Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"It would be like Ryan doing the news.": American Idol

by Libby

It was ladies night on AI tonight, and while I held out more hope for the female contingent, this is, still, easily the worst show I am regularly forced to watch. This is further evidenced by the fact that we are 15 long minutes into the show before anyone actually starts singing.

Additionally, Paula Abdul appeared to have a hair tumor growing out of the back of her head tonight, which, while marginally entertaining, was mostly just disturbing.

Stephanie Edwards, 19, from Savannah, GA, kicked off the night singing, “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” which was a nice little ditty for her style. Edwards strikes me as sort of “Fantasia-lite” and gave a fine, bland performance.

Amy Krebs, 22, of Seattle WA, has the honor of being an optometrist’s assistant by day, which she will inevitably returning to within a matter of weeks. Her performance of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was okay but nothing special, and while to me, that seems to be EXACTLY what Idol is all about, evidently, I’m wrong. As the judges keep reminding me.

Leslie Hunt, 24, of Chicago, IL, (pictured above) is a dog walker, and a personal favorite of mine. She’s not a particularly great singer, but she’s earnest and awkward with a strange voice and a sort of Carole King/Melissa Ethridge vibe. With that said, she’ll likely be eliminated shortly, as I can’t imagine her appealing much to the 12 year old pseudo/pop/punk/rock set.

Sabrina Sloan, 27, is from Studio City, CA, and is a professional singer. I don’t really know what that means, as she’s obviously not professional enough to have, say, a contract, but perhaps I’m just splitting hairs. Sloan is spunky and obviously knows how to play the game. One of the older contestants, she knows how to pick a song and knows how to play to the judges. She’ll go far, this one.

Antonella Barba, 20, from Point Pleasant, NJ, had a really disturbing, mob princess feel about her. Watching her, all I could think of is what would happen if Meadow Soprano was on American Idol and well, inevitably, it would not end well which leads me to Barba’s performance tonight. Let’s just say it takes a special girl to get her ass kicked by an Aerosmith song. Note: When the judges talk about how pretty you are in a singing competition, it’s not a good sign. (And did you see the other news about her?! -- ed.)

Jordin Sparks, 17, Glendale, AZ, is a junior in high school and looks like “Pretty Betty.” I’m not sure if that makes sense, but if you look at her, you’ll get it. Sparks was evidently told she was too sweet throughout auditions, so she showed up with her black fingernail polish on, to evidence her true hardcore nature. Sparks brought it tonight and will be interesting to watch throughout the competition.

Nicole Tranquillo, 20, from Wernersville, PA, gave a decidedly strange performance tonight, singing a Chaka Khan song and looking like she was having a white-person seizure while doing it. She can sing, but she doesn’t have the best common sense when it comes to song choice, evidently. Her performance led to my personal highlight of the evening -- when the judges tried to dance around telling her that she was too white for the song she sang, Simon finally broke it down by saying, “It would be like Ryan doing the news.” A better simile hast never been drawn.

Haley Scarnato, 24, San Antonio, TX, sang a Celine Dion song. Not well, not horribly, just meh. As much as I hate to admit it, Jackson had a point earlier in the show when he said something about not being able to take the big-voiced singers (the Arethas, etc.) and half-ass it. Tonight, we got Haley Half-ass.

Melinda Dolittle, 29, of Brentwood, TN, has what I would call an image problem. While she is very talented and definitely has the chops, she looks vaguely like Gilbert Gottfried. And also, she has no neck. Now I only mention this because AI is such an image based show. I just don’t believe she has a chance of winning, despite the fact that she may or may not have the best voice on the show.

Alaina Alexander, 24, Redlands, CA, (just 15 miles from SDD HQ! -- ed.) works in a pizzeria and with tonight’s performance will most likely be smelling like pepperoni again, quite soon. I’m all for home area pride, but Alexander was way out of her league tonight and should have stuck with some pop song to gloss through. She just does not have the voice strength to do much more than that.

Gina Glocksen, 22, from Naperville, IL, is obviously this season’s alterna-funk female who then surprised with a touching performance of “All By Myself.” She’s got some talent and some spunk, so that ought to get her a ways.

Lakisha Jones, 27, Flint, MI offered up what everyone wants to hear: a great voice. And I’m the only one in the world who was less than impressed. “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going” is a difficult and impressive song that Jones performed well, but not so well that it erased far superior versions heard QUITE recently in my mind. I’m sure I’m wrong though.

Whom I would send home: Antonella Barba and Alaina Alexander
Whom the 12-year-old girls of America will send home: Barba and Alexander

God, I hope I enjoy this show more once people start going home.

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