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Buzz about American Idol — Season 8

By Dr Matt 

Top 36 - Wild Card

Dr Matt's weekly review of Americal Idol from the Top Thirty Six Singers to the Final Two:

36 - 1       36 - 2       36 - 3      Wild Card      13       11     
  10       9       8       7       6       5       4       3       Final 2

Howdy, American Idol Fans:

There are three wild-carders from Group #1, four wild-card contestants from the Group #2, and only one from Group #3.

Because Jesse Langseth was a last minute switch, I suspect that the person who was switched OUT was either Kristen McNamara or Felicia Barton. In the end, Jesse got the 2nd chance—most likely, because her personality is more projected, thus more interesting to the viewing audience.

The Wild Card selections were mainly about selling a show that features intriguing personalities and pretty faces — blended in with a few singers.

Megan Corkrey: wildly popular with the Judges & America!

Dr Matt's Red-Hot ReCap:

Jesse Langseth — "Tell Me Something Good"
        Chaka Khan & Rufus - The Very Best of Rufus

Dr Matt: Jesse is TOO white to sing this soul-ful song. She's up first, and that's bad news for her — she's out!

Randy: Interesting song choice but I don't know if you sung it that well.
Kara: I love your swagger. I love that you let loose and come alive on stage.
Paula: You picked a song that's hard to sing. I'm really impressed.
Simon: You were totally last minute. It was a lot better than we saw first time.
        I thought it was a little indulgent though.

Matt Giraud — "Who's Lovin' You"
        The Temptations - Anthology Series: The Best of the Temptations

Dr Matt: Matt is massively talented. Singing a bluesy, soul-ful song really works for him. The Judges liked it, and he would be a good Wild Card choice.

Randy: That's how to sing. That's what I want. That was hot.
Kara: You can riff amazingly. A little over the top but what a great vocal.
Paula: This is you this week.
Simon: Again, much better than before. Hate what you're wearing though.

Megan Corkery — "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
        KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope

Dr Matt: A better performance than I expected. With some training and experience, Megan has great potential — she certainly radiates enthusiasm and "Joy" (like her middle name). Now, listen to the Judges comments to an average singing performance, and you KNOW that they are going to pick her!

Randy: Wasn't the best vocal but I can see you making these kinds of records.
Kara: I think America needs you and I hope you stay.
Paula: I think you picked the right song.
Simon: I think you're terrific and I think you're current.
        I like that you're original and quirky.

Von Smith — "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
        Elton John - Elton John: The Greatest Hits 1970-2002

Dr Matt: Excellent singer . . . terrible song choice. Singing this ballad put everyone to sleep. The Judges didn't like it, and this will be enough reason NOT to move him to the next level of competition.

Randy: It seems a little serious right now but I'm not sure about the song choice.
Kara: You have great vocal ability but you haven't hit your stride.
Paula: You're not letting the pure Von Smith out and you were thinking too hard.
Simon: I didn't really get it from you that time. There was something more
        interesting from you the first time we heard you.

Jasmine Murray — "Reflection"
        Christina Aguilera - Mulan (Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack)

Dr Matt: Very average performance — a pageant-like performance. She's too stiff and stoic. Strangely, the Judges seem to be opening the door for her selection.

Randy: It was a little too big for you. It was way better than the last time though.
Kara: I'm confused cause you have this [big] voice now.
Paula: Overall I think you did a wonderful job.
Simon: That was pretty special compared to what we've heard before. It was like
        a little girl trying to sound grown up but you just put yourself back in the running.

Ricky Braddy — "Superstition"
        Stevie Wonder - Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection

Dr Matt: Talented singer, but you can tell that the Judges are NOT going to embrace Ricky's personality, and thus become a Wild Card selection.

Paula: You nailed it and had fun.
The performance was a bit clumsy and I'm a bit disappointed.
That song was not quite the one for you.
Kara: We knew you could sing your butt off.
         You held your own on a song I wouldn't have chosen.

Tatiana Del Toro — "Saving All My Love for You"
        Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

Dr Matt: Tatiana is INSANE . . . America is dying to hear something new from her, and she sings "Saving All My Love" AGAIN. She's a good enough singer to advance in the competition, AND she has a very intriguing personality — but this girl is an emotional train wreck waiting to happen.

Randy: It's like being on a ship with you through rough water — up and down.
Kara: At least she's not crying and holding her heart. Simon retorts: "she will"
Paula: Once again, I'm not a big fan of repeat songs.
Simon: Can you sing more than that song? We have heard you sing this three times now.

Anoop Desai — "My Perogative"
        The Hit Crew - Bachlorette Party

Dr Matt: Anoop sings with infectious energy. But I don't know if I personally want to be "infected." The young girls of America apparently like something about this guy (he's cute from the female persepective); Anoop is talked about a lot in the Idol Blogs. And since he's captured America curiosity, . . . he will be a good Wild Card selection. PLUS: he's singing in the Pimp Spot, and no one yet, has sung in the Pimp Spot and NOT been selected for the next round.

Randy: I liked this better than the last time you sang this.
Kara: This is the best you've ever been. I wasnted to get up and dance.
Paula: You certainly are the showman. I'm gald you went back and picked this song.
Simon: Not the best singer we've ever had. But we do need some personality on
        American Idol.
(And that is why Anoop was chosen: personality)

Dr Matt's Red-Hot Rankings

2 Best Girl Singers:

1 - Tatiana Del Toro"Saving All My Love For You"
        Home Town: San Juan, Porta Rico
        Audition City: San Fransico, California

Tatiana is a very excellent singer, and putting her on the Wild Card Show, and placing her performance #7 (second to last), likely kept millions watching this show to the end. Before I say what I'm now going to say, please remember that Dr Matt <------- has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Tatiana is an emotional train-wreck waiting to happen. She is suffering from an acute case of terminal, chronic, Basket-Case Disorder. You've likely heard of OCD . . . well this is BCD.

If she could JUST be something that she's NOT: namely, fun and friendly and emotionally stable. If this were the reality of Tatiana, . . . she could made it to the Top 12 just based upon her talent. She's a great singer. But because of her Manic NARCISSISM . . . that oozes from every pore of her body, she would be a HOT MESS to manage as a professional artist.

2 - Jesse Langseth"Tell Me Something Good"
        Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota
        Audition City: Kansas City, Missouri

Jesse sings with great passion and soul, BUT she's clearly inflicted with brain damage, because this particular song requires one to be a bit Black-er to sing properly. She made it EASY for the Judges to eliminate her, based upon this performance.

2 Most Interesting Girl Personalities:

1 - Megan Joy Corkrey"Black Horse and Cherry Tree"
        Home Town: Sandy, Utah
        Audition City: Salt Lake City, Utah

Megan Corkrey has infectious enthusiasm when she sings, and I want to be infected! She has a pretty face and a fun personality. American Idol corporation wants to sell her — she's "commercial."

2 - Jesse Langseth"Tell Me Something Good"
        Home Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota
        Audition City: Kansas City, Missouri

On the Personality front, Jesse is very vivacious and bold: She has waaaaaay more personality compared to the two girls who MAY have been Wild Card considerations from Group #3: Kristen McNamara and Felicia Barton. (and that is why she's in the Wild Card round). But will she move on? As you listen to the Judges comments . . . probably NOT.

2 Best Guy Singers:

1 - Ricky Braddy "Superstition"
        Home Town: Nashville, Tennesee
        Audition City: Louisville, Kentucky

Ricky is a pro singer, using American Idol to pump up his career. BUT in the end, American Idol has to sell an INTERESTING SHOW with INTRIGUING PERSONALITIES. Simon said it, just prior to the announcement of the FOUR contestants comprising the Top 13:
"We've gotta cast this next stage. We're not just going to put the boring singers through. We're going to put some personality through as well." — Simon Cowell

2 - Von Smith "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
        Home Town: Kansas City, Missouri
        Audition City: Kansas City, Missouri

Von Smith made an autrocious song choice that made it EASY for the Judges to do . . . what they were going to do . . . even before the singing started. Von' upbeat song from last Tuesday's competition was FANTASTIC. But then he sings this boring, sleep-inducing ballad. PASS the BARF BAG. Again, Von was NOT going to make it anyway.

2 Most Interesting Guy Personalities:

1 - Anoop Desai"My Prerogative"
        Home Town: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
        Audition City: Kansas City, Missouri

How could the Judges NOT advance Annop "Dog?" He's going to sell tickets to the show . . . AND he help fill the minority quota. Perfect! There's too many Caucasions advancing via America's vote; so the judges needed to balance things out. Adding a little "East Indian" was the move they made . . . AND Anoop happens to have the BEST guy personality too.

2 - Matt Giraud "Whatever"
        Home Town: Kalamazoo, Michigan
        Audition City: Louisville, Kentucky

Matt Giraud is massively talented. When he get's behind his piano in the coming rounds, people are going to have a hard time NOT liking this guy a lot. AND his personality has MORE going for it, compared to the two talented male singers: Von & Ricky. The Judges will use the line "after all this is a singing contest" when it suits their purposes; and when it doesn't . . . . they will play the PERSONALITY CARD, as they did tonight.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

I like Matt Giraud to make it from the Wild Card Pack


Based upon singing talent AND interesting personality: I like Matt Giraud to make the final 12, even though it really goes AGAINST the gender-balance theory.

Again, Simon tipped off America as to the reasoning behind choosing who will make it from the Wild Card contestants: And it NOT about singing ability, primarily. It's about interesting/sell-able personalities! Megan Corkrey fits that bill perfectly. Great personality: interesting and quirky — and her singing skills are enthusiastic and adequate enough. I'm predicting that she's IN. Besides, I reading a lot of BUZZ about Megan in the Idonl Blogs — she's on the mind of MANY people. Hence, a sellable personality.

Another Sell-able soul is Anoop Desai — how can the Judges NOT choose Anoop after all the excitement they've stirred up about the Anoop Dawg? I think Tatiana is OUT, based upon the insanity of singing the same STINKING song 3 times in a row — more evidence of her BCD: Basket-Case Disorder.

Results Show: Judges Choices for the Top 12 . . . make that 13

Out of the Blue: Jasmine Murray? Based upon her average, pageant-like performance . . . coult this choice be a matter of filling racial quotas? But she's a young one, and there are lots of young viewers who will relate to her. But I'm thinking she'll be gone in the early rounds.

Next Tatiana and Megan are called to the stage for another elimination: It's Megan that is chosen, and the Emotional Train Wreck called "Tatiana" come crashing into America's living rooms. Can Tatiana, even for one single second, be normal enough to GET OUT OF HER SELFISH HEAD and be excited for the success of another? Can Tatiana, for one moment, think about Megan Corkery's happiness? Instead, its mother Megan that consoles poor Tatiana as she melts down emotionally in front of a nation-wide audience.

Did you notice how Ms. Del Torro was playing the Latina Card in last-minute desparation? In previous shows, Taitiana came across as Caucasian; but now, when she discovers the advantages of being Latin — e.g., Jorge Nunez — suddenly Tatianna starts speaking like Charro, and mumbling the same line as Jorge Nunez: When I get excited, I try to think in English, but it comes out Spanish (or something like that).

Finally the Show presents a choice between Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai . . . and announce there is ONE stool to be occumpied. Simon says: "Matt you in!" And Anoop thinks he's OUT, then the BIG surprise: It's Top 13 time, for the first time on American Idol: Anoop Desai is IN too!

Here's ALL of the 36 contestants of American Idol Season 8:

From Left to Right & Top to Bottom — Alphabetical by First Name:

Row 1:    Alexis Grace*     Allison Iraheta*     Anne Marie Boskovich      Arianna Afsar      Casey Carlson       Felicia Barton
Row 2:     Jackie Tohn     Jasmine Murray #     Jeanine Vailes      Jessie Langseth      Kendall Beard      Kristin McNamara 
Row 3:    Lil Rounds*    Megan Corkrey #    Mishavonna Henson     Stevie Wright     Tatiana Del Toro     Taylor Vaifanua 
Row 4:    Adam Lambert *       Alex Wagner        Anoop Desai #          Brent Keith           Danny Gokey*          Jorge Nunez* 
Row 5:    Ju’not Joyner         Kai Kalama          Kris Allen*           Matt Breitzke           Matt Giraud #           Michael Sarver
Row 6:   Nathaniel Marshall       Nick Mitchell       Ricky Braddy        Scott MacIntire*         Stephen Fowler        
Von Smith 

            *   Finalists chosen by America: Top Male & Female vote-getters, plus next highest vote-getter per round.
#  Wild Card Finalists chosen by the Judges = Top 13 

Dr Matt's Predictions for the Top 13

Jasmine Murray. Could be the very first one OUT. Good singer compared to thousands of other singers, but when compared to the rest of the Top 13 . . . she's doesn't stand out. Prediction : 13 to 12

Jorge Nunez. Judges have praised this Spanish-accented singer from Puerto Rico, but his popularity is waning after a bland performance on Michael Jackson Night: 12 to 11

Michael Sarver. The Judges were positive about his performance on Michael Jackson Night. He's a nice guy with nice voice, suited for country singing. Unless the Texas vote can save him, he should be out early: 11 to 9

Matt Giraud. A White verson of Ray Charles: Great piano player. But there are too many singers that America likes MORE. Happy for him, he will make the American Idol Top 10 tour. Prediction: 10 to 7

Scott MacIntyre. Scott will exit gracefully after competing admirably. Ultimately, America will judge him on his singing and piano playing ability, and not upon his disability. Prediction: Between 9 to 8

Anoop Desai. Anoop's early popularity will detereorate the more he sings, and the MORE his talents are contrasted against those who will out last him, and are better. Prediction: between 8 to 7

Alexis Grace. The Judges have proclaimed Alexis as a dark horse. I don't think she has the personality to capture America's fascination. Prediction: 7 to 5

Megan Corkrey. Megan will be the “pretty girl who gets far on her looks" with average yet enthusiastic singing ability. The judges adore her and it appears America does too. She's ranking HIGH in the AOL American Idol Poll. Prediction: 6 to 4

Allison Iraheta. The Judges like her singing ability a lot. This girls got singing chops big time, but Allison is personality challenged. The more she just smiles and keeps her mouth shut, the farther she will go: 5 to 4

Kris Allen. Seems to have appeal with the ladies! But then, America discovered that HE'S MARRIED. Talented guitar-player, with an upbeat personality: Prediction: 4 or 5

Lil Rounds. At least Top 3, powerful singer, but America will like the personality of someone else more, in the end. But time will tell, and the way a person actually SINGS from week to week does make a differance. Prediction: 3 to 1

Danny Gokey. Could win the whole thing. As the week's go along, the picture will get clearer, but Danny is destined for Top 2-dom: between 2 to 1

Adam Lambert. Top 2 for Adam as well. He will need to demonstrate some singing versatility to be the American Idol. So far, his screaming-rocker riffs are fantastic. Prediction: 1 or 2

Things to look for in the coming weeks: Who will the Producers put in the coveted Pimp Spot. No American Idol contestant (in the early rounds or 12 thru 5) has ever been eliminated after singing in the Pimp Spot.

Dr Matt

Check out the next week of American Idol -----> Top 13


The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
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or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

"Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim),
and the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
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