The evening started with Simon Cowell being a bit contentious regarding some ex-Idol contestants who had challenged the system by suggesting they were eliminated because they had not received as much air time and attention as some of their rivals. Simon was only just getting up a head of steam before he was cut off so that the eight remaining male vocalists could begin with–
Scott Savol, a Taurus (as tonight’s mini-interviews focused on each singer’s star sign), was looking pretty natty this week in slacks and a jacket dressed a bit down with a less dressy shirt. Maybe he’s finally found his look, and with it some additional confidence; his sound during his take of “I Can’t Help Myself” was stronger than ever. I think it’d be an honest shame to lose him at this point in the competition, and Randy and Paula seemed to agree, although Simon was less enthusiastic about Scott’s choreography.
Meanwhile, it turns out Bo Bice is a Scorpio. He took on Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” a markedly different kind of song from his earlier choices. Bo gets points for trying to branch out, but he was a little bit weaker this week. I don’t think it’ll slow down his momentum any, though, and I expect him to stick around for the final 12.
Anthony Fedorov is one singer who upgraded tonight. He moved away from the 80’s ballads he’d been singing the past couple weeks and went Latin. Perhaps Anthony is working to break out of the “Clay Jr.” image that has been foisted upon him–although it didn’t stop Simon from drawing the comparison once again. No matter; Anthony was more solid tonight than he has been in a while. (Oh, and he’s a Taurus.)
While all three judges seemed pleased with [Taurus] Nikko Smith‘s rendition of “Georgia On My Mind,” he lacked the richness and fullness of tone usually associated with that song. Nikko was wobbly until the very end of the number, but that may not matter in the long run, since (as Simon pointed out) it’s that last big note that people are going to remember. Still, I find it hard to see Nikko as a winner in this competition, even if he does make it a few more rounds.
Travis Tucker (an Aries) came onstage dressed like a newsie, and his weird dancing didn’t help to reduce the sensation. While it was clear he was having fun, his singing of Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step” was off-kilter. Randy gave Travis props for the stage performance, but a thumbs down on the pitch, and Simon called the whole thing “appalling,” saying it looked like something from a theme park show. I have to agree, and I think Travis’ time may finally be up.
I think Gemini Mario Vazquez is mostly relying on what appears to be a solid fan base, as well as what Simon calls his “charm” to get by in this competition. While the past few weeks he’s done upbeat, almost spastic, numbers, tonight Mario opted for something a little slower. He did all right, although I prefer the faster songs. Points for finally appearing without a hat.
Although judges Randy and Paula were pleased with Constantine Maroulis‘ take on The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” I have to go with Simon tonight (much as it pains me, because I really like Constantine, who is a Virgo)–it wasn’t very good. I’m guessing the sound in the studio must be very different from the sound that is broadcast, even with our high-end home theatre system. What I don’t agree with Simon about is that Simon called Constantine’s performance a “bad impersonation of Sting.” It was nothing like Sting. It was some pseudo-rocked up version of the song that didn’t work.
Anwar Robinson, on the other hand, was one of the best singers of the night. This Taurus sang “What a Wonderful World,” and the arrangement was particularly fine. While Anwar started out just a little shaky, he caught up to the music quickly and came through with a fantastic middle and finish.
It’s hard to say who will be dismissed on Wednesday. I do think Travis Tucker will finally be given his walking papers, and possibly Nikko Smith. I would say Constantine–just based on tonight’s performances–but I think he’s got enough fans to pull him through for another week.Powered by Sidelines