If American Idol
was really greedy, they could have extended this Top 36 madness one more week, allowing for a two-hour Wild Card performance episode and a one-hour Wild Card selection show. While I wouldn't have been totally opposed to that idea (especially if it came at the expense of initial audition episodes), I'm glad the Top 36 is right about over. The Top 12 is where American Idol
really starts to get good. The contestants begin getting over the nerves and hit their grooves. The stage is bigger and the drama heightened. Tonight, the eight wild card selections (Ricky Braddy
, Matt Giraud
, Von Smith
, Anoop Desai
, Megan Corkrey
, Tatiana del Toro
, Jasmine Murray
and Jesse Langseth) will all perform and then the judges will lay the hammer down with their final decisions. According to JoesPlace, the wild card participants will be given the option of singing a new song, or the song they performed intially in the Top 36 (though I can't imagine why any of them would want to repeat what got them eliminated in the first place). The eight performances will be crammed into an hour, so expect the pace to be fast and furious. I'll be around to cover the episode live as it happens. If you so desire, we'd love for all of you to join in these here live thoughts. Maybe comment, or just refresh the page a bunch of times. Really, it's up to you.
American Idol 8: The Official Top 13
American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders Slideshow
American Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings
And we're under way. Simon openly laughs at Ryan's attempt at gravitas in the opening monologue (or whatever you want to call it). Ryan is clearly in hurry up mode tonight. Paula's wardrobe came from Wilma Flinstone's closet. Eight singers, eight performances, and then the judges decide. It's going to be fast. Anoop Desai gets the final spot of the night - if the trend continues, he'll be in the Top 12.
Jesse Langseth - "Tell Me Something Good" - by Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan
Once again, Jesse just kinda weirds me out. She tries to be sultry and sexy when she's not either of those things. Her voice is weird, and yet - it's not offensive or anything. Jesse has an OK voice. However, she has no chance of making it to the Top 12. Paula is dancing in the background. Either that, or she dropped a few of her Xanax. Randy thought it was a cool song choice, but it just didn't do it for him. Kara likes her swagger. I disagree, Kara. Paula uses some big words. Simon thought it was a lot better than they saw the first time, but thought the performance and song was indulgent.
Matt Giraud - “Who's Loving You” by The Jackson 5
Matt is going to sing a more bluesy song tonight. His arrangement is very slowed down, and Matt channels in inner soul singer. Thank goodness. I knew Matt had this in him. He does a few too many runs for my liking, but he definitely shows off the massive potential. If he had sung this song in his first go-around, he'd already be in the Top 12. Night and day from his last performance.
Kara thought it was a little bit over the top at points, but it had great vocals. Paula thought it was the perfect song for him, and thought it was amazing. Simon calls it a billion times better than the previous week, but he hates what he's wearing. Randy thought it was hot.
Just as we thought, no time being wasted tonight.
Megan Corkrey - "The Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
All right, Megan, time to bring it. This is kind of a fast-paced blues song that I've never heard before, It doesn;t show off much of her range, but definitely shows how different she is from the rest of the competition. She actually goes out of tune in a few places, but I pretty much dug it. I like when people are different, and Megan is different. Simon thought she was terrific, and finds her to be current. It wasn't the best vocal, but he still loved it. Kara blatantly says "I think we need you." Umm...she's in.
Von Smith - “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” by Elton John
Uh-oh. This is a slow-ass ballad. He starts out singing in a weird high-whisper. It's like he's trying to sound like Aaron Neville. When the song picks up, Von shows off his big voice. He;s toned down his over-the-top performance instincts to the point where he's a vacuum of character on stage. This was a poor song choice for Von, I think. Simon loves the song, but then says that Von is getting a bit boring. He calls him “Mr. Serious.” Randy agrees, thought it was too serious, didn't like the song choice. Kara didn't like the song choice. The judges just gave Von the death blow.
If you guys know any of the last two song titles and artists, help me out.
Jasmine Murray - "Reflection" by Christina Aguilera
This is much, much better than Jasmine's first performance. She's actually showing that she deserves her spot here in the Wild Card round. She cracks a little bit on the last big note, but that should be enough to send her through to the Top 12. Randy thought the song was still a little too big for her, and she had sone out of tune moments, but way better than last time. Kara was surprised by how big her voice was, and liked it. Paula and Simon both really liked it. Simon and Paula slap fight while giving their critiques.