Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Idol Chat 2008!


And so it begins! Another season of American Idol for me to review, dissect and speculate. With apologies to my non-Idol watching readers, I love this stuff so please indulge me. Anyway, let's launch into it, shall we?

The theme this week was Lennon and McCartney songs, a first-ever for American Idol. I believe till now the rights to many of those songs have been tied up in litigation or were being held hostage by Michael Jackson or some such non-sense. At any rate, it was long overdue and provided the contestants a wealth of excellent materials to choose from. All in all it made for an entertaining evening.

While the number of contestants remains high, I will restrict my comments to who I think are the top three and the bottom three of the night. That said, I was hard pressed to choose a top three despite the judges gushing that this is the most talented crop of singers on the show to date. True, I think the bar has been raised across the board, but I didn't find that there were three clear top contestants last night. But I'll take a stab at it:

TOP THREE:
Chikezie--I'm as surprised as anyone to be naming Chikezie as one of the top three. Frankly I thought he should have been ousted in favor or Danny Noriega last week. But, like Hillary Clinton on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, he finally found his voice. The arrangement of turning "She's a Woman" into a country tune, then taking off 180 degrees in the other direction as a hard-rock tune was quite a risk. It paid off in spades for him though as he managed to pull off the transition seamlessly.
Carly--The Irish lass sang "Come Together" an atypical Beatles tune with risky lyrics for primetime, but she breathed new life into it by committing to the hard-rock nature of it. Also, being a woman, she offers a new perspective on the song. Performed like a pro--one of the best of the night.
Amanda--Another class-A rocker chick singing "You Can't Do That". I put her in the top three by default--I felt she was only slightly better than the rest of the pack last night. She is unique, committed and interesting, but I want to start seeing more variety from her.

BOTTOM THREE
Syesha--"Got to Get You Into My Life" Perhaps it was because she was the first to perform on the new stage and all, but she seemed overwhelmed by the space. The arrangement was a watered down 70s variety show version of the song and the performance milquetoast. Unimpressive.
David Hernandez-- "She was Just 17". Poor David Hernandez has had a hell of a week with rumors swirling around about his gay-stripper past. (And they tried to make us believe he used to work in a pizza parlor!) That said, the poor boy was trying way too hard. There was no bite to the song. It was a cheesy, lame arrangement. Karoake.
Kristy Lee--"Eight Days a Week" Oy. This was bad. She took the suggestion to go country too literally. The song didn't quite work with this "Hee-Haw" arrangement and she spent a lot of the time fighting the old rhythms. Perhaps she deserves credit for taking a risk, but in this case it didn't pay off.
Who Should Go? Kristy Lee--definitely. She probably should have been gone already but her pretty face (and possibly a strong block of country enthusiasts) have kept her in the competition. But it's time to go.

UPDATE:  Well, my bottom three were spot on, but unfortunately David Hernandez is out. (No pun intended)  I think his exit from the show is a bit premature.  I suspect he was the victim of bad publicity.  Pity.

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9 Comments:

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I'm not with ya on Amanda. The best thing about her is her studly father.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Peter said...

No mention of Brooke? I thought her rendition of Let It Be was beautiful. She was focused throughout and delivered a classic translation of the song. I really thought she got it and sung from the heart start to finish. She is probably my favorite so far. But, I only started paying close attention last night. We'll see.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I don't share the lovefest for Brooke--yes, she did a nice job, heartfelt. But that mediocre piano playing reminded me too much of high school variety shows.

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Diane said...

Ack! How is that I've missed this much of the new idol season! Will set the DVR now! Thanks for the summary, though. Now, I'll know who to look out for.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I agree that Brooke did not seem comfortable playing the piano. She was constantly looking down at her hands as though she just learned how to play. But, I did like the fact that her performance did not suffer from the over production and over the top arrangements that we saw from the other contestants. Then again, I am a huge Beatles fan and hate seeing some of these songs torn apart and put back together for cheesy interpretations on national tv. Oh hell, I'll just admit it, I like Brooke in part because she is pretty. There, I said it, I am a simpleton.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Peter, I thought the most egregiously over the top arrangement was David Cook's "Eleanor Rigby" which was lauded by the judges. That is one song where the simpler the arrangement the better--it's all about the lyrics with that song and screaming it a la '80s hair band does it no justice. Besides, I find David Cook smarmy. Don't like him. Don't like him at all.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I completely agree. The cringe factor on Eleanor Rigby was very high indeed.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger cb said...

I can't believe you didn't like Brook's performance--- it nearly made me cry it was so pretty.

I was hoping David Felch-a-lota was going to be in the bottom 3.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger TCho said...

I'm having a hard time remembering the first Beatles week since it was a little while ago, but from what I remember, I really liked Carly, Chikezie and David Cook

I think Kristy Lee's performance goes down as one of the worst of all time

 

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