Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol - A Less Than Stellar Start

Tonight was the first real night of competition on American Idol. And by real I mean this is the first time that America gets to use their voice and vote. In that spirit, here are some of my random thoughts:

TOO MANY SEMI-FINALISTS - This year, there are 36 contestants in the semi-finals. This means we get three nights of 12 contestants and they're pared down from there. After last night, I'm thinking that's probably about 12 too many.

I LIKE THE NEW GIRL - Kara DioGuardi, the 4th judge, provides a nice shot in the arm. It's good to have someone else on the panel, although sometimes you have to feel sorry for those poor contestants standing through FOUR bad reviews.

SIMON IS THE GRIM REAPER - More than once he told someone, "You had this one amazing shot, and you blew it. You won't make it through." And yes, while I think he was right every time he said it, it's like kicking someone who's already on the ground. Kinda pointless and just a little mean.

SO MUCH VANILLA - Several contestants have nice voices, but they came across as pretty bland. So much so that I can't even remember who they were to tell you.

THE BOYS RULE - For this round, anyway. Most of the gals tonight either cracked or just weren't that great.

PARENTS DON'T BELONG BACK STAGE - It's painful enough to see the contestant deal with bad feedback. I don't need to see the parents do it, too. Hopefully this is only going to happen in the semi-finals.

WHAT'S TATIANA PLAYING? During the entire audition process, Tatiana Del Toro was an irritating mess... helium voice, grating laugh, manic mood swings. But tonight, it was Tatiana on Sedatives. She was so calm, she was blank. She was Stepford Tatiana. Sadly, she was one of the better girl singers. But I still think her personality - either one, because they're both bad - is going to knock her out of the competition.

SOME SONGS JUST SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE - What made Casey Carlson think she should sing a song by the Police? Turning Every Little Thing She Does is Magic into a pop ditty is just wrong. And Stephen Fowler confounded everyone by choosing Michael Jackson's Rock with You. To quote Randy, "Not good, Dogg, not good."

JAMAR WAS ROBBED - They showed him in the audience, supporting his buddy Danny. And I couldn't help but think how hard it must have been for him to hear all the clunkers and bad choices of some of the singers. Jamar should have been up on that stage, no doubt about it.

I LOVE DANNY GOKEY - And not just because he's a church music director. Singing Hero by Mariah Carey was a gutsy move. That's another song that's easy to butcher. But he nailed it. I love his tone, the depth of his voice, his connection to the lyrics and the audience... He's my favorite so far.

Okay, so my predictions for tonight's elimination show:
Top Male - Danny Gokey (duh)
Top Female - Alexis Grace - Of all the girls, she's the one that stood out to me
Third overall - Michael Sarver - He's got a nice sound, had fun with his song, and I want to see this Texas roughneck have a shot at the big time.

Your turn. What are your thoughts or predictions?


Julie Carobini said...

I agree with what you said about parents backstage. Awful. Just awful. While I enjoyed Michael, and really hope he makes it through, I'm afraid the 3rd top might be Jackie. I also enjoyed AnnMarie and didn't think she quite deserved all the negativity heaped on her.

Jennifer AlLee said...

I agree about AnnMarie. She did a nice job, but her pitch did kind of bounce around. I do wish the judges would stop saying that a song is "too old" for a contestant. Just messes with those kids' heads!

I had high hopes for Jackie, but I wasn't impressed last night. She does play to the crowd, but her performance seemed awkward and just a little desperate. Of course, I have to give ALL of them props for getting up in front of millions of people and then being critiqued. Can you imagine if there was an American Idol for literature? Not sure I'd have the guts to go on!

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

I think the closest CBA equivalent of AI would be having your one sheet looked over by Chip, Karen and STeve at the ACFW conference last year. FYI Chip is Simon, you can do the math on the other 2!

Jennifer AlLee said...

I agree, Lisa! Definitely a nail biter, but at least it was anonymous :+}