Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Idol: Top 11 Perform

Snoooooooooore! Well, it couldn't last could it? My infatuation with American Idol seems to come in spurts. And last week was the end of the latest spurt! I had voiced my concern of revisiting the BEATLES (oh my bad...EXPANDING on the "lennon/mccartney" week last week. For what? One George Harrison song??) for a 2nd consecutive week. Don't get me wrong. I love that crazy band. The songs do seem to be timeless. But should tonight be a reminder of their timelessness? HELL NO! My concerns were around some contestants starting to fall into traps and try to reap more of the same good judges comments from their same style takes on the same artists. Not everyone fell into this trap. But there were a few. I dunno, as Simon suggested, "why mess with a good thing?" (well i'm paraphrasing). He pretty much said last week was pretty magical, it was unlikely to happen again. What we did get is the BUTCHERING of the Beatles that we had expected BEFORE last week happened. And with that, we have an open palette for who can be going home tonight. Sure, most of our FAVORITES will probably be safe. But we might have a surprise in that bottom 3 come tomorrow night when KELLIE PICKLER returns to show off her ummm...."assets." Well, no sense in blabbing on here. Let's discuss this trainwreck!

1 - Amanda Overmeyer
Song: "Back in the USSR"

Well, I like the tune. Seemed to be the right one for Amanda to choose. Yeah, she was as entertaining as she ever is, but like I have said before....eventually she'll tire on America. Maybe this week is not the week, but I think she might be flirting with that bottom 3 now. It just was more of the same. And less in tune. Her attitude? She has 1 minute and 30 seconds each week to show what kind of show she can put on and start selling tickets. There's the attitude! Do you kind of just get that feeling like she is too good for this show? That she doesn't really want to be there? She just wants the stage and the viewers. Oh well, she has her goals, and she's keeping them low. Maybe she has the right attitude. But she didn't convince ME to vote for her! But at least she has GUMPTION! There are 3 words in the Paula Abdul dictionary of Idol Critiques: CONNECTION, VULNERABILITY and GUMPTION And sometimes we get the bonus of Blueberries and Quiet Confidence! You'll see that the Randy/Paula theme this year is to discuss CONNECTING with the song. I think Simon may have mentioned this early on this season and ever since it's all we hear tweedle dee and dum discuss! Yo Yo Yo dawgs but at least Randy has a mediocre COMPILATION ALBUM in stores now! CHECK IT! Connect with it! (can you tell I was bored tonight?)

2 - Kristy Lee Cook
Song: "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

Okay, yet another song that I do enjoy by the fab 4. But, we must keep in mind that the MUSIC BUTCHERER has selected it! Here comes the new arrangement synthesizers and all! WOO HOO!!!! Yeah, noooooo. She is just not cut out for this show. I mean, she just needs to go out there and sing amazing grace until they kick her off the show themselves. Changing the melody of a beatles song, especially one like that.....it's just inexcusable! I could barely recognize the song for a 2nd week straight! Considering she made the bottom 2 last week and was incredibly terrible and this week she was a smidge better, she may see less of the sympathy vote. This could be ol' Kristy's week! But you know me with all this crazy guessing! I never can quite get it right until the field is narrowed!

3 - David Archuleta
Song: "The Long & Winding Road"

Yeah yeah yeah, you can try to tell me you told me he'd bounce back. But if you recall, I said it myself!! "I'm sure ARCHIE will bounce back next week. But in my opinion, the damage has been done. I am now convinced he's not invincible." Sure, he sang much better and very ARTICHOKE-like tonight. And all the mothers in America will rush to their phones in the hopes that David will pop out of the other end and they can squish his little head into a little tiny ball and then the can put that ball in their pocket and......oh you get the point! This kid just has America in the palm of his hand. If he sings a tune with any amount of decency, they are putty in his hands! To me? He sounds like he should only be singing songs written by Alan Menkin or something (See Aladdin Soundtrack). Supposedly, Nigel Lythgoe (Exec Producer) said he does an amazing version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" but they don't have the rights to show the song on the air (he sang it during Hollywood week). Well, maybe that would show me a side of David that might interest me. The song was just bland and boring to me. And yes people I have finally noticed the the LIP-LICKING affair ARCHIE has begun with his bottom lip. His lizard-like tendencies won't earn him any stripes in this blog. Will just provide me more ammunition over the next 9 weeks of this crazy competition (if he makes it that far). Needless to say, being one of the 2 performances Simon actually liked tonight, I'm going to guess he's safe.

4 - Michael Johns
Song: "A Day in the Life"

Well, you can't blame the guy for trying. I mean it's his favorite Beatles song. It's MY favorite Beatles song (possibly one of my 5 favorite songs of all time - that's another blog). But I would've had the same problem he had. And I was trying to figure out during his whole performance how to make that 6 minute song into a 1 minute and 30 second song. There are so many different elements of that song to get into the show. I don't know why the judges give him such a hard time. Yet again they are waiting for some kind of CONNECTION with him and a certain song. Well, when on earth will he find this song? He's sang some classics over the past few weeks. And I've enjoyed them. Sure, I haven't branded any of them IDOL WINNER or anything. But, maybe I'm missing something? Will he be a bottom 3'er tonight? I guess anything is possible. Still love that song and I was actually impressed by what he DID fit in there.

5 - Brooke White
Song: "Here Comes the Sun"

Doo Do Doo Dooooooooo. Well Brooke said it herself. She couldn't do "Let it Be" again so she had nowhere to go but down for Beatles week #2. I liked that she tried to change things up again this week by going instrumentless and trying to work the stage a bit. But yeah...the yellow dress and the Sunny background was blinding me on my HDTV as much as it was Simon. And that crazy Dancing....well she can get away with it because it's part of her charm. But the off-key singing didn't work as much with this song as it has in past performances where her emotional renditions were good enough to look past some off-notes (As they added even MORE charm to the performance). Yeah, she's still a favorite of mine in this competition, regardless of if she'll win or not. And I think she has a bit of a following. She'll probably slide right on through to the next round.

6 - David Cook
Song: "Daytripper"

Okay, so my direct quote from last Wednesday's blog: "I mean, as impressed as I was with David Cook this week, do we really want to hear him take another peculiar Beatles song and make it an alternative hit?" The answer is NO folks! Right from the pre-performance clip where he said he heard a WHITESNAKE version of Daytripper and worked from that, I knew it would just be more of the same. Sure, he added the Mic Box which added a little joke for the judges and Ryan to mess with. But all it did was remind me of Peter Frampton and Richie Sambora. Score! All of this changing songs and modernizing them and rocking your guitar...it's interesting and unique in week 1, maybe passable in week 2. But 3 weeks in a row? OLD NEWS dude, time to switch things up on us! Yeah, he'll be fine. But he needs to work on checking his EGO a bit. As Simon suggested, he didn't think the performance was as David Cook himself thought it was. He was just bragging about learning the Mic Box for this performance. Then he made the "wa wa waaaaaaaa" sound into it for an attempted LAUGH response (don't think it worked). And the intentionally falling down to the reaction of Simon's critique? WAY OVERDONE dude! Let's forget this week ever happened and see what theme we get next week. And if next week IS Mariah Carey week, and David Cook can take "SOMEDAY" and turn it into an alternative masterpiece....well then fine. I'll stand corrected! (Disclaimer: I don't know next week's theme, but I just had to fit in the bizarre comment from Ryan to Randy that he saw Mariah this week. You're soooooooo much cooler than us Ryan!)

7 - Carly Smithson
Song: "Blackbird" (Sparrow???)

Yep, just wasn't as impressed as the judges on this one either. Sure, she sang it fine but it was slow and dull and apparently INDULGENT. Love when Simon brings that one up every season. And of course this results in Carly defending her song choice about how she is the most scared person in the world and we should all cry for her because she auditioned for American Idol. And Simon feels like a buffoon and all is right with the world. But you know what? No! Not ALL is right with the world. Because we need to get something out in the open folks! A dedicated IDOL BLOG reader since PRE-BLOG days has suggested to me that Carly has the appearance of someone that has forever changed the way I look at this woman. Oh you're going to love this!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen: Meet BOY GEORGE 2.0!!!

Okay, not an exact match but definitely the same FAMILY! And that Tattoo really butches Carly up a bit more than Boy George ever could be! Anyway, Carly is still a fantastic singer and her husband still scares the hell out of us! She's safe!

8 - Jason Castro
Song: "Michelle"

Okay, well if it wasn't Castro singing it, this would DEFINITELY be a bottom 3 performance. I mean it was just goofy and I laughed through the whole thing. Jason was laughing at himself IN FRENCH if you can believe it! He even admitted to American that it was a short week and really didn't want to sing the song. But this dude DOES have an appeal about him. And ever since he said he hates doing interviews, it's been the most exciting part of his performances! He's just a funny guy and America likes him. THE GIRLS LOOOOOVE HIM. Every time he sang "I want you" that whole "MOSH PIT" screamed. There may have been a few men in there screaming like little girls who knows??? But I think he'll be safe for this week as well.

9 - Syesha Mercado
Song: "Yesterday"

Well who would've thought SYESHA would be the one to do this song? Well, she said she needed the bottom 3 scare and for at least 1 week it seemed to have worked. She was really good this week. But let's focus on the REAL STAR! That guitar guy that looks like Carl Winslow from Family Matters! Yeah, even Paula gave him a shout out as PAUL. But whatever! He's CARL! And he really rocks that guitar every week and never gets the props that RICKY MINOR does! Come on, I want more CARL WINSLOW!!! Syesha bounced back and she's safe!

10 - Chickeze
Song: "I've Just Seen a Face"

Okay, well the Harmonica just DIDN'T work. He blew in, he blew out and he was done. I mean, I had a Harmonica when I was 5 and taught myself that little number! And here was another example of trying to do something similar to what worked last week. And that was fusing different styles of music into one song. And well, the ballad part was nice. I DID like the Country-esque CHICKEZIFICATION he did in last week's tune and this week's song. It seems like that's the style of music he should be doing. Who knows? Maybe he'll be the next COWBOY TROY! Simon called it all Gimmicky and maybe Chickeze will find himself in the bottom 3. But I think there are others that are ready to go!

Ramiele Maluby
"I Should Have Known Better"

Okay kids, something is really wrong and disturbing about this girl. It seems that in place of her ability to be a good performer, she has improved in her ability to become ATTACHED to the closest living person at all times. At first Danny Noriega, and now it's David Cook and Brooke White....BIG BRO AND BIG SISTER! WE ARE ALL ONE CLOSE AND HAPPY FAMILY! It's all this girl ever talks about. If she spent as much time working on her songs she might be getting somewhere in this competition. Sure her upbeat sing-a-long "I should have known better" was far less boring than weeks' past, but it was still a disaster! Her stage presence really leaves much to be desired. She still hit all the notes, but I dunno, I just wasn't too impressed. But I never really have been. I don't think she'll go home this week (of course this could be my reverse psychology prayer!) but I'm still struggling on whether she's a bottom 3 victim!

So that's it, we're out of contestants. What a lackluster week! How on earth do we come up with a bottom 3? Well, we have to look at the PAST as always!

Who is SAFE based on reputation? Artichoke, D. Cook, Boy George, Happy Brooke, Dreads Castro

Biggest Improvement? Syesha Mercado

Should be able to slide for one more week before the Judges' comments take their toll? Michael Johns

Still Awful and Kicking? Kristy Lee Cook

Bottom 3 Candidates for Top 11 Week: Amanda Overmeyer, Ramiele Maluby, Chickezie

Bottom 3 Picks: Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Maluby, Amanda Overmeyer Wildcard: Chickezie Bonus Wildcard: Michael Johns

Elimination Pick: Kristy Lee Cook - Sympathy can only get you so far. Your time has run out Kristy! Sorry about your horse, maybe next time you should buy a plane ticket to Philly when there are auditions in California. I'm not a Geographic genius, but I think that's closer to OREGON!

I think I have decided that between Kristy and Amanda, the one that will overstay their welcome in this competition is Amanda. You know that one that just seems to linger around a bit longer than you really want them to? Kristy Lee Cook is just THAT bad! And I think America won't tolerate it anymore.

I think I've said all I can say about the Top 11 performances. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and see you at some point to discuss the results! (I'm going out tomorrow night, so the blog will be a bit delayed!) Please continue to post your own thoughts in the comments!


Anonymous said...

where are you going out? I might meet you there! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Not a great show by any means of the imagination. I do, however, believe that Lizard Lips has redeemed himself from last week's forgotten-lyrics fiasco and is justifiably one of the top three in this year's competition.

I still think that Carly will win but now that I know she could pass as Boy George's twin sister (or worse...His Daughter.AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!), I'll certainly never look at her the same again. Thanks a lot for that. ;)

A fact worth mentioning that wasn't is that after tommorrow's elimination, we'll have our TOP 10 for the Idol tour this summer. Just wondering....which of these current 11 would Idol's producers NOT want to take on tour?

In random order:
Lizard Lips---safe
Boy George'w twin sister/daughter (God, I never thought I'd ever see that in a sentence)---safe
David Cook---safe

So, the bottom three left are Amanda, Ramiele (aka Paula's daughter) and Kristy.

Obviously Amanda sticks out like a sore thumb but I'm guessing her originality helps her more than it hinders her. Amanda is safe.

Ramiele and Kristy. Kristy and Ramiele. One of these two will be eliminated IMHO. But which one?

The better singer is Ramiele.
The one that connects better with the crowd is Ramiele.
The one who doesn't butcher a song by going countrified is Ramiele.
The one who has been in the bottom three the last three weeks is Kristy.
Hmmmm....I think I'm on to something here. Kristy's renditions of Amazing Grace have been spot on. Unfortunately for her, there's only so much grace in an Idol audience.

Thus, Ramiele is safe to go on tour and Kristy will head back to Pacific Northwest, never to be heard from again.

Ian said...

I predicted that Amanda would go home this week, but I hope it is Kristy. Unfortunately, Syesha got the song everyone else wanted, so she's safe this week too.

I think the biggest problem with Carly is that she talks about being Irish all the time. This show is called American Idol. The more she goes on about Ireland the more people are probably going to be reluctant to vote for her. After all, if being American seems secondary to her being Irish, why would she deserve one of America's most coveted titles? That's why I don't buy it when everyone says she'll probably be the last girl standing. I just don't see America connecting with her enough. Those ugly tattoos are a turnoff too.

Anonymous said...

Since I missed last night, but saw last week's horrible "Country" Lee Cook, I think you are probably right on the money. Have fun tonight!

Mike V. said...

I don't know Shanna, you should just GUESS and maybe I'll see you there! lol ;-)

Anonymous, I agree with all of your thoughts and glad I was able to spread the BOY GEORGE similarities to you and everyone else!

Ian, I wouldn't be surprised if Amanda went home tonight either. But there's always hope it can go down this way right? lol

Thanks Marian! Hope you stay in your pool one more week!

Ian said...

By the way, I just wanted to mention something. I read somewhere that the reason Kristy tried out in Philadelphia is because she went to the San Diego auditions and got rejected. Given the level of talent she's shown so far that really doesn't surprise me.

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