It's going to be a tough day for Brian here at FitzFacts because I'll be reviewing both American Idol shows before settling in for all the college basketball I can stand this afternoon and evening. No post yesterday because, of course, we had a major, major winter event as Baltimore County got absolutely buried under 2-3 inches of snow, forcing the schools to close. Amazingly, the movie theater stayed open, so did the dentist, and the university where the boys swim. So we ended up with a pretty busy day.
And now let's get to the Idols, false and legitimate.
The guys opened and closed strong, but the rest of the program was pretty much a waste. For the results tonight, expect to see the two Chrisses and Blake in good shape and probably Sanjaya, and just pick two others at random because they'll be going home faster than 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament anyway.
Blake: Strutted 311's "All Mixed Up," one of those songs I know I've heard but am too old to actually know the name of. Jamiroquai last week, now 311, this is how you stand out in this competition. And he's very comfortable on stage, which allows him to be entertaining, even in a sideways hat. Now, if you taped the show, just fast forward to Chris Sligh; you'll be happy you did.
Sanjaya: Remember that stretch of Michael Jackson's career where he seemed to want to become Diana Ross? Judging by the new hairdo, Sanjaya wants to become Paula Abdul. Next week I expect to see him singing with a cartoon character (which would mean at least one of the performers was animated). So why do I think he'll be around next week? Because while he is bad, there are other guys who are as bad or worse, but he is memorable, while they are forgettable. And his name rhymes with jambalaya and papaya.
Sundance: Took a Southern-fried shot at a Jeremy by the original Messrs. Happy, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. Nothing like a song about high school bullies and violence to get the crowd rocking. This angle worked for Chris Daughtry because he smiled about once a month but Sundance has way too much "Aw, shucks" in him for it too work. ("Ah'm tellin' y'all, Ah am dark.") He'll go farther once he realizes he should be copying Taylor Hicks.
Chris Richardson: Weak performance by a strong contestant. After two weeks of crowd-pleasing dance moves, Chris pulls up a stool and draws us in close for Keith Urban's Tonight I Wanna Cry. I couldn't agree more, and they're not tears of joy.
Jared: Switches from Marvin Gaye last week to Stevie Wonder this week but comes up way short this time. Needs to get an agent and bang out a couple Subway commercials with that other Jared before he fades into oblivion.
Brandon: Sings I Just Want to Celebrate by Rare Earth, but the important part is the next line in the chorus - "another day of livin'." Those days are numbered.
Phil: Very creepy look and even creepier sound at the start of LeAnn Rimes' "I Need You." It got better in the middle, but not enough to make it worth waiting for. Desperate performance, and with good reason.
Chris Sligh: Continued to broaden my musical horizons with Wanna Be Loved by d.C. Talk, a band whose album Jesus Freak changed the genre of Christian hip-hop (according to Wikipedia), anyway. Christian hip-hop. Who knew?
And now we move to the much, much more entertaining episode. To quote one of my favorite reverends, it's like going from black-and-white television to color. If you've had enough FitzFacts already, though, here's the short version. Six of the ladies are good singers and two are easy on the eyes. So, I guess we'll see what America votes for.
Jordin: Belted out Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar, a song that was released more than 10 years before she was born and is not exactly in the canon of great rock songs. Where did she hear this one? I guess from her mother. Anyway, she did fine, but I still say she's too young to really sell a line like "You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy." I'm sure her Pops would agree with me.
Sabrina: Another performance that was ten times better than most of what we heard from the guys last night, but nowhere near what we are about to hear from the rest of the ladies. She chose Don't Let Go by En Vogue, whom I always associate with close harmony and precise choreography. Sabrina has copied them too well; she seems overly choreographed and has to bust out of that a little to stay with the leaders.
Antonella: I'm still trying to get some play for my coining of the term "nudoriety" to describe Antonella's success, so do me a favor and try to work it into your conversations this week. She sang a song I don't know, and she was terrible, but let's face it, she could sing Who Let the Dogs Out and the people who were going to vote for her are going to vote for her. She should go, but it's a sucker's bet.
Haley: Pretty girl, pretty voice, pretty weak. First of all, she seems to lack the stamina to get though an entire song, even the abridged versions they sing on this show. It's like watching me try to finish a marathon. Okay, a half-marathon. Okay, okay, okay a 10K, now back off! She sang something about wings, thankfully not The Wind Beneath My Wings. Now get her out of here.
Stephanie: And now back to the contestants who can actually sing. Stephanie was good on Chaka Khan's Sweet Thing, but she could get lost (like last week when I accidently omitted her from my writeup), much like Sabrina if she doesn't do something to stand out.
Lakisha: Went against conventional Idol wisdom and did Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing, but not only does she have the requisite pipes, she also doesn't try to sing it exactly like Mrs. Bobby Brown. Watch Gina's jaw drop in the background when they show the highlights and phone numbers at the end of the show. The leader in the clubhouse, but Melinda is making a charge on the back nine.
Gina: No prom dress this week, Gina was in full pierced-tongue rocker chicknasty voice. With Evanescence's Call Me When You're Sober, she locked in the Daughtry vote Sundance was wooing last night. Look for even more eyeliner and maybe a new tattoo next week.
Melinda: Melinda onstage = house down. I'm A Woman (W-O-M-A-N), and one who knows how to sing for her supper and a lot more. I don't know if she can win because she has an oldfashioned quality that may not appeal to the younger voters. Except that the last two winners, Taylor Hicks and Carrie Underwood, have not exactly been contemporary, edgy choices.
So, here's my prediction for the outs tonight: Phil, Antonella, Brandon, Haley.