It is final judgment night on AI and hopefully I can cobble together something resembling an entertaining recap. I’m not going to lie, my good readers…it’s been a struggle with this incredibly boring season so far. The contestants are still in Las Vegas and the remaining 42 contestants had to sing one last time on the “La Reve” stage for the judges before we pare down to the top 24. It’s go time and the judges will need to accept or reject each contestant while sitting above the bubbling, smoky plasma pool. Can JHO survive? Can Steven and DAWG find the right words to console her? Who will be left in the deadly pool of plasma, never to be heard from again? So many questions…only three agonizing hours that I will never get back…
One of my early favorites, Jen Hirsh is up in the hot seat first. We get a quick flashback to her time with Idol and her final solo performance. Her performance was a bit sketchy, so nerves abound. DAWG waits so long to tell her, she is about to cry, but he finally breaks his stony silence and tells her she made it. Even Steven gripes that he strung it out too long. Big score for the girls, Jen is going places.
Creighton Fraker takes the walk of doom to learn of his fate. He’s a bit quirky, not one of my top picks, let’s see if he’s a DAWG-DO or a DAWG-DON’T…but wait he has this goofy backstory, he found out his birth father was the lead singer for an 80’s hair band called Flotsam and Jetsam. What are the freakin’ odds? Don’t answer that…JHO gives him a schpeel that even I am not paying attention to, but Creighton Crouton made the cut. And let’s face it, he is like a crouton, you get half way through your salad and you realize…you forgot the croutons, and you think “aww…screw it”! Translation: Forgettable. This crouton does nothing for me:
Lauren Gray, another early stand out, takes a moment to reflect with OHRS in the Coca Cola Lounge of Dreams. She hopes to get through to fulfill her own and her father’s dreams that he was never able to realize. Pegi Blu rode her like a cheap freakin’ suit during the auditions and got Lauren up to par. Her voice is smokier than the waters pumping out the blurple fog beneath her. DAWG says, you’re like family, more difficult for you, inside your own head, wanna talk about that a bit? What is this DAWG therapy, get to the point already! Holy ballz, she did not make the cut. Damn, minus one for the girls. In a rare moment of sincerity, OHRS says he really hopes she will come back, but after tasting the bitter pill of rejection, our Little Lauren is not so sure.
Joshua Ledet is heading into the torture chamber. DAWG launches into this thing about the best singers that don’t make it, blah, blah, blah…Joshua made it. He wails an “Amen” and a “Hallelujah”.
Blaire Sieber and Naomi Gilles are given DAWG-DON’TS and are sent walkin’. I guess that is okay considering I didn’t recognize or remember either one of them. As our beloved Simon would say “forgettable.”
Hayley Johnsen hits the hot seat and she discusses how much confidence she has gained in herself. DAWG keys in on that and Steven delivers the good news.
Neco Starr has tried to appeal to JHO throughout the auditions, but will she remain faithful, or will she turn on him like a rabid DAWG…he doesn’t make it and JHO explains he is still a “Starr”, he just needs more work.
Clayton Farhat also accepts his fate, as he didn’t make the cut. River St. James has also shown growth, but not quite enough. Caleb Johnson totally botches his final audition, almost painful to watch.
Elise Testone is ready to hear the good word. She’s sultry, she’s edgy, she’s in! Score another heavy hitter for the ladies.
Reed Grimm and all of his squirrelly quirkiness is up next. They show some old video of Reed as a child performing, but will this lifelong performer make it to the Idol stage??? DAWG calls him “mad talented” and he is through.
Erica Van Pelt delivered her final performance and fell a little flat. JHO gives her a critique and points out that her performance was difficult, but they have taken into account her body of work and they give her a chance.
Chelsea Sorrell takes her seat in front of the judges and she is a bundle of nerves. They drag it out and Steven tells her she already knows the answer, she is going through.
Her country pal Baylie Brown is up for judgment next. Baylie auditioned five years ago and she has been significantly better, but her final performance was a bit weak. Steven comments on her lack of consistency, but she is going through.
Richie “the Cowboy” Law is on the chopping block and we are treated to a flashback of him laying down his own laws and clashing with other contestants. DAWG drops the bomb that he didn’t make it, but offers him encouragement to come back and try again. HeeJun is having party inside his own head.
HeeJun Han sits with OHRS in the Coca Cola pressure cooker lounge. HeeJun is sweatin’ it and OHRS asks what exactly he is sweatin’ and HeeJun says “uh…mostly water.” If anything, keep this kid around for his sense of humor. Love me some HeeJun, and he’s not a bad singer either. He says if he makes it he will hug and kiss JHO and that is “every Asian man’s dream right there”. Really, so Asian men fancy a sassy Puerto Rican? Hmm…learn somethin’ new every day. Steven tells him he is more of a star than a singer, but delivers the good news and he will now be known as HeyJun, as he walks off to the song “Hey Jude”.
Jessica Sanchez is up next and OHRS tells her to “get it girl”, I have a feeling she will because she can really sing. We see her entire final performance, Steven makes the waterskiing squirrel face, and she makes it. I would have been shocked if she didn’t, she really stood out in the group round. Another big score for the girls, but she is only 16 and could fall into the Thia Megia trap.
Phil Phillips reflects on his extremely stressful experience during Hollywood week. Will he make it or will it be back to a life at the local pawn shop? DAWG is draggin’ it out a bit, but JHO ain’t in the mood and she tells him he’s in.
Colton Dixon faces the wrath of the judges next. Will his continual upstaging of his sister be rewarded? Will the skunk living in his hair make it through the pressure? He dedicates his final audition performance “Fix You” to his sister Schylar. Well Colton, you could maybe fix her if you would have just let her have her moment. I kid…I kid…DAWG delivers the good news. Colton finally made it and Schylar is proud of him.
Brielle Von Hugel, the girl with the momager from hell, is up next. While momager yammers on to OHRS about her spray tan in a can, Brielle re-treads her way back to the judges, trying to make it again this year. I am not too keen on her diva ways, but what will our Diva DAWG say? Steven does most of the yammering and tells her she is in. Meanwhile, her momager is still yammering on to OHRS, now about her outfit. Really? Like he gives a shit about your plebian ways.
Adam Brock faces his fate next and he is totally nerve-wracked. He needs to channel his inner Diana Ross and stay calm. I happen to dig him and hope the judges give him a chance. He arrives on the hot seat with his lucky hanky, and it’s a good thing because he is quite emotional. He sums up his entire existence in what he terms three words “I have to sing.” Okay, so Adam said “hafta”, so he isn’t a math or an English whiz, but the boy can blow. Steven delivers the good news and Adam falls to the floor in a slobbering ball of mess. Major score for the boys.
Jeremy Rosado takes the march of death next, although we are shown his entire final performance, so I would guess he’s through. JHO gives him a shpeel about how supportive he has been to his fellow contestants. DAWG keeps peppering his commentary through out her speech… “cheerin’ ‘em on”, “good dude”, “big heart”. He gets through with flying colors. Score another for the boys.
Shannon Magrane gave JHO “goosies” during her final audition, and I am sure she’s a shoe-in. Meanwhile, out in the holding room, OHRS reflects with Shannon’s parents on the totally inappropriate comment Steven made about Shannon. Her dad says “everyone told me to ring his neck”, but he and his wife actually found it quite funny. She is through, she jumps out of her chair and shakes off the nerves. If it doesn’t work out she could always try out for America’s Next Top Model, she certainly has the height.
Scott Dangerfield is another re-tread that is returning after having to drop out last year. I have no recollection of this kid whatsoever and I am not real keen on his shaggy do hair, it’s a shaggy don’t. JHO is a fan of his, but it wasn’t enough for this year. He walks off somberly muttering “it is what it is.” Yes it is Scott.
A few more dreams are shattered and other contestants are having a lot of self-doubt, including Skylar Laine. She is another very strong girl, sounds just like Reba McEntire, but is there room for another country female? DAWG admires her consistency, Steven wants to Rock-N-Rollify her, and Skylar is through and promises to bring Steven some deer meat.
Hallie Day, Chase Likens, and another re-tread Aaron Marcellus all make it through as well.
Deandre “Milli Vanilli” Brackensick hits the hot seat next. We are shown his final audition where he sings “This Woman’s Work”, which is one of my favorite songs, and JHO says she was dying to hear him sing that song since she heard his voice. This is also his second time around and JHO has seen his growth and they ask him to stay.
Jermaine Jones is up for his moment of truth next, but he’s not really my cup of tea. He performs his final audition in an argyle sweater vest without any shirt underneath, which is really rather odd. But whatevs, it’s not Project Runway here. His confidence is crumbling as he sobs into a tissue in the holding room. This could be the kicker, the judges really want singers who believe in themselves and Jermaine is on a slippery slope. DAWG notes his inconsistencies and says he needs more work, Jermaine is sent home to keep working on himself. This rejection takes a toll on the judges and JHO tears up, but not enough to ruin her lashes.
Shelby Tweten, Ariel Sprague, and Hollie Cavanaugh face the judges together. Steven announces that only Hollie made it through. In keeping with the “rejecting in groups” theme, David Leathers Jr. a.k.a. Mr. Steal Your Girl and Eban Franckewitz march down the smoky, scary catwalk together. JHO tells them only one is going through and it’s Eban. David is crushed and DAWG tries to give him a pep talk. As David sulks his way out, Eban skips out behind him gleefully.
DAWG says “it’s a wrap” and JHO says “I’m glad that sh!t’s over” as the AI censor button covers her mouth. Well, I concur JHO, but wait…the shocking twist we were teased with throughout the last hour. The judges are going to give someone a second chance and bring back a 13th boy. It will be Jermaine, Cowboy, Johnny JHO Boy Toy, or David Leathers. Oh and next week, Idol will be on three nights. I really don’t know if I am ready for this type of commitment.
I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted. The night would not be complete without Seven proceeding to strip down to his Fruit of the Loons and dive into the “La Reve” plasma pool. Gotta give him props, he’s not ashamed of how he looks…moobs, rather feminine calves, saggin’ junk, and all. In case you missed it…