Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Idol Top 10 Women

These are my real time thoughts as I watch the show, so they are untainted by the judges opinions, and will be unedited and messy. But here are my notes in all their glory! They'll hopefully give some insight into my thought process as I'm watching the show

CONTESTANT: Gina Glocksen
SONG: Heart - "Alone"
COMMENTS: Dedicated to her boyfriend. Touching but bland video. "He's my little punk rocker wannabe", which is funny because it's not exactly like she's a punk rocker, doing this song. Really dangerous song choice, given that Carrie Underwood's version of this is one of the best/most famous AI performances. Don't like the red dress. The beginning of this song requires a bit more of a light touch than she can really give. And it's not good. But she's definitely got the vocal power to pull out the rockin parts! I love her lower register. Another good performance from Gina, despite the slow start. Judges love it, saying that it's a good choice of song. Simon says she isn't edgy enough. But what I love about her voice is that it naturally adds edge to the sappy pop songs she does. She's not dressed right? I thought this was a singing competition! Simon way off the mark here. But unless she can learn to do non-power songs, she might be in trouble.

CONTESTANT: Alaina Alexander
SONG: Dixie Chicks - "Not Ready to Make Nice"
COMMENTS: Alaina is obviously attractive, but something about her just looks off to me. Love her dress, like her hair too. Man, she looks good with her hair up in her video. I hope she becomes good because being a shallow man I always root for the hottest girls to go on. She's doing the most overrated Dixie Chicks song. The problem with this song is that it requires a great power and anger and attitude that Alaina is totally not bringing. Her phrasing is really nice (one of the best of all the contestants), and she's got a nice tone, but she's really off pitch. Dancing was awful. Really bad song choice. I like her voice and phrasing but she needs vocal training. She's not ready for this competition and she's probably toast, which is too bad because I like her. I'd vote for her, but let's put her out of her misery folks. Judges are basically right about the performance, though I would have stated it in nicer terms.

SONG: Gladys Knight - "Midnight Train to Georgia"
COMMENTS: As I've said before, though I respect her talent, I'm not the biggest LaKisha fan. Living in Georgia I've heard this song about 100 times too many. She's got great power and she knows how to use the runs, but I still just don't care for the tone of her voice, and her interpretation skills are nothing special. But great power and great gymnastics; this was, like last week, a very good performance. But like last week it's just one I'm not like blown away by. Unlike the judges, I actually liked it as much as or better than last week. She put way too many runs in both weeks. I've disagreed with Simon on almost every contestant this year, which is making me so confused. Even when I do agree with him he goes into stupid crap about their "attitude" or something that I just find so off the mark. She's missing her "swagger" or something. Whatever. She's going on and she deserves it, but she's just not my favorite of the big divas this year.

CONTESTANT: Melinda Dolittle
SONG: "My Funny Valentine" by lots of people.
COMMENTS: She's the only person so far in the last two episodes who has dedicated her performance to friends, as opposed to parents or grandparents or significant others. I like this girl, she's meek and mousey. Very good singing, as usual from her, but she seems to be overpowering this a tad bit. It's a very simple song though, so you've gotta do something. She's got such a rich tone to her voice though. Good phrasing and interpretation. I think she laid it on too thick, and she needs to improve her performance skills, but this is the best performance thus far. Maybe a little overpraised, but I don't necessarily disagree that this is the best performance of season 6 so far. Just that I'd give it like an 8/10 whereas they seem to be giving it 10/10 praise. She's the most talented performer in the competition. I fear, though, that I'm gonna get so tired of this style of singing by the time the season is over. Melinda looks really uncomfortable with this banter.

CONTESTANT: Antonella Barba
SONG: Celine Dion - "Because You Loved Me"
COMMENTS: Just based on this singer and the artist she's doing I'm dreading this. But let's see which Celine song she chooses, at least. Dedicated to her brother! I think this is the first sibling dedication so far. Her video was real cute. Like Alaina, I actually like the tone to her voice, she's just not singing the song well. She really badly wants to be a type of singer she's not. Stick to what you can do. Very bland, this is a really, really bad performance. She's just got no musical smarts at all and cannot stay on pitch. Eek. Second week in a row that all they've said good at her is that she's attractive which is just so condescending and prickish. If somebody said that to me I'd deck him ("Well you suck and you have no talent and we hate you, but you are hot!"). Simon and Randy on the mark here. First time I've completely agreed with Simon so far. The talkback to Simon came off as really bitchy. I think she's here to stay and I've made my peace with that. Or at least I will have made my peace with that until somebody I love gets eliminated.

CONTESTANT: Jordin Sparks
SONG: Christina Aguilera - "Reflection"
COMMENTS: I love Jordin and I love many Xtina songs so this will hopefully go well. Another sibling dedication. Jordin is so adorable. Not one of my favorite Xtina songs, but ah well. She owns the cheesiness here. This is a musically perfect performance, as far as I can tell, but she's not really doing anything to make a boring song any more listenable. This season, just having a bunch of vocal power ain't gonna cut it. Nothing crazy here with the interpretation or performance. She's going to need to show something else. Randy says it's pitchy, which it may well be (I often can't hear when singers go off pitch since I'm kinda tone deaf). I didn't think it was bad, I just thought it was kind of bland. Not as good as "Give Me One Reason", but she's just so naturally likeable. Judges overpraising this a little. Haha making herself short next to Simon. Made me smile. I like this girl a lot. Lots of divas this season splitting votes, so I hope she's not a "surprising" pre-finals elimination.

CONTESTANT: Stephanie Edwards
SONG: Beyonce - "Dangerously In Love"
COMMENTS: Initial reaction - Whoa, filled with way too much melisma and vibrato. There's some nice phrasing in here, but I'm not 100% sure if it's in the original or if it's her interpretation. I have yet to hear a good performance of a Beyonce song on Idol. Oooh, that glory note was very good. The performance picked up at the end. A bit "so what" but I liked it. I predict it will get really overpraised again. Think the judges are pushing these divas or what? Randy says it was "way better than last week" which I just completely disagree with. Simon says that somebody is putting their mark down, coming out to win, has the right attitude, which he keeps saying and I still have no idea what it means. Bad song choice.

SONG: Nina Simone - "Feeling Good" (?)
COMMENTS: I love Leslie Hunt a lot, because she's got cute indie girl looks! But also because she's the one remaining female singer (other than the toast Alaina Alexander) who isn't a big power singer. I have nothing against that type of singing but it consistently sickens me how much American Idol promotes that only. Some variety please. I really, really hope she gets through because a finals filled with 6 sing-your-head off, overpowering, loud female singers is gonna get real old. Anyways, all of this was written before she even started singing, so lets see how she does. Leslie's dressed really casual. Her speaking voice bugs. OK, here we go. First song so far I don't recognize at all. Same song AJ did!!! I love the tone to her voice so much, and she's got a great touch and phrasing. The scatting is not great. But she's still got a nice touch to her voice. Got worse as the song went on. She's getting savaged here (I still think that non-powerful singers are underrated on this show). I hope she doesn't get eliminated. Better than AJ's. I liked it a lot.

CONTESTANT: Haley Scarnato
SONG: Whitney Houston - "The Queen of the Night"
COMMENTS: This is really, really weird. A little off pitch. Man, she is absolutely crazy, and she's trying to have some kind of edge that she doesn't have. Not much to say here, this is pretty forgettable stuff. The song itself sucks ass, so maybe that's coloring it. She's trying really hard to be different, but this is one of the oddest AI performances I've ever heard. This wasn't any better than last week, I disagree with the judges. At least she was having some fun with it. Simon - "Manic, verging on insane", completely on the mark. Simon was great this time.

CONTESTANT: Sabrina Sloan
SONG: Whitney Houston - "All The Man I Need"
COMMENTS: A lot of power, but not much there. I feel like a broken record here, but there's just so many singers this time who are BIG power singers that don't have much musical smarts or a great tone to their voice to back it up. The only one who went beyond the sheer power this week was Melinda Dolittle (also LaKisha somewhat). She's trying to overpower me with her voice. Coming this late in the show I'm just a little tired of this type of singing. The runs were way too much. I don't like her, she seems to have no control over her voice at all. Predicably overpraised.

This was a bad episode. Way, worse than last week. I am not feeling this season at all.

Top to bottom:
1. Melinda Dolittle - "My Funny Valentine"
2. Leslie Hunt - "Feeling Good"
3. Gina Glocksen - "Alone"
4. LaKisha Jones - "Midnight Train to Georgia"
5. Alaina Alexander - "Not Ready to Make Nice"
----Good/Bad Line----
6. Jordin Sparks - "Reflection"
7. Haley Scarnato - "The Queen of the Night"
8. Stephanie Edwards - "Dangerously In Love" (the more I think about this the more I think the great fireworks at the end don't overcome the bad actual vocals)
9. Sabrina Sloan - "All The Man I Need"
10. Antonella Barba - "Because You Loved Me"

20 American Idol Contestants ranked top to bottom (based on both performances, their personality, etc.)

1. Leslie Hunt (I'm still rooting hard for her for the sake of variety, and because I like her goofy personality and she's entertaining, and I just wanna see her on TV. And I think she's attractive.)
2. Melinda Dolittle (She gave my favorite performance 2 weeks in a row)
3. Blake Lewis
4. Jordin Sparks
5. Gina Glocksen
6. AJ Tabaldo
7. Phil Stacey (slight boringness and has trouble starting songs but nice AM radio voice)
8. Chris Sligh
9. Stephanie Edwards
10. LaKisha Jones
11. Brandon Rogers
12. Alaina Alexander (shallowness! Plus I do like her singing and phrasing)
13. Nick Pedro
14. Haley Scarnato
15. Sabrina Sloan
16. Sanjaya Malakar
17. Sundance Head
18. Jared Cotter
19. Antonella Barba
20. Chris Richardson

Greg's dream world final 12: Leslie, Melinda, Jordin, Gina, Stephanie, LaKisha; Blake, AJ, Phil, Chris S, Brandon, Nick (You'll notice that despite the dominance of girls at the top this is almost entirely my top 12, the only difference being Alaina swapping out for Nick, which I don't really care about.)
Would Send Home Tomorrow: Chris R., Jared; Antonella, Sabrina

Top 12 predictions: For the guys, Chris S., Chris R., Phil, and Blake seem to be pretty much locks. Sundance seems to be a near lock. Leaving one final slot that I think Brandon will take.
For the girls, Melinda and LaKisha are the only two I'm certain about. Stephanie and Jordin seem like good bets. I'm gonna guess Gina and Antonella for the last two slots. I hope that Leslie sneaks in.
Going Home Tomorrow Predix: Haley and Alaina seem like fairly easy calls for the girls. Jared seems very likely for the guys. Last guy slot very hard to predict, I'd guess Nick Pedro but I don't feel great about it.



Blogger Poster Girl said...

I don't understand at all why the judges keep raving about Chris R.; I haven't liked either of his performances. Among the guys, I'd definitely take Blake over him any day.

I can't say I'm too surprised with tonight's results, but I am disappointed.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, tonight's results sucked. Leslie eliminated, wtf America? I also liked AJ and Nick. I liked Alaina too but she kinda deserved to be eliminated. Marching ever towards the inevitable and boring finals of five divas and Antonella.

8:41 AM  

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