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American Idol Season 6 (2007)

 

February 27 (Semi-Finals: Men) - I ain't missing you at all

 

Ryan tells us that the guys are back, and "this time, it's personal."  So are they going to machine gun the other contestants or something?  He then congratulates Jennifer Hudson for being Idol's "first" Oscar winner, like there's going to be more.  Pardon me while I guffaw.

Phil Stacey (sings John Waite's "I Ain't Missing You"): He's inspired by his Navy band.  Seeing a clip of that band rocking out in Navy whites is...amusing.  And scary.  And now I realize who he reminds me of physically - Peter Garrett.  So a decent rendition of this song is made weird for me by thinking about Midnight Oil changing it into a political rally for the Australian outback.  Randy thinks it was hot.  Paula can hear Phil right now on the radio.  Simon isn't jumping out of his chair because he's not hearing anything unique.

Ryan talks to the guys in the Red Room, which always makes me think of "Redrum" and Stephen King.

Jared Cotter (sings Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"): He dedicates the performance to his parents, especially Mom who pushed his butt out of bed to audition for the show.  The song is pretty bland until he tries to wipe the scowl off his face with one hand at the end.  Randy likes the face move.  Paula tells him not to push the song.  Simon says it reminds him of the Love Boat, and Jared comes back with, "That would've been a great Love Boat, man."

A.J. Tabaldo (sings Michael Buble's version of "Feeling Good"): Another dedication to parents who've always supported him.  Ho-hum.  And that about sums up the performance, too, at least for me.  The judges like him, though.  Randy says he proved that he had skills.  Paula tells him that he has a real, real, real, real, real, REAL good voice.  Simon thinks he made himself stand out and looked "strangely comfortable."  Um, okay. I just keep thinking how much better LaKisha would have performed it.

Sanjaya Malakar (sings Tony Bennett's "Steppin' Out With My Baby" ): He dedicates the song to his grandfather, who passed away when Sanjaya was 5.  Then he starts to sing, and I'm wondering why they don't turn the microphone up on him.  His voice is soooo soft, and his movements make me feel like I'm watching a high school talent show.  The bass player is great, though, and watching Chris Sligh attempt to keep time is amusing.  Randy thinks Sanjaya is a nice kid, but this wasn't good (and he echoes my high school talent show observation).  Paula says that he's an old soul who should pick younger songs.  Simon thinks it was like a bad lunch where parents dress their kids up to sing.

Chris Sligh (sings Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble"): He's dedicating this song to his wife, who has always encouraged him even when money was tight.  I like the song, I like his voice, and him singing it to his wife was nice, but he does rush the tempo a bit in the beginning and the performance was a little too muted for me.  I enjoy him more when he's rocking out, especially when everyone else so far has been kind of subdued.  But hey, it's Chris, so he's not going anywhere.  Randy says he's even better than last week.  Paula tells him to watch his pitch and not rush, and I think she's jealous of his wife now.  Simon says he's a very good singer and then basically admits that he doesn't know this song, even though Taylor performed it last year.

Nick Pedro (sings Michael Buble's version of "Fever"): He dedicates the performance to his girlfriend and tells us that they were apart on Valentine's Day.  News flash, Nick: All the other contestants were probably away from their sweeties, too.  But then the song starts, and I think, ohhhhh, I like this sexy arrangement.  His smokier type of voice is perfect for it, although there were a couple of places where I wish he would have belted it out more.  Maybe he wasn't feeling well this week?  Randy says he was a little pitchy and rushed it some, but he returned to his "vibe."  Paula tells him to just let go and go for it.  Simon thinks it was good, although he showed a lack of charisma and he needs to dress more appropriately for the song.

Blake Lewis (sings Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity"): Another dedication to supportive parents.  His rendition is pretty good, but all I'm really remembering about it is the little scat section he inserted in the middle of it.  But may I say that Rickey Minor is totally earning his pay this week with his bass playing?  Wow.  Randy falls all over himself praising Blake. Paula congratulates him for his smart song choices and says he's unique.  Simon didn't really see any originality except for the scatting part, which, yeah, I agree.

Brandon Rogers (sings Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"): He dedicates the song to his deceased grandmother, who always wanted him to "bloom."  Well, he doesn't exactly bloom with this song.  His performance skills are fine, but this doesn't do anything to showcase his voice.  In fact, compared to Dilana's performance on Rock Star this past summer, it was positively anemic.  Added to last week's dull showing, I think he might be in trouble.  Randy says it was kind of boring.  Paula was moved and "felt his heart."  Simon rolls his eyes and tells him to come out and make a "wow" impact.

Chris Richardson (sings Jason Mraz's "Geek in the Pink"): Yet another grandmother dedication.  His rhythm is a little off in parts because there are so many words to spit out, but he's one of the more energetic performers of the evening.  And no, that's not necessarily a great compliment, considering almost everyone else has focused on slower songs.  I expect the judges to point out the rhythm problems as they did with Chris Sligh, but no.  Randy thinks he's hotter than Jason Mraz.  Paula says something incomprehensible.  Simon thinks it's the best song tonight.

Sundance Head (sings Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally"): He dedicates the song to his 2-1/2 month old son and then starts crying during the dedication video.  Okay, everyone vote for him now!  [*rolls eyes*]  Fortunately, this bluesy performance is miles better than last week's, and I'm glad he came back so he could wake me up.  Randy welcomes him back and says that's this performance is the reason he's here.  Paula tells him to bring it like that every week.  Simon is glad to have the old Sundance back, even though he thinks he can do better.

Overall, the performances this week were better than last week's (they almost had to be), although I'm still not incredibly impressed.  So the ranking below is really rough, and some of these are interchangeable.

1. Nick Pedro - His charisma may be a little lacking, but the voice and the arrangement I could definitely listen to again
2. Sundance Head - Surprise!  He can sing!
3. Chris Sligh - The voice is good, but I want to hear more up-tempo stuff
4. Chris Richardson - Still not wild about his vocals, but it was a decent performance and an interesting song choice.
5. Phil Stacey - Overall solid, and, hey, I like Midnight Oil
6. Blake Lewis - I mostly remember the scat part, which was fun
7. Jared Cotter - He showed some personality, even if it wasn't Marvin Gaye's
8. A.J. Tabaldo - I really don't remember him
9. Brandon Rogers - Not a good performance
10. Sanjaya Malakar - Really not a good performance

I'd like to think that America would put Sanjaya out of his (and our) misery and send him packing, but there are enough people who feel sorry for him that I wouldn't be surprised if he sticks around for at least another week.  I think Jared, A.J., and Brandon are all at risk, and possibly Nick, too, since I don't know how many fans he has, and singing in the middle of the pack may mean that people forget about him.

Okay, girls, wake me up Wednesday, huh?

Eliminated on March 1 Results Show:  Nick Pedro and A.J. Tabaldo

 

Review 2007 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.

 

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