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American Idol 2, March 25: Country? Rock? Or Just More Ballads?Page 2
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Rickey Smith is up next, singing… well, I don't really know what he sang, as Ryan just described it as "Larry Gatlin's hit."
Randy: "You can definitely sing. Good job. Don't know if I like that song on you, though."
Paula: "You surprise me every week. I got chills. Best performance yet. You sound like mellow sweet honey."
Olivia: "Beautiful. Pitch immaculate."
Simon: "I'm just not excited this week. Sweet and nice but so what? Just good."
Me: This is another song that makes me think, "Huh? Country-Rock?" In fact, I actually turned on the show at this point because I wasn't home until halfway through (obviously I taped it). I had no idea what the genre was. I was still trying to figure out how this was disco or if they had changed it to love songs. That said, he did a great job on it - it's just that it was another ballad.
Kimberly Caldwell followed that with "Anymore."
Randy: "Brilliant tonight. Unbelievable fire."
Paula: (Standing ovation) "Vocal muscle. Confident enough to change your look."
Olivia: "Beautiful. Great stage presence. Richness in your voice."
Simon: "I was totally unimpressed… until now. Best performance."
Me: It was an interesting song for her to tackle. It showed her voice but she didn't overdo it as she had previously. I don't know if it was her best performance so far, but it's definitely in the top two.
Ruben Studdard followed her with "Sweet Home Alabama." Now this is country-rock. As they say at the beginning of the song, "Turn it up!"
Randy: (Standing ovation) "Doing your thing."
Paula: "You could run for governor and win!"
Olivia: "Great singer. Made me feel all warm inside."
Simon: "Are you drunk tonight, Paula? Excellent. Infectious. On a roll. Brilliant."
Me: Unlike some of the other contestants tonight, Ruben actually did a song in the genre. He didn't limit himself to a slow ballad - he showed that he can rock it. I think he also showed good stage presence that another ballad would not have allowed. On another note, I felt that the backing vocals were way too loud - half the time I could barely hear him over them. That's not his fault, of course, but I thought it deserved mention.
What poor schmo has to follow Ruben? It's Julia DeMato, singing "Breathe."
Randy: "All things considered, some pitch problems but best performance yet."
Paula: "Teeny bit pitchy. Enjoyed it so much more this week."
Olivia: "Sang really well. Gorgeous."
Simon: "Good. The difference between you and Ruben is you look as if you're trying too hard. But probably your best performance."
Me: I agree - best performance yet. But will it be enough to save her? She looked more confident on stage tonight, and even after her song, talking to Ryan. Even I noticed the pitch problems, though, which doesn't bode well.
Remember I mentioned above that they show almost nothing going on in the house tonight? Here it is. As mentioned already, it's Carmen's birthday. So we see the others preparing a "surprise" party while she is studying away. She walks in. Surprise! Lots of fun for all and cake smashed in various faces.
Moving on, we have one more singer - Clay Aiken with "Someone Else's Star."
Unfortunately, because of that stupid piece on the birthday, we're apparently running out of time. So the comments from Randy, Paula, and Olivia are limited to them giving him a standing ovation for a second.
Simon: "Sweet but it sounded identical to last week. Very good."
Me: I presume what Simon is saying is that it didn't sound very country-rock, and I have to agree. I have already heard from people who know the song that he sang the hell out of it - perhaps better than the original. Indeed, when I heard him I was thinking, "Just give him a contract now." Definitely great, just not sure where it fell in the genre - like so many of the others tonight. Overall, though, I didn't think it was particularly fair to Clay that he wasn't allowed to get comments - which would obviously have been very positive - from the first three judges.
Ryan Seacrest closes the show tonight by saying the lesson has been that Simon doesn't understand country music. Well, neither do I - and I still need somebody to explain to me how some of these were "country-rock." Ah well.
Now it's time for handicapping how well they did. Frankly, I could almost use a dart board, but I'll give it a shot:
Mind you, I don't think anybody did horribly today, however it was difficult for me to judge (as I think I've made pretty clear by now!). In case I haven't beaten this point to death, it would have helped if some of those who sang more ballads had instead actually stuck to the category and shown some ability to stretch themselves.
I think that both Corey and Julia and in the most danger. Because Julia still seems to have a hardcore group of fans, I think they will push her above him in the rankings and Corey will be the one to leave this week. Remember - Wednesday night is an hour-long show, starting at 8:30/7:30 Central (yes, right in the middle of Survivor).
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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