Monday, February 16, 2009

Hollywood Week #4

Mansions and thrones and sing-offs, oh my! While I appreciate Idol’s attempt to amp up the spectacle, when will they learn that this dream-crushing/dream-making machine has all the built in drama they’ll every need? Though I did prefer this new format to the “suspenseful” elevator rides, because really, who wants to use these awkward, time-killing experiences as a dramatic device? I found myself devilishly desiring a sing-off between Danny Gokey and Jamar Rogers, or even better, Norman “Nick” Gentle and Tatiana “Crazy-pants” Del Toro.

Let me start the rundown with a special note: while I can cope with Tatiana’s entrance into the Top 36 because she seems to have some kind of voice hidden underneath those manic outbursts. Norman Gentle, however, does not. I’m appalled by the blatant play on the part of the judges/producers to generate water cooler buzz. They want the viewers to play the love/hate game with this contestant? I call your bluff, Idol, and resolve to entirely ignore Norman’s existence for the rest of this season. And I hope everyone will join me in doing so.

While we’re on this subject of annoying contestants, Scott Macintyre is shaping up to be much more of a sweet guy than an actual singer, and I think Jackie Tohn is obnoxious and small-voiced, though I’m sure not many will agree with me. To my surprise, Nathanial Marshall (previously on my shit list), really impressed—his sing-off showed, for the first time, real pipes and purpose.

Now, on to some more promising prospects…

Potential Favorites:
(Aside from the Season 8 Producer Pack:
Anoop Desai, Adam Lambert, Lil Rounds and Danny Gokey).

Kristin McNamara—Kudos for withstanding one of the more BRUTAL judging’s from Simon ever. The girl is a bit weird, but she needs to stay strong, because she can sing her two-toned hair off!!

Taylor Vaifanua—This one is so pretty and a great singer. What will take her far, however, are all those positive vibes she seems to send out. Harness that good energy, Taylor!

Alexis Grace—She’s proven herself capable of delivering a powerful and dynamic performance, so let’s hope she does so in the first live round.

Allison Iraheta—Her raspy voice and conviction-filled performance instantly won me over. Yes, Paula, dark-horse indeed.

Von Smith—I’m really excited for this cutie to be the next potential Clay Aiken. He’s certainly got the voice, and maybe he’s learned how to use it for the Top 36.

So these are the stand-outs to me so far, and I think everyone else is probably destined for idol obscurity (barring surprise live-round gold). I am also excited to see Group 1’s Stephen Fowler, Ann-Marie Boskovich and Brent Keith next week, despite being previously underwhelmed by all three.

All right, now that America holds the power, I’m excited to see how the contestants fare with the live stage and what the judges have to say (funny how when they’re decisions actually matter, we don’t see the reasoning, and when they’re essentially powerless, we hear every last word of their opinions).


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