Thursday, February 24, 2011

They Say Hello, Few Say Goodbye On Idol

In two hours of Wednesday programming, only five members of the American Idol Season 10 Top 24 were revealed. Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe made a big deal over how dramatic and emotional the Green Mile episode was, so he turned Tuesday's episode a two-hour show, with the first hour devoted to Vegas performances and the second hour devoted to revealing a whopping 20% of this year's Top 24.

Yes, it took one full hour to show the judges giving the verdicts to 10 people. The last full segment was devoted to Jennifer Lopez telling Chris Medina to GTFO that his Idol journey was over and her subsequent breakdown over having to break that news. Now now, JLo. Don't cry over doing the right thing. Medina had a mediocre voice, lousy stage presence and no business being in the Top 40, much less the Top 24. And his final performance of Coldplay's "Fix You" was just terrible. I'm happy for him that people were touched enough by his story to donate money towards his fiancee's medical care, but him going further in the competition would have been just too much.

Besides, there's enough distaste to go around now that Clint Gamboa made it to the Top 24. That dude rubs me the wrong way in quite a few ways, so the Clint is a douche! edit he is getting is delicious. I find it quite amusing that every time he's on the screen, they have to remind us that he was an uber-douche to Jacee Badeaux. And those round glasses (that he hopefully has ditched for good) make me want to punch him in the face. Like, way to perpetuate those cartoon caricature Asian stereotypes. Ugh.

I'm also not thrilled with Hailey Reinhart making the Top 24. There's something about her singing voice that I just do not like. The low growls and the whiny quality of her tone make me want to reach for the mute button.

But 3 out of 5 ain't bad. I'm happy that Naima Adedapo, Paul McDonald and Ashthon Jones made it. Naima and Paul bring some much-needed maturity, along with uniqueness, to the competition. But I'm starting to get worried about Ashthon. When left to her own devices, can she choose good songs? She seems to be stuck in old-school Idol mode - "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"? Oy. And she should never ever lose that huge hair of hers like she did in her last performance. That hair makes her stand out. I know the Idol stylists like to straighten all the black girls' hair, but I hope she runs the hell away from the flat-iron.

Along with Chris, the other four who got sent home in the Green Mile episode were Hollie Cavanagh, who JLo wanted to put through (but who never should have been in Hollywood to begin with); DeAndre Brackensick, one of The Minors who had that awesome falsetto; big girl Lakeisha Lewis, who had an Aretha analogy tagged on her by Randy Jackson (of course); and Alex Ryan, who they had shown in several rounds unnamed till they got rid of him.

Leaving earlier in the episode, in Las Vegas, were crying Ashley Sullivan, who also got married in the episode (she was very excited to be marrying in the same place as Britney Spears ... she does realize that Brit's marriage didn't last long, right?); White House intern Molly DeWolf; Normal Gentle-esque Carson Higgins; Constantine Maroulis-soundalike Caleb Hawley; Sophia Shorai, who went down with her Vegas singing partner Ashley; Denise Jackson, who I swear has auditioned before; and Melinda Ademi.

Surprisingly, the first hour of Beatles performances were actually enjoyable. From the beginning of the show, I was sure it was going to be a trainwreck, since there were people who didn't even know any Beatles songs (WTF?! How can you be singers and not know ANY Beatles songs, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk and Ashthon Jones?!). Plus, there was the "The Vocal Coach From Hell", Peggy Blu, whose biggest advice to one of the contestants was to "Bury her ass on stage!" (bahahaha). But the contestants really stepped it up.

Some of these groups were actually very good, and a lot of them sounded great together. I really liked Pia Toscano/Karen Rodriguez ("Can't Buy Me Love"), pianists Tim Halperin/Julie Zorrilla ("Something"), Jerome Bell/Tatynisa Wilson/Lakeisha Lewis ("I Saw Her Standing There"), Paul McDonald/Kendra Chantelle ("Blackbird"), John Wayne Schulz/2 unknown dudes ("With A Little Help From My Friends") and Robbie Rosen/Jordan Dorsey/Aaron Sanders ("Got To Get You Into My Life").

One thing I would like to know, though, is if other groups were able to switch the songs they picked out of the box, or did favoritism rear its ugly head on Lauren Alaina?

Thursday brings another 2-hour episode, with 19 more contestants are to be chosen. Yawn. Someone wake me when the live singing starts.

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