Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AI Review, 2006/04/25


  • Chris: I would have liked to see him emit more raw sexiness during the performance (cough, cough, yes, okay, I would always like to see guys who look like this emit all the raw sexiness they can, but for this particular song I felt it was important to turn on the 'I wanna lay down and do very naughty things with you' vibe). But otherwise I thought it was great. This happens to be one of my fave songs due to the Spanish style, so I may be biased, but I thought he did a really good job.
  • Elliott: I agreed with Randy that I didn't like the arrangement - it was kind of all over the place and didn't highlight Elliott's gifts - but I still think he shone through it.
  • Katharine: I think the judges were on crack. I think Katharine sounded amazing, naturally she looked completely stunning (if I were gay I would have become completely dehydrated from all the drooling) and in places she really turned on the emotional power. The criticism I have of the performance is the same one I've been having lately - she has to STOP FLIRTING WITH THE AUDIENCE and concentrate on the emotion of the damn song.


  • Kellie: In some spots this sounded quite good. But in other spots she went out of tune, and the biggest problem of all about this performance was that I didn't believe a moment of it. David Foster was right, if you don't feel this, it's one of the most boring songs of all-time. And Kellie didn't feel it one little bit.
  • Paris: Paris sounded absolutely marvellous. But again, a problem with believability. Paula once said that when Paris doesn't feel or connect with a song, there's none of that great magic that makes Paris voom. And I didn't feel she connected with the song this week.
  • Taylor: AUGH! Taylor! My honey, my sweetie...what did you do?!? Okay, I admit, there were bits of that performance that verged on being quite powerful, but otherwise it was kind of boring, amateurish, and didn't even sound very good. I'm very upset. Taylor absolutely should NOT go this early in the competition. But with a performance like that, he might.


At this point I have lost all faith in the American Idol voting public to do the right thing and kick Kellie off. However, that is exactly what I would do if I were in charge. I would put Paris, Kellie and Taylor in the bottom three, send Paris back to the couch and boot Kellie into the middle of next week, where she will be viewing the show from the audience.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

AI Review, 2006/04/18

Absolutely FANTASTIC night! At last, an American Idol performance show worth watching all the way through! Great evening of song and entertainment. Two thumbs up.


  • Chris: When my husband found out it was 'standards week' he got really worried about Chris, and whether he could do the softer stuff. I, however, was not worried. I'd seen clips of Chris doing slower, softer and sappier stuff during the audition and I knew he could pull it off. And so he did. That was a lovely performance. His voice sounded fantastic, the song suited his style...or he made the song suit his style...either way, it worked.
  • Paris: Possibly the best performance of the night. That was gorgeous. Her voice sounded effortlessly wonderful, she completely owned the whole performance. She looked and sounded like a total pro. I loved it.
  • Taylor: This started out a little dull (by Taylor standards) and then...he turned the Taylor on full-blast and I was blown away, again. I loves me that Taylor.

Super with some reservations

  • Elliott: I ADORED his leaning on the mike stand bit at the beginning of the song, coupled with a cocky little grin. That was magic. His voice sounded fantastic, his performance was great. However, after showing us some great personality at the beginning of the song, he didn't show much more after that. Plus, this is a song that can start out slow and then really start to whale, which would have been awesome, but he didn't do it. He just stayed slow the whole way through, and I think that was a mistake.
  • Katharine: She sounded glorious. And the song really, really suit her. My criticism is that she spent too much time smiling flirtatiously at the audience - you know, that "Hello, all my lovely darling fans!" kind of thing, instead of getting completely into the vulnerability and yearning of the song. But overall, very good.


  • Ace: Aside from the STOO-pid ponytail, this went off rather well. He sounded good - did go into his whiny register, but it wasn't too bad - and performed pretty well. However, it was not on the same par as most of the other performers of the night because it still came off kind of bland and cheezy.


  • Kellie: I have to give her credit for recognizing what a dog's breakfast that performance was. On the other hand, it's not too smart a thing to basically tell your fan base that they shouldn't vote for you. Kellie did not feel the song, she got COMPLETELY off-tempo, and she hit a lot of really rather painful notes. Worst thing she's ever done. Yeesh.


If there is any justice in this world, it will be Ace and Kellie in the bottom two tonight, with Kellie going home. However, she's probably picked up a lot of the votes that used to go to Bucky, and she's got Vote For The Worst support, AND a huge fan base to boot, so she could pull through. On the other hand, she sucked goat this week, so it's a toss-up. I'm not sure who the third person at the bottom should be. I suspect it will be Elliott - America doesn't seem to love him, even when he does really well like last week.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

AI Review, 2006/04/11

That was not as bad as I was afraid it was going to be. Plus, great song choices tonight from almost everyone.

Stand out, absolutely no question, total ultimate winner of the evening

  • Taylor: He's BACK! With a vengeance! That was fantastically good. He whooped it up, he sounded absolutely incredible, he was totally into it and gave us Classic Taylor Goes To Town On The Music. Loved it. Simon is on crack. Oh, and I finally figured out who it is that Taylor's moves remind me of - Matthew Perry (Chandler Byng).

Very good

  • Elliott: He sounded really good, and there were some excellent moments during that performance. Nothing to touch Taylor, but I think he was easily second best of the night.


  • Ace: My husband hated it. All the judges didn't like it. Maybe America hated it too, I dunno. But, call me crazy, I thought it was pretty good. Ace moved out of his 'boy band' zone and kind of actually pulled off the rock thing. He sounded great, adapted the song a bit for his voice and style (I thought it was hilarious that Queen refused to do the song R&B), he didn't use his whiny tone...I thought it was good. No, he didn't completely rock it out and absolutely own the stage, but I still thought it was good.

Weird combination of good and bad

  • Chris: Best performance in this category. Chris sounded great, and he brought some meaning to the performance. The problem was the arrangement. The rest of the world may not know "Innuendo", but I know it very well and it is absolutely one of my favourite songs ever. If you'd never heard it before Chris performed it, go get it, it's totally worth a listen. I don't think the problem was that Chris chose a song unfamiliar to the audience. I think the problem was the arrangement of the song itself. Whoever chose which bits of the song to condense together for a version that worked with Idol time constraints SUCKED. They chose the most BORING bits of lyrics! And therefore, for a lot of the song, it was just Chris belting out the same thing over and over - which would have worked with a song that everyone knows, but which doesn't work at all with a song nobody knows. Chris good, arrangement bad. Hopefully it won't screw him.
  • Katharine: Brilliant song choice. BRILLIANT. Excellent decision to change from her original idea. And this was, emotionally, a very powerful performance. What destroyed it for me was how she was utterly out-of-tune on the big, important notes. Painful. Which really pisses me off because were it not for that, this would probably have been her best performance ever.
  • Kellie: I think there were more bad bits than good bits in this performance, but overall it wasn't the nightmare I thought it was going to be. The beginning was quite well done, although her voice was weak. The part after she ripped the mike out of the stand and tried to rock it out, though, was not that great. Kellie, newsflash: walking more purposefully does not equal rockin' dance moves.
  • Paris: At the beginning of the song, I thought, "Oh, this is going to be awesome." She sounded great, worked it out, looked powerful and owned the stage. And then she started with that weird hopping thing, and it just got kind of embarrassing. Then she brought it back again a bit...and then again, she kind of lost it. I agree with Simon, it was just...weird.

At risk

  • Bucky: I certainly don't think that Bucky's performance was bad. He sounded pretty good, he had a good time, his performance skills are improving. However, he's just not improving at the same rate that everyone else is, and therefore he's lagging behind the pack. By contrast to everyone else, his performance was pretty forgettable, and we all know what tends to happen when you're forgettable and you go first.


If I were in charge, I would pick Bucky, Paris and Kellie for the bottom three, with Paris going back to the sofa and Bucky going home. However, America might keep Kellie on the couch all night and put Ace in the bottom three instead.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

AI Review, 2006/04/04

"So what's the theme this week?" DH asked as he lowered himself into a chair. The moment I said "Country," he abruptly ceased his descent, got up and almost ran out of the room.

So he and Simon have something in common, I guess. I'm not a big country fan either, but it wasn't too hard for me to sit through the show. There was a nice variety of songs and some interesting choices, but overall I'd say that the last two weeks out I've been pretty disappointed. I like the shows where competitor after competitor makes you sit up and think 'wow'. This, once again, was not one of those nights.

(However, this night did have the distinction of having some actual good comments by Paula. Really! I was amazed. I have a new theory - when Paula likes a performance, and unfortunately, Paula likes almost every performance, her comments are completely inane. But when she has problems with a performance, she comes up with some pretty valid and constructive things to say. Whooda thunk it.)


  • Ace: I thought this week's theme would be a nightmare for Ace. But I was extremely pleasantly proven wrong. Very, very smart song choice. As opposed to 50s Night, where he chose something that clashed completely with his vocal style, this melded beautifully with his voice, he gave a very believable performance, and threw in a really nice mix of strong and soft. Soft to pull you in, some strong to give some power, then some soft again...and finally ending with a falsetto? Great arrangement. I actually prefer Ace's softer voice. When he starts turning on the power we get that horrible whiny quality that I cannot. Stand.
  • Katharine: Very nicely sung, very well performed. She had tremendous fun, she played with the audience, gave 'em a little sexy, a little powerful, a little fun, and a lot of good singing. The criticism I have with Katharine is that her upper register power voice loses the richness we hear when she sings lower, and it's more strained and shrill. Of my two top performers, Katharine was better.

Very good

  • Kellie: A surprisingly intense and serious performance! She abandoned her much-vaunted crazy/quirky style for something more 'I'm gonna getcha' and it actually worked. There were a few weak vocal moments and Yet More Pointing At The Camera (note to Idols: STOP! THAT!) but it was very good.
  • Mandisa: Nicely performed - not fantastic compared to other performances we've seen her do, but compared to all the Idols in general it was good. She didn't get into the groove of the song as much as I think she could've, but it was pretty fun to watch. However, she needs to stay away from her lower register. We've had a lot of guest artists and judges raving that 'Mandisa, you have no range!', but she really does. She does not sound in control in her lower register, it's the upper notes where she does the magic.


  • Bucky: Wow! Bucky ditched the gravelly voice tonight and went with a croon, and I think it worked very well. We have the usual problem of his words getting a bit swallowed and his performance not being as professional as many of the other competitors (and for heaven's sake, dude, lose the hat - you destroy half your credibility as a performer if we can't see your freakin' eyes). However, it was pleasant and I liked it.
  • Chris: Okay performance - I think he struggled to get into the deep meaning of the song and really blow the audience away with the intensity he's capable of. Also there were some missed notes which hurt a bit.
  • Elliott: Obviously Elliott would be the guy who would struggle the most with this week's theme. However, I think Kenny's advice that we saw in the pre-performance interview was excellent and it looked like Elliott took it to heart. He sang well, and his voice was only slightly at odds with the style of the song. He also brought a decent amount of believability to the meaning of the song, I almost did believe he was singing to someone he really loved.

At risk

  • Paris: Sounded good as usual - with some iffy notes - but totally, TOTALLY did not get into the song. Since getting into the song is Paris' bread-and-butter, I found this performance very disappointing.
  • Taylor: Taylor! TAYLOR! What were you doing?!? Where did my Taylor go? Dude. Some advice. If you're not feeling the song, DO NOT CHOOSE THAT SONG. You will suck. Not only was the performance bland and lacking all that wonderful Taylorness that we all adore, but some of the vocal was iffy, too. You could go tonight after that. And that would make me very, very sad.


Paris, Taylor and Bucky in the bottom three. Maybe Elliott instead of Bucky. I'm not sure who's going home and my love for Taylor doesn't want to predict him as this week's casualty.