Idol chatter

I love Michael Jackson’s music. And I’m not ashamed to say that … Say what you want about his antics off the stage, but when it comes to his music and performance -- the man is a legend.

So I was quite excited when I learned this week’s “American Idol” contestants would be performing from the Michael Jackson songbook …

But I had to work a late shift last night and let the DVR do the work … Leaving us to cram three hours of “American Idol” into tonight …

(Crazy story about last night … I updated my Facebook status to say I was “working on the night shift.” As in the 1985 song by The Commodores …Then I was driving home late last night and guess what song comes on my radio? The 1985 song by The Commodores, titled "Nightshift." ... I know. You don’t care. It’s a cheesy song anyway … )

On with Tuesday night’s show

I loved Lil Rounds opening the show with “The Way You Make Me Feel.” You knew she was bringing it the moment the music started and she stepped off that staircase. It also helped that she chose what is arguably my favorite MJ song … On the downside, I thought she was dragging down the band at times. And I agreed with Simon: I didn’t like what she was wearing.

Scott McIntyre. Well Kara, I thought it was a pretty dynamic performance. McIntyre picked “Keep the Faith,” a deep cut from the “Dangerous” album, which also happens to be one of faves on that entire album. And Scotty clearly is at his best when he’s at his piano … What astonished me more than the judges’ criticisms was Simon’s remark: “It’s fine being artistic, but not on this show.” … What the heck kind of performer are you looking for Simon!?!

Danny Gokey on “P.Y.T.” … Now that choice, I thought, was a little safe. Not one of my favorite MJ songs either. Nonetheless, he rocked it and Paula’s probably right: He’s got a ticket to the finals.

Then came Michael Sarver … As Tuesday’s show was getting underway, I told Kates I didn’t want to hear anyone sing “You Are Not Alone,” arguably the cheesiest of MJ songs. Then, Sarver pulls it out. Ugh. … Good thing he’s my least favorite in the competition.

(What was up with the huge gold dog chain Paula was wearing on her wrist!?)

I had forgotten about “I’ll Be There” and I thought it ended up being an excellent pick for Jasmine Murray … Taking off on what Paula said, there were some brilliant moments, and there were some moments that she missed the bar.

Kris Allen brought out “Remember the Time” -- with his guitar! Contrary to what Simon’s critique and agreeing with Randy’s take, I loved the way the guitar gave the song sort of a rock vibe. … I also couldn’t help thinking during Kris’s performance that it would be a great song for Blake Lewis to have performed during his Season 6 run.

Allison Iraheta performed a rockin’ “Give Into Me” … Yeah, she’s got it. I think she’ll be around for awhile.

“Anoop shoop, do doop” sang “Beat It.” … Eh. Say all you want about it being a classic, but I’ve never really liked “Beat It.” Either way, I didn’t think Anoop did it any justice; his version sorely lacked the umpf and aggression of the original.

Jorge Nunez sang “Never Can Say Good-bye.” … Another eh. Jorge has as good a chance of impressing me as Michael Sarver. Not good, Jorge. Really boring, actually. … Jorge: “I’m not going to sing ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackon.” Simon: “Well, you sort of did.” Ha-larious!

Ah, but Megan’s back! … Just before her Tuesday night performance I said I was sort of dreading it. After we fell in love with her audition, her performances the last couple weeks have barely kept her in the game …. Her performance of “Rockin’ Robin” was a welcomed return, I thought. She’s carefree. She’s original. She’s fun to watch. And I thought she sounded great.

Adam Lambert picked “Black or White,” another one of my true MJ faves … I’ve never really liked Adam, but I thought he nailed it. Great performance.

Next comes Matt Giraud … So of all the songs in the MJ catalog, I said at the top of Tuesday night’s show the one I wanted to hear most was “Human Nature” off the “Thriller” album. Matt G. did it on the piano and aced it. Music to my ears.

Finally, we got to see Alexis Grace perform after three weeks in the safety seat. And after Megan’s downfalls, it’s safe to say she’s arguably the one I’m keeping my eyes on … Her performance of “Dirty Diana” was fun to watch.

* * *

And that brought us to 9:43 p.m. The point we started watching tonight’s results show …

In my mind, clearly Anoop, Jorge and Michael were the performers who needed to be thinking about packing up and leaving that posh mansion they moved into.

But Ryan also informed us of the new rule -- inspired by the early eliminations of Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Michael Johns during previous seasons -- that allows the judges to keep a contestant they think is voted out earlier than he/she deserves … I like the new rule.

Loved the group performance -- “Want You Back,” an all-time favorite -- and the Ford commercial. As usual.

Then, Ryan started the roll call … And Jasmine and Megan were called to center stage for possible elimination. It turned out Jasmine got the boot, and I wasn’t at all upset (If it had been Megan, I think I would have screamed.). Under the new rule, the judges had to be thinking, Can we see this girl as one of our finalists? And the answer was a pretty easy no. There was no need to give her another chance, especially if the judges have just one “save” for the duration of the season.

So bring on Kelly Clarkson! … Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Kelly Clarkson?! And how “My Life Would Suck Without You” is my favorite song on the radio right now?! And how lately I watch VH1’s countdown just to see that video?!

After the break, we got Anoop and Jorge standing at center stage, and I couldn’t have cared less about either one. But I had a feeling Anoop would hang on; people seem to like him, I’m just not one of those people. … Jorge, meanwhile, didn’t stand a chance.

As he reprised his “Never Can Say Good-bye,” and sang the lyrics “no no no, no no no,” Kates burst out with an impression of the famous “no-no, no-no, no-no!” home run call. Pretty funny.

So would Jorge be saved? Simon answered a simple: No.

Until next week …

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