American Idol: Wild Card Round: Stacked Deck

The eight Wild Card singers stand on stage, all eager and full of hope. As if the judges haven’t already decided which of them will move forward to the Top 12. As if anything they do tonight will make a hoot of difference. Ricky Braddy can pull a leprechaun out of his ass and sing “Ebony and Ivory” while balancing Ryan Seacrest on the tip of his nose. It won’t matter. The case is closed. But let’s indulge everyone, shall we? This is American Idol. You got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.

I’d tell you who’s going to sing tonight, but since you’ll find out, anyway, by reading this…well, you can find out, anyway, by reading this.

Jesse Langseth and her big Lauren Ambrose vampire face sings “Tell Me Something Good.” She’s all sassy and ick-sexy. I guess the song calls for such behavior, but I’m really not feeling it. And why do some people think that singing seductively, for lack of a better term, means not pronouncing your words? “Bu wha I gah wiw knock aww yo pri-assiii…” These are the sounds Jesse sings. I had to Google the actual lyrics. They are quite different. The judges have mixed feelings, but appreciate her “swagger.”

Matt Giraud thought it might be fun to come dressed as a tool. He sings a Jackson Five song wearing a black fedora, tilted at a jaunty angle, and an annoying fringed scarf wrapped thick around his neck. A soulful performance. Not my thing, but viable. The judges love, love this “blues-y” version of him, because they’ve decided for Matt that he should sing the blues and not Coldplay. Ever.

Megan Corkrey wants to “rock the house” singing KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse & the Cherry Tree.” If your house is rocked by that song, its foundation must be very unstable. Regardless, Megan is cute as a button, doing her little shimmy-dance and singing like someone from jazzy old tymes. The judges like her quirky thing, in a general, beyond-this-performance sort of way.

Von Smith is hoping against hope that by being himself, he can impress the judges. That would work, except the judges told Von weeks ago to stop being himself. Then, when he wasn’t himself, they applauded him — until they decided that the original version of himself was the himself that they wanted. Or something like that. He sings “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word” by Elton John (who, in Randy’s universe, is best known for starring in Grease, opposite John Travolta). Von gets off to rocky start. Weak and shaky vocals. By the time he can belt a little, the hand holding his mic is visibly quivering. His voice improves, though. I feel bad for this kid. The whole time, he’s got to be second-guessing himself. “What do these judges want from me?!” Who knows? But they definitely didn’t want what Von just did. Simon calls him boring and says Von was more interesting when they first saw him. A-hole.

Jasmine Murray, who was already told to “sing Rihanna,” comes out and sings Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection.” Of course. She’s okay. A little less Kermit the Frog-y than usual, and there are some nice notes. Jasmine’s voice is powerful, but un-pretty. It’s a little sharp at times. Piercing. I don’t think she has the long-term chops for this competition. The judges withdraw the “Rihanna” instruction because they’ve just now decided that Jasmine has “a big voice.”

Ricky Braddy, also known as “Who?!” received very little screen time this season, so if you don’t remember him, don’t worry about it. Apparently, he’s amazing. That’s what the judges say, when they’re not trying to knock him down so that America will favor Matt Giraud, who is of equal value. Anyway, Ricky sings “Superstition” and he’s okay and fun and pleasant — but he doesn’t stand a chance. Tonight, the judges are pleased with his personality and his “chops.” But I promise you, they’re holding a list and this boy’s name ain’t on it.

Tatiana del Toro babbles at the camera in a fake Spanish accent. Jorge’s real accent worked the other night, so why not give it a shot, ya know? She sings “Saving All My Love For You.” Again. This is the same song that got her eliminated a couple of weeks ago. Tatiana is not just crazy, she also drinks Tropicana’s pulp-free “Stupid Juice.” She sounds good, of course. Girl can sing. But enough of her, please. The judges are like, “Bitch, what the hell is wrong with you, singing that Whitney song again? Are you gonna sing it on Country Night? Psssh!” Then Tatiana babbles about her accent and sounds like Carol Kane on Taxi and laughs and, Christ Almighty, I am over her.

Anoop Desai is great and everyone loves him. But he got sent home because America loves single mothers, oil riggers, and men with dead wives just a bit more. Now he’s back and being awesome, singing “My Prerogative.” That song…what is it’s appeal? Even Britney couldn’t help it. But Anoop is Anoop. He gets everybody up and dancing, and he’s not even a little bit insane or annoying (or fake like certain people named Adam Lambert). The judges admit that he doesn’t have the best voice in the Peanut Gallery, but he’s still nifty.

And now, with less than five minutes of airtime left (but ten minutes of show — thanks for the heads-up, Fox!), we get some results…

Jasmine Murray is number 10 in the Top 12.

Ricky Braddy didn’t make it. The judges invited him here just to fuck with him.

Megan Corkrey and Tatiana step up. Megan is number 11 in the Top 12. Tatiana is cut. Instantly, it becomes Tatiana’s damn moment. Megan comforts Tatiana rather than celebrate her own good fortune. Then Tatiana pouts her ass over to the judges dais, where she stands with slumped shoulders, behaving like a complete twat as Paula offers her more than a quantum of solace. At this point, somebody, I don’t care who, needs to pour a cup of Coke-sponsored soda on her stupid, irritating, self-involved head. Shameful.

Jesse Langseth is out. The judges let her know that she “nearly” made it. Because that’ll help.

Von Smith is out. And he doesn’t pout or cry, despite the judges treating him like a rubber ball on a wooden paddle.

Matt Giraud and Anoop are called forth…

Matt, his ass-hat, and his dumb scarf are through. The Top 12 is complete.

Anoop is out. Seriously?! Those mother *uckers!

But then Simon explains that this year, there is no Top 12. This year, it’s a Top 13. Anoop is in!! Which is great, because I didn’t want to have to fly to L.A. and kick this show in the balls.

Next week, performances of some description. Voting. Miss Kelly Clarkson, herself. And somebody goes home.

The countdown to So You Think You Can Dance has begun!


Back to the season guide.


    1. I’ve never been a big fan of Von Hat, but I actually felt bad for him tonight. The judges ordered him to restrain himself, and he did. And now they say he’s “boring” and “gloomy” and needs to let himself out. Damn, that was a bit cold to watch him have to take that from them. The judges are asshats.

      Meanwhile, Megan does a lackluster “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and the judges find a way to talk all positives about HER and not that specific performance– which, c’mon, was so far from good. They OBVIOUSLY were going to pick her even if she got up there and sang the theme to The Hogan Family (for complete random sake). For the record, she SHOULD have sung some Melissa Etheridge.. I recommend “Similar Features” but “Come To My Window” would have also worked.

      I also even felt a little (very, very little) bad for Tatiana, because I feel they never seriously were going to put her in; She was just the carnival act. And then the faux concern. Please, Paula and The Show, you know what you do. Tatiana is annoying crazypants, but to keep teasing her with hope and rejecting her (given her, shall we call it, fragile state) is a little much.

      I also wonder if, in her crazymind, she was trying to pull a Jorge Nunez and remind everyone she’s Spanish, thinking that might be a hook. And they were like, “No bitch, we have a crying Puerto Rican.”

      The moment at the dais was ridiculous (Kara’s favorite word), because, why does Tatiana “deserve” all the tea and sympathy over every other person who has been ousted on this show? And some have been treated far worse.

      Likewise, Ricky Braddy is like their little hooker bootie call. They keep inviting him, and barely pay any attention to him. They just want him to sing, but then it’s all “money’s on the dresser.” Seriously, he gets NO couch time, NO post-sing time. They don’t allow him to show any personality. So he tries to show personality on stage, and he’s partly chastised. It’s bizarre. Why didn’t they invite Ju’Noh back then?

      Anoop (I love Anoop) also seemed to get the “Megan pass” — it didn’t matter much what he sang or how he did tonight, they were going to put him in to “cast” the show, as Simon put it. I thought his performance was better than Simon did, but whatever…. does it matter?

    2. FrankiePitt says:

      I agree on all points (except maybe for Megan’s performance being lackluster). There’s no way the judges decided — during just two post-performance commercial breaks — who would make the Top 12. (Or rather, the Top 13, which obviously wasn’t a last-minute call.) They’re too contentious a bunch to make that decision on the fly. No, they had to know before they even sat down who would make it. Maybe they left some wiggle room for one person. I can see them deciding on one contestant in so short a time. Perhaps.

      So yeah, they knew Ricky wouldn’t make it through. They probably decided against Von before he opened his mouth. And they knew Jasmine would make it. Anoop’s placement at 13 was scripted as a plot twist. The whole thing is a little skeevy, if you think about it.

      As for Tatiana, I don’t feel a bit sorry for her. I doubt she’s as fragile as she plays. Goodbye to her. (Although wait for Finale Night, when we get a Tatiana/Norman Gentle duet.)

    3. Frank, on a normal night, Simon would have totally criticized Megan’s awkward shimmy-dance. They would have also slammed her for not picking the right song. “Black Horse” hardly showcases vocal range, and she didn’t do anything to switch up the song. Even in her judging, the best the judges could muster was that Megan was “fun” and “different.”

      And yeah, they TOTALLY made their choices beforehand. I even heard on the radio that afternoon that AMERICAN IDOL was supposed to have a rumored “twist” on “tonight’s show.” That twist was the top “13” bit… so it was obviously “scripted” in advance.

      So, they made all their choices beforehand, and then tried to retrofit their critiques to match their predetermined choices on Wild Card Night. It was blatantly obvious.

      They probably left one “wiggle room” slot, among 3 singers they were “on the fence” about.

    4. No way they found consensus during a commercial break. My guess is they made their decision after watching rehearsals.


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