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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Nine is Fine

Scott-MacIntyre.jpgOn a night that firmed up nine of our Top 12 contestants, we were treated to a few surprises and some very interesting Wild Card picks. But before I reveal which contestants moved on to the Finals, here's a look at tonight's down-to-business episode.

The group sing-along for tonight's show was Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold." If you haven't heard Miss Perry's song then you must not listen to radio. Or have ears. Or you live in a cave. (Though I'm sure there are even some earless cave-dwellers who somehow have been exposed to Perry's music. I mean, they play her song about a thousand times an hour. Anyways, I digress...) It was slightly disconcerting to hear a bunch of guys sing this song. Though, to be fair, it was disconcerting to hear a lot of these performers sing anything. The redeeming quality of this group number: the choreographer's idea to let Scott still be a part of the number, even though he couldn't run around the stage. This was achieved by sitting all the guys down and then having people revolve around them. Very cool!

A quick recap of the previous night's show confirmed several thoughts I had: Von is really good, despite his musical theater style; Ju'not was pretty smooth; Felicia was still awesome; Alex was even worse (note to Alex: you're not Steven Tyler. Stop kicking microphone stands!); Arianna wasn't as bad as I originally thought; Kendall and Nathaniel couldn't carry tunes in a bucket; Scott was pleasant sounding; and Jorge and Lil were awesome.

Because there was so much ground to cover tonight, Ryan went directly into the eliminations. First up was Lil Rounds who, not surprisingly, made it through! Then Seacrest brought up Arianna Afsur, Taylor Vaifanua, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Kendall Beard and Scott MacIntyre. One by one he made them all sit down except for Scott who also made it to the finals!

Then Ryan started bringing up pairs of contestants, only to time and again dash their dreams. First it was Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara to both get the boot. Then Felicia Barton and Von Smith were handed their pink slips. And finally we were left with Ju'not Joyner and Jorge Nunez. Both are interesting singers who bring a little something different to the stage. The voting could've gone either way on this one, but America decided to bring back Jorge. He was so happy that he broke out into Spanish again!

And with that we had three new members of our Top 12: Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nunez. They join Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert who made it through during the last two weeks. And for anyone who's keeping score, we only have three women in the finals, making this the first gender-skewed finalist group ever. Though it's possible the judges could place all women tomorrow night. Nah, I didn't think so either.

As we neared the end of the show, it was time for the judges to reveal this year's Wild Card picks. It's been so long since "Idol" even had a Wild Card round (it was dropped after Season 3) that I'd forgotten how it worked. I assumed, incorrectly, that the judges would just pick three contestants to come back, and we'd find out on Thursday night. Instead, the judges collectively decided on eight singers who were worthy of another chance.

To heighten the drama, they brought back a bunch of singers who didn't get through the last few semifinal rounds and added them to the nine remaining singers from tonight's show. The group anxiously awaited the results, and each judge took two turns announcing a Wild Card pick. Here's what they decided:

Randy's first choice: Von Smith- The judges felt he deserved another chance after he wowed them last night.

Kara's first choice: Jasmine Murray- They think Jasmine is contemporary and could do really well if she started picking songs in the Rihanna genre.

Paula's first choice: Ricky Braddy- Surprised everyone in the first semifinal round with a really good voice, despite the fact no one had heard of him until then.

Simon's first choice: Megan Corkrey- The sultry blond with the arm tattoo. They liked her uniqueness and thought she deserved another shot.

Randy's second choice: Tatiana Del Toro- Also known as "girl who cries and babbles incoherently." Simon looked pained to bring this hyper singer back, but was apparently overruled by his fellow judges.

Kara's second choice: Matt Giraud- The dueling piano player vowed to pick the right song and impress everyone like he should have the first time around.

Paula's second choice: Jesse Langseth- The smart-aleck red-head who picked a strange selection ("Bette Davis Eyes") and showed that she likes to be different.

Simon's second choice: Anoop Desai- I was holding my breath waiting for this one. It would have been a crime not to let Anoop through, since he has a masterful R&B style.

This is an interesting group and almost exactly the people I would've brought back. (In fact, in my reviews of the last few weeks, I suggested that Ricky, Tatiana, Matt and Anoop might all see the Wild Card round. Maybe the judges read this blog! If so, hi Randy, Paula, Kara and Simon! Thanks for reading! Can I get one of those Coca-Cola cups?) I'm a little bummed, though, that I don't see Anne Marie Boskovich or Felicia Barton, both of whom sang their hearts out; Anne Marie in the first round, Felicia in the last one. All I can say is, hey, there's always next year!

I'm going to make an educated guess on who the judges will ultimately choose, though it's going to be hard since I haven't seen their new performances. Based on everything I've seen until now, I figure Anoop, Matt and Megan may get the final three slots.

What do you think of tonight's Top 3? Is there anyone from the semifinals that should've made it through? What about the judges' choices for the Wild Card show? Were any of your favorites picked to sing again? And finally, which of the eight singers has the best chances of claiming the final three spots? Post below and tune in Thursday night for the return of the Wild Card show! --Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on March 5, 2009 12:37 AM
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