Alexis Grace, Ann Marie Boskovich, Anoop Desai, Brent Keith, Casey Carlson, Danny Gokey, Jackie Tohn, Michael Sarver, Ricky Braddy, Season 8 Contestants, Season 8 Shows, Stephen Fowler, Stevie Wright, Tatiana Del Toro

Idol Semis Show 1: The recap

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Alexis Grace during Hollywood WeekHave I mentioned that I hate Idols’ new format for the semifinals?

Have I mentioned how unfair it is to have so many of these semifinalists ousted after singing just one song?

Have I mentioned how unfair it is that the judges are playing favorites?

I mean, last night, it was pretty obvious they were listening to the performances through Danny Gokey tinted — or would that be tuned — headsets.

Thanks again, Simon, for at least showing some objectivity. I thought for a moment Paula and Kara might vault right over the judges’ table and hug Danny. I thought Randy might give him immediate residence in his Dog Pound.

Hey, Danny was OK. He wasn’t great.

Down to what matters: Who should stay. Who should go. Who deserves a second chance.

Here we go.

Ricky BraddyBest of the guys: Guess what? The best male vocal performance of the night came from Ricky Braddy, one of the singers we had heard the least from to this point. There was nothing flashy about the performance. He just nailed ”A Song for You.” And this show is about singing, right?

Best of the gals: And why haven’t we heard more from Alexis Grace? Because Idol has been wasting our time with Tatiana drama and Bikini Girl whirls. Alexis’ rendition of “I Never Loved a Man” was the single best performance of the night.

Deserves the third spot: Put Danny here, because he’s going to the final 12 anyway. And his was the second best male performance. He hit some big notes, but his version of “Hero” didn’t wow me. Of course, not many of the vocals last night were of wow quality, were they?

Deserves to go home: Looked like nerves got the best of Stevie Wright. Casey Carlson gets credit for proving a beautiful girl can be beautiful without stripping down to sing. Problem is, she didn’t sing well. Stephen Fowler proved he didn’t deserve the second chance judges gave his after his Hollywood Week flop.

Please give them a second chance: On a night when the girls weren’t very good, Ann-Marie Boskovich was second best in my mind. On a night when the guys failed to live up to their potential, I’d love to think the judges will give Brent Keith and Michael Sarver a second chance. Both picked songs that did nothing to show off the talent they displayed earlier in the competition.

Please send them home: Hey, judges, this is supposed to be do or die, right. Well, then in fairness, one of your favorites, Anoop Desai, deserves to head home. Given his experience, his performance of “Angel of Mine” was one of the night’s biggest disappointments.

And here’s a test, judges: Do you want to preserve the show’s credibility? Then send drama queen Tatiana packing. She didn’t sing horribly last night, but that wasn’t a top-12 performance either. Can you really see Tatiana as the American Idol for 2009? Can you?

Early favorite: Round one goes to little Alexis Grace. Hands down.

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