Negatives: Personally, I found the excitement level of this week’s Idol low. I think it was solely because Kellie is gone. With Kellie, you had that level of unpredictability which made things interesting … you didn’t know if she would deliver a good performance or an embarassingly bad one. And you never knew what she was going to say when she spoke. There was some enjoyment in that, at least for me. And though all of the remaining performers are quite talented, they are sooooooooo predictably good. I think that makes the group as a whole seem a bit blah, even when they are trying to flavor the evening with obvious attempts not to be blah.
Positives: A well-medicated Paula is so much more bearable than a self-medicating and liquored-up Paula. She didn’t say too much last night. And though I’m not sure if it was the medication or the tight time constraints they had with everyone doing two songs, it sure was good for the show. And though it can be a negative at times, with everyone left in the competition being a skilled singer … there’s a nice ease with which the show can be viewed … knowing I won’t have to feel embarrassed for someone’s poor performance.
As far as the individual performances go …
Elliot – Personally, I didn’t think he sucked. He’s got a great voice and I really think he can sing. I do think his second performance was stronger than his first, though I think he lacks strong song selection skills. He is at huge risk, as he has been all along, of being the forgotten, skilled singer. He blends in too well. He needs to pick songs that makes him memorable for the performance, not forgettable because he didn’t suck.
Paris – You know, there is just something weird about Paris. I give up. That squeaky little girl voice disappears when she sings and is lost completely in her voice, which is strong and mature, but somehow a little girl personality comes through in her performance every time … so regardless of whether she’s singing an older song or a younger song, it feels like she’s playing dress up. And though she sang quite well, she’s weirding me out. Almost as bad as vicious squirrels !!!
Chris – Phreaking wow. Holy phreaking wow. In fact, after his first performance … I swear I heard God even say “Holy phreaking wow.” It was a rocking performance. However, his second performance, though solid, was a vocal challenge as his voice was wearing down, but more disappointingly, was a lame song choice.
Katharine – She totally lost the song in the first performance … was off timing almost from the start. I felt sorry for her because that just happens, it’s not a reflection of singing talent. The second performance was better, and she seemed to be enjoying herself, but I was bothered by her being on her knees and back throughout the song and I thought her top made her look thick.
Taylor – I think he’s clearly in the lead to win American Idol because of his uniqueness, but I really don’t get the Taylor intrique. If he wins American Idol, he’ll go the way the only other boy winner of American Idol went … a quick road to nowhere when the one trick pony novelty wears off. He’s a herky, jerky tourettes style performer with above average singing skills. He might be a hit in some niches, but the boy won’t play in Peoria.
First to Worst: Chris, Elliot, Taylor, Katharine, Paris
Bottom Three: I can’t remember when they get down to just five or lower, do they keep doing the bottom three or do they just do the bottom two? I’ll just keep doing the bottom three until we run out of three or they don’t do it one week (or they announce it in advance). Bottom three this week I think are fairly predictable … Paris, Katharine and Elliot.
Partying With Kellie: Purely because I’m on a mission now to get this one right finally, not because of any skill in predicting it, but for the bazillionith week in a row, I’m saying Paris is going home.
Your “take” makes me laugh out loud! I love your weekly insights.
Yeah…I enjoyed Taylor too and you know I’ve liked him since his audition. His first song was just goofiness but he did do a very nice version of Something… and, while a lovely song, it wasn’t particularly challenging.
But I’m kind of with you on how low-energy the show seems to be now. It’s obviously affecting my desire to advocate for those I like.
Also, with the show getting down to the nitty gritty, the tone of the judges is changing. For instance, I don’t think Simon apologized to Katharine because he thought her performance of the WH song was great when watched back. (Although I do think he was unduly harsh.) I think he (and the producers) realized, “Crap, she could win this and here Simon is, saying things that negatively affect her brand and that of the show. We gotta do something. Quick! Apologize and look like you mean it!”
So, at this point, while everyone can obviously sing well, thoroughly honest evaluations are starting to get checked up a bit.
But it’s okay. I’m so completely sucked back into 24 and Prison Break, it doesn’t matter. Plus, I’ve been focusing on my own playing. I landed my first gig (in this town) since we moved here from Austin and I need to be very ready for it.
Hmmm … my comments seem to be dorked up … amyways … Howie !!! Where are you ??? I think you need to kick my ass on the Taylor review, I forgot what a great rendition of the Beatles tune he did … I thoroughly enjoyed that one.
…unfortunately, I think you’re right…Kellie is going to have to leave…she just hasn’t had a good performance for way too long.
I think it’ll be really close between Kellie and Paris…but, this week, I think Paris will go.
I’m still disappointed the Mandisa left…I kept wanting to hear her sing “It’s Raining Men.” I think she coulda rocked that song!
I’m sticking to my original prediction (made back at the beginning of the twelve)…Chris will end up as the next American Idol…hands down…bank on it.
Amy, you and I may have been separated at birth. From the assessment of Kellie’s performance to a shared vision of destruction for Babs and hatred for the so-called Perky One, we are so pop-culturally sympatico it’s frightening. My disdain for BS is exceeded perhaps only by my loathing for most Steven Spielberg movies, with the exception of Duel, his directorial debut. (Note: As a defense against accusations of antisemitism, I must point out that, in balance, I love Ben Stein and Ron Silver. Further, my mom’s maternal grandmother was very likely a Polish Jew, making me, according to the technical rules, also Jewish, albeit an atheistic one.) Anyhoo, I cannot WAIT to read your post to Marie tonight.
So…sis, I had to walk away from Kellie at parts, too and, luckily, the sound the sizzling fajitas I was making drowned parts of her out. Further, while she is oh-so-sweet, her ditziness has rolled way past “cute and entertaining” to “embarassing and socially awkward.”
I was furious at how mean the judges were to Katharine. I think even Boccelli was eyeing her after the operatic duet en Italiano. I may have said this before, but I HATE the feedback, “That song was way too big for you.” It is nothing but an insult, pure and simple. It’s the same as saying, “You are not capable of singing ANY arrangement of that song in an entertaining way because you’re just not that talented and probably never will be.” I don’t think there’s any song that can’t be arranged in a way to work for someone with a nice voice. “You sang it terribly” is much less insulting and de-moralizing than “It’s way too big for you.” Sadly, it has become a catchphrase for the judges.
Marie also made the observation that at least Kat wasn’t all coked up. I don’t know enough about Whitney to know she did that sort of thing. I’m more of a Paste Magazine subscriber than People.
Awesome fun piece o’writing, Ames.
Your long lost brother,
P.S. Did I ever tell you that I originally found your (test) site by making a typo when checking to see if “www.ANYways.com” was available? That turned out to be such an entertaining happy accident.