This week's Idol "good and great"
What could be more uninspiring than Ryan Seacrest's love tips on Idol this week? ... Hmmmm, I could think of a couple performances, actually. And that's a bad thing, since Ryan isn't exactly an icon of wisdom. But, I don't want to talk about what I didn't like this time -- call it a break through in therapy, if you like. Instead, as much as I hate to say it, I want to pick up the Paula Abdul torch and talk about what was good and great about the past couple nights.
But first, a couple questions need to be answered: How is the order of the performance decided? And if two contestants pick the same song, who gets to sing it? Also, is The Colbert Report the best TV show on the air? Yes.
This week, we saw a couple repeat performances of "Feeling Good," Michael Buble style. So, the quick answer is it's completely OK to sing the same song as another contestant. I don't really think it's a good idea, but it's OK. This Paul Kim business of not getting to sing his first choice was on him. If he really wanted to and felt good about singing his first choice at the expense of going head to head with someone that night, he could have. It comes down to either who asked first or how bad you want to sing it.
Song order is a little harder for me to divulge. I was never involved in those meetings. I was simply told where to go, and I went. I do know, however, the philosophy when I was on the show was to bookend the night with exciting performances. If you were upbeat or expected to bring down the house, you were put either first or last. Whether or not certain people are put side by side for dramatic reasons is totally speculation. You'll have to go higher up on the food chain for that answer.
Now, with the FAQs behind us, let's get back to the boys and girls of season six. It's definitely a girl's competition, but I think Chris Sligh could be the come-from-behind kid this year. Personality goes a looong way on television. If Chris can stay cool, he'll hang around till the end for sure. I still don't know what kind of record he'll make, though. I've heard he has a band, but he hasn't shown any rock stuff and I wouldn't bank on 19 pumping out an alternative record. Good luck on that one.
On the whole, though, the boys were only OK -- nothing super exciting. I was happy to hear some modern stuff like Jason Mraz and Jamiroquai. I'm not a huge fan of either, but it's a step above beating all the Stevie Wonder songs to death. I think it'll be the only angle the guys have to keep from being overshadowed by the powerhouses in the girl's camp.
Despite this being the week when "the boys [were] back, yo," the girls were a lot more memorable. For as much as I really don't like the style, Melinda gave a stellar performance last night. She had lots of control and lots of poise; that'll take her a long way week to week. I'm sure coming prepared with her own stylists didn't hurt anything.
Gina was great too. If she can stick to rock all season, she may have a chance. No one else is doing it this year. Also, I liked Lakisha a lot. She's got spontaneity (aside from a great voice) -- and pop music needs more of that. Unfortunately she and Melinda are drawing from the same voting demographic, so I'm sure one of them will leave a lot sooner than we hope and expect.
We'll see. One thing's for sure, this is Chess, not Checkers. Until tomorrow night ...
[Jon Peter Lewis was a contestant on the third season of "American Idol." He has just released his debut album, "Stories From Hollywood." Visit his Web site, jonpeterlewis.com.]
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