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- American Idol 12 Recaps
The show opens with a big fat ole’ congratulations to Season 3′s Jennifer Hudson. To those of you who live in a cave–she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the Academy Awards Sunday night.Ãƒâ€š Good going Jennifer!
Now, we see if the boys set aside some time this week to locate their missing A game.Ãƒâ€š I would say, for the most part, YES.Ãƒâ€š Here we go.
Tonight’s contestant video packages have a theme.Ãƒâ€š Each contestant dedicates their performance to friends orÃƒâ€š loved ones.Ãƒâ€š The dedication package is a perfect vehicle for contestant self-pimping.Ãƒâ€š Who will elicit the biggest “awww” reaction from the viewing audience?Ãƒâ€š We shall see.
Phil Stacey – “Missing You” by John Waite – Phil dedicates his performanceÃƒâ€š to his Navy buddies–Navy bandÃƒâ€š Southeast–back at his command.Ãƒâ€š His superiors fully support his run on American Idol.Ãƒâ€š But do they support lame-ass 80′s covers?Ãƒâ€š I’m not digging the song choice here.Ãƒâ€š Phil delivers a consistent and competent performance, but his vocals are underwhelming and he relies too much on the big glory note to impress. I’m just not seeing much charisma here.Ãƒâ€š Randy and Paula likey.Ãƒâ€š Simon says, “I’m not jumping out of my chair…you have a completely unoriginal voice.”Ãƒâ€š However, Phil is developing a fan base. I think he’s a good bet for the Top 12.
Ryan chatsÃƒâ€š up the boys.Ãƒâ€š What were people talking about after the show?Ãƒâ€š Sundance tells America that he will try not to be so crappy this week.Ãƒâ€š Good plan, dude.
Jared Cotter – “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye – Jared dedicates his performance to his parents. Jared tries REAL hard to appeal to the ladies.Ãƒâ€š Maybe a little too hard.Ãƒâ€š He does a nice job with this Marvin Gaye classic. Eep, he’s wearing white tennis shoes with a suit.Ãƒâ€š He falls down on one knee. Then hisÃƒâ€š last move–he runs his hand down his face–just looks dopey.Ãƒâ€š Yeah, Jared is definitely trying too hard.Ãƒâ€š Let your voice carry the day Jared, the rest is just distracting.Ãƒâ€š Randy thought the “face move” was “hot”.Ãƒâ€š Paula begins to say something that almost starts to make sense.Ãƒâ€š Thankfully, Simon takes over for her.Ãƒâ€š He says it’s “corny in parts.”Ãƒâ€š That about sums it up.
AJ Tabaldo – “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone and Michael Buble – AJ also dedicates his performance to his parents. AJ picks an interesting song, and does a nice job, although he is pitchy in spots.Ãƒâ€š But, he takes a risk, and it mostly pays off.Ãƒâ€š My initial impression of AJ was that he lacked personality, but I was wrong.Ãƒâ€š He’s a cute kid.Ãƒâ€š And, as one of the unpimped, he has an uphill battle distinguishing himself from the pack.Ãƒâ€š He’s doing a pretty good job, but I’m not sure it will be enough to carry him into the Top 12. AJ gets good marks from all the judges.
Sanjaya Malakar – “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” written by Irving Berlin – Sanjaya dedicates his song to his grandfather who died when he was 5. Sanjaya wears his wedding ring for support. So sweet.Ãƒâ€š Yes, Sanjaya is so sweet and so nice, just like a puppy. But he’s way out of his league here.Ãƒâ€š Tonight, he sings the Irving Berlin standard “Steppin Out With My Baby”.Ãƒâ€š Like last week, his performance is tentative and lackluster.Ãƒâ€š Midway through the song, he kinda loses his pitch and the tempo. IÃƒâ€š imagine he pickedÃƒâ€š the songÃƒâ€š because it’s fromÃƒâ€š his grandfather’s era.Ãƒâ€š The sentiment is admirable, but it’s a terrible way to pick a song.Ãƒâ€š For these contestants, the criteria needs to be how the song showcases their talents, period.Ãƒâ€š The judges aren’t complimentary, especially Simon.Ãƒâ€š Again, Sanjaya looks crushed.Ãƒâ€š And again, I am going to plead with America–send this boy home, he’s in way over his head.Ãƒâ€š However,Ãƒâ€š the mom and ‘tween voteÃƒâ€š areÃƒâ€š sure toÃƒâ€š propel Sanjaya into the Top 12. Sigh.
Chris Sligh – “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne – Chris gives the audience hair tips. He dedicates his song to his wife, who kept him going even when he wanted to quit.Ãƒâ€š Taylor Hicks introduced us to Ray LaMontagne’s great song “Trouble” last year, and his version really showcased his vocals.Ãƒâ€š Chris performs the song with more pop and less soulÃƒâ€š than Taylor did, but it serves the same purpose–it highlights the fact that Chris can sang.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š I happen to love Chris’s raspy tenor.Ãƒâ€š He’s got a great range andÃƒâ€š is really able to evoke the emotion in a song.Ãƒâ€š He had one of the better performances last week, and I think his performance is even better this week.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š Chris is no longer the “front-runner”, that’s Lakisha Jones right now. But, I think it’s much better to start off a little behind, withÃƒâ€š room to grow. Ãƒâ€š Props from all the judges tonight.Ãƒâ€š Chris is a good bet for the Top 12.
Ryan says it’s time for Fox to make good with the Benjamins. What?
Nick Pedro – “Fever” most famously by Peggy Lee – Nick dedicates his song to his girlfriend.Ãƒâ€š Awww, look at them standing in a pumpkin patch.Ãƒâ€š Nick fares better this week with an old standard.Ãƒâ€š He’s got an interesting voice, butÃƒâ€š it lacks pizzazz.Ãƒâ€š Nick needs a knock-out performance toÃƒâ€š stand out from the pack.Ãƒâ€š So far, no go.Ãƒâ€š Unfortunately, thatÃƒâ€š spells troubleÃƒâ€š for his ability to continue in this competition. Ãƒâ€š He gets good marks from the judges.Ãƒâ€š Simon likes his vocals, but says he lacks charisma.Ãƒâ€š I think he’s on to something.
Blake Lewis – “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai – Blake dedicates his performance to his parents.Ãƒâ€š His mom is a singer and a guitarist. His dad seems cool.Ãƒâ€š Blake, I beg of you–lose the hat.Ãƒâ€š Or at least wear the brim over your forehead.Ãƒâ€š That look…it’s just so…precious.Ãƒâ€š And so is your beatboxing.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š Blake proved last week that he has one of the best voices in this competition.Ãƒâ€š His singing is superior this week too, but the beatboxing comes off like a party trick–it’s gimmicky.Ãƒâ€š I say keep it simple, ya know?Ãƒâ€š Randy and Paula like it a lot, but Simon is disappointed.Ãƒâ€š Simon actually likes the beatboxing, though,Ãƒâ€š but found the rest of the performance “copycat”.Ãƒâ€š I don’t agree.Ãƒâ€š
Brandon Rogers – “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper -Ãƒâ€š Brandon dedicates his performance to his grandmother.Ãƒâ€š Oh Brandon, Brandon.Ãƒâ€š I know you wanted to make your grandma happy, but you picked the wrong song.Ãƒâ€š Totally.Ãƒâ€š Brandon has a ton of potential, but he’s squandering it.Ãƒâ€š The song does nothing at all to showcase his vocals.Ãƒâ€š Dude, you got a minute 30 to impress the audience.Ãƒâ€š You gotta pick a songÃƒâ€š that shows what you got in a very short period of time.Ãƒâ€š It doesn’t help that the arrangement of the song is choppy–there’s no opportunity for a payoff.Ãƒâ€š Brandon insists that he felt the song. I’ll have to take his word for it.Ãƒâ€š Always, always pick a song for no other reason than it will advance you in the competition.Ãƒâ€š There’s just too much at stake.Ãƒâ€š Brandon could be in danger this week, and that’s a shame.Ãƒâ€š Simon keeps it real, “You got to get out there and show that you are a great singer.”
Chris Richardson – “Geek in the Pink” by Jason Mraz – Chris also dedicates his song to his grandma, his “big mama” back in Virginia.Ãƒâ€š Chris says she’s “spunky.”Ãƒâ€š Chris picks a song this week that masks his vocal limitations and highlights his strengths.Ãƒâ€š It’s an unusual choice–I’ll give Chris props for picking a good song.Ãƒâ€š But I’m still not feeling his vocals, or his goofy jazz hands.Ãƒâ€š Chris says his grandma wanted a country song, but he compromised and did something upbeat.Ãƒâ€š Thank you Chris for sparing us from that trainwreck.Ãƒâ€š Take notes Brandon.Ãƒâ€š The judges are all complimentary.
Sundance Head – “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett – Sundance dedicates his song to his son Levi, who was born in December.Ãƒâ€š Since then, he’s been away from his family because of Idol.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š When he mentions that his wife saysÃƒâ€š that Levi is beginning to smile, Sundance chokes up.Ãƒâ€š He just won tonight’s “awww” contest.Ãƒâ€š He’ll get a ton of votes just for that.Ãƒâ€š Sundance performs a song that highlights what he does best–he is a blues belter. But he’s going to have to mix it up to show that he’s more than a one trick pony.Ãƒâ€š However, I would say Sundance went a long way to redeem himself tonight.Ãƒâ€š I think he’s in this for the long haul.Ãƒâ€š The judges agree.
There’s time to kill: Jeff Foxworthy, host of “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” is in the audience to pimp his new show.Ãƒâ€š Ewww.
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