Tuesday, May 22, 2007

this is it...

January seems so long ago, but in January May felt like forever away.

But THIS is American Idol.

Time goes quickly. And so does this show, as the last two standing battled it out in a triple songfest, each of them tackling the crappy winner's song, a redux of an earlier performance and one brand new, chosen on their own, number. They were a very evenly-matched duo, not the finest in the history of the show, as Paula suggested, certainly superior to last season's, but not quite up to Bo/Carrie.

Both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis swam out of the Seattle auditions, the audition city that Simon slandered nearly a year ago. (Also home to faves Kenneth and Jonathan, who I expect we'll see tomorrow.) The winner, the first from a non-Southern state, will be crowned in the sixth Idol finale two-hour extravaganza Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

So, without any more embellishment or introduction, here they are, my early impressions, subject to review and revision and, as always, from worst to first:

Blake Lewis (This is My Now). Blake starts the song sitting in front of the large Idol oval, something I've never before seen, but even that isn't enough to salvage this song, which, while not close to the horrid songs of last year, just isn't a Blake song. I wish the guy, who looked uncomfortable throughout, had just beatboxed through the second half. The judges give him a pass on the song, which is obviously not suited for anyone not 17.

Blake Lewis (She Will Be Loved). I am not a fan of falsetto, and I'm not fond of Blake's. Simon questions his choice of song, speculating that it doesn't have impact enough for a finale. It ends well, but not strong enough to erase the weak beginning. Plus, I just don't like this song by Maroon 5 anyway, so I'm probably biased.

Jordin Sparks (This is My Now). Okay, so this song isn't My Destiny bad (I would link that reference, but can't bear to.) But it sounds like the clone of A Moment Like This Flying Without Wings Inside Your Heaven on a Night like This, I Believe. (Did I Make You Proud?) The 10 other Idols are each sitting in the audience, thanking their stars they're not up there trying to sing it, but Jordin does her best with it, crying through it, probably because, well, she's not fond of it either. Randy crowns her the Idol. Simon tells her she wiped the floor with her competition. That will either be her blessing or her curse.

Jordin Sparks (Fighter). Jordin is not Christina, but turns in a decent, if somewhat strident and rushed performance of this song. Simon reminds us that she's 17 (Thanks Simon; had forgotten) but calls her performance "shrieky," and says Blake edged her by a [straight and in her face] hair.

Blake Lewis (You Give Love a Bad Name). This was a hit with many during BonJovi night a few weeks ago, and I think Blake improved over that earlier effort, despite a rough vocal in spots. All three judges commend his performance prowess. Simon gives round one to him. I concur.

Jordin Sparks (A Broken Wing). Randy reminds us that Jordin is 17. (Thanks Randy; had forgotten.) Despite having difficulty understanding many of the lyrics, unlike her first round with this song, it really was terrific, better than the first time, but not quite better than the original, as Randy suggested. Round two is Jordin's most definitely.

So, who's getting covered in confetti? This season has been all about Jordin. She's been groomed, she's been pimped. And, though I think it's gonna be a close one, she's not going to disappoint the producers.

See you tomorrow. Who wins?

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Anonymous Becky said...


I like Blake, but it's not even close, especially based on tonight's performances.

9:11 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

I think the producers want Jordin. The crappy coronation song was a ballad (suprise...not), and that suits Jordin much better than Blake.
To be honest Blake sounded absolutely worn out tonight. It showed in his falsetto and in his face. He was tired and it affected his whole night.
The stress also showed in Jordin's voice from time to time, but I think she probably did what needed to be done to win this thing.

9:15 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous Ginafish said...

I liked Blake's Maroon 5 cover the best and didn't enjoy either one of them singing the 'idol' song.

I agree with jr that the producers are grooming Jordin, but that didn't stop me from dialing for Blake.

Who is going to get Melinda's votes...probably Jordin..who's going to win. Probably Jordin. Who's going to actually have a career...Sanjaya. ACK!!! :D

9:40 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Chad Oneil said...

Both win but Jordin will take the crown.

It's been a good finish.

9:43 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad, I hope your right. Dori

10:04 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They really have to do better with the coronation songs.

Its not fair to these kids to have to sing these S----- songs!

I felt sorry for them, especially for Blake.

I can't believe those two guys had the balls to stand up to say they wrote it. Can I say ball?


10:48 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous JJ said...

hmm, interesting night.

let's see, Jenn, in your story, you mentioned this will be the first non-Southern state winner. Um, when did Arizona stop being in the Southern portion of the US? :) It's not the "South", but it is a "southern" state geographically (hahaha) And Texas doesn't really count as a "Southern" state the way Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas etc do. So I'm presuming you mean southerly located :)

sorry, just had to have a little fun with that

the show. hmm. Paula looked terrible. What was up with her face? Not her nose, it looked normal (where were the bandages?) but her mouth/lips especially. Did she have an injection yesterday, collegan is it? She almost broke by TV. Randy looked like Sgt Peppers! haha

singing wise, a little different than Jenn. Keep in mind, I'm a 40 yr old guy, with more an 80's rock/metal flavor for pop music, and now listen to christian contemporary.

Original choice:
Neither was great, liked Blake's more because it seemed he was trying to show a different side of himself. Jordin did well, seemed she wanted to show a more contemporary side of her. Don't know the song at all, and couldn't really care at all for it. Didn't know either really, but I liked Blake's of the two a little better, not much.

Repeat song:
Best song from Blake all season, this one was more of a performance and less a sung song, and was it me or was the audio screwed up a few times during this? I'm sure the mic cut out at least once on him (or he held it too far away). Jordin's song was very nice, a bit slow to start, but a big big finish. Got me to thinking, she's Carrie all over again. Just stands there like a cardboard cut out. she needs to work on that.

Coronation debacle:
yup, not a very good song at all. Why didn't they let Blake make something decent out of his version. Wasn't liking it much at all, but not his singing so much as how weak it was and how limited it forced him to be. Wife and I said at the end, Jordin is gonna crush on this song. Jordin wasn't bad, but about half way thru, but of us say, 'hmm, not sure why, but I liked Blake's better'. She did have a big finish which helped the song immensely, but even during the recap clips, Blake's version was more energetic and seemed to be more heartfelt, or connected to the words. Jordin choked up, hmm, the lyrics or the awareness of the moment finally kicking in? :)

It seemed like Bo/Carrie 2 tonight. A more entertaining stage presence versus a stand still singer. unlike Carrie though, Jordin isn't going to pull in millions of country song votes. She'll get plenty, but not like Carrie did. Strange in a way :)

overall, I can't say either really "won" the night, though I'm partial to Blake and thought he was the slight, very slight, better of the two. But, for trying to guess the public, I am expecting Blake to win. Why in the world that you ask? Simple. Play back the audience applause and notice how much stronger the pro Blake shouts were than the pro Jordin shouts. It's not the best cross section, but it definitely came across that way.

So, my votes went more to Apollo than Joey, and I'm glad Apollo won. But I wish they'd "made" it a tie, as those two were just both so good all season :)

yeah, Andy picked Tessa, they look so good together. Can't believe I watched that show, I'm a guy, but I always like the Navy and I thought it was be interesting to see if the Officer could find a lady. I think he did, and wishing them a lifetime of joy together. I could tell his heart was always wanting her, but she just wouldn't open up, until that final date. I think that sealed it. And she looks more like an Officer's wife than Bevin. Sorry Bevin. doubt I'll watch that show again, but happy the guy found a nice woman and cut the trampy ones early on :)

good night all, enjoy tomorrow's show, and let's hope the producers do return to the older formula of letting us get to "know" the kids early on.


11:50 PM, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want Blake to win!!!!!!!

1:20 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger AlbGlinka said...

That hideous song at the end is why American Idol makes me gag sometimes, even though I'm obsessed, lol. The fact that it seemed to be making Blake ill while he was singing it is why I think he deserves to win!

The judges wanted to give Melinda the singing crown and that didn't happen, so it'll be interesting to see what the results are. I think that "America" actually may want a slightly hipper Idol like Blake.

I do not see the appeal of Jordin. Never have, and never will.

1:47 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

"south" [uncapitalized] means the opposite of north. South [capitalized] indicates the general area south of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, consisting mainly (but not exclusively) of those states that formed the Confederacy.

That's why I capitalized it.

7:17 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger JR said...

If they never have another "Crappy Coronation" song, it will be fine with me. It is always a self-indulgent (Do I Make You Proud...No, you don't) power ballad that doesn't suit either contestant. Have you noticed, the crappy coronation song never seems to be a commercial hit? Get a clue AI...let the kids sing to their strengths. Quit trying to recreate, "Mr. Holland's Opus".

8:08 AM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I agree with everyone that the coronation song sucked. Thanks to the power of Tivo my household got immense enjoyment out of pausing on the audience shots of the Idol Top 12. Melinda and Phil Stacey looked absolutely horrified by the song, while Chris Richardson looked like he was struggling to stay awake. We're all in agreement that coronation songs suck so they need a new format. I suggest they try having former winners (even former Top 12 contestants) write the songs. I'm certain Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry could do a much better job, they certainly write better songs for themselves. Granted they may not be interested in this, but I'm sure they'd be able to find a few former contestants who'd be willing to participate. And for what reason must the coronation song always be a ballad?


9:09 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Nelle said...

Although some of Blake's performances are entertaining and he is true to himself, I think Jordin's voice will win her the prize tonight. Although the song sucked, I felt she did a much better job than Blake did. I am surprised he didn't find some way to beep bop through it somewhere.

9:18 AM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No question Jordin was the stronger competitor last night. I thought Blake's seemed to be going through the motions and didn't see much excitement.

Jordin seemed more nervous than usual, but still had strong vocals. The coronation song was pretty weak, as usual. When I heard Blake sing it I didn't think I could listen all the way to the end. However, it sounded like a whole different song when Jordin sang it. Still not a great song, but she at least tried to interpret the music and lyric whereas Blake just sang the song. That's my $.02

9:51 AM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous JJ said...

ok Jenn, though I would point out, that even though it's south of the Mason Dixon line, Maryland is not considered a Southern state. It's a Northern weenie state, that was with the Union. And West Virginia separated from Virginia and formed it's own government in 1863 and joined the Union :) So even though people always refer to the Mason-Dixon line, the South really starts with Virginia and Kentucky :)

and I figured that was what you meant, just wanted to have fun with ya :) but it is interesting that if Jordin wins, all the winners will be from southern states, and no one from a cold climate will have won. hmmm maybe warm weather helps the vocal cords develop? haha

sorry i'm a bit sensitive on the distinction about Maryland not being in the South, I hate Maryland haha. So maybe it's obvious I live in Va. Maryland is a dirty state, at least it was more so when I was a kid going to visit my grandmother, cars had no inspections, would be missing bumpers and fenders and such, it was like driving thru a demolition derby state haha. But for irony of ironies, I'm a fan of the U of Md and not the UVA (my dad grew up 5 minutes from UMd) and was a fan of theirs. And my wife's research into our genealogies had found that some part of my line came to Md with the first settlers, so how funny that I 'hate' the state some of the ancestors settled? haha then again, I don't like Massachusetts much either, and it seems another part of me came on the Mayflower, so what a mess I am :)

I'm a rebel like Jesse James, which is why I started using the tag JJ :) (and yes, in some distant thru marriage or some such way, related to him too doh! and that dude in card decks with the knife/sword behind his neck haha) gotta be amazed at the funny stuff you can learn thru death records haha

well, back on topic, this must have been a crappy show, cause there are not many comments, and there's usually so much more to enjoy reading :( I'd have to say, this is the first year I didn't care who won either. Other years I had a person I really wanted to win. I don't care this year. i sure hope they do a better job casting next year, and give us more backstories so we can like the kids better (that girl from Ohio who auditioned in NY without telling her parents, she should have been kept around, as that was a "good" storyline. and since they kept SanJaya around, they should have kept his sis around, as how great would it have been to argue over which one was better! THAT would have been entertaining, considering how bland this season wound up being :(


10:00 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

Yeah, JJ, I knew you knew what I meant. Of course now, the US Census defines Maryland as one of the South regional states. (As well as Oklahoma, which allows us to say that "technically" Carrie Underwood is also from the South. Arizona and Washington are defined as West.

But no matter. I don't think I've ever known so many people to be so happy to watch the season end. Hope they rethink things for next year and put on one whale of a good show tonight. Nigel even credits Sanjaya for carrying the show through the first half. That says a lot.

10:30 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Mighty Mouse said...

You'd think that since they had a competition this year to pick an original song, we'd get something better than "This is my Now". Ugh!!! What a godawful song. "THIS IS MY NOW"??? C'mon. Did anybody REALLY like that song?

11:05 AM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Getting Curious said...

I voted for Blake something like, ummmm - 2 million times.

But I still think Jordin will win.

ps - I love Jack Bauer.

11:20 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

Why oh why must all the winning songs be cheesy? "This Is My Now" wasn't as bad as "Do I Make You Proud" (shudder) or "My Destiny" (even bigger shudder), but I can't say that I liked it.

I don't know who will win tonight; I imagine the vote will be close. And since I fell asleep after the show and didn't vote, I suppose I have no right to complain about who DOES win. lol

JJ: Hello to a fellow Virginian.

11:30 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Mighty Mouse said...

Last night's show was a total disappointment for me. I think I'm FINALLY over AI. I'm not going to be tuning in tonight to see who wins. Blake & Jordin have equal appeal so it doesn't really matter. I had more fun watching the finale of Dancing with the Stars. It was much too long but at least no commercial or movie "tie-ins". And it was suspenseful because I liked all 3 finalists! I think Paula wished she was at DWTS too because she wanted to give Blake more than a 10 for his first performance. Since when did the judges start scoring? Anyway, rant over, YEAH APOLO & JULIANE!!!

2:44 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

I commented at Dave's blog that the two hours of DWTS went by faster than five minutes of AI. And it was true. I caught the Paula comment about more than a 10 and thought the very same thing.

AI could take some lessons. WTG Apolo/Julianne!

2:50 PM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JJ - you are correct in stating West Virginia became a state after splitting from Virginia. However, many West Virginians would disagree with you about WV being a northern state, it would probably get you shot in some parts of the state. :)

FYI - The WV Governor is part of the Southern Governors Association.

3:34 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger AlbGlinka said...

With all this South talk, I just want to give a Cali shout-out.

I have to wait 3 more hours than some of you to find out results, and not go online to read any spoilers. How impressed are you with my self-control?

Hey Jennifer, what's your take on the Sanjaya as RISD Performance Artist story?

4:25 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

Am I the only person who thinks that Blake didn't put more effort into the crappy coronation song because he doesn't really want to win and be saddled with the restrictive production control? Plus, if he doesn't win, he doesn't have to record that "song".

4:30 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger jennifer said...

Albert, I don't buy it because he is reading a script, but if it's true, it's hysterical. And Adam, no you're not the only one. I think Blake wants to win this thing about as much as Bo did. If I had to guess, I'd wager he didn't even want to make it this far, kinda the Sligh factor, that he wanted the boost, the summer work and the salary that goes with it, but not the claws of death known as Clive Davis.

4:54 PM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well - I still turn the radio station everytime Taylor Hicks is singing his sucky song from last year - the only finale song I've ever been somewhat impressed with was "For a Moment Like This" and that was back when it started and none of us knew better.


5:13 PM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous JJ said...

we sure are jaded :)

i agree that Idol needs to take a little slice from DWTS and even the Grease show. Something I noticed while watching DWTS is you get to "know" or feel like you know the stars and how hard they had to work. Not that Idol would do it, but hey assign a pro to each contestant, working with them on song choice and arrangement :)

now thats unlikely, but I would like to see a point for the judges to still be on the show at this point, so I'd like to see either the judges judging, or like in Grease, having the ability to save the bottom 2 person they would like to stay.

But overall, we need to know the kids better, so hopefully Nigel and co. realize they need to get us to like the kids first and foremost, or we just won't care like this year.


5:55 PM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blake sucks

9:05 PM, May 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So apparently Irish lass Carly already had a previous record deal under her maiden name from MCA complete with an album release (sales were crappy), and a music video.

I smell a rat here.

8:46 AM, February 15, 2008  

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