Idol predictions

11 Mar

idol.jpgYes, I am watching American Idol this season. No, I don’t feel like justifying my affliction for the show; I’ve done that already. But know that I’m watching, and, considering the worthy talent on display, I plan on giving it my attention ’til the end. So be it.

I read a great piece from the great Noel Murray in which he made his predictions for this season, counting down from the top 12. I’ll repeat his choices here instead of simply linking — just because I think it’s such a good read — and below offer my own.

Twelfth Place: Kristy Lee … In the battle of the bland blondes, Kristy Lee edged Kady by a hair. Good taste in music and clothes, but a voice that lacks distinction (and goes flat when she tries to project over the band). Unless she finds her inner Carrie Underwood, she’s out early.

Eleventh: David H. … It’s going to be hard for him to live down the gay stripper thing for long, unless he wants to go the Danny route and embrace the lifestyle (so to speak). But honestly, even I find him a little creepy, because he’s got a “damaged goods” quality. If he stays true to that and doesn’t try to hide it, he still won’t go far, but he’ll at least be more interesting. Because he’s actually got a good voice.

Tenth: Ramiele … I’m not crazy about her vocals—they’re fine, but formless—but she’s one of the few singers in the whole competition who seems to mean what she sings, and that’s got to carry her a little. But just a little.

Ninth: Amanda … Memorable for sure, but a one-trick pony, and her lack of training keeps catching up with her. (This week, she started strong and then ran out of breath belting Joan Jett.) Ultimately, she reminds me a lot of Taylor Hicks—nice for variety’s sake, but nothing I couldn’t see at a better-than-average urban rock club. I have a feeling there are some trainwreck performances ahead for her in the early weeks. Followed by a shocking early exit.

Eighth: Chikizie … Can Chikizie really be the only black singer left on the male side? He’s hardly a world-beater—some weeks strong, some weeks warbly—though he’s basically likable, and I’d hate to see him leave too soon. Sadly though, Reuben aside, this has never been a competition in which black men do well.

Seventh: Syesha … Outing herself as an actress a few weeks ago has helped me to understand who Syesha is. From Hollywood week on, she’s performed every song the same way: big voice, no genuine feeling. She’s playing the part of a singer; she’s not showing any of herself. But she’s the only black female left on the show, so that should help her stand out in the early going. Once she’s gone, expect the

“Idol is racist” talk to start again.

Sixth: Michael … The problem with Michael—and maybe what’s kept him from becoming a star thus far—is that his voice and his stage presence are too much a hodgepodge of recognizable sources. He sings like Eddie Vedder and Jim Morrison, and he moves like Morrison and Michael Hutchence (with a little Jim Kerr thrown in this week in honor of Simple Minds). He’s the poster boy for The Season Of Competence. He’s unlikely to screw up royally, but unless he asserts something of himself—like  picking some unusual songs—he’s going to disappear from view as soon as he’s TV time is up.

Fifth: David C. … Simon was way wrong when he said that David’s “word nerd” confession counted against him, and David was way wrong when he got pissy about it. In the end, what makes David better than Michael—and a truer “rocker”—is that he seems far more willing to take risks, and not worry so much about his image. I mean, a rocked-up Lionel Richie cover? Really? I’m still not sure that worked, but it damn sure wasn’t boring.

Fourth: Carly … I was chilly on Carly at first, but I’m starting to appreciate her polish, and her earthiness. As I wrote about American Idol last year, one of the problems with the way women are presented on this show is that the producers want them to show their bodies, but not their sexuality. Carly, meanwhile, is talking openly about drinking…and we all know that drinking leads to carousing. So yay for Carly, for presenting an image of women that’s more adult. I bet she can balance a checkbook too.

Third: Jason … The way he made “Hallelujah” work with his thin, cracking voice shows that, like Brooke, he’s got a sense of his limitations, and how to make the most of them. Like a lot of performers this season, he seems like he really belongs in front of a band, singing originals, not fumbling his way through cover versions on AI. But that’s what makes him a contestant-to-watch: he already has a sense of who he is, and he’s not like anyone who’s been on the show before. Plus, what Randy might call “that whole Jack Johnson thing” (if he even knows who Jack Johnson is) definitely makes him more in tune with the times than most. In other words: he’s two years out of date, not ten.

Runner-up: Brooke … She doesn’t look like anyone else, or carry herself like anyone else, and she’s smart enough to compensate for her small voice by keeping the arrangements of the songs she sings small. More personality than talent, but I’m always interested in what she’s going to do. I think America’s going to fall in love with her.

Winner: David A. … His take on Phil Collins this week went flat at times, and his response to the criticism of his song choice made him seem a little drippy and over-earnest. Still, the kid’s got an effortless voice and can at least fake humility. He’s like Clay Aiken, but subtler and sweeter. He’s the most likely to make Paula cry, week after week. And he’s got the grandma and tween vote sewn up.

Here are my predictions, which will definitely change week to week:

12. Kristy Lee Cook – Boring.

11. Ramiele – Talented, but also boring.

10. David Hernandez – I don’t think anyone will watch him again without their own mental voice shouting “gay stripper gay stripper gay stripper gay stripper” drowning him out. Sad but true.

9. Amanda – Forgive the snark, but I hate watching this girl perform. Such cliched schtick. But someone always hangs around longer than they should simply for the sake of novelty, and this seems to be Amanda’s year.

8. Syesha – Can’t imagine her doing anything remotely unique.

7. Jason Castro – He’s a bit novelty as well, with his cracked whispery voice, and though he’s been solid thus far, I don’t see him doing well on Country Night or Soul Night or any of the other themes they have planned.

6. Chikizie – Knows how to work his flawed voice, which could carry him a ways.

5. Brooke – Agree with Noel, wholeheartedly. She’s smart with her voice; and it will keep her around longer than her more talented competitors.

4. Michael Johns – He’ll get the important mom vote that gave Taylor Hicks the victory. Still don’t love this guy.

3. David Cook – I don’t think a male rocker will ever win this competition, but the guy’s fun to watch every week. His “Hello, It’s Me” was all sorts of kick-ass.

2. Carly Smithson – Her performance of “Come Together” was the best female vocal I’ve ever heard on Idol.

1. David Archuleta – An obvious prediction, but the kid can wail. His initial popularity may cause fans to forget to vote for him out of pure assumption of his advancement, and his “We Can Work It Out” was painful, but still…tough to bet against this kid.

Got any predictions of your own? Maybe just a top 5, if you’re lacking in energy? Is anyone else watching this season? Should I consider reinstating my weekly AI recaps? The comments section is there to be used, people.

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One Response to “Idol predictions”

  1. TK March 12, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    Disasters from last night:

    Kristy – just not good

    David A – pal, you had nothing to do for a whole week except learn the words to a song, c’mon, you have to be better than that in the final 12. Also, the choice to attempt the Stevie Wonder version was not a wise move. Complete debacle.

    Paula – She drives me nuts, has for awhile now, her incoherent babble is so old as is her repeating of Randy. However, her word of the night, “brilliant,” was a cute touch.

    Seacrest – Are you F-ing serious with the Chikizie interaction? Wow. Casual observation, the weird tension/flirtation he and Simon had last night was intriguing.

    Amanda – enjoy that cross-country motocycle ride back to Mulberry.

    Good performances:

    Brooke – Call me crazy, but every time I see her I immediately think of Melinda from the Gauntlet and expect Danny and CT to rush the stage in a fit of ‘roid rage and pummel Seacrest.

    Carly – favorite performance of the night; I also dig the tattoo.

    Chikizie – pleasantly surprised

    Simon – the guy still kills me, I love that he tells it like it is.

    Favorites (in no particular order):

    Carly
    David A
    Brooke
    Haven’t warmed up to any others yet

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