I fear posting this, since the same topic is addressed in the post directly preceding mine. I'll take my chances.
I always DVR American Idol--I would disagree with the post below that American Idol is the best hour on television. Perhaps it is the best half hour--there is just so much filler in this show. I DVRed the two-hour 12 women episode last night. I just watched it tonight, fast-forwarding past commercials, Ryan talking, contestants' life histories (including, I am sure, a bit on how wholesome and sweet Kellie "Everyone but My Grandpa Has Abandoned Me Or Ended Up In Jail" Pickler is) in about 54 minutes.
There is a clear, clear standout in this crowd--Paris Bennett. She has been the most talented since the Hollywood episode, and she has really avoided the typecast trap--she sings Billie Holliday, the Dixie Chicks and Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she sings it all well. She is just cute, cute, cute, and she can really sing. Midnight Train to Georgia, one of my all-time favorite songs, didn't really showcase just how good her voice is. She is my pick to win the whole thing.
2. Lisa Tucker. I didn't love the song she sang, but she really showed that she has potential to belt and nice range.
3. Mandisa. She was too screechy at times, and Paula was so wrong
that her rendition of a Heart tune rivaled Carrie Underwood's "Alone" last year (I wasn't really a Carrie fan, but her cover was amazing and she should have totally sung it instead of that crappy "Independence Day" song she used in the final). However, she showed she had good potential, and I liked how comfortable she is on the stage (I liked this with Paris as well--I hate when the singers are unable to move around when they sing). I also liked her outfit and that she was able to look good and stylish but didn't wear something completely inappropriate for her body type, as portlier American Idol female contestants are wont to do.
4. Katharine McPhee. She looks just like Claire Danes, I actually find it kind of creepy. I also hate the way she moves on the stage. She is very awkward, there seems to be some strange bobbing/bouncing/lateral movement all going on that just doesn't work. I didn't like the beginning of the song at all, but she did pick it up and redeem herself at the end. I understand the Katie Holmes comparison that was brought up by Manley's wife, below. I don't think that they really look alike, but Katharine wears clothes that look exactly like Katie's "pregnancy" clothing (okay, I actually think Katie is preggers, but I know there are doubters, so the quotes are for them). I actually thought that she was pregnant while she was singing, the shirt was so unflattering. She is probably the best white girl out there.
5. Ayla Brown. I thought she did a nice version of a Christina song. Nothing special, but it seemed like she might have more potential and could sing well in the future. I actually didn't have much preference between her and Katharine McPhee. Ayla's big problem was that she didn't really stand out.
6. Brenna Gethers. My votes for 6, 7 and 8 could really have interchanged to a certain extent. I put Brenna on the top of these three because I think she is a little different, whereas the other two are a little more boring and will fade into the background. She should have picked a better song. It actually always surprises me how many poor song choices there are on American Idol, season after season.
7. Melissa McGhee. She really has a disadvantage in that she hasn't been showcased on the show at all. Nary a song, nary a snippet before this episode. It doesn't surprise me that if anyone were to fall off of the producers' radar, it would be her. She is kind of forgettable (I had to look at the recap to remember her!).
8. Kinnik Sky. How many times must we hear "Get Here" on this show? It's nauseating. Every time I hear it, I think of Justin Guarini singing it near the end of season one. That's not a good thing. I thought Simon's point was a good one--Kinnik is 28 years old and hasn't made it, and she didn't pull a LaToya, get up there and blow us away. She'll hang around for a little while, but not for long.
9. Kellie Pickler. Hated her song. Hated her stage presence (a lot of squatting, pointing and looking...I'm not sure what. Angry? Intense? Aggressive?). Hated her high notes. I think she can sing, but she doesn't have much range. Blech. I'm sure her story will get her further than she deserves to go.
10. Heather Cox. Basically the only thing good anyone said of her was that she looked good. Not going to get her far. TOTALLY forgettable. In fact, I saw her ten minutes ago and I can't really remember what she sang. But I know it wasn't good.
11. Stevie Scott. Or Stephanie, as she was called until she made it to the top 24. I guess she thought that Stevie was more marketable. I don't think it is going to get her anywhere. She was awful. She sang right after Paris, and so her short recap clip came right after Paris'. I laughed when she followed Paris, the difference was so ridiculous. She didn't sing with any passion or power, she didn't hit her notes, she was off-key, it was just horrid. But not quite as horrid as...
12. Becky O'Donohue. She actually made me angry, her version of "Because the Night" was so terrible. Choosing a 10,000 Maniacs song is a very risky choice because Natalie Merchant has such a unique, wonderful voice. But her problems went so beyond that. She ruined an amazing song, she screamed/fake-rocked throughout, she got that "pseudo tough girl don't I look angry" snarl on her face and it was simply horrendous. I hated every single thing about it. I cannot say enough bad things about her performance, so I will stop trying.
Hopefully I will get to watch American Idol's men's top 12 tomorrow, but it might have to wait for the weekend.
Labels: American Idol, Television