Tuned In

Idol Watch: Rounds of Applause

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Michael Becker / Fox

Michael Becker / Fox

Thoughts on last night’s American Idol semifinal coming up after the jump.

A while ago, Mrs. Tuned In and I were talking about how the American Idol semifinals make clear the yawning gaps in talent between the  contestants, which you don’t really see in the Hollywood round, when you hear only a few seconds of performance at a time. Idol is predicated on the idea that there’s this vast pool of untapped talent out there, but really, there’s not. Or rather, there’s talent and then there’s talent. Once you watch this round, you see pretty clearly that there are only a few people with a shot to win this thing, and then there’s everybody else.

Last night, there was Lil Rounds, a stage-ready professional, and then there were eleven more or less nice singers. It seems pretty evident that Rounds, and charming, piano-less blind singer Scott McIntyre can plan on staying in L.A. a while longer. (McIntyre impressed me more last night than he did in Hollywood, though I thought the judges were a little too kind to a performance with some rough patches.) 

Which leaves the only suspense in the third slot. I’d probably give it to Ju’not Joyner, for resisting the temptation to oversing  “Hey There, Delilah,” or Kristen McNamara, who wasn’t perfect but I thought was overcriticized by the judges. (Especially for her song choice: judge after judge said she should have picked a Kelly Clarkson-like song, which was mind-boggling, since “Give Me One Good Reason” is exactly the sort of song Clarkson might have sung on Idol.) The likeable Jorge Nunez may have it over either of them. Meanwhile, I think we can safely say goodbye to Alex Wagner-Trugman, after his bizarre version of “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” and Nathaniel Marshall, who came off like a young Christopher Guest doing a parody exercise video. 

Which leaves the wild cards to generate some interest. Suggestions? Predictions?