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(American) Idol Thoughts - 3/20/07

Most people hope that some barbarians from England invade and take Sanjaya Malakar with them back to the UK as a trophy. But will he be eliminated or will someone else once again get him off the hook because they sang infinitely worse?

We have the British Invasion invading American Idol. Most people hope that some barbarians from England invade and take Sanjaya Malakar with them back to the UK as a trophy. Peter Noone and Lulu are there to take him ba...i mean to train the singers. We all know that Sanjaya is probably going to give us a jaw-droppingly bad performance. But will he be eliminated or will someone else once again get him off the hook because they sang infinitely worse?

Haley Scarnato, who knows she has a fan base, desperately needs a good performance to keep that fan base sure that they are voting for the right person. She sings 'Tellin'.

The Good - Is that...stage presence? Haley takes the song and flaunts it around like she was the second coming of Nancy Sinatra.

The Bad - Don't let all of that movement affect your performance, which got a little breathy near the end. One false move and we could have heard a reprise of 'These Boobs Were Made for Walking', as in walking right out of that dress.

The Verdict - What a difference a week makes. In one week, Haley turns from one foot out the door to serious Top 4 contender.

Chris Richardson wants to show people that he can sing as well as perform. He is told to watch that vibrato. He sings 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying'.

The Good - My ears weren't caught crying. The arrangement and acoustics were very nice. That's a decent take on a song...

The Bad - ...that I have never heard of. It's a bad choice of song, and he sang with the emotion of a brick.

The Verdict - Sooner or later, Chris will have to give us something more than a blank stare and a slow song. At least LaKisha and Melinda can sing the heck out of the music. How far will Richardson's look take him?

Stephanie is the next singer, and she croons 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me'. For her sake this week, she better make the audience love her.

The Good - For someone in a completely different genre, she did a very credible job. It is a song that should be familiar to most people.

The Bad - Not only a bad choice of song, a bad choice of arrangement, where the back-up singers are singing better than she does. She also does not sing as well as Melinda or Lakisha would - or even Haley or Chris.

The Verdict - She needed to knock this song out of the park, and she only hit a line-drive ground ball through the middle. She needed to step away from the R and B competition, and the fact that this performance didn't do that puts her in trouble.

Blake is a Zombie...well, he is from Seattle. Only kidding - he will be singing a selection from the Zombies - 'Time of the Season'

The Good - If he beat boxes correctly, he could duet and lay the vocals down for Justin Timberlake. And the comparisons are a good thing. Excellent choice of song and the beat boxing serves him well. Beat Boxing with Ryan is a big bonus.

The Bad - Watch that pitch when you're beat boxing. The second and third stanzas had his voice visiting the season of Winter when the excess cold cracks your voice.

The Verdict - MUCH MUCH MUCH better than last week. For the first time this season, we see Blake emerge as a true threat to win Idol this year.

Lakisha knows nothing about the British Invasion, so she is forced to sing something out of her wheelhouse. Lulu tries to convince her to sing an R and B song, but Lakisha decides to sing Diamonds Are Forever

The Good - Lakisha picked the right song. We so desperately needed to get her out of R and B land. And of course, she was pitch-perfect

The Bad - Notice I said pitch-perfect and not musically perfect. She rushed the phrases at the beginning and it seemed like she was singing more just to hit the notes than to actually sing musically until the end of the song.

The Verdict - It was not a knock-out drag down R and B song - BUT - it was an excellent, excellent choice that shows off her versatility. Now if she can get younger...

Phil Stacey decides to go down Tobacco Road. This is a very very tricky song and I hope he has his chops down.

The Good - We FINALLY get a rock song. I think Phil desperately needed something like this to improve his versatility.

The Bad - Well...he needed a rock song. I'm not sure if he needed THIS song, that not only is not well known, but he didn't put a lot of body emotion in it. And let's not discuss the pitchiness.

The Verdict - He needed to give his constituents a reason to vote for him. I think he will get enough to not be booted, but maybe not good enough to avoid another visit to the bottom three.

Jordin Sparks likes 'Im So Excited' as her song, because it's her Catch-Phrase. She can't use that song this week, but she can use 'I have nothing' (No, not the Whitney Houston song)

The Good - Now THIS is emotionally tapping into a song. Great emotion and use of volume.

The Bad - The emotion of 'I'm So Excited' should not be used to race through the first vocal set and be pitchy all over the place.

The Verdict - Spunky. Has personality. Great voice. Great song selections. Look out, Melinda and Lakisha.

As a complete and utter contrast to the excellent performance of Jordin, Sanjaya Malakar will be singing 'You Really Got Me' by the Kinks. Get ready for the train wreck.

The Good - The hair is in a nouveau style. Much better than last week - the hair, that is. At least the girl who's crying (Ashley) seems entertained.

The Bad - Train Wreck in 5...4...3...2...1...Boom. Complete with screaming and gyrations. And why are we spending so much time on the girl who's crying?

The Verdict - The judges are all praising him - which means that it's time for him to go, because they are all hoping that they won't say anything that would get his fans to vote for him. Unless Ashley, his one fan, votes 2 million times in the next 2 hours, the judges will probably get their wish.

Gina 'Rock Chick' Glocksen decides to rock out with 'Paint it Black'. She could really take this song and do something special with it.

The Good - She did take the song and emotionally charge it. She stayed true to herself and she sold the big notes at the end.

The Bad - Remember last week when she was told to not to mangle the lyrics? She mangled the song in some areas and was pitchy in other areas. She has to get back to what she was doing and convey a song, not an image.

The Verdict - A definite step backwards this week. I think she'll be safe, but she can't do that too many more times.

Chris Sligh decides to be sexier (wha?), so he selects 'She's Not There' (wha?). It is a song that he can do a nice job on - if he keeps it simple and doesn't over-arrange it.

The Good - If you fast-foward through the first 20 seconds of the song, Chris finally gets a song that he can sink his teeth into. Between the voice and his stage presence, this was the Chris that I was waiting to see. Simplicity is a good thing.

The Bad - The beginning of the song was VERY awkward - and walking through the crowd was nothing less than hokey.

The Verdict - The best Chris Sligh that I have heard in this competition. He may have saved himself from the Bottom Three with that performance.

Melinda Doolittle decides to sing 'As Long as He Needs Me'. Now this is from the musical 'Oliver', and it's very out of her wheelhouse.

The Good - She took a major risk on this song - and it paid off. She nailed the money notes. And she made Ashley cry. Again.

The Bad - The very first words out of her mouth - 'As long as she needs me'. The she turned into a he in the next verse. I don't remember anyone in the musical 'Oliver' having a sex change.

The Verdict - She really needed this song in the worst way. Not because she was in any danger, but because she needed to display her versatility. I really want to see her take on a contemporary song and see what happens.

Overall Verdict - For the first month, it has been the Lakisha and Melinda show. For the first time this season, we have seen why any of 6 people could win this thing, why Lulu and Peter Noone should come back next year, and why Sanjaya Malakar will probably not come back next week. There were a plethora of great performances, but three of them stood out as not being as good as the other 8.

TROUBLE - Sanjaya Malakar, Stephanie Edwards, Phil Stacey. (With Gina replacing Phil if his constituents show up and bail him out)

Stephanie should quickly find her way out of the bottom three, leaving Phil and Sanjaya there. Sanjaya needed either the judges to really convince the audience that he's in severe danger, or he needed someone to be so incredibly awful that it would make him seem like a superstar in comparison. He got neither so...

OUT: Sanjaya Malakar

We'll see in 24 hours how accurate I am.


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As much as I'd like to see Sanjaya go, I think it'll be Stephanie, Phil or Gina.

And what the hell was with that crying girl? Could they have given her more camera time?

said Cindy on March 21, 2007 7:53 AM.

I agree with Cindy. It's time for Sanjaya, but I think he saved his own hide last night. He finally put himself out there, and though it was still terrible, it was enough for his screaming, crying Tiger Beat fans to save him for one more week.

I guess that the bottom 3 will be Sanjaya, Phil, and Stephanie, but Phil will be the one voted out. He was totally forgettable last night.

said Barb on March 21, 2007 9:06 AM.

Barb & Cindy, I'm with you both - say what you want about Sanjayar, he entertained, if only for the wrong reasons.

Phil and Stephanie are probably good bets for the bottom three also, and I have to say, I HATED that performance by Gina. What a travesty. She may not go, but she should.

said Scaramouch on March 21, 2007 9:28 AM.

That girl crying during Sanjaya's song was about the weirdest scene on TV this year.

I'd totally buy Blakes's version of Time of the Season. First time I've ever said that about a performance on this show.

I have to think Sanjaya's safe because he actually gave his best performance. Phil is out is my guess.

said Evil Richard on March 21, 2007 9:36 AM.

The "experts" all pick either Stephanie or Phil to make the walk of shame.

And after last night... Could be either or... Phil's got really nothing to work with, and Stephanie has less, so... yeah, you make the call.

said The Chairman on March 21, 2007 10:11 AM.

It would not shock me is Phil or Stephanie left either, but at the end of the column, me saying that any of 3 people could leave is taking the 'Dial Idol Wussy' way out. Phil's fans are in danger, so they know they had to vote. Stephanie, I think, has a bigger fan base than she is given credit for, and I think there's such a wide chasm this year that even if Sanjaya got a vote boost (which I am sure he did), I don't think it will be big enough.


said Haterade on March 21, 2007 11:34 AM.
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