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American Idol Season 7 (2008)


February 27 - (Semi-Finals: Women) You're no good, you're no good, you're no good

It's the girls' turn tonight.  Let's see if anyone even comes close to David Archuleta's performance last night or elicits the same kind of rabid response.

The short answer is no.  This season is over.  But if you really want to read on:

Carly Smithson (sings Heart's "Crazy On You"): Vocally, the performance is great, but I do wish she'd worn an outfit that didn't make it look like her boobs were bouncing all over the place (it's just the ruffles or whatever near the top, I know, but still...the camera man had too much fun with that).  I'd like her to connect with the studio audience a bit more, too, but I'm being picky.  The vocals were great.  Randy thought the beginning was rough, but the rest was aiight.  Paula calls her an amazing singer.  Simon feels that the performance was much better than last week.  Nevertheless, while he thinks she's the best female singer this year, he's still waiting for her to pick the right song for her "moment."  Carly keeps going on and on about this being her favorite song and she always wanted to sing it on Idol, blah, blah, blah.  Okay, we get it.  Shut.  Up.

Syesha Mercado (sings Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" as "Me and Mr. Jones"): I guess that since Grammy darling Amy Winehouse did a similar type of cover on her album, it's okay to change the words.  But it's not okay to sound this tentative and nervous.  Syesha's vibrato is all wobbly, especially in the beginning, and she keeps her voice too soft for too long.  Ick.  Sorry, darling - not a good song choice.  Randy doesn't think it's a great song and wants her to sing something where she belts, because she must stay in her box...uh, she must sing with the voice God gave her.  Paula likes the interpretation.  Simon thinks it was a bit indulgent and that it wasn't a particularly clever choice for her.

Brooke White (sings Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"): Her diction's not that great in the beginning, and she gets lost a little in her lower register.  Maybe she should have put it in a slightly higher key.  But overall, it suits her voice, and playing the guitar worked quite well.  It's not stellar, but it's decent.  Randy says it was a great song choice even though she didn't bring much new to it.  Ditto from Paula.  Simon absolutely loved it, in part because he felt she was singing it to him.  Heh.  Yeah.  You get points for that, girl.  And then get them subtracted for doing the Meg Ryan thing with your hair again.  Stop that.

Ramiele Malubay (sings Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way"): We couldn't have a 70s theme without disco, right?  (Don't answer that.)  Even though she starts off with some interesting color to her voice, by the time she gets to the chorus, it all goes in a black hole somewhere.  In fact, I'm more interested in Ricky Minor's bass work than her rendition of this song.  And then, like so many others, she just stands there.  I don't get it.  She says she'll dance if she has a fast song, and then she just acts like her shoes are superglued to the stage.  It's disco.  MOVE, woman!  Randy says it's just okay for him vocally.  Paula thinks her vocals are amazing, but wasn't impressed with the song choice.  Simon feels she was much better last week and that the performance isn't something he'll remember, even though she's supposedly one of the top three vocalists this year.

Kristy Lee Cook (sings Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good"): I guess Kristy sucked all of Ramiele's energy out of her, because she's the most animated performer of the night so far.  I might have picked up the tempo of this song a little, but it's a good choice for her voice, and it's much better than last week's flu-induced mess.  Whew.  Randy calls it a hundred percent improvement over last week.  Paula says she's back, she's back, she's back.  Simon says it was good, but he's worried that she's not easily labeled, and he wants to shove her in the country genre and keep her there.  Kristy is game for it, so I guess we'll hear more of that side to her next week.  Joy.

Amanda Overmyer (sings Kansas' "Carry On My Wayward Son"): Did she stick her finger in a socket before she got to the studio?  That hair is wild, baby.  As for the performance...oh, dear.  This song is rock, but it's not the type of rock she does best, and it's not really showing that she can sing.  At.  All.  In fact, her stage movements are more impressive than her singing.  What a disappointment.  Randy thinks the song wasn't good for her and wants her to stick to bluesy rock.  (They're really into keeping people in boxes tonight, aren't they?  Next week, I'm sure they'll be harping on people to show them "a different side" and complaining about contestants playing it safe.)  Paula likes her moves but wants her to sing what feels right for her voice.  Simon thinks that everything felt contrived, and he couldn't wait for it to finish.  Methinks that Amanda could be in some serious danger this week.

Alaina Whitaker (sings Olivia Newton-John's "Hopelessly Devoted To You"): Carrie 2.0 sings a rather uninspired version of a hopelessly boring song, complete with pitch problems and almost screechy high notes.  Carrie Underwood would have done it better, so maybe we should just christen her Carrie Beta.  Randy feels it wasn't the right song.  Paula thinks she did a "real good job."  Simon says it's as if her grandmother prepared her for this show, but he then admits that she's one of the dark horses of the competition.  This means, of course, that she'll stay much longer than she should.  Eeuw.

Alexandréa Lushington (sings Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now"): Kill me now. I love, love, love this song, but this is not something you should ever sing on Idol, because no matter how hard you try, you just can't do anything exciting with it.  Randy says it was too safe for her.  Paula thinks she made it her own, she's impressed with her, whatever.  Simon believes that she's struggling and says it was boring.  He took the words out of my mouth.

Kady Malloy (sings Heart's "Magic Man"): Hmm.  I don't know how to review this one.  It's a better, more energetic performance than last week's for her, but it's just sort of...there.  She's struggling on the low notes (like almost everyone else tonight, it seems), and the whole thing just comes across as Heart: The High School Musical.  Not as good as Carly, and not the right song.  Again.  Randy says she never quite settled on pitch and it was the wrong song choice.  Paula thinks Kady lost it on the low notes and wants her to define herself as the artist she is.  Simon is frustrated because her interview clips show her to be a different, more interesting person than she is on stage.  Then he says he's never heard the song.  Really?  Really?  Can someone buy this man a book of Billboard hits, please?

Asia'h Epperson (sings Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" via Celine Dion): Again, problems with pitch on the lower notes, and then she tries to reach for Celine's glory note and...ugh.  That was a hot mess.  Note to Idol producers: Please retire all songs that Celine Dion ever did from this show.  Randy, trying to take into account the fact that Asia'h's been sick, says she did a really good job.  Paula thinks she was great.  Have they suddenly gone deaf?  Or are they just sharing the same drugs?  Simon doesn't think she pulled it off and says she's not a good enough singer for the song.  Thank you.

So there we have it.  Most of the girls were done in by poor song choices.  I think I'd put Carly, Kristy, and Brooke in my top three - if for no other reason than that they were the only ones to pick the right songs for themselves - with Carly being the best vocalist of the three.  In danger tonight I would say are Amanda and Alexandréa, because poor song choices combined with weak performances are only permitted if you've already got a huge fan base, which neither girl does at this point.

As for David Archuleta, he has absolutely nothing to worry about.  All hail the next Idol.

Eliminated on February 28 Results Show (in order announced):  Alexandréa Lushington and Alaina Whitaker


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


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