When I learned it was going to be a 50’s theme for American Idol this week, I shuddered at the potential awfulness of the performances. And then when I learned that Barry Manilow was going to be involved, my shudder became a full-blown fever of fearful expectation.
Well, I was wrong. Most of last night’s performances were pretty good, and the interpretations of the songs (thanks in part to Barry, who seems like a super smart arranger) were much better than I anticipated they’d be.
Onto the singers:
Mandisa – She always has a pretty face, and last night her very pretty face was surrounded by a fantastic hairstyle. She wore a slimming black dress that did an amazing job of taking attention away from her oh so large posterior. Of course, the camerapeople helped too, by not zooming in on it. (and yes, I realise there’s a joke there about how, with the size of her ass, could the cameras *not* zoom in on her ass – her ass is a constant zoom shot, but I won’t go there. I just won’t) Her performance was stellar. She’s been progressively improving each and every week, and her first week starting point was already top-notch, so she’s a threat to win it all. Except, you know, she has a huge ass that America will never allow to become top Idol.
Bucky – I realised last night that Bucky doesn’t sing. He rasps. And he often rasps out of key. I thought his performance of Buddy Holly’s “Oh Boy” was pedestrian and bland. While it may have been a good song choice to fit his style and personality, I don’t think it’s a good choice to show off his singing (lackof) abilities. Hmm. Since he’s not a great singer, maybe a song that doesn’t show his lack of ability is a great choice. Anyway, not very good tonight, Bucky. And I’m partly saying that because I cannot get past your hair, both on your face and on your head. Awful. He’ll be Bottom Three.
Paris – She looked fantastic and she sang “Fever” even better. I thought she rocked. She seems so incredibly in control of her stage presence that it is frightening to think she’s just 17. Wow, great performance.
Katherine – I’ve not yet liked anything that she’s worn. None of her tops seem to fit properly, like she’s trying to keep the secret from her mother that she’s pregnant. She looked pretty great last night, though, in an ill-fitting dress. From the introductory segment on her experience with Barry, I was expecting to not like her song and song choice, but she did a super job. Maybe the best I’ve seen from her. She’s always in danger of bombing, I think, but last night she more than rose to the occasion.
Chris – My (and others) odds-on favourite to win the competition. His rendition of I Walk The Line was superb. If that was recorded today, it’d be a radio hit tomorrow. Guaranteed. This guy has it all and should be one of the final two. Wonderful job.
Lisa – Apart from Kevin, Lisa is, in my opinion, the least talented of the remaining performers. Some nights she shows glimpses of her potential, but last night it was a pretty uninspired performance. She’s a Bottom Three finalist tonight.
Taylor – Taylor should be hoping that his fans remember the excellent performances he’s done in previous weeks because last night was terrible for him. A terrible song choice, much too repetitive and not very challenging, vocally. He tried to sell it, though, as best he could, but I didn’t buy it at all. One of the evening’s three worst performances, but he’s built up enough good Karma to not be in the bottom three tonight.
Elliot – This was the most difficult song choice of the night, in terms of being a vocal challenge. Elliot always seems to choose the most difficult songs and I’m never sure he succeeds in pulling them off. Last night, he had moments where he seemed out of synch with the music, like he was trying to rush through his lyrics. He seemed quite nervous early on, but by halfway through the song, he found the groove and was pretty sharp to the end. I loved his honesty, though, about not really digging Manilow’s songs. Good for him.
Kellie – I absolutely hated this performance. Maybe I’m soured on Pickler (get it?), but I seem to have lost any ability to adore her naive stupidity any longer. I wonder when America will tire of her? I thought her Walking After Midnight was very much a “by the book” performance, without heart or feeling. Barry is all about finding the story of the song, and singing the emotion behind that story, and she totally failed, in my opinion. She should be a Bottom Three, but America will love her ditziness for a few more weeks, before they crash from her sugar-rush sweetness. No, wait. I’m changing my mind. She’ll be a Bottom Three contestant tonight. America is tiring of her. Just wait and see!
Kevin – I’ve voiced my opinion of Kevin a few times. Basically, I don’t think he belongs in the competition, and the only reason he is there is because he’s willing to play along with the “untalented nerd pretends he’s sexy and talented” angle. Last week, he did an okay job with his song (still it was the worst of the week, IMO). Last night, his performance was actually pretty good. Great song choice for him, and performed as well as he could perform it. Enough to keep him around for another week (or two?). I loved Simon’s noncommittal comment about how his performance will really be appreciated by those who like Kevin’s performances.
Ace – Oh, Ace! You are free-falling to the bottom of the talent pool. Expectations were so high for you a few weeks ago, but a couple of poor performances since have made people look past your oh so pretty looks. Maybe our ears were blinded (huh?) by your beauty all along. Maybe you were always just mediocre? Anyway, this week was a bit better than weeks past, enough to keep you safe from the Bottom Three (unless America has a hate-on for you, in which case you’re sunk).
Bottom Three – Bucky, Kellie, Lisa
Contestant to leave – Lisa
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