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March 07, 2005

American Idol, Men's Night

Except for McGehee, you all come here for American Idol updates, don't you? Or, perhaps, to mock me for my bad taste in entertainment?

Whatever the reason (or, for that matter, even if you feel like boycotting me) I have once again found myself diving head first into the morass of America's best karaoke singers that is American Idol. There is one good thing about my passive obsession this year: there are two singers who actually seem a little out of the norm for the contest.

Everyone is referring to them as the "rockers," although I think that's doing a bit of disservice to the genre. These are Geoff Tate style vocalists or James Hetfield growlers. Read, hard core rock has always been less about pure singing talent and more about the ability to emote. The first "rocker," Constantine, sounds and looks (minus the genre-defining hair) like he would have been happy heading up Poison back in the latter days of metal. The other, Bo, reminds us more of a 70's throwback--a "Freebird" singing southern rocker.

While I don't consider either of these guys to be "rock" in any real sense, I do like that they've differentiated themselves from the crowd.

Scott Savol He has a fine (actually, a good) voice, but a horrible, charmless presence. He might actually make it as a session singer in the industry, but don't imagine that he could put his face on a record and sell it to hundreds of thousands of teenage girls. Won't happen.

Bo Bice He goes for a more current song and it doesn't suit him. The song doesn't let him stretch his vocals the way he needs to because, frankly, he isn't that good of a singer. When he attacks a song, he has a decent growl and a nice sound, but when he has to hold himself back he comes across as wavery and thin. It finished better than it started, but it started pretty poor. Paula and Simon loved it, but I think they're just trying to influence the voters. Just sayin'...

Anthony Federov Squeaky clean little boy. That's what I think every time I see him--a harmless, talented, somewhat typical kid who those teen girls (who stayed away in droves from Scott Savol) would absolutely adore. Perfect for the competition because of that, useless to me because it's kind of boring. I can't imagine that he won't be there pretty close to the end.

An Aside Do those Burger King Bacon Cheddar Ranch ads bother anyone but me? I mean, they're like little sex ads. Strangely disturbing.

Nikko Smith I love the song "Georgia On My Mind," and I liked him singing it at least part of the time. There were some seriously rough moments, though. He's got great range for a karaoke singer, but he doesn't have the control to pull off a song like that.

Travis Tucker He danced, he sang, he even did a little beatbox. He's a better performer than he is a singer, but he'll be another one that connects with the all important teen girl market. Not particularly good, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay in the competition.

Mario Vazquez He reminds me of nothing less than another Anthony Fedorov only better at being pretty and worse at the being a singer. There were some truly painful moments during his rendition of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"--a song that can actually be quite affecting with the right vocals. Simon is right: he'll sail through on charm.

Constantine Maroulis Ooo, tackling the Police. Great song--and a nice change from all the typical pop fodder. Unfortunately for Constantine, he looks lost on the stage and his voice is a pale little thing next to Sting's. He doesn't sound good at all. He's trying to get by on his looks, but I don't think it's going to keep him in the competition. Randy liked it, Paula loved it (but she's pretty much loving everyone tonight), and Simon was the only voice of reason. To his co-judges: "You guys have lost the plot."

An Aside During this commercial break, I'm listening to "Rock Dove" by the Earthlings? (The question mark being part of the band's name, should I put a period after that question mark?) I feel a little bit better.

Anwar Robinson My girlfriend likes him as much for his looks as for his friendly personality. Well, maybe more for his looks. His "What a Wonderful World" is probably painfully typical for the show, at least in song choice and style, but still gorgeous. His voice is actually much better than most of the others tonight, and his stage persona isn't too cloying bringing just a minimum of gesturing and pose. I liked it a lot. Very good performance; he has good reason to feel good about himself tonight.

Okay, that's it and I can dive back into prepping the new site.

Posted by zombyboy at March 7, 2005 07:07 PM

What doe McGehee come here for? Does he have a crush on you or something...;-)

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at March 7, 2005 09:27 PM

Wait. Doesn't everybody have a crush on me?

If not, don't tell me. I don't know that my self-esteem could handle the shock.

Posted by: zombyboy at March 7, 2005 09:31 PM

I come here for the gratuitous mentions of me. There's three of 'em right here, if you count the comment thread (including this one).

Posted by: McGehee at March 8, 2005 07:50 AM

I think Anwar stands a good chance of winning, and I hope he does. It was awful last year when Beth's fave (Latoya) got booted.

I'd predict Travis and Federov get the boot this week, Beth thinks Travis and Savol. You seem to think everyone will stay until "near the end". Get some balls and make a prediction, dude.

Posted by: Matt Moore at March 8, 2005 11:48 AM

What are you talking about, Matt? The only ones I said would probably stay in are Anwar, Mario, Travis, and Fedorov.

Least safe to most safe (which, of course, is wrong because I'm not a typical voter): Scott, Constantine, Nikko, Bo, Fedorov, Travis, Mario, Anwar.

I think Scott and Constantine get kicked this week--even though Scott has a better voice than some of the people that will stay in it.

Posted by: zombyboy at March 8, 2005 12:00 PM
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