Archive for February 21st, 2007

American Idol: Top 12 Girls

The typos should be mostly fixed now. Blogging late at night can be hazardous to your grammar.

I watched this on DVR, which means I fast-forwarded through all (well, most) of the crap. So let’s start off right away with Stephanie Edwards. You know what? I like this girl. I don’t like her enough to vote for her, but I like her nonetheless. She’s got interesting tone, even if she speak-sang her way through the performance in places (too many places), and I could have done without the Katharine McPhee/Kellie Pickler Memorial Stage Hump, but eh, whatev.

Amy Krebs is up next with a little Bonnie Raitt. She’s flat, boring, and nasal, and her twang is affected. She’s also got a strange deer in the headlights quality to her. Simon tells her that she has the “personality of a candle” and that nothing about her is memorable, from her (limp) hair to her (shapeless) dress.

My girl Leslie Hunt is going to get a fucking raw deal. No, “Natural Woman” was not the best choice for her, but gee, I don’t recall anyone complaining when McPhee pageant-pranced her way through a Disney-fied version of “Think” last year. Consistency, people, consistency! Anyway, yes, I do think Leslie’s voice got a bit lost in the song, but God does she have the most gorgeous voice. Low, smokey, with a beautiful caramel-maple tone. In a contest full of boring Celine wannabes and loud-is-the-new-good belters, Leslie stands out (and I adore her quirky fashion sense — nothing wrong with hooker boots if you pair them with a demure little dress and keep your legs closed!) as unique. The judges unfairly read her the riot act, and I’ll be pissed off if she goes. I’m power-voting for her tonight.

Sabrina Sloan. Okay, she also comes out with a little Aretha, and it’s pretty good. I mean, I’m not feeling her 100%, maybe because I’m getting a slightly entitled vibe from her, and that’s never good this early on in the competition. The judges love her, calling her the one to beat. Maybe.

VFTW pick Antonella Barba and her dumb bitchy friend clutter up my television screen with unnecessary flashbacks. Antonella is tackling Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” and while I don’t think it was quite as bad as some made it out to be, it wasn’t good, either. Also? Girlfriend is wearing way too much makeup for the semifinals. Simon thinks she’s seriously damaged her chances at moving on, but with VFTW at the helm, I see her sticking around another week.

Jordin Sparks sings that “Gimme just one good reason” song by Tracey Chapman, and it’s…yeah, it’s good, but it’s bot-like, as most teenagers on this show are wont to be. The judges tell her she’s too restrained, and I have to agree. She’s followed by poor unpimped Nicole Tranquillo, who sings “Stay” in what by all means should be an excellent performance, but for some strange reason really isn’t, probably due to the extreme disconnect between the girl in the pre-song clip who wore flannel-print button downs and the rawker girl who takes the microphone onstage. I’m also not very convinced that she’s hitting all those high notes. At the very least, she’s too strident. Paula really likes her, but the rest of the judges are less than impressed.

Boring Haley Scarnato sings boring Celine Dion. Boringly. Oh, and what’s with this girl’s wardrobe? Does she have an entire closetful of just-barely-tasteful black jumpers? Ugh. She’s pulling out Celine’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and here you have this song that’s supposed to be powerful and moving and mindblowing (and I am not a Celine Dion fan by any stretch of the imagination)…and Haley is singing in this weird, trilly voice that’s perfect for voicing a Disney cartoon, but not so good for the stage. Randy calls it “just okay,” and Simon says that everything about Haley is “old.”

Am I completely batshit crazy for thinking that Melinda Doolittle bears a striking resemblance to Mindy Sterling? Seriously, when that girl and her face come on the screen, I start shouting things like “send in the CLONE!” and “lies, all LIES!” But it’s all good, because Melinda can sing, and she delivers a hell of a performance. She’s a belter, to be sure, but she’s got a raw, unadorned quality to her voice that I really, really love. The perma-smile is going to have to go, though. It’ll wear thin soon. Still, I think she’s the best one of the night.

Trailing Melinda (in oh so many ways) is Alaina Alexander — or, as I like to refer to her, Simon’s favorite punching bag. This is the contestant you just know he put through so he could be guaranteed to have someone to beat up come the semifinals. She sings (well…that’s such a relative word, really) “Brass in Pocket,” punctuating the words with more obnoxious, affected gasping-for-air breathiness. Dude, it’s American Idol, not Have an Orgasm Onstage Idol. The judges rip her a new one, and rightly so. She so better be gone tomorrow night.

Gina Glocksen is a good singer, there’s no denying that, but…meh, somehow. And her entire image is so incongruous. Here you have this girl who struts around with this raw, arrogant, rocker-chick image, and she’s constantly busting out with the Celine. She’s sticking around, but I’m just not thrilled with her.

Last of the night is Lakisha Jones. Damn, does this girl have some brass ones to tackle “And I am Telling You.” And I am telling you that despite what the judges said, this wasn’t anywhere near Jennifer Hudson’s performance. The girl can’t coast on being loud forever…eventually she’s going to have to try something with more nuance, and I’m not sure how she’ll fare when the time comes.

Best of the night: Melinda Doolittle.
Worst of the night: Alaina Alexander, followed by Antonella Barba.
Most hated contestant: I really can’t work up a good hate for any of them, although Sabrina rubs me the wrong way.
Most favorite contestant: Despite a slightly underwhelming debut, I’m still firmly on the Leslie Hunt train.


February 2007
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What the kids are sayin’

"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."

"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."

"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "