On Idol, a night of threes
The American Idol format is so brilliant. It's like the marriage of a national sports league, Star Search and the presidential election. After seeing the final three go home to all the fanfare, I can't help thinking how amazing all the intense community support is for the local Idol. It's like watching the home team during the NBA playoffs.
I never really had that experience, though, since my dad was a military man, and I grew up all over the country. That, and because I stayed in L.A. after the show instead of going back to school in Idaho, which is where AI decided to place me.
But, like Ben Folds says:
I'm really not complaining,
I realize it's just a job
and I hate hearing belly-aching rockstars whine and sob
Cause I could be bussing tables
I could well be pumping gas
but I get paid much finer for playing piano
and kissing ass
So, tonight it was three contestants, three songs, three phone lines and three judges. "A night of threes" Ryan calls it. Hmmm, well, what the heck -- why not just carry that a little further? What three things impressed me the most about the three contestants tonight?
Jordin started off the show, so I'll start with her.
1) Jordin has a star at her local mall in Glendale, and now she says people can walk all over her. Truer words have not been spoken, I think. The moment she gets a deal with J Records, she'll be Clive's newest throw rug.
2) Simon picked "Wishing on a Star" for her, but didn't like the arrangement. He did say she was great, though, and I don't think she understood that when she started to give him some backtalk for it. That just looks bad, I think. Better to just roll with whatever and move on.
3) She looked good tonight. I think she's lost a bunch of weight. Good for her.
1) While I'm surprised that Simon is being so nice tonight, I did agree with him on a couple of things. You can't sing Roxanne and not get compared to Sting, but it was pretty good, and I think he should get some respect for maintaining a lot of originality.
2) If this were a high school yearbook, I'd nominate him the most likely to succeed ... commercially.
3) I'd also vote for him to be most likely to leave tomorrow night.
1) Tonight was a back-up singer's delight. I liked that she brought the Idol background vocalists up on stage. It was like a little glimpse of the past for her and a reminder where she came from.
2) All three judges thought she showed a lot of range. I'm not really convinced about that, but she was great.
3) Melinda is now up there with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Bobby Brown -- she has her own street. That's pretty cool.
Answers to Reader Questions:
I have an issue with Jon feeling that BOTH Lakisha & Melinda could not have continued in the competition. And as much as I hate to bring up race, I see no other reason for him to express that concept other than the fact that both women are Black. I'm curious to know if he would have the same opinion if there were two Caucasian women remaining?
Not a bad question. In short, yeah. Let's say Katharine McPhee and Haley Scarnato were in the top four together. Both are from California , both have a background in show tunes and they're both beautiful girls. They would be competing for the same type of voter. It has nothing to do with race. It's like Corn Flakes and Special K, Chili's and Applebees, Mac and PC and McCain and Giuliani. Melinda and Lakisha are both deeply rooted in gospel singing and have a very similar vocal quality. They were directly competing for the same votes. It's demographics, not race.
Jon Peter Lewis was a finalist on the third season of "American Idol." His newly released debut album, "Stories From Hollywood," is available everywhere online and can also be downloaded at americanidol.com. Visit Jon's Web site for more.