Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol contestants I like

Having never watched American Idol before, and therefore knowing nothing about the voting habits of the American public, I won't risk actual predictions here. But after watching last night and tonight, I have actual opinions about these people, and I do want to say which contestants I like and why.

Phil Stacey is the guy who missed the birth of his own child to audition for American Idol. That's a cute, if slightly upsetting and/or nauseating story. But he didn't mean to do it, and I really liked his song last night, and the clincher was that his wife was in the audience and completely and totally adorable.

Stephanie Edwards opened for the girls tonight, and I thought she was amazing. She was energetic, and you could tell even from the TV that she had completely captured the audience. And her hair is super intense.

During Hollywood week I would never, ever in a million years have thought that I would actually want Sundance Head to do well. But yesterday I watched him sing, and I enjoyed his song (perhaps this is a testament to my complete lack of musical ability). And then I was really, really sad when the judges ripped him apart. And he looked truly devastated as well. And then, despite myself, I started to like him. And now I want him to do well. Although I still don't really want him to win it all.

Blake Lewis did a good job with that Keane song last night. When I first saw him audition, I was unimpressed with the whole beatboxing thing, but it grew on me during the group song, and I actually kind of missed it last night. He definitely missed a few notes, but the Keane version isn't exactly perfect either, and that's part of the charm. I think it worked last night too.

Okay, Gina Glocksen is really cute (and is that her brother or her boyfriend or what in the audience with the same red streaks in his hair?), and her mother's reaction to her performance was completely adorable as well. Her performance wasn't perfect (and my opinion of it was probably helped by the fact that I really like that song), but she has a great voice and I don't get tired of watching her and learning more about her.

I think at this point it's basically impossible not to like Jordin Sparks. She's a junior in high school, she's totally bouncy, she's really cute, she has a lot of confidence without seeming arrogant, she is full of the youthful conviction (listen to me, like I'm so old at 22) that she can have it all and she can have it all now, and she's actually a fantastic singer. Plus, I love the curls.

I realize that there isn't one single person who can resist LaKisha Jones right now, since she blew all three judges away with her performance at the end of the night and she has an adorable daughter. And I like how she tells her story but doesn't try to cutesy it up to get sympathy. Like when she said today was her daughter's birthday and said they had talked on the phone and Ryan Seacrest asked if her daughter had offered any advice, she was just like, "No." And that was it. The kid is four. Of course she didn't give advice. But let me just say that I hope that LaKisha wins, and I hope that in two years there are famous literary agents fighting to sign her for a bestselling book deal. Because she really has the story to match her amazing voice.

Melinda Doolittle is completely cute, and much more relatable as a backup singer still learning to sing in front than Brandon Rogers, who told us the same story yesterday. Her voice is amazing and she has this really sweet smile and she looks shocked whenever anyone gives her a compliment. Maybe I'll be sick of that by the end of the season. But for now, I think it's great.

Tragic omission: I watched Sanjaya Malakar on his audition and through Hollywood week, and I agreed with Simon that he was much better than his sister, and I think he's really cute and has a great voice, but his song last night completely sucked. And I knew a third of the way through the song that Simon was going to make a rude joke about the irony of the lyrics saying "I don't want to bore you" when the performance was totally boring. And anyone who has watched even one episode of American Idol could have told you very easily that nobody should ever pick a song like that, much less compound the damage by setting Simon up for a really easy joke. I couldn't help but wonder if Sanjaya's sister, who apparently basically picked the song for him, was trying to get him knocked out early. I know he says family is the most important thing, but maybe she disagrees. Anyway, maybe he'll survive a terrible performance and get to come back and try again next week, but his performance last night was bad enough that he has been knocked off my list. And let's hope that if he is still around next week, he doesn't let his sister pick his song again.

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