Wednesday, March 05, 2008

American Idol: Women's semis, week three

Spoilers for "American Idol" coming up just as soon as I chew some gum...

Overall, not as good as the guys last night, but there were two very strong performances and another one that was enough fun that I really hope it carries the performer through to the finals. On to the bullet points:
  • Okay, now I get it with Carly Smithson. Where fellow seasoned ringer Michael Johns has been fairly coasting until now, she tore it up with her vocal on "I Drove All Night." Maybe she'll wind up as Archuleta's stalking horse.
  • I also really dug Brooke White's stripped-down take on Pat Benatar. Like Simon said, the original version of "Love Is A Battlefield" would have been an awkward fit for her, but she managed to find the drama in the song even while going minimalist and acoustic. I expect she'll be around for quite a while.
  • Still have absolutely no idea whether Amanda can sing, and I'm sure there are plenty of bar band singers who could do just as well or better on Joan Jett (especially if, like Amanda, they have the "Idol" backup singers to carry the chorus), but that was much more in her comfort zone than the hideous Kansas cover a week ago and one of the more entertaining numbers of the night. Even if Amanda's stylistic range is about two millimeters wide, it's a color we don't usually get on the show, and I'd rather she hang around past the interchangeable belters and blonde robots.
  • The show has been on so long and the pitfalls inherent in it are so well known that I am stunned anyone still chooses to sing Whitney. It's the Kobayashi Maru of "Idol," the no-win scenario. Even if you have the vocal chops of a Tamyra or even a Trenyce and can hit all the notes, you're still at best doing imitation Whitney. And if you don't have that kind of range and power in your voice -- as neither of our bookend singers whose names I can't remember do -- then you've tackled an insurmountable obstacle. Whatsername in the pimp spot actually hurt my ears on several notes, and I imagine if the show weren't so rushed for time -- no doubt because Paula is back to being incoherent and rambly and going on forever and a day -- one of the judges would have had something more critical to say than the three shrugged "good"s.
  • So who goes home? Kady Malloy was boring again on one of those Queen songs that's coma-inducing if anyone but Freddie sings it, but who goes with her? Whatsername in the opening spot for going first and being mediocre with Whitney? Ramiele for being understated on another "Idol" cliche and getting extremely lukewarm comments from the judges? Kristy Lee for being a robot? Amanda for being too weird or too one-note for this show?
What did everybody else think?


Nicole said...

Simon was right, the girls were nowhere near as good as the guys, at least in terms of the overall show. Carly was good, and Brooke was okay, but I've heard the stripped down version before and her voice was weak in spots.

And didn't someone comment in the guys thread that at least no one sang Against All Odds... and then Ramiele does it. I know some of the contestants were barely born in the 80s, but there is soooo much more to the 80s than Whitney.

Adam said...

Dawg, yo, man, I wasn't moved tonight. Brooke's the stalking horse for Young David Archuleta.

Also, repeating any song that was sung by Corey Clark and Scott Savol gots to be -- gots to be grounds for elimination, Ramielle.

Anonymous said...

The point Simon keeps making (clumsily) when he calls singers "robotic" or "boring" is that so many of them are technically fine, but don't express the emotion behind a song that makes great singers worth listening to. Part of it may be due to their youth, but I think it's also because they've grown up hearing electronically sweetened pop songs and learn to mimic the sound but not the feeling.

J said...

I was grateful for the opening number, because "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" is a simple, bright little pop song. You don't need to raise rooves. Hell, David Byrne covered that. I'd rather a thousand of those than another tortured take on "Imagine."

I made a promise to myself that when I started bothering with Idol that I'd make sure I saw at least one live concert -- you know, actual music -- for every episode I watched. And I've been real lazy about that this year. But tonight I shuttled off after a really meh "ladies night" ep to see Chhom Nimol mop the floor with these folks. We have a winner.

Anonymous said...

I've missed the last two weeks of the girl's performances, so I'm wondering something about Amanda...

Does she always act like that during the judges' comments portion? Could she have looked more uninterested in being there?

She seemed fine during the song, but once the song ended it looked like she couldn't wait to get off the stage, and wanted nothing to do with any of the comments, and just seemed in a really pissed off mood.

Is it the naked picture story that came out earlier that has her down?

Maybe she's bored with the show and just wants out?

I guess it's not that big of a deal, but it was strange to see her act that way, after getting great comments from the judges, too.

After being completely baffled as to how, or why, she's made it this far, I actually liked last night's performance by her.

And, she fixed her hair a bit, and looked really good.

And how did the judges let Kristie Lee Cook slide by after she had several wince-inducing stumbles thru some of the high notes in her song.

I think Luke and Danny are gone on the men's side. The first girl from last night -- sang "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" -- just has an unpleasant singing voice. It's odd sounding. I think she'll go, and maybe Kady.

K J Gillenwater said...

The only two I liked at all: blonde who sang "Love is a Battlefield" and the Irish Tattoo girl.

The men were much better.

Bobman said...

mike, I was wondering the same thing about Amanda. And it's gotta be the naked picture story. Also, she's the female choice for the Vote for the Worst folks, so that can't help the ole self esteem.

But still, you'd think for the 9 minutes she's on screen she'd be able to fake a smile.

h said...

Brooke White and black girl with goofy "name" who went last were the only ones who were even decent.

Someone please tell Randy (yo,dog,yo) Jackson that nobody cares about his days as a roadie with dinosaur band Journey.

Anonymous said...

I kind of assumed Amanda was stoned on something, to be so "not there." Although of all the girls that are left, Amanda's the only one I would not want to see nekkid pictures of.
Kady's gone, and I fear (because she's hot you know) that Kristi Lee is gone too.

Anonymous said...

You're almost dead on with the Whitney comment. Noone can sing Whitney *or* Freddie Mercury. It's suicide.