Tuesday Night, February 20, 2007
American Idol Thoughts
Hey everyone! If you have been on this site in previous years, you will know that it is primarily a baseball site. As I have reiterated before though, I will also discuss other topics from time to time. One of my favorite "other" topics... American Idol! I know. I'm weird. A guy in his low-30s who enjoys watching American Idol. Hey, several times I have been quoted as saying that I believe American Idol should be mandatory viewing in junior high and high school. Why, you may ask? Because I do think that it would help show these students that music and the arts can be cool. Anyway, in past years, I have tried to give my opinions on each performance (sometimes I agree with the judges, sometimes I really don't). I have then ranked the performances and given my thoughts and predictions for which performer will be eliminated.
For those of you baseball fans only out there, just skip it. Believe me, I have a very fun Q&A set for tomorrow. But based on previous years, there are a lot of people who have shared watching the show and discussing it here. So, I hope to continue to do this, and I would encourage many of you to share your opinions in the Comments below.
Tonight is the first Live Performance night. Previous American Idol shows provided us with laughs and some background on those who made it to Hollywood. We then saw a week or two worth of what happened in Hollywood. It was all done to lead up to this. There are 12 men and 12 women remaining, and now America gets to start to determine who that next American Idol will be. Tonight, the men are performing. My plan is to update this site at commercials if I can keep up. Please feel free to e-mail me or Comment if you have any thoughts. Let's talk about the 12 male contestants, two of which will be eliminated on Thursday:
Rudy Cardenas, 28 (California) - Free Ride
He says that he is a professional musician and eats a lot of ramen. OK! He actually sounded pretty good, but that said it was difficult to actually understand a few of the words that he sang. But he picked a song that let him show a couple of very distinct ranges. He picked a good song and was fun. He should be safe, but going first is not necessarily a good thing. Easy to forget when there will be 11 more performances!
Brandon Rogers, 29 (California) - Rock With You
So, he has worked with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake... and toured with Usher, as a background singer. On this night, Rogers went with a song that started out slow to show off some vocals, and then it turned into some fun. I thought he stayed pretty controlled. Gotta love the old school Michael Jackson stuff and this was one of his best. Although he sang well, I don't think that it sounded that great thanks to, ironically, his background vocalists. He's safe, but it wasn't a showstopper.
Sundance Head, 28 (Texas) - Nights in White Satin
He works in a machine shop. I don't know what that means. Remember his dad was a musician in the '60s, so he isn't real far removed from the stage. Strange song choice. Pretty safe song, but it was really, really bad the first verse, and even the chorus. He actually ended it quite well, maybe the last half of the song, and that is important. Remember that he has been one of the show's favorites since the beginning, so he may make it through. Not sure he deserves it.
Paul Kim, 25 (California) - Careless Whisper
He says he is old. Uggh! I am officially old! And, he doesn't like wearing shoes. That... is cool! That first voice was very slow and low, and quiet. Great song, but even in the first chorus, it was not good. Once he just started having fun, he was excellent. Well, until he tried that high note and was not even close. The guy showed he can sing, he just didn't put together a very complete performance.
Chris Richardson, 22 (Virginia) - I Don't Wanna Be
Looks like Justin Timberlake? Ummm... not really. Not at all. Sings like him? Maybe. I don't like the song, but I was actually entertained by this performance. He made the song a little different than the original, and that is something that is a good thing. Vocally, I wouldn't say he was perfect, but he did show charisma and did have a lot of fun! Plus, hey, he's from the land of Michael Cuddyer and David Winfree, so that's got to be a good thing!
Nick Pedro, 25 (Massachusetts) - Now and Forever
Nick is the one that left the competition last year. He looked very nervous in talking to Ryan. And then he was absolutely incredible! Granted he didn't do anything really special except for the "All this time" run. It was a very safe song, but at least he was good vocally. Vocally, he was as good as anyone so far.
Blake Lewis, 25 (Washington) - Somewhere Only We Know
I'm a huge fan of anyone that can beat box. But I agree with his assessment that he could be pigeon-holed as that alone. He chose a very interesting song that should actually take away the 100% hip-hop image. He was incredible. Showed great range. Vocally he was incredible! You're looking at my favorite now to this point. That was wonderful! And how cool was it to see his dad lip-syncing at the same time!?
Sanjaya Malakar, 17 (Washington) - Knocks Me Off My Feet
He has the highest speaking voice. Imagine how good of a singer he will be when he hits puberty! He sang Okay, but he definitely sounded young. Not anything close to Luther Vandross (although Randy said that it was Stevie Wonder). He actually got better as the song went along, but it wasn't strong at all.
Chris Sligh, 28 (South Carolina) - Typical
This guy has been hilarious so far. He is easy to like, and that should get him quite a ways! I definitely wasn't expecting a song like that. However, vocally he was excellent, and he moved around, showed great charisma and clearly enjoyed it. I thought it was very solid! Maybe someone can explain the Teletubbies reference??
Jared Cotter, 25 (New York) - Back at One
He got fired from his job for trying out for American Idol? What kind of place does that? And then he comes out with some Brian McKnight... and didn't really do it justice. He was flat on a few occasions. He was solid, but definitely unspectacular. May be a case where the song was too big for his voice. He came on strong at the end, and I am sure that he will develop a following.
A.J. Tabaldo, 22 (California) - Never Too Much
He's been cut five other times. Now he's got some TV time and he wore a polo shirt. But, he did look like he had a good time and sang an upbeat Luther Vandross song. Vocally though, he did keep up very well. He showed terrific range. This was an excellent performance and something that voters will/should remember. If not for Blake, this would be by far the #1!
Phil Stacey, 29 (Florida) - Could Not Ask for More
A sailor, and a guy whose story includes his wife having a baby the day of his audition. He's got a great story that America will love! And the family showed up for the night! Nice touch! That song started out really flat and kind of spooky. Maybe it was a distinct vocal, but it creaped me out. Once he grabbed the mic though, he was very good. The camera shots of his wife smiling so genuinely had to pull at the heart strings of the voters. He was very good after a very shaky start, and he could get better.
Overall, there is a lot of room for improvement in most of the contestants. I think that the key is to get to week two, to get through one week to know how the judges will react and respond and what they are looking for. I thought Blake was head-and-shoulders better than the rest. I thought there were solid performances from AJ and Chris. Nick, Chris and Phil were decent. Brandon, Paul and Rudy could show a lot of improvement as they showed stretches of great, but something was missing. I think Brandon could be a guy who still gets to the Top 12! Jared is lucky that the bottom two were so bad! Those two? Sanjaya and Sundance were both messes and should not remain for week 2. I really don't think that they will.
Tomorrow night... the woman will perform. Hopefully it will be better. I am not sure if I will again post my thoughts live. Let me know what you think. Leave me an e-mail or post some Comments below.|
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