Season 6 Index | February 21 Review


American Idol Season 6 (2007)


February 20 (Semi-Finals: Men) - Wake Me Up When You Have Gone-Gone


It's the first night of real competition.  I'd throw popcorn at the screen, but I'm rendered so catatonic for most of the show that I can't even lift my arm.  Ppphhht.

Ryan says we have the best talent yet.  I think he means the "vest" talent, because that's one sharp-looking vest he's wearing.  Too bad the jeans ruin the outfit.  He tells us that this is the most important stage in the music industry.  Just the most hyped.  And he now proceeds to mention all the most recent Idols except Taylor Hicks.  I guess Taylor was just an aberration.  But everybody, LET'S NOT FORGET CHRIS DAUGHTRY!  This will be a recurring theme this year, I'm sure.

A boring montage of the men accompanied by Rolling Stones music follows.  After the ads (in which the Ford Fusion is compared to shampoo), we begin with:

Rudy Cardenas (sings the Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride"): He's originally from Venezuela, but eats macaroni & cheese in L.A. now.  And this performance is so cheesy that I think I'm watching Grease: You're the One That I Want.  Then I decide, no, I'm not, because the contestants on that show have better diction.  And, dude, you can move out of that little circle any time now.  Randy thinks it's corny.  Paula thinks he's fantastic (big surprise).  Simon doesn't believe he's unique or distinctive, and he's right.

Brandon Rogers (sings Michael Jackson's "Rock With You"): He's done backing vocals for Christina, Justin, and Usher.  Yes, yes, we know.  Then he sings an uninspired version of "Rock With You" with absolutely no charisma.  I.  Am.  So.  Bored.  Randy doesn't think it was his best song (really?).  Paula tells him to stop being a background singer.  Simon thinks the song was too safe and predictable.

Sundance Head (sings the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin"): He embarrassed himself in Hollywood, but they decided to put him in the top 24 to embarrass himself all over again.  Why the heck is he singing this song?  Ugh.  Only the Moody Blues can get away with it, and they need a full orchestra.  And now the pitch problems and the red face start and he's intent on ruining this great make out song for me.  Thanks loads, man.  Randy wants him to go back to blues.  Paula agrees that he picked the wrong song.  Simon compares him to a Dad at a wedding and says he doesn't like him tonight, nyah.

Ryan wants Paula to rub her chest, as that's about the only excitement we're going to have tonight.

Paul Kim (sings Wham's "Careless Whisper"): He feels free without shoes.  I say he should feel free to leave, because George Michael he's not, especially in that too-low key he picked for the song.  Son, those feet aren't guilty - they're ashamed.  Randy likes his voice but didn't like the song.  Paula says he oversang the song (did he even sing it?).  Simon tells him to put his shoes on next week, because that was really ordinary.

Ryan, I don't want to see your pale feet now.  Yuck.

Chris Richardson (sings Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be"): He works in the "restaurant business" (it's Hooters, folks - gee, wonder why the show didn't want him to mention that?).  I'm sorry, but if you're going to sing something that's already been done in the past two seasons, then you'd better bring something special to the table, and Chris just doesn't.  That nasal voice is going to grate really fast.  I give him points for recognizing that there's more to the stage than a tiny circle, though.  Randy feels like the show just started because he "kind of made it work."  Paula says the arrangement was "like a brand new song."  Simon thinks the voice sounded very small, but he believes the girls will vote for him, and really, someone has to come back next week.

Nick Pedro (sings Richard Marx's "Now and Forever"): We are reminded that he blew it in Hollywood week last year, which I'm sure makes him feel good.  As for his performance...well, he didn't forget the words.  I guess.  I fell asleep halfway through.  Randy thinks it was boring.  Paula wants him to go back to his audition voice.  Simon doesn't think it was that bad, although he says Nick lost his spark a bit and was very nervous.  Eh.  Whatever.  He'll be back next week because he's supposedly such a likeable guy.

Blake Lewis (sings Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know"): He beatboxes and plays guitar and piano, but he promises he'll sing for us sometime.  This isn't a great song to pick from a pitch standpoint, but what saves him is that the selection is more current than everyone else's so far and the quality of his voice is enough to grab my attention among all the blandness.  I'll at least remember him.  Randy "kind of dug it."  Paula is glad he picked an odd song.  Simon thanks him for being contemporary and says it's the best performance so far.

Sanjaya Malakar (sings Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet" ): Sanjaya got the song from his sister.  This must have been her revenge for being cut.  He doesn't have pitch problems, but at 17 he's clearly not as experienced as the rest of them, and it's another boring song.  Randy thinks it was really bad.  Paula wants to see more of his personality.  Simon thinks it was the dreariest performance that night, especially with a line like, "I don't want to bore you with this."  But you know he'll get the sympathy vote because he's so young, especially with so many other forgettable performances.

Chris Sligh (sings Mute Math's "Typical" ): He's a marketing consultant who never wants to hear "Sweet Home Alabama" again.  Like Blake, he picked a good song.  I don't know it (who is Mute Math, anyway?), and Chris's voice is a little weak, but he makes me stop and listen and watch.  Randy says he was rushing a bit, but it doesn't matter, because he's a Chris fan.  Paula thinks he strategizes well.  Simon likes his personality but felt like he was at some weird student gig.  Chris then gets defensive and insults the Teletubbies and Il Divo (Simon's projects), and while it's funny for a moment, it gets things off to a bad start between them and I just want to tell him to shut up.  You don't win points by slamming Simon, even if he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Jared Cotter (sings Brian McKnight's "Back At One"): He was fired from his waiter job for trying out for Idol.  His performance is okay but ultimately forgettable, except for the fact that he keeps pointing at me.  Stop that.  Randy thinks it was all right.  Paula wants him to be more original.  Simon thinks he was unadventurous and nasally, but he looks good.

AJ Tabaldo (sings Luther Vandross's "Never Too Much"): This is his fifth time trying out.  So he gives us about the tenth bland rendition of a boring song tonight.  I mean, you know it's bad when the camera has to switch to the background singers.  Randy thinks he worked it out, though.  Paula says he can sing.  Simon thinks it was like a throwaway theme park performance, but admits he was probably better than Simon originally thought.

Phil Stacey (sings Edwin McCain's "I Could Not Ask For More"): He's an active duty Navy guy, and we're reminded once again that he missed the birth of his daughter.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, move on.  The verse starts off weak, but when he gets going, he adds some sorely missing emotion to this show.  Randy gives him the best vocal props of the night.  Paula likes the fact that he opened up.  Simon thought the beginning was rough, and he didn't think he nailed it like Chris Daughtry would, but why the heck is he bringing this up?  Phil then proceeds to earn all the points Chris Sligh lost by sucking up to Simon.  Eeuw.

My top three of the night would be Chris Sligh (good song choice, good vocals), Blake Lewis (surprisingly good song choice, so-so vocals), and Phil Stacey (a song I've heard a hundred times too many, but he had some genuine emotion).  I remember Chris Richardson and his squealy girl fans, so he's probably safe.  Sundance Head and anyone else can go home.  I've forgotten the rest.

Eliminated on February 22 Results Show:  Rudy Cardenas and Paul Kim


Review 2007 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail


Season 6 Index | February 21 Review