Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol- Top 20

Let me begin this recap of this week's tacky epitome of American pop culture by wishing a R.I.P, to a brilliant man, William F. Buckley.

Anyway, this was '70s week on American Idol and a time to pay homage to bell bottoms, Jimmy Carter, and stagflation. Or something like that.

The top 10 guys performed on Tuesday night with two of them to be voted off on Thursday. Last week, I was 0 for 2 in predicting who would be sent home. So, it was the end of the road for Colton Berry, who probably saw a key demographic of his expected vote go more heavily for Danny Noriega (and perhaps for David Hernandez as well.) Seventeen year old (Leif) Garrett Haley was probably hoping for more votes from the teenage girl demographic, but they probably exhausted their cell phone batteries or text message limits by voting 8 zillion times for David Archuleta.

So, here is how I ranked them (vocal performance alone from best to worst) this Tuesday:

1. Chikezie- I really hope I spelled that right! I thought he was a lot better than last week and really gave a good performance of a Donnie Hathaway song. But there is little buzz about him, so what do I know?

2. David Cook- I was surprised he did as well as he did. I thought it was a very credible performance for American Idol, but little buzz, so what do I know?

3. David Archuleta- plenty of buzz to go around there. When I watched his interpretation of John Lennon's "Imagine" for the first time, I certainly thought it was very good (while also realizing that he has a bit of a breathing issue when he sings), but I don't know if I bought into it being absolutely mesmerizing or worthy the type of Obama Messianic comments and reactions he got from the judges and the audience. (Paula Abdul may really need to be watched before she does something she regrets). I did see his performance again though and I think that helped me appreciate it more. I may not have thought he was the best male singer the past two weeks, but I am pretty confident in thinking that it might be a foregone conclusion that he is going to win American Idol this year. He may even steamroll to victory. In a few weeks, he is going to be one of the most talked about people in America. I should note here that I talked last year about the song "Imagine" and how I thought it might have been a mistake for Blake Lewis to sing it during that whole "Songs of Hope and Inspiration" week that sounds eerily too much like an Obama campaign theme or something, considering that the song is basically an ode to atheism. I immediately realized that is why the wholesome Mormon kid did not sing the first verse. Good move on his part. I think it's a classic song, but the message in remains a bit disturbing to me. However, I do not think Archuleta's many fans will hold it against him.

4. Robbie Carrico- did decent enough, but the judges really don't seem to like him. Maybe they just can't get past the Britney thing.

5. Danny Noriega- I thought he was horrid last week and was much, much better this week. He has a good voice and is going to have a devoted cadre of supporters. I just wonder how tempted he is going to be to play up to that audience during the weekly judges' comments, etc.

6. Jason Castro- thought it started out interesting and different in a good way, but then he seemed to run out of gas and missed a couple notes badly. Probably safe though.

7. David Hernandez- a lot of people loved this performance. I thought it might have been better than last week but there is just something about his singing style that doesn't really make me get it at this point.

8. Luke Menard- did an interesting take on "Killer Queen" but seemed to be trying to sound too much like Freddie Mercury and nobody can really pull that off. He is probably better suited to his acapella group.

9. Michael Johns- picked a great song, but it just did not work. He was the best male singer last week and this week should be considered a great dissapointment. I was really surprised he was not able to pull it off better. He was not horrible, but it sounded like a Karaoke performance.

10. Jason Yeager- more entertaining than last week, but for the second time in a row, I have him dead last. He just is out of his league at this point in American Idol.

So, which two will be eliminated? I am going to once again risk a prediction of Jason Yeager, and the second one I say will be Luke Menard.

On Wednesday night, the ladies performed and while there were two very good performances and one pretty good one, the rest I thought were quite subpar.

1. Carly Smithson- she can really sing Heart well. If one of the Wilson Sisters ever decides to hang it up, Carly can take over. She still needs to prove that she can deliver on a non-Heart song, but she has a heck of a lot of talent obviously.

2. Brooke White- I thought she did an extremely good job on her rendition of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", but between Carly Smithson and Simon Cowell, maybe that could get a bit confusing. I liked it though. I can't really explain why but I thought it worked well for her, but I wonder if it might be her high-point. But the Mormons this season on American Idol are just so darn earnest and likeable and that probably will help a great deal. Mitt Romney is plotting his comeback as we speak.

3. Ramielle Mulabay- she is going to go very far in this competition barring some sort of surprise. I thought she did decent this week but nowhere near as good as last week.

4. Kristy Lee Cook- did ok, but just ok in my opinion. Better than last week when she was hopped up on all sorts of antibiotics apparently. I tell you though that some of these female contestants need to borrow a page from Antonella Barba (whatever her name was) and get some racy MySpace photos leaked onto the internets to create some publiclity and give people a motivation to keep them around.

5. Syesha Mercado- I thought she was great last week, but like Michael Johns for the guys, this was a huge letdown. Bad choice of songs and it probably will not be good for her in the long term if she is seen as the "actress."

6. Alaina Whitaker- competent, but boring. She may have Dick Cheney's vote.

7. Asia'h Epperson- I saw a leaked list of the songs that all these girls performed since the show was not live and it said that she took on a Celine Dion number and that is how the judges described it as well. I had to look it up and saw that it was indeed originally done in the '70s, otherwise it would have been a weird choice of songs. She can sing but probably took on the wrong song. The first time she tried to hit a high note she missed badly. Then, kind of brought it home a little at the end or it really would have been a disaster.

8. Amanda Evermyer- I really want her to do well. She is a rocker. She is a Bears fan. Her Mom is hotter than she is and should be seen on camera more, etc. Tonight was not good though. I think she would probably really be appreciated singing rock with a band backing her up at bars and clubs and all that, perhaps when people have tipped a few back, but she isn't a versatile or naturally gifted enough singer to be an American Idol.

9. Alexandrea Lushington- bad choice of songs, did not work at all.

10. Kady Malloy- see above. It was painful at times.

Last week, I correctly predicted that both Joanne Borgella and Amy Davis would be eliminated. This week, I hope to make it two for two again. There are certainly some other possible suspects, but the show got worse as it went on and I think Alexandrea and Kady are going to be sent home. It is worth noting that they are two of the younger female contestants and Randy has been saying "Dawg, this year, it's all about the young ones." That sounds like something R. Kelly says every year, but I think I know where Randy was coming from. Alas though, I think the two ladies are not going to be able to count on many votes from the tween and teen female demographic because, again, all those minutes and energy was used the night before to vote for David Archuleta.


At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thirty years from now people may look back on today and remember George W. Bush and stagflation, or something like that.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thirty years from now people will look towards the GWB addition to Mt. Rushmore and be grateful for such a wonderful (while non-Messianic) leader.

Hopefully, you won't still be obsessed with him!

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From PJK:

Hey Corey, this is BREAKING NEWS:

For the Guys, Jason Yeager is going back to Texas and for the girls, Alexandrea is heading back to Georgia.

They still keep the gay kid, Danny Noriega and the ugly girl, Amanda.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thirty years from now people will look towards the GWB addition to Mt. Rushmore and be grateful for such a wonderful (while non-Messianic) leader."

Maybe there will be some kitschy piece of junk distributed at a GOP convention down the road with GWB's face on a fictional Mt. Rushmore.

Not on the real one, though.


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