Group of 6 Performances

Ditto to everything Simon said. But I’d give Diana much higher than a 7.

It’s that simple. You had a couple of people near the top tonight, a big mushy middle of blah, and John Stevens bringing up the rear. In fact, I’m ticked off at Simon for what he said to John, because that was going to be my eulogy for him when he gets voted off. And, once again, I hope that it’s this week for his sake.

Let me start by quoting myself:

Will Diana DeGarmo sing the signature Miami Sound Machine hit, “Turn The Beat Around?”

Diana DeGarmo did, indeed, sing that song. And she stole the show. I thought this would be her week to shine, and she did. That was clearly the best performance of the night. She fired on all cylinders. I think it took her a couple of lines into the song at the beginning to find her pitch and volume to match the band, but after that it was all good. She gets a bit of a bum rap for being so damned talented at such a young age, but I hope this performance is enough to carry her through another week. She deserves it.

Jasmine Trias is obviously a Miami Sound Machine fan, because she affected Gloria Estefan’s singing style quite noticeably on more than a few notes. She was very pitchy throughout the song, to the point where even I could notice it. However, it was overall a good performance. Nothing spectacular. One week, she’s going to give up on those black capri pants, though…

John Stevens gets the American Idol Purple Heart Award. He knew this wasn’t going to be his week. We all knew it. I wish he had gone out on top last week after two good performances in a row. It was uncomfortable watching him on the show. He even tried to do the power notes, but nothing worked. But he certainly deserves better than a lot of the mud that gets slung his way. And he knew he wasn’t good enough this week. I half expected him to say something lke, “Please, America. Don’t vote for me. Don’t listen to the phone numbers Ryan’s about to give you.” The really sad thing is that if he’s voted out this week, he’ll be singing this song again. Maybe they’ll be nice enough to let him sing the song from CASABLANCA again on his way out.

LaToya London was second this week only to Diana. Like Simon said and like a few of us said last week, she needed that performance. She needed the energetic song with less of the power notes to warble through. She needed to get up and move like she hasn’t done since Country Week. She did that tonight. She stood out from the band. She didn’t get drowned out. She performed all throughout the song, although I’m sure many people will have a problem with her dancing too much. It did sound like she missed a breath or two in the middle of the twirls, but hey – - that’s what Estefan’s music is all about. You have to move when you sing. That can be tricky. Ask Paula Abdul. This week solidifies LaToya’s position in the Final Three as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of Paula, what was she high on tonight? That’s two weeks in a row that she’s been useless, incoherent, and giggly. At least Gloria Estefan was honest about not juding anyone up front. The only question that leaves is, “Why bother putting her on the dais, then?”

Fantasia Barrino wants to make a martyr out of Jennifer Hudson. UGH Her usual pep talk to the crowd to cheer and sing with her fell on deaf ears again. She turned her back to the audience multiple times. It was an adequate performance in a style I’m sure she’s not comfortable in, but the singing was a’right. Oh, yes, and we got to see her baby in the audience again. At least this time they waited until AFTER the song to do it.

George Huff is in serious danger. He needed a good performance, and that wasn’t it. I think it’s another case of a contestant doing the best with what he has to work with in a style he’s not comfortable with. But this is the third week in a row of shakey performances for him. He’s screwed. Why wouldn’t I be surprised to see next week be something like Gospel Week to prop him and Fantasia back up?

Ryan ends the show by telling us to vote our favorite through. I’m confused. I thought he scolded us last week for not voting the most talented contestant through. Which is it, Ryan?

Bottom three this week were John, George, and either Jasmine or Fantasia. I’m split between those two. Two completely different kinds of performances. Tough to judge one against the other. I might have to give Fantasia higher marks for being less pitchy, though. So put Jasmine in the bottom three. Besides which, I said that after last week’s show, there’d be no way in hell either Fantasia or LaToya would make the bottom three. I’ll be consistent with that.

I think John Stevens goes this week. I think America is a nice enough country not to put the kid through the wringer for another week. I think his parents want him to come home now, too.

My Dark Horse candidate to get voted out, though, would be George Huff. The Big Mo’ ain’t with him these days. Plus, it’ll just fuel Elton John’s clueless righteous anger some more…

De Blieck Out!


13 Responses to “Group of 6 Performances”

  1. teddy
    28. April 2004 at 00:09

    jasmine or john need to go, they r very amature singers and cannot match up to george

  2. EarlLantern
    28. April 2004 at 07:21

    “Clueless righteous anger”? Elton John is one of the great performers of the last thirty years. Elton John is an annual guest host on AI. Elton John can’t be accused of anti-white racism because he’s a white man. So now he becomes a “clueless” man. sigh

  3. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    28. April 2004 at 07:46

    Earl –> Yes, Elton John in this instance is very clearly a clueless man who’s never watched AMERICAN IDOL before. Check out the article I linked to. Even the writer of that article points out that “black crooner” Ruben Studdard won the competition last year. So far, 1 black person and 5 white people have been voted out this year. 3 black singers remain. Hardly seems like a racist conspiracy against AI on behalf of America, now does it? THIS is why Elton John is clueless.

    Teddy –> George had better remind us of why he’s so great and fast. He’s on the slide right now.

  4. Robbo
    28. April 2004 at 09:05

    It seemed as if the Miami Sound Machine overpowered just about everyone last night, except Diana.

    My bottom three would be John, Fantasia and George with John clearly the one who should go.

    Diana’s never been a favorite of mine but last night she blew everyone off the stage.

  5. dee
    28. April 2004 at 09:15

    did anyone else notice how off key the backup songers were. it was especially noticeable in diana’s song. i was kind of underwhelmed by everyone. thought it was interesting on entertainment tonight they had two spots about AI. one of course about elton and jennifer. she was in their studio belting it out and the other was something to the effect of the personal attacks on john. i didnt see the spot so i’m not sure what theses alleged attacks are but i can only surmise they are talking about morning talk radio comments and such.

  6. Wes C. Addle
    28. April 2004 at 09:26

    I honestly hope Fantasia goes tonight, just to throw it back in the producers’ faces for using the kid. Seriously.

  7. bluuzman
    28. April 2004 at 09:30

    LaToya may not have sung her best last night, as Simon pointed out, but it was my favorite performance by her in a long, long time. She looked great, she danced nicely and she finally had me excited and moving. My favorite performance of the night, and hopefully this means I can now begin cheering for her.

    You guys (and the judges) are overrating Diana’s performance a bit, though. Go back and look at the part where she does the Latin rrrrrrrr thing: totally programmed, not at all spontaneous. Also, she sang the song in a lower key than Vick Sue Robinson, obviously because could not hit the really high notes. Good performance, but not the best of the night. Second best, maybe.

    John was clearly the worst last night, as expected with the Latin theme, and I’m with Augie on this one: it’s time for him to go. So why do I think it’ll be Diana instead?

  8. WebGurl
    28. April 2004 at 09:47

    Well, I thought the show kind of showed how hard Latin music is to sing. It isn’t easy – the rythm and music is way different than what the singers are used to. As far as Latin music goes, La Toya hit it the best. Diana was ok – but – she didn’t have the “feel” of the music like La Toya. Her performance was good but La Toya with her dancing and movement and singing showed she felt the music in her body and soul which is what one should feel when singing or dancing to Latin music. John S sucked as we all know… and now I know why he keeps staying. It isn’t teenage girls. Its grandma’s. Their the ones voting for him…

  9. bluuzman
    28. April 2004 at 10:00

    WebGurl, you are 100% right when you say that LaToya felt her performance in a way that Diana didn’t. That’s what separated them last night: LaToya’s performance flowed, Diana’s didn’t.

  10. Broc Heasley
    28. April 2004 at 18:38

    Here’s my big elephant in the room when it comes to American Idol…this is the worst American Idol yet.

    Let me explain: When the competition started everyone was talking about how this was the best 12 (10…whatever) yet and they were all strong singers, etc. And I’ll concede that perhaps the worst singers to grace the top ten stage are in AI’s past, but I remember the front runners from past seasons being a lot more consistent than the front runners we have (and have had) this year. Say whatever you want Kelly Clarkson and company, but this up and down roller coaster ride we’ve been on with LaToya, George, Fantasia and even Jennifer is something new to the competition.

    It just seems to me that we’re seeing a lot more off weeks when we should be seeing growth. If Elton John is wrong (and he is) then something else must account for the voting patterns this season. And don’t tell me that John Stevens’ grandma is the reason he’s still there (Jim Verraros anyone?). Isn’t it possible that the American public has figured out what the Judges and Producers are trying to hide–the front runners just aren’t as strong as they should be. And if the front runners aren’t that strong then that leaves a lot of room for people to vote any which way since its not always clear who is best.

  11. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    28. April 2004 at 19:19

    No, Broc, I think you’re overreacting. I’m still surprised by how shocked everyone is after three seasons of this. I can only imagine what we’d be going through right now if Nikki just slid by Tamyra in this atmosphere. There’d probably be a Congressional investigation.

    Yes, there is a problem with contestants being more wild from week to week, going from the week’s highlight to lowlight in the blink of an eye, but I don’t think this is the worst group of the three so far. Last year had Carmen Rasmussen and Josh Gracin, both of whom I thought had potential, but got the kind of ribbing John Stevens is getting this year. But the rest of that Top Ten? Julia DeMato was a deer in the headlights every week. Corey Clark and Charles Grigsby couldn’t sing. Trenyce didn’t have too many moments. Rickey was questionable. I’m not a Ruben fan, but I can grant you that he has talent and he was a good strong finisher. Just a matter of personal preference that I preferred Clay.

    Season One? Every guy with the letter “J” in his name sucked wind: AJ Gil, E Jay Day, Jim Verraros, R.J. Helton. Justin making the Top 2 is the biggest travesty of American Idol so far. But he’s quickly turned into a flash in the pan. And Nikki was the lightning rod of the season. Christina Christian was good, Tamyra was excellent, and Kelly was amazing. The right person won, though.

    I think it’s most likely that John Stevens is still there because of all the Clay Aiken voters who carried over from last season and want to see another Clay type singer win.

    I think this year’s crop is the most talented, but I will grant you the roller coaster. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. The themes each week, though, I think are a little more varied than they have been. (I’d still like to see Big Band week, though.) That’s throwing people off. The types of music are so diverse now that someone is going to suffer each week, no matter how good they are. That’s my theory.

  12. bluuzman
    29. April 2004 at 10:55

    I agree with you, Augie, but I don’t think this year’s competition is as good as last year’s. Last year in the eyes of most people, Clay and Ruben were formidable adversaries–either one could have won the title (and in fact it was almost a tie). Hell, Kimberley Locke had a good chance to be a finalist too.

    This year, however, with the dismissal of Jennifer, I see LaToya as an easy winner–just like Kelly Clarkson after they booted Tamyra Gray. LaToya will easily beat either Diana or Fantasia.

  13. Broc Heasley
    29. April 2004 at 11:39

    Augie, good points all around. Your recollection of past Idol contestants exceeds mine.

    I guess when it comes down to it what I’m really saying is that I don’t think the winner who emerges from this group, be it LaToya or Fantasia or whoever, has the same potential as past winners. I just don’t see it.

    Oh, and for the record, Ruben was a total loss. I prefer Clay too.