Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gwen Stefani's in the house!

When I was living in Texas, my dear friend Eilene Carver took me and a very pregnant Samantha Dennington to the No Doubt concert. It was pouring the rain and it was an outdoor concert. Lots of people decided to stay home and we by-passed our lawn seats for the shelter and enjoyed a FABULOUS concert. Up until that point, I wasn't sure how I felt about Gwen Stefani. "Don't Speak" was one of my least favorite songs because it got completely worn out. After the concert, however, I was a fan. Gwen was immaculate. She sang great (spot-on), commanded the stage and entertained us.

So, obviously I was thrilled to learn that Gwen was coaching the Idols this week! Yay!

And now, here I sit on my bed... in my QUIET house... with my nifty new laptop watching American Idol. Don't disappoint!

Lakisha - "Last Dance" (Donna Summer) I gotta tell you, even though I like her performance last week, I was getting really bored with both Lakisha and Melinda. They are both great, but falling into a one-dimentional trap. She sang really well this week, though, and THANK GOODNESS she did an upbeat song. I just wish her eyes showed some emotion. What is up with that??? Bottom line, though, I am just tired of the oldie R&B schtick from her. I wanted something contemporary and hip. Ahhh, I remember when I was in 3rd grade, Donna Summer did a TV special. We taped it on our new, very expensive BETA (if I remember correctly) VCR. I watched that thing over and over. Good times.

Chris S - blah, they're gonna start with a viewer question. Wait! Chris somehow found his sense of humor! I have missed that! "knitting, crocheting, playing the bongos in my boxer shorts" Ha. Keep that up, buddy. "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" (The Police - have I died and gone to heaven?????) Ha! Gwen just outted Chris for having no sense of rhythm. My goodness - "He was definitely off" she said. Well, the woman speaks the truth. Honestly, this is one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands. Chris, do NOT screw this up. Ok, I'm gonna un-pause and listen... he's starting out a little rough. He looks highly uncomfortable and is a little wobbly with the pitch. The band sounds good. Whoa, the echo is out of control. He is definitely having trouble with the tempo. I don't mean to be so hard on him... but if you're gonna sing Sting, you better be ON IT. Shoot... Blake should've done this song. Go, Paula. She's dancing as usual. Paula and Randy hit the nail on the head about him not being "in the pocket."

[side note - Paula's hair looks the best it's looked all season]

Gina - I probably would've cried, too, Gina. "I'll Stand By You" (The Pretenders) Ok, dang, Gina is kicking some major boo-tay. I don't even like this song and she's making me like it. She actually reminds me a little of a young Chrissy Hynde. This song was PERFECTLY in her key - yay! She's been singing songs too low for her. My goodness, her voice sounds amazing up high like this. Well, CRUD. She pretty much botched the last line - went all out of tune and stuff... but I give her major kudos for the rest of the song. IF she keeps this up, she could stay a little longer. Just sing, Gina. You can sing!

[oh no! They just showed a teaser - no pun intended - of Sanjaya's hair. The look on Ryan's face was priceless!!! Why do I get this sick feeling that he's going to sing "Just a Girl" from No Doubt???]

Sanjaya - SERIOUSLY???????????? "Bathwater" (No Doubt) Oh goodess, I love Gwen more than ever. "He chose the song. Good luck." He is just silly. He got so busy shaking his silly hair that he FORGOT his words. Ok, so there were a few moments where his voice didn't sound THAT BAD... but he absolutely should NOT be allowed to sing a Gwen song. Sorry. Ok, i have to run it back and watch/listen to it again. (You were right, Jackie) I'm in shock. He's so brazen. I can just see him be-bopping around town in a convertable with his friends singing this song at the top of his lungs, thinking he's got it going on. Huh uh, think again, Sanjaya. But sadly, he'll get some psycho votes from tonight.

Haley - NOOOOOO! True Colors is one of my favorite songs - I'm actually working on a cover of it with my nifty new laptop - and Haley is going to BUTCHER it??? Please, no! Ah, once again, Gwen wins my heart "Her alternate melody is just so unnecessary" Alright, let me un-pause it and dare to listen... Easy on the show choir hands there, Haley. The first few seconds of the song were actually not bad. Then... it just gets too Musak-y. You know, Muzak - elevator music? Yikes, the ending is bad. I don't love it. She irks me. Ok, so she has some fans. Ha ha, Paula gives the ultimate slap "But, you're a pretty girl." Ugh - Haley may be the nicest person in the world, but she reminds me of those sorority girls that got on my ever last nerve in college.

[oooh! They just showed a peek of Phil and he has on a hat tonight! Yay! I may be able to watch him while I listen!]

Phil - "Every Breath You Take" (The Police - again! I love tonight!) Yay, Phil! I really really love his voice. I would probably buy his cd, because that's how much I love his tone. Ewww, when he hit the high note at the end of the bridge (which he hit very nicely), one of the backup singers was really off. But... nice! Shut it, Paula... what do you know about singing anyway? Awww, Phil's wife is so cute.

Melinda - "Heaven Knows" (Donna Summer) I am probably the only person in the universe that is not really looking forward to Melinda's performance tonight. I'm just so bored with her and Lakisha. But, here she goes - let me take a listen. Oh! An upbeat song! Thank goodness. Cute hair! Bad outfit - you were right again, Jackie. Ok, she is acting more like someone in her 20's tonight. Finally. Ah, well, maybe 30's. The girl can do no wrong when it comes to singing. She's awesome. Lovin her hair -she's making me want to go get my air cut and flipped! [Uhhhh, Paula? Are you going to just repeat everything Randy says tonight? I just had a thought that Randy probably leans over to Paula before the end of every song and tells her what to say so she doesn't sound like a spaceball... too bad it doesn't work!] Hmmm, awkward moment. Ryan just called Melinda out for always looking so surprised when she gets compliments. She didn't bite. She's playing dumb. Now, she is awkwardly hugging herself. Weird.

Blake - "Lovesong" (The Cure, or 311) Oh, how do I love this song? So, so much! I was an avid lover of The Cure waaay back when... and then 311 redid this song on the 50 First Dates Soundtrack (maybe before then, who knows?) I'm glad Blake is doing this song. Hopefully there will be no opportunity for moonwalking. Oooh, I love what he's doing with this song. Dang, I feel like I'm at a concert. He's NOT oversinging it. I like this guy! I really like his voice. It's fresh, ya know? [Randy.. what??? Not jumping up and down? Boo. Paula, how did I know that you were gonna love Blake? Simon and Randy, this performance was NOT boring. It was MUSICAL!!!!! MUSICAL!!!!! Learn what that is!!!!]

Jordin - "Hey Baby" (No Doubt) Hmmm, I don't know. I am not lovin this. Besides her crazy outfit not looking good, she just doesn't sound that good. BAD outfit. Ok, so towards the end, she started doing some funky stuff with the song that I actually liked. But, it started out iffy. She was out of tune in places. I agree with Paula that she needs to stick with these fun, young songs. This is a hard song to sing on the verses. She sounded a little winded at times. But, she had fun. She's cute. [I went back and listened again and it was actually better than I originally thought.]

Chris R - oh, I'm so hoping that Chris steps it up a notch this week, because I like him and when he was in the bottom 2, I didn't like it. "Don't Speak" (No Doubt) Ok, I'm liking this... except for the little bobble where he was out of tune. There is a good vibe to his version that makes me actually like the song. There were a few moments where he seemed unsure of what he wanted to do with his runs and ad libs... but he ended up pulling it off. It wasn't the showstopper I was expecting for the last song of the night, but it wasn't bad. [Once again, Paula... HUH? Ok, so she likes him...]

I actually REALLY enjoyed the show tonight! Gwen and I must have the same taste in music. I'm sorry no one picked Hella Good - my fave No Doubt song. Other than that, I like it.

[I just had a weird thought again. Think about the song choices for tonight. With the exception of MELINDA and LAKISHA, every contestant chose a hip song from the 90's and beyond. The 2 R&B girls picked Donna Summer songs. Is Gwen REALLY a Donna Summer fan? Orrrrrrr, did they stick that in there to give those 2 girls something comfy to sing? Hmmmm, makes one wonder. I need to go back and watch the beginning and see if they say anything about Gwen really liking Donna Summer. Hey, I wouldn't blame her. Like I said, I was a major fan in the 3rd grade and she really impacted my musical tastes. ]

Anyway, here are my rankings:

1) Gina
2) Phil
4 & 5) Melinda & Jordin (I couldn't decide. Melinda probably edged Jordin out, but I give J points for keeping it hip and modern.)
6) Chris R
7) Lakisha (boring and forgettable)
8) Chris S
9) Sanjaya (that's right)
10) Haley (blah)

Who should go home: about 5 weeks too late, but both Haley and Sanjaya! Who will probably go home? Haley (I was right 2 weeks in a row on this... but I have a feeling there will be a surprise this week. Like Chris Sligh. I don't know why. I just do.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm a little late...

OK, so all in all I thought British Invasion night was pretty darn good. At first I wasn't very excited because - and this is admittedly naive - I don't care for the Beatle's. Ok, I said it. Moving on...

Ryan was a bit of a nerd tonight. More so than usual. Who wrote his script?

Haley - "Tell Him" I predicted that Haley would bounce back a bit this week. Ok, so she has legs and figured out how to use them to get votes from the perverted men of America. Ahem, Simon must be one of them. "Naughty little girl"... how did I know he was going to say that? She doesn't have a heinous voice... but still I don't like it. She was solid, as far as Haley goes. She showed some personality and didn't do as much of that awkward armpit showing move that she usually does.

Chris R. - "Don't Let the Sun See You Crying" Chris did really good. I like him, even if his voice is nasally. It just doesn't bother me for some reason. Maybe because he sings on pitch? Singing out of tune is a major pet peeve of mine. Anyway, he redeemed himself, even though I thought he did as well as possible with the song "The Boss" last week. The acoustic guitar at the beginning was a very nice touch.

Stephanie - "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" Ok, so Lulu (who I am LOVING, by the way!) suggests that Stephanie sounds like - queue suspenseful music - Beyonce. Stephanie acts like she's never heard that comment before... and that it's a GOOD thing. That is the one thing that has increasingly irritated me about Stephanie. WE ALREADY HAVE A BEYONCE. She's a superstar. Bottom line, Stephanie may have bought her ticket home with this performance. It was not very good.

Blake - "Time of the Season" Call me crazy but I like his performance last week better. Maybe it's because the MOON WALK hadn't worn out it's welcome just yet. This week? Welcome worn out. Blake - you're the mod one. Please stop moonwalking. It gives me the creeps. Aside from all that, when he sang "who's your daddy?" while walking to stage right... well, I liked it. :-) He's still one of my faves, just because he's different and sells it. Just... stop... oh my! No, Ryan! Nuh uh... Ryan just tried to dance and sing... awww, man. He just ruined the "who's your daddy" part for me. Great. On a lighter note, I just ran it back three times to laugh at it. Hilarious.

Lakisha - "Diamonds are Forever" Ok, now this was actually kinda cool. Lakisha can sing, there's no doubt. I loved the artistry she used by have the sparkly lights with all her bling bling. She was totally in character - despite the lack of emotion in her eyes, but that's another blog - and she sang really well. I thought the judges were CRAZY. However, I do not think girl in her mid-20's when I think of Lakisha. Sorry.

Phil - "Tobacco Road" Hmmm. He sounded better in rehearsal. I really really like Phil's voice. The guy can WAIL. And lately he's learned how to start a song without it sounding weird. However, some of his dance moves had me recoiling and wishing they hadn't happened. I root for this guy, ya know? And is it just me, or was there something all over his shirt? It looked like when my kids put their hands on a dirty car and then wipe their hands on their shirt. ??? It's obvious that the producers want him off the show. I hope he stays.

Jordin - "I Who Have Nothing" The kick-butt award of the night goes to Jordin. She was beautiful. She sang in tune. She belted the crud outta the song. She worked it - nice emotion!!! SOOOOOO much better than the train wreck from last week. Wow. I like her much better when she is singing than when she is talking. Quirky.

Ha - Peter Noone just slammed Simon. Simon does not look amused. Doesn't feel too good, does it?

Sanjaya - "You Really Got Me" Really? I mean, really really? Where to start... 1) the crying girl. You gotta be kidding me. She's so overwhelmed by the mere presence of Sanjaya that she's reduced to tears, much like Americans during the British Invasion? Pigtail girl, get a hold of yourself. Where are this girl's parental units? Somebody should be responsible to tell her that she and Sanjaya are likely batting on the same team as evidenced by this:
2) Sanjaya was a wild man. His tongue stuck out... peace signs flying... hair everywhere. Shudder. It was uncomfortable to say the least. Wait! Did he just do a semi-hula in the middle of his song??? Good Lord. 3) His mom had on a t-shirt that said "Momjaya" 4) Again, pigtail girl. She comes up and gives him a hug and I fear they will have to call paramedics. Oy.

Gina - "Paint it Black" One of my favorite Rolling Stones songs. It was ok. I can't say that Gina has kicked it up a notch every week. She has kinda hit a plateau. It wasn't bad, but she had some moments that were out of tune. Thank God for Lulu suggesting that she change the key! That made a big difference. Gina sounds much better in her upper range. She has more control.

Chris S - "She's Not There" This was a great song choice for Chris. It showed that he can definitely sing. I loved the "Bringing Chubby Back" sign. Very clever. Starting in the audience was an ok move... but he seemed a little distracted and either ignored the audience and sang well... or slapped some high fives and got ahead of the music. This has been a common mistake with Chris, getting ahead of the music. Hmmm...

Melinda - "As Long as He Needs Me" As usual, I have nothing bad really to say about Melinda. She is top-notch. It wasn't the most "chill-bump" performance she has given, but for her that's still better than most. I wasn't familiar with the song like I was with most, and sometimes I thought she might've been botching the melody. But, being the pro she is, she either covered quickly or I was just wrong.

I really thought Peter Noone and Lulu gave the contestants some solid advice which was evidenced by their improved performances. Overall, I thought everyone did better than last week.

Here are my rankings:

1) Jordin
2) Lakisha
3) Blake
4) Chris S.
5) Melinda (this is no reflection on Melinda. The first 6 in my mind are almost a tie)
6) Chris R.
7) Haley (though it pains me to even write that)
8) Phil
9) Gina
10) Sanjaya (entertaining just because he's so ridiculous... and pigtail girl was a riot!)
11) Stephanie

Who deserves to go home? Both Stephanie and Sanjaya - bring AJ Tabaldo! Who will go home? Stephanie, I think.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Top 12 - here we go!

Brandon - Nooooooo!!!!! This song???? I am sitting here in stunned silence. My mouth is agape. Ok, the dance break TOTALLY threw him. Don't you know that he could've crawled under the stage when he messed up? But let's go back to the song choice... terrible!!! Horrid. It barely worked for Phil Collins and it certainly didn't work for Brandon. He sounded out of breath the entire song. I really feel sorry for him... but I don't know how long I can continue to make excuses for good ole Brandon.

Melinda - Ok. I admit I did get chills at one point. Ive heard her better. And, of course, there was the lovely "astonished" look on her face when she got a standing ovation. She was like "Who me?" Yes, girl! You're the one that just sang. And, aww, paula is crying. Bottom line, she "brought it".

Chris S - Ok, is this Diana Ross or Coldplay? Gosh, why am so mean tonight? Personally, I miss Chris's glasses. I appreciate his effort to put a modern, contemporary spin on a Diana song. I'm just not sure it worked for THIS song. I thought it was rather boring and very one dimentional. Sorry.

Gina - She sounded really good at first, but ended up screaming it toward the end. The arrangement was not good... and I can say the same for every song so far tonight.

Sanjaya - Ok, I'm just gonna say it. Did he sneak his sister in, in his place? Is that his sister? I'm quite sure I had a look of horror on my face the entire performance. The hair????????? What is up????? I can absolutely say that I am NOT jealous of his hair tonight. Diana asked him "Do you dance?" Hello! Didn't you see the clip on his hula dancing last week? Good grief. And the ending of the song was just downright uncomfortable. So odd. [I know why Diana thinks he is "love". He reminds her of Michael Jackson... except he stinks as a performer.] Bless his poor little heart, though. He could actually get some pity votes.

Haley - Besides the extremely bad vocals, the outfit looked like a garbage sack. Oh, my goodness, she just messed up. [I'm typing as I watch] What is the deal tonight? Shoot, I had her picked to go home tomorrow night, but now everyone will probably feel sorry for her. And as far as Paula saying that the audience never even notices when someone messes up... those of us not on drugs totally noticed.

Phil - [Did you notice how Diana seemed to be staring at Phil's head when he walked in? Ha! His head is weirder than hers. Yes, Jackie, I said weirder.] I'm gonna go on a limb and say that this was the best song choice Phil has made. He actually sounded really good. No, Simon, he wasn't shouting. He was SINGING and it sounded good. He has a powerful belting voice. He was by far the most "interesting" of anyone who has performed thus far in the evening. [I just went back and listened to it with my back turned. It was even better that way.]

Lakisha - Ok, so this song was right up her alley. She doesn't look a bit nervous. In fact, she looks like she's having a blast and was meant for the big stage. I wasn't expecting much from her tonight, and she showed me. Good job, girl. SMILE, though!

Blake - Love the song choice. Blake is looking dapper. The electronica arrangement is killer. I can certainly do without the constant breakdancing, however. He got off on the rhythm toward the end, but right before that I liked what he was doing with the vocals. Not his best performance, but still likable.

Stephanie - Love Hangover was the perfect song for this girl. After her performance last week, which I thought was very weird and forgettable, she redeemed herself. I just wish she would stop trying to be Beyonce. I can't say it enough. Is it becoming a trend for her to botch one high note every week? I hope not. All in all, it was a very good performance. Much better than last week.

Chris R - This guy has yet to bore me... until halfway through the song tonight. He started out really good... but lost control of the song about halfway through. It just got away from him. I would've loved to hear something else from him... but I didn't hate it.

Jordin - I didn't recognize this song. I didn't like it. Bad dress. Not a good performance. What a letdown from last week's Heartbreaker. That's all I'm going to say.

Here are my rankings for tonight's performances:

1) Phil - seriosly. His vocal was almost flawless to me.
2) Stephanie - that's right.
3) Lakisha - only because I liked her song better than Melinda's
4) Melinda - she's adorable
5) Blake - I loved his arrangement but his breakdancing got to me
6) Gina - not bad
7) Chris R - yeah
8) Chris S - to me, there is a HUGE gap between the 7 and 8 spot, though
9-12) Brandon, Haley, Jordin, Sanjaya - I hate to say it, but I almost thought Haley did better than Brandon and Jordin. Tie for last for the 4 of them, though!

Who should go home? Sanjaya. Who will probably go home? Brandon.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

AI gals - from 8-6

I need to make this snappy - not much time. Forgive my pithiness. (Look it up, it's a good word)

Jordin - I bet Gina G was kicking herself for not picking this song. But alas, Jordin rocked it out with Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker". I thought she did a really good job, and thankfully redeemed herself from the awkward "brother-love" rendition of Reflection from last week that she slaughtered.

Sabrina Sloan - I was a huge fan of Sabrina's, but can I just say that she had not actually gotten better each week? Her voice seems to have gotten worse for some reason. I'm in the minority, but I loved her song choice - I just think she needed to be a little stronger with it... nastier, if you will. Oh well. I don't think she's in too much danger of getting voted off, but what do I know?

Antonella - My mama always taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all. Next!

Haley Scarnato - I'm going to ignore my mama right now and tell you exactly what I think about Haley. (Sorry, mom) If this girl doesn't get voted off, I may puke. Everything in my being cringes when she takes the stage. Her rendition of that horrible song was even more horrible. Ewww. Blech. Gag. Next!

Stephanie Edwards - Ok, so she won my heart the first week with the Prince song. And she did really good last week, even though she sounded just like Beyonce. But, singing like Beyonce to a Chaka Khan song? Huh uh. Her power notes sounded strained, and that hurt me. Are these people worn out? I still like her. I think she has staying power.

Lakisha Jones - Let's consider this: 2 out of 3 weeks, Lakisha has sung songs that have, in essence, said "Don't you dare even think about walking away from me you little man, you!!!!!" She frightens me a little. Yes, she can sing. And yes, she's looking better each week. But, show us your softer side, Lakisha. We all know you have the power.

Gina Glockson - Ok, so last week when Gina decided to resurrect the SAME Heart song that Carrie Underwood had done 2 years ago, I knew it was time for me to take action. So, I got on the American Idol website... went to the message boards for Gina... and SUGGESTED a song by Evanescence. (sp?) I'm proud to say she took my advice, hardee har har, and went with "Sober". This was soooo her style. Although Gina still irks me a tad, I think she is moving in the right direction.

Melinda - What can I say about Melinda that hasn't already been said? She's brilliant. She's cute. She has the stage presence of a hundred performers. My only advice? Do something just a little more contemporary in the coming weeks. Surprise us. We know you have the chops. I dare you to sing a song without smiling.

Here are my ratings for the gals:

1) Melinda
2) Jordin
3) Gina
4) Lakisha
5) Stephanie
6) Sabrina
(LONG PAUSE because they are not even in the same league...)
7) Haley
8) Antonella

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

American Idol guys - from 8 to 6

1) Blake Lewis - No clue what song he did (ok, it was "All Mixed Up" by 311... still clueless). I think he's a great performer and has a great voice. He will end up in the top 12. [ok, it turns out that I actually have 311 on my mp3 player. Who knew?]

2) Sanjaya - Ok, so the secret is out. Now we know why Sanjaya was picking the songs he was picking. He STINKS at contemporary stuff. John Mayer??? Come on! Not even close. And he didn't even make it his. And if he was even remotely interested in changing his image, doing the hula dance with that creepy smile on his face was NOT the way to go. And... I'm jealous of his hair. It was gorgeous tonight.

3) Sundance - I'm confused... did he do good or not? I can't tell. At times, he seemed to be doing really well... and then at other times it seemed like somebody was off. Was it him or the backup singers? I'm going to have to run it back and watch it again to be sure. I'll be back with confirmation. [Ok, I just went back and watched again. HE was the one definitely off at times. The backups were a highlight.]

4) Chris Richardson - I wasn't sure for the first 3 seconds of the song... but then he made me a believer. It worried me that he was going with the ballad, but I was excited that he was doing Keith. He made it his own and he made it work. I really, really liked Chris tonight. So far, I'd put him on top.

5) Jared Cotter - Well, well, this preppy little R&B singer. He was definitely PITCHY as heck in places... but when he was on, it was my favorite of all his performances. He seemed like he was losing his breath on the faster parts. He's a cutie, though, and I'll bet he makes it to the top 12.

6) Brandon - I respect Brandon. The fact that he plays classical piano ups the ante. He has fabulous stage presence. He started the song off awesomely. The song was WAY too repetative. But, I hope he gets into the top 12 because I think the best is yet to come from Brandon.

7) Phil Stacey - Can I just get a big ole "Yeehaw!" for Phil wearing a hat tonight? However, it was a weird hat... so I was still a little distracted. As usual, the beginning of his song (a Leeann Rhymes song, no less) was strange. His tone at the beginning sounded a little weird to me. He did good on his belty stuff... but I do not think he did well with his song choice. I will say one thing about Phil: He may have a weird looking head, but I like his sense of humor.

8) Chris Sligh - Ok, so not the best song choice. There were some shining moments, and overall I think he will make it to the top 12. He brought his humor back in the intro - that was good. More humor is needed to keep us from being bored. [I went back and listened to this again - my kids were climbing all over me the first time - and it was much better than I first thought. It was dead-on pitch and nearly flawless. The song choice hurt a little, though.]

Overall, I think the guys were incredibly BORING tonight. Very disappointing. I do hope the gals "bring it" tomorrow night.

Here are my rankings for tonight:

1) Brandon
2) Chris Sligh
3) Chris Richardson
4) Blake Lewis
5) Jared Cotter
6) Sundance
7) Phil Stacey
8) Sanjaya

Truly, I think Brandon could get voted off and give Phil a spot. I don't know why, but I just have that feeling. Brandon's a MUCH better singer, though.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

American Idol - Top 10 girls/ladies/women

Ok, so you know I go to church on Wednesday nights... so that slows me down from watching the gals' performances. I have to get my LOST fix immediately upon getting home. Then, by time I worked Lincoln through another night without his pacifier, I was zonked and couldn't stay awake to watch it. (Did I really say that? The poster-child for Night Owls is getting old.)

Anyway, here we go...

Gina G - (Alone - Heart) She was ok. I honestly thought the backup singer was not blending with her toward the end. And yes, contrary to popular belief, it is the backup singers job to BLEND, not the other way around. She did a pretty good job at the beginning - but I agree with Simon (gasp) that her outfit didn't really go with the vibe she gives off. Having said that, she actually looked the best she has looked the entire show.

Alaina - (Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Poops) Ok, if she would stay on the softer side, she might do ok. I was surprised with how she sounded at the beginning of the song - a song I can't stand, by the way. I suggest a Sarah McLaughlin song.

Lakisha - (Midnight Train - Gladys & the Pips) Of course she can sing Gladys Knight. And of course it sounds good. But, I was bored. Lakisha, you blew us away last week... now take some risks now while you can before they have you singing Sheena Easton's greatest hits in week 4 or something.

Melinda Doolittle - (Funny Valentine - her own version) WOW. And not just because she is from good ole Tennessee, either. It would be so easy for Melinda to be "normal", but she makes the most of every opportunity. She took control of tht song and did not let go. I love her!

Antonella - (Because You Loved Me - Celine) WHAT? They're not going to to address the photos? Oh, well... she took care of that herself. She really stunk. I honestly thought she did better last week with the beginning of the Aerosmith song. She reminded me of someone that was drowning or something. When she sings softly, she isn't too bad - usually. But tonight, nothing could save her in that song. Not even her looks.

Jordin - (Reflection - Christina Aguilara) Ugh! Could she pick a worse song? Maybe, but I can't think of one. She started out really wobbly and off-pitch, and never came out of it. It was bad. She is a better singer than that. I hope she gets some grce this week. She's going to need it.

Stephanie Edwards - (Dangerously in Love - Beyonce) I'm not real familiar with this song, believe it or not... so at first I couldn't tell if she was off or on. I think she actually did a pretty good job until one of those held-out notes at the end. She did WAY better last week. But, I think she'll stick around to the top 8 or 9.

[Side note - Didn't Randy Jackson have that same exact shirt on last week? Come on, Randy. With all the stars you "work with", can't you afford a more diverse wardrobe?]

Leslie Hunt - (Feeling Good - Nina Simone) Oh, snap girl. Ok, so I was snacking on some cheese and crackers when the song started. When Leslie started her "scat" (and I use that term LOOSELY), I completely lost my appetite. What can I say? She might've walked away with a smidgen of dignity if she had just STOPPED before the scat part. Aside from that, the beginning wasn't too bad but once she tried to take it bigger, she was just lost... Like a little strawberry blond puppy. Ironic that she's a dog-walker.

Haley - (Queen of the Night - Whitney) Oh. My. Word. Did I just see what I thought I saw? Tell me no. First, her dancing was just completely awkward. Could you even call that dancing? Muscle spasms, perhaps? I'm not trying to be mean, but she was so out of her league. When they say her performances are caberet, it's because SHE IS CABERET. Thats not going to change. It was just painful. And when she tried to flip up into her falsetto while glancing over at the boys, she totally lost it. I could go on and on... but I don't want to.

Sabrina Sloan - (All the Man That I Need - Whitney) Sabrina is one of my favorite singers, but she didn't capitalize on the song. If I was going to choose a Whitney song to perform, this would be the one because it actually is one of the easiest - in my opinion. Anyway, as good as Sabrina is, she really faltered on the climax of the song... and the ending was very wobbly. Oh, well. Better to get the bobbles out now, because I'm sure she's going to the top 12 and she'll want to be flawless then.