First, faithful readers, let me say that I was incorrect about the number of “American Idol” contestants being reduced to 36 on Tuesday, February 10th. The number remaining at the end of Tuesday night’s program was 54, but it was reduced to 36 on Wednesday, February 11th.
While wrangling newborn granddaughters (see them watching Obama’s Inauguration on television on my “thank you” piece for AC Content Producer of the Year) I, apparently, became unhinged and reported that Tatiana, for instance, was gone. Unfortunately, Tatiana is not yet gone, although Simon did ask her if she could be “less annoying” as the panel of four put her through to the final 36, she remains, hysterically shrieking her way into the hearts of no one. Surprise, surprise! When Tatiana rounded the corner and re-entered the room where the other contestants were waiting, there was no joy in Mudville. Few clapped for the Drama Queen Diva. We’ve seen quite a bit of Tatiana, and almost all of it has been annoying or obnoxious or both. Her voice is not bad. Her attitude and self-absorption is.
I need to eat a healthy dose of humble pie over my inaccuracies (spellings of names are hard to get, at this point, so not too many apologies there) and pay better attention in between infant feedings. I have no excuse. I was wrong and posted a “correction” immediately, but I did have some distractions during Tuesday night’s presentation.
Rather than trying to list everyone who made it through to the Final 36, I’m just going to comment on some surprises and some of the obvious upcoming stars-to-be of the competition.
First, I’m still convinced that Adam Lambert, the jet-black haired singer with the Broadway cast experience is a comer. It was also no surprise that Danny Gokey, the Milwaukee widower, made it through. To me, it was not a surprise that Jamar Rodgers, his best friend, also from Milwaukee, didn’t make it. Jamar was a good singer, but his voice, lacking in vibrato at key moments, could become plaintive. The two singers who sing behind a keyboard (one blind, one sighted) were also not surprising finalists, although, if the truth be known, the blind singer is not that good. [There: I’ve said it. So disagree with me if you wish, but he’s not. It’s nice that he made it through, as a handicapped individual, but I would submit that David Osmond also had a handicap (M.S.) and was a far better singer, yet he’s gone. Maybe the feeling was that the Osmond Family, of which David is a member, can easily assist David to the top and that he doesn’t need “American Idol.”]
Here are some of the more talented female voices: Lil Rounds, the black mother of three, a powerhouse singer; 16-year-old Stevie Wright; Jackie Tohn of New York. Others who made it through included Jasmine Murray, the beautiful African-America singer whose voice is not as good as her look; Megan Corkery, Jeanine Voiles, Mishavonna Hensen, and Kendall Beard.
The biggest surprise(s) of the night: Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell, whom I previously compared to exercise guru Richard Simmons, is still around. Yikes! Will wonders never cease? Sing-offs were required of various candidates and, for me, the talent was very definitely not chosen when Nathaniel Marshall was put through and Jackie Midkiff was cut. The sad story of Nathaniel’s incarcerated mother (drugs) has to be the reason, but Jackie’s version of “When A Man Loves A Woman” was vastly superior to Nathaniel’s “I’m Already There” and one imagines the only reason the Norman Gentle(s) and Nathaniel Marshall(s) made it through this time is the entertainment factor of a kook in the midst of some truly great talent. [I wouldn’t put too much money on their making it very far as the competition progresses.]
Even though, earlier in the Hollywood stage of the competition, Von Smith, both ofwhose parents are singers, was told, by Simon, that his audition was “indulgent nonsense” and “horrible,” Von made it through. Both the welder (Matt Breitzke) and the oil rig redneck (Michael Sarver) made it through, although Michael’s sing off audition against the bald contestant was definitely the better of the two, for me.
The contestants sang in what was dubbed “The Judges’ Mansion.” I began to expect Flavor Flav to appear wearing a clock around his neck, or one of the Bachelors from that show to appear clutching a rose for his lady of choice.
Stay tuned for the 36 semi-finalists appearing in groups of 12. My apologies for assuming that Tatiana would be joining Bikini Girl on the beach back in Puerto Rico where she auditioned. I can only say this in my defense: wishful thinking.