Idol’s Jacko night wasn’t much of a Thriller for us. First off, our nemesis Adam Lambert was the big hit of the evening. His migraine-triggering version of “Black or White” left us clutching our temples in pain, but apparently others felt differently. The judges gushed and the audience stood while we desperately fumbled for a few extra Pepcids to squash that queasy feeling erupting in our stomach. The other sad news is that Rounds gave a less-than-stellar performance with her take on “The Way You Make Me Feel.” We’ve no doubt she’ll advance (and take this thing, biatch), but we hope next week’s performance can restore our girl to her former glory.
We also had to endure a painful video detailing each contestant’s personal sob story before they sang. Note to AI producers: We get it; they haven’t had an easy road. Danny Gokey: Wife died. Check. Scott MacIntyre: Blind. Check. Alexis Grace: Has a father that looks like he could be her mother. Check. Can we just hear them sing now?
Read more about last night’s show (and the two special guest stars who were watching with me) after the jump.
7:59: Tonight, I’m joined by my cousin Kristin and my mother — two crazed Idol fans who went as far as attending the 2008 American Idol tour featuring season 7’s performers. I’m sure they’ll have loads of astute insight.
8:00: I’m so glad we’re back on the big stage now. It’s so much more dramatic. Kind of like the Thunderdome.
8:01: Rumor has it tonight is a Michael Jackson themed-night. PS: Paula is busting out all over.
8:02: Weird grand entrance by the judges. Apparently, it was Simon’s idea. Figures.
8:03: Kara is wearing a tie-neck blouse. She kind of looks like a choked Christmas present. Paula is sporting some odd one-shoulder feathered number. It sort of looks like an ostrich stole. Cousin K and I are wondering what’s really in her Coca Cola glass.
8:06: Two contestants are going home this week, so the whole top 13 premise was lame. Cousin K says she saw this one coming. 8:07: So, rumors are correct. Tonight is MJ night. I hope Blanket shows up for a guest appearance.
8:08: Lil Rounds is up first! According to her dummy video, she has three kids. Fertile and a great voice! What a combo! AI is totally playing up her sob story, but if it gets her through, that’s fine with me. She’s singing “The Way You Make Feel.”
8:09: Not her best performance so far. Cousin K says it isn’t showing her range and I totally agree.
8:10: I’m on pins and needles waiting for the judges comments. But the audience is on their feet. They’re totally behind our girl. Randy likes it – there’s hope!
8:11: Kara agrees with Randy. Says everyone needs to step up their game after Rounds.
8:12: Paula spits out a feather and adds “You are a force to be reckoned with and it’s a great way to start off the show.” Simon was a little disappointed and disses Rounds’ fashions.
8:13: Mom says, “Those pants don’t do anything for her body shape. The top is nice though.” Blind is next.
8:14: Cousin K says Scott has tunnel vision, actually.
8:17: According to Scott’s parents during their video interview, he’s “visually impaired.” I bet he’s not even blind.
8:18: Singing “Keep The Faith.” I don’t know this one.
8:18: Now, I know why.
8:20: Sounds very dated and not contemporary at all. I don’t think Simon’s gonna be kind. Mom’s verdict: “Terrible. What’s with that arm flinging at the end?”
8:21: Kara says she’s glad we’re finally getting to see him on the piano. She liked the song choice too, saying it “keeps with his message of hope.” Gross.
8:22: Simon’s verdict: Hated the song. Has a watershed moment and finally admits that AI isn’t about being creative, “It’s fine to be artistic, just not on this show.”
8:23: Randy agrees with Simon, says the performance was safe and old-fashioned.
8:24: Danny and welder are up next.
8:28: Ry-Guy: “Let’s go to Wisconsin to learn about Danny Gokey.” How about let’s not.
8:29: Danny: “We didn’t have a lot materially, but we had a lot of love.” How Michael Landon of him. Mom is routing for him though.
8:30: Singing “PYT (Pretty Young Thing).” Mom is dancing along, but I’m unimpressed. I think it’s kind of shouty and all over the place.
8:31: Paula: “The true mark of an artist is when you can hear somebody when your eyes are closed and you know exactly who they are.” Thanks Paula.
8:32: Simon says he thought the vocals were brilliant. Reminds him of Michael McDonald. Don’t get too excited yet Danny. He says the dancing was atrocious.
8:33: Randy says he loved it all. “I felt like the dancing was passionate.” Kara: “You have joy when you step on that stage and you should thank your parents for making you sing your homework.” Huh?
8:34: Michael Sarver is up. I guess he’s an oil rigger not a welder. His co-worker comments during the pre-performance video: “He dudn’t look like a roughneck. He looks like star.” Cue dueling banjos.
8:35: Singing “You Are Not Alone.” This is what I think Rounds should have done. Oil rigger isn’t bad though. Way better than semi-finals round.
8:37: Simon, “You’re not the best singer in this competition. You made up with it in passion and heart and you gave it 110 percent. Great.”
8:38: Randy says tonight he’s one of the best so far.
8:39: Kara says this performance shows he can really sing. Cousin K wants me to note that her bra strap is showing. We also hate Paula’s dog tag bracelet. It’s very Foxy Brown.
8:40: Gabby Union is up next.
8:44: Let’s learn about Jasmine via boring AI retrospective: Her sister looks like Kim Fields from Facts of Life but more in her Living Single days.
8:46: Singing “I’ll Be There.” Another one Rounds should have done! Gabby Union is OK though. The high notes are painful. Mom thinks she’s straining and Cousin K says she’s not doing the song justice. Let’s see what the real judges think.
8:47: Randy thought she did a pretty good job.
8:48: Kara says she surprised her too and that she has great stage presence. As for me, I can’t get over how much Paula looks like a 50-year old drag queen.
8:49: Simon says it was a good attempt, but a little bit robotic.
8:50: Kris and Allison are up next. Mom says, “I love her. I love her so much.” And claps.
8:55: Kris is first. He’s married and he and his wife have matching aprons. Blech.
8:56: Singing “Remember The Time.” He’s performing with his guitar, but I don’t think he’s really playing. Like when Madonna “plays” during her concerts.
8:58: Mom: “See ya later Kris Kringle. You’re gone.”
8:59: Kara says, “When you play your guitar we see a whole other side of you.” Are you kidding? Adds, “He spent a lot of time helping the other contestants out and that shows he’s a nice guy.” No sir. It shows he’s an idiot. I’d be lacing their Evian with cyanide.
9:00: Paula accuses Simon of trying to undress her. Then says to Kris, “I want to tell you I love you too and that’s nothing I could say to someone I know across the pond.” I was worried that Paula might actually be coherent tonight. Silly me.
9:01: Simon recommends that Kris keep his wife hidden for a few weeks so more girls will vote for him. Wife-cam: She looks puh-issed.
9:02: Allison Iraheta is up next. She’s El Salvadorian. Used to be a singer at what looks like the Latin American version of Coscto. Singing “Give Into Me.”
9:03: Bad song. Not really feeling Iraheta tonight. Mom says “Her vocals are great. She’s sultry.” Did I mention Mom is 57?
9:04: Paula thinks it’s mind-boggling that she’s 16. I think it’s mind-boggling that Paula is propped up in her chair.
9:05: Simon says it was a good performance because we know who she is as an artist. Cousin K predicts she’ll be in the top four.
9:06: Randy thinks Allison can sing anything. Kara says she should stick to being a rocker.
9:07: Anoop is up next.
9:10: Give me back my filet-o-fish. Give me that fish. Did I mention that I LOVE that commercial? [Editor’s note: Yes. Three times now.]
9:11: Anoop is looking better tonight: Army green safari-style jacket with a shirt and tie. He really needs to get his eyebrows done though.
9:12: In Anoop’s retrospective it’s revealed that he’s a spoiled Indian brat.
9:13: Singing “Beat It.” Someone needs to beat it alright.
9:14: Struggling to hit those high notes. Does an awful “beat it, beat it, beat it…” fade at the end. Sux.
9:15: Paula thinks this song is untouchable and it belongs to the consummate artist: MJ. Simon says it was horrible and that Anoop looked a little stupid. A little?
9:16: Randy says it was the “wrong choice, baby.” Kara felt disconnected from him as a performer.
9:17: Mom’s two cents: “You know, the trouble with Anoop is that he’s spoiled and thinks everyone loves him like his family does. Only a mother could love that.”
9:19: During commercial break Cousin K predicts Norman Gentle will make a late-season return like William Hung.
9:22: Jorge’s story: Since his grandfather died his family has fallen apart. But AI is keeping it together. So vote for Jorge, unless you want his family to break up.
9:23: Singing “Never Say Goodbye.” Bad song choice, I think. I guess he’ll have to start learning to say it soon!
9:24: Randy: “You know I got mad love for you. We had a great time in Puerto Rico.” Is this a confession of some sorts?
9:25: Kara says she didn’t feel an emotional connection. Paula, “You know I have mad love for you too.” There’s mad love all over the judges’ table tonight.
9:26: Jorge explains that the song choices were limited and that he didn’t want to sing “Bad.” Simon’s response: “Well you kind of did.” Ka-boom!
9:27: Mom says, “Pack it up, Jorge. Get the non-stop flight.” Suggests he sing in Spanish next week.
9:28: Adam and Corkey are next.
9:30: During commercial break Cousin K calls Auntie Irene. Her contribution: “The one that sang Michael Jackson stunk.”
9:31: Corkey is up first and looks pretty good tonight. Her sad story is that she’s divorced and her son is her whole world. She starts tearing up because she’s away from him. Cousin K suggests America vote her off so she can go home to her kid.
9:33: Singing “Rockin’ Robin.” Huh? That’s a Jacko song? [Editor’s Note: Think Jackson 5.]
9:35: Does some weird bird sound (“kaw, kaw”) at the end. Paula’s top takes to the skies.
9:36: Simon calls it a stupid song choice and adds that the dancing was verging on ridiculous. Randy agrees.
9:37: Adam is up next. I’m gritting my teeth.
9:38: He’s doing “Black or White.” This is a hard one to sing. Paula is on her feet. “I think it’s time to double her Xanax,” says Mom.
9:40: Totally screechy and bad, just like last week. Our caucus is divided: Cousin K liked it but me and Mom hated it.
9:41: Paula says he has an innate ability to know who he is as an artist and that he has the whole package. Adam starts crying. His mascara runs.
9:42: Simon adds that his performance was in a totally in a different league from everything else we’ve seen tonight. Simon says the vocals were terrific and original. I’m literally gnashing my teeth into oblivion.
9:48: Matt Giraud is next. He doesn’t have a sob story to speak of. Phew. Although his mom has a different last name so that’s kinda suspicious.
9:49: Singing “Human Nature.” Starts off good!
9:50: Paula’s swaying back and forth, so either she’s into it or she’s about to pass out. I think I’m becoming an MG convert. He was pretty good!
9:51: Judges agree it was good performance.
9:52: Up last: Alexis Grace. 9:56: From Memphis. Father/mother is very scary looking.
9:57: She’s singing “Dirty Diana” and it’s pretty good even though she’s making these weird jerking motions. Couskin K suggests it might be Tourette’s.
9:59: Kara is happy to have Alexis back. Says, “You’re a naughty girl and I liked it.” Paula thinks she oversings. Simon agrees and adds that it was over-the-top and not as good as she probably thought it was.
10:00: So, there’s going to be a surprise rules change involving the judges. Uh-oh. Ry-guy says it will change the entire format of the show. 10:02: I think Anoop and Corkey are out. Mom and Cousin K say it’ll be Anoop and Jorge.
10:05: Cousin K thinks that the judges will be able to overrule America’s decision and save contestants they like. Let’s tune in tomorrow night to find out!