Top 36 - Group #1
Dr Matt's weekly review of Americal Idol from the Top Thirty Six Singers to the Final Two:
Aloha, American Idol Fans:
How do you like the NEW FORMAT: The final 36 contestants sing-off in three groups of 12. It's a very suspenseful format so far . . . NOT!
With only 3 contestants of 12 making it to the finals each week, figuring out who is out . . . is mostly a no brainer.
Alexis Grace crushed the competition among the group-1 girls!
Dr Matt's Red-Hot Rankings
3 Best Girls:
1 - Alexis Grace — "Never Loved A Man"
Best Female performer by, as Simon Cowell would say, "a country mile" was Alexis Grace. So with this gal singing so great, then, what is the fate of the other female singers? This is where the NEW FORMAT falls on it's face. What of Casey Carlson's fate? . . . oh let me guess: she's gone! And what of Ann Marie Boskovich's fate . . . oh, let me think about this for a minute: She's gone! With 9 out of 12 being BOOTED, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do figure out the elimination math.
2 - Tatiana Del Toro — "Saving All My Love For You"
Senorita Del Toro sang surprisingly well. But a person has to suspend any thought of her crazy/giddy emotional persona and her diva-like arrogance—which is irritating the heck out of most audience members—just to accept that she's a pretty good singer. So, to over come her negative image, Tatiana does a little acting and comes across calm and demure. I was actually looking forward to getting a dose of "irritating" because it's kind of entertaining! In the end, the SONG was a little BIGGER than Tatiana, as she strained in a couple of high notes. I don't think America will love Tatiana enough to save her. But they might save her, just because . . . sometimes picking a scab can bring personal satisfaction. In other words, they might want to intentionally enjoy her irritating personality again.
3 - Jackie Tohn — "A Little Less Conversation"
Good performer. She's a similar singer to last year's Idol contestant, Amanda Overmyer. We eventually discovered that when Amanda was NOT doing a Janis Joplin imitation, she couldn't sing a regular melody; and producers tried to hide this fact in the group numbers. Jackie's grating voice may not be amenable to singing lullabies! We'll see how much America likes Jackie's Elvis imitation. I say . . . she's gone.
3 Best Guys:
1 - Ricky Braddy — "A Song For You"
I personally rate Ricky up there, but he doesn't have the prior episode exposure like Danny Gokey; and while being a very talented singer, he doesn't have the same performance confidence as Alexis or Adam Lambert; therefore, I have to agree with Simon on this one. I don't know if the voters will save him from elimination! But I liked his singing a lot! Here's a NON-American Idol recording of "Love me Like L.A."—it's good stuff.
2 - Danny Gokey — "Hero"
Danny was placed in the "pimp spot." The American Idol producers have a show to sell, and they wanted to leave the audience glowing with a great performance. So, Danny Gokey is a good choice. He has a large audience who is sympathetic to his being a widower, plus he sings pretty good. But based upon singing pizzazz, both Alexis Grace and Ricky Braddy both out sung Danny. Yet, Danny Gokey is a deserving addition to the final twelve! I say he makes it! The above is audio only, and here's the video (which will probably be BLOCKED by Fox eventually).
3 - Anoop Desai — "Angel of Mine"
Anoop Desai performed well, but with only 3 saved in the results show, It's a good bet that he's gone. Maybe he'll get another chance in the "Wild Card" round? The Judges clearly like him.
Dr Matt's Buzz about the other contestants in Group #1 - Top 36
Michael Sarver sang "I Don't Want To Be" by Gavin DeGraw. He's likeable and I can see him appealing to a country audience. He's from Texas, and if that state gets behind him in the vote, he may be a surprise some people in the results show.
Ann Marie Boskovich put in a pageant-like performance of "Natural Woman." She sang in tune, but she doesn't really have the chops to sell this song with passion and soul — like Alexis Grace. So . . . bye bye Miss American Pie!
Brent Keith did a country song called "Hick Town." He put in a pleasant performance that country fans might like — but that Simon Cowell hated. There's got to be a hundred more just like him. I don't see him making the cut.
Stephen Fowler picked the song "Rock With You" by Michael Jackson. When you sing songs performed by an Icon, then you set yourself up to delivering a performance SHORT of how the Icon did it. He came up short.
Casey Carlson sang "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police. On the positive side, she's a beautiful girl, but this song choice was the WORST ever! And then she pulls some real ugly faces whiles she sings. It was creepy and uncomfortable to watch. She's gone!
Stevie Wright sang Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." This song was a real loser for Stevie, because it didn't show off a singer's voice. Terrible song choice. I like Stevie a lot. She did well to make it through all the preliminary rounds AND Hollywood week. But it hasta la vista for Stevie.
* * * * * * *
Danny Gokey and Alexis Grace are both Locks to make it in the finals. That's if America is voting on OBVIOUSLY excellent performances. Look out for anyone who happens to have strong regional support from the home town/ home state.
Here's an interesting note: I just got through re-watching the last round of Hollywood Week, where they announced the final 36. Curiously, I listened to Randy Jackson say to Felicia Barton: "This decision wasn't unanimous . . . you didn't make it"—clearly, Felicia is in the final 36. So, what's up with that?
Joanna Pacitti was replaced by Felicia Barton
It was Joanna Pacitti who initially made it in the 36, and then, was dropped from the competition. The word on the street is the Joanna was a "plant" by the 19 corporation that produces American Idol—and someone discovered that SHE was a plant. It is reported that Joanna had "very personal connections" to Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski, two executives that work for American Idol's 19 Entertainment. So to avoid the appearance of impropriety, 19 quietly dropped Joanna out . . . and slid Felicia in.
Rules Violation? Some people think that American Idol needs to change the rules to only allow for untapped talent to audition. Joanna has already signed contracts with A&M Records and Geffen Records; she's had 3 songs recorded with 3 different movie soundtracks; and has had a cover of one of her songs recorded by Britney Spears. Pacitti has also allegedly called Young her "manager" and "best friend" and credited Widynowski — a former RCA Records publicist — with "helping me get where I am today."
If these allegations are factual, then it's good Pacitti is gone! She would have taken valuable space away from somebody who hasn’t already had 5 or 6 or 7 chances. The word on the street also says: There are other "plants" that continue in the competition. Interesting huh?
Results Show Recap
The result show was soooooooooo anti-climactic. Every person they called up . . . you just knew was a GONER! Why so? Because you figure Danny Gokey and Alexis Grace have the top two spots LOCKED UP, and the only suspense is to find out who gets ONE more spot from the remaining 10 contestants.
I've predicted the TOP Girl and Guy! Michael Sarver was a surprise. He may have benefited from the Simon Cowell recommendation: "I hope American votes for you" because he's likeable and he sings pretty well.
Looks like Texas got out the vote for their home boy.
Check out the next week of American Idol -----> Top 36 - Group 2
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