Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ranking the Top 12 American Idol Girls -- Same-Same Won't Win the Game

Ok, it needs to be said -- 60's music sucks.

Perhaps that's unfair to blame it on the decade. Maybe and it's more accurate to say -- American Idol contestants singing 60's music sucks.

What the heck was Nigel Lythgoe thinking? As I said in my discussion of the boy's performances yesterday, the semifinals used to be the round where the contestants got to show what kind of artists they pictured themselves as. Not anymore -- tonight, we got a whole bunch of same-same performances of a deceptively limiting genre. As was the case with the boys, a few of the girls showed promise and potential, but none busted out in a big way tonight.

And it's a real bummer, because there was more excitement going into this year's Top 24 than I can remember in years. People were psyched about what this year's crop had to offer, and instead of wow'ing us, they were held back by their choice of songs.

Of course, the songs aren't entirely to blame -- many of the contestants appeared cripplingly nervous and certainly didn't show themselves off in the best light possible. Not all were terrible -- in fact, several were in the "quite good" range, falling somewhere right in the middle of spectacular and total trainwreck. But I can't help but be disappointed by the performance of even my favorite of the night's girls, Carly Smithson -- she sounded great, but what the heck was that song?

I'm not quite ready to declare this group overrated -- yet -- but they are gonna have to really step up their games next week to keep America's interest. We've seen hundreds of auditions in the past six years of this show -- some were amazing, and some were nightmares, but what we've definitely seen too much of is same-same auditions. We need something to make our jaws drop and our backs stiffen. Lets see if this crew can bring it.

Here's my rankings of the Top 12 girls:

1. Carly Smithson
Grade: B+
Simon's right -- there has been a buzz about this girl, and not all of it good. Carly needed to really step up and show what she's got this week, and she did -- to an extent. Vocally, she was off the charts -- song choice and personality-wise, not so much. Still, she tops the list for sheer vocal prowess, and I have no doubt that when it comes time for her to wrap those chords around a better song, it'll be the chill moment I've been waiting for.

2. Syesha Mercado
Grade: B+
This girl bugs me, she just does. However -- she can saaaang. She tempered a bit of her yelling, and gave a solid (if, at time, slightly tuneless) performance. She's gorgeous -- if she would just now shut her mouth.

3. Ramiele Malubay
Grade: B
I didn't fall in love with this girl instantly, but she won me over tonight with her well-considered performance. I can't say I'm ready to go on the campaign trail, but I'm becoming a bit of a believer.

4. Brooke White
Grade: B
Brooke is another one I wasn't initially so fond of, but she projected an air of unpretentious joy during her performance tonight, and sold me on the fact that she might just be a Carly Simon Jr. Her voice isn't as great as some of her competitors, but if she can carve out her own niche in the competition, she might go pretty far.

5. Alaina Whitaker
Grade: B
Alaina was the biggest surprise of the night for me -- I fell for the charm of her youth and the power of her voice. Not to mention the fact that she looks just like Carrie Underwood -- it's eerie! If the voters give her a chance, she could be a force to be reckoned with.

6. Asiah Epperson
Grade: B
There's a throatiness to Asiah's vocals that I can't decide whether I like or not, but there's not doubt the girl can sing, and she does appear to be having a good time. I'm not loving the personality, but perhaps she'll grow on me...or not.

Click here for #'s 7-12

Ranking the Top 12 Guys: Jason Castro Makes Quite a First Impression

POLL: Which Top 12 Girl was the best of the night? Who's going home? Vote now!

POLL: Which Top 12 Guy Was the Best? Who is Going Home? Vote Now!

No comments: