Downfall of the Divas…Latin Night Brings Out the Best in Blake and Sanjaya

by

J. Lo and the Eight Dwarfs

I can’t even begin to write the first recap of last night’s show without mentioning how absolutely creepily cutesy it was for Jennifer Lopez to sit on her stool and “coach” the eight Idols…who sat scattered at her feet. It was like some bizarre lost scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs…except it was J. Lo and the Eight Dwarfs.

Seriously, she looked like she’d break out into “Whistle While you Work” at anytime. Or like she was on the set of Romper Room and was about to pull out the Magic Mirror. “I see Sanjaya. I see Blake. But where is Chris Sligh?”

I love J. Lo and thought she did a great job as guest coach. Bravo.

What I didn’t like was Latin Night…I mean…Gloria Estefan/Carlos Santana Night. I can stand neither Gloria Estefan nor Carlos Santana…so last night basically killed me.

But I perserved…to bring y’all my recap. Here goes.

Melinda Doolittle tried her darnedest to channel sexy when she sang “Sway,” but it didn’t quite work for her. I wanted to like it…but it lacked sex appeal. Her dress was great, as was her curled hair…but both made her look way too old. She was pitch perfect but didn’t dig in like she should have. But she’s staying. Plus how absolutely priceless was her double take when Ryan called her “Sexy.” Adorable.

LaKisha Jones was up next…looking fab…but WAY too booby. I mean…yikes at that cleavage. I hope she doesn’t lose her keys down there. Singing “Conga” (or “Kungah,” according to Lopez), Kiki moved well…working in the steps Jenny from the Block taught her, but the song was ZZZZZzzzz. I must applaud her for stepping out of her comfort zone, but I really didn’t like it…still, she’s safe.

Chris Richardson sang “Smooth” by Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas. J Lo advised Chris to take the key up a whole step but, honestly, when he started singing, I couldn’t imagine him having sung it any lower. He was basically singing notes from under the stage. It was way too low for him and could have easily gone up two more keys. Once he got past the opening, he gained some strength…but the performance set a precedence for the night of the band playing over all the vocals (except for two very important ones that I’ll mention last). Chris should be safe…but stranger things have happened.

Okay…Jennifer calling Blake Lewis in to beatbox on Haley Scarnato‘s practice run of “Turn the Beat Around” was hilarious. Lopez’s advice to Haley was to “throw the song like a rap to win this week.” But Haley decided to take J. Lo’s advice and throw it…right out the window. Instead, she used her tried and true strategy…show a lot of leg…and for good measure…amp it up with some obnoxiously red lipstick (because the Tammy Faye mascara and eyeliner is getting too play-it-safe, I guess). I honestly don’t think Haley could have sounded more white on that song…a whitey white girl trying to convince me that that the “rhythm carries all the action.” And the “rat tat tat tat tat tat on the drum” was so white I thought that, at any moment, she’d peel back that mask of make-up and reveal that she is really Wayne Newton Mannilow…the love child of the two whitest singers in America. However, despite her whiteness…I think the shorts might have saved her.

Phil Stacey sang “Maria Maria” by Santana…and though his vocals weren’t hideous…the dollop of mayonnaise he was wearing on his head was. Someone must tell him to quit with the hats already. And if he insists on wearing them…they need to tell him that wearing them tilted and askew makes him looks like he’s a card-carrying permanent-pass rider of the short bus. Phil…and his hats…could be in danger this week.

Every week something happens after Jordin Sparks performs…I totally forget about her. She’s as cute as a button…but her singing doesn’t stand out to me at all. She doesn’t sing bad…she just isn’t memorable. She sang “The Rhythm is Going to Get You” and the only things I recall from the performance are her hideous top and pants. She always manages to look uncomfortable in her clothes…but she’s safe.

Yeah…the best for last…

Blake Lewis sang “I Need to Know” by Marc Anthony…a song I actually like. He did great. Really great…except for one thing. At the piano with J Lo he smiled and sang…but on stage, once again, he didn’t smile. I want his face to express more when he sings. Other than that…I have no criticisms for this performance. This was his strongest vocal. I really think this guy is smart in his song choice. The deeper we get down the rabbit hole each week, the more I think the finale should be him and Melinda. Oh…and I want Blake to sit down with Phil and explain how to wear a hat…’cause the boy really knows. He’s safe.

Now…I hope all of you are sitting down…Sanjaya Malakar was the second best of the night. He sang “Besame Mucho”…which I didn’t know but found to be extemely beautiful. I loved it. He was calm and in control. He worked the camera and the vocals. He sang strong but soft. It was wonderful. The choice of strings and light orchestration was brilliant. However, the hair, ‘stache, and goatee were a bit sleazy and greasy looking. But I can overlook them with the gorgeous performance he gave. He’s safe for another week…and rightly so. I gotta give the boy total props.

One final note of the night…was it just me or did anyone else think Paula was channeling Jon Bon Jovi’s hair last night?

Entertainment Weekly

“Dancing with the Stars”…I have only four words…Leeza Gibbons went home! πŸ˜€

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49 Responses to “Downfall of the Divas…Latin Night Brings Out the Best in Blake and Sanjaya”

  1. anonymous Says:

    Wow. Finally those of us who love Sanjaya don’t have to defend ourselves. Blake was second best, but has dead eyes. The divas are totally boring (never thought “Sway” could be performed technically perfectly, but in such a boring fashion), and sorry, but Jordin is too gargantuan to be appealing. Chris, on the other hand, is such an appealing performer that we can overlook the bad singing, right? (And did Haley just send her makeup to perform, or was her face under there somewhere?).

  2. jenfera Says:

    I am loathe to admit that Sanjaya was not that bad last night. See, if he had just gone along with that tack the whole time, maybe he could have gotten his votes legitimately. It still was not my taste, but I can’t deny that he actually does have some talent, like I did think in the original audition. The look was a little greasy, but at least it was more normal. Not ridiculous. Sort of like Ace last year. I never liked his boy-band style, but I couldn’t deny that he had talent in that arena.

    I loved Blake, and I voted for him quite a bit last night. Everyone else pretty much bored me. I continue to be surprised by Phil. He seems like he is one person who actually listens to what the mentors tell him and actually improves every week. Not that I am a big fan though. All of the girls at this point are ho-hum. I predict Haley goes this week, although wouldn’t it be kind of funny if this, the one week where he did okay, was the week Sanjaya finally went down?

  3. Dr. Bob Says:

    I pretty much agree with what you said — tonight was actually pretty flat. J-Lo was a surprise — funny, relaxed, and into the whole coach thing. She really enjoyed herself.

    Was it all a bit boring, or was it just me? I loves me some Melinda, but she must resist the temptation to only do old standards. There are some really fab Latin songs out there. I mean, honestly! But she looked really lovely.

    LaKisha — again, despite the threatened wardrobe malfunction, I thought she had a lot of presence. But the song is so monotone. Does it even have more than one note? Not a favorite song, despite the fact that my sister might have sang it for some competition — Spectacular Young Woman of New Mexico or somesuch. Sorry, KiKi, but my sister got you beat on that one.

    Chris took a song that I like and sucked the life right out of it.

    Hayley O’Flouncy needed a baton to twirl. Preferably a flaming one. My husband genuinely thought that she forgot to wear her pants on stage. He noted, with relief, that she was wearing hot pants. That is an indicator that one is in serious danger. Who wears hot pants? Sheesh.

    I actually liked Phil, but yep, his hats must go. I understand that he is trying to mix up his look (hard with no hair, I guess), but the hat askew look just makes me want to twitch it back into place. What does that mean? What is the hidden message behind the tilted hat? I am suave? I am rakish? My hat is too big? I am slowly tilting over? WHAT?? I DON’T GET IT! Somebody please explain!

    I liked, but did not love Blake — but he sang a favorite song. It was just ah-aight for me. Did not get the judges saying it was wonderful, but that is okay.

    Shelley — I love you dearly, but Sanjaya was not that good. He sang okay, I guess, but I was a little creeped out — I cannot begin to connect him with that song. He, not Melinda, should have said that he is so not sexy. I can’t think of who he reminded me of with the faint goatee and curled hair. It will come to me.

  4. Dr. Bob Says:

    The guy from V for Vendetta … that was it.

    (shelley, help! I forgot how to hyperlink!)

  5. Little Deb Says:

    Hi. New here. Great recap. I am so unexcited by this season, that I could not have done a recap even if I got paid for it, but you said it very well and I love the JLo/Snow White comparison. Melinda has the most talent IMO, but I can’t see ever paying to see her in concert or buying a cd. I think Phil has the best voice of the guys, but that’s not saying much for me. I will never understand Sanjaya’s “sex appeal” to the little girls. To me he is definitely creepy and greasy. I seem to remember having crushes on “real men” way back when.

    It’s kind of funny to me. I refused to watch the first couple of seasons of this show cause I thought it was a corny cheesy no talent reality show and I used to make fun of those that were fans. I started watching Season 3 and got sort of hooked because I believed it was really a singing contest and I spent my childhood trying to be a singer/actor/dancer and I related to it. Season 4, I was excited that we had “rockers” and really rooted for Bo (even though I have always been a big country music fan – I just thought that Carrie sounded like a lot of other country music singers and really had no personality).

    Then came last season and Taylor Hicks. I scheduled my evenings around the show and became a huge fan and voted for the first time because I felt that strongly about it. I was actually embarrassed that I had previously made fun of those friends and family members that were so into the show in previous years.

    Now, ironically, for me this season has made the whole thing “come full circle”. It really is a cheesy corny no talent reality show (for me). I still tune in hoping that someone will present us with “the moment” like Simon has said in previous years, but I really don’t see it happening. When does Season 7 start?

  6. Shelley Says:

    Welcome, Lil’ Deb…we’re glad to have you.

  7. Shelley Says:

    Okay, Dr. Bob…I’ll agree…Sanjaya isn’t sexy (he’s what…13?) But I stand by my assessment of the performance. I was moved…no…seriously…I’m not kidding.

    Um…and the comment about the flaming baton wins you

    The Official Prize of the Day

    bwahahaha

  8. jenfera Says:

    Ya know, Shelley, with prizes like that you don’t really give us much incentive to comment well.

    πŸ˜‰

  9. double d Says:

    Since I’m on vacation, I convinced my husband to watch last night “for old times sake”. I am still immensely underwhelmed by these Top 8. With the POSSIBLE exception of Blake, the rest are all slightly different shades of gray (no pun nor connection intended).

    Because Blake seems to be in a different league, talent-wise, expect a “shocker” when they get to the top 4 of Melinda, Lakisha, Blake and Sanjaya. That’s right. I said Sanjaya. He’ll continue on because his “controversy” helps ratings. As for tonight, it’s a toss up between Haley and Phil. I think the eliminations will go like this:

    Haley
    Phil
    Chris
    Jordan
    Blake
    Melinda
    Sanjaya
    Lakisha

    However, I would not be shocked if it turned out the exact opposite as they all seem the same to me — all lacking any originality (again, except Blake).

    ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Tonight it’s “The Pirates of the Carribean” DVD.

  10. rowan Says:

    Love the graphic Shelley! Superb.

    Dr Bob – still laughing at the imagery of the “hidden message behind the tilted hat.” very funny!

  11. Little Deb Says:

    double d, I’d watch Johnny Depp over this year’s idol any day. Looking forward to the next installment with Keith Richards.

  12. Shelley Says:

    Tilted hat…hidden message theory…hmmm.

    He IS, afterall, in the military, right? Maybe this is some message that only soldiers understand.

    Tilted to the right: invasion by sea

    Tilted to the left: invasion by land

    Backwards: retreat

  13. leejolem Says:

    Did anyone get the impression that Simon enjoys Latin music about as much as he does country? He really didn’t dig anyone’s performance that much.

    Where to start? Haley Scar-has-got-to-go:nuf said.
    Melinda:good vocal, boring song.
    Lakisha and the twins:ditto
    Jordin: ditto, again (anonymous–“too gargantuan to be appealing”-I think she’s statuesque and beautiful)
    Blake: I could tell it was a good performance, he just doesn’t light my fire.
    Chris: this song could have been great (cough, cough, if TH had done it), but Chris showed his lack of vocal chops.
    Phil: liked it. He’s in a catch-22 about his head though–people think he’s “weird” looking w/o the hat, but he looks goofy w/one on. Maybe he should try a toupee.
    Sanjaya: His best performance yet. I liked the goatee. His voice was a good match for that song. Too bad he didn’t come out of the gate like this. Maybe he’s finally tackling his nerves??? I hope the Sanjaya haters could here last night that he can sing and definitely outsang Chris R.

    I have to say I’m enjoying the celebrity guest coaches much more this season than ever before. they seem to really get into helping the contestants. J Lo was really good with all of them.

    DWTS–ditto what Shelley said!!!

  14. Squeebee Says:

    Ok, I have decided not to watch AI until the finale, and I didn’t watch last night. But:

    “What does that mean? What is the hidden message behind the tilted hat? I am suave? I am rakish? My hat is too big? I am slowly tilting over? WHAT?? I DON’T GET IT! Somebody please explain!”

    made me laugh! Thanks for the early-morning humor, Dr. Bob!

  15. jenfera Says:

    I wonder how much, if at all, the stylists get involved with the hat-angle decision making. It all sounds so high-level now.

    Squee, do you still have that link to the Christine video? That was hilarious.

  16. nolagirl Says:

    Lee- I agree with you on the hat thing. I think Phil looks incredibly oogy withOUT a hat, so I was thankful he wore one, tilt and all. AND, I thought he did really well last night, so was surprised when the judges blasted him.

    And Lakisha seriously needs to keep the girls locked and loaded – I was distracted the whole performance – EWWWW.

    Oh, and I really liked Jordin’s top!

  17. Squeebee Says:

    Your wish is my command, jenfera! For those of you who missed this, this is a clip from “The New Adventures of Old Christine” that aired the other night:

    http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2zhnxw3

    Sorry; I am not sure how to quick-link here.

  18. Squeebee Says:

    Oh, hey! I guess it did it for me!

  19. leejolem Says:

    Nola, they never like anything Phil sings. I’m not sure why. Maybe they don’t think he would be marketable. I would buy a cd of him singing standards kind of Harry Connick,Jr’esque.

    Even my DH noticed AI last night when Kiki and the girls were on stage. I’m glad she’s proud of her curves, but I’m fearing a wardrobe malfunction.

  20. patrickkaddiddlehopper Says:

    Boring is the main stream through much of this year’s performers and performances. None of the performers have “star quality” which is completely in line with much of what I see in lights and on the screen (big and small). The people who have the “it” factor are lost in the numbers. So many people are in the news for who knows what. And with reality shows at every turn it would seem that true talent and individualism is cast aside for the mundane and senseless. Entertainment is the absurd and crass, no intelligence just mind-numbing pictures and sound. I think watching a tree turn green in spring is far more delightful and expressive of life, or listening to a child’s laughter or Shell sing a song:)

  21. patrickkaddiddlehopper Says:

    Above comment is PKDHopper’s Susi-q not PKDHopper’s:)

  22. Shelley Says:

    For a minute there…I was like “Geez, this is the most profound I’ve ever heard a 15-year-old be.”…I was amazed at young Coop’s depth and scope and maturity…then I realized my mom just didnt’ know how to change her log-in name. πŸ˜‰

    Suzi-q…remind me to show you when I get home how to change Coop’s information in the Login Box.

  23. Gray Charles Says:

    Jordin is the only contestant who has any spark for me (whoo, bad pun, high fives all the way around). I mean come on folks, its “American Idol” isn’t it? I want someone who will go up on the stage and, when they are done, make me say “wow, that was something”.

    I don’t think any of the contestants, save Blake, even has a remote chance of making me say that because I already know what they are capable of. As good as Melinda is am I ever going to say “I did not expect that” when she is done? I doubt it. Anyone else have any chance of surprising you?

    Now, I’ll admit that Jordin hasn’t actually done that yet (even though she got close with “One Good Reason”) but I hold onto hope that she can.

    Oh yeah, for the record, I don’t care.

  24. Gray Charles Says:

    One last thing, please take a moment to remember today’s birthday girl.

  25. Shelley Says:

    You don’t care…pffttthhhh…my Aunt Fanny.

    (total high fives on the pun…and since Jenfera didn’t like my earlier OPOTD….allow me to award another one….here ya go, Gray)

  26. Shelley Says:

    Joss Stone’s b-day? (Born 1987)

  27. nolagirl Says:

    Shelley – I thought the same thing! I was like Man, Cooper was really moved by Idol to write such deep thoughts! Then I was like Wait, he didn’t mention Haley’s legs, couldn’t be him. Duh.

  28. patrickkaddiddlehopper Says:

    Thanks Shell:) SQ.

  29. KD Says:

    So, y’all know how I feel about little Sanjaya, but I have to give him credit and say that last night’s performance was his best yet. I don’t agree that it was the second best of the night, but it was his personal best, and I finally heard the voice they all heard during auditions.

    Blake was the one who would’ve gotten my vote last night, if I were voting, which I’m not, because Taylor’s already won. πŸ˜‰ (I know, I’ll never, vote that way again….) *doneinmybestdionnewarwickvoice* (Sorry, too little sleep…)

    Anyway, I was also disappointed in LaKisha’s performance, and Melinda’s didn’t do much for me. I can find no fault whatsoever in her vocals or her performance—-I’m just still waiting for a goosebump that hasn’t come yet.

    And for the record, Haley’s legs are really beginning to irritate me. Her look screams desperation to me. I’m still waiting for the KatMcPhee-esque wardrobe malfunction…can’t believe she hasn’t contrived *ahem* I mean, had one yet.

  30. leejolem Says:

    I was super duper impressed w/what PKDH said when I thought it was a 15yr old male, but I’m still really impressed by SQ’s thoughts. I’m still watching AI, but it does seem rather mundane and boring this year. Then why do I still watch it? That’s the $50,000,000 question. It does make me appreciate the fantastic writing on The Office even more. That is true entertainment.

    GC, “anyone else have any chance of surprising you?”–don’t tell me the faux-hawk didn’t surprise and delight you. You may have hit the nail on the head about Sanjaya’s appeal right there–at least he keeps us guessing. BTW, who’s Joss Stone? (j/k)

  31. leejolem Says:

    KD, “I know I’ll never vote that way again”–pretty hilarious for a sleep deprived mother of a newborn. Hope all is well w/all the kiddos.

  32. jenfera Says:

    Excellent – the OBPOTD to Gray! Life is good.
    (Where B = Boobie)

    Thanks for the link, Squee!

  33. jenfera Says:

    Oh, and I am very relieved that was Suzi-q’s remark above. If 15-year-old boys had suddenly become that eloquent I figured it was time for me to hang up the old keyboard and never comment anywhere again. (No offense to Patrickadiddlehopper, but you know what I’m sayin’.)
    πŸ˜‰

  34. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Gray- Well, if you believe what Dial Idol says….which I don’t always…but it’s usually pretty close…your girl is going home tonight! Maybe she’ll be spared. It would be unjust if she did go home, especially before Scaley….but ummm…you don’t really care….so it don’t matter none. Naw.

    You have hit the proverbial nail on the head with the non-suprise factor of this competition. I only ever look forward to Blake. He’s original…inventive…current…and stylish.

  35. bamaborntxbred Says:

    P.S.

    Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthdaaaay dear Joss Stone, Gray’s favorite lady siiiiiinger personnn. Happry birthday tooooo yoooooou!

  36. Claire Says:

    Do we owe someone and explanation? A story? The story already happened didn’t it? We made it do what it do and now there’s no more doing to be done.

    This is up on the FAQ page at the now very bare GC.com.

    Adieu, GC.com.

  37. jenfera Says:

    I guess I must have been in some sort of denial before, because I didn’t feel too bad about the changes at GC.com. I figured there would be a new incarnation, but it sure doesn’t look like it now.

    I guess Gray doesn’t owe anyone anything. But I don’t have to like the way this all happened. The audio blog told us that GC.com would go on. “Charcoal” was providing the timely information I liked. Now I am just cranky.

  38. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Gray- thank YOU for all the fish.

  39. Shelley Says:

    new post up for discussion of gray’s

  40. patrickkaddiddlehopper Says:

    Mindless conformity seems to be the name of the game this year in “American Idol”. Its these new age euphemisms that really get my goat on a hill. A beauty pageant has taken hold of one America’s most endearing shows. We all want to believe in the contestants. We all know that Sanjaya isn’t being held here by people 20 years old +. Its the young adolescants that feel he represents them as a whole. The whole being teeny boppers with a great smile and great hair….and Haley’s legs are excellent. true PKDH

  41. Shelley Says:

    atta, boy, Coopdawg! πŸ˜‰

  42. jenfera Says:

    PKDH – that was very eloquent. I may hang up my keyboard after all.

    But the legs comment will save me.
    πŸ™‚

  43. ivoryhut Says:

    I haven’t watched the show yet, and am bleh about downloading it. I don’t think it’s hard-drive-worthy.

    I did, however, catch the last performance. Shelley, I am shocked that you never heard Besame Mucho before. Really???

    *makes mental note to self to find a version of the song that will knock Shelley’s socks off

    PKDH, you are hysterical. I believe hot pants will prove to be your downfall. πŸ™‚

  44. leejolem Says:

    “really get my goat on a hill”–never heard that one, but will definitely repeat it, good job, PKDH!

  45. Hatson Says:

    My only comment today is about Phil’s hat. On that I am An expert!LOL He is too old for the jaunty askew hat. Good grief he is a father with two kids. If he has to wear a hat to cover his baldness and he recognizes that he is not Bruce Willis, it should just sit quietly on his head, and then we could concentrate on the music. STYLISTS, SCHMYLISTS!!!

  46. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    ya know whats funny, I actually thought sanjaya did good last night, and I havent liked him since the auditions (wich he was good then too) I dont mean I hate the kid or wish him bad, just didnt care for his voice) I was suprised last night by him. I still dont want him to win, I am a doolittle fan to the end, and blake, since chris sligh is gone those are te ones I want in the top 3, well actually would like to be doolittle 1 and blake 2. But the look sanjaya has now, with the goatee and all kinda reminded me of micheal jackson, creeped me out a bit, think he should keep his face clean shaven, he has a nice face and I kept wanting to wash it last night thinking it was dirty, but it was hair lol but what do I know, im a 40 yr old woman, maybe the younger generation likes the look πŸ™‚ Im hoping they have a wild card person this season, and someone really good comes back, I still watch every week but we have decided we arent going to the concert this year, just dont think the top 10 measures up to past ones and dont want to spend the money this year (rather buy taylor tickets LOL)
    as for melinda not being sexy, I thought it was cute when jen was telling her to be more sexy and shes like bummed cause she doesnt see herself as sexy, she seems like such a sweet woman, and I dont think its a act and not all singers must be sexy , also she probably is sexy to someone πŸ˜‰

  47. Dr. Bob Says:

    Shelley, thanks so much for the prize — I shall treasure it always. Doesn’t anyone else see the Sanjaya V-for-vendetta guy? I am pleased with that one, because I was able to recall it after only one cup of coffee …

  48. patty cee Says:

    welcome to the universe of sanjaya!

  49. Sideways Says:

    A casual viewer of AI this year.
    Blake is a wonderful entertainer, would like to see him get some of that “spark” in his eyes.

    Jordin could be the dark horse for the final three.

    Melinda, impeccable vocals, yet kinda boring…

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