Wednesday, February 18, 2009

American Idol Week 1 Performances: A night of Sucktacular Song Choices

Hey Y'all!

We have finally gotten past the horrible auditions, the sad stories, and the ridiculous voices to get to the meat and potatoes of the American Idol season: the performances. Here's where the rubber meets the road and we get to see who is gonna make it and who we'll be forgetting in a month's time. I'll usually cover the performances, the song choices and the critiques to let you know who rocked, who tanked, and who made me cock my head to the side and say WTF?!? So, on with the armchair judgment...

Jackie Tohn (A Little Less Conversation)
She's our fun, rocker chick who got some airtime when during the auditions, the sunscreen collapsed nearly killing Simon.
Her performance was fun, but her vocals were just cheesy and I think the judges called her on it. It wasn't a singer's song and she's gonna get bit for for it.

Ricky Braddy (A Song for You)
Ricky didn't get any real airtime during the audition stage, so his voice was a revelation when he began this soul standard. He has an amazing voice and he did a really good job with the song, making some interesting choices with phrasing. In any other season's performances, this would have been a standout and I hope the voters remember him.

Alexis Grace (Never Loved a Man)
She's the single mother with the shock of pink in her blonde pixie locks that showed impressive soul during her auditions. I'm always impressed when a singer chooses songs by the "greats" because it's always a ballsy move. Forget the judges...they say "Never choose a song by one of the Untouchables," then turn right around to say the song choice was "safe." I say, go balls out or get reamed for being forgettable. She did a good job with the song. Was her voice truly big enough for the song? Nope. Did it do enough to make us remember her? Yep.

Brent Keith (Hick Town)
"Dimples" sent Paula and Kara under the table during the audition round, splitting the judges along the gender lines. He's cute, obviously a singer with a voice that impressed the judges, and he wants to sing country. This song choice sucked. It was "supposed" to have energy. It didn't. It was supposed to be a barn-burner. It wasn't. It was boring and safe. He tried to defend the song as a song country fans would like. Well, I disagree. There are oodles of country songs with more fire and show a broader range than this sleeper did. Snore.

Stevie Wright (You Belong With Me)
Our first WTF?!? moment came from our teen contestant. After getting the mindfuck from the judges that she sang old songs too well and she needed to sing younger, fresher material, she tried this Taylor Swift tragedy. Taylor Swift?!? She writes lovely, teenage angst songs, but IS NOT A SINGER TO MODEL YOURSELF AFTER!!!!! Add to it a performance that was scared, awkward, and pretty hard to watch and we have our first true casualty of Season 8.

Anoop Desani (Angel of Mine)
Indian soul singer decided to go with a Brandy ballad. He did a really good job with the song, but was it the right song to set him heads above the competition? I doubt it. Again, it was a good song and a better song choice than most, but there are better songs for America to be introduced to your voice. This was not boring, but also not truly memorable.

Casey Carlson (Every Little Thing She Does is Magic)
In our second WTF?!? moment, this young girl decided to tackle The Police hit. Credit for balls. No credit for trying to turn the song into some girly, country type of thing. Add to that the pagenty facial expressions, and you get an awful performance that actually made me cringe.

Michael Sarver (I Don't Want to Be)
Our ruffneck from Jasper "We Drag Black Folks Behind our Trucks" Texas, opted to sing a song that had more power than he did. Rarely do the guys get a song that we hear and say that their voice isn't big enough for, but here ya go. He tried to build up to it and it just didn't work.

Anne Marie Boscovitch (Natural Woman)
This season's Katherine McPhee decided to do a combination of the Carole King and Aretha Franklin versions of this classic. She has a really good voice, but something about it was off. I tell you... by this point in the show, I was wondering if the judges really made the right decisions with the singers they chose.

Stephen Fowler (Rock with You)
Our final WTF moment came when our edgy Black singer of the season, who forgot his lyrics at the piano during the auditions, decided to tackle this Michael Jackson classic. Now...I have to say, while there aren't any classics I don't think a singer should try, there are some songs that truly belong in a time and a place and to one singer, because unless you plan on making it fresh and new (FOB's version of "Beat It" for example), you always come off sounding like a sucky version of the original. This was a HOT MESS. It was very "Bad lounge singer" and it will not send him ahead.

Tatiana Del Toro (Saving All My Love For You)
Our Season 8 Sanjaya decided to try out a Whitney original from the 80s. As much as I can't stand the drama queen in her, she actually has a decent voice. Actually one of the better voices of the night. The judges made much of her subdued look and attitude (no crazy crying and giggling tonight...prolly because she went home and watched the tapes and saw just how crazy she looked). Still, just before the break, she managed to show us a glimpse of the crazy, selling herself to America and cockblocking Ryan's close of the segment.

Danny Goeke (Hero)
The widowed choir director who auditioned with his friend and made it to the Top 36 sang this Mariah single and was MILES ahead of each and every singer last night. The arrangement was crappy, trying to fit into the 1:20min time frame, but it was like watching a masterclass on how to audition. Amazing! I already have a favorite for Season 8.

Who should go forward:
Danny and Alexis plus Ricky

Who is in trouble:
Stevie, Casey, and Stephen

Wanna hear the performances? Go to Itunes and again you can purchase or listen to each individual performance or Check out YouTube for the videos.

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