February 20, 2007

MUSIC: American Idol (men's semifinals, week 1)

I come into this without having seen any of the audition or Hollywood week shows, so this was my first exposure to these twelve, and all I can say is: These are the twelve best guys America had to offer?

It was a veritable cornucopia of blandness, and none of these guys merit more than a few words, so that's all I'm going to give them.

The rundown:

Rudy: Can't enunciate, sings through his nose, and has piercing high notes that could drill through steel. Great teeth, though.

Brandon: Nice voice, but you can tell he's a background singer; he hasn't yet learned that a lead singer is allowed to have personality.

Sundance: Consistently off pitch; his phrasing and voice were too refined and polite for the song.

Paul: Low notes are all air, with no core to the sound; falsetto is thin and weak. Can you be a pop star with the six notes in between?

Chris R: Nice stage presence, but the song doesn't show much range, and his voice is thin and whiny.

Nick: The most charisma-deficient of the lot, which is saying a lot. His pitch is frequently off.

Blake: Laid back, confident, interesting song choice. Best of the night by a mile.

Sanjaya: When he focuses on pitch, he loses power. When he goes for power, he loses pitch. Sweet kid, but he's in over his head.

Chris S: Distinctive voice, and his personality comes through nicely. Not a particularly interesting song, but there's potential here.

Jared: Occasional moments where his throat tightens up on him, but his falsetto is better than most, and on a crappy night, he's OK.

AJ: Some pitch problems, but a pleasant enough voice, and he certainly has more stage presence than most of the bunch.

Phil: The big eyes and ears, along with the shaved head, give him an unfortunate resemblance to Gollum, but he sings quite well.

If I had to cut it to six tonight, the survivors would be Blake, Chris S, Jared, Brandon, Phil, and AJ. Most deserving of a quick exit: any two of Sundance, Paul, and Sanjaya.

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