Life as an Extreme Sport

American Idol, Top 8 Girls, Week Three

Top Three: Carly Smithson, Brooke White, Amanda Overmyer
Bottom Three: Asia’h Epperson, Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay
Top Six: Carly Smithson, Brooke White, Amanda Overmyer, Kady Malloy*, Syesha Mercado, Ramiele Malubay
Should Go Home: Asia’h Epperson, Kristy Lee Cook
Will Go Home: Asia’h Epperson, Kady Malloy

* Obviously if she goes home, she won’t be there. But it’s who I think should be, not are.

One comment

  1. Well, on overview, at least it looks like some of the girls took the 80s clothing to heart when they got dressed today (did I just see a Flashdance outfit?). Also of note, Ryan stressing the live bit – there’s been some controversy this year over the fact that the semi-finals are not actually live for the first two weeks (for a variety of reasons that read like an excuse or valid justification, depending on your point of view).

    Still, it’s only an hour long show tonight, so no real chitchat. Ryan jumps us to the battling each other, intro the judges bit – Simon looks happier tonight than last year. Ryan wants to know – is Randy too nice this year, or are the guys just that good? They’re just that good, Randy says (and I’m inclined to agree); he tells the girls to bring it, and Ryan sums it up best: “…as they just stand there staring blankly at you.” And then we get the Paula shout-out – the 80s were big for her – and you can hear Simon mumbling “that was a long time ago.” Paula wants to know where the ugly clothes, big hair, and garish makeup is though, as she notes that all were bad in the 80s. Simon chimes in that they’re leaving that to Paula. Maybe I should reconsider the idea he’s in a better mood. (Paula apologizes for her crime against fashion, the pompom hairstyle.) Ryan wants to know who needs to step it up? “Everyone, no one’s safe.” Well, short and sweet.

    Oh right. Embarrassing moments. Sigh. We start with…
    Asia’h Epperson, who tells us that her most embarrassing moment was as an extra on a movie, on rollerskates, and she ran into the big set light. But it was cool, she likes making people laugh… She’s got a but of an 80s vibe in her outfit, sort of contemporary 80s. Not bad.

    Oh, sigh. She’s starting us out with I Wanna Dance With Somebody, breaking one of the major Idol rules: don’t cover Whitney. Doesn’t matter what era of Whitney, just resist the urge to do it. It is never a good thing. Never. And this follows that rule – it’s out of tune and tuneless at the same time (which makes sense if you watch). And the thing is, I don’t think she has a bad voice, I think it’s just an utterly horrible song. Yes, I sang and danced to it when I was a kid, but… I was a kid.

    She’s got a breathy thing going, too. Paula, on the other hand, is standing up and dancing – aaah, Live!Paula. Always entertaining.

    This performance bored me. It wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t good. And Simon’s mic is still live (did we not learn after Tuesday, producers?), and you can hear him telling Paula that he hated it – I’m just not sure if he was saying he hated that song, or Asia’h’s version of it.

    Randy starts with the alright y0 thing, which is never particularly good, and hey – Randy even cracks up as he admits he’s the one who recorded the song with Whitney. He liked it, he thought she did Whitney well. Guess he’s kind of deaf. Paula admits she was concerned she wouldn’t pull off a big song, and she nailed it. I wonder what they judges are drinking, and could they share? Simon’s not so enthusiastic – last week Celine, this week Whitney, and this week it’s second rate Whitney. Asiah’ says, “I’ll take second rate!” Which, okay… but Simon points out that second rate Whitney isn’t necessarily good.

    Ryan comes up and points out a good from Paula, no pitch patrol from Randy (*snort*), and Simon admits it was good enough for the top 12. We’ll see.

    Kady Malloy – her most embarrassing moment? Oh, no, first we have to get to the live Coke room interview with Kady; she thought she was going home for sure. And this appears to be a rehab Kady moment, since she seems real, for once. Right, her most embarrassing moment? She sang a song in a 9th grade talent competition, mangled Christina, and then collapsed the entire sound system onto herself.

    Who Wants to Live Forever is one of my favourite songs. It’s also a really hard song for me to listen to; it always makes me tear up, and we played it at Mom’s funeral. And I can see this being the sort of song Kady either makes or breaks. We’ll see.

    She’s rearranged it a bit, which… I am hesitant about. Because the song is so iconic. I want to hate it, actually, but I don’t. Technically it’s almost a flawless cover, and I can’t imagine it not placing her in the top 12. But there’s something missing. Take a listen here and see what I mean. May and Mercury sing it so slowly, they really rings every bit of heartache out of the words. Likewise, the musical accompaniment makes it very haunting. (2:30 is where the verse Kady sang starts in.)

    Maybe it’s just youth. Maybe it’s that it feels manufactured, not like she’s going for votes, because duh, point of show, but because she’s trying to bring some depth to herself on stage and it’s simply not working. Any which way, for whatever reason, I simply can’t get behind this (and recuse myself from even trying to give a grade/score).

    Judges – Randy thought it was an interesting song choice, he’s always surprised by the choices people make. It was a nice Queen song, she did a nice job on it, so even though she missed some small notes, she hit the big ones, and it was pretty good. Paula thinks it was her best performance, which okay, I can easily agree with that. Paula disagrees with Randy, though, in that the softness is where the magic is. Simon thinks it was better than last week, but Simon’s having issues with her lack of personality – she’s very robotic when she sings, very Stepford Wives. She comes over as a fun person in her videos, and then she comes over while singing as robotic. He calls her on a lack of emotional connection, which, yep, that’s it.

    Ryan wants to know if she thinks she did enough. Ryan says she comes across as cute and relaxed on tape, so what does Kady think Simon means? She admits she doesn’t know, and Ryan tries to call him on it – he refuses, saying he’s not going to a whole long conversation – he’s made the point and Ryan needs to understand it. Ryan says “it’s going to be a fun hour, friends, there’s a lot of show left.” And then Ryan says if people want to vote for her lack of personality,…! Wow.

    Amanda Overmyer – embarrassing thing? She’s known as the only person in the world that can burn down a pool, which.. was a kind of funny story. Beats burning water, eh?

    Someone styled her nicely this week. Surprisingly nicely. She reminds me of Rogue, heh. She’s doing Joan Jett’s I Hate Myself For Loving You, which isn’t and yet is a surprising choice. And it’s not a revolutionary cover, but it’s a lot of fun, she sounds great, and the audience is getting into it. Hate her or love her, you can’t deny the fact that she’s got great stage presence, and works really well with both band and backup singer. She can have a B+.

    Randy notes the audience is jumping up and down, and he loved it – that’s the songs she should be singing, what they saw her with, the audience loved her, and it was wonderful. Paula thinks she looks beautiful – face, hair, everything – and she found her niche. Great song choice, great everything. Randy asks Simon where his lovemeter is? Simon says “Amanda, if I’m being honest? It was fantastic. Really fantastic, you absolutely nailed it, and it was the perfect song for you. One of my favourite songs for this part of the perfo…” and then he stops midsentence and tells her she can smile, he knows she can do it. And she does, shyly, and she really is quite (and perhaps surprisingly) beautiful. Anyhow, Simon proclaims it great, and I’ll be with the judges and surprised if she doesn’t just soar through to next week, where she can abuse the Beatles along with everyone else.

    Ryan’s turn! “With all that praise you’re really showing no emotion? Why’s that? You look down and away from the judges a few times…” She says she’s just trying to listen, and not be rude. And she does seem a bit… I’m not sure what, if it is just shy, or uncomfortable, or what – but I hope she’s happy, she did really well.

    Carly Smithson – her most embarrassing moment was on a break from work, got her leg stuck in the railings while talking to a friend, and her friend used butter, grease, and soap to get her out… and yes, I can see that being embarrassing.

    She’s singing I Drove All Night, which is another hand’s down favourite (the original and Cyndi Lauper’s cover), and she sounds… actually, like Shania Twain. Which is not a bad sound on her. And damn, she held one of those notes for an impressively long time. I do wish she’d stop shouting quite so much, though… but again, she looks fabulous and sounds great. (Did they get access to stylists this week? Amanda and Carly both look worlds better.) Another B+ performance, and I expect the judges will love it. (Fun side note: she’s showing off her sleeve, which is interesting from a voting point.)

    Randy says she smashed it this week, great high notes, and he loved it. Paula goes in to mimic Randy… “you are like a dependable dawg.” Simon, on the other hand, thought it was the wrong song – Carly asks what he does like, and it’s a good question. Simon thinks of it as the Celine version of the song, and this is where I’m out of it – Celine Dion covered this? I thought she was doing the Cyndi Lauper version… The audience boos at Simon, and he asks the audience what is wrong with them, he doesn’t like the song, Carly is much better than that, he likes her and wants her to do better, etc… and.. Roy Orbison isn’t good enough for Carly? Uhm, I don’t think that’s how it works, dawg.

    Ryan comes on stage to relieve us from the bickering, and we hear Simon telling the audience he can’t believe the audience. Heh.

    Kristy Lee Cook – her embarrassing story? Seven years old was the most embarrassing time of her life, because she…pretended she was a dog. Including drinking out of a dog bowl. Ooooookay.

    She’s singing Faithfully by Journey, and I actually have some based in an abusive ex-boyfriend problems with Journey as a whole, so might not be unbiased on this one. And I still don’t like how she stands – lady, I don’t need the continual let-me-show-you-my-crotch thing; I don’t like it from Tori, so sure as hell am not going to appreciate it from you. And… does she eat otter pops before the show? Her tongue’s been bright blue, now it’s bright red…

    This, by the way, is shouty and out of tune. I did not like it, my personal issues or not.

    Randy – two things near and dear to his heart, dogs and Journey. He loves her, it’s cool, he loves the song, he’s worked with the band for a long time, loves the band, no one will sing it like Perry (Steve Perry, he clarifies for us), and a little more country, it could be a hit now. So, she’s the official country singer now, whether she wants to be or not. We cut to a wide shot of the judges, and Paula’s stretched across Simon’s lap, “sound asleep”, and Simon’s cracking up. “Am I taking too long talking about this?” Randy wonders. “Just a bit,” Simon tells him. Paula agrees it could be a country single right now. And Simon? He thought it was good there was a country influence, but that said, her problem is that she’s forgettable, and she needs a bigger voice or bigger personality. He thinks she, at best, will come in 10th. (She decides that the top 10 is fine with her.)

    Ramiele Malubay – gets shit from Ryan on having short legs (she’s upstairs, he tells her she should leave now, since she has about 10 seconds to get to the stage, and she has short legs… the look she gives him is pretty precious). Her most embarrassing moment? Leaving her picture at the door of a cute guy’s house in 5th grade, and watching him and his mother laugh about it.

    Another Phil Collins song, this time Against All Odds. Simon’s going to hate it, I can tell already. (And by tell already, I mean “based on it being a Phil Collins song.) She is way over-pronouncing every word in this song, which takes it from a potentially nice song to… an overly enunciated and kind of painful song. It’s not that she has a bad voice – she has a great voice – but she’s doing the same thing every week, trying to go for the diva songs with a big voice, and she has no range – she’s loud all the time, with no ability to be soft. It bothers me.

    Randy thought it was another big song, big vocals, and he’s happy to see her return to that, but she needs to find her confidence and stop thinking so much about her performance. Paula compliments her beautiful face and pure voice; she has a lot of texture in her voice – and then the audience members (peanut gallery, Paula calls ’em, so it gives you a clue) start in on her, to the result that Simon tells them to knock it off and let her finish. I think that section of the audience has managed to seriously irritate Simon tonight. Paula says she deserves to be in the top 12. Simon is very distracted by the audience – he says it was old fashioned, no big money note, it was a bit predictable, and he’s not jumping out of his chair on it.

    Ryan must like her – she’s a good head shorter than him. Ryan tries to get her to tell us about the personal meaning in that song, the inspiration as it were, and she completely and utterly dodges it, first politely and when he pushes, with a very pissy “STUFF!” He gets the clue the second time and says “TMTH”, calling back to Danny’s embarrassing story last night. Hmm. Hope he apologies to her for that.

    And then… Ryan, having looked over at Danny, looks back again and actually starts to cut himself off while reading the numbers, finishes, and then back to what he was saying – “Is Danny Noriega wearing your glasses?” Apparently he is, and is making a “C” sign with his hands at the camera, and Ramiele shouts she loves him, and Ryan tells the mutts in the audience (a Paula thing) that there’s a lot of stuff and backstory going on here. Apparently. (And how many people all just thought, “but I thought he was gay?”)

    Ryan is up with the judges when we come back, and Paula’s basically sitting in Simon’s lap. And he’s whispering in, or kissing, her ear, and… please show, no more strawberries and whipped cream, okay? Ryan wants to know what Simon is saying to her during the songs, so I guess we’re running ahead and have some time to fill. And then, and I’m really not sure what we missed, but something, Simon and someone in the audience just lose it with laughter. I’ve… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Simon laugh that hard.

    Hang on, my universe needs rearranging.

    Brooke White. She came running out of church one day, threw her arms around her Dad’s legs… and it wasn’t her father, of course.

    She’s doing… an acoustic cover of Love is a Battlefield, sitting on the edge of the stage. And, I thought, “what?” And then I decided that this was absolutely fucking brilliant. She and David Cook can keep doing this all season, and I’ll be happy. But, I admit, at the end? I was really hoping the entire band would kick in and she’d rock out. So I loved it, but I could have loved it more. A-.

    Randy liked that it was just the guitar and her, and she wasn’t playing – it let her focus on the voice. Maybe nothing new, but he liked what she did. And then Randy dropped that Paula choreographed the video (Brooke: really??!), but Paula doesn’t take the credit, just says that she worked on the video. Paula then says she doesn’t know what’s going on here, and Simon tells her to join the club. Paula thought it was a wise choice, and pure, but wishes she had incorporated the band more, and built it. Simon disagrees with Paula completely – it was an original take on the song, she made it a completely different song and her own, and it was a brilliant performance two weeks running. (And aaw, her husband is cute!)

    Brooke’s quite thrilled and humbled.

    Ryan wants to know if she was nervous sitting on the edge of the stage and being raw, and she admits she was, but Pat Benetar does such a great version of it that she knew she had to take it a complete different direction. Simon cheers enthusiastically, “absolutely.”

    Syesha Mercado‘s most embarrassing moment? In second grade (sigh) she had a crush on a guy, she did a do you like me yes/no, and… it was a stupid story, nevermind.

    She’s closing us out with Saving All My Love For You, and it seems to be a line by line copy of the original. And I’m not a huge fan of the original, so. Yawn. It was technically fine, but… again. Boring.

    Huh, that time around we could hear Randy asking “ready? ready?” a few times. The judges fascinate me. Randy’s comment? “Good.” Flat affect, that’s it. He repeats it, nodding, “Good.” Paula does the same – it was good. And then Simon says “it was a bit predictable, but good.”

    …that’s…it? Well, I know why Randy was asking if they were ready. But…that was really weird.

    Ryan comes out and asks if it was good enough for the top 12, and I swear Simon said no, while Randy and Paula say yes, Ryan says “three yeses” and you can again see Simon shaking his head and saying no. On playback, though, he’s nodding yes, so I guess I just heard wrong. Weird.

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