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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

American Idol Recap: Top 13

Our marketing team members are long-time American Idol viewers. This year we decided to share our take with News & Views. Every week we’ll recap the show and share our critiques. This week, CD Marketing Coordinator Danielle Desmond, Graphic Designer Heather Brown, and Marketing & Social Media Coordinator (and News & Views editor) Char Bohnett give their two cents.

Over 33 million votes were cast to narrow down the Top 10 American Idol contestants. And the judges told six contestants that they still had a shot at a wild card position. So here we have them: the Top 13. And thank goodness for the wildcard spots. As proven in the past and with this round of cuts, America doesn’t always get it right.

The Top 10 as chosen by viewer votes:
  • Phillip Phillips 
  • Jessica Sanchez 
  • Hollie Cavanagh 
  • Joshua Ledet 
  • Heejun Han 
  • Shannon Magrane 
  • Skylar Laine 
  • Elise Testone 
  • Colton Dixon 
  • Jermaine Jones
Following the top ten, each judge chose a wild card contestant. Randy Jackson went with my favorite (second to Reed), Erika Van Pelt, who delivered an amazing and powerful cover of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Her song choice was risky, but thankfully, she didn’t butcher it. She also made audiences—well, me, at least—excited to see what other songs she’ll cover this season. Next week is Whitney week after all.

Jennifer Lopez chose Jeremy Rosado after his cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know What You Want,” which brought her to tears—no surprise there. And the final wildcard, given by judge Steven Tyler, went to Deandre Brackensick, who blew Steven away with his version of “Georgia on My Mind.” How many times has this song been done on this show? I mean, honestly, how much faith can we have in Steven as a judge if yet another rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” is what convinced him to pick Deandre? I guess we've never had much faith in crazy Steven Tyler anyway, so pick Deandre, Steven. Pick him!

America got some voting right and some wrong. I was actually glad to see Reed Grimm get cut. If you close your eyes and listen, he’s a great singer, but his gyrating on stage is obnoxious.

I was disappointed to see that Creighton Fraker didn’t make the top 12, but that’s the name of the game on this show. Two contestants whose fates were unpredictable were Jermaine Jones and Hallie Day. Jermaine made it for the guys. He is different, but I’m not sure he’ll be received well enough once the competition gets going. And Hallie Day should’ve made it. The girl can belt it out.

If I were to predict the ending, all hail Jessica Sanchez; she’s the strongest competitor in my opinion.

Tonight and Thursday’s Idol shows will be huge! The guys will cover Steve Wonder tunes and the ladies will try their darnedest to fill Whitney Houston’s shoes. I’m quite surprised Idol decided on a Stevie and Whitney night. These are two artists that the judges have consistently berated contestants for covering.  I’m wondering if Randy will just be on repeat tonight: “I don’t know, dog. I just wasn’t feeling it. I mean, no one does Stevie like Stevie!” And with the recent death of Whitney, I can imagine the judges—especially J. Lo—will be hyper-critical of the girls’ performances.

Let’s hope the contestants’ mentor for the week, Mary J. Blige, gives sound advice and helps these starry-eyed singers do these amazing songs justice, because—while I know Idol chose to do Whitney songs as a way of memorializing the musical icon—I don’t think a bunch of green pop hopefuls butchering her hits is truly an honor. Fingers crossed for some incredible, moving performances!

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