Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ladies last dance: ouch to wow...

It's Ladies Night on the last semi-final episode of American Idol, as Ryan lets us know we're live, not dead, not taped, live!

I like live.

The girls have one more chance to make up for two weeks of blah, before they're integrated with the guys next week. If I were betting at this stage, I would wager that, based on performances thus far, the women making it through will be picked off like fleas on a dog in the first four finals episodes.

But they do come a ways in proving why we should even have women in this season's show, ranging from Ouch to Wow.

Nevertheless, here are my early impressions, subject to rewind, review and reassessment, and as always, from worst to first.

More with the food stories, as Kinnik Sky informs us that she will fight to the death for pork intestines. I think Bucky and Kellie recognize what chitlins are, though, but look for them in a future result show jokefest. Meanwhile Kinnik destroys any outside chance of advancing with a nondescript, bland ballad, delivered almost entirely off-key. Ouch. That was bad.

Lisa Tucker, who might just find herself in a hot seat Thursday, leaves a door the size of Montana open for the endangered ones with yet another boring ballad because, as she says, it's appropriate for "making the top 12." Like Randy, I would have preferred her and her guitar, rocking to Jimi Hendrix.

Melissa McGhee loves fast cars and decides to perform What About Love. Randy and Simon Paula love it. Simon tells her to pack her bags. Me? It's more entertaining than Lisa's sleepy ballad, but, contrary to Randy's assessment, no, she did not sound like the sisters Heart.

Kellie Pickler gets the pimp spot, the last spot normally reserved for the very special one that week and the lucky girl gets the Burger King backdrop too. They must really want her to advance. After showing off her pup, she sings Melissa Etheridge's I'm the Only One, dropping to her knees in emotion. Simon calls her a naughty little minx and says that, while she's certainly not the best singer this year, he likes her better than "last year's winner." Uhh, Simon? That would be Carrie. She was there last week. Geesh. No wonder former winners don't want their songs performed on this show.

My love for Ayla Brown continues as she wears higher and higher shoes, towering more and more over Ryan. You gotta love that. She sings a pleasant song that I've never heard, but does that crouchie dance that I don't favor. The judges give her a collective "meh," and Simon tells her to grow down. Not in height, though. Come back 13, he says. Please don't, say I.

Paris Bennett tells everyone that, even though her nickname is Princess, she's really a tomboy. And she's a tomboy wearing a dress over jeans, which I recognize now is a fashion statement, sings Conga and fidgets her feet to the point of almost running out of air. The judges give her a lukewarm reception, but Simon says what we all know, that we'll see her next week.

Katharine McPhee implores everyone to Think, and I can't help but wonder how effective she would be if she let loose. As Simon tells her, she's effortless, and she is, finally cutting loose with a non-ballad but doing it with such restraint, one has to wonder what she's storing up for the big stage. And we finally put an end to those nasty rumors: no, she's not leaving the show because she's pregnant with Kevin's lovechild. Whew.

Mandisa makes sure that everyone knows that she's Every Woman. She is, you know. Few contestants over the years have proven this early that they know exactly who they are and prove that they feel most comfortable in their own skin. This woman does. Not many women could take one of the most overused songs (thanks Oprah) ever and make it new. Simon tells her the other girls are going to hate her guts as they cut to the balcony room where those other girls are offering polite applause.

Your turn. Who was best? Who stunk up the place?

Tomorrow night: the guys.

tag: american idol


Blogger Happy Hiker said...

Ahhhhh... just got done watching Central Stanard time.

Who needs to go home: Kelly and Kinnik.

They all hyped Kelly up with the background flames and the "ohh how innocent" routine. " I had Salomen" Urghhhh

I think Melissa did great with her Heart perfomrance... although I think the judges are just trying to make her go home.

Paris wasn't that great and niether was Ayla... which have been my two favorites.

Mandisa ruled the show.... with Melissa and Lisa coming close.

I voted for Melissa though... cuz I think she needs it and deserves it, no matter what they try to make us think.

9:16 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Happy Hiker said...

I forgot about Katherine... she was good and will make it far, but I think she needs to get some funk in her trunk... so to speak.

9:21 PM, March 07, 2006  
Anonymous Ginafish said...

Please let Lisa and Kinnik go home. Please. My ears hurt. Ayla, okay, send her home to and let an extra guy in the final set.

9:24 PM, March 07, 2006  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

I don't think anyone outshined Mandisa, that girl owned it! I think Paris, Lisa, Katharine, Ayla, Mandisa and Kellie will make it through with Melissa and Kinnik going home. I really hope Kellie is just playing a dumb little southern girl but I doubt it. "I'm a MINK"....ok *big eye roll* Melissa started off really good, I had high hopes but ended very badly and I heard that on my own, I didn't need any of the judges to tell me that.

9:25 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

I think Kellie is playing the game, and playing it well.

She's definitely a little bit country, but I don't think she's as naive or innocent as she wants you to believe.

Mandisa was by far the best of the night. Seriously, how many of those girls could pull of Chaka Khan? I also liked BBG.

Lisa, Paris and Katharine were also aiiiight; all three picked poor songs.

Kinnik was clearly the worst. I'm picking Kinnik and Melissa to go home (although Melissa deserves to stay, but I think the lack of TV time and Simon's comments will cement her status among the elimninated).

9:36 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

YAY!! Dave liked BBG!! (That would be Ayla, for those who don't read Dave. You should!)

You know how I love Kellie, so I certainly am not in disagreement there.

9:44 PM, March 07, 2006  
Anonymous Itstimeforamaleidol said...

No question about the bottom performer, the only question is who will join Kinnick.

At the top Mandisa and Katherine got the biggest props from the judges, and you just know Paris is through to the final 12.

That leaves Melissa, Ayla, Kellie or Lisa to join Kinnick.

I think it will be Lisa or Ayla, but Melissa's bad review from Simon will hurt.

For those of you who think Kellie's airheadness is an act, think again. You can't make some of that stuff up.

"It's hard out here for a pimp"

9:49 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger laura said...

i hope whoever coached kellie with her naive southern girl routine also informed her that it would only get her so far, and that it would get old eventually.

I'm actually surprised you ranked Kellie as high as you did, because i thought her performance was very blah (like Nadia last year. is this a hard song to sing or something?)

I also thought Melissa wuld be higher, but maybe I am just hoping for the underdog.

9:50 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Actually Laura I didn't put Kellie where I wanted, then I just listened to the mp3 and moved her further back. Geesh, that was not good.

And it IS hard out here for a pimp. Golly, I STILL can't get that song out of my head. ;o)

9:53 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Okay, I was wrong...Mandisa didn't have to do Aretha to bring the house down. Whether you like it or not, Kellie is being perfectly packaged again. That country rock is going to keep her in the game. While Simon may be in love with the little blonde, I'm a fool for a tall brunnette. I just get lost in Kathrine's eyes. Sorry, back to the show. There is no doubt that Kinnik is going home. While Simon seems obsessed with sending Melissa home, I think Ayla and Lisa are on the bubble and I think it is too close to call. Lack of experience may be the ticket home for Ayla. Lisa will survive another week or two.

10:12 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Sunny said...

Kinnik is definitely going home! She was 3rd from the bottom last week and didn't pull her weight enough tonight to make it through.
The 3 little girls didn't do that well tonight. Ayla did an ok job, but with a song that I never heard before. It was popular like a year ago, I was told...I guess I wasn't listening to that kind of music last year. Paris looked cute tonight, but in Paula language that means she sucked. I have no clue what Lisa was singing tonight, because I had to walk away. I don't know what everyone sees in her. I think she sounds no different than someone trying to make it on their own....NO ORIGINALITY!
I thought Katharine, Melissa, and Mandisa were the best tonight.
Katharine has been my favorite girl from the beginning, so hearing her do an awesome job of "Think" made me really happy.
Mandisa could belt out "Twinkle Twinkle" and get a standing ovation. That girl's got LUNGS! Awesome job tonight.
I've always been a big 80's music fan, especially Heart (the second time around). So with Carrie's "Alone" last year and Mandisa's "Never" two weeks ago, I was happy to hear Melissa sing "What about Love". I like her raspy voice cos it's different than the others. I thought she did a really good job even though the judges said otherwise. I just wish she was able to hit the Ann Wilson high notes. And if you guys think the same, then vote for her, even if you dont think she'll make it through. Give her the chance she deserves, like Jessica last year.
Kellie was pretty good too, but not the best, even though she got the sweet spot tonight. I know a lot of you think she's putting on an act and have to roll your eyes at her, but she was pretty much raised by her grandfather. That says a lot. I think she's adorable.

So now that I've finished babbling, my overall thoughts were that the ladies tonight were MUCH better than the last 2 weeks, but I'm still more excited for the guys tomorrow!

10:18 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger purplvr said...

(Sorry if I offend anyone with the following comments but I am really riled up right now)

OMG! Okay, so I put a little rant about Kellie under today's earlier postings and now I am putting a BIG rant! How dumb is this girl????? She's NOT. That's just it. C'mon, Mink Girl! Simon called you a "minx", and then you said "mink" and then Ryan said "minx" and then you said "mink" again. Oh how cute.
She is SO playing up her dumb country bumpkin act and I can't believe America's falling for it! My fiancé thinks she's genuinely "naive" and so does every other male I've heard talk about her. So is this just one of those things women notice? Is it some sort of radar that only females have? Kellie is not what she is trying to portray to America and that's all there is to it.
By the way, as a side note: I cannot BELIEVE what Simon said about liking Kellie better than "last year's winner"!!! What a horrible thing to say. Carrie wasn't my favorite but she is better by far than Kellie in every respect. Period.

As for the rest of the girls, here are my impressions, in no particular order:

Mandisa rules. She really IS every woman but I can already hear the crude jokes about her weight and the fact that she might actually BE every woman, collectively.
That's just wrong.
Still, she's awesome and I love her voice and her attitude.

Katherine wasn't great tonight but I love her voice and I think she's got "it", whatever "it" is. She will have a recording contract whether she wins the competition or not.

Lisa was good tonight ... hey, I loved her hair. She looked good and I liked her singing.

Paris didn't do it for me tonight; I wish she would use that awesome vocal range more and get back to the way she was when we first saw her.

Kinnik was off but you know what? I voted for her solely because I liked her attitude. Besides, she did start off the song she sang well (as Randy put it) and I think she can do better next week if she really tries. And even if she doesn't survive for next week, I still gained a new respect for her tonight.

Ayla blew it for me tonight. The best part of seeing her was when she was towering over Ryan at the end of her performance.

Melissa. I can't stand her. 'Nuff said.

10:38 PM, March 07, 2006  
Anonymous Maggie said...

Hi Jennifer...
I would say Mandisa took the house down with chaka-khan. I think it's great that she is so secure and comfortable with herself, mind body and spirit. I think THAT is what makes her shine.

I too am tired with the southern girl act Kellie is playing and it's clear the judges want her around. I think it's also clear they want Melissa gone too.

I think Paris Bennett looks like Gary Coleman and each time she opens her mouth I'm waiting to hear "whatcha' talking about willis" lol. Sorry I couldn't resist.

Not sure Ayla made a good choice singing a top 40 hit, I'm with you on this one Jennifer, I want to like her, but for some reason I can't!

I think we will say goodbye to Kinnik and Melissa. Although I would much rather see Kinnik and Ayla go.

10:41 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger ChantillyLace88 said...

Yup. Kinnik is going home. I like her, but she was the worst of tonight. Doesnt she watch the show? Never take on Alicia Keys!!
Mandisa was by far the best.
And although this may not be popular...I definetly think Kellie was second best tonight. I love her. I dont think her innocence is an act. And even if it is, I dont really care. I think shes adorable! And, I think she sung really well tonight.
Katharine is my third best for the night. She'll stay. And should.
I like Melissa. She wasn't unbelievably awesome tonight...but I hope she stays another week.
Everyone else was alright.
I just can't stand Ayla. I love that song, but...I cant stand her. Every week I hate her more and more. I can't explain it.
I'm guessing Kinnik and Melissa will go home. But I hope it's Kinnik and Ayla.
We'll find out Thursday.
Can't wait to see the guys tomorrow!!

10:45 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Sunny said...

I love reading what you all have to say about the contestants, especially after I've made my peace. Chantilly, I'm right there with you about Kellie. She is adorable and every guy in America that watches the show loves her. My boyfriend said her and Katharine are the prettiest girls in all 5 seasons. I also agree with not liking Ayla even though I feel I have to. I live about 45 minutes from her hometown and no one has ever made it this far from this area, so that's probably the only reason I'm rooting for her (just not voting for her). Something just irks me about her, and yes Jennifer and Maggie I do try to like her too but can't.

10:59 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

I almost forgot...nobody did Stevie Wonder tonight. What's up with that? AI producers must have been asleep at the wheel.
Maybe all of the guys will do Stevie....NOT!!!

11:02 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Parting shot...as of right now, when it's all said and done, Mandisa vs Chris for all of the marbles. Later y'all.

12:09 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Becky said...

"Melissa McGhee loves fast cars and decides to perform What About Love. Randy and Simon loved it. Simon tells her to pack her bags."

Uh...correction. Randy and PAULA loved it. LOL I didn't love it.

Mandisa and Katherine were the only performances worth watching tonight.

You are so funny too...I noticed how breathless Paris was getting. She is pretty out of shape for such a tiny thing. Too much cha cha make singer sound like ca ca.

1:17 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger amy said...

I'm having trouble liking most of the girls. Kinnik reminds me of a drag queen, and not a good one. Ayla looks like a teenage runaway-turned-hooker. I love it when they show the balcony shots and she is just standing there glowering at whoever is singing. Katharine reminds me of a brown-noser in highschool.

The only ones I truly like are Mandisa and Kellie.

9:02 AM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my money is on Mandisa! Kellie is getting on my nerves! nettie

9:42 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Happy Hiker said...

My early prediction of the top 6.

Chris, Elliot and Taylor

Katherine, Mandisa and Kellie

Ultimately coming down to Chris and Katherine as the top 2

9:58 AM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mandisa absolutely blew me away! Taking on Chaka Khan--and doing it extremely well--is something that I don't think many of the ladies could pull off. Major props to her. :-) She's definitely one of my favorites and one of my picks to make it most of the way--if not all the way--to the top.

Lisa...She sang fairly well but I felt that the song was too mature for her or...something. I would love to see her cut loose.

Who do I think is going home? Definitely Kinnik (sorry, Kinnik fans)and possibly Melissa, even though I kinda enjoyed her performance. Melissa's handicap is her considerable lack of camera time in comparison to some of the others. But as we know with American Idol, anything can happen. We'll have to wait 'til Thursday to see...and to see Bo perform. :-)

11:11 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger AlbGlinka said...

Lisa is like watching paint dry... why does that girl rub me the wrong way so much???

Mandisa is awesome. If I had Tivo, I would have rewound it. I did rewind my humble VCR; I was taping.

1:03 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Paul S said...

Say what you will about Kellie. She never fails to make us smile.

6:27 PM, March 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, anyone else notice the song clips are all goofed up? The girls seem to be correct, but the guy clips are actually the "favorite" idol moments songs. Where are the guys clips from last night ;)

and on the kellie conspiracy, while I don't think she's as pure and innocent as carrie, I do think she is what we see. This is a poor girl from a poor area in the boonies, not from a city. This is a girl who might never have been to a town bigger than 10 or 20,000 people. The reason the woman don't like her is simply, all the guys think she would be fun to be with. Where as, us guys would all like to be Ace, but we really do hate the guy. You'd have to be Tom Cruise or Antonio Banderas or Brad Pitt to compete with Ace. I can't stand him cause he looks at the camera with those eyes and I can just tell all the women watching are drooling and falling into his eyes. yuck! no fair!! hahaha At least Chris doesn't have hair and Taylor looks like he's 45 already. But Ace, ugh, he's the total package, the bastard!!! the kind of guy guys want to hang around in the hopes of getting his leftovers, but secretly hate.

and does anyone really like Kevin's voice? He always sounds like he's singing thru his nose to me, I just don't get why anyone thinks he sounds good? He can sing and hit the notes, sure, but the tonal quality is nasal. He needs a couple years to mature first :)

12:47 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

I just tried the music clips, and they're fine for me. Don't know what's up, but they're working for me.

I love your male perspective about Ace. Never thought of it that way. And the thing that bugs me about Kevin's voice is not the nasally tone of it, but the quivering of it. I think he has a terrific voice for someone his age, but I agree that, like wine, it needs to age and mature before it will really be ready for this sort of competition. But he's still the type of kid I would want my daughter to go steady with.


1:01 PM, March 09, 2006  

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