13: Michael Jackson
The wheat has finally been separated from
the chaff. Now is the time for 13 aspiring pop stars to take the big
stage as they compete against each other for your votes. The lights are
up... The stage is set... IT'S FINALS TIME!
Randy says that they have to bring it hard tonight and every week. Kara
says that she has to be tougher on these kids this go around. Paula says
not to be afraid of using the stage. Simon says that the players need to
remember words and prove that you're not swallowed up by the stage.
So how will this work? Thirteen people tonight.... but only 11 tomorrow.
TWO people will go home in 24 hours.
Tonight, the 13 Idolists are going to tackle the work of a true American
Idol... Michael Jackson. His work spans from his childhood as lead
singer of the Jackson 5ive to later superstardom in the 80s and 90s.
With 100 million for "Thriller" ALONE, he's the greatest selling artist
of all time.
If you're going to be a cat, be a tiger.
First up, mother-of-three Lil Rounds. Growing up in Memphis meant that
she was surrounded by music. But she's also surrounded by motherhood, as
we are reminded of the story that got her to this juncture. She'll sing
"The Way You Make Me Feel" (1987).
What they say: Randy says that she put a new spin on the song. Kara says
that everyone's like "Uh oh" after that performance. She hopes she gets
to hear her on the radio. Paula compliments on the softness of her glam
and her falsetto. Simon thought it was good, albeit a lazy song choice.
What we say: She did not hold all of the pitches correctly, but the meat
and potatoes of the song was all about attitude. Lil captured that
attitude. She's also working the stage, which is something you have to
do. My only worry down the line is that she'll use her big guns early,
and later on, she'll have nothing and flame out. But that's a worry for
another time. Another thing is that song didn't really showcase what Lil
was all about.
Next up, Scottsdale up next with Scott McIntyre. He grew up liking sound
and music, trying to figure out melodies as a kid instead of going to
bed. He'll share "Keep the Faith" (1991) on the keyboard.
What they say: Kara's glad to get him on a piano, but it's not the most
dynamic he's been at. Paula says that it's magical to see him in his
comfort zone. She points out that the writer, Siedah Garrett, loves it.
Simon apologizes to Siedah and says that he hated it. "It's fine being
artistic, but not on this show." Randy felt it was a little bit safe. "I
want to see more sparks from you."
What we say: Obscure song in his strength. But it's a little sharp. That
could hurt him if he doesn't work to correct it. But in the end, this is
who he is and he doesn't sacrifice anything for his art.
Heading to Milwaukee to see what Danny Gokey is all about. Danny loves
to clap and sing to his father's music. He always dreamt about what he
wanted to do when he's older. Now he's singing "PYT" (1983).
What they say: Paula says that the true mark of an artist is when you
can close your eyes and hear who he is. Simon says the vocal is
brilliant, calling him a white guy with soul, but the dancing was
hideous. Randy loves the whole package. Kara says that he's joyous when
he steps on stage.
What we say: This doesn't sound like the Danny we voted through. This
song should go on the list of Banned Songs Forever. As for Danny...
well, the dancing was awkward. The song was meh.
The roadtrip continues to Jasper, TX and the oil rigs of Michael Sarver.
Growing up without a dad has made him want to be the best dad that he
can be. His life made him who he is, and tonight, he goes with something
he isn't... Sensitive. Here's "You Are Not Alone" (1996).
What they say: Simon doesn't think he's the best singer, but this song
choice showed passion and heart. Randy calls it one of the best so far
tonight. Kara says that he really can sing and that he brings his A-game
every time. Paula says that he got room as an artist to color it up, and
What we say: Could be the surprise of the night. Michael had the heart
to pull this song off, and it's obvious that he was mentally in a
special place, and you have to be when you're on the big stage.
Real time with Jasmine Murray in Mississippi. She's the baby of the
family, her biggest fans. They call her the life of the family. Her
mother, being the biggest of the big fans, will be there every step of
the way. Because she's a minor. She'll be here with "I'll Be There"
What they say: Randy says that it was funny that she mixed J5 with
Mariah. He's impressed. Kara needed to hear it in a half-key down. She
sold it. Paula cites her composure and poise, but she had moments of
flatness. Simon calls it a good attempt, albeit robotic.
What we say: Please don't Mariah it up, Jasmine. Worked for her. Doesn't
work for you. But when she's truly an original, she's rather good,
Next, we're going to Conway, AK, home of Kris Allen. His father played
music in church, while Kris picked up the torch. He's been married for 5
months, but the honeymoon will have to wait until after AI is over. He
brings out his guitar for "Remember the Time" (1991).
What they say: Kara says the girls love him, and he gets props for
helping out the others. Paula says that no one knows more about the
catalog than Kris, calling him adorable and sexy. Simon says the
performance was okay, but the guitar was clumsy. Randy loves the vibe,
comparing him to Jason Mraz.
What we say: Sounds like an R&B country mélange, like he didn't really
know how to play it... So he just played it any which way, and it came
out sorta... wrong. And sorta clumsy like the guy from England said.
The baby of the group is Allison Iraheta, whose parents came from El
Salvador. She sang at her family business, La Curacao. Now she's singing
"Give In To Me" (1991).
What they say: Paula calls her poised and authentic. Simon thought it
was good for her. Randy says she's got it. Kara called it ridiculous (in
the good way... we think).
What we say: I think we have our first person in danger. Allison's
calling an inaudible. I say that, because half the song was just that...
inaudible. We're not crazy about that sound.
The Idol film crew invades the home of the Tar Heels next. Noop Dawg is
in the house, and he performs...Beat It (1984)? This could be really good or
really really bad.
What they say: Paula calls it karaoke, Simon thought it was horrible,
Randy called it the wrong song choice and Kara thought it was
What we say: You know you're in trouble when Paula criticizes you. This
was a mess...but as the crowd favorite, I don't think he has a problem
Jorge Nunez shows us his very large family. She hopes to get a large
fanbase with..."Never Can Say Goodbye" (1967)? Okay, Michael covered it, but
really? Never Can Say Goodbye?
What they say: Randy hated the song choice, while Kara suggested 'She's
Out Of My Life' instead. Paula hopes America remembers what he's done
previously, while Simon thought the song was corny, with a terrible
arrangement to boot.
What we say: See Desai, Anoop - but he doesn't have the previous musical
resume that Anoop has. No instead, we're going to say Goodbye.
We relive Megan Joy Corkrey's trip to Idol, her divorce, and her love
for her son Ryder. She wants to rock your world with "'Rockin'
Robin" (1972)..complete with cawing at the end.
What they say: The women think it was 'unique'. The men think it was
uniquely bad. Gordon Ramsay says something but since he's not miked, we
What we say: Perhaps Gordon wants to see Megan make 24 Blackbirds baked
in a pie. It would probably taste better than what we've just heard.
Adam Lambert struggled while he was living in Hollywood...but he's glad
he made it and he's glad he got in now, because he didn't think he was
ready 5 years ago. He's white, he's wearing black leather, so the song
"Black and White" (1991) is perfect'. Sure. Okay.
What they say: Paula expects him in the finals. Simon thinks he's in a
different league than everyone else. Randy thinks he can make a record
right now and Kara hopes Michael Jackson is watching the show tonight.
What we say: It was not the best 'performance', but he right now is far
and away the best 'performer'. Yes, there is a difference, and he'll
easily skate through this week.
Matt Giraud has a hyper little kid growing up, and he did almost
everything with his shirt off. Ewwwww. His dad wants him to grow up and
be successful. Maybe "Human Nature" (1986) will help him take one more step
What they say: Randy thinks he's a pitchy Robin Thicke. Simon calls it a
solid meat and potatoes effort. The women both call him talented and
want to see more of him.
What we say: Matt could make the women's dreams come true by taking off
his shirt - but he won't have to do that this week. He did more than
enough to get to the next round.
Finally Alexis Grace got dirty thanks to her dad, who's been a musician
for 35 years. She wants to get dirtier by singing "Dirty Diana" (1988). Her kid
agrees by saying 'Seacrest, Out'. AwwwwBarf.
What they say: Kara and Paula thinks she was nice and naughty. Kara and
Simon thought she over sang it. Randy liked the attitude.
What we say: She definitely oversang it, but she doesn't have a problem.
In the news, by the way, we find out that Alexis was given #36 as a number to
call in because #13 was taken over by a phone sex line. So the phone sex
line was given to someone who was being Dirty Diana. Coincidence?
So we have the usual mixed bag one would expect in the Top 12. The
forerunners have no issues, but the Wild Cards and judges picks all have
problems ranging from mild to serious. Here's how we see it, Jacko-style.
Michael Jackson in the 70s: Michael, Adam, Lil
Michael Jackson in the 80s: Scott, Danny, Matt, Alexis
Michael Jackson in the 90s: Kris, Allison
Michael Jackson in the 00s: Jorge, Megan, Anoop, Jasmine
Remember... Two people are getting the almighty hook next time. Come
back and see which two.
footage from this episode, visit the
official website at