Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the saga of seven divas...

After years of being warned against trying to emulate Miss Whitney, Miss Celine and Miss Mariah Carey, the seven remaining season seven kids are being forced to attempt the big voice. Something about all of this just doesn't seem fair.

But who cares? Because THIS is American Idol. And "fair" ain't a word we use in the same sentence.

Okay, I'll be honest from the get go. I've read the spoilers, and, aside from two of the song selections, I don't have a clue about Mariah Carey music. (And in fairness, one of the selections - Without You - was much better in its original version. In my opinion, of course.)

And who woulda thunk that three guys would have mopped the floor with four gals on Mariah night?

But it's time for the slaughter, so here they are, my impressions, written live while they're occurring, so no snide remarks about the typos, please, and, as usual, from worst to first:

Brooke White (Hero). Brooke is still lamenting the fact that she had to miss her sister's wedding. Then she decides to destroy one of the few Mariah Carey songs I like, missing notes throughout and relying on just the piano. This was one time I think she would have been more effective standing alone at the microphone and allowing the band to complement the vocal. The judges dissolve into a discussion of meat and buns while Brooke stands looking typically perplexed.

Syesha Mercado (Vanishing). Mariah says Syesha made a wise song choice, which is probably true considering Syesha's tendency toward big vocals. Personally, I don't like the song, but I'm not sure that's because of Syesha. Randy gives her a thumbs half up, Paula speaks Paula and Simon questions her choice of an unknown song while praising her technical ability, but makes sure to tell her that she's no David Archuleta.

Kristy Lee Cook (Forever). Kristy continues to impress me. And while Randy was right that there were a few iffy moments, especially in the front of her performance when she was struggling with the lower register, the end more than made up for the start. She will survive another week, but she continues to earn her ticket forward rather than just skating through.

Carly Smithson (Without You). Carly makes sure everyone knows how much the kids miss the newly-departed Michael Johns. And she chooses the much over-sung-on-this-show song that Kelly Clarkson made her mark on, so not only will she be judged against Mariah, but she will be judged against former idols. All three judges comment that she's holding back, perhaps out of caution, and lavish her with praise that could be only describe as tepid. I think that Clarkson and London have nothing to fear.

Jason Castro (I Don't Wanna Cry). I don't know this song, so I have nothing on which to base this, and it wasn't my favorite Jason performance, but as Simon said at the end of his review, the guys at their worst were better than the girls at their best.

David Archuleta (When You Believe). David #1 gets the lead-off spot (a cursed spot over the course of this season), and suffers from the traditional drowning out of his vocals by the band and background singers. But the vocals that do rise above the background are typically David, everything we've come to expect from the kid. The judges fawn over him while I can't help but wonder if and/or when he will ever depart from the inspiring ballad path that he's chosen.

David Cook (Always Be My Baby). And here I thought the guys would be inherently at a disadvantage. After a bit of a scare at the front of this song, David #2 takes it into typical DC world, causing Randy to stand for the first time this season, Paula to spout more Paula-isms and Simon to declare the show finally free from karaoke hell.

So there they are, for what they're worth. Now it's your turn to critique. But not before the predictions that are as reliable as, well, the weather. I will say this now, though: if there is not an all-male final three, based on the competition thus far, something is terribly rotten somewhere in Denmark.

Who I want: three girls, I don't care which ones.
Who should: Brooke, Carly, Syesha
Who will: Brooke, Carly, Syesha

As much as I think Brooke should leave after two very disappointing weeks, I think Syesha may have reached the end of her line tonight.

So, what do you think?

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Blogger Dave said...

I thought the Arch was the worst of the night. His nasally voice gets on my nerves as does his breathing (listen for it sometime; after you hear it the first time, you'll never miss it afterwards). He'll break the curse of the Dead Man's Spot because they've handed the show to him.

David C. was all alone at the top of the class tonight; everyone else was fighting for scraps.

9:23 PM, April 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:26 PM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

As much as I want Syesha to leave, I'm tired of predicting it and then being disappointed. I'm going with Carly to be the big looser tonight.

9:56 PM, April 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the Davids and Kristy tonight. I thought they did a good job.

Carly, Syesha, Brooke and Jason were just OK. I thought Carly looked angry and was kind of screaming the song. This was Brooks worse as far as I'm concerned.

After last weeks surprise I'm not even going to try and guess who will leave.


11:34 PM, April 15, 2008  
Anonymous Chris(Daughtry)ROCKS said...

Hmmm...very interesting night! I thought I was going to be mad at everyone for singing Mariah (whether they were forced to or not). But I was pleasantly surprised! There was only one I hated, one I loved, and the rest were up and down the "ah-IGHT" meter for me. So here goes:

Brooke - Bad vocals, bad choice of songs (cuz she'd definitely be compared), she sped up in the middle of the song like she just wanted to get it over with, and she was visibly shaking toward the end of the song. I'm soooo over her.

Tied in the middle are the following:

Syesha - Smart to choose a song nobody really knows. Technically good with some interesting, heart-felt runs throughout.

Carly - I love this song. I'm with you, Jennifer. I love the original more than Mariah's. But Carly did a decent job of it.

Kristy - You know? This girl has grown on me. She's improving every week. I actually like her voice; she's a strong singer. And I thought she did a really good job tonight.

Several notches above these gals were these guys:

David A. - I loved it when he sang; thought he did a great job. But by song 3, I had forgotten what he'd done. That's not a good sign. Still, his mediocre is better than the girls' best.

David C. - Surprise! I don't have my favorite of the competition listed as first. I didn't like the first half of the song. He started out shaky, but picked it up 1/3 of the way through and then rocked the end of it in characteristic Cook style. Paula was spot-on: he's sooooo ready to record right now. And I'll be the first person (over 40) in line to buy his cd!

And my favorite performance of the night:

Jason - I know this wasn't the best *technically* but that's totally part of Jason's charm for me. He's imperfect. He's sloppy. And he's wonderful! He has such a distinct sound...and I love it. I know Mariah's "I Don't Wanna Cry" very well. Jason changed it to where it was almost unrecognizable to me. Which I totally dig! And that sort of Latin-meets-Luau vibe thing he's got going on is HAWT! I hope he's around for the final 3.

Who I want: Brooke, Brooke, Brooke
Who should: Brooke, Syesha, Carly
Who will: Brooke, Carly, Jason

Going home? I'm always wrong so I'm gonna say Ryan.

3:02 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Chris(Daughtry)ROCKS said...

P.S. The ladies all looked amazing tonight. Carly! This was the best she's looked. What a gorgeous dress. No bare arms tonight! (Not that I mind her tats.)

3:06 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my $.02:

Worst to Best...

Brooke. Weak performance, thin, quavery voice, too much "sameness"

Jason. He's adorable, but like Taylor Hicks you have to see him to like him. No chance as a recording artist.

Carly. Keeps trying way too hard. This is a great song, especially in the original. Too big for her and it overwhelmed her.

Syesha. Judges are consistently too hard on her and she never gets the props for doing a good job. She was equal to Whitney last week and pretty close to Mariah this.

Kristy. I'm liking her better and better. This week I heard what could be a genuinely big country hit with echos of the classic women of Country - Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette.

David A. His voice is so pure and clear and his emotions so genuine when he sings. The performance aspect will continue to develop as he matures.

David C. This was a close call for me. I liked his performance but it seems to me his appeal is to a narrow audience in some ways.

Likely to go home: Brooke or Carly

7:53 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be a dream final to see David Cook and Kristy Lee Cook in the "GREAT AMERICAN IDOL COOK-OFF"

8:44 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous i'm a jennifer junkie said...

I too missed Michael last night. Really loved that guy!! However, I agree with everyone that all the guys were better than all the girls.
I wrote down my opinions as they were performing and before the judges could influence me in any way so here goes best to worst:
Jason: I absolutely loved it. I smiled the whole way through.
David C: Started out a bit on the wonky side but wow did he finish great. I'm back to liking him again.. his "I'm a rock star" attitude was nowhere in sight and I was really touched by his tears. I'm just sad they didn't say anything about his brother.. perhaps they thought it would sway voters unfairly??
David A: He's beginning to bore me at this stage.. I want something different. I want him to surprise me.
Carly: Is fast becoming my favorite female singer in this competition. I'm starting to admire how she takes, in my opinion, unfair criticism every week with dignity and a smile. I thought she sounded great last night. I LOVE that song and though I wish she'd stayed closer to the original version, she did show how she can sing softly and sweetly (like Dolly Parton week). The judges didn't say anything bad about her performance but I thought she deserved much more praise than she got.. certainly more than the other girls got.
Kristy Lee: Who'd have thunk it! She's starting to grow on me as well. She started out badly but ended great. Very nice!
Brooke: She was not good last night.. she may even have been worse than Syesha but her past performances are keeping her out of my bottom of the pack! Her breathing was dreadful last night..
Syesha.. Every week she sings her heart out and every week she leaves me cold!!!
Hopefully, tonight it'll be Bye Sye!!! Her name will now be SNOha!!

9:21 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very painful night between the bad signing and the bad metaphors (Hamburger/Laua). The girls were awful and David A. makes my ears bleed. Yes he has a sort of purity between the gasping, but he's boring and completely unoriginal - he's a very very pale shadow of Josh Groban. And honestly I don't think that his vocal chords will make it beyond twenty - I'm surprised they haven't collapsed already. David Cook and Jason were the best, though David C could probably enunciate better - you can hardly understand him half the time. I like Jason's raw sound - he's the anti-Archuleta.

Going home Carly - nobody likes her and her singing keeps getting worse. She's makes so little connection with the audience. Though I'm glad she discovered sleeves this week.

9:29 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did NOT like Carly's version of the song, she changed the melody up a little which changed the emotional HOOK of the whole song. Plus she was strained and screechy. I realized last night that she reminds me of Hillary Clinton - they're both very competent in their field so I want to like and respect them, but they're so annoying I can't stand them. They both have that bunched-up-face look, screech a lot and overdo everything.

Jason was fantastic - I thought you all would appreciate the fact that he did something with an R&B/Soul rythym and I thought he sounded great.

David Cook stole the night - Simon was right, he was a breath of fresh air.

I've been wrong about every prediction so far, but I think it's finally Syesha's time.

10:54 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, yeah, and both Carly and Hillary reek of desperation.

10:55 AM, April 16, 2008  
Blogger MP said...

I agree w/ your bottom three.. I think it may be Brooke..although I would rather it be Syesha. Kristy Lee needs to go but I don't think she'll hit bottom 3.

11:09 AM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to dial idol, Kristy Lee is safe, and so are the davids and jason. they have brooke, syesha and carly rated with brooke at the bottom.

11:49 AM, April 16, 2008  
Blogger DrillerAA said...

I have to believe that Syesha has sung her last "Glory Note". I don't think she has the fan base to displace Brooke. I thought Brooke was extremely shakey tonight. I've been waiting for this to happen. As you may recall, Brooke was a basket case during the tribunal of doom episode, when they picked her to go to Hollywood. I don't think she has many nerves left and this competition is becoming too much for her to handle.

12:58 PM, April 16, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

Jason = anti-Archuleta... I love it!

Archuleta's charm wore off of me during Beatles weeks. I find him far too "Schmaltzy" and way too serious for a 17 year old. Dude, lighten up!

Loved David Cook, Jason and I know Brooke had a rough night, but I love her voice and her style. Kind of Norah Jones vibe that I really like. I did see her visibly shaking, what was up with that?

I tried for one hour to vote for David C and only got through once.

3:22 PM, April 16, 2008  

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