Posted: 8:02 pm Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

‘American Idol’ recap: Hollywood rounds, part 3 

By Rodney Ho

Sam Woolf gets a yes from the judges on Wednesday's episode. CREDIT: Fox

Sam Woolf gets a yes from the judges on Wednesday’s episode. CREDIT: Fox

Tonight, 17 of the top 31 were named. Why 31? “Idol” will give us two guys to vote for to make the top 30 tomorrow.

We also have a cliffhanger. Will C.J. Harris and/or Casey Thrasher make it through? Both prove Alabama is one great state for talent following Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard.

There are some potential stars such as Sam Woolf and Malcolm Allen, with a few dark horses in the mix such as Emily Piritz and Jillian Jensen. Then there are a few that yell early elimination fodder such as Maurice Townsend. And what’s a top 30 without a divisive presence as in Emmanuel Zidor?

Here’s how it goes down the first two hours. (Tomorrow, we get the rest in one hour.)

Emily Piriz, who has been low key up to this point. She feels her solo will put her through. She’s rather bracing doing “Stars.” And “Idol” runs her entire performance. She makes the top 15 and is IN.

Spencer Lloyd is the pretty boy with decent pipes. He has impressed J. Lo. During his final solo, he did an original song that HCJ said sounds like a “public service announcement.” J. Lo said it was a “tough decision” but he is… IN.

Jillian Jensen, a singer songwriter type with a nose ring who decided to pick a new song. It’s not a great song but she sells it. She’s IN and cries and hugs the judges.

Madelyn Patterson feels very old fashioned in her final solo. Keith didn’t look too happy. She’s OUT. She takes it graciously. Three more get cut whose names I am going to misspell: Michael Simian, Lebryant Crew, Sabrina Latini.

George Lovett gives a strong R&B performance and makes it to the top 15. Urban claps and he’s IN.

Shelby Ann Miller (“Wide Open Spaces”) has Urban singing along. Connor Zwetsch (original song) was predictable enough that HCJ said it sounded like “Sweet Home Alabama.” I presume they are both OUT.

Sam Woolf, one of the early favorites out of Boston with the sweet grandpa, goes for an original, too.  He has an impressively mature voice for his 17 years of age. It’s an obvious IN. “That makes me real happy,” J. Lo said.

OUT? A couple of girls who aren’t even IDed. They do ID Keri Lynn Roche, who really overacts her performance. Her voice isn’t half bad. Close call, J. Lo said. She’s OUT.

Malaya Watson, the tuba player with the braces and dorky glasses, started weak in her solo performance. HCJ stops her thinking she was not matching the key of the band. Then she sounds amazing channeling that Fantasia victory song while making it her own. Keith and J. Lo give her a standing o. There’s no doubt she’s IN. She’s so likable.

Maurice Townsend has good vocals but he doesn’t quite have that emotional connection. But he’s IN.

Bria Anai Johnson of Lithonia is nervous but looks happy. Her solo emotes confidence and style. She is IN for sure.

Jessica Meuse, the Alabama bluesy singer, brings some pain and edge to her original song. I still like her. They paired her in the room with Jesse Roach, another bluesy female singer with tattoos. Clearly, they chose to keep one, drop the other. Jesse seems to screw up a bit, giving Jessica a leg up. They both sing a capella in front of the judges during the final picks, the first time “Idol” has ever done that. I thought Jesse did better but Jessica makes it through. Close call but HJC senses Jessica is more of a fighter. Jessica: IN. Jesse: OUT.

Dexter Roberts, the farm boy who looks like a farm boy and not a singer, pulls it out and gets IN. “He’s the real deal, that guy,” Urban said.

Emmanuel Zidor from Atlanta has a bit of Joshua Ledet in him. He is truly a diva and showman. And he’s divisive. He gets tearful in the room. He’s IN anyway.

MK Nobilette, the girl with the “guy” vibe, has a pretty voice, not much stage presence. “You’re not our typical ‘American Idol,” J. Lo said. “Is that a good thing or bad thing?” Urban. “I’m very obviously gay,” she said, but she notes that it’s now become more a positive thing Keith: “The world is changing.” She’s IN.

Kristen O’Connor, a Floridian who auditioned in Atlanta, sings “Unconditionally” quite competently. I’m not a big fan but she isn’t bad. Despite the fact she feel less than authentic, she’s IN.

Jordan Brisbane from Savannah goes for “Halo.” I can’t tell if he’s going to make it or not. He’s good. Is he good enough? Is he ready? The judges say he’s IN.

Casey McQuillen fell just short. So did Atlanta’s Nica Nishae. Both are OUT.

Leah Guerrero is sweet and has a sensitivity I like. Andrina Brogden has more stage gravity. They are paired for the results and Leah is cut. I hope she comes back next year. Leah OUT. Andrina IN.

Malcolm Allen gets an extended intro and his entire solo performance. No doubt the judges and producers like him and expect the audience to also. He is packed with potential. No way anyone with that type of edit who doesn’t get IN despite HCJ questioning his marketability. (Really?)

Alex Preston personifies the word “quirky.” He’s an odd-looking man. So was Casey Abrams. There is no way he could win “Idol,” but he is interesting enough for the top 30. (Watch that statement come back and bite me in the rear.). Anyway, he’s IN.

C.J. Harris and Casey Thrasher, both from Alabama and are dads who live 45 minutes from each other, are paired. They have to fight for it, like Jesse and Jessica. Both are great in very different ways. Both have the voices and the stage presence. So guess what? They are both … um, let’s wait til tomorrow, eh?

Here are some sample advance videos from Thursday’s episode:

477 comments
RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

New Idol blog entry ready to go...

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Thank you, Rodney for releasing all my pendings.  I'm sure I can make some more for you if you get bored.  ;-)

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I do, so it's a problem!


MercedesS
MercedesS

I don't use these words normally.

MercedesS
MercedesS

OK. so Dee A EMM ENN is forbidden

MercedesS
MercedesS

Can we be issued a list of forbidden words?  All these initials are difficult to understand.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

These new 'RULES" ARE GOING TO DRIVE US ALL INSANE...WELL, AT LEAST ME, BECAUSE I DON'T SEEM TO BE ABLE TO TALK WITHOUT BREAKING ONE RULE OR ANOTHER!

Sorry, I hit the caps lock by mistake and didn't feel like going back and rewriting.....I wonder if that's against the rules.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

OMG!!!!!!!  I'm "pending" again because of a post I wrote about livefyre changing the rules and creating a lot of "pendings" because of it.

Let me try again:

I complained to Rodney this morning about the abundant use of "pending" for ludicrously innocuous stuff(poor Rodney, I'm sure I give him a migraine sometimes)  He passed my comments on to the techies who just got back saying livefyre has added new restrictions to their rules.  One is that h e double l is mildly a bad word and that the g word is mildly insulting.  Now I can't help but wonder if the guy who writes the rules has noticed we live in the 21st century.

So maybe I should just ask k&cf if the g word is mildly insulting.  I mean, I'm not naive(alright maybe a little) I know it CAN be used in an insulting way but........it was MK who used the g word and I don't think she meant to insult herself......

Help!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I complained to Rodney this morning about the abundant use of "pending" for ridiculously innocuous stuff(poor Rodney, I'm sure I give him a migraine sometimes)  He passed my comments on to the techies who just got back saying livefyre has added new restrictions to their rules.  One is that h e double l is mildly profane and that the g word is mildly insulting.  Now I can't help but wonder if the guy who writes the rules has noticed we live in the 21st century.

So maybe I should just ask k&cf if the g word is mildly insulting.  I mean, I'm not naive(alright maybe a little) I know it CAN be used in an insulting way but........it was MK who used the g word and I don't think she meant to insult herself......

Help!

MercedesS
MercedesS

Rodney, have you had 442 comments before, on a regular Idol night?

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

Hi y'all, 


Last night's show was very entertaining and I'm looking forward to having a solid Top 12(13?) with diverse backgrounds. I still somewhat like Jessica Meuse, but she needs to stop the "woe is me" stick. I understand she's a struggling musician and she is over it, but I bet so are a lot of other contestants. I think she has talent, but needs to stop the victim act. Not to sound cold, but those kinds of things wear thin after a while. 


I've liked Jillian Jensen since I saw her audition for XF, so I am hoping she does well on the show.


As far as the flagged elephant in the room, I have to say, Kudos to MK. She is who she is, and I do think she is talented, or she would not have made it that far. I don't think she's been moved forward as some sort of charity (or Stick it to The Voice) case. Idol has a long, "rainbow" history. I look forward to seeing how she does and hope that she is judged for her performance and singing, but she is clearly at a disadvantage. Because, yes, there have been G @ Y contestants, before, but I can't recall any of them being female... Crystal Bowersox was engaged at the time and that was never a part of her story. I realize it is a big deal to some. But it doesn't have to be. Yes, it's a part of her story, but unless MK plans to sing Melissa Etheridge, k.d. Lang, Chely Wright, or Tegan and Sara every week... then, it's just one small part. 


As far as Emmanuel, well, he did not specifically say the word, but once he started talking about a diva off with JLo, he didn't have to. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

The ajc is saying there are still more than 350,000 people without electricity.  Wow!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

"overly cautious blocks"  Now that the editing feature has disappeared, I feel the need to correct myself all the time!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

That's ok, Mercedes.  I've got 2 posts sitting in "pending" purgatory.  Rodney has sent an email to the techies mentioning the overly caution blocks.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Liked the film, though. A lot.  Wish I could explain why.

MercedesS
MercedesS

What's with the malformed content?  Tried to say a few words about new "Robocop" and I'm not allowed.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Whew, that was hard. Remembered D's word from yesterday and went through the rigmarole of checking in upper right corner. Kept getting "malformed content" if I didn't.


Sun is shining and snow is melting!


DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Since I have 2 comments re MK sitting in "pending"(grrr) right now, I'm going to try to make my point without using any of the words that would describe her "orientation"  Like the g word or the h word or any of those other extremely Offensive words...you know, the ones she used to describe herself!

My objection has nothing to do with her being....well, you.know what  My object was to her and the judges using that specific orientation to move her forward in the competition with lines like "Times are changing".  It made it seem like, at least tom me, that MK is in the top 30 BECAUSE she's oriented in a specific way.

Wow, it's really hard to tiptoe around stuff!

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC  D, "G @ Y" is one of those words that can be used in a derogatory manner, but I wouldn't consider it mildly insulting at all. I'm more insulted that livefyre considers it an insult than the actual word itself. To me, that's taking censorship a bit too far...

JTesla
JTesla

My post just vanished, was it because I used an H word in place of G? But, can we still discuss our love of homonyms?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I changed 2 words to get that to post.  One was replaced by "ludicrously"...we've had problems with it a long time ago.  re--culously.  The other was relaced by "bad word" and it was prof-ne

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@MercedesS In the old days, sure. I'm certain! Last year on the Medley system? No way.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan  

I guess what I really want is to live in a world where no one has to make announcements about themselves.  Why should anything other than talent matter in a singing competition?  

Although I do understand the point of view that, the more it is talked about, the more accepted it becomes.

You'll have to have patience with me because I see this issue from two conflicting points of view. My cousin came out to her family 35 years ago.  That, imo, was incredibly brave because of the time period and the prevailing attitudes. She has always "owned it" and I'm incredibly proud of her. During that same period of time, I discovered, in a not very pleasant way, that my first husband was g, knew he was g when he married me and married me to hide it from his family.  So yeah, "owning it" is especially important from my perspective.

I just keep hoping that "announcements" will become a thing of the past and people will start being embraced as people not as "symbols" of a "lifestyle"

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan  

Emmanuel is who he is.  He didn't have to say anything.  But, to me, the same was true about MK.  It isn't like anything she said was a revelation.  

My biggest objection was I didn't think she had the talent.  Obviously, a lot of people don't agree with me so I'll have to give her another chance...in the talent department.  If she is there to be some kind of standard bearer, more power to her.  If she is as talented as y'all seem to think, then I have been way off base.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC I am so ready to start a load of laundry, but I feel that's tempting fate.

JTesla
JTesla

Mercedes, did you get a chance to see th Lego Movie? Just curious, I may need to go see it Monday and want to determine if I should fight it.

JTesla
JTesla

My reply is stuck in pending too. Maybe the naughty people need to have their posts reviewed.

G_
G_

@DeirdreC - No need to tiptoe around anything.  Free speech and opinions.  Idol is not blind or stupid.  They realize a portion of their viewership is (g word), and advancing someone through that is open about their "lifestyle" will help boost ratings.  It's not a good or bad thing, but a reality of doing business nowadays. 


I think MK is good enough to make it through regardless, even though she lacks in stage presence. I don't know how "open" Emmanuel is about his "lifestyle", but he's good enough to make it through on pure talent. 


(Okay I get the "pending" feature)

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I could really use that edit feature 

JTesla
JTesla

ACK Edit please, I HATE when I accidently use "an" in front of an "H"!

It's the little things that drive me nuts.

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC I, too, wish we lived in that kind of world. Unfortunately, we don't....yet. But I can completely understand where you are coming from. That's one of the things that I've always had a tough time with and it's why I am encouraged by those who own who they are. 


JT hit on one of the many reasons why I was supportive of MK's statement. She took away the whispers and speculation. 

JTesla
JTesla

Odd, my post doesn't seem to want to "take". I wonder if I used a bad word... yep, the "G"Word.  

I want to live in that world too, but I doubt we ever will. Announcements don’t even have to do with acceptance or equality although that is a common reason for them now as in the past. We’re stuck with them because even without those reasons people want verification of their assumptions. They will ask, assume, and prod to find out. For instance, I assume that Spencer Lloyd is a total DB, when he is on I’m looking for indicators that will verify my assumption. It is the same thing with orientation, except the desire to know there is far more encompassing as it appeals to people base instincts.

However, in the here and now, there is what I believe to be a war going on against G. As long as there are those that will look to use arguments against Gs to fill coffers or pews, as long as they are listed as the cause of society’s ills, or the roadblock to perfection, there will still be a need to seek acceptance and equality by making announcements. 

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC @KellyandCarrieFan  But D, he did say it. What str@ight guy would suggest a diva off walking in high heels? Not to mention sing to Keith? 


It's not that MK said a "revelation," it's that she wasn't shamed into it. She owned it and expressed herself honestly. As someone who's been insulted and called not so nice things, I applaud her for owning her truth. That's the only thing I'm taking away from this so far. 

I'm going on the fact that the judges have put her through as evidence that she's talented, I haven't heard enough of her singing to give an honest opinion. I just think she probably said what she wanted to say thinking that because she doesn't look the part, she wouldn't move to the next round. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla  

At my age, being accused of naughtiness isn't really a bad thing.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@G_ @DeirdreC  

We'll agree to disagree about the talent level.  My big objection last night had to do with Idol making a big deal about MK being g.  I think this might be Idol's comeback to The Voice for claiming that Idol somehow hides singers' orientation...which is laughable considering that Idol has had g contestants almost every year since season one(R.J.Helton). Announcing someone's orientation is an individual's choice, imo.  It shouldn't be a badge worn on one's forehead that makes everyone else feel free thinking and open.  I think Idol spends way too much time answering The Voice's accusation and The Voice spends way too much time worrying about Idol.


DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan @DeirdreC  

I know there are people who come into these conversations with an agenda but my only hope is to learn and when I'm told I'm being a dopey about something(of course, you'd phrase it much more politely) I listen and learn...hopefully...most of the time!  

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC Exactly. I do remember trying to have a dialog in the past. I'm glad we're able to do so. I know people get heated about these types of subjects, but having an open and honest conversation helps, 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan @DeirdreC  

Me, too.  If you remember, I tried to do this a few years ago with a group of ladies and it blew up in my face. I got called all sorts of names for a long time.  ;-)  

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC I do. The fact that we can have an honest conversation about it is what makes me appreciate this sandbox. I appreciate the perspective. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan @DeirdreC  

Thanks for your patience.  I hope you understand that, just because this is sometimes a difficult subject to talk about without sounding like a total DB, it doesn't signify disapproval.  Like I said before,  my objection to MK was her talent level and the judges giving her a pass but I will certainly give her another chance to prove me wrong in the singing department.  

I remember Ellen having to wade through a lot of what I thought was phony shock and awe.  I thought maybe she just stepped back for awhile until everyone worked their way through it. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KellyandCarrieFan @DeirdreC @JTesla  

I remember Ellen having to wade through a lot of what I thought was phony shock and awe.  I thought maybe she just stepped back for awhile until everyone worked their way through it. 

KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC @JTesla To be fair, Ellen's career did suffer for a while. She came out in 1997, and it wasn't until her turn as Dory in Finding Nemo that she started being embraced again. Still, she is where she is today and that is progress. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla

I guess it's like everything in the world....it takes time and the passing of generations to move mountains.  There are plenty of g characters on tv now and to me, tv has almost become the great equalizer.  When Ellen came out she thought her career might be over but way more people embraced her than turned their backs on her.  So yeah, I DO see a time when announcements will no longer be necessary for g people to make.  Mostly because someone else will have come along that we can all look down our noses at.........while I am joking, unfortunately that will probably be just about how it goes.


KellyandCarrieFan
KellyandCarrieFan

@DeirdreC @KellyandCarrieFan  PS. I was honestly it was addressed to matter of factly on Idol. That was progress, imo. But I'm not naive enough to think it didn't also serve a purpose for the show. I get that. T

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla

OK, I get what you're saying.  In my "pending" comments I asked for input.  Yours makes sense.  I guess all I could really see last night was Idol getting into a p---ing contest with The Voice over openly g contestants.  And by "big deal" in my previous post I wasn't referring so much to Idol but to the reaction on the internet(where, btw, people can actually state the word g without having to go sit in a corner)

JTesla
JTesla

But the two Jessies were in essence the same, alternative rock girls. The judges have never put together the best, they've always taken a Noah's Ark approach to filling out the top spots. They don't want too many Country singers, too many R&B singers, etc.

We get MK, not because she is better than some that were eliminated, but because she is a great singer that doesn't duplicate what they already have.

That is one thing I like about Idol this year, they have been more open to pointing out how they are filling the top 30.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla  

I get your point, JT and I would assume the judges had already planned to put her through to the next round.  I question why.  IMO, she has a nice little voice but, at least in the clips shown, not remarkable in anyway.  The two Jessies, who had to duel it out, both had better voices and even a bit more stage presence. And I realize I'm talking about very subjective opinions.  It's just that we've had so many other g contestants with so much more talent(again imo) that MK feels more like tokenism to me.

JTesla
JTesla

Idol didn't make a big deal of it. MK mentioned it while on the chair. It's not like it got a voice over by Ryan, it's not like the judges prodded her to comment regarding her orientation.

The decision to keep her was already made, her saying something like "I believe times are changing", and the judges agreeing was not planned or played up by Idol. The alternative is to edit and cut that information out which wouldn't be fair or honest.