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American Idol: 11 Contestants

I'm watching this week's American Idol nearly a day late. Before I begin I'd like to point out that even David Hyatt likes Clay! Go Clay. 🙂

Ryan egging on the audience to boo? Childish. The shots of Randy? Classic good stuff. Funny funny funny. Oh well. Guest starring this week? Gladys Knight - good stuff. 5 Grammys? Unfortunately that ain't that many. People are picking that many up each year these days. Hopefully she'll be a little more critical than last week's judge. I'll skip the cheesy "a look into Gladys."

Corey Clark's favorite thing is sleeping? He's singing Against All Odds, a Phil Collins song I like. His voice is too high and a bit weak. It feels like he's pushing it a little. I saw the lyrics scroll by on a screen - they get the lyrics shown to them? Cheap. I'm not enjoying this one at all. This, of all the movie songs he could have chosen, was best for his voice? I think he could have done better. On a scale of 1-10, this is a solid 4.

Ruben Studdard bumbles out next singing A Whole New World. Black male singers seem to have two styles: Ruben and Corey show them both. The deeper soulful kind (Ruben) or the higher-pitched kind (Corey). The latter is not my favorite. Ruben is singing really well, but could move around a bit more. That hand waving thing is getting old. But that's a minor nit - he's hitting it. Overall score: 6, but a 7 if he'd have some stage skills. BTW, what the hell is "205?"

Trenyce NoLastName is singing a Whitney Houston song, I Have Nothing. I'll disagree with Nick's friend Marc on how she's dressed - I think it's appropriate for this song, this week. Not quite as strong as Whitney's rendition - she should have added her own flair to escape the direct comparison - but she still did a great job. Gladys said "That you would even dare choose a Whitney Houston song is simply amazing." I'll give her a 7.

Simon makes a comment about this year's group being better than all but 3 or 4 of last year's. I'll make a comment later on this.

Clay Aiken pops out now. Nice shot with the dog - what a ham. He's singing Somewhere Out There from American Tale. He's not singing it exactly as it was sung before, and I think that's a good thing if you can pull it off. So far, he's done so every week. A bit rangy on the first high note, but he found it quickly. The low notes at the end are good, and then he hits a pitchy one at the end that's really high. He finds that one eventually. Not his best performance, but he was right: a lot of range in that song. Still the best so far tonight. I'll give him a 7 or 8 this week. Next week perhaps my scale will have to get adjusted downward. Wow, Simon gave him the early thumbs up for the winner. Wow.

Kimberly Caldwell sings Shoop Shoop by Cher. She's a bit flat - I don't know if her voice is best suited for this song. She's not flat tonally, just too Melissa Etheridge. That's a teeny nit-pick - she's doing well. She's got charisma, she moves around on stage, and she looks great of course. I'll give her a 6. She can do better. She's yet to be dead-on. Simon says so. And childish people boo. He's right.

Joshua Gracin sings I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. Tough song if you don't sound like Steven Tyler, and he doesn't. Let's see… Eeek, he starts out very twangy, very country. I'm not digging this at all - go sing some country somewhere. Ugh. Jeez, and I thought Carmen was twangy. Ugh. He hit every note, really, but this ain't a country song. He gets a 4 for butchering it. Gladys tells him "you are country." Wrong competition Joshua. He says "he's country" and they're doing disco next week. Heh, should be interesting. 4.

Carmen Rasmusen, the country gal herself, is singing Hopelessly Devoted To You. She looks a bit like a chicken, except chickens don't have makeup. The country doesn't come out so much this time, and she hits some of higher notes fine. Stop jutting your head forward! Cluck cluck. Wear less lipstick. That warbling. Hmm. I just don't like the style. It's not one with which many people can sing along. Randy calls her pitchy. She's a 3 this week. Nearly fell asleep. And hey, if Paula's telling her to wear less makeup, well…

Now they're showing some of Kelly and Justin's movie. Who wants to see this? Hmm… She's lookin' good. Bit more makeup. No weight loss, which is fine for her. April 15? Whatever. 🙂

Charles Grigsby is up next singing You Can't Win by Michael Jackson. I've never heard this song before, but having just said that, I'm pretty sure this isn't at all like the original. It helps to sing songs the audience recognizes, and this may hurt the Grigster here. I have no idea. It just was. The whole "get on your feet" bit is lame. I hate that. The point is to sing them to their feet, not ask them. I give it a 3.

Rickey Smith is another example of the whiny black man kind of singer, similar to Corey. He's singing It Might Be You from Tootsie? Ooooookay. I'm sure he's singing this one properly, but I'm just not a fan of these high songs. Air Supply could do it. Some other black men have done it. But they're stronger on the high notes than he's being. Technically well-done, but certainly not one that people are going to be singing in the next few minutes. Low on the "stuck in my head" scale, and low on mine as well: a 4.

Julia DeMato, the hairdresser, is singing What a Feeling from Flashdance. Big song for a small girl. She could use more energy in the fast parts - she did the slow parts, beginning. Pick it up girl! Go go go. Okay, or don't. She ended pretty badly. Better than before, but, well, it was just "eh." I'll give her a 4. Randy says "eh." Paula says "eh." Gladys says "eh." Simon says "disco on ice." Maybe Julia will do better next week during, eh, Disco Week.

Kimberley Locke is singing Home from, uhhh, The Wiz? I don't even know if I saw that movie. She's still a big girl, and I think that's going to hurt her. After last week's horrible rendition of Heat Wave, she really, really impresses this week. Nice. This puts her with the top this week. Simon says she redeemed herself and that's about right. I give her a 7. Impressive.

Overall, a great week. Use my scores to figure out who I think will go this week. Charles or Corey, I think. The hot looks of Carmen will help her more than they should, and they'll hurt Kimberley Locke.

Now, on to the more pressing issue of Kelly Clarkson. 11 contestants this week - six of them are better than all but about three last year. The rest are just about the same - and should go out accordingly. Kelly, aside from maybe Clay, is still better than any of the other contestants. The song is called Anytime and she's got power and some personality. A nose piercing? A backless dress? She's attractive, but probably at the upper range of what I'd think America would choose as an "idol" in terms of weight.

On the weight topic, yeah, it sucks that women feel as though they have to be thin, but at the same time it's important to be practical. This competition is about looks as well as singing. It's a popularity contest. Not too many slightly bigger girls are the popular ones. Mandy, Christina, Britney, Jessica Simpson… Whatever. I could go on forever about "society's ideals" but that's not gonna get me anywhere.

Go Clay. 🙂 David Hyatt is pulling for you, heh heh.

12 Responses to "American Idol: 11 Contestants"

  1. Clay Aiken will win this contest because he has already won over America with his voice, his personality and his sexiness. YES! I said sexy! He is looking hotter and hotter each show and I melt every time I hear him sing and watch those beautiful blue eyes! OOOH WEE! GO CLAY! SYRACUSE LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. what've you got against carmen? she's pretty good, you try sing like that!! bet you can't...

  3. I can't. But so? I'm not competing. She is, and she's in the bottom half.

  4. Maybe you should replace Ryan Seacrest...

  5. Very good assessment of the show.

    I'm also rooting for Clay. I just wish he would accept praise a little better and not be in such shock and flutter his eyelids. Just a big smile and a simple thank you would be nice for a change. He must know by now that he's the favorite. For the first time I was impressed with Ruben. I think he will prove to be a formidable foe.

  6. 205 is Ruben's area code, and I personally think Carmen sucks

  7. What was the name of the song that Carmen was singing last week. It sounded soooo familiar but I couldn't place it. Please email me. Thanks! 🙂 Chas

  8. kimberley locke you are the hottest thing on t.v. right now. ever time i see you, you make me smile. your to sexy for words. keep doing the same thing that you have been and you will be fine in both matters of the word. i love the new look, and the blue dress with the silver stapped shoes, fabulous. i want to see you up close one day.

  9. i think Rubin will win or joshua

  10. Clay is a mousey white boy who needs to grab a meal damn holocust victim of texas or where every the hell he's from, those ears of his need to be chopped off~!

  11. OK, to who wrote this article, you are repulsive in calling Kelly Clarkson among the "upper range" in terms of weight of what America would call an "idol". You should be ashamed of yourself for even saying that. I'm not even a fan on Kelly Clarkson, but I KNOW she isn't anywhere near fat. In fact, she's quite thin. In my opinion, thin enough. You look at Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears and what do you get? Young girls starving themselves to look the same. I should know: I used to be anorexic myself. I think it is good that Kelly is healthily not just bones. I hope she goes far in her career.

  12. Grrr, you need to lighten up. I think Kelly looks fine - always have - but "society" (referred to in my entry above as "America") is far less forgiving of these "flaws" (as some might call them) than I am.