Have we seen the next American Idol?
The best of American Idol--the reason fans watch it--is someone like Kelly Pickler. Maybe I'm a sap, but after listening to her talk about how her mother left when she was 2, and her father's been in jail her whole life, how can you not be moved when she comes out, sings well, and breaks down when she realizes she's going to Hollywood? Or when she said she had to write her dad to tell him the good news? Some people say snottily that they don't watch "reality TV" or "American Idol" because--well, they never actually have any good reasons, they just think they're better than you and I. They're the ones missing out on great human drama like that.
Does Kelly Pickler have a shot to go far in the competition? Hard to say at this point, but I thought her speaking voice sounded somewhat like Kelly Clarkson's, she had somewhat of a facial resemblance to the first American Idol, and then she came out and sang "Since You've Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. So I don't know what that means (although I'm not saying she's as good as the best American Idol ever, just that she had some similarities.)
Of course, the next American Idol could very well be Paris Bennett. While she seemed a little too overwhelmed that the judges liked her (considering her grandmother or aunt or however she was related is, according to Randy Jackson, one of the greatest singers ever, it's not exactly a miracle that she has some talent), I like it when people cry when they get sent to Hollywood and she was really good.
As for Wednesday, what exactly was going on with Simon and the other judges in San Francisco? They both seemed crazy at times--Simon didn't seem to really like anyone, but Randy was acting like everyone that came in the door was Aretha Franklin. Even stranger, though, was what set Simon off--Paula saying that Simon had once said he needed to close his eyes to listen to Clay Aiken? Why exactly was this even an issue? What did that have to do with the woman auditioning with all the hair,who, let's be hones, was somewhat odd looking. I thought she might have been good enough to go to Hollywood, but it's not like she was good enough to win, so I'm not going to worry much more about it--or try to dissect what exactly was going on.
The only other important matter of discussion was the girl whose mom was a vocal coach, Katharine McPhee. She had a good voice and was cute, but was she really worthy of praise as the greatest voice they had heard this year or this decade or whatever they said (and didn't they say that about Paris Bennett one night before)? She sang the Billie Holliday song "God Bless the Child," which I'm not particularly familiar with. But last year during the semifinals, Mikalah Gordon sang "God Bless the Child" and the judges raved over her (me, I thought it was kind of boring). As we all know, about a month later, Mikalah Gordon had trouble singing a Taylor Dayne song and was deservedly sent home. I guess what I'm saying is, maybe "God Bless the Child" isn't quite the tough song to sing that the judges think it is (and I apologize if I've offended Billie Holliday or her fans--that's not my intention and I know she's considered one of the great singers of all time. I'm just pointing something out.)
Finally, with the "all the bad singers doing bad versions of 'Fame'" montage on Tuesday night, I think it's obvious that the producers actually were asking bad auditioners to sing "Fame"--since most of the people they showed singing were actually people we had seen singing completely different songs earlier in the evening. As I said last week to the American Idol producers, we have enough bad singing, without you creating bad singing. As I said, we got the best and worst of American Idol Tuesday night.