Do not be fooled by the animosity that seems to exist between Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest. They enjoy the thrust and riposte of verbal dueling. Even when they look serious or as if they’re really annoyed at the other, as they did during the American Idol Round 2 (Group 2) results show Thursday night, a keen eye on them seconds later showed them smiling or laughing. It seems to be something to do with ratings, which is a good thing because the first two rounds of the Top 36 have been somewhat mediocre in content.
People need to be entertained or they will stop watching. A little friction, a little confrontation, some banter can do wonders for ratings. Far more than the opening number performed by the group (Ne-Yo’s “Closer”). Better than last week — but not much.
After Simon Cowell pretended to be frustrated with Ryan and told him that the show was not about him (Simon), Ryan called down the first three people to face elimination: Allison Iraheta, Jessie Langseth, and Matt Breitzke. And if one watched the show Wednesday night, one know that – if there was any justice in the world – Allison was the one going through to the Final 12.
And she was.
The next group, this time of four people, were called down: Megan Joy Corkrey, Kris Allen, Jeanine Vailles, and Matt Giraud. Ryan Seacrest asked Paula Abdul who she thought was going through and she named off the group except for Jeanine Vailles (and rightly so – her performance of Maroon 5’s “This Love” was one of the worst performances ever), then said she just didn’t know.
Ryan sent Chris Allen through and sat the other three down.
Then Brooke White, American Idol finalist from Season 7, was brought out to perform her new single (which she said became available for download on iTunes Wednesday), “Hold Up My Heart.” Not a bad song. It would have done better had it been released during the 1970s but it was well performed. She’ll probably have a Contemporary Adult hit with it.
Afterward, Ryan Seacrest brought down the last five finalists of Group 2: Kai Kalami, Adam Lambert, Nick Mitchell, Mishavonna Henson, and Jasmin Murray. Ryan quickly sent all but Adam Lambert and Nick Mitchell back to their seats. Then promptly broke for commercials.
There is something inherently frightening about putting two people on a stage that are polar opposites. Nick Mitchell, amateur clown, and Adam Lambert, professional entertainer. As perverse as the American viewing audience can be in their voting (how else can anyone ever explain Sanjaya?), anything was possible. Ryan asked Simon if he had prayed, referring to Simon Cowell’s comment Wednesday night that he prayed Nick Mitchell would not get through to the next round. Simon said he had – for five or six hours and hoped he and god were on good terms.
And they were, because Adam Lambert was the third person of the night, the sixth person overall to get through to the Final 12.
Simon Cowell and god may not be on such good terms – because if Nick Mitchell received the fourth highest number of votes, he got an automatic pass into the Wild Card Round. Unlike last week, where Ryan revealed that Anoop Desai and Michael Sarver were only separated by a mere 20,000 votes, he was mum about the voting this week – except that 25 million people had voted overall. So Nick Mitchell just might be around for at least one more show (because, since the judges vote the last three into the Final 12, there is no way that they will allow Mitchell a berth and deny someone the chance of becoming a successful singer).
If any one of the contestants from Group 2 are given Wild Card slots, it will most definitely be Matt Giraud. He fell victim this week to wrong song choice, choosing possibly the lamest song to become a hit in the past year, Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” He would have needed a pure shot of nitro-glycerin and defribrilators to shock that dead song to life. The judges really like Megan Joy Corkrey as well, so she may slip through and into the Wild Card Round. Jasmine Murray deserves another shot, based simply on her past performances.
But we do not know who got the automatic bids yet.
So, at the end of the night, joining Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey, and Michael Sarver in the Final 12 for American Idol Season 8 were Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert.
Group 3 sings next week to fill up the last three spots of audience-chosen American Idol finalists going into the Final 12.
For a recap of Wednesday night’s American Idol performances, read “American Idol Round 2 Eliminations…”
“American Idol,” Fox Television