Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Welcome to Fantasy Idol: Headed for Philly

UPDATE: They will be splitting the themes. Along with the Philly sound will be, uhhh, the sound of, uhhh, Nashville. Also known as: Let's bury Anthony and beatify Carrie in the same hour!

That sofa just keeps getting bigger and bigger as the field gets smaller. And it's gonna get even smaller after tonight.

After a week of Paula/Corey wisecracks, the final four and the speculation about possible themes took a back seat. Of course, there were the normal whisperings that the theme would be tailored to favor the annointed contestants (country) or to throw an assist to the preferred third-placer (Motown).

Two years ago this week, we were treated to a night of BeeGees music, as Josh Gracin decided to go lyric-for-lyric with Clay Aiken and bought a ticket home. One year ago this week, the full-female-foursome performed in front of Donna Summer as they Boogie Oogied to the beat of disco, now known as 70s dance tunes. And, of course, in one of the infamous Idol incidents, LaToya got Tamyra-ed.

This year it seems the kids will be flashing back to the 60s and the heyday of the Philly sound, cruising to the tunes of Leon Huff and Kenneth Gamble. You may not recognize their names, you may not know their faces, but, again, just like last week, if you're over a certain age, you will know the music that came from their company and their vision.

So, it's time to scour the songbook, find some clips and play Fantasy Idol -- Final Four edition.

The kids will select two songs, and there is no indication (as there was last week) that the theme will be split. So, I'm going on the assumption that each of them will perform two Gamble/Huff songs, as there are more than enough to go around the block four times.

This could prove to be the toughest night thus far, for everyone but the Vonz. It's bound to be entertaining to watch Anthony and Carrie search for their inner soul. So, if this is indeed the theme, we shall call it "get rid of Anthony" night.

Baby V just hit the lottery. These songs are tailor-made for her vocal strength and her style. A bad evening for her will be inexcusable, and, considering she might be most at risk, she should not have song selection or icky theme as any excuse.

If Vonzell has to choose two Huff/Gamble songs, she might consider a ballad to begin and a dance number to end.
If You Don't Know Me By Now would be an excellent selection for the slower, and I Love Music, for the uptempo. But she could go for the lesser known Old Friend, by the brilliant Phyllis Hyman. And, since the Vonz brought the house down earlier this season, covering Deniece Williams, she might be wise to put her money on It's Gonna Take a Miracle.

Some might expect Bo to struggle with Philly's musical alternative to Detroit, but, if he chooses the right songs, and does not simply pull a couple of titles from the hat as he did for the musicals disaster, he has the potential of assuring his place in the finale. I suggest Bo consider
Only The Strong Survive and Me and Mrs. Jones. But, if he's not real fond of those selections, he should carry the mic stand around to the tune of one of my faves, Back Stabbers and Livin' For The Weekend. But, of course, if he wants to mix up those pairings, I won't complain. But if he were to pull out a performance of For the Love of Money, I will dial his number for two hours.

Carrie's recommendations were a pain. There are many lesser known songs that came out of the Huff/Gamble studios, and she will quite likely choose one of those. But, if I were counseling her, I would urge her to stick with the well-known
Betcha By Golly Wow. And she also should consider Kiss and Say Goodbye, but I think a definite winner would be Didn't I (Just Blow Your Mind This Time), if, for no other reason, the money note she could deliver.

Anthony could choose any of the Carrie recommendations and be safe with them, but he needs to stay far far away from the sleepy songs. He's very impressive with power ballads, and he's memorable with an uptempo song, when he's in key. He should attempt
Cowboys To Girls. Yes. He should. But if not, there's always Drowning In The Sea of Love. I would applaud him if he were to try Expressway to Your Heart, but I'm not holding my breath. But the song I really want to hear him sing is She Used Da Be My Girl.

The pressure is mostly on Anthony, having been in the bottom two each of the last two weeks, being saved by a hair, and now being served a theme that might cause him some trouble. But, before anyone starts deciding he's toast, it's important to remember harsh comments equal record voting. A good performance tends to equal complacency. So another poor Anthony showing, coupled with a fine Vonzell performance could land Baby V on the Ellen show.

Bo cannot show the contempt (however sweetly masked it might be) for this theme that he showed for the Broadway/Musicals/whatever we decided to call it theme. His numbers are strong, but he needs to continue leaving everything on the stage if he wants to land in the finale.

Carrie needs not to fall off the stage.

It's Idol Night!


Blogger Dave said...

So did you dial Bo's number for two straight hours?

10:56 AM, May 11, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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» » »

4:50 AM, November 29, 2006  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!