Photo: Apple Corps Ltd. / EMI Music
The surviving Hollywood Round contestants, those who managed to find themselves in the "right" rooms last week, will sing Beatles tunes tonight. Tomorrow, the judges will be seen cutting them down to the 24 that viewers will vote on. Hint: we're losing a "fan favorite" in the process.
Follow my live commentary on Twitter and a wrapup will be posted here after the show.
American Idol ended on a cliffhanger Wednesday as about half of the 24 finalists have been selected to go before the voting public next week. But that leaves 12 to come and the shocking ending: Will J.Lo be able to continue as a judge? The poor dear broke down in tears and had to be consoled by a curiously silent Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson when she informed Chris Medina that he failed to make the Top 24 cut. Apparently telling a mediocre singer he hasn't what it takes is just too much for the tender judge and we're left to wait 24 hours to see if she can pull herself together or will the judges' panel be a twosome this season.
After much thought, my guess is that she will count the $12 million dollars producers paid her to simply say "Yes" or "No" to so-so singers and she will find the strength, the courage, the gumption, to continue with this very difficult task.
So, were the judges correct in cutting Chris lose? Yes. Sure, Chris is a big man, a great guy, for standing by his fiance after she was seriously injured in a car accident. Fans responded in kind and reportedly donations have come in to help with her medical care. That's wonderful. Bless 'em. But this is a singing competition, not a Lifetime series. Chris wasn't good enough in the vocals department. But he left the show with class. No surprise there. He's a man, all the way.
Plenty others weren't, either. James Durbin?!. Someone on Twitter made the astute observation that it appeared Adam Lambert knew a little about music but all Durbin knows is a little about Lambert. How true. When Adam hit the high piercing note, most of the time it was in control and served the performance. James hasn't much of a voice so he screeches out of control to stun the judges who keep passing this guy on from round to round. Hopefully, America has better sense and sends him packing before he makes the touring round (Top 10).
Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo seem to appeal to plenty of people, including the judges, but I haven't heard that much unnecessary ornamentation on The Long and Winding Road since producer Phil Spector p---ed off off songwriter Paul McCartney by adding strings and choirs to the original track 41 years ago.
By comparison, Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle have pillow soft voices, but their pretty harmonies on Blackbird felt like sweet relief after the oversinging that came before. I liked the vocal arrangement Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery and Denise Jackson came up with for Hello, Goodbye, even though the judges were lukewarm. Hey, Scotty can sing something other than Your Man. Who knew?
Meantime, Casey Abrams, 19, made it into the Top 24 but TMZ reports he was rushed to the hospital with a stomach ailment and if he can't perform this Friday in a taped routine, he could be eliminated. Perhaps a delayed reaction from a busted gut from jumping on a bed while bellowing a Beatles oldie on tonight's pretaped show?
SPOILER ALERT: The rumor mill tells me my favorite 15-year-old, the plucky, melodious Jacee Badeaux isn't a Top 24 finalist this year. Bummer. But he is only 15, he could still come back every year for the next 14 years until he goes all the way. Can I cry like J. Lo now?