Recap: ‘American Idol’ Top 36 – Three singers advance and the Wild Card is set

03.04.09 9 years ago

Chris Cuffaro/FOX

8:00 p.m. ET Oh, America. What have you done?

8:01 p.m. We’re only 59 minutes away from learning who’s coming back tomorrow for the Wild Card show. ANOOP!

8:01 p.m. Is it just me, or have the crowds been more enthusiastic toward Simon this year? Randy’s solo booing stands out more than usual.

8:02 p.m. Ryan asks Paula to compare this year’s group to past groups at this stage. In true Paula fashion, she ducks the shoe and replies, “I think we have an amazing start for the Top 12 going on.”

8:04 p.m. “Hot -n- Cold” may be the worst Group Sing ever. It’s a silly song, but the singers have all been instructed to deliver ever line with a silly smile. The song is especially emasculating for the men, who look like they’re playing extras in a modern-dress adaptation of “Grease.” A modern day adaptation of “Grease”? That’s ridiculous. Exactly.

8:06 p.m. The cameraman just pulled almost out of the theater. Is he trying to escape? I don’t blame you.

[More after the break…]

8:07 p.m. This “sneaking in” of “hidden auditions” as a way to make people watch commercials is just cruel. What were we supposed to get out of the gal singing the theme from “The Jefferson”? Was the point that she was good, but not good enough for us to ever see her again? Or were we supposed to be amazed at the audacity of somebody auditioning with “The Jeffersons” theme? Or are we just supposed to be a captive audience for that Ford commercial. I already have one!

8:10 p.m. Wait. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” is already out on DVD? Gotta go fix my Netflix queue.

8:11 p.m. These recaps of last night’s show are bad enough as is, but I detest when they try creating a narrative for the episode by showing clips out of order. This is why I have college hoops on in the background. It’s a tight one between North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

8:13 p.m. Wait. Nathaniel was one of the contestants who chose right last night? Not on my TV. 

8:14 p.m. Speaking of Nathaniel, he’s up first in the interview segment, saying he took the judges’ criticisms with a grain of salt. He promises that if he’s brought back for the Wild Card, he’ll show his serious side. That goes down as Reason #432 not to bring him back for the Wild Card. Jorge is honored to be representing Puerto Rico, braving the Los Angeles cold. Felicia noticed shaky things in her performance last night (we know just the note you’re talking about), but felt she left it all on the stage. Ju’Not’s health is fine. Whew.

8:17 p.m. Lil Rounds is asked to stand up first. She was last night’s stand-out. It would be hard to imagine her not advancing. And, indeed, she’s the seventh person in the Top 12. 

8:18 p.m. Asked what she expects from Lil in the Top 12, Kara predicts, “Just ridiculous vocals every single week, I would think.” There’s always been a ceiling for the straight-up R&B belters on “Idol” (Fantasia was unique and Jordin was more pop), but it’s hard to imagine Lil not going to at least the Top Five or Six.

8:21 p.m. Arianna, Taylor, Alex, Kendall and Scott are the next to stand. Only one of them is going to advance. While I said Kendall was my dark-horse last night, based on the condescension from the judges last night, Scott seems more likely. Want my unpopular opinion? None of these five deserve to advance.

8:25 p.m. Poor Arianna knows she’s doomed and has to listen to the harsh criticism from last night before being told she didn’t advance. Taylor got mixed reviews and she’s not advancing either. Alex, who received some of last night’s harshest notices, says he had regrets immediately afterwards, but he’s decided he was true to himself. That didn’t help. Alex isn’t in the Top 12.

8:28 p.m. That leaves Kendall and Scott for one place. The person through and into our Top 12 is… Scott. Some of the most awkward “I’m over here” hugging in “American Idol” history ensues. Ryan tells him he got a standing ovation. Randy prognosticates, “I think Scott’s gonna keep it hot always” and warns that he’s going to “blow up da stage.”

8:32 p.m. I’ll remind America once again, that this is at least partially a singing competition. Only partially. OK. Fine. It isn’t about singing at all. Welcome to the Top 12, Scott! 

8:36 p.m. Nathaniel and Kristen stand next. They’re both done, for now.

8:37 p.m. Von and Felicia stand next. Felicia deserves a second chance. Von does not. But for now, it’s a “no” for now.

8:38 p.m. That leaves one position for Ju’Not or Jorge. If I had my way, these would have been the two guys advancing along with Lil. I give Ju’Not a slim advantage on vocals, but it’s Jorge advancing. I don’t have any complaint there. He doesn’t get to re-sing right now, though I appear to have successfully called this week’s Top Three. Go me?

8:41 p.m. There are a selection of losers from the earlier groups up in the Red Room hoping for a shot at the Wild Card. Not Jackie Tohn, judges. Please?

8:45 p.m. Lil, Scott and Jorge join the first six Top 12 members on the stools, as the smell of fear sweat from the Red Room fills the “Idol” stage.

8:46 p.m. Simon reminds us that the Wild Card previously allowed Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken into the competition. “You know what? One of these Wild Card picks could actually win the show,” Simon says.

8:47 p.m. Randy gives the first Wild Card position to Von Smith. Really? “Von only needs to be himself,” Paula advises him. Randy and Simon tell him to wear a hat. I’d give him that traditional Simon advice, “Be better.”

8:48 p.m. Kara gives the next position to Jasmine Murray, praising her commercial appeal. I approve. Jasmine was one of the young singers who did themselves in with poor song choices. She’s better than that. Kara says that Jasmine has to killer us with her vocals. She repeats the killing part.

8:49 p.m. Paula brings Ricky Braddy back. Ricky was the best singer not to advance out of Group One. Another good choice.

8:50 p.m. Simon gives his first pick to Megan Corkrey. It’s confusing, because he talks about her not making it out of the first show. Megan was Group Two. She’s just about a lock to get one of those last positions in the Top 12. Or she should be. I don’t get a vote.

8:55 p.m. Saying that this show is a lot about dedication and entertainment, so they’re bringing back… Tatiana. They just want to crush her a second time. She collapses on the stage in tears. The blubbers, flops and quivers. She emits a series of high-pitched “Thank yous.” Ick. This would make Vote For the Worst happy, except that we don’t get to vote on the Wild Card.

8:57 p.m. Kara gives a reprise to Matt Giraud. Based on his Group Two performance, he didn’t deserve this place at all. Based on his audition material, he has potential.

8:57 p.m. The next position goes to Jesse Langseth, in what Paula calls a last-minute change. 

8:58 p.m. The last spot, courtesy of Simon… ANOOP!!!!!! He says it was an easy choice. Well I should say!

8:59 p.m. So to recap… That’s Von, Jasmine, Ricky, Megan, Tatiana, Matt Giraud, Jesse and Anoop up for Wild Cards tomorrow. Keeping in mind that our current gender balance is 6 guys and three women, I’d bet dollars to donuts on one guy and two gals advancing from those eight.

9:00 p.m. By the by, if I had to adjust the Wild Card choices, I’d go with Felicia and Stevie over Tatiana and Jesse. And Ju’Not got hosed. Von over Ju’Not? In what world? Boo.

What’d you think of the three advancing singers? How about the Wild Card picks? Who should have gotten through?

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