Before the Final 13 perform tonight, we wanted to handicap each contestant’s odds to win and compare it to Vegas’s predictions. No need to wait any further, let’s just get right into it. [Ed. note: All wagering analysis is for entertainment purposes only. If you actually put money on this, you have a serious problem. That being said, mortgage your future on Shannon Magrane.]
Kang: Ms. Irrelevant — the sixth girl they let in because they needed to let in a sixth girl and for no other reason. The whole blond girl from Texas thing might have worked, but Hollie’s got an unidentifiable, vaguely British accent going on that should alienate her from the always-vital tween-xenophobe (tweenophobe?) population. As for her singing, if you can’t bust out the song from Mulan with more power than that, you’ve got no business on the Idol stage. The judges gave her credit for not singing any notes out of tune, but isn’t that kind of like congratulating a pitcher who gave up five home runs but didn’t walk anyone? We should call her the Kevin Slowey of American Idol.
All season long, Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions after each Idol performance episode. Only 2,103 weeks to go, guys!
This is usually the spot where we ask about your favorite performer, but tonight any answer to that question that isn't "Deandre Brackensick" or "Joshua Ledet" would be completely insane. So: Deandre or Joshua? (Note: If you pick Ledet, you have to attempt to top his "Mantasia" nickname.)
Lisanti: Since I know Kang's already got a custom-made Fathead decal of Joshua Ledet belting an Aretha song static-clinging to the ceiling above his bed, I'm going to be the gracious one and take Deandre Brackensick. Not only is he physically mesmerizing because of his uncanny, unsettling resemblance to whatever the DNA-cocktail child of Jason Castro, Rob Pilatus, and Taylor Dayne inevitably would look like, he's got the most interesting voice in the Top 24. Why? DYNAMICS. That's right. Dynamics. One moment he's all up here [waves hand three feet above head], the next he's bouncing around in the "chest notes" (thanks, Randy Jackson, for saying something like that), and then he's waayyyy down here [brings hand to the groin area to frame it with a dramatic flourish]. He's falsetto and whatever the technical term for the opposite of falsetto is. (Bassitone, right?) He's all those things, with the up and the down. So much upsy-downsy, but with a lion's mane throw on top of it.
All season, Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. In their 500th installment of the series, dementia has set in, with Kang “going Woodward and Bernstein” and Lisanti “seeing lasers.” Pray for their souls.
The channel guide said, "The contestants must bring it and sing it in one final performance opportunity. So, who "brung it and sung it"?
All season, in-house Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions about each performance episode. They literally have nothing better to do.
Who was your favorite performer on the second night?
Kang: I'm torn. Heejun Han will be the third Korean dude to take the Idol stage, following in the footsteps of Paul Kim, who refused to wear shoes on stage, and John Park, who was handsome enough but bored the shit out of everyone. I'm not sure if the Korean-American community is ready to have a contestant who can actually make it to the late stages of the Idol competition. We're ready to content farm, run for local office, dominate college admissions, and write “immigrant experience” novels, but what happens when we're exposed to America's gigantic army of rabid, Idol-voting tweens? I fear the worst.
Overall, though, I want to say that I thought last night's show was much, much better. There were five people (Erika Van Pelt, the mobile DJ from Rhode Island; Reed Grimm; Heejun; chubby preteen dude Eben Franckewitz; and Hallie Day) who each would have been the best person on day one. Of those five, I'd say the mobile DJ was the most likable, Reed Grimm was the most annoying (but maybe because he reminded me too much of fellow scat-o-philiac Casey Abrams from last year), and Hallie has the best chance to make the final three. She has the relatable story, she has a flexible voice that can sing a lot of different types of songs, and the fact that she's married to a nice fat guy gets her around the "too hot for the tweens" problem. If I had to choose, I’d one hundred billion-gazillion percent go with Hallie Day, who really does look like Debbie Harry.