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American Idol Season 8 - Episode 12 - The First 12 Perform And America Votes For The First Time

Posted on 02/17/2009 by Mary in American Idol

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By Mary Cavaliere



This season American Idol is selecting the Top 12 with a different strategy. The final 36 contestants have been split into three groups of 12. After each group performs, America will vote and coming out as winners will be the number one guy, the number one girl, and the next contestant with the most votes. After all three groups have performed nine of the Top 12 will have been selected. The remaining three contestants will be chosen on this season’s wildcard show. I think I like it!


The first one out of the gate was Jackie Tohn who sang an Elvis Presley song and showed us her confidence and her personality. I’m with Simon on this one. I hated the outfit and vocally I’d only give her a 7. She’s good, but I don’t know if she’s good enough to make the final cut.


Next up was Ricky Braddy who sang a Leon Russel song. Where the heck was this guy during the audition process? Is there a reason American Idol kept him hidden? What a fantastic voice! He blew everyone away, myself included. I give him a 10 on the vocals. Simon thinks he doesn’t have "star" quality but I disagree. What’s so star-like about Josh Groben and John Mayer besides their voices? That’s why we really love them anyway isn’t it?


Alexis Grace was the next one up and she was pretty courageous to choose an Aretha Franklin song. Wow….that was quite a blues performance and I agree with the judges. This girl definitely has soul. I’d rate her vocals a 10 but would love for her to ditch the pink hair.


Our first country song for the night was performed by Brent Keith. I’m not a big country fan so I’m probably not the best judge. Yes he’s cute, but his vocals were average so I can’t rate him more than a 7 in that area. I agree with Simon, his performance alongside the others will be forgettable. I understand his need to portray who he is an artist, but he’s not a recording artist yet, and I don’t believe there are enough country fans watching American Idol to vote for him making him the number one or number two guy out of tonight’s competition.


Next up was Stevie Wright, who was one of my favorites during the auditions. But she got off to a bad start. She was off key and had no control over her breath. It seems her nerves got the best of her. I can’t give her more than a 5 for her vocals as she was off key for most of the song. Now ladies, what’s up with the sneakers tonight? You spend all this time and energy to get on national television and that’s the best you can do? There’s no other way to say it, Stevie blew it.


Anoop Desai, another one of my favorites from the auditions was up next. His performance was nice, but way too safe for me and the vocals were about a 7. I thought it was really pitchy and just didn’t show his potential. It’s amazing how a big band, back up vocals, and a big stage with a big audience can easily weed out the good from the great.


Well I guess the show started out with a bang but hit a lull with one mediocre performance after another. Casey Carlson was no exception. She is a pretty girl but that was a really bad song choice. The question is even if she chose something else, would she be the number one or number two girl for the night? With vocals around a 5, I don’t think so. I’m glad she had "fun" but honestly that wasn’t the point of tonight’s competition.


Michael Sarver was up next. Now this guy is also country but he definitely has something special about him in a charismatic way. But there were some pitch problems and at this point in the competition I think you need to blow the audience and the judges away in order to make it to that number one or two spot for your gender. I’ll give him a 7 on vocals. Michael may not make it through tonight, but I do feel he might resurface during the wildcard show.


Next was Ann Marie Boskovich. She’s definitely got some big pipes and I’d rate her vocals an 8, but I think she would have been more successful if she had sang a Broadway song since that is the type of voice she has. The judges didn’t seem real thrilled with her performance either so I think she may have blown it just like some of the others tonight.


Stephen Fowler was next and I was extremely disappointed as were the judges. It wasn’t just a bad song choice. Stephen started out just a step behind the music and not only was the arrangement bad, but the back-up vocals were so off key it was painful to listen to. I hope when he plays it back he has words with the musical director on this performance! I’ll give his vocals an 8, but again, I don’t think he’s going to come out on top when compared with the male performances of the night.


Second to last for the night was Tatiana Del Toro. Her vocals were powerful but pitchy at times so I can’t give her more than a 7. I thought her dress was a disaster and made her look heavier than she is. I thought the song was boring. I can’t handle the drama queen that she is whether she’s spastic or subdued. My biggest fear is that the American Idol haters out there will vote for her just to keep her on the show. I would feel so bad if another girl lost out on an opportunity tonight because of that, but it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened on Idol.


They saved the best for last. We just LOVE that Danny Gokey! He is magnificent and his performance was a perfect 10 for me (and three of the judges). He’s got the voice, he’s got the heart, he’s got the soul, and he’s got the charisma. Nobody tonight could touch him in my book!


My number one GUY for the night is DANNY GOKEY. My number one GIRL for the night is ALEXIS GRACE. My third place would go to RICKY BRADDY. Have fun voting everyone!


You can read more of Mary’s television blogs at




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