Who Knew…Phil Stacey is a Country Singer

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wild phil stacey

Wild Phil Stacey

First, I have to say that American Idol handled the sensitivity of the Virginia Tech tragedy well with the silence of the audience and the solemness of Ryan’s intro. Well done. Seeing the opening computer animation without the normal cheering of the audience really made an impact on me. (Note to self: Do a post sometime on the beauty of silence.)

Last night was the much-dreaded country music night, and Martina McBride was the guest vocal coach. She did a great job…and, though she was very “Paula” in her coaching, I thought she was genuine.

I also have to give props to the judges for getting their act together and giving legitimate critiques and helpful criticisms. It made for a much better show, in my opinion.

First of the night was Phil Stacey…singing “Where the Black Top Ends.” I thought he was fantastic. This genre really suited him, though I was surprised to hear him identify himself as a country singer. He didn’t look odd. He appeared confident and comfortable on stage (a first). Plus, his voice melded perfectly into a country twang, and I was shocked at how easily “y’all” rolled off his tongue. I hated that he went first because it may hurt him. It’s hard to say what will happen because he did so well…but he was in the dreaded opening spot…so…yikes a little.

For the second time in all these weeks…Jordin Sparks impressed the heck out of me. She sang “Broken Wing” and nailed it. She really shines when she doesn’t “hip” it up too much. I like it when she just stands and expresses and sings. This performance was beautiful and showed that she deserves to be in the top three. I think she’s safe.

The best part of Sanjaya last night was him saying he’d like to see Simon sing “Shiny Happy People.” The rest was absolutely crap. Any momentum he gained with “Besame Mucho” is gone. From the Rhoda Morgenstern hair…to the improvisation…to the flirting with the back-up singer (who, clearly, wanted nothing to do with him)…everything…was beyond weird. He’s a trainwreck, and I’m ready to see him go. Will he go? I don’t know…but I hope for his sake and ours…he will.

LaKeisha Jones sang “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Now, I have been a champion of LaKeisha from the beginning…but I gotta keep it real, dawg. This was bad. She looked great, but she had many, many pitch problems. Plus, the judges were spot on when they said she lost it at the end and started shouting. She oversang…plain and simple. I think we might see an upset at the results show. LaKeisha might be in danger.

“Mayberry” was the song Chris Richardson sang. His first few notes were rough (as was the out-of-tune fiddler…yikes). He brought his game up in the middle of the first verse and in the chorus…but lost it from the middle to the end of the song. And, for the record, dear, dear Chris…nasally is not a form of singing. It’s a form of mutilating a song. I can’t believe he said that. He is another one in danger this week.

Melinda Doolittle looked absolutely sassy and smashing tonight. I loved her hair, her make-up, her skin, her clothes, her song, and her story about the fan who ran toward her. She sang “Trouble is a Woman.” I can’t stress enough how much I love this girl. She is amazing. Loved her performance. She’s safe…or I’m kicking someone’s butt.

Wearing a snazzy white and black plaid sweater vest and black pants, Blake Lewis sang “When the Stars Go Blue” and managed to make it sound like Death Cab for Cutie. It was great. Sure, his vocals aren’t the quality of Melinda’s…and his emotive qualities don’t match Jordin’s…but he is fascinating to me. And, no, it’s not just because he’s so dang cute (which he is). He’s safe.

Entertainment Weekly

For my fellow “Dancing with the Stars” fans…could Clyde have looked more relieved to be eliminated last night? He was one happy mug. (And so was I. 😉 )

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28 Responses to “Who Knew…Phil Stacey is a Country Singer”

  1. Dinah Says:

    (Tip-toe-ing in) Hello, Mind if I join the “family”? Been reading on this blog all evening. I felt I should not post in areas where my ignorance is so evident.
    Anyway…. I agree with your eloquent review of tonight’s AI show except Blake leaves me with a whole lot of “eh”.
    And re: Clyde the Glide….on one of the “Insider”-type shows, he begged people NOT to vote for him. So, adios, Big Man.
    As a real lurker, I appreciate the posts (conversations, really) of your contibutors, Shelley. As a near shut-in—and babysitter of a 3 yr. old—- it’s great to sit in on adult communications at night.
    Thanks for the effort and thought you give tous all.

  2. Dingo Says:

    Alas, my boy Sanjaya was so pitifully bad last night that even I couldnt find the enthusiasm to vote for him. I did my part by getting him to this point but Jordin is and was so very very good, no, make that terrific last night that I threw all of my votes to her. She was, for me, the shining moment of last night. Melinda I have always loved (who couldnt?) but she is so predictably flawless that I have become bored.

    So, it will be Jordin for me to the end. Still, the night Sanjaya did “You Really Got Me” was my whoa moment lol. I cant stand Blake and I agree that Phil did one hell of a job on his song.

  3. jenfera Says:

    Phil impressed me last night. I said this last week to my husband and I will say it again. Phil is the one contestant who seems to actually be improving every week. He takes the advice of the mentors to heart, he listens to what the judges have to say. And I can’t believe that it took country night for me to really warm up to him! I missed Jordin because we were flipping back & forth with the Red Sox game. (Dice-K was pitching, can you blame us?) But from her clip at the end, I wasn’t overly impressed. And what was that toga she was wearing?

    Chris’s voice is like nails on chalkboard to me. When I saw Kiki rehearsing with Martina, I thought she was going to be great, but she totally fell apart up there. Melinda was fantastic, and looked great last night too. Reminded me of Natalie Cole. I cannot keep my eyes off of Blake. I only know that song from the Bono/Corrs version, and his treatment totally worked for me. The camera loves him.

    I have nothing to say about Jambalaya’s performance. Shelley said it all. I spent a good 10 minutes voting for Blake, doing my part to vote for anyone other than Jamba.

  4. jenfera Says:

    Ooo, ooo! One other thing – I am no music scholar, and I am sure no expert about country, but the following words fell out of my mouth last night about Chris, “He totally doesn’t get country phrasing.”

    I don’t know how I formulated that thought, if years of AI have actually taught me something, or what, so I was wondering if anyone wiser than me about music and/or country in particular could validate that or not. Anyone, anyone?

  5. leejolem Says:

    I hate to admit it–but it’s time for Sanjaya to go! I thought he was getting better each week, but this week was a big downward slide!!!!!!! I didn’t think Lakeisha was so bad, but I’m thinking she just may go this week. She’s hard to warm up to, and I think with 3 similar females there might be a vote split. Phil was amazing this week. I would love to see him go to the final 3 w/Melinda and Blake or Jordin. Chris’ vocals can’t hold a candle to Phil’s. You could see the steam coming out of Simon’s ears w/the nasally comment followed by the Virginia Tech comment. Gotta give Chris props for standing up to Simon a bit.

    DWTS–The Jimmy Kimmel skit this week was hi-larious. Joey should have his own variety show–he sings, he dances, he makes people laugh. I was kind of surprised Heather was in the bottom 2 (should have been Billy Ray). Another week for John R.–woohoo! I was glad for Clyde also.

  6. ivoryhut Says:

    I missed Phil Stacey’s performance, so I heard Jordin first. It surprised me how good and controlled her voice was.

    I really can’t take too much of Chris R’s voice. To borrow from Shrew, I definitely have a nasally-whiny threshold, and you can count the number of notes on one hand. (I missed what he said after his song, but the 17-yr-old at home suddenly threw his hands up in the air and groaned at the tv, saying, “Nasally is NOT a style of singing! Please! Give me a break!”)

    Sanjaya would have been better off tackling Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” than the one he picked. When he sings softly, it’s not bad at all. Plus the movement was just awkward.

    I wasn’t overly impressed with Blake (good song choice though), but according to that same 17-yr-old, he thought the background singers made him sound bad. Said their harmony made certain parts sound muddy. Sigh. Making comments like a musician already. *starts beaming with pride

    Melinda was fantastic, but then she always is.

    Hope everyone had a restful night!

  7. baby duck Says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the judges get back to dispensing advise and actual critiques of the performances. I didn’t think it was going to happen, since during the first performance when Phil went out in the audience, the camera caught Simon and Paula horsing around.

    Phil was good enough that I actually voted for the first time this year. It was a combination of his performance, and an anti-shamadingalong vote. I think it will be ChrisR going home tonight, but I’d at least like to see S in the bottom 3 where he belongs.

    It was actually kinda fun to vote last night. Brought back warm fuzzy feelings from last year when voting for T***or (is the name still banned, Shelley?). I had an overwhelming desire — that I didn’t cave into — to check DialIdol and see how things were going. I mostly got busy signals, so I’m thinking Phil may still be around after tonight’s elimination.

    I’m with you, Shelley, in appreciating how AI handled the Virginia Tech tragedy. And I really felt for ChrisR at the end of his performance after the judges comments. He may have gotten some sympathy votes from me if he had limited his remarks to Virginia Tech, and left out the nasally-sass. The way it was, it was hard to tell if his emotion was due to his sympathy for the school and students, or because he realized he was in danger of being eliminated.

  8. Sideways Says:

    Shelley, thanks for the great recap.
    Our satellite dish went out because of bad weather so I missed Phil Stacey’s performance. Sounds like it was his best vocal this season.

    Melinda got hair extensions, she looked great!
    I predict Jordin, Melinda and Blake as the final three.
    They were all great tonight.

    So, I’m thinking, will Sanjaya finally go home tonight?
    I don’t think the Bottom Three will include Phil tonight… it will be Lakisha, Chris, and Sanjaya.

  9. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    hmm, well I listened to Phil and didnt watch him because I read here before that if you listen to him and not watch him you may have a different view of him and I have to say “you are right!” he was much better , sounded very country to me, but I dont know what it is about him but I cant watch him, he will do wonderful on the radio I think.
    Jordan has good weeks and bad weeks, this was a wonderful week forer, I was amazed! im thinking shes safe this week.
    Sanjaya, well I havent liked him since the auditions till ast week I thought he was good last week (it hurt to admit it but I told people who dint like him last week I thought he did good) but tis week he as back to not so good singing, but yea he definately has the right stuff when he talks to simon lol, hes a funny kid who is using all the bad to help him so who knws, I bet hes safe even to he didnt get a vote fom me.
    I actually liked lakesha, but my fiancee said it was a bit off, I guess forsome reason I expected her to butcher th song and ended up liking it lol I thought this was gonnas be a bad week cause I didn think these guys could sing country and I was badly mistaken (oh well wouldnt bethe first time lol)
    I cringed at Chris, way too nasally, this is one reason I dont usually likehim, he is nasally a lot, very now and then he stops that and hs kinda good, he is a good dancer tho. I am thinking he will be in the bottom3

    Melinda WOOOO she looked awsome tonight, so much for not being sexy! shes beautiful! her outfit was awsome, her voice rigt on, she go my votes or sure. I LOVE her and still want her to win.
    Blake hmm hes a cutey, did better then I thought he would (and I do like blake, hes my number 2 choice for his originality)
    I think the best stand outs tonight were melinda and jordan.
    Thanks Shelly for ths blog! Ive missed a lot recently, due to kids, surgeons, a daughtr who is completely swollen from oral surgery, a baby being born without a arm (please pray for the first ime mother and her bran new baby boy, pray he healthy, I cant get much ino due to her being sedated and her mother not allowing anyone to see her. shes my daughters best friend and my daughter is the god mother an we are very worried, thank you) so ive missed a lot lately, gray if your reading , thinking of you dont let he few bashers (children who haent grown up) et ou down, you are very loved by a huge amountof people, thans to you we all got closer to soul and taylor and many other great musicians (I just bought joss ston 2 cd`s an dvd!!!! woooo) thanks again for all you both have done (shelly and gray!)
    k off to take kids toi dr`s again lol im a taxi cab any more!

  10. shrewspeaks Says:

    The hair – The options with that bandana are limitless

    Jordin – Did it again

    Phil Stacey – I hope it is not too late, for weeks I have been lamenting that this man does not know who he is. Finally, he as Randy put it “Found his home”. Like Josh Graceson, I believe Phil will be embraced by the Country Music community and have a great career. Unfortunately, if Phil does survive this week he will have to go through next week’s theme, whatever it is, and hear “Man you need to stick to country, be yourself dawg”. If he is voted off, we will be treated to hearing this wonderful performance again.

    Blake – safe week

    LaKisha – ummmm. I don’t know anymore

    Melinda – I liked her tonight…I finally liked her. But I loved Simon calling her on the coy bit.

    Chris R – If the hair doesn’t go, he should.

  11. KD Says:

    S-that’s all the time I will spend on him.

    Jordin–I even got a few goosebumps this week…I like her more and more.
    She sparkles. 🙂

    Phil–I agree…the voice sounds good. Poor guy though…something is missing and I can’t put my finger on it. No sparkle maybe?? A holding back?? Lack of confidence?? Too stiff? I don’t know what it is, but he doesn’t do anything for me.

    Blake–I like him. He’s a bit too laid back in his performances in my opinion, but I really like what he does with his voice…he’s got a style all his own.

    LaKisha–:( I’m sad to say, I didn’t like last night’s performance. Not good…Did anyone else think she looked emotional at the beginning?? Maybe that’s why she couldn’t hold it together, and then had to force her way through the song?

    Melinda–Great, same as always. I agree with Shrew…loved having Simon comment on the “you really like me?” routine. It’s been old for weeks. I’m not saying it wasn’t sincere, but she has GOT to get over it if she’s going to be a “star.”

    Chris R.–Nasally is a way of singing?? Yeah, a BAD way of singing! That had to be the most ridiculous comment this season.

    I have NO idea how the vote will go tonight—no predictions. I have to mention that Zan had a fantabulous idea, in my opinion. He thinks AI should change it up for a week…Survivor Style. Instead of voting for your favorite, have the public vote someone off. That might solve the S. debacle. And why not? It is a reality show, and reality shows change the rules all the time. What do you think?

  12. jenfera Says:

    KD – my husband argues all the time for that idea. He thinks it should be like that every week. I think that sort of takes away from the essence of the show – to find the “best” – as opposed to the last man standing. The least worst? I thought that might be okay for the Top 24 part. Or at least maybe give each of the judges one veto per season.

  13. Shelley Says:

    S-that’s all the time I will spend on him.

    BWAHAHAHA

    KD gets the Official Prize of the Day

  14. rowan Says:

    As ever, won’t see the show until tomorrow night, but thoroughly enjoying the great recap and comments.

    KD – Zan’s point is well worth pondering! Very cool. Am posting this fab wee quartet link just for him!

  15. ivecompletelylostmymind Says:

    Haven’t posted here before….

    I’m an “almost-original” GC’er who has been laying low for a while now. I’ve been quietly reading and staying out of the fray. But I have to say, you guys have given me a couple of great chuckles this morning! I think I’ll have to pop in more often.

    KD…you’re line about S made me spit my coffee out all over my keyboard. Thanks!!! I needed that!!!

    Shelley…used to love reading your posts on GC back in the day. Your place here seems cozy and friendly. Thanks!

    On topic…Jordin seemed like a winner to me last night.

  16. KD Says:

    My oh my oh my! Thanks for that PRIZE!!

    (note to self—say An Act of Contrition and three Hail Mary’s for my naughty thoughts.) 😉

  17. leejolem Says:

    I forgot to mention Mindy-Doo’s hair and outfit–they rawked! She looked 10 years younger. I think the hair length helped her short neck problem (i’m not being snarky, I really think it did). Now if we can only figure out how to make Phil’s head become more attractive. I love his voice and personality, but I’m afraid people are put off by his appearance. His laid back attitude is very appealing, and I love a power vocal, so I’m going to have to say I want Phil to win.

  18. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    LOL love KD`s S remark LOL you deserved that prize (and what a prize , will be seeing that on the 21)
    I honestly dont know what it is bout phil that I dont get, I mean he seems like a nice guy, and definately country is more his style, I just have to not watch him and he sings ok, but I still love Melinda and I have to agree , last night she did look younger, and very beautiful and she even looked sexy wich she doesnt think she can but she Did it!
    what gets me is how come I canget thru to whver I vote for every time after the first 30 minutes of voting this year? Last year Taylor had a lot of busy signals,I dont think thisa year has as much talent as last year had but still there are alot of die hard ai people (heck im still watchin even tho it dropped down to under my bottom 10 fav shows this year, and im not going to the concert this year (unless I won ticket, I cant refuse anything free hah) but I see a lot are watchingit so why can we get thru all the time? I vote for melinda so I know itsnot because shes not getting votes , shes not been in the bottom 3 yet .(and I pray she never does) well maybe they got more phone lines or something because they swear they have more viewers then ever, after last year I do find that hard to believe but maybe last year GOT more people to watch, besides whatdo I know lol)
    any way everyone have a great day, see you all after the results show !

  19. Holeigh Says:

    Wow, Shell! Our opinions of last night are so close it’s scary, haha.

    1. Phil — YES! I am more than willing to accept him into country music. He finally looked like he was having fun, showed off his voice, and it was just great. If he goes home this week, (to quote a roommate) “I’ma be pissed.”

    2. Jordin — WTF dress? but she is so wonderful every week, and she’s so dang cute. I wanna be Jordin when I grow up.

    3. Sanjaya — Thanks for killing another song I really liked. And your hair is absolutely ridiculous.

    4. LaKisha — We may love LaKisha in this house (she’s my roommate’s Godsister and all), but eesh…that song is so Carrie Underwood that I really think it was a risk to choose it. She wasn’t horrible, but those big notes did not work with the song, as Simon said. I hope she doesn’t go home just for that. (Mandisa, anyone?)

    5. Chris — Gaaah, Gary LeVox is such a good singer that Chris really needed to nail this, but he didn’t…the beginning/middle wasn’t horrible, but he did fall apart. And there is no nasal in the original of that song, sorry. However, his obvious emotion over Virginia Tech almost had me welling up.

    6. Melinda — Here’s where I stray from the consensus, but only a little. She looked great last night, they better keep that hair, it works. However, this was my 3rd or 4th straight week of being bored by her. To be honest, I haven’t LOVED her since she sang “My Funny Valentine”. She’s a wonderful singer, but I don’t see her being a success. Even last night, she chose an old country song; I’ve never heard anything current from her.

    7. Blake — I think this was a great song choice, first of all. And his vocal wasn’t horrible at all, it was rather good at times. But it all felt to me like a dress rehearsal; like he didn’t have to care yet, so he looked to me like he didn’t. Which is sad, because I can’t take my eyes off the kid most of the time, haha. 😉

    B3: Sanjaya, Chris, and I guess LaKisha. If Sanjaya can’t finally leave, I have to choose Chris, although that would be yet another injustice.

  20. shrewspeaks Says:

    KD- I think Zan’s idea is great! Because collectively we could resolve the Hair thing happening. But what would that say about the winner “congrats, America hates you least of all”?

  21. KD Says:

    Rowan…the laughing babies were hilarious!! 🙂
    Shrew…America hates you least of all! That’s funny! It would be worth it just to get rid of S. And it would only have to be one week. Can’t you hear it now?
    “Next week on American Idol…(cue the eery music and slow motion flash photos of each of the idols looking pensive and nervous…looking out of the corner of their eye)…never before has something like this been done…a first, like no other first you’ve ever seen on reality TV. This could be the chance you’ve all been waiting for…..tune in next week. Who will stay, and who will go? It’s up to you America! (cut to slow motion flash of Simon laughing and rubbing his man-boobs…cue AI music…and fade.)
    Priceless.

  22. shrewspeaks Says:

    KD- If they could tie it into donations for American Idol Gives Back that would be awesome!

  23. leejolem Says:

    “American Idol Gives Back….. Sanjaya” lol

  24. Claire Says:

    Lee – Bwahahahahahaaa!! Now THAT, right THERE, is funny. Don’t care who you are. (TM double d)

  25. leejolem Says:

    Claire, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  26. Little Deb Says:

    Does anyone know who the mentor is and what the theme is next week?

  27. Sideways Says:

    Does anyone know the genre for next week?

  28. Shelley Says:

    See y’all tomorrow.

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