Wednesday, July 12, 2006

CI Review, 2006/07/10-11

Once again I must rant about how generally unimpressed I am with the playing field this year. So meh.

Da girls

  • Stephanie
    Brilliant song choice. Brilliant. This song suited her right down to the ground. And then...she screwed it up. This song is a wonderful, carefree ditty about joyful abandon and happiness in love. Yet she played it only as "oh I'm so cute". That bit with Brandon was ridiculously fact, I find all her performances quite contrived. She never seems to let herself go and be real.

  • Ashley Coulter
    In danger tonight. She hit a lot of bum notes. On the plus side, I agree with Jake that it was obvious she really felt the song. Plus, when she was in tune, she sounded quite good. However, I'm worried that the voting audience will have found the song too dull. I'm also beyond pissed off with Zack. One week he tells her to move out of her comfort zone or she's doomed, this week he tells her she should keep singing songs that she'd make a record with or she's doomed. Buddy, you are not being helpful, you are being contradictory. Pick an opinion and stick with it.

  • Ashley Coles
    I disagree with the judges, I thought that vocally she did pull off the song quite well. She also brought a good performance. The problem I had was with the arrangement - which probably wasn't her fault.

  • Eva
    At last! Something that forced me to sit up and take notice of Eva! I don't know what the judges were on about, I thought it was the best thing she's done so far. She sounded great, she infused the performance with some spirit and voom, and she had a good time.

  • Nancy
    I want to like Nancy, I really do. She has an intensity and spirit that really, really belongs in the top ten. I can even get over that blaring horn-like Alanis quality in her voice by thinking of it as her 'unique sound'. But it's that GODDAMN STUPID WIGGLE DANCE MOVE SHE DOES THAT DRIVES ME AROUND THE FREAKIN' BEND!!! I can't stand it.

  • Kati
    I thought the performance was quite good, with appropriate intensity and feeling. I believed what she was singing about. The problem I have is that I just don't think her voice is that great. I thought she was weak at her first audition and nothing I've heard has changed my mind since.

  • Sarah
    Stand-out performance of the night. She blew everyone else COMPLETELY away. I have no idea what drugs Zack is on - she was AWESOME. Everything was perfect - her look, her voice, her intensity, the feeling in the performance, the 'Star Search' moment at the end - that was top ten material, baybee.

Top two girls, in order: Sarah, Eva

Picks to go home: Stephanie and I don't know who else...Canada will probably pick one of the Ashleys.

Da boys

I didn't bother to vote because I honestly didn't know which ones should go home. The playing field was quite level tonight. Everyone was either kind of average or was good in some ways and bad in others. Dull night, no stand-outs.

  • Craig
    NOTE TO ALL IDOL CONTESTANTS PRESENT AND FUTURE: For the love of all that is holy, do NOT do Bohemian Rhapsody. Just don't. I know you want to, I know you think it will be me, it won't be. Craig's performance was painful to watch. not take that long to take off your jacket. In fact, unless a contestant has the intensity and charisma of Chris Daughtry, stripping is a bad idea, period. Also, Craig, if you're not feeling the agony, don't go down on your knees, it doesn't work. And do not mix up the lyrics to a classic song - people will notice. All that having been said, I must give Craig props for being the only contestant ever to sing this song and sound really, REALLY good. As much as I detested the performance aspect, I must admit that my ears were delighted throughout the whole thing. I've said it before, I'll say it again, the boy can really sing.

  • Brandon
    Despite the judges panning him, I thought this was quite good. He sounded good, and he brought an honesty to the performance that was very pleasant to watch. The hip-hop affectations bugged me a little bit, but not too badly. What may work against him vote-wise is that the song itself is not very exciting or memorable.

  • Keith
    I'm a bit worried for Keith this week. I think he deserves to be in the top ten because he's a great personality, he's got wonderful stage presence and performance ability, and a lovely voice. Oh, and I like red hair. :) But as decent as this week's performance was, it wasn't blow-you-away fantastic, and it also wasn't that memorable. Being unmemorable doesn't get you the votes. Hopefully his fan base is big enough to pull him through.

  • Chad
    Excellent emotion and performance from Chad this week. Frankly, I'm very impressed that he could do something intense like that at his age. My problem is with his voice. Sass said that she would instantly be able to identify Chad's voice if she heard him on the radio...yeah, well, lady, that's because he sounds like a freakin' FROG! Like he's got phlegm coating the back of his mouth. My VCR missed recording his song in week 1, so except for last week (which was awful), I've never really heard him that his real voice? Does he always sound like that? Because I don't know how much I could take of hearing the frog thing week after week.

  • Sheldon
    I think Sheldon has a great voice, and a great look, and a pretty good vibe. I liked his performance and his singing quite well this week, but the problem is that he didn't go deeply enough, he didn't get low-down dirty and gritty. That is a fun, nasty and seductive the end of the performance he should have had all the girls screaming at their television sets, "YES! Please light my candle!" He went there just a teeny bit, but not all the way, and the performance was lacking because of that.

  • Tyler
    Sounded great, had fun, definitely an entertaining performance. But he's gotta stop with the awkward high school dance moves.

  • Rob
    At last! AT LAST! Rob took the pickle out of his ass and lightened up! Way to go, guy! That may just have catapulted him into the top ten. Good going. Morever, he put his own spin on the song and made it his own, which was great. The complaint I had is that this week his voice didn't sound as great - too shaky.

Picks to go home - totally undecided, but I think Canada will send Chad, Tyler and Rob through. I also think Canada will send Sheldon home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

CI Review, 2006/07/04

Definitely a better night than the boys had yesterday. But only because there were fewer people that were really bad. I'm still not seeing consistent greatness.

Ashley Coulter

I really love this girl's voice. I especially love how it comes out of that tiny body, and how she has a wonderful prepossession - she comes off as very together and mature. I liked the performance alright, except that she didn't totally commit to it. It's an anguished song and yet there were some pixie little audience-flirting smiles.


I'm just not getting what the big deal is about Eva. Yes, she can sing, but she's not the best singer I've ever heard. Yes, she can bring some emotion to a song, but not as well as could be done. I just think she's very middle-of-the-road. Her performance was likely good enough to send her into next week, but so far I'm just not jazzed.


If I have to watch one more person who has no concept of what heartbreak is about trying to perform this song, I may lose it. Alisha sounded good because she's got a kick-ass voice, but where a song like this is concerned, she has about as much depth as a kiddie pool.


I really like Sarah's voice. I agree with Zack that technically she is probably the best singer. And, like Ashley Coulter, she has a great maturity and sense of herself. But I don't think she's connecting with the viewing audience. Her performance was good but she didn't go whole-hog and really pull it out - which could have made it FANTASTIC. I think she's got it in her to do that kind of thing, but I don't know if we're going to see it.


I'm not sure whether I liked this or not, although at least it was interesting. Steffie's voice is good, and she can perform, and the song did have some good moments...but...maybe it was just a little too Broadway for me. Actually, more high school musical than Broadway, now that I think about it. There was some sincerity but mostly I think it was just acted.


Like Steffie's performance, I'm not sure whether I liked this one, either. There were good things about it - it sounded okay, it was fairly sincere and decently performed. But there's a shaky instability to her voice that I don't like, it was kinda boring, and I do agree with Zack about the fact that her eyes were closed too much while she was singing.

Ashley Coles

Best of the night. Like Jake, I have no idea how someone that young knew how to convey the blues like that, but convey she did. Sass' comment about making the audience strain to hear a whisper was also bang-on. Ashley has some powerful pipes, and it takes smarts to know when to turn 'em on and when to tone 'em down. Ashley did all the right things tonight and I thought it was great.


Alyssa, Alyssa, Alyssa. Sigh. I like her tremendously. And she has a very sweet voice. And that was a really, really brave song choice, as Jake said. Unfortunately, she failed to pull it off. I see how she COULD have pulled it off - the potential was there. But she held back big-time and didn't go there, and consequently the whole thing just didn't work. Sass' comment about not enunciating in a song like that was also very accurate.


I am so conflicted about this girl. On the one hand, I sometimes think she is the only spark of genuine 'wow' that we have this season. She really gets into the music and definitely knows how to perform. And she can sing. So in those respects, she's awesome. But a lot of her 'moves' - especially when she flails one arm into the air - are just weird and they bug me. And that nasal edge to her tone - Zack can call me deaf all he likes, but I find it super-irritating. On the other hand, it also makes her really distinctive, which is awesome - so again, I'm conflicted. There's also a kind of smugness about her performances that gets my back up. But objectively I'd have to say that yes, she deserves to go on this week and ultimately should probably be in the top ten.

My top three, in order: Ashley Coles, Nancy, Ashley Coulter

My picks for bottom four: Kati, Eva, Alisha, Alyssa

My picks to go home: Alyssa, Kati

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

CI Review, 2006/07/03

Yeesh. Pretty mediocre night last night. I'm sorry, but so far I am not tremendously jazzed by the contenders this season. I have no idea where all this 'depth of talent' we keep hearing the judges rave about in the media is. I'm just not seeing it.


The judges may not have liked it, but I think he did a pretty decent job. His stage presence and performance were fine, he sounded good, and he did manage to infuse the song with his own style. That said, it was very typical 'matinee Idol' kind of stuff and I do see the merits of Jake's comments that it highlighted some of Greg's deficiencies, but I think it was enough to keep him around another week.


Ouch. He didn't stay on key, his voice wobbled in a lot of places, and he didn't get into the performance too much. There was a moment where he did kind of shine, but a few good seconds out of an entire song is not enough to get my vote.


Personally, I like Chris. He's fun. But Jacob Hoggard he sure ain't. First of all, Jacob can really, really sing, whereas Chris is one of the weakest in that area this year. And second of all, I am pretty damn sure that Jacob would not try to be funny in a song about equality and freedom. That just pissed me off. Moreover, Jacob's 'showmanship' is just a natural outpouring of his personality. When Chris does it, it seems really put on. So I just did not like the performance.


Alright. I'm going to be honest - Craig's high voice creeps me out. Particularly, it's his high speaking voice. Daryl Brunt from last season, who also had an astonishingly high voice, I could deal with, because puberty obviously hadn't hit him full on yet. But Craig is a bona fide young man, he's pretty built, and yet when he speaks, it's very Michael Jackson. I just find it weird. However, despite all this, I cannot deny that the boy can really, really sing. And he has some stage presence, too - certainly more than a lot of the other guys he's competing with this year, anyway. So as much as he creeps me, I must admit that he deserved lots of votes this week.


I liked this. There were times when it was lounge singerish, but there were also a fair number of moments where he turned on some genuine magnetism and charm. Plus, he sounded very good. I liked it.


Chad didn't sound good, he didn't move well, he didn't express well, and he didn't perform well. I thought it was bad from beginning to end. I can't believe the judges compared him to Jacob Hoggard. I can only think they were confused by the fact that he looks like him. But there the similarities end. There is a difference between good cheese and bad cheese. Jacob does good cheese. Chad's performance was the worst kind of cheese. I found the whole thing painful.


I am beginning to see why McMaster and James were a one-hit wonder. To his advantage, Rob has great tone, a really really good recording voice. And, as much as I try to consider appearance irrelevant, I cannot deny that he is extremely easy on the eyes. But his problem is that he does not have stage presence. I don't know whether this is because it's not in him or because he is extremely nervous. But either way, it is not making him likeable. Nothing I've seen so far shows me that he has anything approaching 'It'. He's just a regular joe who can sing very well. So far I haven't seen stage presence.


Before he even opened his mouth I was saying "No, no, no noooooo!" to my television upon hearing his song choice for this week. It's one thing to break out of your comfort zone, but it's quite another thing to do something that actively works AGAINST your vibe. The whole song was just wrong for him.


Stand-out winner of the night. That. Was. Great. I agree with Zack that the evening was completely devoid of anybody rocking the house, but this was one performance that I did NOT want to rock. Keith's performance was sincere, honest, and very, very beautiful. And his voice sounded absolutely delightful. Way to go, Keith. You topped off an evening of mediocrity with genuine professionalism. I loved it.

My top three, in order: Keith, Craig, Sheldon.

My bottom four: Tyler, Chris, Chad and Brandon.

My choices to go home: Chad and Brandon.