Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

It's the week of final winnowing

March 04, 2009|Richard Rushfield

We have now seen our next American Idol. After all the buildup, one by one, all 36 warriors of competitive singing have been paraded before us. Somewhere in that lineup stood our next pop overlord; the one who 12 weeks from now will stand anointed in the footsteps of Clarkson and Underwood, Sparks and Cook.

It has been a shaky preseason, with semifinal rounds heavy on the train wrecks. The work of sorting the wheat from the chaff in this new format, having to pull out three singers from each pool of 12, has at moments over the last couple of weeks felt like work. But Tuesday, in the final night of the semifinal rounds, "American Idol" delivered a pool worthy of its legacy.

The preseason has been short on "Idol's" trademark star-is-born moments, but finally, in the very last performance of the semifinals, we got one and a star was born in tornado survivor Lil Rounds, who delivered a drop-dead Mary J. Blige tune that will live forever in "Idol" lore.

Here then is a roundup of the night:

--

Top 12-bound

Lil Rounds: Belongs to the world now.

Scott MacIntyre: "Idol's" first legally blind contender delivered a solid if not earth-shattering "Mandolin Rain." His Forrest Gump-like, naive, unguarded earnestness won the room though.

Jorge Nunez: "Idol's" first great Latin heartthrob's waterworks should melt enough hearts to see him through.

Ju'Not Joyner: He was little seen in the preseason, which may mean he had too far to come tonight to win over the voters, but his quietly effective performance was one of the night's best.

--

Wild-card maybes

Von Smith: Grated on America's nerves in the preseason, but delivered well Tuesday with few traces of prior shoutiness. Tween appeal means he can't be counted out.

Arianna Afsar: A favorite of the preseason delivered a misguided somber ABBA rendition. Her vocal skills and winning persona may earn her a second chance Thursday.

Felicia Barton: Recalled after the Joanna Pacitti dismissal, Barton proved that she deserved a place in the Top 36, but is up against too much talent to break through this week.

Kendall Beard: Bubbly heiress to the Kellie Pickler country gal throne. Likability could carry her through despite a so-so performance.

--

richard.rushfield@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|