Thursday, March 09, 2006

The one on the girls likely to go

I think Katherine McPhee and Mandisa Hundley are the only two virtual shoo-ins. If this is so, then you have five ladies from whom to select the second lady out, assuming Kinnik Sky is a surefire bet for ejection: Kellie Pickler, Paris Bennett, Ayla Brown, Lisa Tucker, and Melissa McGhee.

1. Kellie Pickler. I think two things are going to hurt Kellie in the coming weeks: the surprisingly fast way the Pickler information on Vote for the Worst is spreading through America, leading people to believe she's misled them with this "I'm so innocent" country bumpkin act (similar revelations were made with Carrie Underwood, but by then, her popularity was a runaway train); and the Simon liking Kellie more than Carrie, which will send tons of Carrie-loving country fans away from her in droves.

2. Paris Bennett. Let's be honest about Paris. She had fantastic auditions. Her first performance (Midnight Train to Georgia) was pretty good, almost Fantasia level. After that, she's come up with a mediocre rendition of a mediocre song (Wind Beneath My Wings) and an excellent rendition of a horrific decades-old 80s song (Conga). Her song choices have been puzzling at best. She will probably make Top 6, but is in real danger if she doesn't get cracking on finding better song choices.

3. Ayla Brown. Ayla works hard, and she looks like Debra Messing. But Messing doesn't sing and working hard implies choosing the right songs. Unwritten, while a Top 10 hit for Natasha Bedingfield, is NOT an American Idol song. To win this competition, you need songs that will WOW an audience, and who's going to be wow'ed by a song that hasn't proven its crowd-pleasing power and longevity chops? (On the other hand, Bo chose Heaven by Los Lonely Boys last year on the Top 40 theme night - the song wasn't a Top 10 hit, but Heaven is a great crowd pleaser). Pick songs that are right for you, and you'll be all set. Brown is A/C all the way.

4. Lisa Tucker. Pretty. Relatively talented. Picks songs that we've never heard of and delivers performances that pale in comparison to the other singers. Good luck, Lisa; you're going to need it.

This brings me to...
5. Melissa McGhee. I look at Melissa, and I don't see "star." I close my eyes, I hear her voice, and I think, "wow." Melissa McGhee is Jessica Sierra Part Two: fantastic voice but simply no appeal. I hope and think that America, however, can look beyond the packaging this time around (same appeal for Mandisa, whose talent, thank God, allows people to look beyond her size) and see Melissa McGhee for what she can offer.

I disagree with Simon. I thought Melissa nailed Heart's What About Love, although the worst of three Idol takes on Heart, after Carrie's Alone and Mandisa's Never. Her voice range is not as bad as some make it out to be, but her voice is full and it reminds me of Melissa Etheridge (which puzzles me that Patrick Hall and Kellie Fake-ler did Etheridge songs when neither of them have the raspiness and the soul to pull it off). If I heard Tucker or Brown on the radio, I'd be hard-pressed to identify their voices; during group nights, I can pick out the voices of three ladies for their distinctive qualities (making them good choices for Idols, because you can recognize their voices right away): Mandisa Hundley, Paris Bennett, and Melissa McGhee.

If Melissa's "fans" double-time, maybe they can squeeze her into the Top 6 ladies, which would mean one of the other girls would obviously be booted out, and from my perspective, that means Lisa Tucker may be gone by sheer virtue of song choice (Brown's selection was at least more popular than Tucker's artiste, out-of-thin-air song choice).

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