Girls Fight For Spot in Top Twelve

Find my latest American Idol article here.

Last night’s show shaped up a lot like this week’s guy’s show.  There were a lot of good performances, few great performances and few really bad performances.  Once again, the opportunity to take hold of the competition was there, and no one did.

I am going to ignore Paula in this recap of last night’s show if you want an opinion on her or what she said, see the previous blog entry.

Asia’h Epperson- “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”- It was a little pitchy at first and her voice was shaky.  She did well for the most part with the vocal, but her stage presence is very off-putting.  Her movements and facial expressions are extremely self-indulgent.  She is not Britney Spears, yet, and should not be acting like it.

The judges were mixed.  She probably deserves to be in the top twelve, but it would not break my heart if she left early.

Kady Malloy- “Who Wants to Live Forever”- Not me if I have to hear that song again.  So you have the whole 80’s to choose from, and you pick this terribly dreary song.  It was one of the worst song choices ever.  She was pitchy, and it was not good.  Simon correctly commented on her, “massive lack of personality.”  Starting last week, every week that she remains on the show, is one more than she should get.

Amanda Overmyer- “I Hate Myself For Loving You”- She is now a classic example of lowering expectations.  The judges were correct in saying that it was her best performance yet, but that does not mean that she was good.  It was the same old, same old, as far as I was concerned.  She was flat (pitch) and screechy.  I hated it, and I’m done with her.  Was this a singer’s song?  No.  She falls into the same category with Kady.  Every week is one too many.

Carly Smithson- “I Drove All Night”- As far as I am concerned, this vocal was up there with Archuleta’s “Image” as one of the best of the season.  The big notes were huge, and she had good diction on a song that would have been easy to lose it.  I could not have disagreed more with Simon’s criticism of the choice of song.

Kristy Lee Cook- “Faithfully”- I’m a big Journey fan (though I never produced them as Randy did), and I was surprised that someone would choose this song for the competition.  I thought it was a little slow, but Kristy proved that it could be slowed down even more.  She held her notes too long, and the song seemed to drone on.  She could have done the country thing without slowing the song down so much, but she did not.  She also had good diction.  Simon was correct to describe it as forgettable.  She could and should probably go home.

Ramiele Maluby- “Against All Odds”- She sang the song technically well.  She has a big voice which suited the song, but the problem is that I do not think she “got” the song.  This is a song sung by a person who is broken, desperate.  She did not convey any of this to the audience.  She sang it like a straight up love song with little emotion or inflection.  Randy expressed this well when he said that she looked like she was thinking about what she was going to do next vocally instead of just singing the song.  She still has one of the better voices in the competition, but Brooke is passing her by on a weekly basis, and that does not bode well for her.

Brooke White- “Love Is a BattleField”-  Brilliant.  Using just the guitar, and turning it into a folky, almost country version was genius.  It was a good, different version with a good vocal.  The judges loved it also (see previous blog entry for more on this discussion).  She will sail into the top twelve and may even crack to top six.

Syesha Mercado- “Saving All My Love For You”- She hit the big notes, and the high notes.  I’m convinced that there are only two other girls who could attempt this song in the competition (Carly and Ramiele).  That being said, she came out and sang it straight up, just like Whitney.  She really needs to put more of her own personality into her songs.  She unfortunately gave a forgettable performance of a very good and difficult song.  She will have no problems going on, but she needs to learn the lesson from Melinda in last year’s competition: Being technically flawless is not enough to win the competition she needs to work on the total package.

All-in-all it was a good night for Idol fans.  Hopefully, we will be able to wave goodbye to Kady and Kristy this even (but I’m really hoping it’s Amanda that’s out).

Paula Abdul, An American Id…iot.

Find my latest American Idol article here.

It seems that every season we are faced with the same question: What the hell is up with Paula?  In the past, there has been ample evidence that she has shown up for judgings and the show drunk (or high, or both), but it’s more than that.

So you have the number one rated show in television that just happens to be one of the most popular shows in history.  Can it really be improved?  Should you tinker with a good thing?  Not many television executives are willing to put their head in that noose, but the answer is, yes.  Yes, it is time to get rid of the most useless thing on the show, Paula.

Her mind-numbing babble is enough to drive a person insane.  This week I was talking to a friend who said that he had to remind his wife that they had just put their two and three year olds to bed after she screamed, “Shut the F— Up!” at the television screen while Paula was rambling on.

She is not relevant.  These judges are put on the show to give an objective opinion.  She, however, is incapable of giving an objective opinion.  Her only good points come when she is reiterating what Randy just said, and this is most of the time.  This is her best option, though, because if she tries to grab one of the other thoughts rattling around in that head of hers, she sounds like a moron. 

Simon showed dismissive impatience with her during Brooke’s performance last night.  After delivering a beautiful version of “Love is a Battlefield” with only a guitar accompaniment, Paula said, “I wish there had been more band.”  I actually spoke to the television screen at this point saying, “What?”  Simon rescued the situation by dismissing Paula’s comment and explaining to her and the contestant that the only reason that the song worked like it did was that it only had the guitar.

Often, she does not comment on the performances at all.  She will look at the contestant, and say (almost like a dirty old man), “You look really good tonight.”  Well, that input would be great, if this was a fashion competition, but I want to know about the singing.

It is sad when people with simple vocabularies try to sound smart.  We had an example of this last night as Paula derailed herself and the whole show.  She was actually trying to avoid the bad analogy of color to describe the song that she used last week (I had an acid freak once tell me that he saw music coming from a stereo while he was tripping).  She instead commented that Ramiele’s singing had a lot of “texture.”  Walls have texture.  Sandpaper has texture. Even an orange’s skin has texture.  The human voice has no texture.  It can have a variety of qualities, but not texture.  She was so thrown off by her own comment that it took about 30 seconds (an eternity on television) for her and the show to recover.

It’s also sad when aging women insist on acting like they are thirteen.  Paula is a judge, not a back-up dancer.  Her attempts to dance like a little girl at the foot of the stage at a big concert are somewhere between sad and frightening.  Sit down and take your job seriously.  If you put a little more into evaluating the performance instead of trying to be part of it, you might come up with something good to say before it is your turn, but I doubt it.

At  one point, realizing that the only decent comments that she makes are when she copies Randy, she said, “I wish I went first, because that is what I was about to say.”  Really.  I remember last year when they changed seats for an episode over a fight she was having with Simon.  She looked lost, and could barely come up with anything to say.  No, we don’t want to do that again. 

What if Simon went first, and then Paula?  This would be a train-wreck.  She would be more lost than ever.  She would have to digest Simon’s comment (good luck), and then come up with something on her own.  I can’t imagine this working.

Please, Idol producers, get rid of her.  The show could only get better without Paula, the Sanjaya of judges.