May 8 Review | Season 6 Index

 

American Idol Season 6 (2007)

 

May 15 -  W-O-M-A-N, Part 2 (The Judge's Choice, The Producers' Choice, Their Choice)

 

The announcer before the show says it's "Do or Die" for the final 3.  Oh, please?  I would be a lot more excited if I thought that the loser would be tossed to the lions afterwards.

First we start with choices that each judge made for the contestants, which were revealed at their respective homecomings last Friday.

Judge's Choice

Jordin Sparks (sings Rose Royce's "Wishing On a Star," chosen by Simon): The trick with this song is staying on pitch at the repetitive notes.  Unfortunately, if you can manage that, the song comes across as pretty boring - which is what happens in this instance, despite the jazzed-up instrumentation.  Really, I was expecting better here.  Randy, however, thinks it was a very good vocal.  Paula said she did a beautiful job and it was a great way to start the show.  Simon didn't like the weird jazz arrangement and therefore thought it wasn't one of her best performances.  Which makes me wonder, "When you gave her the song, why didn't you say that you preferred the slower version?"

Blake Lewis (sings the Police's "Roxanne," chosen by Paula): While it lacks Sting's punch (really, no one can screech "Roxanne" like he can), and it doesn't touch the passion of Dilana's version on Rock Star, I suppose it's an acceptable karaoke version.  And I guess that's about all I can say about it.  Randy thinks it was a great performance.  Paula says he did her proud.  Simon doesn't think it was earth-shattering, and compared to the original, it wasn't as good.

Melinda Doolittle (sings Whitney Houston's "I Believe In You and Me," chosen by Randy): She puts the key into her alto register, which is smart, and she goes to a falsetto for the high notes, which is acceptable.  This is a sucky Whitney Houston song, and there are (surprisingly for her) a couple of pitch problems, but Melinda brings an emotion to her singing that the other two performers lack.  Randy says he chose this song to throw some difficulty at her, and he thinks it was hot.  Paula calls her fantastic and amazing, and says it's one of her best performances.  Simon thinks it was her best performance in the last four weeks, and says that round 1 goes to her. I agree.

Rankings, Round 1: Melinda, Jordin, Blake

Producers' Choice

Normally, recording mogul Clive Davis makes the choice here.  But either he's sick, totally bored with this year's contestants, or the producers finally realized he makes sucky choices.  Or all three.  We aren't told.  What we do have to suffer through is Ryan asking each contestant a stupid viewer question.

Jordin Sparks (sings Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money"): Her favorite song of all time is "Mm-Bop" by Hanson, because, after all, she's only 17. No, really?  No one ever told me that before!  [*rolls eyes*]  There is no explanation for the producers' choice of this song, but I assume it's to get her to sing something up-tempo.  And, as is typical for Jordin on faster songs, she's not that great, particularly on the lower register of the verses.  She probably should have kicked it up to a slightly higher key.  Randy says it was very nicely done, though.  Paula calls her fantastic.  Simon again criticizes the arrangement, but he likes Jordin's money note at the end.

Blake Lewis (sings Maroon 5's "This Love"): When asked what the movie of his life would be called and who would play him, Blake says that Jim Carrey would play him in a movie called "Organized Chaos."  Okay, that's the most original answer of the night.  This song is better suited for his voice than "Roxanne," and...oh, wait!...the beatboxing is back!  But it's very little, and it's appropriate, and there's an edge to his voice that was missing from "Roxanne."  Good choice, producers.  They must like you.  Randy says that Blake should make a record with this type of music.  Paula says he's totally in his element.  Simon preferred this performance to the first song and says it was good and not a copycat performance.

Melinda Doolittle (sings Ike and Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits"): Melinda's idol growing up was her mother.  Not the most exciting answer, but "awwww" anyway.  On to the performance...and what a performance!  To borrow Randy's phrase, this song is "hawt."  Melinda growls and struts like we haven't seen her before.  No more simply being consistent - she's here to win this thing.  Wow.  It's official for me now: this girl really can do anything.  Randy says it's another stellar performance for her and says she needs to include songs like that on her album.  Paula intelligently says, "we love you, we love you, we love you."  Simon loves this side of Melinda and calls it another brilliant performance, although he says this round is a tie.  (Randy gives it to Melinda, but who cares?)

Rankings, Round 2: Melinda, Blake, Jordin

Contestant's Choice

These are supposed to be the contestants' "favorite" songs (read: favorite songs that we could get clearance for).

Jordin Sparks (sings Shirley Bassey's "I Who Have Nothing"): Jordin sang this earlier in the season, during British Invasion week, and this is as solid as that performance (in fact, I'd ranked her at number 1 that night).  That's probably a good thing, because it finally showcases what she's excels at - big, intense ballads.  Randy calls it her best performance of the night.  Paula says she sounded really great.  Simon didn't like the fact that a 17-year-old was singing an old-fashioned song and wished she'd chosen something else.  A frustrated Jordin gets defensive, which is partly justified (she correctly points out that "Wishing On a Star" is an old song, too), but generally not a good thing when hoping for votes.

Blake Lewis (sings Robin Thicke's "When I Get You Alone"): Well, the song certainly is modern, even though it relies heavily on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and lots of dancing, which both distracts and annoys me.  It was a solid performance for the type of song it was, though.  Randy thinks it was cool and "aighht."  Paula believes Blake had three great songs tonight.  Simon really likes the performance, as it exemplifies what he likes about Blake - he takes risks and looks like he's having fun.

Melinda Doolittle (sings Maria Muldaur's "I'm a Woman"): Another repeat from earlier this season (in this case, the third week of semi-finals, where I'd ranked her at number 1).  This one, though, is more enjoyable than Jordin's.  Melinda throws her jacket on the floor like a gauntlet, and she brings the background singers into the spotlight to sing with her.  I have no doubt now that she could put on an interesting solo show - although am I the only one to think that one of those background singers looked like a refugee from The Rocky Horror Picture Show?  Randy likes seeing the range Melinda shows.  Paula loves that she's stepping out into the spotlight.  Simon loved the "striptease" at the beginning of the song, and he says he would put a place in the finals for her, as she is the one person who is consistent week after week.  Yay!

Rankings, Round 3: Melinda, Blake, Jordin

As the show closes, Ryan asks the judges who will be in the finals.  Randy says it will be two women.  Paula refuses to choose.  All Simon cares about is that his girl Melinda is there.  And I am smiling almost as broadly as Jordin now.

Overall Rankings:

1. Melinda - She sang every song well, she showed versatility and toughness, and no one can call her boring anymore. You go, girl.
2. Blake - Although his songs aren't something I personally would pay money for, he had the most modern sound of anyone there.
3. Jordin - After several weeks of being pimped by the judges, she falters on song choices that show her limitations as a singer (and yes, I know it's not entirely her fault, but I can only rank 'em as I hear 'em).

Eliminated on May 16 Results Show:  Melinda Doolittle.  And since I've now completely lost interest in the show, this will be my final review of the season.

 

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

 

May 8 Review | Season 6 Index