This is a recap for The Top 13 on American Idol Season 8, theme: Michael Jackson.
1. Lil Rounds: “The Way You Make Me Feel”. You have to hand it to the girl: Lil’ Rounds really knows how to dress her rounds. My problem with this performance wasn’t so much her as it was the song itself – which seems to be the same five notes sung over and over again. It is impossible for me not to compare her to my favorite AI contestant ever, Latoya London… they sort of look alike, they sort of sound alike, only Latoya had a much better singing voice. Still, in this competition where so few of the women stand out, Lil’s got a mighty good chance of making it far. Also, she’s wearing parachute pants. Grade: 7/10
2. Scott MacIntyre: “Keep the Faith”. (I’m really going to try to avoid any and all “blind” puns in this review.) I really don’t understand what people see in Scott MacIntyre. (F*ck.) He chose to sing the musical equivalent to the inspirational poster in a guidance counselor’s office, a Michael Jackson melody that approximately 89 people have heard — 88 of them molested by Michael and Michael Jackson himself. We’ll give him credit: Learning it on piano in a week with tunnel vision is quite the feat, and his stage presence is stellar (though, to be fair, he could be performing in a broom closet for all he knows.) Grade: 3/10 This image found over at ONTD pretty much sums up my feelings on Scott:
3. Danny Gokey: PYT. Sure, Danny might be a culty Christian, widowing son-of-a-gun who kind of looks like K.D. Lang… but what a performer! Yeah, he’s a little like Michael McDonald and guess what? I LOVE MICHAEL MCDONALD SO STEP. OFF. Also, let’s for a moment recall Paula’s hilarious, shaky prediction that Danny would be in the finals… on the first episode of the show. Grade: 7/10 (1 point deducted for doing the Jerry’s Kids Dance.)
4. Michael Sarver: “You Are Not Alone”. A friend and I got into a fight over whether or not Michael Sarver was cute. My friend insists he’s hot; I argue that I cannot stand his face. My friend says “Camman, if he walked up to you in a bar, you would talk to him.” I then said “Only if rolled over to me on a drum of oil.” And so it went. But on to the singing: I thought he sucked. Grade: 5/10
5. Jasmine Murray: “I’ll Be There”. Simply put, she shouldn’t be there. Forgetting for a moment her star turn in the movie Antz, she suffers from a disorder my mother describes as “no salt, no pepper”. In other words, there is absolutely nothing interesting about her, other than her own adorable mother. Grade: 5/10
6. Kris Allen: “Do You Remember The Times?”. I’m adding a point to Kris’ score for singing one of my favorite songs of my childhood. Forgetting for a moment the fact that he was playing a prop guitar, he was OK. Seeing as he’s the only sort of cute, straight guy on the show, expect to see a lot of Kris and his unhinging sideways dinosaur jaw. I never thought I’d say these words, but here they are: “I miss you Jason Castro.” Grade 6/10 (Another point was added for his wife’s reaction to Simon’s “keep her locked up for a few more weeks” comment.)
7. Allison Iraheta: “Give It To Me”. Allison’s borderline autism is somehow taking a right turn at “Avoid-eye-contact-ville” and driving down a one-way street to “Favorite-contestant-onia”. The song was not super-familiar, but she sang it well, and knocked it out of the park with her “I’m not cutting myself” line. When Paula tells you to zip it, you know you’re doing something right. Grade: 7/10
8. Anoop Desai: “Beat It”. I wonder about Anoop. Clearly, we love him because he is essentially a dorky-ish Indian guy presenting himself as some sort of amazing lover. But watching him tonight, I began thinking: “Is he believing too much in his own hype?” Because that would be terrible, and would ruin all the fun. Maybe it’s the new “cool guy” haircut, or the dancing, or the sadness in his father’s eyes that the future Dr. Desai might one day get frosted tips. We’ll give him another chance. Grade: 5/10
9. Jorge Nunez: “Never Can Say Goodbye”. I literally love this guy. He is off the charts hilarious. Is PBS remaking Que Pasa USA anytime soon as a reality show? Because the joke might actually be on us. He is so goddamned fabulous without even trying! That is a true gift. As is only posessing two expressions: The smile of unfathomable foreign joy; and the tears of an immigrant’s sadness. Grade 6/10 (bonus point for heartwarmingness.)
10. Megan Joy Corkrey: “Rockin’ Robin”. Megan is super sweet, kind of like this “special” child neighbor I used to have who I would take a few minutes to chat with while on my way to the school bus in the mornings. Sweet on the outside, but something deeply, darkly wrong on the inside. I find it increasingly uncomfortable to watch her, especially when she breaks out into a bird dance. And caws. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the lead singer of “Quirky quirk quirk and the Twees.” Also, Gordon Ramsey clearly has a crush on her, which I fear in my frail condition I just cannot handle. Grade: 2/10
11. Adam Lambert: “Black and White”. Oh, what fun the future lawsuit of “Every Epileptic Ever vs. Adam Lambert” will be. The judges literally put their feet in stirrups and delivered a giant block of cheese, they were so excited. (Ed. Note: Do not click if you are prone to vomming at work.) Paula took off on a jet pack full of oxy, and Simon delivered his review while unbuckling his belt and revealing a giant d made of sunshine. Adam came out with thousands of calories of energy to be expended, jumping around the stage, hitting his signature high notes with tongue a-flyin’, thrusting his hoisted package into America’s collective faces. It was a performance that barely translated onto the TV, but in person, probably ripped the stage a new one. So while we/I were/was on the fence about the performance, I have no choice but to believe the judges were dead on accurate. Hence Grade 1,339,024/10
12. Matt Giraud: “Human Nature”. “Human Nature” is my favorite inspirational MJ song after “Man in the Mirror” and “We Are The World”. Matt Giraud managed to sing it without gutting it from the inside out with a hooked blade. Hard to explain, but I have a soft spot for this guy, giant gums and all. Grade 7/10
13. Alexis Grace: “Dirty Diana”. Alexis is barely memorable, pink hair and all. Truly, I could not place who the 13th contestant was. So imagine my surprise when she started singing… and she was pretty awesome! My favorite female performance of the night. The judges weren’t feeling it, further proving how rigged this show is. Grade 8/10
Let us know who you voted for in the comments.