American Idol, Season 10: Top 12 Results – “The pitchy is if it’s underneath the actual tone, or above it.”

American Idol, Season 10: Top 12 Results – “The pitchy is if it’s underneath the actual tone, or above it.”

Time for the top 12 to become the top 11.  The show opened with a quick look at what the Idol wanted to be as kids, when they grew up.  (The theme this week was “songs from the year you were born”.  Get it?).  James wanted to be a professional wrestler, Scotty wanted to be an astronaut (“My brains weren’t astronaut material, though”), Jacob wanted to be a journalist, Naima wanted to be a veterinarian, Paul wanted to be a comedian (I can totally see that…), Thia, of course, wanted to be a singer – as did Pia.  Evidently Lauren, Stefano, Karen, Casey, and Hailey all wanted to be things too mind-numbingly boring to be shown on TV.

Ripley’s announcer guy ushered the judges and Ryan on to the stage to great applause.  Ryan thanked everyone for their support of the Red Cross last night, and gave out a number that when texted to, donated $10 to the Red Cross (the number – 90999).  And with that, the show kicked in to gear:

  • First up was the group number.  Never my favorite part of the show – I have to admit I didn’t hate this week’s performance.  James, Scotty, Paul, and Jacob opened up with the first verse of “Born to Be Wild”.  It sounded good – but Jacob looked and sounded woefully out of place.  One very abrupt transition later found Thia, Naima, Lauren and Karen throwing down the first verse of “I Was Born This Way” – (although like most people, I thought it was “Express Yourself” at first).  I sensed a train wreck of epic proportions coming, but then something strange happened – Stefano, Casey, Pia, and Hailey merged the choruses together seamlessly.  The mash-up worked far better than it should have.  Instead of hating it, I found myself really, really enjoying it.  My son astutely observed that the songs were both about being born – because the theme this week was “songs from the year you were born”.  Get it?  (It’s not exactly subtle…)

  • After the break – the Ford music video – oh joy!  This week it was set to “Val Kilmer” by Bowling for Soup (a great band – if you aren’t a fan, go check them out on iTunes).  In it the contestants all appeared in stereotypical movie scenes.  Jacob played a newscaster in his clip – guess they were listening to the opening montage.  James made a disturbingly good horror movie killer in his clip, and the strangest moment of the piece came when Stefano and Hailey had to act like long lost lovers. Awkward.

  • Ryan plugged the new “American Idol: 10th Anniversary” CD coming out.  He channeled his inner Oprah and told everyone to look under their seats for a free copy.  Some in the audience where far, FAR too happy with the gift.

  • In the montage about the contestants, they revealed things that America might not know about them.  Karen told us she could “make funny noises with my throat”.  (We actually did know that – we heard her sing on Wednesday.)  Thia collected quarters with her grandfather.  Scotty revealed he could wiggle his ears – making it even harder for me to refrain from comparing him to Howdy Doody.  Jacob told us he was a square.  Casey revealed his addiction to moonwalking, although moonwalking in socks on a slick floor shouldn’t really count.  Karen was back – telling us she spoke both Spanish and English.  I was shocked.  James wanted to learn to speak Swedish.  Lauren claimed, with a perfect southern accent, to only speak one language – Spanish (as I’ve said, she’s Kellie Pickler with more talent…).  Scotty did a horrible British accent, Hailey tried in vain to do an accent, and then Lauren claimed she had no accent at all.  I was left wondering how we get off on an accent tangent?

  • During the montage, Pia announced she has a shih tzu who could sing.  The censors bleeped out the first part of the word shih tzu.  Really?  REALLY?  That’s what we’ve come to.  You can’t even say the breed of your dog on TV if it sounds remotely like a curse word.  Really??

  • The first three contestants were called down to the center of the stage (after Ryan made a strange Irish drinking joke…) – Casey, Lauren, and Jacob.  Randy gave a stunning explanation of what pitchy means – “the pitchy is if it’s underneath the actual tone, or above it”.  So – not singing the right note is when…you don’t sing the right note?  Glad that was cleared up.  Jacob was up first and he was safe.  Lauren was next – she was also safe.  Casey was up last – and probably a little nervous being the final one left.  Ryan made him sweat it a bit, but he was safe.

  • Someone should tell Steven to stop chewing gum on the show – it was distracting, (just like the giant new speakers sitting on the judges table.)

  • Hailey and Paul were called down to meet with Ryan next.  One was safe and one was in the bottom three.  Since we hadn’t slipped into some painful alternate universe – it was Hailey.  America was off to a good start.

  • After the break, Lee Dewyze hit the stage to perform his new single – “Beautiful Like You”.  It was a solid performance – picking up right where he left off last year.  After the song he had a few words of encouragement for the contestants, “Just remember why you tried out”.

  • Another quick commercial break and we had Scotty, Pia, and James called down to the stage.  It was a strong group – leading me to wonder, would we have our first truly shocking addition to the bottom three?  Scotty was safe.  Pia was safe.  James was safe.  No shocking results after all.

  • Stefano and Naima got the call next.  When Ryan told them one was safe and one was in the bottom three, Naima jokingly said, “I wonder who?”  It was her – but I have to give her points for understanding where she stood.

  • Last, and possibly least, were Karen and Thia.  I really thought both would be in the bottom three this week, so I wasn’t sure who was going to be safe.  Turns out it was Thia.  Perhaps her Pocahontas braids were good luck for her?  I don’t know – but my guess is, if there were a bottom four, Thia would have joined Karen on the stools.

  • What can I say about The Black-Eyed Peas that I haven’t said before?  They were horrendous at the Super Bowl (you can read my thoughts on THAT train wreck here.)  At least they weren’t that bad here.  Fergie look nice in her Marilyn Monroe dress, but I have absolutely no respect for a group that uses an autotune that much when “singing” live.  I’m sure that’s how the song was recorded, but for me, it was just painful to listen to.

  • Finally it was time for the elimination.  Ryan sent Naima back to the couch right away – leaving Karen and Hailey.  With little fanfare, Hailey was also sent back to the couches.  Karen’s only chance was to secure the judges’ save with her encore of “Hero”.  It felt flat and uninspiring – there seemed to be little emotional connection with the audience.  It was not a unanimous decision, but the judges chose not to save Karen.  Even though it was pretty clear Jennifer wanted to save her – it was the right choice.

So we bid farewell to Karen Rodriguez.  I would say a fond farewell, but honestly – I was never that fond of her.  She made it more about being a Latina than about being a good singer.  Ultimately, I think that was her downfall.

Two weeks in and we have eliminated two of the girls – one wildcard and one who was voted in by America.  Could we be looking at a repeat of last season where four of the first five contestants eliminated were girls?  Possibly.  There are an awful lot of teen and tween girls voting each week – the guys could be around for a while.

Next week the theme is classic Motown.  It’s the same theme that catapulted Adam Lambert firmly into the limelight two years ago with his version of “Tracks of My Tears”.  Will someone establish themselves as a frontrunner again this year?  Will we get even more up tempo remixes of ballads?  What will Scotty find to sing?  (How about an acoustic country version of “Three Times a Lady”?)  All these answers and more next week.  Until then – Word Zombie Out.

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

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