April 12, 2005

TV: American Idol -- songs from birth years

It was an evening of dizzying competence, for the most part, without a single really impressive performance, and only one that was geniunely awful.

The rundown:

Nadia, "When I Dream" -- as always, her pitch is almost impeccable (there's one bad high note near the end), but the performance is dull, and she doesn't seem to be as connected to the song as she usually is.

Bo, "Free Bird" -- if there was ever an Idol contestant/song combination that should have generated fireworks, this was it. It was an adequate performance, which for Bo is a huge disappointment.

Anwar, "I'll Never Love This Way Again" -- the beginning is better than it usually is with Anwar; maybe he took Randy's criticism to heart. But where the hell did the melody go? By the second chorus, it's all ruffles and flourishes.

Anthony, "Everytime You Go Away" -- Anthony knows his comfort zone, maybe better than any of the other contestants, and this is the best we've gotten yet this evening. But the little hip twists and pelvic thrusts aren't making him sexy (unless you happen to be Michael Jackson, that is).

Vonzell, "Let's Hear It for the Boy" -- lord, how I hate this song, but it's absolutely the right choice for her voice and style. A bit stiff rhythmically, and I could do with fewer "hah!" outbursts after each line, but very nicely done.

Scott, "She's Gone" -- and if there is any justice, so is Scott, after yet another wretchedly bad performance.

Carrie, "Love Is a Battlefield" -- she's working a little too hard to get that rocker growl in her voice, but on a weak night, this is good enough to put her in the top half of the field.

Constantine, "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- well, you have to admire the chutzpah, if nothing else. The long notes, especially at the beginning ("mamaaaaaa...") aren't well-tuned, but as the judges said, he's a showman. Not the best singing, but certainly the most entertaining performance of the night.

For the night: Vonzell, Carrie, Constantine, Anthony, Anwar, Bo, Nadia, Scott.

For the season: Vonzell, Nadia, Carrie (a rapidly tightening race among these three), Bo, Anthony, Constantine, Anwar, Scott.

Most deserving the ticket home: Scott. There is no alternative.

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