‘Idol’ recap: Folsom Blues


Life is a cabaret, old chum.

On a night of high drama – Ryan Seacrest admitting to the world that he is – whoops, wrong night. No, at the beginning of Wednesday’s live performance show, Seacrest solemnly informed us that, in cooperation with law enforcement officials, American Idol was expelling one of the finalists for a previously undisclosed criminal past.

He wouldn’t tell us who. If you guessed Jermaine Jones, Idol’s so-called Gentle Giant, you get a gift card for Bucky Covington’s greatest iTunes hits. Yes, all the reports about Jermaine’s brushes with the law turned out to be true. He was packed off on a plane to Philly before the first note was sung on Wednesday night.

Still don’t get how he could get away in a town like Pine Hill with repeatedly giving police false names. How many 6’8” banditos do they have running around with the voice of Paul Robeson?

The saddest moment of the night was footage of Jones at rehearsal before the ax fell, singing “Somewhere Out There” from American Tail. If this had worked out differently I could see him and Fievel teaming up for some crazy half live/half animated adventures.

But the show must go on. The theme was Songs From the Year You Were Born. Which means the singers have no feel for the material because it’s obviously way before their time and the judges don’t remember it because it’s way past theirs.

Randy’s assistant must have had the night off. The Big Dog was unable to make all his usual personal associations to the artists being sung. It was like he didn’t even know the songs. When Jackson doesn’t get all puffed up over a Boyz II Men joint , like the one Shannon Magrane sang, you know something is wrong.

The judges went wild over Joshua Ledel’s impassioned cover of Percy Sledge, (see it here), even calling him “this week’s Jessica”. High praise indeed.


How about our brave Phillip Phillips overcoming kidney stones to sing the Black Crowes. I wasn’t that taken with any of the performances last night. I guess overall, I’d give the highest grades to Jessica’s Sanchez’s pants.

Predictions, predictions. Your bottom three: Heejun Han, Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt with Elise losing the battle. Not on merit. Her singing on an Al Green song was far better this week (although I like Obama’s version better). But the girl has a likability problem.

Here’s my second and bigger prediction: It won’t matter. At the last second, Seacrest will announce that she gets a governor’s pardon. He said last night that someone would be eliminated on Thursday but I believe that was a ploy to keep viewers interested. Idol can’t have two contestants leave in the same week. It messes with the schedule. So they’ll go through the charade of the voting results tonight, and then grant a stay of execution. You heard it here first.



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