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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol: The Heavily Relying on the Extended Entry Edition (Updated)

Given that I want people to see the other two posts from today, this post will be contained almost entirely in the extended entry. Cool, huh?

I missed last week’s girl show, so I’m not sure what to expect. I know who I liked early, but things change.

I like Carly Smithson, the cocktail waitress, tattoo shop co-owning hottie, but it still bugs me a bit that she’s here after already blowing through one recording contract. Whatever. She’s here and singing Heart’s “Crazy On You” and doing a decent (not spectacular) job of it. She sounds alright and bounces nicely (God bless the bouncing!), but something seems to be missing. Some spark that says that she’s invested in the thing instead of just singing it.

Still, better than most of the stuff from last night.

Randy didn’t dig it so much and thought the beginning was rough. Sounds about right. Paula plays her mommy role, but offers no real commentary or critique. Useless. Simon thought it was better than last week, but thinks she hasn’t “connected with the right song.” He thinks she might be the best singer, but that she needs to find the right song. I think he’s close to right--I don’t know if she’s the one to beat, but she’s very talented.

Syesha Mercado sings about her and Mister, Mister Jones. Hubba hubba. I love her. She has a beautiful voice, she is remarkably attractive, and I’m blind to any faults that she might have. So, yeah, useful commentary is right out the window on this one, although I’ll be strong enough to admit that there were a few rough spots and she didn’t quite nail it when she went for the big note at the end. I shouldn’t like it as much as I did.

The baby cry didn’t need to happen, though. If you didn’t see it, you won’t know what I’m talking about; if you did see it, well, you know.

Randy didn’t dig it. Paula gave a little bit of advice and criticism. Simon thought it was silly to rework Billy Paul’s “Mrs. Jones” into a song for a female singer. The vocal critiques make sense to me, but I don’t think there was anything wrong with changing up a classic to fit the singer.

Hubbas.

Brooke White is another absolutely beautiful woman and she seems about as nice a person as you could imagine. Singing one of my least favorite songs of all time, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” she makes it almost okay. Although, all the smiling during the song was really at odds with the lyrical content--again, a disconnect between the singer and the material that seems to happen all the time on American Idol. Decently done, but not brilliant.

Randy thought it was pretty good but didn’t bring anything special to the song. Paula offers up Paula-y love and petting. Simon absolutely loved it and thought that it suited her perfectly.

I really like her, but this song is tough for me. I’ve never liked it and I never will.

It’s nice that Ramiele Malubay continues the parade of gorgeousness, singing the disco song “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” but totally leaves me cold. The vocals didn’t work and it wasn’t a great song for her. Almost a cliche, really.

Randy agrees. He’s “keepin’ it real.” Paula agrees, but she tries to soften the blow by talking a lot about nothing and then telling everyone that the girl has amazing vocals. Simon agrees, too, and thinks there was nothing memorable about it. While the crowd boos, Randy’s “keepin’ it real, keepin’ it real.”

Thanks, Randy.

Okay, apparently the entire female line up is just chock full o’ gorgeous. Kristy Lee Cook gives a relatively lifeless take on “You’re No Good.” But, damn, she looks nice doing it. Her vocals were okay, but there was nothing that said “here’s a star in the making.” I like her well enough, but she’s not in the top couple singers of the week and I don’t know if she ever will be.

Randy thought it was better than last week. Paula loves her. Simon thought it was a huge improvement, although he doesn’t get who she is as a singer yet.

Here comes Amanda Overmyer chooses to go with “Carry On Wayward Son.” And it’s a little rough. Really rough. She does better powering through songs than through the slow and quieter bits, and this showed how bad the bad bits can be. A bit into it, I told girl that Amanda is going home this week--which disappoints me, but she would deserve it. She’s enthusiastic, but it was simply bad. Nice pants, though.

Randy loves the song but thought it was a bad song choice for her. Yep. Paula starts out complimenting the dancing--which is always a bad sign. Simon thought that the song, the hair, and the clothes were too contrived.

Alaina Whitaker is hopelessly devoted to me. Which is nice, really. This song so easily dives into bad high school theater territory that I was immediately worried. Minus a few rough spots where she lost the notes (ouch), she does a decent job of not letting it become a talent show reject. Not bad and probably enough to keep her on the show--but not great.

Randy didn’t like the song choice and didn’t like it so much. Paula is sort of middle of the road. Simon thinks she’s too old fashioned and needs to make herself more current. He calls the performance “pageanty”, but thinks she’s one of the show’s dark horses.

Aside: I still love my iPhone. In case you were wondering.

I like Alexandrea Lushington and I like “If You Leave Me Now"--but I’m iffy on the performance. I wanted to like it, I truly did, but the vocals seemed totally disconnected from the music. Some pitch problems at the end and some missed notes throughout didn’t help, but it was way more than that. And she knows it wasn’t good; in one of the toughest parts of the night to me, it was so easy to see that she knew it wasn’t good. Poor kid.

Randy didn’t like it, but praises her voice. Paula pets her, but you can tell that she knows the truth, too. Simon slams her carefully. He didn’t like the song choice, didn’t like the performance, but came down pretty hard.

I hope she’ll stay in the show. She’s a great personality and she does have a good voice; she just didn’t prove it tonight.

Kadie Maloy does another Heart song. Two Heart songs in one night? Man, I’m feelin’ the seventies. But I wish she’d done “Dog and Butterfly” instead of “Magic Man which was so far outside the realm of her personality that it was a little funny. Pretty as she is, she isn’t a steamy rock goddess. That was just sort of cute; it wasn’t actually good.

Randy didn’t like the song choice, either, and hits the vocals, too. Paula complimented the opera singing, bagged a bit on the rock singing. Bad bad choice. Simon says he frustrated with her song choice (He’s never heard “Magic Man” before? Must be an American thing.) and wonders why her personality and charisma aren’t carrying over to the stage when she sings.

I would say that there’s a chance that she’s going home, too. There’s enough beauty on the stage that pretty won’t save her.

I love Asia’h Epperson’s voice. She is stunningly pretty and that breathy voice just grabs me. Which doesn’t save her from a slow start singing one of my guilty pleasure songs, “All by Myself”, which might have been a bad choice for her, too. She misses some notes big time and I’m not thrilled with the arrangement that leaves the meat of the song out and substitutes extra takes on the big notes and the finish. I understand the why of it, but it still leaves the song kind of mangled.

Randy and Paula are much nicer than she deserves--I think they want to keep her on the show and are willing to cover some of the sins. Simon admits that she isn’t that good of a singer and “almost got away with it” but that she just wasn’t good enough for the song. I would agree with that--within her range, she’s wonderful, but outside of that comfort zone, she’s got serious shortcomings.

And they note that Celine sang the song, but this is first and foremost a seventies song. This is Eric Carmen’s song, damnit, and he still sounds the best to me.

All in all, it was a disappointing night--which leaves it an order of magnitude better than what the men managed last night.

Which is why people mock me for watching this stuff.

Grr.

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I held of reading this for the time delay, but I did peek ahead to who’s next for me.  Dude, say they don’t butcher All By Myself.  Please, say it isn’t so.

This year has a top 4, and nothing else.  Which is sad.  I think American Idol is losing dying a slow, painful death.

PS: 70’s music is my all time favorite music and this week made me cringe.  The cardinal rules:  Thou shalt not bother attempting to cover Heart.  QuarterFlask, maaaaaaaybe, if you’re a singing god, but not Heart.  Ever.  And Chicago is contractually obligated to stay behind the 1979 line.  Allowing it to cross into any other decade is treason, and punishable my death.  Just saying.

on Feb 27 2008 @ 10:20 PM

Oh dear god, she has only sang 10 words, and I want to hit her with something.  Christ on a cracker, man.  What happened to this generation?

on Feb 27 2008 @ 10:22 PM

MMMMmmmmm, Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is so much better than vanilla.

Thanks, ZB.

...I may have to try out for AI next season.  I’m old and portly, but I don’t miss notes, and I can usually sell the song pretty well.
My problems are usually that I have a deeper voice when rock/pop is for tenors, and even aside from a deeper pitch, my voice may not really be suited for rock/pop.

on Feb 27 2008 @ 10:42 PM

Shannon, that hurt, didn’t it? I mean ouch.

Yes, I think that AI is dying slowly. I just think that it’s funny that we’ve chosen to watch the ship go down.

And, Nathan, I’m here for you.

on Feb 28 2008 @ 01:36 PM
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