Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Initial impressions...

And so they gave us the annual double dose of five wannabes, plucking songs from the 50s/60s, written by the great Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller then fast forwarding half a century, give or take, and choosing anything lucky enough to find itself on the Billboard charts this week.

Talk about musical whiplash. Talk about boredom.

But they came, we saw, they sang. And, as usual, without benefit of an audio-only file or the chance to rewind and rewatch, here are the initial impressions, as always, from worst to first.

Anthony Fedorov (Poison Ivy) -- And to think I suggested this song for you. I slapped myself midway through. What a horrible idea. What a horrible rendition. This is a novelty song, and Anthony turned it into a standard boy band tune, complete with flats, sharps and blunt objects thrown in for bad measure. Holy insipidness. And to think Constantine was sacrificed for this.

Vonzell Solomon (Treat Me Nice) -- Regardless of Randy and Paula's glowing reviews, this (somewhat) well-known Elvis song had more flat notes than good ones, and the messy arrangement made it virtually unrecognizable.

Anthony Fedorov (Incomplete) -- To be honest, I do not know this song, but Anthony seemed to have lost the strength in his vocals that made him shine last week. His showing was beyond disappointing for a top five episode.

Scott Savol (Everytime You Go Away) -- Again, it's not a familiar song to me, and, while it was somewhat enjoyable, and miles better than either of Anthony's, it smacked of his Luther boringness and left me half asleep.

Carrie Underwood (God Bless The Broken Road) -- I've not kept any secret of the fact that I abhor country music, so I admit I'm a bit biased, but I am still wondering where Carrie keeps her batteries. I think Simon called it robotic. Yeah. Good word. No matter how beautifully performed, a vapid performance remains a vapid performance.

Vonzell Solomon (When You Tell Me That You Love Me) -- Vonzell loses points automatically for choosing this albatross of a tune, because, considering how many variations the kids have put it through, the lyrics were no challenge for Vonzell. But she did prove that she should have gotten way more of the single's spotlight than she was handed.

Carrie Underwood (Trouble) -- Okay, I give. That was a sassy, personable performanceof a lyrically unchallenging tune. I liked the nod to the boys with the carrying of the mic stand, but I liked even more the kicking of it into the pit. Too bad it was her first performance, because after the snoozer of a finisher, I've forgotten all about it.

Scott Savol (On Broadway) -- Yay Scott! You did my song!! And you infused your energy and passion into it and told a story, just like I had hoped you would. And the message to Simon proved that you're not the thuggish sourpuss you come across to be. You need to have fun more. You need to laugh more. You need to smile more. And, in this 90-second performance, you did all that.

Bo Bice (Heaven) -- I fought with myself, one-half of me arguing to the other half not to put both of Bo's performances in the first/first spots, but the one half convinced the other half that there was no other alternative. This is a song I've heard only briefly, but, as usual, Bo was so naturally relaxed with a mic stand in his hand. This would have been the best performance of the evening, except ...

Bo Bice (Stand By Me) -- This song has been oversung, overused, and overdone. It's been performed, it's been destroyed. But when Bo internalized this Leiber and Stoller tune, it became a Bo song. They are foolish if they don't make this song the "flip side" to Whipping Post for Bo's first single. I was, in a word, mesmerized.

Who's the bottom two? Don't know yet. Tune in tomorrow.




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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!