American Idol brought back the wild card format this year, and that meant Thursday's show wrapped up the semifinal round with the eight contestants you see above singing one more time on the Idol stage. So, which three claimed the final spots in the top 12 and will sing live again on Tuesday? To find out, just
Well, surpriiiiiiise, America! This year, we have ourselves a top 13. And here they are:
Can you pick out the new faces? The additions after Thursday's sudden-death round were Jasmine Murray, Megan Corkrey, Matt Giraud, and Anoop Desai, who made it in after a last-minute reveal of the "13th finalist" twist that my DVR stupidly failed to record, d'oh.
After watching Thursday's performances, I think those are definitely the right four. Jesse Langseth was close to a spot after a performance full of swagger, but musically she's pretty similar to Alexis Grace, and Ricky probably had a decent shot but wasn't as vocally competent as Matt or as full of personality as Anoop.
As for the four who did make it, Matt went back to his soulful self, a Timberfake who can riff with the best of 'em. Anoop totally tore up the stage on "My Prerogative," though I think he's reverting to his a capella roots a little by letting the backup singers carry big parts of the song; he's got to fix that to keep advancing. Megan continued to dance awkwardly but sing intriguingly on "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (she's interesting enough that I bet even if she gets kicked off next week, she'll get a record deal). And Jasmine ignored the judges' advice to go the pop/Rihanna route, instead went the pop/Christina route, and managed to pull off "Reflection" with a surprisingly big voice for a 16-year-old.
A couple of other quick thoughts:
- The judges never intended for Tatiana to get through, did they? Honestly, her singing was pretty darn good, but the comments immediately showed that they find her too personally repellent to keep her around. I kind of feel bad for the girl; did anyone else sense a sort of apology when Paula said they'd "had fun with" her?
- Most out-of-place wild card finalist? Von Smith. He just seemed outclassed, and I'd so much rather have seen Ju'Not again.
- Wow, Allison Iraheta was thrilled to see Jasmine make the top 12! That's definitely the most personality we've seen from her so far.
- We know the Idol finale is on May 19, and there aren't enough weeks to get down to two finalists if the eliminations proceed as normal. So I expect one of two things will happen: Either three singers will perform in the finale, or one week will have a double elimination. I suspect it's the latter, but you?
How do you feel about the wild card? Did the right people get through? Were you surprised by the extra finalist twist? And why can't Fox do a live show that actually ends on time, ever? I really should have learned my lesson by now.
Photos courtesy of Fox