Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's not about "who you are as an artist," it's about singing well

Tonight's American Idol left us with a pretty clear division between the five singers that should no question be part of the final 12, and the three singers who will, hopefully, be the ones fighting it out for that sixth spot. Tonight's show also was a demonstration of how the producers have apparently gotten their act together enough to fit eight songs into one hour--a pleasant change from last year's messes. Let's get to the rundown:

Katie Stevens ("Break Away")--Oh, Katie, if you've been watching this show since you were 8 years old, you should know that it's never a good idea to sing another Idol winner's song on the show. You can never measure up. And Katie didn't--wasn't even close. Then again, after that fiasco last week, when Randy told her to sing a song by someone under 20, and then Kara told her to sing a song about being confused, who can blame her for actually being confused. She's going backward each time, partially thanks to the craziness at the judges' table. As for her not knowing who she is as an artist--maybe she doesn't. But you know what, Kara and Ellen? That's wasn't the reason she wasn't good tonight. Nor was it that she didn't "connect" with the song. Whatever happened to the truth, that Katie wasn't good tonight simply because she didn't sing the song well?

Siobhan Magnus ("House of the Rising Sun")-- I thought this was quite good--some notes occasionally were off, but it was generally well sung and sort of original with the a capella part at the beginning. Was a good point that Kara brought up, though? Why aren't they giving Siobhan a hard time for doing different stuff each week and not knowing what "kind of artist" she is? Actually, I can answer that. She's pretty good, so it really doesn't matter--because people enjoy her performances. As I said, "not knowing who you are as an artist" has somehow become a synonym for "you didn't sing well." And it's annoying me.

Lacey Brown ("The Story")--That's certainly the best Lacey has been, but it's not like she's that good or has any kind of chance of winning the competition--so I have a hard time caring.

Katelyn Epperly ("I Feel the Earth Move")--Katelyn has become one of my favorites over the first couple weeks, so I kind of agreed with Simon on her performance tonight. It was well sung and performed, and yet it wasn't particularly special and thus I was kind of disappointed. But it should be enough to advance--she was certainly better than a number of others tonight.

Didi Benami ("Rhiannon") -- Finally, my other favorite Didi picks up her guitar and does a really good performance--it sounded good, she put her own slight new spin on the song and it should be enough to get her into the finals.

Paige Miles ("Smile") -- We keep hearing about how great Paige's voice is, and yet after three weeks we've seen no indication from her singing that her voice is in any way special. That leads me to believe either she doesn't have that great a voice or she's the worst picker of songs in American Idol history. Probably a combination of both. She's done absolutely nothing to deserve a spot in the final 12.

Crystal Bowersox ("Give Me One Reason") -- Not a big fan of this Tracy Chapman song, but Crystal did enough to change it up and give it a little more bluesy tone that I liked the song and really liked her performance. She's gotta be the favorite as we enter the finals.

Lilly Scott ("I Fall to Pieces") -- This was good and I like Lilly's voice, but I agree with Simon that it didn't have a "wow factor." And I kind of think that might be Lilly's probablem a few weeks from now--she kind of does the same thing every week and could get sort of monotonous. But we'll see.

So I'll predict that Paige is definitely going home and that Lacey will also go home, although it could be Katie and it wouldn't matter. If it is anyone other than those three, I will be very disappointed. Fingerhut out.



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