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American Idol 3, February 22: The Not-So-Great Eightby Sting7 -- 02/19/2004
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Ryan welcomes us to the second results show of American Idol 3! He says last night’s performance show was “one of the most dramatic nights in our history.” That’s one way of putting it. He goes on to say it was a close vote between the top two vote-getters. 27.8% to 27%! No word on how many votes, and there’s probably good reason for that.
We greet the judges, Simon is crustier than usual.
Ryan introduces the battle-worn contestants. The Friends and Family of the contestants are in the red room.
Time for the obligatory recap of last night, which you can read about in detail right here.
Ryan chats briefly with some the contestants. Matt Rogers admits he’s nervous, facing the judges, and winks at Simon, with an, “I love you, Simon.” That was something of an apology for the head-bleeding comment last night. Briana admits she lost her edge and if she it to do over, she would have stuck to her own style. And, Camile still thinks Simon is sexy, to Ryan’s horror.
The judges make their predictions on which two of the beleaguered contestants is limping into the Top 12:
Randy predicts Camile and Lisa.
Paula predicts Camile and Lisa.
Simon predicts Camile and “I don’t care.” And he sticks to it, no matter how much Ryan chides him.
Now it’s time to for the Top 3 vote getters to sit on those dang ergonomically-challenged stools!
Noel Roman - not in the Top 3.
Jesus Roman - not in the Top 3.
Ryan asks which of them do they think got the most votes. Both think Noel, but Ryan says Jesus got 70,000 more votes. Told ya he was popular! If he could have delivered even a mediocre performance, he probably would have made Top 3.
Lisa Leuschner - Top 3! (Lisa looks absolutely grim as she moves to that hideous stool. All business.)
Kara Master - not in the Top 3.
Camile Velasco - Top 3!
Briana Ramirez-Rial - not in the Top 3 (she looks like she knew it).
Which leaves Marissa and Matt! The person in the Top 3 is... Matt Rogers! (I called it!) Moving right along, Ryan announces (“puts someone out of their misery” – that sounds like a mercy killing!) that the highest vote-getter, with 27.8% is... Camile Velsaco! Camile is ball of nerves and quietly cries. Cruelly, she has to sing “One Last Cry” and I wish she would forget this song.
That leaves Matt and Lisa. I like Matt a lot, but I don’t like his chances. Personally, I think Lisa was the better of them. Matt is very popular, though, I gotta tell ya. Neither advancing would surprise me, honestly.
Before we announce the second advancee, let’s look at Group 3, performing next week! The pink-haired Amy Adams, Elizabeth LeTendre, Pick To Click Jon-Peter Lewis, Latoya London, Charly Lowry, Jonah Moananu, Leah Labelle (formerly Vladowski), and Clay Nation’s favorite, Eric Yoder. (Wanna have some fun? Go up to a Clay fan and say, “Eric Yoder sounds just like Clay, but Eric has better high notes!” Watch the spittle and froth ensue! Hey, don’t get mad at me, Clay Nation, you need to lighten up!)
The next person advancing is... Matt Rogers! His face explodes and looks like he’s about to give Ryan another power-hug, but graciously gives the visibly disappointed Lisa Leuschner a soft squeeze. A brief camera sweep to couch shows Marisa looking completely bewildered. I don’t think she’s alone in that. Back to Ryan! They bounce and then they do that flying chest press thing. Ryan is gonna be bruised, Matt is BIG. Ryan asks how he feels (you’d think Ryan would have better questions now that he has a talk show and all). Matt says he is on the brink of crying, but he’s trying to hold it together. See, this is why America loves him.
Before I could even finish writing this recap, I had folks emailing me saying – well, they’re saying, “you da man!” This is true. But, they are also asking how did Matt get through and Lisa didn’t when she performed so much better? It’s like this. American Idol is not just about singing. It is in some ways a popularity contest. Matt is a funny, likeable kinda guy. (Sure, he threatened the pop Simon’s head like a zit, but many people seem to want to do that.) I firmly believe that Matt’s charisma, and the fact that the judges ripped him to shards when he didn’t deserve it, got him some votes – enough to edge past Lisa. It’s not necessarily fair, but it is what it is. I will also add that Ryan did not boast the vote numbers like he usually does, and I suspect they were quite low. No one really ignited last night, and that lethargy is enough for a popular contestant to squeak in. Matt may have a tough road to hoe. He wasn’t that bad, but he wasn’t great either. He’ll have to make smart choices when the Top 12 starts.
And what about Lisa? She’s said that this is her last chance, and I’m thinking it’s because of the age restrictions on Idol contestants. She was definitely the class of last night, and by a wide margin, yet she didn’t advance. Could she be considered for a Wildcard spot or will the judges dismiss Group 2 en masse from consideration? Sadly, I’d bet on the latter. We could consider this the first of many heartbreaks we’ll suffer this year.
Matt, in his exuberance, has to sing “What You Won’t Do (Do For Love)” again and he is actually a little better than he was last night! See what happens when the pressure is off?
Okay. We survived that week. Next week, we have the popular Jon-Peter Lewis and controversial (in some circles, due to Simon‘s comparison to Clay Aiken) Eric Yoder with what I have to call the supporting cast of the audition shows. The stage is prime for someone to come up out of nowhere and level us! Let’s hope that happens. We deserve it!
Sting7 has been a respected published writer for 16 years, as a music editor, entertainment critic, columnist, and interviewer. He also has a curious love for pro-wrestling! You can email Stinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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