The results show, five notes:
1- Lauren Alaina might be getting overwhelmed. She is just 16, and she seems to take everything much harder than an experienced performer would. She could very well pull a Lil Rounds if she can’t pull it together. She looked haunted every time that she looked over at the hard chairs, as if she was visualizing herself over there. She looked very unhappy about the prospect.
2- Adam sounded great, and it’s remarkable how effortless he makes it seem. I didn’t like the arrangement, though. It was way too fast, way too wordy to flow freely. He was better last year. Hell damned few performers in history have ever been better than Adam was last year. His “WDYWFM” on Idol might have been the best non-contestant performance ever on the show.
3- PuffDaddyPuffyPDiddyDiddyDoodleDoo wasn’t on my to-do list. I was tempted to watch it, just to see the interplay between Combs and his exe, J-Lo, but it wasn’t worth it. I have no interest in the “art” guys like him try to show me, who don’t even pretend that art is about anything but the packaging. I’d rather watch somebody put a label on a can of pork and beans. At least they have their hands on the stuff they are selling.
4- Haley is really short, maybe 5-1, and darker skinned up close than she looks at a distance. I don’t think she was very happy to get the Ryan sleight of hand shove to the hard chairs, but she got off fairly easily compared to Karen.
5- Casey missed the show, going to the hospital to get another blood transfusion. I don’t know what would cause a kid like him to need so much blood. I’ve heard that he has an ulcer. Whatever it is it’s not good, and forget that it might compromise his Idol run. Bleeding enough to need transfusions over and over sounds life threatening to me. At the very least it indicates that he needs surgery, and I don’t even want to think of the “at the very most” scenarios.
I’ll expand a bit on my power rankings, but I don’t know that I have a lot to say that I haven’t already said; or that you don’t already know. To make it worth reading, I added some speculation about next week’s show. I added their birth years, as the theme is “year that you were born”. Here is a link to the Wikipedia page for Billboard’s year end top 100 by year, so that you can look and speculate on what they will sing. I’ll toss out a song suggestion or three for each contestant.
12: Haley (1991)– I kind of see her as an Allie type, who won’t buckle under the pressure when she is beaten down. If she survives the next couple of weeks, which is probably less than 50-50, she might build some momentum. I personally like her much better than this ranking.
Song: “I Touch Myself”, the Divinals (I know, she ain’t singing this on that stage, but it’s perfect for her) or maybe “Everybody Plays the Fool”, by Aaron Neville.
11: Karen (1989)– I put Haley below her because Haley finished behind her last week, but she has been pretty boring so far. She needs a barnburner this week.
Song: She is probably going to sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” and get tossed, but I’d like to see her do one of Paula Abdul’s anthems; either “Straight Up” or “Cold Hearted Snake”. “Like a Prayer”, by Madonna, is also out there. She really needs to do something at tempo.
10: Paul (1984)- While he didn’t make the bottom three he is in some danger this week. If he stinks it up again, he might be gone. I don’t expect him to stink it up, but he needs to be very careful about song choice.
Song: “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”…. Just kidding. “Hello”, Lionel Richie would work.
9: Naima (1984)– She is getting a lot of love in the media, and it seems like she is turning into something completely different from what I expected. She has an old soul, but a youthful exuberance about her as welll. I thought that she was a throwback type, but now she seems as current as anyone.
Song: “Jump”, Pointer Sisters, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”, Deniece Williams, or my pick: “Time After Time”, Cyndi Lauper. Sleeper song: “When Doves Cry”, Prince.
8: Thia (1995)– She showed some cracks when she didn’t get universal praise. While it’s been nice to have the kiddies on the show this year, I’m not sure that it’s fair to throw this much pressure on someone who wasn’t old enough to drive when she auditioned.
Song: “Colors of the Wind” would be a safe choice, and appropriate for her age, but it might be deemed too safe and get her hammered by the judges. There are several songs by Janet Jackson available, as well as TLC and Sheryl Crow. If she wants to gamble, it would be fun to hear “Turn the Beat Around”, Gloria Estefan (1995) by way of Vicky Sue Robinson 20 years earlier.
7: Stefano (1989)– I almost said that Naima is the most animated dancer outside the spotlight among the final 12, but my vote goes to Stefano. He is going to live and die on his intonation, which is funny because that’s pretty much what I said at his audition. Now that there are 12 left instead of 320, it obviously works at a higher level.
Song: “Welcome to the Jungle”, Guns N’ Roses. Does he dare? Actually, I’d pick “My Prerogative” but it’s already been done to death this year. How about more Michael Jackson? Well, if you have to….
6: Scotty (1993)– He’s here, he’s country, and he’s proud. I hammer on him mercilessly, but I do like the kid. I just like him going to “Nashville Star”, and competing where someone can figure out if he’s good or not. He really hasn’t been Idol good. He’s riding the novelty of his voice.
Song: “Should Have Been a Cowboy”, Toby Keith would be cool, but “I Cross My Heart”,GeorgeStraitis more likely. Sleeper song: “Good Run of Bad Luck”, Clint Black. Of course now he’ll sing “Alibis” by Tracy Lawrence. 10,000-1 against him singing something that I don’t know. I memorized practically every country song that came out in 1993.
5: Lauren (1994)– I might have her rated properly, but I am not confident that she can hold it together long enough to get this far. She is really good, but the pressure seems to be weighing on her more than anyone else.
Song: “The Song Remembers When”, Trisha Yearwood is powerful, without being too big for her voice. “Try to Think About Elvis”, Patty Loveless would be fun. If she tries to sing “Independence Day” she could blow up badly, but I bet that she’ll want to try. Don’t do it, Lauren….
4: James (1989)- I’m pretty much convinced that the kid has perfect pitch. He just never seems to miss a note. He doesn’t have much in the way of polish to his melodic choices, and he doesn’t have that sense of when and where to bend things, but he has such a high octane voice that it won’t matter for several weeks.
Song: This might be where we get “Welcome to the Jungle”, or “ParadiseCity”, or maybe “Patience”. I’ll be fairly surprised if he doesn’t do some GNR, but there are a couple of decent Bon Jovi songs out there for him, though not the REALLY cool ones.
3: Pia (1988)- Is she a short term flash, or here for the long run? I’m leaning towards the long run. It’s probably time for her to do something up-tempo, to quiet the haters that call her a soulless high note ballad singer.
Song: “Pink Cadillac”, Natalie Cole (Bruce Springsteen) would be a good one, or if she wanted to show off some rock chops she could do “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, Joan Jett. If she chooses to do another ballad, I’d avoid Whitney. There are other options.
2: Jacob (1987)– I still have faith in the guy, even though he was way out of tune last week. He might be listening to too many people, and getting confused.
Song: “At This Moment”, Billy Vera and the Beaters would be right down his alley. Come to think of it, doesn’t he need to widen his alley a little? For some reason I think that he could do a good job on “It Don’t Mean Nothing”, Richard Marx.
1: Casey (1991)- “Blood transfusion” isn’t a good phrase to couple with “12 weeks of constant pressure and no sleep”, is it? Casey will get a recording contract, or something, out of his Idol run no matter what. It might almost be better for him in the long run to drop out and get his health taken care of. Since he’s still here, though, what should he sing? Well, lessee….
Song: He ain’t going to do it, but EMF’s “Unbelievable” would be a lot of fun. He might try “Wicked Game”, or “Play that Funky Music”, but those have already been done on the big stage. Honestly, I have no clue. Hell, maybe he’ll do “Smells Like Teen Spirit”…..
It should be a fun show next week, and I like to think that everyone will loosen up a little after a couple of weeks on the big stage. They can all sing, and sing really well. Can they create? We are due for a “moment”. Will it come this week? Stay tuned…