Wednesday, March 26

AI7 - Top 10 Results

Ryan tells us there were over 30 million votes last night. We get a fun group number of "Right Back Where We Started From." And some footage from the recording sessions of the iTunes releases, which was also fun.

Contestants will again be brought out from backstage one at a time to be told whether they are safe or in the Bottom 3. This was a tough week to predict!

Chikieze is first to come out and he is in the Bottom 3.
Brooke is safe.
Carly is safe (and not pregnant, she announces!).

The Ford commercial is very short this week, which makes me sad because I love the song: "I Want You to Want Me." It's also very strange, with videos of contestants singing on small items like a cd case being held up or the back of someone's jacket.

Back to results:
David A is safe.
David C is safe (and Ryan said Chris Cornell enjoyed David's performance).
Syesha is Bottom 3.
Michael is safe.

Viewer calls segment... still lame. Guest performance: Kimberly Locke! Nice video filling us in on her post-Idol successes, with a clip from her 1st music video, news that she has opened a restaurant in Manhattan, and lots of photos of her svelte self post-40-lb. weight loss! She sings a new single called "Fall" and is wearing a rather elegant strapless gown with her hair up. The song is nice I guess, but I like her more upbeat songs better.

Last of the results:
Ramiele comes out next, and is safe, which totally throws off my picks for this week!
Last out are Jason and Kristy. Apparently Ryan also heard that Lee Greenwood liked Kristy's performance (Ryan has been busy!), as did the voters, so she is safe, and Jason is in the Bottom 3. Ryan says he acted like he expected it, and Jason starts rambling on about how yes, he had a feeling ever since last night, and he's been thinking about it all day, and probably deserves it, and... Ryan interrupts him to say he's safe! So a surprised Jason heads back to the couches.

After the break... it's between Syesha and Chikieze. I'm hoping it's not Chikieze, but he had a somewhat boring performance (at least compared to the past 2 weeks) and she had arguably her best yet... so it is Chikieze who heads home. Bummer!

I forgot to mention that last night I noticed Amy Davis in the audience. Tonight she is back, along with David Hernandez and Danny Noriega (who are sitting right behind Simon, so we get to see their reactions to judges' comments several times). Also shown a couple of times are Constantine and Gina Glockson (who have replaced Matt & Mikayah on American Idol Extra this year). Cool!

Next week: Country, with Dolly Parton! Can't wait to see what David C. pulls out of his hat next!

Tuesday, March 25

AI7 - Top 10 (3/25/08)

Tonight's theme is songs from the contestants' birth years, which means it's 9/10ths of another 80's show! Video clips tell something about the contestants' childhoods. And several people are, again, sick (at least Randy and Ramiele, though Paula sounds stopped up as well).

Ramiele (who was born in Saudi Arabia!) sings "Alone" - It was brave of her to attempt one of Carrie's best songs. Some of it sounded off-key... Randy agreed. He also said it was a bad song choice. Paula was glad people have heard her do other things; Simon said it wasn't as bad as Randy said (hee!).

Jason (whose birthday is tonight!): "Fragile" - I thought Sting was a good choice for him, and the performance (with guitar, on stool) was back in his comfort zone. Randy agreed that it was a good song choice, but Paula said it was a bit safe and same. Simon said he's had 2 bad weeks & needs to take this more seriously.

Syesha: "If I Were Your Woman" (I was a child of the 80's and there are an awful lot of these songs I don't know!) Very good performance; best she's done in a while, but then the fact that I'm less familiar w/the song may help. The judges agree: Randy says it's her best yet, and Paula says everything about it was fantastic. Simon said it was good overall but she overreached at the end.

Chikieze: "If Only for One Night" - very good. Paula agreed, but Randy said it was too old-school and Simon said it was cheesy and lacked originality.

: "Every Breath You Take" - well, Phil's was better. ;-) Brooke played the piano again for this and then the band joined her at the bridge adding a more rock feel, which I liked. As did Paula, but Randy & Simon didn't.

Michael: "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" - decent performance, though he struggles on the high notes (as usual). The crowd loved it! Paula said he finally found the right song (wonder which one she meant? heh) and this was his shining moment; Simon said it was the first time he's seen star potential in him.

, we find out, was indeed named for Carly Simon but only because her mother heard her on the radio on the way to the hospital to give birth. She sings "Total Eclipse" and does a really great job vocally, though she didn't sing the right lyrics on the powder keg line (grr). Randy didn't like it, said it was a bad choice for her. Paula disagreed & said that Carly has the habit of making her like songs she didn't previously like (Paula! how can you not like this song?!). Simon was back w/Randy though & said something about it didn't quite work.

David A: "You're the Voice" - meh. The lyrics were very simple & there were a lot of "Oh"s, and it was the nice kind of message ballad David seems to favor. I missed Randy & Paula's comments, but Simon didn't like it and compared it to a theme park performance.

(... oh. my, I just realized David C is getting the Pimp Spot with his, according to spoilers, Michael Jackson song... can't. wait!)

Kristy: "God Bless the USA" - well, gotta give her credit for smart song choice (to connect w/her fan base), anyway! Ooh, Simon said almost the same thing; in fact he called it one of the most clever song choices on the show in years! Her performance was also pretty good. All judges agreed it was a good choice; Randy & Paula said parts were pitchy but Simon called it her best "by a mile." Did anyone else notice that she seemed to be wearing an engagement ring??

Lastly David C with "Billie Jean" ("Chris Cornell's version," Ryan tells us) - Awesome! I know a couple of gals who were most certainly a puddle of goo after this performance. ;-) Randy said he's maybe their most original & most bold contestant ever, could actually win, and was "blazing, molten hot!" Paula called him smart, brave, and the performance brilliant; Simon said amazing.

And that's a wrap. Difficult bottom 3 to predict tonight, other than Ramiele. I'll go with Brooke and Carly (with Chikieze close behind; even though I thought he was really good, he was middle-of-the-pack and forgettable, where others improved). Ramiele goes home.

Wednesday, March 19

AI7 - Top 11 Results / Top 10 Announced

Ryan announces the mentors that will be appearing this season: Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Neil Diamond.

Group medley, yay! Starts w/two of my favorite Beatles songs, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here, There, and Everywhere." Everyone gets at least a short solo except David Cook, Ramiele, and Jason.

Amanda is shown first during the recap (which is probably only of interest to those of us doing because that's a bonus point question!).

This week Ryan is bringing the contestants out (from backstage) one by one, where they will be sent either to the couch ("You're in the Top 10!") or one of 3 stools (Bottom 3). Brooke is first, and she's safe. Carly is next - and to almost everyone's surprise, she's in the Bottom 3. David A and Michael are also safe.

This week we a behind-the-scenes, "making of" for the Ford video. The set-up is the filming of a movie with UFO's. Song is "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

David Cook is first out in the next group. Ryan said, "Last night Simon said you looked smug. How do you react to that?" David replied, "I don't." Hee! David is safe (yay!).

Kristy is next - and yes, she's in the Bottom 3. Jason and Ramiele are both safe.

Viewer calls segment. 2 for the judges, 2 for contestants.

Kellie Pickler gives an update on her life: she's working on her 2nd album, touring with Rascal Flatts, and recently returned from a USO show in Iraq. She sings "Red High Heels." And EeEee!! Austin Clark (of The Clark Brothers) is in the band playing dobro! :-) (I'm told he also played last night during Chikieze's song.)

Next is an Idol Gives Back segment showing footage of Elliot and Fantasia in Africa handing out mosquito nets. Apparently there is somewhat of a tradition for babies to be named after their first hospital visitors, and they take Elliot in to a newborn and mom who is naming the baby Elliot! He cries and it's very sweet.

Syesha is first of the last group and she is safe. That leaves Amanda and Chikieze who come out together... Chikieze is safe, so Amanda is in the Bottom 3.

Carly is sent to the Top 10 couch leaving Kristy and Amanda. Kristy is safe, and Amanda is out. Journey video, singout, credits. And I don't think we were told next week's music theme, were we?

Tuesday, March 18

AI7 - Top 11 (3/18/08)

Tonight's theme: (more) Beatles music. Contestants' video clips tell their most memorable moment from the Idol experience so far.

Amanda - "Back in the USSR" Amanda is the first of many to list her most memorable moment ("mmm") as her first performance on the big Top 12 stage last week. She loves to feed off the audience's energy so enjoys having them right in front. Her song is ok. The judges feel similarly: Randy says it's pitchy and Simon says it was predictable. She responds that she only has a minute & a half to show people what it would be like if they bought tickets to see her live show. Simon reminds her that her tickets "aren't on sale yet!" Heh.

Kristy Lee - "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" Her "mmm" is being on stage in the Bottom 2 every week. She chose the song by its title (which she admits; not a good sign) and her performance was up & down; overall the worst of the night (again). I like her sparkly dress though! Randy says boring, safe, & not emotionally connected enough; Paula agreed it was too safe; good, but not enough. Simon said she isn't a good performer, and she's like "musical wallpaper: you notice it, but you don't remember it... except when it's really bad."

David A - "The Long & Winding Road"
David's mmm is, of course, last week's forgetting of his lyrics. He says this was the Beatles' last #1 song. It was a good performance; lots of screams from girls in the crowd. Randy said David is "back"; Paula said it was the most exciting performance of his for her because he came back from last week's struggle. She said an experience like that "doesn't build character, it reveals it." Simon: "Amazing."

Michael Johns - "A Day in the Life" His mmm was BoRhap in Hollywood. His performance was ok I guess; he talked about how it's a long song & would be difficult to edit & arrange it well, and I think that was the problem. I also really didn't like the camera work during the middle parts, just going around him a couple times during long held notes... kind-of boring and weird at the same time. Randy said it wasn't the best choice (to showcase his vocals); Paula said it was better at dress rehearsal & said maybe he was having trouble getting used to using the ear monitors. Simon said it was a "mess," and that it was a complicated song that doesn't work in 90 seconds. Ryan asked Paula to explain about the ear monitors & Michael revealed that he wasn't wearing any! So maybe that was the problem; and Paula said he was without excuse.

Brooke - "Here Comes the Sun" On the chairs, Ryan asked her about her visit with family last weekend. Her mmm was, obviously, last week's performance ("Let It Be"). She wasn't excited about choosing another Beatles song because she felt nothing could live up to that. Her performance was good - started out sitting on the stairs, then came over to the mic stand - and she's fun to watch, but there was also something a little 'off' about it. Randy said her movement was awkward; Simon said the performance was terrible & it was a poor song choice. She admitted that it was out of her comfort zone (the style?) and that she didn't know what to do w/her hands.

David C - "Day Tripper" His mmm was also last week's performance: the stage, the audience, the lights, etc., and then the judges' positive comments on top of that! When introducing his song choice he said that Whitesnake had done it in the 70's with a rock/funk vibe so that's what he was going for. It was a good performance, & you could tell he was enjoying himself. Randy liked it, and Paula said "You're ready to go sell records." Simon said that he'd lost his element of surprise, telling David "it wasn't as good as you thought it was." Judges & Ryan commented on the voice box effects & he said he just learned how to use it yesterday! They tried to get Ryan to use it but he wouldn't.

Carly - "Blackbird" Her mmm was also last Tuesday's performance. This one was good; actually probably the best going purely on vocals so far tonight. I prefer her "with my eyes closed" [tm Simon, S2] though. Randy & Paula loved it, but Simon called it "indulgent" and a poor song choice. She defended it, explaining that to her it represented all of their struggles to break into the music business, and how it felt "free" now to have this opportunity. When Ryan gave her numbers she showed a tattoo of "7" on her hand to represent this Idol season.

Jason - "Michelle" His mmm was "Hallelujah," a bad memory for the bad last note but good "because nobody cared"! Funny. He chose this song partially for the challenge of something different, like different languages, and said he hadn't realized it was "belle" (French) instead of the English word. Ryan said "that's dedication, learning a new language" just for this performance... and then *Ryan* spoke French introducing Jason! (That was slightly swoon-worthy; what?) Jason sang great, standing for a while at the mic stand & then walking around the stage; he was so comfortable & confident! Interacting w/the audience and singing like he was singing straight to them. Also low on the goofy scale. Definitely my favorite performance of the night. So I was surprised that the judges didn't like it! Randy & Paula both said he wasn't emotionally connected to the song (but he was!), and Simon said that his face and charm sold the song because his vocal wasn't great (but it was!). Ah, Idol... the show of differing opinions!

Syesha - "Yesterday" Oh my. To several things. First, she has a new hair style and her dress really shows off her... figure. ;-) Almost distractingly so. She says her mmm was being in the Bottom 3 last week - and she says it in third person, like it was such a huge shock that "Syesha Mercado was the Bottom 3." Um, ok, not that much of a shock to anyone else. Lastly, she sings the song sitting on the edge of the stage with just an acoustic guitar. Exactly the set-up David Hernandez has repeatedly said he planned to use this week for this exact song, had he not been eliminated. So, these 3 things were all distracting me during her performance. The singing itself was decent, mostly soft with a few glory notes as expected. Randy approved of the "liberties" she took with it; Paula loved her vulnerability (i.e. that she didn't belt the whole song). Simon said it was her best so far, a good song choice & that she "sold it well." He said she chose "the song Brooke should have done." (While David H is thinking it's the song he should have done....)

Chikieze - "I've Just Seen a Face"
His mmm was the 1st round in Hollywood because it was the first time he got positive comments from all 3 judges. He said he was inspired by everyone else's playing of instruments so he wanted to "pick something up" and learn it! So we get a little harmonica playing. We also get another mid-song change of style, this time from straight ballad to country/bluegrass. It was a decent performance; I respect his talent though I don't always enjoy what he does. Randy just liked the fast (latter) part and Simon just liked the beginning. Paula loved it all. Simon said the harmonica was "atrocious" and that he was demonstrating too many different styles and that it was "gimmicky."

Ramiele - "I Should Have Known Better"
Her most memorable "moment" is all the friends she's made on the show. She specifically mentions "Mama Brooke" and says that David C is like a big brother in that he gives her pep talks (awww). Her performance is just meh. Randy liked her confidence; Paula said it was better than last week but it's not her best style; Simon likes her, but said the "track" was amateurish and that the mediocre song didn't show her strengths.

My personal bottom 3: Kristy, Ramiele, and Amanda.

My prediction for Bottom 3: Kristy, Syesha, and Michael, with Kristy leaving (please).

Saturday, March 15

David Hernandez Fan 'Tribute'

I'm not sure about the word Tribute because it makes it sound like he's dead ;-), but y'all know what I mean! Sigh. Once again my favorite contestant is ousted waaaaaay too soon, and I won't even get to see him on tour. I have yet to see any fan sites spring up, but I definitely want to keep tabs on the guy and want to share some media stuff with any other fans who may be looking.

First some interviews: Exit Interview with David, MSN Interview, and one from Unfortunately I think he comes off a bit desperate, but at least he has a positive attitude (one of his strengths throughout the competition)!

I'm not that surprised that "I Saw Her Standing There" was not at the top of his song choice list. I'm not sure how he would have done on "Let It Be," but if I'd never heard Brooke's version I probably would have loved David's.

Upcoming appearances: Ellen Degeneres show on Monday.

Media clips available for download: iTunes, of course; also Rickey has his Hollywood & Arizona Idol clips, as well as other Idol performances, photos, and such. Personally I've listened to the mp3 of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" at least a gazillion times already. :-)

I may edit this to add additional links (or photos) later. Thanks for visiting!

Aaaaand, here's the first edit! I found a few MySpace fan pages so I'll list those: "hernandez", with lots of performance vids and a Q&A in the blog; "David Hernandez Online",; "David Hernandez Fans", with photos from his Ellen appearance Monday; and "Ultimate fans of DH" which has the recent magazine blurbs in the blog and a nice message from David to fans (from Extra).

And looks like David's own site is back up and running! Yay!

Lastly check out the new tune! New to me, anyway. This is a song from another (unsigned) R&B singer in Arizona, but it features David (especially at the beginning). Enjoy!

Thursday, March 13

Top 12 Results (3/12/08)

Well, the good news is I won't have to spend any time voting next week....

Jim Carrey is in the audience, wearing an elephant costume. The contestants went to the premiere of Horton Hears a Who which just happens to be a Fox movie.

Next week's theme is announced to be more Lennon/McCartney songs, supposedly due to a large amount of email requests they received. Hmm... I can understand that they probably got emails asking them to expand the small list of songs (25) from which the contestants had to choose this week, but that didn't mean we wanted another week of those songs.

Fortunately we do get a cheesy group medley this week; yay! Not a lot of choreography and too much Michael Johns (and not even 1 solo for Brooke??), but still fun.

After the recap, Ryan asks 4 contestants to stand: Carly, Michael, Jason, and Syesha. Carly is first safe; Michael & Jason are also safe. Syesha is in this week's Bottom 3 and gets to sing her song again.

(Note: David H is sitting one place from the right end on the lower tier, and Ramiele is on the end. I'm guessing these will be the last 2 to hear whether or not they're in the Bottom 3.)

The first Ford commercial of the year is to "The Distance," with a political-style election theme. It's not very entertaining and there's not much singing as it's more of a spoken/rap-style song to begin with.

Footage from the movie premiere & red carpet experiences. Apparently Jim Carrey is a big fan & has watched the whole season. They also got to meet REO Speedwagon (or at least the lead singer, who's also shown saying he's an Idol fan).

The next 4 contestants stand: Chikieze, Amanda, Kristy, and David C. Ryan fakes Chikieze out by asking him to come down to the stage simply to rub his head again, observe that he's not sweating tonight, & tell him that he's safe. Amanda & David C are also safe. At which point Kristy asks, "Where's my microphone?" Hee! Ryan still wants to actually read the comments about her and officially tell her she's in the Bottom 3 first, but then he gets her a mic and she sings. At least she has a sense of humor about it: she looks at the judges and says, "Sorry you have to hear it again!"

They have a new segment (one of the things added to make all the results shows an hour long this year) in which they take some viewer phone calls asking contestants or judges questions. Pretty lame (if they limited it to just the contestants it would be a little better).

This week's guest "former Idol" performer is Katharine McPhee, who sings "Something" accompanied by David Foster on piano. I guess they're doing an album together. It was ok; nice, but didn't hold my attention. Kind-of like when she was on the show.

And finally we have the last group of 4. Ryan asks David A, Brooke, David H, and Ramiele to join him on stage. David A and Brooke are, of course, both safe. (David was announced first and after hugging him we could hear Brooke tell him softly, "now go sit back down." See, she still gets to be a nanny!) Which meant I was right, and it's between David and Rami, and... Rami is safe. Ryan then asks David how it feels "in this moment," like it's not obvious. David tries to give an optimistic answer, saying they still don't know who's leaving. Anyway, he sings, but is much more low-key about it than last night (understandably).

After one more commercial Syesha gets sent back to the couch, and then Kristy is safe, and then I get all verklempt as this is the THIRD year in a row that my favorite from the Top 24 doesn't make it to the tour (Top 10). Not to mention that he's the best looking guy and one of the 4 or 5 best singers IMO of these 12. He just didn't have a large enough 'niche' of voters, where almost everyone else does (Syesha's the only black diva/belter, Kristy's the only country singer, etc.).

Well, enough for now. I'll do a tribute post over the weekend with some links & stuff. I haven't really found any fansites yet & have no clue what the talk show rounds will be since he's first out from the Top 12, but IIRC from past years he's likely to be on Regis & Kelly Monday and Ellen sometime soon as well.

Tuesday, March 11

AI7 Top 12 (3/11/08)

Tonight's theme is the Beatles, or rather, 12 of the 25 Lennon/McCartney songs Idol coughed up the dough for. New intro graphics (how freakin' *weird* was that, after seeing the same thing every episode for 6 years?!), shiny new stage (with the band in the sky! woo-hoo!), and Ryan in a suit. What more could you want? Well, maybe some good performances. Be patient, they'll come eventually....

Contestants have nice long intro clips in which most (really, everyone except Kristy, who leaves it out altogether, and David H, who fudges his a bit, understandably) says what their job was before Idol and a bit more about themselves in general. And we get the screen stats listing age and home state, which, for some, is really not their home state, but I guess if you've lived in California for less than 5 years then wherever you lived before that counts as your "home" state? Evs. (I still miss Toby. Is that ok?)

Syesha (21, FL, actress/student): "Got to Get You Into my Life" Meh, a bit jazzy (Randy said it was like the EW&F version), well sung but boring. Judges agree, though Simon does say it was better than last week.

Chikieze (22, CA, used to work airport security): "She's a Woman" I don't know this one. Probably wouldn't have recognized it anyway; he started out all bluegrassy, sitting on the stage accompanied by just a fiddle, banjo, and tambourine. Then he went all rock with it and was aaaallllll over the stage and even channeling Taylor for a bit. The judges loved it. At least he finally showed some (positive, likeable) personality.

Ramiele (20, FL, sushi restaurant worker): "In My Life," which she said was for her "close friends (read, Danny & Asia'h, at least) who've left the show already." It was slow and pretty, good but not wow. Randy & Paula agreed; Randy & Simon both called it boring.

Jason (20, TX, student): "If I Fell" He sat on a stool & played guitar again, which was very appropriate. Great, great song choice, it fit him extremely well. A few of the high notes were weak but overall a very good performance. Randy didn't like how he changed the melody, but Paula did. Simon, again, was bored.

Carly (24, CA, bartender/waitress): "Come Together" Carly also gets to sing on Saturdays where she works and said they do an acoustic version of this song every week! So she'd better know the words, at least! It was quite rockin', and I was happy to see she seems to have decided to stick with the rock 'box' instead of going pop (I think she sounds soooo much better doing rock! It makes her almost interesting ;-) ). The judges loved it; Simon said she finally picked the right song.

David C
(25, MO, bartender): "Eleanor Rigby" The arrangement was definitely rock but David sang it fairly straight, which was wise. He sounded great! The song really showed his vocal range, too. The judges loved it, and Simon said that if this remains a "talent" competition (rather than popularity), that he could win!

Brooke (24, AZ, nanny): "Let It Be" When the song was announced I thought it would be cool if she played piano for it, and she did! Love, love, LOVE this!!! Definitely my favorite of the night. She was a little teary toward the end and moreso later when Ryan asked her to try to describe what this was like for her (the song! the stage! the piano, the band, the audience!). I'll admit I was close to joining her. The crowd & judges all loved it.

David H (24, AZ; said he's a student and got fired from his pizza server job, though everyone knows by now what job he really had until last Sept.): "I Saw Her Standing There" He mentioned that he'd taken a music class about the Beatles and learned a bit about this song, and that it's one of his favorites. Now, the Beatles don't exactly have music in his genre, but he tried. He started out on the platform by the judges, 'worked the crowd' a bit, but then seemed to be swallowed up by the large stage (which Simon noted with his "rabbit in headlights" comment again). It was good, but not great. Had some glory notes to show off his voice but Randy & Paula called it overdone. Simon said "No, no, no! It was corny verging on desperate." I wouldn't go that far, but it definitely wasn't his best. I voted like a good little fangirl. ;-)

Amanda (23, IN, nurse/medical sales): "You Can't Do That" Amanda says she didn't know this song previously and neither did I, but it was a great choice for her. She sounded pretty good, and it was possibly her best peformance yet! Randy & Paula loved it, but Simon was meh.

Michael (29, "GA" though he's lived in CA for 4 years; lots of odd jobs & coaches tennis "on the side"): "Across the Universe" He said the song brought him through some difficult family times. He sang it pretty straight (wise choice) and sounded very, very good! *This* is the Michael Johns who wowed the judges & viewers in Hollywood. He needs to lay off the bouncy, shouty rock stuff and just sing. Definitely his best yet, and he needed that at this point because he's been fading. The crowd loved it, as did Paula. Randy & Simon were meh (Randy said it was "sleepy"); I guess they prefer him in his rock 'box' but we already have a rocker, and it's David, not Michael.

Kristy (24, OR, just talked - again - about being a country girl and how the big city was so different & overwhelming... ok, Carrie wannabe, we get it): "Eight Days a Week" Country fried, and fried it was. I think it could've worked as a country song but the arrangement had the drum on the offbeats so the whole thing sounded rushed, & just off. Also her best vocals were covered up by the band/background singers (several had this problem tonight but it was the worst w/her). Randy liked some of it but not all of it; Paula & Simon pretty much hated the whole thing (Simon called it "horrendous" and said the song didn't work as a country song). Ryan then pointed out that it was Simon who suggested she 'go country.' Heh.

David A (17, UT, student) gets the final/pimp spot (not surprising) and sings "We Can Work It Out." He says in his video that he was nervous because (while he likes older style, 60's songs) he wasn't very familiar with Lennon & McCartney's work, but he did know Stevie Wonder's version of this song. Well, let's just say he was very undeserving of the pimp spot! He flubbed the words at least 3 separate times, and moved around the stage but just seemed out of place. The style/arrangement didn't really suit him. Randy said it felt "forced" and Simon said to be honest like he was for everyone else, it was "a mess."

My bottom 3: David A, Syesha, and Kristy.

My prediction for bottom 3: Kristy, Amanda, and David H, with Kristy leaving.

Thursday, March 6

AI7 Top 16 Results / Top 12 Announced (3/6/08)

The only good thing about there not being a group number tonight was that our VCR broke and I wasn't able to tape the show, so now I don't have to be disappointed that I can't rewatch it to catch whatever I missed the first time! Or something. I will say, that if I had to pick an episode I couldn't tape, this would be a good choice.

Instead of a fun 80's group number, we get Blake Lewis performing a pretty good current yet 80's-ish song("How Many Words"). Didn't like the beatbox/club-dancy stuff, but overall I liked it better than I expected. A long-haired Chris Sligh was apparently playing in his band (ok, that I would've rewatched because I totally wasn't paying attention to the band the 1st time!).

After recapping the guys' performances, Ryan jumps right in. There are 12 silver chairs and one by one he is letting contestants know their fate. We'll notice a pattern after the first few...

David Cook is first, and he's in! Ryan says he talked to Lionel Richie on the phone earlier and Lionel loved David's cover. Nice for David to hear!

David Archuletta
is also in (surprise, surprise).

As is Jason Castro.

Now to girls... Brooke is in (yay).

Syesha is in (surprise, surprise).

and... Kady is OUT. (s,s) 'Journey' video, sing-out. She expected it.

Ok, back to guys. And instead of making me wait til the very end, they are going to tell me David Hernandez' fate right. now. I'm not ready. I can't look. Seriously... I've been trying not to obsess or get my hopes up, but I've listened to the mp3 of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" about 6 times since Tuesday night, and it's soooo one of my top Idol songs ever right now. So... I brace myself, and... he's IN!?! He was outed as a male stripper and stuck in the middle of the performance group with a Simon kiss-of-death "You've sealed a spot" so as to make people think he's safe & not vote... and he's still IN?!? EEEEeeEEeE!!!!!111!!! Ok. Deep breath. I really don't love him *that* much, it's just that I haven't had a semifinal favorite actually make it to the finals in at least 3 years, so I forget how it feels. And I really, really love his voice. Whew!

Michael - is obviously in.

Luke, however, is out (s,s). Video, singout.

Ramiele - in.

Carly - in/ss.

Amanda - in!

which leaves Kristy and Asia'h. This literally could go either way. So... Kristy is in, Asia'h is out! I'm a bit surprised, but not terribly disappointed. Kristy seems to be the only country gal and Idol fans love their blond country singers, while Asia'h was one not-Whitney too many, I guess.

Ok, down to the last 2 guys - Danny (no!) and Chikieze. This, too, could go either way. But Chikieze got the pimp spot and has little competition for his genre, while Danny has more attitude than genre, and is polarizing. Later that can be helpful, but right now it may prove fatal. And it is - Chikieze, in; Danny, out. Boo! He takes it fairly well though; I think he was kind-of cried out over Asia'h and was able to perform quite well for his own singout. I will definitely miss him, but he hadn't really chosen songs to highlight his voice. And from my perspective, the qualities that I like in his voice are similar to why I like David H, and he has chosen music to show it off more (& music I enjoy listening to), so if I'd had to pick, I guess I'd pick David. (And I voted more for him, so I guess I did pick, to some extent.) I'm still somewhat surprised though.

Looking over the list, for what started out to be [Randy]"The year of the young one"[/R], we now have only one teenager in the Top 12! 10 of them are between 20 and 25; Michael is the old man at 29.

Recap dance intros for our new Top 12! Next week: bigger stage, Lennon/McCartney songs, and the possibility that no boys will have to go home! Yay!

Wednesday, March 5

AI7 Semifinals - Top 8 Women (3/5/08)

The girls surprised me tonight! Besides the obligatory Whitney & Celine, they tackled Phil Collins, Journey, and Queen! (though Queen won that battle) And my favorite was a huge surprise...

Asia'h - "I Want to Dance with Somebody" I don't think anyone was surprised she picked Whitney. Randy & Paula loved it, but I agreed w/Simon (!) that she didn't measure up.

- "Who Wants to Live Forever?" When Ryan announced that Kady & Amanda were coming up with Queen & Joan Jett songs, I cringed, figuring either one would massacre Queen. Kady certainly met my expectations. Paula, however, said this was her best performance so far. Simon said she has no personality (while performing; in contrast to her videos) and is somewhat robotic (but, but... I thought he *liked* Carrie & Ruben? heh.)

Amanda - "I Hate Myself for Loving You" Finally she shows us why she's here! This was a good fit, and she sang it well. The crowd & judges all loved it. My 3rd fave of the night.

Carly - "I Drove All Night" Another good choice! Wow, when she does rock(ish) I really kind-of like her; let's hope she sticks with it. Randy & Paula loved it, but Simon, familiar only with Celine's version (broken record, much?) did not.

Kristy- "Faithfully" Wow!! *LOVE* this! I love the song, but liked her country/pop take on it and the glory notes and I just thought she sounded really, really good! Randy & Paula agreed & said it could be a hit country single. Simon didn't like it & said she and the performance were forgettable.

Ramiele - "Against All Odds" Aww, when the guys didn't do this last night, some of us hopefully assumed it had been sent to the 'Overdone on Idol' pasture, never suspecting a girl would bring it out. Oh, well, there's always next year. Rami did *not* do this song justice. Weird arrangement, and she flubbed the lyrics! ("to wait for you is against all odds"?!) Paula liked it; Randy said she overthought it; Simon said it was predictable & not up to par for her.

Brooke - "Love is a Battlefield" Another shocker, and even more shocking is that it was such a good fit for her voice! She did it acoustic style, sitting on the front of the stage accompanied by a guitarist. Very, very good! All the judges liked it, though Paula wished she had added more of the band after the beginning.

Syesha - "Saving All My Love for You" Syesha doing Whitney? Who would've guessed?! ;-) It was good, but still... waaaay overdone song. The judges liked it.

So... Kristy was my favorite, followed by Brooke and Amanda. Strange! I think Kady is a lock for the boot, but the 2nd is up in the air between several (kind-of like the guys). Here's hoping for a funtastic 80's medley (with choreography!!) tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 4

AI7 Semifinals - Top 8 Men (3/4/08)

The theme is 80's music, and the videos are contestants' Most Embarrassing Moments (most aren't that entertaining so I'll skip them unless anyone asks...).

Luke - "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" Well, the rumors/spoilers said "Father Figure," which would have been a better choice; instead he wanted to do another upbeat, "fun" song. I think he put the nail in his coffin, so to speak. It was ok but not great. Paula loved but Randy was meh & Simon hated it.

David A
- "Just Another Day in Paradise" He started on piano & rearranged it quite a bit (slower, for one thing). It was very good, showed off his vocals & highlighted the lyrics. Randy & Simon both said he'd done better; Simon said he was getting too "gloomy" w/his song choices.

Danny - "Tainted Love" A bit fast, and the arrangement was a bit strange; I prefer the original. It was still pretty good, there were a few really good notes, and definitely showed his attitude/personality. Randy said the vocals could be stronger but R & P both liked it; predictably, Simon hated it.

David H - "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" I must say that I didn't expect a guy to tackle Celine!! Good for him; he pulled it off, too! The judges mostly loved it, though Simon said he prefers when he sings more R&B stuff. Then Simon said he thought he'd definitely be safe this week and advance. Nooooooo!! Simon wants him gone; make people think he's safe, & they won't vote!! (Didn't work on *me* of course; I got about 140 in for him!)

Michael- "Don't You Forget About Me" He started low in the verse and this was a good choice for him; he actually sounded really good! Until he went into the higher parts & got more shouty & "rock" style. Randy either forgot which band sang this (Simple Minds) or forgot which band Michael Hutchence was in (INXS), because he basically said it was cool that Michael went "home" (Australia) for his choice & that he even reminds him a bit of M.H. Um, ok. Paula loved it; Simon liked it but prefers his soul side more than the rock.

David C
- "Hello" Wow. Yes, the Lionel Richie song!!!! Played his electric guitar & everything! I love this guy, he has the best sense of humor! Good voice too; he really sang most of it straight & just rock-style shouted a bit in the middle. Definitely his best performance so far (true of several tonight). Judges loved.

Jason - "Hallelujah" Another great and greatly appropriate song choice! Jason did a great job on this (other than losing the last, soft note for a while, but he got it back)! Randy & Paula both mentioned the difficulty of singing this; all the judges loved it. He should be a lock for the Top 12 (at least).

And surprisingly Chikieze gets the pimp spot! He sings "All the Woman I Need" (again) and is very good, but uninteresting. I did kind-of like his Most Emb. Moment though - at his new high school he kept using this bathroom that no one else was in, and finally realized it was the girls' room! Heh. R & P liked it but Simon called it cabaret (after making Chikieze admit that Whitney was one of several people who covered it, like that made a difference as to how well he sang it?!).

Luke's definitely a goner but I'm not sure who's 2nd. Could be Chikieze, Danny (hope not), or maybe David H (really hope not!). I voted for David H, David C, & Danny.