Tuesday, March 06, 2007

top 8 guys: we want our money back...

And so it ends. And begins. Next week we will applaud the beginning of the (overly) long awaited finals. But we get to smash the dreams of four more young people first.

Because THIS is American Idol.

It's guys night, and a few things are certain. They'll probably underperform (hopefully a few of them are sandbagging), and two that probably shouldn't will be pushed through, at the expense of at least one semi-talented guy. America will be pissed. That's why we love this show.

And the verdict? They under underperformed, and two that probably shouldn't will be pushed through, but the two who are left eating dust probably deserve to be there. Half the field of eight deserve to stay home. What a shame that a couple of talented women will be executed in the name of gender equity.

Anyway, here they are, subject to rewind, rewatch (which will NOT happen) and revision, and, as usual, from worst to first:

Sanjaya Malakar (Waiting on the World to Change). Sanjaya, who obviously had a head-on collision with a flat iron reveals he knows how to Hula. Okay. This poor kid seems to be campaigning for the Vote for the Worst vote. He is strides better than the past two weeks, but his better is, well, really bad. When Paula can't even come up with a "well you look nice," it's been a bad night. Sanjaya's a lock for the finals. Hello Kitties!

Phil Stacey (I Need You). Can Phil start any song successfully? At least he's wearing a hat this week, which is about the only positive thing I can find to say. Randy says he "starting with the pluses: which means he's got lots of negatives. Paula actually gives even more real criticism. Simon doesn't get it. Neither do I.

Chris Richardson (Tonight I Wanna Cry). Okay, I officially am wondering what the judges are smoking. I like Chris, but this was not good. There's no power and no distinguishable passion, at least not until the end. The judges, save Simon, love it. I'm confused.

Jared Cotter (If You Really Love Me). Jared needs to pull a rabbit, an alligator, an elephant AND the father of Anna Nicole's baby out of a hat to advance past tonight, and he pulls out another Stevie Wonder song. Ouch. His performance is not painful, but it's not a showstopper. Randy calls it solid. Paula gives actual advice, and Simon translates Paula. But at least I knew the name of the song. Jared just booked his ticket home.

Sundance Head (Jeremy). Sundance, who obviously had a head-on collision with a Rhodesian Ridgeback (and lost), reveals to the world that in actuality he's a thin sexy dude. But he doesn't know how to hula. Randy and Paula give him thumbs up on the Pearl Jam; Simon gives him a thumbs down. My thumbs are down too, but I'm not sure if it's because I don't like the performance, which resembled more like shouting than singing, or I just didn't like the song.

Brandon Rogers (I Just Want to Celebrate). Brandon reveals that he's a classical pianist. And his performance, while miles better than the previous week, is adequate. Randy calls it solid (he likes that word tonight), Paula says he's proven why he's made it thus far and Simon tells him he fears for his future, which might be just enough to spare him.

Blake Lewis (All Mixed Up). Blake introduces us to his alternate personality, and he pulls out a funk/reggae/rap song that I don't know, but don't feel too bad when Randy, Paula and Simon admit they don't know the song either. Simon echoes me when he says he didn't understand a word. I couldn't catch enough of the lyrics to run a decent search. But Simon predicts that Blake will return for his debut on the big stage. I think he will too.

Chris Sligh (We All Want to be Loved). Chris assures us that he's never (nor will he ever) have a perm. Well, that's nice to know. The judges slam him over song choice. Chris' advantage, though, is that he gets anchor position on a crappy night. It wasn't great, but neither was the night.

I'm voting for the girls.

Fearless predictions:

Who I want: Sanjaya and Sundance.
Who should: Sanjaya and Sundance.
Who will: Jared and Phil.

Girls tomorrow. Maybe we'll be entertained. See you then.

Discuss, please.

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Blogger Dave said...

I think Phil is (unfortunately) safe. He's gotten too much TV time to get whacked before the finals. Sanjaya is probably also safe, too.

To me, the odd men out are Brandon and Jared, but like the judges, I think only three or four of them are worthy enough to go through.

9:13 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

I also fear for Brandon, but I made a pact with myself not to call him until the finals. So y'all vote for Brandon! LOL

9:15 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

The guys are showing a real talent for being just awful. Chris Sligh was the only one I even remotely enjoyed. Chris Richardson just stunk!!! That whinny, nasal, boy-band crap has to go. Note to Jard Cotter...don't do Stevie!!! Sanjaya..go home! You should already be sitting on the couch at home with your sister. Phil, learn how to start a song. You were not good. Sundance, you have promise, but that was not good tonight. Blake Lewis, get a stylist. With your hair and skin color, that washed out tan/orange/brown outfit just made you disappear. Tonight was not the night to try and disappear. Brandon, a few more of those kinds of perfromances, and you'll be singing back-up again. I'm sorry about this rant, but the guys just stunk. Reminds me of a line from the new movie "Wild Hogs"..."I can smell 'em from here."

9:19 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

I usually agree with you, but I thought Chris Richardson was the best tonight, and Chris Sligh was one of the worst.

I also think Sundance improved leaps and bounds (though that still doesn't put him anywhere close to the upper level of the girls) but at least we've gotten past nails on a chalkboard. Poor Sanjaya just needs to go home. He is Kevin Covais 2.0...with a flat iron.

9:28 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

I think you're right about tonight. None of the guys were trying to win; they were just singing not to get eliminated.

9:29 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

I would be willing to bet that starting next week four of the guys will go home before the first girl gets on a plane.

9:44 PM, March 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, I'm shocked by some of these comments. As I make my observations, know that they are the consensus of myself and my wife, both of us are 40. I couldn't post my original message, it was about the size of Jen's blog!! haha

Blake and Sligh are vocally way way waaaaay ahead of the others. No contest. When selecting a good HIFI system, you pick good music, not your favorite music, so you can hear the quality. They are like that, vocally at the head of the male class.

Blake and Sligh can actually sing, and Blake is going to do very well, because he isn't a one trick pony, as Daughtry was. And I think he gets some of the girl vote. Sligh is sort of the Ruben vote getter. The Anti Idol Idol as it were. Obviously he doesn't have an Idol "physique", but he can sing, and that will take him a long way.

Of the rest, Brandon was the only one to stand out at all. I haven't liked Brandon much the last 2 weeks because of bland song choice. This week was uptempo. my observation has been, always go uptempo, it'll cover up flaws at this stage and get you into the top 12. stay away from ballady, slow stuff until about the top 8 when you actually need to show if you have range.

The rest were bland to sorry. I suspect Phil has enough of a base to survive, Sanjaya, hard to say. he's been so bad, I'd rather see Jared, but my guess is we won't have both Jared and Brandon. My first try at this explained why. Simplistically, until there is 1 strong black singer, only a minority of white voters focus on the non white singers. It's not nice, but is reality. Too many better black singers have been cut each season for it to make sense otherwise. It's too much like a high school King & Queen of Homecoming competition until we get to the final 6.

So, Jared and either Sanjaya or Richarson would be my guess. Of the 3, I'd rather give Jared a shot than the other 2.

an out of touch, middle aged white guy :) hmm, just like Simon. DOH!!
(I have tried very hard not to offend anyone while trying to be honest about my observations, so please do not take offense if something still came across as such. This will be about the 5th draft trying to cut the length and opinions for brevity)

10:45 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Chipperprime said...

Blake sang "All Mixed Up" by 311. One of my favorite songs.

I was so excited that I paused the show and listened to the original song after Blake's performance.

Here's what I wrote about Blake on my weblog:
1. Blake Lewis sang "All Mixed Up" by 311. Cool! What I really like about Blake is that he chooses songs that I know and that I like. This time he chose one of my favorite songs! I like the way he "bleeped" out the naughty words in the song with his voice effects. GRADE: B+/A- (At this point I paused the show and played the original song on CD.)

Blake's vignette featured some character-driven improv comedy. His improv character reminded me of one that Carrot Top does. That was cool too!
The only men who deserve to advance are Chris, Chris, and Blake.

My guess for the two going are Phil and Brandon (maybe Jared.) It is really hard to pick a bottom two this week!

10:46 PM, March 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it doesn't sound like I missed much tonight. I actually fell asleep and missed most of the show. Whats this about Sanjaya and the hula? Please don't tell me he danced the hula on the show. I did see the very end of the show when they gave a little clip of all their performances. I noticed Sanjaya straightened his hair, do guys do that?
I hope the girl will keep me awake tomorrow night. Dori

12:03 AM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

I nearly fell asleep tonight during the "competition." Gosh I miss AJ...

Here we go. My picks from worst to first:

Sundance - Ummm...I don't know WHAT the judges heard but it wasn't the same thing I heard! That was a complete mess. His performance did NOT have a Pearl Jam vibe to it. In the parts he wasn't shouting, he was so pitchy I was *this close* to muting him entirely.

Sanjaya - Is he attempting to look like Antonella? Not a good look. He was in tune, but what a snoozer performance. Please...PLEASE...go home this week.

Phil - Proving once again that he has trouble with the lower register, I still like him for his "swelling" high notes. The one thing that I like about him is that regardless of the song, he sings it with passion. That's gotta count for something.

Jared - I thought he was much better this week than last, but that isn't saying much. He's awfully handsome and has a charming twinkle in his eye, but his vocals just don't do it for me.

Brandon - FINALLY! Something to write home about! I liked his energy and he proved he can really sing. (We all knew it, but he was keeping a tight lid on the fact in previous weeks.)

Chris R. - The more I see this guy, the more I like him! He's got a really nice voice and it was nice to see the more sensitive side of him. We already know he can be a funky "Geek!"

Blake - Another guy I like the more I see! His take on 311's song was SO original! He's one of 3 guys who have the only chance of getting anywhere near the top of the finals. (Chris x 2 are the others.)

Chris S. - I don't care if this isn't a well-known song. I thought he was fantastic! He's consistently proving why he's in this competition, and it has nothing to do with his snarky quips. This boy can sing! I would buy his cd today.

So, overall, a lackluster night, which demonstrates once again why it's going to be a female AI this year. *COU-melinda-GH!*

2:05 AM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

Ooops...I almost forgot:

Who I want: Sanjaya and Sundance
AND Antonella
Who should: Sanjaya and Sundance
Who will: Phil and Jared

2:08 AM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

Hey JJ,

re: your comment about Chris Daughtry: "...he isn't a one trick pony, as Daughtry was." I know you didn't MEAN to offend anyone, but you've crossed the line with me! Say your prayers! hehehe ;)

My nickname is a holdover from last season where Chris D. was my favorite singer from the get-go. There's a difference between being a one-trick pony (a la one-hit wonders such as David Essex and Flock of Seagulls), and having a true-to-yourself sound. Chris Daughtry fits soundly into the latter category, in my opinion. I have his cd (HUGE surprise! lol). It's really, REALLY good! He's got several of his songs from the cd in the top 40 right now, and he's not going anywhere below that any time soon. Of 11 songs on his cd (9 of which he either wrote himself or co-wrote), only 1 is a clunker. The rest are solid commercial hits; they'll play very well on the airwaves. Heck! they already are! That's extremely impressive for a freshman effort.

Daughtry is a huge talent and I expect only bigger and better things from him in the future.

P.S. My husband and I are also 40+. ;)

P.P.S. I'm not really offended by your opinions. Just thought I'd give you a hard time. ;)

2:30 AM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

I thought Chris Daughtry was a one trick pony (tilt his head back, glare/stare into the camera and belt it out a rock song). To be fair, he did his one trick really well, but it was a single trick nonetheless.

At the same time, there's nothing wrong with that. Most artists are going to record the same kind of music, so excelling in the theme nights does not guarantee success. Chris D's problem last year was that when it got down to the end of the competition, he wasn't picking up new votes. As contestants were being eliminated, his core of voters stayed with him but the voting bases for the singers who had just been whacked went to Elliott, Taylor or Katharine.

I think even Chris D. recognises now that not winning was the best thing that could have happened to hom because he got exposure and he got some street cred as a musician and not as the "American Idol".

6:23 AM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Kathryn said...

WTF was that last night!!??.. Are these guys giving up before the fight?... I was really, really disappointed in all except the two Chris's... and even they didn't blow me away... I know it's hard coming up with winners every night but the girls seem to be able to so what is it with the guys.. I think Chris S is the best of the night and then Chris R (although a little less of the runs up and down the scale in the song would be better.. that's a style that irritates me but he pulled it off).

As far as going home it should be Sundance and Sanja.. because they're not improving.. Sundance is cracking under the pressure and Sanjan doesn't have the power voice to carry him through and even he realised that he shouldn't be there...

7:31 AM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger Chipperprime said...

Definitely right.

Chris Daughtry = One Trick Pony

Still, he has been successful with his one trick.

One more famous one trick pony: Barry Manilow. Listen to one of his albums, and you'll notice that all songs tend to run together with his droning voice.

One Barry song every so often is a good thing, but a little goes a long way.

8:11 AM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Apparently I wasn't the only one who was underwhelmed by the performances last night. What happened??? On a night when they should have been pulling out all the stops in a desperate attempt to make the top 12, most of them gave lackluster performances at best. I can only hope the girls do better tonight.

Unfortunately, I think the Hello Kitty vote will take Sanjaya through to the top 12, although I predict he'll be an early casualty.

As for who's going home tomorrow...I'm not as certain. Phil did have a rough night, but he's still gotten considerably more airtime than some of the guys, so that may be enough to propel him into the top 12.

My problem with some of the men is song choice. I don't dislike Jared, but I have disliked his song choices. It's hard to take on Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye and make it sound original...and good. There will always be comparisons, and most of them won't be in your favor. Same holds true for the girls singing Mariah, Christina, etc. It's a big thing to undertake.

So may the best men and women go through. It's such a pity that we don't have to do the gender equity thing and vote off one or two talented women just to make things equal. But as Jennifer said, THIS is American Idol, and what would it be without a little outrage, controversy, and shock?

Gah, I love this show.

10:33 AM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Oops, I meant that it's a pity we DO have to do the gender equity thing. That was a typo. Sorry. :-)

10:35 AM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee, I started a fire storm. I was trying to be as brief as possible, and didn't mean Daughtry was a one trick pony in the sense he would be a flash in the pan. He's a OTP in the way David Lee Roth is a OTP. DLR excelled as the lead for Van Halen, and when he tried to go solo, it was the same stuff, just not as good. that was his trick, sexist, macho rock songs.

CD has a wonderful rock voice, and when I say he was a OTP it is because no matter which theme he sung, he 'always' had that same tone in his voice. It's who he is. He's not versatile. He couldn't do opera, country, jazz, scat, hip-hop, blues, rock, pop etc. He can do a couple, but not all of them. So, sorry for a poor word choice, I like CD a lot, but like many contestants, he was "rounded" enough to be the winner, which as someone else stated, was really the best for him. And I love that they've picked his song as the "get the hell off the show" song hahaha

Of the guys this year, my guess is Blake is the only one capable of doing every genre that will be asked of them. Sligh will do most well, but I wonder if he'll "change" how he sings or "performs" to fit some of the genre's. I think Blake will prove to be the most flexible male, while Melissa is going to blow our doors off every week.

Btw, does anyone else wonder if it's fair for a true professional to be in this competition? I love having her, she sings so wonderfully, but is it fair to the others? Even Taylor didn't have her level of chops!


(anyway we could convince the show to only keep 4 guys?)

12:15 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, does anyone want to know what the "Big" announcement is on Thursday? It struck me today that Jen must not have caught word of this :)

My guess, as I haven't heard them talk about it on the show yet, is the American Idol summer camp that was announce last month. http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2007-02-23-idol-camp_x.htm?csp=34

that's a link to a story on it. I'd rather see an announcement that Idol was going to borrow from the Grease show, and let the judges save one of the bottom 2 each week, to keep the VFTW crowd from screwing up the show :) but alas they couldn't be that smart haha


12:18 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Blake and Chris Sligh.

That's it, don't care who else makes it to the finals. I agree the we send home all but a couple of the boys before ANY of the girls leave.

12:22 PM, March 07, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

I'm trying to find something - anything - about the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. So far nothing. The only rumor I'm reading is the return of the wildcard, but that isn't quite the "biggest thing in the history of the show" like we were promised, so I'm not buying it.

12:36 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thursday's (possible) surprise:

2:25 PM, March 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*waving to Jennifer*

In my opinion, even the best performances of the evening (Blake and Sligh) weren’t stellar. What happened to passion? What happened to desire? Where’s the, the, the … ummm, the fervor!

The guys really need to stop waving the Mediocrity flag!

Who I want: Sanjaya (hula dude), Chris Richardson
Who should: Sanjaya + 3 others


2:31 PM, March 07, 2007  

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