Usually, I look forward to elimination nights on reality TV shows about as much as I look forward to a trip to the dentist. Why? Well, I worry about the dreams that I’m about to witness being crushed on stage and that it might be one of my favorites who is sent packing. Usually I’m asking, Can’t you just eliminate one person instead of two? But there’s nothing usual about tonight’s American Idol elimination, where I find myself wondering: instead of four people, can’t we send home ten instead?
Sure, you can blame the poor performance of the Top 24 on nerves, but in every other season of Idol, semi-finalists were nervous too and never have I seen such an uninspiring introduction. Right now, I’m looking at 24 contestants who have bright futures as wedding singers, buskers and stars of cruise ship reviews. There were performances I liked, even performances I liked a lot, but I’m not sure there was a single performance that wowed me. And definitely not a single one that made me sit up and say, “now that’s a super star.”
Tonight four of the Top 24 will be eliminated and we have some thoughts on who’ll be sent packing. Watch along with me live as we learn the fates of the Top 24, Kris Allen sings a song for Haiti, my favorite red-haired-rocker from season 8 returns, and we learn whose been the first sacrifices at the Idol altar. C’mon now, be honest, who do you think will be the first
It’s an especially dramatic Idol intro tonight with shadowy lighting and an extra long pause between “This Is” and “American Idol” by Ryan Seacrest. Over 24 million votes came in this week and as much as I’d like to believe it, they didn’t all call in to save Lacey Brown or to vote for Lilly Scott.
Top 24 Group – “American Boy” by Estelle
I’m sure the Top 12 guys are thrilled to be singing this song. The ladies are loving it, well everyone except Crystal Bowersox, who looks like she hates the choreography with every natural fiber of her being. As for positives, everyone sounds much better when they’re singing in a Glee style group. That being saidl, even the group song was a bit loungey and old fashioned for my taste. I’m ready to find the NEXT super star, not one that would’ve also been adored by parents in the early ’60s who thought Elvis’ hips were the spawn of Satan.
Group Song Grade: C-
Time to learn the fate of a few of the ladies, we’ll list ’em as they come. With some quick parenthetical quips.
Siobhan Magnus: SAFE (glory be for that)
Haeley Vaughn: SAFE (not surprising, but not exciting)
Michelle Delamor: SAFE (obviously, she’s the great diva hope of season 9)
Katelyn Epperly: SAFE (happily, she was my surprise favorite of the Tuesday)
So it’s down to Katie Stevens and Janell Wheeler, which means goodbye Janell based on the pre-season and first night pimp spot for Katie Stevens. Not to mention, the swallowing of all that was good about Janell and her voice by that monster of a Heart song.
Katie Stevens: SAFE
Janell Wheeler: GOING HOME
It might not be surprising, but it’s still disappointing. I really liked Janell, I just wish she lived up to the magic we saw during her first audition of “House of a Rising Sun.” I thought she might be a finalist, instead she’s our first casualty. Kind of makes me hate you, America.
Idol Expert Anoop Desai Fantasy TV Watch:
Anoop’s batting 1000 so far, he chose Janell for elimination tonight.
Guest Performance: Alison Iraheta
Alison Iraheta is taking the stage to perform her new single “Scars” so I expect to be wowed by vocals for the first time all season right about now. So American Idol Top 24, this is how you do a ballad that sounds modern, with old fashioned sensibilities. Save the ridiculous bustle on the back of her skirt and lace fingerless gloves, I like everything about Alison’s performance. If I were the Top 12 girls and listening to Alison singing and realizing she didn’t win, I might be peeing my pants.
Time for more girls’ results.
Paige Miles: SAFE (somewhat surprising, but I’m glad we’ll be able to hear her again if she’s half as good as the judge’s say.)
Lacey Brown: SAFE (hallelujah! *moment of paused panic * I love Lacey, but who’s being eliminated in her space?)
Lilly Scott: SAFE (thank goodness, America and I would totally have a nasty break up if not.)
Crystal Bowersox: SAFE (duh)
So it’s down to Ashley Rodriguez and Didi Benami, which means bye-bye Ashely. It would be the biggest shock in the world if Didi Benami was eliminated after week one, unless no one voted because they assumed she was safe. Didi’s performance was dull, but it wasn’t bad. Ashley’s was dull and, well, bad.
Ashley Rodriguez: GOING HOME
Didi Benami: SAFE
If that’s not proof that song choice is a killer, I don’t know what is. We called Ashley as a finalist in our snap judgment of the Top 24, where we ranked her number 8. Heck, Janell was a finalist for me too. So much for my snap judgment. And here’s my advice to the ladies of American Idol: be unique and don’t sing songs of Simon Cowell proteges.
Idol Expert Anoop Desai Fantasy TV Watch:
Anoop’s batting average went down with that one, he predicted Lacey would be eliminated. I can’t hate though, so did I.
Time to learn the fates of half the fellas.
Big Mike Lynche: SAFE (if they’re talking to you first, you’re safe. Also you’re Big Mike! America loves you and your newborn and how you make a guitar look like a ukulele.)
John Park: SAFE (thank Shania Twain for that one John, it’s the only reason you were at all memorable)
Aaron Kelly: SAFE (my partner in Podcast John Kubicek does a happy dance)
Todrick Hall: SAFE (clearly the rest of the world doesn’t have such strong feelings of the type of punishment that should be doled out for messing with “Since U Been Gone.”)
So it’s down to Tim and Joe, and really either of them could go. We didn’t see much of either of them before last night, which always puts a contestant at a disadvantage. Joe sang well but not memorably, meanwhile Tim sang so poorly it was unforgettable and the Worsters got behind him.
Tim Urban: SAFE
Joe Munoz: GOING HOME
And the worsters win one again. And Tim Urban almost faints. Much like Janell’s elimination, I kind of hate you for that one America. Joe can sing. Tim, well, I’m not so sure he can. By the terrified look on his face after he was delivered the news, I’m not convinced he’s sure either.
Idol Expert Anoop Desai Fantasy TV Watch:
Anoop’s only going to bat one for three tonight, he chose Tim for elimination tonight. Which is reasonable, because he was thinking about singing not superstar bangs.
Idol Gives Back with the help of Kris Allen & “Let It Be”:
April 21 “Idol Gives Back” is coming back with the promise of huge stars and huge(r) corporate sponsors. No word on the stars, but all the sponsors get name dropped.
Tonight Idol will be giving back by offering Kris Allen’s performance of “Let It Be” on iTunes as a charity single. You should probably get your tissues ready and you should probably buy the tune tonight. Not only does it go to the relief effort in Haiti, it’s a beautiful cover of one of the Beatles’ most beautiful songs. Buy one for Haeley Vaughn to remind her there are some songs that should be reinterpreted with a light hand. (Often they’ve been written by The Beatles.)
Time to hear the rest of the results for the guys.
Casey James: SAFE (clearly, he’s first and he’s Casey James)
Jermaine Sellers: SAFE (three letters America: W.T.F.)
Lee Dewyze: SAFE (thank goodness, my dark horse is still in the race)
Andrew Garica: SAFE (thanks Captain Obvious, I mean, Ryan Seacrest)
So it’s down to Tyler Grady and Alex Lambert, again, it could go either way. Alex was incredibly awkward, but his vocals were promising. Tyler’s performance was engaging, but it was too much of an shtick.
Alex Lambert: SAFE
Tyler Grady: GOING HOME
Guess the rest of America is over the ’70s, because they’ve said “peace” to Tyler.
As for positives, I am glad to see that two contestants who had rough performances but showed vocal potential (Lacey and Alex) were saved. That’s about all I’ve got for positives. I’m bummed about Janell and I happened to like Tyler’s ’70s strut, but I won’t be crying into my pillow tonight. That Jermaine Sellers is still around? There might be some tears about that. In fact, I’m pretty sure my ears are figuring out how to cry about that right now.
What do you think guys, did America get it right? Are you shocked by tonight’s results? And really, can we just start over?