American Idol, 11 left
A quick recap of my thoughts on American Idol. In general, I thought that this was a good night--I think that the contestants really benefit when they get interesting arrangements and attention from Manilow (every episode in which Manilow serves as a mentor, regardless of the season, is always a strong one for most of the contestants--last night was no exception).
In the order in which they appeared:
Mandisa: I thought she was great. Her body really throws me--she is obviously a very big woman. But her face is really small--if you saw her from the neck up you would think she was completely average-sized. I think she really does a great job wearing flattering clothing. I thought her singing was quite good.
Bucky: Poor Bucky. He just doesn't below. Simon may use his karaoke line quite a bit, but he was dead on when he said that's what Bucky sounded like.
Paris: I love Paris. I love Peggy Lee (Lady and the Tramp is one of my favorite movies ever). I thought Paris was great, although Simon seemed annoyed with her. What's that all about? Did he think it was "safe" or "boring?" With all of the theme nights they have, it would be stupid NOT to pick a genre you are very good at when given the opportunity, no?
Chris: Walk the Line is a really great song. Again, the judges went on and on about how unique Chris's arrangement was. But was it? Last week he sang "Higher Ground," using the Red Hot Chili Peppers' arrangement, but no one seemed to notice. I am wondering whether, similarly, this arrangement has already been used for "Walk the Line" and I am just not aware of it? If so, I wasn't that impressed. If not, I am more impressed. Edited to add: Bailey Quarters has informed me that Live covered "I Walk the Line" and, sure enough, after listening to it I can say it sounds JUST LIKE Chris's version last night. I am so annoyed right now. Why don't the judges point this out? Why do they go on about how he has stayed true to himself instead of saying "that was a cover of a cover of a great song--it sounds like karaoke of Live. What's the point?" There were points where I didn't think Chris's voice sounded that great, but more often than not it did. I am reminded of Simon's "recording artist" comment the first week Chris sang, and I really think it is true.
Katharine: She did really well. I thought that Mandisa and Paris both sounded better, but she was did a nice job.
Taylor: The song had four notes. It just wasn't impressive. And I hate him.
Lisa: She was bad. It was unfortunate, because I like her and I think that this might be her last day with us as a result of her performance. Also, she is young, and singing a song associated with Disney does not help to make her appear more mature.
Kevin: My boyfriend calls him "The Lisping Eunuch." Did anyone notice he got new glasses? They are square instead of round. I think that they look better. The boyfriend (I am sick of typing "the boyfriend" or "my boyfriend." From here on out he is "Gobo") thinks it is worse because with the round glasses he looked dorky, but now he looks creepy (which is worse). Gobo suggested that Kevin needs "a mean Jordy Ford visor." I have a feeling that is a Star Trek reference. [shudder]
Elliott: I was disappointed. I normally like Elliott, but I didn't think he was so great on this song. I was really surprised that the judges loved him. I think Elliott's true downfall is that he has no stage presence. The it factor is just not there.
Kellie: When I heard she was going to sing a Patsy Cline song I was worried she was going to slaughter it (I like Patsy Cline). She actually didn't do a bad job, for the most part. Her lower register is awful, so she was smart to pick a song that showcased her upper register. I am so sick of her stupid act, though. Two weeks ago Simon called her a "minx" and she immediately said "I'm a mink!" Let's just suspend disbelief and say that she didn't know what a minx was. WHY, two weeks later, is she calling herself a "mink" again, with Ryan again correcting her? Are we supposed to believe she didn't learn the word in two weeks? It's one thing to be wide-eyed and know nothing of the world, but it is quite another to pretend that is the case. Yuck.
Ace: Awful. His falsetto is awful, his singing was bad, and I don't understand the appeal of his stage presence. Seeing Constantine in the audience (who looked AWFUL) and seeing Ace sing just reinforced how many similarities they have (although I have to say, Constantine was a better singer--coming from me, that really says something about what I think of Ace's singing).