In Hindsight: American Idol 6 – The Super Seven

Good week for me last week – I got the bottom three PLUS elimination pick right. This week it’s trickier, as Phil is an obvious choice to go, but can he pull one out?

Ryan gives a shout out to the families affected by the Virginia Tech shooting before telling us that this… is American Idol.

Opening Credits

It’s Country Music week, and Ryan tells us that with such a theme, there was only one choice for mentor. My wife thought Faith Hill and I came up with Shania Twain or Tim McGraw but apparently, that “one” choice is Martina McBride. OK, sure.

Phil Stacy, “Where the Blacktop Is”, Keith Urban

Martina thought that Phil was stiff, and that he needed to give the song a more soulful lick. We’ll see about that.

Randy – You’re gonna have a career in country music. That was really good.
Paula – You sounded good from the beginning to the middle to the end.
Simon – This is the only time where you’ve chosen a good song, and we saw some personality.

Decent performance by Phil. He actually showed some emotion and was more energetic in recent weeks, and his “I just want to have fun” shows me that he’s accepted the fact that he’s a Dead Man Walking this week. It was a good start but people are going to forget it by the time the night is done.

Score: 6.5

Jordin Sparks, “Broken Wing”, Martina McBride

Martina’s advice to Jordin is that the song is all about expression.

Randy – Dude that was da bomb.
Paula – I think you did a fantastic job.
Simon – This is the first time where I actually believed you can win American Idol.

High praise from Simon, and I think that it’s deserved. This was also the first time where I believed Jordin’s performance. I actually felt that there was some true emotion coming from her. I still don’t know that she’ll WIN the whole darn thing, but it was great stuff.

Score: 8.5

Sanjaya Malakar, “Something to Talk About”, Bommie Raitt

Martina wants Sanjaya to project more. I’m not sure of what though.

Randy – That was really karaoke. Very bland and boring.
Paula – You thrive on adversity.
Simon – Utterly horrendous.

This was pretty much a 180 from last week. Sanjaya was totally off key, and off tempo, but he showed tons of personality. And also that he really, truly doesn’t give a shit anymore about what the judges say. It’s going to take either a Timberfake or LaKisha elimination to get Sanjaya the hell out of there.

Score: 2

LaKisha Jones, “Jesus Take the Wheel”, Carrie Underwhelm Underwood

Martina thinks that this song is a wise choice, and that LaKisha connected with the lyrics.

Randy – It wasn’t my favourite vocal of yours. I think you could’ve done more with it.
Paula – I’m gonna have to agree with Randy.
Simon – I don’t think you and that song went well together. You have to choose the right type of song.

Obviously, I’m not a fan of Carrie Underwood – I always felt that she did just enough to win, but obviously she and her producers did something right since she took home some Grammys this year. But this is about LaKisha, and the judges were spot on in their critiques. There were pitch issues, the tempo change was strange, and overall it never clicked, even though there was some obvious passion from LaKisha.

Score: 5

Chris “Timberfake” Richardson, “Mayberry”, Rascal Flatts

Martina questioned the choice of song, but thought that Chris’ voice fits the country genre.

Randy – You sang it OK, but it didn’t quite hit me. I felt no emotion, no connection.
Paula – The joy and the love you have on stage didn’t come through.
Simon – I just thought it was completely and utterly insignificant.

Adding to the confusion this week was Chris giving a shout out to the people at Virginia Tech, which could either help him or hurt him. I think that Chris will be bottom three anyway, so it probably won’t matter. Chris simply didn’t sing very well, and when you choose a song that most people haven’t heard of, that compounds things because you should be nailing those songs.

Score: 5

Melinda Doolittle, “Trouble is a Woman”, Julie Reed

Martina was completely glued to Melinda’s performance

Randy – Another solid performance.
Paula – Way to go.
Simon – It was fantastic.

This is pretty much a case in point to what I said about Chris. Melinda owned the song, and even worse (for the other contestants), she’s showing more confidence and coming out of her shell. I’ve never heard the song before today, but I’d still say that she sang the hell out of that song. She still needs to stop hunching though.

Score: 9

Blake Lewis, “When the Stars Go Blue”, Tim McGraw (or Ryan Adams)

Martina hopes that Blake relaxes and zones in on the lyrics.

Randy – I love that you know who you are. Dude that was nice.
Paula – You kinda have the whole package.
Simon – I thought it was OK.

Blake played it safe this week and it paid off as others had some poor performances. Of course even had they sang well Blake “phoning it in” would probably be at about the same level. He did well here and he’ll be back in fine form next week.

Score: 7.5

Kevin’s Rankings
This week’s theme is pro wrestlers who probably listen to country music.

“Jamie ‘Bah Gawd’ Noble”

“Beckie the Farmers Daughter”

“Phineas I. Godwinn”
Chris R.

“Uncle Elmer”

Bottom Three: Phil, LaKisha and Chris. John Stevens and Scott Savol managed to hang on longer, and I think Sanjaya will too but he’ll see the bottom two/three next week.

Eliminated: Phil finally goes home. This has been coming for a while now, and Phil’s actions this week show that he’s ready to go.

That’s all for now.

Sir Linksalot: American Idol