This week, Bee reporter Doug Hoagland sits in with our “American Idol” panel to break down Tuesday night’s show. But first a question: Who should get the boot tonight? We’ll offer our up predictions. Please leave a comment with yours.
First, I think the “American Idol” producers should hire Peter Noone (of Herman’s Hermits fame) to be the guys’ coach for the rest of the run. The guys — even Sanjaya Malakar — sang with exuberance and style, elevating Tuesday’s “British Invasion” show above last week’s edition. Here’s how I rate the Top 11 show:
Best: Jordin Sparks. Why? I’m docking points from Melinda Doolittle for singing a song from the musical “Oliver.” Why was that allowed? But, aside from that, Jordin sparkled through the emotional ballad “I Who Have Nothing” with a personality and poise beyond her 17 years. I said at the start of this series that she’s got the most potential. She’s making a steady climb.
Oh, and I gotta give an honorable mention to Blake Lewis. I love how he’s styling up songs and staying true to himself. His take on The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” was a great way to inspire younger members in A.I.’s audience to check out these 40-plus-year-old songs.
Worst: Sanjaya Malakar. I know, I know. A lot of people say he redeemed himself last night. I give him points for putting a lot more energy into his performance of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” But don’t be fooled by the pretty hair and the bouncing around and the big smile. If you closed your eyes and LISTENED, it was gruesome.
Most surprising: Aside from two of the three you’ll see in my Bottom 3? LaKisha Jones. I didn’t see or hear the passion she usually instills into a song. And why sing “Diamonds Are Forever” from a James Bond flick? She could have put her heart and soul into several songs that OTHER A.I. performers chose last night. In fact, I kept saying that to myself: “Why didn’t you sing that song instead?” She needs to get back on track.
Predictions: Yeah, I’m sticking Sanjaya in here until he leaves — but I predict he saved himself last night. That leaves my other two picks: Stephanie Edwards and Gina Glocksen. Stephanie delivered a limp version of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” the Dusty Springfield classic that proved too big for Stephanie to handle. Gina tried to rock The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.” It was a complete mess.
I say America kicks out Stephanie.
Randy was right: everybody did perform Tuesday night. Haley remembered her lyrics, Chris didn’t mess with the melody and Sanjaya — again, in Randy’s words — came out of his shell. The women were solid; no surprise there. The men offered up the best and the worst of the night. Here’s how I saw it:
Best: Blake Lewis‘ rendition of “Time of the Season” left Paula pumping her fist, and rightly so. He was that good. Blake made the song sound fresh, but he didn’t change it so much that anyone who was around in 1967, when it first came out, was left feeling cheated. Jordin Sparks was a close second in this category.
Worst: Sanjaya. I don’t want to pick on the poor kid. But he really doesn’t belong in the Top 10. He needed grit and a hint of danger to deliver “You Really Got Me” and he had neither.
Most surprising: LaKisha. I didn’t dislike her “Diamonds Are Forever,” but it was a safe choice and didn’t take me anywhere. She is so good that I expect that much more from her, and I’m surprised when it’s not there.
Mike Oz says:
Call me stupid, but I wasn’t overly impressed with anyone last night. Sure, a few people who are usually shaky did better (gasp — Sanjaya!), but to me the word of the night was booooooorrrring. And I was actually looking forward to seeing what these Idol-iots could do with the British invasion songs.
Best: Sanjaya. Screw it, I’m joining Team Sanjaya. I’m stepping in line with the school of thought that if Sanjaya wins this whole thing (OK, OK … sticks around a few more weeks) then it will tarnish “Idol.” And after Jenn’s Oscar and Carrie’s Grammy, I think “Idol” could use a slap in the face. Go Sanjaya! Get busy with your Milli Vanilli-meets-Michael Jackson self!
Worst: Sanjaya. Well, he still sounded like me doing karoake.
Most surprising: Stephanie Edwards. Get it together, girl! One week you’re good, the next you suck. I was starting to think that Steph had something, but after hearing her last night, I’m gonna quote Beyonce and say “No, No, No.”
Predictions: Bottom three will be Edwards, Haley Scarnato (still a snooze, despite attempts to Antonella-it-up) and Phil Stacey (his baldness is too mesmerizing to even pay attention to his singing). Stephanie goes home.