Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol thoughts - top 5

Hey, it's Rat Pack night!! So, the mentor is noted Rat Packer...ummm...Jamie Foxx? What, is he a respected Sinatra historian and I just didn't know it? Is he Sammy's illegitimate son? No? Ohhh....that's right. The Soloist hit theaters on April 24...starring Jamie Foxx. Well, that's just blatant hucksterism, then, isn't it? AMERICAN IDOL!!!

1) Kris Allen - "The Way You Look Tonight": First, let me say this...Kris was looking very sharp tonight. I'm secure enough in my heterosexuality to point that out (obviously...I blog about AMERICAN IDOL, for Pete's sake).

I love this song, and I thought Kris did a very good job with it...I loved the first part, when he was sending out the crooner vibe. The middle was just OK for me, dawg...I don't like his falsetto voice, and this little R&B part just seemed unnecessary to me. I get what he was doing by trying to change up the original a little, I just didn't really like it all that much. I also think he should not have ended with the falsetto...his falsetto voice is just not strong enough to pull that off.

Despite what this is starting to sound like, I actually did enjoy this...probably in a 2-way tie for my second favorite of the night. I just would have enjoyed it more if he had sang it straight, but that's probably going to be the way I feel about everybody since I love this style of music and think these songs are some of the most beautiful ever written.

2) Allison Iraheta - "Someone to Watch Over Me": I absolutely LOVED this...I watched it three times in a row, and then called Carrie in to watch it with me. Gorgeous song, she sang it pretty much straight, backed off the power in all of the right, she doesn't look like she picked her clothes out of Hot Topic tonight. This was gorgeous, and my favorite of the night by far.

I agree with half of what Simon said to her...I don't think the problem is her personality. I actually enjoy her personality. But I do think she lacks confidence, and her reaction when he asked her if she thought she could win was pretty telling. The correct answer is "Yes." No qualifiers, no backtracking.

Oh, and I have to once again call Paula out on the pre-written commentary. Yes, it makes her sound more coherent, but it's also blatantly obvious that she's not coming up with it on the spot.

Come on...this is an exact quote: "We all know the driving force that your vocals posses...but what you delivered tonight had an innocent sensibility that was both alluring...and very tender." All delivered with the subtlety of a 10th grader who has been given her first lead in the school play. You're telling me that Paula A) came up with that on the spot, and B) managed to get it out succinctly? Methinks someone got a little nervous when they brought Kara in, and decided to take steps to make sure there are no more screw-ups like the "I thought Jason Castro already sang twice" fiasco from last season.

Moving on...

3) Matt Giraud - "My Funny Valentine": Yeah, I think Jamie just didn't have anything useful to add, got bored, or whatever, and sent Matt out...only to have the producers say, "Jamie, Baby...we're letting you come on this ratings behemoth of a show for no other reason than you have a movie coming have to give us SOMETHING to work with here." So they called Matt back in, so that Jamie could "advise" him.

He actually gave good advice that I wish ALL of the mentors would give's the same advice that Tarrantino gave him. Don't fall so in love with the vocal gymnastics that you forget to sing the freaking song.

Once he started singing, though, I was confused...did Jamie tell him to LOWER the key? I thought he told him to RAISE the key. Regardless, now Matt is singing in his lower register, and it is pitchy for me, dawg. He seems uncomfortable. He's just flat all over the place until he gets to the end. I did like the ending, but he should have just held that last note out...he can't help himself, though, and he has to break off into the little falsetto run at the end. His falsetto is not NEARLY as good as he thinks it is.

I have no clue what Simon was listening to...I'm usually pretty much in lockstep with him, but I didn't get his effusive praise of that mess at ALL.

4) Danny Gokey - "Come Rain or Come Shine": Here's my take on Danny...I really do love to listen to him sing almost every time he performs. I just can't watch him. When he's being "sincere" he strikes me as smarmy, and when he goes into the "big" parts, I just don't buy him as a performer. I've brought up Taylor Hicks before in comparisons to Danny, and I still stand by it when it comes to performance style...spastic, I guess, is the word I'm looking for.

Again...vocally, this was a FANTASTIC performance. I just listened to it again on YouTube (without watching, sound only), and I can't find one single thing wrong with it. I just don't connect with Danny, apparently. And...somehow, to me, Adam manages to come off as more humble than Danny. Not sure how he's pulling that off. But Danny, in his reactions to people, just strikes me as smug.

I don't know...I'm sure people will tell me I'm just being mean or whatever, but don't you have those people who you just don't like, even if you can't put your finger on why, and everybody else seems to love them and thinks you're crazy for not liking them? Yeah, it's like that.


OK...all better now.

5) Adam Lambert - "Feeling Good": I'm telling you, when he came sashay/strutting down the stairs, I thought for sure this would be the week that Adam just unleashed on America with full fury (if you don't know what I mean by that, then check this out). As it turns out, it was another pretty typical Adam performance. Honestly, this is maybe my least favorite of his performances...I actually enjoyed "Ring of Fire" more, just due to the sheer audacity of it. I am amazed by what he can do vocally, but I would actually like to hear him do a song one time WITHOUT exploring the upper reaches of his range (if we've even heard the upper reaches of his range yet). And the tongue thing is starting to be distracting. But, this was still very good, and he is just so much more "complete" as an artist than anybody else on this show that it's not even funny.

Loved Simon's comment to Randy: complaining about Adam being too theatrical is like complaining about a cow who moos.

Final thoughts:
Allison was my favorite tonight, followed by a two way tie between Adam and Kris, then Danny, then Matt.

I LOVE these songs, and they are perfect for a show like this. They are beautiful enough that you can just sing them straight (like Allison did), because they are written for great singers. But there is also a lot of freedom in the melody so that you can change it up if you want to and still sound great (like Danny did).

Hard to come up with a bottom two this week...everybody except one was really, REALLY good.

Who SHOULD be in the bottom two:
Including my personal (and as yet unexplained) bias: Danny and Matt
Without my personal (and as yet unexplained) bias: Kris and Matt

Who WILL be in the bottom two:
Kris and Matt

Who SHOULD go home:

Who WILL go home:

1 comment:

Shan said...

Hopefully, voters appreciated what Allison did, and will keep her around for next week -- rock week. If she makes it through tonight, she and Adam will be in the finals with Gokey or Kris, because Matt is living on borrowed time.

Also, it finally dawned on me that Kris is a more likable, and more capable, version of Jason Castro. As long as he does that coffeehouse thing, he's fine. Outside of that, not so much (zzzzz).