Wednesday, April 25, 2007

American Idol 4/24

Idol Gives Back! It's finally here. That means we get to hear cheesy inspirational songs, and no mentor to speak of. Ryan Seacrest called Bono a mentor, but he must have meant for the charity, because we saw hide nor hair of the U2 frontman all night.

Chris Richardson - "Change the World"
Chris gives the Eric Clapton song his smooth vocals, and seems to charm the judges with it. Although the judges didn't criticize much of anyone tonight, he got some pretty good props, especially considering he went first. Randy thinks he's "in it to win it," the first time the show's cliche has been spoken to him, I believe.

Melinda Doolittle - "There Will Come A Day"
Don't forget to look to country music, if you want something cheesy and inspirational. That's what Melinda (and later, Phil) did with this Faith Hill number. I thought she was good, but she's just failing to wow me like she used to. Maybe just because she's not having to go through that typical "American Idol growing experience."

Blake Lewis - "Imagine"
You know that sound when you suck air in through your teeth? That's what I did when I realized Blake was doing this classic song. I guess, to me it's just untouchable. You just can't do it without sounding lounge-y and like a bad imitation of the original. I do believe he was sincere, but come on! Nobody will ever be John Lennon.

LaKisha Jones - "I Believe"
Dangerous territory, doing a Fantasia song. The judges loved her so much, and LaKisha didn't compare for them here. Plus, if I remember correctly, wasn't this the song Fantasia sang when she won the competition? Jumping the gun a bit, I think.

Phil Stacey - "The Change"
I think Simon hit the nail on the head when he said that Phil should have brought more of his country flavor with this one. I mean, it's a Garth Brooks song! But it was still a solid performance, and he's looking much better up there than he did a few weeks ago.

Jordin Sparks - "You'll Never Walk Alone"
Whoa, look out! Jordin shows off her insane talent with this old song I've never heard of. Once again, I think Simon was right when he said that she could record that. She sounded great. Jordin's doing the right thing here; she's looking better every week, and may eventually outshine Melinda if she keeps it up.

Bottom Three: Chris, LaKisha, Blake
Going Home: LaKisha

Monday, April 23, 2007

that's what I be doin'

Sometimes, I spend time on the internet at work to take my mind off the subject at hand, when I need a break or whatever. Today, my wanderings led me to the Williams-Sonoma website (a favorite of mine). Call me a goofball, but I think it's fun to see what crazy things I might want to put on personalized items. Here's one of my favorites:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

American Idol Results 4/18

Well, Crazy Hair finally leaves us. Not much to say, except that things should be a little better next week. Interesting to see that Blake was in the bottom three. My guess? Voter complacency. It happens every year.

Bye, Sanjaya!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

American Idol 4/17

Okay, it's time for the annual Country Week. This time, we have Martina McBride handing out the advice and compliments. She seems really nice, though the beginning was a little awkward when all the contestants stood in front of her and sang one of her own songs ("Independence Day"). She didn't seem to be of too much help, but she wasn't bad, either.

Phil Stacey - "Where the Blacktop Ends"
I'm not a big fan of most country music, but I thought Phil wasn't bad here. It was a good opening to the show, it showcased his strengths, and the judges loved it. He's still not an American Idol, but he's definitely not the worst of the night. I'd put him in the top three.

Jordin Sparks - "Broken Wing"
Picking a ballad in a genre she's not too comfortable with was totally the right way to go. She sounded so great here, and all the judges were blown away. Simon said for the first time, he could see her winning it all, and I can see it, too, if the voters stick with her.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Something to Talk About"
Eeek! What wasn't wrong about this performance? The bandanna, the hair, the vocals, the awkward, stiff choreography... enough said.

LaKisha Jones - "Jesus Take the Wheel"
I like Carrie Underwood, but not this song so much. LaKisha stretched, and didn't quite pull it off. I feel bad, because she chose the song for its "single mom" theme, but you can't just feel the music; you have to be able to sing it well, too. Unless you're an awkward 17 year old (see above).

Chris Richardson - "Mayberry"
I still like Chris, and he was wise to choose Rascal Flatts (he has the most similar vocals to them, I think). Not his best performance, though. I hope he gets to stay!

Melinda Doolittle - "Trouble Is a Woman"
The real Melinda is back this week, with a sassy, confident number. I couldn't find anything wrong with her performance this week, and neither could the judges. A+.

Blake Lewis - "When the Stars Go Blue"
At times, I heard the Tim McGraw version the show mentioned, and other times I heard the Ryan Adams version (the original?). Blake is smart to pick a song that's already been made over before (he's done this on "Lovesong", as well), and sounds just fine here. He's still the judges' favorite guy.

Bottom Three: Chris, LaKisha, Sanjaya
Going Home: LaKisha. I think it's going to be a shocker this week, no matter what. Unless it's Chris, at which point I will be sad, but it could happen. I have to put Sanjaya in the bottom three this week. He really deserves it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

fly and (if fly then hot) implies hot

Here is a great article from The Village Voice, breaking down Mims's "This Is Why I'm Hot."

Some of my favorite diagrams from the article:

Interesting stuff about being single

So, if you're from the South (like me), or the East, it's good to be a guy. Out West, it's great to be a girl. Why? The distribution of single people across the U.S.

Orange is for the ladies, and blue is for the dudes.

American Idol Results 4/11

Well, I guess it wasn't too hard to see that coming. Bye, Haley! You were probably the most fashionable contestant this year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol 4/10

Well, this week Jennifer Lopez herself graces us with her presence. She seems a lot nicer on the show than the primadonna tales I've heard. Maybe her third marriage has brought her down to earth a bit. Anyway, Mrs. Lo brings a little salsa into the mix for this week's theme.

Melinda Doolittle - "Sway"
I agree with Simon that this performance was forgettable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it certainly wasn't bad. It's just that nothing was really memorable about this performance. Plain black dress, calm melody and rhythm, but no mistakes, either.

LaKisha Jones - "Conga"
What in the world made this girl want to do a song she can't pronounce the name of? She admitted to stepping outside her comfort zone, and that certainly seems to be the case. I don't think she's cut out for high tempo pop or Latin music. LaKisha shines on slower songs and ballads, and this night confirmed that.

Chris Richardson - "Smooth"
Jennifer Lopez took the song a whole step up for Chris, and it almost seemed like they could have gone a little more. The song is so low, which worked for Rob Thomas, but not so much for Chris. Looking forward to seeing a little more classic pop out of this guy, if he makes it to next week.

Haley Scarnato - "Turn the Beat Around"
Haley may love to hear percussion, but I don't think I really love to hear Haley. Gloria Estefan does so much better on this song that I really think Haley may have done herself in here. The parts where she's talking about the rhythm and the drums (rat-tat-tat-tat, etc.), she seemed to lose the beat and the key all at the same time. She's beautiful, but it's time for her to go.

Phil Stacey - "Maria, Maria"
Pretty much an exact copy of the original, except not as good, and by a white guy. He wasn't the worst performance of the night, but a weird week like this can send anyone home. This isn't anyone's type of music that is in competition right now.

Jordin Sparks - "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
You could definitely tell Jordin's having fun here. Not a big vocal stretch for her, but she should be safe. She picked an easy song on a night when everyone is learning a new style. Smart girl.

Blake Lewis - "I Need to Know"
I would have been scared to pick a song by the guest mentor's husband, but Blake did it and came through with a pretty good performance. I'm not a big fan of the song, but I think that Blake did the equivalent of what Jordan did. Not a terribly difficult song, but a good night to go that route.

Sanjaya Malakar - "B├ęsame Mucho"
This was probably my favorite performance from Sanjaya, which means I actually liked it. He was seated, which helped preclude any cheesy hand motions, and his voice came through pretty well. It's a simple, sweet sounding song, which works for his voice, and the only parts I thought he was too quiet were when the chorus kicked in. Not bad.

Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Chris
Going Home: Haley. The other girls completely outshine her, and she doesn't have as much of a niche as the others.

Friday, April 06, 2007

American Idol Results 4/4

Well, once again I almost called the bottom three, but instead of Sanjaya going home, we say goodbye to Gina. Poor thing. She knew she wasn't going to win it, but I personally think it's a shame she's going before Phil, Haley, and Sanjaya. I think she was totally a top 5 or 6 contender. Not anymore.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

American Idol 4/3

Okay, this week is was all about Tony Bennett, so the dudes and chicks sang The Classics. It was nice to hear some of them come out of their usual range. I'm kinda not super digging on the show right now because all the Sanjaya fever is turning me off, but I'd like to see it through, so here we go.

Blake Lewis - "Mack the Knife"
I can see why the judges like Blake, but for me, this performance wasn't as smooth as it needed to be. To me, this song has always been as smooth as silk. Blake's version had a few snags in it.

Phil Stacey - "Night and Day"
I think Tony was right in directing Phil to sing this one a little more choppy, instead of dragging it out into a dramatic ballad. Of course, Phil didn't take the advice. He hasn't been looking as good lately, but you never know.

Melinda Doolittle - "I Got Rhythm"
I read an article that said that Melinda's happy puppy act was getting a little old, and I tend to agree. She's still a great singer, though, and not having any trouble.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
I don't think I have ever heard this song before, but I still like Chris. I like the songs he picks, and his personality. I think the only thing that worries me is that I don't know if I would buy an album he puts out. I imagine they'll stick him in some r&b pigeonhole. Hmmm.

Jordin Sparks - "On a Clear Day"
She sounded a little forced on this one, but I think Jordin's still doing well. It sounds like none of these songs were tunes she knew. That's realistic for someone who was born around 1990.

Gina Glocksen - "Smile"
I liked Gina here. She had that old-school pinup makeup on, and the song suited her well. The judges liked it, too.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Cheek to Cheek"
This whole song sounded like pure cheese when Sayjaya sang it. It's supposed to be romantic, but I couldn't help feeling like I was on a retirement cruise or something (not to sound too much like Simon here). I really feel sorry for him.

Haley Scarnato - "Ain't Misbehavin'"
All I can say here, is it's pretty obvious someone is going for the male audience when the first thing you think about is, "she sure likes to show off her body!" Not to mention the "great legs" comment from Simon.

LaKisha Jones
- "Stormy Weather"
I liked this song okay, but LaKisha doesn't really command my attention like some of the other contestants. Does it seem to anyone else like she's going through the motions a little?

Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Sanjaya
Going Home: Phil. He's gotten worse every week, went earlier than the other two, and Howard Stern isn't asking anyone to vote for him.