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No surprise here. The men disappointed just like they did last week. There isn’t one guy in the lot I can see taking the Season 12 title. Are these really the best from this year’s crop? I think Nigel Lythgoe and company are trying their hardest to ensure a girl wins American Idol this year. Chances are good considering there isn’t one WGWG (white guy with guitar) in sight.

On a similar note, do you get the feeling the the show is also trying their best to dispel discrimination claims. Earlier this year, nine African-American Idol contestants including Corey Clark (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (Season 2), Donnie Williams (Season 3), Terrell Brittenum (Season 5), Derrell Brittenum (Season 5), Thomas Daniels (Season 6), Akron Watson (Season 6), Ju’Not Joyner (Season 8) and Chris Golightly (Season 9) accused the show of racism and stated the show exploited its black male contestants.

Last year, the show also received criticism that there was only one visible minority (Jessica Sanchez) in the Top 12 women. Clearly, that’s not an issue this year. Seven out of the Top 10 girls are women of color. Same goes for the men’s side as well. In fact, if you look at all the four shows during the Sudden Death rounds, all the pimp spots were occupied by African American contestants. It could be purely a coincidence, but as we all know… Nigel’s moves are always calculated and well thought out. Enough of all the WGWG and race conspiracy theories, let’s get on with the performances. Be sure to drink a Red Bull or two before watching a couple of them. Total snoozefests.

watch all the performances after the jump

Tonight’s episode is why I have a love-hate relationship with American Idol. If the girls are supposed to be far superior to the boys this year, why only dedicate an hour to show the “best Hollywood solo performances” ever? Correction. Nigel only gave them 3/4 of the show and allotted some time for the boys’ Top 20 eliminations and sing-off.

Speaking of sing-off, why are the judges putting two poor girls and guys up against each other to determine the last spot for each gender? I’m sure this could’ve been achieved without torturing the contestants one last time. Sometimes the show can be so cruel. I digress.

What Nigel did show was pretty effin’ amazing. Based on what they showed tonight, it’s clear that production has favorites and trying to pimp them hardcore. Not that I mind, because for the most part, I’m loving the girls they’re showing, especially Angela Miller. All I have to say is “WOW“. Check her performance below along with the others, including the aforementioned sing-offs.

check out the performances after the jump

American Idol 12: Chicago’s Best Auditions

In: Donovan, TV Shows

After taking a bite out of the Big Apple, the American Idol entourage headed off to the Windy City. Will lightning strike twice and will production discover another Jennifer Hudson in Chicago? Perhaps not, but the audition stop gave Nigel Lythgoe a contestant with one of the most touching backstories in Idol history. No lie, but tears came out of this cold heart.

When Seacrest kept hyping Lazaro Arbos as a watercooler performance, I had my doubts. Was this just a case of overpromising and under-delivering? His claims sounded a lot like Chris Harrison’s “most dramatic rose ceremony” empty promises. To my surprise, Seacrest was bang on, Arbos’ audition made me revel at his miraculous voice and gave me my first tears of the season. Yup, I’m a sucker for a touching sob story and this one delivers. You simply have to watch it below.

Before we get to the auditions, I have to quickly comment on Keith Urban’s judging style. Given all the distractions (clowns to the left, and jokers to the right), the Aussie country singer has a knack for delivering concise, intelligent and constructive critics. I think Urban might emerge as the true winner of the season after all is said and done.

Speaking of distractions, was it me or did Nicki’s eyes seemed a little glazed over? Just sayin’. While Minaj and Carey continued to escalate their beef, there actually was a touching moment between them tonight. Nicki gave Mariah a genuine compliment, saying meeting her for the first time was monumental. Hopefully, by the live rounds these two have a détente. I already get my fill of screaming ladies during my Real Housewives fix. Enough about that… let’s get to Chicago’s most memorable auditions, especially the closing one by Lazaro Arbos.

check out the auditions after the jump

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