Wednesday, March 4, 2009

American Idol Season 8
Top 36 Group 3 Results

The next three Season 8 finalists are:

Jorge Nuñez
Scott MacIntyre
Lil Rounds

These contestants will compete tomorrow night in the Wild Card show for one of the three remaining finalist spots:

Von Smith

Jasmine Murray

Ricky Braddy

Megan Corkrey

Tatiana del Toro

Matt Giraud

Jesse Langseth

Anoop Desai

We felt angry and frustrated after Wednesday's show. We really hate the format changes this season. In an attempt to boost flagging ratings, the producers are taking steps that are alienating core viewers, ultimating losing more viewers (and ratings) as the travesty they call Season 8 proceeds. The Wild Card round is a sham. Letting the producers judges pick both the eight who deserve another shot and then decide which three would get those spots, seems unfair to the viewers. Especially after the producers judges did such a bad job of selecting the semifinlists to begin with. We're losing interest and enthusiasm for a series that if it hadn't already jumped the shark before this year, definitely did so in 2009. Ugh!

Ryan Seacrest, wearing his serious clothes (a suit) tells us we'll not only learn who the next three finalists are tonight, but also the identities of the Wild Card candidates performing Thursday night. But first we must sit through yet another "how they got here" film recap of the contestants set to David Cook's "A Daily AntheM."

It's time for the Group 3 dance to Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold." Except the only ones standing and "dancing" are the girls, because Scott MacIntyre can't. We don't know whether to be happy or sad about this development. Maybe all future contestants should say they are visually impaired so we can get rid of the results night dance number -- though it is always good for a laugh. Oh, man, the tour's gonna be tons of fun if the whole thing has to be choregraphed planned around what Scott can or can't do. Goodbye catwalks. Needless to say, the number sucks even more than usual, because the contestants all look like they're trapped in some bizarre web, struggling to move while not really moving. The singing? Wow, We forgot to listen we were so focused on the non-dancing.

Watch video of the Group 3 "dance" to Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold"

Next up, highlights of Tuesday's performances. They've subtitled Jorge's Spanish remarks after his happy-teary breakdown. This season is getting stranger and stranger. Before we get the results, Seacrest does standard inane chatting with the contestants. We try to figure out who may have snagged the third-place spot based on who he talks to, but we're still in the dark. Nathaniel says kidding around with the judges the night before didn't bother him, while Jorge explains why a temperature of 78 degrees is freezing. Wanna feel freezing Jorge? Come to the East Coast in winter. Right now, 78 degrees sounds absolutely tropical to us! Felicia is good with her performance from Tuesday. Ju'Not tells us about his developing relationship with the show's medic -- today he received a shot for an asthma attack (on Tuesday he had a cortison shot for his voice). Doesn't he deserve a finalist seat just for all the medical problems? Guess not.

Watch video of the Group 3 contestants chatting with Ryan Seacrest

OK, it's time for the eliminations, and they're gonna happen really fast to make room for the Wild Card selections. Ryan calls Lil Rounds to the stage and, 1,2,3, she's a finalist. No drama (but, hey, who didn't know this was going to happen?) She reprises Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You," and it's not quite as good as Tuesday.

Watch video of Lil Round becoming a finalist and singing "Be Without You"

Ryan is now going to whip through an entire row of the bleachers. He asks Arianna Afsar, Taylor Vaifanua, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Kendall Beard and Scott MacIntyre to stand in place. Ryan says one of this group will become a finalist. If you're in this row and not Scott, you know you're screwed.

Watch video of Scott MacIntyre becoming a finalist, Part 1

One by one, they are dispatched by Ryan, until it's down to *no drama* Kendall and Scott. OMG, what a shock! Scott is the next finalist. We are not happy, but knew it was coming. The season's decline continues for us as Scott sings "Mandolin Rain" again.

Watch video of Kendall Beard being eliminated and Scott MacIntyre becoming a finalist and singing "Mandolin Rain"

Like a host on speed, Ryan is ready to eliminate more contestants, this time in couples. He tells Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara to stand in place. Kristen seems to have problems understanding this, and starts walking. Ryan stops her. She says she's nervous. She should be. The game is over for both on them. Ryan walks to the opposite side of the top row, and when he asks Von Smith and Felicia Barton to stand, we guess they already know what's coming. They, too, are eliminated.

Watch video of Nathaniel Marshall, Kristen McNamara, Von Smith and Felicia Barton being eliminated

To no one's shock, Jorge Nuñez and Ju'Not Joyner are left. Ryan brings them to the stage and says one of them will get the third finalist spot of the night, right ... and acts as if we'll find out after the commercial break, then says, "now." The two are caught off-guard sure they're going into a commercial break. The one going through is Jorge, who'll have to wait until the end of the show to sing again.

Watch video of Ju'Not Joyner being eliminated and Jorge Nuñez becoming a finalist

It's time for the judges to announce the eight Wild Card choices from the remaining semifinalists sitting in the Red Room holding pen. Simon Cowell tells us this method is [not]fair, how Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson would not have gotten through if there had not been a Wild Card system. He also says that one of these picks could win the competition and that the producers judges even changed one of their choices during the last commercial break. And if that's true, how strongly do they feel about any of these picks?

What Simon doesn't say is that if there had not been a Wild Card system in place at the time, it is highly unlikely Aiken and Hudson would have been eliminated in the first place.

The judges take turns announcing the picks, begininning with Randy, followed by Kara, Paula and Simon. And no matter what they say, or do, at this point we're convinced that the producers judges already know who their final three choices are to complete the Top 12. After the selections, almost as an afterthought, Jorge finally gets to sing.

Watch video of the Wild Card selections of Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey

Watch video of the Wild Card selections of Tatiana Del Toro, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, Anoop Desai

Next week, the finals begin.

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© 2009

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