Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the top 8 gals: saving us from stagnation...

The only thing I can think of saying about last night's guys outing is that it's over. Look up "suckfest" in the dictionary, and the top 8 boys' photo will be there. (Or if it's not, will somebody puleeze start a petition to get it inserted.)

We've been teased with a promised a big old-fashioned "surprise" tomorrow, aside from the visit by Miss Underwood, who will perform her new single Wasted. (Dang, I was hoping for Before He Cheats, complete with baseball bat being taken to the set. I never get anything good.) I suppose it's too much to hope for that seven of the girls make it through with four of the guys and the SURPRISE addition of Frenchie Davis to shake things up, make up for past misjudgments and put the fear of God in Melinda and LaKisha. Yeah. Too much. I know. I never get anything good.

As it is, looks like I'll have to settle for watching the advancement of Sanjaya Malakar, playing the role of John Stevens and Antonella Barba in the role of Jasmine Trias in the remake of season three.

Because THIS is American Idol.

But enough of my fantasies. Here they come and here they are, my early reviews, subject to rewatch, rewind and revision and, as usual, from worst to first.

Antonella Barba (Put Your Records On). Antonella is to tell us a secret, like she has any anymore, and reveals that she plays the violin. And then she proves that, as a singer, she's a terrific violinist. Simon tells her she's surrounded by some terrific "girl singers" and she ain't one of them. But he makes her feel better by telling her that her performance "wasn't her worst." It wasn't her worst, but it was the night's worst. As usual.

Haley Scarnato (If My Heart Had Wings). Haley reveals that she tumbles. Or at least did, until her knee exploded. She picks a safe song, sings it safely, despite a couple of flat moments. Paula tells her she looks great. Never a good thing. Simon calls it "horrible." And in one of the funniest post-performance moments I can recall, Haley essentially whines that she's a seat-filler, clocking in and clocking out, enduring Simon's wrath as part of the job. Note to Haley: that's supposed to make you want to do better, not just give up and phone it in. Don't be surprised when nobody phones in.

Stephanie Edwards (Sweet Thing). I think Stephanie has a ton of talent, but I just can't seem to get enthused over her song selection. She bores me. Randy and Simon call her out on her lack of "individuality" but Randy says she has the "yo factor" and Simon anoints her a finalist. I say if there's an upset in the making, Stephanie may be the victim.

Jordin Sparks (Heartbreaker). Jordin loves football, she tells everyone. And she loves Pat Benatar, so she can't be all bad. Despite a bit of an out-of-breath problem, because her level of energy never waivers (and never varies, unfortunately), she's better than all of the guys combined. Simon calls her shreeky, and he's right to a point. It wasn't her best; her best was two weeks ago. But she does enough to advance.

Sabrina Slaon (Don't Let Go). Sabrina recalls her high school journalism hope of being the next Katie Couric. She looks FAB and delivers a decent performance, one that didn't have me boppin' in my seat, but didn't send me running for the door either. I really don't like these song choices where the backup singers carry much of the load. Randy and Simon give it mediocre reviews, but all three members of the panel give her an enthusiastic final 12 endorsement.

LaKisha Jones (I Have Nothing). Holy Mother of Whitney, I am so incredibly sick of this song. I wouldn't want to hear Houston herself sing it. The judges slobber all over her, as usual. And, while she knocked this song out far better than the girl from last season, I'm too busy starting my petition to ban the song to evaluate further.

Gina Glocksen (Call Me When You're Sober). Gina introduces us to Mr. Pickle, her good luck charm. She's lost the matronly look of last week and is sporting the "edgy" look she was told to sport. She partially screams and loses control of her final glory note, but gets good reviews from the judges, specifically Simon, who makes her cry when he tells her he hopes for her to survive tomorrow.

Melinda Doolittle (I'm a Woman). Melinda admits that she has OCD. But she thinks it's equality. And, as if it weren't enough that she's already gonna win this whole thing, they give her the final slot to ensure her advancement to the finals. Like she needed it. She's a woman, after all, that's W-O-M-A-N. Randy tells her she's a pro and that she may as well chuck this competition and make a record now. Paula spouts platitudes and Simon feigns astonishment that the kitty cat they thought they had is, in actuality, a tiger.

Whew. This is going to be easy. And really tough.

Who I want: Antonella and Antonella.
Who should: Antonella and Haley.
Who will: Haley and Stephanie. I'm calling for the upset that's gonna piss off the world.

Please discuss. See you tomorrow for the announcement that will rock the world.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Jennifer. Your critique is absolutely right on. I agree with everythin you said, the order of the performances and your predictions. Maybe you should be one of the American Idol Judges! (wouldn't that be so COOL)

~ betsy

9:13 PM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

Haley is as good as gone. Very funny about her whining about keeping a seat warm, Jennifer!

I think Sabrina and Stephanie are going to end up splitting votes and that one of them will get whacked (I picked Sabrina but it could be either of them). Unfortunately, I think Antonella will get through thanks to her massive amount of face/bikini time, even though after 15 minutes she's at the bottom according to DialIdol.

The big winner for tonight was Gina, who should easily vault into the top 12 after proving that not everybody with a shot to win is a black woman with a big voice.

9:16 PM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

Well, you get a big, fat, "I concur" from me tonight. Including the comment about replaying season 3 - for me, there are so many similarities...but if Sanjaya stays as long as John Stevens, I may throw myself in front of a train.

And you know what else would make me throw myself in front of a train? If anyone ever sings "I Have Nothing" on this show again. Honestly! What don't people understand about the word "retired?" Sheesh.

9:27 PM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

Speaking of songs that should be retired, who do we think will sing "Against All Odds" this year?

9:28 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous gavintiegirl said...

I will cry if your Antonella prediction is true. I am really angry that no of the judges say anything fabulous about Sabrina. I think she is great! Of course I love Melinda too. I know Lakisha has a great voice and so does Stephanie and Gina, but I think I am partial to Melinda and Sabrina. The guys can all leave now, well except Blake, but otherwise they don't stand a chance. I wish there was a way to suck votes from Antonella. Oh, yeah, vote for someone else a lot! But who would be right before her? Think!!! This show is driving me crazy!

9:32 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think people will stop watching American Idol because the guys suck so much? Or will the girls save the show?

9:39 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous tim said...

I think Sabrina may be the shock elimination (and currently so does DialIdol). I haven't really gotten into any of her performances (though maybe a little more tonight). I've liked Stephanie a lot more. Haley will most likely be the other one out. Antonella was so much better tonight compared to her other nights. That and her popularity may save her.

10:11 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I didn't fall asleep tonight, that's a plus!
After the judges pick the 24, we the "voters" should pick who stays. 6 guys and 6 girls makes no sense this year.
I really don't like a lot of the songs they are all picking. Some of them I never heard before, or we're hearing them too much. They need to pick better songs!!!!
I know Antonella got all that air time, but she really sucks. She needs to go home.
I want Antonella and Sanjaya to leave tomorrow. Dori

10:26 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

due to the how voting is screwed up, I'd really like to see Idol adopt the "save one of the bottom 2" judge pick from the Grease show. Simply put, you can't always trust the voters, as we know there is a push to keep bad singers in. It be nice to have a week where an Antonella and Sanjaya were in their bottom 2's, and the judges could save the other person to make sure the 2 bad ones were finally gone. :) rant over :)

Jen, almost right on. Jordon over Sabrina. Sabrina has done nothing to get my attention, or memory. Jordan just seems more alive, and singing Pat was a good move. I'm a little nervous it was too much like hard rock for some, but then it dawned on me, I'm 40, that song was around when I was what, 14? So pretty much anyone up to 50 is likely to grove to it :) Good pick! Good performance!

I'm thinking Haley and Sabrina get the axe, though easily Stephanie could. The shocker would be Steph and Sabrina, and Haley staying. That and Antonella getting booted would shock me.


10:39 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, I've been voting the past 30+ minutes, and not a single busy. Is that normal at this stage? I'm trying to bump Gina as much as I can, I'm with Simon, she needs to stay. But even calling Melinda's number hasn't resulted in a single busy. I'm confused. Any other time I've called I struggle to get thru.

BTW, the "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT" is Idol Summer camp. 4 10 day camps, around 700 kids total if i recall. it's like $2400 but they will have scholarships, and no auditions. not sure how they'll pick the kids.


10:42 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey gang, go the the idolonfox website, there is a poll on the front page, "Whose Comments do you agree with most", and they offer each judge and ryan. I am shocked by the results, maybe American really does pay attention :)

10:49 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did hear about the idol camp, but didn't think that was the "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT". Whats the age group? You hear summer camp and think 12 and 14 year olds. Dori

10:54 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous elaine said...

Isn't there going to be a songwriting competition, with the winning song being the next "Do I Make You Proud?" but better? I know someone has suggested such an idea (was it HighLordDave or somone at Entertainment Weekly?), and I read on several weeks ago that it is going to happen. I think that might be the big announcement tomorrow night.

11:33 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

WHOA!! Did anyone else notice that Jordin's last note went on a full second and a half AFTER she yanked the microphone away from her mouth?! Was Milli Vanilli in da house?!


Okay, the girls were, once again, far and away better than the guys this week. No surprise there. So, here's my list, worst to first:

Antonella - Meh. I can't waste any more words on her.

Haley - I didn't get it at all! It was just a dreary song choice, and she didn't make up for it by having great vocals. I think she just bought a one way ticket back home.

Stephanie - She has so much passion when she sings, and she's got a great voice. I just don't care for her song-choices. She needs to try something more melodic. All that jazzy "behind the beat" stuff just isn't working for her. But I still like her and think she fully deserves to be in the top 12.

Gina - She started out with great energy and kicked it up a notch from previous weeks. But I think she had too much adrenaline going because she sort of ran out of steam in the middle of the song and sounded almost completely out of breath by the end. But I love that she went all "rocker-chick" on us tonight! She deserves to be in the top 12.

Sabrina - She's got pipes, no doubt. But she needs to ratchet it down a notch because she's starting to screech the high notes. Also, when she forces her sustained notes, she goes off-pitch. Having said all that, I still think she proves she's worthy of the top 12.

Jordin - She looked awesome tonight! More like a woman rather than a cutesy-girl. I loved her energy and she's got a big, great voice. She knows what to do with it, too. I liked her performance a lot.

Lakisha - So, yo...keepin' it real, dawg. Nobody should attempt Whitney but her. The thing I'm really liking about her is that she knows just when to power it up and bring it down soft. And she does both with equal aplomb. It's such a pleasure to hear someone dance around the notes and still be on key. Also, she looked fantastic tonight...very classy! (And Simon gets 5 gentleman points for giving her a genuine compliment!)

Melinda - Flawless. Nothing else needs to be said.

Overall, this was a much more satisfying night of entertainment than boys' night. You GO girls!

Who I want: Antonella and Haley
Who should: Antonella and Haley
Who will: Haley and Sabrina

3:20 AM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger Chipperprime said...

Good thought on Stephanie being the surprise elimination. Someone surprising has to go this week, and it very well may be her.

My pick for the surprise elimination is Jordin. She was on first, and it is possible that she has fewer fans than the others.

My other weblog is down. (It has been down since last night!) If you'll indulge me, I will post my recap here:

There it was, the last performance show before the final twelve are announced. Once again we saw that the best talent in the competition is on the women’s side of the coin.

So with Ryan Seacrest leading us wearing a “Tribute to Carl Sagan” outfit, let’s see how our eight female finalists fared!

The Performances:

1. Jordin Sparks sang Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker”. I thought that it was alright, but not fantastic. Each year it seems that someone trips up on a Pat Benetar song before the final twelve is established. Although not as bad as most, Jordin’s performance wasn’t perfect. It seemed to me that Jordin would have better off going at this song with a stronger voice. It sounded like a slightly weak copy of the original. GRADE: B-

2. Sabrina Sloan sang “Don’t Let Go.” Wow is Sabrina pretty! Nice hair, dress, and make-up. Sabrina did a nice job singing live with a song designed for three people. GRADE: B

The judges didn’t give Sabrina much praise after the performance, but I feel that they had a bit of a purpose in doing so. Some times the right sort of criticism can help a contestant bring his or her game up a level. Let’s hope that that’ll be the case with Sabrina.

3. Antonella Barba looked nice as usual. I am a big fan of her hair, outfit, and boots. After singing, Simon gave her a nice compliment about her grace in putting up with the recent (unnecessary) media onslaught.

Once again Antonella’s song fell flat. Even though tonight’s was better than previous performances, she pales in comparison to her competition. From now until her elimination, this will all be good “face time” for Antonella en route to her eventual successful career as a model. GRADE: C

4. Haley Scarnato sang “If My Heart Had Wings.” Haley had good facial expressions, and sang the song well and with feeling. I wonder whether she’ll end up being memorable enough to remain in voters’ minds by the time voting starts. I think Simon was right about her lack of memorability. (My word, not his.) GRADE: B-

5. Stephanie Edwards. I have been wondering why Jordin is hailed as being a “young 17 year-old”, yet little is mentioned of Stephanie’s young age. I guess it is because Stephanie just seems older than her 19 years on TV.

Stephanie sang her song well tonight. It seems like one can always expect quality out of her. GRADE: B

6. LaKisha Jones sang a Whitney song. LaKisha picked a really tough song, sang it live, and was comparable to Whitney Houston. Way to go. GRADE: B+

7. Gina Glockson sang what was apparently a song by Evanescence. I like Gina’s personality when she talks during her vignettes. She seems like someone who I’d spend time with.

Gina sang kind of a heavier, rock-type song. She did reasonably well with it. Performances like that definitely stand out among a bunch of R&B (or country) songs that we’re always subjected to when the women sing. (With the women-in-rock genre, I’d bet that Gina would kill in a “Central or Eastern European Idol” competition.) I liked Gina tonight. GRADE: B

8. Eventual winner Melinda Doolittle sang “Because I’m a Woman.” (I think that’s
the title. . . I haven’t heard this song since Miss Piggy sang it on the Muppet Show.)

Melinda is awesome. How can she lose? GRADE: A

Final Analysis:

Top three: 1) Melinda 2) LaKisha 3) Gina

Bottom three: 1) Antonella 2) Jordin 3) Haley (Neither Jordin nor Haley were bad)

Likely to be sent away: Haley and Jordin

8:09 AM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, no one votes during this stage.

8:30 AM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous gavintiegirl said...



for saying what more people should be saying and are not:

2. Sabrina Sloan sang “Don’t Let Go.” Wow is Sabrina pretty! Nice hair, dress, and make-up. Sabrina did a nice job singing live with a song designed for three people. GRADE: B

The girl is a FOX. She is HOT! She has a fantastic voice.

If she gets booted before Antonella, I am writing to congress.


Sabrina Sloan is the shiat!!!!

P.S. I no way am I saying she is the best or better than Melinda or Lakisha, but I would personally be more apt to buy a Sabrina Sloan album than a Lakisha album. My 2 cents.

10:50 AM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous gavintiegirl said...

I just sent this e-mail to Ken Barnes at USA Today's Idol Chatter:

I read your blog every day along with another blog which can be found here: Idoling_Along.

I play a very active part in the banter that goes back and forth on the above mentioned blog. I am writing to you today to share with you some thoughts that seem to be the general consensus amongst many of us over at Idoling_Along.

Does it take an act of congress to get rid of people who do not deserve to be there? Antonella and Sanjaya. Need I say more. This is getting ridiculous. The problem is, Fox is giving them too much back story and air time, which causes the public to latch onto them for reasons other than what the public should be latching onto a contestant for… for their ability to carry a tune and entertain our socks off. For the LOVE OF!! I am way too passionate about this, I know.

Perfect example of an atrocity. Amy Krebs not getting a chance to show us that she wasn’t a candle and that she has pipes because Antonella is HOT! Isn’t that great? One girl over at Idoling_Along said that the judges should have a right to overturn ridiculous outings, when it is obvious that popularity is overshadowing vocal abilities. For example, Sanjaya being safe and A. J. Tabaldo being voted off. Paula almost lost it and said, “I think American got it wrong this week.” Allow the judges to overrule those bad votes.

We all know who the front runners are: Melinda, Lakisha, Sabrina, Stephanie, Jordin, and Gina. We all know who should go: Haley and finally, Antonella. OMG!!!

But there is talk over at Idoling_Along and other places that Antonella might make it through again (GASP!) and that Sabrina or Stephanie could be in jeopardy of going home. All I can say to that is, “how can America be so wrong???”. Stephanie and Sabrina are both talented singers who bring a professional aspect to the stage that is not there when Antonella sings.

When the judges critique the singers after their performances, their comments have an influence on the way America votes. I have noticed that they rarely say anything positive to Sabrina and Stephanie without cutting them down in the same breath. Yet, when Melinda and Lakisha sing, it is pure praise, with the exception of Simon going on about outfits. However, their influence does not seem to have affected Antonella. Why is this? Because she is hot? Because she is sassy to them when she responds to their negativity?

As, I close out this ranting to you which was an effort to persuade you to write about how I feel, in your words ( I need my own Idol column), I want to leave you with this and I implore you to print this in some way; Melinda, Lakisha, Sabrina, Stephanie, Jordin, and Gina should be the ONLY girls going on to the big stage and theme weeks. If any of those girls go home tonight, this show is a FARCE!

Thank you for reading my rants. Peace!

11:23 AM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you gravitiegirl, I love your passion.
I don't know what is going on this year, but it feels so different then the past years. Maybe I'm just in a funk.
Kind of makes you wonder about the judges choices in guys doesn't it. There has to be some really great male singer out there, some place.
I feel sick thinking that Antonella won't get cut tonight. She may be pretty, but she's a no talent snot. I think it should be Antonella and Haley to go home tonight. As far as the boys go they can all go home. I'd like to start over with them. lol Dori

3:15 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger Nelle said...

I think Haley and Antonella should go. I cannot stand something about's like a pout with her mouth and I hate her lipstick. She just is not Idol worthy. I am so loving LaKisha. Didn't care for the song but she rocked Midnight Train to Georgia.

5:11 PM, March 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last season I grew to LOVE Elliot and was glad to have someone to cheer for each week, however, this season I cannot make myself even want to be a fan of any of them. I wish them all luck but kind of feel cheated by the producers and makers of the show.

5:18 PM, March 08, 2007  

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