I have never watched a full season of AI from beginning to end. I usually watch the regional auditions, then skip until there are about eight or so finalists left. This year, I’m watching everything. It’s not surprising to me that I’m much more attached to the contestants.
A couple of random thoughts about the season so far…
-There's a lot of drama and melodrama so far this year. I’m usually not sensitive to too much of it, but I was pretty attached to two stories in particular: (1) The guy with the saddest story of all, Chris Medina, doesn’t make the cut to the final 24. That was almost enough to make me give up on the season. And (2) I ended up rooting pretty hard for Jaycee.
-Final Judgment in an air hangar? Oh, PLEASE. How cheesy. Although I bet it made for some nice acoustics. Too bad we didn’t hear more than 5 seconds of any performance there.
-Nothing against the Beatles, but I’m glad they got that theme show out of the way now.
-They seemed to put through a lot of 15 year-olds to Hollywood after dropping the minimum age, but what, only one made it to the final 24?
-The new judges: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Steven Tyler has been pretty hilarious. But as the show progresses, he’s really not adding anything. But J.Lo has been a very pleasant surprise. She’s like the best parts of Paula and Kara mixed into one. And she comes across as very sincere. I’m shocked at how much I took to both of them. Randy, of course, is as useless as ever.
So, the final 24 performed this week. Half of them go home tomorrow. Maybe it’s just me, but when they keep talking about how stacked the talent is compared to other seasons, I can’t help but agree. I have no freaking clue how to predict how the voting will go. I just have an inkling of an idea of who the top 12 would be if I was the only voter:
Guys Casey Abrams Jordan Jacob Lusk (OMG amazing) Stefano Langone Scotty McCreery Paul McDonald James Durbin
Girls Thia Megia (OMG amazing) Ashton Jones Naima Adedapo Karen Rodriguez Lauren Alaina Pia Toscano
I thought they got the guys pretty much right, although I could've done without Stefano getting the wild card. I would've preferred Ginger Brett or Jun, although Brett's entertainment value doesn't have -that- much to do with his singing. He's just a funny little elf-boy.
The girls, I felt, didn't come out right. Lauren Alaina, Pia and Ashtton (or however you spell it) I was okay with. I would've preferred Bette Midler Lauren and pretty Kendra, and I wish they would've given Julie a chance to sing for her life, as she clearly just choked on night one after dominating a lot of the early rounds. Thia to me is extremely over-rated and I resent her for being chosen over the other girl with her at the end of the selection round (who I thought was much better, although I can't remember her bloody name). When Karen Rodriguez sang, I kept hearing Simon in my head going "Pageant singer! Pageant singer!", because she reeked of that. Naima, I thought, got through on sob story, as she was probably the weakest of the three girls who tried for wild card. I feel bad for her, too, but she has no chance to win and they're just prolonging the inevitable.
It's all pretty subjective, though, and I fully expected that I wouldn't agree with everybody. I think it comes down to Casey, the remaining Lauren, Jacob and
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
I went into this episode in a very bad mood, as I was coming off a bad premiere of Glee (to follow up their bad finale), where I'm pretty much on the verge of checking out of that show for good. So it would take a lot to get me back in high spirits.