Tuesday, March 27, 2007

American Idol- Top 10

Last week, the night before Elizabeth Edwards received some very sad news about her health, and for which much of the country is keeping her, as well as Tony Snow, in our thoughts and prayers, regardless of our political beliefs, a young singer, also named Edwards, received some bad news from the American viewing public with a surprise elimination from American Idol. Stephanie Edwards' departure signifies that this season of American Idol, is just as much about personality, popularity, and yes, politics, than about singing itself. But while there may be downsides to that fact in view of artistic merit considerations, we do have to recognize the role celebrity, media, the internet, and public opinion play in our culture.

This week saw the contestants being tutored by pop superstar Gwen Stefani, and while a few of them did indeed sing the songs she made famous, others went in a vastly different direction by singing tunes from such artists as Donna Summer and The Police. Apparently, these choices were described as being ones that have "inspired" Ms. Stefani, but it seems to me like some contestants were just given carte blanche to pick whatever song they wanted, and they just found a creative way to explain things.

As for the performances themselves, the front-runner remains the front-runner in my view while I also found some performers having their best week yet, while others probably had their worst week on the show. But before I reveal my ranking of best to worst, based solely on the one night's vocal performance, let's just keep in mind that the results tomorrow night are going to be about who people want to see on television and who was able to best "get out the vote."

So, here is how I ranked them. I will point out that basically the people in spots 2-4 were all pretty much equal in my view, but I still endeavored to put them in specific slots.

1. Melinda Doolittle
2. Chris Richardson
3. Phil Stacey
4. LaKisha Jones
5. Blake Lewis
6. Haley Scarnato
7. Gina Glocksen
8. Jordin Sparks
9. Chris Sligh
10. Sanjaya Malakar

Hey, Sanjaya may even be getting a little better, but obviously, he is once again at the very bottom. Does that mean he is going home? I still tend to doubt it. He is now a household name and a cultural phenom. Like the infamous Rasputin, you just cannot kill him off this show. I fully expect to see several feaux-hawks out on the street tomorrow. I hope it's not too much of a hassle for him to get his hair to do that, because he will be expected to pull off the look every night this summer when he goes on the Idols Live tour. So, while Sanjaya continues to extend his 15 minutes of fame long past the time he should. he probably will be back due in no small part to the influence of votefortheworst.com, a product of a fellow Northern Illinois alum.

Back during the auditions, I pegged Chris Sligh as favorite to win it all, and while is pretty talented, his performance tonight was pretty subpar in my view. He may have reason to worry that he will be voted off. Still though, I feel that he has built up enough goodwill over the past few months among the "Fro Patrol" and he will likely survive due more to personality and humor, than his take on "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", which even a complete music novice like myself would realize is a pretty impossible song to pull off live unless your name is Sting and you have a wife who is so very concerned about global warming, while enjoying the whole private jet thing.

So, anyway, even though I think Haley Scarnato was perhaps the best she has been on the show, the judges did not seem to like it very much, and I do not know if her fan base will be big enough to save her. She will need a big call-in vote number from the great state of Texas, and that will probably involve having Karl Rove and Tom DeLay on the case.

Maybe Haley should have claimed to have a Heather Mills like artificial limb, because I think she just does not rank high enough on the pop culture interest meter to make it past this week.


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