No big surprises with Thursday night’s first round of American Idol eliminations, but at this point, there really shouldn’t be.
We lost Ashley Rodriguez, Jenell Wheeler, Joe Munoz and Tyler Grady.
Ashley, Jenell and Tyler were all among the early favorites during the auditions, but are classic examples of why those January snippets can be so misleading. When we had the opportunity to see them live on stage this week, it was painfully obvious they were overmatched and in way over their head.
We never really saw much of Joe until Tuesday night, and that was probably a good thing. He seemed to be a nice kid, but like most of this year’s guys was borderline terrible with a microphone in his hand.
I was mildly surprised that Lacey Brown survived after that catastrophic version of Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide,” but I think enough of the voters remember her Hollywood Week rednition of “What A Wonderful World.” She probably has one more week left.
Among the boys, Tim Urban probably deserved to be booted a little more than Joe, but we’re splitting hairs here. Besides, it might be entertaining to see how mad Tim will be next week. He might be this year’s Sanjaya Malakar. Someone has to be the whipping boy.
IDOL NATION TOP 10 RANKINGS
1. Crystal Bowersox: Can you imagine what the first week would have been without her?
2. Casey James: Even my wife was paying attention when he sang Wednesday night.
3. Andrew Garcia: Week two will be pivotal for the stay-at-home dad. We need to see something a little different from him.
4. Lilly Scott: I’m not sure how well she will do when we get to something like “Motown Week,” but I think it will be interesting to find out.
5. Siobhan Magnus: I think I may have been guilty of underestimating her talent. (On the plus side, I can now spell her first name without having to check a previous story.)
6. Didi Benami: The best is yet to come.
7. Michelle Delamor: She could be this year’s Syesha Mercado.
8. Katelyn Epperly: It’s obvious she has not had much professional training, but there is definitely some distinctive raw talent here.
9. Lee Dewyze: It looks like he is the only guy outside of James and Garcia who has any sort of idea what to actually do when onstage.
10. Paige Miles: This year’s Vonzell Solomon.
On the bubble: Katie Stevens.
There were 24 million votes cast this week, according to host Ryan Seacrest.
The dreaded group number returned for the results show. Yawnnnn …
Last year’s champ, Kris Allen, and fourth-place finisher Allison Iraheta, both performed. I still think Allison will be a huge star someday. Remember, she’s still a teenager. It was interesting to see Kris again as a much more polished and confident performer.
For those counting, Randy has used the word “dawg” six times so far since the round of 24 started. The Dawg also only thrown one “check it out” at us to date.
Along with about a dozen of the contestants, Ellen also needs to pick up her game. She looked extremely promising during Hollywood week, but she was hard to listen to Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I should have counted how many times she used the term “great.”
FROM AROUND THE IDOL NATION
From former American Idol finalist Blake Lewis, USA Today.com: Casey James summoned forth Kara DioGuardi’s inner cougar, getting her to grin and wave her arms like a giddy schoolgirl when he let his hair down and sang Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.”
From nymag.com: Though he at times looked like he was about to flee the stage in tears, Alex Lambert impressed and shocked America by not completely choking. Plus, Ellen is right: You have to respect him for refusing to give up on his mullet despite all common sense.
From Reality TV magazine: Members of the band Coldplay are trying to persuade Simon Cowell to make a guest appearance on their tour and they actually hope that he will criticize their performance. The band members are huge fans of the American Idol judge and love his mocking remarks.Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is hoping to convince Cowell to record a video segment for their upcoming concerts. “I’ve never met Simon, but I keep wanting him to do a bit in our concert next year,” Martin said.
From Michael Slezak, Entertainment Weekly: Okay, so I know it’s only week one of the American Idol semifinals, and I’m aware that patience is a virtue, but yikes! I’m slightly scared (possibly even scurr’d) that the first 24 performances of season 9 are an omen of 13 long and arduous weeks ahead. I mean, seriously, when the judges are scrambling to heap praise on hapless Alex Lambert — possibly the most petrified Idol contestant since Garrett Haley — you know there’s been trouble in casting paradise. And with Jermaine Purifory, J.B. Ahfua, Angela Martin, and Tasha Layton watching from their couches, is it possible we’ve accidentally stumbled into casting hell? And yet I know in the back of my brain that we dance this dance every Idol season: Staring deeply into our television sets and wondering “How many seasons can this show sustain before it all goes kaput?” But the cold hard evidence tells us that even standout Idol contestants sometimes need a one-week pass before they really bring the brilliance. Look back at season 7 of Idol: David Archuleta didn’t break out “Imagine” till week two. In season 4, Bo Bice didn’t really look like a true contender till his sophomore effort, the Allman Bros’ “Whipping Post.” I need to remind myself to just chillax and repeat my daily anthem: It’s only week one, it’s going to be okay. It’s only week one, it’s going to be okay. It’s only week one, it’s going to be okay. Of course, if week two is this much of a hot, buttered wreck, then I’m hitting the panic button.