Tonight’s bootees are: Nick Pedro, AJ Tabaldo, Alaina Alexander and Leslie Hunt. Tonight’s fab group sing: “Joy to the World”. And special guest performer: Kellie Pickler.
Ryan tells the audience that over 32 million votes came in before introducing a recap of the performances. Why is Sundance screaming? AJ is so excited that he sang well. Sadly, his enthusiasm will not last. I can’t wait until the results show is cut back to 30 minutes.
Yay! It’s time for a Pointy Pose! This week, the kids sing “Joy to the World.” Not quite as cheesetastic as last week, but I’ll take what I can get.
Ryan says that’s it’s time to get down to business. A guy will be eliminated first.
Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh, Sundance Head, and Blake Lewis are all declared safe. Jared Cotter, sitting at the end of the row, is asked to stand up and join Ryan at the podium. “Just let me know” he pleads nervously. He looks like he’s going to barf. Hmmm, I smell a fake-out! Ryan says, “America voted…they’d take a cruise with you…sit down buddy.” Yep, Jared is safe.
“NICK, would you stand up, ” says Ryan. Ruh rho. Looks like Nick Pedro is going back to Tau-en. Quick and dirty, “Nick, you are going home tonight.”
Nick is classy. The judges seem sorry to see him go. Really, he did have a good voice, but I agree with Simon, he could not separate himself from the pack. Nick sings out, and he’s even better than he was last night. ’tis a shame. But, there are more disappointments to come tonight.
It’s time to eliminate a girl.
Stephanie Edwards, Gina Glocksen, Sabrina Sloan and Melinda Doolittle are quickly declared safe. Alaina Alexander is asked to stand. Bye Alaina. Ryan says, “After the nationwide vote, you are leaving us on American Idol.” Alaina smiles and nods. Randy rattles off a few of the judges comments. When he mentions Simon, Alaina says icily “Clever.” She feels played, I’m sure. Poor thing probably believed that Simon was sincerely in her corner rather than setting her up to fall for the sake of good Tee Vee. She turns around and tells her fellow contestants to sing their butts off. The waterworks start, and will pretty much not end for the rest of the night.
Ryan introduces Alaina’s sing out. She can’t sing, proving once again that she was in way over her head. She’s giggling and falling apart. After the verse, she totally gives up. While the background singers sing on, she goes over to hug the girls. She comes back and attempts to pick up the verse, but it’s useless. Sundance starts crying. Stephanie and Jordin are crying. Alaina’s microphone falls off her dress the sound cuts out Paula’s comments.
Wow. The first half of the show is very emotional.
Next, it’s this week’s “American Idol Challenge.” Answer the following question correctly, and you can win $10, 000, a trip to Hollywood, and tickets to an American Idol show. Whoopie! The grand prize is $100, 000 and a trip to the Idol finale! Whee. Last week’s winner, Sean Jones from Wisconsin is introduced from the audience.
Let’s get to the lame question of the week: Of these three American Idols, who was a big winner at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Ryan introduces Kellie Pickler. Oh my. She’s been spending tooo much time in Nashville. She’s working on the big hair, is wearing too much makeup, and her bazooms are busting out of her dress. She looks 20 years older. It is not a good look. She tells us that she’s going on tour with Brad Paisley in April. Kellie and Ryan engage in a little scripted banter. Ryan plays straight (ha ha) man to Kellie’s dizzy blonde. Kellie says she ate sushi for the first time and then Ryan asks her if her breasts are new. Well not exactly, but that was the jist.
Kellie sings her new single “I Wonder.” This song is about her mom who abandoned her when she was just a babe. She breaks up at the end. She’s not the greatest singer, but she performs with emotion. That counts for something.
Now, on to eliminate the second guy.
Ryan asks Chris Richardson to stand up–but not for long. He is safe. Brandon Rogers stands up. He looks nervous. He came into this thing a front runner, but after two lackluster performances, not so much anymore. He knows his head is on the chopping block. But, he lives to sing another week. I’m glad. There’s more to this boy than we’ve seen so far. Fo’ sho’.
Sanjaya Malakar and AJ Tabaldo are asked to stand. Now, to the casual observer, it would seem that Sanjaya’s elimination would be a no-brainer, considering he’s stunk up the joint two weeks in a row. Veteran Idol watchers know better, however. We know that Sanjaya’s folder over at the official American Idol forum is one of the largest. And that he came in second in this week’s dialidol predictions. We realize that his young, shy demeanor has ‘tweens’ and moms’ hearts a-twittering across America. Vocals be damned. So, while I’m sure TPTB set this up as some sort of shocker, the minute these two stand up, it’s pretty obvious who is going. Buh bye AJ.
Ryan delivers the bad news to AJ. Sanjaya is shocked, and maybe a little sad, that he isn’t the one going home. Paula, in a rare moment of clarity, stands up and says, “This is a singing competition, yet, I don’t feel tonight reflects that.” A singing competition? Since when? AJ sings out and he gives it all he’s got. OMG Sundance is still crying. So is Melinda.
After the break, It’s time to lose the second girl.
Lakisha Jones is barely standing up when Ryan tells her to sit back down again. Hayley Scarnato is also safe. Antonella Barba, Leslie Hunt and Jordin Sparks are asked to take the stage. Sabrina has her head in her hands. Antonella giggles nervously as she’s declared safe. Horny teen-aged boys across America were voting their fingers off last night, I’m sure. They may have even used both hands. What a sacrifice.
Right now, Leslie knows she’s a goner. Gina is sobbing. Ryan does not drag the bad news out. He tells Leslie she is going home. She nods sadly. Jordin bursts into tears as she heads back to her seat. The judges all lecture the audience about voting. Vote people, vote like it’s a singing contest. I love it when the judges lecture the audience about voting for the best singer. Bitch, please. When has American Idol ever been a singing competition? It’s a popularity contest. Always has been, always will be. Contestants not only have to sing well, but they have to endear themselves to the audience, in any way they can.
And it does not help if a contestant enters the semi-finals with virtually no screen time under their belt. Give each contestant equal screen time during the auditions, at least start with a fair and level playing field. Don’t hold your breath for that–screen time is just another tool TPTB use to manipulate the audience.
Before Leslie sings out, we are treated to the smell-ya-later videos for all 4 eliminated contestants, with that soon-to-be-annoying DAUGHTRY hit, “Home, ” playing in the background.
Leslie is tearful, and a little defiant as she sings. She starts tentatively and a bit out of tune, but she picks up steam. Gina, Sundance and Jordin are still crying.
At the very end she begins to improvise, “Why did I decide to scat?” The contestants are cracking up. And then, “America don’t care for jazz.” And, she’s suddenly cut off. Best Singout Evah. By the way, I hear that her impromptu remarks were cut out of the West coast feed. As an astute reader just posted in comments, thank God for You Tube…
I’m extremely disappointed that Leslie isn’t moving on. There seems to be no room on the Idol stage for a female performer who is both subtle and quirky. I think that’s a shame. The way things are shaping up with the Top 6 girls, it looks to be a pretty monochromatic group. I’ll be counting on the boys to hopefully shake things up.
Whatever is next for Leslie, I wish her the best of luck. She had many fans who are regular readers here–I will definitely be following her post-idol career. Hopefully, the exposure will lead to more opportunities in the music business. I look forward to that.