Quite a contrast between the guys’ American Idol performances on Tuesday and the girls’ singing on Wednesday. While the guys are all about quirky and different, the girls were a cookie-cutter bunch that played it safe.
We still need to stop the Jennifer Lopez lovefest she has with ALL the contestants. C’mon, J-Lo, everyone can’t be the best you’ve ever heard.
Anyway, here are my picks:
Best: Pia Toscano
Worst: Julie Zorrilla
Most Likely to Be Voted Off: Rachel Zevita and Julie Zorrilla
Ta-Tynisa Wilson, “Only Girl In The World” (Rihanna). Well, AI started off the competition with a piece of eye candy. If this were a swimsuit modeling competition, Ta-Tynisa would be the last chick standing. But, as it is, she may be the first to be gone. She was given the unwanted opening spot and didn’t do too much with it, though she did have some energy about her, which was more than some of the other contestants.
Naima Adedapo, “Summertime” (George Gershwin). I’m not sure why 20-something girls want to sing 50-year-old slow songs, especially when Idol winners have sung them in the past. Does anyone really want to hear “Summertime” on the radio? Noone without a hearing aid. Naima wore a dress she created which, like her song, was OK. It seemed more in the Las Vegas lounge atmosphere rather than Idol-winning stratosphere. She may be multi-talented but not overly talented in either fashion or singing.
Kendra Chantelle, “Impossible” (Christina Aguilera). It’s almost impossible to remember this performance. Kendra did not distinguish herself in Hollywood, and it seems like she is Idol fodder. She’ll stick around for a few weeks because she is not the worst singer, but she won’t last too long because she surely is not the best.
Rachel Zevita, “Criminal” (Fiona Apple). You knew Rachel would either belt a homer or whiff on a curveball. She went down swinging. She tried to be either sexy or dominatrix, not sure which, but neither worked. She shrugged off her Cape of Doom at the beginning, and things unraveled from there. This was one of the very few performances that J-Lo and Steven Tyler criticized.
Karen Rodriguez, “Hero” (Mariah Carey). Karen played up the Hispanic vote by singing part of “Hero” or should I say “H`eroe” in Spanish. It worked for her, but she did that same thing in Hollywood. She doesn’t need to rely on a bilingual shtick if she hopes to become the next American Idol. If she just wants to last a few weeks, then keep it up.
Lauren Turner, “Seven Day Fool” (Etta James). Lauren has the crazy eyes at times, and I didn’t understand her attire of combat boots paired with a short dress, but she was one of the best singers on Wednesday. Not sure she really has the voice to keep it up, but she made a name for herself on the opening night. J-Lo said Lauren needed to “get in the camera’s face,” proving again that Jennifer Lopez is much more about the theatrics than the singing.
Ashthon Jones, “Love All Over Me” by Monica. “You know what I’m talking about,” Ashthon yelled midway through her performance. No, Ashthon, not really, unless you were talking about a semi-boring, not-too-impressive song. I was not nearly as impressed by the big-haired gal than the judges, and I think Ashthon will buckle under the AI spotlight as the season progresses.
Julie Zorrilla, “Breakaway” (Kelly Clarkson). Julie had to be one of the favorites coming out of Hollywood. She has the Idol look and voice, but where was it last night? She croaked her way through the original Idol’s signature tune (note to contestants, don’t do other Idol winner’s songs). Not sure if it was the pressure of the evening or what, but Julie deserves to be chopped tonight.
Haley Reinhart, “Fallin” (Alicia Keys). Haley pulled off the growling, sexy stage presence that Kendra, Rachel and Ashthon tried. No, Haley is not your next American Idol, but I like her chances of getting in the top 10.
Thia Megia, “Out Here On My Own” (Irene Cara). Great voice, though I can’t understand Randy comparing the 16-year-old to Michael Jackson. He did mean it as a compliment, right, and not the presumption that they both like teenage boys?
Lauren Alaina, “Turn on the Radio” (Reba McEntire). I’m not a modern country music fan, so this performance did nothing for me. Lauren, though, is an American sweetheart, so unless she completely bombs, she’s in it for the long haul. Randy said that Lauren is Kelly Clarkson meets Carrie Underwood. Whoa, Randy, pull in the reins – I know Kelly and Carrie have met before, and I don’t think Lauren was the result of their meeting. At 16, Lauren is prone to a major meltdown, as we saw during Hollywood week.
Pia Toscano, “I'll Stand By You” (The Pretenders). Pia was put into the final spot for a good reason – she was by far the best. No hoaky movements, no crazy wardrobe, just standing and delivering. See, J-Lo, sometimes it’s about the singing, ah yes, the singing. Pia has the looks, the stage presence and the voice.
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