March 03, 2010

MUSIC: American Idol 2010: women's semifinals, week 2

So, did the women take advantage of their extra day of rehearsal to improve over last week? Afraid not; there were a few exceptions, but on the whole, this was even duller than their first round. Given the general improvement of the men from week 1 to week 2, the women's failure to improve is even more noticable.

The rundown:

Crystal, "Long As I Can See the Light" -- This bluesy gospel style works much better for her than last week's Alanis did. She's got power without losing control of pitch or tone, and doesn't get too breathy when the volume drops. Very nice.

Haeley, "The Climb" -- The last words in a phrase are too often spoken rather than sung. And when she does sing, there are pitch problems, especially on her runs and slides; she gets to the right note eventually, but the grace notes tend to be out of tune.

Lacey, "Kiss Me" -- It's better than last week (how could it not be?) and mostly in tune, but her stage presence is so self-consciously coy and twee that it makes my teeth itch.

Katie, "Put Your Records On" -- Her upper and lower registers are so oddly different in tone that it's almost like listening to two different singers, and neither of them seems at all connected to the song. Yeah, it's a laid-back tune, but that doesn't mean you can be quite this devoid of emotion.

Didi, "Lean On Me" -- Weird song choice that doesn't suit her style or her voice at all. Well done for what it was, I suppose, but I found it more bizarre than entertaining.

Michelle, "With Arms Wide Open" -- She's pushing very hard for most of the song, and that's doing terrible things to her pitch. And there's still a severity to her stage presence that I find extremely offputting.

Lilly, "A Change Is Gonna Come" -- That little-girl voice and that amount of power are an oddly compelling combination. I'm not sure I like her, exactly, but I'd like to keep her around for at least another week or two and hear more.

Katelyn, "The Scientist" -- A few small pitch problems, but this had more emotional power by far than any performance we've heard in four nights of singing. Quite lovely.

Paige, "Walk Away" -- The phrases are not long ones here, and she still seems to be running out of breath when they end. But she does have a powerful voice, and she's very easy to listen to.

Siobhan, "Think" -- A bit too polite and karaoke, but the money note at the end is impressive, and she's certainly good enough to last for a while.

Deserving a spot in the final 12: Crystal, Katelyn, Paige, Siobhan

Deserving another chance: Katie, Didi, Michelle, Lilly

Deserving to go home: Haeley, Lacey

No comments: