American Idol Top 9 Wrap-Up and Predictions

Going Home: Megan Joy Corkrey
Should Go Home: Megan Joy Corkrey

Worst. Theme. Ever. “Sing whatever you want–we’re out of ideas” could describe last night’s “theme” Of course, make sure to throw in a nod to a corporate sponsor!

Seriously, everything about Idol feels cheap this year.

So, I’m throwing all my points to Megan Joy this week.   Even though I have a nagging suspicion that one of   boys could go home tonight.   Maybe Anoop Desai has finally come to the end of his Idol journey.   His performances have been uneven, and his little tiff with Kara may have irked viewers.   Vocally, Anoop has limitations–he’s not great with the runs, and going upbeat tends to set him off-key, but “Caught Up” was not a terrible performance.   I think the judges were hard on him.   For that reason, his impressive fanbase may have voted extra hard for him last night. Sidenote: in what universe is “Caught Up”– Usher’s fifth and least successful single from his 2004 album Confessions–a Top Download? What?

I give the kids a pass for talking back.   The producers are doing everything in their power to provoke them–wouldn’t be surprised if TPTB have told the kids straight up to add some sass to their exchanges with the judges.

Scott MacIntyre finally had a decent performance.   I’m still not feeling his adult contemporary stylings, but stripping his performance down to just piano, gave it a little edge (just a little). Scott doesn’t have a current bone in his body–most definitely born in the wrong decade. Even his new hairdo is old school.   All he needed this week was a members-only jacket.   It’s possible his well-critiqued performance of “Just the Way You Are” left viewers complacent. Could Scott go this week?   With Paula going on about how proud she was of him (nooo it had nothing to do with his disability) and Scott not splitting votes with the soul boys, I’m thinking no.

Then there’s Matt Giraud, who followed up last week’s bottom 3 appearance with a performance the judges absolutely loathed.   Matt is still tangled up in nerves and trying way too hard. His singing was pitchy, the vibrato goatie and the high notes strained.   But so was last week’s somewhat better performance of “Let’s Get it On”–praised to high heavens by the judges.   I suspect what really got the panel’s panties in a bunch was Matt daring to step back into the pop box after they told him NOT to go there. Go figure Simon’s suggestion that Matt sing “Apologize” by POP band One Republic. Whatever.   Matt’s arrangements aren’t original, so his performances tend to sound copy-cat. But mostly, it’s not his song choice.   He needs to sing what he chooses better.   Could Matt be in trouble?   With his fanbase dialing their fingers off this week, maybe not.   But the vote splitting with the other boys could kill him. Note to Simon: “You Found Me” by the Fray is commercial. Because, you know, it is a hit song.

Between America saying NO last week to the judges’ front-runner label, and Matt refusing to stay in the judge-appointed R&B box, I would say TPTB are done pimping him.   So now, it’s back to pimping Danny Gokey!   Danny poured emotion into his performance of “What Hurts the Most” last night, but the vocal was still shouty and sandpaper rough on the big notes.   And I couldn’t help feel a tinge of manipulation there as Danny sang the song’s payoff,   “Come back to me!” After a few iffy weeks, Danny is back to working the sure-fire tragic widower angle. Bah. And why does Danny get to explain that he didn’t get his song choice last week? As if that never happens. He’s not the best singer of this bunch, and he’s not the best performer.   And I don’t see him current in any genre but Christian Contemporary. So, good luck with that, TPTB!

Speaking of the best performing singers of this competition, in my opinion of course–let me run them down for ya.

This year’s diamond in the rough is surely Kris Allen, who began his Idol run unremarkable and under the radar. But, unlike Matt who started off with buzz and has been losing it, Kris has found his voice and his footing and is growing stronger week by week, picking up new fans along the way.   Kris’s song choice, “Ain’t no Sunshine” while having the most mold on it, sounded fresher than nearly everything up on that stage last night.   And with growing confidence, comes charisma.   Kris is on his way to the Top 3 if he keeps it up.

This week was Adam Lambert’s chance to go contemporary, and instead he sang an old disco song from the 70’s.   It was a fantastic showpiece–and for my money Adam is the most talented singer/performer of the group–but I’m still not envisioning Adam fitting into the current musical landscape.   There have been rumblings that “Play that Funky Music” was not Adam’s first pick, but with the wide-open field of song choices, surely there was something–from at least this decade–he could have snagged.   Still love the guy, but I don’t dig it when he goes all heavy-metal hair band with the rock screams.

Allison Iraheta had a solid performance last night.   The front half of “Don’t Speak” was better than than the back half, but as a whole, Allison knows how to “interpret and phrase a song” as Paula said, and while she got a little overexcited toward the end, she did not shout the end of that song (coughdannylilcough).   The judges freaking fixation on Allison’s outfit was absurd. Do they not know any teenagers? The outfit was not THAT outrageous.   And second, the judges blast young contestants for dressing old.   Her outfit was age appropriate and fit the song. Ugh. Why are they sabotaging Allison? Only Paula’s seemingly scripted critique made any sense (Kudos to the writer! I agree! But axe? Really?) She could also be in danger tonight.   I hope not. She’s a Top 3 singer in this competition.

From the best singers, to the not-so-best.

Lil Rounds is not all that.   She just is not. Her performances have not lived up to her early hype. Her screechy delivery of “I Will Always Love You” in Hollywood was an early warning. Last night I felt a little sorry for Lil.   She was trying so desperately hard to have that moment the judges said she missed last week.   And still, they were not pleased with her bombastic and somewhat pitchy version of “Surrender.”   Dressed in her blue ball gown, I thought it was more Miss America than Simon’s tired “wedding” put down.   Thank Ryan for saving the day by enlisting one of her cute daughters to go “punch” Randy Jackson!   He got a hug instead, and tears from Lil which = VOTES!   Lil, who ain’t splittin’ votes with anyone–is going nowhere soon.

And finally the girl I’ve picked to go home.   If Megan Joy got “punched in the face” by the judges last week, I’d say they’ve finished her off with a thorough beat down.   Like Matt, I didn’t think her song choice was the problem.   If she had picked Adele, Duffy or Winehouse as the judges suggested, she would have murdered those song choices too.   Megan’s not a great interpreter of songs, period.   Having said that, I think her performance this week was better than last week’s butchering of Stevie Wonder, but the comments got worse.   The judges mean to finish her off, and it probably worked.   Megan is way past her expiration date at this point.   But you never know.   I’m sure the Worsters were voting their fingers bloody last night.   We could be in for a surprise.   But not a save. Not yet.

About mj santilli 34535 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!