Before I start rambling here, let me just say I had NO intentions of watching American Idol this season. We watched the first season, and then the last two seasons. For each of those seasons we actually went and saw the concerts in Cleveland, and really enjoyed ourselves. But I didn't want to get hooked on another year of Idol. Guess I don't have much will power. So far this season isn't as fun as last season was - no crazy Taylors, no Elliotts to grab your heart strings with their sad stories, no whacked out Kellies, no mumblers-turned-country-singers like Bucky... It's definitely more humdrum, with just a little scandle and that's about it. We'll have to see how it goes in the upcoming weeks. Now - let the rambling begin...
Amy Krebs: I liked Amy. She was the first girl of the top 24 to get voted out. I'm not sure why. Simon kept talking about how she wasn't memorable, that she was "just a candle sitting there" (didn't quite make sense, altho I admit I'm misquoting). He just kept going on about how no one would remember her. Sure, she was timid, but she DID seem to have a good voice... I definitely think there were others that should've been bumped off before her.
Nicole Tranquillo for example. This girl just wigged me out. She might've had a decent voice - I don't remember. But watching her move around on stage? CREEEEEEPY! And then she started getting a change to her look (like the contestants often do), and moved away from sort of a country look to...I don't know how to describe it. Tougher? Whatever - like her body language, it wasn't good. Glad she got dumped!
Nick Pedro - now he SHOULDN'T have been dropped so early. There's definitely more guys who sucked more than poor Nick. This guy made it to Hollywood round last year, forgot lyrics, panicked, dropped out, and came back for another chance. He made it to the top 24. He even survived the first round of losing two guys. Why didn't he last longer? Simon kept saying no charisma. I'm not sure that's it. Maybe it just seems his heart wasn't quite in it anymore? He didn't put enough oomph into his personality when performing? Too bad - we really liked Nick. (Brett REALLY liked Nick)
Leslie Hunt got dropped last week. I kept referring to her as "the dog walker" - because that's what she did. This girl is downright quirky. I bet she'd be weirdly fun to know. I bet, assuming she could act, she'd be a riot with her awkward body language if she was in a comedy. But would I want to watch her up on stage singing? Hell no... Voice wasn't right for her look. Dancing was just strange. Sorry Leslie, but you didn't have much future on American Idol.
Brandon Rogers has made it into the Top 12... Hm. This backup singer (for big names like Christina Aguilera) really won me over at first...right on through Hollywood Week and into the Top 24. But I'm realizing there's something about him I'm just not liking... I don't think it's that he's fake...he just seems....fake? I dunno. Not sure I'm liking him anymore, and I'll be ok with him not making it too much further in the competition.
Melinda Dolittle is the other backup singer on American Idol. Once we get rid of Brandon she can continue on without being known as "the other backup singer". This tiny wonder has a set of pipes on her that's amazing. She also has the lowest self-esteem and is soooo timid. The judges are constantly reassuring her that she belongs here, and that she's got a great future ahead of her. I hope they're right. She rocks!
Lakisha Jones is the other low self-esteem girl, only she seems to be owning her place on the stage a little easier. Speaking of "having pipes", Lakisha's got 'em in spades. Holy shit! When she sang that Dream Girls song she was amazing. I think I could see her in the top 4. Perhaps the top 2. Not sure if she has the charisma to win first place. We'll see... She'll be with us for awhile!
Chris Sligh is a fun, goofy guy who doesn't look anything like "an American Idol" - and that's cool! Whoever thought he'd make it this far? When he first showed up in try outs, we really liked him, but I honestly didn't know he'd have what it takes to make it this far. So far he picks barely-known songs, and does above mediocre performances, and his personality it what pulls it all together. I don't know that he's got a whole lot more time on the show, but I really like him.
Alaina Alexander - ahhhh, here's one of the contestants that just wasn't liked by the judges. I don't know why. She's cute, perky, has style and spunk, and looks SO much like Buffy!! (From the season after Buffy came back to life) Sure, her vocals weren't real strong - I think she just needed to sound more confident - but instead she was dumped before others less deserving of being on the show. I felt so bad for her when Simon told her "at least you have your looks," and at another time asked if she and Ryan Seacrest were dating just because Ryan was asking what she could do to improve. Boo hiss. Alaina had a VERY rough run on American Idol, and I really don't think she deserved it.
Haley Scarnato, speaking of contestants the judges don't like, surprisingly made it into the Top 12. I'm going to say this is because America watched and listened and voted accordingly - and hopefully it's not because of one of those counter-voting plots out there. I like Haley - this girl has already been in a band, has a great voice, looks good, and really can sing. Instead she keeps getting told she's doing cabaret performances. Hunh? So now she's in the Top 12 - I figured she'd be voted off this week, and I'm glad I was wrong. Odds are she's only got another week or two on the show....there are definitely others better than her, but I think she's got strength in her performances and will do well after the season's over. Oh, and her boyfriend is a HUNK!
Sabrina Sloan lost to Haley this week - they were the last two girls, standing on stage, holding hands, crying...and then the announcement came. Maybe it's just how her face responds when she's fighting tears, but I honestly thought Sabrina went into wicked-witch mode and was about to rip Haley to pieces. You could tell she felt she was better than Haley and deserved that slot. Is her voice better and more marketable? Yes. But is she likeable? Hell no! I don't know why, but I've never liked this girl. She sings great, but I feel it's all a fake personality and fake stage presence. Blah. Yer gone!
Phil Stacey creeps us out. Sure he can sing. Kinda. But we don't like him. Brett and I both agree we don't care for his look, and his vocal performances seem to be getting worse each week. I remember really liking him during the try outs, but it's been down hill from there. I won't miss him when he's gone, but I've a feeling other's that I like will be leaving before him.
Jared Cotter was voted off tonite. This made NO sense to me. This guy is sex on stage. Maybe he's trying too hard with the sex appeal though? I've liked all but his Stevie Wonder performance this week. Brett thinks he made it weird for everyone when he ran his hand down his face during "Let's Get It On," splitting his fingers to either side of his nose and mouth as he did so. (For those that don't know - stick your tongue out between the fingers while doing that, and it's a dirty gesture) I really don't get his getting voted off so soon...really doesn't make sense. Randy says he's got to find a way to distinguish himself...hopefully we see him on iTunes some day!
Jordin Sparks is such a little cutie. Scratch that, she's a monstrously tall cutie. I think this girl is taller than most of the other contestants, and comes across way older than just 17!! Until she gets giggly and excited, or any other emotion, then her age shows. But you can see she's really wanting to stay on that stage! Her Joan Jett performance this week really rocked out - like a new level from her previous performances....as if she'd become a woman in the last week. I really wish she'd perform Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" - that'd be cool, and so very Jordin! I really can't tell how much longer she'll be around - she's different from the other contestants - not AS strong as the big league singers, and coming across as more naive. We'll see...
Gina Glocksen is one we root for. In some ways she seems like a more vulnerable contestant because she's doing her own thing, got her own look, etc. She's the rocker punk chick up against a bunch of soulful black divas. How's this gonna play out? I really hope Gina's with us for awhile. I don't think she's quite polished enough yet to have an album of her own, but she's starting to feel more comfortable on the stage, and really getting into her own light, so we'll see. Stick with us Gina! PS: We want your boyfriend!
Sunjaya Malakar - what the hell is he still doing on the show!?!? Sure, he sang ok during the try outs, but I felt his sister sang better and seemed more confident. His voice sounded pure and sweet, but he's got no balls, no stage presence, no power in his voice, and he needs a new hair stylist or something. Ok, drop that last one - just get him off the show and get him some singing lessons. He was cute on the show at first, but this is a singing contest - leave the show!
Sundance Head - Everyone was floored that Sunjaya made it to the Top 24 over Sundance tonite, and that's not saying much considering Sundance's track record! He sounded AMAZING during try outs, but it's been all downhill since then. He's even looking kinda weird - too polished maybe? But the singing just sucked. That's not to say that he's not a likeable guy - we'd love to have him as a friend....he just needs some singing lessons maybe?
Chris Richardson - first off, I think Brett's gonna start humping the screen when this Chris comes on. We've decided he has sort of a Tom Cruise smile thing going. Aside from this week's sort of weak country performance, he's done great work every time. I honestly didn't think he'd have it in him, but he seems smart with almost all of his song choices, and his performances are solid. Dance moves are a little weird, but that's ok...it's his style. I think Chris, who I've just realized I've stopped comparing to Justin Timberlake, could easily be in the Top 6. Maybe even Top 4.
Blake Lewis - speaking of American Idol hotties this season, we soooo desperately want Blake!! This little beat-boxing wonder is amazing. Crazy style, great voice, nifty beat boxing edge over the others, and that super fun hair. Not to mention a cute bubble butt! I think, unless he does something to screw it up, that Blake has a strong chance to be around for awhile. To the Top 4? Hm....gotta wait to see how it goes once it's guys mixed in with the girls!
AJ Tabaldo - I've saved the best two for last. If it weren't for AJ I never would've learned of the song "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone (also performed by Leslie, but less memorable, and covered by so many, including Michael Buble). I LOVED AJ's performance - if you listen to the words it's a song about feeling confidence and pride and just wanting to strut your stuff. But the way he sang it, I also felt like it was one of those cool stripper songs, like "You Can Leave Your Hat On" from The Full Monty. For some reason I felt the need to classify AJ as a Filipino gay kid - I don't know if that's right or not. But I REALLY felt he'd be around for quite awhile. How the hell did he get bumped off so early? This kid has an amazing singing voice and a great stage presence. This is one of those that just feels SO not fair!! Even the judges all liked him! I really hope something positive happens for AJ and that we get to hear him singing again some day! Treat yourself - here's his performance of "Feeling Good" - you tell me how he got voted off so early!?
Antonella Barba - perhaps the most controversial contestant? She and her best friend tried out together. She outsang her friend, but both made it to holiday week, which only Antonella survived. Her bitchy friend who made the snipey "God takes care of the good people" (or whatever) comment when someone else didn't survive a voting off. She was still sounding ok at that point. But since then it's been one shitty performance after another. And then all the web stuff stirred up - naked pics, topless beach shots, etc. Sniping back at Simon Cowel regarding the judges' assessment of previous contestants. Let's face it, the girl hasn't sung well at all, and made it this far. On her looks. I hate that line, but in this case it's gotta be true. Sorry. Brett figures she's already getting an offer from Playboy. Antonella - I'm sorry, but it's ok that you're not going to be a singer. You have amazing fashion sense and great looks...run with that!
Okaaaaaaaay, that's my excessively long report on Idol so far this season... I've left some out, including some that are still on the show, and even have great voices - just means that they're not making too much of an impression on me at this point.
Damn Brett for getting me hooked on another season - although I have to say that, so far, this season is a lot more dull and lacking in personality and diversity than last year!! So why is this the "weirdest Idol Season"? Because you've got people like Sunjaya, Sundance and Antonella making it as far as they have, and great singers like AJ and Jared getting voted off so early. You've got poor people like Alaina and Haley that the judges just seem to dislike for no reason, and saying rude, uncalled for things to them like "I don't even remember your name."
Hm. Wonder what's gonna happen next week!?