There has been quite the change up over at American Idol, but Fox has finally named its new judges. Here's hoping that a fresh new batch of superstars can breathe some life back into this talent competition. For the past few seasons, the show has been a revolving door of judges, with only host Ryan Seacrest and voice of reason Randy Jackson remaining constant.
Earlier this year, the show bid farewell to former judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, while Mariah Carey secured the first spot at the new judges' table. Since then, there has been so much speculation as to who would join her in finding new singing talent. There have been multiple musicians thrown in the hat, from Nick Jonas to P. Diddy, but now Mariah's counterparts have been chosen. I wonder what she thinks of them though…
And the winner of American Idol is…nah, I won’t give it away until after the jump for those of you who decided to watch Law and Order: SVU (and by “you” I mean me) and save the Idol recap for later. I actually learned who won right before I started watching. Thanks DVR and internet. It’s down to Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips. Who will it be? Let’s find out in what may be the most anticlimactic AI finale EVER. At least that lead in was dramatic, right? The final twelve perform, and blah, blah, filler, blah. Really do we need two more hours of Idol after two hours of Idol last night?
After the initial hoopla performance, the judges and Ryan Seacrest are introduced. Ryan and his bump-it recap the prior evening, making a two hour finale seem like just minutes with his suave style…in just a short two hours, we will have a new American Idol. He meets with the finalists, and Jessica admits she managed two hours of sleep before her big night. Smug Phil slept for nine hours. I want to reach through my television and smack him. I can’t remember the last time I slept for nine hours straight…and I need it. I need it bad, people.
It was the hometown visits for American Idol this week, which on the results show warrants a Simon and Garfunkel montage (loves!) as Joshua Ledet, Phil Phillips, and Jessica Sanchez head back to where their hearts are for a giant, stadium sized homecoming party. Ryan Seacrest reminds America about the deets of the next week’s final faceoff with his hands casually resting on the backs of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Steven is doing his best Gollum/gargoyle statue impression while JLo looks awkward…probably because she’s not sure she’s going to continue with this gig. Randy Jackson is confident in his judging abilites, sporting a leather blazer.
After Ryan announces the performers for the evening will be the King’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley and everyone’s favorite Idol alum and eyeliner abusing Adam Lambert, the final three perform a Beatles song. Yawn. Bring on the sofa! As always, an idol fueled Ford commercial is highlighted, with a noticeably absent P Philly. Jessica explains she’s happy to make it this far, and regardless of her fate, she’s excited to find out the results. Phillip and Joshua echo her sentiments…and why shouldn’t they? History tells us that the runners-up usually do better than the winner anyway. Reuben Studdard knows what I’m talking about. J Hud, anyone?
There are four very talented artists left on American Idol. Viewers are reminded that the final three get the homecoming of a lifetime. The event is marked with stellar judge and past winner performances. It’s almost time to crown the nation’s newest star. Pretty exciting stuff! Equally exciting? Ryan Seacrest seems to be feeling much better. The audience even gets treated to tickets for the upcoming tour.
The final four perform a Mamas and Papas tribute. It’s great, and reminds me again how badly I wish I could sing a note. Product placement abounds, and a Ford video is shown. The final contestants are excited to be in a commercial…it’s electric! Everyone touts saving the environment with Ford’s new electric car. It’s a cute video, but let’s get to the results please! Phillip Phillips is the first to face the music (literally). He sang “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and gains mad praise from the judges. Randy Jackson calls his performance pitchy to start, but he certainly comes into his own. Jimmy loved it. His next time on stage, singing “Volcano” Randy touts that he’s listen to it all day long on his headphones. Jimmy is beyond impressed. Ryan sends him back to sofa to wait it out a little longer. Of course he does…
There are a mere six left on American Idol, with Wednesday night being Queen night. What’s not to love about that?
The show opens with a Queen cover band performing everyone’s favorite “Somebody to Love.” After a fabulous rendition, AI sends the remaining crew to TMZ for some “media training.” Good luck with that! The first two up are Elise Testone and Jessica Sanchez. Jessica doesn’t get the best critique from Jimmy (the judges liked her) for her “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but she blew everyone away with her “Dance With My Father” by Luther VanDross. Randy Jackson couldn’t find a thing wrong with her performance. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez loved Elise’s Queen cover, but Randy and Steven think she made a poor song choice with her Jimi Hendrix pick. She finds herself the first contestant banished to the bottom three.
We’re getting down there in numbers as far as this season’s American Idol is concerned. Ryan Seacrest reveals that Wednesday’s show garnered 53 million votes, which is a record for the season. The remaining seven perform a group number, and I have to say that these are not my favorite…although I do love Fox’s excessive use of balloons in the opening number.
After the necessary product placement for Ford, Ryan engages in witty banter with the final seven. He asks Hollie about how last week’s save of Jessica has affected the relationships with the remaining singers. She gives a politically correct answer before she and Joshua are called to the stage. After Joshua’s two songs on Wednesday, JLo calls him “beautiful” while Randy Jackson touts him as one of the most gifted singers ever to grace the AI stage. Steven Tyler believes Joshua climbed inside him…in a good way.
Hollie channeled Adele. While the judges loved it, and I am no critic, I stand firm that it’s always a bad idea to try to recreate a song which is still popular…and sung by someone so revered in such a small amount of (American pop culture) time. I loved her “Son of a Preacher Man” rendition, but I don’t think she can hold a candle to Adele, so she shouldn’t have even forced the comparison. Jimmy is pulling for Joshua, while he thinks Hollie has improved. Joshua is safe while Hollie finds herself the first in the bottom three.
Taylor Hicks crawls out of that bar I once saw him at in Birmingham to announce he’s got a Vegas tour in the works. Sure you do…and I am a big fan of THicks. He also introduces recent Idol winner Kris Allen who debuts a new mediocre song. The next two up for results are Skylar and Elise. Skylar rocked a country version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and I think Gaga herself would be proud. Her rendition of “Heard It Through the Grapevine” was just as impressive. Elise is from my home state, so I am glad that she garnered love from JLo and Steven Tyler...but I am not her biggest fan. Loved Skylar, liked Elise in a “I hate people get voted off this show” sort of way. Ryan informs Elise that she must join Hollie in the bottom three.
Last night’s American Idol elimination had the remaining eight contestants worried about their fate after a night filled with eighties tributes.
Ryan Seacrest approaches Joshua Ledet who had been feeling faint. He seems very thrilled to have his health issues highlighted on the live show. Ryan announces that JLo is introducing a new, sexy video. He questions whether Jennifer had some sort of connection with any of the back-up dancers. A blushing JLo pleads the fifth. Oh, Idol…you’re so coy! A sneak peek of the video reveals that it is very desperate sexy.
Not letting go of the fact that Joshua is sick as a dog, they show a video of a pre-school class in Vietnam wishing him luck. Huh? Last night’s results are based on duet teams. Joshua is strong enough to make it to center stage with Jessica Sanchez. Joshua sang “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to rave reviews from the judges. Jessica channeled Whitney Houston with “How Will I Know.” Steven Tyler calls her (and her voice) absolutely “beautiful.” Jessica fumbles, telling the crowd she doesn’t have a voice for eighties music. Both are safe.
The Wanted, a British pop group, is introduced and makes quite a debut. I like this song…I didn’t know they sang it! However, enough is enough, let’s get back to the results! Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon are the next pair in the hot seat. Skylar belted out a country version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” and Randy Jackson called it her best performance to date. She received a standing ovation. Colton sang my favorite Cyndi Lauper ballad “Time After Time” and I loved it. Jimmy didn’t agree.
Ryan wants to keep the anticipation high, so he calls Hollie Cavanagh and DeAndre Brackensick to the stage with Skylar and Colton. Hollie flashed back with everyone’s favorite Flashdance theme, singing “What a Feelin'” and I wish I had on a cut-off sweatshirt. The judges didn’t love it. Perhaps, I loved the song more than her rendition, but you have to admit, it’s a fab, open your sun-roof and sing your head off song. On the other hand, Jennifer loved DeAndre’s version of the El Debarge hit. I concur with Jimmy on this one…the judges loved him, but I found it mediocre at best. But his mediocre is better than I’ll ever be! Unfortunately, he finds himself in the bottom three, and Hollie joins him. Both Skylar and Colton are safe.
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And then there were eight. We’re jumping in to covering American Idol, which is awesome for me because 1) I love it; and 2) but for recapping the elimination show, I’d likely be reminded of my Pauly D and Vinny Thursday night withdrawals. The show begins as it should…Randy Jackson is smooth, dawg, Steven Tyler is swathed in an excessive amount of man scarves, and JLo is sporting an outfit I would have killed for back when I was in middle school – and mind you, that was in the late 80’s.
The show opens with the always suave and debonairly coiffed Ryan Seacrest promoting Aerosmith’s upcoming tour. The remaining nine singers are shown the celebrity tweets, which tout their favorite idols of the season. Carrie Underwood, Lifehouse, and Mariah Carey all show some love for those who chose their songs. Poor DeAndreBrackensick didn’t receive any such tweets after his performance of Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry” (sidebar…I’m so excited to be recapping the AI because all season I’ve wanted to hear from y’all how much he reminds you of former contestant Jason Castro). Instead, DeAndre gets a personal visit from Eric Benet. He’s moved to tears, Ryan is excited to have Eric grace the stage, and somewhere Halle Berry is flaunting her engagement ring at her television screen while Olivier Martinez chides his future bride about being married to such a d-bag. Did I digress too much?
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