Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Idol: Handicapping the Men

Last night's Idol was a little painful to watch. So many bad performances and to be honest I think the talent pool this season is down significantly from last year. Hopefully these contestants will improve but for my money it may end up being Bowersox vs everyone else. I think Crystal is the best talent overall but I'm going to give my own odds on the men regardless.

Andrew Garcia - 4-1

Andrew tried to switch up "Sugar We're Going Down" by Fallout Boy similar to the way he flipped the script on Paula Abdul's Straight Up during Hollywood week. It didn't work out so well (the song is much better played fast) but at least I got to finally understand all the lyrics of the song. Garcia is a talent though and he seems to be pretty popular with the audience. Despite the performance he's still the male front-runner.

Casey James - 5-1

We all know Kara and all the tweenage girls love this guy. He may turn into the Matthew Mcconaughey of this season, but in addition to his looks, the guy can sing. I thought his rendition of Heaven was very good and I can see him making the final four this season.

Tyler Grady - 6-1

I like this guy (despite his freaky Spongebob Squarechin) and he's probably my dark horse favorite of the men. Sure he's stuck in a 70's time warp but he's a great performer and has a good powerful voice. The song choice was a little wrong here as American Woman only added to his hippie stereotype. I'd like to see him try something different but I can totally see him as the front man for Wolfmother or another retro band.

Jermaine Sellers - 9-1

I heard that this guy was already on some BET singing show so I think he may have a leg up on the competition as a performer. He was so-so last night but that was mostly because of his terrible song choice. When Michael Jackson week comes around (and you know it will because the King Of Pop's recent death) again, Jermaine is going to own that show.

Lee Dewyze - 9-1

It was interesting to see most of the judges club this guy's performance last night only to have Simon come to the rescue saying it was the best of the evening. I agreed with Simon (shocker) and did enjoy his Snow Patrol rendition. He has a chance to do well but overall he doesn't seem to have much personality or showmanship. If he improves his stage presence, he could be a real factor. (Plus he's 2nd behind Bowersox for weirdest last name)

Aaron Kelly - 10-1

Totally reminds me of David Archuletta in a way. Very humble, young and sings with a power you wouldn't expect from his short stature. Wasn't wild about the song choice last night but he does have some potential to get far in this contest.

Michael Lynche - 12-1

First of all, I hate Maroon 5. Second of all, I actually hated Michael's performance of "This Love" even more. Using a guitar for a prop (and not really playing it), he just waddled back and forth with a sub-par singing voice. Now I do like his back story of becoming a dad while at Hollywood Week and he seems to be a nice guy, but he just doesn't belong in this competition. He might get far because people like him though (especially his dog Randy).

Joe Munoz - 15 - 1

Joe makes me think back to that weird/terrible Jorge guy from last season. He sings better than Jorge though and could go a little further in this thing. I didn't know the song he was singing but if rocked a little Enrigue Inglesias ("you can ruuuuuuu-AH-hun!"), he might do very well.

Todrick Hall 30 - 1

This dude is a dancer more than a singer and he proved exactly that during his performance. So-so voice but great stage presence. I do like that he took a big risk trying to switch up "Since U Been Gone" but it didn't work out so well. He should be safe this week though.

Alex Lambert 40 - 1

Adam's little brother (not really related) seemed to be nervous last night. His Jason Mraz song (an artist I totally hate by the way) was not that bad but the judges seemed to think he needs to get past his nerves to be any sort of a factor. I don't have high hopes for him. I actually think he's one of the two gone tonight.

Tim Urban 50 - 1

Well I've never heard "Apologize" get butchered as bad as Urban killed it last night. It's a great song and Kris Allen did an awesome cover last season but Timmy was just out of his league attempting those high notes. I actually had to shield my ears a little because it was so god awful. Urban is another ladies magnet and may actually survive the vote based on that. He won't get much further though unless he chooses songs with notes he can hit.

John Park 80 - 1

BOOOOORRRRR-ING. This guy is finished. Completely lifeless, singing a throw-away song I had never heard before. No originality and his singing voice just isn't that impressive. Pretty sure he's going home tonight.

And there you have it. Nate will be glad to know that I won't post about Idol again until the top 12 is established. At that point I will re-jigger my odds and we'll have a better idea of who really has a chance to win this thing. Until then, if you want some quality weekly recaps please go and visit the expert (Stacey) at her blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

American Idol: Handicapping the Women

Before I begin my list I want to let people know that I plan to tone down my Idol posts this year. You won't see any song prediction posts anymore. I just don't have the time (or interest really) in doing those types of posts. What I am doing is putting out my own odds for who I think can win this (Simon voice) comp-e-ti-tion. I stayed up late last night and watched the two-hour episode. I must say I am enjoying the Paula/Ellen switch. Ellen actually does give some meaningful feedback and is a little humorous at times. The downside to the judging change is that I now need to watch more of the show and can't just do the ol' Abdul DVR skip anymore.

Here's my list of the 12 women in order of who I think can contend for the title.

Crystal Bowersox - 3-1 (odds to win it all)

Not only does she have the best name in the competition but she is definitely unique. She doesn't fit the mold of the typical Idol contestant. I liked her Alanis performance and she seems to be a genuine artist. Her ability to stand out is going to take her far.

Katie Stevens - 4-1

The fact that she got the money spot on the first night means that the judges already favor her a bit. She has a very smooth and powerful voice and can probably sing a wide range of song types. Her age (17) may hurt her though.

Siobhan Magnus - 5-1

Another unique contestant, albeit one with a TERRIBLE name. I can't stand that spelling of "Chevan" and it annoys me to no end. She is quirky though (as Simon put it) and will stand out as well. Her range is very good and I do agree that she could be the dark horse (even if she doesn't know what that means).

Lilly Scott - 5-1

Lilly is another atypical contestant. Unfortunately she and several other girls do try to sound too much like Adelle or Duffy I don't get why all these women want to have that warbly weird voice tone that makes them sound a little like Megan Joy from last year. She's the best of the Adelle wannabees though and I think she'll try to experiment with changing song structure more than the others.

Janell Wheeler - 7-1

I think Janell is the best looking contestant out there (Tim Tebow would agree as he dated her) and her voice is actually quite good as well. Her song choice last night was not good as she does not have a very powerful voice (certainly not powerful enough to carry a Heart song). Hopefully she sticks around though.

Kathelyn Epperly - 7-1

Another attractive contestant that also carries a strong voice. I agree with Kara that she looked a little frightening last night in her getup. The fact that she's a life-long singer should help her big time.

Didi Benami - 9-1

Didi came off trying to sound too much like Lilly and Kathelyn last night. She does seem to have a good voice for soft ballad type songs but I doubt she can really rock it out. She'll be safe this week and should improve over time.

Michelle Delamor - 10-1

She is probably the most professional singer in the competition right now. Her stage presence is very good but she seems almost too commercial. She tried to mimic Alicia Keys note for note and I seriously doubt she'll be very creative in her song choices.

Paige Miles - 12-1

Going first is never fun but Paige did OK. The song choice was not great but she had fun with it. She'll make it through the first week but needs a lot of work to go far in this contest.

Ashley Rodriguez - 15-1

Starting to think she'll be too much like a mimic (like Michelle) as well. She does have a really good voice though so if she decides to be more adventurous in her song choices these odds could shrink significantly.

Lacey Brown - 50-1

Worst song choice of the night. Landslide (by Fleetwood Mac) has been done and re-done many times (Dixie Chicks, Smashing Pumpkins, etc...). She didn't bring anything new to the song and the brutal criticism of the judges will probably seal her fate. Look for her to leave the show on Thursday. If she does survive, she could turn this around.

Haeley Vaughn - 100-1

I think the judges have already written her off. She has that goofy perma-smile thing going on and her voice is really strange (and not in a good way). She's too young to really be a threat in this competition and look for her to be amongst the two going home this week. (Spelling her name better might help her cause)

That's it. That's the list. Overall I don't think the talent for the women is as good as Simon and the crew hyped it up to be. I'll try to churn out odds for the men after tonight's performances.