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

American Idol, Feb. 28 – “So Much Variety Already With So Many Flavors”

American Idol, Feb. 28 – “So Much Variety Already With So Many Flavors”The thirteen men semi-finalists will perform live for the first time tonight on American Idol, and I have to say off the top of my head, I can’t think of any of them that I think doesn’t belong there. However, I also can’t remember them all, and sometimes what’s even worse than doing badly on American Idol is not being memorable enough.

Ryan Seacrest welcomes us to the new set and welcomes the house band as well. He explains how this will work this season. After the guys perform tonight, and the girls tomorrow, on Thursday, they’ll announce the five guys and five girls who get the most votes. Each judge will then get one wild card pick which will round out the top 13. Wow. That means half of the semi-finalists won’t go any further than this week. I hope they made good song choices. And let’s not forget, we don’t know which guy the judges decided to bring back, but I think the heavy favorite has to be Jermaine Jones, as they seemed to feel so badly saying goodbye to him.

The contestants each took a camera to their home to show us more of who they are, and we start these visits out in Wisconsin, Reed Grimm’s home. He shows his backyard, and says his town of Ellsworth is famous for their cheese curds. I’m from Chicago, and have to say when I go to Wisconsin, I love me some cheese curds. He also shows off his two nieces he helps care for. This will change his life, because he won’t be spending every day changing dirty diapers. He hopes to work America into a frenzy.

Reed sings Moves Like Jagger, and turns the song very jazzy. It doesn’t seem right, but he’s somehow compelling. He also fits in a drum solo in the middle of it, something he became known for in Hollywood. I’m not loving the song choice, but I’m so captivated by him.

Randy Jackson is glad it was Reed who was bold enough to start off season 11. He feels this is a good choice and compares him to Sheila E. on the drums and liked the scatting too, comparing him to Casey Abrams again. Jennifer Lopez explains everyone knows the song so well, and this made it a great way to show America who they are dealing with, a guy who is musical and has an amazing voice. Steven Tyler also loved the jazz. He loves Reed’s voice and that he can do anything with it, as well as the shuffles in his step.

Adam Brock is 27 and from Washington, Pennsylvania. He shows off his home and his family, that includes his wife, daughter, and dog. He cooks dinner, sings, plays piano, etc., and says he’s always been known as the jack of all trades, master of none, but is hoping American Idol changes all that. He’s been told there’s a large black woman trapped inside his body and wants to show America what white chocolate is.

Singing Think, Adam isn’t doing enough different with it than what we’ve seen on this stage. He’s good; there’s no doubt about it, but I don’t know if he’s different enough for us to remember and vote for him. And for all the soul he promised us, I think there’s room for more.

Steven loves that Adam has his own name of White Chocolate, and thinks he was setting the bar and the precedent right out of the box. He thinks the talent is so good this year, that it’s hard to make a comment about anything. J-Lo loved his big finish, and feels it’s what he needs to do because of all the other standout voices we’ll hear tonight. He definitely delivered at the end for her. Randy loved the whole kind of throwback vibe, with the 70s/blue-eyed/soul thing with the white chocolate. Randy also notices Adam is rocking a Pittsburgh Steeler towel in his back pocket.

Deandre Brackensick is still in high school in San Jose. He takes the camera to his sociology class and his home to see his mom, dad, and sister. His sister is one of his biggest fans and his best friend. He thinks she gets her big personality from him, as he used to act a fool a lot. Mixed in with the footage he shot is some footage shot of him at a much younger age dancing around to 76 Trombones.

Deandre chooses to sing Reason and sings nearly the whole thing in falsetto. I’m not thrilled with that overall, but he does some really good things with the songs. He sings much older than he really is. High school students shouldn’t sound like that.

Jennifer almost can’t talk because of all the cheering, then she can’t talk because Steven interrupts her to air his thoughts. He did that last time, when she was getting ready to talk, and now this time she asked Randy if she should go, and he said yes, and she said “Deandre” twice, then Steven jumped in. He tells him “I told you that was going to happen.” It’s good for him for picking a song that shows off his voice.

Jennifer finally gets in there and says his voice is so perfect to her. Every note, when he goes high or rests in the middle, makes her so happy. He didn’t make the top 24 last year and she prayed he would come back this year. She knows it will be an amazing year for him. Randy tells him he is one of the most commercial guys he’s seen. Out of the box, he’s ready to go now. He’s so unique, so different with his voice. He has the falsetto, then saves the big chest note for the end. He’s pulling for him. After all that, I think even if the voters don’t put him through, one of the judges will.

Colton Dixon, 20, of Murpheesboro, TN, had a unique opportunity to be with his sister both last year and this year. There are deer that end up in his back yard occasionally, and he’s sure Skylar Laine would love to shoot them. He shows off the room where he writes a lot of his stuff. A lot of people have been asking how he does his hair. It grows so fast and he thinks it just has a mind of his own. People are used to seeing him on the piano, but he’s going to do something a little different tonight.

Well, Colton is at the piano again anyway singing Decode, but only in the beginning as he walks away from the piano. He sounds a bit shaky at first, but he completely hits it. He jumps up on the piano, dancing a little bit up there. He somewhat reminds me a little of a James Durbin tonight.

Randy, without an interruption from Steven, is happy that Colton came back. It’s time for Idol to have their own indie alternative rocker singing like Paramore. He loved it and didn’t know he could perform like that. He loves that the show has so much variety already with so many flavors. Jennifer started feeling his heart, and that’s what she lvoes the most about him and what she looks forward to America feeling from him, that he sings from his heart. He’s a relevant artist and she can hear him on the radio now. Steven doesn’t think he had a chance to show his true talent last year, but did tonight. At the piano and up dancing, he truly is a relevant artist today.

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