Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol The Top 8 Girls otherwise known as another Kelly Clarkson song

It's the top 8 on American Idol. Actually, it's the top 8 girls but since any one of these girls are miles ahead of any of the boys this is the only night to watch Idol this week. It's the last performance show before the each group is narrowed down to the top 12 and get to perform on the theme shows until one of them is crowned the new American Idol. Which may or may not be a good season depending on the theme nights that could go wrong so very wrong. I can just imagine the train wrecks for some of the better contestants when we come up to Disco night or Showtunes. I'm actually hoping since we have so many talented girls this year we might get a Fleetwood Mac night or even a Madonna night. Okay, as I'm getting ahead of myself instead of thinking of the future let's think about the present, and get right to who doesn't have a future in music. As you know this will be another long winded review of the show but after a while they will get smaller (saddest thing I've had to type as a man). At the end of the review I will also list my picks for the song they should have done on this important night instead of the one that they did sing.

Katie Stevens – “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson Has Katie NOT learned anything from any of the other contestants who have attempted the greatest American Idol winner ever??? Everyone always thinks that singing a Clarkson song is so easy but really they're monsters. She sifts keys so often and powerbelts that her songs are tricky eve for an accomplished. They only work when your drunk and in a bar and no one will remember you. As Katie proves tonight she's no exception to this rule. Our little Katebot is able to start off the song both in a flat voice and also flat in personality too. She gets mildly better at the middle of the song with far less voice then Kelly has and then Katie just ends the song. There's nothing much else after that and really nothing much during it either. Katebot sounded old and bored and is talented but not Kelly talented and sounded like something you would see in a pageant. I think Katebot could be in a lot of trouble tonight. I think she would have done so much better with a JoJo song

Siobhan Magnus – “House of the Rising Sun” – Everything about Siobhan is kooky. Even though it seems like she might be boring. I don't think she ever could be. I love that she comes out and is so quirky, picks an odd song for her and gives an odd performances but for some reason it works for the most part. She comes across as she's just missing a few brain cells but one week she sings "Think" with a power note and then another week she does "House of the Rising Sun" acapella and using that gorgeous range she has. I thought the beginning of this was gorgeous and really showed the beauty of her voice and how flexible it is. I was a little surprised that it was an old fashioned song but it caught you off guard and made you sit up and notice it from the start to the finish which fits Siobhan to a tee. If I could pick a different type of song I would have liked to have heard her sing "Vision of Love" "For your Eyes Only," or even possibly Blondie's "Heart of Glass". I also would have liked to hear her tackle a Kelly Clarkson song as I think with her quirkiness and range could have handled it.

Lacey Brown – “The Story” by Brandy Carlisle – When I heard that Lacy was singing this song I have to admit I was scared. It's an unique song that gets really big and needs a powerful voice to belt it out. I don't think Lacy has that range and is even capable of getting there ever. She was super smart enough to use the parts of the song that highlighted her voices strengths and showed everything that is really special about her. It fit her vibe much better then the other songs that she did and the close-ups made those eyes of hers look like 3D. Also with the sitting at the edge she didn't have to move around awkwardly like she usually did. I thought this was a great performance and may have saved her for another week or not. I really liked this choice but if I had to pick something else I would have gone with "Linger" from Cranberries or actually anything from "The Cranberries.

Katelyn Epperly – “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King – I LOVE Katelyn but this with the hair, outfit, and song choice looked like something out of "The Electric Company." I don't know what she was thinking!! It reminded me of a television show where they have a pretty girl in a band pretending to play an instrument lip singing to a dubbed track. Her performance last week looked like she was performing at the AMA's or one of the other big award shows. This week she looked like she was trapped in a bad 70's Varity hour. This is a great song that just does not work in this type of show and Katelyn looked bored, scared and like she was hoping to be eliminated. She had some decent vocals but the problem is the song isn't really about the voice so you don't notice it or really anything about it stands out except the odd rhythm of the song . Which is a huge problem especially when there are so many talented girls this year. I was hoping she would have done acoustic version of "Poker Face" from her to cement her place in the finales or maybe "Angel" by Natasha Bedingfield or even If I were Boy.

Didi Benami – Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac – I love that there are girls this season who actually know who Stevie Nicks is! This is also something that I love about the girls of this season 9 contestants. It seems that unlike the boys who choose to lay down and act like road kill on performance nights. I get this felling the girls come out each Tuesday and aren't going down without a fight. This was simply amazing, Didi performed it beautifully and was a highlight for the season. She was able to take a Stevie Nicks song and make actually make it her own where you were able to hear her Didi Benanmi's voice instead of Stevie's distinct vocals. I also loved how she lifted the notes at the end of each phrases that made you sit up and notice. It worked beautifully. I know it seems like I've got a hard on for Didi tonight but she sounded incredible brought her magic into this performance and chose a song that I loved and performed it well. Take that "any" future contestant who decides to do Kelly Clarkson. I actually watched this a few times and have a feeling she'll be performing this song in the future. This was just so perfect that I really can't think of any other songs she could have sang. However I would love to hear her one day since something like "Beautiful Disaster," or anything by Fiona Apple though "Extraordinary Machine" is a favorite.

Paige Miles – “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin – Okay, I have to take back the comment about the girls going down without a fight. Paige is done. I don't think she even bothered to try this week. It felt like she gave up before she even performed. Even from the start with the piano interlude I was bored and then if you add her awkward walk in and the lack of vocal control her voice just seemed weak and all over the place. I guess she missed the episode in season 6 when would be rocker Gina Glocksen sang this song. She went home the next night and she sang it better then Paige did. I think she's an easy one to say goodbye to. There are so many other songs that I would have picked for Paige. I think she would have been amazing doing 'Sober' by Pink, a rock version of 'Bleeding Love', maybe a rock version of a Toni Braxton song she could have chosen to get that R&B place in the 12 that was begging for her. I'm not sure if anything more then a complete pity vote will get her though to the top 12. I almost wanted to call out Dead Singer Walking.

Crystal Bowersox – “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman – I LOVE this girl. I think it's easy to say she hides behind the guitar or does the same type of music every week but I think what she's showing us is exactly who she is as an artist before, during, and after the show. Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge and so many others perform mostly behind an instrument and no one gets bored with them and they're legends. While I don't think she's legend status just yet I really people don't judge her on holding the guitar though every song. What I love about Crystal is the emotion that she puts into her performances and it never a boring vocal. She's flying with confidence this season and I get the sense she's using the guitar and that voice to channel her soul. The other exciting thing about her is she can actually sing. She has a great record able voice and I've heard her on her own originals and she's fantastic on this. I might post some if people are interested. Her phrasing during this the song and when she's able to turn on the belt I got goose bumps. I hope sometime soon she gets to sing something like "Knocking on Heavens Door," any Patty Griffin, "Message in a Bottle," or Bitter Tears from INXES and that would be a moment.

Lilly Scott – “I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline – I have MAD love for Lilly. I think she probably stands out wherever she is because you can't forget her. My word for her is arresting. You notice her and either you hate her or love her and if you love her you can't get enough of her. I'm fascinated by everything she does on stage more so then what her voice can do. I just wish she might pick slightly more current songs and work that unique performing style she has into those instead of older songs. I would love to hear her on Pinks "Who Knew," any Fiona Apple, and if there's a God I would love for to rock out to Celebrity Skin or Violet from Courtney Love and Hole. Lilly has confidence, and drive which is a lot more then I see a lot of the other contestants have. I think she's brilliant and can build a song and a performance into a showstopper. I don't thinking we're always going to get the best vocals but we'll have a star this year for as long as she's on.

I thought that it was a definitely a mixed bag of performances tonight. At this point it takes 4 women to automatically get into the top 12 then two possible who had an off or mediocre performance tonight get the last two slots. The two that don't make it into the top 12 are either truly horrible, lost most of their buzz, or came in with only a little buzz in the first place.

My guess is the four automatically enter the top 6 girls are Crystal Bowersex, Didi Benami, Siobhan Magnus, Lilly Scott they've had good buzz, featured a lot in the beginning gave at least one killer performance in the past three weeks. The next two who had an off and luckily an on performance that got lucky is Katelyn Epperly and the last spot will either be Katiebot from past good will because her three performances have been week or Lacy who didn't have great performances the past two weeks but really saved herself at the end. The thing that worried me is she latched on to the popular folk, rock, singer, and songwriter type that Idol has in abundance so it might have been a good thing for her or a bad thing because it's a crowded field this season so I could see both going home and Paige getting though because she's the only R&B girl this year.

On another note I think someone needs to talk to these kids about giving an A+ performance every week. Everyone (some more then others) seems to either be coasting, or great one night and on Quaaludes the other night. I hope they sit these kids and make them watch at least an hour on other Idol shows or performances to build their skills. It worries me when the girls are stars one week and the next week they wouldn't even be in the chorus at a community production of Oklahoma! I at least think the girls can be exciting this season the guys on the other hand are just road kill. Really that's the nicest thing I can say about them. The always look scared to death, like they have no personality or they spend more time perfecting their smile in the mirror then working on their vocals. At this point I might keep two boys and then probably eliminate them the next two weeks.

We shall see Thursday night. Join me tomorrow night where the up. I'm sure tomorrows column is going to be very short since it is the boys.

Steven Dein

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Crystal Bowersex"...was that a Freudian slip? She's pretty hot though.

Although the judges' praise of Crystal is totally justified (as opposed to their OTT praise of Danny Gokey last year, which he did not live up to) they are laying it on so thick, you have to wonder if they might be unnecessarily creating a potential backlash.

I wish the judges would stop Gokeying Crystal.

PS--I am posting this comment as "anonymous" instead of GaryJ because your system won't let me post my name without a URL -- which I don't have. I'm sure you're not requiring me to post my e-mail address -- are you?