i have a question...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

American Idol, Top 12

As I got off the train tonight at 10 to 8 and noticed the swarming masses flood past me, I wondered how many of them were running home to make sure they didn’t miss one minute of American Idol. Then I figured, probably most of them. It was the first performance of the top 12 tonight. And I made a 10-15 minute walk home in 6 minutes.

Tonight’s theme was the music of Diana Ross. This music just isn’t good for showing off your pipes, as my roommate quipped. Still, I wept a little when Ms. Ross entered the room and when she gave everybody hugs. She really seems like a lovely woman.

Brandon started off the show with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” I think he sang first because the producers want him gone. My first thought was, “Look at his chest hair.” Who knew? He’s been hiding it all season. It seemed like his dancing distracted him and he forgot his words, which KILLS me because he’s so adorable and he’s got a great set of pipes. And he’s definitely one of the most articulate contestants I’ve ever seen in the history of the entire show. Gotta give him props for that.

After awkward homoerotic banter between Ryan and Simon, Melinda was up. I was hoping someone would sing something from The Wiz and she blew “Home” out of the back of the arena and right onto my arms in the form of goosebumps. Then I cried. Why is she on the show? I hope she doesn’t win so she’ll be a big star.

My old crush (I’m totally over him), Chris Sligh, sang “Endless Love,” in the guise of a Coldplay song, which I caught onto before Randy said anything. Apparently, Chris has been bashing Diana Ross in the press. Subsequently, he seemed downright contrite onstage, probably realizing he shouldn’t be offending anyone this early, especially after none of the judges were particularly effusive about his performance. I do agree with Paula that he’s trying to be “ultra hip,” and with Simon who says he should keep his glasses on. I thought this performance of his was mildly snooze-worthy, myself.

Gina Glocksen sang “Love Child,” and Ms. Ross urged her to “pronunciate.” I cringed at her stupidity. None of the contestants seem to know what to do on such a big stage. I don’t really remember this performance already, but I did write down “yikes” at the time. Paula encouraged her to work on her “enunciation.” And the English language returned to its upright and locked position. We should all give Paula more credit.

And then Sanjaya sang. Or did he? What 17 year old Indian boy wears ringlets these days? And why does he whisper during interviews? Ms. Ross says he’s got a “winning ingredient and it’s not his hair.” He definitely finished the song well, and I really don’t think he’s going anywhere. He just needs a haircut. Tonight, he seemed to be channeling Michael Jackson during the Wiz-era. And he creeps me out.

Haley is working so hard to be liked. And I think she’s succeeding. Her performance of “Missing You” was weak, but I think she’s plucky and emotional enough to make it through another week, even though she looked incredibly defeated after finishing. Then Simon said it wasn’t that bad and she burst into tears—he must want her to stay too. He even made a point of remembering her name tonight.

Phil Stacey sang “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” and the vocals were impressive. But then he did the white man’s overbite.

LaKisha sang “God Bless the Child.” When she announced it, I got chills. Ms. Ross called her Kiki and praised her for really thinking about how to perform it when she asked if she should use a mic stand. LaKisha’s phrasing is perfection. This season will certainly be the Battle of the Big Black Ladies. Simon thinks so too.

For the record, I have a huge crush on Blake. He’s adorable, such a showman, such a musician. His version of “You Keep Me Hangin On” was stylized and smart. His vocals were strong, but he got a little tired at the end. The judges are arguing that classics should stay classics, but we in this apartment agree that being a musician should be important in this competition too.

(Side note: I’m glad Ryan is engaging the kids in conversation. It’s giving us a chance to get to know them a little more.)

Stephanie Edwards oversang “Love Hangover.” But the girl takes direction well, which seems to be a rarity in this competition. Paula wants her to “strive for better.” Poor girl is getting clumped into the Big Black Lady (heretofore to be known simply as BBLs) Battle, and I’m not sure she deserves to be criticized for not being one of them.

Chris Richardson oversang “The Boss.” He’s so darned cute, and I’m sure he’ll be here next week. His “working of the audience,” under the urging of Ms. Ross, was self-conscious. But good for him for jumping out there into the crowd. Simon argues that it’s a singing competition…but then, in another instance, they say someone needs more personality. He’s such a Machiavelli with his manipulation of us silly, silly mortals.

Jordin (who looked beautiful, btw) sang “If We Hold On Together” from the Land Before Time. I usually hate precocious teens, but I find myself liking her. Parts of her performance made me weepy and parts made me cringe. I’m sure she’s safe. Girl’s got some pipes. And she makes Ryan look like a shrimp.

Favorite of the Night: Melinda
On the Way Out: Brandon for going first or Stephanie for not being able to separate herself from the BBLs.

1 comment:

hesbooks said...

I continue to be impressed by your music reviews, Annie. You have a very keen ear and voice to match. Perhaps this is the kind of writing you're meant to do? ~rh