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American Idol Season 6 (2007)

 

March 27 - Hush, hush, darling (Gwen Stefani's song inspirations)

 

Gwen Stefani is the guest "mentor," and tonight we are going to be treated to No Doubt songs and songs that inspired her.  Ryan proclaims that she is a singer, songwriter, fashion icon, actress, and performer.  I'll give her maybe two out of five of that.  In the video clips, Gwen doesn't look like herself - she looks like a little girl.  That's the power of makeup, folks.  [Cue: "If I was a rich girl…"]

LaKisha Jones (sings Donna Summer's "Last Dance"): She makes Gwen sweaty.  Um, okay.  That was helpful.  Tonight, LaKisha is wearing an icky polyester 70s dress with pansies splattered all over the skirt.  Vocally, she's fine, but this isn't my favorite performance of hers, probably because the song doesn't really have a lot of range and she didn't do a whole lot with it.  She can't really dance, either.  But the judges are in love with her, so who cares?  Randy thinks she's "a true fly diva."  Paula says she did an excellent job.  Simon loves the boots and says she's 30 years younger this week.  What, because she's singing a 30-year-old song?  But LaKisha actually smiles.  Who'dve thunk it?

Chris Sligh (sings the Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"): Chris likes to spend his downtime knitting and crocheting.  No, not really - he likes to sleep.  Ha, ha.  [snore]  Gwen notes his beat problems in rehearsal.  And he still has problems here, but I blame it partially on the echo and the different instrumentation.  But, really, he should know better than to pick something with such a complex rhythm, considering he's had the same rhythm problems All.  Season.  Long.  It's a good fit for his voice, though.  Just pick something better, huh?  Please?  Randy notes that rhythmically there were problems, a comment that both Paula and Chris agree with.  Simon just thought it was a mess.

Gina Glocksen (sings the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You"): Gwen liked the fact that Gina just stood there and acted emotional in rehearsal.  Wow, great advice, Gwen.  As for Gina, hey, she impressed me for once!  This is the best she's ever done, despite almost being overpowered by the orchestra.  Restrained, not screechy, but still showing emotion.  Thank you.  Randy likes her fly pair of boots and says it's one of her best performances ever.  Paula likes that she's improving each week.  Simon says it wasn't one of her best, it was THE best, and the best of the night so far.

Sanjaya Malakar (sings No Doubt's "Bathwater"): He got nervous at rehearsal and forgot the words.  And what guinea pigs died and got glued to the top of his head tonight?  Oh, that's his hair.  Shudder.  "I still love to wash in your old bathwater," he sings as he kind of limps around the stage.  Okay, do I giggle or cringe here?  Really.  I am speechless.  So is Randy, although he says the hair is "interesting."  He and Paula want him just to go for it.  Simon presumes there was no mirror in his dressing room, then admits it doesn't matter what the judges say anymore.  America will vote however it wants to.  Sadly, this is true.

Haley Scarnato (sings Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors"): Gwen tells her to tone things down and stick to the melody.  Haley is once again all leg, and the camera wants to look up her skirt.  Heh.  She's not bad on this song, but her voice is too soft.  If she could sing louder, she might be a contender.  But as it stands, she's not much more than cannon fodder right now.  Randy wasn't really grabbed by it.  Paula thinks it was too "old" of a performance.  Simon says it was sweet but forgettable.

Phil Stacey (sings the Police's "Every Breath You Take"): What is that ugly knit thing on his head?  Eeuw.  Gwen was pleasantly surprised at his singing and wants him to stick to the melody.  He's still charisma-less, and this is a funny song for a guy who is nicknamed "Nosferatu" online.  Oh, now I get the hat - he's covering those vampire ears!  I like his voice, though, especially when he gets to the bridge.  Very smooth, very easy to listen to.  Randy thinks it was a really solid performance.  Paula confuses the bridge with the chorus. Simon actually says it was very good.

Melinda Doolittle (sings Donna Summer's "Heaven Knows"): Gwen was blown away in rehearsal.  At the show, we are treated to bad 70s fashion again.  Ugh.  But it was an excellent performance, as always, and more polished than LaKisha's.  I'll say it again: She really doesn't need this show.  Randy likes the way Melinda lives the words.  Paula says she has charisma from the word "go."  Simon hates the outfit and says this may not be her best performance, but she was as vocally outstanding as always.

Blake Lewis (sings the Cure's "Love Song"): Gwen says he needs to be careful about where he adds the beatboxing.  Why does he have to add it at all?  The answer is: he doesn't.  He delivers an absolutely straightforward rendition of the song.  Unfortunately, because he left out his trademark beatboxing and lacks Robert Smith's quirky voice, it comes across as a bit boring for my tastes (as I suppose all Cure songs would without Robert Smith).  I appreciate his song choices, though.  The Cure on Idol?  Wow.  Randy doesn't think it was the perfect song for Blake, but he left it in a "tender spot."  Paula loves what he did and thinks he has a shot at the finale - which means he's doomed.  Simon believes he's the strongest guy in the competition and warns him not to be too indulgent or boring.

Jordin Sparks (sings No Doubt's "Hey Baby"): Gwen was shocked at her song choice, then surprised that she made it sound so musical.  I like the arrangement - it's certainly contemporary, and Jordin sings it well - but I don't quite buy her dressing up and prancing around the stage as Gwen Stefani.  That distracts me.  Randy calls the song choice risky but brilliant.  Paula calls her adorable, hip, and young.  Simon considers her the most improved contestant, although the song seemed a bit "copy-catish."

Chris Richardson (sings No Doubt's "Don't Speak"): Gwen hopes he leaves out the vocal Olympics.  I just hope he leaves.  Really, this performance could be retitled "Don't Sing," 'cause it hurts.  His vocals are weak, and while the nasalness isn't as bad this week, it's still there.  Gee, what a way to close the show, folks. Thanks.  Randy likes the R&B ska on the song, but wishes he'd kept the runs.  Paula says he's "just good."  Simon thinks it was a good song choice but not a great vocal.  You don't speak, er, say.

Rankings:

1. Melinda Doolittle - Great vocals, and she's the only one who looked absolutely comfortable on stage.
2. Gina Glocksen - That was a pleasant surprise.
3. Phil Stacey - He's probably going home within the next couple of weeks, but I really liked his voice tonight.
4. Jordin Sparks - I'd rank her higher if she wasn't dressed like Gwen.
5. LaKisha Jones - Solid vocals, but not the best song choice for me, and she's not as comfortable-looking on stage as the people above.
6. Blake Lewis - I like the song choice and arrangement, but his vocals were a bit too bland to blow me away. The judges are pimping him too much, IMO.
7. Chris Sligh - I like his voice, but the boy just cannot keep a rhythm.
8. Haley Scarnato - I'll agree with Simon. Sweet but forgettable.
9. Chris Richardson - Mr. Nasality just annoys me.
10. Sanjaya Malakar - No doubt.

Bottom 3 on March 28 Results Show (in order announced):  Phil Stacey, Haley Scarnato, Chris Sligh

Eliminated:  Chris Sligh

 

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

 

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