It is Top Ten night and they are doing it in an hour according to my TV guide. I'm hoping that means more singing and less fluff and nonsense. Gwen Stephanie is the mentor and the theme is No Doubt and bands that influenced No Doubt. Some of her latest stuff has left me wanting, but most of her shit rocks. She is for certain a unique and driven artist.
Lakisha Jones is singing Donna Summer's “Last Dance”. I'm not connecting all the dots on this puzzle of song choices but, nonetheless I like this one. Lakisha has the voice of a diva, disco or not, and sings the heck out of this song. It takes some energy to start the show on an uptempo beat but Lakisha is great from start to finish. She is wearing a dress that is probably more Mod than Disco, but you had to be there I guess to know the difference. Great start to an interesting mix of songs. What will she sing if they have a Disco theme night? Not to worry. There were millions of lyrics if only one beat.
Chris Sligh is singing The Police's “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”. He is doing an OK job of staying on key, but there is nothing unique about his performance. Good, but not great and I like Chris enough to want him to be great. I think it was a much harder to sing than he thought it was going to be. It has a unique rhythm and is harder to sing than it appears. Sting makes it all look easy. Chris made it sound difficult and boring.
Gina Glocksen is singing “I'll Stand By You” by the Pretenders and it is probably Gina's best performance of the season. She maintains vocally all the way through and builds slowly with no yelling. Simon says it wasn't one of her best performances, it was her very best performance and the best so far tonight. Gina is overwhelmed with delight and so am I.
Sanjaya is singing “Backwater” by No Doubt. Gwen says she feels for him because it is a hard song to sing. His hair is big and sort of Mohawked with rubber bands. I'll talk about his outfit next because the singing part is just so wrong it shouldn't be discussed. Jeans with a t-shirt and leather Member's Only jacket, two earrings. He is just playing dress-up and when will America get tired of playing paper-dolls with him. He is a real person with real feelings and not enough talent to be on this show. Have Mercy.
Haley is singing “True Colors” and Gwen says she just needs to stick with the melody and sing it and not go off on tangents of new melodies. She looks and sounds more like Kathy Lee Gifford every show. Kathy was good enough for Name That Tune, but not a true recording star and I don't think Haley is either. It was pageant talent and way too much smiling for a contemplative song. Boring meter in the red.
Ryan can really talk fast as needed. Simon's refusal to be cut off because he always goes last has put the show behind. There is no seacresting tonight. More like a rush to keep up. Haley barely had time to blink before Ryan had us in commercial land.
Phil Stacey has on a hat and plenty of make-up. He is also singing the Police, “Every Breath You Take”. Phil does his usual subsonic opening and then a sort of poor copy of Sting's breathless rendention. Phil actually creeps me out on this song as he is dressed like some kind of stalker. He goes for a big note at the end as my Boring meter rocks on into Red. The last note does not matter if I've fallen asleep before that. Phil would be the horse that has a slow start at the gate. Maybe he can sing the long ones better. I don't really care.
Gwen Stephanie says she was blown away by Melinda Doolittle and no wonder. Evidently the dresser is young and confuses clothes from the 60's with clothes from the 70's disco era, but I digress. Melinda is singing another disco standard, “Heaven Knows”. It's good and her voice is great. You can tell she is used to singing with a band and you can tell the band likes her. I never loved this song, but I love Melinda singing it. Simon hates the outfit. It looks very Pucci to me; 60's, not 70's disco, but I digress. Melinda is great.
Blake Lewis is singing “Love Song” by The Cure. It is not his strongest vocal. It's good, but not much of Blake in it. It's just following the words. My boring meter didn't go red, but it rocked back and forth there mostly. Paula is drooling and I'm not sure if it is drugs or lust. Simon says Blake is the best guy, but so what. There are still four women better than him.
Jordin is singing No Doubt's “Hey Baby”. Gwen says she was surprised the way it came out so musical. To me it was like Beyonce doing Gwen. I like it. Jordin makes it a bit more soulful than Gwen's version. I think Jordin is great and has one of the most engaging personalities of all the contestants. She even stands up to Simon with grace and poise and that is worth extra points just on merit. The outfit was probably an homage to some of Gwen's fashion, but it looked like doll clothing out of context.
Chris Richardson is singing “Don't Speak”. Gwen thinks it is a good song for him. She is pleasingly sweet and sincere in her comments. Chris has a practiced look on his face that says 'love me girl cause you know I'm cute'. He boy bands the song to the max with a little blue eyed soul and even worked in a twisting corkscrew movement. It's his thang. It's what he's gonna do. If you like that sort of thing and can ignore other things, you probably love Chris. I was so busy watching for the move at least I wasn't bored.
Who will go home? You know who should. My bottom three are Sanjaya, Phil Stacey, and Haley. It will probably be Chris Sligh taking youknowho's rightful spot though. Anything can happen on Idol and does.