American Idol Semifinals

All three did their respective things very well tonight, which makes it hard to predict who will be in the finale. Nobody left the door open, nobody gave voters a reason to leave them out, they all accentuated their appealing features, and they all won the favor of the judges and the live audience. Excellently played all around.

Paula and the producers did Blake huge favors with the songs they chose for him. He couldn’t have been more different from Jordin and Melinda, and he couldn’t have felt more fresh next to their stale old performances, impressive though they may be. Blake stands out both for his artistry and for his being plugged in to the contemporary vibe. Far more than the ladies he resembles what seems to be on MTV and youth-oriented (non-oldies, non-“lite”) radio these days. And to me he stood out as the only potential pop star. He’s got it all. He doesn’t have real impressive singing chops, but chops aren’t that important.

Still, there’s no denying the unique skill and appeal of the ladies. There’s never been a more consistently excellent vocalist than Melinda and for the voters who think this should be a vocal competition, there is no choice but her. And maybe a little like Taylor Hicks, she’s a contestant in whom the over forty set can see a bit of themselves.

And Jordin, like I’ve said before, is peppy and polished and has amazing teeth. She’s the contestant with whom the teen set can identify. Or do kids get annoyed by pep, too?

Like last week, I think Blake will benefit from being the different one, add to that that he was actually really good this week and I think he’s the safest bet, though I wouldn’t bet much.

Between Jordin and Melinda, it’s a toss up. Since I chose Jordin as the winner back in week 2, I’ll stick with that pick. And I predict that at least one judge’s head will explode when it is announced that Melinda is eliminated.

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21 thoughts on “American Idol Semifinals

  1. I thought Blake’s performances were all very boring and all sounded the same. No versatility. He seems to be all manufactured. But then again, I have no idea what’s on MTV or what the contemporary vibe might be.

  2. Blake didn’t wow me either. I still think Melinda will win. But at this point it doesn’t really matter—they’re all gonna have record deals.

    There’s still something about Jordin that bugs me. My husband says her voice is grating, especially on the high notes. I agree. But it’s also the way she pants when she sings.

    I thought her song choice was a little weird too. My husband’s a huge Tom Jones fan, and after seeing her sing “I Who Have Nothing,” he went off about how when Tom sings it, he makes the line “I love you” sound like the opposite—he actually hates her. Then my husband went and printed the lyrics off of the Internet to read to me. (See, huge fan.) It’s a very twisted, dark song, and it loses all that when Jordin sings it.

    But it is amazing that a 17yo can sing like that. I won’t be surprised if she wins.

  3. It’s ok, Susan. I kept comparing her first song to Paul Weller’s cover of it! SO. MUCH. BETTER!!

    Dial Idol has them all pretty even, Melinda a little ahead. I’m thinking a Blake / Melinda finale. Jordin is the only one who got even a little criticism from Simon and she went first. So I’m thinking she may be the ‘shocking’ boot tonight. But, really, anything’s possible. Although a Melinda / Jordin finale might make MY head explode…

  4. I’m guessing Melinda goes tonight. She is by far the best vocal technician on the show this season (and maybe in any season) but she comes off as an old lady singing old lady songs. This is not really a singing competition after all — it is a popularity contest. Singing old songs in styles that old folks like ain’t gonna cut it is my guess.

  5. Yup. Looks like I guessed right. Melinda is done.

    My take is that they gave Melinda two lame (obscure and old) songs to suppress her votes then she picked a too-old song for herself and she was toast. Then the show covered itself by letting the judges praise her anyway knowing that lame songs were probably not gonna do it for the audience.

  6. Well. Not at all shocking. She skews too old for the 13 year old text message voting. Technically good doesn’t matter to them – or a lot of people were like me & bored with her!

  7. I did and I can’t remember. Something nice though.

    Did Ryan accidentally let slip that she was going home early? I was only watching it on commercials from another show. My husband swears he heard Ryan say “and Melinda goes home, after the break” about half way through the show. I told him I think he said something like “We’ll see which of Blake, Jordin and Melinda goes home after the break,” but my husband was sure he accidentally let slip it was Melinda going home. It was just after Elliot’s remark about Porsche and Ryan was caught a bit off guard.

  8. “Melinda goes home” was referring to the video segment of her visiting her hometown. When he said it I figured some people would understand it as him revealing the results. Melinda even appeared to react to the statement.

  9. Elliott!!!!

    I hadn’t been that happy about AI since last year.

    I am also ridiculously excited about SYTYCD, starting next week.

    A benji/travis rematch by proxy?

    Rumour has it both Lacey Schwimmer & Danny Tidwell have made it to Las Vegas.

    squee! *ahem*

  10. gabby,at the end simon just commented that she is a fabulous singer. He did not elaborate. Did anybody else think that it was sad that both Blake and Jordin drew these HUGE crowds during their homecoming, but there they showed a completely empty downtown when they showed Melinda’s homecoming? She did have a small crowd when they unveiled her street, but it was pitiful compared to the other two.

  11. Simon said, “Congratulations to you two. My commiserations, Melinda, ’cause you are one heck of a singer.”

    The few media stories I’ve read are all treating this as a huge shock. I agree that it’s an upset, as Melinda has long been seen as the favorite, but it’s a predictable upset. Or is that an oxymoron?

  12. Susan – I’ve been watching videos from last season in anticipation.

    Oddly, I seem to be way more excited about this than I was about AI this year.

  13. The other day I looked up what Benji ended up doing after the show. Did you know he turned down the Celine Dion Vegas contract? I thought that was kinda cool (he didn’t want to be tied to Vegas for a year, he said), but I wonder if the other contestants were pretty ticked.

  14. I think Travis or Alison would have been ticked, but all of them seem to have plenty of work.

    I heard Donyelle is doing a show in Vegas with Wayne Brady.

    Dimtri is apparently on tap to demostrate ballroom during SYTYCD hell week.

    Benji (and Lacey) were in Christina Aguilera’s Candyman video – retro 40’s with heelslide!
    And he’s doing a Fred Astaire biopic.

    Natalie was choreographer for the Greek version of SYTYCD.

    Musa does a lot of commercials.

    Travison/Alison/Ivan did a national teaching tour for a dance convention.

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