Thursday, February 22, 2007

What A Diff'rence A Day Made

About last night's Idol, what's to really say other than the obvious? So I'll say the obivious -- the skinny white chicks can't sing. The black chicks can sing.

So let's get the cannon fodder out of the way immediately: Alaina, Amy, Haley, Leslie, Nicole. I think it's pretty obvious that a couple of these girls paid attention during the Hollywood rounds and realize that they're toast. I mean, seriously. These girls couldn't be more obvious future casualties if they were the official cast of "Saw 4." I think a couple of them are still fighting that notion and are bound to be a bit too upset when they take barbs or get dumped. (Alaina getting pissed for Simon telling her that she's got good looks but doesn't sound so good? She should've taken the compliment about her looks -- which aren't so fabulous in comparison to Toni's -- and shut her mouth.) Then there's Gina Glocksen, who definitely thinks she's got a shot and she's bubbly and outgoing and got a big voice. The problem with Gina is that I already mildly dislike her. And this I know -- I'm not unique or original. My tastes are as mainstream as it gets. So she may squeak into the top 12, but not much further than that.

The only skinny white chick who stood out was Antonella. And she stood out because she was, without question, the suckiest of the mediocre white sucks who ever sucked. I mean, Toni sucked with the force and reliability of a clog-free Dyson. Here's the problem: Even with her Eva Mendes looks, the odds of her recovering from that performance unscathed seem about as likely as Meredith Grey surviving that drowning fiasco without at least severe brain damage. And there's the grotesque beauty of TV -- we all know Mer is going to wake up tonight and she'll eventually be fine. And Toni? She'll be singing again next week.

But it's cool. Because she did give us the best unintentionally funny line of the week: "What can I do better?" I forget what non-sensical bullshit the judges mumbled to her, but here's the real answer: Sing in tune, bitch!

Also, it was endearing to see her gumbah pop giving the maloccs to Simon as he told her that she sucked. And by endearing, of course I mean funny as shit. (there will be screencaps in the future!) If this chick would stick around I have a feeling that father would be just as entertaining as Kat McPhee's misty-eyed dad -- but with a whole different Joisey vibe. And believe me on this -- she's going to be here a couple more weeks at least. Just like Sundance, and lingering yeast infections, that pre-pimpage will keep her past her welcome. But never fear. She's no Jamie Lee Curtis -- she will be part of the delightfully senseless carnage of this season.

So that brings us to the other half -- the half that didn't bore or suck. The black girls. And that immediately sets this season up to be a rewind of season three with the powerhouse divas. The memory of Boomie still looms large around the Idol sets, especially these days as she's on her way to pick up an Oscar and releases interviews that talk about how Idol was emotionally abusive (bad Simon!). And don't forget the memory of when the three divas landed in the bottom three and the racist card was tossed out as an explanation. Hang on, because that's likely to happen again.

How can it not happen if Toni skates through and one of the black chicks who can sing gets cut? Because they all can sing -- good and loud. Stephanie and Sabrina got it rolling with powerful, lively vocals. They're good. But I don't expect them to last too long, because their vibe is a little bit -- fucked. Sabrina has a bit of a Cher thing going on, but um, not quite. She's also got a bit of a drag queen thing going on. And Stephanie is just kind of bland. She's young, but not young enough to pull off the sweetie-pie Jordin Sparks kind of thing. Jordin is, without question -- adorable. And she can blow. I think she'll stick around for a while, but I don't think she's the idol. Right now she's perched in the perfect personality zone between Mikalah and Diana: not too obnoxious and not too boring. But it's balancing act that I don't think Nadia Comenici would be able to pull for an entire season.

But then there's Melinda Doolittle. Melinda is definitely my girl this season. She can sing and she's adorable and completely lacking an ego. There's a huge difference between her and the other background singer on the boy's side -- Brandon. Melinda has a natural charm and she doesn't even know she has it. Seriously -- all she has to do is refrain from saying anything grotesquely offensive and keep singing and she'll go far, riding that underdog wave of love deep into the competition.

And then, there's Lakisha. I can't even tell you why, but this girl gives off the most mournful vibe I've ever seen on Idol. It's almost uncomfortably out of place -- like she should be singing back in the day with the great Billie Holiday -- that's the kind of vibe she's got working. It's a quiet, sorrowful beauty about her, and then she opens her mouth and that voice, my god, that voice just blows all others away. After last night, she sure looks like the obvious Idol already, doesn't she?

I just have one question about her though, which the remaining weeks will answer -- can she be quiet? Everything we've seen so far of Lakisha, I love. But it's also all been in the exact same forceful, powerhouse area. That's what wows. It gets people to sit up striaghter and lean forward and snaps them out of the flat-screen induced, somnifacient boredom. It's what will get you extremely far on Idol.

But it's very rarely where the real magic it.

The quiet is where it is. It's the whisper that gives the shout meaning. The loud songs and glory notes get everyone dancing and clapping -- but the softer ones are what get people connected at that intimate level.

Lakisha has that soft-spoken, natural melancholy about her personality. I'll be waiting to see her channel that through a shiver-inducing, sublime song. And that will make all the diff'rence in the world to set her apart from the pack for good.


Myfanwy Collins said...

Damn but you're good, Susan! You just are. You nailed it AND you made me laugh out loud.

It's going to be an interesting season.

Don Capone said...

Another great recap, Susan. Doolittle is my early favorite, too. Lakisha, like Simon said, is in another league. I wonder how she'll screw it up. Antonella sucked last night, but her looks will get her through another couple of weeks. I love how Simon isn't pulling any punches this year (not that he ever did). He's always dead on in his assessments. Paula's cheerleading is getting more and more annoying.

Ellen's husband said...

Your recaps are still the best part of the AI experience for me. I'm still scratching my head as to why they picked three Italian girls that can't sing (Antonella, Haley and Nicole)and the equally boring Alaina and Amy for the Top 24. How excited are you about Elliot Yamin's debut CD to be released March 20?

SusanD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ellen said...

Hahaha! I love that my husband pops in and comments as "Ellen's husband." Is this a secure man or what?

Anyway, I'm not focused on a favorite. Melinda and Lakisha have stolen a bit of my heart, so for now I'm rooting for both of them. After the performances last night, my very-musical 15-year-old son confessed to having a crush on Stephanie Edwards, which I thought was adorable. So I hope she'll stick around, too. The girl who got on my nerves the most last night was screechy Nicole Tranquillo. She makes my ears bleed.

Susan, you rock. Keep 'em coming.


pinto said...

Welcome back darling. I'm loving your snarkiness. I was about to give up on AI this season until last night. I dig what you said about Lakisha. She has an old-time-diva-with-a-tortured-life vibe about her. Her singing is brassy, ballsy, and bad-ass, but she jumps back into her outer casing as soon as the song ends and turns into a mouse. A bit awkward, but I still find it endearing. She and Melinda are my babes this year. Sabrina also surprised me. To my ears, her interpretation of that song is better than Aretha’s. I don’t say that lightly.

SusanD said...

Aw, you guys are so nice. I feel bad because I haven't really screencapped yet. Fucking work interfering with my important blogging shit!

Don -- Paula is annoying when she's sober, which she was this week. It won't last.

Ellen's H-- believe me, I always keep track of the Italians. It's a sickness or something. but I'm coming to the conclusion that maybe Italian women just don't sing very well. I'm curious about Elliott's cd, that's for sure.

pinto-- hello! I think watching Lakisha is gonna be waayy interesting. I liked Sabrina a lot, but fear she's going early. Just a bit too different.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Oh thank god for you.

I am this close to not watching Idol next year. In fact, I'm even thinking I'll skip next week. I need a break from the boredom.

Right now I'm just waiting for the final episodes of the Sopranos to hit DVD...meaning next fall, probably, damn it. I wish I had HBO.

SusanD said...

want me send you tapes, Jordan? e-mail me: susandiplacido at

steelkisses said...

oh. my. god. lakisha. i just got COVERED in goosebumps when i read her name! and yes - that mournfulness, that quiet, sad and haunting, soul. it makes me shiver! i love melinda, too, but is it wrong to say that she looks like little bunny foo foo's been plucking her out of the field way, way too often?

Shaffner said...

Your summaries kick ass. I haven't watched AI in a few years, but we have DVR now, which makes a world of difference. The commercials on Fox drive me crazy in a hurry.

It's interesting how many times I heard the phrase "Antonella Barba" over the last couple weeks even though I don't watch that much TV. I think Seacrest loves the way the name sounds... It does have a nice ring to it. Catchy. I thought her dad was going to wait for Simon backstage--he looked pissed. She was awful.

What amazes me is how consistently poor their song choices have been. I think there should be a list of artists whose songs are off limits (no Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Aretha -- even though a couple of the girls pulled that off last night). And it would really be a favor to the viewing public if the contestants had a chance to talk to a "song choice consultant" for free. No?

Alice said...

Yay, Susan. I had some catching up to do, but even though Idol #6 is kinda sucking compared to #5, your recaps are even more onpoint than last year. Loving that we're all starting to get behind Doolittle. I love C.Sligh, too, cause he's from my state and sticks it to Simon, even if his timing is a bit off. I LOVED that you picked up on that VA guy has totally tried to rip off Elliott several times - especially with that high-pitched, squeaky voice. Even Sunjaya tried a song Elliott just nailed last year.

I'm so distraut that you hinted that you're mad at E, though. I think Movin' On sounds good and I hope the album will kill. And I hope you're back on the E-Train soon because you're some of his best PR!

SusanD said...

Oh steel sweetie -- it's never wrong to say somethng like that!

Jason -- I SO agree about some songs should just be put out of their misery. It just gets tedious. Saddest part? They DO work with song consultants! Maybe not 'til the top 12, though. But it still doesn't help much.

Alice -- oh, don't be distraught. I'll check out the CD. I'm totally onboard with Chris Sligh. I just hope he doesnt overplay his hand too early. Thanks for coming around!