Friday, February 27, 2009

American Idol: Semi-finals, week two (results)

Last night, I blew off primetime to go with a friend to a screening of "I Love You, Man" -- only the company massively over-issued passes, so my friend Steve and I were told "better luck next time" when we were eight spots from the front. Instead, we saw "Taken" (aka the greatest Father's Day movie ever), and I'll be slowly working my way through Thursday night's TV as the day goes along. First up is the "American Idol" results show, which of course I can watch in under five minutes. Spoilers ho (though I suppose the picture's a bit of a giveaway)...

Okay, so the next trio to advance consists of Adam (no big shock to advance), Allison (ditto) and Kris (who?). My only theory on Kris going forward after his forgettable "Man in the Mirror" is that the 'tween girls found him cute, and also that no one else Wednesday night was all that good.

Unfortunately, Nick/Normund's run has come to an end, and there's no way he makes it to the wildcard. I think the producers thought he'd be briefly entertaining, but they have to be terrified of him actually getting to the finals, where there'd be the usual indignation and where he would feel in no way beholden to play ball. (He'd know the show knows he's a joke, and has no real interest in his future, and so he could do whatever he wanted, in the same way Sanjaya started acting once it became clear the show hated him.) What's annoying/silly is that, for two weeks in a row, they've climaxed the show by pairing the joke contestant (first Tatiana, now Nick) with the most obvious person to advance, creating absolutely no suspense. If Nick had been put up with Kris, or Tatiana with Michael Sarver, the show can at least create the illusion that the freakshows have a chance. The way they're doing it makes the fakeout even more of a waste of time than usual.

Now, the final's so far is two-thirds male, which bodes well for someone like Megan (I'd call her as close to a lock for a wildcard as there is), but not so much for someone like Anoop (who basically has no shot if two guys go through next week, given the show's obsession with gender balance even in years when one gender stinks).

So for those who watched the full show, anything notable happen while I was fast-forwarding? And how did Nanny Brooke's song sound?

18 comments:

Bobman said...

I definitely had the "Who?" reaction with Kris. REALLY? Man In the Mirror? Mind-boggling.

Nanny Brooke sounded (and looked) fine, but the song wasn't good. She specifically called it catchy, and it was anything but, having no real hook to it at all.

maura said...

I love Brooke, so I'm not subjective. She sounded good and was pretty, pretty, pretty. I was happy to see her.

I like Kris well enough, but the fangirls must have dialed a gazillion times each. I didn't expect him to go through.

The most painful part, besides listening to Allison sing again (I was hoping she' be better), was what the judges did to Jeanine. Hearing them praise the other three in her group, while completely ignoring her, actually hurt. She was terrible on Wednesday, but I think it would have been better if they'd said something to her - give her some advice or something. Don't act like she's not there.
It wasn't good but it wasn't really annoying either.

Rob Rogers said...

I'd actually liked the "Man in the Mirror" performance (although not enough to actually get me off my butt to the telephone to vote), so I was pleased to see Kris make it through.

IIRC, there was some interesting tension in the judges after that song, with Kara starting out by saying that it wasn't very good, Paula disagreeing with her, and the guys backing Paula. Kara looked really hacked off, too. I wonder if the whole exchange helped get Kris a few votes.

I'm disappointed that Nick didn't make it through. He was easily the most entertaining one of the week for me. Alan, do you think there's any chance he'll be a wild card?

Allison's voice was nice, but I had a lot of trouble watching her--too many goofy facial expressions. Someone needs to coach her on that.

JD said...

I thought Brooke White did ok, I might have enjoyed her song more if she stuck to just using the piano and not having any backup. I thought Alison did much better last night and was less screeching, but Adam gets on my last nerve with his. He continues to remind me of the what the goth kids of South Park would sound like if they went into musical theater.

Adam said...

Does the show have an obsession with gender balance? In seasons 4-7, it was mandated through the 24-20-16-12 process, and that was in reaction to a Season 3 in which only four guys made the final 12 -- George Huff (WC), Jon Peter Lewis (WC), John Stevens and Matthew Rogers, which in turn also prompted the raising of the age limit.

Which is to say that if the talent dictates it, I can see them going 7 men, 5 women, but probably not 8-4 again, and I'm having trouble imagining Lil Rounds (short for Lilly? Or is it Li'l?) not grabbing a slot next week.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Does the show have an obsession with gender balance? In seasons 4-7, it was mandated through the 24-20-16-12 process, and that was in reaction to a Season 3 in which only four guys made the final 12 -- George Huff (WC), Jon Peter Lewis (WC), John Stevens and Matthew Rogers, which in turn also prompted the raising of the age limit.

There was the season four reaction to season three, and there was also the season two wildcard, where 3 of the 4 choices were women (including Carmen, who hadn't even performed in the semi-finals before then) because there were so many dudes who had advanced that the producers didn't know what to do.

LA said...

I'm not understanding the Adam hatred. He's an amazing singer.

Kris who?

John said...

I thought Kris was going to make it through. I actually really liked his performance, and he's certainly got the look of a pop star. Brooke's performance was pretty "eh."

I think the girls look stronger in general for next week's group of 12, at least from what we saw during auditions and Hollywood week.

Maya said...

This is totally unrelated to American Idol but I have a question for you. Do you watch "Breaking Bad?" What do you think of it? I really enjoy your column and would love to hear your thoughts on this show.
Thanks, Maya

Jenn. said...

Idol has officially stated that they are not requiring gender-balance this year. I doubt that they'd let it be worse than 8-4, but I strongly suspect that we'll see 7-5.

Brooke sounded and looked great---really put contestants like Megan to shame---but I don't particularly like the song.

Rob Rogers said...

Maya: Try http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/search/label/Breaking%20Bad

Adam said...

Alan, it looks like there were only two guys even *in* that Wild Card round, and you had to figure Clay was a lock given what a brutal semi group he was in. J.D. Adams looks like the only quasi-memorable guy from the semis not invited to the wild card.

I had forgotten that Goat Girl didn't compete until the Wild Card -- but, wow, what a four to add that way: Clay, Kim Caldwell, Trenyce (who I recently saw in Ain't Misbehavin w/Ruben & Frenchie) and Goat Girl.

dvlman said...

Man in the Mirror was a ridiculous choice, but Kris actually works OK as a singer/songwriter type with a guitar. I think he was in the top three of this incredibly weak group.

Brooke White still looked like a contestant to me. Her song was awful and she's not a strong vocalist.

Andrew said...

I'm not understanding the Adam hatred. He's an amazing singer.

Talented singer, yes. What he has in voice, he lacks in musical sense (judging by his performance this week only.) With a strong producer he could be a good artist, but left to his own instincts (like his take on Satisfaction), it's less musical than it's just screechingly loud and, well, terrible.

(This word verification is 'ovracti' which I'm reading as overacting.)

Karl said...

There are few pieces of mass entertainment -- AI included -- that could not be improved by having Liam Neeson appear to deliver a few well-timed throat-punches.

Theresa said...

My hypothesis is that Kris won out over the girls because he was clearly the second-best guy, while there were several girls vying for that second place spot who would divide their votes. My boyfriend thinks it's because girls are going to like Kris more and be more inclined to vote. Maybe there's some truth in each of them. Either way, though, I'm pleased he's going through, since I thought Megan was cute and seemed nice but her vocals were way overhyped. I'm perfectly fine with her getting a Wild Card spot.

Hyde said...

Re gender balance on the show: I think they want at least the six men in large part because guys help to drive ticket sales for the tour. I think they're willing to 7-5 on guys (thereby creating a spot for Anoop), but probably not 8-4 and certainly not 9-3. I would agree that Megan is the most likely wildcarder from this round, given how much the judges talked up her frankly forgettable performance.

It was amazing how good Brooke looked and sounded away from the stress of competition.

Castaway said...

Good point Hyde on the gender balance issue---the tween (and older) girls are coming to see the guys. It's simple formula that makes Idol a lot of money.

I thought the choices were pretty easy last. Okay, "Man in a Mirror" guy was bland but there were very few inspiring performances on Wednesday. I don't know if I'm on the Adam "talent" bandwagon yet but he obviously has the perfect Jonas Brothers/Fall Out Boy look to market. He has talent, but not sure he's the most talented yet.