OMG. The interminable process of finding our Top 12 has finally been terminated. The last half of the Top 12 finally have their tickets to ride, but how did we come so far, so slowly? Well, the show started by uprooting the dreams of our last semifinal group, so that’s where I’m starting too.
Up Then We’re Down
On Tuesday, Group 3 turned in what can be mathematically expressed as the most unsucky performance night we’ve seen all season. The small amount of awfulness there was happened to also be either adorable or forgettable so it was a pretty much a wash. Tonight they’re all basking in that glow of adequacivity as they begin this week’s group sing. Some terrible song called “Hot or Cold,” which I later find out is by Katy Perry which thus explains for me why the opening lyrics say stuff like “You change your mind like a boy changes clothes,” and, “You PMS like a girl; I should know.” And which also explains the immediate desire to hurl that I felt during the performance. Anyway, this group continues the trend of these kids knowing how to harmonize together. The girls trade lines and then the boys do. The boys are seated on benches presumably for Blind Scott’s benefit, then there are boy-girl swoony partnerships and a ring around the rosie, they continue to sound awesome, Katy Perry and her cutesy pop antifeminism continue to disgust me, and she continues to do her part to make sure that our ideas about gender will always be screwed up.
Next, a retrospective of everything that ever happened on Tuesday, which I don’t need to recount because the very funny MsFroggy has already done it for us! Meanwhile, all the twelve are finally seated in their tiers of suspense, and it’s chat time. Ryan first asks an oddly headband-free Nathaniel if he was offended by any of the feedback the judges gave him. There was feedback? Nathaniel says some stuff about how the judges are amazing and he likes having fun, and he wouldn’t change anything about last night. Ryan comments on the lack of headbands and Nate’s like, “You stole them all,” and then we move on to Jorge. I’ve never crossed paths with him in a recap so I have to take this opportunity to say that I am enthralled by his massive eyebrows. They are amazing. Jorge talks about being from PR and how chock full of talent everybody is, and somehow that makes him appreciate something. Also he’s cold in SoCal. Well, I’m cold in Minnesota so really he can suck it. Felicia feels awesome about her Alicia Keys cover, Ju’not as it turns out almost just collapsed from asthma during the group sing and I never even noticed, but now he’s okay.
Stuff You Already Knew, Plus Jorge
Lights down! Lil is up first I guess for the “duh” factor. Her bangs have had an unfortunate encounter with a flat-iron, so they’re doing that sticky-outy, will not curl, will not lay down thing that I’m sure will be familiar to some of y’all. But otherwise she’s aces because she knows she’s in. Then Ryan tells her she’s in and she seems extremely and genuinely happy to have it be official. Then she sings Mary again and it isn’t as great as the last time, but it’s still pretty great.
Absolutely no suspense has been removed from the elimination process because Lil was a given, so everyone else is still sporting those half hopeful, half fearful faces. Then Ryan guts people with similarly predictable fates -- Arianna, Taylor, My First Love Alex Wagner-Trugman, and Kendall Beard -- before giving sweet, blind Scott the pass. Scott’s blind, and excited, and never takes things for granted, and then he sings again too. Who cares how it sounds.
BFFs then Frenemies and now neo-BFFs Kristin and Nate stand up now to learn their destinies. Ryan and Simon talk some more about how they’re totally gay for Nate and then neither of them end up in the Top 12. Von and Felicia face a similar process with the same results. Now Ju’not and Jorge are called to center stage, so one of them is definitely going to have a moment of triumph. Ju’not got props for injecting some cool into the awful “Hey There Delilah,” although his take was rather sedate. Jorge learned to sing so Paula could understand him, which I would think is equivalent to winning an Olympic Gold Medal. Ju’not is about to collapse again, and then Seacrest pulls a phony “after the break.” A fake-out of a fake-out! Our little host sprite has really come into his own since those early days. Anyway, Jorge almost pulls a Ju’not, but then he learns he has made it into the Top 12, so instead he pulls a Jorge, which involves a lot of shock, crying, and big smiling. Also a bunch of Spanish. He doesn’t get the chance to reprise his song though, because just around the riverbend is the beginning of this wild card jazz we’ve been waiting for all season.
The Judges Take Their Pick
Coming back from before to sit here and see if they made the wild card round are Jesse Langseth, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Big Breitzke, Tatiana, Brent Keith, Normund in a Nick suit, Anoop, Matt Giraud, Jackie Tohn, and Jasmine Murray, along with all of tonight’s losers. Ryan asks Simon to be the one to put out the palaver about why we’re going through this process; he says some stuff about how Clay and J-Hud got second chances and these kids need them too because they made awful choices. Yeah, except for under the other system, people who made bad choices could possibly get three chances to redeem themselves. Anyway. Wild cards! I won’t bore you or myself with the boring details. Supposedly they were all group selections, but here’s what it looks like. Randy picks Von, Kara picks Jasmine, Paula picks Ricky B, Simon picks Megan. Randy picks Tatiana after saying a bunch of crap about entertainment and “heart.” Kara picks Matt Giraud who clearly thought he was going to be chosen. Paula picks Jesse (!), and then Simon gets to give the last slot to Anoop. Sorry Alex! I will love you forever! All of these chosen people are thankful for the opportunity; they must all be themselves, except for when they shouldn’t, and they’ll all be performing again to be whittled down one last time from eight to “three”. Details of that process are immediately forthcoming.
I did say immediately, didn’t I?
Wild Cards! As if this matters, am I right? I don’t want to deal with the judges, except here’s Paula dressed like she’s on loan from 1991 in leopard print with hot pink trim. Forever my girl. If she shows up one week in Cross Colors and a mushroom haircut, I might forgive her all her past sins.
Everybody’s nervous and shaky as they should be up on the contestant balcony. Jesse Langseth is up first; in her done on an hour’s notice pre-package she interviews that she really wants to how her versatility and make it into the Top 12. So, “Tell Me Something Good” in a short, black sheath. That’s changing it up. She has a false start ahead of the music, and has a bit of trouble with the lowest of the low notes, but other than that I thought she rocked Rufus an’em. Randy disagrees, citing “interesting note choices.” Whatever in the world that means. Kara likes Jesse in spite of some flat notes, because she’s got a loose, bluesy swagger. She calls Jesse “Sasha Fierce” because she’s so boring in her package clips but not on stage. Ha ha, Beyonce. Kara just called you boring. Paula says, “soul, unique, it’s going to be hard to cut you at the end of this night but don’t kid yourself, we will do it.” Simon: “indulgent.” Kara and Paula defend Jesse against that criticism because this song is that fantastic, and then Simon reiterates that he’s glad Jesse came back. For one last time.
Matt Giraud has been cowed by the judges insistence that he never, ever, try to be himself – or Coldplay – ever again, so he’s singing “Who’s Loving You,” in a fedora and one of those hipster douche scarves all the hipster douches seem to be sporting lately. He sings really well, although his overall aura is still a little too Chris Richardson try-hardish for me to like. All the judges tell him to stay in his lane and he’ll be fine. Also, Simon draws a comparison between Matt and Taylor Hicks and everyone, but I mean everyone within hearing rears back in horror on Matt’s behalf. That was frickin awesome to see. Sorry Taylor, but that was hilarious.
Megan Corkrey still has entirely too much hair, but she’s excited to sing what she refers to as “one of the jamsiest songs around.” I’m excited to have “jamsiest” enter the lexicon. Again in a sleeveless baby doll dress but this time also with Lohan Leggings and straight hair, Megan’s out on stage to wiggle around like a ninny and sing “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” She swallows the ends of almost every phrase, misses every bottom note, and has a ton of trouble with her breath control. But the judges care not: Paula says Megan has a lot of “joy,” and is really quirky; Simon still loves her because she is current and is really quirky. Randy agrees. Kara agrees. Quirky, quirky, quirky. Bye, Jesse.
HELLO, VON! Okay, okay, so he wasn’t so loud as usual this week. I still think Von has it in him to blow out a few sound systems, so I honor his volume with the all-caps. Von’s super excited but also shivery like a puppy in his pre-interview; he’s glad to have a second chance and looks forward to proving himself. Poor puppy. He chooses “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” so it’s officially Elton John week here. Does that mean J-Hud gets to come back?
Von’s not winning me over with this, because his nerves are way too obvious and he’s wavering too much around the proper pitch. Maybe his LOUD is the key to his good. Simon says he was boring and earnest without it. No one liked the song, and then they all start babbling about how serious and dark they thought he was, and Paula tells him he over-thought everything. Von self-flagellates for a second with Ryan and then no one cares anymore.
Also, I know I no longer care about Jasmine Murray, but she 17! and a wild card, so here she is. In a pink prom dress and prom sandals, singing “Reflection.” I mean, that’s your hip, young, edge right there? No. Oatmeal. Jasmine is oatmeal. Her mother is absolutely adorable though. And then we kick it to the judges, who are not: Okay. I’ve rewound no less than three times to try and record what the judges are telling Jasmine but my brain will just not sit still, y’all. I can’t do it. Jasmine’s really smiley though so my guess is it was all good news. That, or she’s on her way to the prom.
The Show I Know and Love
Ricky Braddy! A total non-entity until three weeks ago, and then everyone loved him for some reason I didn’t get, but Paula loved him most of all. You can tell because tonight Ricky’s trying to live up to being called “flawless” by Paula. I’m trying to figure out where he’s from because that hint of a twang in his speaking voice is crazy nuts. North Carolina. No wonder. Ricky sings “Superstition,” and I finally understand why everyone was all RICKY! about him last time, because, RICKY!!! He was awesome. His jeans were tighter than that bass line but he still grooved like a maniac, and his singing of the song was fan-riffic. Kara thinks he sang his butt off, and then for some reason backs off to end her critique a lukewarm “good job.” Paula raves, Simon thinks he sounded great, but calls him “lightweight” and “clumsy.” I’m not seeing how either of those adjectives applies, but I know they mean Ricky’s done, and it’s one of the most terrible things I saw on television this week, and I’m kind of pissed.
We Are Currently A Quarter Past Crazy
And so now here’s Tatiana to bring me out of that into utter bewilderment. Cool. In her pre-singing package, she sputters some more with about how much she loves everything, most especially God, and singing, and America, and love, but somewhere along the way she’s adopted what I would call a blaccent, except it’s pidgin Latina, so I don’t know what to call it except stupid. Also stupid, her choosing to do “Saving All My Love For You” again, even though it couldn’t get us to vote for her crazy behind the first time when she sang it well. It’s not as good this time, so whatever. We’re only here for the meltdown anyway. And meltdown ahoy! She’s clutching her knees and lolling her head around like Carol Anne when she finishes, which prompts Kara to yell, “You gotta stop that!” from off camera, which prompts Tatiana to yell “I LOVE YOU!!” a million more times to no one and everyone. What do you do with that? Obviously, the judges tell her a bunch of stuff that means “Thanks for letting us make a fool of you one last time,” and then Tatiana loses it some more. I don’t even know. Kara’s like, “At least she’s not crying and clutching her chest,” but Simon deadpans, “She will,” perfectly on beat. This kind of hurts, how awkward and yet the best thing I’ve ever seen this all is. Tatiana still tries to pretend some more that she’s in control of herself and what she does and what the show does to her. Then she begins to kneel to beg, but she sees Ryan coming towards so she stands and he says, “You don’t have to get up for me,” and everyone laughs and accidentally kind of tacitly calls her a tramp, while she smiles and shrugs it off, and this is now the most terrible thing I’ve seen on television. See you in the Sober House, Tati.
Quelle MF Surprise
Meanwhile, ANOOOOOOP! That’s fun. Anoop was worried he wouldn’t make it to the Wild Card round, which is sweet, but says he’s here to stay now, which is presumptuous. He sings “My Prerogative,” which we heard him do for a second back in Hollywood, and so if you were in love with him then you are in love with him now. I am in love with him now, and so is everybody in the world currently cheering so much for Anoop that Simon’s getting peeved. When he gets to talk, he calls Anoop “an enthusiastic dog,” which is terrible, but then he as much as says that Anoop will get through because everyone loves him. Nothing, not one word that anyone else says matters. Please take my word for it.
All right! So over the five minute commercial break, the judges “deliberated,” and “made their selections,” of the people who’d be moving on from this to the real deal. I do not care about the ominous music or lighting anymore because there has been so much American Idol soft soap this week and I’m about done, so here are your Wild Card picks: Jasmine, Megan, and Simply Orange orange juice. Wait, what? Oh, my DVR cut this sucker off during the commercials. Why, thank you, DVR! Oh, I love you too! Turns out the last member of the Top 12 is Matt Giraud, and also Anoop. If you’re wondering how two people can be the last one, I advise you to give this up and watch Reaper on Tuesdays because your mind is not twisted enough for this show, and you should save yourself while you can. Top 13! It remains to be seen whether this extra contestant means an extra week of show or just an extra shocking double elimination one of these days, but rest assured that no matter what the outcome, MsFroggy and I will be here with all the scoop. See you next week!
Go jump off a cliff, Katy Perry. And that’s not PMS talking.