Tuesday, March 13, 2007

American Idol - The Night of Forgotten Words

First, an impression: the songs of Diana Ross do not generally lend themselves to knock-out vocals. She's a performer more than a virtuoso singer.

Second, a comment: the singers this season are top to bottom better than in previous seasons, but because the top two are so strong, the rest sound just awful in comparison.

The best:

Melinda Doolittle -- another spectacular performance. I am not certain that people who listen only to pop music on the radio understand what an extraordinary talent she possesses. (Plus, Paula crying and incoherent -- funny!)

LaKisha Jones -- she's a very strong singer. She has a sense of tempo. She held back and didn't oversing it, which was refreshing. Her voice is not spectacular, but she has great control. Our highest compliment: she should be singing for money right this minute. I am so impressed.

The good:

Chris Richardson -- he's a mall version of JT. I think he can hear really well, he just doesn't have a great instrument. The best guy tonight.

Jordin Sparks -- I just love her, though I don't know why. I love that she only sings songs from animated movies. I also love that she always crouches down to be shorter than Ryan.

The worst:

Chris Sligh -- "arranging" Endless Love by shifting the lyrics to a Coldplay song. That's called a mash-up, not an arrangement. Craaaaaaappy. His take on contemporary is to shift it back 4 or 5 years.

Hayley Scarnato -- for some reason, I typed her name as Nicole Tranquillo. Weird. Diana Ross said some interesting things: "recording studio voice" and "I recorded it after Marvin Gaye's death." Hayley clearly had no idea what she was singing, and that came across in her performance. The original is a classic and the emotion therein is palatable. It's actually heart-rending. Hayley was like a hallmark romance card.

The mediocre:

Brandon Rodgers -- very disappointing. He sounded better than he has in recent weeks, and he showed more promise. A thinks he should sing "You're Still a Young Man" by Tower of Power if the opportunity arises.

Sanjaya -- I really like his voice, but he can't sing. I thought this was a better performance than he's given lately. He reminds me of Tevin Campbell, for some reason. Except Tevin could sing. Sanjaya's lack of rhythm and ear are deadly. It's the same reason I hated Kimberly Locke years ago. A thinks it was terrible because he's not Marvin. Well, duh.

Gina Glocksen -- it was flat and screamy. She looks great, though. Never thought of "Love Child" as a "feel-good" song, Paula.

Phil Stacey -- yeesh. It was good for him, but he's really not that good. His vocals are not good. He oversings in that modern country style. Odd.

Blake Lewis -- his arrangement was interesting, but his vocals needed to be excellent, and they weren't. I was disappointed by his performance. Had he sung better, his arrangement would have been great. The judges were wrong in their critique because they didn't want to criticize his vocal.

Stephanie Edwards -- another Beyoncé performance. I don't get it. I think she has a decent voice, but she goes flat too often. The Beyoncé channelling is such an irritating style choice. She doesn't have as strong as the two leaders, so she picked the wrong song.

Chris Richardson -- he's a mall version of JT. I like that he's coachable, but his voice is just not that good. I think he can hear really well, he just doesn't have a great instrument.

Going home:

No idea. Maybe Hayley or Brandon?

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