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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 9, Feb. 16 – Giving Us a Few Results Surprisingly Early


Lloyd Thomas is focused thinking about his wife and kids. He’s another one doing Man In the Mirror. It definitely sounds crass, but it’s like everyone wants to do the dead guy proud. Simon says afterwards that he just likes him. Brian Walker is confident with his performance and glad he got what he thinks was an encouraging sign from Simon. Tisha Holland, Jermaine Purifoy, and Hope Johnson are all fighting nerves in room two. Hope doesn’t feel she fits in anywhere else, other than onstage, and wants to have it easy for once in her life. She sings Home, and there’s something that’s so likable about her, yet the song doesn’t sound the best, and certainly not as good as most we’ve heard tonight.

In Room 3 are Didi Benami, Lee Dewyze, Jessica Furney, Angela Martin, Lacey Brown, and Shelby Dressel. Shelby forgot her lyrics in her original audition and cursed, making everyone laugh. In Hollywood she lost her nerves and gained a fan in Ellen. However, while rehearsing with the band today, she once again couldn’t remember her lyrics to More Than a Feeling. Michael Orland encourages her to just take a few breaths. Once she got onstage in front of the judges, she did amazingly well. Aaron Kelly did forget his lyrics to In the Arms of an Angel. It didn’t go unnoticed. He was the young guy who had been adopted by his aunt and uncle before social services stepped in. When he gets the lyrics, he sounds amazing.

Ashley Rodriguez sang Battlefield, and basically sounds like a star already. Lee Dewyze, from about twenty-five minutes east of me, which I’ll have to remember the next time I need paint, sang You Found Me, which could use a little more polishing, but sounds pretty good. Joe Munoz is yet another to sing Man In the Mirror and sings it well. Haeley Vaughn sang I’m Yours and sounds like she’s shouting it at some point.

Janell Wheeler hasn’t had it easy. She’s been fighting her voice all week and sits coughing throughout the day. She admits she’s nervous and says she can’t go home. She sang Love Story, and for having a hurt voice and throat, it isn’t bad. She does need some phrasing help, though. Kara says afterwards it was the wrong song, and Janell is worried she blew it, as she couldn’t take the pressure.

We hear a little bit of Room One which includes Tori Kelly who sang Hot ‘n Cold and Lilly Scott who sang Rich Girl. Andrew Garcia, a favorite already of many, sang Chasing Pavements, and listening to him throughout the competition, I think he could easily win this thing. Room two is full of fighters, with the head honcho of them all Mary. Hope has had to fight through life. Room three has had its ups and down with many of them having the down as their last moment onstage.

The judges address Room one first. Ellen tells them it’s her first time doing this, and there are so many good singers, and they keep saying you made it this far, you know you’re good, but now it’s a matter of shining onstage. But it’s not a problem “for y’all” as they’re going through. This includes Lilly Scott, Siobhan Magnus, Tyler Grady, Thaddeus Johnson, Michael Lynche, and Katie Stevens. The other two rooms hear them celebrating and are now extra-worried. Mary wonders if she passed the test.

Room two is the next to hear their fate. Simon addresses them and tells them whatever happens, he wants them to know that most of them were better than they they thought they would be. However, they have to deliver the news, and it’s bad news. They didn’t make it. Stunned faces are all around. He tells them to give themselves a round of applause. Hugs and handshakes go around. Mary Powers, Charity Vance, Brian Walker, Christian Spear, Lloyd Thomas, and Hope Johnson have hit the end of the road.

The judges now enter room three, and Randy Jackson tells them they say it every year, but truly this year, he thinks they’ve had the best talent they’ve ever had. They put in a a lot of work and there’s just never enough room to include everyone’s talent.” Kara chimes in and talks about them starting strong, and it’s hard to tell them, but they’re going to stay. Janell Wheeler, Ashley Rodriguez, John Park, Angela Martin, Jessica Furney, and Shelby Dressel are now moving forward. Rooms one and three now celebrate together, all forty-six of them.

The judges now have to deliberate again and cut out the twelve top women and the twelve top guys. Interestingly enough, they are now announcing the semi-finalists in the Kodak Theater, instead of a hotel or similar building. This is what So You Think You Can Dance did last time too. We’re not supposed to find out until tomorrow, though, so I’m wondering what we’re going to do now for the next 53 minutes until the end of the show.

Michael Lynche, 26, a personal trainer, Astoria, NY is the first up to hear his fate. The new father steps up on the stage and tells the judges he is freaking out. He thinks he’s done well the past few days and that it’s the waiting game that freaks him out. Simon tells him they think he’s a nice guy and that he’s improved. Their problem is whether he will believe he can do this, yet they still think he’s better than when he startedHollywood. He’s through. Michael picks up the female judges to thank them and gives big hugs to the guys. Ellen warns him not to hurt her back. Michael dedicates it to his wife and new baby girl, saying Daddy’s coming home.

Didi Benami, 22, a waitress, Hollywood, CA is in next to hear her fate. She sang Kara’s song on the first day in Hollywood. Didi had lost her best friend and dedicated the audition to her. It was also because of her that she sang In the Arms of an Angel. She reminds me of Brooke White. She knows Rebecca would have wanted to do this so much, but didn’t get the chance to, so she’s dong it for her. Simon asks her how well she thinks she did. Didi thinks she did well. She breaks down, and Simon tells her she’s not alone, and that she had bad and good moments, but when she was good, she was fantastic. Unfortunately there are only 12 places, and she’s one of the 12. She tells Kara her song was awesome and celebrates and cries in her seat, then gets up to hug Kara.


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