American Idol Notebook, Vol. 1.

Posted by Greg on Mar 14, 2013 in Music, Op-Ed |

I was pretty disappointed to learn that last week American Idol advanced the mediocre Paul Jolley and failed to advance Elijah Liu, but I am esteemed by the enormous amount of female talent. In many ways this is a big year for American Idol. A female hasn’t won since Jordin Sparks and the most talented finalist hasn’t won since Jordin’s year as well.

But with a slew of female talent, this year should most definitely belong to the females. I’m pinning my hopes on Candice Glover, who hails from the same town my parents call home. However, if Angela, Amber or Kree wins, you won’t get an argument from me.

Though I tuned in for the first time last Wednesday, I’m excited to see how these final weeks come to fruition. I’ve been a fan since Year 1, and despite its many stumbles and hiccups, I will continue to watch Idol until it gets removed from TV.

Notes on American Idol, March 13, 2013

Curtis Finch
The man can sing and I really enjoy his presence and his songs. I’m still not sure how I feel about him after he was pretty heartless to Charlie during the group singing day in Hollywood. He sort of seems like a jerk, but he can definitely sing and it’s super easy to respect a dude singing gospel. The fact that he sings it well only helps his cause.

Janelle Arthur
Eh. Not so sure about her. Have yet to hear the rest of the girls. But I have to say something, so here goes. Ugh, I don’t know. I like that she’s a county gal and I will probably buy her record, but her stuff doesn’t scream American Idol to me. Especially not that performance of “Gone,” which felt very average.

Devin Velez
“Temporary Home” was pretty cool. He took a risk and sang a powerhouse song. It certainly could have been way more star-making, but he gave it the Buble crooner treatment and it was kind of cool. At least he took a risk. You can’t stay safe and in your wheelhouse all the time. That being written, he was not nearly as strong as Curtis Finch, who is still the best dude of the night.

Angie Miller
Singing Celine was alright. I mean from a talent point of view, it was spot on, but it felt very boring. Who listens to ballads like this these days? I mean if we’re going from straight singing competition, her “I Surrender” was absolutely awesome. But I don’t know. I guess so far it’s the best of the girls. She looks like a diva in training to me.

Paul Jolley
He was finally good. That was definitely a good performance, but I still don’t think he’s the most talented. If the past few seasons are any indication, Paul will probably sail through because he’s an Adonis and is incredibly well-mannered and likable.

Candice Glover
My parent’s hometown choice. She knocked it out of the park. Maybe I’m biased but I preferred that WAY more than Angie singing Celine. By a wide, wide margin. It absolutely deserved the standing ovation that it got from Randy, Keith and Nicki. Plus the story about her parents flying for the first time was absolutely awesome. Definitely the show’s highlight so far. Nicki Minaj was right on by saying she “destroyed it,” and it should be “banned from Idol.” She is definitely the best singer in the competition but as most Idol devotees know, the best singer does not always win and definitely hasn’t in the last four, if not more, years.

Lazaro Arbos
He’s the heartthrob. But he remains enigmatic to me. His version of “Breakaway” was good at the start but collapsed on itself and fell asunder. That being written I’m pretty sure this guy will sell records in his sleep, win lose or draw. The fans, most notably the girls, love him. As a Floridian, he’s our hope. But I can set myself apart from my home state ties. I don’t remember his stutter being an issue last week but it was certainly evident in this episode. Mariah talking about his courage was really my favorite moment. It can’t be easy having a stutter and he has risen above it as best he can with grace.

Kree Harrison
The favorite. But for reasons I’m not quite sure of. Tone, range, confidence and “the look,” but she tackled a huge song. She cited Carrie Underwood’s version but I don’t think Kree is Carrie-like. Not sure I liked the arrangement. Song sounded weird to me. She sang it well though and it felt very safe and the song is very wrenching and moving. She’ll make a good album for sure.

Burnell Taylor
He’s a bit goofy. Has a bit of an indie-geek vibe to him (though he took the glasses off and dressed sharply for this performance). But he’s my vote for favorite male. Pretty sure his run is near over though. Le sigh. Iovine brought up a great point about him singing ballads. It is getting tiring, though he does perform them quite well. He’s got a top notch voice and will make a fine record. I don’t know if people with Fantasia or Ruben’s look would make it in these competitions these days and Burnell has that kind of outsider way about him that makes me feel like his run is about over.

Amber Holcomb
She’s a bonafide talent. She has the look and the pipes. Pretty sure she’s in the Top 5. Pretty sure she’ll be a big star. Definitely can’t top Kelly and this song certainly didn’t, but it was strong. A definite star in the making for sure. American Idol needs a black winner and needs a female. If Candice Glover doesn’t get the nod (most likely due to her body type and her age), Amber will get the nod for sure. She sort of has an attitude about her that I am not digging, but so be it.

Ranking the Performances
1. Candice Glover
2. Amber Holcomb
3. Curtis Finch
4. Angie Miller
5. Kree Harrison
6. Burnell Taylor
7. Lazaro Arbos
8. Paul Jolley
9. Janelle Arthur
10. Devin Velez

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