Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Idol: Top 10 women

Comments on all the performances are over at NJ.com, and if you want to read me go off at length on Antonella being an idiot, that's at NJ.com, too. Then come back here to comment.

16 comments:

LV said...

I am crashing the AI post to ask Why aren't you covering 24 any longer?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't write about every show every week, and because of timeslot conflicts, I'm often getting to 24 a day or two late and don't feel inspired enough to say anything. Once Heroes goes into reruns, I'm sure I'll be doing more regular reviews.

Scott T. said...

Man, Alan, how in the world did you crank out two articles that quickly? What a pro!

Anyway, the disparity between the male and female performer is all the clearer this week; I imagine the first few weeks of Final 12 will be about thinning the Nicks and A.J.s and Sundances from the ranks. Melinda, as all seem to agree, was the real standout and even sounded like a ringer to me; she really understood the song well and worked her vocal inflections around it in a way that drew out its heart, if that makes any sense. Too often, Idol contestants are just looking for places to goose up a song with a run, but she was much more in control. Ditto LaKisha, who really did a nice job of not pressing for effect.

And oh man, when Ryan teased the fact that Antonella would be performance a Celine Dion song, I confessed to licking my chops. Here, I thought, would be something historically bad, John-Stevens-doing-Crocodile-Rock bad. By that standard, she came out all right. (Alaina gave the night's most miscalculated performance, though you have to stand in awe of the profound naivety of choosing such a politically charged tune. On Fox, no less.)

Undercover Black Man said...

I truly didn't want to get hooked this early in the season, but here we are. This is my first eyeful and earful of these chicks. Rorshach reactions:

Melinda Doolittle's cool and all, but, ummm... she looks 40 years old. (Yeah, I know, Taylor Hicks did too.) Tonight's tune was so not a pop tune, made me wonder whether she belongs in a competition for jazz or cabaret singers. Like I say, first reactions…

Alaina Alexander... I was out of the room while she sang, then I laid eyes on her during the post-mortem. Girl is gorgeous. (Is anybody out there old enough to remember Elaine Giftos?) I hope Alaina hangs around at least one more week just so I can study her face some more.

Is this a group of Amazonians, or is Ryan Seacrest like really short? Jordin and the first girl towered over him. It was weird-looking.

Have they upgraded the band in the off-season? Sounds better, hotter... particularly the drummer. Not in a way that competes with the singers, but lifts them higher. In previous years, the house band and its arrangements often seemed cheesily generic.

Stephanie Edwards is my fave at this point. Girl threw down. And she brought a real competitive fire to her performance... as in, Deal with this, bitches!

As for Haley... I hope the tears don't garner her sympathy, Alan. I was turned off by her sullen pouting during the judges' comments, before she tried turning on the waterworks. Take your licks, girl. If you're not tough enough to take those comments with your happy face in tact, then you don't have the heart of a champion.

Liz Finn-Arnold said...

Wow, Alan, you really did crank that out. I try to get my Idol reviewcaps up as soon as possible over at TV Squad, but you beat me hands down.

I agree with everything you said. I just wish we could skip to the Top 12 already, as I could easily see sending Alaina, Leslie, Haley, and Antonella all packing tomorrow (as well as most of the boys).

Daniel said...

Eh. You ain't so fast.

J said...

Melinda's performance was too good for this program.

Hey, you didn't do 30 Rock last week, either. And that was a fantastic episode.

I'm watching waaaay too much TV.

Anonymous said...

You know, "Feelin' Good" wasn't Nina Simone's only song. I'm a little tired of hearing it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Eh. You ain't so fast.

Yeah, compared to Fienberg, I'm a snail. I think he actually posts his reviews before everyone's done performing.

Hey, you didn't do 30 Rock last week, either. And that was a fantastic episode.

Absolutely right. And I even ran into the actor who plays Pete at the NY Comic-Con over the weekend and told him exactly that. Now that The O.C.'s gone and Grey's is going to be in reruns for a while, my 30 Rock commentary should quicker and more frequent.

Kristin said...

I love, love, love Melinda Doolittle, but I have to agree with Scott T. If she doesn't start dressing younger, she will lose out on the 20-and-under votes. And that could be a killer when she gets to the final 12. She is the best by far out of all the contestants, but she needs to show that she can appeal to ALL age groups.

I can appreciate her sophisticated, masterful performances, but there have been plenty of fantastic singers that get cut from the competition because they don't connect with younger viewers.

I hope I'm wrong on this, because Melinda should win this thing.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that AI didn't address the Antonella pictures issue. Sure, they needn't give it attention, but I thought a throwaway self-referential joke or something would go a long way to diffusing it. (Or, some type of explanation, a la Chris Daughtry and the Live cover version of "Walk the Line" deal from last year.). As it was, when Seacrest was interviewing her, EVERYONE watching was thinking of the only thing they WERE NOT talking about.

Alexandra said...

Is it just me, or is there a little revisionist history going on with regard to Jennifer Hudson? Sure, they picked her for wild card or whatever, but I seem to remember that once she got into the competition, she didn't do all that well, and the judges didn't exactly shower her with praise. Or am I wrong?

Luna said...

I seem to remember (granted, I was in college and probably drinking while watching AI) that Jennifer Hudson was, like, the third least popular big-voiced African-American girl. Behind Latoya London as well as Fantasia. And I think she had a lovely voice but coming off rather young and nervous. It was definitely a problem I can see happening to, say, Jordin this year, because everybody on this show is competing for a limited number of niches.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Luna's got it. That was the season of the three R&B divas, and with maybe one or two exceptions (notably "Circle of Life" on Elton John Night, which she had regularly performed in her Disney cruise ship job), she was always in third place out of the three. Fantasia had more personality and was a more confident performer, and La Toya had a bigger, more versatile voice. Jennifer should have outlasted John Stevens and Jasmine Trias and maybe even the Diana DeGarmo robot, but based on her performances that season, she wasn't going to win and didn't deserve to.

Dark Tyler said...

Season 3 is one of the two AI seasons I never got to watch, so I don't know a thing about her performances there (except for the occasional YouTube video). But in Dreamgirls... whew, boy, she was amazing. There's absolutely now way she had all that going while she was on the show, or else there's no way she'd end up seventh, right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

There's absolutely now way she had all that going while she was on the show

Nope. At the time, she had tons of power in her voice but not control over it, and her stage presence was limited to one of two expressions: angry or very surprised. In the clips I saw of her in "Dreamgirls," she's gotten much better.