Jaded's Recap: 12 Finalists Compete
A two-hour singing extravaganza! Two...hour...singing...extravaganza...!
To make the top 12 is an honor. To get on TV while sitting in the studio audience is apparently very exciting. Hello? Hello! Here we are, sitting in the live audience! Ah, the barn doors are back. They slide open and Seacrest slides out to start the show.
Idol, loving the instant memories of the current season, show us how each of the 12 ended up in the finals. Surprisingly, they were all very excited. Not a single one was disappointed to make the finals and be stuck on the show.
And here are those shiny, happy people. Geez, all dressed up for a fancy dinner. Brett Young, no hat in the finals. I'll wonder if he'll be comfortable without his binky. That's probably the nicest thing Kellie Pickler has worn. Ha ha ha! Look at Kevin! Somebody gave Kevin's head a makeover. It looks like his younger sister had a slumber party and the girls caught him when he was sleeping.
In talking to the judges, Ryan actually asks Simon an interesting question. With the theme nights starting, how will some contestants handle a new genre? A very good point, Ryan. I mentioned just last week how this season was weird because everybody was locked into their individual niche and never tried anything different. But now they'll be forced to try something different. Who will be able to handle it? I guess we're about to find out.
Whoa. Wait. Tonight really is Stevie Wonder night? Seriously? People are seriously singing Stevie tonight? Wow. Good luck, kids. You are really going to need it. Stevie is tough to take on. Somebody could go completely down in flames. We might even make history tonight with somebody quitting halfway through the song because it's too much for them to handle.
Wow! Stevie Wonder! So who will step up to the higher ground tonight? Who's going to become a real misstra know it all? Who's going to have the inner-visions required to know that all in love is fair? The other thing is, when you have Stevie for the first round of the finals, what's next? Where do you go from there? Setting the bar so high so early!
Brett Young is up first, singing a Stevie Wonder song. Of course. Brett talks about battling life before his performance. Brett, my man, us really good looking folks don't battle anything. We stay out of the trenches and people hand things to us. Don't cry about it. Lotta dance moves out of Brett to start here. I'd advise him to focus a little more on the singing right now because it's dropping off early. Oh man. Already on to the riser. It took all of twenty seconds for that wall to be breached this season. I can't wait to see somebody get on that thing eight more times tonight. It's officially part of the Idol short program. Randy tells Brett that Stevie is really tough to sing, and Brett had trouble with it up front. Basically, exactly what I said. I rule! Paula loved it. Simon, not swayed by Brett's giant chiclets gleaming in the stage lights, agrees that the singing needs to be improved. Man, the emailers are right. I should be on that panel! So...I can...um...add another voice of agreement to the comments. To console Brett, Seacrest gives him a six-step white guy soul shake. Awesome.
Will we get to find out what new food item Kellie ingested this week? I'm sure it's hilarious. How long do you think it took Seacrest to get to that point in the audience? Just shuffling down the row like somebody coming back from the bathroom during a movie. Did he spill his popcorn when he bumped somebody's knee? In the pre-song piece, Stevie tells Kellie he thought she was from England and she completely bought it. I guess Kellie had the gullible platter for the first time this week. Feeling nice and confident getting away from her genre, Kellie slowly walks out on stage, using the hand rail.
Here's Kellie's problem right now. Even if the song is outside your comfort zone, a great singer finds a way to bring it back into their wheelhouse. They change it up a bit, put a twang on it if that's what they're into. And then they go out there with confidence and dominate. Kellie, unfortunately, scared herself before the song and talked herself right into this shaky performance. She just wants to get out of there right now. Randy can't believe what he saw. There was nothing to it. Paula searches for something nice to say, eventually settling on too safe. That is...generous. Simon just comes right out and calls it a boring bomb. Simon then tells Kellie she looks like Dolly Parton and Kellie says, "Without the accent." Um, without what accent? Both she and Dolly have huge accents. Maybe in Albemarle, Dolly Parton sounds like a New England blueblood. After that, Ryan and Kellie have perhaps the most bizarre exchange in the history of the show.
Elliott was barely able to handle meeting Stevie. He was so nervous, he even changed scarves during the visit. Now, where this theme was the opposite of Kellie's comfort zone, this is exactly where Elliott wants to be. He even wore a white blazer to '70s up the performance a bit more. Huh. I don't have much to say here. Randy didn't think this was peak Elliott tonight. Boooooooooo! Paula loved how much Elliott was touched by meeting Stevie. Simon says Elliott was the best of the first three, which is not a giant mountain to climb.
Mandisa is once again dressed for a night at the opera. So classy! So elegant! So Mandisa! Wait. Bare feet. That's not appropriate for the opera. I assume. I've never actually gone. Mandisa also could not believe she got to meet Stevie. I wonder if any of the contestants were totally nonplussed to meet him. That actually would be pretty hilarious.
All right, now Mandisa is finally bringing some power to a song. Ooh! And some dancing. That's a new twist for her. Don't you worry about a thing, everybody. Mandisa has bare feet. I just hope she doesn't step on the one rusty nail on the stage. It's put there every year as a part of an old British custom. Weird, I know. Randy still is not impressed. He might be right. Maybe Stevie is simply too hard to handle, too cold to hold. But, Randy admits that Mandisa is the leader in the clubhouse. Paula loved it. And Simon also thinks it was the best of the night.
As we come back from the break, some little shaver in the audience flashes us his fingers, then smugly smiles and looks at his mom behind him. Way to go, sport! Way to maximize your time in the sun. Bucky tells us it's not like he would meet Stevie Wonder sitting in his neighborhood tavern. Umm, yes. An innocent thought, and yet so profound. Boy, Bucky's hair really glows in this light. Bucky's pelvis is really getting into the act tonight. I guess he does like Elvis. Bucky is performing with a lot of energy, I'm just not sure how good it is. Judges, lead me please. Randy sorta sums up what I say. Good energy, entertaining, singing could improve. Paula enjoyed it, but wanted a little more. Simon liked the performance, just not the hair. Then Ryan cracks a joke that makes himself laugh, and gives the rest of us a moment to sit quietly and reflect.
You know I just realized? This particular recap isn't particularly funny. Hmm. I'm actually trying to give thoughtful, sincere commentary on each performance. And, really, there's nothing to riff on since the professional stylists got their hands on the kids. Sorry about that. I'll try to step it up in the second half of the show here.
Melissa tells Ryan the kids have been working 17 hour days. Working? Really? Taking a limo and standing around all day constitutes work now? Well, I know we'll never outsource that to Calcutta. Melissa's t-shirt brags that everybody loves a brunette. Which is only one of the six colors her hair has taken on this week. Melissa is going to perform "Lately", in tribute to when she made the final 12. Whoa. Come on, Missy! Pull it together! You still have time! Ouch. A step backward. Which I didn't even think was possible. Oh dear. She should've picked a different time to wear her first dress. Does she keep saying recognition and not premonition? Is that an accident? Well, judging from the eye roll she just gave there, I'd say yes. And then when she admits it to Randy, yes, it was definitely an accident. Randy thought it was rough, but thinks Melissa pulled it together at the end there. Paula still loves Melissa's voice. Simon thinks it was Melissa's best performance yet. Wow. I have to admit, I am hearing the performances this year totally differently than the judges. And since they make at least 100 times what I do, you should trust their opinions, not mine. Oh, and for the record, premonition means an advanced warning or vision of the future.
Lisa was nervous to meet Stevie Wonder. I'm not sure I need to keep including that in each paragraph. Is Lisa wearing an actual jacket or merely two independent sleeves? Hard to tell. I guess the bottom half of the jacket was trimmed away to make that nifty belt. This is okay. Maybe a little too polished. This energy seems rehearsed, not real and spontaneous. Randy really liked the end of the song. Paula loved it, and Simon was happy to see somebody finally take control of the stage.
Kathy McPhee was nervous to meet Stevie Wonder. The now standard reaction. Wait. Seacrest also directs the show? Wow. I have a newfound respect for him. Ah, Kathy. So cute. Have you noticed Kathy's standard singing move? She sticks her left arm out horizontally, pronated, of course. Then she supinates and lifts her arm to the sky. Pronation and supination. Ben Hogan's two keys to the golf swing, Kathy McP's key to a good performance and two confusing kinesiology terms. And that must be why Katharine is breezing through this song with such grace. Randy thought the good Katharine finally showed up again. Paula loved it. Simon thinks Kathy is fantastic. After that niceness, Seacrest again cracks himself up. Good!
Ryan! That riser is for contestants only! Get down from there! You're going to get it covered in bottle tan and make somebody slip off. After meeting Stevie, will Taylor add head bobs to his routine now? After the hug? Okay, now this is when I like Taylor. During the singing part. This is very pleasing. He seems like one of the few who was ready for tonight. Except...that he apparently didn't plan any dance moves and had to resort to whatever spastic jerks popped into his head at the moment. Out in the audience, two of Taylor's more...um...bookish friends exchange a vicious high five. Luckily, neither man was hit in the face, which was a real possibility. Randy thought Taylor was hot tonight, feeling it. Paula loved it. Simon likens Taylor to a drunken dad, except he means it as a compliment, since Taylor can actually sing.
Paris could barely handle meeting Stevie. She gets this nervous meeting celebrities? She played Rudy on The Cosby Show! She was constantly around Bill Cosby! She should be used to it. Geez, look at Paris go. She kinda coasted through the semi-final round, but she's coming back with a force tonight. She's got her heading bobbing like Mo'nique. This season is going to be tough on me. I'm not sure anybody is going to do anything outstandingly ridiculous, so I'm not going to have anything to talk about. Poor me! Randy thought Paris was also hot tonight. Paula thinks Paris is already a pro. Simon loved Paris' confidence.
Chris Daughtry goes last. Ah, now this will be interesting. Stevie never wrote any songs for Live or Gobsmack. So let's see how he handles this one. A ha! Chris found an escape hatch! A loophole! Clever boy! He's going to take the higher ground. Hey! How did Chris get his hands on Bo Bice's mic stand? That's supposed to be locked up backstage in a special glass case. Uh...yeah. This version is lot more RHCP than SW. Still good and fun, but no combo. You know, Chris might become the first ever Idol contestant to smash a guitar after a song. And I'm looking forward to it. Randy enjoyed how Chris found his own way to do the song. Paula loved it all, including Chris' freshly-waxed head. And Simon was happy that somebody finally showed up and did things the right way.
Okay. Deep breath and...we are done. But not before Seacrest cracks himself up one last time. Ahhh. Refreshing.
All Season 5 Recaps
- The Finale
- Two Finalists Perform
- 1 of 3 Voted Off
- Three Finalists Perform
- 1 of 4 Voted Off
- Four Finalists Perform
- 1 of 5 Voted Off
- Five Finalists Perform
- 1 of 6 Voted Off
- Six Finalists Perform
- 1 of 7 Voted Off
- Seven Finalists Perform
- 1 of 8 Voted Off
- Top 8 Perform
- 1 of 9 Voted Off
- 9 Finalists Compete
- 1 of 10 Voted Off
- 10 Finalists Perform
- 1 of 11 Voted Off
- 11 Finalists Compete
- 1 of 12 Voted Off
- 12 Finalists Compete
- Four Voted Off
- Eight Boys Perform
- Eight Girls Perform
- Four Voted Off
- Ten Boys Perform
- Ten Girls Perform
- Four Voted Off
- Twelve Boys Perform
- Twelve Girls Perform
- Hollywood Round 3
- Hollywood Round 2
- Hollywood Round 1
- Boston Auditions
- Austin Auditions
- Las Vegas Auditions
- San Francisco Auditions
- Greensboro Auditions
- Denver Auditions
- Chicago Auditions