Tonight’s theme for the Top 12 was “Home.” They were meant to pick a song that represents home for them, whether it is about their town, their family, their friends, or just comfort. Based on most of the performances, these singers must hate their homes. Like really hate them. There was one or two performances that even hinted at someone who deserves to win. Not a good night.
On a different note, Ryan told JLo that she looked “fly, girl.” JLo was forced to bite into a deviled egg with a face that resembled someone eating a live cockroach on Fear Factor. Keith sang passionately out of tune to prove a point. And Harry hated everything. Even, Simon Cowell would have taken his foot off the criticism gas at some point. Unfortunately, Harry wasn’t wrong.
Jena Irene - “Suddenly I See” - This is two weeks in a row that Jena was not great. Dressed like every female in a Kevin Smith movie, Jena put on her happy face and tried to spread joy to the world. Unfortunately, Jena’s voice is not made for chipper. It is made for brooding and haunting. This is like seeing Skeletor in a tutu. It’s fine if that’s what Skeletor wants to do but He-Man is not going to take him seriously when he threatens to take over the world. It doesn’t match up and Jena is running out of time to prove that she’s as good as I think she is.
Alex Preston - “I Don’t Wanna Be” - This song has been done every season on Idol since it was released. All the way back to Bo Bice in Season 4. That’s a lot of covers. Up until now, Alex has picked lesser known songs and it has worked for him. This was a misstep right down to his “This Is How Successful People In The Near Future Will Dress According To 80s Movies” blue suit and giant white shoes. Stop trying to make calf-high cuffs happen. It’s barely working for Blaine on Glee and he’s amazing.
Jessica Meuse - “White Flag” - They curled up her hair and made her look like a realistically-proportioned Bratz doll. She actually did look good though. The singing was a different story. After her major jump in the ranks last week, this was a let down. She missed, by my ear, every note. There was not a single moment of this that was pleasant to the ear. There’s going to be a lot of “white flag” puns and they are all appropriate. We all went down with this ship. She tied us all to the boat and we couldn’t surface. It just got darker as we descended. No hope as the pressure from the water crushed our bodies to jelly. Pitchy.
Dexter Roberts - “Lucky Man” - He trains labs and they just had puppies. This fits as he seems like the kind of guy who would love and hold a puppy just a bit too tightly. The backwards trucker hat bothered me. His stage presence bothered me. Everything he does bothers me at this point. I feel like this was a good performance but my heart has already written him off. Not fair to him but what are you going to do? Vote for an alleged puppy killer? If that’s what you want to do.
Emily Piriz - “Let’s Get Loud” - This was terrible. It was not even good karaoke. I’m not sure who had to the harder job. Was it JLo pretending to enjoy someone butchering her own song? Or was it Keith who had to groove along next to JLo like he really enjoyed her song? Is it on your iPod, Keith? Did JLo steal your phone and put it on there? Lock your phone, Keith. Use the thumbprint thing. There’s no need to talk about Emily here. It was as if she didn’t bother performing tonight.
Caleb Johnson - “Working Man” - I don’t like Rush at all but the fact that they are his favorite band of all time makes total sense. Rush feels like a cocky, overconfident rock band that no one wanted to tell to tone it down. He is the same way but at least Rush had an original form of cockiness. Do you think the stylists try to change him and he reverts back like Kirsten Dunst like in Interview with a Vampire? His skeeze can’t be removed. It’s eternal. Also, his thank yous are dismissive. Take a note. Try to better yourself.
MK Nobilette - “Drops of Jupiter” - She has 4 moms! Each mom only has to watch her for 6 hours a day. That leaves each mom 18 hours to themselves. That’s an awesome ratio. I’d much rather talk about this than her performance. She’s not comfortable on stage though she’s trying. The subtle look down at her guitar to watch her hand change chords. The awkward hand gestures around her unplayed guitar like she was flagging down a passing ship while clinging to a buoy. It’s not there yet and she doesn’t have much time to figure it out.
CJ Harris - “Waiting On The World To Change” - This was how I wanted Dexter to dress. There’s a classy way to do “down home country boy” and then there’s what they put Dexter in. CJ did nothing different with the song. It was a John Mayer copy without being as good as John Mayer. CJ is a nice guy and we all know nice guys finish 11th. (I’ll give him another week.)
Sam Woolf - “Just One” - They gave him a fun hat to undo how boring he is. It was like, “Hey James Taylor, hold this sparkler. Perfect.” He has so much potential but he has yet to put it all together. He’s a good looking kid. He can sing in tune. He can play guitar. His auditions were really good. His grandparents are awesome. I’m rooting for him but he’s James Taylor right now. We already have one of those and he’s been sitting on the shelf at the store for too long.
Malaya Watson - “Take Me To The King” - She talks like Randy Jackson. Same mannerisms and vocal tics. I think she’s Randy’s long lost daughter. I know they showed her dad in the audience but we’ve seen enough episodes of Nashville to know that dads can change in a second. I want credit for this when it breaks. How much can I get from People magazine? That’s gotta be worth 8 bucks and a bag of m&m’s. Her performance was ok. It started off really strong but then ended shouty. I think Lil Dawg is safe, though.
Ben Briley - “Turning Home” - I think of all the country guys (him, Dexter, and CJ), he’s my favorite. He seems like the most musically talented of those guys. This performance was pretty good. Top half of the night easily. He seems fun too. Like someone I’d like to see helping Raylan Givens take down some bad guys. He could be the street smart CI who makes Raylan smirk. Then they get a beer together at some bar. I guess what I’m saying is I’d rather be watching Justified right now.
Majesty Rose - “Fix You” - I really loved this performance. The judges got on her for missing the big notes on the chorus but I loved the attempt. She changed it up in a cool way. Keith spent the whole night preaching that emotion and passion can overcome a pitch problem. Then he didn’t use this opportunity as an example of that. I don’t get it, Keith Urban. She’s my favorite right now.
- MK Nobilette
- CJ Harris
- Emily Piriz
Should go home: Emily
Will go home: CJ
Tonight’s theme was “Song That Defines Them As A Person.” They had to choose a song that represents who they are as an artist. Each performance was preceded by a video intro where the artist was ambushed by a camera and asked to give 5 facts about themselves in 20 seconds. 5 facts about me:
- I’ve been recapping Idol for 7 years.
- My middle name is the first name of a famous polka singer.
- I don’t love ice cream.
- I drink at least 80 ounces of water per day.
- I wish 5 people were going home tonight.
Dexter Roberts - “Aw Naw” - He said he wanted to pick a fun song. His version of fun must be watching Slingblade drunk and this was his impression of Billy Bob Thornton. There was so much muttering and lack of enunciation. Maybe the song didn’t have actually words. The title doesn’t. Why should the rest? He looks like the nicest bully. He would take your lunch money and then share some of the sandwich you were supposed to buy. Might be safe.
Malaya Watson - “Runaway Baby” - Joshua Ledet did this back before his 40 standing ovations ruined him for me. It’s a hard song. She ran out of breath by the fifth word and Harry Connick, Jr. visible winced when the camera was on him. My wife wanted to know how she can sing with braces. I don’t think the braces go all the way back to her vocal cords but who knows? She might have a terrible orthodontist. It looked like she was wearing a gold medal. I guess she got it for BMXcruciating Singing. BOOM!
Kristen O’Connor - “Beautiful Disaster” - Malaya should have gotten the silver. Kristen was robbed. She sang this song about herself. It was definitely more the latter part of the title. It was horribly out of tune and it could not end fast enough. Her mouth is gigantic. If she inhales too sharply while singing she could swallow the first two rows. In serious trouble.
Ben Briley - “Folsom Prison Blues” - It was the fast version of an uptempo song. Maybe next week he can do all of “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” in under 90 seconds. This is the platform to push yourself. Ben was actually good though that could just be in comparison to the first three terrible performances. I like that they changed his baseball hat to a more fashionable leather baseball hat. A leather baseball hat is hard to pull off. If the Sons of Anarchy guys had a softball team, they would wear leather hats.
CJ Harris - “Radio” - I wanted to enjoy it as much as his cousin but I did not. There was nothing in that song to shine. Boring can actually be worse than terrible. I’m going to blame Hootie for writing a boring song and hope CJ does something better if he’s back next week. I liked him in the audition rounds. Won’t make it much longer.
MK Nobilette - “Satisfaction” - She definitely has more confidence than in any previous week. That comes from the backwards hat. When she turns it around, it’s like a switch. It gives her that extra boost she needs to sing her way into our hearts. Though I don’t think she turned it far enough because she missed her falsettos. Also, her mom loves her so much. I don’t think anyone’s mom loves them as much as hers.
- MK - “Mom, why are you crying?”
- MK’s Mom - “Because you’re acknowledging my existence”
Majesty Rose - “Tightrope” - She’s in my Top 2 right now. She even made me like this weird song. It sounded like an audience participation dance song that the wedding DJ teaches you to do. “Pretty good Tightroping, Aunt Verna!” Another positive - If she goes on to win American Idol, she can take the “Most Popular Gap-Toothed Celebrity” prize from the putrid Michael Strahan. If that happens, the fact that she’s a good singer is gravy.
Jena Irene - “The Scientist” - It’s weird that she’s doing this song without a piano. This is a good piano song. I think it’s cool that she mispronounces “progress” like she mispronounces her own name. She doesn’t seem to know how to use her unique sound in a song she didn’t write. Can she do originals every week? If she makes it to the end, her album can come out on the night of the finale. It won’t give people a chance to forget her like Lee DeWyze.
Alex Preston - “A Beautiful Mess” - He’s using Alex of Alex and Sierra’s guitar. It’s a big statement to have the backing of the ultra-popular X Factor winners. He’s coming in with millions of votes without singing. I’d be surprised if he finished outside the Top 3. I love hearing him sing and the song choice was great. I just didn’t like his cuffed pants. They were cuffed up to midcalf like he was walking through MK’s mom’s puddle of tears.
Jessica Meuse - “The Crow And The Butterfly” - She’s been ok for a few performances. I’m surprised she got here but then she did this and it was fantastic. The only problem was she didn’t move. It’s entirely possible she stepped on a landmine. If that’s true, I’ll bump this up to the best performance of the night. Shout out to the bomb squad for disarming it in 90 seconds. That’s some real Hurt Locker stuff right there.
Emily Piriz - “Glitter In The Air” - My daughter has made me listen to this song just shy of 4000 times in the last few weeks so I know it pretty well. Here are my thoughts: My wife has to rinse the garlic sauce off my daughter’s water chestnuts and baby corn when we get Chinese food because it’s too spicy. That’s what this song was like. All of the flavor was rinsed off. It’s still the song and it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t how it should be. What I’m saying is she sings like wet vegetables.
Sam Woolf - “Unwell” - He’s one of the frontrunners up to this point. He’s really good but I’m worrying that he’s James Taylor good. Nobody disputes that James Taylor is super talented and sings in tune. But he’s soooooo boring. Hey James Taylor? I’ve got a friend? Great! Thanks! Oh you saw fire AND rain? Was this in the same year? Slow down, buddy! I guess I hope Sam changes it up a little.
Caleb Johnson - “Pressure And Time” - He’s our throwback rocker. He comes out in a bedazzled blazer like a Ken doll ambushed by a 5 year old with a glue gun. He looks like if they let one of the Chipmunks (maybe Theodore) join Motley Crue. My favorite part was when they cut to Taylor Hicks in the audience and he sort of nodded once to the beat. Taylor Hicks never stops moving so he was making a conscious effort not to let anyone think he was enjoying this performance. SOUL PATROL! MAINTAIN CONTROL! He needs to do something different to keep people voting for him. This old sound is not going to do it.
- Kristen O’Connor
- CJ Harris
- Malaya Watson
SHOULD GO HOME: Kristen
WILL GO HOME: Kristen
Full recaps will begin next week with the Top 13. As for now, here are my picks for who will be the Top 13 and then who should be:
- Majesty Rose
- Jena Irene
- MK Nobilette
- Kristen O’Connor
- Marrialle Sellars
- Sam Woolf
- Alex Preston
- Ben Briley
- Dexter Roberts
- Spencer Lloyd
- Malaya Watson (Wild Card)
- CJ Harris (Wild Card)
- Briana Oakley (Wild Card)
Should Be In:
- Malcolm Allen
- Emily Piriz
- Austin Wolfe and Kenz Hall (but they aren’t eligible)
Should Be Out:
- Marrialle Sellars
- Spencer Lloyd
See you next week!
I’ve decided to post my entries to @midnight’s Hashtag Game here. Last night was Bad Olympic Events.
- Richard Grieco-Roman Polanski Wrestling
- Track & Kill & Dump in a Field
- Equestrian / Just The Paralyzing Falls Part
- Hot Boxing
- Shooting The Sh*t
- Win Luge Or Draw
- Cross Country Backseat Driving
- Figure Skating - Martin Short Program
- Trampoline but, like, a whole bunch of stuff was stored under it that you forgot about and they’re all stabby
I’m a parent to a 3 year old. I didn’t get to see 10 movies this year.
Much like a beautiful woman with a voice worse than Fran Drescher’s and the intelligence of spray cheese, Planes is best seen and not heard. It’s like Disney went down a New York City alley and bought a Pixar knockoff. “Yeah, is Peeksarb. Says it right there. Nine dollars it’s yours, Mr. Disney.” The only good part is that the American plane defeated all of those offensively stereotypical foreign planes. America! F Yeah!
I watched Sharknado because it had two things going for it: 1. It played in my house. 2. It was on after my kid went to bed. I’ll watch anything that fits that criteria. (See: The X Factor, Pretty Little Liars, Revolution, etc.) Plus, I learned a lot of facts about sharks from this movie.
- Sharks need a small amount of moisture to survive.
- Sharks don’t digest people. They hold them in their mouths like a squirrel.
- Sharks never get dizzy.
- Sharks act better than Tara Reid.
7. The Heat (Plane Edition)
I saw this on a plane on the way back from vacation. I paid $7 to watch it on a 10-inch screen that was jammed in the back of headrest. You would think payment would mean it would be unedited for language but you’d be flipping wrong, you moron with no brains in your scrotum. It was still an enjoyable movie so it must have been really good. If they make the sequel, I hope to catch it on my iPad and really be able to take it all in.
6. Tangled (41st Viewing)
There is great joy in finding something your kid loves and my kid loves Tangled. It was during this viewing that my kid first sang along to every song. I know what you’re thinking - That’s impressive that she learned all the words in only 40 viewings. Well, no. We also listen to all the songs on repeat on Spotify every day.
5. Tangled (24th Viewing)
This was the time I realized that I really like Tangled. It’s a good movie. This could just be Stockholm Syndrome but I don’t mind rewatching it. My daughter could say she wants to watch Tangled every day* and I would.**
I hate being hot. I sweat like a man twice my weight when it’s 65 degrees. This was a fairytale I could get behind. The snow version of the son from 1600 Penn was fantastic. The princesses were smart and strong like two Dolph Lundgrens in gorgeous gowns. I have a sneaky feeling this will be on next year’s list again once it’s on Blu-Ray.
3. Step Brothers (Last 40 Minutes On FX)
I caught the ending while my wife was at a birthday tea party with our daughter. Good movie even with commercials.
2. Monster’s University
Sully and Mike were back just as I remembered but it was the rest of Oozma Kappa that made the movie for me. I can’t wait for the bookend movie, Monster’s Retirement Home, where Sully and Mike have to complete their bucket list which mainly consists of scaring all the people involved in making The Bucket List. Send all checks to me, Peeksarb.
1. White House Down
Sure it was the only movie I saw in theaters with my wonderful wife and without our daughter but we really liked it. It’s here by default but I’m not embarrassed by it. Channing Tatum as a dad who would do anything for his little girl. You had me at Chan.
New Sketch: Sean And Kevin Do TV! - “Homeland”
With Ash Louis and Sue White