Tuesday, March 3

AI8 Group 3 (3/3/09)

Our last group of 12... and turns out there's no one I won't care if I never see them again. No need to spend any time voting tonight, which is kind-of nice! I'm sure I won't feel that way again for a couple of months... ;-)

Von Smith (22, MO) "You're All I Need to Get By" - Well, this is certainly the 'pimped but will disappoint' spot this year! (See: Jackie, Jasmine) I love that he reigned himself back, but it wasn't a great song choice and at this point he *should* be showing what he's got vocally! Randy loved it & said it was better than his HW stuff & a better start than the past 2 weeks (which isn't saying much!). Paula called him a seasoned showman; Simon said that he reminds him of Clay in that he has poor style but sang & performed very well.

Taylor Vaifanua (17, UT) "If I Ain't Got You" - Good, though weak in the lowest & highest parts. Kara wants to see more of her personality; Paula wished she'd have done something we/they haven't heard her do before. Simon said she's generic, bland, & seems older than she is; Randy thought she was boring.

Alex Wagner-Trugman (19, CA) "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" - Interesting choice! He said he's been in a long-distance relationship for a while and though others could relate. He also said he'd been reading online comments about his being "dorky" and as a result was going to the gym! Still has the great, dry sense of humor. However... way overdid the song, was too growly and OTT. But he was cute & had fun w/it, anyway. Simon said it was fun to watch but not to listen; most of the judges disliked the growl. Randy said it definitely didn't show his vocal ability; Kara said that at least "you're you!" and that "you can't pay for that choreography!" (hee!) Bye bye Alex, it's been fun and perhaps you can pursue the comedy somehow!

Arianna Afsar (17, CA) "The Winner Takes It All" - Ryan said this is the 1st ABBA song ever done on Idol. It was pretty good; she embellished too much on the verse but the belty chorus fit her well. Simon though it was awful: too old of a song; Randy said it was the wrong song & she should've stuck w/the melody. Kara said it was too dark & serious, she missed the cute Arianna from the auditions. (Arianna said she appreciated that in HW the judges commented only on her music & not on her looks, so she was probably trying to avoid the "cute"!)

Ju'not Joyner (26, MD) "Hey There, Delilah" - Ah, the guy w/the cute kid. Who will suffer for lack of screentime, but sobeit. Did a slowed down rendition of this - nice, but doesn't really show off his vocal strength. Randy said it was a smart choice & liked what he did w/it; Kara liked it but wants him to "bust out" next time. Paula said that though she criticized Taylor for repeating her HW song, he changed his up so she likedit; Simon said it was a bit safe, but good. He also mentioned that the CA smoke was bothering his asthma & he'd had to get a cortisone shot!

Kristen McNamara (23, CA) "Give Me One Reason" - Hmm, another interesting choice. It was decent, but I really think she should've done rock, her voice is better for that. Granted both girls already in Top 12 are rock-ish, so I can see the hesitation to go there. But this certainly isn't getting her in. Kara wanted her to go more rock/pop as well, and of course criticized her outfit (for some reason her 'box' is 'girl w/horrid fashion sense'!). Paula said it was a good vocal but safe; Randy & Simon are still confused about who she is artistically & said it was a bad song choice. Kristen said that she does want to do Kelly Clarkson/Leona Lewis - type songs.

Nathaniel Marshall (19, NY) "I Would Do Anything for Love" - Cool choice! He certainly isn't predictable song-wise, at. all. And when I listened with my eyes closed [tm Simon] it was really good! Too bad he's so insistent on having this particular look, because he really can sing. And has decent stage presence and confidence (which, honestly, is somewhat rare for someone like him at such a young age, but I've heard he does have some experience in 'the biz'). You could tell he was having fun too. Simon was funny after he was done... the last line of course being, "...but I won't do that," saying "I bet you would!" Nathaniel laughed. ;-) Simon admitted he's a fun guy but said it verged on excruciating because of his look. Kara said he has a good voice but should be more serious; Paula somewhat agreed, saying she appreciated his relevance in HW (playing "Disturbia" on guitar) and that this was a "Boy George version" of Meat Loaf.

Felicia Barton (26, VA) "No One" - Great voice, but she missed the high note and at times her voice has a really weird tone to it... ? Overall the judges liked it, and Kara gave her the compliment of saying "I *noticed* you."

Scott MacIntyre (23, AZ) "Mandolin Rain" - Ok Corrie, how many times have you rewatched this so far? ;-) It was nice... I actually think his voice sounds a lot like David Archuleta on this! But I still don't think he's good enough that he would've made it this far if he were a 'normal,' sighted guy. The crowd loved him. Randy said there were a few rough spots but he hit the notes he needed to. Randy & Kara both commented that he shows passion when he performs. Simon said he's growing on him; he's somewhat relevant and is memorable and thinks he'll definitely go through. At the end Scott showed his sense of humor and awareness by asking Ryan to high-five him!! (Like Ryan tried to do after Scott's initial audition, and Scott obviously couldn't see what Ryan was trying to do....)

Kendall Beard (24, TX) "This One's for the Girls" - Well, she's a pretty generic blond country girl, but we don't have one yet so that could get her through! Kara said there were vocal issues (yes), but she has a big personality which comes through on stage (she obviously meant that as a compliment). Simon said it was shrilly toward the end.

Jorge Nunez (21, PR) "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" - They showed a cute clip from HW group rounds w/him dancing. This song was good - nothing amazing, but probably the best male vocal tonight (man, why couldn't Anoop &/or Ricky have been in this group instead?!) Paula gave him a standing o. and said she could tell he'd worked very hard on his accent. Randy said it wasn't perfect but it was really, really good; Kara liked his sincerity (and then he started tearing up).

Lil Rounds (24, TN) "Be Without You" - I don't think anyone was surprised that she got the pimp spot tonight. There was a nice clip of her HW group (w/Michael Castro). This was very good - yes, finalist good, but having said that I still don't really care about her (maybe if she'd done a song I was more familiar with and liked?). I did enjoy seeing Nate jam along w/her from the balcony, though! The crowd & judges loved her, of course. Several judges said she's one of the best singers this season (well, they didn't put a lot of awesome girls through). Simon said it was brilliant though she did sound too much like the original; Kara praised her consistency throughout the competition.

My predictions: Definitely Lil. I'll pick Jorge and Kendall for the other spots, though Scott or Felicia could get in as well. Actually selfishly I'd prefer it if Scott did because that makes Anoop almost a lock for the last guy spot (assuming there are only 6) if the other 5 are all white! ;-)

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