As contestants from American Idol took the stage once more in Florida last night, The Palm Beach Post had a review of a few of the performersÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¦
Melinda Doolittle: I was worried in the beginning that Mindy Doo was holding back too much, allowing herself to be overshadowed by other singers, especially LaKisha. But the second half of the show was a large improvement, and featured a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Natural WomanÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ that politely walks Kelly ClarksonÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s version to the woods and leaves it there without breadcrumbs. (I love Kelly. But you had to see it.) And she looked HOT.
Jordin Sparks: One of my fellow reporters noted that, late into the second half, winner Jordin seemed to be a footnote in her own victory. Everybody else seemed to have a lot more stage time. But that was before the last 20 minutes, which became the Jordin Show. She has such a stage presence when seen live. and delivered a solid, incredibly effortless ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½I Who Have Nothing,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ a pretty good ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Broken WingÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ and a version of snore-happy winning single ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½This Is My NowÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ that at least kept you awake.
The kid is pretty good at the guitar, too. I will say that the choice of that icky treacle as the single shows how much the producers wanted her to win, because it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t anywhere near Blake LewisÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½ strength. Yes, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s a conspiracy theory. Talk amongst yourselves.
Blake Lewis: Speaking of my beloved beat box, he kept proving how well he sings, and not just how well he can turn his body into a stripey-haired percussion instrument. His take on JamiroquaiÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Virtual Insanity?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ Priceless. He took up a lot of stage time, by the way, seeming to be in on so many peopleÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s segments. His buddyÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã‚Â¦
Chris Richardson: also got a heck of a lot of spotlight shone on his little buzz-cut noggin. He was the lyrical oomph to BlakeÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s beat-box on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Geek In The Pink,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ which was competent on TV but flowed nearly perfectly on stage. He avoided a lot of the nasalness that Simon Cowell was always after him for. Nasal is a style of singing, like Chris told Simon. Just not one that works as well as what he did on stage.
Sanjaya Malakar: As his mom told me later ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½He can sing!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t care for some of his Michael Jackson-esque choreography on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½The Way You Make Me Feel,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ but he sounded great, moving around in front of a screen showing some of his greatest hair hits. One thing - why no faux-hawk? And he plays a mean tambourine.
Chris Sligh: This guy is the one that most shocked the biscuits out of me, because while the show proved that he has a solid voice, nothing hinted at its richness on stage, its range, or how confident and even sexy he becomes when behind a guitar. His version of Mute MathÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½TypicalÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ was fascinating, because with him playing, his voice sounded more edgy and rock-like. Drat. We didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t see half of what he could do on the show. We wuz robbed.
Her best moment came when she once again acknowledged that she was ignoring the popular edict to never attempt ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½I Will Always Love YouÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ and just blew that thing all over the ceiling. I got chills. When she ran up to the big glory note, she just attacked it like ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Yeah I nailed it. You had doubts?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ I did. But I wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t get fooled again. I still think it wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t have killed her to at least listen to Tony Bennett a little bit, though.
Haley Scarnato: Like Melinda, she got better as the show went on. Sometimes Haley Scarnato was unable to hear herself in the monitor, so she appeared to be shouting. But her re-do of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½When God-Fearing Women Get The BluesÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ was much stronger than it was earlier in the evening. And she owned her part on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Life Is A Highway.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ Good for her.
Gina Glocksen: IÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ll keep it simple: this girl can sing. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½m sorry that her vocal resemblance to Pink, paired with her pop-punk-goth style, make her seem derivative, because sheÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s got a Pat Benatar-like gift of power. I would love to see her veer a little away from the rock stuff that makes her seem ordinary, because sheÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s truly gifted.
Phil Stacey: The other vocal stand-out of the night, the bald one nailed everything he tackled, including the lead on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Hey Jude,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ which the guys played themselves, and a soulful, sweet take on Ray Charles version of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½America The Beautiful.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ Again, the TV show just scratched the surface of his charisma - he was so relaxed here, probably because he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t have to deal with Simon glaring at him.
I gotta tell you that I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t often agree with Simon, but I did whenever he was hard on Phil. Just because he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½look like the American IdolÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t mean he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½t have one of the best natural voices on that show. Take that, Judgey Boy.