Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol: Top 36 - Week One

So tonight's the night when the power is finally placed in the hands of the viewing public. We vote. We decide. We will choose who will go on and who will just go. Out of our top 36, twelve contestants will be singing tonight. But this isn't like the last few years where they send home a couple of these guys. No, they're only keeping three. So that means for nine of these unfortunate souls, they'll be going home. That's hardly enough time to make a name for oneself.

Ryan explains that the top female vote-getter, the top male vote-getter, and the contestant with the next highest amount of votes are the three that will be back in a month. Three weeks of this will give us a top nine. Finally we'll have a wild card night. I don't think we've seen one of those since the second season. Am I wrong on that? It's been awhile I know.

As with last year, I'll be judging the singers on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being they totally should not have even made it this far. 5 being freakin' awesome. There's two hours of this stuff to go over tonight, so let's get started, shall we?

Jackie Tohn - Little Less Conversation, Elvis Pressley
I'm never really one to critique what someone is wearing. You'd understand if you've ever seen the way I dress. Fashion is not something I pride myself on. But, uh, what's this chick wearing? She kind of looks like she didn't quite make it as one of the Pink Ladies on Grease. But this is a singing competition. She manages to nail the lyrics and she's definitely energetic. I'm giving her a 3.

Ricky Braddy - A Song for You, Leon Russell
I'm not too sure. The judges seem to love it. I thought it was okay. I thought the falsetto at the end was a little odd. Not that it didn't belong in the song, but there just wasn't anything behind it there. Another 3.

Alexis Grace - Never Loved a Man, Aretha Franklin
It's a pretty big undertaking to do an Aretha Franklin song. She's just one of those divas that the judges tend to warn contestants not to tackle. Judging from the start of this song, I really hope she's able to kick something off towards the middle and end. Otherwise she better start praying for a wild card spot. She does put a little more into it towards the end, but I don't think it was enough to save it. 2.

Quick observation: the judges are only dishing out praise thus far. I mean, Simon's received a few boos, but not as bad as in seasons past. And Paula's already cried twice. We've only seen three singers! People don't tune in to see the judges being nice. Am I just being too hard on the contestants? When we get to the end let me know in the comments. I'd hate to think I'm just being a jerk. I mean, I can live with it if that's the case, but I'd like to think I'm being at least slightly fair.

Brent Keith - Hicktown, Jason Aldean
Already it seems like he's not into the song. His motions are very choreographed and his voice just doesn't sound like there's any emotion behind it. I was kind of bored with it. 2.

Stevie Wright - You Belong With Me, Taylor Swift
She's really hard to hear starting out. Is it too low for her? Yeah, I think that's the problem. 'Cause when the pitch goes up, so does her volume. Maybe she's really nervous. But she just doesn't sound that good. I think she's having a hard time staying on pitch. I'll be surprised if Randy doesn't tell her she was a little pitchy. I mean, this is really bad. Paula will find something good to say, 'cause that's what she does. And I'm probably gonna feel bad for her when Simon tears her a new one. Speaking of 1.

Anoop Desai - Angel of Mine, Monica
I think Anoop has a really good voice. At first it seemed like he was a little behind the tempo, but he corrected it pretty quickly. The problem I'm having is that this is one of those songs that relies heavily on back-up vocals. I always think that's a mistake on this show. Despite that, his talent is enough to give him a 4.

Casey Carlson - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, The Police
She said she picked this song because it's a fun song to sing. So far it doesn't seem like she's having a lot of fun with it. It may actually be too much song for her. I gotta go with a 2.

Michael Sarver - I Don't Wanna Be, Gavin DeGraw
I like this song, but it's a difficult one to sing. So I get nervous when an Idol contestant chooses it. A lot of the time it comes out sounding like something you'd hear at a bar on karaoke night. And that's kind of what Michael's sounding like right now. It's not bad, but it's not great either. 3.

Anne Marie Boskovich - Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin
Ah, another Aretha choice. Can she do better with this than Alexis did with hers? So far I'm pleased. Though to be fair, Natural Woman is, I think, an easier song than Never Loved a Man. There were a couple of spots that I'm not sure about, but I think it's a solid 3.

Stephen Fowler - Rock With You, Michael Jackson
This is a guy who, before he even sings, I don't believe should be at this stage of the competition. To get two chances on a solo during Hollywood week and then just walk off the stage, I'm just not sure he deserved another shot after that. So he does this song, but there was nothing behind it. He hits a great high note toward the end, but even that seemed shaky. A 2 may be generous.

Tatiana Del Toro - Saving All My Love, Whitney Houston
We could have a drinking game with Tatiana. Every time she starts to cry, take a shot. Before she even starts singing, I want to give her a 1, only because she's so freakin' annoying. But I'm going to try my hardest to judge based solely on her performance. She can actually sing. But I think tackling a Whitney Houston song may be a mistake. She did better with the start of the song than with the finish. There were some shaky bits in that second half. I'll go with a 3.

Danny Gokey - Hero, Mariah Carey
Again, a contestant tackling one of those big female singers. Watching and listening to him sing this song, it's easy to catch his emotional connection to what he's singing. Unlike a lot of the other contestants tonight, he's actually feeling what he's singing. I'm probably gonna have to rewind this one on the old DVR and hear this one again. Way to save the best for last guys. 5.

So my vote absolutely goes to Robert Downey, Jr. I mean, Danny Gokey. I think the three that will make it are Danny, Jackie Tohn, and Anoop Desai. Come back tomorrow night and we'll find out if I'm right.

1 comment:

  1. Danny totally got my vote and he was the ONLY one out of that bunch who deserved a vote. Yikes! Not a good night for AI.