American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 Perform - Live Thoughts (Page 1/3)
Please let tonight's episode be better than last week's.  The debacle that was the last Tuesday's American Idol performance episode featured a wide swath of mediocrities.  There were a few impressive performances, sure, but there were far more that produced indifference, disgust, and even blood-red hatred from the audience.  The twelve performers tonight bring some intriguing names, not the least of which is pictured here.  That fine young gentleman, so coyly sitting on his stool, is Nick Mitchell, better known as Norman Gentle.  Nick is the single most bizarre semi-finalist ever on American Idol and, whatever he ends up doing tonight, I know it will be fun to watch.  It's been a week since Casey Carlson and Stevie Wright induced seizures across the nation, and the healing has been done.  We are ready, as a country, to give American Idol and its Top 36 another chance.  I'll be here, live thoughting my little heart away, for the entire 120 minutes of tonight's Idol.  If you know what's good for you, read along, join our epic Idol journey.  Regrets will not be had.

American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Episode in Review
American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Scouting Report

The singers tonight are Megan Corkrey, Kris Allen, Mishavonna Henson, Matt Breitzke, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray, Kai Kalama, Jesse Langseth, Adam Lambert, Jeanine Vailles and Nick Mitchell.

Also, there doesn't appear to be any song spoilers tonight, so the inevitably poor song choices will be a surprise to everyone.  In other news, I just watched one of the four worst commercials I've ever seen - it was for the Mohegan Sun Casino.

The show gets underway, and Seacrest is going casual tonight, sporting a black polo.  Nick Mitchell is not dressed as Norman Gentle, and I don't think there's any time for wardrobe changes.  Which means I'm already disappointed.  Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver and Danny Gokey watch from the crowd.  We see the judges, and they're sitting in a reverse order.  Paula is once again going with the ridiculous bangs.  Seacrest lets the audience know that Simon may have thrown a hissy fit about lighting last week, and that could be why he's changed seats.  We say hi to the 12 singing tonight, and they all make their hand signals to the camera, which is an absolutely annoying ritual. 

Jasmine Murray - "Love Song" by Sarah Bareilles

Jasmine was loved by the judges initially, but the producers are doing her no favors by giving her the lead-off spot in a two-hour episode.  Being 17, it could be tough to kick it off.  Wow, and she starts it off horribly, out of tune, overly breathy, unconfident.  She finds a bit of a groove in the chorus, but this is another case of a young girl trying to sing older.  The song is upbeat enough, but it also feels like this song is too low, range-wise, for Jasmine.  Mostly, Jasmine is just way too sloppy here, out of tune, and I don't like her silver jacket.  On a positive note, she's a good physical performer, expressive without being obnoxious.  The singing wasn't there, however.  Randy called it “pitchy all the way through.”  Right on.  Kara thought it was “all over the place.”  Paula rambles with her eyes halfway closed, looking like my aunt after a few egg nogs.  Simon says she has the look at the attitude but not the voice, "a couple of years too early."  Simon is right.  Jasmine, when asked to talk, falls back o nthe ol' "I had a great time."  Poor opening.

Matt Giraud - "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay

My guy Matt, who I've been pimping since early in the competition, has decided to sing Coldplay.  This was a risky decision.  One, because this is a really hard song to sing, and Chris Martin has a very distinctive voice.  He sings it OK, trying to put a soul bent on the song, but he also sings out of tune at times, and he's tonally very inconsistent.  Should've been that better.  Kara hated the song, didn't think it lent itself to Matt's abilities.  Paula rambles, she "saw that he brought what he brought."  Simon said it was "verging on a horrible performance."  Simon didn't like it all.  Randy hated it too.  But, he says that he's still rooting for Matt.  The judges all want Matt to advance, as they keep reiterating that Matt's one of the best singers in the competition.  Still, a very disappointing performance. 

Jeanine Vailes - "This Love" by Maroon 5

Jeanine, apparently, is a bartender.  She's 28, and I remember nothing of her.  I don't think we've seen her on this season until now.  She could be a sleeper, I guess.  She wears the shortest jean shorts anyone has ever seen.  It must be really hard to hear yourself while singing on the Idol stage this season or something - Jeanine is singing terribly, horribly, calamitously out of tune.  This is just an awful performance of a song that Jeanine says was one of her favorites.  She gets better near the end of the song, but it's not nearly enough to make for the abject putridity of the first half. 

“Great legs,” says Paula. “I think it was terrible,” says Simon, “...but you do have very good legs.”  Randy agrees, the wrong song.  He says, cruelly, that the best part was when it was over.  “Very overdone,” says Kara.  Jeanine says she had to come out strong because she hadn't gotten screen time all season.  Waah.  Just horrible.  Jeanine begs to America to give her another shot - pretty pathetic.

Hells yeah - Norman Gentle is next.  Also - FOX made the easy decision to get rid of the post-song parents interviews this week.  Thank goodness.  Although, this does mean more time for Paula to annoy the hell out of America and more time for Simon to pick fights with the crowd. 

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