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Archive for the ‘Top 6’ Category

Ok, gang…here’s the blog you’ve been waiting for – J’s song suggestions for this week’s Andrew Lloyd Webber night. Being the “Broadway baby” that I am, I was very happy that our Idols would FINALLY have to tackle songs that HAVE TO sound like Broadway! Simon will certainly be “Mr. Cranky Pants” for this part of the competition and if you think his comments for Country night and Mariah night were surly, I’m sure he’s thinking up some new ones for this outing. Either way, it takes a great singer to successfully master a ALW tune and it will be interesting to see how this year’s group succeeds…or not…

First of all, let me suggest a few songs from this very complex and difficult songbook that NONE of the contestants should try and take on:

Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina (EVITA) – needs a powerful and dramatic vocal that would immediately draw the comment “sounds too Broadway” from the Brit. Besides, comparisons to Patti Lupone or Madonna would most certainly be drawn. Who needs that problem at this stage of the competition?

NOTHING from Phantom of the Opera – None of these kids have anywhere near the chops to pull any of these song off, even if they change them up a la David Cook. Again, it’s just asking for trouble.

NOTHING from Sunset Boulevard – Another show that is just too heavy for the pop treatment. Just because the show is more well known doesn’t mean the singers are vocally competent to handle the music.

Now, let’s get to some songs that could make these singers stand out:

David ArchuletaClose Ev’ry Door (JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHOCOLOR DREAMCOAT)

One would think that Archie has the best chances with ALW songs but he’s a little to young vocally to handle most of them well. Give him a few more years, however, and he’ll be able to master them because they are melodically perfect for him. Having said that, my only suggestion for him is one he can do very well with – another perfect power ballad that, if sung simply and convincingly will send chills down everyone’s spines. Plus, it might just get the kid a gig playing Joseph in the next revival of the show. It worked for Donny Osmond…

Jason Castro No Matter What (WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND) or Only You (STARLIGHT EXPRESS)

Boyzone did an arrangement of the first choice that I can just hear our dreadlocked wonder singing so that one could be a slam dunk. It would also cement the fact that he might be perfect as the front man for a boy band when he’s done with Idol. The second choice would probably sound just as great but the song may not be as familiar with the viewers.

David CookSuperstar (JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR) or Love Changes Everything (ASPECTS OF LOVE)

This is a tough night for Mr. Cook because ALW songs are waaay out of his comfort zone. However, I think our chameleon could benefit best by staying in the rocker mode and the first song would be absolutely perfect for that. If he really wants to show a different side and still get some growl in, the second one could serve him well with some modifications.

Syesha MercadoMemory (CATS) or Next Time You Fall in Love (STARLIGHT EXPRESS)

You KNOW our diva-in-training is always looking for the power songs and the first one is right up her alley. If someone has to sing it, it might as well be her. The second one would also suit her and even though most are not as familiar with this roller skating show (seriously, the actors sing and dance on roller skates!) the quasi R&B feel to the piece would work for her.

Carly SmithsonI Don’t Know How to Love Him (JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR) or Anything But Lonely (ASPECTS OF LOVE)

I can just hear the Irish lassie taking on the SUPERSTAR classic and giving it the soaring vocal and tender treatment it deserves. She’s got the emotion for it – she just needs to channel it correctly and maybe the Brit will finally give her the due she deserves. The second one is a bit more dramatic and biting and, again, needs that big vocal energy that she has to make it a winner. My personal favorite is the first one and I’d just love to hear her take it on.

Brooke WhiteLearn to Be Lonely (movie version of PHANTOM) or Take That Look Off Your Face (SONG AND DANCE / TELL ME ON A SUNDAY) or You Must Love Me (movie version of EVITA)

Our folk singer extraordinaire was the hardest one to pick for so I ended up with three different story songs for her, all of which sit well within her vocal range. The first one was written for the movie version of PHANTOM and is a simple but haunting song; the second is a little more up-tempo (for ALW, that is) and is a story-song type that she does well; and the last one is right up her alley if she wants to sing it with only a piano for back (preferably with someone else playing so she could get a little more contact with the audience on this one).

Now, with my track record, I’ll be lucky to get one of these correct – I only got one right with the Lennon/McCartney songbook (thank you, Cookie!). What I hope happens is that whatever songs our Idols choose will be the right one for them. It should be all about the songs and the singers. But…this IS American Idol…product promotion is part of the fabric. I really want this to be a great night of singing but I am beginning to have my reservations. I guess we shall soon see. Good luck, gang!

Carry on!

J

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I couldn’t resist using a Bon Jovi song in the title since, along with the fact that tonight the singers are paying homage to the career of Jon Bon Jovi, there is a rare DOUBLE ELMINIATION this week.  I’m not so sure the producers should have played the “charity” card with the contestants but we’re kinda stuck with this mess.  Speaking of a mess, I thought last Wednesday night’s drama known as Idol Gives Back was, in a word, lame.  Not that raising money for worthy causes is lame, but sort of “pre-empting” a reality show competition to play Jerry Lewis was a little in that vein.  I felt that it slowed the momentum and rhythm of the competition, especially since there was no more Sanjaya to talk about, to the point where some of the less committed viewers might start to fade away.  Let’s hope that theory doesn’t get reflected in this week’s voting because who ever had a bad week last week may not be able to rebound this week, even with another 4 hour voting window.  Idol needs to stick to what it does best and so far this season it has gone so far afield that it could be “jumping the shark” as I type.   I’d hate to see that happen.

 

So, now that I’ve made you wait longer than I’d like for my opinions on this week’s “rock-a-thon,” let’s get to how I heard the music from my red leather couch:

 

Phil Stacey / Blaze of Glory

For the third week in a row his boy has roared out of the gate and given a solid vocal performance while managing to NOT creep the viewers out too much!  He’s been making me think twice about his chances because of his solid singing but given the fact that he may have taken a little too long to warm up, he may be going out in a Blaze of Glory this week.

I’d like him to be safe but he might be on the bubble.

 

Jordin Sparks / Livin’ on a Prayer

I have loved this child for taking chances and up until this week she was able to beat the odds but, even by her own admission, this was NOT her night.  I don’t think she did as bad as the judging troika made it out to be but between bottoming out on the low notes and trying just a tad too hard to be a rocker chick, she had her first truly bad night of the competition.  Normally that would not be a cause for concern but because of last week’s elimination that wasn’t, she could end up in jeopardy or worse and THAT would not be fair.  Good thing there is a four hour window to vote tonight…now, where’s my phone?

Will make her safe if I have to vote all night!

 

Lakisha Jones / This Ain’t a Love Song

The hubby and I totally agreed on this one — she ended with a bang but it shouldn’t have taken her the ENTIRE song to get there!  KiKi has been struggling for the last three weeks and while this song was a good vocal and performance song for her, she made us wait too long for the payoff.  Now, either folks will forgive her for that and vote to keep her in or they will have had enough and she’ll be gone.  I can’t say for myself which way I’d like to see it go and I feel badly for that because she has a great talent.

This one is TOO close to call!

 

Blake Lewis /You Give Love a Bad Name

That was GREAT!!!  Even my hubby loved it!  I was waiting for the judges to slam him but they, too, were stunned by how masterfully he took this song and gave it a whole new slant while still remaining true to the essence of the song.  This boy IS a musician and even though I don’t fancy his brand of music, his is no less talented and special.  Top 3 material for sure — if not Top 2.

If last week didn’t hurt him too much, he should be safe. 

 

Chris Richardson  / Dead or Alive

If I had too choose, I’d say that was a DEAD performance.  Didn’t care for it at all.  There will be too much comparison to last year’s superb rendering by Chris Daughtry, meaning that might just have been the nail in the coffin for the faux Timblelake.  I won’t be sorry to see him go.

Should be on the bubble and Daughtry should be singing him HOME this week.

 

Melinda Doolittle / Have a Nice Day

I was a little nervous about this gal singing this genre but she just continues to “shock and awe” me!  By channeling herself a little Tina Turner ‘tude, she once again showed us all that SHE CAN SING ANYTHING!!!!  I’m beginning to think she actually SHOULD win because she has been in the competition since the beginning and has pretty much out sung all comers.  She kinda deserves the title, don’t you think?

Miss Doo-a-LOT is once again SAFE!

 

So, my bottom three for this week?  I would have to say  Lakisha, Chris and Jordin with the double “das boot” going to Lakisha & Chris.  I’d say we have an interesting Top 4 this year with Phil as our dark horse, Jordin having to play “catch up” after this week, Blake riding a strong musical wave and Melinda still out distancing the pack. 

 

That is, unless, TPTB have another plan…  😉   We shall see…

 

Carry on!

J

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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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