Aaaaaaaand we’re back!
A long weekend in Florida (featuring quality beach time, lots of good food, and watching the Orioles demolish the Sawx and Matsuzaka.) was just what the doctor ordered. What’s a better welcome home than the Top 12? So let’s get rolling.
– Re-cap of the Idol success-stories, including this guy who didn’t win:
– Funny…Reuben, Clay, Hicks, McPhee, Bo and some of the others aren’t even shown. Interesting…
– We’re in the big, grown-up studio now. Bigger stage, bigger crowd, cooler doors. Three months of insanity to go.
– Rickey Minor’s house band is souped-up, too. Cool!
– Seacrest introduces the Top 12 as they walk onto the stage, even more obviously worked-on by the stylists.
– Of course, the judges are in the house…and See-moan gets a great ovation! See-moan: “This stage changes everything.” Word up.
– Ahhh…tonight, we are celebrating the music of Diana Ross, both with the Supremes and solo. Nice, but the guys are going to struggle mightily. She has 80 Top-10 hits…wow…I had no idea.
– Not familiar with Diana Ross? Well, something is wrong with you! But, I’ll help you out:
This…this might be one of the greatest pieces of video EVER:
– OK, back to the show. Diana works with all the Top 12 individually. And gives them hugs.
– Brandon is the first on the big stage. He does one of my favorites, “You Can’t Hurry Love.” I don’t like his voice, but I’ll admit he was decent. Did his voice crack in the middle? Wait…HE FORGOT THE WORDS! WHAT THE HELL?? HE IS A PROFESSIONAL SINGER!!! Paula, of course, wants to focus on the positives, while Randy and See-moan keep it real. See-moan tears into him. Damn. Well, if you forget the words, you pay the price.
– Seacrest and Melinda chit-chat and answer questions in the Sponsored Cola Lounge about how much she doesn’t like high-heels. Seacrest tries to make a prissy-See-moan joke, which See-moan volleys back into a Seacrest-is-short joke, which Seacrest weakly turns into a stop-stalking-me moment that See-moan OWNS!! Seacrest: “Stay out of my closet.” See-moan: “Come out!” BURN!!
– Melinda performs “Home,” from The Wiz. It’s Melinda, she rocked. She’s a throwback to another time in all the good ways. She gets a standing ovation and she tries not to cry. Paula cries, though. See-moan gets the giggles…and compares Melinda to Gladys Knight. Damn. Paula tells Melinda she had an out of body experience.
– Chris Griffin gives “Endless Love” a shot. He gives it a modern twist. All in all, it’s not bad. The big problem is that he had to follow Melinda, who owned the stage. Chris didn’t, but it was still good. I was thinking it sounded like Coldplay…and Randy just said it. I’m in sync with the Top Dawg tonight! Judges didn’t like the new arrangement at all. Here’s the thing…they tell everyone to be different and then didn’t like it when he was.
– Time for Gina the Good Witch. “Love Child.” Gina is definitely on the rise on my personal list, but this didn’t do it for me. Gina’s a rocker. Let her make a record a la Patty Smith or Pat Benatar or Amy Lee and she’ll do you right. Upbeat pop isn’t for her.
– Queen Sanjaya got lots of advice from Diana…who liked his spirit, but had a lot of advice for him. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Holy crap…he electrocuted himself! Wait–that’s just hairspray. It was a kind of soul-less performance. I think he is too young to sing that song, honestly. I didn’t believe that he would cross mountains, rivers, etc, to get to someone. Randy laughs it off. Randy: “Dude, it wasn’t very good….it was almost unlistenable for me.” DAWG POUND REPRESENT!!!! Basically, the judges rep him to shreds. GET HIM OFF MY TV!!!
– Haley and Seacrest answer questions in the Sponsored Cola Lounge. Yippee. She goes for “Missing You.” Diana says she has a “recording studio voice” instead of a live voice. The song was written after Marvin Gaye’s death. Interesting tidbit. Anyone else think Haley is trying to look like McPhee? Well, she looks hot, but again, her performance is very forgettable. Whoa…she forgot the words, too! Yikes. That’s two in one night in the Top 12…that’s bad. Judges tell her to keep holding it together. She’s going to cry and maybe lose her dinner when she goes off stage. Haley’s showing a ton of cleavage tonight…
– By the way…Blades of Glory looks like one of the funniest stupid comedy movies in a LONG time.
– Seacrest interviews his grandma. Awwww.
– Phil’s “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” is perhaps his most complete performance of the competition, as he continues to grow each week. Terrific job on the high note at the end. The judges loved the vocals. They debate the tempo. See-moan warns him against shouting.
– Back from break for LaKisha. This should be the main event. She’s rolling with Billie Holliday’s “G-d Bless the Child.” Cool. Diana gives her style tips…and they discuss micstands. Interesting. Also interesting is her new nickname, KiKi. Again, KiKi delivers a show-stopping performance. Not my favorite of hers and I rank it just below Melinda’s tonight, but it was damn good. She’s really something. Randy: “That was sensational.” See-moan: “You’ve got it.” He puts KiKi and Melinda above all the others tonight. Duh.
– Beatbox Blake and Secrest answer viewer questions in the Sponsored Cola Lounge.
– In a cool bit, Blake explains how he uses his computer to bring new beats to “You Keep Me Hanging On.” It’s an out-there electronic version…a dancehall remix. Most original of the night. I like the funky beat…I don’t think Blake’s a GREAT singer, but he has a future as a producer. Paula liked the remix more than Chris’. See-moan didn’t like it.
– It’s a “Love Hangover” with Stephanie. Stephanie is good, for sure, but this didn’t do it for me. Weird night. Melinda and LaKisha were spot-on and everyone else was somewhere behind. She also had lyrical issues. That’s THREE people. Yeesh. See-moan criticized her song selection…and pointed out that she’s, at best, #3.
– Next is Chris Timberlake with “The Boss.” Not his best. Kind of pitchy. Here’s the thing. The battle is on between Melinda and LaKisha, with Stephanie and Phil as the closest behind. Everything else is just entertainment gravy. And this was middle of the road. Paula says he brought the old to the new better than anyone else tonight. See-moan hated it.
– We wrap things up with Jordin and “If We Hold On Together.” Seacrest reminds us the song was featured in “The Land Before Time.” GREAT movie. Yeah, I said it! Gotta show some love to Littlefoot.
– Back to Jordin, she’s really good…looks more grown-up this week. She’s 17. The difference between her and the other 17 year old, Queen Sanjaya, is startling. Jordin forced herself back into the discussion this week. Great performance! Whoa. Randy just said that it’s now a 3-girl race! Umm…what did I just say? I’m money, what can I say? Not as money as Jordin, though. She was stellar.
Very interesting show, tonight. Diana Ross provided insight and some of the best guidance we’ve seen on the show. It’s time for the Queen to go. Watch out, Brandon and Haley.
Most Valuable Performer: Melinda. LaKisha, Phil and Jordin had great nights, too.
Thanks for reading! Tell your friends!
Back tomorrow with results!