Entertainment behind the scenes
“American Idol” unveiled a bold format change on Wednesday night, allowing the show’s four judges to “save” a worthy contestant from elimination once this season, potentially altering the singing competition’s final outcome.
The change marks a major shift for “Idol,” which has always allowed viewers to vote by phone and text message for who will stay. The idea, host Ryan Seacrest said, is to prevent shocker rejections such as when Chris Daughtry, now one of “Idol’s” most successful alumni, came in fourth place during the show’s fifth season.
But despite a rule change that promises to change the course of one lucky contestant’s “Idol” run, the judges declined to wield their new power on Wednesday night, allowing Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez to be the first victims among the show’s Top 13 singers.
“Sorry, baby, you’re headed home,” Judge Randy Jackson said to a tearful Murray after the judges deliberated on whether to save her.
And then there were……13??
The judges expanded the “American Idol” top 12 to include Anoop Desai and make it a top 13 for the first time in a suspense-generating stunt.
Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nunez moved on to the next round on “American Idol” Wednesday, but none of those names came as a surprise and the focus moved to the eight contestants who will compete in next week’s “wildcard” round.
Did the judges pick the right contestants?
The always-dramatic Tatiana Del Toro immediately burst into tears again at getting a second shot while Anoop Desai, who Cowell called “original, likeable, talented”, looked stunned when his name was called.
“American Idol” fans get an extra night of action this week in the form of a bonus episode on Thursday night, so the judges can bring back three contestants previously eliminated by the fans. The wildcard round will likely offer a second shot at fame for a couple contestants from Tuesday night’s show, because the judges praised half of the 12 singers, and all but three of them will be eliminated by fan voting on Wednesday night.
So who will sail through to the show’s “Top 12″ on Wednesday and who will rise from “Idol” banishment on Thursday?
“American Idol” contestant Nick Mitchell was eliminated from the show on Thursday night, as his brand of campy comedy left voters unamused. His stage name of Norman Gentle and his intentionally overwrought performance, unlike anything the show has ever seen (perhaps not in a good way), lost out to the kinds of straight-ahead performances contestants give every week.
Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert advanced to the next round of the competition, cutting out the other nine contestants. Eventually, some of those contestants could be back when the judges pick three wildcard contestants on Thursday, giving them another shot on the show.
It was a pretty humdrum night on “American Idol” until Norman Gentle took the stage.
Until this season, every contestant to make it this far on the ultimate talent show has been unfailingly serious about their quest for fame (though, admittedly, the seriousness of Sanjaya Malakar’s 2007 turn is open to debate). They may tug at viewers’ heartstrings by saying they only want fame for the sake of family members who depend on them, and they may smile and joke, but none of them make a joke of the often humiliating process of laying it all out there on the “Idol” stage.
“American Idol” judges Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi appear to have a difference of opinion. Abdul, an original member of the reality talent show’s judging panel, was quoted by OK! magazine as saying that having four judges instead of three is not the best fit for the show.
“It takes up so much time for each of us to give our opinion that it slows down the pace of the show,” Abdul told the magazine.
A lot of contestants went home unhappy in the show’s first voter-driven elimination round. In past seasons, 24 contestants competed for votes. But the cast was expanded to 36 this season with nine contestants eliminated in each of three opening rounds of 12 contestants. Then, another three contestants will be brought back to the show as wildcards. Aside from some complicated math, the show’s new format also means numerous contestants are eliminated early on, just as viewers are starting to get to know them.
The judges on ”American Idol” broke down many of the first 12 competitors to take the stage Tuesday night, saving their praise for a widower and a 21-year-old mom. Who will survive and who will go down on Wednesday night’s results show?
If “Idol” voters take their cue from the judges, the three competitors who will make it through will be Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey and either Anoop Desai, Rick Braddy, Michael Sarver or Tatiana Del Toro. The judges had very little good to say about the rest of the contestants.
Joanna Pacitti’s controversial bid for another shot at making it big in the music business through ” American Idol” has come to an abrupt end after being booted from the Top 36.
But the precise reasons for her swift exit sent the rumor mill into overdrive. While Fox said “it had been determined that Joanna Pacittii is ineligible to continue in the competition”, “Idol” producers gave no details over what prompted their decision after judges Simon, Kara, Paula and Randy decided to give her another chance.