Sunday, April 08, 2007

American Idol Update

Gina probably didn't deserve to go home this soon, but she had virtually no shot of cracking the top six, so in the long run it doesn't matter if you finish ninth, eighth, or seventh.

I love how the judges talk about Haley doing "her thing". That "thing" solely consists of wearing those dresses each and every week.

Sanjaya is a phenomenon. He now realizes that he's popular and it's led to an upsurge in his confidence. He makes up for his vocal deficiencies by being unpredictable, and what's more, his vocals are really improving as he gets more comfortable being onstage. He's dominating the non-black ethnic vote, the nine year old girl vote, and the "we can't wait to see what fresh hell he'll unleash this week" vote.

Blake is still my favourite and I would be perfectly happy to see him win the whole competition. He's proven to be a talented singer/dancer in the vein of Michael (his hero) or Justin, and is also a very creative arranger who has succeeded in several different styles. He's a find. The other remaining guys are nothing to speak of, and I would be surprised if this season doesn't come down to Blake, Sanjaya, and the three divas.

Yes, the divas -- currently YOUR top three vote-getters, and the dominant story of the season thus far. First we have Melinda, who has to be the most overrated quantity in the history of the show. I have to imagine that Clive Davis & co. are non-so secretly hoping that she gets bounced before the finale for one simple reason: how would you market her? She looks ten years older than she is and hasn't a chance of sexing it up in an MTV video near you. She doesn't fill a niche role (unlike, say, Taylor Hicks), doesn't have a particularly distinct look or voice (unlike, say, Fantasia), and doesn't have quirky/personality-based appeal (unlike, say, Kellie Pickler). What happens to her once the show is over? Does she make bland R&B and disappear like Ruben Studdard did? Does she lean toward the adult contemporary market?

This past week, Melinda sang "I've Got Rhythm". The judges blathered on about "believability" a lot. Let me ask you, was Melinda believable during her performance? The song requires a sultry, energetic, sexpot performance. Is Melinda any of those things? LaKisha can pull off that sort of thing because her voice actually has soul (unlike Melinda's style of white-bread Broadway glitz) and she can effortlessly play the role of the red hot big mama. In fact, does Melinda have any personality at all beyond "very good singer"? Even as a singer, I would take Jordin over Melinda *right now* (i.e. not grading them on an age curve due to the 12-year difference) -- hipper style, more playful demeanor, and a more engaging performer. Jordin really must learn how to dress better, though.

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