It’s Results Night on “American Idol.”
Over the next TWO hours, we’re going to find out which Semifinalists received America’s seal of approval and which three singers will be rescued by the judges.
For the purposes of this live-blog, I’ve decided that Heejun Han is making the Top 13. I don’t know if it’s gonna be via America’s vote or via the judges, but if Heejun doesn’t make it, I’m gonna be both sad and surprised. But still, I’m using his picture as a guess. It doesn’t spoil anything, at least not anything I know about.
Anyway, click through and follow along. Last year’s equivalent of this show was actually a really good, jam-packed two hours. Hopefully this year’s won’t be bad either…
8:02 p.m. ET. Jennifer Lopez is shimmery. And Ryan Seacrest thought tonight was important enough for a tie. Excellent!
8:04 p.m. Over 33 million votes came in over the past two nights.
8:05 p.m. Our first commercial break? Already? Hmmm…
8:09 p.m. We’re starting the construction of our Top 10 with the Men. Chase Likens, Phillip Phillips and Jeremy Rosado are called forward. Phillip’s pretty much a sure thing. Chase is the competition’s only hope for a countrified man. And Jeremy’s there because the judges like that he’s enthusiastic for the other competitors.
8:10 p.m. Jimmy Iovine lives! Jimmy thinks Jeremy’s got a nice voice and he’s a nice guy, but he says that you have to have more than that to be a star. That may count as an apt criticism, however coddling it is. Jimmy thinks Chase is a good-looking guy, but he saw nothing “fresh, original and exciting” about Chase. That also seems apt. Go Jimmy! And finally, Jimmy saves his highest compliment for Phil-Phil, of whom he says, “I’d sign this guy on the spot.”
8:13 p.m. Randy and J-Lo resist the temptation to criticize Jimmy’s criticisms of Jeremy. Phil-Phil is reduced to blathering at Jimmy’s compliments. Steven says Chase’s voice is climbing out from the inside.
8:14 p.m. Jeremy Rosado has NOT made the Top 10. Whew. Chase Likens also has NOT made it. That means, predictably and aptly, that Phillip Phillips is the first person in our Top 13. Yup. I can get behind that.
8:15 p.m. Let’s keep the momentum going with our Ladies. Ryan calls Hollie Cavanagh, Brielle Von Hugel, Haley Johnsen and Jessica Sanchez down. If only one of these women is in the Top 10, it’s definitely going to be Jessica. But I could definitely let one or two of the others advance.
8:16 p.m. “Give her the right material and she could do some real damage in this game,” Jimmy says of Brielle. Jimmy doesn’t understand Brielle’s song choice and he fears that it will hurt her. Oh. Wait. That’s Hallie Day in the group on stage, not Haley. It’s time to get rid of some of these interchangeable women. Jimmy calls this Hallie’s best show so far, whatever that means. Does he know that this was her first real performance?
8:19 p.m. Brielle stands by her song choice, but she has no negative words for Jimmy. J-Lo doesn’t know if Hallie was enough of a standout to make the Top 5 Women. Brielle Von Hugel is not in the Top 10. But two of the other women are, indeed, in the Top 10. Hallie Day is the one on the outside, meaning that Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh are in the Top 13. I can totally deal with both of those picks.
8:26 p.m. So far, so good, America. The judges are already discussing the Wild Cards and figuring out who they want to hear sing again.
8:27 p.m. Joshua Lidet, Heejun Han and Adam Brock take the stage. Of this group, Adam’s the only one whose absence in the Top 13 won’t break my heart. “It’s nerves. It’s excitement. We all love each other so much,” Adam gushes.
8:28 p.m. Jimmy calls Joshua “the real deal” and says there’s no question he’s going to get through. Jimmy also says that where Joshua is concerned, it’ll be his job to make sure it doesn’t become “Sister Act 3.” Let’s just pretend Jimmy’s only talking about Joshua’s church roots. Jimmy’s not buying Adam’s “Large black woman in a white guy’s body” schtick. Jimmy is confused by Heejun, saying “This isn’t ‘American Comedian.’ This is ‘American Idol.'” The crowd boos Jimmy’s comments and Heejun takes the high road and insists he’s taking the competition seriously.
8:31 p.m. After the vote… Joshua Lidet is in the Top 13. Damn straight. Heejun Han is also in the Top 13. Damn straight, again. And Adam will have to wait.
8:33 p.m. Baylie Brown, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine and Chelsea Sorrell take the stage next. Shannon and Skylar are locks to make the Top 13 in one form or another. I’d like to look at Baylie some more, but she was awful last night. And Chelsea? Hmmm… Who?
8:34 p.m. Jimmy loved Skylar’s song choice and her charisma and stage presence. “Baylie Brown seems to have all the pieces, but they didn’t come together,” Jimmy says, predicting that Baylie’s gonna be done. Jimmy calls Chelsea’s voice “really nice,” but also calls it “Carrie Underwood karaoke.” Jimmy thought Shannon needs some help in the styling area, but he thinks she has a great voice.
8:37 p.m. Shannon is already crying. “I can’t help myself but cry,” Shannon blubbers. Poor Baylie. She says that if she had it to do all over again, she’d sing on-key. Awww. She’s so cute! Skylar says her confidence comes from loving the song and knowing what kind of artist she wants to be. After the vote… Shannon Magrane is in the Top 13. Of course she is. Shannon’s still crying. Randy says that there’s definitely room in the competition for more than one country girl. Ryan botches the reveal that it’s Skylar Laine in the Top 13. Yup. That makes sense.
8:45 p.m. Ryan calls Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker and Reed Grimm to the stage. Whatever. They’re like a middle-aged comedy trio, by “Idol” standards. I guess I’d put Reed through? If I were forced to?
8:47 p.m. Reed was way too cabaret for Jimmy. Aaron confused Jimmy. Jimmy calls Creighton’s voice “interesting,” but calls the top end of his voice “screechy” and annoying. J-Lo respects Jimmy, but insists that what they’re hearing in the theater is different from what Jimmy may be hearing. Randy acknowledges that Jimmy was right and Steven kinda admits that as well. After the vote, Aaron Marcellus is not in the Top 10. Creighton also is not in the Top 10. Ohhh. But it’s a shocker. Seacrest was being an ass and none of them are in the Top 10. The crowd boos Ryan.
8:51 p.m. Ryan is unfazed and calls Elise Testone, Haley Johnsen, Jen Hirsh and Erika Van Pelt to the stage. Honestly, at least three of these women have very good voices, but if any of them make the Top 13, they won’t last. It’s like a competition to be No. 13 and No. 12 for the season. That doesn’t mean that some of these women won’t have better voices than people who advance deeper, but this isn’t just a singing competition and these aren’t the kinds of performers capable of winning “American Idol” as currently composed.
8:52 p.m. Jimmy likes Jen’s voice, but cautions “Idol” singers away from Adele. Jimmy applauds Erika’s restraint and absurdly says that Erika can “go all the way.” No. No she cannot, Jimmy. “Wow. She sang out of tune the whole song,” says a refreshingly candid Jimmy of Haley. Jimmy thinks Elise has a lot of character and he backs down on his “No Adele” rule, but warns that Elise was pushing a little hard.
8:55 p.m. “I felt I performed it to my best ability,” Haley says. Yeah. I think that means she probably is done. At least Baylie had the sense to know she could still do better. Indeed, Haley is not in the Top 10. Erika also isn’t in the Top 10. That means that it’s down to the Dueling Adeles, Jen and Elise. Jen has a better voice. Elise was better last night. And that’s probably why Elise Testone is in the Top 13.
8:58 p.m. DeAndre Brackensick, Colton Dixon, Eben Franckewitz and Jermaine Jones hit the stage. This has the potential to be interesting, because Jermaine would be my pick and he’s probably the least likely to get America’s vote here. But anyway… Commercial time!
9:04 p.m. “I hate seeing some of these people go home, but I have to say I agree with America on every single one of the people they’ve put through so far,” J-Lo says. Tyler likes the Top 13 so far. “We’re looking amazing. America, you’re on fire,” Randy says.
9:05 p.m. “I’m so glad the judges brought Jermaine back.” an enthusiastic Jimmy says. Of DeAndre, Jimmy says he has a world of potential, but he picked a song that was too much for him. Jimmy doesn’t think Eben is ready for primetime, but he suggests the rules need to be changed so that Eben can come back next year after a little more seasoning. Jimmy calls Colton one of the most talented kids on the show, capable of really winning this thing.
9:09 p.m. After the vote… DeAndre is not in the Top 10. He tosses his hair and puts it in a ponytail. Ryan pulls a little obnoxious fakery, but Colton Dixon is in the Top 10. There’s only one stool remaining. Will it go to Eben or to Jermaine. The last person in the Top 10 is… Jermaine Jones. That’s absolutely the right choice, but I’m a little amazed America made it. Given the material America had to work with, the voters did OK.
9:16 p.m. J-Lo is pleased, but this is a painful moment for the judges. There 15 people remaining and six will get to sing again.
9:17 p.m. Jen Hirsh is a good choice to be the first person to get to sing again. Her shot at redemption comes in the form of “Oh Darling.” This is a much better vocal showcase for her than last night’s Adele song was. I think she’s going to need to turn down the theatricality in her performance style, but that’s the kind of performance that’ll make it hard for one of the judges not to pick her. Randy thinks it was a good performance and that she went for the gusto. The judges don’t want to commit, obviously. Tyler found it a bit too obvious in the beginning, but he thought she went some place beautiful.
9:25 p.m. J-Lo says that the next person singing for his life is Jeremy Rosado. Bah. Not somebody I would have given another shot to. Somehow Jeremy has decided he wants to sing for his life with a Carrie Underwood song. I think Jeremy is also singing much better tonight than he did on Tuesday, but this isn’t a great showcase song for him as a relevant and marketable artist. He had to give some indication of what he might hypothetically do on an album. He nails a couple big notes at the end and J-Lo seems ultra emotional. At the end, he’s overcome by emotional and J-Lo’s obviously right there with him. Sigh. He’s probably a lock, isn’t he? Voice cracking, he promises the judges they won’t regret putting him through. J-Lo’s going to give put him through no matter what, isn’t she? She vows she’s going to be fair. “You are so real,” Tyler tells Jeremy.
9:29 p.m. Steven says that Brielle will get the next shot and she vows to lay it all out. She goes back to the Adele well for “Someone Like You.” I guess she missed Jimmy warning that Adele isn’t a great idea? Last night, Brielle put her own stamp on “Dock of the Bay,” for better or for worse. This, though, is Adele karaoke and only so-so Adele karaoke. She gives it a little more edge towards the end, but that’s where her voice gets ragged and uncertain. That will not be enough to get Brielle through. The audience is appreciative. I really wish the director didn’t cut to Brielle’s mother 50 times during the performance. That’s obnoxious. WOW. Steven and Randy are both harsh, but J-Lo felt her passion.
9:36 p.m. Time for more whiny falsetto from DeAndre Brackensick. He’s attacking “George On My Mind” with determination. He even starts in his lower register. It’s a correct and smart decision on DeAndre’s part not to overplay the falsetto again. And yet the crowd wails when he gets to his falsetto on the chorus. So what lesson is he supposed to get? Some of the falsetto parts really aren’t on-melody, but he closes with a fair amount of authority and his fellow contestants are impressed. “This is great! This is great tension and a great moment,” Randy gushes. J-Lo is feeling the fire from everybody. Tyler loved it.
9:39 p.m. Erika Van Pelt gets another shot and goes with “Edge of Glory.” It’s another choice that’s smarter than the one she made for her first performance. Her energy, which was so low last night, is right on the surface here. I think that Erika and Jen are going to be facing off for one Wild Card slot. The Top 13 needs one of them. “This girl has gotta have it,” raves an enthusiastic Randy. J-Lo praises her for keeping composure, while Steven says she knocked it out of the park.
9:47 p.m. Only one more person gets to sing for their lives. Steven says that it’s going to be Reed Grimm. I’m amazed the judges resisted the teen-friendly possibilities of Eben Franckewitz. Amazed. I’d have expected them to bend over backwards to keep Eben around. Reed decides this is the moment to sing “Use Me,” by Bill Withers. How strange. It’s a strange song choice for his vocal range and a strange choice in terms of showing the judges how he sees himself. But it’s a fairly good song choice in terms of reminding the judges that the season will unquestionably be more lively with Reed around for another week or two. He’s a wacky, crazy entertainer and the same cannot be said for more than a few of the alternative Wild Card possibilities. “You are truly unique and very entertaining,” Randy says. Steven loves the artist in Reed.
9:56 p.m. OK! Let’s make this happen!
9:56 p.m. “Oh what a night,” Randy says. Then he announces the first Wild Card pick is… Erika Van Pelt. I can deal with that, even if it probably means Jen is done.
9:57 p.m. J-Lo’s Wild Card selection is… duh. Jeremy Rosado. It’s simultaneously a weird pick and yet one that makes total sense. I hope the judges understand this is not a guy who’s going to be around for very long, but if he makes people happy while he’s around, there’s value to that, I suppose.
9:58 p.m.Tyler announces that the last Top 13 slot goes to… DeAndre Brackensick. He’s really, really, really, really, really emotional. I’d describe it as “disturbingly emotional.” If you ask me, the judges needed to pick Reed for the quirky entertainment value and they made a mistake in not taking Reed over Jeremy, but that’s their call.
10:00 p.m. And now? I’m off to interview the Top 13…
What do you think of our Top 13? Who shouldn’t have made it? Who should have made it instead?