Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Are you drunk?": American Idol

We're in the home stretch now, people. With only three contestants left, American Idol showcased their finest with three songs apiece.

Tonight was an interesting night consisting of some fairly decent performances. The formula allowed the competitors to either illustrate their range or focus on their strengths, depending on the choices made.

Also something I (and every other blogger) feel the need to comment on: The first-come, first-go curse. I was sure that the Idol producers would try and submarine Melinda with that top spot, assuring a teen-friendly Blake/Jordin finale. However, with Melinda in the closing spot and Jordin opening the night, it appears that the producers fear no superstitions. Good for them.

First up ...

1. Judge's Choice: Simon - Jordin Sparks - "Wishing On a Star": This seemed like a strange choice for Simon to make for Sparks. The song came across as dated and tired, poor arrangement or not. Outside of a disapproving Simon, the other judges thought that the performance was strong. So I guess we're off to a good start.

2. Judge's Choice: Paula - Blake Lewis - "Roxanne": Paula actually made a sound choice for Blake, and he made a solid showing of it. To a certain extent, I agree with Simon that there are certain songs that you'll inevitably sound like a poor man's version of the original. Unfortunately for Blake, this song is one of those.

3. Judge's Choice: Randy - Melinda Doolittle - "I Believe in You and Me": Randy went against all of his advice to "lesser" contestants and served up a Whitney Houston ballad for Melinda to take a whack at. To no one's surprise, Doolittle was more than up for the challenge.

So the first round was over and everyone came out okay.

4. Producer's Choice - Jordin - "She Works Hard For The Money": Hm. I was torn about this choice for Sparks. It wasn't exactly the hardest song musically, but everyone knows that Sparks doesn't exactly rule the roost when it comes to the upbeat songs. Ultimately, this was a bit of a challenge for her, but she performed admirably. The judges enjoyed the showing so the gauntlet had been thrown down.

5. Producer's Choice - Blake - "This Love": Gah. A complete softball. The producers obviously thought that anything even slightly challenging would completely sink Lewis' chances, so they gave him the most mainstream, perfect pick they could find. Needless to say, Lewis did a great job with this. But how pathetic would it have been if he hadn't?!

6. Producer's Choice - Melinda - "Nutbush City Limits": I really liked this choice for Melinda but it just goes to evidence that not every contestant is treated equally by the producers. This song was challenging and little-known. Compare this to the song chosen for Blake ... well, I don't think I need to say more. Again, Melinda was phenomenal.

Second round done.

7. Artist's Choice - Jordin - "I Who Have Nothing": I've read quite a few people who dislike when the contestants reprise songs from earlier in the season, and I completely understand the feeling. Though, at the same time I do kind of feel for the competitors. Lord knows how many individuals couldn't remember the words to their ONE song each week. Chris Richardson, I'm looking at you. (See, now we're just BEGGING for Bethany to come back and get angry with us! -- ed.) That said, Jordin did a quality job with this song, but as could be expected, the shine is kind of off the apple at this point. It's hard to regain the magic of your finest performance, especially when all you're trying to do is replicate it.

8. Artist's Choice - Blake - "When I Get You Alone": Choosing to replicate a previous song looks particularly bad when one of your peers learns a brand new song to break out. Blake shone with this song because he made it his own, and it showcased his strengths. If he makes it to the final two it's because he chose to stay true to his individuality as opposed to trying to recapture any past moment.

9. Artist's Choice - Melinda - "I'm a Woman": Melinda decided to change some things on her redo. For one thing, quite a few weeks have passed since the last time she sang this song, and Doolittle's confidence has skyrocketed since then. Tonight she stalked the stage with personality and verve. She incorporated her background singers as a tip to where she's been and the life she's left behind. Honestly people, this is your next American Idol. So, there's that.

Tomorrow night will be interesting. For the most part, I believe that Melinda is a sure thing for the finale, but I've been wrong before. The pending elimination will surely prove exciting.

Tonight's winner: Melinda Doolittle
Tonight's loser: Not Melinda. I don't know. It was a toss up.
Tomorrow's loser: Hard to say, but I guess I'll say ... Blake.


Benaiah said...

Well, are you going to review the finale next week.

Libby said...

I personally won't be.
Someone else is more than welcome to.
I won't be wasting another moment of my life on this show.
So ...