There are three more spots in this season's American Idol Top 12. Ryan Seacrest introduces the show as if something sacred is about to happen. It's not.

But it should be entertaining!


Lest there be any doubt, the judges will be choosing from tonight's eight competitors which three will round out the Top 12.

First up is Jesse Langseth. She sings "Tell Me Something Good." Paula Abdul is up and dancing almost immediately, but she gets off to a rough start and never really gets her footing in the song. Randy Jackson says it was an interesting song choice, but he doesn't think she sang it that well. "It was just a'ight." Kara DioGuardi says she had some off notes, but she has a great swagger -- like Sascha Fierce coming out. Paula says she's impressed with her tenacity and determination. Simon says she was a lot better than the first time, but he thought the song and performance were "indulgent," that it was all about her.

Matt Giraud is next with "Who's Loving You" from the Jackson 5. He sounds good, but I think this was pretty indulgent, too. Kara says thanks for bringing back the soulful and bluesy Matt. She says it was a little bit over the top at times, but it was still great. Before Paula talks, they cut to the folks upstairs just in time to see a production person arranging Von Smith and (I think) Megan Corkrey just so. Paula says it was a good "zong choice," which is almost what she means to say. "Don't go against what you're great at. ... This is you." Simon says it was "a billion times better than last week," but he hates his outfit and, "I saw bits of Taylor Hicks coming out." Randy says he made everyone scared that he's going to make the Top 12 and have to compete with them. Going into the break, they cut to Megan and Von, who are indeed positioned correctly on the second floor.

Megan Corkrey comes out to sing "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." I'm not sure what the deal is with this little accent that comes out when she starts singing, but anyway, it's all a little wonky to me. Paula says she looks beautiful and picked a song that fits her personality, but she says nothing about the vocals. Simon says he thinks she's terrific and current and he doesn't get any sort of karaoke vibe from her, and that he likes her even though it wasn't a great vocal. Randy agrees it wasn't the best vocal, but it was a great song in the right range. Kara says they need her because she adds variety. So I guess she's probably making the Top 12 even though they didn't think she sang that well. Am I crazy?

Von Smith sings "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word." He sounds nice, but he's clearly nervous because his hands are totally shaking the whole time. Simon says he is starting to become too earnest and boring. Randy says he had trouble finding his pitch. Kara didn't love the song choice because it got very dark and didn't show off his great vocal ability. Paula, who I just noticed is dressed like one of the Pink Ladies, says when he gets too concerned with the technical details, it obscures his ability. She says basically, he overthought it.

Jasmine Murray takes on "Reflection" by Christina Aguilera. I really expected her to go with a Rihanna song since the judges only mentioned her name like seven times in talking about Jasmine. She does a nice job with it but gets pretty shouty at times, and it's not the energetic song they asked for. Randy says she was way better than last time, though she had some moments. Kara says she's confused because she was expecting to tell her that she should have picked something "pop and commercial" but it turns out she has a big voice. Paula thinks she did a great job. Simon says she deserves more credit and that she probably just put herself back in the running.

Ricky Braddy takes on "Superstition." He's OK but he's going to get dinged for oversinging, I have no doubt. Kara says, "You can sing your butt off, we knew that." She adds that he showed off his personality and did a good job. Paula loves the way he loosened up, but, "you nailed it, and you had fun." Simon says he sounded good, but he thought the performance itself "was a bit clumsy." Randy says the song wasn't right for him and it felt a little self-indulgent.

So I'm assuming it's not just me -- they are being really hard on the guys and over-easy on the women, right? And to think I thought they might pick the best three regardless of whatever gender disparity might ensue.

Tatiana del Toro interviews about how she is in love with everyone. OK. She sings "Saving All My Love for You." Isn't that what she sang last time? Yes, yes it is. And I think she actually did a better job last time, too. She flips out when she's done. Paula says she is all confused. Finally, she says she's not a fan of repeating songs, but she proved in the second half that she can sing. Simon says they have heard her sing this song three times and asks what happens when she makes it to the Top 12 and has to learn new songs. She says she didn't want to fix something that wasn't broken, and he says it wasn't good enough to get her through the first time, so he doesn't get it. Randy says it's confusing, and Kara says it's like "The Adventures of Tatiana," and you never know what to expect. "At least she's not crying and holding her heart," Kara says. "She will," Simon says.

Last is Anoop Desai, who is going to sing "My Prerogative." Yes, he sang it in Hollywood, but we the viewers only saw about 15 seconds of that, so I'm totally OK with the repeat. The cheering is out of control. Simon says it's been a strange night, then calls him an enthusiastic dog. He says it wasn't the best vocal ever, but people really like him. He adds that they have to "cast" the rest of the Top 12 and include some personality. Randy says he did better with this performance, that he's OK with repeating if people slay songs, and he did. Kara says she doesn't usually want to get up and dance, and she wanted to this time. Paula says he is a showman and that he whipped out some "nasty" moves, but that everyone loved his performance. She says he has to pick the right songs. On the way to the break, Anoop says he wants to say to the folks in Chapel Hill that he knows they are having a tough day, "but we're all thinking of Eve." If you don't know what he's talking about (I didn't at first), I think it's the anniversary of the shooting death of the UNC - Chapel Hill student body president, Eve Carson.

All right, I take it back. I think it's going to be Anoop, Jasmine and Megan because I don't think they can overlook Anoop's popularity.

But let's see.


Jasmine is called forward, and yes, she is in the Top 12. Ricky is not. Megan and Tatiana are called forward together, and Tatiana is already almost crying. Paula drags it out, and then finally tells them that Megan is in the Top 12, but Tatiana is not. Tatiana walks up to the judges table and cries, prompting them to tell her that things are not over for her, that she will probably become a famous singer and actress. Huh, interesting.


So then my DVR changes channels because two things were set to record, and Idol is running WAY over. Nice job, guys.

Jesse is not in the Top 12, but Simon reiterates that "you nearly did," which is kind of mean. Von is not through. Matt and Anoop come forward, and Simon tells him that Matt is in the Top 12. He then says to Anoop that they just now decided that it's actually going to be a Top 13.

Super fakeout!

So the Idol Baker's Dozen now includes Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray and Megan Corkrey.

What do you think about that?

(Photo of Anoop Desai: Frank Micelotta/FOX)