Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Handicapping Week 8 of 'American Idol'by Sting7 -- 07/31/2002
View Printable version of this article
For umpteen weeks now, we've seen the American Idol hopefuls trot on stage and sing their poor little hearts out. In my opinion, the round of eight was when we started to separate the stars from the trivia questions. As Dana Walker has brilliantly laid out for us, all of the seven remaining have a legitimate shot a success in the music biz. But, the task at hand is convincing America (and, apparently, Simon Cowell) that they are the finest unsigned talent in America today.
The round of seven gave us the most satisfying night of performances yet. This is how I predict the voting will go. Be sure to check in with Dana Walker to see how it turned out!
1. Kelly Clarkson - from the first 70's week in the Round of Nine, Kelly leapt toward the front of the class. Before, well, yeah, she was cute and everything, but how she get in and Alexis Lopez not? 'I Will Survive'? She's 20!Suddenly, she looked like a threat to Tamyra and Justin! This week, in my opinion she beat them! She probably has the best range of all the women, and for all the flack she got for the high note in "Natural Woman" (I disagree with Dana and David Bloomberg; I say she was dead-on with it and used it at the perfect time), the percentage of singers who can actually do the high C are in the single digits! This is a star, and she may single-handedly end Britney Spears' career!
2. Tamyra Gray - Randy Jackson said Tamyra has been the most consistent of all the finalists. That is a fact. She has never been bad. She's never been just okay. Very good is the worst she did. Somehow, tonight was "very good" night. I've heard "If I Were Your Woman" performed better -- by the originator, Gladys Knight, and that is bad news for Tamyra.
3. Christina Christian - last week, "When A Man Loves A Woman" shattered glass and sent cats into a rage. But, Christina was not as bad as Nikki or Ryan and shouldn't have been in the bottom three. And I love her. That said, she (as Randy Jackson said) was the most improved from last week. Christina cast a spell with her rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine," and that tremolo (with those looks) is unique enough to take her long way. Hell, Ashanti barely has a tremolo and she had three songs in the top five last month! Don't get me started. The challenge is finding songs that will compliment it, and this week, she nailed it on the head.
4. R J Helton - Yes, R J Helton. Look, Simon is already convinced R J sucks and nothing will change his mind. R J would be well-served to run the Weather Channel in his head while Simon talks to him. Yes, he does have a sort of boy-band thing with his looks, but excuse him for being cute! He sang "Superstition" and in the first verse, I thought AJ Gil had body-snatched him. Suddenly, boom! This PERFORMER emerged! He moved! He emoted! He was on key! I was left blinking! Randy and Paula felt it, Simon said (test pattern) and for this, I say he comes in fourth.
5. Justin Guarini - You know, Michelle Kwan can't win an Olympic gold medal and maybe Justin can't win this competition, despite the fact that he has reduced Paula to a pile of quivering goo. Twice. Justin should forget he ever heard "Sunny," and "We Shall All Be Free" would have been a gorgeous song for him, if he felt it or understood it. He didn't (you could tell by his choice of phrasing that he had no idea how powerful the words were). So, Justin, the heretofore Number One seed, finishes fifth. I hope. His back-pedaling about his High Cheese behavior last week may have been a turn-off (we Americans don't cotton to cocky, but we're even harder on wimpiness). He might have wanted to save the apology for when he regained his ability to destroy the house with his talent.
6. Ryan Starr - Ryan does not want to be there anymore. I am convinced (and what is this about diva-behavior from the self-proclaimed dork?). Ryan took five steps forward with her version of Donna Summer's "Last Dance," but it may have been too late. The bar has been raised and she's still well below it.
7. Nikki McKibbin - Oh boy. Her "Heartbreaker" (not a song I think about immediately when I think 70's songs) was eerily close to Ryan Starr's "You Really Got Me." Worse yet, Nikki was first, and had the misfortune of having her performance compared to six superior ones after her. This is the end of the road. I doubt America forgave you for "Ben," and you just gave us a reason to send you home TO YOUR CHILD!
Tonight, somebody is going home. I say it's Nikki. Am I right? Am I crazy? Let's just see.
For all our articles about this show, check out the American Idol page. For a look at Dana's columns, take a peek at the Reality From La-La Land page. Also drop by our sections on Bachelorettes in Alaska and Big Brother 3. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
View Printable version of this article