American Idol Top 13 Recap: KO gets KO’d

Illegal, couldn't, yes please.

Illegal, couldn’t, yes please.

I’m not going to rehash last night’s live elimination. I hate watching elimination shows so I’m not going to force-feed a recap down your throat. Not the way we do things here at Dudes Review Idol.

Last night two things happened that I liked: 1) They told us next week’s theme, which is “Home.” 2) I nailed my pick as to who was going to be the first person out before anyone sung a note.

I didn’t like some things. Like the performances. Or the show itself. Or the five things with the judges (unless one of them dropped a “I read this weird site called Dudes Watch Idols or something after the show”). Or the fact that next week’s theme is ambiguous and the Top 12 can sing anything they want as long as they can associate it with being home and, more importantly, get it cleared by Fox.

Two of last night’s bottom three shouldn’t have been a surprise. Eliminated Kristen O’Connor and Malaya Watson had the two worst performances of the week and should have been there. MK Nobilette was a surprise. So let’s figure out why it happened.

THE BOTTOM THREE

1) MK Nobilette
WHAT SHE DID: Wednesday MK came out dressed like Pitbull and Justin Bieber’s illegitimate child and did a really cool version of “Satisfaction” by Allen Stone (when I say cool, I mean I have never heard the original version but I liked what she did). It wasn’t a ballad and it was a little different from what we’d seen, but it didn’t sound bad. In fact, I had it as one of the best performances of the night. Perhaps that was just my straight guilt.
WHY SHE DESERVED BOTTOM 3: MK violated a couple basic Week 1 rules, the most important being don’t ever do a song most of the audience doesn’t know unless you plan to rock the fuck out of it like Caleb Johnson did. Don’t bore America with jazzy renditions of mysterious songs until you have establish that you clearly don’t give a shit. America wants songs they know and they don’t want them to sound weird. Unless they sound really weird. But none of that in-between shit.
WHY SHE DIDN’T: Her performance wasn’t bad. It was better than Dexter Roberts’ “Generic Country Song” that he’ll sing again next week (And the week after. And the week after. And the week after). It was better than CJ Harris’ “Radio.” It was better than Sam Woolf’s horrible Matchbox 20 cover. It was better than all the safe choices. Caleb was better, Jessica Meuse was better and I’d put MK right in a cluster with Majesty Rose, Geena Gina Jena Irene (are we dropping the Asciutto now?), Emily Piriz and Ben Briley in the second tier of performances behind the three stars of the night – Caleb, Ben Briley and Alex Preston.
WHY SHE SURVIVED: She was better. I wanted MK to get voted out for one reason – to see the Week 1 save. There was no way the producers of the show were going to let the lesbian get canned first night. No fucking way. Ultimately though, she didn’t need it. MK survived because she was better than the other two, although this could be a wakeup call for her to stop trying to be so damn artsy and pick some more mainstream songs.

2) Malaya Watson
WHAT SHE DID: My darkhorse candidate for Season 13 came out and straight embarrassed herself Wednesday night. It was like those years I’d pick 10 seed Gonzaga to make the Elite 8, only to watch them struggle in the first round before hitting a buzzer beater to survive. Malaya sang a modern song, “Runaway Baby,” and it was bad from the start and never got better. She looked awkward on stage and it was tough to tell if that was because she’s a super nerd or because that song wasn’t really her.
WHY SHE DESERVED BOTTOM 3: It was the worst performance of the week, a vocal train wreck. Malaya’s trying to blend the old school (and I’m curious what a 16-year old defines as “old school”) with the new and it’s clear she’s better off staying more old. Her performance was so bad I was already penning my obituary as an Idol prognosticator.
WHY SHE DIDN’T: She was fun on stage? Other than that, I really can’t think of any solid reasons. Usually I’m pretty good at making an argument for someone else, but it just wasn’t there.
WHY SHE SURVIVED: America’s disdain for Kristen O’Connor. There weren’t a lot of Idol fans that wanted KO in the competition (I did. Hot chicks are always a plus). It’s also impossible to hate Malaya. She’s just too nice and that helps with votes, especially when you have people who vote all the damn time for reasons like “we could be besties!”

3) Kristen O’Connor
WHAT SHE DID: I loved her strategy. She picked a big song, “Beautiful Disaster” by Season 1 Idol champ Kelly Clarkson. It’s a big song by a legend, so people are hoping for failure, but if she nailed it, she’s the face of Season 13. She started OK but it got bad real, real quick.
WHY SHE DESERVED TO GO HOME: We’re finding out Idol isn’t just about the voice anymore. It’s a performance show more than a singing one and that makes the pretty white soloist an underdog the second she hits the stage. Doesn’t help things when she’s all over the place with her vocals.
WHY SHE DIDN’T: Listening back, she wasn’t worse than Malaya. She should have been afforded a second chance (and Harry said the save vote wasn’t unanimous, but I sincerely doubt that; there’s no way you use a Week 1 save on someone who has no shot of winning) because the soloists usually have a way of building steam before coming up with their ‘holy shit’ moments.
WHY SHE WENT HOME: Idol diehards were foaming at the mouth to send her packing. If you looked at the Facebook pictures of her supporters during her goodbye performance, you saw a lot of gray-haired grannies. Those voters don’t win you Idol. She needed to be younger and edgier – and should have taken a page out of the Emily Piriz book and totally played up her hotness – to gain a little more traction but she didn’t so now Idol is a little uglier than it was two days ago.

So what will we get next week? Who knows. Once we start getting themes that have boundaries, I’ll start making some picks on what people should sing. Already excited for Wednesday night.

-Dude

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