Thursday, March 1, 2012

'American Idol 11' - Top 24 results show recap

Will Jessica Sanchez make the Top 13?
Looks like we're on the fast track to this season's Top 12 or 13 or whatever. Rather than having several semi-final rounds where contestants are weeded out a little less frenetically, this season, it's happening all in one night. Maybe the old tried and true formula just wasn't dynamic enough anymore given the spinning chairs of the competition and all.

Anyway, from what I can glean from the Internet, tonight, the five guys and five girls with the highest vote count will get an automatic bye into the final group. Then, each judge will select his or her favorite to round out the Top 13. Sounds like a good way to ensure people like Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet who may not have appealed to the voting masses, but who are probably the best singers in the lot, will make it through. I like it.

I've read several different spoilers, and it they are true, the results will be somewhat disconcerting. You can be sure the Season 11 "White Guy With a Guitar," Phillip Phillips, will make it through!

How they are going to fill out two hours is a mystery to me, but I'll be watching so you don't have to!
The show opens with clips of the various contestants and their auditions. DeAndre shows off a cake, Hollie doesn't know how she got there, Hallie comments on going from being a waitress to someone everyone knows. Well, not everyone.  I can see how they're going to fill out the two hours.

So much drama!

Voiceover man welcomes the judges and Ryan. J'Lo is wearing a very short red sparkly number. Ryan, please give us the good word. The guys are sitting on the right side of the stage and the girls on the left. Ryan tells us over 33 million votes came in over the last two nights. We say hey to the guys and then the ladies. "The harsh reality is, half of those faces will be leaving our stage before the end of the evening." The audience boos.

Ryan fills us in on the way this is going down and we get the chance to see the ten stools of victory where the those who have been chosen by America's votes will sit once they are safe. Ryan stresses that this is America's Top 10. Not Canada's, not England's, America's. In other words, you voted and this is what you got.  I think it's important that I make this distinction just in case there's any confusion about just whose Top 10 it is.

After the break, we start with the guys. Ryan calls Chase, Phillip and Jeremy. Chase says it's beyond belief how nervous they all are. Jeremy says he feels his heart beating outside his chest. First, we're going to have to watch the performances and then Jimmy Iovine will give us his take as only he can. Now Jimmy doesn't pull any punches, so this should be interesting!

Jimmy does not like Jeremy.. He says Chase is a good looking guy, but there are plenty of them on TV right now., He says you have to be fresh and Chase is not. Jimmy would sign Phillip on the spot.

Ryan asks Randy if he agrees with Jimmy that it takes more than good looks. J'Lo thinks Jeremy has the whole package (heh, she said package).  Steven thinks Chase's voice came through - climbing out from the inside. "After the nationwide vote, Jeremy, you have not made the Top 10." Jeremy sits to await the judges decision. Chase is not in America's Top 10, but surprise, surprise, Phillip is. PP takes the first stool of victory.

Ryan calls down Hollie, Hallie, Jessica, and Brielle.This is going to take forever.

Jimmy thinks Hollie could have been a little more believable, but given the right material, she could be a factor.

He says Brielle has a lot of energy, but wonders why she picked "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay."  JAs for Hollie, Jimmy says this was her best show so far. "Lot of blondes on this show, not sure who America is going to vote for, though. It might not be her." And then there's Jessica. Jimmy says he would sign her on the spot tonight and calls her the winner. Seriously. That's what I said.

So what did America think?  Brielle still stands by her song choice. She says she'd tell Jimmy she's respectful and loves him. J'Lo says Hallie had a good performance, but doesn't think it was a standout.

Brielle is not in the Top 10. Phew. Two have made it. Hallie did not. And so two of my favorites, Hollie and Jessica are in it to win it. Yay!!! America, you got it right!

Back from the break. We see Phillip, Hollie and Jessica, America's Top 3, on the stools of victory. More results. Ryan brings down Joshua, Heejun, and Adam. He asks Adam about the intensity of all of it. He says his feelings keep neutralizing each other. "We all love each other so much. It's a blast."

Joshua, oh Joshua. Jimmy says he's the real deal. "He sang great on the show and there's no question he's going to get through." He doesn't want to turn it into 'Sister Act 3.'  As for Adam, Jimmy wonders about the large black woman and doesn't think he's pulling it off. And then we have Heejun. Dear, sweet Heejun. Jimmy is confused by Heejun. "This isn't American Comedian, it's American Idol," he says. Heh!

Heejun says "Who's that" when asked about Jimmy's comment about the comedian. Joshua says singing in church taught him to sing from his soul. Adam says he wishes he could pull back his comment about the large black woman. "After the nationwide vote," Ryan says and then whispers in Joshua's ear, "Joshua, you are in the top 10!!!"  And Heejun is also in America's Top 10. He bows.

Baylie, Chelsea, Skylar, and Shannon hit center stage. Skylar is up first. Jimmy thinks she did herself a great turn by picking this nice blend of country and rock. He says he would have voted for her. Then there is Baylie. Jimmy says she has all the pieces, but they didn't all come together.Of Chelsea, Jimmy says she has a really nice voice, but "Carrie Underwood karaoke isn't going to fly." I love Jimmy.  And finally Shannon. Jimmy likes Shannon, but thought she was dressed more for the prom than a live performance. "She needs help in the styling department." Seriously.

Shannon is crying. She says she's gone through so much and doesn't want it to end. J'Lo looks pensive. Baylie says if she could have changed anything, she would have sung on key and not be so shaky. That's kind of the point, Baylie. What is Skylar wearing anyway?  She says she loves that song and the people in the audience were getting into it. She knows what kind of artist she wants to be and it shows.

"After the nationwide vote, let's start with you, Shannon. Congratulations, you've made it through." Elise has a horrible face on! Ryan asks Randy if there's room in the competition for more than one country girl. He says one of them really stood out. And that was... Skylar Laine, who's joining America's Top 10.

We go to break. An hour and fifteen minutes left. This is excruciating.

We see America's Top 7. Ryan brings down Aaron, Creighton, and Reed. Oooooo. Reed, I think. We start with Reed. I wonder if he's going to play the drums every week? Jimmy says he's real talented. "Way too kitschy for me. Not going to make it like that."  Aaron is next. Jimmy is confused by the standing ovation. He calls it cheesy and a bit "Don Cheadle."  And Creighton... Jimmy says he has an interesting voice, but the top end is screechy. "Judges loved him. I didn't."

J'Lo thinks Jimmy should come to the show. She thinks what he hears in his "little room" is different. She wants to punch him. Randy says they were too lenient on the boys and thinks Jimmy has some points. Steven curses. J'Lo doesn't think Jimmy's being too critical, but she wouldn't say them the same way. Randy loves Don Cheadle. Steve thinks Reed is good because he shows off everything he can do. J'Lo thinks there's room for all kinds of artist.

Dim the lights. Aaron does not make it. The audience boos. He returns to the couches. Creighton has not made it either. They hug. And neither is Reed. The audience is ready to rebel. Wow.

Elise (who is wearing a ridiculous hat), Erika (in a hideous, short purple dress), Haley, and Jen are next. We start with Jen. Jimmy says Jen has a really nice voice, but he advises everyone to stay away from Adele. Erika, my Rhode Island home girl is next. She really has a great voice. Jimmy likes her a lot. "She has music in her blood." He likes her restraint. Then there is Haley. Ouch. We see her crying back stage after Randy's comments. Jimmy says what he can't get around is robotic mimicking. He agrees with Randy. We finish with Elise. Jimmy agrees with the judges and wants to hear her sing her own material. He thinks she needs to hold back a bit to hold on to her voice.

J'Lo says she wants everyone to do their best every time. Elise says she's really distracted and is sad about some people leaving. Then we get to Haley. She says she has no regrets. She felt she did her best and makes all kinds of excuses. If that was her best, I would hate to see her worst!

Dim the lights. After the nationwide vote... Haley does not make it. Oh there's a shocker. Erika does not make it either. J'Lo shakes her head. Elise and Jen are left and only one spot. "After the nationwide vote, that lady is... Elise."

Now, back to the guys. DeAndre, Eben (the girlies scream), Colton, and Jermaine. He is huge! They are all really nervous. Ryan fakes us out. As if we weren't going to have to endure the clips and Jimmy's wise words.Go Jimmy!

I realize this recap is boring as all get out, but trust me, the show itself is worse.

Okay, one more round. Ryan reminds us, again in case we've lost our minds during all of this, that the people in the stools of victory are America's Top 10. That's America's Top 10. He asks the judges what they think about all of this. J'Lo says she hates to see some people go home, but she agrees with America on who has been put through. She thinks we have one hell of a competition. Steven wishes he could give some people another chance. He agrees with America. Randy says America is on fire. He thinks any one of these people could win it all. We rock, America.

Jermaine starts us off. I love Jermaine and his mother! He won't make it, of course. Jimmy says he could listen to an entire album of Jermaine's songs. He's rooting for Jermaine. DeAndre gets his shot. He is commercial. Jimmy thinks DeAndre has enormous potential, but needs a coach. Then there's Eben. I'm betting he makes it. Jimmy doesn't think Eben is ready for prime time. He'd like to see him come back, but he can't come back because of the rules. X-Factor is holding auditions soon, Eben. And Colton. This is a tough group. Jimmy thinks Colton is one of the most talented kids on the show. He thinks if he paces himself, Colton could win the show.

Colton says, "Wow." Eben says he loves the song and felt good about his performance. He kisses up to the judges and says he'll step it up if he gets through. Dim the lights. DeAndre does not make it. The audience boos. He flips his hair. Ryan "Colton, you are not... going to be disappointed." Good fakeout Ryan.

It's down to Eben and Jermaine. "After the nationwide vote, the person in America's Top 10 is... Jermaine." Alright! I did not see that coming.

We have 45 minutes left, and it seems, now we must endure performances from six contestants who will sing for survival. I wonder if they'll call them up one by one and leave them all hanging.

Fifteen people are eligible to sing now. Randy gets to pick first and it's Jen Hirsch. She doesn't think her song went wrong, but she didn't stand out enough.

Jen is singing "Oh Darlin'" Reed is getting into the groove. She squats too much. But she is selling herself with this one. Oh yeah. Wish you'd sung like this last night, sweetie. You'd be sitting in the stools of victory right now.

Randy says they like it when they sing for their life. He says Jen showed the reason she's here. "We'll have to see how the others fare." J'Lo says Jen really did sing for her life. Steven says he loves someone with a big voice. He loves where she went at the end. Five more songs to go.

Who's next?  J'Lo tells us they have chosen Jeremy. He's singing Carrie Underwood's "I Know You Would."  Skylar is singing along. He sings the stuffing out of it. J'Lo looks like she's going to cry. The contestants stand for him. He starts to cry at the end.

Jeremy says this is his dream and promises the judges won't regret it. He thanks the Lord. J'Lo is beside herself. She says she believes in him and he has one of he most beautiful voices he's heard. Randy says Jeremy is such a cool guy and he loves him. "I loved what you just did up there." Steven says we just saw the real. That was real.

Steven calls up Brielle. I shout, "No, no, no." She's singing Adele's "Someone Like You." Didn't you hear Jimmy? No more Adele. Mom is howling in the audience. But Brielle's still pitchy and screechy. Not good.

Steven says she was pitchy in some spots. "I just didn't hear it." Randy doesn't think it was great either. J'Lo says she should be proud of that effort. Judges, you wasted a pick. Of course, they've probably already decided on Jen. Hey, maybe they'll bring back Haley!

DeAndre gets a second chance. He's singing "Georgia." This kid has some range. I like him a lot. Kiddo, I think you just bought yourself a seat in the Judge's Top 3.

Randy says, "Yo, nice way to come out." He loves this fight for their lives. "Bringing out greatness in all of them." J'Lo says he should sing like that every time he gets up there. Steven loves his voice.

Now it's Erika (I called it before J'Lo said it). Rho, Rho, Rhode Island!  She's singing "Edge of Glory." And she rips it up. Haley has an awesome b....h face going on!  Erika is killing this. Seriously. Eben looks like he is praying.  You go girl! Better than Jen.

She gets a standing ovation from the audience. Well deserved. Randy is saying "This girl has got to have it." J'Lo says she loves someone who can fight through the tears. Steven says, "We're living on the edge."

Who will be the last person to get their shot? I'm calling it for Reed.

Fifteen minutes to go. One more singer. Then we'll send home the couch potatoes and drag out the naming of the wildcards.

The seating is quite complicated this year. We have the America's Top 10 stools of victory, the six wannabe stools, and the couches of doom and sadness.

Steven names Reed Grimm. That means the for the rest of them, the journey ends. Goodbye Adam with the large black woman inside, no more baby Eben... they march off the stage to obscurity. Reed takes off his shirt. He's singing "Use Me" by Bill Withers.  He's such a happy guy.  America's Top 10 dance. Reed crouches and jumps and scats. Heejun gives us a sign. Reed finishes strong, but I think DeAndre was better. Steven says he loves the artist in Reed.

So, who's it gonna be?  I'm going with Erika, DeAndre, and Reed.

Oh boy. Ryan tells us this is one of the most tense moments so far this season. America's Top 10 get another shout out.

Randy is first. The first wildcard pick is my home girl, Erika!  Alright! J'Lo picks Jeremy. He falls on his knees and cries. He wants to go hug J'Lo. Ryan tries to hold him back, but that's not happening. It's very emotional. He hugs all the judges. I love live TV!

Who gets the last stool? DeAndre! He cries too. We say goodbye Jen, Reed, and Brielle. Ryan tells them they can leave the runway.

Ryan has America's Top 10 and the Judges Top 3 stand up and tells us our next American Idol is standing on that stage.

And it's a wrap.

Next week, the boys sing Stevie Wonder and the girls Whitney Houston. Now that'll bring us back to reality.

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