Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Idol Chat (Part 5)

I was generally underwhelmed by the performances on this week's American Idol. The theme was Latin music and the celebrity guest was Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo proved to be a pretty insightful coach which didn't surprise me because even if she's not the greatest singer, she understands showmanship and what makes an exciting performance. Unfortunately though, it wasn't enough to inspire great performances in the contestants.

About halfway through the evening Simon remarked that he didn't see a progression in the singers from last week to this week. I think the reason for that was due to the style of the music. Latin music is rhythmic and percussive, it's about movement and feeling and not necessarily about great vocals. It simply doesn't demand it. Consequently, some of the better singers in the competition were at a loss with this genre not being able to rely on brilliant vocals to see them through. That said, here are my thoughts on the contestants for this week:

Melinda: Chose to sing "Sway." A great old standard that Michael Buble has re-popularized recently. Melinda sang with her usual polish and style, but her hairdo made her look old and she seemed uncomfortable letting her body feel the music. But even Melinda's so-so performance is head and shoulders above the other contestants.

Lakisha: Sang "Conga." It should have been a great number for her. She looked good and sounded good but once again, failed to understand what the song was about. She didn't crack a smile once through the entire song which is supposed to inspire its listener to "Come on baby, do the Conga." To which I would respond to Lakisha "Why? Because you look like you're having so much fun? No thanks."

Chris Richardson: Sang Santana's "Smooth." He started off rough vocally but one thing Chris is able to do week after week is find his groove with a song, let go, and really make it his own. He got there about halfway through the song for a pretty respectable showing this week. Plus, he's damn cute.

Haley: Sang "Turn the Beat Around." She looked great, allowed herself physical freedom but vocally she can only do so much given her talent. She did her best with the number which is only average compared to the other contestants. I felt sorry for her after Simon's insulting and sexist remarks on her performance, though. He basically accused her of being a bimbo which I think was uncalled for. It's one thing to criticize her performance, it's quite another to infer things about her character.

Phil Stacey: Sang "Maria, Maria." Once again, it's his look that gets in the way. It doesn't help that he doesn't seem to connect with the lyrics enough when he sings, either. I'm not sure if the cracks toward the end of the song were a deliberate choice judging from where they fell in the music, or simply from vocal fatigue. He's a capable singer, but not an American Idol. Plus, as Scott says, he looks like he's recovering from some kind of medical treatment.

Jordin Sparks: Sang "Rhythm is Gonna Get You." She gave a youthful, vibrant performance and worked in enough riffs to show off her vocal range. However, she seemed physically uncomfortable in the middle of the song where she should have let go physically which was a problem that plagued many of the contestants this week.

Blake: Sang "I Need to Know." He was good but not great this week. However, he was one of the few contestants who did not shy away from the sexy side of Latin music and therefore turned in a pretty respectable performance.

Sanjaya: Sang the old crooner standard "Besame Mucho" and surprisingly, didn't suck. He looked great and chose to simply sit and sing unlike the other contestants who felt obligated to move around whether they looked good doing it or not. It made him the most original performance of the night. The vocals were thin and watery, but his stage presence made up for it.

Best performances this week: Melinda and Blake, but only by default. No one wowed me this time.

Worst Performance: Haley

Who will and should be voted off: Haley or Phil Stacey. Ironically, I think Sanjaya deserves to go on to next week after this last performance.
RESULTS UPDATE 4/11: Haley is sent home. No surprises there. She did as well as she possibly could in the competition given her talent, but it was time. Total upset that Chris Richardson was in the bottom 3 tho! I'm putting his call in number on speed dial next week.



At 1:42 AM, Blogger Palm Springs Savant said...

I totally agree with your summary. I actually Tivod last night and played it back before I watched tonight. OMH will someone PLEASE vote off Sanjaya already?

I will say this about JLo- I really like her. She just seems so cool...someone I want to meet!


At 10:01 AM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

My poor Haley. I'm sad to see her go...

At 1:30 AM, Blogger TCho said...

I thought J. Lo was so cool, especially when she was like "you don't want all the latinos going 'it's moon-YA-kee-ta." Lol.

I liked Chris the best, although for like the third week in a row, he messed up the lyrics to a song.

I liked the first two seconds of Lakisha's performance. After that it was really boring.

everyone else was kind of boring too. I didn't even really like Jordin that much or Melinda. I'm cringing when I say that I liked Sanjaya even though his coying glances at the camera made me want to vomit.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger TCho said...

oh and speaking of Michael Buble, omg, I thought he was such a tool.


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