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March 14, 2008 - Cindy Votruba
OK, I admit it. I watch “American Idol.” I got sucked into the AI vortex back in season 2 during the entire Clay Aiken/Ruben Studdard contest and have watched ever since. Each year I keep telling myself that I won’t watch, I won’t watch. But as soon as early January rolls around and “Idol” starts broadcasting three nights a week with the good, bad and ugly auditions from various cities around the U.S., I’m there. If I can’t watch it, I tape it. I even started re-watching that infamous season 2 through “American Idol Rewind” on WGN.
No, I’m not obsessed. I just like cheap entertainment. The delusional singers. The Whitney, Britney, Mariah, Stevie and Aretha wannabees. Those who can sing “Unchained Melody,” (Simon Cowell’s favorite song). Those who can butcher “Unchained Melody.” But then there are those who stand out.
During season 2, there was Frenchie Davis with her bright-colored hair. (was it yellow or orange? I can’t remember) The big girl with the big voice. Her and Kimberly Locke sang one of my favorite duos on the show “Band of Gold.” Then there was that whole Internet photo scandal. George Huff was a favorite of mine during season 3. Bo Bice was my season 4 contender. Who else can pull off the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” during competition? I did like Taylor Hicks in season 5 (feel free to throw tomatoes now) and it was Melinda Doolittle in season 6.
I haven’t warmed up to anyone from this season yet. It’s still early. Sure David Cook put a nice spin on Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello,” but we already had Chris Daughtry. I’ll say David Archuleta is a good singer, but I fail to see the hype. (Sure he’s cute, but I’m not a teenage girl) Amanda Overmyer has a cool, growly, bluesy voice, but watching her do her solos during the group sing Wednesday night was a little painful. And I like Carly Smithson’s speaking voice. She’s an OK singer. And then there was Kristy Lee Cook. She has a sweet little backstory of how she sold her barrel horse to audition. But that country twist she put on “8 Days A Week....” In Simon’s words, horrendous. I thought she was a goner on Thursday night. She lucked out, big time.
The standout of the night for me on Tuesday? Get this: Chikeze. Who else can wear an argyle sweater vest, start out his song with a “O Brother Where Art Thou” feel and then just rock out all over the stage?
So we’re being subjected to another week of the Lennon and McCartney songbook. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Beatles, but it’s nice to have a little variety in the themes. (‘80s New Wave anyone?) Then I don’t have to see Archuleta stumble and fumble over the words to the opening part of the song. I was listening to him on Tuesday night, reading my book for next week’s bookclub (“Blindness” by Jose Saramago, by the way), he started the song and I was like, “did he just forget the words?” And this was the beginning of the song!
I could go on and on about “Idol,” but I don’t want to bore you all to tears. Maybe I can be like Fox 9’s Jason Matheson and blog about this twice a week....Nah!
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