Thursday, March 06, 2008

8 girls, 6 spots: against all odds...

So the semi-final performance episodes end with eight girls just wanting to have fun dancing with somebody to the beat of the songs of the eighties.

Next week - the big stage.

The girls didn't deliver, as a group, as entertaining a show as their male counterparts the night before, but despite two Whitney songs, one Celine song and one song I never want to hear again ever ever in this or any other lifetime, it was, to date, their best outing.

Because THIS is American Idol. And sometimes they're good. Sometimes they're great and, well, sometimes Paula is coherent.

In fact, I found myself more annoyed with the judges, who wasted precious time in yet another one of their "it's all about us" modes. Thought this year it was going to be all about the kids. Alas.

Nonetheless, here are my reviews, a day late as usual but as always, from worst to first.

Kady Malloy (Who Wants to Live Forever). And to think I cringed a little when Miss Kady took on Heart last week. Imagine what happened to me when I found out she was doing Queen. Even though it was an improvement over the unspeakable act she committed the week before, she didn't deliver anything close to saving her chances to advance to the finals. But I said that last week, so no promises.

Ramiele Malubay (Against All Odds). I hate this song with the intensity of a trillion Easy Bake Ovens. I hated it when Corey Clark sang it; I tolerated Scott Savol's version, and I detested Kat McPhee's. On the hate-o-meter, Ramiele's version falls somewhere between zero and Savol. I won't even try to critique her vocal skills, because I doubt that the next time (God forbid) I have to pull out the Against All Odds Crappy Troop, I'll have forgotten she did it. It was that good.

Kristy Lee Cook (Faithfully). Actually I didn't find her country-fried version of Randy's Journey hit too terribly offensive. I just didn't find it all that good either. Kristy needs, if she survives this week, to establish herself very firmly as this season's country singer. And this, while a modest attempt to do that, didn't fully do so.

Asia'h Epperson (I Wanna Dance with Somebody). Asia'h starts the show with a Whitney number, but fortunately for us, it's not one of her "loud" ones. Asia'h is okay in a sweet, bouncy sort of way, but her version of this song lacked any sense of originality or spark. The judges say she's earned a spot into the finals, despite calling her effort "second-rate Whitney Houston." She may have earned a spot, but I'm not sure she'll get one.

Syesha Mercado (Saving All My Love For You). Again, luck prevails when Syesha, who insists on diving head first into the Whitney book of 80s songs, doesn't pull out one of the "loud" ones. And so we begin the show with a Whitney song and we end the show the same way. Like Asia'h, Syesha doesn't do anything terribly unpredictable with the song, but unlike Asia'h who kicked off the night and was likely forgotten seven performances later, Syesha benefits from the anchor spot, one and two-word concise judging assessments, the close of the show and the opening of the lines. She's lucky.

Brooke White (Love is a Battlefield). Brooke forgoes the instruments this week. She forgoes most of the band. She forgoes her feet too! Sitting on the edge of the eyeball stage, she turns this Pat Benatar classic into a sad, lingering, almost-folk ballad. Randy and Paula are so-so on her arrangement, but Simon brightens her face, calling it her second straight great performance. I concur with Simon.

Amanda Overmyer (I Hate Myself for Loving You). I am already trying to figure out which Beatles song Amanda may pull out of her hat if she makes it that far. After last week's poor song choice meets poor song performance disaster, Amanda gets back into her rocker groove and pulls out all the stops to go from almost worst to almost first in the matter of seven days. The unfortunate thing for her is that she is turning into the one-trick pony Simon feared, even though he lavishes her with praise. She is obviously taking her critiques to heart, though, as she toned the cosmetics and softened the hair, showing off how really pretty she is. Now if she would just pretend to be happy to be there. Baby steps.

Carly Smithson (I Drove All Night). Okay, so this is technically a Cyndi Lauper song, but Celine worked better in the intro. Shoot me. I'm not the biggest Carly fan, so it takes a superior effort for her to take top honors from me. Despite the sleevelessness, which I find myself distracted by, Carly does put this song in its place without hitting a bump or a single pothole.

Tonight is final 12 night. I pegged Luke and Chikeze to be without seats. The women are bit more tricky, and I would like for more than two to leave. But them's the rules.

Who I want: Kady and Kristy.
Who should: Kady and Kristy.
Who will: Kady and Asia'h.

See you tonight.

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Blogger Dave said...

I think Amanda might have a reasonably good showing if she did "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Other than that, I'm not sure I want to hear any Beatles on Idol.

12:14 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

I think it will be Kady and Syesha to hit the bricks along with Luke and Chikeze. The girls were just ok. Disappointed in Ramiele who is a lot better than she is giving herself credit for. I hope she sticks around. Loved Brooke. What the heck is up with Randy telling Brooke she didnt' do anything different with the song? I think all the judges were drunk last night. Paula laying all over Simon, Randy and Paula talking about themselves and their history in the "biz" and on and on. The judges were so very annoying last night. I felt sorry for some of the girls who were not getting the attention they deserved from the judges.

12:43 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amanda should do Helter Skelter

12:47 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason should sing Norwegian Wood

12:53 PM, March 06, 2008  
Blogger Sara said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't get Randy's comment to Brooke. Didn't do anything different? What?

1:09 PM, March 06, 2008  
Blogger Mighty Mouse said...

I too have been really annoyed and disturbed by the behavior of the judges. Paula is truly on some kind of drug and she somehow has spiked the drinking glasses Randy and Simon. It's disgraceful.

I agree on your picks.

2:23 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous chris(daughtry)rocks said...

That's what I said! Brooke's version was such a departure from the original (including some of the melody) that there was truly no comparing her with Pat Benatar. Brooke recognized that she couldn't compare so she may as well go polar opposite. And she soared because of it. Very smart choice on her part.

I don't know WHAT Randy was talking about! The judges were soooo annoying last night. >:(

3:11 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amanda has no choice but to do a ballad, she's due for one. And, it's only many times have contestants been hammered for playing it safe?

Oh wait,I'm talking about a one trick pony, duh!

Is is just me or does she remind anyone else of Audrey in European Vacation?

3:29 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous chris(daughtry)rocks said...

lol vernae!

As for Beatles songs, I hope to goodness Amanda doesn't try a ballad. She's best when she's up-tempo and screaming. Here are my picks for Beatles week. (I've intentionally left out Kady and Luke because I don't think they're gonna be there.)

Amanda - Twist and Shout or Shake, Rattle & Roll

Asia'h - Can't Buy Me Love

Brooke - Blackbird

Carly - Let It Be or Long and Winding Road

Kristi - Good Day Sunshine

Ramiele - I'll Follow the Sun

Syesha - All You Need is Love

Chikeze - And I Love Her or Long and Winding Road

David A - Hey Jude or Penny Lane

David C - Drive My Car, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, or Come Together

David H - Rocky Raccoon or Yesterday

Jason - Norwegian Wood or I'll Follow the Sun

Michael - Hard Day's Night or And I Love Her

Danny - Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey

Keeping my fingers crossed that they'll do some good...

3:45 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those are all excellent ideas, except I still think Amanda should do Helter Skelter

5:40 PM, March 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristy Lee Cook, one of the last 12 finalists on this season’s American Idol is in a provocative video for a toothbrush. Check it out here.

12:45 AM, March 12, 2008  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!