Friday, February 23, 2007

Welcome Back American Idol!

Here comes another jam packed first week of the top 24 Idol contestants. Five hours in one week is enough to make even the most ardent Idol fans happy, but you have to wonder how long until they team up with Big Brother and get some cameras in the Idol mansion. Ryan is semi casual tonight, no tie, but he does have a dress shirt and a vest! Is this the first time we’ve seen him in a vest? He was all about the ties the last half of Season 5, so I’m thinking as soon as they go to the top 12 he wears a tie and jacket and continues his evolution into Dick Clark. The contestants are lined up along the staircase and Ryan gives them all a heartfelt high five as he makes his way down the stairs. Ryan gives mad props to the band leader Ricky Minor. Who is this Ricky guy? Wasn’t he also the bandleader on the rather awful celebrity duets show? Is this really what he wanted to be when he grew up – leading a band doing cover songs on various Fox shows? This guy is primed for a Paul Shafer/Kevin Eubanks role in the future, maybe if Brian Dunkleman ever gets his own show. I bet this time of year is brutal for him; thank god for Paxil. Ryan eventually introduces the Idol men and we get our first glimpse of what, after over a month of planning, they decided to wear tonight. Rudy is wearing a purple shirt with a purple target emblazoned upon his chest. Really? This is the best you can do with your fashion sense? Why not wear a red one and hope for a marketing deal with Target in the future? Sundance goes the Taylor route with a semi casual jacket approach. Chris Richardson not only looks like Justin Timberlake, he is dressing like him with the full suit approach. Blake must have coordinated with Ryan pre-show; he has a vest as well. Hey look it’s the female contestants in the crowd right next to the stage, and guess what, we don’t know half of them – great job of editing in the early rounds Idol producers. Ryan banters with the judges and asks Randy if the judges are being tougher this season. Randy says they aren’t, they are just being honest, causing Ryan to turn into the Anna Nicole Smith judge and cross examine him suggesting that in seasons past they were lying, since when they are ‘honest’ they turn mean. Ahhh it feels so good to have the meaningless Ryan/Judge exchanges back in my life.

Rudy Cardenas – Free Ride
Ok its time for some singing, I can’t wait to hear what song the contestants selected and why they picked…huh what? Instead of the normal introduction for the song we get a video package of the contestant’s journey (they know we have no idea who half of these people are) and Rudy says it doesn’t matter what Simon think of him, and then suddenly he is singing. Ok this will be tough, what song is he singing? What if I don’t recognize it, am I going to have to google the lyrics? Never mind, its “Free Ride,” everyone has heard this song at least 137 times. There is a little forced excitement while he is singing. Being forced up is incredibly hard and he is doing too much to sell the performance. He misses his first really big note of the note going a little bit flat, but he is sounding pretty good. The crowd is really pumped up, but they aren’t convincing, they, like me, wanted more from our first Idol contestant of the season. His face goes in and out of cabaret styled expressions; is he channeling Clay Aiken? This isn’t Project Runway, but is this really the best shirt he owns? It is beyond distracting. I’m sure of one thing; no president will ever wear that shirt in public. We learn during Rudy’s song that either none of the girls can dance, or the song is not worthy of their dancing. This is a rather listless opening to Season Six. There is nothing special about Rudy tonight as he delivers the quintessential ‘so what’ performance. He isn’t bad, just not great. It’s too bad Rudy isn’t horrible. Think about it, if he was truly bad and somehow stuck around and overcame his lack of talent the entire audience could break out the Rudy chant and then the camera could flash to Sean Astin in the crowd waving to everyone. Randy says kicking off the show is hard, but for him it was really corny and he could see the same thing in any bar in America. I wonder if he could see the same thing in a gay bar, or hey what about a juice bar. Most people say the best place to find undiscovered talents is in fact at juice bars. Paula calls it a fantastic start to the season, in fact, the best start to the season ever, and of course Simon disagrees. Let’s remember though, Paula often can’t remember to tie her own shoes or avoid hitting cars on the highway, so to expect her to remember the last 5 seasons of Idol is just too much. Simon says the reason he hasn’t been enthusiastic is because he never heard Rudy do anything unique and although a few people had a reasonably good time, Rudy left us with nothing to remember. Paula still maintains he is fantastic. Speaking of former people who she called fantastic I wonder how long it takes Corey Clark to figure someway to get himself in the news again now that the Idol season is back in swing. Come on Corey get down to the Bahamas and say you are the father of Anna Nicole’s baby. We know you have a thing for slutty celebrities and we know that Anna was like the Wilt Chamberlain of playboy bunnies; we’d have to at least wonder if he was telling the truth right? Ryan gives Rudy a chance to respond to the judges and Rudy says everyone has an opinion, but he hopes to change it soon for the better. Whoah wait a second back up John Kerry boy. Didn’t you just say a minute ago you didn’t care what Simon thought about you? But now you do care. FLIP-FLOPPER! Next think you know Rudy will be calling for tax increases and the precipitous withdrawal of troops from the Middle East. Wow Fox News is fast, on the commercial I turn to Hannity and the other guy and they are doing a segment entitled “Will Rudy Cardenas’ Flip-Flop Endanger the Children of America.”

We return to Idol in the “Coke” room with Ryan and he asks Chris Slight what the buzz is tonight, and Chris tells him it is how all the guys look pretty, singling out Sanjaya and Brandon. Wow Chris you are just so funny; I wonder how many of his jokes will crash and burn once we get into the live shows and not just the selective editing of the early rounds. Uh oh did Chris just force Tim Hardaway to change the channel? Chris said he likes to play basketball, well big guy you just lost any chance of playing with Timmy. Chris Richardson says he isn’t nervous tonight, but his face betrays his emotions and Ryan jokingly calls him a liar.

Brandon – Rock with You
Brandon has one of the best pre-Idol resumes I can recall. Unlike so many contestants from years past he wasn’t working in a garage or as a waiter. Instead, he was backing up massive acts like Christina, Justin, and Usher. No not Justin Guarini, the real Justin, you know the one that hooked up with Britney Spears. It’s funny how a few years ago saying you were romantically involved with Spears would be like saying you were Jesus Christ, now it’s a little embarrassing. With all his experience singing in front of thousands of screaming teenagers he might be the contestant best able to handle the pressure. Brandon felt like he was on the bubble during Hollywood week, but he saved himself with an outstanding last day performance. During the recap Randy told Brandon he would never have to sing back up again. Really? Did he say the same thing to former contestants R.J. Helton and Jim Verraros? Well he was right they aren’t singing backup, no, these days they are probably restocking supermarkets late at night or maybe cleaning up aisle seven. Brandon takes the stage and oh no, he has those Constantine eyes. You know the eyes that look through the TV and declare “ I want to have sex with you.” There should be some type of warning before the show like they have for violence and language. He is singing a classic Michael Jackson song, from the days when Michael was still black. Unlike Rudy, Brandon is at ease on stage and not forcing the performance down our collective throats; he is even doing a little bit of dancing. He is more engrossing than Rudy, better overall, but again, nothing spectacular. Randy says he was a little pitchy and suggests he sings the melodies without all the runs. Paula agrees he should eliminate some of the runs but tells him he is already great. Simon says Brandon is very good, but scolds him for being too predictable tonight. Brandon didn’t make enough of an impact for Simon; he thought the song was going to be great at first but then it went into the dreaded safe territory. Brandon tells Ryan he wanted to pick a comfortable song for the first night and Ryan reminds the former backup singer that unlike the old days, now EVERYONE is looking at Brandon!

Ryan tells us its Sundance’s moment of truth. Really, is he like stepping on a scale, or getting a cholesterol test? Pound for pound Sundance might be the fattest idol contestant ever, considering he looks like he is about 4’10” (when Ryan towers over you like an oak tree you know you have height issues). Poor Sundance, during the recap of his idol journey they remind us how red and sweaty he gets when he sings on a stage. Considering he seemed to back into the top 24 this would be a really good time to not suck. And his song is…wow that’s an odd choice, he is singing Knights in White Satin. Again, is this really the best song you can sing? You have the choice of what like 10,000 songs and this is the best you come up with? If we were watching at home and the judges were assigning songs to the contestants and your song was one of them the people at home would groan for whoever had to sing it, yet you picked it willingly. There should be some type of common sense test before they let the contestants pick a song. Have them walk up to 10 people on the street and ask if it’s a good song choice. My guess is none of them would have said ‘yeah man go with the satin, go with the satin.” Nevertheless, he begins the song with, hey wait a minute, is he wearing his class ring? It sure looks like a class ring. Why do I find that kind of cool? I’m not sure what to make of this song. I have no idea what happened to the voice we heard in the initial audition. It’s like when the baseball players returned to spring training the first season they started to test for steroids. Some of the guys suddenly lost 40 pounds in only a few months; guys that used to look like Arnold now looked like Tom Arnold. Sundance apparently stopped taking his vocal steroids, I can’ think of another explanation. He seems to be having a hard time finding the right pitch on some of the passages, but I’m so bored with this song that I’m not sure I really even care. He is really not impressive tonight, a total disappointment. Not only did he show little vocal range, he displayed no personality. Randy tells him he abandoned his whole vibe and wasn’t on pitch the entire song. Paula didn’t like it either, told him he picked the wrong song, was all over the place and looked really sad. Simon says he hasn’t been the same since they first saw him, suggests Sundance bring back his blues voice, and makes fun of Sundance’s ‘dad at wedding’ arm movements. He finishes by telling Sundance, “I don’t like you tonight.” He really is a sweet man. Ryan senses Sundance just crashed and burned so he jovially asks him what he could do differently with his arms. Sun isn’t sure what to say but Paula saves him by demonstrating a new arm move, which consists of her rubbing her chest rather vigorously. Ladies and gentleman we just had our first official Paula moment of the season. Little kids are watching at home and she just did something you normally only get to see during a table dance. Way to go Paula! The show Drive is coming to Fox soon, I think it’s about people driving. Sounds like umm a good show? If they cast AC Cowlings as the guy driving the white bronco I am so watching that show.

Paul Kim – Careless Whisper
Here comes the guy that likes to be barefoot. He is going to be in real trouble during the ‘broken glass on stage’ episode we normally see around midseason. He starts the song really low, which means he will try and go high later in the song; is this really the best song to feature his previously spot on vocals? Blake is full on busting a move upstairs; he probably has the best dance moves of all the guys. Speaking of dancing, Paul’s mom is getting her grove on while seated next to the stage. Wow, Paul really missed the falsetto part. There is no way to hide when you can’t hit the high notes; it’s like air-balling a free throw in basketball. He is all over the place unable to hit more than a few good notes in a row. Paul is doing his best to make Sundance look awesome. He had a chance to get out of a falsetto run yet tried to finish. You can either admire him for trying or criticize him for missing so badly. I’m thinking the judges will go with the latter. Randy doesn’t love the song on Paul, thought it started really weird, hated the falsetto, and yet still thinks he has a lot of promise. Paula feels Paul over sang it and couldn’t find his center. She hopes people remember him from his earlier rounds. Boy it sure is nice to have earlier rounds to fall back on; some many contestants this season are broadcast virgins. Simon (you know he couldn’t have liked it) suggests wearing shoes next week if Paul sings again. He tells Paul and all the other contestants if you sing a great song, don’t copy it, if you do the same version you have to be really good, so good you wow the audience. Ryan returns to the stage shoeless to support Paul. Without the 5 inches of lift his height fixing specially designed shoes provide Ryan looks even shorter than normal. Randy tells the contestants they should show off their originality, instead they sound like some sort of cover band. Simon tells them to stop playing it safe – run with scissors darnit! To his credit, Ryan mentions just how short he is without the magic shoes.

Chris Richardson – I Don’t Wanna Be
Chris says he works in the restaurant business. Waiter Chris, it’s called being a waiter. What if I’m wrong? How cool would it be if we learned in week 6 that Chris actually owns the Olive Garden chain and is worth over 400 million dollars? Chris expects people will compare him to Justin Timberlake. That is a lofty comparison, things would be much easier on Chris if instead he was compared with Joey Fatone (coming soon to a Dancing with the Stars near you). Unlike say for example Bucky from last year, Chris appears able to read, using words like ecstatic and vicariously in his recap package. Dressed in a Justin style suit and tie, he begins to sing. Interesing song choice, not the type of song I would have predicted. Bo Bice and Elliot Yamin performed versions of this song in the last couple seasons, so Chris has a tough task ahead. Wow just seconds into the song and Chris’ dad is rocking out hardcore in his chair. The first part of the song is a little weak, and his boyish vocals fail to ignite the song, but in the back half he finds his voice. He is changing up the song a little bit and really rocking, even hitting the falsetto note near the end. His finish is as strong as the start seemed weak. Chris is by far the best of the night so far, in fact besides Brandon, he is the only contestant without any bad notes. The crowd had a ‘thank god we can finally stand up and actually cheer for someone instead of the fake cheering we’ve been doing most of the night’ look in their faces. The girls really like this guy. Randy feels like the show finally started. Chris made it work even thought Randy didn’t think it was the perfect song. Randy displays his vast music knowledge by then incorrectly stating Edwin McCain sang the original version. Nice job dawg! Simon all too happily corrected the mistake. Randy wants Chris to go even further with it next time. Paula likes Chris’ different flavor. Simone says he loved Chris’s soulful nature in the early rounds, then apologizes for sounding so negative tonight (crowd boos), but he thinks Chris sounded very small in that song. He tells the home viewers to listen to just Chris’s vocals and suggests they will find it below Idol standard. He does however declare the girls will like him; in other breaking news Canada is north of the United States. Ryan gives Chris a chance to respond and Chris says he will go back and listen again, per Simon’s orders.

Nick Pedro – Always and Forever
Nick is the guy that often forgets his words, but this time he wants to go home a winner. He is going the ballad route tonight, which can be dangerous if you put the home audience to sleep they cannot vote! I’m on my second mountain dew to stay awake during this never ending song. He sounds pretty good and certainly displayed a better falsetto than Paul. He is ok tonight, but I feel no emotional connection to him while he is singing; I will not remember this tomorrow, actually I barely remember it now. Randy says the truth never hurts; it wasn’t good for him. Paula feels Nick’s tone wasn’t there tonight and Simon, ironically, defends Nick a little saying he wasn’t really THAT bad. Simon wants Nick to find his spark again but thinks he’ll have another chance next week. Ryan, who is finally taller than someone stands next to Nick and we have our first “Vote for Pedro” reference of the season. Napoleon Dynamite fans all around the world are giddy.

During the commercials they show a clip from the new soon to be cancelled show “The Winner” and guess what, it's the same clip they have been airing for months now. It wasn’t funny then, and it’s still not funny; is that really the best clip they have?

Blake Lewis – Somewhere only we know
Can Blake do something to change the dynamics of the night, because right now it sure looks like the next Idol will have the ability to produce milk. We learn Blake doesn’t want to be defined by his beat boxing, contrary to what I thought, his group members made him use his beat box during the Hollywood rounds; the performance brought down the house. He says he will bust out the beat boxing at some point during the show. How great would it be if he just starting beat boxing right from the start. Wow his hair is higher than Paula on a Friday night. Interesting, he is sitting on a stool. We know he can dance so this seems like a big risk to mellow it down. His dad knows all the words to the song and sings along from the front row, and guess what, Blake can sing. I did not expect this; during the early rounds they never showed much of Blake singing, instead focusing on his beat boxing. He has a little trouble with some of the falsetto transitions but the less than perfect vocals add rather than subtract to his performance; his emotion is raw and pure – this is the most gripping performance of the night. What a brave choice to come out sitting and singing. Blake’s song choice is like Shaq showing how good he is at basketball with a free-throw demonstration – lots of risk, but what a pay off! Randy is really shocked and he says he dug it, even though there were some pitch problems, but he wants the beat box soon. Paula says she never expected that from Blake, calls the vocals spot on and felt he had a cool contemporary vibe. Simon cautions it wasn’t the best vocals he’s ever heard, but Blake is the first person tonight to sound like he is in 2007; he says Blake was by far the best of the night! Blake’s hair is so high tonight it almost makes him taller than Ryan; if you are not taller than Ryan without utilizing hair height, you know you are short.

Sanjaya Malakar – Knocks me off My Feet
Ryan asks how Sanjaya’s sister is post Idol elimination. Sanjaya tells Ryan it’s been rough; she started drinking, staying out all hours of the night, in and out of rehab, filming some soft core porn films…ok I made that up. She is doing pretty good and helped him with his song choice. She looked a little nonplussed during the auditions when she thought the judges thought her brother sang better. Maybe she has some latent hostility and talked Sanjaya into picking a really horrible song, you know something like trying to cover a Stevie Wonder song knowing full well with the exception of Elliot Yamin every contestant to ever sing a Stevie song is scolded for not being Stevie Wonder. Sanjaya says he earned his GED so he will never have to do high school again, but he might end up in fast food sales like some former Idol contestants. His hair is scaring me a little; it has more lift than the space shuttle. He has some tough shoes to fill tonight, not only is he doing a Stevie song (see above for how stupid this is), it’s a song Elliot did last year. He has a very pure voice, but this song is too safe, devoid of any runs that might up the excitement level. A Stevie song sans vocal runs is kinda like Sonny without Cher – a big disappointment. I’m fairly positive I could see this kind of performance at any high school talent show; it’s not a coincidence Sanjaya should still be getting his ‘learn on’ in high school. Sanjaya’s huge smile belied his obvious nervousness. Randy begins with, “Sanjaya my friend.” Any time Randy takes a huge pause and calls you his friend you know he didn’t think much of your singing. In discribing Stevie, Randy invokes his now famous “best singer in the known world ever” for the first time this season. I still wonder about this statement. Why does Randy always qualify his praise with the ‘known world.’ Who in the unknown world is he afraid of alienating? If I ever meet him that’s the first thing I’d ask him, oh and I’d also ask where I can get some really hot looking bright red leather pants so I can start my own Journey cover band. Randy thinks Sanjaya wasn’t close tonight; he calls it really bad. Paula compliments Sanjaya’s sweet soul and wants more personality from him next time. Simon makes pun on the lyric “I don’t wanna bore you,” saying that’s exactly what Sanjaya’s seemingly never ending song choice accomplished. He says half the band was asleep, whoah wait a minute here, what about Ricky Minor? Wouldn’t this be the time for Ricky to suddenly talk back to Simon and get his own career going? No, poor Ricky doesn’t get near a microphone and continues his quest to appear on TV the most times during the number one show on TV and yet still be able to walk into any restaurant in American going completely unrecognized. Sanjaya talks with Ryan and says he appreciates the honesty of the judges, but reminds them he is the youngest male contestant in the competition.

Chris Sligh – A song no one except for the guys who initially wrote it have heard with the exception of Chris (actually it’s called Typical, by a band named Mute Math.)
Chris starts off his recap being all funny again saying they all had to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” over and over again and he is now sick of the song. Congratulations Chris, you might have just alienated the South; the largest voting group of Idol viewers. He says he wants to sing “Do I Make You Proud.” I suppose he is funny, but for some reason his humor rubs me the wrong way. He is ‘too cool’ for Idol and wants to make sure we all know. I was a little bothered by Chris and Taylor last year at times asserting they were too cool for Idol. Chris ‘kept it real’ by rocking the whole time, and Taylor made sure we all knew he was a song writer real musician not a sell out. BY DEFINITION ONCE YOU ARE ON THE IDOL SHOW YOU CAN NO LONGER BE ‘COOLER’ THAN AMERICAN IDOL. It’s kinda like how George W. Bush keeps referring to himself as a Washington outsider. If you aren’t sure whether you are in fact a Washington outsider, the first question you should ask yourself is, “Did my dad used to be President of the United States?” If the answer is yes, you are probably a Washington insider. The second question you should ask yourself is, “Have I had sex with the current first lady?” If the answer is yes, you are probably a Washington insider. There is one final question to ask however, because for example the answer to both questions for Bill Clinton would have been no. The final question, “Are you the CURRENT President of the United States?” If you are, chances are, you are a beltway insider. Chris starts up his song and for the first time I think in Idol history I not only don’t know the name of the song, I’ve never heard it before. Is this a Christian rock song? That might explain why I’ve never heard the song, also it has that same derivative why am I wasting my time listening to this feel that plagues so many Christian rock songs. His voice sounds ok, but he is doing nothing for me tonight, other than making me wonder what the heck he is singing. He struggles a bit on the higher notes, stretching to hit them without using the falsetto we know he possess. He delivers a relatively mistake free song, which is better than many guys have done tonight, but he lacked any emotion. I have a feeling if he didn’t have the big hair and was in decent shape he would have about half as many fans. You could hear this identical performance at about a thousand different youth services every Sunday morning. Randy says Chris’s voice was on point; Randy declares himself a Chris fan. Paula says he is not typical, made a great song choice, but warned him not to sing ahead of the chorus. Simon says Chris made it through the early rounds based more on humor than his talent and appears conflicted on Chris’s performance. He says although it wasn’t bad he felt like he was at some weird student gig. Ryan and Randy ask why the students are singing, and Simon ends up calling Ryan sweetheart. Ryan admonishes Simon for calling him sweetheart.

Ryan joins Chris on stage carefully pointing out that he and Simon are not having sex, nor do they desire their relationship move in that direction. When Chris gets the chance to respond he says, “I guess my only question is that you know like obviously the audience is digging it, this kinda music is very popular right now, and I don’t know what I have to say is that just because I don’t sing Il Divo or Teletubbies doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean that I’m not a good singer.” Wow! Without even pausing to think, Simon retorts, “Chris you could always do the latter.” Simon says he likes Chris but didn’t think it was a great vocal performance. After Ryan says he thinks Chris hurt Simon’s feelings, Chris jokingly says he is sorry. We just had our first ‘what just happened here’ moment of the season, and Paula wasn’t involved (other than dancing erratically as soon as Chris made fun of Simon). I think Chris just made a huge tactical error. He obviously spent some time on google trying to get some funny things to say about Simon, ready to make us all laugh, and even though Simon was rather neutral to the performance, he drops his super funny line. The line probably annoyed as many potential fans as it created. I have issues with Chris’s humor on many levels. First, the judges are there to judge the contestants, yet every year a contestant flips the flippant switch and insults the judges. Good natured ribbing is acceptable, but why go as far as Chris did and seemingly insult two franchises Simon created? Second, don’t include Il Divo; they might be a little corny and over produced but they can sing and shouldn’t be in any sentence with the Teletubbies, even if Simon is their collective father. Chris doesn’t look as bad as he could because of Paula and Randy’s humorous reaction, but they react positively to any time a contestant says something bad about Simon; if someone told Simon his mother was a whore and wished the plague upon his family Paula would break out into one of her spastic I can’t move too far away from my chair dances. Finally, did Chris actually say this kinda music is popular right now? Really? If this song is so popular why hasn’t anyone heard it yet? Maybe he meant it was popular in the Congo, I hear Mute Math (the band that wrote and sings it) is really huge over there. I think its time for a commercial!

Jared Cotter – Back at One
He is from New York and lost his jobs as a waiter trying out for Idol. At least unlike Chris Richardson he actually called himself a waiter. He knows America hasn’t seen much of him yet and says he hopes to “be here for as long as they want me here.” I think he meant to say I hope they want me here a long time. Why wouldn’t he be here as long as the fans wanted him here, does he have somewhere else to go? This sounds like an R. Kelley song. How awesome would an R. Kelley night be on Idol. Every contestant could start out in the closet and sing their way out, and then the best of the night gets to make a sex tape with a 14 year old. This is an ok song choice. He struggles to hit the big notes near the end, doesn’t really find the right pitch throughout. Anytime there is a big pitch modulation he gets a little off pitch; this is another ‘so what’ performance. Randy thought it was pretty good, but didn’t like the way the song ended. Jared reminds Randy he has less than two minutes to sing an entire song. Paula liked it and said it sounded like he was Brian McKnight. Simon laments Jared’s unadventurous performance; he sounded nasal, but did look pretty good. It used to be Paula saying people didn’t sound good but looked great, now its Simon. Simon also says he isn’t sure anyone will wake up tomorrow and say Jared was incredible tonight. Jared accepts the critique like a man and agrees. Chris Sligh needs to learn from Jared. Subway has to hope Jared wins Idol. Can you imagine the ad campaign they can wage with a guy named Jared. Think of the hilarious commercials with good-looking Idol winner Jared and cool challenged weight loss spokesman Jared; I feel a super bowl ad coming!

AJ Tabaldo – Never Too Much
Who is this guy? We didn’t see much of him in the earlier rounds, but we learn he works for a shipping company. I wonder if he is a FedEx or a UPS guy. What can AJ do for you? He was cut from the Hollywood round in Season 5, but this time he nailed his performance and made the top 24. He is singing an up tempo song and all the Idol men are dancing upstairs, except Sundance. Sundance looks really sad or mad. He has a death grip on the railing - come on dude dance, I mean its part of your name! Sundance is either disappointed with his singing tonight, or he really needs a candy bar. AJ sings pretty well, made few mistakes (if any), but I have a hard time ‘felling it’ when he sings. The song is a little frivolous and I think he fails to make an emotional connection. Randy says AJ had a blast and can really blow. Simon is sitting where Paula should sit, and then slides back to his rightful spot. Since the chairs are on wheels I wonder if we’ll ever get one of the judges falling out of their chair as they sit too far forward on the chair and it rolls out from beneath their well paid buttocks. Paula says AJ can definitely sing and likes the tone of his voice. Simon isn’t sure AJ went for it tonight. He says it was a theme park performance, a throw away, very predictable, but wonders if maybe AJ is a little better than he originally thought.

Phil Stacey – These are the Moments
Phil is the guy that missed the birth of his child to try out for Idol. At least we know his priorities are straight! He is also the guy that struggles on the first few notes of every song we’ve ever heard him sing. Uh oh, history repeats itself tonight; Phil sounds really shaky at the start of his song. He is off pitch, but his wife sure looks happy with his singing. Phil looks just like the guy from Iceland on Rockstar Supernova, except without the rock thing. Overall this is a pretty weak song until the last 30 seconds when he finally finds the right notes and belts out a couple good power notes. He has no wow factor tonight and is a little boring. He is like walking Paxil. Randy says it started a little rough, but guess what, he gives the best vocal prize of the night to Phil! Paula likes the chorus a lot, but agrees the start was shaky. Simon says the beginning was horrible, but it was ok in the end, not necessarily the best of the night, and comparing it to singers from past seasons, Simon says it was only ok. Randy disagrees saying it was really good. I think what he means to say is that compared to all the crap we’ve seen tonight this really isn’t that bad. Phil agrees with the judges admitting the start was rough; are you listening Sligh, are you listening?

Final Thoughts

Tonight was rough, really rough. Just because the guys didn’t sing well tonight doesn’t mean we are in for a really long season, hopefully they were just nervous and over thought themselves. I wonder if prison inmates are allowed to vote and if they can do they barter for votes. “Hey man I’ll give you some cigarettes if you use your phone call to vote for Sanjaya. Based on tonight’s singing alone the worst singers were Sundance and Paul. They both made several mistakes and really failed to deliver. Sundance is like some genetic mutation of Scott Savol and Meatloaf, except with facial hair. Sanjaya barely missed the bottom two talent wise, his song was boring, but he didn’t hit any bad notes, he just was super boring. Now, how will people actually vote? Sundance is safe; he had so much pre-show hype I expect his fans to call and call tonight. Same with Sanyaya, who is this year’s Will Makar. Brandon, Chris R., Chris S., Blake, and Phil should all be safe. I don’t think Paul Kim had a big fan base, so I’m fairly sure he is going home on Thursday. Joining him will be one of the following: Rudy, Nick, Jared, or AJ.


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