Wednesday, February 28, 2007

AI Review, 2007/02/28


Verrrry risky doing Heart. Especially since she is not one of the top vocalists among the women (very good, of course, but not at the top, not in this crowd). But, although I did think she could have done it much more edgy, I think she pulled it off. Plus, I like her.


Pitchy throughout. I didn't believe for one moment that she was "mad as hell". And what the heck was with the squinty thing? Is that her 'mad' face? Ay yai yai.


Man, she just sings like BUTTA. :) Not up to last week's standard, but heck, the girl has earned herself the right to coast, and she was still terrific.


And here we have the winner of the night! Oh my GAWD she was so good. She owned that stage COMPLETELY. Add in the righteous vocals and you have someone who could not be caught tonight.


I'm trying to figure out if this girl is genuinely stupid. I'm thinking...yeah, maybe. She has one of the weakest voices in the competition, she made a terrible impression last week, I have NO idea why America didn't send her home, and to counter all of that, she pulls out...CELINE?!? Has she ever actually WATCHED any previous seasons of this show? Oh, it was just painful. I had to look away.


Not as believable with this song as I wanted her to be, and some of the vocals were a little wonky (I will chalk that up to her having gotten all vorklempt from watching her own dedication clip - crying does not lend itself to vocal control). However, she will have no problems coasting this week on the fabulous belting quality of her voice. Moving forward, though, she's got to polish it up and pull herself together more.


After hearing the judge's comments I'm starting to doubt my own sanity. Was it just me, or did Stephanie never ever get a handle on the tempo of that song? To me, her timing was all over the place and I couldn't get into it at all. However, the good news is that her voice and stage presence were still enough to keep her near the top. Also, she wins my vote for most gorgeously turned out lady of the evening.


Simon's right, Leslie suffered by comparison to the run of divas that came before her. That said, I thought it was pretty good. She sounded good, kind of got into it, stood out with the scatting, got to use the raspiness of her voice that I really like...not bad. I don't think she has much hope of making it into the top 12, but I think she deserves to stick around for another week.


I think the judges were overly harsh. This was a very intelligent song choice - to come out with something really energetic and exciting was a very good contrast to last week. I thought she sounded fine, and she almost had the personality to pull it off. The big problem was all the bouncing around. Aieee! Waaaaay too manic. It was more reminiscent of a teenage girl airbanding it into a hairbrush in front of her bedroom mirror than a real performance. But it was a vast improvement from last week.


Sooo often on Idol you get people who do the meaningful, schmaltzy love ballad and it just falls ridiculously flat and ho-hum. But here we have a person who - gasp! - actually pulled it off. Now, parts of it were pitchy, which was distracting, and I agree with Simon that last week was better for her. But it was still quality.

So we have...

Standout winner: Melinda.

Excellent: Lakisha.

Also up there:

  • Gina
  • Stephanie
  • Sabrina

Deserving of votes:

  • Jordin
  • Leslie
  • Haley

Need to be given a ticket home as soon as humanly possible:

  • Elaina
  • Antonella

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

AI Review, 2007/02/27

To sum up: Another yawn-fest. Not as much as last week's, but still...guys...come ON.


I love Phil's voice. I really, really do. He brings a mature presence to the stage, and if you ignore the baldness (seriously dude, grow some frickin' hair), he's verrry easy on the eyes. But while it was good tonight, it wasn't great - he held back. It was only in the last 7 seconds or so that he started to really pull it all out, and that's just not enough. He needed to do more for this to be really stand-out.


Alright, he sounded much better this week, kinda put himself into it...the problem is that the lyrics to that song are so creepy that I have a hard time getting past them. Also, there was a fair amount of cheeze in the performance - I agree with Simon about the cruise lounge singer thing. But a definite improvement.


Interesting. I really liked the arrangement, with that softness at the beginning. AJ brought out a little bit of vulnerability for that part of it, and he almost pulled it off. Then he went into belting mode and again, almost pulled it off.


Oh, dear. Tiny Talent Time...only more amateur. The kid can sing...but it's crystal clear that he really is still just a kid. (It's kind of like Daryl Brunt all over again, but with less polish.) I was beyond bored. Still, you gotta hand it to him, he's young and emotionally vulnerable and he is getting POUNDED by the judges up there, but he holds it all together for the cameras and comes out positive.


Much more magic this time around, and he showed us what he could do with that voice. I liked it. However, there was still something missing. His presence on the stage needs to be 'bigger'. (And am I the only one who keeps getting reminded of Wil Wheaton when I see him?)


Blake's ace-in-the-hole is that he is unique among all the other Idol competitors. And he played that card tonight. But I agree with Simon, I thought the beginning and end were kinda 'meh' and it was only the middle that was original. However, I gotta say that the boy can sing. That keeps me listening.

Chris S

I'm starting to see a pattern with Chris. You know all that dry humour he spouts? My experience is that people who do that are trying to protect themselves against people getting to really know them and running the risk of hurting them. It's a very effective shield. And unfortunately, I think he does something very similar when he performs. There's a wall. He doesn't connect with the audience. He has tremendous potential, and if he had connected with the audience for this song, I think we would all be melted puddles on the floor...but he never goes to that place and I keep feeling let down. I suspect this is why he keeps struggling to make it in the's not his look, it's not his personality, it's certainly not his's the fact that he holds back from delivering real performances. Lose the wall, dude. Let us in.


Sorry...what was that? I think I dozed off there for a moment.

Chris R

I wasn't a fan of this performance, but I'm perfectly willing to admit that this is because the genre of the music is not to my taste. The audience loved it, the judges loved it...I'm willing to defer to all those people.


Um...holy crap...he CAN sing!!! Wow! Now THAT was a pleasure to listen to. There was a bit of personality missing to make it totally kick-ass, but that was definitely, definitely good. He'll sleep well tonight with that performance under his belt, boy howdy.

Top of the heap:

  • Phil
  • Blake
  • Chris S
  • Sundance
  • probably Chris R

Deserves votes:

  • Jared
  • AJ
  • Nick

So going home:

  • Sanjaya
  • Brandon

Thursday, February 22, 2007

AI Review, 2007/02/21

Season 6 has officially been redeemed.

Stephanie Edwards
Day-um. Okay, well...see you next week, honey.

Amy Krebs
Well, mostly she sounded good and performed okay, but the comparison to Stephanie's performance was a real letdown.

Sabrina Sloan
Well, here's another lady who stepped up and pulled it out. Great stuff.

Leslie Hunt
I think she did just about everything she could do with this song, but it wasn't enough. With that lovely rasp in her voice and her energy, she should be singing more rock. She was okay, but nothing spectacular.

Jordin Sparks
Fantastic voice. I think her youth and her nerves prevented her from really doing the performance justice in the same league as Stephanie, Sabrina and Melinda, but she's coming up behind them very decently.

Antonella Barba
Ouch. Worst of the night, I think. Her voice sounded really weird in this song, particularly all that overuse of vibrato. And the performance was completely unbelievable.

Melinda Doolittle
It's so refreshing to watch the people who are in it to win it. She'll sail through to next week, no questions asked.

Haley Scarnato
I agree with Simon - too old. And I don't like her voice - it's part Broadway, part something else kind of weird that I can't put my finger on.

Nicole Tranquillo
This performance was really weird. Her voice was all over the place - sometimes strong, sometimes soft, sometimes with this weird overtone, and none of it combined well at all. I also agree with Simon that it seemed over-rehearsed and contrived. Clearly the girl has pipes but I found her performance really unappealing.

Alaina Alexander
Meh. Sadly, not as special as the lyrics would have us believe. Also a bit pitchy.

Gina Glocksen
I really like her voice. And the performance was quite believable. Well done.

Lakisha Jones
Ho. Lee. Shit. Yeah, I'm tempted to agree with Simon about the 23 others needing to start packing right now.

I predict this year will be Battle Of The Divas!

I also predict that the following people are safe as churches:

  • Lakisha
  • Stephanie
  • Sabrina
  • Melinda

That the following people should have no problem making it into next week:

  • Gina
  • Jordin

That the following people will likely be safe:

  • Leslie
  • Nicole

That the following people are at risk:

  • Amy
  • Alaina

And that the following people will probably go home:

  • Antonella
  • Haley

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AI Review, 2007/02/20

Unfortunately, I was working on the family finances until about 8:30, so I missed the first three guys - Rudy, Brandon and Sundance. So all I have to go on for them are the little clips of their performances that were played before the phone lines opened. Based solely on that, Rudy sounded strained and shrill; Brandon sounded good and seemed appealing, although the performance appeared pretty cheezy; and Sundance evoked a reaction of "WTF?!?" (and not in a good way).

Of the guys I did see...

  • Paul Kim has a really nice voice, but the tone fell down in spots, and overall, the whole thing was kind of 'meh'. I also cannot STAND it when these kids take songs with heartbreaking lyrics and smile all the way through them. If you're going to do a sad song, guys, do it SAD!!! And all those pretentious 'gangsta' moves are pretty annoying when they're not applicable to the song or genuinely done. All in all, this was probably good enough to push Paul into next week, but he's going to have a very short stay in Hollywood if he doesn't step it up.

  • Chris Richardson's whole performance was a bizarre clash of stuff. The suit, the song, the voice, the movements - none of it matched each other, so that was pretty distracting. I agree with the judges that his voice did not sound good in that song. However, he did bring a presence to the stage and he put his own spin on the song, which are big plusses.

  • Nick Pedro chose the wrooong song. I agree with the judges completely that the 'spark' he showed in the audition vanished entirely in this performance, and the song didn't flatter his voice to boot. I was left feeling absolutely convinced that this boy has never known what real love is. Unfortunate all round.

  • Does Blake Lewis remind anyone else of Travis from season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance? This biases me towards him right off the bat since I think Travis is fantastic. However, the boy can also sing, is very cool, and he clearly knows what the hell he's doing on a stage. The first half of the song was very well done and I thought the tone of his voice was very, very good. But I also felt that the second half was not as good as the first - his voice didn't sound as good and his concentration on the performance seemed to be a tad off. But definitely one of the better performances of the night.

  • I just didn't see what was so bad about Sanjaya Malakar's performance. I thought his voice sounded very good. No, the whole thing wasn't tremendously exciting, but I did think it was very appealing. He took his time and reached out to the audience, and I appreciated that.

  • Jared Cotter was bland, nasal, and often off-pitch. It's a good thing he's cute.

  • I must admit that the audition shows and Hollywood week biased me very heavily in favour of Chris Sligh. He is funny, personable and likeable, and also comes across as a completely normal guy that could totally hang out with you and your friends. And he can really sing. I thought he sounded great and was one of the very few guys of the night who controlled the stage instead of letting the stage control him. This was arguably the best performance of the night. Unfortunately, that isn't saying much - while I enjoyed it, I felt Chris was holding back on the choruses and should have really pulled it all out. It was very good compared to the rest of the guys, but it wasn't good compared to what I think Chris is truly capable of.

  • At last, with AJ Tabaldo, we got someone who decided to go out and have some goddamn fun. Yes, as Simon said, the performance was predictable, but it sounded good and was nice to watch.

  • Phil Stacey started out absolutely disaaaastrously. I was even starting to cringe...and then the chorus started. Woohoo! At last! Someone who decides to completely pour themselves into the song! What a freakin' relief! Phil has a great voice when he gets going - I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him. What he did with his choruses is what Chris Sligh SHOULD have done with his.

Overall, the evening was pretty disappointing and ho-hum. If the girls tonight aren't any better, I could stop watching this season altogether out of utter boredom.

Top picks:

  1. Chris Sligh
  2. Blake Lewis
  3. Phil Stacey
  4. Chris Richardson
  5. AJ Tabaldo

Likely quite safe:

  • Brandon Rogers
  • Paul Kim
  • Sanjaya Malakar

At risk:

  1. Sundance Head
  2. Nick Pedro
  3. Rudy Cardenas
  4. Jared Cotter