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…

1/21 American Idol 8 Louisville Audition: The Kentucky Derby that Never Was! (UPDATED)

Louisville, Kentucky is home to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”: the Kentucky Derby, the first race for three year-old thoroughbred horses, held annually in May. American Idol played that out in the show but really there was no race or excitement at all in this episode. Thank heavens they squeezed the 2-day audition to an hour instead of 2!  Over 10,000 hopefuls showed up and only 19  made it to Hollywood.

Contestants to watch out for: Traveling musician: Brent Keith-Smith and Dueling Piano player Matt Giraud.

Idol’s “emotional story” for tonight was that of Leneshe Young, 18 years old from Cincinnati, OH who sang an impressive original R&B composition. She takes care of her siblings and helps out her single mom, struggled through most of her life living in shelter homes and poverty. Does she have talent?! If we were watching America’s Got Talent, we could easily picture David Hasselhoff exclaiming the only line he knows, “you’re what this show is all about!” Yes, she’s got it!

Joanna Pacitti
Joanna Pacitti

One more hopeful to take notice is 23-year old Joanna Pacitti from Philadelphia, PA who sang “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. We could say she shouldn’t be in Idol because she’s had a record deal already and had her chance but records and cds doesn’t seem to bother American Idol anymore.

As in usual, they showed a bunch of contestants who are so out of it and then there are those who plead “one more song, please…” when all we could say, why show this on national TV in the first place?! And then finally some hopefuls who could really sing! Let’s just say, you didn’t miss much on this one and be glad you didn’t have to sit through it all…

One final note: we think the judges specifically Paula Abdul and Simon Scowl Cowell should learn about Southern hospitality! They totally misjudged poor Mark Mudd, 25 year-old guy from Coxs Creek, Kentucky. Mark we thought was nice and gentlemanly in his demeanor even when they all turned him down. As Mark was leaving he bid our ignorant judges farewell and said “take care and be careful.” Paula then stopped him and repeated “be careful?” All four decided as initiated by Simon that Mark gave them a threat! Paula lectured Mark Mudd about how that’s not a normal thing to say and you don’t say that to people. Oh please!

We hear you Mark, we know you meant well and these judges ought to apologize to you and the people of Kentucky!!

UPDATE: January 28, 2008

Here’s something for you: American Idol makes a quiet but better-than-nothing statement of apology to Mark Mudd and the people of Louisville for misinterpreting Mark’s final words to the judges as he was leaving. So we were right in sensing that the judges may have misconstrued the whole thing as threatening when it wasn’t. Idol issues this short note on their website:

“We apologize to any viewers who were offended by the misinterpretation of the contestant’s comment to “be careful” upon completion of his audition in Louisville, KY. Our visits to audition cities are relatively brief and sometimes regional greetings and salutations are lost in translation. We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day, so it took everyone by surprise. We now know better and look forward to visiting Louisville again someday.”

Very well. Hope we all learn from that…

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