Time for another Idol recap. I have decided that since we'll be integrating the men and women (and Sanjaya) into one group in two weeks, I am going to begin integrating my posts. Also, I assume that what I have to say about the episodes is only funny if you watched the show, and if you watched the show then you don't need a full recap, just my witty barbs. So less descriptors and more sarcasm.
Here we go.
Shecrest welcomed us to the show with what I clocked as the longest "This................ is aMERicanidol" yet. We only have 90 minutes, Shecrest - spit it out!
I'll go ahead and say it - the dedication aspect of this show really confused me and half the contestants. Were they to dedicate the song or just the performance? There is a big gap between dedicating a song and a performance. If they were to dedicate songs, then for once Antonella did something right and dedicated a sweet song ("Because You Loved Me") to your brother). By the same token, Jared screwed up royally and dedicated "Let's Get It On" to his parents. Ew! But on the other hand, if the overall performances were dedications, then Chris R, Blake and Lakisha got it right by singing songs that probably had no significance to their loved ones, but they said some really nice stuff and followed it with outstanding performances or non-sappy songs. I think that was the smarter move. Your family can only vote a handful of times, but America can send you home. Impress the country first, and write your brother or grandmother or wife a nice letter on your own time.
That being said, on a whole I was disappointed this week. Neither group reached the bar that was set last week. The contestants can be easily categorized:
Forces To Be Reckoned With:
Lakisha - I loved her song before she even opened her mouth. Her vocals this week were not as strong as last week, but she still put on a great performance. She'll easily be back next week, hopefully after a trip to the manicurist though (aren't they supposed to cut off some of the acrylic part?)
Melinda - I'm not a fan of that song, and I still loved her performance. She knocked it out of the park. Sweet, humble and fiercely talented, she reminds me of another Melinda I know.
Jordin - Love her. She is the only contestant on the show that can pull off a Christina Aguilera song. That should be compliment enough. I also liked how Paula told Jordin that something about her is "infectious." When it comes to infections, I guess Paula would know! Ew!
Sabrina - Not the best song choice, but she can sing well, and let's be honest, nothing garners votes like a well-placed power note.
Blake - Blake, who resembled the Mushroom from Super Mario in that hat, put on a great show. Yes, show. I would pay to see Blake live. He seemed more comfortable on that stage than Paula at a pharmacy. The thing that will continue to propel Blake to the top, besides his great voice and charisma, is that he makes smart choices! If I were a contestant, I consult with him for song choices each week. He picks tunes that are lesser known and sings the crap out of them. And the beauty behind it is if he doesn't sing his best, many of us won't know because we won't have anything else to compare it to (having never heard the song before). This is smart. Someone has been paying attention the past five seasons: he did his homework and now he's passing the test.
Chris S - He proved that he can not only backtalk, but sing well too this week by slowing it down and putting some emotion into his song. He nailed it. And for real... how did he get his wife to marry him? I mean, he's funny, but not THAT funny.
Brandon - Brandon fell victim to the dedication monster this week. Saying "Grandma, this is for you!" and then bringing the house down with a fun and upbeat song (see Lakisha) would have made him, Grandma and America much happier than what happened tonight. I am a fan of Brandon; after watching his pre-season footage I know he can sing. Hopefully, he'll make it back another week, will pick a phenomenal song and will catch back up with Blake & Co.
Phil - I like Phil. I want him to succeed. Unfortunately, I am not sure that many people share my opinion. He is getting overshadowed by the girls and while I think he'll safely land in the Top 12, I am not sure how well he'll fare without the gender allotments to buoy him. He was great last week and this week and I hope his consistency will continue.
Which of these Spock-eared baldies has talent?
Chris R - Let me just put it out there: I am in love with Chris R. My love for him is making it very hard to continue to write fair and unbiased predictions. I thought he and Blake tied for the best performances of the night. He has the same strategy that Blake uses with song choice. Or, maybe it was Chris R's strategy to begin with and Blake stole it but is getting credit for it because he has peformed before him both weeks so far. Chris R would easily be a Force To Be Reckoned With if he'd have had pre-season hype. I am ready to place him in the top (I was ready to do it last week!) but it's still too soon to do so since, as Alaina will soon discover, looks and charm alone will not get you into the Top 12. I need one more amazing performance out of Chris... and his phone number.
Glory, thy name is Chris R.
Gina - I don't like Gina's personality but her voice is not dreadful. Gina could be a front runner if she had a pinch more talent and was a little softer around the edges. Maybe she needs to hang out with Melinda more. She translates on screen as cocky, and thanks to that center stripe in her hair, looks like a skunk. But enough about her look. The important thing is that Carrie put herself on the map in Season 4 when she sang "Alone," and I think its still a little too soon for someone with mediocre talent like Gina to sing that song. It the same risk that Lakisha took last week with singing "And I'm Telling You," except it paid off for the talented Lakisha. Gina needs to consult Blake and Chris R for help with her song choices. It's like she's making up for lost time and all the seasons she got cut from by coming out of the gate with these huge songs, and it's not a wise move. Finally, is it just me or should she have worn the cocktail dress last week, and the leather jacket this week?
"What in the hell is Leslie wearing and more importantly, how am I still on this show?" Gina asks.
Stephanie - I think with a little more preseason exposure, this girl would be a front runner. Instead, Melinda and Lakisha got coverage that Stephanie should have received. She can sing well though, and like I said before, a power note is usually a ticket back for the next week.
Jared - If we weren't so distracted by his body language (Jared has me fully convinced that he is actually very ready to "Get It On," as his song suggested) and if he had an ounce more talent, I think Jared would go really far. Unfortunately, once it becomes every man and woman for his/herself, I think he and Phil will fight an uphill battle against the women. For this week, I think the performance was enough to get him back one more time. Barely.
We believe you Jared!
AJ - AJ was smooth, suave and confident, and sang well, but is missing something. He gave a good performance but is losing the race to superstar males like the Chrisses and Blake. Luckily for AJ, there's always the...
Sundance - Sundance is hereby known as Sundown, as his moment in time is coming to a halt. He did just okay this week. I was not as in love with it as Randy and Paula were. Yes, it was much better than his performance last week, but that's like saying that spoiled, curdled milk smells a lot better than month-old poop. Either way: it stinks! And yes, Sundown, one day you and Levi will sit on the couch, watch a tape of Idol and laugh... at your goatee!
Goatee attacks man, story at 5.
Leslie - If I had auditioned this season, and saw that this girl made it over me, I'd be really insulted. She makes awful song selections and cannot sing! Who opts to scat the same round as Blake?! I would have changed my song after hearing him on Tuesday. She kept singing "I know how I feel" but the real questions were: did she know how she sounded, and did she know how she looked? AWFUL on both accounts. It's like The Babysitters Club meets Pippi Longstocking meets a dying cat.
I get dressed with my eyes closed, too!
Sanjaya - Covering up and taming his impossibly large hair is the smartest thing Sanjaya has done the whole season. If only we could say the same of his song selection. Sanjaya has a knack for picking songs that foreshadow his performance. Last week, he sang "I don't want to bore you with it" over and over and he totally bored us with it. This week it was "I won't waste your time" and unfortunately, he did! I bet you money, next week he'll pick "Killing Me Softly." He just makes it too easy! Something's gotta give with this kid. He reminds me of Michael Jackson. Should they let him sing on the women's night next week? If the nicest thing that even Paula can say about you is "At least you were in pitch!" then it's time to throw in the towel.
I'm just saying...
Nick - The only good thing about Nick's performance was the drummer. I think we should vote the drummer through to the next round as a proxy for Nick. He should have broken through the raspy voice at some point during the song, as there was plenty of time for it. Instead, he just phoned this one in. Even though Simon was snapping along, don't be fooled. It was an awful performance of a song that is not hard to sing well.
Be Glad You're Pretty:
Alaina - Where do I start? After her video lead-in, I found myself liking her for 10 seconds tonight, which is now the collective sum of how long I have liked her so far this season. She talked about how this song was more appropriate and her personality, and then whips out this angry, loaded song by the Dixie Chicks. WHAT? I thought it couldn't get worse than last week for her, but once she began gasping for breath in the middle of the song, I realize I had grossly underestimated her ability to fail. Don't misunderstand me - I like "Not Ready To Make Nice." I don't really like the Dixie Chicks, but it's a good song. The political message behind the artist and the song is not what this is about. This is about a girl with minimal talent picking the worst songs that she can. I mean, really. Just jump off Red Room balcony, Alaina. You'll get more publicity out of it.
"Okay, who farted?" "Ooops!"
Haley - First of all, I don't trust people that crimp their hair, but that is another whole post. The real issue is that this week we finally discover the secret to why Haley dresses like a slut: her fiancé has not been in L.A. with her, so watching her on TV is as much action as he gets. And furthermore, she cleans up her song by not saying "damn" but gyrates around like a stripper who lost her pole? That's a mixed message if I've ever seen it. What a joke. Good news, Haley - you're going home to your fiancé. Be sure to take your crimping iron with you.
Antonella - When Shecrest said "After the break, Antonella with some Celine for us," I literally screamed out loud. Torture. I don't even - no. I can't talk about it. We've seen MORE than enough of Antonella this week, if you know what I mean. Hang up your hippy dress and head on home to Jersey, where a boyfriend and a porn career await you.
"Wait a minute, that was LIVE?!?!?! CRAP!"
I would LOVE it if Antonella went home this week but thanks to all her drama, too many people know her name right now. I think Leslie and Haley will walk from the girls.
From the males, I think Nick and AJ are going home. I would MUCH rather it be Sundown or Sanjaya, but it won't be. Not as long as there is hairspray on hand and poor songs to be sung.
So far, I'm 3/4 after 1 week! Woohoo!