I can't resist commenting on last week's "American Idol" for a moment. Everyone keeps saying how the girls blow the guys away and yes, their bench is deeper. But the people saying all the guys will be gone by the top six or five are wrong talent-wise and certainly don't know how the show works. I'd be surprised if Chris Sligh, Blake Lewis and one other guy (maybe the vocally weak Chris Richardson or back-up singer Brandon) weren't in the top six. Sure, it looks like an all-diva finale, but these guys are definitely in the mix.
I thought Blake Lewis's reggae-ish 311 song was actually pretty cool, though his hairdo is still awful. He is definitely a wild card. In many ways, I thought Sundance was the worst. Sanjaya is inoffensive, whereas Sundance tackled "Jeremy." The song is hardly sacred -- these guys are all tackling famous songs -- but somehow, when you tackle something as personal and iconic as "Jeremy" is for Pearl Jam, butchering that is somehow a lot more annoying than butchering, say, one of a million wonderful Stevie Wonder ballads. Phil aka "Bat Boy" was also just terrible.
And then there's Sanjaya. Sure, he could have been eliminated before. But let me say this, Sanjaya has a very thin voice (or he's just scared onstage) but he is always on-key in his performance. He reminds me of Christopher Cross, who can't sing worth a damn live, but in the studio with lots of double-tracking and good production, he can do some great singles. As small as it is, he does have an okay voice and his performances(despite the hula) to me wasn't nearly as bad as Sundance and Phil and the colorless Jared, all of whom I would have sent home before him. Besides, how the heck did he flatten his hair and get it all poofy and Farrah Fawcett-y for the results show. Paula said Sundance was one of their best vocalists? hardly. He had a good audition and we spent the rest of the series waiting for him to be good again. Mostly he was terrible and he certainly deserved to go.
On the girls side, this was the first week I thought LaKisha was the best, bar none. Her Whitney Houston song was terrific, she sounded and looked great. Melinda, on the other hand, was smooth -- but "I'm A Woman" was I thought a really bad song. Oh she sang it, but I couldn't stop thinking of the TV ad it had been appropriated for. Yes, I think she's an "adult" artist a la Anita Baker (or Simon's good comparison of Gladys Knight), but this tune made her seem old and out of touch, sort of. Stephanie looked great and am I the last person to notice Gina's tongue piercing? Sabrina looked good, but I thought she was very harsh and scream-y, basically anonymous and that's what I wrote down before remembering how she was kicked off.
Certainly Antonella deserved to go, but I loved the close-up of Sabrina and Haley, was it? Sabrina looked extremely emotional before the announcement, but you just know she expected to go through because she had a look of ASTONISHMENT on her face when her name was announced instead of Haley. Ooops. I completely agreed with boring Jared, awful Sundance, anonymous Sabrina and Antonella being sent home.
Best line of the week: Ryan telling Simon, "Let the old man judge; let the young man interview."