Tuesday, February 17

AI8 - Semifinals, Group 1 (2/17/09)

Woo-hoo, 1st live show! And there's a bit of a 'theme' - Billboard Top 100 hits. Also all performances will be available on iTunes - they have high expectations, apparently!

Jackie Tohn (28, NY): "A Little Less Conversation" - Just ok overall; the tight black pants didn't help. Randy said she's a good entertainer; the judges agreed it wasn't her best vocal, and Simon didn't like it at all. Ryan had her parents in the Red Room (as he did w/most contestants) so she returned there to join him to give the voting phone number.

Ricky Braddy (26, NC): "A Song for You" - We get some background, finally! He attended music school but wasn't pursuing a career until recently. They played a short clip of one of his solos in HW, an Alicia Keys song. His performance tonight is very good! Too bad his voice isn't "unique" and that we haven't seen him before tonight - I think he could have been very popular but there are people the audience already likes singing the same type of music. I threw him a few votes though I think he's cannon fodder. He was definitely the most fun balcony dancer of the night! (I love watching them during each others' performances!) The judges liked him; Paula acknowledged his lack of screen time & Simon said he has the voice but not enough confidence/star quality. (Anoop is also from NC so they'll be splitting home state votes, one thing that might've given him an edge.)

Alexis Grace (21, TN): "Never Loved a Man" - decent, and very cute in her little black dress & pink-splashed blonde hair. Randy loved her; Simon said the best so far tonight & that she has soul plus confidence.

Brent Keith (29, OH): "Hick Town" - Apparently Brent has dropped his last name (Smith). Talks about how he & his wife have been living paycheck-to-paycheck (yeah, join the rest of the country). Performance is good, not great. Kara & Paula say it was too safe; Simon dubs it forgettable. His wife meets him in the Red Room w/Ryan.

Stevie Wright (17, CA): "You Belong With Me" (Taylor Swift) - Just. no. She wanted to show her young, fun self, but it was pretty terrible. To go from the soulful "At Last" in her 1st audition where she wowed a lot of us to this... all the judges said it was a bad song choice. At least she can hope for a Wildcard spot.

Anoop Desai (22, NC): "Angel of Mine" - We get a small clip of "My Prerogative" from HW and he says he picked it because it's a fun song; he explains that he wants to perform songs that he's always wanted to see done on Idol as he's watched over the years! (Cool perspective!) & He also wants to bring energy to the stage. Tonight's performance is good; I love him so I enjoy it, but it's not the best vocal I've heard him do. Randy says he was a bit sharp & good but not his best; Paula notes that thankfully "America has connected with you already." Simon said the song was too "grown up" (Anoop points out it's from the late 90's) & serious for him, but that he's likeable. I definitely gave him some votes.

Casey Carlson (20, MN): "Every Little Thing [He] Does is Magic" - I didn't think she should've been put through the very 1st time, and this performance totally confirms that opinion. Way out of her league, and the judges call her on it. Bad song choice all around; Kara said "everything about that was wrong." (hee!) Bye Casey!

Michael Sarver (27, TX): "I Don't Wanna Be" - Ah, what would an Idol show be without this song? ;-) It's ok, but I don't think it's a great fit for his voice. He seems to pick R&B-ish songs so if that's what he wants to sing, there are others better for the job. The judges are disappointed though Kara & Simon talk about his likeability. His wife & Mom are in the Red Room.

Ann Marie Boskovich (22, TN): "Natural Woman" - Well, she's not Kelly. But, she did surprisingly well! Actually turns out to be my favorite female performance of the night. She knows her limits & didn't go for the high notes, but was very strong w/what she did. Judges disagreed w/me though; Randy said it was a bad song choice, Kara wanted something younger/more fun, and Simon said her voice isn't good enough for that song. Mom & sis in Red Room. I tossed her a couple votes & think she has a decent chance of making it through (I know a good number of people impressed w/her earlier performances as well).

Stephen Fowler (26, OH?): "Rock with You" - Showed a tiny clip of his initial audition, then the HW disaster. Weird song choice - I can tell he has a good voice, but not the best song to show it (I was disappointed after hearing some buzz on the 'net about him). Randy said it was a bad choice & he was pitchy; Paula actually said that doing this song was "the kiss of death"! Simon said it was corny. His wife was at home so Ryan came down to the stage to give his numbers instead of having Stephen go up to the Red Room.

Tatiana Del Toro (23, PR): "Saving All My Love for You" - If you'd told me Tatiana would pull off a Whitney song, I wouldn't have believed you; but she did! She was all teary in her clip talking about how hard HW week was, being judged (by other contestants), etc. During her performance she mostly stood still & was very serious (despite the horrid orange & purple dress). It was very, very good! Kara said she doesn't know who she is as an artist & that she's a roller coaster ride; Paula said she's definitely the "most talked about" contestant, and that there were some pitchy moments but some beautiful moments. She had 2 (male) friends w/her in the Red Room & said that her HW behavior wasn't her norm (we can only hope!).

Danny Gokey (28, WI): "Hero" - Gee, I'm so surprised the producers gave him the pimp spot (not)! ;-) Says he's a church music director, and that he picked this song to hopefully inspire other people to rise above difficult circumstances (such as he has, though he doesn't specifically mention the dead wife nor do the producers, this time). It's very good, of course - how can you not love Elliot's voice in a Robert Downey, Jr., wannabe body? All the judges love him, though Simon is (of course) less enthusiastic than the others. Kara was very excited, Paula gave him a standing ovation, and Simon said he's a very good singer & that while it was good, it wasn't fantastic. Jamar is shown in the audience but Danny has no family there, so we finish up w/Ryan on the stage to give Danny's numbers before the recap of the night.

My predictions: Danny, Ann Marie, and Anoop will advance. Tatiana or Alexis could slide in for the girls and I wouldn't mind if Ricky got in for the guys, as I think the judges would bring Anoop back for the Wildcard.

Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

tractorbladderr said...

Jackie--I like her (but not those hossible pants). NOt her best performance singing-wise, but I do think she's good on the stage.

Ricky--just not really a fan. I thik he sounded pretty good, but I wans't really wowed


Alexis--One of my faves, I liked her a lot and hope she's the girl who goes through

Brent--eh. not a country fan, so didn't really like it

Stevie--not a fan. performanace wasn't impressive. Bye.

Anoop--one of my faves. Not his strongest performance, but I hope he sticks around (maybe the third from this group?)

Casey--she's cute and stuff, but not impressed. horrible song choice

Michael--one of my faves, but not a very strong performance. I would be a little sad if he went home, but that's probably the case.

Ann Marie--Kind of want to like her, but not there yet. Decent performance--but like Alexis better.

Stephen--Oh, Stephen. He's got a nice voice, but I agree with Paula's "kiss of death" statement. Bye.

Tatiana--a little pitchy, but better than I expected. I wonder if she's totally embarrassed about how she's come across thus far. Without the craziness, though, I wonder how far she'll get?

Danny--My #1 right now and has been since watching auditions. Not surprised he was the last one to sing, and while it wasn't his best, it was still pretty darn good.

My predictions/hopes: Danny, Alexis, and Anoop
Wildcard: Ann Marie? Alexis? Time will tell!

Beth