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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: The Top 8 Girls

smercado.jpgOne Million Dollars. Nope, that's not the ultimate prize on "American Idol." That's the amount of money I would pay not to hear Paula Abdul ramble through yet another contestant critique. Normally, her discussions of people's "colors" are tolerable, but tonight's episode saw Paula stutter into overdrive. Aside from her crazy commenting, 80's Night for the ladies proved to be quite a pleasant surprise. Almost every girl brought something new to their performances, either by taking risks or changing songs to fit their styles. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for who's earning a spot in the Top 6 Girls, which was not an easy feat.

-Asia'h Epperson, 19 (sang 1st): Asia'h may have made her first misstep on the Idol stage tonight, and no, I'm not talking about her tragic roller-skating incident of yesteryear. Really now, how many times do I have to scold these contestants to stop tackling Whitney Houston songs? (That goes for Celine Dion and Mariah Carey songs as well. Better yet, if you can classify a female songstress as achieving notes only certain dogs and dolphins can hear, then you should back away from her song catalogue. Don't make me come over there.) Her vocals, while strong, were not as "dead-on" as normal, and she will always be compared to the original woman who "wanted to dance with somebody." Despite not wow-ing me as much as in the past few weeks, she received good reviews from Paula and Randy, with Simon left feeling a bit disappointed with her high notes. But despite being off-key tonight, her past performances and bubbly personality will carry her through to the Top 12.

-Amanda Overmyer, 23 (sang 3rd): I'm so conflicted! After begging America over the last few weeks to banish the Rockin Nurse from the "Idol" stage, I found myself enjoying her performance tonight. Her pick of Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" was the epitome of a perfect song choice and perhaps redefined what an American Idol should be. And just when the shock started to wear off, the judges spoke and they liked her too. Randy said it was well done, Paula said she found her niche and Simon, surprisingly, said she was fantastic. It was all very surreal. Didn't this happen once on an episode of "The Outer Limits?"

-Carly Smithson, 24 (sang 4th): Carly lost some ground tonight as the playing field leveled off, with the average singers climbing the ranks and Smithson falling a few paces behind with a poor song choice. I have to agree with Simon yet again that the song, Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night," didn't have the array of notes that could showcase her talented voice. And while she's an impressive singer, maybe technically proficient isn't enough to be an American Idol and she'll have to start picking more interesting songs. It's not like it matters, though, since Smithson has a guaranteed shot at making the finals. If her song was a little one-note, at least her story about a drunken friend buttering her leg out of a banister at a bar was entertaining.

-Ramiele Malubay, 20 (sang 6th): She dressed like an ‘80s rocker, but instead of matching the look with a fun performance of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," she chose yet another ballad, Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now." And despite being called ‘Ramalee' by Randy and old-fashioned by Simon, Malubay hit all the high notes and proved she's one of this season's most consistent contenders. Add all her performances up and she's definitely made enough of a statement to get through to the finals.

-Brooke White, 24 (sang 7th): Sitting on the side of the stage, the lights down low, all Brooke White needed was a Muppet duet partner bobbing next to her to make the picture complete. Her folksy version of Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" seemed a tad out of place with its quiet guitar accompaniment, but she demonstrated she could really make a song her own. Altering this normally rock-filled ditty was incredibly risky, but she showed she has good vocals and truly has her own voice as an artist, meaning she'll most likely stick around for another week.

-Syesha Mercado, 21 (sang 8th): If nothing else, Syesha Mercado proved my old adage: "Thou Art Not Ready For Whitney Houston." As you faithful readers know, last week I suggested she tackle a Whitney song for 80's night, but I was proven wrong. All I could think as her song ended was, "That's it?" When in the history of American Idol has anyone received a good review on their version of the much hailed 80's diva's hits? Syesha, in the second of tonight's Whitney tunes, gave a somewhat average performance. But perhaps the best news for her tonight was, as the clock ran down on Fox's tight hour-long program, the judges could only get in a "good" before Seacrest was yet again "out". So, despite memories of a dull performance, I imagine her time on Idol's stage is not yet up.

Going Home: (a.k.a. my predictions for The Bottom Two)

-Kristy Lee Cook, 24 (sang 5th): I had to pick someone to fill this first slot, and I feel really bad putting Cook here. I was digging the fact that we had a country singer in the mix this year, but like Simon said, Kristy is forgettable. Especially when she's up against heavy hitters like Carly and Ramiele, or when compared to the bubbly personalities of Brooke or Syesha. Hey, you never know, maybe Amanda's fan club will forget to vote for her, but I'm guessing poor Kristy will instead be lost in the crowd.

-Kady Malloy, 18 (sang 2nd): It's time for Britney, I mean Kady, to go. After knocking out a much "Stronger" singer last week, she definitely won't be "Lucky" again during this elimination round. Listening to her sing yet another Queen song made me realize that "Oops, She Did It Again." And yes, she did drive me "Crazy" with her "Toxic" personality. (Somebody stop me!) But really, once Simon calls you a robot, your journey is pretty much over.

So, what did you think of the Top 8 Girls? Which contestant had the biggest resurgence this week? And who's your pick to go home? Post below and make sure to watch the unveiling of the Top 12 tomorrow night! –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on March 6, 2008 1:20 AM
Permalink |

Amanda's VFTW fanbase was in high gear. And she has Simon momentum. Nice job tonight. Told ya she's in. Wootwoot.

Brooke was oustanding and has been since the beginning. She's one of the two best girls and a dark horse for the win.

Syesha can do real Whitney. Asia'h can do Whitney lite (fyi: that was Whitney's breakthrough song and is not technically part of the titanic vocal quadrant). Asia'h is in danger though, because she may be forgettable. Or Syesha lost momentum.

Kristy was decent but missed a few notes and her tongue was red from Halls--and her mascara was goopy. She seemed cooler tonight, but she's on the fence...she might sneak in though, we'll see.

Kady almost has to go home now...her video this week was not as groovy. But her vocals were better. I doubt it'll save her this time though.

Ramiele was an utter bore. She's been going downhill, and she used to be one of my favorites. She's also in trouble...she could be the surprise cast-off.

Do I even need to say anything about Carly the plant? Good effort and safe, no matter what the song.

-- 1. Posted by: Cinemaniac James at March 6, 2008 5:56 AM

I just wanted to point out a typo in your review:
You wrote "pleasant surprise" - clearly you meant "unpleasant surprise" as the women stumbled through a mediocre night (and, yes that includes Paula).

What do you say, let's save ourselves some time and eliminate the bottom four before we have to hear them sing twice in a week.

-- 2. Posted by: Bill Chuck at March 6, 2008 3:29 PM

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