Idol Beat, Part 1: More Hollywood Week
Photos courtesy Fox
This is akin to watching the Budweiser Shootout or something - it's like a warm-up for activities that really count, you know? But you're not here for awkward comparisons - you want to get the skinny on what went down.
Of the 72 suckers - I mean, aspiring artists - who went home? So let's go there, in predictably encapsulated form...
Chris Cuffaro/ Fox Lufkin native Kendall Beard
* This year, contestants have access to background singers and backing bands at this stage of the competition. Which is a plus, if only because, well, the economy is tanking, and background singers and backing bands need to eat like everybody else.
* You know, this sub-Nazi Germany gimmick of divvying up hopefuls into room groups, only to liquidate a room or two? Never gets old. Seriously.
* Hey, Jamar: it's obvious that you'd like to be the next Pharrell Williams, what with the preppy-chic agenda you're trying to set. The green Mr. Rogers sweater. The pink tie against a white button-down shirt. The sideways cap. But bleating out a painful version of "Hey There Delilah," of all songs, ain't gonna get you where you wanna be. Ju'Not - whose fashion sense is decidedly more "street" - steers the same tune in an R&B direction, which is easier on the ears. All the same, guys? You're taking the Plain White Ts seriously on American Idol.
* Texan Kendall Beard sings "Before He Cheats" like, well, a Texan. Then Alexis Grace whips out the same song, further shoring up my longtime contention that Idol is in dire need of a "do-not-sing" list for "sassy" standards like this, Moulin Rouge dreck, and all things Whitney/Mariah.
* Word, Anoop, it is your perogrative! Damn! At this point I don't have any real favorites, but I hope the affable dweeb sticks around awhile.
* Steve Fowler and Scott MacIntyre: proof positive that taking refuge behind a keyboard doesn't necessarily bolster one's singing confidence and may actually cripple vocal performances.
OUT: India Morrison, Michael Castro, Leneshe Young, among others.
SAFE: Tatiana Del Toro, Ju'Not, Nathanial Marshall, Jazmine Murphy, Jeremy Michael Sarver, Alexis Grace, Steve Fowler, Scott MacIntyre, Nick Mitchell, Lil Rounds, Anoop, Danny Gokey, Jamar, etc.