February 2004 Archives

Round 1, Week 3: Results

Yay!

No big surprises this time around. Latoya was a lock, and while I didn't think Amy had the second-best performance, she wasn't that far off, and I was pulling for her just on the basis of her personality. And, okay, maybe her hair. Anyway, this is the first group in which I'm unambiguously satisfied with the voting results.

I've been meaning to say this somewhere, and this is as good a place as any: American Idol is really three different shows, or at least a show with three distinct phases, and this is the first year in which I'm watching the second of them all the way through.

You can probably skip the rest of this, but to clarify... The first phase has the auditions: there's no voting, and much of the entertainment value is in watching the bad performances (and the occasional good one), not to mention watching the judges crumble after days of suffering through those bad performances. The second phase consists of choosing the top 12, in which most of the performers go home for good at the end of each week. The final phase is the main competition, with the question being not who'll get the most votes, but who'll get the least and have to go home.

The first season, I watched the auditions ('cause a friend of mine was in them), then lost interest for a bit ('cause he didn't make the final cut), then came back somewhere towards the start of what, that year, was the Top 10. The second season, I was on the road at the start of the season, and started watching it again during the Wild Card round, if I recall correctly. This year, I missed two of the audition shows due to VCR mishaps, but I've otherwise been watching it the whole way through.

Anyway, this part of the season is fun as far as it goes, but I'm really looking forward to the Top 12. That's when it gets good.

Round 1, Week 3

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Is there even a question this week? ...well, okay, there is, about who'll come in second. But Latoya totally blew everybody else out of the water.

Otherwise... well, the nice thing about Jonah's performance is that it left no question about who was worst this week. Pity, as I kinda liked his pre-song rap. Working our way up my rankings, I wasn't really feeling Eric's performance, although, on the bright side, this ought to put an end to any comparisons of him with Clay. Elizabeth was okay, but a bit heavy-handed. Charly made a risky song selection, and it backfired; if you try to sing "Chain of Fools" like Aretha and you're not Aretha, you're probably screwed.

Especially if you come right after Jon, who successfully made "Tiny Dancer" his own. I had him just barely ahead of Amy, although I liked Amy's personality so much that I'd have been willing to give her the edge. But, ultimately, I'd put Leah slightly ahead of both of them. Any of these three would be an acceptable second to Latoya's first-place showing.

At any rate, we're back on track. I'm not sure I agree that this week, taken as a whole, was better than the first, but it was certainly in the same league. The shadow of last week has been dispelled, and good riddance.

...and, once again, I finished watching the tape too late to vote. This is starting to worry me. Once we get to the top 12, I'm gonna want my voice to be heard, darn it!

Oh, well. At least I have a journal. And the semester will be over by the time we hit the final weeks of the competition. It's something.

Round 1, Week 2

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Good grief. This group sucked. "What the hell is up tonight?!" I have scribbled in my notes next to the seventh singer, Camile, who was okay by the evening's rather pathetic standards, but still too pitchy.

I don't think I even want to dwell on the details. Marisa and Lisa were the best of a bad lot, but neither would have stood a chance in last week's group. Camile probably came in third. And Briana... I'd had hopes for Briana; she was one of two performers I'd been rooting for in the prelims, the other being Scooter Girl. The difference was that I knew Scooter Girl wasn't going to make it very far, while Briana actually seemed to have a chance. Her performance was okay, for what it was, but... a Norah Jones song? What was she thinking?!

The results show's on as I type this (I usually have class on Wednesday nights, but due to Presidents' Day, today is officially "Monday" at school), so I'm gonna put off publishing this till I see what happens...

...Camile and Matthew? He so got the sympathy vote. (Not that, under the circumstances, I can object to that. Had I finished watching this in time, I might've tried doing the same for Bri.)

Ah, whatever. It's not as if any of them really deserved to advance. The two who did make it ought to thank their lucky stars and work on their acts over the next few weeks.

Round 1, Week 1

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I have class on Tuesday nights this semester, which is tragically keeping me from watching American Idol live. The plan has been to tape it, run home immediately after class, watch the tape, and -- if all goes well -- have just enough time to cast my vote.

This time around, I was invited to join some of my classmates for a drink after class, and I decided that perhaps, just perhaps, socializing would be a better use of my time. This is unlikely to be my conclusion should the situation arise again once we're down to the Top 12, but we're still in the preliminary stages after all. The upshot is that I finally saw this one the following day.

On the whole, the singers in this round were pretty good! I had two people vying for first place, who were almost too dissimilar to choose between: Katie, who sang "Orange Colored Sky" (the "wham-bam-alakazam" song), and Matthew, who sang "Walking in Memphis." The latter was a bit rushed, but I figure that was probably due to time constraints; the former was lots of fun, showed personality, and was performed quite well, I thought. I had Diana ("I Got the Music in Me") in third. Worst of show was Jennifer ("Imagine"). And then there's Fantasia. I found her hard to place, but ended up putting her in sixth place. Basically, Fantasia's voice is almost identical to Macy Gray's, and I rank Macy Gray's voice just slightly above the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. (To the extent that I can put aside the fact that I just plain hate her voice, I'd have to grudgingly put her in a dead heat for third place.)

Possibly I should've voted after all, because what ended up happening was that Fantasia and Diana made it through to the next round, with Matthew coming in third. I can only hope that Fantasia gets voted off really quickly, because I'm dreading the prospect of having to listen to her sing for weeks. But I'm not optimistic.

Let's give this a shot.

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Hello, and welcome to the American Idol Annex of Shmuel's Soapbox! The idea is to provide a space where people who like the American Idol entries can read 'em, while people who really have no interest whatsoever can read the main body of the Soapbox untroubled by commentary on this week's performances. Or, rather, they can wonder why I'm not posting anything new, if the past couple weeks are any guide.

There will also, for the first time, be comments, or at least the opportunity to post them. I'm skeptical about those, and expect to turn 'em off before the season ends, but, who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised. Have fun!

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