Idol Chit-Chat
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Monday, February 23, 2009

A Closer Look at Group #2

We are now ready to see and hear Group #2. And while Group #1 had some obvious front-runners, I think this one is more wide open.

Here’s a closer look at the contestants we will see WEDNESDAY night…

Megan Corkrey, 23, Taylorsville, UT
After Megan sang “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine” at her initial audition, I wrote, “I can’t help but wonder how Megan will do with contemporary songs.” The Billboard Hot 100 could give us a great chance to find out.

Kris Allen, 23, Jacksonville, AR
Our only real look at Kris was as a member of the group White Chocolate that did “I Want You Back”—complete with a rap—on Group Day.

Mishavonna Henson, 18, Irvine, CA
In her final Hollywood performance, Mishavonna did a song that I didn’t recognize, but I called the performance “iffy.” She only made it to the second round in Hollywood in season seven.

Matt Breitzke, 28, Bixby, OK
Matt will forever be known as the welder. I loved his first audition with “Ain’t No Sunshine,” but Randy didn’t. His final Hollywood performance was a great rendition of “Some Kind of Wonderful,” but the last memory in people’s minds is Matt’s sing-off with Michael Sarver.

Allison Iraheta, 28, Los Angeles, CA
During the Top 36 episode, we saw a montage of Simon trashing her audition and her subsequent improvement in Hollywood. After she was chosen for the Top 36, Paula called her a “dark horse.”

Matt Giraud, 23, Ypsilanti, MI
Matt’s initial audition with “I Don’t Wanna Be” reminded me instantly of Elliott Yamin. Matt was also a member of White Chocolate, but it was his final Hollywood performance of “Georgia On My Mind” with the keyboard that really wowed the judges. All of them except Simon gave him a standing ovation.

Jasmine Murray, 17, Columbus, MS
Jasmine impressed in her audition and then wowed in Hollywood with “The Trouble With Love Is.” But she is best known for being the only survivor of Team Diva, which featured Bikini Girl.

Kai Kalama, 27, Redlands, CA
After his first audition with “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” I wrote that he had a “GORGEOUS tone and a beautiful story. I hope he goes far.”

Jesse Langseth, 26, Minneapolis, MN
Our best look at Jesse came during her final Hollywood performance when she did “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

Adam Lambert, 26, San Diego, CA
When Adam did “Bohemian Rhapsody” during his first audition, he was instantly accused of being theatrical (He was part of the touring company of “Wicked.”). And his performance of Cher’s “Believe” in Hollywood didn’t completely wipe that opinion from the judges’ minds. He’s obviously a risk taker but that could be his downfall.

Jeanine Vailes, 28, Washington, DC
The only thing we learned about Jeanine is that the decision to put her in the Top 36 was not unanimous. The FOX press release says she started singing at age four.

Nick Mitchell, 27, Brookfield, CT
All I have to tell you about Nick is the name of his alter ego, Norman Gentle.

Jeanine is the one with the biggest disadvantage, but since the other girls aren’t that well known, a good performance could catch her up. Of the others, I would look for Jasmine to shine.

The guys are going to be what’s interesting. Kai and Matt B. both have endearing stories, while Adam has that powerful voice. And then there’s Nick. I don’t even know what to say about that…

Remember that you can see the performances WEDNESDAY beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX…

And don’t forget that you can read more of my thoughts in “The Herald-Dispatch” on Tuesday…
Photo Credits: Michael Becker/FOX, Chris Cuffaro/FOX and Michael Becker/FOX