The judges were on happy juice tonight as, according to them, there was not ONE bad performance by the top 13 men. (I told you Jermaine was coming back!). The vintner left the happy juice out of my merlot because I beg to seriously differ with the judges on the merits of some of the performances tonight.
I tried to pre-guess who was going first, middle, and last. At one time Nigel Lythgoe said when planning the show, they try to put the best ones up front and on the back (but you notice the very best are always on the back end). After the fourth performance, I had it figured out for this group. They were putting the *fodder* (those they really aren't interested in and hope don't attract much attention) in the middle and putting their favorites in the first four and final four slots. And leaving Jermaine hanging in the wind. I'm not sure the performances worked out exactly as the producers planned.
First up was Reed Grimm, dubbed by the judges as this years *Casey* because he plays an instrument which is not a guitar or a piano. He does a song I do not know (even though Jennifer says *everyone knows* the song) in a jazzy style which may or may not be an innovative arrangement of the song but was certainly not an innovative performance for Reed. He told us in the pre-tape he was going to *work us into a frenzy* and with a song called *With Moves Like Jagger*, I expected a little more than the Carnival Cruise Line/Second rate Vegas casino act it turned out to be. Despite the judges saying it was wonderful, I'm predicting Reed will need a wild card save by the judges to get in the top 13.
Adam *White Chocolate* Brock quits crying for a few minutes and revives the *large black woman inside of him* by singing Aretha's *Think*. There is just something sad about a white man trying to act black and American should be crying now. He growly growls the song, Gokey style, and I'm so not enthralled that my mind wanders and I notice he has what appears to be a handkerchief hanging from his butt which I presume is there in case he breaks into tears again. Turns out it is a Pittsburgh Steelers towel which I decide he added to convince any man watching that he is really not a girly man. The demographic who is likely to vote for him is a demographic Auntee belongs in and I'm not buying him. But I'm pretty discriminating.
The next guy, who is a high school boy and seems to be genuinely nice, is Diandre. For the life of me, I do not know who is going to love this all falsetto performance but the judges act like he is Pavoratti. I wrote down he sang Earth Wind and Fire's Reasons and it might be a good song but I was tending to a howling cat so didn't catch the judge's mood. I thought for a moment that his long lustrous much tossed about hair might catch the pink cell phone crowd but that demographic is going to be divided up so I'm guessing, absent a wildcard, he will not make the cut and I won't miss him one bit.
Just when I was bemoaning all those pink cell phones pre-programming Diandre's number, the Mighty Colton appears with his hair changed from Madame Pompadour with a skunk stripe to Hobbit with a skunk stripe. Colton, we know you have *interesting* hair you don't need to milk it by giving us your hair care secrets Once again he mentions his sister hoping we all will forget how he horned in on her audition and trampled over her dreams in Hollywood. He says he is going to do something *different* than play the piano but then he plays the piano for half of the song, then stands up and does James Durbin on a bad night. I didn't know the song and didn't catch the title but the lyrics of *How Did We Get Here* remind me of exactly how HE got there and it wasn't pretty for his sister. He will go a long way as he is getting the pink cell phone votes for the season.
So now we are getting into fodder territory and my guy Jeremy Rosado is offered up as the first to take the cannon balls. Except he is genuinely a nice guy, he sings well, and JLo and Steven are not with the program and praise his performance of *Gravity*. I like him a lot even though I don't particularly like his style of singing and hope he manages to hang on but I suspect he is a goner too. Hispanics don't do well on Idol and he is fat to boot and unless the middle aged women abandon Adam and vote for him, we will never see or hear from him after Thursday night.
The judges give the first of three or four standing ovations to what I thought was a completely ordinary performance of *Never Can Say Goodbye* by Aaron Marcellus. I have nothing against him personally, but once again I thought I was in a second tier Vegas lounge. As with Diandre, I do not know what the judges are thinking except that they want to mess with Nigel's head by praising the performers Nigel has slated as fodder.
Chase Likens is not Scotty McCreery and he will be gone Thursday. If you are going to do country, you better do a tearjerker your first time up so we can fall in love with your sensitive side.
Creighton Fraker, from Brandon, SD, moved to New York because he was too different for SD. In other words, he is gay and he is telling us with his song *True Colors* without coming out and saying so since he, like everyone else on the coasts, has the mistaken impression that anyone who doesn't live in California or New York hates gay people and wants to kill them. . He did a good job, I like him and would like to hear more from him but strongly suspect that I will not.
So we are now moving out of fodder territory to Phillip Phillips. He doesn't want to be famous he just wants to make good music. His song choice is not going to win many fans but he will be rescued by the Wild Card if he doesn't manage to get the votes. The judges love him. He is OK but doesn't chime my clock.
Little Eben was nervous and no one did a sound check so we could barely hear him sing the Adele song...which was a good choice if he wants to get the pink cell phone vote. He did go flat or sharp or something in the middle. I have my doubts he will make it through but maybe the grandmas will vote for him because despite the song, the pink cell phones are dialing Colton's number tonight.
Who doesn't love HeJun? I loved his sweet momma dancing. I love his dead pan humor. I just don't love his singing so much. A big let down after all the air time he got leading up to tonight. I think he will squeak by either by votes for his personality or by wild card but he better up the game on singing. He was arguably the worst of the night.
The ONLY performance *moment* of the night was the one by Josh LeDet. I am NOT an R&B fan. I am not a big voice with lots of melisma fan. But this guy, to me, is the real deal. In addition, he is so far pretty modest (he said in Hollywood that he almost didn't get on the plane because he was sure he would fail). I got a little teary eyed when he sang *You Pulled Me Through* and it really wasn't because of the sappy lyrics. His voice just touched me. I just hope he restrains himself and doesn't sing *This Woman's Work*.
I am pleased that I predicted that Jermaine would be the surprise contestant. I think they should have let the cat out of the bag earlier and let him perform somewhere in the middle because how could he follow Josh LeDet? He did a noble try, however, and I'm sorry, I'm just a sucker for big tall guys with deep voices who sing about their mamas and daddys so I cried when he sang too.
My predictions: Top 5 by votes will be Colton, Adam Brock, Josh Le Det and 2 others of either HeJun, Diandre, Eben or Phillip Phillips. Phillip will be a wild card, He Jun will be a wild card, and Reed will be a wild card. Eben, Creighton, Jeremy Rosado and Jermaine may sneak through as wild cards.