Either way, it makes the current cuts all the more important. So let's see what this week had to offer.
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It was a heck of a show, approximately 4000 times better than the appalling mess they put out on Ash Wednesday.
It started with Von Smith
I liked his peformance, even if I don't think it's nearly good enough to make the cut.
Then came Taylor
I dug the leather pants (a sentiment not echoed in the room) but thought she was nowhere near making the grade.
Alex Wagner-Trugman has a sharp wit, a deceptively funny personality
and sadly, not a good enough voice to push into the Top 12. Plus his onstage antics were just . . . painful.
Arianna had such a good chance of moving on
But her song choice was odd and her look, voice, and total package reeked of Ben Gay and AARP cards. She got too hung up on the judges' comments about her beauty and wanted to show them she was more than a pretty face. Arianna, they know that - they've heard you sing - but there's nothing wrong with being talented and attractive too.
Ju'Not Joyner was a surprise.
I really liked his version of Hey There Delilah. I even liked the handcuffs he used to adorn his belt, and for most of the show I had him pegged as the man to beat.
Next us was Kristin MacNamara, who has always and apparently will always get a bum rap from the judges
First of all, screw their comments on her look. She's SMOKING HOT. Quite aside from that the vocals just melted out her mouth without the slightest (noticeable) effort. My word what talent, and yet I have my doubts about whether she'll survive this week.
Then there was Nathaniel Marshall
Oh Gawd it was vomit inducing. I can't stand this guy. It's not his sexuality; it's his drama queen persona, his crying, his headbands, his piercings, and his tacky clothing. Ugh.
He was awful, but you know what? It's piss sad that neither of his parents would come to root him on, and awkward and depressing that even his grandma appears to just tolerate the kid. The fact that he hasn't blown his head off - and I'm glad he hasn't - is a testament to his will. He deserves better than the family he received.
Number 7 is our scab of the night, Felecia Barton, who stepped into the Top 36 after a contestant was cut because she had a professional contract. The judges adored her, methinks in part to justify their decision.
She'll get no such kindness from me. Oh, she wasn't bad, not bad at all. I just don't think it was anywhere near as good as the panel made it out to be, and moreover I think many of the items that got her cut in Hollywood were front and center here. As Kara said about her in Hollywood, it is about more than just the technical ability to reach this note or that and produce this run at this moment; there should be some feeling, some depth to it. I wasn't feeling that AT ALL. Technically proficient, emotionally empty. I'll pass.
And then there came Scott Macintyre
I've never thought his voice was as good as advertised, and I will put it in print: if he had the gift of perfect sight, and was not a feel-good story to put in front of the camera, he wouldn't receive 50% of the good will he gets now. That isn't to say he isn't talented, but plenty of talented people get squat for press and are glossed over by the judges.
That said, he impressed me last night. A strong performance, and although there were weak spots it was one of the best male songs of the night.
Kendall Beard is an enigma
She's very talented, performs well, has a viable image that includes a conventionally hot body and face (she doesn't do anything for me), and yet she gets do diddly of props from the judges. Sadly, I do get the aura of 'forever unfulfilled promise' from her (some of my own bleaching out?). I think she'll be cut.
Then came Jorge Nunez. I've never been on his fan wagon
But he rocked it last night. Oh, I still had some trouble understanding a few of the lyrics, but let's not quibble. He brought it and he owned the stage. Well done.
The evening concluded with Lil' Rounds
This woman is a threat. A beautiful married (?) mother of three with a killer voice, confidence and charisma on the stage, and a raw energy that just pours out of her. Yikes.
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Ok, so who's going to move on to the Final 12?
If I had the sole vote it would be Jorge and Lil', with Kristen to complete the trio. I put Ju'Not in there until I heard the recap and realized just how well Jorge aced it.
Realistically, it will be Jorge, Lil', and Scott.
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Last week, when Kris made it through? Easily one of my ten happiest, most shocking AI moments. Well played America, well played.