Monday, March 03, 2008

American Idol: Top Ten Women!

Well, Troy finally caught up with his Tivo so we could recap the women's performances from last week. I'm all meh again about the women. The night verged on disaster for some of them, while others were just a'ight. So I'm not sure I can muster the snark--maybe we can keep this short.

TROY: Seriously. Isn't this supposed to be the MOST. TALENTED. TOP. 20. EVAH? Cause…I'm not buying it at all.

TRACY: I know! CARLY SMITHSON started off fine with "Crazy on You," which is a very difficult song, but I do think she suffered in comparison with Ann Wilson. She has a lovely voice and great range, but it seems like that should be adding up to some Fantasia/"Summertime," Ruben/"Superstar," Chris D./"Hemorrhage" moments, and it's really not.

She was one of the best of the night, but it was a sucktastic night. I hope she steps it up, although I have to confess, I'm kind of at a loss as to how she could do that.

TROY: Wasn't Carly supposed to be the "ringer" this year? I agree that she has a nice voice, but I'm still not seeing much of a personality or anything else. With all of the hype that this girl had prior to her performances, I am not seeing any kind of pay-off. She could go home at any time and I definitely won't be heartbroken,.

TRACY: I wasn't as off my head with BROOKE WHITE's "You're So Vain" as the judges were. It was a nice carbon-copy of Carly Simon's version, but that's not saying much, because this is not a difficult song. What Carly Simon brings to it is her amazing, butter-smooth lower register, and Brooke ain't got it. So ... meh.

And that guitar playing!? I was shocked that they didn't tell her to put that thing away, because she sounded like someone two classes into Guitar for Dummies. I mean, if she can go out there and play like THAT in front of millions of people and not get verbally decimated for it, I might as well chuck it all and start lobbying to be the third Indigo Girl. Dude.

TROY: Even though Brooke's guitar playing rivaled my final in Guitar 101 (I broke down mid-song and just said "I am SO sorry" after butchering my way though), I kind of enjoyed her performance. Sure she had a dopey grin on her face without any sense of irony or bitterness the song is supposed to have, but she set herself apart from the other girls, which is always good. I'm still not a fan, but I have to give props to the obnoxious nanny this week.

TRACY: I love "Don't Leave Me This Way," and was glad to see RAMIELE MALUBAY give it the Thelma Houston disco treatment, rather than the somnambulant suck-out-the-funk arrangements past American Idol contestants have inflicted on that poor song. But still ... it was missing that "it" factor. Maybe the "it" was a halfway decent outfit. I wouldn't have wore that tank or those jeans to scrub out my bathtub, much less on television in front of millions of people. I hope she makes the top ten just so the AI stylist can What Not to Wear her ass at least a few times before she gets the inevitable boot.

TROY: Great song. Mediocre performance. To do "Don't Leave Me This Way," you need a big voice and a little edge, which Ramiele has none of. She sang without any sort of attachment to the song, which could be because of the time difference (apparently these contestants are having troubles with the 60s and 70s – whatever). The only thing I can imagine her doing is getting involved with some sort of Disney production (unless her "scandalous" pictures online cause trouble--though that didn't stop Vanessa Hudgens).

TRACY: Eeeuw. I'm going to go out of my way to avoid those.

And speaking of terrifying outfits, AMANDA OVERMEYER needs to give those pants back to the WWE wrestler she stole them from. Here's a good rule of thumb: If it's acid-washed, has flames up the side, or could be described with the words "faux chaps," run away. Far, far away. Or better yet, set them on fire so they never have to be inflicted on an unsuspecting public again.

I really thought she was going to be in her element with the 70s, but she chose a terrible song for her voice (no offense to Kansas), and she whiffed the low notes, botched the chorus, and disappointed me greatly. I'm hoping her unique edge is enough to save her this round, because that performance sure wasn't. I think she can do better. I also think it would have been OK to trot out Janis during freaking SEVENTIES WEEK!

Hot mess of the week! Last week we were singing the praises of Amanda, but now she definitely deserves to get the boot after that "performance." Amanda, have you met Rock Star's Jordis, Hell's Kitchen's Elsie and Project Runway's Michael Knight? You can now start a support group for reality stars who started out amazing and managed to botch it when it counts the most. There was not one redeeming factor about this performance.

TRACY: And Troy just demonstrated how much time we waste on reality TV. Anyway, once again, I was horrified by KRISTY LEE COOK. She looked more comfortable this week, but "You're No Good" is NINE WORDS LONG and doesn't have that many more notes to it. Someone is coasting, and I think she should just coast home and beg her abandoned horse for forgiveness.

TROY: What is the appeal of this girl? I think Kristy is so bland and so plain that I cannot imagine who would be voting for her. If she could, she would just go out there and sing "Amazing Grace" every week. She would have earned some bonus points if she sang the Rolling Stones classic "Wild Horses."

TRACY: It seems like many people are singing ALAINA ALEXANDER'S praises, but I'm not feeling it, dawg. You have the entire catalog from one of the most innovative and fabuloso decades of music ever in the history of ever, and you sing "Hopelessly Devoted to You?!?!?!" Simon and Garfunkel! Three Dog Night! Carole King! Classic Rod Stewart! David Bowie! The Allman Brothers! Fleetwood Mac! Peter Freaking Gabriel! The Grateful Dead! Jefferson Airplane/Starship! Marvin Gaye! Donny Hathaway! The Kinks! John Lennon! SKYNYRD! Pink Floyd! The Rolling Flipping Stones! Roxy Music! Steely Dan! The Who! Neil Young (who probably wouldn't release his catalog to AI, but WHATEVER!), JONI MITCHELL, PEOPLE!!!!!!

I think I need to go lie down.

TROY: See … I didn't mind Carrie Underwood 2.0 (now with a tooth gap!) this week. She isn't a Joni Mitchell kind of girl. She probably grew up watching Grease and decided to sing something that she knew. I have to applaud her a little bit for that. It's safe, but she was able to showcase her voice and feel comfortable doing it. Besides, do you really want to hear Alaina's take on "Free Bird?"

TRACY: Well, at least it would have been interesting. Amanda's hot mess of the week was more memorable than that, and she has a great voice!

SYESHA MERCADO was sweet, and I liked her take on "Me and Mr(s). Jones" well enough, but like I said when it came to Jason Yeager *SOB!*, you need to bring more than sweet if you want to beat the Davids.

TROY: Syesha was okay. I really like this song, but she didn't even live up to George Frickin' Huff's version. She has a sweet personality and a decent voice, but again, I'm not seeing any kind of edge or something notable to her.

TRACY: I could say the same about ALEXANDREA LUSHINGTON. I did think her "If You Leave Me Now" was quite pretty, but she needs to step it up and at least get back to "Spinning Wheel" form if she doesn't want to be eliminated in the first few rounds of the top ten. That said, I really like her.

TROY: You've been criticizing everyone's fashion and I feel Alexandrea's outfit deserves some attention. The sk8er boi shorts were just baaaaaad. I think she needed a Red Bull (or a Coca-Cola, right Idol?) during that performance. She was even putting herself to sleep! Huge disappointment this week.

TRACY: I didn't mind it! Now KADY MALLOY was awful. Like Simon, I love her clips ... and then she opens her mouth on stage. There's just nothing else to add to that other than Heart is just too big for you, honey. Next time, try something that better suits your range ... like "The Wheels on the Bus." I think Amy Davis passed her perfect pitch allergy on to Kady.

TROY: Can Kady just be Britney on stage?


TROY: I'd honestly rather hear her impersonations than hear her be herself. I think realizing the cameras are live just sucks out her soul, and she just stands there, open-mouthed and terrified. I honestly can't even remember what song she sang because she leaves absolutely no impression on me during performance. Bye Kady--it's been, well, pitchy.

TRACY: And that leaves us with A'S'I'A'H EPPERSON, who brought us her own interpretation of "All By Myself," with a side of extra cheese. What is with the contestants who think they can suck for the whole song and then give us a power note at the end, and we'll forget all about how much they just sucked?

TROY: THANK YOU! I thought A'siah was horrible! Her voice cracked about ten seconds into the song and no one seems to notice that. Just because she hit a power note at the end, doesn't mean she is a good singer. The judges seemed to have selective memory on this one. Here's hoping America sees through this.


TROY: Well, the RESULTS SHOW wasn't very inspiring this week either. Amanda continued on her path to the fortress of suckitude with her impersonation of a dying cat during the group sing. And how cheesy are those group sings this year? Ick.

TRACY: I keep expecting the contestants to start pumping their arms like a bicycle and launching into "I'm gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night!" SO Brady!

TROY: I'm happy to see faux rocker Robbie go, but sad that Paula didn't drunkenly rush the stage and tear off his wig.

TRACY: Thank you, America! And yes, that would have been hilarious!

TROY: I know you must be devastated over (Not) Tommy 2.0.


TROY: Can't say I'm surprised, but it was nice to see him put some emotion into his final song. He also infused a little "go white boy!" dancing into it.

TRACY: I listened to the clip on iTunes, and he sounded better than the Doobie Brothers original! I think the guy got unfairly shafted by not having any screen time during the preliminary rounds, and by Simon's weird prejudice against him. He seems like a nice guy, and he didn't deserve to be repeated kicked on national television. I've heard worse (Robbie!) That elimination marks the first time I've ever genuinely felt really sorry for a contestant for more than two seconds.

TROY: I was fine with Alexandrea leaving this week.

TRACY: I wasn't. She was one of two interesting female contestants, and now we are down to one, who has started wearing acid-washed flame pants. This is going to be an ugly season.

TROY: But her bad fashion and narcoleptic performance sealed her fate. Did she have personality prior to getting the boot? I was pretty impressed with her banter with Ryan this week and I would have considered throwing a vote or two her way had she shown this before.

TRACY: I know! I wish we'd seen that a little earlier, but it's not like she was getting the screen time Carly Smithson has been getting. Seems like the producers are pulling for an Irish or Australian Idol this year....

TROY: And while Amanda deserved to go, how awesome was Alaina's breakdown after finding she got the boot? I thought she would reach "Marie Osmond fainting" proportions, but managed to pull herself together and get through the final song. Her tantrum ("I can't sing! I SUCK!") had me laughing, rolling my eyes, and feeling a little sad for her all at the same time.

TRACY: Aw, I really did feel sorry for her, especially after she started muttering about how embarrassing it was to lose it on national TV. She's very young, and you can't blame her for being genuinely upset. Despite her boring song choice, she deserved to stay longer and I'm personally affronted that Kristy Lee "I abandoned my horse" Cook didn't go instead.

Will Amanda finally stop sucking? Will another female contestant step it up and make us like the women better? Will anyone come close to having the moments of major awesomeness that David Archuleta has been having? Will Troy and I shake ourselves out of the "mehs" and show what kind of snark we're capable of? Tune in later this week to find out!

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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