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American Idol Season 7 (2008)


February 20 - (Semi-Finals: Women) I don't have to say I love you

Tonight it's the women's turn.  As I'm hard-pressed to remember much about last night's show (except for one teen sensation, one dreadlocked guy who made me smile, and Paula's psychedelic episode), I'm hoping against hope that someone will wake me up tonight.  Unfortunately, Ryan tells us that some contestants are struggling with the flu.  Oh, boy.

Kristy Lee Cook (sings Aretha Franklin's "Rescue Me"): She sold her horse to get money to go to the audition for Idol.  Oh, cry me a river.  She's got a serviceable country voice, but this isn't a country song, it doesn't have much range to work with, and we've already got Carrie Underwood, thanks so much.  Go and buy back your horse now.  Randy says it's not her best performance.  Paula points out that she's sick, but she shouldn't let people see that.  Simon thinks the song choice was poor and the performance robotic.

Joanne Borgella (sings Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer"): Is she sick, too?  This sounds like it should be better, but her pitch goes all over the place, and her timing's off with the band.  Randy thinks she got it together at the end, but she seemed unsure.  Paula liked her auditions better.  Simon didn't like it at all and says it was very substandard.  There's no mention of sickness here, so I guess she's just not that good.

Alaina Whitaker (sings Spiral Staircase's "(I Love You) More Today Than Yesterday"): Oh, goody, she's the youngest contestant on the show, with her 17th birthday coming up tomorrow, so of course they have to hype that up.  And she sings what Chikezie did yesterday.  Fortunately, I like her version much better, but she's like Carrie Underwood 2.0 in both her looks and her mannerisms, which is creeping me out a little.  Randy likes her conviction and confidence and says this is the year of the Young Ones.  Paula says she had the best ending she's heard on that song.  Simon thinks she's very good, although he hated the song.  Hopefully, it's now officially retired for the year.

Amanda Overmyer (sings Muddy Waters' "Baby, Please Don't Go"): This Janis Joplin-esque singer comes out determined to rock, but I'm more excited by the band than by her somewhat frantic vocal performance.  In fact, I don't recognize this song at all, and it takes me a while to realize she's singing, "please don't go."  I'm expecting the judges to not really like her, but they surprise me.  Randy digs Amanda's blues-rock thing and then compliments her patchwork trousers.  Paula says she's authentic and not a one-trick pony.  Simon really likes her, even though he wants her to choose a song that proves that she's a singer.  Yeah.  What he said.

Amy Davis (sings Connie Francis' "Where the Boys Are"): She feels like one lucky dog to be on Idol.  I'm not going to make the obvious related comment here about her singing.  Gawd, that was awful.  Was there a note on pitch at all?  I couldn't watch after the first ten seconds.  Randy points out all the pitch problems.  Paula says the camera loves her, but it wasn't the most engaging song for her.  Simon calls it boring and incredibly cabaret.

Brooke White (sings The Turtles' "So Happy Together"): I liked her performance better than the vocals, which were only okay.  But she's bright and happy and has challenged Simon to push her to the Dark Side, so she's likely memorable enough to keep going.  And with her hand in her hair, she seems to do a really good impression of Meg Ryan's orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally.  Heh.  Randy says she worked it out by the end, and she got her "slaying" on.  Paula thinks she's original.  Really?  Simon thinks the bubbly Brooke picked the right song, but the performance reminded him of a dish cleaning commercial from the 60s.  He doesn't want her to be so nice and sunny.  I'm thinking that maybe she and Amanda should switch songs next week.

Alexandréa Lushington (sings Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel"): She has some pitch issues in the middle, but she seems to be the most relaxed performer up there, taking advantage of almost the entire stage.  I can at least watch her without cringing.  Randy thinks she blew the doors off the song.  Paula likes the fact that she thought about the performance from top to bottom.  Simon didn't get it and says it reminded him of a bad 60s musical.  After being instructed as to the correct pronunciation of Alexandréa's name, Ryan informs us, "I've got rhythm, I've got soul, I just hide it."  Must.  Bite.  Tongue.

Kady Malloy (sings "Groovy Kind of Love"): Yet another girl with long blonde hair.  That must be the theme tonight.  She can do an eerily good Britney Spears imitation, but tonight she chooses something totally opposite that.  She's got more color in her voice than the other Carrie wannabes, which makes the song bearable.  But it's kind of boring otherwise.  Just like nearly everyone else tonight.  Let me find my No-Doze.  Randy thinks it was okay, albeit too restrained and controlled.  Paula compliments her prettiness, but wants to see the life in her.  Simon agrees and says it was like "Night of the Living Dead."  He wants her to lighten up.  Kady glares daggers at the judges for the rest of the evening, but at least she doesn't talk back.

Asia'h Epperson (sings Janis Joplin's "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart"): Interesting song choice, and she worked it out for the most part.  Too bad Amanda already sang it better in Hollywood, because I can't really get that performance snippet out of my head.  Randy thinks she did her thang with it.  Paula likes that she had fun up there.  Simon calls it his favorite of the night because she let herself go.  That's basically all anyone has to say.  And I'm still waiting to be blown away.

Ramiele Malubay (sings Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me"): Interesting vocal, but we have yet another slow, boring ballad.  Please stop already.  Randy says she performed like a pro.  Paula calls her a force to be reckoned with.  I'm waiting for Simon to say something about the cabaret song, but instead he says that she outsang every single person so far tonight.  Okay, I'll accept that, but really, it's not saying much, considering what we've heard so far.  And, uh, Nadia Turner sang this better in Season 4. I'm just sayin'.

Syesha Mercado (sings Lovin' Spoonful's "Tobacco Road"): Finally, finally, some powerful vocals.  She's not utilizing the stage as much as she could, but I'm awake now, so I don't mind too much.  Thanks.  Randy really liked it.  Paula says it was joyful, fun, big, blah, blah, blah.  Simon didn't think it was her best performance, but he says it was terrific and she's probably one of the most talented girls in this competition.  Plus she's got that "it" factor.  I'm just glad she woke me up.

Carly Smithson (sings Tony Bennett's "The Shadow of Your Smile"): She claims that the record company she once signed with imploded, but, uh, it was MCA.  It was more like they sank over $2 million into her, and she only sold a handful of CDs.  But why quibble over facts?  In any case, she's got one of the better voices here, even if she closed the night on yet another boring slow song.  Randy and Paula can't stop gushing over her, though.  Randy says that her performance is what the show is all about and proclaims that she has the best vocal of the Top 24.  Paula calls her the lucky coin in the pocket because of her consistency.  Whatever.  Simon thinks the song was too old fashioned and a let-down, given all of Carly's hype.  I tend to agree, although her voice is clearly more polished than most of the other singers here.

My top two of the night would be Carly and Syesha, because they're the only ones who truly woke me up. I would say that Amy and Joanne are in the most danger of going home, although I think we need to start culling the blondes soon.  Or at least give them a makeover.  Unless, of course, we want to rename the show "Night of the Living Carries."

Eliminated on February 21 Results Show (in order announced):  Amy Davis and Joanne Borgella


Review © 2008 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.


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