Nerves were high as America chooses who's going to fill the final three spots for the Top Twelve. For some, the handwriting was on the wall. For others, the choice was not so obvious.
Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold". They sounded cohesive and sing well together, unlike Week One contestants. But the light mood soon turned heavy as they waited to find out their fate.
- Photos: American Idol Season 8
Greatness stands alone
Lil Rounds was the first to stand to find out the results and she stood alone. That's because she's a given and no one could conceive of America getting this one wrong. Lil sailed through, and most deservedly so.
One of these things is not like the other
Five stood next: Arianna Afsar, Taylor Vaifanua, Alex Wagner Trugman, Kendall Beard and Scott MacIntyre. I was certain at that point that it was Scott. The others just didn't measure up. But then when they had Kendall stand with Scott, I started to get nervous. Just how many country fans are out there? And are there enough to vote her through? But it ended up being Scott and I was thrilled.
Word of advice--Scott, watch your song choices. "Mandolin Rain" was not a good song choice and you're going to have to step up that part of your performance to continue to progress in the competition.
When Kendall heard it was Scott, she cupped his face in her hands and then told him he made it. It was genuine and incredibly touching.
"Are you kidding?" moment
Alex Wagner Trugman said he'd rather lose being himself than win being someone else. It's a lovely philosophy. But what we saw last night was quite obviously not him since we had never seen those weird movements nor heard that weird growling before. Alex, stay true to yourself by not reading the Internet and acting on the opinion of strangers. Surround yourself with trusted friends and then explore any of the things you want to change with their constructive input.
The vote continues
Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara, co-horts from Group Day, stood together and were told their journey had ended together.
Von Smith and Felicia Barton were also told "No" from America.
It came down to Ju'Not Joyner and Jorge Nunez. I know Ju'Not has a lot of fans but, for me, the choice was clear. And America agreed! The young man from Puerto Rico who endeared himself to the audience last night by being overcome with emotion and then speaking in Spanish made it! Jorge Nunez joins Lil and Scott. I'm okay with these three.
The evening wasn't over though, as familiar faces from past weeks joined those who didn't move on tonight. I was still holding out for Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle and when they said this competition is all about entertaining, my heart caught in my throat. Nick and entertainment are synonymous. Instead, they used that term for Tatiana Del Toro. Entertaining is never a word I would use for her. I had forgotten how lovely the last few weeks had been without her brand of reality. Now we all have to be careful we're not thrown off as the axis of the world is shifted to once again revolve around her. It literally took 30 seconds of her high-pitched sobbing and assuring others how hard she's worked for me to already be done. Again, if we could listen to her sing without hearing the rest of it, I would be okay.
Wildcards I'm thrilled about
Jasmine Murray and Matt Giraud, both who were felled by poor song choice. Anoop Desai is back--no idea why he didn't get through the first time but I'm glad to say here he is.
And the rest...
Von Smith, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud and Jesse Langston.
Wildcards have one shot to wow the judges tonight and song choice will be everything. This group can sing, no doubt about it. But if they go safe or don't choose a great song that they can sing well AND sound good on, they're sunk. That truly is the formula for every week and the competition for tonight's three openings will be fierce.
8:00 p.m...be there!