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Archive for the ‘Top 11’ Category

Ok, folks, this is going to be a “drive-by” review of tonight’s performances because I am in the throes of preparing for the holiest three days of the Catholic Church year (that’s the day job, y’all!).  Good thing Idol airs before things get cranked up.  So, without further ado, here was the view from my red leather comfy couch for this evening:

 

Amanda OvermyerBack in the USSR

I had considered this for her but wasn’t sure she’d do the melody proud, which she didn’t.  It was a bit of a rhythmic mess, a little screechy around the edges and a bit of the same ol’ stuff we’ve seen her do since Day 1.  I agree with the judges – she needs to show us another side… if there is one…

She’s safe because I few others need to go before her.

 

Kristy Lee CookYou’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

She didn’t even know this song…am I old or what?  Vocally, she was bottoming out on the low notes and, if I can be a purist, I didn’t like her tinkering with the well-known melody.  Performance-wise, she is a bit wooden on stage and has trouble connecting with the emotions of the songs she sings.  She WAS better than last week but ANYTHING would have been.  She’ll be a bottom feeder again this week.

 

David ArchuletaThe Long and Winding Road

I wanted him to do an up-tempo but after last week I just wanted him to nail the song and performance and he did so with room to spare!  Talk about redemption!  Great vocal, nice nuances, emotionally connected to the lyrics – THAT’S what he does best and he showed he is mature enough to come back and do it up right.  If the screaming mosh-pit is any indication, he continues to be safely in the lead.

 

Michael JohnsA Day in the Life

I didn’t choose this one for any of the contestants because I wasn’t sure they could cut it down to a minute thirty successfully – and I was right!  He sang it well and gave a safe, yet respectable performance but the song was so disjointed I did nothing for me.  Just another time the Brit and I see eye to eye, I’m afraid.  He needs to knock one a song of the park and soon or he won’t even make the Top 5.

 

Brooke WhiteHere Comes the Sun

I’ll say right up front that I’ve never liked this George Harrison number  however this is the second week in a row I haven’t liked her performance and this week I believe it was due to the dreaded wrong song choice.  She didn’t do much with an extremely simple melody, it sat too low for her and it was just a boring performance overall.  I guess getting her out from behind instruments isn’t a good idea after all?  I don’t think she’ll bottom feed unless the rest of the lineup sings like there’s no tomorrow…  😉

 

David Cook  Day Tripper

I GOT ONE RIGHT!!!!  HUZZAH!!! And it was MAGNIFICANT!!!   I knew he could blow them away with this one and that he did!  Throwing in the voice box was an interesting twist and while that was the least favorite part of the performance for me, the rest was outstanding.  He is the true dark horse of this season and is no danger of becoming a bottom feeder any time soon.  Rock on, dude!

 

Carly SmithsonBlackbird

A ballad from the Irish Lassie and she nailed it BIG TIME!  It’s an odd little song but she found all the nuances and her vocal command of the highs and lows was spot on.  Absolutely beautiful.  I knew the Brit would hate it because anything with strong, true emotions gets the “over indulgent” criticism from him – definitely not a sensitive guy that Mr. Cowell.  No matter – she continues to fight the Davids for the top position and I predict that they will be the Top 3 when all is said and done. 

 

Jason CastroMichelle

I understand getting in as much in as one can in one minute thirty but the tempo of the song was a bit too fast and that altered the true meaning of the song.  Then to top it off, he grinned way too much as he was singing and that tells me he didn’t get what the song was all about – a shy boy trying to get out his feelings for this girl.  If he would have used his shyness to help sell the song, we would have heard hearts melting all over the land.  I will say the best thing about the performance was his vocals – his tone color was perfect and he sang it with ease – but that was lost in translation.  He’ll be safe but maybe he shouldn’t be.

 

Syesha MercadoYesterday

What a vulnerable and heartfelt performance!  Vocals were almost spot on (I’ll be she was a bit nervous after her trip to the bottom last week) and the melodic liberties were subtle and effective.  A better song choice for her than Brooke

 

ChikezieI’ve Just Seen a Face

OK, we went back to the same well again this week and it didn’t “shock and awe” this week as it did last week because the song itself just didn’t lend itself to it.  JMHO but he should have stayed in the slow lane time around – I did NOT like the bluegrass bend tonight.  And what was with the harmonica?  He’s no Taylor Hicks, that’s for sure.  He needs to establish himself vocally and then take risks.  Right now, he could end up bottom feeding if others feel the same way I do about it. 

 

Ramiele MalubayI Should Have Known Better

Nice job!  I wouldn’t have picked this for her but she was connect vocally and emotionally with the piece and he looked like she had fun with the it.  I was having a problem with the arrangement because it didn’t help her with the delivery AT ALL but despite that, I think it saved her for another week. 

 

So, this week’s bottom feeders are:

Chikezie

Kristy Lee Cook

Michael Johns

with “das boot” (hopefully and finally) going to Kristy Lee Cook. 

 

One last thing — the contestants are now allowed to wear ear monitors????  I wonder how contestants from other seasons would have faired with such a technological helper…

 

Carry on!

J

 

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Music is subjective, dear readers. Some folks will just LOVE a performance and others will pan it. If you’re Simon Cowell, you’ll just want everyone to agree with you because you think you’re right. However, it doesn’t quite work that way my dear Brit and that is why there are as many styles of music as there are performers.

 

Anyway, enough of my waxing philosophic — let’s get to tonight’s British Invasion Theme Night on AI! Both the darling hubby and I love this genre of music and we made sure we sat down together after a long, hard day at work to speed through the commercials (gotta love our DVR) and watch this stage of the competition. So, without further ado, let’s get down to what we saw from our red leather couch this evening:

 

Haley Scarnato / Tell Him – The Exciters

It’s nice when they take the advice of the “masters” and she did just that! It was a great song choice for both her voice and her stage persona. Add that to the fact that she’s definitely been “McPhee-a-sized” and I’ll agree with Randy that she just put herself back into the competition.

I’d be surprised if she wasn’t safe and THAT’S a surprise!

 

Chris Richardson / Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying – Gerry & the Pacemakers

Nothing like getting bagged by the guy coaching you — OUCH! However, he actually listened and restrained himself from getting all “Timberflaked” with the song — almost. This boy has just not grown on me at all but I’ll have to agree that it was the best he’s sounded yet this season.

Has too big a fan base NOT to be safe.

 

Stephanie Edwards /You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me – Dusty Springfield

Not a good song choice, IMHO — it was too big for her. She started out too light and then tried to force the power ending. Sprinkle some pitch problems and running out of breath at the end of phrases and it adds up to not a great performance. Not sure where that puts her in the voting but I’d be worried.

Might be on the bubble after this one.

 

Blake Lewis /Time of the Season – The Zombies

One word – BRILLIANT!!!!!! He’s got to be the most original musician in the competition and I hope they put that song on the compilation CD. Even the hubby thought it was hot and loved it. This kid is growing on me because he’s got the vocals and the musical savvy. I believe he’s this year’s dark horse.

SAFE! No question.

 

Lakisha Jones / Diamonds are Forever – Shirley Bassey

Personally, I would have listened to LuLu and gone with You’re My World because it would have fit her big, powerhouse style better than this forgettable song. I felt that she was a little ahead of the music most of the time and unfortunately, at least on my HDTV with surround sound, the band actually seemed to drown her out. Not her best but not enough to get “das boot.”

No matter what, she’ll live to sing another day.

 

Phil Stacey / Tobacco Road – The Nashville Teens

Ok, so we tried to rock it out tonight and he did “aiiight” in my book. I just haven’t figured this boy out yet. I can’t warm up to his vocals and his stage persona does not compute with me. What else can I say?

Might be on the bubble once again.

 

Jordin Sparks / I Who Have Nothing – Tom Jones

TOUCHDOWN!!! (I couldn’t resist…) Man, that was a challenging song and she rose to the occasion. Controlled, powerful and believable. Even with a minor screw up of words at the beginning of the second verse she held it together and kicked it through the uprights for the extra point! I’ve like this young lady since the beginning as I did with Paris last year but I think she may do better than Miss Bennett did. Definitely a contender.

Looking forward to seeing more from her…all the way to the final four!

 

Sanjaya Malakar /You Really Got Me – The Kinks

Well…he took a HUGE risk and I have to admit…I think it paid off. Looks like we’ll be seeing him on the tour…but…I predict he’ll be gone by next week…or Simon will slit his wrists on national TV…well, he DID say he’s for showing executions on the telly…

He won’t need VFTW this week to stay…but he really should go…

 

Gina Glocksen / Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones

Raising the song a half step? Interesting. I think it worked for her and she wasn’t as gravely as she can be. I felt she could have let loose a little more and NOT sacrifice the vocals but she was playing it safe and I think it was because she wasn’t comfortable with the key adjustment. They don’t seem to know what to do with a girl rocker so I think Simon was positioning her to get “das boot” this week since he knows Sanjaya will be safe. I hope that doesn’t happen.

Could see the bottom three this week but I really think she needs to be on the tour.

 

Chris Sligh /She’s Not There – The Zombies

THAT was his best vocal of the competition and while he was sometimes a little ahead of the beat it was a great song choice for him. Loved the “audience participation” entrance but I was afraid it was going to work against him because he was becoming too cautious and tentative but once he got the mic stand he was more playful and relaxed. I still like him but how far he goes will depend on his song choices and what he does with them because some contestants are starting to ramp up their game and he’s staying about the same.

Lots to be safe about here.

 

Melinda Doolittle / As Long as He Needs Me from the musical “OLIVER!”

She got the coveted “pimp spot” this evening and she KICKED it out of the studio!!! You can ‘t teach interpretation skills and instinct — it’s a true gift from God and this gal has it in abundance. She’s in a class all by herself and no matter what happens she will come out a winner.

I can say she’s safe but that’s obvious.

 

So…tonight’s bottom feeders look like Stephanie, Phil and Gina but don’t count out Sanjaya making another appearance there. My vote for “das boot?” Phil — however a gal could go so that the sexes are evenly represented on tour. I could care less if I see more gals than guys because, let’s face it, the gals ARE better but this is AI and anything goes.

 

Can’t wait for those results — so, go vote!!!

Carry on!

 

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