American Idol Top 13…Round 1 LIVE

So tonight the selected contestants have a daunting task…perform the songs of Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. Let me start by saying this is TOTALLY unfair to the women simply because Whitney’s songs have been saturating the airwaves lately and she did have a one of a kind voice. Nevertheless…here they go and…oh yeah…it’s boys vs girls tonight. I have no idea what that means but Ryan Seacrest seems hellbent on making it something big. We shall see…

Firstly, Mary J. Blige and Jimmy Iovine are “The Help” for the group and so we’ll see how big THOSE egos get tonight…

Up first is Joshua Ledet singing Wonder’s “I Wish.” This is right up his alley and he nails it. Judges love it, the audience lives it. He’s gonna move on. And so am I…

First girl is my top pick, Elise Testone. She wants to sing “Greatest Love Of All”, but “The Help” persuade her to take on “I’m your Baby Tonight.” I thought it was okay, but not as good as Elise can be. So…of course the judges ALL hated it? Really? Hate might be a strong word. It wasn’t THAT bad. I gotta believe America knows this woman is Top 3 material! In the post-performance interview with Ryan, Elise says she really didn’t know the song very well but declined to blame anyone for the song choice. I woulda said, “They TOLD me to do it!” But…she’s classier than I am. And that’s why I want her to win.

Up next is baritone Jermaine Jones cranking out “Knocks Me Off My Feet”. It’s okay but he has an entirely different voice than Stevie. I suppose this was probably the best choice for him but I have to admit…I’m not sure. I don’t really know the song and quite frankly…I don’t care much for it. But that’s not Jermaine’s fault. Anyway…the judges are kinda “Eh” on this one also. I gotta think he’s on a short leash here…

Erica Van Pelt is up next singing Whitney’s “I Believe In You & Me.” I don’t think I even know this song. This song is one of the low note Whitney songs. I’m gonna give Erika some credit…without knowing the song, it SOUNDS like she nailed it. It can’t be easy when you want to go for those high notes but then back off. A very nice song and she looks really nice also. Red is her color. Randy actually says “unbelievable” 4 times in his critique of her. J-Lo got gooseys. Whatever…The Lo looks smokin’ tonight! After last weeks crazy hair/foo-foo dress disaster, she’s got it going on tonight! Aaaaanyway…Erika killed it. Moving on.

Alan Update: I really, really wish I could stop coughing. My head hurts, my throat is burning. I took a couple Night Cold formula pills earlier and I figure once this show is over, I’m gonna crash. Here’s hoping I hold on to see Phillip Phillips’ performance. That dude is awesome (oh…and he replaces that loser Creighton who didn’t get picked to move on by the judges or America. I disagree with them but this ain’t the first time I’ve been disappointed).

Ryan explains that the girl & the guy who get the fewest votes get the boot tomorrow. So THAT’S what they mean about “Guys vs Gals.” Still not understanding. If each get someone voted off, how is it one versus the other? This is dumb.

Up next is Colton “Skunkhead” Dixon singing “Lately”. I don’t recognize this song at all. Is this a Stevie Wonder song? Either way…I thought it was pretty damn good for a rocker dude. Judges seem to like it. Okay…he moves on. Now Seacrest is talking smoldering eyes. He weirds me out sometimes…

Up next is Shannon Magrane looking to sing “I Have Nothing.” Mary J gives her some pointers that seem to make her happy. She starts out a little weak. Here’s the thing with this song though…it’s got a killer ending. Let’s see if the judges forgive the early part once she gets to…HERE! Aaaaaaand she is having some difficulty. She looks like she needs a drink or something. And her mic seems to be having issues. Either that or the band is overpowering her vocal. Hey Mr. Audio dude…fix that, will ya? Jenny From The Block tells her she thought about it too much. Apparently she was a little bit nervous. Well the girl is 16 and a there’s millions of people watching…no shit, she’s nervous! The judges try to soften the blow but…wait…what the hell IS that on Randy’s jacket? Whatever…it wasn’t good. I still don’t think she’s gone though.

So this brings us to my least favorite contestant, Deandre Brackensick. Ryan shows video of him crying like a baby. Why, oh why, Idol? Ok…he’s singing “Master Blaster” by the Wonderman. I HAVE to believe this is in his wheelhouse with that high pitched voice of his. Once again, the vocal falls behind the instruments. What is going on with the mix tonight? He LOOKS the like he’s having a good time but I can’t hear him over all the horns and bouncy beat. And he ends with one of his patented high notes. And that’s pretty much all I heard of it. Steven Tyler says a bunch of stuff that I have to believe someone is feeding him because there’s no way he even knows what the hell those words mean. All 3 judges liked his performance and Randy is rambling. Oh shut up already…

Singing “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” is country artist wannabe, Skylar McIntire (yes…I know that’s not her name but seriously…she’s Reba’s doppleganger!). She gives Mary J goosebumps. Let’s see what she does for me. Actually…this makes a pretty good country song. I’m surprised no one has remade it (or maybe they have?). It’s a good showing by Skylar. I’m liking her more & more every week but I’m SO tired of country artists winning this thing. Anyway…she nailed it. Judges will blather on about this, I’m sure. For MY money, I prefer it when she’s rocking out like last week but she DID do a good job.

Commercial break and Ellen Degeneres is hawking  for JC Penney? I love Ellen. She can hawk mens hair nose clippers for all I care because she’s ALWAYS funny. Come to think of it…that WOULD be funny!

Okay…so now Heejun Han is singing “All In Love Is Fair.” He’s a funny guy, this Heejun, so to see him singing this song is a little weird. It’s slow, it’s sappy and I’m not digging it. But his vocals seem good enough. J-Lo loves the Heejun. Randy says it wasn’t perfect. I’m starting to think Randy might be a little tone deaf. Heejun hugs Ryan and then it’s over.

“The Girl The Show Forgot” is singing the second “All” song…”All The Man That I Need.” Hollie Cavanagh SHOULD destroy this song. Taking Steven’s advice from last week, she has let her hair down. I’m sure THAT will help her performance. She does a good job while singing in a sea of candles (thank you Idol Video Boards) and Randy says she nailed it. Hollie is so cute but she kind of reminds me of Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”…NOT the Meg Ryan with the huge, weird lips.

Jeremy Rosado is singing…something. I missed it. Anyway, the “Help” is saying he’s nervous. Let’s see, shall we? Sounds silky smooth so far. Okay…he’s singing “Ribbons In The Sky” and he is also getting drowned out by the orchestration. What the hell is going on here tonight? If the audio guys can’t get this right, what’s the point of watching? Oh look…they took a shot of J-Lo getting all googly eyed. Dawg didn’t like his performance. I could take it or leave it. But the kid does have a smooth sound.

Ok…here it is. Jessica Sanchez is singing the iconic “I Will Always Love You.” This 16 year old is a sensation but THIS song is scary. It’s Houston’s cornerstone song and if there is one thing off, it could be a disaster. Here she goes. First off, let me start by saying…this girl is WAAAY older than her years. In her voice, her look, her demeanor…everything. Well shit…she NAILED it. That was the performance of the night. Unbelievable and it gave ME goosys. Standing ovation from the judges. And I think we have a frontrunner. Randy blathers on about something. I kinda just wish they would not even say anything. Oh look…J-Lo says she’s speechless but then she continues talking. Why?

Okay…so I’m thinking we have a winner in tonight’s contest! As much as I love Elise…THAT performance was amazing. And I don’t even like that song THAT much!

Last but definitely NOT least is Philip Phillips doing “Superstitious.” This is a layup for this dude and it’s a GREAT choice  for him! Can he compete with Sanchez? Vegas bookies are picking him as the odds on favorite. I dunno about that but lets see how he does. Aaaand…he kills it…I think. Enough with the band already! I can’t HEAR the contestants! Crap! But the dude is a performer and Steven Tyler is stoned beyond belief. Dunno what he just said but J-Lo says he killed it. Randy is STILL talking and I need to go to bed.

Night America. Vote wisely…

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