Thursday, March 04, 2010

Some Idol thoughts

I was busy last night and this morning doing a freelance assignment and watching the Duke-Maryland game, so I didn't have time to do a full-blown Idol wrapup, but here are a few observations on last night before tonight's eliminations.

Crystal Bowersox was terrific, and right now looks like the frontrunner -- of an admittedly very weak field. Was amused that Simon used the term "misunderestimated." Just another of George W. Bush's legacies to America.

The judges, specifically Randy and Ellen, said Haeley Vaughn didn't "connect" with the song. I'm not sure what this means and wonder why they can't actually say what her problem was: "Haeley, you sung mostly off-key and out-of-tune." It's harsher, but it's the truth. But she dresses cool and makes those things for her hair and smiles a lot, so she'll probably get the teen girl vote and make it through.

Lacey Brown wasn't as terrible as last week, but she's just no good. Oh, and Ellen, you keep referring to how you're glad the singers are following the "notes" they get. Ellen, they're not getting notes. That's a TV term. They're getting critiques, or advice, from the judges. Although I hope the Idol producers are giving you notes telling you not to use the term "notes" anymore.

Katie Stevens is cute and has a powerful voice, but isn't particularly original. A few years ago, that would have made her a judges' favorite, but now it earns their scorn. So after singing an older song like "Feeling Good" last week, she picked what she thought was a younger song this week in "Put the Records On." Now, that song is sung by a younger singer, and it's newer, but it is sort of an older-sounding song. But why exactly does Katie have to sing a younger song anyway? Just because she's young, she has to sing a younger song? (Idol trivia: Ayla Brown, new Mass. Senator Scott Brown's daughter, was told the same thing, picked a Natasha Bedingfield song that didn't really showcase her voice and got voted out on the last night of the seminfinals a few years back.)

First Randy says, who do you like that's under 20? Really, Randy? She's got to sing a song performed by a teenager? She can't do a song by someone of drinking age because that would be too old? Then Kara chimes in with, "You should do a song about something you're feeling--like you're confused, so sing a song about that." What? This is seconds after Kara got done telling Katie that the song she picked this week didn't allow her enough space to "do your thing" as far as putting a new spin on it--which is probably correct and what she should actually be looking at, how the song sounds with her voice, not what it is about. Contradictory advice within less than a minute--Kara, you've set a record?

Didi Benami was very disappointing. She needs her guitar and someone advising her on what to sing. I'm worried about her making it to next week. She wasn't as bad as the judges said, but her problem is she's got a really good but kind of quirky voice, and yet, as Randy said, she the past two weeks has picked songs that emphasize the quirkiness in her voice at the expense of other, more appealing aspects. If you listen to her sing "Terrified," for instance, the voice sounds much better, but last night, there was an oddness to the voice that wasn't always appealing. As for her confusion about Simon saying she was self-indulgent, here's the deal. Simon was probably being a little unfair, but he's using it in the sense that you're picking a song or doing a performance that seems more designed to please you than to please the audience. The best example of this is when Chris Daughtry picked some really obscure, not very good Queen song on Queen night instead of a better, more well-known song simply because it was in the style of all the other songs he'd sung up to that point on the show.

Michelle Delamor is pretty and has a nice voice--she reminds me of a more talented Syesha Mercado. She'll probably stick around for a while but probably isn't really a contender for the title. Thought her spin on a Creed song was weird--not bad at all, just strange.

Lilly Scott sang a great Sam Cooke song and sang it well, but the way the judges reacted you would have thought Sam Cooke had come back to life. Best of the night by far? Really, Ellen? Bowersox left your memory that quickly?

Katelyn Epperly, who I thought didn't even belong in the top 24 two weeks ago, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She's cute, she seems to have a fun personality judging from the taped packages and has a nice voice. I wasn't head over heels over her performance last night--I agreed it was a little too slow--but I liked the piano and the singing was pretty good. Having said that, Simon--it wasn't a million times better than last week because she was quite good last week.

Paige Miles allegedly has the best voice of the women, but we haven't seen any evidence of that. And, Paige, if you're going to sing a song by a former Idol on the show, you have to make it really good--and that just wasn't.

Siobhan Magnus was good, but not great--there was a lot of focus on that one note, which was good, but who really cares? You got to hit all the notes. I still liked her, though, and she does have a lot of talent, even if she seems drunk most of the time.

I think Paige will go home and hopefully we'll say goodbye to Lacey Brown.



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