Last week the women on American Idol suffered from illness, but for ‘70s week they were plagued with bad song choices.
It’s Week 2 of the semifinals and the Top 10 women seemed a little star struck. Several of them picked songs because they loved the song or the band instead of finding the perfect match for them. Others just couldn’t find the right fit to make them stand out.
I almost feel like I could sum up all the performances with the same phrase – nice, but forgettable. And in one word, I’d summarize ‘70s night for the women as boring. Even their “little known facts” were dull.
Top Picks and Most Improved
Topping my list has to be self-professed tomboy Kristy Lee Cook mostly because her rendition of Linda Ronstadt’s hit was such a huge improvement over last week.
This week’s Kristy Lee looked relaxed. She performed “You’re No Good” with attitude. But like Simon, I was surprised she hasn’t gone with a more country flavor.
Likewise, I liked Carly Smithson’s “Crazy on You” better than her performance from last week; maybe it was because she loves Heart and is passionate about the song. However, there’s something about her voice that I just don’t care for. She’s going to have to do something really outstanding to win me over.
Almost Diva Like
Former cheerleader Asia’h Epperson tried to fill big shoes tonight when she took on “All By Myself.” The song was first sung in 1975 by Eric Carmen, but has been made famous most recently by diva Celine Dion. If I could rate Asia’h on just the last part of the song, she’d have topped my list this week, but she had some problems with the middle of the song.
Bonus points in the diva category go to Asia’h for totally changing her appearance tonight. I almost didn’t recognize her.
Best Song Match
For weeks, I’ve been trying to decide who Brooke White reminds me of. Tonight, her song choice and her decision to perform it with a guitar made her similarity to Carly Simon clear to me. Unfortunately for me, I can’t stand the song “You’re So Vain.”
I thought Brooke nailed the beginning of the song, but I think she lost her control during the chorus.
Nice, But Nothing Special
It didn’t help Syesha Mercado’s case tonight that I’ve never heard Billy Paul’s “Me and Mr(s). Jones.” This girl can really belt it out, but the song itself was a snoozer.
Similarly, Ramiele Maubay’s “Don’t Leave Me this Way” was a nice performance, but it wasn’t anything that I’ll remember tomorrow. Maybe she should have added some of her Polynesian dance moves to it?
Way Too Old For Her Age
This week 17-year-old Alaina Whitaker could not channel Olivia Newton-John when she needed it. Alaina came across years older when you she sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” a song Olivia made memorable as the sweet young teeny bopper Sandy in Grease.
I know Idol isn’t a fashion show, but the thing I remember most about Alexandrea Lushington’s performance of “If You Leave Me Now” is that I couldn’t believe she was wearing shorts. I agree with Randy that the song was a safe, boring choice. Besides, Alex had a great deal more style and charisma last week.
Not Feeling the ‘70s Love
It pains me to name bookworm Amanda Overmyer in the bottom of the pack. I really like Amanda’s sound – and not just because she’s a fellow Hoosier – but tonight “Carry on My Wayward Son” was her weakest performance by far.
I expected more from Amanda on ‘70s night, as she said she was raised on this music. But Simon nailed it when he said that her performance “felt contrived.” Amanda needs to stick to her strength and her comfort zone and keep the hair and makeup people on a tight leash.
And finally, I didn’t feel any magic when Kady Malloy performed “Magic Man,” a Heart song she loves. I’m trying to understand why. But the Kady we fell in love with during the early phases just hasn’t found her groove in the semifinals.
By the way, how has Simon never heard “Magic Man?”
Overall, I think the women were more consistent than the men, but I think the men had better standout performances this week.
Here’s a recap of the semifinals: