Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol- Top 7


At least, I can hopefully keep this much briefer than ususal.

There are seven contestants remaining. All of them are good. They all can sing and there is no Sanjaya embarassment at this stage in the competition as there was last year when Mr. Malakar finally went out in 7th place.

But tonight, all the Mariah Carey songs were boring. They all were ballads and they all stayed the same. Of course, I knew the list of songs a few hours before the show began but I would have been very happy to hear someone do "Someday" or "Emotions." At least those are somewhat upbeat and would have helped break up the monotony. Mariah is one of the most successful artists in music history but I have never been a huge fan. Most of the songs on the show tonight I had not even heard before as far as I can remember. So, while I can admire the talent of the contestants and still enjoy the show from a competition aspect, I found tonight hard to"judge" and sort of hard to watch. Next week is Andrew Lloyd Weber? Oh vey, that is going to be even worse. Speaking of oy vey, I guess it is two weeks until Neil Diamond is the mentor!

Last week, Michael Johns was the surprise Idol that America Gave Back to potential obscurity. This result shocked and angered a lot of Idol fans, especially females for some reason. My theory is that many of Michael's fans were so concerned about another contestant, David Cook, potentially being voted off, that they split their votes too much or forgot about Michael all together and he paid the price. In the eyes of many, this is the most premature ending for an Australian singer since Michael Hutchence got a little too freaky for his own good several years back.

So, in spite of the lousy Mariah Carey theme, I still watched the show and found a way to rank them vocally from best to worst:

1. Carly Smithson- Carly's continued intense desperation when she sings is at least a little bit of something to keep a non Mariah fan awake. I sort of knew the song she sang but I did not associate with it Ms. Carey. Apparently, Simon Cowell was the one who told Carly to sing the song and I think she did a good job, although some notes seemed imperfect as well. I also am going to give Carly some non-vocal points for dressing a little classier this week and hiding that tattoo on her arm that America is sick of by now. She looked good tonight, as did all the female contestants, but the show was still boring!

In spite, and perhaps because of my having Carly ranked first, she is in grave danger of being voted off this week. She was in the bottom three last week and appeared to be resigned to having had the lowest number of votes. When it turned out to be Michael Johns, she seemed shocked and crushed. Maybe she is ready to go on some sub-conscious level and maybe America senses that. So, it is very possible that the contestant who bragged about getting a number 7 tattoo on her finger a few weeks back will have that immortalized by a 7th place Season 7 finish.

2. David Archuleta- Obviously, he can sing very well, regardless of the song. I continue to be extremely impressed by what he accomplished with "Smokey Mountain Memories" and "Angels" the last two weeks, but once again this week, he picked another "inspirational ballad with a good message" song and I found it kind of boring. It just did not have the emotional impact that the last two weeks did, but the judges all loved it and there was some serious pimpage going on to start the show. Of course, David A. is probably the only contestant who can be assigned the dreaded lead-off spot and not have to worry about potentially being voted off. I understand that the song he did was from a Disney movie about Moses. I kind of like that I suppose with Passover coming up and in honor of the late Charlton Heston but it is really just so predictable for David at this point. But I guess he is just going to do what he does and might be content to be the next Josh Groban or something like that. I just think he has potential to be bigger than that though, but that probably isn't going to happen if he stays in the same sort of box.

Still though, he sang it well, and since it is apparently a Mariah and Whitney Houston duet song, David accomplished pulling off a good performance of covering not one, but two divas, all wrapped up in a short giggly teenager from Utah in leather pants. Of course, its about four hours later and I don't remember the song at all now.

3. Jason Castro- I don't think he has as good of a voice as most of the others but at least he made it seem a little original tonight and should get points for pulling that off and sounding decent. It's the same sort of "singer-songwriter" (one of the most cliched statements of 2008 already) thing that he has done well before though so it's not like I was blown away or anything. In fact, like all of these performances, I was a little bored and wondering how the Cubs were doing (and how Alfonso Soriano got hurt) or looking forward to Hell's Kitchen.

4. Syesha Mercado- she is continuing to try to milk the diva card for all that it is worth as the only singer who might be classified as Soul/R&B and she sang a number tonight with some big notes and Mariah like piercing dog whistle sounds. I guess she did it ok in parts but it sounded off in other parts as well. I can't remember it for the life of me now. I think she is in trouble once again this week. I sensed some diva rival friction though between Mariah and Syesha during the rehearsal footage though. Anybody else notice that?

5. Kristy Lee Cook- the poor man's Carrie Underwood continues to do just enough to skate by in the middle of the pack. She sounded ok with a countrified version of a forgettable and boring Mariah tune. But KLC being KLC, she is probably in trouble again. Maybe not though if enough of those "bitter people" living in small towns all throughout America stop clinging to their guns and their Jesus pick up the phone enough this week for America's Sweetheart, as they have been doing for the past several weeks.

6. David Cook- the judges practically genuflected to him tonight so much, I thought Pope Benedict was in the house, and I have to say, I just didn't get it. Let me first say how great it was that his cancer stricken brother was there to watch and David C. seems like a likeable person and he was clearly moved by the praise he got for his performance. I did not hate it necessarily and thought he hit a strong note towards the end, but I just don't really like when he sings all emo. I don't think the song "Always Be My Baby" worked in that style for him. It just reminds me of all the crappy music that I always pass up on the radio. But the judges loved it and America loves him, so what do I know?

7. Brooke White- I really have liked Brooke in this competition but she was a mess tonight. She did "Hero" which is probably the most recongnized Mariah number performed tonight and did it while playing the piano. It started off ok but then went downhill and it really seemed like she was rushing her way through it in quite an obvious manner. The closeups of her towards the end of her performance showed her looking so nervous, she was literally shaking. And as usual, she does not take criticism well, while pretending to take it well. It was so disjointed, it might have been the least boring performance of the night, but it was far from her strongest effort, and she is in trouble.

So, what will happen with the voting? It's been boy/girl/boy/girl as far as eliminations have gone all week and I think this week will be no different. Despite the fact that Mariah Carey songs are so inherently feminine, I think the guys actually were in a better position for this since they could change arrangements, etc, and not have to be compared to Mariah, as the judges did with Carly.

A female is likely to be voted off and I expect the Bottom Three to be entirely composed of ladies. It might be any four of them, as I think the three remaining guys will get the highest number of votes, but oddly enough, I think Kristy Lee Cook is the least likely girl to have to take the walk of shame to the stools.

Carly could go home. Syesha might. But just a week after unfortuantely missing her sister's wedding, I have a suspicion that after a subpar performance, it is most likely to be Brooke White who will be crushed by Ryan Seacrest towards at the end of an hour broadcast tomorrow night. (It might not be pretty either if she doesn't take it well. I may have to watch it later as I will probably be riveted by the Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama slugfest.

In order to survive one more week, Brooke probably really needs a big effort from Mormons and as usual, they may already be heavily committed to another contestant, and one who does not nearly need as much help.


At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corey, this is Conservative Democrat and here are my predictions for American Idol's results show tonight:

Bottom 3:
Syesha-but the African American vote will save her again.



GOING HOME: Brooke, she talks too much and plus, she fucked up last night very bad.

I have a bad feeling that Kristy Lee is going to sneak into the Top 3 or even the Top 2.


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