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Archive for the ‘American Idol Top 10’ Category

Well, I’m back in the land of the living after a whirlwind month of RL work events and all I can say is — BRING ON THE IDOLS!  I’ve been looking forward to being able to sit down and enjoy the performances without worrying about my work and tonight I wasn’t disappointed by what I heard.  There were some stellar performances with no real klinkers but with a few early leaders are slipping in the rankings, as usually happens.  Randy and Paula looked and sounded as if they were suffering from the flu this week – that’s what you get for Dancing Like There’s No Tomorrow…  😉

 

Anyway, let’s get to the business at hand – here was the view from my comfy red leather couch for this last Tuesday in March:

 

Ramiele MalubayAlone

Give her MAJOR props for taking on this song and vocally beating the stuffing out of it.  She sounded a little sick and then they mentioned she WAS so that has to account for her being flat at the beginning and then a little shreiky in the middle.  But I agree with the Brit – it was better than last week (which I did like anyway).  What bothers me is that she just doesn’t have much stage presence and I think that is hurting her as far as being memorable.  Unless she has a bigger fan base that I believe she has, she might be on the bottom feeder fast track this week – and kicking off the night doesn’t help her, either.

 

Jason CastroFragile

Is this boy as vapid as he appears to be?  He seemed to connect better with this song that he did last week and getting back behind the guitar did help.  Good song choice and the Spanish twist worked well.  He is playing it safe and that might not work for much longer, as the Brit so aptly pointed out – and he was right.  However, the screaming girls in the background aren’t going to let him go away ANYTIME soon.  He’s just so…so… SPICOLI! (for those of you who can’t figure that out – see FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and you’ll see what I mean)

 

Syesha MercadoIf I Were Your Woman

Where did THAT come from?  That was GREAT!  Very mature performance vocally and presentation -wise!  I would have liked her to sing more of the original melody but the liberties she did take stayed true to the essence of the song.  Isn’t it nice that Simon tried to deflate the entire happy moment…ugh…  Anyway, she should be safe unless others do way better than her but I agree that she just might be the new “dark horse” of the season.

 

ChikezieIf Only For One Night

Smooth as silk and that’s how I like this boy.  Except for a few off-center lower notes he was spot on and emotionally connected.   Randy’s not liking it made me like it even more – I don’t understand the “old school” business and all this “singing it for yourself” crap from the Brit.  Neither judge seems to understand that singers have many different facets of themselves to be used at different times.  And, besides, if the producers are going to have the audience up that close to the stage (which I feel is a BIG distraction) then the contestants may as well play up to them and use them as they sing.  Just trying to keep it real, boys!  Anyway, this one is gonna be a toss up – I don’t think he should bottom feed but other might.  Too close to call. 

 

Brooke WhiteEvery Breath You Take

Interesting that she plays by ear – I started that way as well and she’s correct when she says there’s something intuitive about it.  Give her props as well for restarting when she knew it wasn’t right.  Gutsy at this stage of the game.  The vocal was better than I thought it would be and I agree with Randy and the Brit that the arrangement was not great and perhaps she would have done better without the band.  I think her fan base won’t let her slip into the bottom this week and I don’t think she deserves to be their either. 

 

Michael JohnsWe Will Rock You / We Are the Champions

Pulled out ALL the vocal stops tonight and despite a few over-shouting moments, he was KILLER!  The audience jumped in his corner right away and stayed with him until the last note.  It’s about time for him because he needed a boost or he was in danger of being boring – but there was NOTHING boring about this performance.  Based on tonight he should stay but it may not be enough.

 

Carly SmithsonTotal Eclipse of the Heart

Vocally she was great even though she was a little weak at the top of her range but the performance itself was a little flat and lifeless for me this week.  She has grown on me over the weeks and she is consistently on her game but tonight I wasn’t so sure.  Tired, ill, bored…who knows…but she still can sing just about anything and make you stand up and take notice.  She didn’t deserve to be in the bottom last week but I’m afraid she might make a return trip there this week if America listens to the bookend judges.  I hope not.

 

David ArchuletaYou’re the Voice

Not one of my favorite David Foster numbers but at least it was more upbeat than his previous selections.  Vocally there were very few flaws and he was emotionally connected  – he just has a maturity beyond his years and is the one to beat.  If the screaming teens have anything to say about it, he ain’t going nowhere.

 

Kristy Lee CookGod Bless the USA

So much in her comfort zone she could do no wrong but I don’t think she knocked anyone’s socks off, even if it was her best so far.  Yes, there were pitch problems but they were slight and overshadowed by the song’s poignancy and , yes, flag waving lyrics.   She just might surprise us all and NOT end up a bottom feeder this week after that song.

 

David Cook  Billie Jean

That was WAY PAST KILLER!!!!  OMG!!!  It was…dare I say… a THRILLER!  He is a very serious contender for sure and may be the only one who can beat the little David.  His star continues to ascend while others’ descend.  And I was pleased with him vocally tonight as well – scary.  I have friends who believe that he shouldn’t win because then he can be more successful like Daughtry but I’m not sure TPTB would let that opportunity slip through their fingers again.  In any case, he is very safe and still climbing up the star ladder.

 

 

So, this week’s bottom feeders are:

Ramiele Malubay

Syesha Mercado

Chikezie

with “das boot” going to  Ramiele Malubay

 

Check back later this coming weekend when I’ll be posting my song picks for the contestants to sing on Andrew Lloyd Webber week – right up my Broadway alley!

It’s gonna be good… 🙂

 

Carry on!

J

 

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…I want to give MAJOR props to Dancing with the Stars for being the classy reality show they are and wasting their first seven minutes of their first results show to allow AI to squeeze even more advertising dollars into an already commercial heavy show.  DWTS has tried to play fair with AI and not go head-to-head but FOX wanted to push the envelope a little and try to derail them by pulling this “over by 7 minutes stunt.”  I don’t have the overnight ratings yet but I’m curious to see what happened.

With a DVR set on both shows it was a no-brainer for me…

BTW, I thought Shandy should have been shown the door over Paulina.  BUT there’s always next week!

Carry on with all the singing AND dancing!

J

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I wasn’t sure what to think of tonight’s theme, or lack thereof, so all I prayed for was good song choices and not-too-over-the-top performances. 

 

I wasn’t as disappointed as I could have been.

 

That made me happy.

 

But I’m beginning to worry about the direction this show is heading in.  Seems like some folks are trying to compromise the credibility of the competition while the producers seem more interested in good TV rather than good musical head to head battles.  It really hits home when I watch AI Rewind and reminisce about how the first season was all about finding a SUPERSTAR.  That doesn’t appear to be happening this year and I am not the only one upset about this, if what I read on and off the Internet is any indication.  I don’t want to see this show “jump the shark” but even according to Nigel the show is losing viewership (however, he won’t worry until it’s more than 50%…or so he states).

 

More on this later…

 

So, let’s get on to how our Idols did this evening with a very eclectic mix of music.  Here’s the view from my red leather couch on this fine spring evening in the northeast:

 

Lakisha Jones / Last Dance – Donna Summer

Vocally this woman is killer,  however, tonight I thought she was a little karaoke with the song. With Donna Summer’s unique disco flare it’s hard for a performer to put their own stamp on it  but I’m not sure she even attempted to.  Also, I have a tough time watching her perform because I don’t think she’s very comfortable on stage.  In any case, she did well enough with the big vocals to keep her singing here for many more weeks.

Safe yet again.

 

Chris Sligh /Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police

I love the Police and this song is a favorite.  Now, I thought he did a great job on the vocal and it was a super song choice for him but I think he was distracted with the fact that he was trying to stay on beat and wasn’t, at times, very successful with it.  Seems to me he’s more of an instinctual musician with not much formal training — but that shouldn’t hamper his ability to keep time.

I wouldn’t vote him off yet but he needs to step up his game.

 

Gina Glocksen / I’ll Stand By You  The Pretenders

Now that gal was in her strength tonight and did a super job both emotionally and vocally with a great song choice.  She’s starting to make me a believer in her talent and that hasn’t been easy given I didn’t care for her early on.  Let’s see if she can keep me interested in the weeks to come.

Should be the safest she’s been all season.

 

Sanjaya Malakar /Bathwater – No Doubt

Ok, I have to say it first — WHAT was up with the hair??????!!!!! Oh my HECK! Did he hope it would distract everyone from his vocals and sometimes mumbled lyrics?  Given what happened to Nadia Turner when she tried this look (and she was a much better singer) I wouldn’t have pulled this stunt.  This boy needs to go home now and I wish America would buy a CLUE and send him packing.  Even the judges have given up on really critiquing him because it seems to do no good.

Can he PLEASE get “das boot” this week??????

 

Haley Scarnato / True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

I think she tried to “Disney-tize” the song a little much and really stripped it of its edge.  She has a nice, clean voice but she has a tendency to layer every song she’s sung with an “easy listening” vibe – making the judges call her on not being current or young…and they are correct.  She’s sinking fast and no amount of making her hot and sexy will save her at this point.

On the bubble and could go at any time.

 

Phil Stacey / Every Breath You Take – The Police

Strong vocal but I can’t watch him perform either — it was a little too bug-eyed for me tonight.  I’ll admit it was a very good song choice for him but I’m not a fan and losing my objectivity on him by the nanosecond. 

I’m not a fan but he’s probably safe.

 

Melinda Doolittle / Heaven Knows  – Donna Summer

This woman comes so ALIVE when she sings it’s such a joy to watch and listen to her.  She makes it look so effortless and that’s the mark of a truly gifted professional.  I just love her but won’t proclaim her the winner just yet — this show is waaaay too fickle (two words – Clay Aiken) and I don’t trust the voters either.

Perpetually safe – for now.

 

Blake Lewis /Love Song  The Cure

He has a great voice when he just concentrates on the melody and lyrics — and I am SO glad he left the beat-boxing out tonight (and I wasn’t BORED either!)  He is the best of the boys and I wouldn’t count him out of the finale but there’s still too many weeks ahead to start predicting who’ll end up there.  I still like his style and appreciate his musicianship a whole lot.

Should be safe unless others were bored as I wasn’t…

 

Jordin Sparks / Hey Baby  No Doubt

She’s a musical daredevil with no fear whatsoever.  She takes chances and changes things up every week and it WORKS for her by always showcasing her power vocals.   I agree with Simon on her improving from week to week but I have a feeling she’s just getting warmed up.  She’s the REAL dark horse considering how the women stack up this year and she gets my vote again this week.

Safe and sound!

 

Chris Richardson / Don’t Speak  No Doubt

Find this guy a boy-band and let him imitate Timberflake until the cows come home.  Yeah, he has a good voice and a good song choice but he’s so affected with that boy-band sound that I can’t take him seriously when he sings other genres.  It all sounds the same.  I think he’s outlived his 15 minutes.

I’d put him on the bubble but Sanjaya needs to go first.

 

 

So…my selections for the bottom du jour?  I’d go with Sanjaya, Haley and Chris R with “das boot” going to Haley.  My fear of seeing Sanjaya around for another week will probably be realized unless someone — or God– intervenes.   

 

However, in my business, I DO believe in miracles…  🙂

 

Vote Jordin!

Carry on!

 

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