I'm gonna start at the very end with this one . . . that was not even close. American Idol was so far from being completed in the allotted time, Ryan had only begun to break the bad news to the fourth competitor from the end when the program had reached the 3-minutes late mark. Yes, I should have adjusted my DVR settings to accommodate the predictable end of the show, but the folks at AI had some nerve cutting to yet another commercial break when the show was already supposed to be over!
And now, the performances:
She sang "Tell Me Something Good" in a way that invoked Jamie Lee Curtis trying to look sexy in the "Dance for me, doucement" scene from True Lies but just the part before she really got the hang of it. The vocals were just alright for me. Really, she's an okay singer, but she just doesn't quite have the stage savvy to stay in this competition, I'm afraid. But not that afraid, I don't really like her that much.
About 10 seconds into his performance of "Who's Loving You," I told Heather, "He's through." He rocked it out all bluesy like, but I had a real problem with the end. The last thirty seconds or so (of a ninety second performance) were all yeah yeah's and oo whoo's. Sing real words if you can squeeze them in there, Matt.
Megan Joy Corkrey
Gosh, I would like this girl a little bit more if she didn't imitate a washing machine on its gentle cycle at key points throughout every performance. Really, she looks like an idiot when she does that. I predict many more weeks of annoyance from this one, as she's got a good voice and a nice little veil of protection from the judges: they like the fact that she doesn't sing songs that are all that vocally challenging (like "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." Some might call that "not really good," but I think she'll sail on for quite awhile under the guise of it just being "quirky."
He started out doing Adam Sandler's Opera Man sotto voce routine in what is clearly the weirdest ever performance of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." Then he started singing well, but with the completely wrong emotional palette. The lyrics said, "it's sad," but his vocals were telling me, "It's mad, so mad. Like . . . tell-tale heart mad, you feel me, lamb chop?" I feel you, Von-due. You're scalding hot and yummy on fries. But you really should have sung, "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road."
When I heard she was singing "Reflections," by Christina Aguilera, I knew the song was just a little too big for her--an obvious overcompensation for choosing a pathetically small song the last time out. The only question was, would her voice be big enough to excuse the judges for wanting her back with all of their hearts no matter how badly she performed. From what I can tell, she vindicated the Jasmine love. I like her, I do. But the judges clearly wanted a true hottie in the finals, and Jasmine didn't disappoint.
Before he sang a single note of "Superstition," I knew Ricky's chances for survival were pretty slim, because his bluesy-white-dude counterpart, Matt, already knocked the swinging, soulful slider out of the park. But Ricky was good. Still, Stevie Wonder is one of those guys that if you're gonna do his song, you better either change it up enough to make it clear you're not competing with him, or seriously compete with him. Ricky ain't Stevie. He ain't bad, but he ain't Stevie. Stevie Wonder is a musical genius.
Tatiana Del Villa De Los Locos Muchachas
She sang "Saving All My Love for You" . . . AGAIN. Fortunately for me and my newly scrubbed carpet, she nixed the part about making love the whole night through, which spared my evening Idol snack from going all projectile on me. Whew. The thing is, Tatiana has an amazing voice. But I'm genuinely concerned that she's going to kill someone. In the interviews before and after her performance, she was suddenly very, very, very Latina. It was like Sammy Sosa forgetting English when he testified before Congress. Then she broke out the psycho laughter, the convulsing, the "omygahiloyousomach," and the dead-on, I'm talking "boil up the rabbit and leave the bathtub running" flawless imitation of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. I'm scared. I want her show to end.
How perfect is it to follow up a worn-out Whitney song with a needlessly exhumed Bobby Brown song? I'm sorry, but I can't say Anoop's name without getting Salt 'n' Pepa stuck in my head. Anoop can sing, but I don't understand how his performances thus far have been anything but a punchline. At least with Nick Mitchell, he intended to make people laugh. But Anoop? I love you, dawg, but I don't understand the judges' fascination with what you got going on on-stage. He's just not . . . bad-arse. In fact, he's so not bad-arse, I'd feel dirty putting the real word in a sentence describing Anoop.
***YET ANOTHER SPOILER WARNING, FOR REALS, YO***
After all the performers were done, I turned to Heather and said, "Okay, Jasmine, Megan, Matt, and Anoop. Which one isn't going to make it?" But the judges finally revealed their decisions and (after too much pageantry and Tati-drama) it turns out that all four are going through. The final 12 is actually a baker's dozen.