Since this is our first live blog of American Idol this season, we figured we’d begin with a little recap to get all you nonbelievers up to speed. In short, there’s a new judge (songwriter and producer Kara DioGuardi) and we’re on the fence. She’s a little bland-o. Plus, her site has a link to some of her songs entitled “Click Here For The Hits.” Barf. Auditions were the same as usual. Chock full of crazies, sad-sacks, and the sexually confused.
On to this week: The judges have narrowed the pool down to 36 and divided them into 3 groups of 12. Each week these 12 will perform and America will vote to move their 3 faves from each group on to the top 12. (We know 3 plus 3 plus 3 doesn’t equal 12. There’s something going on with a Wild Card candidate from each group who will advance as well. We’re not sure: AI hasn’t totally explained it yet.) This week, group 2 is up. After the jump, read all the highlights of last night’s episode.
7:55: Not super excited about tonight’s pool. I like Jasmine Murray (she’s a soulful Gabriel Union lookalike). Other than that, the selection is not so thrilling.
8:00: “Where else can you find a welder, a bar tender, a font designer and comedian on their way to stardom,” says Ry-Guy Seacrest. Well, circa 1970 that was the Village People, Ry.
8:01: Oh, I almost forgot: Last week Alexis Grace (plucky, petite blond girl with TONS ‘o soul), Michael Sarver (boring construction worker or something), and Danny Gokey (wife died; America loves his story) advanced to the next round.
8:02: Ry-Guy accuses Simon of moving positions at the judges table because the light is better on his end. Those two are going to make a beautiful baby someday.
8:04: Yay, my Jasmine is starting off the night. Go girl! PS: She is SO Gabby Union.
8:05: Singing Sara Bareille’s Love Song. Arrangement sounds like bad karoke.
8:06: This is painful. Judges are going slaughter Gabby (I mean, Jasmine).
8:07: Randy says it’s pitchy. Huh? Kara says she’s young and commercial, but it’s all over the place. Even Paula agrees. Stop the bleeding!
8:08: Simon says: “You’ve got attitude and confidence but not a great voice.” Thinks she isn’t ready right now, but could be in future. Gets booed. Lashes out at studio audience.
8:09: Idol Slip-Up Alert: During questioning, Jasmine says she tried to call in and vote for every contestant last week. You’re not supposed to be able to do that, right? Ryan awkwardly covers. I anticipate some serious Idol backlash because of this. I always knew this whole voting thing was shady though.
8:13: Hell’s Kitchen preview. LOVE that show. He’s so mean.
8:14: Matt Girard from Kalamazoo, Michigan is up next. I didn’t know people really lived there. Seriously. I thought that was a fictional town.
8:15: Matt says Hollywood Week performance was one of the coolest moment of his life. Dude, you live in Kalamazoo. It was THE coolest moment of your life.
8:16: Singing Coldplay. Also wearing a leather jacket. Many Midwestern cows died to make this night of Idol happen?
8:17: Just did a weird thing where he sang falsetto. Did awkward vocal flourishes at the end. Super duper cheeseball.
8:18: Verdict: Kara says he’s bluesy and soulful (seriously?) but this song wasn’t a good choice. Paula agrees. Says performance was better than rehearsal though.
8:19: Simon says: Horrible. Says performance was wannabe popstar. Hold up. Aren’t all AI contestants wannabe popstars? Isn’t that the point of this show?
8:20: Seacrest admits to boy-crush on Chris Martin. Asks if Matt’s song was a tough one to sing. I think he just proved that Ry-Guy?
8:24: Jeanine from Washington, D.C. is next. She’s a bartender (by the looks of her, that’s code for stripper).
8:25: Singing This Love by Maroon Five. Wearing studded tuxedo jacket (I bet it has Velcro holding it together in the back), denim mini-shorts, and five-inch peep-toe pumps.
8:26: Another flop. This is the best you could give us AI judges?
8:28: Paula tells her she has good legs and then passes the mic to Simon.
8:28: Simon says: Bad song choice. Horrible. Agrees with Paula about her legs. Randy also comments on legs and then Kara tells her she has good lips. This is getting so creepy.
8:29: Jeanine pleads for another chance. Don’t do it America!!!!!!
8:31: Weird multiple-personality guy Nick is up next (earlier in the season he paraded around in sparkly shirts and terrycloth headbands and went by the name of Norman Gentle). This should be good!
8:36: Go Norman Gentle. Ry-Guy calls him provocative.
8:36: SHUT UP. He is singing Jennifer Hudson’s song from Dreamgirls. He’s draped on the staircase leading down to the main competition floor. This is some crazy sh*t!
8:37: Wearing a headband and wrist warmers with a sparkly shirt and shorts. He’s gay Paulie Bleeker.
8:38: My mouth is agape.
8:39: At first, I thought it was totally lame that these performances were available for download on iTunes (what tool would go and listen to them again, right), but now I’m seriously considering putting this one on my Nano. It’s too funny.
8:40: Simon says: One of the most atrocious performances we’ve had. Calls it “horrific comedy.”
8:40: Channeling our 81-year-old granny in Boca, Norman Gentle snaps, “Takes one to know one sassypants.” His parents sitting in the front row must be so proud.
8:41: Randy calls it one of the most entertaining performances of the evening. Audience cheers. I think he may actually get through.
8:43: Paula says, “This is America and talent comes in all shapes and sizes.” How Shel Silverstein. Adds, “I don’t know if this is the stage for you, but there are plenty of other stages around Los Angeles.” Hmmmm.
8:44: Ryan asks Paula, “Would you vote for him based on his voice.” Her response: “I saw him smiling the whole time.” Adds, “Were you talking to me?” She’s been hitting the sauce all day, I bet.
8:48: Still here. These commercial breaks are loooooooooooong.
8:49: Allison Iraheta is up next. She kinda looks like ‘Lil Kim from the Lady Marmalade video. Singing Again by Heart.
8:50: Finally! The beginning sounds promising.
8:51: Paula is waving her hands along to the music. Sort of. But Allison is the best we’ve seen tonight.
8:52: Randy: “Yo, you blew it out the box. YOOOO.” He’s so selectively street.
8:53: Paula says she liked the way Allison worked the microphone stand. I bet you did P-Diddy.
8:54: Simon says: I think you may be one to watch in this competition. Still manages to take her down a few notches by saying she was boring in her pre-performance interview.
8:55: Kris Allen is up, singing Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. Hasn’t he learned from past contestant’s mistakes? Jacko songs are crazy hard to sing.
8:56: Not bad so far.
8:57: Getting worse (Paula is pounding her fists on the judge’s table. AI should totally have a Paula-cam).
8:58: Ends OK.
8:59: Paula and Kara have first catfight. Simon takes Paula’s side. Take that new girl. Also says, “chicks will love you.” Hear that “chicks?” Simon says: Love him!
9:00: Randy finishes with, “Nice jump-off baby.” Is that sexual? In addition to a Paula-cam I think we need Randy subtitles.
9:05: Megan Corkey is up next. I love her — really jazzy Billie Holliday-esque voice. But that last name has to go. Corkey??!!!???!!!
9:06: Singing Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae. HATE that song. “Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet.” Puh-leeze.
9:07: I’m a little disappointed. There are moments, but all-in-all it’s a little boring.
9:08: Paula loves her. Does some weird gesture with her hand and heart. Maybe she’s epileptic?
9:09: Simon says: At the end, it became a little shout-y. Hopes America votes for her. Wishes vocals were a little better tonight.
9:10: Randy says he likes her too, but she dropped dead tonight. Kara calls her a “package artist.” Looks unique. With the right video could be viable.
9:11: Message from judges to America: Ignore her crappy performance. She looks quirky and has tattoos on her arm so vote for her.
9:12: Ry-Guy threatens to do the dance from Paula’s Cold-Hearted Snake. AI producers frantically cut to commercial. Don’t worry Ry-Guy, you can do it in private for Simon later tonight like you planned.
9:15: Welder Matt Breitzke is next. Besides the fact that he looks like he belongs in a bear bar, he seems OK.
9:16: Singing that song by Tonic, “If you could only see the way she loves me, you’d understand.” Have no idea what it’s called. Doing some weird marching dance. Looks like a 50-year-old CPA power-walking on a treadmill. Wait, that’s my dad.
9:18: Voice isn’t bad. But, again: SNORE.
9:19: Simon says: “I really like you, but I really hate that song.”
9:20: Randy agrees. Says he was boring but is a very cool guy.
9:21: Kara adds, “We really like you, we all really like you. But the song fell flat.” He’s basically getting awkwardly dumped by the AI judges.
9:22: Single mom Jessie Langseth is up next. AI is really playing up the whole single parent angle this season. That, and the caring for my elderly parent angle. Every contestant falls into one of those two categories.
9:23: Singing Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. Wearing a ribbed, one-shoulder sweater-type top. It has some sort of lurex thread in it. Tragic.
9:24: Couldn’t focus on performance. Concentrating on cheap polyester sweater.
925: EW. Kara tells her, “This is definitely your best look.” Die Kara. Get this biatch on Project Runway and THEN we’ll see what happens.
9:26: Jessie says she is addicted to the synthesized “clapping” sound in the song. Judges start clapping. WTF???
9:27: Paula says performance was captivating. No, Paula it’s the clap sound. It’s the clap sound!
9:32: We’re back. Kai Kalama is next. He’s caring for his sick mom. See. Told you.
9:33: Singing the ultimate small-town dinner theater song: What Becomes of The Broken Hearted. Come on Kai.
9:34: Again, so boring. I’m surprised I’m still awake. There is drool dripping from my mouth though. He also has this weird thing going on with his hair. Kinda looks like that character Flat Top from Dick Tracy.
9:35: Kara says song is old-fashioned. Ummm, der.
9:36: Simon says: Corny performance. Kind of thing you’d hear at a wedding or hotel. OR small-town dinner theater, thank you.
9:42: Mishavonna Henson is next. She made it to Hollywood Week last year, but was cut. That’s so not fair, right?
9:43: Singing Drop To Jupiter by Train. Weird song choice, but she’s kinda pulling it off.
9:44: Oops. Spoke too soon. And what is with the outfits tonight. Did AI’s stylists go on a Joyce Leslie spree or what?
9:45: Simon says: Something left me really cold by that performance tonight. Paula suggests, “Maybe it’s those drops of Jupiter.” Ummm, oooookkkkaaaayyy Paula. You need to lay off those drops of moonshine.
9:46: Kara says, “You’re too put together.” Not to be outdone, Paula interrupts with an uncontrollable sneezing fit. This is hilarious.
9:47: Mishavonna says, “If you put me through, you’ll get to see the crazy.” Love you Meesh.
9:51: Last up: Adam Lambert. He’s kinda like gay hipster meets musical theatre. Godspell: Williamsburg.
9:52: OH NO. He’s singing Satisfaction by The Stones. He’s totally that sad gay character who sings Boy George songs in The Wedding Singer.
9:53: The judges are on their feet. Paula says she feels like she’s not watching an AI competition, she’s wearing an Adam Lambert concert. Paula: He’s in a league of his own.
9:55: Simon says: There were parts that were excruciatingly bad and parts that were brill.
9:56: Randy says he’s a combo of Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, and Robert Pattinson from Twilight. Clueless teenage girls in the audience scream.
9:57: Ry-Guy tells Adam that Randy sees a little Edward Cullen in him. Adam: Girl, I love those books.
9:58: I think I’m just jealous of Adam.
9:59: My predictions on who will go through to the top 12: Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert. OK, gotta go. Judge Judy’s on and I missed her earlier today.