Archive for March 20th, 2007

The British Are Coming…and Ashley is Crying

March 20, 2007

So Tuesday was British Invasion Night on American Idol and we got to see Peter Noone and Lulu work their magic on our little Idols. And as an added bonus…we got to see way more of a little girl named Ashley than we should or would have chosen to have seen.

Up first was Haley Scarnato, who actually sang well on “Tell Him,” which is good since being first AND being forgettable are not a good combination. I still think Haley is a little pageant-y…and I really wish she’d grow her eyebrows in…but I think she has a great chance to stay. Plus, she looked fab in her halter and shorts. (My 15-year-old brother, Cooper, calls her…Haley Scar-HOT-o.) She even got Simon cooing.

Chris Richardson was up next, singing “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.” To me, he sounded better with the piano in the rehearsal clip than on stage. The guitar was a nice touch…but Chris overpowered the instrument and really got nasally. He needed to pull back vocally and sing even softer. I think he’s safe though. It was good enough…but the star quality was lacking. He needed a softer, emotive touch.

I don’t want anyone to hate me for this…but I just don’t like Stephanie Edwards. I honestly don’t like her style or voice. I’m sure it’s a cultural thing…but all I hear when she sings are pitch problems and awkward phrasing. Last night she sang “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and I found it particularly bad. I think she might need to prepare herself to head home.

SIDENOTE: Something is just really off about that RV commercial where the Amish guy ends up on the bus with the little kid. It’s just wrong. Can I get an amen?

After the offensive Amish commercial, Blake Lewis steps up to the mic and sings “It’s the Time of the Season for Loving.” Now, I like Blake…but I don’t think he has the strongest male voice this year. This song was good for him but, if you go back and listen, you can hear that the male backup singers give him a boost in the lower register. Plus, he doesn’t complete his phrasing. That said, I loved this arrangement of the song and thought it very entertaining. Blake has a sweetness to his voice that I like. This song was a bit of a stretch for his upper register because he doesn’t have great range and needs better breath control…or maybe he has been beatboxing so much that he doesn’t know how to actually sing real notes in the upper range. Don’t think I’m being too hard on him…I only say this because I think he has such a great style and fun stage presence. And I loved the judges response to him. He will stay and rightly deserves to do so. Oh…and my vote is for Ryan to do the robot and beat box in every show. That cracked me up.

Believe it or not, LaKisha Jones was really was one of my least favorites this week. She sang “Diamond are Forever,” and I agreed with Simon about her look and sound being too old for her. Also, she was off pitch a couple of times, and she did nothing to make the song her own. However, she’s safe.

Phil Stacey sang “Tobacco Road” and all I could think was how much better it was with all the guys at the end of Season 5. I didn’t like this at all. I think he might be in danger of going home this week. (Don’t tell anyone, but I’m hoping he does.)

The Way It Should Be Done…with a little Kevin Covais

Okay…I don’t want to admit this…but…I liked Jordin Sparks last night. She sang “I Who Have Nothing” and knocked it out of the park. I haven’t wanted to like her because she has been such a pile of candy coating in this competition and I couldn’t take her seriously. This performance changed that. The girl simply understood the emotion of that song and delivered it. I was genuinely impressed. If she keeps this up…I’ll have to start rooting for her. (Don’t tell anyone, but I really don’t want to.) She’s safe this week.

And the award for the most awkward moments on American Idol go to Sanjaya Malakar, Ashley the Crying Pre-Teen, and AI Cameraman Hank “The Meathead” Smith. Sanjaya had jaws across America hanging slack as he belted…yes, belted…”Girl, You Really Got Me.” The kid sold it…though it was a little scary to watch. It was like Bambi giving a rendition of “Back in Black.” However, I actually enjoyed it. Yeah, he was off pitch several times…but he let loose and that was good to see. However, the sight and sound of Sanjaya rockin’ out was made more awkward when Cameraman Hank kept panning to a little girl in the audience who was SOBBING uncontrollably. Ends up, Ashley (the little girl) is a huge fan of Shamalamadingdong and couldn’t contain her joy…but oh how I wish she had. However, despite Bambi’s foray into rock and Ashley’s cringe-worthy weeping…I think Sanjaya managed to save his butt another week.

With a fiercely fine haircut, Gina Glocksen tackled “Paint it Black,” then she picked it up and proceeded to beat it to death. She absolutely butchered the song. The beginning was rough and, just as she began to recover, she lost it again. I really wanted Gina to do better, but I felt like she held back and kept it safe. If she had given the same pitchy performance but had had an attitude…I think she would have pulled it off. Gina may be in danger of going home. (However, the AI drummer was kickin’ some serious booty. Loved him.)

Chris Sligh came out next and sang “She’s Not There.” Chris has a really warm voice that shone through this rather crappy arrangement of a song. Actually, I think he has the best voice of all the men. Let’s just hope he can get the music director to give him better arrangements from here on out. I think he will be staying, but before we leave the topic of Chris S., let’s address the whole “Fro Patro” thing. I know some folks will say they don’t like the “Fro Patro” shout-out (cough...Shrew…cough)…but I have to admit…it made me laugh. As long as it doesn’t become a battle cry…I think it’s okay.

Finally…my favorite…Melinda Doolittle. Once again Miss Doolittle was the strongest competitor. “As Long as He Needs Me” is not a song I know…but she still managed to captivate me. I love Melinda and hope she wins. I definitely think she’s safe this week.

Okay…now it’s y’all’s turn…

Entertainment Weekly’s Write-Up (complete with a lovely picture of Ashley)