Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Idol Talk: Thank God for Better

Apparently, the boys got the snot scared out of them last week and decided that they would like to appear in the last six episodes of the show after all. Huge improvements, almost across the board. Almost, but we'll get to that.

The girls, on the other hand, were a bit of a mixed bag this week. A few were superb, while others fell painfully short.

On with the reviews:

Phil - "Missing You" - I really like Phil and I really like the tone of his voice. He avoided the weak start he usually has and finished fairly strong. But like Simon, I'm not sure his voice is distinctive enough to make him a star. And I'm not sure that there's anything he can do about that.

Jared - "Let's Get It On" - His singing was SO much better than last week, so I was really quite pleasantly surprised. I think he overcompensated for last week's snooze fest in this performance, and in doing so might get a kickback from the Wisconsin cheese industry.

AJ - "Feeling Good" - I like this song. I like the Nina Simone version, and I even like the Michael Buble version. AJ sounded like a good way. He did some interesting things with the arrangement and aside from a couple of minor pitch issues, it worked.

Sanjaya - "Stepping Out" - Bad. Just very bad. The MJ outfit, the high school show choir dance steps, the much too mellow interpretation, the utter and complete lack of modulation. All bad.

Chris S. - "Trouble" - I didn't know this song, which usually makes it difficult for me to like a performance, but not in this case. Loved it. He may have the best male voice of the season. Rich and powerful and wonderful.

Nick - "Fever" - I like this song, too. His voice was a good fit for this song, and he managed to avoid cheesing it up, but I'm a little worried that it's not suited for many other genres. We may never know.

Blake - "Virtual Insanity" - I didn't like this song, but I can appreciate the technical skill required to sing it well, which Blake seems to have in abundance. Loved the high note in the middle of his scat and would love to see him tackle a real jazz standard that called for a great scat in the middle of some quality singing.

Brandon - "Time After Time" - Gotta give the boy credit for quick thinking. When he realized that Jarred had apparently lost his sponsorship from Serta, he jumped right in to take over. I don't understand how the judges failed to note that he was also about a half a note flat the entire song. It was painful.

Chris R. - "Geek In The Pink" - I don't know this one either and the title sounds like it might be a wee bit pornographic, doesn't it? I still don't know if it is or not because I couldn't understand a word the kid sang. I have to say it was much less nasal and bobbleheaded than last week, which can only be a good thing.

Sundance - "Mustang Sally" - There's the Sundance I've been waiting for. What the hell took him so long to show up? It was upbeat and fun and sounded really good. Now that he has gotten over his stage fright, he could be a real factor in this competition.

The Girls:

Gina - "Alone" - Girl's got game. Ann or Nancy Wilson has a terrific voice (I can never remember which one sings and which one married the director) and it requires no small amount of guts to take on a song that powerful. I applaud the effort.

Alaina - "I'm Not Ready To Make Nice" - Very meh. She's a very pretty Jennifer Anniston look-a-like with a very thin, weak voice. It started out not sounding terrible and I don't know how it turned out. I couldn't hear her over the band and the background singers. She couldn't even hear herself.

LaKisha - "Midnight Train to Georgia" - Not being heard is definitely not a problem for LaKisha. She's got a big, powerful voice and she knows how to use it. I would love to hear her on something a little more modern next time.

Melinda - "My Funny Valentine" - Wow. Wonderful phrasing, lots of emotion, fab vocals. This is a tough song to sing and it's been sung by a lot of great singers, Melinda now included. One note, I do wish she would dress less like she's attending a board meeting.

Antonella - "Because You Loved Me" - Please. If Aerosmith was "too big" for her, Celine Dion must be a great choice, right? It was better than last week but still not even close to good.

Jordan - "Who Is That Girl I See" - She got off to a shaky start, but finished up strong. She's got a lovely voice, good performance skills and seems very sweet. Definitely one to watch because I'm still not sure she's picked just the right song. When she does, watch out. And, I covet that dress.

Stephanie - "Dangerously In Love" - She's got some powerhouse vocals but I continue to dislike her song choices. For whatever reason, and in all fairness I can't put my finger on why, she just hasn't wowed me yet.

Leslie - "Feeling Good" - I really like her smokey, husky sound, but this was not her best showing. She, luckily, did a completely different, jazzier arrangement than AJ including A Capella intro and slightly awkward jazz scat near the end. She's just not a belter, which is what this show and it's audience mostly want.

Haley - "Queen of the Night" - Queen of the Stupid Song Choice is more like it. She's got a sweet, clear voice and insists on singing songs that are completely unsuited for her. Why on earth, after being told not to take on the Divas, would she pull out the Whitney? I don't hate her voice, but the girl has no sense at all.

Sabrina - "All The Man That I Need" - Poor Haley will suffer in comparison even more, since Sabrina really does have the vocals to tackle Whitney Houston. Really nice. A little bit screamy towards the end, but otherwise nice.

The Predictions:

Brandon and Nick are headed home. I stick my neck out and say Sanjaya, but he seems to have the "Chicken Little" factor working for him and will probably stick around one more week.

Antonella and Alaina - I don't think America can completely ignore the weak vocals again. At least I hope not.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Couldn't Have Been More Wrong

So far, I'm 0/4.

Rudy - I can live with this. His vocals were really alright, but I can stand not looking at him twitch anymore.

Paul - Sorry to see him leave so early. He didn't sound great, but he didn't sound awful either.

Neither one was nearly as bad as Sanjaya or nearly as boring as Jarred. I have to think America just couldn't stand the thought of Sanjaya crying. Oh wait, he did anyway.

Amy - I didn't think she sang poorly, just without a lot of presence.

Nicole - As much as I really didn't care for last night's performance (too screechy), she does have a very powerful voice. I would have liked to see her go further.

While Alaina and Amy were almost interchangeable, I can't believe Antonella was spared. Her performance was terribly out of tune and meek. She's a very pretty girl and her early exposure must have played a part in the voting.

AI - The top? 24

Let's talk Idol folks. The sixth season is now well underway and other than my husband, none of my close friends outside of the computer watch this show. I have to have somebody to dish with. Every week, I'm going to try to give the down and dirty of how I thought the performances went and a prediction of who's going to get the boot. I'll try to post other stuff too, but really, from January to May, does anything else really happen?

The Boys
Generally, underwhelming with a few bright spots. They've got their work cut out for them though.

Rudy - his voice was OK, but can anyone say manic? Very cheesy and off-putting.

Brandon - meh. He looks good and sounds OK, but mostly I'm not impressed yet.

Sundance - ouch. That really, really wasn't good. Which is really unfortunate because he showed such a wonderful, rich voice in auditions. I think nerves are still getting to him. I still have hope that he will pull it together and wow us someday soon. Either that, or he will continue to choke and prove himself to be the world's best shower singer.

Paul - Loved the song, but his rendition? Out of tune and just weird.

Chris R. - I just couldn't get over all the nasal. And the bobbing. Hated it.

Nick - The boy is good looking and he has a decent voice. It's wasn't a horrible song for him. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but it was really boring.

Blake - He can sing!! Really well!!! Who knew?

Sanjaya - He's quite adorable, but way, way out of his league. I like him, but that was just terrible.

Chris S. - Love his voice. Love it.

Jarred - who? zzzzzzz

AJ - remember John Leguizamo in the movie about the drag queens? That's all I could think about during his performance. He didn't sound awful and he looked really happy to be there.

Phil - I really want to like him and the start of this performance had me really worried. Very rough. But then? He pulled his shit together and SANG! Very nice.

The Ladies
Overall, much more impressive. Only a couple of cringe worthy performances here. Several really great ones.

Stephanie - not too shabby. Nice voice, pretty girl, good performer. She didn't wow me though.

Amy - again with the meh.

Leslie - She had more of an edge than I would have thought. I liked her and I think she'll improve.

Sabrina - I didn't care for the song, but the girl has pipes! Her curls were making me dizzy though.

Antonella - again with the ouch. Every single note was out of tune and her lack of performance experience really showed. Very painful. Also, she just looked stunned and bewildered that the judges weren't fawning over her. Blech.

Jordan - wrong song, but I can't imagine anyone doing anything better with it. She is one to watch.

Nicole - everything about that was weird. Her facial expressions, the song, just...everything. I'd like to hear her sing something less Chaka Khan. I'm not sure I'd like it, but I'm interested enough to keep watching.

Haley - Sweet, clear voice, which I liked. Very bad song choice. Don't do Celine if you can't out-do Celine. That's all I'm saying.

Melinda - My god she's adorable. And she has a hell of a voice. And stage experience. And did I mention the adorable?

Alaina - breathy and out of tune.

Gina - I liked it. Remember what I said about Celine? Doesn't apply here. Mostly because I didn't even know that Celine had covered that Eric Carmen classic. She was a bit pitchy, but I'm looking forward to hearing more.

LaKisha - Wow. Just wow.

Going Home
Sanjaya and zzzzzz. Wha'? Oops, sorry I fell asleep typing his name. Jarred.

Also, if there is any justice in this world - Antonella and Alaina. But if Antonella goes home, Simon needs to put himself in witness protection. Her dad looked, shall we say, well connected.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

I've spent the last several months acting like there was a baby on the way. In fact, everyone I know who lives outside of the computer is convinced there will be an Annabelle at the end of this long road. We talk about when we travel, and when she gets here. They've seen me buying some baby clothes and they all seem to like the name we picked out. We've discussed some of the issues we learned while attending out waiting family meetings and in the adoption books I've read. They are convinced because I (we) convinced them.

And the Oscar goes

Actually, I never really belived it until last Friday.