Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trainwreck Idol – Top 11

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

It was Motown Week on American Idol, which promised to be both wonderful and awful. It would be wonderful because there were so many great songs produced by the Motown label. It would be awful because some of these people aren’t talented enough to sing them.

Jennifer’s makeup was over made. I just felt like I should say that.

I’ll start out by saying that I had it right about the bottom three last week. I would say that I should have gone for broke and guessed who would go home, but I think I would have picked Naima, and that would have been wrong.

Casey did “Heard It through the Grapevine.” I’m not so sure I liked it as much as I’ve liked his past performances. There are some contestants who no matter how good they are have only one voice. I didn’t realize that he’s one of them.

Thia was fantastic. They were giving her shit about singing a bunch of drowsy ballads, so she went with “Heat Wave.” She was very good, but I’ve liked her every week, even when she’s been drowsy.

Jacob sang “You’re All I Need to Get By.” I’d never heard the song before, but he sounds so great every time he performs. Every year I feel like there is someone who we should just give the title to. This year it’s Jacob. That whole thing with the front row coming up hug him was funny as hell.

Lauren did “Keep Me Hanging On.” This is an odd song because I’ve always liked Kim Wilde’s cover almost better than the original, but I love the song generally speaking. She did very well. I’ve been waiting for her to really step away from the country, so I’m happy.

Stefano thought doing Lionel Richie’s “Hello” was a good idea. It was an intricate mix between lounge act and Latin lounge act. It was pretty horrible. Jennifer tried to spin it positively, and it took her awhile. Then Randy jumped in to try to spin it positively. I called bottom three for Stefano and it was only five contestants in. I decided I would stick with that prediction no matter what happened after.

Haley was awful too, trying to do Smokey Robinson as “smoker’s voice.” Ugh. The judges liked it for some reason. Oh wait; I know what that reason is. They have nothing bad to say. They’re hardly judges anymore. The competition is getting to the point that the truly mediocre singers are almost all phased out. This is the point that the bottom three could start seeing actually good singers in it, and the judges aren’t saying it.

Scotty did “For Once in My Life.” Have I mentioned that he has a good country voice? This was like Elvis covering the Jackson 5. That’s not meant as a good comparison.

Pia did “All in Love is Fair,” which I’ve never heard. She always sings very well. The judges are complaining about the ballads. I think it’s making her a little non-descript. She’s just that girl that’s really good.

Paul did Smokey Robinson too, and his voice is better suited to it, but I didn’t really like it. It was his best performance since “Maggie May” but I’m still not about him.

Naima did “Dancin’ in the Streets.” I hate that song. It’s one of the worst songs ever. It’s up there, or rather down there, with “Locomotion.” Her voice was strong on the song. There is that. Her performance was good, busting out with an interesting dance solo will probably set her apart enough to be back next week. The song is just awful though.

James did Stevie Wonder “Living for the City” or something like that. I’m not too familiar with it, though I think I’ve at least heard it before. James would have been really good in the hair band era. Just grow his hair out, bleach it, tease it, and learn how to pucker his lips at the camera, and the voice would do the rest. I thought he did a good job with this song. It maintained a Stevie Wonder feel while certainly being in a style of his own.

I’m having a tough time this week deciding what will happen with the bottom three. I’m still going to say Stefano, because I promised myself I would. Here’s why I was so bitter earlier about the judges talking everyone up. Not only does it not help the contestants see their flaws, but it makes it harder for me to predict the bottom three. I want Paul in the bottom three, but when the judges talked about him like he was so great. I didn’t want to call it. I don’t really have that gauge this week.

This leaves me using the trends to make a guess. I think Scotty should go, but I think he’s got a loyal following. Thing is that his performance may chip away at that following a little. Naima would be an almost automatic choice for me for bottom three, except that I think she may have got a few extra votes this week for her trouble. I’m going to say Stefano, Naima, and Haley. Based on performance, Stefano should be gone, but Haley has been in the bottom three the whole time (I think) so she’ll go sooner rather than later.

I’m going to try something now. What do I think the Top 6 will look like? In order of what I think will happen, first being the winner, second being runner up, and so forth: Pia, Jacob, James, Lauren, Casey, and Thia. Unless Lauren goes back to country too often, in which case, swap her with Thia. I’m probably being too optimistic that Paul will get booted soon. I think that Paul will get the judge’s save when they finally vote him off the week of Top 8. Scotty will go Top 7 for some odd reason, meaning that starting with Haley or Stefano this week, the bottom three I chose will all go soon.

Since the likelihood of me being completely right is not too high, I will say that a lot of that prediction is subject to everyone’s talent level staying about the same in weeks to come. Unless something drastic happens in the coming weeks to make me revisit my thoughts here, I’ll just let it go until the Top 6 is chosen, and then see how well I called it.

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