Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Group #1

All right, so have none of this year’s Group #1 contestants ever watched the show before? How else would one explain the TERRIBLE, karaoke song choices? Last night’s show was like a master class in how to pick the worst song possible, so I really hope the upcoming two groups took notes accordingly. And what was with the awkward and unnecessarily encouraging family moments? It made the show feel like a b-rate high school talent show. Also, why were the contestants not allowed to use instruments? At least the judges recovered this dismal showing by delivering some surprisingly on-point criticisms.

Anyway, here’s my rundown of who should place where:

Top Three

Danny Gokey—“Hero.” The hype has just been justified; this guy has simply got “it.” Weird song choice, but one that most Idol fans will eat up with a spoon nonetheless. And his vocal delivery was chill inducing. Can anyone say frontrunner?

Alexis Grace—“I Ain’t Never Loved A Man.” Powerful, commanding and (relatively) fantastic. She possesses both presence and an interesting voice, and her trajectory suggests that she may grow into an underdog powerhouse, a la Elliott Yamin.

Ricky Braddy—“A Song For You.” Probably the right song choice in terms of pleasing the Idol audience, but way overdone. He was clearly going all-out to make an impression, but I have a feeling he’s better than this performance. Which is why he deserves the third entrance slot, despite the appalling and premature creation of a fan group name: The Braddy Bunch.

Wildcard Worthy
(Assuming the judges pick 4 from each group to build the wildcards.)

Anoop Desai—“Angel of Mine.” More mediocre 90s R&B? That song remains obscure for a reason, and Anoop’s pitchy performance was entirely boring. But he’s proven his voice and charm in the past weeks and deserves another shot.

Ann Marie Boskovich—“Natural Woman.” After insulting Sara Bareilles and Kara in one fell swoop, then pronouncing “I sat on the hard part,” she’s toast. But she had the right idea in choosing a power ballad, she just went with the wrong one. Her voice didn’t sound full and her performance felt erratic, but she was much better than the rest of the Group 1 girls (which isn’t saying much, admittedly).

Michael Sarver—“I Don’t Wanna Be.” His attempt to channel emotion was made transparent by the incessant foot-stomping and mike-switching, but he’s got the potential to elevate his amateur status.

Stephen Fowler—“Rock With You.” Why? Why??? Maybe the 3rd chance is a charm?

Homeward Bound

Tatiana Del Toro—“Saving All My Love.” Parts were all right, but that doesn’t salvage her delusional personality. Plus that heinous floral dress made her look abundantly fleshy.

Brent Keith—“Hick Town.” He looked uncomfortable and his voice was barely there. Michael Sarver will take his wildcard spot, most likely.

Jackie Tohn—“A Little Less Conversation.” She tried to channel Katy Perry and ended up looking like a cartoon character. Her performance was manic, and she was quite right to say her voice isn’t as good as everyone else’s.

Stevie Wright—“You Belong With Me.” Oh, sweetie. No.

Casey Carlson—“Every Little Thing She Does.” Jerky and desperate and scrunchy. Goodbye!

So that’s how I want things to play out, but if I had to call it, I’d put Anoop in the Top 3 with Alexis and Danny, and say Ricky, Ann Marie, Jackie and Michael will pull wildcard spots. Let’s just hope Groups 2 and 3 redeem this disappointing first showing…


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