I am getting sadder and sadder with this show. And, while me saying that seems to prompt many out there to cry out: “Why the hell do you still watch it?”, well, honestly, because I’m hoping against hope that something might change. Maybe I’m waiting for enough of the still-there crap singers (Shannon and DeAndre) to go, or maybe I’m waiting for the sponsors to threaten to pull advertisement unless British perv and autonomous train wreck Nigel Lythgoe is fired as Executive Producer. Either way, I’ve put in way too many seasons into this show to quit now so you’re gonna have to keep dealing with my rants.

Today’s show was at least a touch spicier with the dramatic expulsion of one of the (worst) singers, Jermaine Jones, for a very checkered, criminal past- but even that was ruined by the show itself as it manages to ruin every aspect of reality left in this thing we call American Idol. Regarding the rest of the kids, well it was god-awful Birthday Week as they sang tunes from the year of their birth (puke) and man oh man did most of them screw that assignment up. I’m not sure if Idol isn’t shelling out enough dough to get real options for these contestants or what, but more that half of tonight was unrecognizable. That said, there were a few goodies, as some of the real talent on this show still manages to shine in this mire of blech. Out of protest for the new discovery from last week that the JUDGES control who goes ultimately every week (why does American even vote!?), I’m not referring to the idiot panel of 3′s opinions this week and who the hell cares what Will-I-Am thinks? Here goes!

Phillip Phillips – “Hard To Handle”

So, we all saw Phil rotating those hips of a little all sexy-like right? It’s a thing he does for me, like Carol Burnette and that winking thing for her mom at the end of the show. God, Phil Phils and I adorable. Having already shown my bias, it’s probably not a huge surprise I’m gonna I loved his performance tonight haha. To be fair, he did do a quite good job AND played through real pain: SURGERY A WEEK AGO! His typically Dave Matthews sound (thanks Adam for that!) was well-tuned to a folksie rock country thing as he- like Jessica Sanchez- owned the fast runs during the song and hit every word and note without losing a beat. On top of that, his eyes just grab you in during all his lovin’ talk and I’m sure will put him in a very safe position this week. (I’m resisting a “yeah, as the bottom” joke here… well, I guess I’m not anymore ;)

Jessica Sanchez – “Turn The Beat Around”

Ohhhh Disco…. really? Not what I would ever choose for any singer ever. Interestingly I’ve seen more than a couple drag queen wear that exact outfit, thankfully her’s is a size 2… the “girls” I saw had to try Sears to find theirs. While I’ve given up caring too much about a Disco song, Jessica however DOES kill at the extremely face-paced lyrics of the song- despite the judges booing her for this I stand by it- and impresses me despite the song choice. She owns the stage and very much commands our attention as she looks right into our eyes and demands us to look at listen to her and only her. I loved that aspect of this and think if she makes that her thing she has a huge chance to keep those votes coming in.

Heejun Han – “Right Here Waiting”

Okay, right off note one: who is singing today? I get singing different styles, but completely changing your approach from the clear and present accent and young sound to mimicking the original in both language and age? That’s a bit suspect for my taste: didnt’ it equate to the mentors literally telling him: “You sound too Asian?” He looked a ridiculous “holding back tears” as he blasted this exact version of the original and didn’t impress me at all. I’m not sure if this is the “new Heejun”, but this new sound was forced and unnatural even with him pronouncing the “ce” in “chance” and completely removed him from his previous sound which is what people voted for and the judges praised, isn’t it? Regardless of intentions, it didn’t play as unique in the least and I was super bored with it all.

Elise Testone – “Let’s Stay Together”

The little video duo between her and Barack was cute to start and was either sweet of the producers to paint her patriotically or insanely brilliant of evil Nigel Lythgoe as he associates her with what most southerners and racists (COUGH a huge portion of the voters) would paint as a “muslim socialist in disguise”… Hmmmmm bit of both? That said, her singing stood for itself. I heard Adele meets Amy Winehouse fo sho in this one and loved it. As always, her androgynous sound in the scratchy parts completely gets me going and she very much looks the part of beautiful songstress tonight as well (thankfully, as so many other outfits this evening blew chunks). Elise is a power voice in this thing and needs to continue to show emotion and connect with that damn voting audience to stay in to make it to the end where she deserves to be.

DeAndre Brackensick – “Endless Love”

HATE what he’s wearing. Holy crap, an ivory two-piece with a full sweater and button up underneath under THOSE lights? I can’t imagine how much sweat proof cover up must have been caked on under that mop hairdo of his. Regarding the singing (oh god, I just saw his bright white shoes… i’m dying), well, boring is a good place to start. WTF (that’s WHO The Fuck by the way) is allowing you to constantly go to the falsetto screeching in every god damn performance. Admittedly you held off until the final words to crack my LCD screen, and yet it still kills everything before it. Thankfully, the “everything before it” was pretty crappy and uneventful so it was more of a mercy killing if you ask me. This kid is no-talent compared to the real voices of this show but I have NO doubt his throngs of oblivious fans will keep him in this week.

Shannon Magrane – “One Sweet Day”

Okay, she had BETTER go. Once again, Shannon sings out of her registry, out of her ability and to quite a played, Mariah song. Her low notes are completely whispered and rambled through (take a note from Phil and Jessica, girl!) and her high notes are not on the mark. This is a case of too young and too soon. In 3 years, with a real vocal coach, she’d still be young and have an actual chance at this thing. As it is, she’s picking songs that don’t match who she is and reaching for notes just not in her ability. This is something Hollie could have killed (though she’d be too smart to pick it), while Shannon comes out looking scared and desperate. I am just glad it wasn’t good as I so want her gone and I’m hoping this performance will help her along her way… out the door.

Colton Dixon – “Broken Heart”

Well, he’s still doing the faux-punk thing so I guess I need to accept the great wall of Colton’s hair is a permanent fixture… sigh. Re: the singing… meh. I have no idea what this song is and doubt anyone in the crowd did either save for the judges and a few creepily old spectators: and he’s the one who said it’s important to go with popular… hilarious. I know it’s songs from our birth year, but there WERE some memorable 90s songs, Colton. Let’s aim for that next time. He’s mostly about the performance so moving around a lot is a good choice for C typically, but today he was a bit lack-luster and seemed not into it. I’m super unimpressed with this one.

Erika van Pelt – “Heaven”

First off, Erika, while you may have the voice abilities of Kelly Clarkson, you do NOT have her hips so please don’t wear her loose-fitting “dresses”: J-Lo has no idea what she’s talking about wearing tangerine herself. Second, while not going down in history as my fave performance by you, great sound as always. She could have blasted this one a lot more “in her own style” in my humble opinion but stuck a bit too safely instead to the original. Like Elise, Erika has the raspy thing going so “A” on that, but a little too much grasping of the chest as you push each note as hard as you can. Sometimes restraint on some notes works well and might have balanced this song a bit, but what the hell do I know ;)

Jermaine Jones – “Somewhere Out There”

First off: WOW. A definite first for Idol to have such a scandal so hugely splattered on the pages of every online mag. Second: boooooo for hamming this up Nigel. Announcements today from Nigel Lythgoe as all this was exposed was that Jermaine would be interviewed about this during the episode but, as we can tell from outfit consistency, this “interview” was from Tuesday when he sang his final rehearsal for this week. That said, the “interview” was too propped, faked and rigid that it felt more like a puppet re-enactment than the “real moment” they posited it to be. “Oh Jermaine, we just now found something out”… no, you found it out hours before that, already yelled at him with your lawyers and came to an agreement to do some faux “chat” about it for the audience afterwards. I’ve already written about Jermaine’s criminal past today so I won’t focus on that, instead I’ll focus on how over-produced even the moments of spontaneity and interest are on this program as evil exec Lythgoe (once again??!!!) puts himself on screen, centre stage and tries to control every molecule of this “reality” TV show. Oh, and his song was fine. If it was his best performance (as quoted by some random guy sitting next to Lythgoe), then that’s only because his songs have been lame up until now.

Skylar Laine – “Love Sneaking Up On You”

Wishing a bit that Skylar might have taken this odd theme week to try something outside of country, I know it’s her thing and she does do it well so I’ll take it as is. Another song I really don’t know, she still does her little Skylar thing, traditional of young country gals as she moves from player to player on the stage and leans up all thankful and cute against them… it’s cute but a bit done. Her singing though is great and notes are on the mark. I don’t think this is gonna go down as one of her greatest however as she doesn’t really blow us away with originality, but the southern vote should be enough to get her to next week where I hope she man’s up a bit cause she is one of my stars.

Joshua Ledet – “When A Man Loves A Woman”

So wow, was there ever a reaction for Joshua tonight. I hated the eye make up and tone slips during the longer notes but this iconic song choice did great things for this boy tonight. He slayed the crowd and particularly the judges with this and I’ll definitely give him props for a memorable performance. It wasn’t quite how I see him or have seen him in the past (church boys don’t often sing about man/woman sex n’ love) so maybe that’s what’s throwing me. That being said, I’ve not liked his past crap so this is a good step in a new direction! And, while it’s a bit bitchy to point out, it has to be done: did anyone notice that once he took his jacket off during the song the cameras no longer did close up full views of his body? Apparently, he’s ready for shirt only, but just the torso up… maybe they should be switching all that free Coke they’re getting to Diet?

Hollie Cavanagh – “The Power Of Love”

I’ll say definitely a good song choice for this girl. While the maturity of it is a bit much for such a sweet and young looking girl, the power needed to do it justice is only masterable by one or two girls in this season and Hollie is definitely one of them. We all know she’s not my favourite of the lot BUT she has a tremendous power in those lungs and if she can keep it up with challenging songs like this she definitely has a chance to win on talent alone. Honestly, I felt the showmanship and effort for her performance by the producers was a bit more than other contestants with her cool ground lighting and complicated camera spins and twists so I’m thinking they’re pimpin’ her a bit, but hey, I wasn’t bored at all during this one so I’ll take it!

Save the best for first and last is for sure tonight. Further, I hate the ambiguity of Ryan on how voting will go this week: is it boys vs. girls? one or two going home? who makes the final decisions, the voters or the judges? Ugh. While Lythgoe makes everything up in his likely syphilitic mind last second, we wait to see what happens tomorrow and I just pray it’s someone who should go home who does.

Adam’s Loser Picks for Thursday:
Girl: Shannon Magrane (PLEASE let it be so this time)
Boy: Heejun Han (DAMN did Randy through him under the bus as the “Worst Pick” of the night)

Idol, get it together and give us a REAL theme next week, BETTER mentoring and actually RECOGNIZABLE songs. I’m mad at you and I am a total dick when I’m angry (just ask Donovan or Patrick!), so get it together.

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