2/10 American Idol Hollywood Round Three, 54 Remain

American Idol tonight was slightly better than the lackluster and horriblyly confusing Hollywood round one and two last week. It started off with the 72 remaining hopefuls divided into 4 groups in 4 separate holding rooms awaiting their fate and like the movie “Memento” drove us back to the beginning, then forward, then back.

The contestants were to sing solo onstage with back-up singers, live instruments and the whole shebang. They could choose to play their own instruments if they wanted. Ryan Seacrest initially said that the contestants were free to choose any song they liked but the songs repeated itself again and again as the show went on so it became obvious they were given a song list after all.

Hera are the names of those who made it past the judges’ deliberation in round three with some notes on some.

First up who made it was 1 Adam Lambert. He sang great except that he was trying to be a Cher sound-alike singing “Believe” and it just became too gay for comfort as the performance progressed. It wasn’t good at all. His background is in Professional Theater and his performance came off very theatrical not Idol material. If he makes it to the Top 36, we’re not sure if America would welcome a Broadway-American Idol crossover.

2 Matt Giraud was next. Performed a raspy and soothing “Georgia on my Mind” topped with his own piano accompaniment enough to impress all three judges, Paula, Randy and Kara- giving him the standing O.

3 Jamar Rogers sang Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah.” He didn’t sing it bad, even gave the song his own twist but we’re not sure America is going to want to keep hearing “California Drea-e-e-e-ming” or “what you do to m-e-e-e” style of singing. It could grow old fast.

4 Danny Gokey’s “I Hope You Dance” has yet again put a giddy, school-girl with a crush, twinkly-eyed look on Paula Abdul. She gave him a standing ovation even before Danny finished his song. Danny Gokey as we have initially said is a very strong contender this season.

mishavonna_henson5 Anoop “geeky-guy” Desai, 6 Jorge Nunez (Neyo’s “Closer”) and 7 Scott “Visually impaired Guy” Macintyre (Chris Daughty “Home’) all made it!

As well as 8 Kendall Beard (performed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”), 9 Stevie Wright (sang Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly”),

and 10 Kristin McNamara -who belted it out with a huge Kelly Clarkson hit “Because of You”.

11 Lil Rounds did a flawless rendition of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got you” -another strong contender.

12 Mishavonna Henson who we’re seeing for the first time was a Season 7 hopeful who got cut during last year’s round two in Hollywood Week. At least she stayed thru round three this year.

13 Jackie Tohn was shown playing her guitar but we never got to hear her sing! She made it along with 14 Frankie Jordan, 15 Alexis Grace and 16 Kenny Hoffpauer.

Say what?? The over-confident, mentally unstable(?) 17 Tatiana “annoying laugh” del Toro was in Top 54!

So was 18 Nathaniel “Emote King” Marshall who played his own guitar and sang Rihanna’s “Disturbia” while Idol played a montage of all his backstage drama in Hollywood.

Ju'not JoynerThis is where it got shocking! 19 Joanna Pacitti, a recording artist on her own couldn’t remember the lyrics to “If I Ain’t Got You.” 20 Casey Carlson, an early favorite forgot the words to Jordin Sparks “Tattoo.” It was painful to watch and hear them struggle as they fumble and eat the words of the songs. We now question the readiness of these two would be Top 12 contender. Of course Idol “saved” them here but if they couldn’t get over the nerves hitting them- it will be over for their Idol dreams.

21 Stephen Fowler, another good soulful singer also forget the words to Daughty’s “Home” and asked for a “Brooke White.” And he messed up again. He gave up, walks off stage and still managed to get into the Top 54!

We don’t really know what to make of 22 Nick Mitchell aka Norman Gentle. He is one character who could really sing but doesn’t fit all decorum of an American Idol. He sang “Georgia On My Mind” as his alter ego again and was entertaining but we really think he belongs in another show.

23 Ju’not Joyner is another hopeful whose only now making his TV appearance. He added some soul into “Hey There Delilah”, breezes through Top 54.

24 Jasmine Murray gave a disappointing rendition of “Tattoo”. We expected more from her.

megan_corkrey_idolIf 25 Kai Kalama didn’t make such a good impression on his audition, we would have sent him packing. His voice is going. He needs to do something about it- FAST! The judges gave him a break and passed him through.

26 Anne Marie Boskovich, 27 Michael Sarver, 28 Arianna Afsar (wasn’t given airtime on this episode), 29 Matt Breitzke, 30 Cody Shelman, 31 Felicia Barton, 32 TK Hash, 33 Alexander Wagner-Trugman, 34 Allison Iraheta, 35 Angela Martin, 36 Ashley Hollister, 37 Brent Keith-Smith, 38 Chris Chatman, 39 Derek Lavers, 40 Devon Baldwin, 41 Jackie Midkiff,

42 Jeanine Vailes, 43 Reggi Beasley, 44 John Twiford, 45 Lacey Brown, 46 Jessica Langseth, 47 Megan Corkrey, 48 Von Smith, 49 Perrie Cataldo, 50 Ricky Braddy, 51 Shera Lawrence, 52 Keating Holland, 54 Taylor Vaifanua completes the list of Top 54.

Among those who were cut: Michael Castro, India Morrison, Kaylan Loyd, Muna Hiluf and Leneshe Young.

Tomorrow, the Top 36 is revealed in a 2-hour show! Oh brother. See you…

1/28 American Idol 8 Audition: Simon Gets A Bunch of Flack, And HE LIKES IT!

The Idol auditions this year were missing something. The entertainment factor was not there for us. Perhaps it is getting old? We certainly hope not. Tonight it was Salt Lake City. The crowd waiting for their opportunity to perform was enormous, so this isn’t dull to them!

The show kicked off with the next Donny Osmond? Well, maybe not, but he is related. David Osmond, whose dad is Allen Osmond the oldest of the performing Osmonds came to find if he has what it takes to be an Idol. Allen and David have MS and David was an inspiration, singing strongly and getting his golden ticket to Hollywood.

Next, it was time for the Idol freak run. A series of freaks came out to perform and make fools of themselves. Tara Mathews of Salt Lake looked, dressed and sounded like a beached whale and gave the one finger salute on the way out. Aleesha Turner of Herriman, Utah looked and sang like a nervous chipmunk. Gone. We have no idea what Katie Sullivan of Orem Utah was doing or thinking, but it wasn’t music. Rich Kagel‘s cross eyed look came off clownish. Not a horrible voice, but you can’t be a joke and make it through on this show.

Chris KirkhamThis was especially true of the next act. Chris Kirkham was no freak, but he brought along his friend dressed in a rabbit outfit as a good luck charm, and carried Simon puppets into his audition. He sang well enough to qualify, but the judges were so annoyed by the props, he got expelled before he had a chance. He was good and normal looking but made himself into a freak show. We hope he comes back next year without the rabbit.

The next series of rejections didn’t even get the time of day. These weren’t really the freaks, but they weren’t talented. It made you appreciate the plight of the judges having to listen to so many hopeless hopefuls.

Then, finally, a memorable performer. Frankie Jordan of Hollywood, CA is attractive, has a great smile and a unique style. We are not sure of her range, but she will get the chance to demonstrate it because she got her ticket to Hollywood, but I guess that will just be like going home.

Another unique talent and possibly the best we have seen so far in the auditions was Megan Corkrey, performing on her 23rd birthday. She ironically told the audience that she just chose to get a divorce, but sang “I gotta love one man ’til I die”. Still, her talent and unique personality stood out and she has the potential to be a finalist.

Next the show did the usual success run, where they show talent after talent we didn’t get to see running out with their ticket to Hollywood. We don’t like this part much, because we want to see the talents and we don’t like the fact that some get their names in lights and others get passed by so quickly. Delete the cameos and show the talent.

Andrew Gibson took up some useless time. It was cute but you knew they were going to just send him back home. They had talent they could have shown, and they showed this instead.

Taylor Vaifanua

Austin Sisneros of Riverton, Utah was not bad. He got a golden ticket, but we do not think him capable of being a finalist. Jarret Burns of Orem, Utah was quite good and made it. But then there was another run of freaks and general pain.

The final two gals were what Idol had been building up to. Taylor Vaifanua of Hurricane, Utah is a great talent reminiscent of Jordan Sparks. She is another giant at 6’2″ in heels. She pushed through with a unanimous decision and we would find it difficult to object.

The last performer of the night to make it through was quite unique in her personality. She has lost both her parents over the past four years and still has a pleasant and friendly personality. Idol had been giving us short glimpses of Rose Flack of Rathdrum, Idaho throughout the show, and Idol let her be the grand finale of the Salt Lake episode. She is incredibly pretty with a spectacular smile and a very innocent girlish personality fitting of a 17 year old. Her voice did not have the range of the other strong talents on the show, but her personality and look were so strong it didn’t matter.

Now, it is off to New York and Puerto Rico!!

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