Archive: February, 2008
My new theory is that the four dismissals last night had less to do the contestants' voices and more to do with the personal details that they shared in the taped segments that aired prior to their performances. "Something that America may be surprised to learn about me...." (Don't you wish we could get Ryan Seacrest to participate in this charade?)
Okay, Jason Yeager. I don't even remember his big reveal. Was it that he taught himsefl piano? But the fact that I can't recall I think confirms Simon Cowell's point about Yeager - that he blended into the wallpaper. Buh-bye, Jason.
Alexandrea Lushington, Randy's pet. So she sang for the Atlanta Fire Department as a child. Fascinating. See ya later, Alexandrea.
Twenty-six-year-old Robbie Carrico appears totally philosophical about his exit, which is a relief, at least to those of us who don't watch "American Idol" to see teenagers tortured.
Ryan, clearly more comfortable not having to hit the sincerity button, is back in control.
And Danny, I'm happy to see, seems to have gotten himself together, too. (Ish.)
Alaina Whitaker, the 17-year-old who doesn't like her food to touch, also doesn't like goodbyes.
She's sobbing too hard at first to do her farewell number, but Ryan and Paula are doing their best to put her back together , and finally she does a credible job with "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (and look, now it's Danny Noriega who's crying).
This is excruciating.
The cameras catch little David Archuleta crying as Alexandrea Lushington sings her way off "Idol" (and now, he's the first to hug her, too).
He does know that 17 more people have to go before he can win, right?
Could Danny Noriega look any more scared?
Even after Ryan announces that Jason Yeager is getting the boot, Danny continues to look seriously worried, especially after the likes of Jason Castro had made it through.
(And can I just say that there's way too little variation in the guys' names this year? Three Davids, two Jasons -- and only one Chikezie.)
"Idol" judge Randy Jackson's been named Save the Children's "first-ever United States Programs Ambassador, working to raise awareness of America's children living in poverty," according to a press release from the charity.
Randy, you might recall, toured some of Save the Children's programs for kids affected by Hurricane Katrina when he returned to his native Louisiana as part of last spring's "Idol Gives Back."
It is not yet clear whether Jackson's appointment puts him on equal footing with U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, but it should at least allow him to pull rank on Simon Cowell, the British consul for Magic Mountain and several "ghastly" cruise lines.
Forget that hissy argument between Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest about the little blue dress. (Although I have to say, Ryan's payback - thanking everyone but Simon at the end of the broadcast - was beyond churlish.)
No, what I want to know is do you think Rybread is a teensy bit self-conscious about his height?
Did you see the way he clasped the smaller female contestants in long, lingering hugs - the really petite singers like Ramiele?
Have you noticed that this season's Top 20 is probably the trimmest, fittest set of contestants America Idol has had yet? Jersey's Joanne Borgella is a plus-size model, but she got booted off last week. What gives? Did the judges get suddenly weight-conscious this season? Rotund Ruben Studdard won Season Two, and the show has had plenty of portly participants, including LaKisha Jones and Chris Sligh last year. Is it all just coincidence that looks seem to matter more? Or did producers notice that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have had the prettiest record sales?
Idol fans could find out tonight if Votefortheworst.com still has clout. Last year, its organized online effort helped Sanjaya Malakar inflict extra weeks of wacky hairstyles. Its picks this season: Danny Noriega and Amanda Overmyer. While Danny this week got applause and laughs (answering "Ish" when Simon Cowell asked if Danny agreed his previous week's Elvis was rubbish), Amanda departed from her guttural groans and grunts to try to actually sing a bit ... and seemed to prove she can't. "Next, Amanda may lay her scary head to rest," says a headline in the Chicago Sun-Times. If she stays tonight, maybe Vote For the Worst will once again muck up the works, or add to the fun, depending on your point of view.
On Tuesday night, David Archuleta wowed the judges with his rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." Judge Randy Jackson wondered, though, why his favorite youngster skipped the first verse. Archuleta said he didn't have time to sing all the verses and liked the ending best. But could there be another reason? Like politically volatile lyrics? That first verse includes "Imagine there's no Heaven ... No hell below us ... Imagine there's no countries ... Nothing to kill or die for ... And no religion too." Maybe Archuleta feared backlash from holy rollers and uber-patriots, so he sang one verse and two refrains ... extra slowly. Link: View Archuleta's performance on You-Tube.
PS. Turns out Ann Powers of the L.A. Times agrees, writing: "As a Mormon, he's unlikely to espouse the song's agnostic ideal -- that's the real reason he didn't sing its early verses." She also contends his interpretation was borrowed from singer Eva Cassidy who died of cancer in 1996.