Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the nine: it's TONY BENNETT!!...

Tony Freaking Bennett! These kids better know how freakin' lucky they are.

And it's my favorite of all of the episodes - the American Classics night (sometimes called Big Band, sometimes called the Great American Songbook, depending on the season), but it's REAL music with REAL lyrics (that mean stuff) and REAL melodies that don't need rollercoasters or curlycues.

And anybody who butchers the real stuff is gonna get stuffed like the turkey they are.

Because THIS is American Idol.

And as a rule, the kids treated these classics with the respect they deserved, well at least as much as this group can do.

Anyway, here they are, the early reviews, subject to rewind, review and revision and, with respect to the "special list", as always from worst to first.

The "Sanjaya" list:

Sanjaya Malakar (Cheek to Cheek). Tony Bennett says he loves the kid, because he's not afraid to do his own thing. And that's a large part of the reason he's still in this dance. Okay, so his vocals were off in parts and all over the map in other parts, Randy finally nails it that he's not as much a singer as an entertainer - an entertainer that's learning on the job and doing a damn good job at it.

The "Non-Sanjaya" List:

Phil Stacey (Night and Day). Phil says he's waiting all his life to meet Tony Bennett, who tells him to pick up the tempo on this classic. So, of course, he doesn't because Phil doesn't normally take advice. And all of a sudden I think I'm sipping a daquari in a Vegas lounge. Randy says eww to boos from the audience. Paula says he's a young Sinatra. Paula is obviously drunk. Simon doesn't feel the lounge vibe; he's feeling more like funeral parlor.

Haley Scarnato (Ain't Misbehavin'). I'm fighting to find something else to say about Haley's performance aside from the length of her skirt and the depth of her neckline. Give me a minute. Paula tells her that green is "her color." Simon tells her she has great legs. Give them a minute. Give me more time.

Gina Glocksen (Smile). Gina decides to begin and end this song on a stool in the middle of the stage, not that the song needs anything more. But her rendition could have used a little stage action. I think this is the first time I've called her boring. And it's the first time that I'm going to criticize the tongue jewelry, which, with a microscopic camera all but up her nose, would have been better placed in a tongue jewelry box for this performance.

Blake Lewis (Mack the Knife). So Blake plays a bit with the lyrics and doesn't slow down the tempo as Tony Bennett suggested, but given the lead-off spot, doesn't massacre this classic too badly. Randy uses the word "pitchy", Paula calls him a "kool kat" and Simon gives him a 7/10 while giving the band an 8. Me? I say a 6.

Jordin Sparks (On a Clear Day). My new favorite, Jordin, must have been in a hurry to get to the sock hop, taking very little time to break from the strict melody to interpret the lyrics. Randy and Paula gush shamelessly. Simon tells her she didn't make an old song sound fresh. I disagree with all of them. While technically good, artistically it was just too rushed, until the last note which lasted through the last several singers and into House.

LaKisha Jones (Stormy Weather). Just as she did with Diana Ross, whose suggestion she rejected, LaKisha disregards Bennett's advice to let the final note speak for itself. She ought to consider taking the word of two people with 80+ years combined experience. She fights through the opening third of the song, knocks it out in the middle and blows it with a cheap ending tag. But the judges fawn like they normally do with LaKisha.

Chris Richardson (Don't Get Around Much Anymore). The judges tell Chris that he made a old classic young, hip and cool. I hate admitting it, but I agree. For the first time, I didn't cringe during a Chris Richardson performance.

Melinda Doolittle (I've Got Rhythm) This is how you do it right there. At least according to Randy. She has FAB hair (obviously taking hints from Sanjaya), starts this song as a ballad then lets it loose in one of her best performances thus far. And she seems to have dropped the "aw shucks/who me?" routine, accepting the accolades graciously, even when Simon whines that they've been unable to be mean to her. Don't worry Simon, there's always Haley.

So, who's history? My track record has not been so good this year, but I'm not giving up.

Who I want: Phil and Haley. (Phil, because Haley gives me wardrobe fodder.)
Who should: Phil, Haley, Sanjaya. (Phil because Sanjaya gives me hairstyle fodder and makes people totally crap their pants every time he stays, and that's always a fun time.)
Who will: Phil, Haley, Gina.

Phil, it's time buddy. See you at the finale.

So...who's on your list?

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Blogger Dave said...

I think tonight is Phil's night. He was bad and he was going early in the show, which usually spells doom.

9:14 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

I'm with you on Phil being next. He's scary and has played his part. I am afraid that it will be Gina who gets the ax instead.

"Sanjaya gives me hairstyle fodder and makes people totally crap their pants every time he stays, and that's always a fun time." GREAT LINE! Their faces turn a fun shade of red too!

9:28 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger Laura said...

I was just looking down on your sidebar and seeing the history of who was voted off and when. I think Sanjaya will go in the 6 spot. The 6th place club is made up entirely of people who annoyed the crap out of me. Even Christina C., admittedly the least annoying of the bunch, still had some goat-vibrato issues. So therefore, my prediction is Sanjaya will go 6th. And that prediction makes me sad. (And I would love to be proven wrong and see him go earlier...believe me)

That said, I completely agree with your reviews this week :)

9:40 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Dana said...

dial idol so far has phil safe...looks like gina or haley is getting the axe this week, and heaven help us that it's haley and her sexy legs and bad vibrato.

10:02 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

Phil is probably gone tomorrow night. He doesn't have the fan base to keep him in the show and he hasn't shown any improvement from week to week (as if Mowgli has). This will be Phil's third week in the bottom group. Three strikes and you're out!

10:03 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous gavintiegirlhttp://gavintiegirl.typepad.com/my_weblog/ said...

I stopped watching. I am taping them because I want to see Melinda and only Melinda, but I will not tune in live to watch another show until Sanjaya is gone and if he never leaves, I will never watch again. I just can't bare it week after week. I have officially given up on the show. That's right - I am sorry to say, but I have given up. I am sure I am not the only one too. The only performance I am jonesing to see is Melinda.

12:09 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Chipperprime said...

Gina and Phil have made the big mistake of making their wife/ husband/ significant other important in their lives. The audience prefers single people.

I think Phil "gets it" this week.

Haley and Gina may round out the final three. A lack in the voracity of Sanjaya supporters may put him in the bottom three either this week or next.

Gina may be more vulnerable this week than on others because her performance was completely forgettable. I wrote a review a half-hour after I watched the show, and I had little memory of what she did.

1:01 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

The final dial idol results places Haley, Lakisha, and Gina in the bottom three. This is entirely possible since Haley and Gina are the weakest girls left, and voters may be growing tired of the same type of power note from Lakisha each week. If this is true, then I think the beauty pagent ends tonight for Haley. The unfortunate thing about this is that there are two guys that are worse than Haley. She has absolutely no shot at winning this thing, but Mowgli and Cue Ball should be leaving before the pagent queen.

7:48 AM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked dial idol last night at about 12:30 and Haley was #8 and Jordin was last.
Melinda was #1 and Phil was #2.
I hope the votes from the west coast brought Jordin up.
Sanjaya was someplace in the middle, I think he was #4 from the top.
I know dial idol isn't that accurate, I'm hoping that is the case for last night.
I don't want Jordin to go home now.

10:31 AM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jr, I'm not with it today, when I read your note I was thinking 7:48 last night. Daa I am losing it.
What time did you check dial idol?
I check right before I went to bed at 12:30 and it was Haley and Jordin at the bottom. I hope your right. I don't want Jordin to go home now. Dori

10:38 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

I'm thinking it's probably Phil or Haley that leaves tonight. Neither of them had incredibly stellar performances last night, and both have already made appearances in the bottom three. Unfortunately, one of them may have run out of luck in this thing.

On a lighter note, I absolutely love big band/classics week, whatever they're calling it this year. Those are such timeless songs, songs that don't need any vamping up to make them good.

And Tony Bennett...gah, I would have been SO starstruck meeting him. He's a legend, and what an honor for the contestants to be coached by him! I'm with you, Jennifer: I hope they know who lucky they are.

11:04 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Oops, I meant how lucky they are.

11:06 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Real Idol Fans said...

This round was tough because I wasn't "wow'ed" by anyone in particular. Is this getting to be a case of the lesser of the evils?

I'm not sure what the point of the mentoring is, since this crew doesn't heed a single word of advice. Why they feel the need to rewrite even classic songs is beyond me.

I'm having a hard time deciding my bottom 2 or 3!

11:22 AM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dial Idol shows only Melinda as not a possible 9 :) Lakisha is right down at the bottom with Haley. Not surprised at all either.

Oh, and I'm gonna need to change who I think goes which week, Chris R and Phil need to be swapped :) Chris actually sounded good, to my despair, and Phil still hasn't done anything memorable. I think it's Phil's night to go.

But we are getting close to "OMG" week, where Lakisha will get the boot and everyone will be in utter shock. I still contend, based on previous years, she doesn't crack the top 6. Her and Melinda are fighting for the same voters, and Melinda is perfect each week, and had a better makeover this week :) Personally, I'm bored with both of them, and want either Jordin or Blake to win, but of the 2, Melinda is the better singer, Kiki the better story, I suppose.

I'm betting Haley has at least another week in her, since she's understanding her block is horny men, like the pick of the soldiers with the Haley sign. Keep those boys happy, and they'll vote like sex starved madmen :) hahaha

Overall though, I agree that Phil is the most likely to go tonight, since he's been riding so low each week.


11:34 AM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous Artificially Intelligent said...

It's so sad that we've all just resigned ourselves to the fact that Sanjaya will be sitting "pretty" tonight as we watch a more deserving contestant get the boot!! It's like Kevin Covais all over again.. I truly hope Dial Idol is WRONG WRONG WRONG... there's NO WAY Jordin should go home tonight or anytime soon.
I wrote in an earlier post that I believe LaKisha's appeal would wear off and it seems I'm right. I wasn't at all impressed by her performance last night.

1:35 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Sunny said...

I agree with everything JJ said 100%!! Here's what I thought about this week's performances:
Chris pleasantly surprised me with a good performance and song choice too.
Phil needs to get the boot, his performance was definitely more night than day.
Lakisha and Melinda are both boring, its like AI has to come up with a "special" set of songs just for them that can somehow fit the theme of the week. The producers probably told Gwen that she had to put Donna Summer on her pick list just so they would have good songs to sing.
Jordin is a little spitfire and deserves to be at the top cos she really does the best every week. Even though I really didn't like the song, I thought she performed incredibly.
Blake was awesome (although his performance wasn't as good as Clay's) he and Jordin are my two faves.
Haley isn't good enough, but if she keeps showing some leg, she'll stick around but not for very long (kind of like Pickler was at the top until everyone was getting fed up with her).
I really liked Gina's performance but I don't think America likes rockers chicks as much as they like rocker dudes (i.e. Daughtry).
And Sanjaya, like Jennifer said, he is in his own league now and even though he's not great, I do notice that he is improving each week.
I can't wait to see what happens tonight. (p.s. this was the week that Mandisa got booted, so anything can happen!)

4:09 PM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous ChrisROCKS said...

I'm way too late to be commenting on this thread regarding the performances. So I'll rag on Haley instead. She comes out wearing that dress, baring that much leg and has the GALL to be offended when Simon says she has great legs?!

Oh PUH-LEEEEEEASE!!!! Like it's any surprise that a man would notice. Whatever.

But if anyone happens to see her legs being auctioned off on e-bay, let me know. I'd like to get rid of my own, buy hers and tape them to my hips.

1:05 AM, April 06, 2007  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!