Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"American Idol" 03/07/06 -- Top 8 Women

OK. So "American Idol" and I are entirely day-to-day. Sure, I like tearing people to shreds, but what's the point of watching every episode if you don't actually feel like rooting for a single person in the entire competition. It's not a good sign, kids.

Singer: PARIS BENNETT
Song: "Conga"
My Take: Well, she's less boring than last week. Heck, I'd say she sounds better on this song than Gloria Estefan. That doesn't mean that I'm really entertained. It's still a silly karyoke song elevated a tiny bit by an energetic performer. She at least looks young. When Paris gets to dance and lets her hair down, she's at least vaguely appealing. Where, though, is that exciting vocal stylist we saw in the audition rounds?
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy isn't feeling the song choice and wants her to challenge herself. Paula somehow thinks this was a difficult song to sing. Simon's glad she did a younger song and says he'll see her next week.

Singer: LISA TUCKER
Song: "Where I Stand"
My Take: This isn't good. We're getting both of the talented, slightly robotic teens upfront this week. That means a lot of boredom backloaded. We're only a couple weeks in and I'm tiring of Lisa's "BOY, I'M FEELIN' THIS SONG" facial expression. The song isn't fantastic, but she really sings it hard. Looking away from the screen, I could listen to her without any pain. I'm not blown away, but what do I expect?
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy still thinks Lisa's singing too old and he begs her to oversing. Paula says nothing about the evening's performance. She looks dazed and sedated. Simon thinks her mum is choosing the songs.

Singer: MELISSA MCGHEE
Song: "What About Love?"
My Take: Last week I compared Melissa to Jessica Sierra and noted that like Jessica, Melissa needs to use her sexuality to advance. Well, maybe that's not true. She looks a little hot, but boy is her Heart cover mediocre and forgettable. Can she sing? Yes. I think she can. But too often I wasn't sure if I was hearing Melissa or the backing vocals. This ought to have been a slam dunk. It isn't.
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy liked the song choice and the performance. Paula calls her a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. Simon, thankfully, is right. He says that the last note booked her ticket home.

Singer: KINNIK SKY
Song: "If I Ain't Got You"
My Take: Whoa. I don't want to hate on a gal who loves chitlins, but parts of Kinnik's early performance are brutal to listen. She picks it up somewhat in the middle, but it's a really bad outfit and even when it's good, it's only so-so. Don't sing Alicia Keys if you're not gonna hit the notes.
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy somehow thinks she started out amazing and then fell apart. We don't hear the same things, Randy and I. Paula's confused and confusing. She says she sounded great, but that she also sounded sharp. "You just messed it up," Simon says. Ryan's a moron. I swear, the two deaf judges and the self-important host are getting worse and worse.

Singer: KATHARINE "NANNY" MCPHEE
Song: "Think"
My Take: Geez I wanna root for Katharine. She's just adorably apple-cheeked. Yes. I'm superficial. Want more superficiality? Katharine sounds fine on "Think" and I totally want to go get a cup of coffee with her, but this may be the whitest rendition of this song ever. There's something very infectious about her performance, but it sure isn't soulful. Does that matter to anybody? Not to me. Not in the least. Go Katharine!
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy wakes the Dawg Pound. Paula thinks it's fun to see her have fun. Simon thinks it was a risk and she pulled it off.

Singer: AYLA BROWN
Song: "Tryin' Not To Come Undone"
My Take: What's that, Ayla? I can't hear a word you're singing. You know why? Because you chose a song that starts quiet and somewhere outside your range. Sure you pick it up a bit, but that's a pretty one-note song throughout. I don't listen to the right radio stations to hear this song, but if I did, I'd turn it off, the radio version or Ayla's. Sorry. It's better than Melissa or Kinnik. That's all that matters this week, I think.
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy, rarely correct, notes that it wasn't a singer song. Paula says she fights the fight. Simon thinks it was pretty good and wants her to be younger. My goodness she's huge. She's two feet taller than Ryan. That doesn't take all that much, I know.

Singer: MANDISA
Song: "I'm Every Woman"
My Take: How many of this year's constestants could have pulled this song off? Yeah. That's right. One and only one. I'd kinda have liked for Mandisa to go head-to-head with Katharine on "Think" this week, because this gal makes soulful look easy. Is it the best vocal version of the song I've ever heard? Nope. But I love that she tries it and doesn't embarrass herself for a second. This is such an easy song to be undistinguished on, but she distinguishes herself. She isn't fakin'.
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy calls it the season's best vocals. Paula says she owned the song. Simon says she made everybody else appear ordinary.

Singer: KELLY PICKLER
Song: "I'm The Only One"
My Take: Kelly's deep dark secret is that she loves dogs. I'd love to find out that she's actually an English major from Vanderbilt with two upper middle class parents and that this has all been a joke. Anyway... This is the second week Kelly's tried a country song that requires a bit more edge than she's capable of providing vocally. I found her voice flat and generic. On the other hand, after saying last week that I found her a bit bland looking as well, this week I've gotta say... Kelly is SMOKIN'. She should go with this look from here on.
What the Two Morons and Simon Thought: Randy is pleased. Paula thinks guys are in love with her. She's just bouncing around on stage. "Kelly, you are what's known as a naughty little minx," Simon says. She doesn't have a clue what he means. But then he says that he prefers Kelly to Carrie Underwood. Whoa. Tee-hee. She thinks he's calling her a mink. PLEASE LET HER BE KIDDING. She says she had a sal-mon this week for lunch. Sigh. She really isn't kidding, is she?

TONIGHT'S BEST: Mandisa for sure. Maybe Katharine. On some perverse level? Kelly.
IN DANGER: So here's the thing: When the Round of 24 began, the six best women were Lisa, Paris, Katharine, Kelly, Mandisa and Ayla. I would certainly be surprised if they aren't the six women who advance to the Top 12. It's only right. Bye, Kinnik and Melissa.

2 Comments:

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Alan Sepinwall said...

I love that Randy and Paula complained that Lisa chose an "old" song, when it's from a movie ("Camp") that only came out a few years ago. In the Randy-to-English dictionary, "old" means "I've never heard of it," just as "novelty song" means the same thing for Paula.

If I were an "Idol" conspiracy theorist who assumed the show was trying to create a stable of singers who won't threaten each other's audience, I'd be surprised by how far Kelly's gotten, since she's everything Carrie was, only moreso. (Carrie probably has a better voice, though.) Maybe this thing isn't quite so fixed -- or maybe the TV producers don't care who the record producers have to deal with, and remember how wildly popular Carrie was last year.

Mandisa was great, McPhee didn't embarrass herself on "Think" despite being entirely too white to pull it off, and... um... "Rock Star" has really ruined this show for me.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

If you were a conspiracy theorist, you'd also probably note that there have been four Idol winners. Only two of them have had albums that really sold. That would be the white chick and then the other white chick. It's not Ruben or Fantasia's fault that their albums have sold a little, but not a lot. However, the "Idol" producers are smart enough to know the difference betwene multi-platinum and anything else.

There's no question that Kelly's voice is entirely inferior to Carrie's, but as fake as she seems to me, she may actually be moke likeable than Carrie, in the weirdest of ways. With her, you'd never have to worry about how to market her -- Just write up an album with five songs about lost love, three songs about found love and two songs about Jesus and it'd be a hit. Sadly, from a marketing point of view, Kelly's the only sure-thing out there...

 

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