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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

AI Top 9

So Chris Sligh left us last week. I think he pissed off the God freaks and the atheists alike. What do you think? I don’t think I’m going to count that prediction as a correct one though. Especially since I was so surprised. So it’s 2:3.

Tonight is American Classic songs with Tony Bennett. I’m a trifle scared that it’s going to be seriously cringe-worthy. But they are all so star-struck. I can’t imagine not totally losing my ability to speak in front of him, myself.

Blake is first and he’s singing “Mack the Knife,” how exciting! Bennett urges him to find the meaning. Blake’s vibrato is perfect for music like this, and, man, he looks cute in a suit like that. But he doesn’t quite find his niche in the song until towards the end and his scatting was lovely and fun. I think it’s interesting they’re having him sing first. But I’m positive he’s still safe, even though I’m not positive he took Bennett’s advice.

Phil is up next and he’s tackling “Night and Day.” His rehearsal sounded…painful. And is he growing his hair back? He just doesn’t know what to do in his lower register. Once he gets to be bigger in a song, he’s definitely strong. I think the lack of energy in this performance as well as singing so early bodes badly for him. I also agree with Randy that the performance lacked passion. And I think it’s hilarious that Simon’s retort to Paula’s description of him as “a young Frank Sinatra” was a shocked and appalled “WHAT?!” Ouch.

Melinda’s got rhythm. And Bennett keeps saying that everyone is the best singer he’s heard all day. Didn’t he just say that about Phil? I LOVE that she’s singing the intro to this song because people don’t necessarily know it. Her version is recording-worthy. And she has such JOY while she sings. (I love her straight hair to boot.) She made this song feisty and sexy and joyful. Perfection. Her only problem is that Simon won’t be able to ever criticize her.

Chris R. looks cute in his little hat. You’re all aware he used to be 40 lbs. heavier, right? He’s singing “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and in his rehearsal, he didn’t have it memorized. I absolutely love that he started in silhouette. Very sexy move. His voice seems suited for this genre too, interestingly enough. I think he’s really fighting to stay this week. He seemed relaxed and comfortable with this song. Well done.

Jordin’s up and singing “On a Clear Day,” and Bennett lauded her ability to sing on key as well as her improvisation skills. I’m constantly impressed with how comfortable she seems onstage as well as her ability to fix little pitch errors herself. And that was a very long note she held at the end. The microphones reverberated with her “heat,” as Randy says and Paula dubbed her a “magnet of joy.” I’m not sure classic songs need to be reinterpreted as young and contemporary. Sometimes old-fashioned is just perfect.

Gina is singing “Smile,” and Bennett got choked up about it. How lovely. She’s gonna get votes just for that comment, my roommate says. I think she’s right. Plus she can sing. I got a little chill; I thought it was really solid. But her outfit is a contradiction compared to the vocal.

Sanjaya is next…Cheek to Cheeeeeeeeek!! Bennett asserts he’s interesting and different. He needs to be on a HS stage. That is all there is to it. Here is your $50 for winning first place in the talent show; now get off this national stage. Thanks. Even his dance with Paula didn’t charm me. I’m so over it. Ooh, Simon is testing out reverse psychology by dubbing it “Incredible.” I hear he’s threatened to quit if Sanjaya wins. That would be crazy!

Haley is up next. I LOVE her seafoam green dress. Good choice, lady. She’s singing “Ain’t Misbehavin.’” Bennett gave her a great note to focus it on one person. She’s cute and feisty. Did she completely disregard Bennett’s note, or did I misinterpret her “ehhh you” mid-song? You know, I don’t think Haley’s as bad a singer as she has shown to us. It certainly wasn’t the worst of the night.

LaKisha is last and we might even end the show on time. Maybe. She’s singing “Stormy Weather,” and is it just me or was she completely confused about the key in the beginning? She’s a great singer…but I do agree with other critics that these BBLs need to start taking risks or they will become boring to watch. (And she completely disregards any direction from mentors—first Lulu, then Bennett. I think she should be criticized for that.)

And it’s 9:02.

Favorite of the Night: Melinda
On the Way Out: Phil


Rachiewrites said...

I actually liked Phil's performance pretty well tonight, and was pretty moved by Gina, too. But Melinda remains my favorite, and I don't know who's going home, but I continue to hope that it is Sanjaya, who really cannot sing as well as the others, no matter what anyone says! And your comments were astute, as always!

gilsonwalker said...

I absolutely LOVE that you are doing this. Someone needs to find your blog and pay you BIG BUCKS for your amazing commentary! I really liked Blake. And I always like Melinda. I agree about Phil being on his way out. And Sanjaya completely ruins the validity of this show...it makes me SICK. And Haley, I really dislike. Even her green dress.