Idol Chat (Part 1)
Okay. Up till now I've spared you my obsession with certain reality shows. So far you have not had to endure my musings on which of the Amazing Race teams deserves to win and which play dirty. You have not been subjected to my fashion critiques of the creations by Project Runway contestants, but I simply can't keep quiet about American Idol and plan to do weekly recaps till the end of the season. I have chosen not to comment on the ridiculous audition episodes or even the top 24 because by May who even remembers all of them anyway.
First, let me explain why I like American Idol so much: It is a very thorough test of young talent. By the end of the competition the singers have had to prove themselves in a variety of popular genres from country to disco to standards. They have the rare and wonderful opportunity to work one on one with legends of the recording industry like Diana Ross from last night. It is entertainment that literally brings the whole family together. I can sit and discuss this show with my mother or my 13 year old niece. It fills the void of variety entertainment that was missing from television for many years. It's wholesome, those awful numbers they make the kids perform and the Ford commercials are downright adorable. It's like watching kids in a college production. I find the progress of each singer exciting to watch. Finally, the show has credibility. They have several Grammy awards, multi-platinum album sellers and even an Oscar winner among their alumni.
That said, for now I will limit my remarks to who I think were the top two (boy and girl) and my thoughts on who should be voted off and who will be voted off.
Top Female: Melinda Doolittle. The contestants were asked to choose a Diana Ross song and Melinda quite wisely chose "Home" from The Wiz, something with real dramatic meat to it that she could sell not only vocally but also emotionally. She delivered on every point with the poise and professionalism of a veteran performer. Brava!
Top Male: This was hard for me to say, but last night it was Phil Stacey. I think he is a perfect example of why not every balding guy should shave his head and I can't help conjure up images of Speedy the Sperm when I look at him, but the boy does have chops. He can sing. He is far from my favorite of the boys, that would go to Blake (who did himself in with a weird arrangement) or Chris Richardson (who has to watch the whiny unsupported "Justin" sound which will not carry him through to the end) but the best voice of the boys is Chris Sligh who has an absolutely beautiful, God-given instrument but has a look that works against him.
Who Should Be Voted Off: Sanjaya! Oh God, please put this kid out of his misery! But Diana Ross provided some insight as to why he's still around. He's so pathetic he's actually lovable. He has had to endure harsh, sometimes cruel criticism from the judges while maintaining a smile and a good attitude and for that reason people call in to vote for him. There's one of these every year.
Who Will Be Voted Off: Brandon. He's not a bad singer but lacks stage presence. I find him extremely forgettable. He should have been out last week and Jared should have stayed in, but who can figure out the way people vote on this thing.
RESULTS: My predictions were correct. That's all I'm sayin'.