Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A step backward for the guys

Wow, that was a pretty underwhelming night. After showing some promise last week, the guys as a group returned to their place as the junior varsity for the women tonight. At the end of the show, when Randy and Paula said they thought only four guys deserved to be in the top 12, I started counting the guys I considered worthy and only got to three before starting to wonder if I could find a fourth--which made Simon's answer of "three and a half" make some sort of sense.

Before we get to the rundown, though, a few words on a new development in the Antonella controversy. Frenchie Davis from season two, who I mentioned last week in talking about this issue and is currently starring in Rent on Broadway, materialized this week to register a complaint about the unfairness in how she was treated compared to Antonella. She was on with Howard Stern this morning and said that she doesn't think Antonella should be kicked off the show, but does think the producers should make some sort of apology or gesture to her for embarrassing her by kicking her off the show in season two because she posed for some sort of porn or porn-style Website in lingerie. (Porn-style is a term I just coined, kind of like kosher-style, to describe something that may not technically be pornography, but is in that vein.) As I said last week, I'm glad the producers didn't kick off Antonella, because they never should have kicked Frenchie off. But at this point, does Frenchie really think the producers are going to apologize to her? You can't even get a straight answer from the producers about why some of the top 24 got no screen time during the audition and Hollywood shows. These guys are still kicking people off the show for no apparent reason (see Akron earlier this year). Why do you think they're going to all of a sudden change their spots now? Two interesting things about Frenchie's interview this morning, though: First, she said she was totally up front and told the producers about the pictures, but wasn't kicked off the show until two months later--which either means they wanted to wait until someone else found the pictures before deciding they mattered, or they're just mean. And Robin Quivers noted that there is a significant difference between Frenchie and Antonella--Frenchie did her photos for money, while Antonella posed privately for friends and then had someone post them on the Internet. Anyway, there's some kind of protest Wednesday night in Los Angeles--that I don't believe Frenchie is associated with--making this out to be a racial issue and sponsored by a group called Project Islamic Hope. Make of this what you will.

As for Ryan's announcement that Thursday will bring news of "one of the most important events in Idol history," why do I think it might not be quite as earth-shaking as advertised?

Blake Lewis ("Instinct"?)--With Simon talking so much the last couple weeks about being current and not being old-fashioned, it appears a number of the contestants have really taken that to heart and are doing a lot of current songs. I'm not sure that's always a great idea, like in this instance. Sure, this song made Randy happy because it gave Blake a chance to beat-box (stupid Randy), but I want to hear Blake sing, and sing pop songs. Doing this kind of pseudo-reggae/hip-hop thing--sure he did a lot of sound effects, but did it really showcase Blake singing? I didn't think so. The other thing I was surprised by was that Randy and Paula didn't know this song. It's not a particular favorite of mine, but it was pretty popular a few years back and got a lot of radio airplay. Where were they? (Actually, Randy was probably busy in the studio with Journey, but whatever...)

Sanjaya Malakar ("Waiting on the World to Change")--As Randy said, it isn't much of a kudo to say that Sanjaya's performance was better than it had been the last two weeks, but it is something to hang the hat he wore last week on. In fact, he wasn't just better than the last two weeks, he was much better than he was the last two weeks. Having said that, he wasn't exactly good, but I was surpsised at how down on him Paula was, considering the improvement.She was acting like there had been a death in Sanjaya's family while he was singing or something. But Sanjaya unleashed a little growl or something akin to that at one point in the song and at least showed a little life. I still hope he gets kicked off Thursday, but I'm not expecting it.

Sundance Head ("Jeremy")--Wow, even Pearl Jam is clearing their songs for Idol now. That's cool. But this song was a terrible choice for Sundance because however good his vocals were tonight (they were OK, but certainly nothing special), they would alway pale in comparsion to Eddie Vedder's vocals. You just can't sing a huge, iconic song like this, which was all about Eddie Vedder's screaming, intense singing, and try to duplicate it. You're always going to pale in comparison and sound like a lame imitator. And that's what Sundance sounded like.

Chris Richardson (A pretty Keith Urban song I don't know the name of)--With Chris having done up-tempo songs the last two weeks, this was a really good choice because it allowed him to show off his vocals a little more. And he did a nice job. Not "he could be the next American Idol" nice, but not bad. Actually, my real reason for liking the song choice is that he didn't have the opportunity to do that Justin Timberlake-esque dancing that was bothering me so much.

Jared Cotter ("If You Really Love Me")--Great song, OK performance. This guy has a good voice, but I think Paula is kind of correct--he doesn't really do much exciting with it. I've been less impressed with him each week, but he does have that hand over the face thing which everyone seems to like. But like Ace Young's soulful looks into the camera, that will get old in a couple weeks.

Brandon Rogers ("Celebrate")--I know, this isn't "Piano Idol," but perhaps Brandon could accompany himself on the piano during songs, since he showed he is a good piano player. That would certainly help him stand out, because he's not really doing it with his singing. His performance wasn't bad, and better than last week's borefest, but Simon is correct--he wasn't all that memorable.

Phil Stacy ("I Need You")--So all the judges were wondering why Phil chose this song. It was an odd choice, and Phil said he just loved the song. But I have another theory. Simon said last week that he wasn't unique and too karoake, so I think Phil was trying to pick a song that Simon couldn't say was just like the original--and how better to do that than sing a song that a woman made popular. (And actually, last year, Paula or Randy suggested this as a way to be different and stand out. They, of course, gave him no points for that tonight.) Anyway, he didn't sing it very well--those opening notes were, once again, horrible, and it didn't really improve all that much by the end. This week's award, though, for stupidest judges' comment once again goes to Randy for comparing Phil to Steve Perry of Journey. Randy, are you crazy? Randy, Steve Perry had a great voice--and Phil Stacy doesn't. I hope if Steve Perry was watching tonight, he threw something at the TV, got drunk and is jamming Randy's cell phone with crazy messages. Oh, and after that comment, it wouldn't suprise me if Phil found a way to sing "Open Arms" or "Don't Stop Believin" in the next few weeks to make Randy happy.

Chris Sligh ("We All Want to Be Loved")--I agree with Randy (I hate to do that) and thought this was the best of the night. Chris may not have the strongest voice among the guys--although, come to think of it, there aren't many strong voices in this group--but he knows how to sing a song and convey its message. Don't know why Paula was so tough on it--she must be having some personal issues.

Who is going home? Once again, I have no idea. Sanjaya and Sundance, according to Dial Idol, are still getting lots of votes, so I think they'll probably survive. I think Brandon Rogers might not survive this week, and I'll take a wild guess and say Phil Stacy for no particular reason except that he wasn't that good. Fingerhut out.



Anonymous kson220 said...

I agree with everything you said. The guys are just so lackluster this year. And, I am with Simon on the 3 1/2. Chris, Chris, Blake, and 1/2 for Sundance. Brandon and Phil for elimination.

3/7/07, 9:54 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Ah, the return of "Fingerhut Out!"

Good blog about a relativley boring show.

For those keeping track, I voted for Blake, Chris Sligh, and Brandon, which was more of a vote against Sanjaya.

3/7/07, 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I think Chris Sligh is the only guy worth anything in this group. I don't think I can listen to Sanjaya one more time--he is so off key it hurts my ears.

3/8/07, 10:18 AM  

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