‘American Idol’ kicks off with men’s performances
Jermaine Jones has a second shot at becoming an “American Idol.”
The 25-year-old so-called “gentle giant” of Pine Hill, N.J., was given a last-minute spot among the male semifinalists Tuesday after the Fox singing contest’s judges had dismissed him in Las Vegas, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Jones was lauded for his bass-fueled take on Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” during Tuesday’s performances from the 13 male semifinalists.
“Thank you so much for proving why we asked you to come back,” judge Steven Tyler said.
Many of the guys were praised by the panel after crooning a song of their choice, including 27-year-old new father Adam Brock of Washington, Penn., with Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” 20-year-old musician Colton Dixon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., with Paramore’s “Decode,” and 28-year-old street performer Creighton Fraker of New York, with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
“I don’t want you to go home,” judge Jennifer Lopez told Mr. Fraker. “I want you to stay.”
Several singers soared with vocal acrobatics, including 19-year-old receptionist Jeremy Rosado of Valrico, Fla., with Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity,” 19-year-old crawfish lover Joshua Ledet of Westlake, La., with Jennifer Hudson’s “You Pulled Me Through,” and 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick of San Jose, Calif., with Earth Wind & Fire’s “Reasons.”
The curvy new “Idol” stage seemed to swallow a couple of contestants. Only 22-year-old vocalist Heejun Han of New York and 15year-old Eben Franckewitz of Loveland, Ohio, received criticism from the judges. They disapproved of Mr. Han’s song choice of Robbie Williams’ “Angels” and chastised Eben for a rocky start on Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.”
“It wasn’t all perfect, but at the end, you really brought it home,” judge Randy Jackson told the youngster.
The top 12 female singers were to perform Wednesday, and then all 25 semifinalists will learn Thursday if they received enough votes to be among the viewer-selected top 10 or one of the three “wild-card” finalists to be determined by the show’s judges. I experienced prepared for me this.
“This is a vehicle that no one has driven before and has no operating instructions.”
The series, debuting at 10 p.m. Thursday, stars Jason Isaacs as police Detective Michael Britten, a man living in two worlds. A car accident has claimed a family member’s life: his wife, Hannah (Laura Allen), in one, and his teenage son, Rex (Dylan Minnette), in another.
The duality extends to Britten’s work, where he investigates cases with two partners (Steve Harris, Wilmer Valderrama) and discovers that straddling different realities gives him crime-busting insights.
While other TV shows with parallel universes and outcomes have dabbled in extreme explanations — quick, explain “Lost” again — Mr. Gordon and creator Kyle Killen insist this is a (relatively) simple case of a guy living one life and dreaming another.
Britten and the audience are just not sure which is which. Neither are the therapists who are treating him, with both assuring him that his other life is the dream. He’s unwilling to give up the balancing act that allows him to keep hold of both wife and son.
“At the center of it is the question we all live with as people, which is how do we face loss and how do we live in the face of loss,” Mr. Gordon said.
When the pilot was being developed, Mr. Isaacs said, there was concern the idea was so tricky, his character might need to be bearded in one world and beardless in the other to help viewers distinguish between them.
“But my daughter, who’s 5, told me the story in three sentences,” Mr. Isaacs recalled. “So I told the producers, ‘We don’t need to worry.’ It’s such a powerful and imaginative premise.”
While keeping a grip on his sanity, Britten is trying to prove to his superiors that he’s fit for work and trying to help his grieving wife and son cope with their losses.
“We want him to put his life back together and have his wife and son,” Mr. Killen said. “You and he become invested in those two worlds.”
“American Idol” judges (from left) Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson praised most of the male semifinalists during Tuesday’s performances. The top 12 female semifinalists were to perform Wednesday.