sorry Michael, the judges have spoken; it’s time for you to go.

Well, that’s our show for tonight. It’s definitely been an interesting week. The correct people were safe, and one of my personal Bottom 3 was sent home. Cross your fingers that Pity Vote says bye-bye next week. Tune in, and we’ll find out together. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.

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American Idol – Final 10 (Performance Show)

Good Evening, America! Here we are. Back again for another week of performances. I’m sure some of you are still stunned over the loss of Alexis Grace last Wednesday. But we don’t have time to cry and mull over what might have been… or wonder why Michael Sarver is still in the competition. (I don’t think we’ll ever figure out an answer to that.) What we can do is look ahead to tonight. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. This… is American Idol!

Tonight is all about the music of Motown. I’m uber excited about this. I mean, who doesn’t love Motown?! This could be a very strong week for Lil. And, of course, I can’t wait to see what Adam Lambert does tonight. Unfortunately, I’m perplexed by Paula’s white ballerina skirt. I love my Paula, but seriously? She’s never been what I like to call a “fashionista”, but girl needs to get a new stylist. If she can’t be kind enough to bring back “Paula’s Wheel of Random Emotion” this season, the least she could do is dress better. Smokey Robinson is here to mentor the Idols this week. Mmmm, this should be good.

Starting off the show is Matt Giraud singing and playing “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye. From the first note, he had me hooked. Instead of spending the entire song by the piano, he gets up to work the stage. (Big fan of that.) Matt is definitely a white guy with soul. I think last week was a turning point for him. If he continues with solid performances like this, Matt should be around for awhile. Nice to see Paula was able to find a way to call him sexy for the 3rd week in a row, and Kara goes all Cougar on us. Myself, I was distracted by his two sizes too small Mr. Rogers sweater.

Second tonight is Kris Allen singing “How Sweet It Is”. Of course, he’s back with this guitar. He sounded very Jason Mraz, and it was wonderful. He didn’t try to sound like the original artists. Brilliant. There are only good things to say about Kris tonight. Okay, I take that back. Not a big fan of shirt. At all. Convict meets Hipster.

Here to ruin my night is Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre. Oh my. Those pants. There just aren’t words. Oh, there are words, but they aren’t very nice. (Must… resist… obvious… joke… about… dressing… himself…) He’s singing “Don’t Hurry Love” by Diana Ross. He starts off imitating Barry Manilow then goes for some Billy Joel, but never reaches either of their abilities. It was very hotel cabaret. Scott’s performance was very subpar, and his high notes sound like when you accidentally step on a cat in the dark. Paula and Simon have one of their usual arguments, but my girl finally gets him when she pulls out crayons and a coloring book and tell him if he’s going to act like a 6 year old, he should take these too. Loved it!

Megan Joy is up next to sing “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder. She again sounds like a cracked out Amy Winehouse meets Bjork. As she’s singing, all I can here is “The Looooove Boat… soon we’ll be making another run.” This is cruise ship singing at its worst. Honey, here’s a little hint, direct from me to you… If you want to belt out a note, that does not mean you shout it at the audience. Megan, meet Bottom 3. Bottom 3, meet Megan. You two will be seeing each other tomorrow night.

Next up is Anoop Desai singing “Ooh Baby Baby” by Smokey Robinson himself. He’s sitting on the steps to convey his sensitivity and vulnerability, and he’s really working the falsetto (which is like 75% of the song). Near the end, Anoop’s performance seems a little put on for my taste. Overall, it was good. He was one of my favorites from the Top 36, but these past 3 weeks, he is starting to bore me a tad.

Michael Sarver is singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. As you know, I’m not a fan of his. At all. So, I’m not going to pull any punches. This wasn’t even good enough to be called bad karaoke, and I should know, because I can do bad karaoke better than most. Mr. Sarver said he was going to “church it up”. If this is “churching it up”, then Michael caused a whole nation of people to decide to sleep in this coming Sunday. At the end, when he decided to go all gospel choir, it sounded like he was birthin a baby. Not good. Not good at all. Michael should make sure he’s not too proud to beg… for votes.

Thankfully, Lil is here to save the day with “Heat Wave” by Martha and Vandellas. Loving the long, wavy hair and the flapper-esque dress. There are some weird low notes in the first half of the song. Paula’s up and dancing, but Kara is staring daggers at Lil like she’s trying to set her on fire. The end was much better and more like the Lil we adore. It was hardly perfect, but I loved it.

My favorite Idol this season, and who from now on will be referred to as Adam Lambert-Martin is singing “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson. He’s going unplugged and ditching the rocker look. I have to say, he is looking might FIIIIINE in that suit. Mmmmm. His performance was flawless and simply phenomenal. Totally one of the best if not the best performance of the season, and easily in the Top 10 Best Performances of ANY season. Week after week, Adam is showing us that he is a true artist and in a completely different league than the rest of the Idols.

Next up is Danny Gokey. Boy, I would hate to go after Adam Lambert-Martin, but if anyone can still pull out an amazing performance, it will be Danny. He’s singing “Get Ready” by The Temptations. Danny ditches Smokey’s advice about singing “You’re Alright” at the end of the line. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s like giving a big middle finger to Smokey. Vocally, I truly enjoyed this. He still dances like a dork, but it’s part of his undeniable charm.

Closing the show, Allison Iraheta is singing “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” also by The Temptations. Her sultry voice is perfectly suited to this song. Allison handles the mash up of the fast lyrics with ease and blew the roof off at the end! This girl has mad skill. Amazing! Simply amazing. People, please vote for this girl. She rocked it out!

Well, that’s our show for tonight. Overall, I’m extremely pleased. My Top 3 for this week are Adam, Allison, with Lil & Danny tied for 3rd, and a tip of the hat to Matt Giraud. Sitting way down in the Bottom 3 are Megan, Scott, and Michael. I’m not sure which one I want to go more, but I’ll be happy if any one of them is sent packing. Tune in tomorrow night to see one of our Idols have their dream crushed and to see what else Paula has hiding under the table. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.

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American Idol – Final 11 (Results Show)

Good Evening, America! Who knew that Country Week would cause some of our front-runners to falter and some of our also-rans to shine brightly? Can you say “Leveling the Playing Field”? (I knew you could.) The results tonight should be interesting, to say the least. Who is safe? Who is going home? I’m on pins and needles, so let’s get on with it. This… is American Idol!

Last night, we had over 31 million votes. Just like last week, only 11.5 million of them were me voting for Adam Lambert. (Gotta love unlimited texting!) Ryan reminds us of the Judge’s Save, hinting that it may need to be used tonight. Is he serious or just doing the usual Seacrest tease? Only time will tell.

Before we can get to any results, it’s time for the group sing. Our Top 11 is singing “Trouble” with Pity Vote at the piano, which frees everyone else up to do choreography, so that’s good I guess. The band is so loud, you can’t hear the piano at all. On purpose? Hmmm. The choreography, though quite simple, seems to cause a few of our Idols a bit of trouble. One week, instead of dreadful choreography, I’d like to see them play a game of Musical Chairs while singing. I’d watch that.

It’s time for the Ford Music Video. (Please be cheesy! Please by cheesy!) This week, they’re singing “Here is Goes Again” while hurling water balloons at each other on the back-lot of the FOX studios. This is the type of pointless nonsense that I’ve come to expect from the videos. They haven’t quite reached the level of ridiculousness that I want, but thank you for not disappointing me. Then there was some sappy stuff about Jasmine and Jorge and some other blah. I got bored and hit fast-forward.

Finally, it’s time for some results. The person who is eliminated tonight will not get to participate in the cross-country glee-fest also known as the Idols Summer Tour. Danny is first up, and of course, he’s safe. After a fake set-up, Lil is also safe. Anoop, one of the strongest from last night, is safe. (So far so good. I’m okay with these results.) Now, it’s time for Allison and Michael to stand together. Color me shocked, because both of them are in the Bottom 3. I totally expected Allison to be safe. Wow, I didn’t see that coming at all. Of course, all day I’ve been saying that Michael would be in the Bottom 3. That was just a given. But Allison?  Wow.

Instead of more results, we are “treated” to Brad Paisley singing his new single. (No offense to the Brady Paisley fans out there, but Fast-Forward.)

Okay, back to the results. Next up, is Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre, who disappointingly enough is safe. Blah. Megan Joy, our resident flu patient, is safe. (If you look at the couch, the last people to get their results are Adam and Alexis. That’s never a good sign.) Matt Giraud – safe. Kris Allen – safe. Now we’re down to Alexis Grace and Adam Lambert. Not good. I like both of them, and I thought they were sure things for the Final 5. The last person in our Bottom 3 tonight is… Alexis!!! Yay! Adam is safe! (Ahhh, all is still right with the world.) Before our Bottom 3 can get too nervous, Allison Iraheta is sent back to safety. Yay! This is good news too. (One step closer to Michael Sarver being gone.)

Before we continue with the results, it’s time to celebrate Carrie Underwood’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry as well as listen to her duet with Randy Travis. Since I do love me some Carrie Underwood, I’ll attempt to not fast-forward. (Not so sure what I think of her dress… mainly I have problems with the bow in her hair. Blaire Waldorf she is not.) Carrie and Randy will be singing “I Told You So”. As always, Carrie has a beautiful voice, but I got bored, so Fast-Forward.

Now we’re down to our Bottom 2. Alexis or Michael? Michael or Alexis? If there’s any justice in the world, it will be Michael packing his bags and hittin the bricks. After the nation-wide vote, the person leaving us tonight is… Alexis Grace? What? You’re kidding, right? On a night where Michael should have killed, he stumbled horribly, and now he gets to bore us for another week while Alexis has to “Sing for her Life”? That’s right, as Seacrest reminds us; the Judges get one Save the entire season. So based on this performance, they’ll decide whether to save Alexis or not. (No pressure there.) Alexis, my dear, good luck, and don’t eff it up. As she begins to sing, the Judges huddle right in front of her. (Not intimidating at all.) Unfortunately, the pressure is too much for Alexis, and she falters and cracks her way through “Jolene”. I can see the writing on the wall a mile away, and Simon tells us it was good, but not good enough. (Harsh!) And so, Alexis is leaving us.

Well, that’s our show for tonight. I’m happy that my 3 favorites are safe to sing another week, but I’m sad that Alexis had to go home. It should have been Michael Sarver, and I think even he knows that. Ugh. Now that we have Country Week out of the way, what will our theme for next week be? Let’s find out together. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.

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American Idol – Final 11 (Performance Show)

Good Evening, America! Here we are, back again for another week. We’re down to our Top 11 Finalists. Last week we said good-bye to… two people. Can’t quite remember who they were. Must not have been that important. I know one of them looked like he had two dead black caterpillars squished on his forehead in the shape of eyebrows. Oh well, bygones. Life goes on. So, without further ado… This… is American Idol!

Tonight, on our second week of completion, it is St. Patrick’s Day. And nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like… Country music? Huh? Okay, whatever. I know for many of you, country music isn’t your thing. At all. (I’m looking at you, Mom.) I’ve even heard that the only way to get through two hours of country music on Idol is to, and I quote, “Get some ear plugs and get DRUNK!” (Again, I’m looking at you, Mom.) But, of course, I’m a good boy, and I wouldn’t know about such things. Anyway, Randy Travis is here to mentor our Idols. This should be interesting. Grab your girl, your dog, and the keys to your pick-up truck. Here we go!

Resident Roughneck, Michael Sarver is our first singer of the night with “Ain’t Goin Down Till the Sun Comes Up”. If any of our Idols is suited for this genre, it’s Michael. This song has a heckuva lot words in a short order, so I’m impressed that he memorized them all. Unfortunately, this was not a good performance, and Michael Sarver is no Garth Brooks. It was bland and boring, and I would have rather listened to the guy on the harmonica the whole time instead of Michael mumbling quickly.

Next up is Allison Iraheta singing “Blame It on Your Heart”. This girl could sing the phone book, and I’d listen. Her voice gives a great rock edge to the song. You can tell she’s having fun, and her passion for this competition comes through in her performance. Nothing more to say. It was a solid performance.

Kris Allen is singing “To Make You Feel My Love”, another Garth Brooks song, though technically it was written and recorded by Bob Dylan first. He is minus his guitar this week. Kris is going for the vulnerable boy next door vibe. He has a wonderfully smooth voice, and this gave us the opportunity to truly focus on his talent. He’s not currently one of the front-runners, but Kris isn’t one to be ignored.

Singing 4th tonight is Lil Rounds. Since I heard it was Country Week, I’ve been most interested to see Lil’s performance. She’s singing “Independence Day” by Martina McBride. This song calls for subtlety as well as a big voice, both of which Lil can do. She’s out of her comfort zone, and it shows. Not her strongest performance, but she should have no trouble during tomorrow’s elimination.

My night is that much better, because it is time for Adam Lambert. (I won’t even try to appear impartial when it comes to him.) Adam is singing “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, but this isn’t anything like the version you heard in “Walk the Line”. I can easily see where a lot of people won’t like this, but it is pure Adam, and I love it. I never would have imagined hearing this song that way, but it works, black nail polish and all.

And my night just got worse. It’s time for Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre to sing “Wild Angels” by Martina McBride. Let’s face it; Scott is a mediocre singer, but an amazing piano player. It’s really bad how little I care about listening to him. I was texting all through his performance, and then I realized I had to rewind it so I could listen to him and critique it. Then I realized that no I don’t, it’s my blog, and I can skip over him if I want to. Apparently, the audience enjoyed it. Blah. I’m sure it was a wonderful Hallmark moment.

Alexis Grace is singing “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, which was done last season by America’s Sweetheart Brooke White. This is an amazing song, and, for me, Alexis adds the right emphasis at the right time. She really nailed the heartbreaking tone of the song. It wasn’t her usual hard edge, but I appreciated the variety.

Danny Gokey is doing “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood. I appreciate this song because there’s a shout out to Cincinnati in the first verse. Though he may have stumbled over the words with Randy Travis in rehearsal, the same cannot be said for his performance. There were a few notes that were slightly flat, but once he hit his stride in the chorus, it became another amazing Danny performance. His enthusiasm and spirit are contagious, and when he’s having a good time, you can’t help but have a good time too.

Needing a strong week, Anoop Desai is singing “You’re Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson. This is an iconic song, and it’s hard to not compare his version to the original. From the first few notes, it was easy to tell that this was the Anoop we’ve been waiting to hear. It’s a slow song, but boring it was not. He infuses the song with emotion and gravity. Anoop will be sticking around for another week.

Megan Joy (didn’t her last name used to be Corkrey), who was hospitalized this week with the flu, is singing “I Go Walking after Midnight”. She’s turned this isn’t a bluesy jazzy number. Huge improvement after the incredulous performance that was last week. Like Adam, this was pure Megan, and again this worked. It was like Amy Winehouse meets Bjork. Loved the dress, not the dancing.

Closing the show is Matt Giraud with “So Small”. Just like Pity Vote, he’s using the piano. Matt has changed up the song just enough to suit him. If he keeps going the way he is, he’s on his way to becoming the new Michael Buble. The arrangement works in the chorus/bridge section. He does hit some bad notes throughout, but none so bad as his last note. Like I said last week, don’t go so high, please.

So, that’s our show for tonight. Congrats to all the non-country fans who made it through these past 2 hours. My favorites tonight were Adam, Danny, and Anoop. Hopefully in the bottom we’ll find Michael and Scott. This early in the voting portion of the season, it’s hard to tell what America is thinking. I guess we’ll find out together tomorrow. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.


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American Idol – Final 13 (Results Show)

Good Evening , America! We’re back again for another night. But this time, it’s not to unfairly judge contestants I don’t like. No, tonight, we’re here to say good-bye to two of our wannabe hopefuls. Two contestants who have clawed and fought their way to get this far in the competition have to go home tonight without a recording contract, without being part of a tour that will play to half-full arenas around the country, and without a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni. (It’s the San Francisco Treat!) Yes, tonight is elimination night. And this… is American Idol!

Ryan tells us there were 33 million votes last night, and I can honestly say only 11.5 million of those were from me voting for Adam. Kanye West (the self-proclaimed greatest artist of our generation) and Kelly Clarkson (Yay!) will be performing live for us tonight. Before we get to the results, Ryan tells us about the new rule called “The Judges Save”. In a nutshell, this means that the Judges have the power to save one contestant (up until the Top 5) from elimination. They can only do that once during the season. The week it is used, no contestant will be eliminated, but the following week, two contestants will go home. Hopefully, this will help keep American Idol from being strictly a popularity contest, and allow it to again be the talent competition it once was. (A rule like this could have saved my Season 1 favorite, Tamyra Gray, from going out 4th and allowed her to go head-to-head with my girl Kelly in the finals.)

Ahh, time for filler. This time in the form of the first group sing of the finals – a medley of songs from The Jackson 5. I have to admit, I’ve been severely looking forward to this. Mainly to see what is done with the choreography for one specific contestant. (I won’t say who, but I’ll give you one guess.) All in all, it wasn’t bad, and I’ll refrain from making any truly nasty comments.

Oooh! I have to comment on something last night, and I have to thank my friend Halle for bringing it to my attention. I’m sure you all saw that Alexis’s phone number to call was 1-866-436-5736 instead of being 1-866-436-5713 even though she was the 13th contestant. I just assumed it was because Idol didn’t have the use of 5713, that some other company did. You have no idea! I can’t tell you what it is, but I will say for you to not call that number from work, and don’t let your children call it. It is not a family-friendly number… if you get my drift. I have to wonder how many people accidentally called 5713 without thinking. I can only imagine Sanjaya’s poor little crying girl dialing it by accident and crying all over again while she listened. Ha ha!

Yay! It’s time for the Ford Music Video. (The only filler I like on results night. It’s always so cheesy, you just have to love it.) This time our Idols are singing “We Will Rock You” while being super-imposed on buildings as a Ford car drives through the empty streets of LA. Okay, so this wasn’t cheesy and fun, but I have hope for the rest of the season. Fingers crossed!

Finally, time to start the results. First up, Michael Sarver. ( Blah.) He’s safe. (Double blah.) Next, Allison Ireheta. She, too, is safe. (Yay for that!) Jasmine Murray is sent to the center of the stage to wait for further instructions. Matt Giraud is safe. Kris Allen and Megan Corkrey are both told to stand up. Kris is safe, but Megan is sent to stand with Jasmine. (Oooh, the tension is building.) One is safe, the other is going home. Without much fanfare, Megan is safe, and Jasmine is in danger of elimination if the Judges don’t save her. (Fat chance of that.) While she sang poorly, the judges decided not to save her, and Jasmine becomes the first casualty of the Finals. Can’t say I’m too broken up about it. She has a lot of potential. She’s just not ready yet.

Here to delay the results, Kanya West is singing “Heartless”. I’m not a big fan of his, but I love this song. (Okay, fast-forward.) Back to the results. First up, Scott “Pity Vote” MacIntyre. Of course, he’s safe. (I’ll keep my comments and impersonations to myself.) Next is Alexis Grace. She and her naughty side are here for another week. Danny Gokey, without a doubt, is safe. Anoop Desai, on the other hand, is sent to the center of the stage. (I give him credit for knowing he was headed there.) Adam Lambert is safe, and all is right with the world. Jorge Nunez and Lil Rounds are asked to stand, but Lil is safe, and Jorge is sent to stand with Anoop. At this point, I’m okay with either of those guys going home. They weren’t going to win, so they might as well go home now. (You know, till this moment, I didn’t realize how short Jorge was. I mean, for crying out loud, he’s shorter than Seacrest, and that’s short.)

Before we can find out who’s leaving us, Kelly Clarkson, our original American Idol, is here to sing her new hit song “My Life Would Suck Without You” from her new hit CD “All I Ever Wanted”. You can download her new cd on iTunes. Go to www.americanidol.com/iTunes for more details. (Tonight, this blog is brought to you by iTunes.) I heart Kelly and this song so much!  I love the fact that she’s still real-sized.

Back to the moment of truth. Anoop or Jorge? Jorge or Anoop? After 33 million votes, Anoop is safe to sing another week. Now the Judges can pretend to think about their decision while Jorge sings. Not surprisingly, the Judges send Jorge packing. Again, not too broken up about it.

Well, that’s our show for tonight. No real drama. The 2 people I wanted to go home are still around for another week. Thankfully, the 3 people I wanted most to stay are here as well. Tune in next week when our Top 11 take on some new selection of songs. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who will fall down? Let’s find out together. Same Steve Time. Same Steve Channel.

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American Idol – Final 13 (Performance Show)

Good Evening, America!  Well, here we are again.  Back for another round of snarky comments, hysterical antics, and pure entertainment… and that’s just my blog.  For Season 8, this year’s batch of finalists look to be one of the show’s strongest yet.  There are a few questions that remain to be answered: Will the men continue to outperform the women?  Will any of the Wild Card choices emerge as a real contender?  And will Kara DioGuardi start a sentence without the phrase “Here’s the thing…”.  Let’s find out together, shall we?  This… is American Idol!

We’re going to start off slow this year, and I promise to try not to hate anyone right away.  (Oops, too late.)  Since there are 13 Finalists instead of 12, 2 people will be eliminated tomorrow instead of just one.  (And here I thought FOX would try to stretch out the show for another week of huge ratings.)  Tonight’s theme is all about the music of Michael Jackson, and if the tabloids are to be believed, he could use all the royalty money he can get from tonight.   If he shows up tomorrow night to sing, we can at least be thankful that our contestants are a little too old for him.  (Oops, did I say that?)

Lil Rounds (one of my early favorites) is first up tonight.  Her strong R&B vocals can help set her apart from a field full of strong pop singers.  She’s singing “The Way You Make Me Feel”.  Her confidence is immediately evident.  She can play to the camera, use the stage, and work the audience all at the same time.  (And it looks like she and Paula have the same stylist.)  Her vocals were amazing, and she changed the song up just enough to keep it interesting.  Go on, girl!

Scott “I’m only here out of pity” MacIntyre is up next.  Yes, there it is, I admit it.  I don’t like him.  (And yes, I know that makes me a jerk.)  I think he’s an adequate singer, but I truly believe that if he weren’t visually impaired, he never would have made it this far in the competition.  Yes, he’s a nice guy.  Congratulations.  But that doesn’t make him an amazing singer, and soon we’re all going to see that he’s in over his head.  Tonight, Scott is singing “Keep the Faith” while playing the piano.  He did a fine job.  Hopeful message.  Blah.  Let the pity votes start rolling in.

Danny Gokey (another one of my early favorites) is 3rd.  He’s got more momentum and sympathy than any other contestant coming in tonight, but he also has the talent and charisma to back it up.  Danny is singing “P. Y. T.”.  Already, I love that his glasses match his shirt.  He’s got enthusiasm to spare, and it’s infectious.  Love the fact that he brought the judges and the audience in for back-up vocals.  The vocals were brilliant!  This was a stellar performance!

Michael Sarver is 4th.  I’m still not sure how he made it to the Top 13.  For the life of me I just can’t figure it out.  He’s another genuinely nice guy, and of course, he’s doing a sensitive song, “You Are Not Alone”.  Michael has a decent voice, but even his natural smile won’t be enough to propel him to the finals.  Passion, smashion.  I give him a few weeks… tops… before America gets bored.  I know I am already.

Jasmine Murray is our next wannabe vying for your vote.  She had a lot of hype during the audition rounds, but she stumbled horribly during the semi-finals.  This is her chance to prove that she’s supposed to be here.  Jasmine is singing “I’ll Be There”.  She’s a good vocalist, but the performance overall was quite boring.  Jas is sweet, but that does not a superstar make.

Kris Allen is the 6th contestant to sing tonight.  He’s flown under the radar, but if he keeps up with his vocals and his guitar, he could be a dark horse in the competition.  He’s singing “Remember the Time”.  Kris has the voice and the looks to sell records.  The guitar definitely helps him, and it helps us forget some of those sour notes.  Right now, I like, not love, him.  I think he’s a contestant that will grow on me.

Allison Iraheta (another one of my early favorites) is young, but that voice?  Wow!  Anyone that is 16, and can take on Heart the way she did, deserves for everyone to stand up and take notice.  First off, I have to say how much I love her hair.  She’s singing “Give In To Me”.  Allison has an authentic rocker girl vibe and gives off a Joan Jett-esque feeling.  Love the gravelly voice.  Love the passion and energy.  She will be one to watch.

Anoop Desai, one of the most likeable guys this season, is next.  He was the last minute addition to our finalists that brought us from 12 to 13, and I’m very thankful for that.  Tonight, he’s singing “Beat It”.  (Ugh, not a smart choice.)  Anoop is comfortable with the stage, and he’s a good singer.  Not amazing, but good.  I wasn’t overly impressed with his performance at all, but I know he’s going to get by this week on his charm.

Jorge Nunez is the Hispanic David Archuleta of this season.  He definitely has potential to do well.  It’s nice to see Jorge brought his Jerry Curl to the finals.  (Never leaves home without it.)  He’s singing “Never Can Say Goodbye”.  Unlike David Archuleta, Jorge is usually interesting to watch, but not tonight.  And his singing was very blah for me.  I’m not exactly contradicting what I said a few sentences ago… I did say it was potential.  And he threw that potential out the window.

Megan Corkrey is next.  Her jazzy nature is another breath of fresh air among the predominately pop contestants.  She’s singing “Rockin’ Robin”.  I’m not sure this was a smart choice for her.  (I so love her tattoo sleeve.)  Her performance seemed very karaoke, but not in a good way.  I do love her personality and her voice, but I was just hoping for more.  In the end, it was very Megan though.

Adam Lambert (another of my early favorites) is our 11th performer of the evening.  His performance style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and he may have to learn some vocal subtlety, but I absolutely love him.  He’s singing “Black and White”.  This song is very Adam.  His performance and vocal pyrotechnics are definitely on display tonight, and there is nothing subtle about it.  He screeched through a few notes, but I’m willing to forgive it.  He was over the top, and he owned the stage, and I LOVED IT!

Matt Giraud is next.  He didn’t get a lot of screen time during the preliminaries, and during the semi finals, he wasn’t one of the contestants that was easily remembered.  Matt has his work cut out for him to make a big impression with America.  He and the piano are singing “Human Nature”.  He’s whined again and again that he’s better with his piano, and I have to agree.  Definitely more memorable with the piano.  That is, until he sang like a girl at the end.  He’s a talented performer, and if America can remember to vote for him, he may be around for a few more weeks.

Alexis Grace (the last of my early favorites) is here to close the show.  (Does anyone else think her dad may have the ‘munchies’… a lot?)  Alexis and her hooker heels are singing “Dirty Diana”.  For a tiny little pixie of a girl, she sure does have a lot of power in her voice.  She was a bit over the top in places, but not in a good way.  Overall, she was great, and she has nothing to worry about this week.

Well, that’s our show for tonight.  This could be a heckuva season.  To conclude, I want to join in with Paula’s advice for the millionth time and suggest that we should ‘take it all in’!  Tune in tomorrow night to find out which two of our wannabes will be heading home early.  By now, you know the drill… Same Steve Time.  Same Steve Channel.

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