Wow, what a big day for American Idol
! First, Randy Jackson, the Dawg, the last original judge, announces this will be his last season. Remember when he was going to join everyone else in jumping ship after last year, possibly staying on in an advisory role? Then they talked him in to coming back just to give us some sense of familiarity on the panel? Well, now it's official. His Idol
Journey is over (Get it??).
And not only is Randy calling it quits after 12 seasons, he might be taking everyone else with him. But this isn't a Jerry McGuire move. It's speculation that ALL the judges are getting the boot after ratings suffered, and perhaps Randy is just preemptively cutting his losses before the axe (body spray?) drops. Dawgs don't like baths.
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But now to the more pressing matter at hand. Which two ladies are moving on to the finale, and who is going home with a bronze medal? As I said before Wednesday night's performances, I could see scenarios in which any of the girls could go home, and that didn't change much after a generally tasty batch of performance. Mmm ... performance.
Candice Glover is the one who is most likely safe, after killer performances of "One" and "Somewhere" (which people were AMAZED I didn't love as much as them. I thought the vocals were outstanding -- even ranking it number 2 -- I just hated the choice of a showtune in that spot. But yeah, I'm kind of a hypocrite, because if she sang "On My Own" from Les Mis, I'd have been standing afterwards with tears running down my cheeks, I'm just not a West Side Story fan. Anyway...).
The real tricky part is trying to figure out if Kree Harrison did enough to unseat Angie Miller, and if the emphasis voters put on picking between the two of them will actually end up hurting Candice. I think everyone agrees The Glove (too late to create this moniker?) deserves to move forward, but the judges praised her so much that everyone may assume she is safe and put their 50-vote blocks towards the person they want WITH her. And that just may leave Candice on the outside, looking in.
When it comes down to Angie and Kree, they each had a bright spot, a less-than stellar performance and, in Kree's case, the worst of the night. Kree kicked things off with P!nk's "Perfect," and it was the only one that you could really say negative things about. And it happened at the same time Angie won the first round. But Kree gained momentum with her emotional Judge's Choice and (I thought) ended on a fun note with Idol's pick, while Angie went in the other direction and ended with her least impressive number.
It's all so exciting! For the first time in a highly predictable season, I really don't know what's going to happen. Who do you think is going home, and who do you want to see in the finale? After all, they might not be the same. And still, it's not the end of the line for whoever finishes in third place. They still get to go out on the American Idols Live Tour. And so do you! (But you have to hurry! The deadline to enter is May 10!)
We've also got performances from Grammy-winner Alicia Keys and Season 10 runner up Lauren Alaina in yet another results show without a former winner. Seems strange, since they still have four Idol champions who have yet to take the stage in this throwback season. And there's no way Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, Kris Allen and Ruben Studdard are ALL performing next week. So who gets the shaft? Jordin has to be a lock, right? Since this will be the first female winner since she took the crown in Season 6?
Alicia Keys is the third non-Idol performer after Bon Jovi and Harry Connick, Jr., but HC had to be one of the season's lone mentors to land that gig. Just him and Smokey, if I remember correctly. So who knows what format we're in for, but it's likely 55 minute of filler and then a quick rush of results at the end. That's the only thing Idol has done consistently all season (except plummet in the ratings, but we look the other way out of love. Like your sister who drinks too much but is still pretty successful in life). So without further delay (other than the 55 minutes of show), who are our final two ladies?
Another Movie Sponsorship
Man, American Idol must really be hurting. Whereas last week's results show was apparently sponsored by The Great Gatsby, this time around it's the new 3-D computer-animated film Epic. Though it'd be awesome to see a performance by a computer-animated Alicia Keys. Wishful thinking, I imagine.
Apparently we're also in store for the "much anticipated" premiere of Mariah Carey's new music video for her single "Beautiful." That's probably why she lost so much weight over the course of the season. And here I was getting all excited for a possible ODB reunion at Bonnaroo.
Oh this is hilarious. Seriously, you can't write this stuff. The show opens with a sketch about the Epic characters cuing up Ryan Seacrest but having "technical difficulties." Then, as the top 3 sing Selena Gomez' "Who Says" as the group number, none of the microphones work! Kree just stops singing, and Angie does her best to keep things going. Eventually, they get it fixed. Or they temporarily switch over to a pre-taped lip sync. Couldn't be sure, but a Kree voice waver seems to indicate it's live again. Strong start.
A High School Fiesta and More Jimmy
The Fiesta mission this week is to meet with a high school choir, a real-life Glee if you will, without the super hot people and post-recording voice brushing. They sing a song with the chorus and then bounce, because, you know, they really have more important things to do. Dammit, Ford, send them back to the children's hospital!
Even though we got Jimmy Iovine's thoughts after the performances Wednesday, he's back to offer more observations during our flashback. Hey, whatever you can disguise as "results."
Revisiting the Jimmy's Choice theme, he made his picks to challenge the girls. After all, one of them will be on his label after this is all said and done. He gave the round to Angie, but was disappointed she didn't take his set-up "moment" and play the piano. So he only gives her a 9 out of 10, but still proclaims her the winner.
Lauren Alaina Returns to the Idol Stage
Lauren Alaina first wowed the judges by singing Steven Tyler's own "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" in front of him during her audition. Did you know that song is Aerosmith's ONLY number 1 hit? Doesn't seem possible, does it?
Since coming in second to Scotty McCreery in an all-country finale, she has moved to Nashville and is prepping for her sophomore album. She's singing the first single from said album, "Barefoot and Buckwild." She looks so different, it's almost a bit disturbing. She's more Kelly Pickler than Lauren Alaina now. Maybe it's the hair, bleached blond with pink streaks. And is that Lenny Kravitz playing guitar for her? Dude looks just like Cinna from The Hunger Games.
She's still got the same energy, but she seems like she's lost some of her innocence. That's what aging from 15 to 18 will do to a girl. I don't love it, but I don't love country, so I'll have to defer to the country fans if it was good or not. But I think it's safe to say Scotty was the right choice. Time will tell, I guess.
Cause watching a quick summary of what we watched yesterday and hearing the same thoughts from Jimmy we heard yesterday doesn't exactly count. But now we'll look back at the Judges' Choice theme after a montage of the previous 11 American Idol winner announcements. It's a fun little piece.
Jimmy first makes fun of how much the judges' loved their own picks, then says Kree had the perfect combination of home story and song that followed. Even though the other girls had great songs as well, that's why he gave Kree the round. Almost doesn't seem fair. It's like, would the other girls rather have their parents alive or have won the round? Not trying to be insensitive, but it seems overtly manipulative.
Mariah Takes the Top 3 into the Studio
Oh my God. Her song isn't called "Beautiful." It's called "Hashtag Beautiful." UGH! And she wants the music video to be the antithesis of what she is on American Idol. So no perfect hair, it's all about the freedom and feeling the record. She's not as much giving the top 3 a lesson in music videos as she is introducing her own premiere. And honestly, this whole thing makes me glad the only time I ever see music videos is at the gym.
Mariah is half naked on a motorcycle, then dancing and giggling in a tiny yellow dress in front of a convertible. As for her "imperfect hair," the only reason it's not perfectly in place is because of a seemingly airplane-powered wind machine blowing it all around. Not even Mariah gazing sexily at the camera while her one spaghetti strap falls off her shoulder can save this one for me.
I DO own Mariah's Number 1's album, so I'm not a hater, but this song and video are both horrible. Maybe she should still leave it up to the studio, because it was sleepy and boring and will not top the charts. Even the staunchest Mariah fan has to agree, right? Thoughts?
Revisiting Glambert and a Music Icon
Much like our unnecessary catchup with Constantine last week, we get a quick glance at Adam Lambert's post-Idol success. He's performing a duet during the finale next week, so why not just save this crap until then? I'm glad he's doing well, but make him perform if you're going to pimp him out like that.
Moving on, superstar Alicia Keys is taking some time out from her sold-out tour to perform her new single "Tears Always Win." She's probably the most purely talented artist to take the stage all season. This chick can really sing anything and it would sound phenomenal. I wouldn't be surprised to see her as an Idol judge someday. Put her up there with Harry Connick, Jr., and I'll watch. She just gets music.
A Look Back at Idol's Choice
It's the only bit of filler that stands between us and the final 2! And when they only play the good parts of Angie's performance, it sounds much better than I remember. Still, Jimmy thought it was a safe choice and that Angie just did a competent job with it.
He disagrees with the judges' hatred of Kree's performance, because the audience wants attitude and she delivered some. I love with Jimmy agrees with me and not the judges. Makes me feel like my words have some merit.
Jimmy thought Candice's performance of "Somewhere" was a moment like only the greats (Mariah, Whitney, Mary J.) get to experience. Damn you, West Side Story! You do NOT make me feel pretty!
The first person moving on to the finale is ... Candice.
Candice Glover is in the Top 2
America is one for one so far, and I'm glad voters got it right. She deserves it more than anyone. But who is joining her? I think Angie would give us a more thrilling finale, but what does America think?
The second person moving on to the finale is ... Kree.
Kree Harrison is in the Top 2
Aw, I didn't think I'd be as disappointed as I am by this, but I really think Angie deserved it more. Candice was the best, by far, but Angie was my favorite. She's a balling mess while "Gone, Gone, Gone" walks us through her journey, and then she sings us out with Colton Dixon's "Never Gone." Her voice cracks with emotion the entire time, and then her parents and brother join her on stage. It all ends in a big group hug.
Kree certainly has her work cut out for her next week, and I really don't think she can hang with Candice. So barring a huge shock, I think we know who our next American Idol is. It's a shame for Angie, who I think matches up much better with Candice than Kree does. I was looking forward to seeing what she'd pull out next week, and I'm sure it would have included the original song she blew everyone away with in Hollywood.
Are you happy with the pairing for the finale? If not, did you vote (wink, wink)? Is this a clear cut title for Candice, or does Kree have a shot? If so, what does she need to do to put herself in the running? And will Angie end up being the most commercially successful of the group? So many questions that only time can answer, and we'll get our first of those next week. It's coming down to the wire! Candice vs. Kree. Who will be crowned the next American Idol?
You can watch American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm on FOX.