The “American Idol” guys — down to 10 — took the stage again Monday night. Here to talk about whether they roared back or dished out another week of mediocrity is the Beehive’s “Idol” panel, Mike Osegueda and Felicia Matlosz.
Overall, the guys were better this week than last. But that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot. Sundance finally shined again. Chris stayed strong. And Sanjaya signed up for a plane ticket home.
Best/Most Surprising: Sundance Head.
Finally, Sundance brings it. And it’s about time. Something lit his fire this week. Maybe it was knowing he got a second chance, and he probably wouldn’t get a third. Whatever it was, he needs to make sure it wasn’t just a flash of brilliance. He’s safe this week — but what about next?
Don’t Believe the Hype: Phil Stacey.
He’s at average at best. I don’t care what the judges say. The only thing to believe is that dude’s head looked like he had been shining it with Armor All for the past week.
Time to Go Home Pt. 1: Sanjaya Malakar.
Well, I guess they are had Michael Jackson on this season after all. Seriously, this sounded like something you’d hear in a high-school play. (For the record: I wrote that before Randy said it). I think the kid has a good voice, he just doesn’t know how to use it.
Time to Go Home Pt. 2: A.J. Tabaldo.
Wasn’t smooth enough, wasn’t cool enough and didn’t have the voice to pull off that song. He needs to be singing more poppy stuff if he wants to sound good.
The Blake Lewis Award for Continued Annoyance: Blake Lewis.
Mark McGrath Jr. ain’t got the soul for that Jamiroqoui song. Please, America — just because all you know about hip-hop is 50 Cent and beatboxing is as foreign to you as Borat — don’t let Blake fool you. Dude looks like Vanilla Ice in “Cool as Ice.” See?
– Jared Cotter: Marvin Gaye and “Let’s Get It On” were too much for the youngster.
– Nick Pedro: Not great, not horrible. Enough to stick around another week.
– Brandon Rogers: Underwhelming — but I still think he has potential. I’m crossing my fingers he’s not sent home.
– Chris Richardson: If it were a Justin Timberlake impersonation contest, I’d give it to him, hands down. In this, he still needs to prove he can really sing.
Before “American Idol” started Tuesday night, I was so hoping the guys would step it up after last week’s mostly lackluster performances. They saw how most of the ladies just went for it last week. Surely that would wake them up.
After watching last night’s show, I can only say this: I’m still not wowed, and I’m wondering how A.I. can justify putting through six men to the final 12.
The only really strong performance came from — you’re kidding me! — the previously underwhelming Sundance Head, who sang a rousing, commanding version of “Mustang Sally.” He finally redeemed himself after spending most of his time in Hollywood in a coma.
I’ll give honorable mentions to Chris Sligh, who sang “Trouble” with a rich voice and personality, and to A.J. Tabaldo, whose “Feeling Good” showed surprising smoothness and confidence.
Other than that, the guys have a LOT of work to do. The judges raved about Chris Richardson’s “Geek in the Pink.” I disagree. Yeah, he had fun, but the song was rough. And my colleague Mike Oz has already complained about the weird head movements — they’re distracting and starting to bug me, too.
Which brings me to the “dance” moves of a couple of the other guys. Jared Cotter sang Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On,” which is a soulful, sensual song. Jared’s herky-jerky moves took away from it. And Nick Pedro, what’s with the rapper-style hand moves when you’re singing an oldies classic like “Fever?” That song is all about attitude and coolness. Go watch how real stars like Frank Sinatra or Peggy Lee or Tony Bennett have shaped that song.
Anyway, here’s who I would get rid of this week:
1. Nick. I just don’t see him getting any better (But with a warning to Brandon Rogers: You have a lovely voice but last night you were just boring. Show us what you got!)
2. Please, America, send Sanjaya Malakar home. We can’t even blame his sister for this disaster. He sang the old classic “Stepping Out With My Baby.” Correction, he tried to sing it. The song was too old for a 17-year-old. Even so, his voice was so weak, almost lifeless. I swear there were a few words he didn’t even finish. I can’t believe he was in the Top 4 Guys last week. This is just too painful. America, this is a singing contest, not a smiling contest.
One other thing, Ryan Seacrest gave a shoutout to Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. He called her “our first Oscar winner,” and how her win “validates the caliber of talent” on A.I.
Let’s not get carried away with A.I.’s importance here. First, the judges and voters kicked off Jennifer in Season 3 when she should have advanced much deeper into the show. So, second, her win doesn’t “validate” A.I. Jennifer has true talent and now is in a much more exclusive, elite club than A.I. can ever be.
Which two guys should be sent home this week?