Idol Chat 2008 (Part 3)
Sadly, this proved to be another lack-lustre week on American Idol. The singers had to choose songs from the year they were born which made me feel incredibly old. Very few of the singers seemed to resonate with their material which made it hard to choose any stand-out performances. Also, this early in the competition the singers haven't really stepped up their game. They are just trying to make it to the next week. It's only after almost all of them have spent a week in the bottom three that you start to see who's in it to win. So, on with my top three and bottom three picks for the week:
Michael Johns "We are the Champions" Finally Michael lives up to his potentional. Perfect song choice. Great presence. He seemed like a star tonight. I'm so glad--I was beginning to worry about him.
David Cook "Billy Jean" David gets extra credit for taking a risk with a really wierd three quarter arrangement that I thought for sure was doomed when I first heard it. But he pulled it off. It was a really strong performance. I was impressed. I do find him smug and affected though which could be his demise in the end. And I'm really over the Valerie Cherish yoga bow.
Carly Smithson "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Great vocal. She's got a great stage presence but I could have used a little more commitment in this performance. Still, even Carly on a bad day ranks among the top three for me.
Jason Castro --I forget the name of the song because the performance was so forgettable. This kid has nothing to offer except a pretty face and a nice presence. But to quote what Simon always says: "it's a singing competition". He just doesn't have a good voice. It's weak and breathy. He's not a good vocalist.
Ramiele--"Alone" I believe Ramiele has a good voice, but she never seems to bring anything fresh or new to her performances. She seems to lack the sophistication that should accompany a mature sounding voice like hers. I know she was sick this week, but this just seemed like a lot of screaming to me. She probably over-rehearsed and wore herself out. I'm getting a little tired of her.
Kristy Lee Cook--"Proud to be an American" This was Kristy's best week by far, but she still ranks among the bottom three for me for the sole reason that she has serious pitch problems. There are moments that are absolutely agonizing to listen to. I give her credit for a brilliant song choice, though. She knows it's the country bloc that's keeping her in the competition and to use the anniversary of the war to manipulate the audience into voting for her was a wise strategic move.
Who I'd like to see go: Jason Castro. This one-trick pony has worn out his welcome with me. He will live to see another week though because he's precisely the kind of non-threatening pretty boy the 13 year-old girls voting out there love.
UPDATE: Well, Chikezie is out. I'm sorry to see him go because there is no denying he is a great vocalist. He's also very likable. But where I think Chikezie fell short was as a performer. He came on like gangbusters a couple of weeks ago with a great arrangement, tried unsuccessfully to repeat it the following week, then changed gears with a rather old-fashioned R&B ballad this week. He seemed to be searching for his niche but never quite found it.