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American Idol Season 8, Post Hollywood Week: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Top 36
comment 5 Comments February 19, 2009 – 12:42 am

Continued from page 1…

norman_gentleHollywood week like in any other previous seasons was really interesting in a “disgusting” kind of way. It was obvious that the producers wanted a crazy mix of hopefuls getting into the Top 36. It was apparent that it was all about ratings and what or who makes them the more money in the process… After all, it is a win-win for Idol and the contestant. The hopeful gets maximum exposure in Idol while the network rakes in the dough.

So they go for theatrics, hysterics and the aesthetics factor as key elements in making it to at least Top 36. Anything that will get you noticed in the eyes of the producers and the judges, never mind if you can’t sing that well.

Top 36 is a weird concoction of that: the very good, the very bad and the in-betweens. The Idol wanted to capitalize on some of the quirky and interesting characters who auditioned. If you’re loud-mouthed, overly dramatic, crazy, extremely attractive and or odd- as long as you can carry a decent tune- heck, you may even forget the lyrics, you CAN still make it… And why not? It is an entertainment show right? Nevertheless, it is a singing competition foremost.

Tatiana del Toro While we are entertained by Nick Mitchell aka Norman Gentle, we wonder what he is doing in a serious competition like American Idol except generate ratings for Idol. He would be great in another show like “The Last Comic Standing” or perhaps “America’s Got Talent” and would even win there but he will never win in Idol. What about Tatiana Del Toro who did nothing but shriek and scream and annoy all of us with her inappropriate affects. We really question her sanity! She isn’t at par with all the rest, why is she on Top 36?? To add to the ratings? Either that or Idol really enjoys torturing its viewers with her disturbing laugh! But wait, on the performance night in Idol’s semi-finals round, she made a 180 degree makeover by projecting a demure, reserved and totally normal Tatiana. We’re not sure if she is really this sane person afterall and Idol only promoted her to be the crazy person that she was on Hollywood week to create a stir so blogs would talk about Tatiana and Idol. To create buzz!

I don’t know about Nathaniel “drama king” Marshall who also made it but isn’t in the league of Adam Lambert or Danny J Gokey or even Michael Sarver Anoop Desai. All he did was whine and cry in Hollywood. He could sing sure but nothing special.

Casey CarslonCasey Carlson is a revelation. She came to the audition very, very strong! She’s extremely beautiful, very likable, has pleasing tonal quality and a fun spirit- all qualities that can make a true commercial American Idol, in a Katherine Mcphee kind of way. There has never been an American Idol contestant this sexy! She will be so easy to “sell” because she’s the complete package! Until Hollywood week came along. It revealed she is flawed and found myself concluding that she was only put through because of her looks and that was sad. I was wondering why she wasn’t exposed that much in Hollywood and later knew why. She keeps forgetting her lyrics!! She messed up her own final solo in Hollywood Round three by mumbling the words of a Jordin Sparks’ song! She should have “tattooed” the lyrics on her palms!

Dang, if we were only to believe Simon Cowell’s declaration: “You forget the lyrics, you’re out!” See, we don’t really have to listen to these judges because they’re lying some of the time. They let her thru, Taylor Vaifanua, Joanna Pacitti (who was later disqualified) and Stephen Fowler who all forgot their lyrics and messed up somehow in Hollywood week. Those are the only ones we saw on TV, heaven knows there have been others who forgot their lyrics who made the cut to Top 36. Stick to your own rules, guys!

After painfully watching Casey Carlson butchered the song “Every Little Thing (s)he Does is Magic” from The Police in her Top 12 group one performance, I say again: she shouldn’t have been included in the Top 36. Every little thing she did on stage wasn’t magic! It was a train wreck! Of all the songs she could possibly pick in the Billboard top 100, she picked that “sting-ing” wrong song for her. I’m sorry for Casey Carlson. I really liked her and feel bad she did so poorly in American Idol. I couldn’t even dial her number because it would be wrong for me to vote for her when she screwed up big time. There’s no helping her at that point. She brought it upon herself. She made Tatiana Del Toro sound amazing after her sorry performance.

frankiejordanAs we watch the rest of the Top 36 perform, it will be apparent that the judges made some grave errors putting through some of the hopefuls for the wrongs reasons. There were more deserving talents who didn’t make it and they should have been more keen in determining who should be in the Top 36. I can name Jamar Rogers, Frankie Jordan, Jenn Korbee and as far back, not giving Leneshe Young a chance! Who knows, maybe even David Osmond or Michael Castro would have been a better choice than some who made it in Top 36?! We never saw how they fared but Idol showed some pretty mess up from those who made it… One thing the judges got right though was eliminating “bikini girl” Katrina Darrell, who was just all hype, still she should have been cut much earlier in Round one of Hollywood.

All these wouldn’t amount to anything going into the real Top 12. There has never been a clearer Top 3 potential even possibly the next American Idol than Daniel J “Danny” Gokey. I’ve watched David Cook’s audition in YouTube but didn’t get the same gut feeling that he would be the next Idol, although I didn’t really follow him through last season. I only checked on him when he already won the title. That doesn’t count.

danny gokeyWhat about Carrie Underwood whom I critiqued as “less talented” than Bo Bice until Bo Bice went into the lesser popular route, Southern Rock, so we never hear anything big about him. Carrie Underwood, she got the perfect niche for her! She went Country which is like the biggest thing happening here in America! I can never be a country music or Southern Rock fan. I like a few songs here and there that sounds like a crossover, pop to country/southern rock but I could never listen to pure country or Southern rock! Early on, it wasn’t clear cut if Carrie would be the next Idol.

With Danny, it was different. I’ve put my money on him from the moment I heard him sing during audition period. I just hate the fact that Idol played the sob story on him. We want to vote for Danny Gokey for his singing not because he lost his wife. There’s no reason to highlight his wife’s passing over and over again. I’m sorry for his loss but seriously the guy could sing and when he does, he puts his heart and soul to it. That sounds cliché but a lot of the singers say that of their singing but the audience don’t feel it. There’s no connection.

I think Danny Gokey should be the next American Idol. I didn’t say Danny Gokey is going to be the next American Idol, see the difference.  America have voted differently over the past with eyebrow raising if not shocking results. They could do it to Danny Gokey too…

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