~March 5, 2009~

The opportunity of the Wildcard is not lost on these contestants...who thought until yesterday they were done with the show. But the desire for redemption does not always translate into a stellar performance, as several of these Wildcards found out.

Simply not good

Jesse Langseth
chose the song, "Tell Me Something Good". No idea why she would ever think this was a good song when she is singing for her life. Unfortunately, there was nothing about her performance that made it any better. The singing was weird and jerky and, at times, unintelligible. It was done and I thought, "What the heck was that?!" But then I remembered the judges make the sole decision tonight and I braced for their thoughts. Randy said that it was an interesting song choice but he didn't know if she sang it that well. Kara and Paula loved her swagger, tenacity and determination. It's frustrating feedback because you could put thousands up there with those qualities who can't sing. Paula said it's going to be a hard night to decide and Simon agreed. I say they're out of their minds! This girl shouldn't be going anywhere.
Bottom line: Just because Jesse owns it and has attitude doesn't negate the bad notes or poor song choice.

Von Smith really messed-up tonight. He sang "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" which could be a really killer song. But at the beginning, this voice came out of him that I've never heard before, and not in a good way. He started out weak, with a bad, wispy falsetto. He did better when he kicked it in, but it wasn't enough to redeem the beginning. The judges were not crazy about the song choice and Paula seemed to nail it when she said it seemed like he overthought the performance. This one's going to sink him.

What was in the air during Jasmine's segment?

Jasmine Murray
tackled the Christina Aguilera song, "Reflection". You'll remember I've been a fan of Jasmine since the beginning but last week, she tanked with a horribly weak song choice. This song choice was not great either but she sang it well.
Thump on the head to Kara
Kara said she was confused because she didn't know Jasmine had that big a voice. Kara, where have you been? Every time she's sung, Jasmine has had a big, amazing voice. To add insult to injury, she said, "We wanted you in pop commercial" (before hearing her voice). That's what you get for ignorantly pigeon-holing. I realize the judges have to be looking at the marketing side. But Kara acted like she'd heard her for the first time tonight and it gets old how she focuses on how to place singers.
And Paula and Simon snipe
Paula gave Jasmine several compliments and then gave it over to Simon who said, "I don't think you're giving the girl enough credit." It was a ridiculous thing to say since that was all she had just given her. Paula called Simon out on it, listing all of the positive things she'd said and then asked Simon what his problem is. Sometimes it feels like Simon thinks no one has a valid opinion until he has imparted his wisdom to all. I'm glad she called him out on it. Even if he doesn't listen, it's still worthwhile to occasionally expose his smugness.

Redemption is the word for him

Matt Giraud
got back to his roots after a disastrous showing attempting Coldplay last week. This time, he wisely went with "Who's Loving You" by the Jackson 5. I've never heard the song but he mastered it giving it a slow, bluesy groove. He nailed it when he effortlessly popped to falsetto and then had great scatting at the end. Now that's a performance worthy of sending him through! I predicted the judges would love the performance but Simon would hate Matt's outfit and that's how it went. And I completely agree with Randy when he said, "You made everyone scared that you're going to give everyone in this competition a run for their money." I say, "Be afraid...be very afraid."

I'm just not that into her

Megan Corkrey was back with her odd moves singing "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree". Good song choice for her distinctive voice but wow, it was pitchy, and she popped the last note and completely missed it. I am not wild about her twisty washing machine moves nor her odd, fluttery vibratto. She definitely is unique but that is not always a good thing. Paula said overall, she picked the right song. Simons said "YOu're current, you're quirky, you're original." He went on to say that she didn't have the best vocals but it doesn't matter. And Kara said, "We need you. You're different." I don't understand the lovefest Megan garners. She seems like a nice person but I am not into her singing.

Flat performance

Ricky Braddy
's back and, unfortunately, was not able to overcome the same issues from before. Really good vocals, really lacking in charisma. He chose "Superstition" which is a tough song and he did it well. The girls liked the performance, the guys didn't. Randy even went so far as to use the Simon word, "self-indulgent". I am glad he made it back to this round but this looks to be the end of the line.

Drama is always her theme and everyone got in on the act

Ryan introduced Tatiana Del Toro on his knees. Seriously. He had his hands clasped to his chest and dramatically followed the camera with his eyes as it rose upward. Tatiana sang, "Saving All My Love"...again. It's really hard to reconcile the big adult voice with the childish indulgent personality. She crumpled at the end of her performance and Simon looked fed-up. He asked her why she had sung this song three times. She said she couldn't clear a song this good in one day and he retorted "Rubbish!" Turns out Tatiana thinks it's a really good song and wanted to sing it again. Randy called her a mixed bag of tricks and Kara called her "The Adventures of Tatiana", wondering who we're going to see today. I agree--I'm tired of the schizophrenic, dramatic, sniveling little girl with a big voice. If Tatiana is put through, I am going to pull my hair out.
My advice: Please, please adjust your attitude because then, you could possibly go far.

'Noop Dawg is Back!

Anoop Desai
re-performed a song as well, but this did not bother me as much. He sang "My Prerogative" during Hollywood Week and again tonight. Selfishly, I heard the Hollywood snippet and wanted to hear the whole thing. The judges said he performed it better than he did the last time and I thought he did a good job on it as well. He's majorly talented and I want him to go through.

***At this point, my three picks are Matt Giruad, Jasmine Murray and Anoop Desai.***

THE RESULTS

The judges decided their choices during the break. No idea how although some of the performances gave obvious answers. Still, I wouldn't want that kind of pressure.

Jasmine was the first to be called-up and the first to be told Yes! Ricky was a No. Megan and Tatiana went up together next and Paula had the difficult job of telling Tatiana No and Megan Yes. Megan sweetly hugged Tatiana who seemed simply shocked. She stood in front of the judges' table where they tried to give her reassurance about her singing. And actually, Paula told her she could also make it as an actress. While that might have been meant as a slight jab, it's true. If Tatiana could take all of that drama and channel it, she could be quite successful in that area as well. I don't know what Tatiana will do next. But I believe this was the right decision.

It was when Megan was told she's through that I realized either Matt or Anoop was not going to make it. Based on performances, Matt should be put through. But I wanted Anoop through as well. Two more before that decision: Jesse was told No as was Von.

Oh my gosh!!!

Matt and Anoop went up together as the last two. Matt was told Yes and I was happy but sad for Anoop. But then Simon called Anoop back and said "We're going to make this a Top Thirteen!" It's the first time in the show's history that they've done such a thing. I'm not sure Ryan was even in on it. Fabulous news and a great ending to the show!

Michael Jackson songs are on the books for next week and Kelly Clarkson and Kanye West will be on the show. It all starts Tuesday at 8. See you then!