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Thoughts and Impressions from American Idol, Week 11by David Bloomberg -- 08/24/2002
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Well, it's certainly been an, um, interesting week, hasn't it? I know, you're probably thinking that you've already seen several American Idol articles from me (such as What Is Nikki Thinking? and American Idol: Tamyra, Nikki, and the Fight for Votes), what more could I possibly have to say?
After all, this column is about my overall thoughts and impressions, so let's go to it.
Ironically, we began Tuesday's show with Ryan Seacrest calling American Idol, "the show that you control." Even then, I thought to myself, "Oh, really?" The news about people using autodialers had just hit, and I thought his statement was a bit grandiose. Considering the eventual result on Wednesday, it really did bring up the question of just who controls the show. With that in mind, let's get to my impressions of the performances.
Tamyra went first, and contrary to what others thought, I didn't have a problem with this performance. Was it her best? No, but she is a tough act to live up to. But it got the audience moving and people could get into it. Her second song showed the other side of her with the usual excellent vocals. As Simon said, he was running out of compliments (he probably forgot to stock up since he has tended to use them so infrequently over the course of the show). There was absolutely no hint in her performances that she would be the one leaving this week.
Nikki followed with a slow song that made me wonder where the "rocker" was now that she had the opportunity to sing songs from the 80s and 90s. Randy and Paula didn't like it, but Simon inexplicably did. Is this another case like when he said great things about Christina but then later admitted he was wrong and it was the studio acoustics that caused it? Or did he purposely flatter her in the hopes that it would backfire and people wouldn't vote for her anymore? In any event, her second performance did bring the "rocker" out with a Melissa Etheridge song. But let's face it, she's no Melissa Etheridge. In fact, her version made me want to go out and buy the Melissa Etheridge CD just so I could hear it the right way. At first she sounded like she was just talking, then she moved into shouting. I didn't hear much in the way of singing. But then the judges said it was good. I don't understand it - not one bit.
Kelly's first song once again showed Nikki how to sing with power but yet without shouting. In fact, so did her second. To fully explain what I was thinking when I watched her perform, here is the full extent of my notes from her second performance: This is singing. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Justin brought up the fourth spot. In his first performance, I thought his voice sounded incredibly soulful and was quite impressed. I, unlike many others, rather liked his second performance. Admittedly, I've never heard the song before, so I don't know if he was really doing a "bad impression of Michael Jackson," as some have said. In fact, I rather liked him more than I like Mike. (By the way, in case you haven't heard, Michael Jackson is a father again - no word on who the mother is. No, I can't figure that one out, either, but I'm sure it has something to do with space aliens.) Still, I figured Justin would be in the bottom two along with Nikki.
I was wrong.
When Tamyra's name was read as the one who had to leave, I had the same sort of look as did Paula and Simon. It was quite interesting that the audience filled with so much booing - Nikki could not have felt good about that. But Tamyra took it like a champ - a real pro. She calmed the audience down. She stayed calm herself. After final words from the judges, she was even able to easily pick up the microphone and sing her last song on the show - and do a great job, as always.
Speaking of those final words, they emphasized once again (as if there was any doubt) that Tamyra has a future far beyond American Idol. But one thing I found a bit ironic was Paula. She looked perhaps more shocked than anybody. Yet I have to say that I blame her at least in part. Paula never had a bad word to say to anybody. If she were a figure skating judge, she would maybe take off a tenth of a point once in a great while - otherwise giving out perfect scores every time. Sure, it's easy to say that no matter what Paula might have done or said, the result would have been the same. And maybe it's true. But it certainly could only help if she just spoke the truth every once in a while and too bad if somebody gets a little hurt by it. She wouldn't do that, though. Instead she hired a comedy writer to provide her with snipes at Simon, who actually did the right thing (well, except his approval of Nikki this week).
So, yes, Tamyra is gone and there is no way this should have happened. Hopefully, the predictions in my American Idol: Tamyra, Nikki, and the Fight for Votes article will come true and the demographics will shift in favor of Kelly, ensuring that Nikki leaves.
But after this week, I wouldn't bet on anything…
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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