So I've heard that on results night (Thursday), America's votes will select the top 5 boys and the top 5 girls. Then the judges get some wildcard picks. I haven't been able to track down how many wildcards there will be for certain, nor did they announce it at the top of the show. However, I think I've figured it out.
I saw on Idol's Facebook page that the top 10 who will go on tour will be announced on 3/24. My math tells me, assuming that after this week we lose one boy and one girl each week, that we should have 16 finalists at the end of this Thursday's results show. And that would mean each judge gets to pick one boy and one girl as wildcards. 5 top scoring girls + 5 top scoring boys + 2 picks from Jennifer + 2 picks from Steven + 2 picks from Randy = 16 finalists (8 boys & 8 girls). Don't you love it when I do math?
Anyway … here we are on the first live show (only it isn't live in the Mountain time zone) of 2011. This is when we really get to know who our contestants are. This is also when we find out what sort of judges Jennifer and Steven will turn out to be. They've done well in the pre-season, but tonight, the rubber meets the road. Most of you know what sort of judge I am from my living room sofa. LOL! How come i don't get paid the big bucks?
The kids get to be on the big stage right out of the chute this year. It feels quite different from the intimacy of the smaller stage in previous years. Oh, one more thing. They are allowing on-line voting this year. Yea!!! I like that.
And here we go…
Clint Jun Gamboa (Superstition): I thought Clint did an all right job with this song. I wasn't as wowed as the judges seemed to be, but I think he carried it off fine. I'll have to wait until the end of the evening before I'll know if this ends up being a performance to remember. I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5.
Jovany Barreto (I'll Be): Hmm. I was not impressed with this performance. I thought it was very shaky. Jennifer loved it and fought for it with Randy who called it karaoke. Just a 3 in my book.
Jordan Dorsey (OMG): Ooh, I thought this was just plain awful. I would think this kid is going home this week. It's only a 2 from me.
Tim Halperin (Streetcorner Symphony): Although Tim looks comfortable on the big stage, I found this a mediocre performance. That's too bad because I think he's done so much better. Judges all seemed to agree with me, that this song wasn't a best choice. He's just getting a 3.0 out of 5.
Brett Loewenstern (Light My Fire): This one got off to a slow start and his red-curls-shaking was a bit too girlish IMHO. But I do think he brought it to a good close. I suspect he'll stick around for a while. Maybe it's a 3.75 out of 5.
James Durbin (You Got Another Thing Comin'): I am not a wild-rock fan, but this was an incredible performance (especially when you know this kid has Asperger Syndrome). Rocking crazy. No fear on the stage, and he sang and didn't scream. Way to go, James. Could be the performance of the night. I don't think it's quite perfect, so I'll give him a 4.7 out of 5.
Robbie Rosen (Angel): Hmm. This is another one of those so-so. It may have sounded better in the theater than it did over my TV since Steven and Jennifer loved it. But it seemed very pitchy to me. I'll give it just a 3.2 out of 5.
Scotty McCreery (Letters From Home): I. Loved. It. This kid is in his groove!!! There wasn't anything about his performance that I didn't love. He's getting a 4.8 from me.
Stefano Langone (Just the Way You Are): Although it didn't wow me, I thought this was a pretty good performance. I'll give him a 4.0.
Paul McDonald (Maggie Mae): Quirky. That's the word to describe this guy. And the song was a perfect choice for his voice. Steven says his voice has character, then Jennifer says his use of the stage has character too. His use of the stage was a bit weird and yet I liked it. The judges adore him, and Randy tells the audience we need to embrace him. (Ahha. A favorite?) I'm a fan, too. I'm giving him a 4.6 out of 5.
Jacob Lusk (A House Is Not a Home): The first few bars of this performance, I thought for sure it was going to be sad. But then it went straight to awesome. While I didn't like to watch him (it was sort of swishy and smarmy), listening to him was a pure pleasure. Not my favorite of the night but in the top five. I'll give him a 4.6 out of 5.
Casey Abrams (I Put a Spell on You): Go on. Growl at me, Casey!! I really, really, really think this guy is one cool dude. He had everybody on their feet cheering. He's getting a 4.8 from me.
A great night, all in all. Here are my top five for now:
Scotty | Casey
James | Paul