You know how the judges- even Simon!- keep insisting that this batch of contestants make up "the best season ever"? Well, judging by tonight's abysmal performances, nothing could be further from that statement. The whole night consisted of disappointment after disappointment stemming from poor song choices and awful (or, in some cases, non-existent) interpretations of said songs. I think I groaned more times than I ever have during a semifinal show. And did anyone else find the short conversation between Ryan and the parents of each performer after their performance completely tacky and corny? Yes, we get it, you support your kids and love them unconditionally...blah blah blah let's get on to the singing. Here's my rundown of last night's performances:
Jackie Tohn "A Little Less Conversation"
Jackie started things off with a bang with this really interesting interpretation of the Elvis song. Some people don't like her personality, and I think she has the possibility to get old really quick, but after countless colorless and dull performances tonight, she really stands out in the pack.
Ricky Braddy "A Song for You"
I just do not get this guy. Sorry to those who texted, IM'ed and commented back to me about just how amazing he is. I thought the song choice was totally wrong for this stage in the competition and the way he overdoes every note and over enunciates every syllable drove me crazy. I guess he has a nice voice and all that (and could improve in my eyes with a different song) but the praise heaped on him was a little undeserved in my opinion (in hindsight, though, he was one of the better contestants tonight).
Alexis Grace "Never Loved a Man"
This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure about her at first, with that weird half-spoken/half-sung opening but it quickly swelled into quite the performance. It was simple a simple performance that showed off her range, who she is as a performer and what she can accomplish in the future. Without a doubt, the best performance of the night.
Brent Keith "Hicktown"
I think the choice of song says it all. The whole performance was nothing more than atrocious redneck karaoke. His defense for his performance after Simon critiqued him: "I personally don't think country fans will forget that." Well, that's not really a good defense because country fans are slightly retarded (Come on, they kept Bucky Covington on the show until, what, the Top 6).
Stevie Wright "You Belong With Me"
If you're on American Idol and want to prove your worth as a singer, you should really stay away from any song by Taylor Swift. Her songs don't have any range because she doesn't have any range. It looks like Stevie learned this lesson the hard way because this whiny performance was all over the place.
Anoop Desai "Angel of Mine"
Anoop is my favorite contestant so far so it was quite a disappointment seeing the nice, but altogether average rendition of Monica's "Angel of Mine." He's been better before and I hope the memory of his past glories will be enough to get him through.
Casey Carlson "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"
Since she was ripped a new one by the judges last night, I'm going to pull a Paula and say that she looked beautiful.
Michael Sarver "I Don't Want to Be"
Wow, what an original song choice. I've never heard a country/rock singer perform this song on the show to prove how "original" they are. It wasn't atrocious, but it's nothing I'm going to remember in a couple of days.
Ann Marie Boskovich "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"
Did this girl really think she was ever going to come close to Aretha with her weak-ass vocals? Bitch please.
Stephen Fowler "Rock With You"
Completely devoid of any personality or redeeming qualities. Karaoke through and through. It was atrocious, I wanted to throw my TV out of the window as soon as he opened his mouth.
Tatiana Del Toro "Saving All My Love for You"
I have to admit that this was quite a good performance. At first I thought the combination of outrageous song choice (why is this bitch trying Whitney Houston?) and her annoying personality would be her downfall, but, I completely agreed with Randy that "she had her moments" that were quite good. I'm now interested to see if she can really mature as an artist.
Danny Gokey "Hero"
WHAT. THE. FUCK? This performance was nothing earth shattering and yet somehow Paula, Randy and Kara all jumped out of their seats, hooting and hollering like he had won the damn thing already. If I couldn't stand him before, this tragic and dreary performance is more proof that he is already the most annoying contestant on the show. If I have to sit through 12 more weeks of bloated, overrated crap like this, it's going to be a loooooooooooooooong season.
Who's Going to the Next Round: Danny, Alexis and Ricky
Runner-Ups: Anoop and Tatiana