AI8 – Wildcard Round

I said to my wife at the start of the show, “And this year’s twist will be the 13th finalist.”

God, I’m good.

Plus, I went three for three.  The judges added Matt Giraud to my list.  Tatiana took the predictably dramatic exit, complete with the judges comforting her from over their vaulted judging desk.

It was a night of awkwardness. There was a missed high five. Ryan asked Tatiana to get down on her knees in front of him. Everything else Tatiana did qualifies, too.  Paula and Simon practically made out between mock fights.  And a poor cut to a camera shot showed a production assistant moving two contestants in the Red Room closer together for the upcoming throw to commercial.  (It was during Paula’s critique of Matt Giraud, if you want to watch it back.)

So let’s get to the performances, briefly:

Jesse Langseth – What the heck is that song?  Meh. (I know John Hodgman says we’re not supposed to use “meh” anymore, but it’s terribly appropriate here.) Matt Giraud – Made a good showing for himself, and is different enough to be “cast” for the Final 12, er, 13. But, reallty, we know Anoop is the “casting” choice.  More on that in a bit. Still, to me, Matt was self-indulgent with too many grunts and growls.

Megan Joy Corkrey – Was there ever any doubt the judges were going to pick her, after their comments to her in the first week?  No.  She still dances awkwardly, and her performance couldn’t live up to Katharine McPhee’s performance of it.  Remember when the producers were worried about contestants with tattoos?  Or kids?  I think half the Top 13 are parents now.  (I’m only slightly exaggerating, I think.) Von Smith – Toast.  Cannon fodder.  Although I finally realized who he looked like: Tintin combined with Rick Astley.  I hope he Rickrolls the Finale.

Jasmine Murray — All power throughout the whole song, but then nailed the falsetto at the end.  Impressive.

Ricky Braddy – He got through it.  Sounded karaoke to me.

Tatiana Del Toro – You want to point and laugh, but then she hits her stride and impresses the hell out of you with her voice.  Scary little thing, she was.

Anoop Desai – Gets bonus points for daring “My Prerogative.”  The whole thing is a complete mess and something you’d expect to see at your fraternity’s kegger.  But the crowd loves it, most of which is underage.  He’s the Sanjaya of this season – the kids love him, despite his abilities and awkwardness.

Next week: Kelly Clarkson has an album out.  Also: She’s appearing on Idol.  Coincidence?  Of course not, silly.

Also, I’m glad I taped “Hell’s Kitchen,” as the show ended a few minutes past the hour. Many watching this show on DVR tonight missed the announcement of the third and fourth additions to the finalists.  Whoops.