AI11 – Round of 13

Once again, I continue to not do recaps of another season of American Idol.

We have an actual new twist in the voting this year. It comes closer to the much-desired Judges Kick People Off voting system. This week, the lowest vote-getting girl and lowest vote-getting boy will form a Bottom Two, from which the three judges will choose who to send home.

That is the single most tortured paragraph of grammar I believe I’ve ever written for an Idol recap.

Sorry, it’s 2012 now, so let me phrase that properly: “#idol recap.”

We don’t know yet if this also means there will be a Judges Choice save to be used this season. Or will this be the system for the season? I would like it if the judges had to make the tough choice in the end. It would help even out some of the craziness of previous seasons. It would eliminate the One Save Only part of the Judges Choice, which inevitably leads to either them saving someone too early, or saving it until the last minute when it’s too late to save the person they should have saved weeks earlier.

With Nigel Lithgow producing the show, maybe he’s willing to bring the best part of “So You Think You Can Dance” over to Idol: Show the bottom three, and let the judges kick someone out. And then it would be pure America’s Choice in the final weeks. I hope so.

Randy Jackson wins the week, providing actual musical criticism to the performances, and being the only honest one, even if it’s couched in too much “but you know we like you” butt covering for my taste.

But what was that pin Randy wore? I’m guessing it was 8 Bit Whit, but it might also have passed for Betty Boop or a KISS band member. Or Liza Minelli.

Poor Shannon. Crash and Burn. Even worse, the recap video at the end showed her worst note. I had to cringe again for the poor girl.

Could we have a sing-off at the end of the season between Hollie and Jessica, the two power singers? Jennifer Lopez has dreams of that happening, as do the producers, I’m sure. They’d love nothing more than to have a different style of Idol champion after so many years of mopey guitar playing alt-pop/rocker types. But will it happen? Probably not. In all likelihood, those two will split votes, leading to one of their demises later in the competition. I think they’ll both stick around for a long while, though, if their voices can hold up to the strain of the competition. (The ghost of Tamyra Gray still hangs over the singers. She stood a chance of beating Kelly Clarkson, if her voice hadn’t betrayed her so close to the end.)

Erika needed to consider a different dress, though. When she was sitting on the stool, it spread out so much that she looked like Jabba the Hut. When she was standing, her arms just looked flabby.

Hometown girl Elisa was unimpressive. It was definitely nerves, as she’d occasionally look comfortable and sing well, and then get stiff the next second and concentrate too hard. There’s also a lack of personality there that will hurt her.

I want to like Colton, but I couldn’t understand half the words he sang. He wasn’t along in that last night, but the first half of his song was particularly Kurt Cobain-level unintelligible.

I’m not a Jeremy fan. Nice guy, boring song.

Ditto to Jermaine. They’re going to have a problem keeping that voice interesting and not just a novelty. They haven’t won me over yet. Boring song.

Ditto to Heejun, who just isn’t that good. Am I the only one bothered by the accent coming through the singing? To be fair, though, Hollie’s is starting to come through the music, too, and that’s going to bother me as the season goes on.

It looks like Phillip is taking the spot I thought Reed Grimm might get – potentially crazy guy who you never know what he’ll do next.

And Jessica had the first official Idol Moment of the season, on Week One. I hope she didn’t peak too soon.

Joshua was great, too. Skylar made a Whitney Houston song sound like a country song without going off the rails, which is a neat trick.

So who will be the lowest vote getters tonight? I think conventional wisdom will be Shannon and Jeremy. The problem with Idol, though, is that (say it with me now) a bad performance is often the best way to get your base out to vote like made for you. That might save Shannon and doom Elise, whose fans may think that she’s safe because Shannon did so badly.

But who will the judges send home? If either Shannon or Elise are in the bottom, I think that’ll be the choice. It’s an easy pass for the judges to sacrifice them. They like the boys too much so far.