Friday, February 26, 2010

American Idol: Four out the door

Shoveling my way out of my house consumed a good chunk of my time and energy today (living in the mountains is awesome in spring, summer and fall, but it's awful in snowy winters), so I'll have a few belated thoughts on last night's "American Idol" results show coming up after the jump...

Over at NJ.com, the Ledger's Tanya Batallas has a full "Idol" results show recap, but the gist is that Janell Wheeler, Ashley Rodriguez, Joe Munoz and Tyler Grady got the boot.

None was very good on Tuesday or Wednesday, but also none of them were memorably bad enough for viewers (whether a fanbase that's already formed at this early stage, or just casual voters feeling sympathetic) to try to save them. Tim Urban, on the other hand, was not only awful, but then got savaged by the judges, so he's still around for at least another week. As always, my number one rule of "Idol" survival is that it's better to be horrendous (and/or ripped by the judges) than to be mediocre.

Janell sounded really good in the first Hollywood episode - singing, oddly enough, the same song that was used for this season's first "Idol" group sing - and is probably kicking herself for not using her guitar on Tuesday's show. (And using it would have forced her to pick a song better suited for her voice than Heart's "What About Love."

And speaking of both guitars and group sings, I'll concede that "Idol" result shows have gotten much better over the last year through cannier booking of musical guests, but it's still schadenfreude-tastic to watch contestants like Crystal Bowersox try to look comfortable with the Up With People arrangements and pointy dance moves. I'll give credit to Crystal for trying, at least, as a too-cool-for-school attitude would bring her "Idol" run to a much-too-premature end. Once you commit to doing "Idol," you have to commit to doing "Idol," you know.

All in all, the worst four people didn't go home, but the only bootee who at any point looked like they had a shot to go far into the finals was Ashley, and it's become clear that she's not what the show is looking for this year.

What did everybody else think?

16 comments:

Pei said...

Jannell had put on weight since tryouts...and her hotness was adversely affected. So, she needed to go.

Anonymous said...

Was really sad to see Ashley go- yes, she did a bad version of "happy", but the girl had charisma, stage presence, poise- she would have done well in the competition, had she been given a chance. She was one of the only girls who didn't look nervous or awkward on stage.

anyone else notice that the only two latino contestants were voted off in the first week? what up with that?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Andrew Garcia survived, and is still the male favorite.

Maura said...

Interesting that you used "Up With People" to describe the group sing, Alan. That's the same term I used to describe it last night. I very seldom watch the results shows, and every time I do, I remember why I usually skip them.

I think Ashley was overrated, but I was shocked that she was eliminated. I was under the impression that she had already built up a healthy fanbase (although I have no idea why I had that impression), and she seemed to be a favorite with the judges. I felt bad for her though. I think she had enough of something - talent, charisma, whatever - to do well as the season went on.

I also felt bad for Janelle and Joe. Tyler, not so much. Tim and Alex were terrible this week, and should have gone home, but I was OK with Tyler going. And he could have taken Jermaine with him. Neither one gave much of a performance, and they both behaved rather poorly - Tyler when he was eliminated, and Jermaine after the critique by the judges.

I hope that was the last of the Kara/Casey thing. He looked like he's about as over it as he could possibly be. I know I am.

amysusanne said...

There are a couple of people that I do really like, so I was glad they didn't go, but I still didn't really care that much about the results. So, I was surprised that I was actually really bummed when Tyler got voted off. I didn't think he sucked Wednesday and I thought the judges were completely off their rockers with the strange, contradictory criticism of him, so it was kind of a bummer that he got cut. If nothing else, I think he had the potential to be very entertaining when it came to responding to the judges. I don't hang out in Idol forums, so I don't really know if I'm alone on this, but I thought that both his reaction Wednesday and his response last night were pretty good. He managed to "talk back" without coming off like a total dick.

And I don't know why it took me this long to realize it, but Allison is pretty much the 2010 version of EG Daily circa 1985.

lungfish said...

Janell was linked to Tim Tebow on some gossip sites. Maybe Janell fell victim to the Tim Tebow backlash.

Susan said...

Alan, you live in the mountains? I always figured you were a Newark dweller.

Ben S said...

I, being from England and somewhat ignorant of American topography, had no idea there were mountains in New Jersey. Learning that fact was infinitely more entertaining than this week's Idol.

Steve said...

I can't believe the two most attractive girls on the show were sent home after the first night of the competition. Janelle Wheeler is gorgeous.

Hyde said...

Andrew Garcia survived, and is still the male favorite.

Also, I believe Michelle Delamor may be Latina (she's from Miami and appears to have a slight accent). And Katie Stevens is Portuguese, if that counts.


I'll give credit to Crystal for trying, at least, as a too-cool-for-school attitude would bring her "Idol" run to a much-too-premature end.

I predict that Crystal is going to be the Adam of this season, in the sense of having both the most obsessed fans and the loudest detractors. Obviously a certain number of viewers will be turned off by her single motherhood and her overall hippie vibe, but I also think her refusal to pay lip service to typical Idol platitudes (e.g. saying she came on the show because she wanted a bigger paycheck) is going to turn a lot of people off. For that reason, I was interested to see her gamely going along with the group performance.

I was less upset about who got voted out than who didn't. Who is voting for that Tim Urban character? As promising as Janell looked at first, if you have bad nerves and don't have the sense to go with your strength in the first week, you basically get what you deserve.

Also, I think Tyler's comments were not out of line. It's a fact that the judges ripped him for essentially following their advice from Hollywood.

LA said...

Honestly, none of these people was going to be in the top 12, and the order in which they are dismissed is irrelevant to me.

I'm gunning for Alex Lambert to be gone soon. He makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I'm sure Crystal is very uncomfortable in the Up With People dances (perfect description, BTW), but I also noticed they've begun dental work on her, and she's probably been advised not to smile too wide. Notice she keeps her mouth shut.

I'm being stone cold serious when I say I had no idea there were any mountains in New Jersey. And yes, I've been there.

cadfile said...

Still bothers me when a talent show seems to hinge on "looks" more than "talent". YMMV

I thought the mountains in NJ were slag piles from the chemical plants??

Tina Marina said...

I live in the New Jersey mountains, and shoveling your way out has indeed been a pain in the ass.

I agree with LA - all four were pretty forgettable. I wasn't sad to see any of them go. This season seems to be seeing how fast it can turn great singers into terrible artists with weird, backwards criticism from the judges. Hopefully Bowersox or Garcia or Lily will just ignore them and keep improving.

AuntiePam said...

I can't help but wonder if Tyler's lack of votes was a backlash against Kara. Nobody likes her, but since we can't vote on the judges, this is one way to show how we feel about her.

Jerry said...

Agree with LA as far as none of these making the top 12, and thought Adam Lambert was going home instead of '70s rocker dude. Next week probably.

As far as the vote, it had nothing to do with race...though obviously the day this show has a legitimate hip-hop artist go far, hell (or our state of NJ) will likely freeze over. Even though rap and hip hop dominates the pop charts, that's not what this show or its audience are about, so...

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the effect of sites like "Vote For the Worst" on the outcomes for week one? I always think they have an effect on the first few weeks. I thought Haeley and Tim were like nails/chalkboard on the show but were the favorites of the above-named site. Hmmm....