And then there were three. The mother and the two children.
It’s just all so anti-climactic right now. It seems like the entire show is tilted in Fantasia’s favor, and everyone else is just going through the paces. Without LaToya there to seriously challenge Fantasia, there’s almost no excitement anymore. I know that America’s vote means almost anything can happen. If Fantasia gets kicked off the show on votes this week, I wouldn’t be shocked. The Hawaiian Vote Advantage could just be too great. It’s almost a cynical fait d’accompli.
I went through almost this entire show bored tonight, until the final two performances.
For starters, does anyone truly believe the girls played rock, paper, scissors to decide the singing order? I don’t. The producers like to finish the show strong. Hiding Jasmine first was purposeful. Finishing on Diana like that was purposeful.
Clive Davis was a great guest judge, with truly interesting things to say and not just supportive blatherings. Either his microphone was aimed in the wrong direction, or he’s having some throat ailments. Sounded like he was eating his words as he spoke them.
Let’s go in order, then:
Jasmine Trias, age 16, sang two songs tonight with “making love” in the lyrics. Singing “We’ll be making love the whole night through” just sounds empty coming from her. I know kids go at it at that age and all. Fantasia even has a baby. But don’t expect me to take her too seriously.
Jasmine stood Zero Chance singing “All By Myself.” That’s the song that focused everyone’s attention so early on at LaToya London. LaToya blew the roof off with that song. Jasmine was lost, “coloring” the song in the wrong ways. The Whitney song was pitchy. Her middle song was actually fairly good, but mostly because the background singers overpowered her through much of the middle of it. The upbeat tune was a better selection, though.
In her defense, though, it does sound like she’s starting to lose her voice. A couple of the longer notes started to grate on her throat early on. If she does go through to the finals, she’ll be in trouble keeping up, physically, with the other singer.
Fantasia Barrino is the Predetermined Winner. She looks comfortable on stage and obviously enjoys performing, but those first two songs tonight were complete losers. Wearing her best bondage outfit, she screamed, warbled, and shouted through two complete songs without any hint of musicality. It was obnoxious. She failed to pronounce half the words. She shouted. I couldn’t take anymore. Where’s Clay Aiken when we need him?
On the third song, though, I was ready to give her the tiara. “Greatest Love Of All” was the perfect song for her. She changed it up enough to “make it her own.” She obviously sang from the heart to her daughter (who looked asleep after the performance, anyway). It was flawless and beautiful. It was, for one brief shining moment, the song of the night and the clinching factor in the competition. I can’t take anything away from her on that one. It was, to use Randy’s terminology from the second song, “Mad Dope.”
For those keeping track: She managed to end 2 of 3 songs this week with her ubiquitous “yeah.” Couldn’t find a way to squeeze it into that middle boring song, though. I forgot to keep track, but she did start at least one song with a plea to the audience to stand up and make her look more entertaining. (Diana did the same, and I didn’t like it there, either.)
Diana DeGarmo did her best Hillary Duff impression with her hair, put on another poor choice of outfits, and went out on stage to scream her heart out. Sadly, as everyone pointed out, she was lost in all the lower parts. I’m surprised it took this long for someone to sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in this competition. She was OK with it, but that’s a song that can make an Idol on this show, and she failed to live up to it. The Diane Warren song was a poor rendition. I couldn’t believe it when I heard her sing it, because it sounded like she still hadn’t decided what to do with it. She started off extra twangy, then backed down. She went more pop with it, and then retreated back to the twang.
The third song, however, was the show stopper. Never has a more perfect song been chosen for an Idol wannabe. Note perfect. Flawless. Powerful when it needed to be, but confident and assured in the lower parts. It was the show stopper, and well timed at that. She won my vote on that. (The phone lines were busy, of course, so I’ll be bribing a Hawaiian on-line to vote later tonight.)
Simon is obviously a literacy campaign volunteer, because he’s been suggesting all the singers write letters to various people this year. Diana does owe Clive a letter on this one, though, because she validated her role in this competition with that song, alone.
In the end, I’m giving tonight to Diana, then Fantasia, and then Jasmine. I’m hoping Jasmine goes tomorrow night, but I know better than to expect anything. Jasmine is Zero competition to Fantasia. At least Diana has a chance against Fantasia.
Did you see that there’s Yet Another AI Special on Sunday night? “The American Idol Phenomenon.” UGH