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Archive for April, 2007

My comments will be short this week because I got home late from work and had to watch this show at midnight, not something I would recommend when trying to write a coherent review.  So, without further ado, here’s how I heard tonight’s contestants from my red leather chair (if I had sat on my couch I would have surely fallen asleep):

 

Chris Richardson  / Change the World – Eric Clapton

Well, “nasal boy” was a lot LESS nasal this week and I actually enjoyed his performance.  It was a smooth vocal with a heartfelt delivery.  I agree with the 3 that is was a great song choice as well.  I’m sure his fan base is pleased that he’s not on VFTW’s hit list and is now showing himself as a real force to be reckoned with.

He’s even safe in my eyes this week.

 

Melinda Doolittle / There Will Come a Day – Faith Hill

One of my all time favorite songs and she knocked it out of the ballpark with a sparkling vocal and with true conviction.  I LOVED IT!!!!  I’d be happy if she won but I don’t trust TPTB – either way she is destined for musically greatness.

S-A-F-E all night long!

 

Blake Lewis /Imagine – John Lennon

This was the more laid back version of this great song and very unlike the way Jennifer Hudson sang in Season 3 but I liked it because it showed off his very solid and smooth vocals.  Great song choice but may I remind the judges that this IS a very understated number and, yes, he gave it a very sincere treatment so that scored BIG in my book.

I think he’s safe but were others just bored enough to not call his numbers?

 

Lakisha Jones / I Believe – Fantasia

This is the second week that she’s chosen a former Idol’s song and this one definitely fit her better that last week’s country offering.  However, I think the judges are gunning for her with their critiques…humm…  I will say that she IS having some difficulty vocally but it sounds more like she’s out of breath rather than shouting.  I really fear for her remaining in this competition because she’s been slipping for the last month.

Gotta be on the bubble and could be down for the count.

 

Phil Stacey / The Change – Garth Brooks

He stayed in the country groove again this week and it proved to be a good choice. The vocal was strong and convincing, showing off the fact that he DOES have a good set of pipes.  He is in this to win and it’s beginning to show.  I can’t believe that Simon was giving him some “winning” advice – YIKES!  VFTW might just be backing the RIGHT horse for a change!

I’d say he’s a safe bet to stay safe this week.

 

Jordin Sparks / You’ll Never Walk Alone – from the musical CAROUSEL

I think Jerry Lewis will be having this gal on his telethon come Labor Day.  That WAS the showstopper of the night but I worry that our youngsters may not appreciate this type of song.  Hopefully their parents will get out the vote tonight and put this gal over the top.  And she’s only 17.  I just LOVE this kid!!!

Safe all the way to the bank!

 

I believe we change to a bottom TWO this week so my choices for tonight’s bottom feeders  are: Lakisha and Blake with “das boot” going, unfortunately to Lakisha.  I didn’t think I’d be calling her out this soon but the others are kicking it up a notch and she just hasn’t been.

 

Carry on!

J

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Even though I’m not a huge fan of country music, I do enjoy listening to those who are both “a little bit country & a little bit rock and roll.”  Martina McBride is one of my favorite in that vein and it was good to see her work with the remaining seven contestants.  Her performance tomorrow night will surely be a highlight.

 

BTW — what was Constantine doing there on Country Night??  Scary.

 

In the last couple of seasons country night has been very good to some of the Idols and tonight was no exception — even though it was apparently obvious that a few singers were our of their depth.  But there were more ups than downs, thankfully,  so without further ado here’s my take on tonight’s singfest from my comfy red leather couch:

 

Phil Stacey / Where the Blacktop Ends – Keith Urban

Well, well, well!  I think we’ve found the genre that this boy excels at!  That was a solid, soulful performance and I’ve haven’t seen him this relaxed since this whole gig started.  It was a great song choice, he worked the vocals and the crowd with ease and he made me forget about his “Uncle Fester” look for the first time.  I’ll disagree with Simon and say this HAS saved him for at least another week…that is, unless American is deaf…or the script is wrong…

I’d say he’s safe but he could end up on the bubble or out on his…

 

Jordin Sparks / Broken Wing – Martina McBride

In a word — FANTASTIC!  She built that song from the ground up vocally and emotionally and sold it BIG TIME!  It even made Simon a believer (probably for all of 10 seconds) and I hope he didn’t jinx her by proclaiming that she could win based on that performance (think Clay Aiken and a host of others).  Guess I’ll be spending another Tuesday night voting for this fearless seventeen year old.

SAFE…if y’all know better…

 

Sanjaya Malakar /Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt

I used to love this song…sigh…

It’s all been said before.

 

Lakisha Jones / Jesus Take the Wheel – Carrie Underwood

Got to agree with Martina on this one.  Her believability on the number was undeniable and I may have detected a little pitch movement but not to the extent the judges were blowing it out to be.  It may not have been a great choice for her but not much in this genre would have worked with her style anyway.  I thought she did as well as she could have and I liked it.

Hopefully not on the bubble because she really did well.

 

Chris Richardson  / Mayberry – Rascal Flatts

Another week of “I don’t like this kid’s voice” and the nasal problem really was prominent.  Since all three of the judges panned him, he might be in trouble this week.  One can only hope…

Hopefully on the bubble.

 

Melinda Doolittle / Trouble is a Woman – Julie Reeves

GREAT song choice and one that I just might download for my iPod.  I loved it!  Along with Jordin that had to be one of the best performances of the night – no doubt about it.  She’s so good it’s scary and I’m glad Simon asked her to refrain from the “you really like me” look and response to the judges’ comments — that was getting a tad old.  How can you NOT vote for her?

Safe.  Safer.  Safest.

 

Blake Lewis /When the Stars Go Blue – Tim McGraw

Country is not his “cup of musical tea,” that for sure but he did try to make it his own.   It was a valiant effort and he did sound nice in his upper register but I wasn’t as sold on it as the judges were.  One tip: don’t wear argyle when singing country — just not right.

Should be safe but stranger things have happened.

 

Overall a decent night of singing BUT WHAT was up with Ryan & Simon???  Sniping does NOT suit either of them.  Plus, I think Simon has had enough of all the hype, is losing any objectivity toward the whole Sanjaya thing and in acknowledging that “this has been funny for awhile” pretty much pleaded with the public to end the insanity.  Will they?  They should.  Please?

 

So my choices for tonight’s bottom three are: Phil, Chris and Sanjaya with “das boot” going to Chris (in a “shocking” move even though it should be you-know-who).  With this year’s Sanjaya factor I have been not been as accurate in my predictions but this is a strange year for the “singing” competition and one, I hope, doesn’t get repeated in the near future — if there IS a future.  Sometimes, too much of a good thing is just too much.  I pray this is not the case here. 

 

Carry on!

J

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    Ok, gang,

    are we ready for celebtv.com’s Top 10 of the sexiest contestants on American Idol EVHA? Well, get a load of this list:

     

    #10

    Taylor Hicks (Season 5) Really?

    #9

    Clay Aiken (Season 2) Nice to see he made the list but I would have scored him a little higher

    #8

    Bo Bice (Season 4)

    #7

    Ace Young (Season 5)

    #6

    Carrie Underwood (Season 4)

    #5

    Blake Lewis (Season 6)

    #4

    Chris Daughtry (Season 5)

    #3

    Nadia Turner (Season 4)

    #2

    Ryan Starr (Season 1)

     

    And…the #1 sexiest Idol is…Katherine McPhee (Season 5)!!??

     

    Uh…I’m not so sure who conducted this poll but I beg to differ on quite a few of the placements, including #1.

     

    Now, among the missing on this list are:

    Constantine Maroulis

    Season 4 Now this was the one trying to bring sexy back that year.

    Anthony Federov

    Season 4

    Tamara Gray

    Season 1

    Justin Guarini

    Season 1 – How could they leave the original “hairboy” off this list?

    Matthew Metzger

    Season 3 – This guy was so hot he landed on a daytime soap!

     

    And what about the original Idol KELLY CLARKSON??? She seems to be doing all right for herself in this area — have you seen her videos?

     

    Well, I guess that beauty and sexy are in the eyes of the beholder. But, isn’t this a SINGING COMPETITION first and foremost????? More on that later…

     

    Carry on!

    J

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I have to admit something.  I wasn’t even looking forward to tonight’s show because of all the crap that has been going on this season.  That, and the fact that I have no use for J-Lo.   I love Latin music so I hoped that there would be a few good performances, but alas, it was somewhat of a snoozefest.  I’m not happy with the tenor of the show anymore because I believe it has abandoned its original focus and turned into a train wreck that everyone loves to watch.  I’ll have more on that in a future installment but until then here’s the view from my red leather couch for tonight:

 

Melinda Doolittle / Sway

Every week she continues to amaze me with her professionalism.  Sultry, smooth and subtle, she gave yet another effortless performance BUT I just KNEW Simon would look for something this week NOT to like.  Throwing out the patented “you look too old,” “that was too cabaret” and that perennial favorite “karaoke,” he tried to pull her down a notch or two in the viewers’ eyes — like that is even possible.  However, don’t be surprised if it lands her in the bottom three tomorrow (not like that would be the PLAN or anything…is this show too predictable or what?)

We know she’s safe but this year anything goes…

 

Lakisha Jones / Conga 

It’s interesting that the two powerhouses were the first to sing tonight (again, not like there’s a master plan here or anything…) but while she definitely could sing this song I found her performance and stage movement very forced.  She may have been having fun going out of her comfort zone but Simon was right when he said the viewers may not be as comfortable watching it. Too bad because this is one of my favorite Gloria Estefan tunes.  Not sure how safe the song was but this may make her NOT safe this week.

Depending on how the “plan” works, she could be on the bubble for the first time.

 

Chris Richardson / Smooth

Honestly?  He sang it well and it was a good performance but I just wish I could warm up to him.  It’s the JT factor that throws me.  He seems to have a solid fan base so they should get him through at least the top 5.

He’ll be safe yet again.

 

Haley Scarnato / Turn the Beat Around

Gotta admit she came out like gangbusters and Simon hit the nail on the head by nailing her tactics.  The outfit couldn’t have been any shorter or tighter and I’m sure it helps to influence the male voters.  Too bad her singing can’t influence the rest of us to vote for her.

On the bubble and poised to exit this week — unless she gets the sympathy vote for Simon picking on her.

 

Phil Stacey / Maria, Maria

Another week of solid vocals and scary facial expressions.  I want to like him but I think there is a disconnect between his singing and his emotions and THAT is a big problem when trying to get people to believe you as a performer.  With time he might be able to bridge the gap but not before the end of this season.

He’s definitely on the bubble and could go at any time.

 

Jordin Sparks / Rhythm is Gonna Get You

Well, my biggest criticism is that the rhythm was WAAAAY TOO SLOW!!!!!!  Ouch.  Otherwise, another solid performance from my fearless gal who loves to take chances.  I just love her and from what I read, others love her as well.  Let’s all make sure she makes the finals because she IS what this competition is all about — raw, undiscovered musical talent.

Better be safe or else!

 

Blake Lewis /I Need to Know

I would have LOVED to have heard Anthony Federov sing this in Season 4 but this boy did a decent job with the song and I hope he silenced his critics who think he can’t sing.  The total package was hot and I agree that was a great song choice.  He’s still the dark horse but gaining ground quickly

Should be safe.

 

Sanjaya Malakar /Besame Mucho

I will no longer be reviewing this contestant’s performances because..well…there is no use repeating myself week after week. 

Not even going to speculate here either.

 

 

Tonight’s bottom three?  How about Lakisha Haley and Phil  with “das boot” going to Haley (even though it should be you-know-who).  Let’s see how tonight’s “script” plays out...

 

Carry on!

J

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I love this show…I really do…but I must admit I’m getting weary of this season already.  With all the silliness surrounding a certain contestant they should consider subtitling AI6 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sanjaya? (when I get a chance I’ll write the filk for this)

 

The producers need to invoke whatever clause they have to get this boy off the show and get back to a serious vocal competition but since the ratings are everything to these people, I highly doubt that will happen.  Is the winner really that obvious that no one cares where the others place?  Did the judges put through more background stories rather than singers this season?  Can this show ever return to its original concept without pandering to advertisers or dumbing down the viewers by thinking we’ll swallow anything or anyone they throw at us?

 

Hopefully I’ll expand on some of those questions and more when I FINALLY get my video podcast up and running in the next week or two.  It’ll be rough at first since I’m literally doing this on the fly but I want to get it going during this season instead of waiting until the next. Wish me luck and I’ll let you know where you can find it when it debuts.

 

Ok, enough shameless promotion — let’s get on to how our Idols did this evening with the Great American Songbook. Here’s the view from my red leather couch for this night:

 

Blake Lewis /Mack the Knife

By far that had to be his best vocal to date with just a couple of dropped notes due to dancing.  He does give off a cool jazz vibe and the concluding scat was particularly nice.  This good song choice, even though he was first, should keep his performance from being forgettable.

The dark horse is still galloping strong down the safe path.

 

Phil Stacey / Night and Day

WHOA!  That boy was born to sing the classics!  For the first time since I’ve heard him I am duly impressed with his vocals!  Randy didn’t know what he was talking about in his judging but I will give Paula and Simon props for wanting him to be more warm and less stiff.

He’ll make more converts with that performance to be safe again this week.

 

Melinda Doolittle / I Got Rhythm

You can’t go wrong with a great Gershwin tune but riddle me this, Batman — does this gal ever give a BAD performance??  Just press that CD and let me buy it!  Who cares if she wins — she is going to be BIG in the business regardless.  I just love her…

What can I say but — SAFE!

 

Chris Richardson / Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

Trip on words much, son?  I guess I just don’t like him no matter what he does.  Also, I didn’t care much for his outfit.  However, they all loved him and the voters will follow suit, I’m sure.

No chance in hell he’s going home anytime soon — drat.

 

Jordin Sparks / On a Clear Day

I’m backing this little lady because she is a true natural and that’s what this competition is all about.  She’s not afraid to take risks, comes out and gives it everything she’s got and is vocally light years beyond her young age.  In short, she reminds me of me when I was that young.  She’ll get my vote from now until the end.  Oh, and Simon — who CARES if she sang it without a modern twist!  It was damn good and YOU know it!

I’ll do my part to make her safe and YOU should too!

 

Gina Glocksen / Smile

She continues to impress me after not being one of my favorites in the beginning.  I thought she sang it really well and exhibited some lovely tone while keeping it from getting too sentimental and sappy.  Simon needed to set a gal up to be in the bottom three and he chose her tonight.  I wish he wouldn’t do that because she is doing her best and could be winner over new fans.

Could be on the bubble due to the Brit’s comments.

 

Sanjaya Malakar /Cheek to Cheek

Out to prove he can sing, eh?  Ok, kid — you CAN sing (barely) but you should be doing it in high school musicals and NOT on a national stage.  He can afford to come out and be charming and attempt to entertain but that’s because everyone has given up trying to critique the vocals (or lack thereof).  I’d like to b*tch-slap Howard Stern and VFTW for keeping this boy in the competition because his mediocrity is helping to bring down this show.  Shame.

I’d put him on the Shuttle and send him home but no one listens to me.

 

Haley Scarnato / Ain’t Misbehavin’

For once I liked her performance and the vocals were decent as well — probably because this is her strong suit.  What I didn’t care for, however, was the jumbled arrangement.  It sounded as if we couldn’t decide with vibe to put on the song so we did a little of each.  I’d have stuck to one mood and milked it for all it was worth.  But, what do I know…

I think the dress will keep her safe but little else. 

 

Lakisha Jones / Stormy Weather

The coveted pimp spot got the Billie Holiday treatment tonight and she made the most of it by pouring it on big time.  She should have listened to Tony and gone for the money note hold because that tag negated all the came before it.  She’s still leaving me cold, though, even if she is good.

No bottom three for her this week, that’s for sure.

 

 

For me tonight it was tough to find a bottom three (other than a bottom ONE who should go home…) so  here’s what I’ve come up with for this week:  Sanjaya, Haley and Gina  (even though I don’t think she should be there) with “das boot” going to Haley (even thought it should be you-know-who).  All I DON’T want to see is Miss Sparks anywhere near the bottom so I’m heading for my phone to help keep her away from there.  Vote Jordin!

 

Carry on!

J

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