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Well.. all the ones sent home were in my bottom 3 lists. It was a toss up between Colton and Luke... Luke gets a chance to redeem himself probably based on his movie star looks. They sent the two worst girls home too. I'm concerned with all the obvious subtle and not so subtle manipulation going on. I was able to pick even the ones they put at risk and didn't vote off before they did it. If someone you want on the show is underperforming, you put them in a pairing to make it look like they might be going home. But they didn't say it was the bottom two right? They do this often. Sometimes they say it's the bottom, other times they don't and that's when they're manipulating it. So I am guessing Amanda will get a lot more votes next time since folks thought she was almost sent home. And that might help propel her into the final 12. I hope she makes it because she's clearly in the top 6 girls and she's a nice change of pace from the bleached out blonde clones still in the running.

I think after next week we'll have a really good idea of who has a shot to win it all. I think the jury is still out though.. too much inconsistancy across the board to pick clear favorites yet.

Brian


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I'm thankful for YouTube. In less than a half hour you can catch all the performances of the 12 women without watching the commercials or the vinettes.

Amy Davis and Joanne Borgella both deserved to be sent home. The other girl I thought deserved to go was Amanda Overmyer - just for picking a song that has so much to do with the guitar and so little to do with the vocal. Carly Smithson is probably the performer I most enjoy watching. I think Kady Malloy, Alaina Whitaker and Kristy Lee Cook have more of the package that the producers can sell.

Garrett Haley and Colton Berry both deserved the axe as well. If the girls had gone first, Chikezie would have been in trouble. His version of "more today" was flat enough on its own, but Alaina's version of the same song buried it. Robbie Carrico's version of "One" was the first time I've ever been disappointed by that song. Maybe that's why the judges loved it...

I wasn't in love with Michael John's version of "Light My Fire", but maybe because Jim Morrison's version rings so clearly in my head. But he is the top dog for now on the guys side.


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Amanda has a unique voice; i'd like to hear her sing more before she goes home.

I voted for her, and I also voted for Alexandrea (despite her over-the-top attitude after her performance). She had some really fun personality and enough range to make a lot of memorable stage performances. Sorta reminds me of a young Imani Coppola for fun-factor.

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It's clear with the previous business relationship with Carly that AI folks are pushing her and it's impossible to underestimate the effect that will have. I think she's really good, but if you were being fair and only basing it on the first performance, she wasn't the best. Yet Randy raved that she was. It just stunk of insider fixing. It does take a lot of work to spend 3 million promoting an album and only selling 300 copies.. perhaps they want to get that money back on her.

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Time to kickstart this thread into gear again... smile

Tonight was the night of "Davids".

1. David Archuleta (very original and moving performance of "Imagine")
2. David Cook (rocked out on "All Right Now")
3. David Hernandez (soulful rendition of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone")

I also thought Jason Castro did fine as well with a solid performance of "Want to be Your Everything". It's kind of a lame disco tune (I used to play it in some 70's band I was in myself), but he did it decently.

Who will go home:
1. Jason Yeager (no question)
2. either Danny Noriega or Luke Menard

Although Danny is being touted as this year's "Sanjaya", I don't think he's getting the votes that Sanjaya did. He's down in almost all the on-line polls as last or near the bottom.

David Archuleta's performance of "Imagine" was one of my favorite AI performances in a couple of years. He is probably the most likely Idol at this point - as long as he doesn't burn out early.



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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
...she wasn't the best. Yet Randy raved that she was. It just stunk of insider fixing. It does take a lot of work to spend 3 million promoting an album and only selling 300 copies.. perhaps they want to get that money back on her.

Brian


I agree that Randy WAY over-hyped her last week based on a decent, but not spectacular performance. However, if the label that made her CD back in 2001 is no longer in existence (she said they "imploded" or something), then getting that money back wouldn't be an option. You don't have to pay back a company that doesn't exist.

We'll see how it goes. If Randy continues to "pimp" her, then it will become very obvious quickly. Even if MCA still has a legal hold on her somehow (in violation with the Rules for AI), then someone would have to "buy out" her former contract. Randy is no longer with MCA, so would have to front that money.

IMHO, the main reason Randy might be pushing her is to get her on his own label. Maybe they could even re-release some of her earlier material with some production updates. That would save Randy a LOT of initial recording costs and be a better "business investment" then.

I heard that Carly will be the FIRST performer on Wednesday.


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my two cents prediction:

David A takes the title. hands down.


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hey Larry!

the great thing about David A. is that you can put his age aside and enjoy whatever he sings. i highly doubt he's going to take the predictable road of what has come of any past winners..

he has a few tricks up his sleve as far as just singing as well, that is my observation. right now he's just following along with things in the American Idolesque style.

when all is said and done, i believe he's going to break new ground as far as age range like-ability. yes, the girls his age like him and he can't help it.. the flip side is that he has a great attitude, he is humble and it comes natural to him.

at this point, i'd be surprised if he gets one bad comment from any of the judges rest of competition. i do predict a "could have a better song" choice factor within the next 3 weeks but that is about it, even then it won't matter.


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Well, is there any question? I was moved to tears by Daniel Archuleta. He was my number one last week, and this week he proved that he has a wonderful voice, incredible musicianship, and a beautiful spirit. I also thought that Chikezie proved himself, along with good performances by David Cook and David Hernandez. These were the only singers that seemed to realize that they are in a competition to be a pop or rock Idol and that means perform with every ounce of what you have. Song choice is critical as well, but Daniel showed exactly how to take a song from the 70s and make it your own. For me the worst singer of the night was Danny Noriega. It's up to the public now.

My only other comment is I was very tired of all the talking by the end of the show. Between the commercials & the banter, I felt the show was extended by 30 minutes. I'm going to start taping the Idol show & zipping through to see the performances, as I normally spend my evenings writing music and I don't have an extra hour to waste watching the same commercials over and over again.


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Yeah, in the words of Paula, David Archuleta is "destined for superstardom". At 17, he's got a lot of time to get there, too...

He could be a new, younger and slightly more pop version of Josh Grobin if he plays his cards right.

I have no doubt that he WILL get a recording deal out of this even if he doesn't become the AI.

If anyone wants to catch his performance, it's on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi-fMQ6edkU




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Well.. I really think it's obvious that there are contestants that are going to get a free ride to the finals already. They're being overhyped by not only the judges, but also by fans and even some here. On pure vocals, David A. wasn't even the best performance of the night, let alone of all time on American Idol. Play it back on your DVR and really be open about it. He's a great tactician, and he's got huge Disney-esque charisma AND he's competing against on of the weakest fields (as opposed to best as they falsely hype it) male fields ever. He'll clearly sail all the way to the final 4 at this point short of complete implosion, which isn't happening. Think about it, what little kids just happen to get to go back stage and hang with the American Idol contestants before the finale? Only those being set up to win later on. This kid has been carefully groomed for this and this season is his coronation.

That said, I thought he wasn't as good vocally as David Hernandez. And he didn't perform (not sing.. perform) as well as Chikezie.. but it doesn't matter. Even David Cook outdid him if people were being honest and ignored the John Lennon song (gosh.. how many strings did they pull to license THAT song?).

There was only one truly awful performance of the night and it was badly sung and creepily performed. Jason Yeager must go.

The Top 4: (Based only on this week's performances, not my prediction of who is best or worst overall).

David Hernandez: Though he has no real shot over the munchkin, he may be the best male vocal talent. He just needs to up the charisma more.
Chikezie: Back from a bad performance the week before. He saved himself, but I don't think he's a real contender in the long run.
David Archulete: Can't be stopped from the top 4.. it's already preordained.
David Cook: Can't hit the power note, was smart enough this week not to try. He won the battle of the Rockers this week.

Bottom 3:

Jason Yeager: The guy gives me the creeps. Ack.
Luke Menard: Sorry.. but he's not going anywhere in this competition.. it's this week or next and he's out, even though he was way better than last week.
Danny Noriega: I agree with Simon he's actually interesting and has a great voice.. but 2 weeks in a row he's under performed and the Sanjaya vote is going to David A. He's pretty exposed and if he slips by this week (which he should over the two above) he needs to hit a grand slam with something way out in front to keep going.

The Also Rans:

Michael Johns: Was pretty bad. But he'll sail through due to previous performances. He was first in the AOL voting last week, but has fallen to 2nd under David A. and likely will stay there a while.
Jason Castro: He actually can't sing as well as any of the other contestants, male or female. He can only perform well. When he steps out from the guitar he's going to be naked. He also has no personality unless you're into stoners. Can style win over substance? Sure.. on American Idol it can.
Robbie Carico: He had an average night. You have to think this guy could turn it up and really compete, or fade into oblivion behind the other two rockers. He's dropped out of the Top 6 on AOL and been replaced by Chikezie.

Again, after the first 2 weeks, though these guys may be able to sing technically the best of the AI seasons, as performers, they're a pretty ho hum bunch. I think David A. is the most charismatic person in the competition and he's one of the better singers, though far from the best. That means he has the best shot early on. The girls usually do better, so it wouldn't be stretch to imagine him with 2 girls in the final 3. Michael Johns pissed away a huge lead in week one pretty fast. But he's still in second place on AOL and not going anywhere. (That poll was VERY accurate to the votes the last several years with only a couple of errors). David Hernandez is the best male singer but he doesn't have the charisma of David A or Michael J (or Jason or David C for that matter). He did step it up this week so hopefully he'll be in the top 12 based on merit.

Bring on the women.

Brian


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Larry,

You don't actually think he's in Josh Groban's vocal league do you? I think a better comparison for him is the male Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana).

Brian


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My wife is crazy about David Archuleta and I see the appeal. He fits the American Idol image perfectly. He has much more depth and maturity in his vocal than you would expect. He has all that Disney like charm and likeability coupled with real talent. I think he is kind of like Leann Rimes in that respect, a bit of a prodigy; and if Disney does High School musical 4 (or where ever they are in that series), guess who is going to be cast as the new kid in town? It would take a smash-up on the freeway to take this kid down. I think he is going all the way because it's called "American Idol" and every girl from 6 to 66 is going to vote for him.

The only one I really disliked was Jason Yeager. I think he needs a dose of humility and I think he will get it next week.
If you want a quick link to their pictures so that you can identify them, try this: http://www.americanidol.com/contestants/season7/


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Brian,

I dunnoooo... we're gonna have to arm wrestle about Chekezie being above David A. vocal on last night's performance. Hernandez was great too.. I agree.

About David A. getting to be backstage years ago with the finalists.. I think he said he was in the hotel lobby, not back stage.

Aside from performing locally and doing the normal kid things to prep for a possible career in the industry, it wouldn't catch me by surprise if he had no vocal training or anything more professional than competing against himself. We'll see I suppose!


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Jill Sansores
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Actually he's won major contests including Arsenio Hall's and I've read Star Search as well when he was 11. That part doesn't bother me. Nothing about him does, except that he seems overly manufactured to me in that oh so very Disney like way. He seems nice and is certainly the most charismatic contestant. I think he's very mature in how he vocalizes, but it seems like there's some clear limits in that vocal. He knows exactly how far he can push it and does.. but it's not a big vocal. It's a controlled vocal.

Chekezie Eze is not a better vocalist. He simply performed better I think with more energy during that show. But Chekezie has zero chance of winning and David A. has the most likely chance at this stage. I still haven't seen anyone match up to some of the biggest stars of AI in the past, or even last year's winner or 3rd place finalist who both had huge vocal ability.

David has the charisma of last years winner.. but I don't think he has her vocal range. But it's early... maybe he's show more of that later. He doesn't really need it yet, he's so far out in front of the field right now.

I wonder if the women, who were more disappointing than the men last week, will kick it up a notch? They should be able to use sickness as the excuse 2 weeks in a row.

Brian


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I still wish they'd put through that little blonde Singer-Songwriter guy. He was interesting. Even his fake brit accent was fun. These guys actually have good voices.. but they're so generic and uninteresting as performers. Jason Castro is the worst singer, but at least he is interesting to watch.

The girls underwhelmed me last week. They can only (and I expect WILL) get better this time around. Maybe we'll see the Carly Smithson that everyone has raved about. I think, unfortunately, that she's the only early contender (due to the obvious support she's getting from Randy and Paula especially) that may have enough hype to compete with David A. Being Irish makes her unique. According to AOL they have the girls ranked: Ramiele, Carly, Asis'H, Syesha, Brooke and Kady. That leaves Alaina Whitaker and Amanda Overmyer out in the cold. I find them, at least so far, to be two of the most interesting and entertaining. I have no problem with AOL's first four.. but don't much care for Brooke or Kady.. their pre-season hype via lots of screen time have given them a clear and unfair advantage over some others. Carly has no real vocal range and Kady comes off as an A class bitch! = )

Brian


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Don't forget everybody that last year at this time Simon told the other 19 they may as well go home because Lakisha had just knocked them out. (or was that Melinda?) Doesn't matter, neither of them won!

I do think they are very careful with their comments because they want to control the flow of eliminations. I hope the audience doesn't listen to them and just goes with their hearts.

I think David Hernandez has more than he's shown and will be a good competitor. At least I hope so. Thought he did a great job. The others - eh.



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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Larry,

You don't actually think he's in Josh Groban's vocal league do you? I think a better comparison for him is the male Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana).

Brian


Not technically - no, but in potential CD buyer demographics - yes. He will appeal to the pure pop people (yes, Disney-esque) and to the teeniebopper girls and possibly the 20 & 30-somethings as well. I think he has a wide demographic appeal, which is why he's (IMHO) destined for success.

I never considered him a peer to Hannah, but maybe you're right. They could market him the same way...maybe even a duet and tour together?

You do have to admit, the guy IS pretty charming.


Kristi - you reminded me about Simon's comment last year. I do think it was about Melinda Dolittle, about how she was the "one to beat". For whatever reason(s), she peaked too early.




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Feb 27th - The Gals

First of all, I think it's tremendously hard to be given 1:30 minutes or whatever it is to make a song work. I think it makes it very difficult to get the song to be what it should be when it is all cut to ribbons. There is a reason for song form, and for build through a song.

Secondly, I really dislike the modern contemporary version of singing, which goes something like... since I don't have much of a range, or my top notes are weak, or since I am scared to go there.... I will take the verse so low that no one can hear me and even if they can they will hear the lack of tone & the pitchy-ness.... and then I will jump up and scream out the chorus with huge wide vowels. It's tremendously hard on the voice to sing down so low you have no support and then suddenly switch to "making the big voice". Everything is off balance.

It would far, far, far better to choose a song that sits well within your middle range and soar up to a few well-chosen high notes. Your support system works better because you never take the energy away from the voice. This is called singing in your tessatura and choosing songs that have a tessatura that suits you.

Thirdly, songs have to chosen because they fit your voice. Not because you love them, and not because your favourite artist sings them. I'm not saying you should choose songs you hate, but you have to pick things that sit correctly in your voice and show it off. Otherwise it's like wearing a dress that's too big or too small. It just doesn't work.

This week my choice for top female performances are Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado, Christy Lee Cook, and Asiah Epperson. However, I did feel that Carly & Syesha were pitchy on the low notes. The bottom two were Alaina Whitaker (10) & Amanda Overmeyer (9). I think one of those two will go.

I think the judges must have heard a different performance for Brook White, they said it was the perfect song choice for her, etc etc. For me it was way too low and the chorus took her down even lower. Even Simon said it was great, I didn't think so.

However, it's up to the public. We will see what happens.


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anyone else have A.D.D. watching the girls on Idol tonight?

.. just. can't. get. into. it (them).

if the Whittaker gal steps up her song choices, a top 4 spot in IMHO.


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Tammy,

the homeless dude def should have made it...

then again, he just may still but not in an American Idol contract way.

ultimately, is could be the best thing that ever happened to him just getting the expo and someone else swooping him up under different non-Idol contract agreements.


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omg Brian!! class A bitch? what does it take to get into class B and is that class any better? ROFL

grin


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The gals were a big disappointment for me tonight (and with the judges I think). All 3 of the top guys were better than even the best of the girls tonight.

I don't know what Simon was listening to, but I sure didn't like the boring rendition of "You're So Vain" by Brooke White. It was nothing special - a good Karaoke vocal, but not idol material. Maybe because she flirts with Simon he cuts her a break?

I think the best two were Carly and Asia'h (first and last in the lineup), and neither knocked me out. At least Randy didn't continue with the "Carly is the one to beat" hype tonight.

The really bad ones:
Amanda was dreadful tonight as was Kady. Those are the two most likely to go tomorrow night if it's based solely on tonight's performance. Personally, I'd like Amanda to hang around for another shot at it because she's unique and just needs to find the right material. I'd rather see Brooke or even Alaina go instead of Amanda.

I sort of agree with Brian about Kady. She seems to be a bit whiney and a spoiled little brat (and resembles Britney). She didn't warm up to anyone that I could tell.

I've heard the blonde contingency called the "bevy of blonde bimbos"...

Kristy should be a soap opera actress or a model, not a singer. She hasn't reached out and grabbed me yet. She's stunningly beautiful (reminds me of Heidi Klum 10 years ago), but only has a slightly better-than-average voice.

If I had to pick the top six now, I'd have to say:

1. Carly Smithson
2. Asia'h Epperson
3. Syesha Mercado
4. Ramiele Malubay
5. Alexandrea Washington
6. Amanda Overmyer (still think she'll hang in there)

Note that no blondes remain in my picks.


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omg .. I'm with you. This is the first night I was home to watch the entire show and I found myself terribly distracted. I was not blown away by one performance tonight. I hope to catch the men next week and hope that there is somebody strong enough to be the next American Idol because I did not see it with the ladies.

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Hey Larry...I think you're spot on with your top six for the females. And as a brunette myself...yahoo!

I also thought that Simon was off in his assessment of Syesha who sang "Mr. Jones." While it wasn't awesome, I thought it was really good. I think that girl will go far.




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Yeah, the women didn't shine tonight and I was surprised at some of the mediocore songs they selected. And some of the good songs were songs that features harmonies and guitars like "Wayword Son". Amanda kind of butchered that song.

I am going way out on a limb and predict that the last woman standing will be someone who wasn't even on L Williams's list of the top 6. I think it will be Kristie of Selma Oregon. She was awful last week but she was also on 5 different antibiotics and as sick as a wet cat in a snowstorm. This week was not a stellar performance either but she will get stronger. The main thing she has to learn is to do is to stop strutting around like a diva and act like herself- the tomboy from the farm. Even Simon, who I am sure hated country music until the success of Carrie Underwood started putting money in his pocket, suggested that she pick country songs. She could be as big as Underwood if she will just, in the words of Buck Owens, "Act Naturally".


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If Kristy can pull it together and stay until "Country Week", she may pull off being in the top six. I still think if you don't look at her and just listen, you won't hear an "Idol-worthy" performance at any point - but I could be wrong. I thought Carrie Underwood had several "pitchy" performances myself.

I'm pretty sure she's the one who had a deal with Arista Nashville several years ago; and I'm sure Simon knew that so his comment about her doing country was simply for show.

Rumor has it that next week is "Beatles week". They didn't do country.... wink

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Originally Posted by Lwilliam

I've heard the blonde contingency called the "bevy of blonde bimbos"...


We're calling them the Barbie triplets in our house.
I was horrified they almost put all three of them together in a row to perform. Who's calling these shots?
smile

I actually liked Brooke's performance of "You're So Vain," although I felt she could have pitched it in a higher key, she did the most all right with the low notes.

I can't figure out why they ALL seemed to be singing in keys too low for their ranges last night (and throughout this season - it's an epidemic). Vikki is 100% right on that. It's great to sing songs you love, but if they're not perfect for YOUR voice, sing them in the shower. What's up with all these low, mumbled verses?

Alexandrea has the largest range of the girls, but she has to learn how to flaunt it to her best advantage.

Sigh... disappointing night for me too. I was really sad to see Amanda butcher "Wayward Son" - she's a real rocker, yes, but she has to choose songs with a rougher, edgier vocal. We're used to that song with a very smooth, pretty vocal on it, and her voice just didn't fit well. I couldn't figure out who put the wig thing on her, either - that was a mistake too. frown I hope she sticks around just on previous merit.

Carly and Brooke were the only memorable performances of the night. I've forgotten the rest already.
Linda

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I think Danny Norriega and Luke Menard are going home this week. For the ladies its time for Amanda Overmyer and Asia'h Epperson.

I really didn't like David Archuleta's version of Imagine. It was way too overproduced/over the top for my taste. But after seeing all the guys performances from this week, it probably does put him on top of the heap.

I still think Carly's on the track for the top of the ladies.


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Why would you pick Asia'h over someone who totally screwed up and has no personality like Kady to go home?

I thought Asia'h was one of the best performances last night (her and Carly).


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I think Kady and Jason would make an amusing couple. They could sit in the same room and see which ego would be the first to blast the other out of the room.


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None of this matters, the winner at the end of the show will be David Archuleta, or whatever his last name is
no guy or girl come even close to his vocal ability and I'd put him In the top three of idol, with carrie and kelly

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I was distracted with the computer failures last night and didn't get to go back and evaluate the show as I usually do. So I am having trouble remembering the performances (which is by itself an issue eh?). From what I remember:

4 Best: (Based only on performance, not who will get voted off)

Ramiele M: She skipped the truly BIG notes and left them to the back ground singers.. pretty weak
Carly S: I thought she was a pale comparison to Ann Wilson though.
Syesha M: I thought Me and Mr. Jones was okay and probably more enjoyable, but not as "big" as the two above.
Kristy Lee Cook: He country tone was evident in the performance of a rock song. She's the lesser of the 3 blondes, but had the upper hand on this night.

The 3 worst:

Alexandrea Lushington: I like her.. but she was awful
Kady Malloy: Deserves to go the most, but won't.
Amanda Overmyer: I like her too.. but I think she might be in trouble. She doesn't do well in any of the online polls and this performance didn't like win any new people over.

The Also rans:

Asia'H Epperson: Underperformed
Alaina Whitaker: Also sucked. But I think she's one of the best potential talents among the girls and would most hate to see her go.

It's clear that due to buzz Carly Smithson is the most safe. Ramiele is also safe. None of the others has clearly demonstrated why they are better than all the others. Brooke is another fan favorite, so she's not going until later in the show, even those she has the least vocal talent of any female contestant left.

I think the ones at the biggest risk are Alexandrea Lushington, Amanda Overmyer and Kristy Lee. If that's true, I hope Amanda stays as she's the most intersting of the 3.

It's clear that the AOL poll isn't in synch with the actual talent and therefore someone who doesn't deserve to go is almost for sure going home this week. That often happens at this point each season. Last time around, I already knew who the top 2 girls and top guy were. This time around, I think it's clear who the fan favorites are, but not so much who the real most talented are. I think several will get a lot better than they are showing right now. And I think several who don't really deserve it will go forward. And that makes it fun TV right?

Brian



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"And that makes it fun TV right?"

Yep. It's almost pure entertainment...it's really about "audience appeal" more than anything.

I'd bet there are even online casinos that will take bets and issue "odds" for/against the various contestants.



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AOL poll:

http://television.aol.com/show/american-idol/65307/tv-show-poll

It looks like to have to vote before you can "see" the results of the polls. click on the boys then the girls and move the faces into the 6 slots.


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Okay.. so the results weren't entirely surprising tonight. I was afraid they might knock out Alaina and it happened. She's the first contestant I actually liked that got nuked. It always happens in this round. The other 3 that were removed were going this or next week anyway so no biggie. There wasn't room for 3 blondes and there wasn't room for 3 rockers.

Kady barely slipped by and even she thought she was the one going. Next week should be her turn unless she overwhelms the others. Amanda is also in danger and really needs a great rock performance (will it be 80's week? Not a great decade for rock...). I think on the guys side Luke will be gone for sure and Danny Noriega needs to do something amazing to make it into the final 12.

Brian


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I'm with you 100% on all your points tonight, Brian.

I knew Amanda would be saved, but was a bit surprised at Alaina over Kady. Yeah, both of them were surprised it wasn't Kady. Alaina is only 17 - she has some time to develop further.

I didn't think Robbie would make it very far, but was surprised he got cut so quickly, especially over Luke.

Jason Yeager was the "favorite" to go this week - and he did. I was a bit surprised to see Alexandrea go so soon, but I could tell she wasn't going to make to the finals.

Well, it does look like Beatles week next week - they finally got clearance on the entire Lennon/McCartney catalog. The rockers can do Back in the U.S.S.R, Birthday, Revolution, Get Back, Drive My Car, and probably a few others I missed.

I just hope that if somebody DOES sing "Yesterday", they do it justice.

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I'll miss Alexandrea. She had an outstanding range to her voice, and she could probably learn how to use it. None of the others had her range.

I won't miss Jason Y. (Sorry...)
And if you could help me out, Brian, I'm not getting what was cool and amazing about Alaina. ??? I figured she would go soon. I couldn't really tell her or Kady apart, or remember what she or Kady sound like once they stopped singing - Kristi Lee, I'm working on, she's got the Amazing Grace voice. The other two seem so much alike to me it's been difficult (in my mind) for them to stand out from the crowd.

Wonder if some people voted for the wrong blonde. That wouldn't surprise me, either.

The ENTIRE Beatles catalog?? How on earth would you pick just one - and trim it? And that may not work out well for David A, who just wowed with "Imagine." Can he pick another one?

It'd be cool if somebody knocked the socks off "Twist & Shout."

Well - onward.

Linda

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I really like the song, "I Will" and hope someone sings it. I wonder if any one will pick a song written by George Harrison? e.g.
"Something", "As my Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun", etc.

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I'm not sure if they got the whole Beatles catalog. They only said the "Lennon/McCartney" catalog.

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Ouch - 0 for 4 on my predictions. I can't believe Luke and Danny are both still there. And I liked Alaina's performance in week one. Wonder if I'll be just as bad next week. smile

Rockers can go for Helter Skelter or She's So Heavy.

I think it will be interesting to see who puts their own spin on the tunes. And who does a snippet from a long song versus who just picks a tune that fits into 2 minutes.


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Oh - duh - Lennon/McCartney isn't the entire catalog. smile
Predictions for which songs will turn up?
It was a surprise when Daughtry picked "Innuendo" on Queen week, but it was a GREAT song for him to do.

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I feel the contestants may not have such an easy time picking the proper song to sing.

I can't see anybody picking a Beatles song from their early collection. Can't see anyone singing, "Love Me Do". I wonder if the contestants can sing a song that the Beatles covered? Someone mentioned "Twist and Shout" which I believe the Isley Brothers sang. "Roll Over Beethoven", "Act Naturally" and "Please Mister Postman" are others that come to mind.

Many of their songs feature guitar hooks such as "Daytripper" but the song would sound silly without the hook. Others feature the fantastic harmonies of John, Paul and George such as "If I Fell" but would be lacking sung as a solo. And some of the songs if not most do not have a wide vocal range to work with.

I guess the safe route would be to pick an uptempo song such as "Got to Get You Into My Life" even though the horns play a major part in making the production sound great.

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I think it'll be a deceptively easy thing to flub, actually.
Due to all the reasons just listed.

Linda

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Well, I guess I was given bad info about this week being Lennon/McCartney week. Maybe next week?

Here's my 1-10 take on the boys tonight - in order of appearance...read 'em and tell me why I'm wrong! wink

Luke Menard - 6 (Wake Me Up; it wasn't even good Karaoke on that cheesy WHAM tune)

David Archuleta - 9 (Another Day in Paridise; decent, but not spectacular this week)

Danny Noriega - 7 (Tainted Love; Only OK: he's on thin ice here)

David Hernandez - 7 (All Coming Back; a few bum notes, but not bad)

Michael Johns - 9 (Don't You Forget About Me; One of the best performances of the night and a good come back for him)

David Cook - 10 (Hello; This was the sleeper of the night: taking a Lionel Ritchie tune and rocking out on it. I thought it was brilliant myself)

Jason Castro - 8 (Hallelujah; very respectable, but not overwhelming performance)

Chikezie - 8 (She Builds Me Up; His best performance so far. I just don't think he's all that good to start with.)

I'd bet serious money that Luke will go home. He just doesn't have much charisma, is only a mediocre singer, and hasn't had a good performance since the auditions.

The 2nd guy to go home is kind of a toss-up between David H and Chikezie. Based on last week's vote, Chikezie doesn't seem to garner a lot of popularity. However, THIS week he was strategically placed at the end to give him an artificial boost in the ratings, so he will probably be safe for another week.

I think Danny is safe this week because he seems to get votes and people want to keep him on simply because he's "interesting". David has a little scandal going on which (right, wrong, or indifferent) I think will cost him some votes (he was a gay stripper prior to Idol). Personally, I think if the guy can sing better than anyone else, he should still get the votes, but that's getting off the track here...

So my vote for the 2 to go: Luke and David H.

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David C, David A, and Chikeze were the top singers this week. Very close in my scoring, but this is how I rated them, from top to bottom.

DAVID COOK
Sang with good, clear tone that showed quality. Sang with ease. I thought he was excellent.

DAVID ARCHULETA
Overall David has a clean, bright tone which I find pleasurable to listen to. He doesn't push his voice, he sings easily. I think he shows musicality. I thought he hit the pitches clean for most of the song, however, he chose a song that goes down too far, and when we sing too low for our voice, we take the energy out of the tone, and that makes it difficult to stay on pitch. We also run the risk of pushing for volume down low, which also creates pitch problems. It's important to pick songs that fit the voice and show it off.

CHIKEZIE
Good choice of song for him. Showed good tonal quality, flexibility and sang easily, without effort.

MICHAEL JOHNS
Everything he's sung since Bohemian Rapsody has been a little disappointing. Tonight I felt that he fell into the same trap as some others, by picking a song that sits pretty low much of the time. Hanging there too long takes energy from the voice and from the performance. He actually disappeared in the low notes. His voice is begging to sing in a higher tessitura*. So in the low notes, we can barely hear you, and then you punch out the 'top' and the whole thing seems off balance. Not only for us, but for the voice. Gravel around low, and then expect your voice to jump into the high notes with ease? And wonder why it doesn't work.

DAVID HERNANDEZ
You know, David actually has a pretty good voice but he doesn't understand how to use it. He sings with his voice at the back of his throat. It can feel really comfortable and powerful to the singer when doing that, but the audience loses something. As I watched him sing, I felt he was opening his mouth enough for the voice to come forward, but I suspect it's tension in the jaw and neck that is creating the constriction. This is why his last note was not off pitch but sounded like it was. The apparatus has the right information, and is trying to vibrate at the right frequency, but the constriction in the throat means they are unable to work freely. I also felt the back-up singers and band overshadowed him in a few spots.

LUKE MENACH
I found his vocals to be a little tight and pitchy. I agree with Simon, who used the word "weak". I feel that Luke sings in an "unattached" way. By that I mean it's like he is disassociated from his voice. I don't know yet if that is nerves or lack of training, perhaps both. He needs some work with a good coach who can teach him how to reach down into his core for depth, and release it. Right now it's like he's singing 'on the surface', and that isn't compelling to listen to.

JASON CASTRO
I disagreed with the judges. I'm not a fan of noisy breath instead of good tone. I would have liked to hear more solid tone, better phrasing, and longer notes on some of the vowels. To me he sounded like someone getting over strep throat who was doing his best to sing a challenging song. He needs to work on understanding how to breathe effectively for singing. I don't know what kind of sound set-up they use but sometimes I wonder if there's too much compression on the voices because every breath stands out so loud. Or maybe it was that the whole thing sounded like unsupported singing.

DANNY NORIEGA
Please, can he get voted off this week. I don't know why he's still on the show. In my opinion he does not have the voice. I think he is a fair performer, but he isn't a singer. I feel also that he's either outside his comfort zone with the music, or trying to make his voice do something it's not suited for. He's not a rock singer. Light pop, perhaps.

*Tessitura - generally describes the most musically acceptable and comfortable timbre for a given voice


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

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Well.. this week will be a big contrast between who DESERVES to go home and who will ACTUALLY go home.

Based solely on this weeks performance (and not prior good will)

3 Best:

David Cook: He had the best arrangement and most relevant performance of any of the guys so far. And I wasn't initially a fan of his, but he's gotten better each week and this week rose to the very top. It was actually good enough to be a radio hit.

Jason Castro: He was back in his week 1 form. Again, this guy can't really sing much range, but he's the smartest singer (though he comes off as perhaps the dumbest stoner contestant they've ever had in interviews). His arrangement was pretty much the same as Jeff Buckley's and I think in part he was trading off everyone's emotion from that recording, but nevertheless he delivered.

The third best was a toss up between several contestants.. so I am going to go with the very least popular choice possible and say:

Danny Noriega: I realize he's not likable by most here. And he's sort of a loose cannon, but that makes him the most entertaining of all the performers. He just puts it out there like a real artists, rather than a careful tactician (which is how I view Danny A. and Michael Johns who don't have any spontaneity at all.. just focused carefullness). He's also flamboyant and in a season where it's "coming out" that there's several gay contestants, I like that he doesn't shrug from who he is at all. I think if he somehow makes it into the final 12, which is a long shot, he should be over the top because then he'll become the buzz of the final 12. Most of the final 12 are boring boring boring. And in truth, from a pure singing ability point of view, he's one of the strongest singers in the competition. (I can here most of you gagging as you read this).

Bottom 3:

Luke Menard: If you're going to songs in high falsetto style week after week and you can't even come close to the original, it's going to wear thin. And that's where I am at with this guy. He should have been gone each of the last 2 weeks. Hopefully it will be his turn this time.

Micheal Johns: He may have been a JPF Award winner, but he's gotten worse each week since the pre-finals. It's sad because I know he has a big voice and is capable of being a final contender. It's clear he's getting propped up by the judges (what they thought they heard, I have no idea, it certainly wasn't a fair or accurate assessment of that train wreck performance which was probably the very worst of the night by a pretty large margin.. watch it back and see). He's likely safe into the final 12 based solely on looks and cool factor of being an Aussie. But David Cook made him look like a lame pretender. He should concede the straight rock slot to David C. and find some big open vocals to sing on which are his strength. He's not going to win the rocker title this season (especially when you through the girls in the mix).

David Archuleta: Again, a gasp comes over the readers. I think this is the biggest case of "the emperor has no clothes" I've ever seen on American Idol. The kid is all charismas and no substance. He has no range (at least he hasn't shown any so far) and he sings everything in the same breathy style and it's already really old. BUT.. it's clear that everyone on the planet wants to crown him king. He leads the AOL voting. He's clearly being pushed hard by the judges and the media. But if you just listen to the audio without watching him, he's not nearly as good as people make him out to be as a singer. I will grant you he's a cute disney-like figure, and it looks like style is going to win over substance. He'll easily breeze to the final 4 at least based on hype. The only ones with a shot at taking him down are likely on the girls side. But let's be honest, this performance was about as Ho-Hum as it gets. I do give him credit for not choosing the most cheesy Phil Collins song. Thank god for that.

Also Rans:

Danny Hernandez: He's got a great voice.. but he's boring. The controversy probably won't help him much either. He could easily be gone this week as someone who is all substance (i.e. vocal range) and no style. (how's that for irony).

Chikezie Eze: I liked his song choice and he took a song that was written for a female and made it sound like a song made for a male. That's something David Hernandez didn't do (nor did Luke Menard.. though I guess technically Wham was male).

Now, with all that said, here's the reality. This round is never about who are actually the best singers. It's all a popularity contest at this point. And there's 3 candidates to go home, irrelevent of their peformances.

Danny Noriega, Chikezie and Luke Menard. Most likely it will be Luke and Danny N. The show will be less interesting with him gone. I wouldn't be overly shocked for Chikezie or even David Hernandez to fall either. They keep talking about this being the best season ever, but I think it's really the most hyped ever. True, they don't have anyone left who can't sing at all like they have every previous year. But they do have some really boring finalists who sing well but you could care less about them minutes later. And they have some front runners (David A and Jason C.) who have, in truth, no real range on their vocals.

Let's see if the women can step it up some. Or if it will also just come down to popularity. If so, Kristi Lee Cook and Amanda are in big trouble.

Brian





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After last night I wonder why I thought the guys were so good. I wasn't impressed by anyone. David A was off his game but safe of course. And we had a good preformance by Micheal Johns but he had a weak ending. He sounded good in the lower range and I kept thinking, this guy is about to go up an octave and blast this song into the stratosphere but he never did until the last note and then he struggled to keep it steady.

David Cook has been a strange outsider figure all these weeks. Last night he seemed like a contender for the first time. He appears to be the most "complete" musician in the group. There is something about him that I think will discourage votes but I can't put my finger on it. I think it might be that he is pretty guarded-like he has been told 100 times that he doesn't have "it" when he knows he does. He does.
And what was Simon smoking when he told Jason C that he thought Halleujah was "brilliant". I recently learned to sing that song and I studied the best version ever recorded (KD Lang); and if you compare what she did with it and what he did with it, his version was a car wreck! He even smiled when he blew a note and had to cover up the mistake- Simon didn't even notice.

Now I get to predict a complete dark horse will win, and if I am right, I will seem like a bloody genius in a few weeks. Little Oregon cowgirl Kristie, now barely hanging on at the bottom of the girls, will end up the next American Idol. Ok, I confess, I was born in Oregon. And I now live in Kelly Clarkson's hometown.

if you want to hear what Kristie Lee Cook sounds like recorded, here is her myspace page with a few songs demoed: http://www.myspace.com/kristyleecook

If she gets her chance to sing "Blue" for country week, she will be singing her favorite Leann Rhimes song and then it will be like what happened when Hillary won the Texas primary- a new ball game.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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