And from your lips Idol drew the Hallelujah! This post will contain very little angry fan ranting, not because there weren't rant-worthy moments tonight (girls vs boys! unnecessary subtitled humiliation! complete lack of last night's triumphant Minor's results), but because for the first time this season, American Idol gave me something to be excited about--talented singers!! So with that thought, I will put my pinot-grigio fueled fingers to good use and talk about said talent...
Haley Reinhart: Holy packaged artist, Batman! Complete with matching lace trim and booty heels, this little bombshell may have crammed more performance dynamics into one 30 second clip than necessary, but we all know that's what it takes to shine on a show like Idol.
Clint Jun Gamboa: Unfurled suspenders? Check. Goggle glasses? Check. Mad-crazy vocals, Dawg? Check. Villainous package complete with canned booing? Check. What do all these disparate parts add up to? An American Idol favorite, my friends.
Those Who Chose To Sing Sara Bareilles: Touche, Julie Zorrilla and Robbie Rosen, touche. I liked neither of you until tonight, when you both successfully (and rahter impressively) tackled the most underrated singer/songwriter currently out there. I'm not going to write you a love song, though.
Brett Loewenstern: You melt my little gay heart, you trendy thing you. I adore that Brandi Carlile song and I adore your perfect timing: in a media climate where Gaga is birthing a tolerant, 80s-pop loving race and Glee is making balladeers out of football bullies, you will shine.
Casey Abrams: I have to admit, I didn't get it before. I saw your early performances and thought (as Randy so eloquenty said), "Really?" But now, I GET IT. I seriously get it.
Lauren Alaina: I don't care that she's being pimped harder than one of Charlie Sheen's hookers, she's got the charm and the voice to win this whole damn thing. And I simply cannot wait to see her sing live.
Ashton Jones: Seacrest made sure to tell us that "she truly shined," and usually that means some foul treachery is afoot. Aside from some requisite sass, I don't buy this gal's particular brand of diva-- she's like comparing my laptop speakers to a full symphony. Very few can tackle this song with appropriate meatiness, and for me, for you, Ashton didn't deliver enough delicious protein for my liking.
The Georgia Girls: In theory, I should have liked these blonde bombshells, but I think I know why I didn't: despite their obvious vocal chops, I don't think either of them had the requisite soul to pull of this jam. So I'm withholding proper judgement until both tackle some pop songs more suited to their vocal stylings.
Jacee Badeaux: Every time I hear you sing, I smile. But every time I see you, I can't help but see a lamb being led to the slaughter. It's a rather jarring experience.
Caleb Hawley, Colton Dixon, John Wayne Shulz, Stefano Langone: I'm intrigued, but I must seem more. Carry on.
Jacob Lusk: This felt to me more like some kind of muppet impersonation of an overblown American Idol audition than anything worthy of a standing ovation, right down to the snotty after-performance discharge. No doubt the boy has a hefty bag of vocal tricks, but who said he had to use a new one every few seconds? This performance was in serious need of some kind of gastric bypass surgery... take off the extra pounds, and I think there's a very promising singer under there.
Thia Megia: "She's amazing," whispered JLo. But the only thing amazing about this soon-to-be-annoying teen is her sesame-street-inspired wardrobe. Her voice just isn't pleasant to listen to, point blank.
Chris Medina & Carson Higgins: It's my prerogative to say that you're both surviving based on anything and everything but your vocal talent.
Scotty Mcgreery: I cannot believe you were the butt of an always ill-fated Idol joke, yet still managed to survive another cut. Nuts of Wonder, indeed.
Ashley Sullivan: Idol chooses one crazy every season as potential water-cooler fodder, and every season, I choose to protest this Idol move by ignoring their existence. Hence, this will be the last time I ever discuss the girl who stole a spot from someone like Sara Sellers.
So there we have it. While this season is shaping up to potentially recapture the glory of Season 8, I'm not holding my breath just yet. Especially not when Idol is introducing some new post-Hollywood, pre-live round (complete with fancy sets and fog machines). Until next week, drop down and get your Idol on, girl.