Archive for the 'season six' Category

American Idol Top 12: Results

I’d forgotten how much I really enjoy these results shows. Group sings! Diana Ross medley! The men sound interchangeable and bland as ever. The gals sound good. Pimpomercial! Oh, how I’ve missed thee. But meh — kind of boring.

On to the slaughtering! Lakisha is safe. Gina is safe and screams “thank you!” obnoxiously. Meh, I won’t shed any tears if and when she gets the axe. Brandon is in the bottom three. No surprises. Jordin is safe. Chris R. is safe, to my great chagrin and consternation. Melinda is safe, of course. Phil is in the bottom three…mild surprise. Chris S. is safe, as is Stephanie. Blake will be back to beatbox us to death another day. Down to Sanjaya and Haley. Well, we know Haley is hitting the seal along with Phil and Brandon, but first we need a break and a little Diana Ross!

This week’s American Idol challenge asks you “who is the lowest-selling Idol to date?” with three separate pictures of Taylor Hicks. Ugly pictures. Just kidding. But the question is about album sales, and it’s a mildly more difficult question — which Idol (Kelly, Carrie or Taylor — and it’s hot footage) did Simon predict would sell more records than any other Idol? (Hint: it’s Carrie.)

Diana Ross, arms outstretched and akimbo, makes a full DIVA! entrance through the FANT ASIA doors wearing a flaming red dress. She shrieks her way through “I Love You More Today.” Oh, please, can the judges chime in after her performance? Because this is one hot mess of pitchy, flat notes and shrieky misses. Ryan asks her who’s going home tonight. She looks bewildered and covers nicely: “Me!” Well played, Miss Ross. Back to the cryogenic freeze chamber you go!

Sanjaya joins Brandon and Phil in the bottom three. Phil gets sent back to safety as Brandon smarts. Phil hugs him. Brandon doesn’t like it. Dude, you ain’t all that. He purses his lips smugly. Although losing out to Sanjaya has got to hurt, because that’s what happens. Sanjaya is safe, and Brandon gets the first official boot of the season. Triumphant DAUGHTRY! plays in the background. Brandon shifts immediately from Pissed Off Mode to It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated Mode, and of course he’s cut off before his singout can start. Awwww.


American Idol: Top 12 Recap

The awesome: Melinda Doolittle, of course…although she does have a bit of a bleating problem. But I was a mite bored by her. (In the interests of full disclosure, though, I just don’t like ballads much.) She still does The Turtle (head receding into shoulders) after performing, as well as the “omg you like meeeeeeee?” squeal. Feh. I love the girl, but for sheer entertainment value, I’d love to see her land in the Bottom Two to see if she’ll just have a nervous breakdown, or if she’ll go all Damien on us a la Katharine McPhee last year. Lakisha Jones or Kiki or whatever her name is turned in what I consider her best performance to date, even though the song choice came right out of the Predictable Diva Playbook, and she’s still slightly less nuanced than Melinda.

The a’ight: Chris Sligh’s appeal still eludes me, and apparently, the judges as well. He rips off Coldplay for his arrangement, and it just seems like he’s always just hovering on the edge of being really great, but he never delivers. Blake Lewis funkified up his Diana Ross song, but the end product was just a little too Everybody Samba! to have much of an impact. This isn’t going to work, this little gig that he and Sligh have got going. Oh, sure, it’s fine to cheat the theme once (see: Hicks, Taylor and the Billboard Hits theme; Daughtry, Chris and the Country theme), but Blake can’t make every single song sound like rave music for the next twelve weeks. Nor can Sligh make everything sound like Mute Math. Stephanie Edwards is wearing a really loud dress, but never seems to find her stride with the song. Jordin Sparks is so sugary that I damn near reach for an insulin injection, and she looks great, and raspberry is a fabulous color for her, but she still bored me, so much so that I started this recap midway through her song.

The meh: Brandon Rogers forgets his words and does his backup singer routine, blending too well into the music and the arrangement and never standing out on his own. Great smile, but it ain’t Colgate Idol. Gina Glocksen just sounds like some girl singing, and her hair is in that awful “I got a shag haircut a year ago and I’m growing it out now” stage that I am all too familiar with. Someone get this girl either a truly punk hairstyle or some extensions, stat. Also, she had a wallet chain attached to the arm of her satin blazer. That’s right, Ms. Rock Yo House was wearing a satin blazer. Phil Stacey…looks better with a hat. He’s got a good voice, sure, but his performance style is bland and predictable. Chris Richardson has this strange fake smile that continually creeps me out, and dead eyes to boot. He looks like an overgrown Cabbage Patch doll. He really does. Sure, he’s a charismatic performer, I’ll give him that, but he oversings, and his tone is like nails on a chalkboard. Ugh.

The awful: Sanjaya Guarini Malakar is actually probably sporting his natural hairdo, and the big secret is that the lovely Leif Garrett fluff is what takes him 20 minutes to mousse, blowdry and style. His song should have been in a higher key, as it is completely vocally unchallenging. It was bad, though not as bad as the judges made it out to be. Sanjaya’s voice is like Downy fabric softener, though, in that it makes me want to cuddle something and fall asleep on a big fluffy bed. Which is probably not really good for this show. Haley Scarnato was as bad as the judges thought, and worse than Simon thought. Pretty hair does not equal stage presence, Mr. Cowell. She tried to go for some grit, but she screwed up the words royally, hit a few bum power notes, then retreated back into her little Disney-character-trilling niche. Also, the makeup artists were stupidly covering up her mole. Seriously. We all know it’s there, and it looks fine. By covering it up, it just looks like she’s got a zit.

Random comments: How come no one got a major makeover? That’s like the best part of the Top 12 Reveal! Melinda is still rocking her Mom ‘do, Lakisha’s weave is still too helmety, Gina’s haircut is still just bad and her makeup is still unflattering. Oooh, Chris Sligh swapped out his glasses for contact lenses! Someone call 911, I might keel over from the shock! Yawn. Okay, Sanjaya rocked The Guarini, but that wasn’t exactly surprising. Boo-ring. At least the banter between Simon and Ryan was well-scripted this episode, instead of the usual ill-timed potshots Ryan usually spews out at Simon in a failed attempt to counteract the Brit’s caustic witticisms.

Lame quasi-spoilers.

All unconfirmed, nothing definite, and all vague enough so you won’t look that stupid in front of your co-workers if one or two of these turn out to be not-so-true. Spill these at the watercooler tomorrow morning and see how right you turn out to be. Impress your friends with your John Edward-like cold reading abilities!

They say…

…That one of the up-until-now “middle of the road” guys has chosen an uptempo song and has been blowing everyone away in rehearsals. It’s apparently not Brandon Rogers, though, as word on the street is that he will once again fail to bring the “wow factor” this week. UPDATE: This rumor, apparently, pertains to Chris Sligh. Heh. We’ll see.

…That Sanjaya Malakar continues to do okay, but hasn’t raised his game.

…That Haley Scarnato may buy herself another week with her performance.

…That Gina Glocksen is struggling this week.

…That Stephanie Edwards is juggling three songs right now (perhaps due to clearance issues?).

…That Blake Lewis is worrying about toeing that Taylor Hicks-ish line between unique and gimmicky.

I’m not putting a lot of stock in these, simply because they come from a new “source” whose accuracy hasn’t been confirmed, I don’t think, and also because they have a Nostradamus-like ambiguity to them. The only really specific stuff floating around out there is that Lakisha Jones plans to sing “I Will Always Love You” (not really a spoiler; she said it in an interview) and that Chris Sligh would like to try a classic hymn.

Don’t count your chickens.

EW chats up the Top 12 (just like they did last year), and it’s a veritable cornucopia of arrogance. Last year, all we got this early in the game from EW was a slightly eyebrow-raising statement from Katharine McPhee about how she brings so much “soul,” “blues,” and “jazz” to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues” (which she later, um, didn’t). This year, it’s practically a race to the top of Mount Ego. Good Lord, when did this turn into Smug Idol?

Chris Sligh, on theme nights he’s not looking forward to: Diana Ross is going to be tough, because she had this weird range, about seven or eight notes, and that’s about it. So it’s really hard to, like, rock out to Diana Ross, you know what I’m sayin’?

Damn, even McPhee waited until the season was over to go all snotty high-school-clique-leader on Meat Loaf. And no, the question wasn’t loaded; the contestants were asked about theme nights they either were or weren’t looking forward to. Sligh also says that he wanted to perform one of his original songs, but that Idol “wasn’t ready for it.” OR maybe, similar to the rule that contestants aren’t allowed to play instruments, they want to keep the playing field as evenly balanced as they can. (Yeah, I know, they play favorites, but at least on its face, the game’s fair.) Not everyone’s a songwriter, just like not everyone’s an instrumentalist.

In other news, Stephanie Edwards and Gina Glocksen want to cut their hair super-short, Brandon Rogers thinks that the guys this year represent an excellent crop of talent (snerk), and Sanjaya Malakar wants to sing something by Jet.

Cabbages and kings.

Taylor Hicks is in love…with his tour bus.

The first thing Hicks wants everyone to know is that he keeps “a sane bus.” Not a crazy bus, with groupies and binges and wild excesses…Hicks likes his driver, an affable guy named Greg, and he likes the idea of living on a “swanky bachelor bus.” It’s been designed for comfort and efficiency, with an interior color scheme that matches the outside, in masculine shades of gray, black, brown and burgundy. Hicks says his tour manager, Tim Durfey, selected this particular model, which boasts an expandable front lounge and roomy back lounge. Luxuries include gleaming wood paneling, faux-granite countertops, several squishy couches, privacy shades, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a couple of flat-panel televisions, a stereo or two and about 14 DVD players. There’s carpeting. There’s a decent-sized refrigerator with a freezer. There’s ample storage space, including two mirrored closets for Hicks’ on- and off-stage wardrobes. (The Soul Patrolman is a notorious clothes horse.)… In the rear lounge, the most exciting items on view are a guitar case, a black Tamrac bag that holds a Canon camera, an Apple PowerBook and a hardcover copy of a Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.” “I don’t know who that belongs to,” Hicks admits.


Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Rodney Ho, offered a concert review/album review/reflection on Taylor’s career:

Vocally, he wasn’t 100% (as noted earlier during the meet and greet), struggling a bit through songs like his single “Just To Feel That Way.” But he gutted it out and the crowd appreciated him as much as he appreciated them. “Thank you for voting for me,” he said, in his one acknowledgment of “Idol.” And he yelped out “Soul Patrol” several times, referencing his fan base…

Part of the reason why he’s not pulling in Daughtry-level sales is the fact he’s happily stuck in the 1970s. There’s no real place for his old-soul music on contemporary radio. In fact, listening to his tunes, you’d think music stopped in 1980. His covers included a tribute to Marvin Gaye (“Let’s Get It On” [ed. note — “Wherever I Lay My Hat?”] and the Commodores’ “Nightshift”) and Supertramp’s 1979 hit “Goodbye Stranger.”

Ultimately, Hicks has clearly opted on the side of his musical integrity and identity versus trying to being something he’s not. And if that doesn’t make him RCA Records’ best bud, he’ll earn his keep touring for the next 40 years long after other “Idol” winners have fully faded into obscurity.

The comments section is full of bitching and moaning from people who feel that a review should never mention 1) that Taylor has gray hair and that 2) most of his fans are middle-aged women. Sigh. The review was good, ladies. Give it a rest. If you don’t want to be mentioned in a review, stop showing up in Taylor T-shirt all decked out with blinking pins and official-looking Soul Patrol badges and ID cards. It’s the “don’t think of a pink elephant” syndrome.

Exit interviews! Antonella Barba says you can’t win with the judges. (Hint: it’s easier if you sing well.) She also has “offers” coming in that she can’t discuss. (Hint again: One is from Hugh Hefner; the other is from Joe Francis of “Girls Gone Wild” fame.) When asked if she would do men’s magazines, she responds, “I’m definitely willing to look at whatever I’m offered and sort out what feels right to me.” Well, there you go.

Sabrina Sloan doesn’t say anything particularly interesting, which…was kind of the problem in the first place, wasn’t it? Oh, she was going to sing “Can’t Hurry Love” next week. Meh, that would have been safe and boring anyway. Also, she says that she (and, presumably, all the Top 24 contestants) are repped by 19M until the show is over. I didn’t know that. Jared Cotter says that “the voting was off” (well…perhaps, in that Sanjaya should have gone home, but Jared wasn’t anything special, either, except for a good but not great vocalist who more often than not was covered in thick, cheesy Velveeta. He also doesn’t understand why Paula told him he “needed more coloring,” and that he YouTubed his performance and didn’t find anything wrong with it. Wow, and people think Sundance is the cocky one? Sheesh.

And onto Sundance Head, who had “no idea” he was going home. Seriously, have any of these people seen the show before Or at the very least, have they heard of Chris Daughtry? “Shocking exits” are this show’s bread and butter. He also has really nice things to say about Sanjaya:

Sanjaya is only 17. He’s a kid. He’s a polite kid and he’s gonna make it in the business but at this point he’s so young he doesn’t know himself and his capabilities. He doesn’t have confidence in his voice. All that is going to come to him and when it does he’s going to be a great performer.


TV Guide interviewed the Top 12 contestants. Tidbits include:

Fantasy song choices. Chris Richardson hopes to sing a little Maroon 5. Chris Sligh wants to do “Know,” an original song. (Heh, good luck with that.) Lakisha Jones would love to sing — get ready for this, it’s a shocker — “I Will Always Love You.” Sigh. Lakisha. Try to be a little more diverse, please?

Musical inspirations. Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones go for the safe choices of Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, respectively. Brandon Rogers looks up to Alison Krauss (awesome!), while Phil Stacey admires Melinda Doolittle (sweet!), and Chris S. digs anyone Elliott Yamin ever admired, plus Lynyrd Skynrd and Jason Mraz.

Looking into the future. If the whole Idol thing doesn’t work out, all the contestants say they will continue to sing and hope to release CDs. Jordin Sparks and Brandon hope to also obtain medical degrees, while Lakisha just wants a stable homelife.

Follow the link above to read more…

American Idol: Top 16 Results

Who will make the Top 12? It’s oh-so-exciting, only it’s not, really. We pan across the group. Sanjaya is back to sporting his Leif Garrett hair. Sundance looks like he’s going to throw up. Sabrina and Melinda are solemn. Haley rocks some serious volume in her hair.

Group sing! Chris Sligh and Haley sound like bad karaoke as they start off “Stuck in the Middle with You.” Melinda and Stephanie sound a’ight. I think Phil sounds good, though I might be the only one. Chris Richardson sounds like ass. Gina’s okay. Brandon shows a little promise here. Jordin sounds amazing. Sabrina drowns out Sanjaya completely, Lakisha sounds awesome but looks petrified. Antonella is just kind of passing through. Sundance’s weeble-wobbles (but doesn’t fall down), and his screaming is a little weak, but generally he sounds pretty good.

Quickie review of how pretty much everyone sucked. Hee.

We dim the lights. Lakisha Jones and Blake Lewis join Seacrest on the seal. Oh, feh. They’re obviously both in the Top 12, and they quickly fill up the first two seats. Chris Sligh and his strategery sidle up to the seal as Seacrest asks him if he thinks he’s made it. “For fear of sounding stupid,” he says, “I’ll say I hope.” Aw. We break, and…he’s in the Top 12. Jordin Sparks is also in the Top 12. Phil Stacey gets pre-emptive applause, which can’t be good. Phil is nervous and a little worried. He’s asked if he wants to move on, he says yeah, and Seacrest tells him he’s safe. Camera pan to his sweet wife. Aww! Phil is in tears as he advances. I like him. I do. I can’t say he’s the best voice in the competition, but I really like him a lot.

Next up is Jared Cotter, and he is out tonight. Close-up on his adorable yet disappointed parents. Simon tells him he’s a good-looking guy, but to work on his vocals, and Randy tells him to be original. Jared says he’s very surprised. He…shouldn’t be, really. But whatev. His singout is just as bland and boring as it was on Tuesday night. He handles himself well throughout, though.

Tonight’s Idol Challenge asks us who has a number-one album right now: Ace Young, Kevin Covais, or Chris Daughtry? Are they kidding? Sadly, no.

Melinda Doolittle and Brandon Rogers are both in the Top 12. Yay for Melinda. Brandon I’m not sure deserved it after the run he’s had, but he’s got potential, so cool. Gina Glocksen and Chris Richardson stroll hand-in-hand to the seal. They are both safe. I’m warming up to Gina, but my thoughts on Chris R. (well, on his vocal abilities at least) are known, so I’m not enthusiastic about that at all.

Three spots left, six people remaining. And it’s time for a Carrie Underwood flashback. See Carrie when she lived on a farm and looked like she was still eating solid food! See Carrie win American Idol, crimped hair and all! See a nearly-emaciated Carrie fall victim to that horrid leggings trend to sing “Wasted.” Yeah, Carrie’s got a pretty voice, but…eh. You know, not too long ago I was re-watching last season’s finale, where Carrie, Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee all sang the intro verses of “I Made It Through the Rain,” and I realized just how indistinguishable Carrie and Katharine’s voices really are. Oh, sure, Carrie’s got a country twang, and Katharine’s got kind of a gulpy lower range, but when they’re in the mid-range I think they’re both just bland, bland, bland. But, y’know, they’re both thin and pretty, and both have put out incredibly formulaic albums, so I guess that’s all that counts. Oh, also disappointing is the fact that Carrie’s stage presence really hasn’t improved all that much. She’s still the same ol’ FarmBot. Applause for Carrie. I think it would be awesome for past contestants to come back and sing, and then to pan right to the judges to get their comments. I really wish they’d do that, because it would be pretty awesome.

Antonella Barba and Stephanie Edwards hit the seal. Antonella’s in tears, and she’s out. Oh, thank goodness. I feel bad that she’s crying and all, but she’s just not that good of a singer, and she’s in serious need of an attitude adjustment. Her hair is hanging in her eyes, though, which bothers me. Her sing-out is marginally better than last night, and there are lots of close-ups on her face, which is very, very pretty, but it’s a little girl’s face, and not a woman’s. Interesting how the great American Idol beauties (Antonella and Katharine) have quite womanly, shapely bodies, but childlike, apple-cheeked faces.

Down to Haley Scarnato and Sabrina Sloan. And here’s the first shocker — Haley makes it into the Top 12, while Sabrina is cut. Whoa. I never liked Sabrina’s singing much, but she was clearly the better singer than Haley. She looks spectacular and handles herself with class. Honestly, I think it was the Latoya factor that did her in — she did come off as a little cool, and slightly entitled. You can be a consummate professional on this show, but you have to act like you appreciate the fact that you’re actually there, and Sabrina never really did. If anything doomed her, it was that (and the fact that in a competition full of belters, there was bound to be vote-splitting).

Tonight’s big announcement is that American Idol will be bringing the issue of extreme poverty in America and Africa right into everyone’s living rooms, where it will sit uncomfortably for an hour every week. I hope that’s not true; I hope they raise a lot of money. On April 24th (Top Six night), the theme will be “inspirational songs” (ugh), and for every vote cast, Idol’s sponsors will donate money to charity for every vote. Quincy Jones will write a song, Borat will appear on Idol (oh, the shark, she is jumped), and like a million stars will be around when Africa appears on American Idol. Okay, it’s a cool announcement, I guess, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with the contestants, so…eh.

It’s down to Sundance Head and Sanjaya Malakar. Both have given shitty performances. Who has the most potential? I’m gonna have to say Sundance. I know a lot of people hate him, but I don’t. I don’t see arrogance in him, either; I see a dude who’s obviously very talented (exhibit A: his original audition), but who hasn’t been able to find himself in this competition. That’s not an excuse, as he really needs to find himself quickly if he’s going to continue on, but…still. And maybe I am still clinging to that first time he sang “Stormy Monday.” Anyway, both of them look scared shitless. And the person going home is…Sundance. Aww. That’s really kind of sad, actually. It’s awful to see a guy who started out so full of promise plummet so badly. Paula says she’s speechless, and that Sundance has been one of the finest. When asked what happened, Simon says that the volume must have been turned down on the televisions of those who voted. All the judges are dumbfounded. Sundance pleads for a job. Heh. But…dare I say that Sundance looks really, really, really relieved to be getting the hell off of this show. It’s entirely possible that he just doesn’t do well in a highly competitive environment. Which probably means he’ll never be a pop star, but doesn’t mean he can’t eke out a decent career singing. Aww. I wanted to see how the stylists tackled the goatee.

“Bad Day” montage, featuring Simon telling Sundance that he’ll be amazed if Sundance doesn’t make the finals. Whoops. There is a small part of me that is glad that the singer who Simon said “blew Taylor out of the water” didn’t advance, but that’s all about Simon and not about Sundance at all, who I think is a hell of a nice guy.

Take a look at your Top Twelve, kids. It’s boring as shit. Yawn.

July 2018
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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. "