American Idol Report for March 20
Overall, it was a very good episode. I liked the songs the contestants selected with a couple of exceptions and the performances were the most solid that they have been all season.
Haley Scarnato - Tell Him, Nice song selection for Haley. It fits her age and style. It is her most charismatic performance so far and she’s done a good job with the singing. I did not notice any bad notes in her vocal performance. I think this is good enough to keep her around at least another week. Rating: good
Chris Richardson- Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying – Chris’ voice is not very strong, but I think he does a good job compensating for this weakness. He is a likeable and interesting performer. I think he does a good job playing to his strengths and like Haley, did not hit any bad notes in the song. Plus, it is a pretty good song. Rating: good
Stephanie Edwards - You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. You all know that I love Stephanie but this was not a good performance. This is the second week in a row that she has been disappointing. Just a very sedate performance that did not have any highlights. Steph really needs to get it together. I would not be surprised to see her in the bottom 3. Rating: fair
Blake Lewis Time of the Season. Good song choice. It fits his voice. As usual, Blake exudes cool in both his look and performance. I don’t mind the beat box moments because I think they generally fit and he is using restraint with it. He does wimp out on the high notes on the “loving” phrase of “It’s the Time of the Season for (go to the high note) LOVING”. My wife and daughter tell me that its perfectly honorable to go to a lower octave for that, but I’m disappointed that he didn’t go for it. I liked it though. Rating: Very good
Lakisha Jones - Diamonds are Forever, Interesting song and performance by Lakisha. It started slowly but she grew more confident as it rolled along. Its not great, but her voice sounds good as usual. Still I’m not very enamored with the song and think she probably should have taken Lulu’s advice and sang the other one. Rating: good
Phil Stacey - Tobacco Road. I’m not terribly familiar with this song and would not think it “British”. He’s trying to be gritty with the song and performance. He attempts the Bo Bice grab the mic stand and carry it all over the place maneuver. Simon’s right though, he doesn’t have the “grit” to pull it off. He’s in danger this week. Rating: fair
I like the fact that the singers are getting more time this week. They actually get to do the whole song and I’m enjoying that.
Jordin Sparks - I Who Have Nothing. Well, I don’t like her ironed straight hair this week, but that’s the only thing I don’t like. She does a great job tonight. Her voice is strong and she delivers an excellent performance. The song gives her an opportunity to really shine. Lots of big notes and dramatic moments and Jordin does fabulously with all of them. This is the second best performance of the season, behind only Lakisha’s “I’m Telling You, I’m Not Leaving”.
Sanjaya Malakar - Oh no, Sanjaya is going to attempt the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”. That was my initial reaction. When he told Peter Noone that it was between that and “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good”, I thought that Sanjaya should have picked the more sugary, youthful “I’m Into Something Good”. But I was wrong. Sanjaya made the right choice even though he was still bad. But if he chose the other song which would have seemed a better fit, all of his weaknesses (i.e. he can’t sing) would have been completely exposed. It’s a song that requires more “singing”. By choosing “You Really Got Me”, Sanjaya was able to hide behind the band and do more yelling than singing. Still that girl was crying for a reason. Its because Sanjaya is so darn bad that it drives one to tears. I know I shed a few too when I saw the Kinks classic being desecrated by this talentless kid. Oh well, still he was better than last week. Rating: bad
Gina Glocksen - Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones. It is an interesting but dangerous choice of songs. Over the years, I have seen several women attempt to sing Rolling Stones songs, but never have felt that its been successful. Unfortunately, Gina continues this trend. Uncharacteristically for me I am going to type out a completely sexist statement that I actually believe: Women can’t do Rolling Stones songs. It just doesn’t work. Sexism, attitude, and machismo are a large part of the Rolling Stones music and performances. These characteristics simply cannot survive the gender gap. Gina tries, but I don’t like the arrangement or the performance. Her singing is not good and her effort is completely unsuccessful. She’s in real danger this week. Rating: bad
Chris Sligh - She’s Not There by the Zombies. 2 Zombies songs in one show. Definitely a record. Chris does fine. I don’t like the opening bit of him wandering through the audience while singing. He’s a portly fellow and he needs to be careful that he doesn’t get too winded during his performance. His voice is good and I think he does really well on the chorus. And he does a nice little impression/dig of Taylor Hicks at the end when he starts yelling out “Fro Patrol”. He will stick around. Currently he is middle of the pack, but he has the ability to deliver a real “wow” moment. Rating: good.
Melinda Doolittle - OK, fans of this newsletter may have noticed that I have been increasingly critical of poor little Melinda. Gosh she’s just so honored and awed to be here and little old Melinda is just overwhelmed by it all. Well, for some reason, she’s moved completely into Dan’s “I don’t know why, but I just Can’t Stand Her” aisle. Every week it’s the same thing. She’s just so sweet and innocent and awed by the whole thing, but she’s a professional singer who hauls around her own stylist and vocal coach. Plus she selects basically the same song every week. Some sappy, overwrought ballad from some out of date musical. This week its As Long As He Needs Me from the musical “Oliver”. Last week, it was “The Wiz”. Yeah her voice sounds fine. But its sappy and overdone. When are the judges going to catch on to her lack of range musically speaking. Even Sanjaya has mixed it up a little with Stepping Out one week and “You’ve Really Got Me” another week. Not Melinda though. No matter what the theme of the week is , she’ll find a treacly show tune and do an adequate job of it, then cry and act humble and surprised when the judges give her a good review. Well I’m tired of it and you will see it reflected in her ratings. No more number 2 for her. She is dropping like an anchor in my book and I don’t think anything can save her. Oh well, lucky for her that most people haven’t caught on to her act. She’ll be around quite awhile.
I know, it bothers me to be so mean to such a nice seeming person. I can’t help it though. I hate the songs she picks and I hate the innocent act.
This weeks ratings:
1. Lakisha – needs a “wow” performance to really solidify the top spot.
2. Blake – there are better singers below him but not better performers.
3. Jordin – just a great performance this week and she seems far more genuine than Ms. Doolittle.
4. Melinda – This is probably be as high as she is ranked in my poll for the remainder of the season.
5. Chris Sligh – gotta love the fat guy.
6. Chris Richardson – does a good job covering his weaknesses.
7. Stephanie Edwards – Come on, Stephanie! We need a GREAT performance next week. I know you can do it.
8. Haley – good performance this week will keep her around.
10. Phil – Kind of reaching his limit.
11. Guess who? Just because I was a little less mean this weak doesn’t mean that he’s still not the worst by far.
Who should go home: Sanjaya (I just cut and paste this line week after week).
Who will go home: Phil Stacey.