American Idol: “Finalists Chosen”
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American Idol: “Finalists Chosen”

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American Idol

“Finalists Chosen”

Season 11, Episode 16

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Tonight’s episode of Idol was basically two-and-a-half episodes in one: results, then a performance, and then more results. I definitely feel like this show squeezed every drop out of the 360 minutes of our lives it stole from us this week.

The first segment, the narrowing down to the top ten, could be summed up for you in a brief sentence. The only interesting part was Jimmy Iovine piping up from his cubicle to voice his opinions on all the contestants. I felt like Iovine was a proxy for myself tonight, not just because he disliked many of the same performances I did, but because he seems to feel the same way about Idol that most of us do. It has its fun parts, but it can annoy the shit out of you, too. I’m glad that Iovine was kept around for another season, because someone needs to temper the diarrhea-like explosions of sunshine emanating from the judges’ butts. Even the judges seemed to agree that while Jimmy might be mean, he’s probably right.

The first batch of boys were Chase, Phil, and Jeremy. Jimmy (who looked a little ill, by the way), opined that Jeremy can’t just rely on being nice, that Chase isn’t original or exciting, and that Phil Phillips could sound affected but doesn’t. I totally agreed with the first two-thirds of this analysis. Phil made it through to the top 10, while the other two, along with all the other losers from the first part of the night, awaited their wildcard fate. Chase looked salty.

Next it was Hollie, Brielle, Hallie, and Jessica. My annoyance with Brielle grew as I was reminded of the way she pronounce Geee-orgia in her performance and once again caught her referring to herself in the third person. Claire hates this. Jimmy agreed with me that she picked a bad song Wednesday night, and I was mollified. Jessica and Hollie made it to the top 10. I was mildly surprised by Hallie getting cut, but maybe not. She’s pretty but kind of dull.

Jimmy threw shade at all three members of the next group of guys, and I didn’t disagree with him whatsoever. He opined that Joshua’s a good singer, but “my job is not to turn this into Sister Act 3”; that he didn’t think Adam was pulling White Chocolate off; and that HeeJun (whose name now I guess is “HeyJune”) is too much of a clown. Joshua joined the top 10 along with HeeJun, who is already starting to grate on me a little bit. I didn’t realize I had a problem with him until Jimmy pointed it out.

Next up were Baylie, Skylar, Shannon, and Chelsea. I was once again vindicated when Jimmy said that Shannon was dressed too much like the prom for her performance. Before announcing the results, Shannon hijacked the moment by crying and pleading her case, as if that would make a difference when the votes had already been cast. Fortunately for her, she joined the top 10, along with Skylar, who was the only singer of the night I cared about at that point. I thought that Baylie redeemed herself, incidentally, when she said “Sing in tune?” when Ryan asked her what she could have done better Wednesday night.

By the next round, I was starting to envision who would impersonate Iovine on SNL, with his curt, dismissive Brooklyn-accented hate/truth bombs. Reed was too kitschy (true), Aaron Marcellus was too cheesy (perhaps), and “the top end of Creighton’s voice is screechy and annoys me” (can’t argue with that). In the end, none of those guys made it to the top 10, which was only a surprise to me when it came to Reed. But it was not an unpleasant surprise, the kind of surprise you get when your foot falls asleep and you realize it feels good.

Bear with me: We’re almost done with this part. For the last set of girls, Jimmy claimed that Jen needed to avoid Adele songs (truth), that Elise rocked Adele (right), that Erika shouldn’t listen to the judges when they advised her belt more (I agree), and that Haley “sang out of tune the whole time.” (Ouch. I felt bad for her, especially after seeing the footage of her crying backstage.) Haley, like Shannon, made a last-minute plea for leniency, but it was to no avail: Only Elise got to the top 10.

Finally, it was down to Deandre, Eben, Colton, and Jermaine, none of whom Jimmy criticized much, so let’s just get down to it: Colton and Jermaine made it to the top 10.

But of course we weren’t done quite yet! Of the 15 contestants left over, Jen, Jeremy, Brielle (ugh), Deandre, Erika, and Reed were all called back for a last-chance shot at a wildcard. So that meant we said goodbye at that point, for good (I think/hope), to Creighton, Hallie, Eben, Baylie, and Adam. And the others.

Jen sang “Oh! Darling” and completely overcompensated. The judges praised her for pulling it all out for her last shot, but I found her performance desperate. I think she did well during Hollywood and Vegas but just couldn’t shine during the competition. Next.

Jeremy sang “I Know You Won’t” by Carrie Underwood, which for me was a sleepy choice. He cried at the end of it, which I am worried is going to be A Thing this season. One or two singers always cry each season, but I think three or four have done it already this week. I guess it’s the only way to show that you care onstage. I personally won’t rest until I see blood.

“You guys don’t understand that this is my life,” Brielle said right before she got her shot. Oh, I thought that just like all the other contestants on the show, she didn’t give a shit. She sang Adele’s “Someone Like You” and ENOUGH WITH THE ADELE, PEOPLE, REALLY, GODDAMN. Like with Wednesday night’s performance, Brielle completely misinterpreted the song and went whiny and growly and yelly with her take. I hated Jennifer for tearing up during the performance, but I wanted to kiss Steven and Randy on their perfumed heads for basically telling Brielle that she blew it.

Deandre sang “Georgia On My Mind.” I don’t get Deandre. Too high too much of the time.

Erika went with “Edge of Glory,” which was a great song choice for her. Erika is familiar to me: I feel like we all know that one girl who is a little bit of a hot mess when it comes to traditional style and beauty, but you realize it’s because she doesn’t give a shit about what people think about her, and she’s more fun than everybody else. The rendition wasn’t perfect, but I liked the power ballad arrangement. Hers was the best performance of the last-chancers, and I thought she was the only one who definitely deserved to make it to the top 13.

Then there was Reed who did “Use Me” by Bill Withers, but all I could see was rapping, yipping, dancing, scatting schtick.

So finally, we rounded out our top 13. The only person I really cared about, Erika, made it through, and as long as Brielle didn’t make it, I was happy. Jeremy and Deandre joined Erika, which I think was silly: I don’t see either of them making it very far in the show, but at least neither one of them is Reed.

And now. Here we are. We made it, guys. I’m hanging on a moment here with you.

Stray observations:

  • For once, I liked Randy’s outfit
  • I think we all knew that with a Hallie/Hollie/Haley, only one of those girls was going to make it.
  • Jeremy’s mom and Brielle’s mom looked like the same lady, albeit one with a brunette wig and a blonde wig.
Filed Under: TV, American Idol

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