Tuesday, March 21, 2006

American Idol: Top 11 Perform

Okay everyone, are you ready? LOOK AT THE PICKLE!!! God, am I the only one that doesn't get tired of Kellie rambling on about the most pointless things? So we had some more showstopping performances on 50's Night (Kudos to myself for accurately predicting the theme night) and some bores and some Kevin Covais performances. We saw tons of Barry Manilow, Paula getting more inebriated as the show went on and we saw the judges getting along for once! Okay, so maybe we didn't see one of those things! Anyway, I think I have a pretty good idea who will be in that bottom 3 on Wednesday. But I did last week too. You just never know what's gonna go down, but now that we're a bit more educated on what America is thinking and what SIMON is thinking (fyi...if you don't know what 3 he predicted to be in the final 3 it's Chris, Taylor, and Kellie) we now have a base to work from. We can do this! Let's go 3 for 3 with our bottom 3 this week!
  • MANDIVA - "I Don't Hurt Anymore" - That's right folks, she is no longer Mandisa. She, dubbed by her fans, has been promoted to DIVA'hood. And man, what a way to start the show. This girl has GOT IT! Barry got lost for words and said that Mandisa has NO RANGE. I got a chuckle out of that as he just meant that there was NO LIMIT to her range. What is there to say about Mandisa that we haven't aleady said? She's a powerhouse in this competition and is safe for quite some time. What REALLY has to be said is that when Simon referred to the song as a "stripper song" Paula said...."you would know what they play at STRIPPER BARS" Ugh Paula...come on show some respect...they're called STRIP CLUBS!
  • Yucky - "Oh Boy" Oh boy indeed. Poor Buddy Holly, if only he got to see what ol' Bucky turned this song into. This may have been the perfect song choice for Bucky, as hailed by Paula and Randy, but that only means one thing. It's time for Bucky to leave us. This type of performance is not what is going to win you the crown. There was no OH GOSH, GOLLY GEE moments in Bucky's segment tonight. Not even the interview was flattering enough to keep the interest of America. What we got out of him was something that the country is going to forget. But he'll be duking it out with another forgettable performance. I must note that drunken Paula didn't even give ol' Bucky a critique. When it was her turn to talk she asked Bucky "How was it working with Barry?" ??????? I just don't know what else to say.
  • French Fantasia - "Fever" Okay, there's no doubt that Paris has the skills, the chops, the whole package. But is she annoying anyone else yet? I just don't know what it is. I mean, she had a cute little outfit on and the Jasmine Trias flower and a SMOKING performance that will keep her sailing in this competition. Speaking of Jasmine Trias, what was up with all the past idol contestants there last night? And WHY was Ryan Cabrerra hanging out with Constantine? Anyway, my favorite part of the performance is when the camera was zooming from the crowd back onto the stage...and you just saw some random guy snapping his fingers along to the beat of the song. He was a one man band and 10 times more watchable than Paris! Ugh...and to top things off, according to Paris, a Strings Section isn't part of the Band. They are 2 separate entities. Bleh! This all being said, she WAS awesome and will be here next week. No question.
  • The Uncompromised Bald guy with Sideburns- "I Walk the Line" - Okay, so we get it now. Chris will not compromise his style for ANY theme night. He will rework the tunes so that they all sound like the same song week after week. Am I falling off the Chris wagon? It's something that I was thinking was inevitable. He is a one-trick pony. And the lack of stage presence is firing me up a bit. I don't know what he does but he just holds onto that mic stand with his life and his body doesn't move at all. You just see the mic stand move up and down. Don't get me wrong....he rocked the crowd once again. People love him. I still like him and he's going to last for awhile, but I think he has to show some versatility. Sure, one can argue (like the judges) that he is making the songs his own and that this takes a lot of talent. It definitely does, as a musician I am aware of what it takes. But come on! It's going to get OLD after a few weeks. Guess what? It's been a few weeks! I think another thing that irked me is that he found a way to pull back his whole sob story about his wife and illegitimate children and how the song was relevant to his life. I know the producers try to humanize these people. But I'd rather see Chris look human on stage. And I haven't seen it yet. And people called Carrie a robot. Ugh! (okay, she kinda was but I liked that robot!)
  • Katharine "Clarkson" McPhee- "Come Rain or Come Shine" Ahh the Ella Fitzgerald classic. Miss McPhee is coming into her own and America is getting on board. And I must say it. How CUTE is this girl? I couldn't even write any notes down, I just had to watch the performance. She pulled me in. And she did one thing that I've been hammering her for since day one. SHE MOVED AROUND! Thank you Katharine for not standing in one place and singing. Maybe Barry whipped her into shape a bit. Last week before the top 12 performances, I did a little survey of what week you think each person will leave the competition. I had Katharine getting kicked out after making the top 3. At this point, I see no reason in changing that. I dare to go against Simon, I know, but she's got some skills and likability factor that doesn't wear on people (like maybe her BFF Pickler will) No, if anything, it's growing more each week.
  • The Old Guy - "Not Fade Away" Another Buddy holly tune brought to us by the great Taylor Hicks. Well, the guy is a fireball of energy that just won't burn out. I still love it, but I gotta agree with Simon and Randy. He picked a song that just was too simple. One of those 5-chord jobs with no lyrics. Paula was quick to silence them with her comments about the dances people used to do to this song. Paula, what on earth does this have to do with 2006 and what people will think of the song now? Simon made a great point that if this was the first time we ever saw Taylor perform, it would not have been a lasting impression. I'm still a big fan of the guy. But this was a big step back for him. I'm sure his fanbase will pull him through though. He's one of the most talked about contestants. And how about that POWDER BLUE SUIT? That's worth a couple votes in itself!
  • Lionel Richie and Tiffany's love child - "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" - Ooooh no Lisa, you picked a song with 4 key changes! NOOOOO! Barry got really excited about this. That may have been the most exciting part of the Lisa Tucker segment. I already referenced it, but this looked like a reject from the Tiffany Mall Tour. Yeah, I know I made the reference about someone last year (I forget who), but it's like we were reliving it. Yeah, Lisa's got a great voice, and I thought she may be able to bounce back this week. But guess what? Her age is definitely showing. I knew it was just a matter of time. First it was the stream of ballads that she picked to get to the top 12. Then she tried to up the ante with some up tempo tunes and just got clobbered. I think the other girls in this competition are just outperforming this girl and appealing to America for their votes. And with sub-par performances like this, she's going to be fighting her way out of this competition with Mr. Covington. And I won't lie....but I actually wrote down that the performance was "TOO CUTESY and TOO 16 year-oldish" only to have Simon report back that the performance was a little "Too Cutesy" ahhhh I'm getting better and better! The key thing to remember about the Lisa segment of tonight's show is that no one booed the judges when they gave negative comments about Lisa. She just doesn't have many people pulling for her.
  • The Little Boy Who Couldn't - "When I Fall In Love" GAG....UGH....JUST END IT NOW! PLEASE! Okay...I got it out of my system. I know we're going to have Kevin Covais with us for a bit, even with Simon's reverse psychology remarks tonight. And he DID perform better than Bucky and Lisa. But I couldn't get past the first shot of him sitting on the step trying to be "vulnerable" (a la Barry's advice) without laughing my butt off. Also, Kev trying to tone it down in his pre-performance interview by saying he's never experienced true love instead of saying that he's a "sex symbol" Can anyone feel MORE sorry for this guy? Yikes. Well don't worry everyone, it'll be over eventually. Remember...Scott Savol only made it to the final 5 last year with Anthony Federov getting to the top 4. LOL. I am so funny sometimes, aren't I?
  • Fantasy Book Character Look-A-Like Extreme Makeover Candidate - "Teach Me Tonight" - Well Barry did try to teach Elliott how to convey some emotion and tell the story of whatever song he is performing. And, he did start out trying to convey SOME kind of emotion through those pearly white crooked teeth. He even lowered his eyes a bit to make it seem like he was looking at the crowd instead of the sky. But by the end of the performance it was just Classic Yamin technically singing the song brilliantly but not selling the performance. Simon, judging the SINGING, said it was Fantastic. And yes, it was. But contrary to what Simon says. It's not JUST a singing competition. It definitely isn't a DANCING competition like Paula keeps veering off track with. But you can't just get up there and sing note for note. It's about picking songs that people know or something catchy that people will like. This does not necessarily coincide with the most musically complicated song you can find. Because you only impress the judges with those type of choices and a select few music aficionados. Unless you REALLY bring the house down with your performance. For me, Elliott has yet to bring the house down. But he does have a great voice.
  • PICKLE! - "Walking After Midnight" - Woaaa....Kellie. What was with all that Make-up? I mean...she had a smokin look going on, but the make-up was overbearing. But it wasn't overbearing enough for me not to thoroughly enjoy another Premium Pickler Performance. She was back in prime form and back doing what America likes seeing her do. Unfortunately, her Mic wasn't working AFTER the performance so we couldn't get any Picklerisms.... she tried her darndist though....and what we did get was "OH MY GOD THERE'S A PICKLE OUT THERE!" I just love it! She so ridiculously over-doing it but I love every second of it. Even her explaining what the song was about before the performance. This is what the whole package is all about. She was flirting with the judges....growling out some good notes.....and just getting the crowd to melt in her hands. Was it an IDOL winning performance? Don't know if I'd go that far, but it's the type of performance that will keep her in this thing until the later rounds.....probably fighting with Katharine for a final 3 spot. People were ready to write her off after one performance. Hell I even put her in the bottom 3 just to scare her. But she's back!
  • Cheese of Spades - "In the Still of the Night" - So how cute was that little girl that was a big Ace Young fan? Started off as a little cross-promotion of texting votes in and showing off the new Motorola SLVR offered by Cingular (man, I should get paid for that name drop too!), and moved onto the cutest thing ever when she got to introduce her favorite performer. I'll forgive her for picking the CUTE BOY that lacks the talent of other contestants, you know...since she was 8. So what can we say about Ace Jazzing up "In the Still of the Night?" Well, it sure sounded like the same song to me. Are we supposed to believe that he made it HIS own just as much as Chris did with "I Walk the Line?" I think they stretched that a bit much. What I WILL say is that Ace was much better than last week and he should bounce back out of that bottom 3 for now. And if things don't work out for him....it's okay. Paula assured him that at least 34 people in the audience want to marry him. Silly Paula, always forgetting to count herself. It's 35 Mrs. Clark!

Alrighty, here we are. Time to choose. Always have a tough time thinking of that 3rd victim of the bottom 3. I said I'd go with my gut, but I'm not quite sure what that is telling me right now! I need to process this!

Who is absolutely safe? Mandisa, Paris, Chris, Katharine, Kellie, Ace.
Who of the favorites had a rough night? Taylor
Who are next in line to get kicked off the show? Bucky, Covais, Tucker
Who else is left? Mr. Tumnus

Bottom 3: Bucky, Lisa, Elliott (Wildcard: Covais, Bonus Wildcard: Taylor :-( )
Elimination Pick: Lisa Tucker. Go ahead and rejoin the Lion King Musical Cast, Nala. I'm sure you had more support there!

Tough call between Bucky and Lisa. But I'm gonna go with the Redneck contingent. Someone out there's gotta still like Bucky. I just don't see much being said about Lisa and like I said before, she's getting outperformed by the other girls. My Elliott pick? Well, yeah he was good, but like I said...I think he only impressed the judges with the song choice. It's time for him to get a little scare. And it's time for me to get a little more unconventional with my bottom 3 picks.

That's all I got, tune in Wednesday night to see how poorly I did! Hope you enjoyed my analysis!

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