Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trainwreck Idol: Top 13

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

I would like to say that my “predictions” from last week's American Idol worked out pretty close, which makes me happy. I discussed the idea of predictions last week, and I’d like to define that real quickly. I have my ideal circumstance, and my predictions. A good example last year was Michael Lynch. I’m not so much saying that he should have won (Crystal should have) but that I would have liked to have seen Michael Lynch go on longer. He got cut at one point and the judges save brought him back. If I had predicted that he would be the person with the lowest votes that week it would have been my prediction based on performance. On the other hand, going by my ideal circumstance, I would have never put him in the bottom three. That way you know what I’m saying.

My prediction based on performance for the boys was Jacob, Casey, Stefano, James, Paul, and Scotty. In that way, I was completely right. Though I did say, ideally, I would prefer Tim and Jordan rather than Paul and Scotty.

My prediction based on performance for the girls was Pia, Karen, Thia, Lauren Alaina, Naima, and Lauren Turner or Haley. I cheated a little there by throwing two into my sixth prediction, but even that ended up being an indirectly correct prediction, as they put seven girls through. In this case, prediction and my ideal circumstance were the same, and it was a little wrong as Ashton made it through rather than Lauren Turner. But that’s ok. Now there is only one Lauren, and we can break away from last names completely.

So this week was “perform a song by your idol” week. I was trying to figure out which way I would go with this if I was a performer. Would it be Simon LeBon? He is probably my all time favourite singer, and one of my favourite lyricists. Or would it be Trevor Tanner? Sure, hardly anyone would know who he is, but he is the lead singer of my second favourite band, The Bolshoi, and my vocal style is more similar to his voice. But then again, my actual living hero is Henry Rollins? Is hero and idol the same thing? Can you imagine any American Idol contestant singing “Liar”? I’m so glad I’m not a contestant. But let’s segue to the contestants from that.

Laruen sang “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain, and she sang well, but the country thing just bored me a bit. There was a rock element to Shania’s music that wasn’t in Lauren’s performance, and that lost me a bit.

Casey did “A Little Help from My Friends,” and did the Joe Cocker version. Steven said he was a rainbow of fruit flavors, or something like that. Casey said he wasn’t Joe Cock. Seriously. Go back and listen. He says Joe Cocker the first time and then trails off the second time. And then Ryan said something sarcastic to Jennifer, and she mouthed, “Son of a bitch,” at Ryan. They were getting the quota out of the way early. Anyway, Casey was great.

Ashton got stuck in that one or two octave range again up until nearly the end of the song. The judges seemed to be trying to say good things about a bad performance.

Paul… I think I know who needs to go home.

Pia was great of course. She did the Celene Dion version of “All By Myself.” It wasn’t as good as what she did last week, but that’s just a testament to how good last week was.

James has still made the good choice of reeling it in a bit. My big fear with him was that he was going to stay in the upper register every performance, all the time, but with performances like this, Paul McCartney’s “Baby, I’m Amazed,” he’s actually making me like him.

Haley was, um… I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe it’s bias against country, but I didn’t think she even sang it all that well.

Jacob was amazing. The judges complained about transitions, but I just can’t fault this guy. He’s just got it, and a little flaw in a sea of amazing is still pretty damn good.

Thia did “Smile,” Michael Jackson’s version. She took it a bit slow at first, and then picked it up a little. I can’t remember what season it was, but Paige did that song, and it knocked her out of the competition. I’d like to say that won’t happen to Thia, because she sings so well, but so did Paige. It wasn’t bad like Paige’s performance was though, and with that trainwreck that was Paul’s performance, I would hope she would be ok. I think she was better than that song let her be.

Stefano did Stevie Wonder, and it was my least favourite of his performances. His enunciation sounded unnatural, and his voice was flat. The judges seemed to be impressed though.

Karen did a Selena song. I thought it was much better than the judges did. The song itself can easily get boring, so I think that’s what happened. The song choice was a bit dull, and she sang it well, but it didn’t get received favourably.

Scotty, he’s a good country singer. As I keep saying.

Naima did a Rhianna song, “Umbrella.” I typically like Naima, but I wasn’t thrilled with this. She got some advantage from coming out, and actually performing, after a whole lot of dull performances.

The last time they had a Top 13 rather than a Top 12, they eliminated two people the first competition show. They didn’t clarify what would be the case this time. My first choice is for Paul to go home. I think he proved that he has really one trick.

Arguably, Scotty has that same issue, but people seem to love him. I wouldn’t be upset if he ever got sent home, but I don’t believe it will happen for awhile. I’m not going to say for certain that Scotty will make Top 6, but I think he’ll at least get close if he doesn’t make it.

So who else do I think will be bottom three? Well, that’s a misleading question. I’m not convinced that Paul will be bottom three, in spite of that performance. The judges talked him up, and he’s creating a buzz for himself.

I think Haley, Stefano, and Ashton are the most in danger, and unfortunately, Thia’s standing might be swingy this week too. Naima would probably deserve to be in the bottom three this week, except that out of all the lackluster performances, hers was probably the best. There is one other issue. The judges are not being nice to Karen this whole time, and that might affect voting. Hard to decide. I think the bottom three should be Paul, Haley, and Stefano based on performance. I think it will be Haley, Karen, and either Stefano or Thia. I’m being wishy washy there, I know, but they talked Stefano up, and talked Thia down a little.

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