AMERICAN IDOL: Top 36 - Group One - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 36 – Group One

February 17, 2009 by  

Two hours of IDOL. I’m sweating just typing it. That’s a lot of IDOL for only 12 performances. That’s a lot of Randy, Paula, Kara, Simon and WAY too much Tatiana. (Not too much Seacrest though, because yeah…I’m still on that train).

I know some of you requested some live blogging of IDOL, and we’ll definitely do a few of those this season, but for now I need the beauty of watching it late so I can fast forward through the nonsense. You understand, right?

Per usual I’m going to be sharing my honest opinions of the contestants after each performance and then unpause the old remote to hear what the judges have to say. My years in glee club have qualified me for this very special position. Ears don’t fail me now. But remember, this is just my opinion, so I hope you’ll chime in with your take on each of the performers.

Here we go…

[30 seconds into Ryan’s “THIS is American Idol” intro and just the site of Tatiana is annoying me. I know, I know, get over it. But I can’t.]

[8:03pm: Paula is spewing nonsense. Simon & Ryan are already flirting. Yup, this is going to be a long night.]

Tonight’s theme? Hits from the Billboard Top 110…from when the charts began. That’s a lot of songs to choose from. Hope these kids chose right.

First up…Jackie Tohn is singing “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis.
Ok first off, what in good God’s name is she wearing? I would love Barney Stinson to plot this chick on the HOT/CRAZY scale. Here’s the thing with Jackie – she can sing but her personality is so off putting that is ruins her performance for me. She wasn’t bad but she’s not one of my faves. It’s too early to see if she’d get my vote tonight but I’m leaning heavily towards No.

  • Judges: She didn’t blow Randy away with her vocals but he thought she performed well.  Kara’s all about praising the personality too. Paula thinks perfect is boring. And Simon – he thought she played the clown card tonight. He wasn’t a big fan. And the more Jackie keeps talking the more I hate her.

Ricky Braddy is up next.  I don’t remember much about this guy but I hear Paula’s been talking him up. He’s singing “A Song For You” – great song but why choose a song that has been done so many times on IDOL already? It just sets you up for comparison. Elliot Yamin killed this one in season 5.  This kid can sing.  Ricky voice is beautiful and he has an incredible range. I really like this guy a lot. Wow!

  • Judges: All the judges loved his voice. Paula, Kara and Randy were blown away.  Simon said while his voice was strong he didn’t yet have the charisma and confidence that is needed. Fair enough.

Alexis Grace takes the stage with “Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin. There’s a lot of voice in this little tiny girl. I think she picked a great song because it showed her versatility and range. She performed it well.  She was just as strong in her lower range as her upper – impressive. Do I know if I want to hear her every week?  I’m not sure yet.  But she did a great job.

  • Judges: All the judges were really loving her – including Simon! Simon called her a dark horse and compared her in a good way to Kelly Clarkson’s run back in Season One. That’s a great compliment to start off the night.

[Oops technically difficulties – at least Ryan can improvise. Nothing like live TV.]

Brent Keith is taking us down to “Hicktown”.  No, I’m not kidding, that’s the name of the song. Brent is another guy that we didn’t see much of during the previous episodes.  Is he just another good country singer or does he have something special? Hmm…I didn’t think he did all he could. His low notes were bad. It didn’t feel very authentic, but I think that might be nerves too.  I don’t think he’ll be making it on to the next round. Sorry, Brent.

  • Judges: The judges weren’t all that enthusiastic. They all thought it was safe. Simon thought it was forgettable. He talked back to Simon which I hate.  He knows this is the end for him. This was a good platform for him to get exposure as a country singer though. I wish you well.

Stevie Wright is up next.  Stevie who was named after Stevie Nicks. I remember liking her in the auditions. Tonight she’s singing “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift. Wow, this is bad.  Not to steal from the judges treasure chest of cliches but it was pitchy and like a bad karaoke performance. The first train wreck of the night. Oh my god she is so off key, can she not hear herself?

  • Judges: Yeah, they all hated it. They were on the mark. I’ll give her props for keeping herself so composed despite this being the end for her.

Anoop Desai. AnoopDawg! He’s one of my early favorites so my fingers are crossed for his performance.  Tonight he’s singing “Angel of Mine” by Monica.  Bummer, I hoped he would singing something with more personality like “My Prerogative”. This performance was not as good as it could have been and should have been.  He has a nice voice and a great range, but he picked the wrong song tonight. I hope the judges are kind to him because he’s one of my faves.

  • Judges: Randy and Kara want him to go through but didn’t think he sang as well as he could have.  Paula loved him. Simon thought it was too serious but said that Anoop had ‘massive likability’.  You can tell that Simon wants him to go through. Me too.

Casey Carlson, who I do remember as being gorgeous but not vocally gifted, is rocking it out “Every Little Things She Does is Magic” (Yes, OFFICE fans…I know). Oh goodness I actually just had a physical reaction to her singing. This is another horrible performance.  How did she get this far in the competition?  I really don’t get it. Someone please teach her the proper way to sing vowels. Ugh.  Bad.

  • Judges: The judges and I are watching the same show so far tonight.  That doesn’t always happen.  They complimented her on being beautiful. At least she has that going for her. Her mother is super annoying though.

Michael Sarver or as he’s better known –  “the roughneck”. He’s singing “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw. I think this was a good song for him in theory but the arrangement was horrendous. I blame the band more than Michael for the rough entrance to the song – they held him back.  He’s got a great voice and I would love to see him move on, but I don’t think this was his best performance. I don’t think it’s enough for him to beat out Anoop, Ricky and the upcoming show-in, Danny.

  • Judges: The judges were complimentary but not overly enthusiastic. Simon went as far to say that he hopes America votes for him to give him another shot.

Next up in Ann Marie Boskovich. Now her I remember.  I remember that they gave her a terrible time in the audition and made her change her image before coming back to audition again.  I was surprised at the time because I thought she was a pretty girl with a great voice.  But how will she do tonight? Well, she’s singing “Natural Woman” which is pretty ballsy. Yikes, she didn’t pull it off.  She tried way too hard and her everything about her performance from the riffs to her stage presence sounded false. There were some notes she just screamed.  Not good.

[Arthur Frobisher in the house! Hi Ted Danson. And look who else…my boy NEIL PATRICK HARRIS! Win! thanks Mandy for pointing that out. I just fast forward through 1 hour and 24 minutes of IDOL to get a side glimpse of Doogie – now that’s dedication people. Or obsession. Either will do.]

  • Judges: Although Paula was complimentary none of the judges really liked what she had to say.  Simon thought the song destroyed her. Buh bye, Ann Marie.

Ann Maries: “I think I just sat right on the hard part.”
Ryan [with a devilish grin and awkward pause]: “We can hear everyone’s joke.”
GMMR readers everywhere: “That’s What She Said!”

Stephen Fowler – the I forgot the lyrics guy – takes the stage next singing “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson. I think this song is a little too old for Stephen but his voice is really smooth. He hit some really great notes but he was a bit shaky on others.  I don’t know if this was enough to get him through.

  • Judges: Another rough performance for the judges.  Only crazy good reviews from the judges could have saved him. That didn’t happen. I don’t think he’ll be moving on.

Here we go people.  It’s Tatiana Del Toro‘s performance.  Keep an open mind. Keep an open mind.  Keep an…ah screw it, I hope she sucks. She can sing though, she made it this far, right? Tonight’s she singing Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love for You”. Damn – she’s sounding really good.  How did this happen?  But I have to give credit where credit is due (no matter how much it physically pains me to do so).  A great performance.

  • Judges: Hmm, I’m confused.  I think the judges brought her through for the crazy factor, and now that she’s pulling back and holding it together they don’t know what to do with her.  I think this blew up in their face tonight. Simon called her desperate to be famous and then .the judges encouraged her to act all crazy.

    What the hell is going on?  Tatiana has ME defending her? She almost has me voting for her if for no other reason than to send a giant F-U to the judges and producers for being such asshats. In my opinion she didn’t get a fair shake from the judges tonight.  I think she’ll be voted through to the next round. I still hope not, I hope Alexis gets through, but Tatiana might pull this one out.

Danny Gokey – the producers darling is up next. Most definitely the most over hyped contestant so far this season. I really dig this guy’s voice, but I’ve been put off by the constant reminder that Danny’s wife recently passed away.  I know I said it before, but let the kid compete on his own. He doesn’t need the pity vote, he’s really talented. Tonight he’s singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey. Interesting? Really? Yup, and he sang it beautifully.  Almost with a tinge of country to it.  Danny Gokey was the standout performance for me tonight.  He didn’t waste a single note and there was a depth to his voice that we didn’t get from anyone else tonight.

  • Judges: The judges were hollering! (Ok maybe not Simon). They were more enthusiastic about Danny than anyone else tonight.  Simon said he liked it but he wasn’t buying the hype right now.  Had the other judges been a bit more reserved I really think Danny would have received more enthusiastic praise from Simon.

And with that we are done with the first group of the Top 36.  It’s time to vote.  The guy and girl with the most votes makes it through.  The third slot goes to the next person with the most overall votes.

Here’s how I think it will go: Danny Gokey, Tatiana Del Toro, Anoop Desai

Here’s how I want it to go: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Anoop Desai

I hope Ricky Braddy can come back in the wild card round. Maybe if he got the play Dan Gokey or Anoop got he might have stood a chance.

The comments are now open. I’ll try by best to find the performances and post them but don’t hold your breath.  But I am dying, DYING to hear what you thought of each of the performances tonight.  The night as a whole was all over the place.  IDOL has begun!


13 Responses to “AMERICAN IDOL: Top 36 – Group One”

  1. Mandy on February 17th, 2009 10:53 pm

    Funny you mentioned Barney since NPH was sitting next to Ted Danson. I’m not sure if you referenced Barney since Neil was there. Anyway I’m sure he had the Hot/Crazy scale going on in his head.

    My votes tonight are for Danny (even though he totally over hyped), Alexis, and my boy Annop. The rest were totally forgettable and Tatiana is just crazy. I don’t do crazy.

  2. Give Me My Remote on February 17th, 2009 11:22 pm

    Thanks! I just went back and watched again and I caught that little glimpse of NPH. I missed it the first time around.

  3. Alison on February 18th, 2009 12:04 am

    A really good look at NPH is at around the 31 minute mark, just as Alexis is going off stage. I nearly screamed!

  4. Hannah on February 18th, 2009 1:55 am

    I wish NPH could have gotten up on that stage and showed them how it’s done. Best thing about those two hours was seeing him, even if it was only for a second. I haven’t seen American Idol since Season 5 but I vaguely remember the contestants having some talent.

  5. Bridget on February 18th, 2009 6:44 am

    Great recap GMMR. I agreed with what you had to say for the most part. Tatiana annoys me so much that I refused to be open minded as you asked. I think it’s a shame that Anoop, Danny and Ricky Braddy were all in this one group. I with they all could stay.

    I looked for video for you last night but I couldn’t find any. Sorry.

    This is the first season of American Idol since I found GMMR so I can’t wait to read your recaps this season.

  6. Tonight’s TV Spotlight…Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Give Me My Remote on February 18th, 2009 8:33 am

    […] moves on to the Top 12. [GMMR: Did you watch?  Did you vote for your top girl & guy in the GMMR IDOL poll?  Go for […]

  7. Lisa (aka lmr) on February 18th, 2009 8:38 am

    There were actually at least two NPH sitings the first with Ted D. and another later on. It was … wait for it … oh never mind.

    Digging Danny despite the hype – one of the only ones with a distinctive voice, candidly the rest can sing but have nothing vocally that sets them apart. He is my Elliot Y. at this point. Ricky B. was second best for me and you can send all the women home as far as I’m concerned.

  8. JacksonPollocksPainting on February 18th, 2009 8:55 am

    Alex was great. I didn’t expect that from her. She was the standout girl for me. Tatiana was second vocally but she is a crazy person and I couldn’t vote for a crazy person. Did anyone else think she was really creepy last night? I think she might take an oozy on the crowd if she gets voted off.

    I listened to the performances again this morning and I think Ricky has a better voice than Danny, but I think we haven’t seen him for a reason. The producers are all about Danny and they don’t want to have too much competition with him. Why else haven’t we seen Ricky really to date?

  9. strunkette on February 18th, 2009 9:07 am

    Can’t read your whole review….no time right now but I will later. I just had to say…GET TATIANA OFF MY TV SCREEN. Every time she’s on I want to poke out my eyes…even if she can sing dang it!

  10. shanna[rie] on February 18th, 2009 9:41 am

    i thought the same thing about Danny’s wife.. they keep trying to play that card for some sympathy points or something..i feel bad he lost his wife.. but lets focus on singing.. SINGING..and he can sing.. so shut up about the wife already..

    LOL..Yeah with Tatiana i was like “your going home to night!” but then when she got up there.. and she was calm.. im like who do you think you are fooling.. NOT ME.. and then she did better than all the other girls in singing.. (damn!) i still think american MAY vote her off.. just cuz of hollywood week.. she tried to say that wasnt her.. that she isnt like that.. dude.. your crazy.. but hey you have a good voice.. so they will prolly put you through anyways.. >:( ugh

    i say the say anoop danny tatiana.. even though i hate that she might go through.
    i liked anoops choice of song.. i thought he did a very good job. michael on the other hand.. i hated the choice of song.. that song is all over the place.. and he did a good job on it.. but if i were him.. i wouldnt have gone there..

    when will these artist learn there are just certain songs you dont pick. dont pick a michael jackson song.. come on.. thats like idol death right there.. but i think stephen wouldnt have made it through anyways.. we all remember you quitting at the end of hollywood week.. your done now

  11. Patty on February 18th, 2009 10:32 am

    I will be honest. I haven’t watch AI in a couple of years and really don’t plan on watching regularly but there was nothing else of interest so…I have to say I was very dissapointed. This is the best? There were only two that I thought were good and the rest were not even passable. I was on the computer and not actually watching but only listening. And that is what I heard. A bunch of crappy singers with two semi-good ones thrown in to give the show an actual purpose. Oh, and I refuse to vote.

  12. Alyson on February 18th, 2009 11:49 am

    Here’s how I think it will go: Danny Gokey, Tatiana Del Toro, Anoop Desai

    Here’s how I want it to go: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Ricky Braddy

    That’s not to say that I don’t LOVE me some Anoop, I just think Ricky was better. I know Paula will bring him back in the Wild Card round, so at least he has that going for him. I think Alexis will also get a second chance in the Wild Card round, if Tatiana pulls through.

  13. coffee on February 23rd, 2009 12:23 am

    the producers of American Idol are obviously singling out Danny Gokey as their favorite, but i would like to see him win so i don’t mind