So, apparently the Top 13 “twist” wasn’t THE twist Mike Darnell talked about back in January. Idol producer Ken Warwick told USA Today that “Thursday’s shocker was not the surprise he has been promising for the final round that starts Tuesday.”
Warwick also told E! Online, “There is a big surprise coming. You’ll never guess what it is, but it’s something that rears its head every season and it’s huge.”
Also, Warwick tells USA Today, it’s likely that two finalists will be eliminated in one week. (Chart maven, Kirsten, suggests a Final 3 for the final week. That would definitely mix things up, and solve the scheduling problem.)
ETA: The LA Times is reporting that Ryan Seacrest will explain how the double elimination will work on his show next week. But, Paula Abdul, on the John Jay and Rich radio show Friday (listen below), said there will be a double elimination this week. But, what does she know? Plus, Paula said the judges agreed on Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai, but disagreed on one of the girls. Likely, Jasmine Murray—Kara DioGuardi said here they agreed on Megan Corkrey, Matt and Anoop. Simon told Jesse Langseth when he eliminated her that she “almost made it in” so the disagreement was likely over Jasmine vs Jesse. How could that even be a contest? Plus, Paula wanted Felicia Barton for the wildcard, but Simon didn’t.
Peeps have been speculating for days about the twist, some think Idol will borrow from Simon Cowell’s UK talent show the X Factor, and have the Bottom 3 sing for their lives, with the judges choosing who gets to stay. As if allowing the judges to pick 4 of the Top 13 isn’t enough, why don’t the producers take back even more control.
Still, “something that rears it’s head every season?” And “It’s huge?” Isn’t that Simon’s ego? Heh.
Also, per Darnell’s interview, I wonder if they still plan to throw the kids together in a mansion and follow them around with cameras?
Warwick claims the decision to do a Top 13 was made spur of the moment, with Simon Cowell, on a commercial break during the wildcard when they got down to a final two of Anoop Desai and Matt Giruad.
Color me cynical, but I find it hard to believe the producers didn’t know what would go down on the wildcard show before the cameras rolled. As the show’s events unfolded, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the die had already been cast before the contestants had a chance to perform. The judges critiques felt scripted, like they were written to justify a predetermined outcome–as contrived as Tatiana Del Toro’s antics.
Seriously, golden rainbows could have flown out of Ricky Braddy’s mouth, and Simon would have still dissed his performance. Ditto Jesse Langseth, whose slinky “Tell me Something Good, ” Randy declared “not great” and Simon called, “self indulgent”.
Ricky (arguably the best singer of the Top 36) and Jesse would have had a better chance to advance through the old Top 24 system. Jasmine Murray’s personality-free performances probably would have gotten her canned.
I can appreciate the desire to build a Top 12/13 that’s diverse, and also one with characters the casual viewer (men and kids who may not vote) will tune in for, but some of these picks are not going to last very long.
Both Jasmine and Megan Corkrey are going to struggle with themes. Quirky Megan has an interesting vocal tone, but I don’t get that she’s musical or very versatile. I expect young pageant bot, Jasmine, will continue to stink up the stage with unfocused, uninteresting performances–good luck making the tour, honey. Matt Giraud is
threatening promising to sing more pop, but even if he sticks to soul, he has a tendency to over-sing. Anoop Desai has intrigued me since his audition back in Kansas City, but he has yet to prove his mettle–I’m not jumping on his bandwagon yet. Kris Allen and Michael Sarver need to improve upon wonky semi-final performances before they impress me. Widower, Danny Gokey, and blind guy, Scott MacIntyre, have judges pimping their backstories to over-sell average vocal skills. Jorge Nunez, another singer with middling vocals, is coasting on his sweet personality.
That leaves 4 singers who I truly believe sang/performed their way into the finals. The charismatic Adam Lambert has a huge personality and even bigger vocal range, and knows how to work the stage. I’m not sold on his sound–retro-metal rock with a big helping of Broadway, but he promises to keep things interesting, and I believe him. Alexis Grace took on Aretha during the semis and had a truly fabulous performance. She could be my favorite girl. Heart loving, Allison Iraheta has some cool music on her Ipod and may be the only true rocker out of this whole bunch. Her semi-final performance didn’t completely win me over, but if she just says no to Whitney and Celine, Allison could convince me. And while Lil Rounds isn’t the best female R&B singer ever on the Idol stage–she’s no Fantasia/Jennifer/Melinda–her personality shines through her performances. The jury is out, but she could be the real deal.
So, don’t hold me to anything I just said. I still don’t feel like I know these kids. An unexpected breakout performance from anybody could change my mind. I’m still waiting for that truly great performance.