Recap: ‘American Idol’ Top 36 – Three more singers join the Top 12

02.26.09 9 years ago

Chris Cuffaro/FOX

After the “American Idol” Top 36 Group One sang, I was pretty confident that Danny “The Redeemer” Gokey and Alexis Grace were going through. I was even able to narrow the final spot down to either Anoop Desai and Michael Sarver and while I guessed the wrong one, I came close.

As Wednesday (Feb. 26) night’s “American Idol” begins, I have a couple hunches, but I’m not sure I would be willing to bet on who’s advancing… 

8:00 p.m. “The foundation of this show has always been the vote,” Ryan Seacrest begins, proclaiming his own Magna Carta. He closes with his usual “What have you done?” and looks directly at Nick “Normund ‘Norman’ Gentle” Mitchell. 

8:01 p.m.  It seems 25 million votes were cast last night. 

[Who did they vote for? Spoilers and recap after the break…]

8:02 p.m. Ryan kills time by discussing Simon Cowell’s spray-on tan and the notion that he’s getting better with age. It’s a bit without a punchline or a purpose, but I’d guess Ryan’s telestrator said “Vamp for 30 seconds.” It was either that or hear Ryan discuss Bobby Jindal’s Obama response.

8:03 p.m. The “How we got here” montage provides a perfect opportunity to switch over to The Huggie Bowl — Cincy vs. West Virginia — on ESPN. Old Huggie is beating New Huggie.

8:04 p.m. Group Sing! The men are initially paired up on “Closer.” Kris Allen gets stuck with Nick Mitchell who is trying his hardest to be restrained. It isn’t a very good song and there isn’t any choreography to speak of, but it doesn’t sound too horrible. It’s mostly time to reflect on the fashion choices. Adam Lambert, for example, is concerned that somebody might steal his wallet. Jeanine Vailes has taken last night’s compliments for her legs to heart, perhaps wearing the same pair of high-cut shorts. Kai Kalama still thinks t-shirts with painted-on ties are cool. And Allison Iraheta is trying to become a human Strawberry Shortcake doll. 

8:09 p.m. In effort to keep people from fast-forwarding through commercials, Ryan warns us that a special audition has been inserted mid-advertising. It’s some blond girl who can’t really sing, ruining “It’s in His Kiss.” She’s not bad enough to justify watching commercials.

8:11 p.m. Ah last night. So long ago. I haven’t forgotten how bad Jeanine or Matt Giraud were. I still remember how smug and icky Matt Breitzke was. I still remember how powerfully Allison shouted and Megan’s endearing lurching. I still don’t know who Kris Allen is, nor why the female judges gave him such positive reinforcement. 

8:14 p.m. “I’m looking for employment always,” Nick says when asked what he’ll do if he doesn’t advance. Matt B. graciously says something conciliatory to Simon, but the judge is having none of it. Jeanine still feels like she overcompensated last night, though Ryan makes sure she knows that her legs are worthy of appreciation. 

8:17 p.m. Ryan calls Allison to the stage first. He reads the nice things the judges said to her. Then he sends her to one side and calls Jesse to the stage. He reads the mixed things the judges had to say to her. Then he sends her to the side and calls Matt B. out. I stop listening, but eventually Matt gets sent to the side as well.

8:18 p.m. Randy guesses that one of the two girls, hopefully Allison, is in the Top 12. Randy is correct. Allison is very enthusiastic and both Jesse and Matt have to pretend to be excited for her. 

8:19 p.m. I can’t figure out what to make of Allison. I think she’s either going to  keep getting better and make a run to the Top Five, or else she’s going to get a weird theme night the first week and flame out spectacularly. She could be a superstar, or she could be Camille Velasco bad. That’s just my hunch.

8:26 p.m. “I’m just so frigging happy right now,” Allison says, adequately describing her feelings. She’s going to make us yearn for the interview stylings

8:27 p.m. Megan Joy Corkrey and Kris are called down next. One of these two people was excellent last night. The other one may or may not have actually been on the show. They’re sent to the side.

8:27 p.m. Now Matt and Jeanine are called down. If either of these two go forward off of last night’s performances, we may need to break up, America. They’re also sent to the side.

8:28 p.m. Only one of the four is in the Top 12. Paula’s torn between Matt, Kris and Megan. That’s pretty useless, Paula. Well, at least she knew that Jeanine wasn’t going on. She’s set back to a Mishavonna hug. Matt’s also done. He’ll be brought back for the Wild Card, kids. Don’t worry.

8:29 p.m. Kara, on the spot, has nothing but praise for Kris and how well he performed in Hollywood. Interesting that the producers didn’t think to show us any of that awesomeness. Kara babbles for a while, with Simon rolling his eyes and periodically interrupting her. “Do you ever shut up?” Kara asks.

8:31 p.m. Wow. Kris Allen is going through to the Top 12. I don’t know what to say. Maybe America got to see all of that Hollywood footage that I missed? Because his version of “Man in the Mirror” was bush league.

8:32 p.m. Kris sings again. I’m flummoxed. He’s not good. At all. I’m not ruling out the idea that he has talent. I mean, Kara says it. But it’s not on display on this song, which is all I have to go on.

8:34 p.m. Megan is a lock for the Wild Card. We’re on our way to another night with two men advancing and there will be some gender-equalizing done.

8:38 p.m. They were unable to get a musical guest tonight? I can’t figure another excuse for replaying the “Seven Seasons of ‘American Idol'” montage from the first night of auditions. 

8:40 p.m. I was wrong. There is a musical guest. It’s America’s Nanny, Brooke White! Will she do a joke where she goofs up and asks to start over? It’s her first single, one she co-wrote. It a song about a woman whose partner doesn’t love her now that she’s getting older and changing and isn’t as lovely as she used to be. I assume that the song is based on White’s own experiences as a hot 25-year-old blonde

8:49 p.m. There are still five contestants waiting for results and Ryan calls Mishavonna, Kai, Nick, Adam and Jasmine to the stage. Michavonna has song remorse, but says she did the best she could. Kai has no regrets. Jasmine is confident, but says she’s prepared for whatever happens. Mishavonna, Kai and Jasmine are told to sit down. For the second straight week, we’ve built to something of a dream Final Two.

8:51 p.m. That leaves Nick and Adam standing alone. Simon claims to have prayed for five or six hours last night. The question is how America likes its theatrical performers, very campy or oppressively campy.

8:53 p.m. As I already predicted, after tonight, the Top Six will have four guys and two gals. We’re going to get some equalizing from the judges come Wild Card round.

8:55 p.m. After the nationwide vote, Nick is… Not through to the Top 12. That means Adam is through.

8:57 p.m. So that’s Allison, Kris (Huh?) and Adam joining Alexis, Danny and Michael.

8:58 p.m. Next week’s group: Arriana, Ju’Not, Kristen, Nathaniel, Lil Rounds, Jorge, Kendall, Scott, Felicia, Von, Taylor and Alex.

Did America get it right? Are you upset to see Nick go? Who from this group would you bring back for the Wild Card?

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