Woohoo! At long last, Hollywood week has arrived. I know that they keep saying that this is the "most talented"
American Idol group yet (don't they say that every year?), but I really hadn't seen much evidence of it. Come to think of it, I'm still not sure I believe that - but at least there were more than a few high points tonight.
Hollywood week had a different tactic this year: On the first day, some of the hopefuls were sent through automatically, and those who weren't had to come back and sing again the next day a capella, in a do-or-die situation. (It sort of reminded me of "dancing for your life" on
So You Think You Can Dance.) It was nice to have it mixed up a bit, but the truth is, I kind of missed some of the classic elements - like the group performance. Even though I know that was painful for a lot of folks, I always really enjoyed it.
It was good to see some familiar faces from the past
twenty-two four weeks of auditions - and to see some of them get the boot they so deserved. None more so than Amy Flynn, the STAR girl, who was looking as trashy as could be in a satiny get-up and then screeched her way through her numbers. Her little-girl pouty thing utterly annoyed me the first time around, and thank goodness the judges had had enough of her as well.
What amazed me was that there were a few standouts we had
never seen before - like David Hernandez, who totally won me over with his "Love the One You're With." My husband thought he was cheesy, but I was totally feeling it - I happen to love that song, and it impressed me that he was able to make me hear it in a brand new way, kind of like Blake Lewis, Chris Sligh, et. al.'s "How Deep Is Your Love" last year (speaking of an enjoyable group performance). As
Paula put it, in her typical eloquent fashion, "A hundred fazillion percent yes."
Weirdly popular song of the night: "Everything I Do," by Bryan Adams
Now, look - I love me some Bryan Adams (though I'll admit I'm more of a "Cuts Like a Knife"/"Summer of 69" gal). But why must all of these young kids sing this sniveling ballad? Bryan pulled it off because he has that amazing gravelly sound, but on most people's voices, it just sounds wrong. Though it sent some people through (like David Cook, the rocker guy who had a weirdly blue tongue), it put the immediate kibosh on others' chances (like Jessica Brown, who looked vaguely terrified and hung-over during her audition).
A few who made it through whom we should watch for:
Brooke White, who sang Carole King's "Beautiful" - another song I love; I wasn't so sure of this girl the first time around, but she really does have a pretty voice and a winning presence.
David Archuleta, who sang "Heaven" - he's sweet as pie, though I keep worrying that he's about to pass out from lack of breath. Is it possible that I saw one of the backup singers crying while he was singing?
Amanda Overmyer, who sang "Light My Fire" - the rock & roll nurse would do well to heed
Simon's advice: She needs to find a way mix up her sound somehow.
Josiah Leming, who sang "Grace Kelly" (beautifully) and "Stand by Me" (terribly) - Josiah was one of the lucky few put through straight to the final round, and yet he was terribly unprepared when he had to sing again. He was unprepared and had had very little sleep, and both were apparent. But we'll still see him again, I'm guessing, based on the strength of his past auditions.
Syesha Mercado, who sang "Chain of Fools" - wow!! That sort of came out of nowhere for me. I had no idea she was that good, but that might've been the best vocal of the night in my book.
Carly Smithson, who sang "Alone" - I still kind of don't get her; she seemed to me to be sort of shouting, but she managed to get three "yes"es. The judges seem to see something in her, so we shouldn't rule her out.
And let's not forget...
Danny Noriega (the tiny guy with the giant voice), Ramiele Malubay (the tiny gal with the giant voice) and Michael Johns (the sexy Australian who sang the heck out of "Bohemian Rhapsody").
A few who will be missed (even if they deserved to go):
Jake Mellema, who sang "Hooked on a Feeling" - yes, it was sort of cartoonish, and yes, his drummer-lead singer thing didn't really show off his abilities, but he was still charming and really not that bad.
Jeffrey Lampkin, who sang "A Whole New World" - I was so happy when he made it through to the final round, but his rendition of that (treacly) song was just abysmal. Too bad, as I kind of couldn't get enough of his larger-than-life energy.
Ghaleb Emachach, who sang (what else) "Everything I Do" - the Latin lover extraordinaire continued making quite an impression on the ladies, but even Paula couldn't be won over this time around.
And let's please forget...
Brooke Helvie, the grating pageant queen, who somehow got a "yes" from Simon but two "no"s from the others (I'm positively amazed that Paula cast the deciding vote to send Brooke home, but awfully glad).
What do you think? Who's going to make it into the Top 24?
Best Simon line of the night:
"I thought that was a good little audition." No one can damn with faint praise quite like Mr. Cowell.
Woohoo At long last Hollywood week has arrived I know that they keep saying that this is the most talented American Idol group yet dont they say that every year but I really hadnt seen much evidence of it Come to think of it Im still not sure I believe that but at least there were more than a few high points tonightHollywood week had a different tactic this year On the first day some of the hopefuls were sent through automatically and those who werent had to come back and sing again the next day a capella in a do-or-die situation It sort of reminded me of dancing for your life on So You Think You Can Dance It was nice to have it mixed up a bit but the truth is I kind of missed some of the classic elements like the group performance Even though I know that was painful for a lot of folks I always really enjoyed itIt was good to see some familiar faces from the past twenty-two four weeks of auditions and to see some of them get the bo