American Idol Season 8 Live- February 17th

One21music will be live blogging American Idol Season 8, covering this season’s Christian performers.

All right so hear we go.  The show kicks off in a couple of minutes.  Tonight, we will cover all the performances and all the judges comments.  However, we will focus on two performers tonight who openly profess their faith: Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver.

It will be interesting to see how the new judge set-up will work.  So far, I haven’t noticed much difference.

Remember, the top male and top female vote getters will move on, along with the next top vote getter.

And so here we go, This Is American Idol!

And here are the judges, all looking resplendent.  Simon in a t-shirt as always.  Randy says, you gotta blow us away vocally.  Kara’s nervous.

Paula, “huh?”

Simon is right, no second chances.  I am not sure I like the new format.  Too many performers will be eliminated tonight.

The theme tonight “Hits from The Billboard Hot 100″.

Jackie Tohn up first!  She is very confident. She is singing Elvis’s “A Little Less Conversation”.  She looks like she is straight from the Grease movie. I don’t know, I don’t really like her voice.

The judges say: Randy likes her energy but not the vocals.  Kara likes the way she works the stage.  Paula slamming Randy! and Jackie jumps in.  Paula’s backhanded comment “you are a good performer”.  Simon, thinks it  was clownish.

Ryan asks her parents if they are proud?  Jackie has no regrets.

And now Ryan, talks to Ricky Braddy about his career in the chicken business.  Ricky is going to sing Leon Russell’s ”A Song for You”.  This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  He gives a bit of a R&B feel.  This is pretty good, with good falsetto.

Randy thinks it was unbelievable, in a good way.  Kara thinks he killed it.  Paula is proud. And Simon, thinks it is good but not great,  Simon does not think he has star quality.

I disagree with Simon.  I think he is a darkhorse.  Mom and dad are part of the “Braddy Bunch”.

All of the performances are on Itunes

Alexis Grace is singing Aretha Franklin?,  I Never Loved A Man. This is an interesting interpretation but the song is too big for her.  She’s a favorite but I don’t know.

Randy’s laughing, he loves of it.  Kara thinks she has come out of her shell and she loves it.  Paula thinks she presented a lot of soul, she thinks Alexis is fantastic.  Simon thinks she is the best so far, by a mile.  He thinks she has soul.  Simon compared her to Kelly Clarkson.

Alexis’s dad is sportin some awesome locks.

Okay a little production glitch throws Brent Keith’s introduction into chaos.  He struggles to make ends meet working in a home repair center.  He is singing “Hick Town” by Jason Aldean, a country rocker.  I don’t know much about modern country and I do not know this song.  He sings it well, but the song is not my taste.

Randy likes his “new edge to country with an old country swagger”.  Kara thinks he played it safe and he has more in him.  She wants him to take more risks.  Paula agrees.  They all see him as a country star.  Does Simon need to slam Bucky Covington?  Simon thinks he blew a massive opportunity by being forgettable.

Ryan asks, wife Nicole, if there is a point that they will give up the dream and she says they are in it for the long haul.  Brent disagrees with Simon because he is trying to show who he is as a recording artist.

And we are back, with Stevie Wright, the 17 year old from Cali.  Simon does not like her.  She is singing “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift.  Rough start and she seems off key.  I like her, but not the performance.  I think she will going to her prom this year.

Randy “wow, wow, wow, you are a better singer than that”.  Kara thinks she has an identity crisis and Paula sounds sad to give her the bad news.  When Paula says I am sorry you are in trouble.  Simon says she has zero chance of making it through.

It is now time for Anoopdog!  He is a favorite.  Anoop Desai is singing “Angel of Mine” by Monica.  A slow ballad.  His performance is smooth and strong but it is not as powerful as his Hollywood performances.

And the judges say…

Randy did not like the song choice and doesn’t think he found his place in the song and Kara agrees.  Paula thinks America has connected with Anoop.  Simon wants to know why he chose that song.  Simon thinks it was too serious for him and now Anoop argues with him.  All the judges like him, even if he does not get through tonight he will have a good chance in the “wild card” round.

Wow, the production is horrible tonight.

Time for Casey Carlson to sing “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by the Police.  She is singing it as a country ballad? and she has lost the pitch.  Her little shoulder shake and grin is not helping her.  She lost herself early and never recovered.

So Randy says “wow, yo, ooh, that was not good”.  The dog was lost.  Kara thinks everything about it was wrong.  Paula is talking about her beauty but that she never connected with the song.  Close your eyes, here comes Simon.  He thinks it was just atrocious.  He thinks she should not have been allowed to sing that song.  Simon thinks she blew it.

Up next is one of our featured music American Idol contestant, worship leader Michael Sarver.  He is a 27 year old roughneck from Jasper, Texas.

Michael is singing “I Don’t Wanna” Be by Gavin DeGraw.  This is a bit of a rocker and I am not sure it works for Michael. I see him as more of a soul singer. He has good television presence but I am not sure it was as great as I had hoped for.

Randy thinks it was okay, but he thought the song was not well performed.  He sees Michael as more of a soul singer.  Kara does not think it was his best performance.  Paula thinks he showed a different side.  Simon thinks he has progressed because he is a good guy, but the performance was not great.  Simon hopes America gives him another shot.

Ann Marie Boskovich is holding her ears so she does not hear the judges critique of Michael.  She is singing “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and she is putting her own twist on it.  She is not Aretha but she is throwing it down.  A little pitchy but a strong performance.  It was a little above her but I liked it.

We know Randy does not like it without saying it.  He does not think she made the right choice.  Kara thinks the song was too big and old fashioned.   Paula thinks she improved from Hollywood.  Simon is being honest when he tells her it is like a hotel singer and that the song slayed her.

Stephen Fowler is next, he is the guy who forgot his words and walked off stage in Hollywood.  I cannot believe he made it to this point.  He is singing “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson.  A slow start and his vocals are a little off throughout.  I don’t think that was very good.  I expected more from him.

Once again the judges hate the song choice.  Randy hated the performance.  Kara does not feel he connected with the song.  He admitted he is not comfortable singing without the piano.  Paula slams him.  She is disappointed.  Simon wishes he had forgotten the lyrics.  He thinks it was corny.

And, back from the commercial, we have the most dramatic contestant I have ever seen, Tatiana Del Toro.   The lady with the laugh is singing “Saving All My Loving” by Whitney Houston.  You have to hand it to her she has a powerful voice.  A few little pitch problems but pretty darn good.

Randy says “you had some moments’.  He doesn’t think she pulled it all together.  Kara doesn’t know who she is. Tatiana looks like she is about to break down.  Paula agrees with the other judges.  Simon calls her a drama queen. Simon thinks it was better than he expected.

This was a very different, demure Tatiana.  Ryan wants to know who is the real Tatiana.  She says it is all her.

So the show will close with one of our featured Christian music artists, Danny Gokey.  Don’t you think he looks like Robert Downey Jr?  Danny is a worship leader from Wisconsin.  He has gotten a lot of air time through the auditions and Hollywood.  He is one of the early favorites.  Let’s see if he does better than Anoopdog.

Danny is singing “Hero” by Mariah Carey, uh oh. Oh yes, he has it going.  Chills just went up my back and tears are in my eyes.  Danny, Danny, Danny great job.  For me, easily the best of the night.

The judges are howling, standing.  Randy,”The redeemer of the night, that was blazing hot”.  Kara, “that was incredible you give us hope”.  “That was incredible”.  Paula, “that was stellar” and “sold-out arenas”.  Simon, “back to the real world, that was okay but I am not buying into all the hype, yet.”

So that is it for tonight.  By the time you get to work in the morning I will have a wrap-up with some predictions.

Vote for Danny and Michael.