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13 Unlucky for "American Idol"

Back when Fox executives were high-fiving each other for deciding to turn "American Idol's" traditional top-12 finalists into the top-13 finalists, to really shake things up on the singing competition this year, no one thought to send a memo to the Senior Executive Vice President for Reality Series Viewer Voting Phone Number Checking.

This is too bad, because then they might have found out earlier that 1-866-Idols13 is a porn number. And, given how bad Tuesday's performance by the 13th Idolette was, they might have reconsidered that whole Let's Shake Things Up With 13 Finalists thing.

"On the back of that performance, yes, I do (regret it)," judge Simon Cowell tells show host Ryan Seacrest Tuesday night when Seacrest ask him if he regrets the Top-13 decision after watching Anoop Desai turn up his collar and go into a really bad impersonation of Michael Jackson singing "Beat It."

In Anoop's defense, everyone had to sing a Michael Jackson tune Tuesday night.

Simon accuses Anoop of not knowing who he is. Then again, Simon didn't really know who he was when he put Anoop through last week, so Anoop's in good company.

Tonight is one of the many shaken up nights we've enjoyed already and one of what are sure to be many shaken up nights to come on "Idol" -- all part of an effort to shore up the show's ratings, which took a dip last year, though "Idol" remains far and away the biggest thing going on U.S. television.

The evening kicks off with a Shake Things Up Voiceover Guy introducing the "American Idol" judges, who walk out on stage and down to their seats, then introducing Seacrest. Seacrest is dressed as a banker for the occasion and judge Paula Abdul has brought out the leopard prints, the feathers, the diamond encrusted dog tag bracelet and all her glittery eyeshadow. Judges Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell did not realize it is a costume party.

Over the next two hours, the Idolettes engage in some competitive hard luck storying and some singing competition too.

Lil Rounds may have lost her Memphis home in a tornado, but anyway the important thing is that she and her husband and three adorable children wound up moving into an extended-stay hotel. From Lil we learn that having someone in nurse pants sing "The Way You Turn Me On" sends a very mixed and slightly creepy message.

"You know what's great about you?" Randy asks Lil, rhetorically, while Kara notes Lil's end note was sick and Paula compliments her on the softness of her palette. Simon thinks it a lazy song choice and he hates the nurse pants gag.

Scott MacIntyre ups the ante, revealing that not only has he been almost completely blind since birth, so has his sister. His performance of "Keep the Faith" produced the bravest comment in the show's history, delivered by Cowell. To a blind man: "It's fine being artistic -- just not on this show."

Danny Gokey decides to rest his "I Just Lost My Wife" tragic story for the first time since we were introduced to him in Kansas City eight long weeks ago, for which we are grateful. He sings "Pretty Young Thing" and the judges mostly make fun of his spastic dancing. He does too, which is charming.

Michael Sarver grew up without a father. Michael's bad-note-to-good-note ratio Tuesday night: 10/1. But the judges continue to love that he is an oil rigger.

Little Jasmine Murray staggers under the weight of the Jackson tune "I'll be There" and her eyeshadow. Too old, too flat, the judges complain to her yet again -- and yet they brought her back into the competition, after you voted her out, under their wild-card option.

Kris Allen says he struggles with not being able to be with his new wife while he's competing on "Idol." Kris sings "Remember the Time." At least he starts off singing -- he winds up screaming, while playing the guitar and dancing. There's a lot going on. Kara notes little girls love it. Paula notes Simon is trying to undress her and then tells Kris that seeing him with his guitar is kind of adorable sexy. The American Idol Decency Police are brought back from shore leave. Simon notes he would not have brought out "the wife" so early in the competition. "Keep her hidden a couple of weeks," Simon advises. Seacrest looks bewildered and Kris looks wounded. Simon says he was kidding. Not.

Allison Iraheta has to sing at a shopping mall regularly for some reason. After her performance of "Give In To Me," Simone tells her she knows who she is, but then tells her to lighten up. On the other hand, this confusing advice produces the best comeback line ever delivered to Simon by an Idolette: "I'm not dark -- it's not like I'm cutting myself."

Anoop has no siblings. "As an only child I think he was spoiled," confides his mother. The less said about his Jackson tune performance the better. Anoop says he's looking forward to next week when he can sing something else.

Since his grandpa died, Jorge Nunez's family has drifted apart -- until he became an Idolette, which has brought them back together. This week should have been a great opportunity for Jorge to do a Latin version of a tune, but the judges have intimidated him about not being white enough -- this year's new judge Kara DioGuardi is still bringing up the "language' issue, then tells him he's not being true to himself.

Megan Joy Corkrey, who had a hard time deciding to get divorced and who really misses her little son, tries out for "The Girls Next Door" with a very blonde, very busty, very lace-strapped rendition of "Rockin' Robin" at the end of which she screeches "Caw! Caw!" The judges aren't sure the song "let Megan be Megan." She screeched "Caw! Caw!" people. How much more Megan do you want her to be?

Adam Lambert has been struggling to make it in Los Angeles as a singer ever since high school, his parents explain. He does this wonderful Norma Desmond take on "Black and White" which, Simon notes, is "in a totally different league" and the only performance "we're going to be talking about -- well done."

"What can I say?" adds Kara, pretty much summing up her contribution to "Idol" so far this season. She has not said anything new or particularly interesting all season -- just more clutter in an already overcrowded show.

Seacrest notes it's the first time he's seen Paula "do a herkie" from her seat. What's a herkie? Glad you asked. Turns out it's a cheerleading jump very similar to the side-hurdler except one leg bent towards the ground while the other is out to the side in "toe touch" position.

Poor Matt Giraud has to follow Adam and we've forgotten his performance by the time it's over.

For all the above Idolettes, the show continues to assign the traditional 1-866-IDOLS01 through 1-866-IDOLS12 phone numbers tonight which viewers will use to vote for their fave.

The night's 13th and final performer, lucky Alexis Grace, gets a distinct phone number.

"Grab a pen and paper and make sure you jot down her number -- trust me," show host Ryan Seacrest says before Alexis performs "Dirty Diana."

Alexis no doubt chose the tune chose "Dirty Diana" because weeks ago the judges told her to dirty up her performance. But stomping around the stage and screaming, dressed in a black baby-doll suit, black platform shoes and cheap costume jewelry, delicate little Alexis looks a little like her baby girl pretending to be Bette Midler performing at a New York bathhouse in the 70s.

"You're a naughty girl and I like it," Kara says, though Simon, the only judge worth listening to, tells Alexis "it was probably not as good as you thought it was" and Paula and Randy seem to agree.

Speaking of "Dirty Diana," if you phone 1-866-IDOLS13 to vote for Alexis, you will be greeted by a chick saying:

"Hey there, sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live, one-on-one, with hot horny girls waiting right now to talk to you" and making other suggestions too interesting to mention here.

In fact, Fox suits had fairly recently discovered, some enterprising pornographer has not only called "Dibs" on 1-866-IDOLS13, he/she has also planted his/her flag, so to speak, in 1-866-IDOLS00 and 1-866-IDOLS14 through around 1-866-IDOLS20 or something close to it, just in case the braintrust at Fox ever decides to continue shaking things up in future seasons.

So Alexis's phone number is 1-866-IDOLS-36 because, Seacrest explains, "We had to find an available number and we had a Top 36 so we made it 36." Tonight, he says, "make sure you dial carefully. Very carefully."

Usually, the Idolette who sings last has the advantage of being freshest in viewers' minds as they pick up their cellphones to begin voting. But, of course, you could argue the whole phone number debacle put Alexis at a disadvantage this week.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 11, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: Can The Judges Save "American Idol?"

Comments

Lil Rounds song = The Way You Make Me Feel (not The Way You Turn Me On).

Posted by: purely | March 11, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Lisa - love your column but I can't believe you missed the opportunity to mention the field day the American Idol Decency Police will have with Paula's comment about seeing Scott's "hands on his instrument"...

Posted by: sdw16 | March 11, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Ok am I the only one not getting Adam? I have yet to think any of his performances were good. Last night I only made it through about 30 seconds of his before I had to fast forward, stopped in the end to give a chance, and then continued on. His voice just grates.
Him, Scott, Michael, and Jorge I could not listen to completely. And during Megans the only thing I could think over and over was OMG is this really happening. The verses weren't bad but the chorus was brutal and the Caw Caw almost made me explode.

Posted by: adbspam | March 11, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh Megan. I like some of the quirkiness in her voice, but that performance was just wrong in so many ways. The cawing, yikes! Still, I can't wait to see what she does next week.

When it is a week to choose a specific artist's songs, can we just say no to covers? It isn't their song! This annoys me to no end.

So the judges warn people not to sing certain artists during the earlier rounds. Now they make them sing such artists? Does that mean it is Whitney next week?

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | March 11, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Ok am I the only one not getting Adam?

No, you're not.

I can't speak for everyone, but to me Adam's act is tired. I've done a bit of Musical Theatre in my life, and what Adam does to his songs is pretty much what any MT Diva does to a song. He pretty much sings every song like it's from "Wicked," and personally, I've seen it a million times before. I thought he murdered Satisfaction in the last round by Wicked-izing it, but everyone seemed to love it. Maybe it's just me (and you). When he sang Cher during Hollywood Week it was just Creepy.

I seriously might be checking out on AI this year. I "don't get" either of the two favorites this year, the only one who could have a shot is Alexis, and she's appearantly a lunatic (as is CawCaw Corkery). Especially this year where there's a "new twist" or whatever, it looks like this year is going to be the most "Fixed" of any of them, and I'm not a fan of either of the two whom it will be fixed for.

I only continue to watch b/c there's literally nothing else on. With AI slipping (relatively), You'd think some enterprising network would pounce while there's blood in the water.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The highlight of the evening was Paula telling Blindy "It is magical seeing you with your instrument at your fingertips."

I had to change the channel when that guy who looked like he was from Motley Crue shrieked through his song.

The Guy Who Wears Goofy Hats, who went next, was also unbearable.

Posted by: schroedervonmatterhorn | March 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Hmm... white soul guy who dances like a spaz? Bring on the Soul Patrol again.

Don't be artistic on this show? *coughDavidCookcough* Which should also remind the Top 13 that it is possible to do a kick-ass cover of a Michael Jackson song. A bit disappointing that there was no reference to that groundbreaking performance last night.

The judges should never walk out like that again. Simon is turning this show into X Factor. And will do so even more tonight when the judges determine who gets the boot (yes, that is the new "twist").

But I digress:
Adam was great. Liked Matt and Kris a lot too.
OK: Allison, Alexis
Strong dislike: Megan, Jasmine
Hated Jorge, Scott, Danny, Lil's outfit, Michael, and Anoop.

Posted by: jljardon2 | March 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

abspam -- I agree completely on Lambert. Can ANYONE explain how he is "contemporary"? The overdone make-up, the bad die job, the histrionic singing made me think of an 80's hair band. Please God tell me that is not coming back into vogue. I thought his whole performance was in a different league, just not in a good way.
It does seem quite obvious now that the judges have already staked out their positions. Cowell clearly wants Lambert and Gokey to make it, maybe Allison. Paula has a soft spot for Scott and his "instrument", but really nobody else has an opinion that matters.

Posted by: otdoc321 | March 11, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I had to change the channel when that guy who looked like he was from Motley Crue shrieked through his song.

You're not being fair to Motley Crue.

Adam looks like Fall Out Boy and the "Twilight" Movie had a child.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

That last singer was the woman whom the judges told to dirty it up. Man, she took that advice and ran with it. It was creepy and sad to see her performance and hear some of the judges' feedback knowing that her little daughter was in the audience. When the camera went to the pre-schooler, it looked like she was about to burst into tears.

Posted by: schroedervonmatterhorn | March 11, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Lisa! You forgot to mention to very important things. First, two contestants are being voted off tonight. My picks, probably Jorge and Jasmine. And second, apparently there is going to be another twist that involves the judges, possibly giving them some kind of power over who stays and who goes. I'm not quite sure that Idol would move to a more "Dancing With the Stars" judging format, cause Idol has always been about letting the fans decide. Should be interesting.

Posted by: sknyluv | March 11, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman -

Actually there is something else on in my neck of the woods. For the past several weeks I have been watching reruns of Boston Legal on ION TV.

I switch back and forth; but it seems that every time I switch to FOX, it's a commercial, background on the contestants or dumbo Kara giving an uninspired critique. It's not worth sitting through the fluff to get the good stuff.

And what the h#ll was Paula wearing last night? Maybe it's the feathers that make Paula goofy. And she could use a little lipo on her back if she's going to wear strapless dresses. Euwww.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 11, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

My IQ just dropped 10 points.

Posted by: jezebel3 | March 11, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that no one has discussed that Paula is finally back to her crazy, drunk/drugged nonsensical self. During the "preseason" she actually made sense sometimes and you can at least follow what she's saying. I was concerned that she was back on the wagon, thus making Idol much less entertaining.

Paula, baby, you came through. My husband and I barely understood a word you said last night. With the exception of the word "sexy", which you through out quite frequently.

Posted by: danilynn17 | March 11, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I personally would have loved to see Norman Gentle perform "Dirty Diana". I think the surprise tonight is they're going to bring Mr. Gentle back to co-host the show with Seacrest (out).

It looks like producers efforts to bring in a second female judge to force Paula to stay focused, pithy, and sober have failed. She's a train wreck.

If AI producers filmed Tatianna watching the show and put it on pay per view, I'd watch.

Posted by: mstaines | March 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Like danilynn17 just noted, Paula was back in full force crazy last night! Loving her.

Speaking of Crazy, what was up with the dress code last night? Paula, Kara and Lil all had funky stuff around their neck and shoulders, a la The Donna Karan House of Crap.

Yeah, let's talk about the bird calls at the end of Megan's song. WTF?!? And I missed her usual wash cycle dance ... last night's was more like a sheet of Bounce in the dryer.

Anyone notice that Adam wears more makeup than his mom? His father looked less than proud. And loving it more when Paula got up to do yet another crazy dance when Adam was singing. (P.S. Girlfriend, you aint' gotta snowball's chance with him. He don't like the vajayjays ...)

Posted by: jpstang | March 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Even though Paula looked like a bird had crashed into her shoulder and her makeup made her look weirdly robotic, she was actually making sense in her critique last night. Very unsettling.

Adam was certainly in full diva mode, but he was undoubtedly entertaining, and certainly looked comfortable on the stage. I know it's a violation of any nihilistic, hipster chic that I may possess (and that wouldn't be much), but I thought that the best performances last night were Adam, Danny and Allison. Lil was also quite good, but I agree that the high-waisted, pleated 80s pants were a mistake, and I think the song choice was a little lazy.

Jasmine and Anoop were horrible, and Kris, Alexis, Hat Boy, Scott and Oil Rigger Guy were forgettable. Megan's performance was definitely loopy, but it was fun and goofy and her little washing machine dance actually fit the tune! She gets a pass just on her personality, as far as I'm concerned. Jorge needs to stop channeling Barry Manilow, unless he's really looking for a career as a Vegas lounge singer (not that there's anything wrong with that, but it ain't AI).

Posted by: inkydog | March 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It seemed like they didn't mic any of the instruments. I could barely hear Kris's guitar or even Matt's piano.

Adam channels Axle Rose every performance. Definitely not "current." For some reason, he also looks like he's trying to be the guy from Fall Out Boy.

Posted by: sarahabc | March 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

jpstang- I agree, what is up with the wardrobe? They made this big deal about getting the fashion squad or whatever they called it. What a misnomer.

Lil Rounds' pants were like high end "mom jeans". Was she actually trying to look like she had the hips of a mother of three children??? (note- I think she looks great for having three kids, just not in those high waisted, PLEATED, WHITE - before Memorial Day, mind you - train wreck pants)

Adam scares me. Any man that wears more makeup and hair product than me scares me. His warbling voice was more than I could stand. I think he's decent, but last night was like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Posted by: danilynn17 | March 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Who was it, Adam Lambert, that sang "Black and White?" By that point I was not watching the TV but was just listening from the other room. He was off key, and screechy, and way over the top. And then I heard all the judges raving over it. My advice to RandaulaKaraCow, listen to the singers without looking at them, and I think you will agree with me that you've got a weak bunch of kids this year. For me, Lambert was particularly excruciating.

For all the "game changers" that AI has introduced this year, this show seems like it's out of gasssszzzzzzzzzzz.....zzzzzz. I managed to get into last year's show because I liked Cook, but I am still not rooting for anyone this year.

Posted by: NW_Washington | March 11, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Anoop won't be gone anytime soon... remember who votes on the show. Little girl teenie boppers who beg Mom and Dad to stay up late. And if not... think Bollywood people...

Many polls say Gokey will win no matter what and frankly I couldn't agree more... Church director lost his wife who turned pop star and sings like Archuleta? Come on... it's a no-brainer... It's not about the singing, it's about the popularity.

Adam should sing some Queen... So thought he would sing Thriller last night, but B&W was a good rock and rollish choice. How come none of the other Idolettes got the light show he did? So much for we choose the winner...

Lil'... she'll be on the radio, but she won't win. Her outfit would have been much better with black crop leather pants and no ruffle, oh the ruffle...

Corkery... She has the creative tone in her voice, but lacks the creativity in her brain.

Jorge... oh poor Jorge. He's like an older version of Archuleta, but...not.

Jasmine... why is she here? She's no Jordin Sparks... and while we're on that note... Jordin Sparks... bleckh, gag

Finally... MJ is swimming in it... does this mean he will buy a new Neverland? MJ royalties, Beatles royalties, farewell toru in London... before you know it he'll be selling a legacy greatest hits album type thing...

Second finally... really like Kara's outfit last night. I think those dresses that look like separates are the new rage... would totally wear one.

Posted by: lsac | March 11, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Adam was certainly in full diva mode, but he was undoubtedly entertaining, and certainly looked comfortable on the stage.

Hasn't Adam been doing Broadway, as in, actual professional musical theatre productions in New York City since he was 12?

He should look comfortable on stage.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Loved the comment about Megan! Priceless. I was disappointed that Lisa didn't make mention of Tara's outfit. I thought Adam was great - definitely not boring as all the others.

Posted by: mebbert | March 11, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to join the Anti-Adam club, Adam Lambert's voice is like nails on the chalkboard times 10. His Faux-Emo look was so 2005 and he's so not current. I think the judges love him because he's the only one causing a "buzz" on the internets, and not in a good way.

I've been a fan of the show for some time now and I think I may have to stop with this season. Past seasons have been boring (like the seasons when Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks won) but at least you can sit through it. This season has been painful to watch. When Jorge was singing all I can think about was his eyebrows and there's something about Danny that drives me crazy....I'm not sure if it's the dead wife thing or the funky eyeglasses thing or the semi-soulful thing.
Too bad the best singer, Lil Rounds, will be voted off in a few weeks to only become the next Jennifer Hudson.

Posted by: k-gotham | March 11, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Adam's style works with Michael Jackson's material. When they get to country/western night, he may have a harder time.

Danny's style, on the other hand, was grating last night. He sang PYT like it was a song by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Why was Paula's face that odd shade of silvery purple?

Posted by: tomtildrum | March 11, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I wish J'unot had been given a wild card spot instead of Anoop or Jasmine.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record on this subject, put me in the anti-Adam camp. It blows my mind that they keep saying he's "relevant." He looks like a 35 year old trying to dress like a 15 year old.

I am, however, starting to maybe come around a bit on Danny. Thank the lord no one mentioned the wife last night. With that out of the way I was forced to admit that he gave a very good performance and was, as Lisa mentioned, quite charming. For those keeping track, I believe those were his fourth different pair of glasses he's worn. If nothing else, he should get an Hour Eyes sponsorship out of the show.

Alexis and Scott both lost me last night.

I still like Allison, Kris, Meghan (Caw CAW!), & Matt but I don't LOVE any of them yet. It's disappointing because by this time last year I was firmly in the David Cook camp. I really hope that next week someone busts out an amazing/original performance and sells me on their being the next AI.

Posted by: pinkstate | March 11, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Since when does dyed black hair and black nail polish make you "relevant"? I thought Goth was "relevant" in the 1980s - oh wait - that's when Randy and Paula had performing careers (before being resurrected by AI).

Adam Lambert's last note was so off key it made my head hurt. And his pandering moue to the camera make me want to b**** slap him - but then I'm afraid he'd like it.

Jasmine is preordained - so as bad as she was - I think the new "twist" is no matter how you "vote" the judges are going to retain veto power. And she will be saved. Again.

Allison, I think, has the most true "talent". What Adam does is so studied and practiced. At 16, Allison is mature and is as close to what I remember about Janis Joplin as is possible [while Melissa Etheridge sometimes gives it her best shot]. Janis wasn't a beauty either; and she was raw and I suppose "heavy" - but "not, like cutting herself".

Long may Allison's crayola hair wave on AI. And please - oh please - let her sing some Joplin.

Posted by: jqw3827 | March 11, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It's disappointing because by this time last year I was firmly in the David Cook camp

It's important to keep in mind that by this time last year, we had already seen each of the idolettes officially perform at least 3 times, so one bad night wasn't necessarily a disaster.

That's another one of the reasons why the new format stinks. This is only the 2nd time we've "officially" (not counting Auditions or Hollywood) heard many of them. When that guy with the guitar got up there, I audibly said "Who" and had no reccolection of him.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

inkydog: Paula looked like a bird crashed into her shoulder--ha! She did! Also notice how now that she's promoting her jewelery she waves her hands around at the camera a lot -- there was a large rhinestone-encrusted object dangling from her wrist and another one on her finger.

She was half-loopy, half-lucid last night. For example, she was the only one who pointed out to Jasmine that she was off-key. The loopy moments came when she was critiquing guys -- she seemed to come undone.

Was glad to see Danny Gokey showing a playful side, both in the family visit portion and the performance. Lisa's right -- it's a relief. I much prefer that to when he's being sappy.

Adam, gee, I have to say some of the stuff he does vocally is exciting when he pulls it off. I don't relate to the persona, but I'm not writing him off yet.

I actually think this group -- as a group -- has a greater proportion of good singers than the past two seasons, though I wish Junot was still around.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 11, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

To the Adam bashers -

when all four judges unanimously praise a singer to the degree they praised Adam, you should get a clue that maybe they are on to something.

I felt last night that I had just watched a concert-ready performance. The others were merely doing servicable renditions of songs.

I am strongly in Adam's camp and not afraid to say so. I do not think he screams for screams-sake, nor do I think he was even remotely off-key, nor do I think he is unnecessarily showboating, other than to demonstrate to the judges his talent and range. If he was any of those things I think one or more judges would be all over it. If you or I had those pipes, we too would be putting them on display. (It is a "show me what you can do" format, after all) He is the only "must see" for me each week (now that the drama queen Tatiana is thankfully gone). Adam does make it look effortless (as Ryan noted) to carry his range through a song; another gift he has, and another mark of great singers. Finally, he appears humble and grounded too; yet another thing I like about him.

My vote? Adam is #1. The others don't even rank again until #3.

Posted by: redrocket | March 11, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Ohh, poor, poor naive Kris. Simon was completely right about the "should've kept the wife hidden for a few more weeks" thing, because Kris has now just gone and given his chunk of the tween votes to Adam (who is smart enough not to flaunt his boyfriend). Good-looking young guys have a serious edge on this show thanks to the tween crush vote, but it only works if the tweens think the guys are available. Clever Cookie worked it like there was no tomorrow last season (smart, smart man!). Too bad for Kris, who definitely had a decent enough voice and natural charm to have made it far in the competition riding on the tween vote. Now, I doubt he'll make it into the Top 6.

I still love Anoop Dogg, whether he looked geeky impersonating MJ or not (personally, I love the geekiness). But the judges' comments plus his vid with his parents--I'm sure redneck America took one look at the middle-aged Indian couple saying they were proud of their son for achieving the American dream and went, "uh-oh, immigrants. Don't think I like that." Anoop's a smart guy and he probably knew that would be America's reaction too, but he still went ahead and put his parents on TV proudly. Good boy there. Just wish the judges hadn't ragged on his performance enough to give redneck America an excuse to vote Anoop off with a cleaner conscience than they would have had otherwise.

The only bright spots of the night for me were Allison's awesome outfit + solid performance, and Seacrest letting his jealous boyfriend tendencies get the better of him a few times. :P Poor, poor Seacrest--you knew what you were getting yourself into!

Posted by: Kureno | March 11, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone vote for a woman who can't tell the difference between a robin and a crow?

Adam drives me nuts, too, because his volume level is always set on "11." I have to admit, though, that he's the best singer in the lot -- even if that's no guarantee of victory.

And, hey, does anyone know what "surprise" is in store for tonight?

Posted by: jd121 | March 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Love, love, love Adam - don't care if he's gay or dyes his hair black or how current he is - the dude can sing!! Love Allison - raw Janis Joplin-like talent. Alexis - O.K. The rest - not impressed. Sorry for "the wife" in the audience - she looked like someone just kicked her. Paula's eyes look like she's hungover and trying to cover it up with lots of weird makeup - some strange words again tonight but she has a good heart and really cares about those kids. Like Kara and Simon - could do without Randy. Can't wait to hear Kelly Clarkson tonight.

Posted by: ryjus | March 11, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that thought that Alexis was great last night? Sure she might have overdone a few notes (like the last one) but like Adam, Lil, and Danny she seems to be competing on a different level than everyone else. Whatever distinct quality the judges like in Courkey's voice she has that in spades- she's arguably the most powerful female singer on the show and looked hot last night.

(I am still hoping Allison finds the right songs because I think she's the best singer in the competition).

Posted by: repricer | March 11, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

With Jasmine, I think I am watching a beauty pagent. She obviously sang her Wild Card song because that is a clear crowd-pleaser in such a setting. She even sat like a lady on her stool (crossed her ankles!).

Was anyone else distracted by Paula's totally broken dress (after Simon tried to undress her)?

Posted by: Iteachmusic | March 11, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

No, repricer, you are not alone re: Alexis. She was very good. Nor do I think her outfit was as inappropriate as some have alluded to here and on other blogs. I even agree with some comments that (given her tiny frame) she was Dolly Parton-like, except without the, y'know, big "shoes". Alexis (and Allison too) were hot and both can sing.

Rave: Adam
Deserves to stay: Danny, Allison, Lil, Alexis, Michael
On the bubble: Kris, Matt, Scott
Bottom group (pick two to go): Jorge, Anoop, Jasmine, Megan

Posted by: redrocket | March 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I can only pray that the symmetry of the universe be maintained tonight by the vote-off of Megan. Caw, caw indeed!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | March 11, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

First, were there no black men good enough to be in the top 13? Also, two people are being kicked off tonight. Also, I think the handlers are doing the contestants a disservice by trying to make them all over. Just let them be who they were when they started.

Posted by: barbnc | March 11, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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