Almost everything about the first week of the “American Idol’ semifinals was underwhelming. From the contestants to the judges, TV’s ratings juggernaut seems to be struggling.
Last night’s show had all sorts of issues – much of it hard to watch. But let’s hope it’s all due to nerves, again, from the contestants to the judges, because if not, it’s gonna be a really long season. Someone really needs to give Ellen DeGeneres the same talk she gave nervous little Alex Lambert. So far, she’s struggling with trying to find the right things to say – in part, because she’s trying to be positive and in part, because she’s trying to show she knows what she’s talking about. (Patti Labelle made headlines yesterday, saying that some of the judges aren’t qualified to judge on the show. And though Miss Patti is too smart to name names, we can guess who she means.)
Look, Ellen, you don’t need to speak the language of music to give good advice. The best advice you gave was when you described Lambert as an “unripe banana” that needs a little time. That worked because it was an emotional response, not an intellectual one and that’s what you’re there for.
As for the contestants, too many of the guys and the gals seem overwhelmed by nerves. Lambert was a good example, who looked noticeably shaken, even while delivering a pretty decent version of James Morrison’s “Wonderful World.” John Park looked nearly as nervous, attempting an ill-advised “God Bless the Child.”
With all those nerves, guys who simply looked like they weren’t going to run away fared well – including Joe Munoz and Casey James, who managed to keep it together despite Kara’s craziness. Front-runner Andrew Garcia stumbled a bit by picking a song that was too edgy for "Idol," while Aaron Kelly made his mark as the next David Archuleta with a Rascal Flatts song.
Tonight’s eliminations should be fairly easy. The harder part was probably deciding who to vote for.
THE RANKINGS (GUYS)
Andrew Garcia, “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down”
Aaron Kelly, “Here Comes Goodbye”
Casey James, “Heaven”
Joe Munoz, “You And I Both”
Alex Lambert, “Wonderful World”
John Park, “God Bless the Child”
Lee Dewyze, “Chasing Cars”
Tyler Grady, “American Woman”
Michael Lynche, “This Love”
Todrick Hall, “Since U Been Gone”
Jermaine Sellers, “Get Here”
Tim Urban, “Apologize”
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Todrick and Jermaine
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Tim and Jermaine
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: Joe and Tyler
THE RANKINGS (GALS)
Crystal Bowersox, “Hand in My Pocket”
Lilly Scott, “Fixing a Hole”
Haeley Vaughn, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
Katie Stevens, “Feelin’ Good”
Siobhan Magnus, “Wicked Game”
Katelyn Epperly, “Oh Darlin’”
Paige Miles, “All Right Now”
Michelle Delamor, “Fallin’”
Didi Benami, “The Way I Am”
Ashley Rodriguez, “Happy”
Janell Wheeler, “What About Love”
Lacey Brown, “Landslide”
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Lacey and Ashley
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Lacey and Janell
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: Janell and Ashley
PHOTO: Alex Lambert from last night's "American Idol" by Fox.