Hello again Idol fanatics! I'm back for another night of Idol liveblogging (albiet 2 hours delayed), one eye on the TV, the other on DialIdol.com, and the fingers furiously typing (and occasionally rewinding) away!
Based on DialIdol's stat's today, no huge surprises -- my four favorites are listed in DialIdol's top 5, with Danny Noriega being the only surprise.
So here we go... Kristy Lee Cook is up first. The girl sold her horse to audition for Idol! That's crazy. Her voice is just ok, but she's got good stage presence and great facial expressions -- although maybe a bit over the top at times. For the first one of the night, she's not bad. Hmmm... Randy doesn't like her. Maybe I was just blinded by her "shine", as Paula put it.
Joanne Borgella is up next. Although it's very early in the voting, DialIdol puts her in last place currently, so I'm really curious to see how she does. She starts out pretty strong, although the song's a little low for her in parts. And actually, although her voice is a little shaky at times, I think she gives a very solid performance. Randy seems to agree with me, but Simon hated it. I'm a bit surprised -- I thought she was better than Kristy.
Up next is Alaina Whitaker. I remember liking her in her first audition round. She's got a strong voice, and probably the best performance so far, but I don't hear anything unique in her voice. I'm kind of on the fence about her.... on one hand, she sounds like a very good amusement park singer (I've worked with some as good as her)... on the other hand, she's got a great voice and that "x factor" could come out somewhere along the way. All three judges like her too.
Rocker chick Amanda Overmeyer is our fourth singer tonight. Her hairdo looks like a bad Elvira, but her voice is strong as always.... although she doesn't seem very comfortable with the scatting. Actually, there's really not much to this song, so it's hard to tell if she has any real talent -- she basically screamed her way through the song. Hmmm. I agree with Simon, though... the song wasn't the greatest, but she's good and she's got a great personality. She'll probably stick around for a while just based on her image.
During this commercial break, I should mention that I got to meet Ryan Seacrest not too long ago! He was at the Redskins vs. Cowboys game and I am in the Redskins marching band (yes, the Redskins have a band!)... and because of rain, our pregame show was cancelled so we were all hanging out in our locker room when someone said Seacrest was out in the tunnel area! A bunch of people took pictures with him and even some video, and he was very friendly and funny, even hamming it up and sending out special messages for the guy with the video camera. Amazing -- I thought he might be a real jerk. But I guess that's how he got to where he is today.
Fifth up tonight is Amy Davis. I don't remember seeing her before tonight either, but her early auditions sound pretty good. But YIKES... she starts out way off pitch and doesn't get much better. The performance reminds me of a pagent performance -- good, but very robotic. The judges get it exactly right -- pitchy, boring, nothing engaging, cabaret, dull. DialIdol puts her currently in the bottom three -- no surprise there.
Next is the girl who probably got the most airtime of anyone, Brooke White. I thought she was good, although I was never overly impressed. She does have a bit more unique voice than some, although not as unique as someone like Amanda, which means she can actually sing any kind of music. She's good and solid... maybe a bit much vibrato for a pop song, but generally very good, and she has good stage presence too. I think she could do really well in the competition if she picks the right songs.
Alexandrea Lushington is up next, singing Spinning Wheel. Great song, and she certainly gives an energetic performance, but I thought the ending was awful. Maybe she's sick too, because she goes into this weird falsetto. Randy and Paula like it a lot more than I did, and Simon disliked it more than I did. I thought it was a good performance with average vocals.
Checking DialIdol again, Joanne is still in last place... although at this early stage, the margin of error is still so big that she could still end up anywhere in the final ranking. I'm very surprised, though. Was everyone else really that much better than her?
Next is Kady Malloy. She's a recording studio assistant? She should know how to sing then. Wow, she does a GREAT Britney! She sings Groovy Kind Of Love, and although it's clear that she is a very good singer, she almost sounds too affected, like she's trying to sound like someone else. I'm not sure that's really her normal, natural singing voice. I like the little things she does to change up the song a bit, but she also hits a few really sour notes near the end. I agree with Randy and Paula, she needs to turn it up just a little bit and really let loose. I do hope she stays around for a few weeks -- she's currently in the bottom three in the DialIdol stats... but it's still early.
Asia'h Epperson is up next. She's the one who gave the emotional first round audition a few days after her father passed away, so it was hard to tell if she was really good or not. She comes out and gives probably the best performance so far tonight -- certainly the most energetic. She also has a very distinct voice, and that could work very well for her. And Simon agrees with me as usual, saying it was the best of the night. (Where are my royalties?)
Our tenth performer tonight is Ramiele Malubay. She's currently in first place in DialIdol's stats (and has been all night). I was never really impressed with her, and I remember wondering why she made the top 24, so I'm REALLY interested in this one. The song starts out very dull, boring, and even a bit strange -- not quite the "mysterious" sense I think she was going for. I don't like the way she purposely hangs behind the beat on many of the phrases. I will admit that she has a much more powerful voice than you would expect, but I wasn't blown away or anything. Wow, the judges just gush over her. I guess that's why she's doing so well in the voting.
Just two singers left to go, and it looks like Joanne could end up with one of the two worst performances of the night. (I still think she was better than Kristy though!)
Next is my favorite girl from the Hollywood round, Syesha Mercado. Man, she gives me goosebumps within the first three notes! She has a great range too. Wow! Best performance of the night by a mile! I can't believe it's not Randy's favorite. Yes, there were a few pitchy spots, but I thought she was great overall. She was the only girl I really liked from Hollywood, and she's still my favorite -- top 4 material for sure.
The last performer tonight is everyone's favorite Irish lass, Carly Smithson. Interesting that they made a point of talking about her previous record deal -- something the news outlets picked up as the "big controversey" this week. (There's no rule that contestants can't have had records or record deals previously, just that they can't currently be under contract.) Her performance is ok but pretty ordinary, and very flat in a few places. I'm not impressed at all. Hmmm... so apparently she's sick too, but apparently Randy is absolutely deaf. There is no way that was the best vocal of the night, let alone the whole top 24!! Randy! Dog! I've lost all respect for you. Yep, once again Simon is right -- if this was the first time I was seeing her, I think she'd be completely forgettable.
So that's it for another night of liveblogging Idol! As they recap the singers, I think Amy Davis clearly had the worst performance of the night. I mean they couldn't even find a recap clip where she was in tune! The ones that really impressed me tonight were Alexandrea, Asia'h and Syesha. Add to them Amanda, Brooke, and either Ramiele or Carly and you have your top six, at least in my mind. Personally I think the talent on the guys' side is better, although the top three girls are probably better than the top three guys. As always, Simon is exactly right -- at this point there are three really good guys and three or four good girls. But anybody could really turn it on and show that "x factor" any given week. So stay tuned!