Back to the AI blogging after a couple weeks away...
We've finally arrived at our top 12, and I'll just quickly point out the obvious: Sanjaya Malakar and Haley Scarnato just do not belong in this group. It's not that these two aren't talented - on the contrary, they do have good voices. The problem is that they don't have fabulous voices.
But since when did having the best voice mean anything to the Idol voters?
And on that note, I think that after last night's performances, Sanjaya is bound to stick around for another week. Prior to Tuesday's show, I'd chosen Haley to go home first, and I think that not even Simon's surprisingly positive appraisal of her performance will save her. It seems that Sanjaya is this year's girlie-girl favorite, which will probably keep him around at least another few weeks. I'd love nothing more than for him to go home tonight, but I think Haley's next.
Let's hit the highlights of Tuesday's show, shall we?
#1. Melinda Doolittle proves over and over that she is a better singer than most famous pop artists out there today. I think that she is arguably at the same level as some of the greatest soul and R&B singers of the sixties; it was no exaggeration for Simon to compare her to Gladys Knight. She really is that good. Her humble spirit and her seasoned professionalism only make her talent shine even more.
#2. LaKisha is the runner-up to Melinda right now, and I LOVED her version of "God Bless the Child". She really worked the low end of her register, and she did a very good job of giving some of her own character to the Billie Holiday classic. Randy took the words out of my mouth with his comment - she "didn't overdo it", and that's something that some other contestants (Phil Stacey and Gina Glocksen most notably) need to learn.
#3. Jordin Sparks might be the third wheel out of the best women - she has definitely got IT; question is, can she convert IT to stardom as the Idol? She did a pretty good job with the ballad, but she's up against two powerhouse singers. Might just be that this isn't her time YET...
Blake Lewis will be a star, with or without the AI title. The guy is really talented, love that he is a real musician, and that he can make something out of the beat box skills without making it ALL about the beat box. He's hip, fresh and a lot of fun to watch on stage. Only problem is that last night's performance didn't do much for me. Wasn't bad, but it really lacked the energy of the previous weeks. I think he's going deep into this competition, but this wasn't his best.
As for the rest, it was an average week - even Chris Sligh didn't impress with his Coldplay style arrangement of Endless Love (an interesting idea that fell flat). Phil, Stephanie and Gina were alright, but Justin - oops, Chris Richardson - didn't really connect with the melody at all, missing all kinds of falsetto notes badly and it didn't work. But again, he's not going home...
Oh and Brandon Rogers sang. Yeah. He's that forgettable. But Haley's going home.