ai: the top 12

I glad we’re down to just two shows a week. Three shows were cutting into my regular TV calendar and I wasn’t even watching the result show. And let me tell you, I miss dramatic pauses before commercial break. I’m also glad we’re over to the “tricked out” stage, as Ryan explained, and I love when he plays the air drums with his microphone. Ryan Seacrest? Not one of my favorites. Have I made that obvious?Last week, Jared Cotter, Antonella Barba, Sabrina Sloan, and Sundance Head all were denied a trip to the final 12. While I’m glad I don’t have to listen to Antonella or Sundance anymore, I don’t know that Jared and Sabrina were the right other choices… but I obviously don’t speak for the rest of America.

Tonight is Diana Ross night, and I’m excited for that. I hope Sanjaya sings “I’m Coming Out” and Blake sings “Touch Me in the Morning”. No reason.

Brandon RogersCan’t Hurry Love – Diana tells him to go back to his “center”, and he comes out ass-end to the audience doing some snapping maneuver that probably works very well as a backup dancer. So, he does this cute little break thing in the music, where he’s about to dance, aaaaaand then he forgets his words and doesn’t hide it very well. Other than that, it was a typical Brandon performance – good, but not spectacular.

Randy says he reminded him of a backup singer again, but thought the last two notes of the song made him look like he wanted to be in the front. Paula blames nerves, and is super vague about her opinion; I’m not shocked. Simon calls it a complete letdown and a predictable arrangement.

Melinda DoolittleHome (from The Wiz) – Melinda is very excited to see Diana and Diana has heard a lot about Melinda. They should sing Endless Love. Here’s the deal with her – she’s awesome. But she really needs to do songs that more people know; that is what draws votes, I would think. Regardless of what she sings, she can always be at the top.

It wasn’t Randy’s favorite performance, but still thought it was strong. Melinda and Paula are both crying because she was so good, and they want to sing Endless Love. Simon says she reminds him of a young Gladys Knight, and that she turned a boring song into something fantastic.

Chris SlighEndless Love – Diana and Chris discuss hair, and then Diana says he needs to find the hook to sell the song and to sell him. Chris isn’t as adorable without his glasses and his performance isn’t as good as I was hoping. I keep waiting for Lionel Richie to come out of the floor, but alas, he never does and Chris’ performance doesn’t get any more exciting.  I don’t think he sold it or himself.

Randy says he has a good voice, but the song itself was a mess. Paula says he’s trying too hard to be ultra hip and ultra cool – I love that Paula pegged him as a hipster! Simon thought he turned a beautiful song into a complete and utter drone, and tells him he should keep his glasses on because they’re more him.

Gina GlocksenLove Child – Diana looks a tad uncomfortable when Gina leans in for a hug, which of course amuses me. I’m Gina dressed like she is tonight, in her punkish appearance, as opposed to some of the fancypants dresses she’s worn earlier in the competition. Diana’s advice to Gina was to make sure to pronounce each word, and I’m not sure she really accomplished that.

Once again, not one of Randy’s favorite performances. Paula says Gina is much better than what she did tonight. Simon thought it was okay, thought she did a good job on song choice, and overall calls it forgettable.

There’s a commercial for American Idol-flavored Slow Churned ice cream. What the hell?

Sanjaya MalakarAin’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana demands a hug from Sanjaya and calls him “love”, and then Sanjaya says it’s like having Van Gogh teaching him to paint. She says there’s something in his spirit that’s a winning ingredient, and it’s not his hair. His hair looks like Chris Sligh’s, but at least we can see his face, which unfortunately, isn’t a big enough distraction from how he’s really not good at all. Why was he such a novelty in the auditions?

Randy doesn’t know what to say and says it wasn’t very good. And then he tells him he could win Hair Idol. Paula says he warms peoples’ hearts, but tells him he needs to explode with his vocals. Simon says Diana Ross is going to freak when she hears his performance, and that he only good thing is his hairstyle. He then calls him brave.

Haley ScarnatoMissing You – Diana says her voice is too much inside, and it’s more of a radio voice than a live performance voice. I got so bored during her performance that I was reading Elliott Yamin’s latest blog entry on MySpace. Seriously.

Randy says he’s a little shocked, and I don’t think he means in the good way. Paula said she looks great (which is code for OH SO SORRY, you suck) and also says her pitch was off. Simon didn’t think it was that bad, and makes it a point to mention her name since he told everyone last week he couldn’t.

Phil StaceyI’m Gonna Make You Love Me – Phil’s worried about how he starts things off every time, so Diana tells him to just focus on the audience because they’re people, too. She’s prophetic. He does start it a whole lot better than last week. His last note goes to show two things. 1.) He doesn’t have any cavities. 2.) I actually really liked him this time around, and it seemed like he struggle with his lower registry this week at all.
Randy thought it was a boring performance, but his vocals were hot. Paula liked it. Simon says it was okay and tells him he’s shouting when he tries to hit the big notes.

Lakisha JonesGod Bless the Child – Diana is kinda precious when she gives advice to the way these people perform on stage. She’s also taken to calling Lakisha by her nickname, Kiki. You know how she had that really spectacular performance a few weeks ago when she sang the song from Dreamgirls? It’s going to take a whole lot to live up to that. Tonight was really good, but definitely not her best.

Randy says thought it was an unbelievable vocal and called it sensational.  Paula says her heart comes through when she sings and that’s the most important thing she can posses as an artist. Simon says she’s got it.

Blake LewisKeep Me Hangin’ On – He combed his hair down, has a Mac where he changed the arrangement himself, and beatboxed for Diana Ross. How can you not love him? Man, I love him. I don’t even want to do anything while he sings except watch him.

Randy said he doesn’t have to Blake-ize every song. He calls him a great performer and says to just let the classics be the classics sometimes. Paula wants to have sex with Blake (but doesn’t actually say that) and says he’s a really good singer. Simon didn’t get it at all and tells Blake that if he would have heard it on the radio, he wouldn’t have liked it.

Stephanie EdwardsLove Hangover – Diana says she has star quality, and tells her to start the song a little more sexy. I thought she sounded like she took Diana’s advice, but when I looked up at her dress I got all distracted. It looks like a couch and not one that I’d have in my house, although it may hide white dog hairs a little bit better than my chocolate brown one. Stephanie is really terrific, but I think she’s about 1/2 step behind Melinda and Lakisha.

Randy says it was good, but not her best vocal. Paula says she has strong vocals, but to strive for better. Simon thought it was a strange arrangement for the song and it didn’t close particularly well. He also says it wasn’t her best performance, and she was outsung by Melinda and Lakisha.

Chris RichardsonThe Boss – Diana tells him to work the audience to sell the song. If there’s one kid that can work the stage, it’s probably this boy. And indeed he does, by going offstage and up on the catwalk thing they have behind the judges. Chris is always really fun and he always does a really good job, and as much as I will buy a CD he puts out, I don’t think he’s gonna win this thing.

Randy calls it half good and half bad. Paula thinks he nailed the blend of bringing contemporary into his song. Simon thought the vocals were dreadful and terrible.

Jordin Sparks If We Hold On Together – Diana says Jordin has star quality, but she needs to tell a story through the song. Jordin starts out sitting on the edge of the stage, which means there’s potential for Crotch Shot #1 if she gets up like I would. I really love her every time and even though I don’t know this song, it’s not any different. She’s amazing and adorable.

Randy says she’s made it a three-way race between Lakisha and Melinda. Simon thought it was a very, very good vocal and she’s absolutely put herself in a shot of being in the finals.

Who’s going home? Tough one. Sanjaya should go home, but I don’t know that he will. I think Haley’s going home this week.

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