Wednesday, April 25, 2007
'Idol' chatter: Agreeing with Paula
From Special Projects producer -- and "American Idol" fan -- Steve Almasy:

This is a really bad sign for me.

Last night, while watching "American Idol," I found myself agreeing with Paula Abdul. (Watch Steve and Rodney not agree with each other)

I agreed, in particular, on Blake Lewis, who sang John Lennon's "Imagine." I thought it was a very nice version of one of the most beautiful songs ever written. He didn't try to do too much, and he believed in the song. He better not find himself in the bottom three this week.

I think we can all agree that Jordin Sparks was easily the best singer of the night. She belted the famed Rodgers and Hammerstein song "You'll Never Walk Alone," from "Carousel." If you didn't see "Idol" last night, find a way to watch her performance. She is clearly the front-runner now.

And Phil Stacey keeps getting better, doesn't he? Last night's vocal was complete and rich, but I wonder if he can avoid the bottom three. It would be an injustice, I think. I mean, he was better than Melinda Doolittle last night.

So who goes home, LaKisha Jones or Chris Richardson? That's a tough call. (Who did Steve pick?)

But right now, Paula and I are going to have a good cry over Jordin's special night.

-- Steve Almasy
I agreed with you entirely. The song is powerful enough without a lot grandstanding. Sometimes simplicity is better!
I wasn't quite as taken with Jordin's performance as you were, although I agree that she has a good chance at taking the top prize. I think Sanjaya's fans will start voting for Jordin, which could boost her above Melinda. Tonight, Chris will go home. His performance was good, but nothing special. His range is limited and he lacks star quality.
Ah contraire. I thought Jordin Sparks song was very screechy and off key. This BY FAR was not "the best performace on American Idol ever". She seemed to lose control of the emotional impact the song was having on her, and at 17, that's very understanable. She won't be in the bottom three, but she was not the best singer of the night. That prize would go to.. I can't believe I am saying this.. Phil Stacey. I definitely agree that he was better than Doolittle who doesn't seem to be taking too many risks, and she needs to start to or she may find her way out the door after a top four performance..

Blake Lewis' take on Imagine was very bland and boring. In fact, he will probably be the one going home tonight with Chris Richardson in the bottom two with him.
The author wrote that Blake "better not find himself in the bottom three again this week." Blake was NOT in the bottom three last week. Chris, LaKisha and Sanjaya were.
Home for Chris Richardson. No reason-Just time.
I agreed with everything Simon said last night. I thought Paula was an idiot. Jordin has an emotional catch in her throat that is so moving. She is clearly an idol. All the others are boring. I think Lakisha will go tonight. Marych
Tonight should and will be Lakisha's night to go home. She has butchered two Idol-winners' singles -- Carrie's "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and Fantasia's "I Believe". Enough already!! I think the fans of both of those Idol winners are going to punish LaKisha for her choices. She could have a moderate career on Broadway, though.
Mr. Leopold, I am a musician and you do not know what you are talking about. Melinda Doolittle was the most polished performer by a LARGE mile last night. Jordin's last note was flat and under-supported - something most decent vocalists would have easily noted. Phil's tone was whiny and lacking in dynamic variety despite being on pitch.

Learn about music before you blog irresponsibly about it.
I don't agreee with Mr. Almasy's opnion. I think Jordin screamed through tihs song especially at the end, and she has nowhere the power nor beauty of the voice of Melinda Doolittle. Ms Doolittle beats them all, all of the time.
Jordin? Best performance of the night? You've gotta be kidding me! The last thing a song like "You'll Never Walk Alone" needs is to be turned into a diva shriekfest, which is exactly what she did with it. She can't seem to go into her upper register without going flat. Note for note, Melinda was tops ... yet again.
Jordin's performance was okay. It was not all that everyone, even the judges made it out to be. I found it wobbly, breathy and kind of uneven. Also, as good as I thought Phil was last night, he was not better than Melinda.
Ok, let's not get carried away with Phil Stacey. The man sings through his nose and in his lower register, is really pretty average. Melinda has vocal control and ability way beyond anyone left and listen back to the Jordan performance. There were a few pitchy spots underneath the swelling orchestra. Better than Melinda? Let's try to be serious, shall we?
Jordin did NOT sing that song well. She was good but not that good. I love that song and she did NOT better it. For 17 years of age though - AWESOME. She has to watch the screeching - it hurt my ears.

Melinda was perfection

Chris and Lakisha - either one can go now...

Frank... San Diego.
I agree with most of what you say Todd, but I do not agree that Phil Stacey was better than Melinda Doolittle last night. Jordon Sparks nailed her song & even though Melinda Doolitle nailed her song too, I believe Jordon Sparks was a little bit better. Phil Stacey is not consistant enough & I believe he will be in the botton three along with Lakisha Jones & Chris Richardson.
I agree with the blogger on Blake.
However, as a musician AND a fan, I must strongly disagree with Mr. Leopold on Jordin. There was a huge lack of control in her performance. She was clearly flat through crucial portions of the song and vocally shaky.
Melinda, on the other hand, is a dream.
Agreed that Jordin is the front runner, but Phil better than Melinda? Just take a deep breath and think about that for a moment. Do you really believe that?
Perception is interesting...especially this year when there is no clear favorite. I could say something positive or negative about all of them...but it boils down to something it speaks to you. My favorites last nite were Melinda and Jordin but Blake's Imagine is one of my favorite songs.
Blake WAS in the bottom three last week, not Chris. Anyway, I am happy to see that I am not alone in thinking that Jordin's performance was not nearly as perfect as Randy gave her credit for. I thought she was very shaky in the beginning. Melinda is truly in a league of her own and I agree with Simon that she gives a master class in singing almost every week.
I also agree with the commenters above...I thought Jordin performed just as Lakisha did, screaming most of the song. I couldn't believe the judges' reaction to it...I usually love Jordin but last night she didn't even get close to being as good as she usually is. Lakisha needs to go home. I actually liked Chris Richardson for the first time tonight, but he doesn't have what it takes to win. Melinda Doolittle is THE best!
I agree with most of what the writer saids, but I disagree that Blake should not be in the bottom 3. I believe that Jordan and Mallinda are running 1st and 2nd and I agree with the originator that Phil Stacy keeps getting better.

If those three are on top, then the remaining contestants must be in the bottom 3.

As for me, I think Blake, Lakisha, and Chris are in the bottom 3 and that its probably time to say good bye to LaKisha.
As a Sanjaya fan, I didn't watch last nights show, and from the looks of all your comments, I didn't miss much. None of the remaining six will be cashing in on my vote. I was only watching the show to see Sanjaya. The sad part is, I've watched the show since the beginning of the season and I still don't know the names of all the remaining six contestants. Why? because none of them give the show as much excitment or drama as Sanjaya did. A singer must also entertain. Boring singers go nowhere. What "AI" is going to end up with is another winner who can't sell records, just like last years winner.....(see, I can't even remember his name!!!!)
Jordin's performance was overwrought and painful to listen to. I know that American Idol would love to have her win, being younger and more marketable. But Melinda is far-and-away the most talented singer in the history of A.I. and even if Jordin wins (which is likely) it won't change that fact.
1. Melinda Doolittle
2. Jordin Sparks
2. Phil Stacey
3. Who cares about the rest?

Okay, so Phil is definately becomming a major contendor. He will not make it to the final two though, even though i've been pulling for him.

Melinda deserves to win. However, i fear that she will not because she has been SO good for the entire show.

People tend to pull for the most improved type person. Phil and Jordin are who I would give the most improved award to.

I'm just not sure what kind of a career that Phil would have. Jordin is better than Phil, and I think she has more youth appeal.

I see either Melinda or Jordin winning, and both having a good career. I see Phil as having a good career as well, if he can just figure out what kind of singing the masses will like best from him.

Go Phil!
I normally only catch the last minute of Idol on Tuesday nights just before I watch House. I'm visiting relatives who are Idol fans and watched the last 15 minutes or so.

I just can't understand why people are so impressed by Jordin Sparks ("Because she's 17!" my sister-in-law says. OK.) I love "You'll Never Walk Alone," and I think she chose the wrong song for her range.

When a singer sings a song like "You'll Never Walk Alone," he/she needs to hit the high notes purely and not blat them. Jordin was a blatter. The end of the song was painful to listen to. And her voice wasn't quite deep enough to pull off some of the early parts of the song.

She seemed to have a good voice during the middle of the song, but she lacked the range to pull it off well.

I'd always heard that Simon was able to be honest with the singers even if the other two judges were not, so I was shocked that Simon gave her such high praise.

Sure, given the problems in the country this week, "You'll Never Walk Alone" can be a meaningful and reasurring song for many people. But it still needs to be song well. And it really wasn't sung well on Idol last night.
I think that Melinda Doolittle was far and above the others last night. Jordin coming in a close 2nd. Blake was okay if you are looking for someone with little or no personality. The outcome will be very interesting.
Why is it that when Lakisha unleashes the full power of her voice she is accused of "shouting" whereas when Jordin screams and schreeches, she is not?

Obviously, she (Jordin) is being groomed to win - the judges fawning all over average performances while offering the best singer of the competition, Melinda, scant praise for her ever flawless performances. I will buy Melinda's CD in a heartbeat. Lakisha's in a minute and Jordin's, never.
Are you crazy, agreeing with Paula. I thought Blake was the weakest singer last night and needs to be voted off. Clearly the competition is between Jordin and Melinda. Any other result would be an injustice.
I listen to Idol every week with the stereo surround sound on. It gives me that concert feel. That said, Melinda gave me goosebumps last night & is clearly head & shoulders above the rest. I understand the appeal of Jordin, given her youth & "look". However, she can't touch Melinda vocally. The guys were all ok, with Phil giving the most heartfelt performance. Chris should be going home.
What a sentimental show, it is tough to be critical. They ALL stepped up tonight, but hey… I will do my best.

So by now I am agreeing with other bloggers in saying Chris R looks far too much like curious George (and given his idea of dress up must get his fashion tips from the man in the yellow hat). Anyway, picture this- if Justin Timberlake were to cross with our cherished little monkey- is this what we would have?

That being said, his performance didn’t thrill me either. I missed Eric Clapton’s soulfulness. It was a good performance (for Chris) but than that is like saying George Bush is a good speaker compared to, well Paula... He was pretty solid and less nasally on the stool, but when he stood up those nervous jitters escaped his voice.

He was pretty good, but I still think he is going home.

His mediocre for me performance was followed by the ever-present Diva of Mindy-Do who we all know is knock your socks off good. HOWEVER I would not buy her CD, yes once again she seemed flawless… the extensions gave the illusion of a neck – the necklace was a TERRIBLE suggestion. The hair gave the illusion of one, but the “choker” necklace HARDLY was suitable and tended to take what neck was created away.

All that “cattiness” aside, once again this girl has no fear of going home.

Blake secured a spot on my CD shelf should he pursue this. I love that he stylistically sang a classic the way it was supposed to. It is a BEAUTIFUL song with so much genuine emotion. I don’t think he has any chance of remaking John Lennon’s amazing vocals here, but he was poignant. Something I hadn’t seen from him before. I agreed with Paula… I thought he sang it from the heart and although for Simon and Randy it didn’t go anywhere… neither has the show without the controversy.

Maybe Sanjaya would have taken on Whitney, or a little Bette Milder.

Which is more than I can I say for KiKi. She attempted Fantasia instead… and the judges said there is no one like Fantasia… I ask you this, does ANYONE own her CD? Classifying Fantasia with Whitney, etc etc… it doesn’t cut it.

Anyway, for me it was a better performance than last week and she looked radiant. Unfortunately I think she is bound to fall in the bottom two. At this stage in the game perfection is absolutely necessary to escape the wrath of the voters. She was completely a Diva in my opinion… and ought to nudge Chris home to pack…

LOVED Phil’s song choice. I was not a Phil fan until, well last week, and this week he came back confident, proud to be an American, and a dad. Doesn’t get much more country wholesome there does it! I agree he could have added a bit more Garth, and less edge… but I still loved those big notes and strong vocals.

Just wish he had some hair and better eyebrows. By all rights he should be safe… and a front runner if he continues down this path!

And finally, Jordin…. Who has grown up in the spotlight with her football star dad… and whose build reminds me a linebacker. That being said, she looked gorgeous, refined, and more mature than her 17 years.

I have to admit, I didn’t rave about her performance. It was pitchy, she hit some flat notes, and it wasn’t her best. She is strong, and certainly has amazing talent…. BUT the judges must not have been hearing the same one I was listening too.

It is tough to be critical in such sentimental situations, but Ryan sharing his tie with Jordin… have to love anyone who is that moved by a vocal to the point of shedding tears.

Great cause, but I am ready to see who goes… which by rights, should be Chris R.
I didn't understand the praise that Chris Richardson got last night. He was definitely off-key for most of the song. I know I don't know her, but I do think it is a bit pretentious of Lakisha to keep singing past Idol songs (it all started with her singing the Dreamgirls song sung by Jennifer Hudson). Blake was boring, he could use some facial expressions. I'm glad to see Phil Stacey doing well finally, I like the guy. And like other people, I didn't think Jordin's performance was that great. I thought the vibrato in her voice was too tense. Melissa was amazing! Her performance was so moving. She can do no wrong in my book. Okay, that's my two cents.
Were you watching the same show I was last night? Melinda Doolittle was not just better than the others, she was in another class. When she performs she does not look like she's competing, she looks like she's performing in her own concert that people pay $$ for - it's about her tone, her control, little things like the way she holds her hands to express herself. Jordin is great, and I hope she comes second, but please! She's nowhere near Melinda's polish. And Phil?! A better singer last night? He was better than he was before, but how on earth can you compare him with that Melinda performance?
I cannot believe someone would think Jordan was the best last night or one the best vocals ever on A.I! She was sooooo off at the beginning of the song! I thought she was one of the worst last night! Phil is good, but he has NEVER been better than Melinda. She is the best! I dont' know what the judges were hearing last night, but when they go back & listen, I hope they see how wrong they were about Jordan! It really was one of the worst.
I was not impressed by Jordin's song last night and generally I like her...I felt that she drug it out way too much.

I like Phil and I'd like to see him make it to the top 3 left in a few weeks, along with Melinda and Jordin.

Bye Bye Lakisha tonight....
Oh, take it back, take it back! No way Phil was better than Melinda last night. The trouble with Melinda is that although she is clearly the most accomplished vocalist with the best control of her instrument, she is also out of step with popular music. I will be surprised if Melinda wins, simply because too much of America doesn't "get" her. I, on the other hand, love big band, swing, jazz, old-school reggae -- and I think she's a dream. She's a superlative singer but also a throwback to an earlier era. So I'll cheer for Jordin when she takes home the Idol prize, but it is Melinda's CD that I'll run out to buy.
I thought Melinda was outstanding, but NOT better than Jordin. Loved Kiki's dress, but that hair needs some body. Bottom two for me: Chris and Kiki
Jordin’s vocal was not perfect but her song was so touching. Melinda vocal has always been perfect, better than anyone, but her performance is forgettable. You can’t be an idol by making boring songs a little interesting.
I agree, Paula made some pretty accurate comments when usually she has nothing usefull to say.

I read on that Britney Spears is going to perform with Sanjaya.
i think that LAkisha maybe in the bottom three once again becuase of the Fantasia song.she did Carrie Underwood's song last week also and it was no match.
but she is my home gal and i wish her luck becuase she is a good singer.
I thought Chris did well this week and so who will it be?Phil stacey maybe .
Melinda was far and above much better than anyone else on that stage last night.

Jordin? She was ok. She was a little weak on some of the notes, especially that last one.
I have never understood the judges' opinion of Blake. With a couple of exceptions he's just been OK. But his facial expressions for Imagine were pathetic. What emotion was he going for? He looked bored to me.
Chris or LaKisha's number is definitely up tonight. I thought at one time that LaKisha might split the vote for Melinda, but she hasn't shown any improvement in the past three weeks. She's hit her plateau and she's great, but not Idol-style great.
So I'm not the only one who thought that Jordan's song was off key at times, especially at the end. Though I think Jordan is great, Melinda is miles in front of her. I felt Melinda's performance last night was remarkable. She continues to shine.
I still can't believe we got to the top six with any guys left on stage.
Singing vs. screaming. My opinion, but if anyone ever screamed her way to the top it was Fantasia. They kept calling her original. I called her Tina Turner without the sex appeal and star power.
Melinda may be a little too confident suddenly. Was the "Who me? Good?" all an act? Don't forget Tamyra.
I can't believe LaKisha ... Last week, the judges said how difficult it was to perform a song made 'famous' by a previous Idol winner. AND THEN SHE DOES IT AGAIN. She needs to listen. There are any number of better songs that fit category this week. She likely did herself in. I don't know if it is arrogance or stupidity, but she shouldn't have chose that song.
Oh, and only one request of Blake: BLINK! BLINK your eyes! Please!
I have a feeling it may be Lakisha going home. I have always liked her, but lately she hasn't done so great and singing a song recorded by an Idol winner is the kiss of death. I hope it is Chris that goes home because I have never been excited about him, but would be surprised if it is.
Blake was in the bottom three last week, but he was the first one saved. Chris was in the safe group with Phil and Jordin
According to MSNBC’s “who should go home tonight’s” live vote these are the current results as of 2:36 central time.

1.1% Sparks
1.4% Doolittle
6.4% Blake Lewis
16% Stacey
30% Richardson
45% Lakisha Jones

As a Kiki fan myself I am sad that Lakisha is in the bottom by far but what did she expect with her recent performances of past idols and song selection. She made the same mistakes that Lisa Tucker made last year. Song selection Kiki! I guess it’s not as obvious as we all think it is.

I hope she makes a CD because I would still buy it. I love her voice.

JC better check again. Blake WAS in the bottom 3 last week.
I think all the contestants now are good and shine in their own way. However, I had to pick one to go home tonight it would be LaKisha. I think she is good but I think she has gotten arrogant and kind of big headed. I haven't seen her take any of the advice the celebrity mentors have given her. I wouldlove to see Jordin take it all
I thought Chris Richardson was awesome. I actually would love to see him and Melinda as the top 2 and then Melinda win the deal. Chris is a really great guy and he seems so sincere. His singing last nite was really great. Melinda is always good. I had liked Lekisha at the beginning but it appears that Melinda is beating her. I do like Jordin but at 17 she still has a ways to go. I thought the song she sang last nite was dull and she has a good voice but didn't sing the song well at all. I don't know why the judges thought she was so great. As far as Phil Stacey is concerned, I think he is plain awful. He needs to be off the show. Blake is good but he should go too.
I am a professional singer and I have to disagree with half of the comments here. Jordin sang the best last night. Her last note was great and for the record, an extremely hard note to hit. For all of those who think she was off key, please get your ears checked.
I think Melinda still is the front runner, but people Jordin is getting closer and closer. At this point I feel that they should sent home everybody but Melinda and Jordin. I was bored with last night show. Lakisha, Chris, Blake and Phil made me almost fall asleep. Not much to talk about from last night show.
Clearly, Blake and Lakisha will be in the bottom tonight.
Blake was horrible last night. Chris was so much better than Blake. Lakisha will be in the bottom along with Blake tonight. Jordin will win, with herself and Melinda in the finale.
I personally loved Chris' performance! Jordin was by far the best though. To see her get so emotional even got me a bit teary eyed! Phil just looks so dead in the face when he's singing that it bugs me. I like him as long as I'm only listening and not looking at the TV. I'm also pleased they've done something with Melinda's look so she actually looks like she has a neck! I'd say I wouldn't be shocked if LaKisha went home tonight. She's just lost that "spark" she had at the beginning.
I can't stand to listen to Chris; he just sounds so darned flat and whiney all the time. I'm glad they got his performance out of the way first last night! Not that I could get up there and do what they do, mind you, but I don't get Chris.
Wow! So much to say huh guys? The show was awesome last night for more reasons than one, and I think Chris did a great job of opening. Was he hands down the best? No. Can we deny the boy his gift and talent? No. But he did give me something to look forward to.

Lakisha? Girl...what was she thinking? You can't do a song that Fantasia won with. I was so disgusted. That's like...murder...really.

Blake was lame. Sorry, but it's the truth. Melinda was good, but she's always good. That's not going to be "good enough" for much longer. Good gets boring.

And as with most of us who actually have an ear or two for music, would know that Jordin's performance wasn't all that great. Yes, the girl can sing (and lucky for her the closer involved high belted notes) but the 3/4's of that song were inaudible, off key...*smh* definitely NOT the best performance of the night.

Don't get me wrong...she got all my votes, I'm just wasn't worth all the hype.

Tonight. Blake or Lakisha is getting the boot.
I liked Melinda's performance best. She's the only one who has good control of her voice. Jordin seemed to have a few problems with hers. Phil did the best of the guys but nowhere close to Melinda or Jordin. Blake's song was boring and had no feeling. Chris sang through his nose as usual. Lakisha screamed her song as usual and dressed with too much cleavage showing as usual. See Ya Lakisha!!
The song Jorden sang is an all time favorite of mine. Her version I did not like, I felt she screamed. I also thought last night's show was slow. Nice idea to do the support of the poor people in Africa and the US, however the singing was not spectacular. Blake did a nice job.
I think Blake or LaKisha are in trouble. Chris did a pretty solid job this week especially after last week when he was flat the second half of the song

Phil did well enough to get through this week and Jordin and Melinda definitely get the pass.
jordin must've given two performances of her song last night. i heard the one that was wobbly, breathy, shrieky, struggly, and off-key. melinda was, as she has been on most weeks, the best. she deserves to win even on sheer consistency alone. but i'm not holding my breath on that happening. there seems to be a swelling of support for jordin because of what people like to call "marketability". my question is: does the world really need another "katherine mcphee [the album] vol. II?
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