Wednesday, March 7

AI Semifinals - Top 8 Guys

The last week of Semifinals! Tonight's video clips will reveal some secret thing we don't know about each contestant.

First is Blake, and we learn he loves improv. comedy. He demonstrates one of the characters he does. He sings "All Mixed Up" by 311. I don't recognize it, nor do any of the judges, but it's good, a bit reggae-ish, & he beats a little. The judges enjoyed it & like that he's "current" and different.

Sanjaya apparently lived in Hawaii for a few years and expects us to be surprised that he can hula dance. They straightened his hair tonight and I really, really don't like it. He sings "Waiting for the World to Change" which I also really, really don't like (the song in general). He's better than last week but still the song choices don't showcase his voice. The judges agree.

Sundance says (seriously/dryly) that he's skinny in real life and wears a fat suit for the show... so we don't get to hear a secret from him. He sings Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" and I can't give much of an opinion since I don't care for Pearl Jam (Mr. Pez is a fan, but he didn't see it). Randy said it was pitchy but he liked the combination of Sundance's Southern rock style with Pearl Jam. Paula loved it; Simon said last week was better.

Chris R. reveals that he used to be "chunky" and has lost 40 pounds. Good for him! He sings "Tonight I Just Wanna Cry" and makes me miss Ace. ;-) It was just ok, til the end/chorus which was really good. The judges liked it; Simon said it was a safe choice but he sold it.

Jared tells us he played college basketball. Um, he's a fit, really tall black guy; this is supposed to be surprising? Hee. He sings "If You Really Love Me" and reminds me of Ryan Starr who was recently shown singing this (better) on Idol Rewind. He's good, on key at least. The judges agree, and Paula actually tells him he should add more embellishment to his vocals.

Brandon plays classical piano & we get to hear a little (good night for piano players on Fox!). He sings "I Just Want to Celebrate" which is a strange choice. He's better than he has been with something upbeat like this, but I know he can do better. Paula loved it but Randy & Simon weren't wowed (Simon so much that he called him by the wrong name!).

Phil tells us that he used to have long hair. When he was 'forced' to wear it short (I'm guessing ROTC) he didn't like it so just shaved it all off. He sings LeAnn Rimes' "I Need You," which starts out (like 2 weeks ago) horribly but improves with the strong, high notes. Judges agreed. I really think he could, and definitely should, go home this week; he just doesn't have consistency.

Chris S. is like the anti-Phil and says he always had short hair until about 2 years ago when he shaved it & then grew it out. He says the curls are all natural. He sings "We All Want to be Loved" (DC Talk - cool!!) and is very good; easily the best vocal of the night, though that's not tough to do this week. For some strange reason that she doesn't give, Paula didn't like it at all. Randy says it's the best of the night; Simon says he was shouting in the middle (Simon really doesn't like anything remotely shouty, does he? Did he criticize Chris Daughtry for this last year? I really don't remember his doing that & was definitely shouty!).

My predictions to go: Phil and Jared. Brandon could be in trouble but I think he has a big enough fan base due to more air time than Jared that he'll make it to the finals.

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