Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And Then There Were 40 ...

Well, just as we suspected, Idol is following the script so far. From who and what we were shown, no one on the leaked list of the 24 semi-finalists was eliminated Tuesday night, though we must admit we were tense waiting to see how everything played out.

The guys had a much better shot at making the Top 40 than the ladies. Of the 172 Golden Ticket to Hollywood holders, 114 were girls and only 58 were guys. So a bit more than a third of the guys, or roughly 34 percent percent were going to make the Top 40, while only about 19 percent of the girls would get there.

And after seeing the behavior in Hollywood, we weren't that upset at seeing a lot of the women leave. Although they did nothing in particular wrong on the Hollywood segment, we still applauded as we saw Porcelana Patino and Jamie Lynn Ward get the bad news. We had already heard too much of their sob stories. And then there was Sarah Burgess, who cried so much at her New York audition, we thought the city was going to run out of Kleenex. Fortunately, we only had to suffer through sniffles here.

The night started out rather brutally, with the first six girls eliminated in a blink -- 30 seconds each of singing and the whole line was dismissed by Simon with disdain. This included Jory Steinberg, the transplanted Canadian who was impressive in the New York edition and sounded good to us again in Hollywood, but we guess not good enough. The show tended to concentrate on the Golden Ticket winners the audience had already seen in the audition shows, so alas, many of the 172 who made it to Hollywood will never be seen by the national audience, though local girl Lisa Morrison, 26, of Selden, who we hadn't seen or heard about before, had a fleeting 5 seconds of fame before she was eliminated with the rest of the first line.

(We also saw about 5 seconds of Coram's JL Cotter during his group sing rehearsal. He had partnered with professional back-up singer Brandon Rogers and two females. It appears that both Cotter and Rogers made it through to the Top 40.)

Familiar faces who never made it beyond Hollywood Round 1 were Army Reservist Rachel Jenkins and blonde Michelle Steingas, who both were sent to Hollywood from Minnesota (though after the group round, the ground would be littered by other rejected Minnesotan candidates we had previously seen, including sailor Jarrod Fowler, annoying Colombian-born flirt Perla Meneses and sad sack Matt Sato, whose parents accompanied him neither to his initial audition nor to Hollywood. His relationship with them played out through a series of cell-phone calls).

And we won't have to worry about Ashlyn Carr's funny faces or criminal status any longer, because she, too, was eliminated in the first round.

In one of the show's more annoying moments, Nicole Turner, against her better judgement, decided to sing "Ain't No Way," for her mother and aunt, rather than what she wanted to sing. She was eliminated, and after a weep session with her mother outside the auditorium, her mother insisted on talking to the judges to tell them it was her fault, not Nicole's. Nicole joined in, telling the judges it was the song, at which point she got into a screaming match with Simon, who kept yelling, "It's NOT the song." This went on way too long for someone who would be going home anyway. As the two left, Simon and Paula got into a tiff over his "rudeness," while Randy asked everyone in the auditorium to give Nicole a hand. Shut up Randy, just shut up. Don't encourage bad behavior by losers.

Best group of the night honors went to the foursome of beatbox guy Blake Lewis, funny guy Chris Sligh, British boy-band guy Tom Lowe and smooth-singing guy Rudy Cardenas , whose routine and harmony was so polished, it received a standing ovation from Paula Abdul , as well as appreciative looks from Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. All four made it through to the Top 40.

And as reported here on Tuesday morning, we did see "My Grammy Moment" talent search winner Robyn Troup on the show, but she lasted only as long as the group sing, in spite of the fact that she and another girl partnered with Sundance Head, who, by his own admission, had bad solo and group sessions but somehow managed to land in one of the Top 40 candidates' rooms in the end. Although when Paula put Sundance through in the group round, Simon leaned over to her and told her she was generous as Sundance messed up two days in a row.

Also falling in the group round was Fidel Castro-Jesus Christ look-alike Sean Michel -- who had pulled back his hair and appeared to have squared off the bottom of his beard by the time he was eliminated -- as well as rolling-skating carhop Ebony Jointer.

But we cheered loudly when Amanda Coluccio finally got her comeuppance, not only because of her unbearable arrogance, but because she probably caused Baylie Brown to be eliminated in the group sing round. We suspect that the 16-year-old Texan is the contestant that Nigel Lythgoe referred to as his favorite during a conference call with the press last week. He also said she had already been eliminated because she couldn't remember the words in the group sing.

The contestants were allowed to form their own groups this year, and Baylie unfortunately joined up with "best friends" Coluccio and Antonella Barba. We can only imagine that a lack of self esteem led someone such as Barba, who appears to be a relatively nice person, to wind up with a best friend such as Coluccio, a woman so full of herself, she could explode with the next breath. You may recall that when the women auditioned in New York, Barba always deferred to Coluccio as the better singer because she had training. The judges felt otherwise and only reluctantly let Coluccio through to Hollywood.

Well, the two best friends couldn't agree on a song for the group performance and while other trios and foursomes were already practicing and preparing, Baylie helplessly sat and rolled her eyes as the friends bickered over song selection. It was pretty late by the time they started rehearsing and the more they rehearsed, the more Baylie forgot the lyrics to their song, "This Old Heart of Mine." Both Baylie and Antonella wanted to continue rehearsing, but after a while Amanda decided she was tired of rehearsing and went off on a hunt for male contestants to flirt with.

At their performance the next day, Barba did fine, but Baylie totally blew the lyrics, barely remembering a word. Coluccio remembered most of her part and, unfortunately, the judges put her through to the next round one more time. Poor Baylie was distraught, knowing she had worked harder than the other two, but Coluccio shrugged her off with a "whatever." But what really pissed us off was when Coluccio turned to the camera afterwards and said, "You know why [I've succeeded so far]? Because God likes good people." Guess God got her number the next day, because she wound up in that last lethal roomful of contestants being sent home.

So, unless our eyes were playing tricks on us, we can tell you these people definitely are in the Top 40, because we spotted them in one of the two rooms of contestants that were told they were going forward to the next Hollywood round:

AJ Tabaldo - Santa Maria, CA

Blake Lewis - Seattle, WA

Brandon Rogers - Los Angeles, CA

Chris Sligh - Greenville, SC

Jared "JL" Cotter - Coram, NY

Jason "Sundance" Head - Porter, TX

Matthew Buckstein - Denver, CO

Nicholas "Nick" Pedro - Taunton, MA

Paul Kim - San Jose, CA

Rudolpho "Rudy" Cardenas - Hollywood, CA

Sanjaya Malakar - Federal Way, WA

Thomas "Tom" Lowe - Boston, Mass.

Philip "Phil" Joel Stacey - Jacksonville, FL

Antonella Barba - Point Pleasant, NJ

Gina Glocksen - Naperville, IL

Jordin Sparks - Glendale, AZ

Leslie Hunt - Chicago, IL (?)

Melinda Doolittle - Brentwood, TN

And although we didn't spot these contestants in either of the rooms that went forward, according to our leaked information, they also made the Top 40 cut:

Anna Kearns (Audition City: Seattle)

Tami Gosnell

Bernard Williams II (Audition City: Birmingham)

Marisa Rhodes (Audition City: East Rutherford)

Tatiana McConnico (Audition City: Birmingham)

Thomas Daniels (Audition City: Seattle)

Christopher "Chris" Richardson - Chesapeake, VA

Alaina Alexander - West Hollywood, CA

Sabrina Scherff-Sloan

Stephanie Edwards

Justin Davis (Audition Cities: Birmingham & Memphis) (no photo)


Fame is a bitch. People magazine reports that Season 5 finalist and country singer Bucky Covington and his wife Crystal, a nurse, have separated after seven years of marriage. In a statement issued through his record label, Covington said, "This is a difficult time for both of us and I would ask that everyone respect our privacy." The couple have no children. Covington released his first single, "A Different World," in January and his debut album drops on April 17.

AmericanIdol.com reports that Covington recently shot his first video for his debut single “A Different World" in Los Angeles. Shooting his debut video for his first single proved to be a new and exciting experience and Bucky feels it is a perfect depiction of the lyrics and “really shows what the song is all about.”

The video portrays not only the song’s message, but also reveals a glimpse of Bucky’s life before “American Idol.” Bucky, a huge NASCAR fan who most recently worked at painting cars in his father’s auto body shop, is shown throughout the video in a sunlit barn surrounded by vintage cars. Fans can tune into CMT's Top 20 Countdown on February 15 for the premiere of the video.


First it was Courtney Love. Now, according to Celebrity Spider former Go-Gos singer Belinda Carlisle says she, too, was asked to replace Paula Abdul, albeit a few years ago.

She says, "As far as 'American Idol' goes, I was actually approached a couple of years ago about possibly replacing Paula Abdul.

"But to answer your question [would she be a judge on the show], I really don't know. To be perfectly honest, it's just not my thing. I'd rather listen to music that comes from a more organic place. But you know, I just ... don't know if I would or not."

Er, thanks. Is every washed-up female singer in the country trying to hop a ride on the I Was Asked to Replace Paula Abdul Train?

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© 2007

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